Monday, May 14, 2018

2019 NFL MOCK DRAFT 5/14/18 With Trades & Player comparisons

With the 2018 draft coming to an end I am sure many of you are already wondering who the top prospects for 2019 might be. Trying to predict not only the top prospects, but also the draft order is a big stretch right now, but I am willing if you are . Right now I see a draft potentially deep at  DT ,  edge rusher , RB , OT, TE , and  possibly even QB if the players I expect enter the draft and thrive . This is my second 2019 Mock ,and I watched some more tape on the players I already have on the top of my watch list, but I have done very little character or injury recon as of yet . I used a well known Vegas odds site to make this draft order about 2 weeks before the draft , and then tweaked it after the draft was over , so if you don't like it I will live .The picks are all mine , but keep in mind that I have done limited tape study on these prospects so far .Also, after taking more time absorbing the teams draft hauls I have tweaked the draft order again, and will continue to do so throughout the off season based on personnel moves . May 12th teams are no longer punished by the compensatory pick formula , and I expect more veteran free agent signings after that day . That and potential trades & injuries will impact the draft order for me. For instance I really loved the Dallas draft , and was going to move their pick back in the order , but the loss of future HOFer Jason Witten nixed that in my book . I know in today's fantasy football happy world people see his offensive numbers go down and underestimate his value, but they often overlook how much he stayed into block last year, and how much his solid run blocking , dependable hands , subtle route running, and leadership will be missed on the now very young cowboys roster . Then when the actual games start it will really start getting interesting .   This could be one of the great D-Line drafts in a long time , and it's filled with them , but they will sort themselves out in time . A lot of these guys will get hurt, disappoint on or off the field, and some probably won't even enter the draft.  Out of the 32 guys I predicted to go in the first round in my 2018 way too early mock draft 12 went in the first, 6 in the second , 6 in the 3rd, 1 in the 4th, 1 in the in the 6th, 1 went un-drafted, and 5 returned to school. So you can see what a crap shoot it really is at this time. They are mostly guys I couldn't help noticing while watching others on tape this year,  guys I expected to enter the 2017 draft that stayed, or players I was expecting a lot from last year who missed time . Some are just really talented ,and I expect them to step up this year as well, but there may be some draft eligible sophomores I don't even realize have a chance to enter next years draft . I have given early NFL players comparisons so you can have an idea of who your team might be getting , but I will change them if someone more fitting comes to mind down the road .Without further ado , here it is. Feel free to leave a comment. Agreeing or disagreeing is welcome, but please do it intelligently and respectfully. If you can't, or resort to personal attacks, I just won't post it.So here it is. Enjoy.






1.BUFFALO - NICK BOSA - DE - OHIO ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - JOEY BOSA - CHARGERS 
It's a shame when a team has such a great season, breaks a long playoff drought, and then you feel that team is about to hit a wall .A draft is never really accurately judged until at least 3 years later, and the Bills got some really talented players with their first 3 picks, but they didn't address their O-Line or the WR position much. In fact they didn't draft a  O-lineman & WR until the 5th round and 7th round respectively . That combined with the raw players they took early are why I gave them the #1 pick overall . Both Allen and Edmunds are high end talents , but both  also lack  polish and I'm not sure how much they can be expected to contribute early in their careers . 3rd round pick Harrison Philips was a steal where they got him in my book, and I think he is the most likely Bills draftee to contribute right out of the gate . Whether it's AJ Mccarron or the boom or bust Josh Allen at QB I don't give either much of chance to succeed this season under those circumstances. Since they are already invested in Allen a QB is out, and could see them getting a big haul in a trade for the #1 pick because of it, but as of now I'm just going to give them the guy I feel is the odds on favorite to be the best player at a premium position . Nick is a lot like Joey on tape , and that's high praise. Plus, he has the added advantage of having his Pro Bowl big bro as a tutor. It wouldn't surprise me if he is an even better player long term , and that's hard to pass up .


2.CINCINNATI -  DREW LOCK - QB - MISSOURI
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - DEREK CARR - RAIDERS
Marvin Lewis and Mike Brown have had a long run together. Their coach heavy drafting strategy where they take a lot of really talented players who have fallen because of character issues & injury woes payed of for awhile. They actually had about a 5 year run where they had one of the leagues more talented roisters from top to bottom, but never won a playoff game. QB Andy Dalton will be at the end of a 8 year run as the starter after this season, and despite 4 playoff trips hasn't won said playoff game either . Mike Brown is both owner and GM in Cincy , and he's probably not going to fire himself, or even take a Jerry Jones route and wise up enough to let football people help him make better decisions . Both Lewis & Dalton have had their chances and Brown has actually given them more chances than I think they deserve to win . So I  think they are both gone after this season, and then the rebuilding Bengals start over at the games most important position .  I admit I don't like the rock and go, easy read, bubble screen heavy , wide open target,  spread system that Lock has been in the last 3 years, but at least he has improved every year . However,  he threw down the field more than most spread QB's do , and they are going to a more pro friendly offense this season .  I thought Lock might enter the 2018 draft, and had already watched 3 of his games before he decided to go back to school . He's got the frame &  huge arm you want, and he made a big jump in production this season 


3.ARIZONA - RASHAN GARY - DT - MICHIGAN
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - CAMERON JORDAN - SAINTS
The Cards may not want to admit it, but most of the moves they have made this off season says they are rebuilding , but don't want to say it out loud . If Josh Rosen is healthy he will be the steal of the draft, but I have no reason to think he will be, and Sam Bradford  is the king of un-realized potential at QB due to injuries . So I feel a top 5 pick is possibly in their future . Plus Rosen was their best draft pick in my opinion, and while I like Christian Kirk he has never shown he is anything but a slot receiver, and that's where Fitzgerald plays . That's another sign that they are looking long term . Once they let super star Calais Campbell go in free agency they were counting on the mercurial Robert Nkemdiche to step up . His rookie year was a bust. He was OK when healthy last year , but not the game changer they hoped , and his health is also questionable.  Gary is a freakish athlete for such a big man, and I think his versatility , high floor & high upside , will see him drafted very early . 


