Thursday, April 26, 2018

2018 FINAL 2 ROUND MOCK DRAFT With Trades & Player Comparisons

Draft day is HERE!. I see a draft deep at QB , RB, CB  ,TE, DT, off the ball LB if you have an innovative DC, and center of all things . It's also a draft with very few sure thing blue chippers, especially when you consider that the 2 players I have graded highest are a guard and a running back. Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen are the most anticipated QB's, and they are the first 2 players off the board right now. However ,both are far from sure things . Darnold was a turnover machine that regressed this season . Rosen got hurt again , and he has coachability & leadership questions . In fact , Baker Mayfield had a better year than both , and has improved for 3 straight seasons . However Baker's size , lack of Pro Set experience, massive amount of offensive talent around him in college, and a couple of character incidents give me pause . Then you have the guys I don't have a first round grade on, but that I expect to come off the board in the 1rst .Lamar Jackson legitimately looks like Michael Vick 2.0 , and I have a 2nd round grade on him .  If he goes to the right team with a coach willing to play to his strengths early in his career he could be awesome with time to polish his mechanics ,and learn the pro game. Then you have the Ultimate frame and toolbox of Josh Allen , but his tape is the worst of the 6 by far . Although that upside , and Pro Set experience forced me to give him a 2nd as a developmental boom or bust guy . Finally you have Mason Rudolph . He's got the frame , experience , sneaky athleticism , and production to make some team fall in love with him . Even though I have a late 3rd on him, and his system & inconsistent arm strength worries me ,  I wouldn't be surprised if a team like Pittsburgh grabbed him in the late first if their board is wiped out . It's a safe bet that the top three I have a first round grade on will be at the top QB on at least one teams board , and Allen will probably be someone;s top guy too .  Cousins is the only veteran QB signed that will prevent a team from taking a QB high in the first round , although now most QB needy teams currently won't have to take a QB unless the one they already like falls to them . Since it still wouldn't surprise me if there were 2 more trades into the top 6 for a QB, and I would bet your balls that the Bills will be trading up into the top 6, maybe even up to #2 to get one I going to do so. Although after the sick price the Jets just paid to go from #6 to #3 I can only imagine what they will have to pay  , but they have the ammo to do so . At worst I still think that 4 total QB's will be taken in the top 10 , and probably 5 in the top 15 .  This is not a ranking of my top players. This is how I think the draft will play out right now . Some of these guys will get hurt, disappoint on or off the field during the pre- draft process, and some may even have some unforeseen problems with the combine medicals .   So don't fall in love with any of them just yet, except the mighty Quentin Nelson of course . 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.

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

** Is for a player with reported injury concerns.

1.CLEVELAND-(rams)-SAM DARNOLD - QB- USC  - 6"3" , 221
Cleveland has been the most dysfunctional run franchise in all of Pro sports for awhile in my opinion . On the bright side they once AGAIN have the biggest haul of premium picks, including the 1rst & 4th picks in the draft . Plus 3 more seconds . So 4 of the top 34 and 5 of the top 64. That's ridiculous. Also , they now have John Dorsey as GM. A real life football man in charge of the team. Imagine that.  Since they have already made some trades & free agent signings to remake their roster it's a safe bet Dorsey isn't going to be OK with another last place finish. If Hugh Jackson can't win at least 6 games after this draft he should definitely be fired, although I admit to being surprised that they didn't fire him after 0-16 and winning only one game in 2 years.  All those picks plus a ton of cap space gives them a wide array of options going forward . They can control the draft ,even acquire some more picks for next year , trade back and replace their 3rd rounder , and still have a great draft . Joe Thomas called it quits on his HOF career so they now have another big need at LT , but that's for later . They traded for Tyrod Taylor to be their veteran stopgap QB . They don't have to rush a rookie QB onto the field now. Even if takes an extra year for Sam to get it down they will at least give the fan base hope for this season while still building for the future. Darnold has a great frame, great tools, and all the intangibles you want in a franchise QB. Still, he did regress this year , was a turnover machine , and he still has a long release. Going from 31 TD's  and 9 interceptions on 366 passing attempts to 26 TD's and 16 picks on 480 attempts is a significant regression. But it's not just the interceptions, he has a longer release than you want , he has to learn to keep both hands on the ball in the pocket, because he also has a fumbling problem. That part should be easily fixed with repetition and some good old fashioned hard coaching , but the interceptions are another matter. I broke down all of his games this year and he had at least 7 sure fire interceptions dropped by defenders, and he really struggled when pressured  . On the bright side he does make some great throws at times, played in a NFL friendly offense at USC, can throw guys open at times, is a great leader ,was playing behind a patchwork injured O-line ,and has every physical attribute you want at QB . I thought he should have went back to school , but that genie is out of the bottle now . I have had Rosen, Darnold, and Mayfield as my number one QB at one point in the last month . In the end Darnold ended up my number one QB because he has the highest floor , and of those 3 he also has the highest ceiling . To be honest I wouldn't want to take any of these QB's with the # 1 pick this year . They all have flaws I wouldn't want to risk my job on , and it's difficult to decide which one I like most , but Darnold is the safest . I would trade down if I could, unless I'm Cleveland . They have already done that in back to back years . Combining that with passing on Carson Wentz and Deshaun Watson in the last 2 drafts and it's just time to toss the dice.  Cleveland hasn't taken a QB in the top 21 picks since they took bust Tim Couch #1 overall in 1999 , but they did take Brady Quinn, Brandon Weeden, and Manziel all at pick 22. Weird, but it's the browns so I'm not entirely shocked, even though it's baffling considering all the to 10 picks they have had . Now is the time to reward long suffering browns fans with some legitimate hope or one way or another.  