4.MIAMI - JUSTIN HERBERT - QB - OREGON
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - CAM NEWTON - PANTHERS
The Dolphins season is in Ryan Tannehill's hands in my opinion, and I don't trust him to be healthy or consistent enough to take them far . I actually expected them to draft a QB relatively high( possibly even in the first if one they liked fell to them)  in this draft despite them being financially committed to Tannehill for at least this season , but they didn't . Combining that with them failing to find a possibly even solid Suh replacement, and my dislike of their line backing core ( even after the draft) make me think they will be picking very high . Other than Fitzpatrickk at #11 I just think they didn't get it right overall this draft .  Herbert is a spread read option QB with all the tools you could want. He's tall with a strong arm and a willingness to throw downfield that you don't often see . He has his share of bubble and tunnel screens , and they definitely help his completion percentage , but he can also fire a 20 yard out or DIG route on a rope . His accuracy need work, especially on the deep ball . When he has to put more air under the deep ball it tends to sail for a overthrow . He also has a tendency to throw receiver's into possible dangerous hits over the middle . Strong explosive runner that can move the chains in short yardage , or take off for a big  gain when the play breaks down or on the read option . He also knows when to slide and when to go for the first down. Despite his listed size (6"6' , 230 ) he will need to add a little more muscle and be a little more careful when running . Hopefully the broken collarbone he suffered last season will hit home. It was to his non throwing shoulder , but that's an injury that reoccurs more often than you might think .


5.CLEVELAND - ED OLIVER - DT - HOUSTON
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - LA'ROI GLOVER - retired
The browns got a lot of good football players in the 2018 draft, but with all that high end draft capitol I think they could have done even better, and even if Baker is the guy long term I would be surprised if they won more than 8 games this year, They could have traded back from #4 with Buffalo to #12 and probably have still gotten Ward or even Fitzpatrick . Or they could have taken the more valuable edge rusher in Bradley Chubb . Garrett, Ogbah, and Chubb are all big and strong enough to kick inside at times and then they could get  highly athletic pass rushers on the field at the same time . Also, why take Austin Corbett at #33 . If they want to him to play guard Will Hernandez who went pick later to the Giants was still on the board, and I think Connor Williams would also be a better guard as well .  Then you have to consider if they do in fact like him at guard then are they kicking Joel Bitonio out to LT , or the reverse option of Corbett at LT and Bitonio at guard . In either case I think Connor Williams would also be a better LT . I love the Nick Chubb pick tough . Let's hope I'm wrong about the rest because I have a buddy who is a Browns fan and he deserves better than he has gotten lately . They had so many premium picks that even though I didn't always love the guy the took at a given time they still added a lot of high end talent , and their draft haul is still in my top 10, although I felt they could have done better . Oliver has been dominant against the run inside, and he had the explosive traits to high level pas rusher with some more polish and technique additions . He explodes off the ball and  practically lives in opposing backfields . 


6.NY JETS - JONAH WILLIAMS - OT - ALABAMA
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - JOE STALEY - 49ers
I actually liked the Jets draft, although at first I thought they gave up too much to move from #3 to #6 for what could of ended up being the 3rd QB on their board, but with Darnold falling into their laps it looks really smart now . Shepherd in the 3rd, Herndon in the 4th, and Fatukasi in the were also great values. This was the kind of draft that can change a franchise fortunes long term , It's great that they got a potential franchise QB , but I almost hope he doesn't get to play much this year because he could get hurt behind this O-line . The only one of them I would say is even slightly above average is LT Kelvin Beachum and he is a free agent after the year . They should have the cap space to keep him , but if they don't , or they want an upgrade at RT Williams would be a good fit . He was a starter at RT as a true freshman at Alabama and kicked over to the blindside last year . If he keeps improving he could be in line for top 10 selection this year, and might even be the first OT taken in a potentially deep class of them . I'm sure Sam Darnold would appreciate it because I believe at least part of the reason he entered the draft early was the injuries and poor play of his O-Line at USC .




7.WASHINGTON - AJ BROWN - WR - OLE MISS
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - MICHAEL THOMAS - SAINTS 
The Skins did a good job of filling needs in the 2019 draft, except for one . Wide receiver is still a weakness in my opinion . They have the talented but injury prone Josh Doctson & Paul Richardson on the outside, and shifty slot guy Jamison Crowder inside . Their target leader would ideally be Jordan Reed , but he is the most injury prone guy on the roster . So I think they really need another WR and I really like AJ Brown's game . Despite missing most of 2 games with an injury on a roster already depleted by transfers due to NCAA penalties he was very productive in the SEC . 75 catches for 1252 yards and 11 TD's against the defenses on their schedule is very impressive  . I was going to move him down the draft board because they had more defections , including QB Shae Patterson this off season, but I really liked how he looked more polished at their spring game . He is built more like a taller RB than a WR ,and is physical & explosive after the catch, with some make you miss thrown in . Another reason he may go lower is that he looks primarily like a power slot more than an outside guy on tape right now, but that is the primary receiver for many teams these days . 


8.SEATTLE - CLELIN FERRELL- DE - CLEMSON
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - ZIGGY ANSAH - LIONS
I liked the Seahawks draft despite what I felt was an overdraft in the first round , especially Will Dissly, Shaq Griffin , and Jamarco Jones in the 5th .The main component of the Seahawks defense is getting pressure with your front 4 . With the hawks letting go of Michael Bennett & Sheldon Ricardson , and Cliff Avril's injury worries a rebuild was in order . Now Frank Clark will be a free agent after the year, and for a defense that relies on waves on rotating pass rushers that's a big worry . You might notice that I have 3 Clemson D-Lineman in this first round . In my early musings on the #7 overall pick in the 2018 draft I thought maybe Clelin Ferrell might rise up in the Pre-Draft process and go to Tampa Bay, but somehow Dabo Sweeney got his whole D-line to come back to Clemson.  That's amazing when you consider that Ferrell had a decent chance to go top 10,  Wilkins would have been a first rounder, and Bryant was probably a day 2 pick somewhere . Add the beastly and draft eligible this year Dexter Lawrence to it , and you know that Sweeney is a Machiavellian Svengali Professor X or something . Ferrell has the ideal length , measurables , and tools to entice the analytics driven Sparq score loving Seahawks . 