The problem with rivalries is they sometimes prevent you from doing something really smart just so you can deny the rival something, even it if helps you out too . In the 30 plus years that I have been closely following the NFL I don't remember a trade between the Jets & Giants . I don't know if they denied the Jets massive offer or if the Jets never made the same call to them they made to the Colts . I do know that the huge windfall trade would have really helped them out long term . Even if they allowed the Jets to get to #2 ,and draft a franchise QB ,Plus, the Giants would have 3 second round picks and would still have gotten either Quentin Nelson ,  Saquon Barkley , or Bradley Chubb   at #6 . That's the top 3 players in the draft . I get that they share a stadium and are only separated by the Hudson, but DAMM !   This trade still allows allow them to rebuild quickly , but also takes them out of the running for those top 3 players and probably any of the QB's if they want to draft Eli's successor . One more thing that might give you a view in to GM Dave Gettleman's mind , if it's just not part of the misinformation thrown out this time of year . Gettleman tends to draft lineman high, and he did say with the #2 pick he expects to draft a HOFer. That says Quentin Nelson to me , and if they want to win now he is the safest pick in the draft, and they have the ammo to make a trade back up for him if they want to now while still having some of the picks acquired in this trade left over . I really think should have traded Eli to Jacksonville for a 3rd round pick at the trade deadline . That would have given them a chance to evaluate Davis Webb and given Eli a legitimate shot at a 3rd ring right away . That would have helped the teams long range plans and paid back both Manning and Coughlin for past services, . I really think the Jags could have won it all this year if they had pulled the trigger . However, I see why they didn't. This team is just basically a healthy receiving core and upgraded O-Line away from being  a contender in 2018 . That is easier said then done though. 2 of their 3 better lineman ( Pugh and Richburg ) got overpaid by other teams in free agency despite their injury issues . Luckily Brett Jones was serviceable as a replacement at center last season .RT Booby Hart should be cut, and with signing of Nate Solder former LT Erik Flowers will get a shot at RT. I would rather have kicked Flowers in to left guard ,and I think they would have a better chance of salvaging something out of the former top 10 pick that way, but good luck to the kid  .On the bright side they did lure away the Patriots LT in Free Agency . He's a inconsistent mid tier tackle , and a better run blocker than pass blocker, but he is a huge upgrade over what they have . They seriously overpaid , but that's free agency for ya . The other free agent guards they signed so far are more the journeymen type to me . Now ontothe actual pick . If the giants stay at #2 I think there are likely possibilities . One - They love a certain QB , and he's there . If Darnold doesn't go number one I could see them taking him, but he's not there in this scenario . 2 & 3 are a different story though. Since CM Dave Gettleman said with the #2 overall pick you need to get a HOFer , and that says Quentin Nelson to me , and he would definitely be my choice if was their GM. He could be the rock this O-line needs and it would help give Eli the best chance to succeed now . The third choice is the prevailing opinion among most people out there in the midst of liar season . It would also help Eli a lot in the running & passing game, and RB's tend to make the biggest impact as a rookie on the whole . He's the best RB in a draft full of them, and although he has a different running style his grade is the same as Todd Gurley's pre knee injury & Zeke Elliot's when they hit the draft for me . He has size , speed, burst, agility, a great jump-cut, and is a plus as receiver & pass protector. The only things he lacks are high patience, but he is still at least average there, and a willingness to put his head down and churn out the short tough yards . Although as my buddy Rux said to me, " dudes who run like him tend to have longer careers than the average RB" .  He is my 2nd highest graded player ,and if I had to choose anyone but Nelson in this draft to make the HOF right now it's him . He will be a an upgrade everywhere , especially as a pass protector and big play catalyst  . 

3.NY JETS -(colts)- BAKER MAYFIELD - QB - OKLAHOMA - 6"1" , 215
Normally you see teams fall in love with one QB during the draft process, and they either take him if he's there or trade up for him, but the Jets must see it differently  . Either they love 3 QB's , or are so desperate for a franchise QB that they just threw the trade chart out the window and gave up 3 second rounders to move up to # 3. When they re-signed Josh McCown to be the placeholder QB I figured they were going QB, but when they signed Teddy Bridgewater I thought maybe not .   Teddy is only going to 26 this season , and if his knees are sound he has as much a chance of being the long term answer here as anyone they will get at # 3, but they only committed a million to him so if they draft the QB they want they could trade him. If they can get anything for Hackenburg or Petty they should do so . I would be shocked if either is on this team on opening day . You rarely see a coach of a 5-11 team get a contract extension , let alone receive votes for coach of the year, but Todd Bowles absolutely deserved both . The ownership & front office was shedding salary , resetting the cap, and probably trying to tank for one of the QB's most of us expected to have better seasons. Josh McCown did play pretty well, behind a patchwork O-line and with a bevy of new young WR's . I actually wondered if  they would be 0-16 instead of the Browns . Somehow Bowles got this team to play hard, and be competitive . I had thought they were going to take Allen or Rosen here, but a lot of folks in the know think Mayfield's their guy . It may actually work out for them , and if it does no one will care how much they paid to get this pick. Drafting a leader like Jamal Adams changed their defense for the better last season , and Baker could give them the same type of boost on offense . Mayfield is the kind of QB that a locker room would rally behind . He has the "IT" factor you need in a QB, and the personality to ignite a fan base . He's a proven winner with a big chip on his shoulder that has overcome a lot of doubters to win this years Heisman trophy . He has improved every year, and this season he even became a decent deep ball thrower , which had been a huge weakness before . He's got a good work ethic , a high football IQ , has a quick release , and he reads the defense fast. So his lack of pro set experience worries me less than most college spread QB'S.

4.BROWNS-(texans)- BRADLEY CHUBB - DE - N. CAROLINA -6"4"  269
A trade back wouldn't shock me  if Chubb  and Barkley are gone . If they don't trade down the thought of having young bookend edge rushers has to be enticing to this franchise. Chubb may not have the elite athleticism of Jadaveon Clowney or Myles Garrett as the top edge rusher in the draft , but I would be happy to have him on my team. He has a good frame, a lot of good tape against the run or pass, doesn't have the injury issues either did coming into the draft, has a high floor ,and has a better motor than both . While I do admit I that I had a higher grade on Khalil Mack , Joey Bosa, and Garrett , Chubb is still a really good high floor player. Plus the difference in motor makes me more confident about using a top 5 pick on him than I was with Clowney back in the day . They also have Emmanuel Ogbah . That's a possible elite rotation off the edge , and all 3 of them have the ability to kick inside so they can all be on the field together on passing downs. 