9.CHICAGO - ANDRAEZ "GREEDY"  WILLIAMS - CB - LSU
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - STEPHON GILMORE - PATRIOTS
The Bears had one the great drafts of 2018 by my early projections but they are still potentially thin at CB in the long run despite re-singing their top 2. A lot of NFL teams are in nickel about 2/3 of the time, and I think that there lack of depth there is a weakness right now . Greedy had six picks as a redshirt freshman at a school known for putting out NFL talent at DB . He looks like a potential shut down corner right now . Tall, physical , fast , and already balling out in the SEC at a young age make for a good future . If he can add another 15 pounds of muscle between now and ( almost year away so it should be easy) the combine I think there is a good chance he's the first DB off the board next year . 


10.BALTIMORE - JOE JACKSON - DE/OLB - MIAMI
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - DANIELLE HUNTER - VIKINGS
The position that legendary retiring GM Ozzie Newsome has missed on the most in the last 10 years is edge rusher . Maybe with Eric DeCosta calling the shots he will get that position right . This is made even worse by the fact that 35 year old future HOFer Terrell Suggs is on the last year of his deal, and even T-sizzle can't play forever anyway. Jackson was productive as a rusher as a true freshman, and was a standout on the Canes vaunted defense in 2017 this year after moving into a starting job . I expect him to be even better this year and maybe even slip into a leadership role . He got a lot of pressure on tape and improved against the run by a large margin . He has the frame and tools to take big jump up again this year and could possibly end up in the top 10 of the 2019 draft . Joe has a great frame & length with a burst off the ball to put the tackle in jeopardy . Also has a nifty inside counter and the willingness to chase plays down the line backside . 


11.CAROLINA -TRAYVON MULLEN - CB - CLEMSON 
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - TRAE WAYNES - VIKINGS
First off let me say I love the talent they acquired with their first 4 picks in the 2019 draft, but it still bothers me that they didn't address the LT position, or the O-Line at all for that matter . My first inclination is to AGAIN give them a LT to replace Matt Kalil , but apparently they have had 2 straight GM's who think he is better than I do . They may think that Taylor Mouton is the guy eventually, but I read right after the draft that they are trying him at guard this year , to replace the loss of Andrew Norwell . Anyway, since they do tend to draft a lot of corners high, and it is a need anyway I will give them one. Mullen is long and lean but he is also physical enough to press When I watched their spring game he looked even better than last year . Picking off 2 balls and showing improved hand use .


12.KANSAS CITY - DEXTER LAWRENCE - DT - CLEMSON
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - KRIS JENKINS - retired
Due to the 2017 draft day trade to move up and take Pat Mahomes the Chefs were without a first rounder in the 2018 draft, but all  but one (Derrick Nnadi ) of their remaining picks were reaches to me . I felt that there were multiple better players on the board on 3 of their first 4 picks.  Lawrence is big guy with surprising quickness to go with his power . Explosive enough to play the 5 and strong enough to play the nose .Health is my only concern with him or I would have him higher . 


13.TAMPA BAY - TREY ADAMS - OT - WASHINGTON
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - TAYLOR LEWAN - TITANS
The Bucs are coming off a good draft, and they also added some other key veterans to beef up their D-line . The one major weakness I can see on their team is left tackle . Donovan Smith hasn't been getting it done, and instead of kicking him inside to guard where he might have been more successful they have stubbornly left him outside to the detriment of the team . Even though I love the pick of Ronald Jones , and think he was well worth the 38th pick in the 2nd round, I feel they should have snatched up Connor Williams to play LT . 
Since they didn't I expect another season of Winston getting hammered on the blindside,and then Tampa finally addressing the problem in 2019 .  If not for a season ending knee injury I think Adams would have entered the 2018 draft and been the first OT taken . If he is healthy and shows the same athleticism & mean streak post injury this year it's still a strong possibility he goes in the top 10 . 


14.OAKLAND - DAMIEN HARRIS - RB - ALABAMA
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - CURTIS MARTIN - retired
the Raiders had the ultimate boom or bust draft full of high end talents with flaws. it's almost like Al davis was in charge again . I expect that they will be ready to move on from past their prime and risky character of Lynch and Martin after this season . Harris was one of the players I had a first round grade on for the 2018 draft that went back to school . He runs with power , vision , balance , and he even has some moves & a decent burst . He almost always falls forward , and I even saw him block a punt against Florida ST  . Not sure about his long speed though, as I saw him get caught from behind multiple times last season  , He really needs to polish up his pass protection , but he shows some skill as a receiver even though he isn't used enough there . Now that  they have a passing QB again I wouldn't be surprised if gets a lot more targets, and he should get more experience as a pass protector .  This is the only RB I think might be a top 10 pick in next years draft right now . 


15.SAN FRANCISCO - DEVIN WHITE - ILB - LSU
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - CJ MOSELY - RAVENS
I liked the niners first 4 picks , although I still think it was too high for Mcglinchey, but OT's are in high demand . Dante Pettis is a guy I think will really make a real world impact right away. he's an elite return man , and a vastly underrated WR . With Rueben Foster's injury history and potential legal woes I expected the 49ers to address LB in the first or second round  . While they did take Fred Warner in the 3rd I think he's more of a weak side LB who can cover . With so many LB's coming into the NFL today lacking take on skills it's really nice to see a complete 3 down player like White that doesn't run around all blocks . White can stack , shed , and run to the ball . This is a sideline to sideline guy who can also blitz, and he also shows a good football IQ . A potential true MIKE LB  with legitimate 1rst round tape is rare in today's game , but he also has the speed to play outside . Shows good awareness in zone coverage , changes direction well , and has the innate ability to sift through traffic and find the ball carrier  . The only potential negatives I see are length and a penchant for tackling around the head when he's chasing backside or around the edge . He plays a devalued position, but I wouldn't be surprised if he ended up with a top 10 overall grade this year .