***PROJECTED TRADE*** The BILLS trade the  1rst they got from the BENGALS (#12) and their own 2nd(#53) and the 3rd they got from the BROWNS (#65) to the BRONCOS for their 1rst (#5) rounder***PROJECTED TRADE***

5.BILLS-(broncos) - JOSH ALLEN - QB - WYOMING - 6"5" , 237
The Bills made a pre-cursor trade to move from #21 to #12 with the Bengals . Normally I would be shocked that a team gave up a 28 year old Pro -Bowl LT that is signed to very reasonable salaries for the next 3 years for the equivalent of the 50th pick in the draft, but QB needy teams do weird stuff . Plus, Glenn was hurt last year and there are rumors his attitude didn't jibe with the new coaches standards . Either way it got them within striking distance of the top 6 where the top 4 QB's will probably go . Personally I liked AJ McCarron coming into free agency and I was surprised he took so long to sign and got so little, but it is what it is  . Since they are taking Allen here it's a really good thing the have a veteran QB capable of starting because he is not ready to play yet . Personally I had a 4th round grade on Allen based off his tape earlier this season and that's due to his frame, tools & pro set experience , but I get it.  He does have the frame, athleticism, and cannon arm to make QB coaches salivate . He even played in a basic Pro style offense, the very same one Carson Wentz ran in college, but the results were different .  Wentz was just late on his reads and throws. Allen is too, and he lacks accuracy and touch. Now their wasn't a lot of talent around him, and way too many drops from receivers, but he also doesn't need to fire it 50 MPH at a guy 8 yards away from him either . So I moved him up a round .Very rarely do guys get more accurate in the NFL , but his mechanics being coached up would help and he seemed to get better throughout the Senior bowl week. Then his mechanics looked more refined at the combine, but that's a relaxed no pass rush setting, and he waited too long to throw the ball too many times to show off his arm in the drills .Despite all that talent and Pro set experience I still think he needs to sit at least a year and learn without the pressure 1rst round QB's are usually under to get on the field. I have a late 2nd round grade on him now, but he could go anywhere from #1 overall to # 15 and I wouldn't be surprised by it. Somebody was bound to trade up for him, and it wouldn't be me . We don't know much about new GM Brandon Beane's preferences yet , but he did come from Carolina , and Allen reminds me of Cam . Plus , and yes I know it's liars season and very a lot that's put out in the media can't be trusted , but most people in the know are saying he's their guy . 

After pulling off a possible franchise rebuilding trade with the jets 2nd year Colts GM Chris Ballard should be the most popular guy in Indy right now .After years of former GM Ryan Grigson's mismanagement they started the rebuilding process last year but it was derailed by Andrew Luck's injury .  They are now in position to get the best player in the draft in Quentin Nelson, and keep the franchise QB healthy, but I fear they won't do that . However , they picked up 3 second round picks and still get a great player at a position of need in this instance . Basically Chris Ballard is Morris Day and Mike Mccagnan is Jerome . The NFL has a lot more smaller quicker LB's playing a lot of snaps these days because you need guys that can cover in this pass happy league. Smith is part of that new breed . He's a high IQ sideline to sideline player against the run or pass . A leader that can QB your defense, but he needs to be protected because he can get swallowed up when a O-lineman, gets his hands on him . He can play the Mike or weak side at a high level, but I think he could be an immediate game changer on the outside if he has to occupy less blockers and just run to the ball. When you watch his tape you will notice that he is almost always the first back 7 player moving in the right direction . New DC Matt Eberflus is probably salivating at what he can do with Smith's talents ,and in the Tampa 2 the weakside backer is so key that I wouldn't be surprised if Roquan was a first team ALL-PRO as a rookie, especially if they can pickup a good 3 technique to work in conjunction with him later in the draft . 

***PROJECTED TRADE*** The CARDINALS trade their 1rst  (#15) and 2nd(#47) to the BUCCANEERS for their 1rst (#7) rounder***PROJECTED TRADE***
7.CARDINALS-(tampa)- #** JOSH ROSEN - QB - UCLA - 6"4" , 226
The Cardinals brought in accurate but fragile Sam Bradford & Strong armed but immobile Mike Glennon to play QB this year . Neither is the likely long term answer at QB . Plus a new head coach gives them a grace period to start over and get a cheap long term replacement for the most important position in the game. If he's healthy Rosen is a steal . He is the most pro ready QB in this draft. He reads defenses faster & better than them all , is the most consistently accurate too , and no one in this draft can match him as a pure passer . He's ready to be the day one starter and he will blow right past Mike Glennon to be #2 . His durability and ego questions are the only reasons he's not a slam dunk as the #1 overall pick . I don't see him as a boom or bust guy like Josh Allen . I think he's a Sam Bradford type at worst , which is so ironic if he goes to the Cardinals. Bradford is a good QB when healthy, and is even potentially a great one, but I firmly believe the overwhelming majority of his success or failure rest on health alone . I think the same will probably apply to Rosen. The big question is will they both survive the season?

8.CHICAGO - QUENTON NELSON - G - N. DAME - 6"5" , 325
I said previously that unless Quentin Nelson falls to them corner is probably the pick here , because for some weird reason they cut  LG Josh Sitton  . While he has been banged up a little the last 2 seasons he is still a top 10 guard in the league in my book . If I was the Giants or Texans I would already have been on the phone to his agent , but the Dolphins wisely snatched him up .Nelson will easily fill that bill . A lot of times we call a guy like Nelson a beast, but to me he's the beastmaster because he controls the other beasts. He would have been a 1rst round pick if he came out early last year . A nasty mauler of a run blocker who moves people off the ball, and a good pass blocker with a stout anchor that can set the kind of tone you want your line to emulate . I actually think he could play OT at a high level if he was tried there, but if it ain't broke don't even try to fix it . He has a higher grade than David Decastro did on my board when he entered the draft ,and he was my highest graded college guard ever up until now . Betcha this would make Trubisky will be happy too . The fact that the Bears hired Nelson's position coach make this very likely if he's available . Steal of the draft! Best finisher I've ever scouted .AAAAAANNNDDD on a side note he always knows the EXACT location of Waldo & Carmen San Diego . If Superman & The Incredible Hulk ever fought the winner would be Quenton Nelson .  Basically the living embodiment of most CHUCK NORRIS FACTS .

I  was a big believer in Rueben Foster last year, and thought he was a steal in the late first round, despite his character and injury concerns. Well, I was right about him on the field, but wrong about him staying on the field and out of trouble so far . The injuries and off the field stuff have already come up again in his first year in the league.So in the end it's looking bad for the niners and those of us who beleived in him . I also thought they made a mistake letting Navarro Bowman go, and he played fine for the raiders after he was cut . With Foster facing a possible suspension LB is now a big need, and if they hope for Foster to learn his lesson when he comes back it needs to be a bigger guy to play next to him , which rules out Roquan Smith . Edmunds has an elite frame and tools. He has the possible versatility to play any LB spot in any front, and might even be able to hold up as an edge rusher in  couple of years if they wanted him to spend some time there . Where he is really unique is that he could be a force covering athletic TE's down the field . He is raw & his football IQ needs some work , but his upside is special, and he's ONLY 19 ! 

10.OAKLAND - MIKE MCGLINCHEY - OT - N. DAME - 6"8" , 309
Sometimes you hear something and it just makes so much sense that you lock onto it. Someone on the NFL network (can't remember who) made the point that Jon Gruden probably see's Roquan Smith and see's a lot of Derrick Brooks in him . It has been burrowing in my brain and I just can't shake it , because it makes a ton of sense, but in this scenario he's gone .  After the best 3 year stretch of a good NFL career Donald Penn got a contract extension right before the start of the 2017 season at age 34 . His play dipped a little this season , he got hurt late in the year , and had foot surgery . So the raiders will head into this season with a 35 year old LT that they can walk away from after next year if they want to without any dead money on their cap, although they could keep him for another season if they want to. Plus they had tragically bad RT play last year .   Mcglnchey doesn't even have the upside of a lot of these other OT's entering the draft, but I think he has the highest floor. He's tall, long, and a punishing run blocker who's solid in pass pro. He can get too high and pushed back occasionally, and he will occasionally struggle with speed in the pass game as well, but most solid starters do too . At the very least I think he's an above average RT long term. He can play RT this year and flip over to the left side when Penn is done .

The Dolphins LB core was bad last year and injuries didn't help . 2nd rounder Raekwon Mcmillan missed the whole year after tearing his ACL in a pre-season game . Lawrence Timmons went AWOL and played badly when he came back and it's hard to trust Kiko Alonso to stay healthy . Leighton Vander Esch is bit of one year wonder, and I think this is just too high for him right now .Unless Quentin Nelson , Roquan Smith , Tremaine Edmunds falls here this makes a lot sense . They wisely signed Josh Sitton to fill a guard spot, but a O-lineman here would sti ll help too . They picked up the 5th year option on RT Ja'wuan James so tackle is probably out unless they want to try Connor Williams at guard for a year, and this is probably too high for him anyway. Mike Pouncey was finally healthy all year , but his play declined and he was cut so James Daniels would be a good choice as well . They have been saying they are committed to Tannehill , and I'm not saying they will trade up for one, but I think if a QB they like falls into their lap they will snatch him up.   Adam Gase is the kind of innovative offensive mind that can get the most out of Jackson , and this may be the best way to get value for their pick. Jackson is a former Heisman winner with elite athleticism and inconsistent mechanics. Maybe a year of sitting and learning would be good for him, and would allow him to reach his ridiculous potential. At the very least he could have a sub package as the primary backup right now. If Bradford goes down again you could still win games with Jackson right now if you just tailor the offense to him early in his career until he gets more polished  . He already played in a Pro Style adjacent offense in college , is a much better pocket QB than I had anticipated before really studying him ,and like Josh Allen it baffles me how messed up his mechanics and feet are considering that experience . Once he can get a consistently wider base & regular medium stride on his throws he should immediately be more articulate & his ball speed should be more regular . He won't be drafted there , but I have him ahead of Josh Allen because he has done a lot more , against a higher level of competition , and in bigger moments than Allen did . His decision to not hire an agent has reportedly not gone well in the pre-draft process or I would think he would probably go higher . 

12.BRONCOS(bills,bengals)-DENZEL WARD - CB - OHIO ST. - 5"11" , 183
Right now I doubt John Elway is ready to give up on 2016 first rounder Paxton Lynch at QB just yet ,despite his poor play and lack of maturity . So I think signing a veteran QB like Keenum made sense, especially once it appeared Cousins was out of their price range. Also , Keenum's contract doesn't stop them from taking a QB if they fall in love with one ( Rosen?) and he falls to them. Plus it allows them to trade back with a QB needy team if they are so inclined . In this case they took the trade . Also , If the QB  frenzy causes  Minkah Fitzpatrick or Denzel Ward to fall Elway could snatch either up to replace Aqib Talib . It happens here , and the Broncs get a steal at #12 . Luckily for them Ward tumbles to them in this scenario because people are QB crazy in this draft .

With the skins trading their top corner in the Alex Smith trade , and Bashaud Breeland still unsigned CB becomes their top need and luckily for them this is a really good corner class . Signing a 31 year old undersized Orlando Scandrick coming off his worst season, a year after a major injury doesn't do a lot to alleviate that need . Plus they gave him an incentive laden deal with little guaranteed money anyway . Luckily for them Fitzpatrick tumbles to them in this scenario because people are QB crazy in this draft . Fitzpatrick has a tall, lean, rangy frame . He's been a starter since his true freshman year, and that's saying something at Alabama .He could conceivably play anywhere in the back 4 with a little more muscle packed on . I am not saying he is any kind of shutdown outside corner right now. In fact I am not even sure he can play outside corner well yet because it's rare on his tape this season . I thought the same thing about Jalen Ramsey though and he is a top notch outside NFL corner right now . Right now I'm am sure he is a free safety that can cover the slot , and that's very valuable in today's NFL . So for the 2nd straight year a premium player falls right into their lap .