16.HOUSTON - GREG LITTLE - OT - OLE MISS
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - DONALD PENN - RAIDERS
The Texans didn't have pick until the 3rd round, but they made the most of their draft anyway . They need more O-Lineman and Rankins will probably start somewhere on that depleted unit . I especially love Ejiofor in the 6th  .  Little started out great as a freshman , but looked a lot more inconsistent in his 2nd year, but there is a reason he was the top OT recruit coming out of high school . He has long arms and when he gets his hands inside and locks out he's excellent , but his hands are outside too often & he also has a vulnerability to quick inside moves . He has all the tools to rebound and end up a top 10 pick, but he needs to keep his weight in check and polish his techniques  . 


17.DETROIT  - MONTEZ SWEAT - DE - MISS. ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - SIMEON RICE - retired
The Lions had a draft designed to help them run the ball, and they also improved their run defense as well, but I am not sure about their pass rush or ability to stop the pass . Ragnow is a beast, just ask Duron payne, and Tyrell Crosby was the STEAL of the entire draft in my opinion . Ziggy Ansah is playing this year on the franchise tag and I don't see anyone else outside in Detroit that would scare me if I was an opposing OC . Sweat has a long lean build with the arm length that you want . He uses those vine like arms to keep blockers at bay and/or control them in the run game, and holds up surprisingly well at the point of attack for a guy as light as him . Also uses his arms well getting into a blockers chest as a pass rusher, and has a good motor . Shows a good awareness to find the ball, and smooth change of direction skills . He also shows the versatility to play both sides , and even stands up and rushers/ drops occasionally . If he can bulk up a bit , keep his athleticism while doing it, and work on his hand fighting I think he will be a first round pick . 


18.ATLANTA - CHRISTIAN WILKINSON - DT - CLEMSON
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - KAWANN SHORT - PANTHERS
The Falcos had a solid draft with some solid values, but the only one I might calla steal was Dedrin Senat in the 3rd . Grady Jarrett is a stud, vastly underrated , and a free agent after the season . Matt Ryan's contract , and the fact that they will want to protect that investment by prioritizing re-signing LT Jake Matthews may prevent them from re-signing him . Wilkinson is big and explosive, but his motor and production are inconsistent . He is surrounded by other future NFL players on the Clemson D-Line so he has no excuse if he doesn't rise to the occasion this year and live up to his potential . I'm betting on that talent . 




19.DENVER - DERRICK BROWN - DT - AUBURN
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - MARCUS STROUD - retired
The Broncos had Bradley Chubb fall into their lap at #5 , and Josey Jewell gift wrapped for them in the the 4th. That alone should make this draft a success, but they got some other intriguing players as well . I know some Bronco fans will want a QB, and I even gave them one in my first 2019 mock, but after thinking about I doubt it. I think Keenum fit's this scheme well. Also Elway probably still hopes Paxton Lynch will grow up and get better , but I am personally betting on a healthy & hopefully matured Chad Kelly as the QB of the future .  Domata Peko was an excellent run stuffer for the Broncos last year, and this is the last year of the 33 year old's contract . Brown is big , nasty, strong , and explosive  . Brown also can provide more of a pass rush than Peko does , and he also does a good job of getting his big mits up in passing lanes when he doesn't reach the QB .   He's hard to miss on tape because you don't often see a huge dude wearing the number 5 in the opposing teams backfield  . He looks like a guy versatile enough to play any interior D-Line position in a odd or even front, but I think his best fit would be as a shaded nose or 5 technique in a 3-4 .


20,NY GIANTS - JOSH ALLEN - OLB/DE - KENTUCKY 
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - WHITNEY MERCILUS - TEXANS 
First off even though they didn't take a QB , or even other players I thought would give them a better chance at long term success like Quentin Nelson or Bradley Chubb at #2 , I love their 2018 draft . They obviously still believe in Eli, as their first 2 picks( Barkley & Hernandez )  will help him right away . Even the high upside of Lorenzo Carter was well worth the gamble in round 3 , and BJ Hill should fit right away as a 5 technique in their new 3-4 . Then still getting a possible successor to Eli in the 4th round with Kyle Lauletta was brilliant to me . I still think they need more off the edge though . Allen is an experienced 3-4 OLB with an ideal frame & length for the position with some cops in both zone & man coverage . He is an unimaginative pass rusher right now who needs more than a speed rush and the occasional spin counter but the tools are all there . Has a good motor, but he needs to get stronger to hold up on the edge against the run ,and improve his bull rush. He might have gone in the 2nd in the 2018 draft, but I think returning to school was the right move for him . He can put on some more muscle , improve his technique & pass rush repertoire , and hopefully finish the second half of the season in the same way he started out in 2017 . 


21.TENNESSEE - MICHAEL JORDAN - G - OHIO ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - ANDREW NORWELL - JAGUARS
Due to trades the Titans only had 4 picks, bjt mark my words , getting HaroldLandry in the 4th was huge . He was the best pure pass rusher in the draft, and as 3-4 OLB he should excel once he is 100% healthy . Both starting guards are free agents after 2018 and I doubt they will be able to pay both when consider that Taylor Lewan & Marcus Mariota are going to need new contracts soon . If you are wondering who Jordan is just ask Maurice Hurst because he got handled by him last year . I am a big Hurst fan and had a first round grade on him in the 2018 draft , but he didn't look it whenever he had to line up against Jordan . If you had seen Jordan & Hurst at the same party after the game wearing T-Shirts I'm pretty sure that Michael's read " Morris Day 'and Maurice was donning one that said "Jerome ".  Jordan was a top OT recruit who was moved to guard right away at Ohio State ,  and he has started since he was a true freshman at LG, which is really impressive at that school . Tall , lean, and mean. Long arms and he knows how to use them . Great arm extension with consistent lockout .