14.GREEN BAY - JOSH JACKSON - CB - IOWA - 6 foot , 196
The packers have generally been a best player available team, and going BPA usually works out for your team in the long term. Even though their was somewhat of a shakeup in their front office this season , and they have been far more active in free agency than usual , I'm not sure that the trend to continue , but  corner being their clear cut biggest need . Jackson is a one year wonder but he led the league in picks and passes defensed .  He would also give them another  tall CB crave , but he is too much of a pile inspector in the run game for me to put him any higher, although would those ball skills it wouldn't surprise me if he was the first CB taken for a team that runs a lot of zone  .

15.TAMPA BAY-(arizona)-  DERWIN JAMES - S - FLORIDA ST. - 6"2" , 215
They really need an edge rusher and a LT. This draft has neither worth this pick in this scenario . In my early musings on this pick I thought maybe Clelin Ferrell might rise up in the Pre-Draft process and be worth this pick , 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 .  Now that they got JPP from the Giants do they still think that edge rusher is a priority ? Between him and the returning from injury Noah Spence maybe the Bucs think they have it covered now.  Either way they are SOL for a edge at #7, unless they want to reach for Marcus davenport , but getting the best player in the draft should make them feel better . They overpaid center Ryan Jensen , but it does give them a chance to upgrade 2 spots by moving Ali Marpet back to guard . He was a solid center , but a better guard . This trade gives them a good chance to get the guy they were probably goibg to take at #7 and an extra second round pick .James is a leader and an Alpha male . This defense needs play makers other than McCoy and David . Derwin's addition could give them one at each level of the defense . James is an elite athlete . He looked like a future top 5 pick after his dominant freshman season .  A injury early in his sophomore season put a little worry into the equation, but I still expected a big year this season . It took a little while for the rust to come off this year, but he still played well later in the season. He's very young , and his football IQ needs some work, but his upside is ridiculous. He played all over the back 7 and made plays , although I think his best position is SS right now . Players with his leadership traits, intensity, and play making ability can set the tone for a defense . I expect him to keep getting better and be a game changer long term . Don't be shocked if he goes top 10, or if a team (  Dallas? ) trades up for him instead . 
16.BALTIMORE - JAMES DANIELS - C - IOWA - 6"3" , 306
I could see them making a slight reach for a RT, or taking a QB if one they like falls here, but this is Ozzie's last draft as the boss . That being said I think in this case he would want better value for his pick , nd someone who is a day one starter . For some unknown reason the Bucs made Ryan Jensen the leagues highest paid center. He's a sold player, but  damm! That's a lot of money for a solid center . So I expect they will take James Daniels here in this scenario, as Matt Skura didn't play that well last year when he got on the field and right now is probably better suited to an inside swing man on the O-Line  .  Plus Daniels is worth this pick . He is a technician with great agility and high level movement skills for a O-Lineman .  Before the injuries to Frank Ragnow and Billy Price I had 3 centers with a first round grade, but Daniels was and still is my number one. Only Travis Frederick , Jason Kelce, and Rodney Hudson can pull of a reach block among NFL centers with any regularity today in the pros. Daniels will make 4 . Center is the 2nd most important player on the O-line , and Daniels has the potential to be a 10 year starter with a lot of trips to the Pro Bowl. He is the number 14 overall player on my final board , and is the better center prospect to come out in years .

Brandon Mebane is past his prime inside, and the Chargers need someone who can clog up the middle, and push the pocket inside when the NT is on the field  . Vea is a Giant strong raw interior run stuffer that also has the explosiveness to get into the backfield . His motor and/or conditioning are suspect right now, and he could stand to lose 20 pounds without losing strength, otherwise I think he would be a lock for the top 10 . Lacks consistency, technique, and awareness as well . Moved all over the front line and even stood up a few times. His highlight reel is dominantly hilarious . Tossing dudes around like Bo Jackson rocking people in Super Tecmo Bowl . Former high school running back who is an elite athlete for his size . If he gets in better shape and takes to coaching he could be a once a decade player. He's a better player with a higher upside coming out of college than Dontari Poe (#11) and Danny Shelton(#12) who both went high in the first round .

***PROJECTED TRADE*** The TITANS trade their 1rst(#25)  and 3rd rounder (#89) and 5th (#162) to the SEAHAWKS for their 1rst (#18) rounder***PROJECTED TRADE***

Brian Orapko  is 31 and Derrick Morgan is 32. Both are in the last year of their deals and Mike Vrabel's 3-4 is dependent on versatile OLB's that can rush and cover . Landry should have entered the daft in 2016. His tape was great that year. This year he had a bad wheel, although he tried to play through it, and was beaten up by double teams on top of it . He has an elite burst off the snap and he can bend the arc outside . Right now he might be too small to hold up against the run on the edge for 3 downs as a 4-3 DE , but a lot of those concerns would be eased as a OLB . Once he spends more time in  NFL weight room and keeps adding to his pass rush arsenal he could be a force in the NFL . A year with vets like Orapko & Morgan can only help him, but he could still make an impact as a situational pass rusher in Tennessee as a rookie . He's the best pure pass rusher in the draft .

I am sure a lot of Dallas fans want a WR here, and Calvin Ridley. DJ Moore and Courtland Sutton could be in play, They finally cut Dez so I am sure they will take one early this year, and I will have then trading up to get one later . Plus there will be some really good available WR's available in the 2nd round this year , and maybe in the 3rd as well if they don't move up. Sean Lee's injury hurt the boys even more than Zeke's BS witch hunt suspension did . In fact the whole LB core had problems last year . Lee and Anthony Htchens had injuries. Jaylon Smith is definitely not all the way back, and played more snaps than they wanted last season. Right now I wouldn't trust Jaylon as anything more than a nickel LB off last years tape. Well , Hitchens signed with the Chiefs . Lee's still a stud when on the field, but will be 32 next season , and his injury history doesn't inspire confidence . Roquan Smith would be the best fit here because the weak side backers role in this defense in conjunction with the 3 technique is vital, but I just can't see him falling here in any scenario, and Edmunds probably isn't getting out of the top 10 either. Another vital role in the Tampa 2 is the middle linebackers ability to cover deeper in the middle of the field. DC Rod Marinelli had Brian Urlachers fast, tall , long assed frame in Chicago .  I am sure he would love another LB that can disrupt those passing lanes in a similar fashion again . Leighton is bit of one year wonder, but it was good year , especially later in the season . He is huge by today's NFL LB standards , but has the athleticism and frame to be a special player in this defense . A 3 down middle LB with the size of a DE is rare in 2018 . I'm not saying his upside is quite as high as Tremaine Edmunds , but I think he is a more consistent player right now, and his upside is plenty high anyway . Looks to have added some more muscle to his frame at the combine , but he still moved fluidly and could still run , so it's a plus . I just think he's too good of a fit to pass up . 