22.DALLAS - CHAUNCEY GARDENER - JOHNSON - S - FLORIDA 
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - LAMARCUS JOYNER - RAMS
Dallas had a great draft , but the only positions of need they didn't address are free safety and  NT . Since Rod Marinelli has never made the NT a priority in his defense I get him not pushing to take one high  , but this was a really deep draft for nose tackles . Tim Settle went in the 5th,  Foley Fatuokosi went in the 6th and Poona Ford went undrafted . All 3 would have been an upgrade in my opinion , especially with Maliek Collins continuing his string of foot injuries , and I think Collins is better as a 3 technique anyway.  Safety however is something I thought they might address . With Byron Jones moving to corner , and Chito Awuze also playing outside , second year player Xavier Woods is the only possible FS on the roster . Woods was their best nickle corner last year , but if they are going to a more Seattle like cover 3 instead of the basic Tampa 2 the single high free safety is a crucial part of that scheme, and they lack experience and depth there.   I get them not trading a 2nd for Earl Thomas when Connor Williams was still on the board. Plus Thomas is 29 , has one year left on his deal, and wants to be the highest paid safety in the league. That means over 13 million annually for a guy who has had injuries the last 2 years and is pushing 30 . If Dallas wants to win now they though it would still be a good idea to try to trade for him . They could use some of next years picks, depth players or some combination thereof, if Earl can come to his senses about money . The cost of living between Seattle and Dallas is a staggering 30%, and he would make more money on a 9.1 million a year contract in Dallas than he would on a 13 million a year contract in Seattle. Lets say 10 million a year. If he really wants to play for a team that has a chance to win now, and at home , it's well worth it. Plus , with Kris Richard coming over to help out the DB's he would already know his coach, slide into a familiar scheme in a leadership role , and maybe be the missing piece to this team getting another ring . I don't think they have given up on a trade yet, and if winning is more important than the ego stroke of being the highest paid player at his position a deal should get done . Gardner is a coaches son with a high football IQ, and if they don't trade for Thomas or sign a veteran FS now that the May 12th comp pick deadline has passed , I think he would be a good fit . He is playing the vaunted star/nickle position now and that gives him a lot more chances to show off his already impressive play making skills . 


23.LA CHARGERS - SHAE PATTERSON - QB - MICHIGAN
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - RUSSELL WILSON - SEAHAWKS
The Chargers had one of the great players in the draft fall into their lap in Derwin James, and I also loved Chris Owusa in the 2nd, and Charger fans will too once they see how often he gets his hands on the ball. The rest of their draft was iffy for me . There were a lot of rumors leading up to the draft that the Chargers were going to take a  QB in the first round, but I never believed it . Phillip Rivers is still at the top of his game , he has 2 years left on his current contract at reasonable salaries fora franchise QB, and they are a team in contention right now. However, I did think that they might draft a developmental guy later . Since 2019 is the last year of his contract, will also turn 37 this season , and because Rivers is a middle America guy who probably wants to go home and spend more time with his wife and house full of kids I could see him possibly retiring after 2019 . Patterson finally got cleared to transfer to Michigan, and I think the talented QB will thrive under Jim Harbaugh's Pro set tutelage . His new coach will probably incorporate some of his athleticism into RPO's and moving the pocket a lot as well . The league is heading in that direction already, and Harbaugh already did some of this stuff with Kaepernick back in the day, and I think Pattrson then moves on to the NFL  . I previously wondered about Shae's size hindering his draft stock, but the success of smaller QB'S recently combined with Baker Mayfield going #1 overall has alleviated some of those concerns .
 

24.GREEN BAY - BRIAN BURNS - DE - FLORIDA ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - JASON TAYLOR - retired
The Packers new regime had a good first draft. Taking back to back corners, including getting a guy ( Josh Jackson) in the 2nd I thought they might consider in the first round . Equanimeous St. Brown could end of being a huge steal in the 6th as well . They didn't address the edge though, and Clay Matthews is slowing down even if they leave him outside now . burns is along lean explosive athlete with the movement skills you want in a 3-4 OLB, but he needs to add some more muscle to his frame. Despite being light he plays with surprising power at times on tape . 


25.INDIANAPOLIS - RODNEY ANDERSON - RB - OKLAHOMA 
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - MATT FORTE - retired
The Colts had one of the better 2018 draft classes . I know they had a lot of ammo with the #6 , 37, 52, and 64th overall picks , but I think they got some possible starters or early contributors later too . Most of all I am just happy that they have decided to FINALLY make protecting Andrew Luck a priority .  Getting the best player in the draft in Quentin Nelson at #6 was huge, and then coming back for Braden Smith in the 2nd gives them a potential long term duo to keep rushers out of his face . Other than taking Darius Leonard a round earlier then I had him I loved all their picks . They had a good mixture of high floors and high ceilings . Adding Jordan Wilkins and Nyheim Hines to Marlon Mack gives them an eclectic mix of running backs who's part's might make a solid whole .  I think they might want more of a every down possibility next year though . Rodney  had some injuries his first 2 years, and a false rape allegation certainly didn't help him get on the field either , but when he got his chance he literally ran with it ,Anderson didn't play much in the first 5 games of 2017,  but in the last nine he had 1127 yards on 176 carries. ,That's an average of 6.4 per rush. Plus he capped off the season with his best running game of the year against Georgia in the playoffs when he ran for 201 yards and 2 TD's . With a full season of games and more time in the pass pro , as he already looks pretty good as a receiver , he may play his way into the first round . 