Ziggy Ansah has been up and down for the Lions, but the once ridiculously raw pass rusher that went #5 overall in a really weak draft has paid off for the most part. At least enough that the Lions slapped the franchise tag on him this off season .  Davenport is another raw athletic freak that will probably be over drafted, but he could pay off huge in the long run as well . He's got a great frame & tools, but I still think he will make it in time because his motor is always on . He's going to have to get used to being in a 3 pt. stance more often, but he showed he was a quick learner at the Senior Bowl. He came in hyped up and was getting his butt kicked the first 2 days of practice, but on day 3 the light seemed to come on, and he was winning all over the field . Since he will be getting that type of high level coaching all the time now I expect a lot of teams think he will be worth the risk outside the top 10 . Plus they are paying Ziggy over 17 million on the franchise tag this year and may not be able to afford him next year .

21.BENGALS-(bills) - **CONNOR WILLIAMS - OT - TEXAS - 6"5" , 296
They drafted 2 high upside athletic tackle prospects in the first 2 rounds in 2015 when they took Ogbuehi and Fisher. Neither have worked out, and they compounded this by letting pro Bowlers Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler leave. Whitworth was still great but I guess I can understand them not wanting to pay him at his age, but Zeitler is still in his prime  . Now most of their O-line is a mess. Well they made a  great deal to fix one of those problems . Normally I would be shocked that team gave up a 28 year old Pro -Bowl LT that is signed to very reasonable salaries for the next 3 years for the equivalent of the 50th pick in the draft, but QB needy teams do weird stuff . Plus, Glenn was hurt last year and there are rumors his attitude didn't jibe with the new coaches standards . Well,Marvin Lewis has shown he can manage a lot of different personalities over the year . Either way I love this deal for the Bengals . Now to the rest of the O-Line. Boling is solid at LG, but right now either Ogbuehi or Fisher is going to have to play RT. That leaves center and the other guard spot . Connor had a great 2016 season and if he had continued to get better this season he would have probably been a top 5 pick this year , but he didn't start out well, then he got hurt, then he came back and played a little better, then he skipped his bowl game to enter the draft . Despite all that he is versatile and I have a first round grade on him  . I have him in the early 20's, but only QB'S & pass rushers are in higher demand in the NFL .  Although OT's have lower bust rate than either because they can often end up as a quality guards if they fail outside , and pass protectors are always in demand anywhere up front . Williams looks like a giant TE. He's lean and ripped, and probably needs to add 15 to 20 pounds of muscle to hold up long term, but he has the feet and movement skills to play outside. His arm length isn't ideal , but it's serviceable enough and he even showed he might be able to play center at his Pro day . So he could start somewhere along the O-Line and allow the Bengals to get their best 5 on the field t the same time . 


22.BILLS - ISAIAH WYNN - G/T - GEORGIA - 6"3" , 313
If you are wondering why I didn't include this pick in their trade up for a QB their are 3 reasons . I think the Giants would prefer next years number one in a stronger draft . , and they night need that pick if they decide to go QB next year anyway . The third reason is the Bills are now missing at least 2 of their 3 best O-Lineman from last year( Cordy Glenn was traded & Eric Wood retired) , and with Incognito making noises about retiring it could be 3 .They need this pick to fill at least one of those holes and they might even use their remaining second rounder on another . Wynn is a stout college LT, who's lack of length will probably move him inside in the NFL . Although I personally think he could play any of the 5 OL positions with practice , and wonder if center might be his best position . He was clearly the best O-Lineman at the Senior Bowl and I still think he could slide outside if your in a pinch. He's smart and smooth with the size of a guard already,  and I expect he will excel in pass pro in any scheme, but until he bulks up his legs a little more he might not be a big time people mover in man/gap schemes inside right out of the gate . I still think he will be able to at least turn and wall of his man though , and he would excel in a primarily zone blocking scheme. I think he would be better than at least one of their starting OT's outside, but believe they will like him at guard or center .

23.PATRIOTS-(LA rams) - **TYRELL CROSBY - OT - OREGON - 6"5", 309
When you are the Patriots you never over pay in free agency, and usually you get veterans on the cheap who are searching for a ring. So I didn't expect them to resign a mid tier LT like Nate Solder unless he took a discount, and he got way overpaid by the Giants . Swing tackle Cameron Fleming also signed with Dallas . That leaves last years 3rd round pick Antonio Garcia as the most likely LT . That small school rookie missed his whole rookie season with some serious medical problems and had lost 40 pounds at one point . Plus , once you are on blood thinners it's much harder to gain weight , and my brother the doctor said he will probably be on them forever . So it's a huge need . Crosby is stout and physical enough to kick inside in the NFL, and still be a serviceable replacement outside if needed . The Oregon OT has played  both sides , generally finds a way to take care of his assignment , has long arms  ,and in this draft he has the one of the higher floors for a guy who can play outside . Plus he is nasty and physical enough to be be a day one starter at guard . With some time in the weight room, a better diet, and some NFL coaching I believe he can polish his technique and improve his balance enough to end up at tackle long term 

Norv Turners offense calls for a lot of down the field throws,and you need time to make those throws. So losing a top 10 guard like Andrew Norwell will be a blow to the plan . Hernandez is a nasty inside brawler who moves and carries his weight really well for such a squarely built 340 pound man, although he's a little top heavy and can lose his balance , and have trouble pulling it back when he's leans too far  Strikes a blow in initial contact , but does have a tendency to stand up after, stop  his feet,  then have to re-anchor and start driving his man again . Moves people off the ball and even does well at the 2nd level in the run game . Stout anchor in pass protection , and a strong violent hand punch, but he tends to throw them outside too much and gets grabby. when he latches on inside in the run or passing game your not going anywhere unless he pushes you there . Far more athletic than you would expect , but you notice it more and more the longer you watch his tape. Good Senior Bowl week, but showed up 13 pounds lighter at the combine , which helped his balance, and really put together a impressive day .