26.GREEN BAY-(saints) - DAVID EDWARDS - OT - WISCONSIN
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - LANE JOHNSON - EAGLES 
Bryan Bulaga's injury history makes me think they are close to moving on from him .For years Wisconsin has been known as O-line U , although N. Dame deserves the title over the last 5 years . Obviously teams like Alabama and Ohio ST. that perennially have top 5 recruiting classes will put there fair share of players in the NFL everywhere, but for teams that don't get those top 5 groups Wisconsin and maybe Iowa are where you can generally find well trained O-Lineman with a chance to make it in the NFL. Last year the 3 best overall NCAA O-Lines were Wisconsin , Notre Dame and, Oklahoma  . Notre Dame had two of theirs taken in the top 9 of the draft, and lost their O-line coach to the Chicago Bears . Oklahoma lost their best O-Lineman in Orlando Brown, and yes he his tape was really good despite the combine workout . Wisconsin however returns all 5 starters, including 3 that I think have a chance to go in the first 2 rounds, and they are the odds on favorite to have the best O-Line in football again in 2018. Edwards is a former QB , who became a TE , turned OT , that has added about 50 pounds since he made the switch . Lane Johnson is the only other guy I remember having that kind of career trajectory, and he's a very good NFL RT, although I don't think Edwards is as athletic right now . Maybe another year in the weight room working on solidifying 300 plus pounds will get him there , because when you gain weight quickly it's never all good weight . He's obviously still making the transition , and you can see some inconsistencies in his tape, but that kind of athleticism is in demand outside in the NFL . Mostly he needs to consistently play lower and meaner . 


27.PITTSBURGH - RAEKWON DAVIS - DL  - ALABAMA 
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - DeFOREST BUCKNER - 49ers
Roethlisber can whine all he wants about them drafting a  QB , but if he wasn't pulling a Brett Favre then they they wouldn't have taken Rudolph in the 3rd , and since they got him around where he should have went i like the pick a lot . I like James White in the 2nd, and Marcus Allen in the 5th too, but thought Terrell Edmunds was a big reach in the first . Ben should be especially happy with Washington because he likes to throw deep , and  this guy is the best deep ball WR in the draft .  Cam Heyward is good player , but they are up against the cap, and most of their dead cap money on him will be gone after this year . They may need a cheaper replacement. Davis comes out of the Alabama D-Line factory and he as a higher upside than of them. He length alone makes him an ideal 5 technique, and don;t be surprised if he goes higher than this . 




28.MINNESOTA - DALTON RISNER - OL - KANSAS ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - CODY WHITEHAIR - BEARS
The Vikings draft was up and down for me . Hughes is worth that pick on tape, but I think they will regret passing on Connor Williams and Will Hernandez. I still don't like their O-Line though . Risner is a the kind of versatile player that could probably play every spot up front. That is O-Line coaches dream because it allows him to get his best 5 players on the field.  Risner hurt his shoulder last year or I thought he might have entered the 2018 draft . Don;'t seep Kansas ST. this year if you are a bettor . The big 12 doesn't have an elite team now , and they could surprise enough to make another bowl game. They are returning all 5 starters up front 


29.PHILADELPHIA - DEANDRE BAKER - CB - GEORGIA
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - CHRIS HARRIS - BRONCOS 
I'm sure they think that trading ahead of Dallas to take Goedert makes them crafty, and I admit it was a great pick regardless , but having a kicker troll them in Dallas was a bigger shot. It wasn't quite what Drew Pearson pulled off in Philly last year, but it sure looked like it pissed off a lot of Dallas fans . Although I think the Cowboys would have taken Connor Williams anyway  .  The Eagles didn't have a lot of picks , but I still think they did OK with them . Baker had a really good National championship game, and I expect that to carry over this year . He was is fast with quick feet and I think he can play inside or outside, but unless he gets bigger many teams will just want him inside . 


30.NEW ENGLAND - CLAYTON THORSON - QB - NORTHWESTERN
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - JIMMY GAROPPOLO - 49ers
I am a guy who thinks Wynn can stay at LT. It's not about height. It's about length & feet, and he has both . Shocked they took a RB in the first though, because they haven't committed to one every down back since Corey Dillon about 15 years ago . I am one of the people who thought it possible that the Patriots would take a QB with one of their 2 first rounders in 2018, but they didn't even take one until the 7th round , and it was Danny Etling ? The Patriots have their own way of doing things ,and it's hard to argue with results, but I would be surprised if he ended up being even a solid backup . Also remember that the Patriots jettison more top 100 picks than anyone, and the often do it very early in the players career. So they do make plenty of mistakes, but they also recognize and rectify those mistakes quicker than other teams .  There has been some more Brady drama since the draft though, and maybe next year they draft an heir apparent  . Thorson has good size , a sturdy frame, and he reminds me of a guy that organization loved . Has enough athleticism to buy time and scramble when needed, but most of the zone read runs I saw him take himself on tape didn't go that well . Accurate on the short to intermediate throws, especially over the middle , but he lacks touch and accuracy on the deep ball . He's a shotgun spread QB right now , but he has a good arm & quick release. So he's to have to learn how to take snaps from under center , and all the requisite footwork and rhythm that requires . He tore his ACL in his bowl game last year,  and it's still unclear if he will be ready when the season starts , but if he makes it back this pick wouldn't surprise me . 



31.LA RAMS - CAMERON SMITH - LB - USC
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - JAMES LAURINITIS - retired 
The rams didn't have a pick until the 3rd round, but I liked Okoronkwo in the 5th and Kelly in the 6th a lot . Their off season additions make it clear they are all in this year, but other than injuries to their QB or O-line the thing i think could hurt their title chances the moist is LB . Smith is a leader and at home inside. If he can show more athleticism this year he could end up in the first round . 


32.JACKSONVILLE - JARRET STIDHAM - QB - AUBURN
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - JAKE PLUMMER - retired  
It doesn't matter much to me how much this draft will help this years team, because the roster is already stacked, except at QB and LT . Andrew Norwell signing in free agency will help this team this year more than anybody they drafted, although I though Ronnie Harrison was a steal in the 3rd & Leon Jacobs was intriguing in the 7th. I picked the Jags to win the Superbowl in this mock, but I believe if anything keeps them from winning it's Blake Bortles. They would probably go the veteran free agent route ti replace him if he is gone after this season, but they would still need a QB of the future . Stidham is coming shoulder surgery in his non throwing arm, but he is a dual threat QB playing against a lot of future NFL talent in the SEC . He has the arm and athleticism the NFL wants, and if he beast Alabama again everyone will take notice. His decision making improved dramatically last year and if he keeps progressing he could be a first rounder . 




Monday, April 30, 2018

2019 WAAAAY too early MOCK DRAFT

With the 2018 draft coming to an end I am sure many of you are already wondering who the top prospects for 2019 might be. Trying to predict not only the top prospects, but also the draft order is a big stretch right now, but I am willing if you are . Right now I see a draft potentially deep at  DT ,  edge rusher , RB , OT, and  possibly even QB if the players I expect enter the draft and thrive . In fact this could be one of the great D-Line drafts in a long time . A lot of these guys will get hurt, disappoint on or off the field, and some probably won't even enter the draft.  Out of the 32 guys I predicted to go in the first round in my 2018 way too early mock draft 12 went in the first, 6 in the second , 6 in the 3rd, 1 in the 4th, 1 in the in the 6th, 1 went un-drafted, and 5 returned to school. So you can see what a crapshoot it really is at this time. I used a well known Vegas odds site to make this draft order about 2 weeks before the draft , and then tweaked it after  the draft was over , so if you don't like it I will live .The picks are all mine , but keep in mind that I have done limited tape study on these prospects so far .They are mostly guys I couldn't help noticing while watching others on tape this year, or guys I expected to enter the 2017 draft that stayed. Some are just really talented ,and I expect them to step up this year as well, but there may be some draft eligible sophomores I don't even realize have a chance to enter next years draft . Without further ado , here it is. Feel free to leave a comment. Agreeing or disagreeing is welcome, but please do it intelligently and respectfully. If you can't, or resort to personal attacks, I just won't post it.So here it is. Enjoy.






1.BUFFALO - NICK BOSA - DE - OHIO ST.
2.CINCINNATI - DREW LOCK - QB - MISSOURI
3.MIAMI - SHAE PATTERSON - QB - MICHIGAN
4.CLEVELAND - ED OLIVER - DT - HOUSTON
5.WASHINGTON - AJ BROWN - WR - OLE MISS
6.SEATTLE - DEXTER LAWRENCE - DT - CLEMSON
7.ARIZONA - RASHAN GARY - DT - MICHIGAN
8.NY JETS - JONAH WILLIAMS - OT - ALABAMA
9.CHICAGO - GREEDY WILLIAMS - CB - LSU
10.CAROLINA - CLELIN FERRELL- DE - CLEMSON
11.HOUSTON - TREY ADAMS - OT - WASHINGTON
12.OAKLAND - DAMIEN HARRIS - RB - ALABAMA
13.TAMPA BAY - GREG LITTLE - OT - OLE MISS
14.BALTIMORE - RAEKWON DAVIS - DT - ALABAMA
15.SAN FRANCISCO - SUTTON SMITH - DE - N. ILLINOIS 
16.LA CHARGERS - BRIAN BURNS - DE - FLORIDA ST.
17.DETROIT  - JOE JACKSON - DE - MIAMI
18.ATLANTA - CHRISTIAN WILKINSON - DT - CLEMSON
19.DENVER - WILL GRIER - QB - W. VIRGINIA
20,NY GIANTS - JUSTIN HERBERT - QB - OREGON
21.DALLAS - COLLIN JHONSON - WR - TEXAS
22.TENNESSEE - MICHAEL ROBINSON - G - OHIO ST.
23.KANSAS CITY - DEANDRE BAKER - CB - GEORGIA
24.GREEN BAY - JOSH ALLEN - OLB/DE - KENTUCKY
25.INDIANAPOLIS - BRYCE LOVE - RB/OLB - STANFORD
26.NEW ORLEANS - DEVIN WHITE - ILB - LSU
27.JACKSONVILLE - JARRET STIDHAM - QB - AUBURN
28.MINNESOTA - DALTON RISNER - OL -KANSAS
29.PITTSBURGH - RODNEY ANDERSON - RB - OKLAHOMA
30.PHILADELPHIA - LEVONTA TAYLOR - CB/S - FLORIDA ST.
31.LA RAMS - CAMERON SMITH - LB - USC
32.NEW ENGLAND - CLAYTON THORSON - QB - NORTHWESTERN


Saturday, April 28, 2018

2018 NFL DRAFT STEALS of the first 2 days

Sometimes players just fall or get drafted higher than I expect . God knows I can't fathom why Tyrell Crosby is still on the board .At least with Mo Hurst we have all heard he has a heart condition, and I guess it's more serious than I thought .This is my list so if you don't agree that's fine. I'm not infallible , and I definitely don't have all the character & injury information these teams have . Sometimes I find out later about something and I get it. Sometimes I'm right and I don't , but for now this is how I see it . As always - Feel free to leave a comment. Agreeing or disagreeing is welcome, but please do it intelligently and respectfully. If you can't , or resort to personal attacks, I just won't post it.


# Is for a player with with reported character or maturity concerns.

** Is for a player with reported medical concerns.


STEALS OF ROUND 1

1.COLTS  - QUENTON NELSON - G - N. DAME - 6"5" , 325
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - STEVE HUTCHINSON - retired
That's right. When the best player in the draft falls to number 6 and you snag him it's a steal!
Andrew Luck probably met him at the airport and has invited him to move in to the crib .

2.DOLPHINS-MINKAH FITZPATRICK - CB/S - ALABAMA - 6 feet , 204
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON -DOMINIQUE RODGERS-CROMARTIE- FA
This guy has such a high floor and upside, and even though I had him falling all the way to #13 in my mock it's still a huge get for the Phins .

3.CHARGERS -** DERWIN JAMES - S - FLORIDA ST. - 6"2" , 215
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - SEAN TAYLOR - retired
Shocked! That's how I felt as tumbles all the way to #17 . Another guy that has such a high floor and upside . I had thought he would go to Tampa if the stayed at #7 , but in my final mock I had them trading back to #15 and still getting him, which I considered a steal then  . Where he went isn't entirely shocking , but Tampa did trade back although they just went to at #12, and still passed on him . Time will tell if a lot of teams missed out, but I'm betting on James to be a guy that will be a top 10 pick in 2018 re-draft articles 3 years from now .