***PROJECTED TRADE*** The COWBOYS trade their 2nd (#50)  , 3rd rounder (#81) and a 6th (#192) to the SEAHAWKS for the 1rst (#25) rounder they got from the TITANS ***PROJECTED TRADE**

25.DALLAS -(titans, seahawks)- DJ MOORE - WR - MARYLAND - 6 feet , 210
Bye Dez  .His once great hands failed him last year, he lead the league in drops, and he never did separate well or run tight routes to begin with . He's just not worth 12.5 million . DJ Moore and Courtland Sutton could be in play here too , but Dak needs an outside receiver that actually is a top end route runner , and Ridley is the best route runner in this draft.  Also, Dak doesn't throw the ball as well to his left where Dez is primarily lined up at the X, and still doesn't throw the back shoulder or jump ball well either . Those were guarantees with Romo at QB . So whether he and Dak's strength's don't match-up well right now, Dez has declined, or he is injury prone is irrelevant . The facts are he it was smart to get rid of him, although it would have have cut him before free agency .  LB is still a bigger need right now , and I gave them one at #19 but now they trade up to get their receiver .They get both in this scenario. This WR class is similar to the OT class. Deep, but muddled, although I think there is lot more upside at WR. I wouldn't be surprised if No WR'S were drafted in the first , or if 4 were. The 2nd round is probably going to be WR central this season and I could see 12 of the top 75 coming out of that position .  Last years first round WR  class was a bust for the most part with 3 in the top 9 picks shocking me . All got hurt, and of the 3 only Corey Davis did anything ,and that was really late in the season.  I had planned to give them Ridley just because he's such a great route runner, and I think Dallas need a day one starter outside, but after all my studying was done I think DJ is already better than any WR on their roster . Plus he's 2 years younger , has the versatility to play inside or outside, is a much tougher physical player,  and just has an overall higher upside . He also ended up as the number one WR on my board .  Moore is explosive and fierce .He made the most of a bad situation with a bunch of bad QB's last year who will makes Dak's occasional slight mis-target seem laughable by comparison. Rarely do you see a guy come in bigger than his listed college numbers, but DJ did, and he showed out at both the combine & his Pro day. Don't be surprised if he's the first receiver taken because their are already a lot of rumors that he is the number one WR on lot of teams boards . 

Dontari Poe, Adrian Claybron, Derrick Shelby, and Courtney Upshaw are all free agents up front this off season . Plus the Falcons are already up against the cap even before they give Matt Ryan a new deal . Then you take in the fact that Grady Jarrett is their best interior player and he will be a FA next year . In a defense predicated on predominantly getting pressure with 4 people and playing cover 3 behind it anytime you can get a good pass rusher you go for it, because they send them in a heavy rotation in waves . Bryan is a interior penetrator with the quick first step to disrupt the backfield regularly against the run or pass . Raw , lacks awareness, and needs counters . Has the get off to also play outside too. Father is a Navy Seal so you know he comes from tough stock . Great push-pull move and snap anticipation ,but he needs to be coached up and add more moves to his repertoire . Might have the best get off of any interior player in the draft. Best fit right now is as a 3 technique , but his frame is big enough to also be a 3-4 DE 

After a historically great draft last season the saints are back at it, but this is their only pick in the top 90 so don't be surprised if they trade back .Especially because edge rusher is their biggest need and their are none remotely left worth this pick  . Alexander is blazing fast and he can play inside or outside . His feet , instincts, football IQ, and ball skills are also top notch. He's a little on the small side but is also very physical . After a great combine he should be a lock for the first round . Alexander is both quick & fast . He's smooth , fluid , and has excellent ball skills . He also has the punt return pedigree to give them extra value on special teams, and take it to the house if he picks it . A TE , LB  , or a WR would also fit but the main reason I settled on this pick is that Alexander is just too good to fall this far . 

Big Ben was talking retirement prior to last season. Maybe it really was the post season blues, but it's got worry the Steelers and their fans plenty .Also he is already injury prone , but he looks really out of shape on tape last year. Unless my eyes deceive me he looks like maybe a biscuit away from 280? and it's not good weight . Landry Jones hasn't shown he is the future either , but unless they make a huge reach for Mason Rudolph a QB isn't happening here .  The tragic loss of Ryan Shazier has made MLB a priority .Evans is a athletic versatile LB who plays bigger than he was at the combine. He also has experience rushing the passer and can play any spot in a odd or even front when needed .The questions about his ability to hold up in coverage are legitimate , especially since he didn't run at the combine or his pro day , but since the Steelers are primarily a cover 2 team I think he has a good chance of succeeding here . There is also an outside chance they rescind the tag on Leveon Bell and take a RB here , or they could just take a corner if their isn't  a LB here they like .  

After surprising me by extending Blake Bortles and therefore ruling out a 1rst round QB this teams biggest need is offensive lineman, and I mean multiple, but unless they trade up I doubt anyone worth this pick is available when they are up at 29. Considering all the money they spent on their defense I am not surprised that they didn't have the money to tag Allen Robinson  and the Bears payed him more than the Jags could afford. Allen Hurns hasn't done much since getting a new deal so they cut him and he is in Dallas. Marquise Lee was also a FA, and why hr's the guy they chose to over pay to keep is beyond me .  Sutton reminds me of Robinson. He is a big jump ball winning WR who can adjust to bad passes , and Bortles throws his fair share . He needs a lot of work as a route runner, but after a great combine it's clear he has one of the highest upsides of any WR in this draft so I had to put him in the first round . 