4.RAVENS - LAMAR JACKSON - QB - LOUISVILLE - 6"2" , 216
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - MICHAEL VICK - retired
I know it may surprise you that I put him here because I had him ranked at #30 in my top 177 , but he is a potential franchise QB, and they are usually over drafted . Trading back into the first to secure that 5th year option is a fitting end to the first round in the last draft as GM for the legendary Ozzie Newsome . Props to Joe Flacco for going on one of the great post season runs in history in 2012 and getting paid, but the last 3 years he has been a average starter at best . They are probably stuck with him for 2 more years unless he plays well enough to trade him , but in 2020 his cap number is 28,250,000 and they can save over 20 million of it by getting rid of him that off season . Jackson may be ready in 2019, but I'll bet on him to be ready to take the reins in 2020 and they will have relatively low cost QB ready to go .

STEALS OF ROUND 2


1.GIANTS - WILL HERNANDEZ - G - UTEP - 6"2", 327 
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - BRANDON BROOKS - EAGLES
Anytime you get a guy with a first round grade in round 2 it's a blessing , but this is just a really good fit scheme wise and fills a big need . I'm sure Eli can't be happier with the way this off season has gone with an upgraded left tackle in free agency, and now a electric running back and mauling guard with a strong anchor in the first 2 rounds .

2.BROWNS - NICK CHUBB - RB - GEORGIA - 5"11" , 227
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - MICHAEL TURNER - retired
Running back is an often undervalued position in the draft , but remember that despite the success of so many high profile top 10 drafted RB's the past few years the 2 most productive RB's last season ( A. Kamara and K. Hunt) were both taken in the 3rd . Jordan Howard and Alex Collins were both 5th round pick in 2016 and David Johnson and Jay Ajayi were 3rd and 5th rounders respectively in 2015 . Basically RB is the position where the most players drafted after the first round tend to make an immediate big time impact. Plus I love Nick Chubb's game and have a first round grade on him .

3.TAMPA BAY - RONALD JONES - RB - USC -5"11" , 205
Another RB I have a first round grade on who falls to round 2 and to a coach who will know how to use him and I admit I thought he might have fallen even farther than he did , but I think that's only because an injury prevented him from running full speed in the pre-draft process and showing off the jets he has on tape . 

4.BEARS - JAMES DANIELS - C - IOWA - 6'3' , 306
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - RODNEY HUDSON - RAIDERS
A technician that should excel at center or guard in a zone scheme who I had a first round grade on who surprised me by being the 3rd center taken of the three I thought would go high .

5.**HAROLD LANDRY - OLB/DE - BOSTON COLLEGE-6"2" , 252
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - VIC BEASLEY - FALCONS
I get that his tape wasn't as good this year as it was in 2016, but I never thought the best pure pass rusher in the draft, and a potentially elite player would fall to the middle of round 2 .He played hurt and was constantly double teamed last year, and even if you take into account that he may not be every down player in 4-3 schemes right away it came as big surprise to me . 

6..**CONNOR WILLIAMS - OT - TEXAS - 6"5" , 296 NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - DUANE BROWN - SEAHAWKS
Another guy who's tape was better in 2016 than it was this year , and it was also due to injury . Throw in that his arms barely measures at 33 inches, and that means some teams also see him as guard instead of as tackle. Since he is lean and only  weighs 296 that also limits him to a zone heavy scheme . I disagree. He is lean because he is ripped up like a TE instead having the gut most O-line have . Also, he plays with a mean streak and therefore I think he could kick inside if needed . Last, his 2016 tape is that of a top 10 LT , and I still think he can play outside . A  steal for a Dallas team who's Pro Bowl LT was hurt some the last 2 years , and it showed . He went from being an elite player to a above average one when hindered . Also, RT Le'al Collins will be a free agent after the year and even if he balls out you can't afford to pay 4 OLineman marquee money . Probably is their starting LG this season . 

7.#**  DERRIUS GUICE - RB - LSU - 5"10" , 224
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - MARSHAWN LYNCH - RAIDERS
Undefined character rumors  were swirling around him in the draft media right before the draft so I went searching. Haven't heard about any ridiculous Laremy Tunsil type stuff popping up soon so don't panic .  These are the things I've definitely heard . ONE- That there is no evidence to corroborate any of the claims he made in the media about being asked some non PC questions by teams are true . So whether he is being accused of lying, snitching , being some political crusader , or some combination there of is unclear to me . None are good in my opinion though , because I don't want a guy on my team that can't be trusted to put the teams message and needs first . In my experience it causes nothing but division  . TWO- If it's a guilt by association possie/family thing that's entirely fixable if he wants to leave them behind . I grew up in the ghetto and have multiple criminals in my past from close friends to  family, but I have no contact with any of them now. I suggest he do the same to any of them who don't want to escape that life . Last and very damming is this quote he gave after the rumors started "“Now I’ve got to be this person I’m not. Now I’ve got to hide who I really am, hide my personality.”. If he sticks to that it's better than being a distraction , but it would worry me if he was on my team .Teams don't want guys who are hiding who they are until they get that guaranteed money. A very wealthy guy once told me " I am so rich now that I have what's called F$$K YOU MONEY ". Once some people get paid they stop giving a crap about the rules of so called polite society . Let's hope that not the case here because he is in the public eye and everything he does will be under a microscope. His vision and decision making on runs is inconsistent . For such a physical runner I was surprised at how many times he tried to bust a big one outside to his teams detriment when he had some guaranteed yards with contact  , but at least he finishes all ( unlike Saquon) his runs. a week ago I had him as the 2nd RB on my board, but I had to move him out of my definite first rounders after all this stuff came to light . I still had him at #23 on my board, and it's beyond surprising that he is the 7th RB off the board .