I don't care what anyone says the Vikings didn't have a good O-line last year, It's just they were so terrible the year before that this group was a definite upgrade overall, Combining that with a full season of Pat Shurmurs quick hitting passing game , instead of Norv Turners 7 step drops just improved their Offense all around . I'm not even a huge fan of Reilly Reiff as a RT, and think guard would be a better fit for him, but he was the Vikes LT last year . I like RT Mike Remmers outside less than Reilly , and think he is also better at guard . That doesn't mean I would reach for an OT here, but considering how much they overpaid Reiff and Remmers last year in free agency this pick actually makes sense for this team because it would allow them to kick at least one of them inside , and they obviously don't judge O-Lineman well. This guy is really inconsistent on tape . On the bright side he's built like a  6 foot 9 TE, so he can easily put on 20 pounds of muscle, and that will help some long term . Had a good freshman year starting 5 games at RT then got hurt after 5 the next year . This year they flipped him over to the blindside with mixed results. If your going to be that ridiculously tall you have to land your hand punch and you have to be a natural knee bender. He does neither, which is odd  because he's a good athlete for a giant . Also needs to get stronger . He's like a less polished & angry but a little more athletically gifted Mike Mcglinchey. Even though Millers upside is higher I just cant take him anywhere near the first round, but this is about what I think the Vikings will do . He needs to loosen up because he looks like a robot sometimes on the edge . Maybe take some yoga & pilates  and learn how to consistently play lower . He has a good motor though , and you can't teach that size so I wouldn't be shocked if someone who thinks they can coach him up took him in the late 1rst . I like him more in the early 3rd round , but I will admit he looked more fluid in a shirt and shorts at the combine , and he was often put in a bad position by his team. They were almost always behind and were obviously going to pass too often. Giving a DC &  edge rushers sure knowledge that they can just pin their ears back and go after the QB, and combining that with a QB that doesn't vary the snap count enough is a recipe for bad O-Line play & injured QB's  .Other than QB's OT's are in the most demand and are the most consistently over drafted players, but part of that reason is becuse you can often kick a guy inside who can't holdup outside. there is no way Miller can do that . If you take him in the 2nd I can live with it , but I want more surety and immediate results with my first rounder , especially if he ends covering your new franchise QB's blindside . Another reason this pick makes sense is that they used to have Phil Loadholt on their team, and he was the ultimate stiff too tall OT who became a decent player after becoming more flexible and learning how to bend his knees . 

The patriots somehow made the Superbowl with very little pass rush, but that lack of pressure is the reason they didn't win it . While Payne is known more for his run stuffing he won't have to 2 gap in this defense and in the two  college playoff games this year he really showed what he can do when he's turned loose and allowed to get up the filed. This can play any inetrior position in add or even front and his combination of strength & explosiveness is rare .The Saban/Alabama - Belichick/Patriot pipeline strikes again . A TE like Goedert or Hurst is another strong possibility if Payne is gone . Or even QB trade up or stay here and reach if you believe the rumors .

***PROJECTED TRADE*** The PACKERS trade their 2nd (#45)  and 3rd rounder (#76) and a 6th (#192) to the EAGLES for the 1rst (#32) rounder ***PROJECTED TRADE**

32.PACKERS-(eagles)- CALVIN RIDLEY - WR - ALABAMA - 6 foot , 189
The Pack said goodbye to Jordy Nelson and paid Devante Adams to be their new #1 WR, but who will be their #2 outside guy ? Cobb is a slot receiver , and I doubt they want to count onto Geronimo Allison to fill that role right now . Jimmy Graham helps , but he has been a failure as inline Y so far , and his best position is as a power slot . This year Ridley is the only WR I would bet money on to go in the first because he has such a high floor, and I'm not even sure if he's a number one WR .  Ridley is a guy who hit he ground running as a freshman and made a huge impact. Then his QB and offense changed and his production went down. Don't blame him. Watch the tape and you see a guy open all the live long day , especially when the corner gives him a clean release  . That polished route running , knowledge of how to set guys up, adjustments in his play speed mid-route to burst out of breaks to create separation is rare coming out of college . He has solid hands, and adjust well to errant throws in the air. Plus he's played in a more pro style offense than most college wide-outs, and is a high character guy on and off the field . Aaron Rodgers is an elite QB and guys who are always open and where they are supposed to be on time can have huge careers with him throwing to them .

33.CLEVELAND - DERRIUS GUICE - RB - LSU - 5"10" , 224
34.GIANTS - SAM HUBBARD - DE - OHIO ST. - 6"5" , 270
35.CLEVELAND(texans)- ISAIAH OLIVER - CB - COLORADO - 6 feet , 201
36.INDY**FRANK RAGNOW - C/G - ARKANSAS - 6"5" , 312
37.INDY-(jets) - NICK CHUBB - RB - GEORGIA - 5"11" , 227
38.TAMPA BAY - SONY MICHEL - RB - GEORGIA - 5"11", 214
39.CHICAGO - CHRISTIAN KIRK - WR - TEXAS A&M - 5"10" , 201
41.OAKLAND - MIKE HUGHES - CB - UCF - 5"10" , 189
42.MIAMI - **BILLY PRICE - C/G - OHIO ST. - 6"4" , 305
43,NEW ENGLAND-(49ers)-MASON RUDOLPH - QB - OKLA. ST. - 6"5" , 235
45.EAGLES-(packers)- RONALD JONES - RB - USC -5"11" , 205
47.TAMPA BAY(arizona)-CARL DAVIS - CB - AUBURN - 6"1" , 206
49.INDY-(seattle,jets)-MAURICE HURST - DT - MICHIGAN - 6"2" , 292
50.SEAHAWKS(dallas)- RONNIE HARRISON - S - ALABAMA - 6"2" , 207
51.DETROIT - HAYDEN HURST - S. CAROLINa -TE - 6"4' , 250
53.BRONCOS-(bills)- BRIAN O'NEIL - OT - PITTSBURGH - 6"7" , 297
59.SAN FRANCISCO(saints)- MIKE GESECKI - TE - PENN ST. - 6"5' , 247
62.MINNESOTA- DJ CHARK - WR - LSU - 6"3" , 199
63.NEW ENGLAND - JOSEY JEWELL - LB - IOWA - 6"1" , 235
64.CLEVELAND-(eagles)-JUSTIN REID - S - STANFORD - 6 feet , 207

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