2018 First Round Mock Draft 1.0

As the NFL and college football seasons begin to come into focus, we begin to slowly get a glimpse at what the 2018 draft may have in store for us. As Packers fans it gives us a glimpse of what’s to come. A look at the future of the franchise. For draft geeks like me, we just can’t get enough.

Here at Packernet, Packers fans have a place where they can get a Packers centric draft perspective. Who are the guys worth looking at. How good can our season be and still get that guy? Stuff like that.

With that in mind, this will be the first 1st round mock draft of the year. It’ll be a way to try and sort out what players will land where and how this might effect the Packers.

The order of the draft will be determined by Tankathon.

1. Cleveland Browns

Sam Darnold, QB, USC

Sam seems to be the top dog in the quarterback talk right now but there are some talks that he’s maybe the big arm, big play type guy that gets all the hype but flames out in the NFL. Think Blake Bortles.

With that in mind, it seems like a perfect Browns pick. All the numbers are there for their stupid analytics system, they will pick him, and it will end up being the wrong pick.

2. San Francisco 49ers

Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA

The 49ers need a little bit of everything but with this many talented QB’s on the board, there is really no other option. It doesn’t have to be Rosen but it has to be a QB. For our purposes, it just means another player the Packers don’t want off the board.

3. New York Giants

Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

This is a tough call but the Giants are a team with a lot of talent. A solid quarterback can really elevate this team. Although there is elite talent on the board, if the Giants believe Allen or another quarterback is a franchise caliber player, they have to pull the trigger.

4. Indianapolis Colts

Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State

The Colts could look to defense but they have serviceable pieces. A top level prospect like Barkley is rare. Adding him to the Andrew Luck, T.Y. Hilton passing attack would make this offense lethal.

5. Los Angeles Chargers

Derwin James, S, Florida State

In an ideal world, if I really cared about the Chargers, I would have them trading here. Either trade back and get offensive line help, or trade up and get a quarterback. It’s possible they like a guy like Mason Rudolph or Lamar Jackson enough to take him but for our purposes we are using our own big board (an aggregate of other sites) and James makes the most sense.

The Chargers actually have a pretty good defense. They need some linebackers and their safeties are sub par. A guy like James can really put them over the top.

6. Chicago Bears

Arden Key, OLB, LSU

The Bears desperately need to get their new QB some help but this isn’t a great WR draft. They could reach on a guy like Christian Kirk but with a someone like Key, a guy that might be better than Myles Garrett, falling to you at 6, you can’t pass it up.

Besides, the Bears don’t exactly have elite pass rushers so it still fits the need category.

7. Cincinnati Bengals

Connor Williams, OT, Texas

The Bengals have better players than their record would suggest. They have their guy in Dalton (for whatever that’s worth), they have an elite WR, they have a new stud RB, and their defense isn’t horrible. It’s 100% their offensive line that is a let down and they need to address it.

8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Minkah Fitzpatrick, S, Alabama

A great value pick here, Fitzpatrick is considered a top 5 talent. Considering the poor DB play from safeties and corners alike, drafting a guy that can do both at a high level makes a ton of sense.

9. Dallas Cowboys

Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame

All the praise for the Cowboys success was given to Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott but let’s be real, it was built on the backs of an elite offensive line. That line is now crumbling as is the team. They need to fortify that line if they ever want to see a Super Bowl.

10. Oakland Raiders

Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson

The Raiders can’t seem to get this defense thing figured out. Although a DB or linebacker would be more important, there isn’t really a good option here. The defensive line certainly isn’t fortified and Wilkins is a monster that can take over at DE for the Raiders.

11. Baltimore Ravens

Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame

The Ravens line isn’t bad but they need guard help. Yanda is 900 years old and is currently hurt. They have a couple rookies but to this point they are no help. The team needs to find a guy that is an instant starter to play opposite Yanda, and eventually replace him.

12. Arizona Cardinals

Bradley Chubb, DE, N.C. State

It feels weird to say, but the Cardinals D is not very good. They have a great corner in Peterson, a few good safeties, and some decent talent along the line but there really isn’t a position that doesn’t have a need for an upgrade.

Chubb is my favorite guy on the board at a premium position. It’s a tough call cause he would be replacing a rookie with a lot of upside but that value is pretty solid.

13. New York Jets

Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville

I’m having a hard time figuring out what team takes Jackson. I almost had the Cardinals take him but he’s such a unique talent. Most teams want a solid pocket passer that can drive down the field. Who is going to take a chance on the next Michael Vick. Then the Jets stepped up to the podium and it all made sense.

Can they use him effectively, probably not, but this is about predicting what they would do. Drafting a quarterback and ruining his career is what the Jets are all about.

14. Cleveland Browns (Houston)

Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M

I actually really like these two Browns picks. I actually really liked the picks I gave them last year and they went in a completely different direction, drafting players that made no sense.

With that said, this sequence probably won’t happen but drafting your franchise quarterback and following that up with an extremely talented slot receiver is a great start to the draft.

15. Tennessee Titans

Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama

The Titans have a pretty solid team. They don’t have a ton of elite talent but they also don’t really have any terrible positions. They need a safety and a corner on defense. They found a safety. If they can pick up some offensive line talent along the way, they are in a pretty good spot following this draft.

16. Detroit Lions

Harold Landry, DE, Boston College

Mostly a value pick, Landry is largely considered a top 10 talent and a pass rusher to boot. The Lions have bigger issue but how do you pass that up?

17. Denver Broncos

Derrius Guice, RB, LSU

The Broncos have a pretty solid back but the position doesn’t feel settled. This is a deep and talented RB draft. If there is uncertainty on the part of the organization, this would be the draft to explore.

18. Seattle Seahawks

Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama

The Seahawks are struggling all over and unfortunately the board doesn’t match up very well with need. Ideally we look to trade here but Payne is seen as a top 10 talent by Walter Football and could step in for a guy like Jarron Reed, who hasn’t really panned out to this point.

19. Washington Redskins

Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama

The Redskins locked up their franchise quarterback but haven’t done anything to support him. They need to invest in a wide receiver.

20. Atlanta Falcons

Trey Adams, OT, Washington

The Falcons have taken some major leaps with their defense but they need to not neglect their offense. It’s the money maker. Their offensive line play isn’t great and they need to fortify the tackle position.

21. Jacksonville Jaguars

Martinas Rankin, OT, Mississippi St.

The Jaguars defense is lethal but they absolutely need to do something about that offense. Just about anything will do but a slight reach at tackle here is nearly mandatory.

22. Miami Dolphins

Tarvarus McFadden, CB, Florida St.

The Dolphins need a lot everywhere. Drafting Tankersley this year helped a bit but their corner group need work. McFadden is a top 10 corner depending who you ask.

23. Buffalo Bills

James Washington, WR, Oklahoma St.

The Bills are so close. They have a potent defense and a extremely underrated quarterback. If they just had a little line help and a couple decent receivers to compliment their work horse of a back, LeSean McCoy, this team could really look to fill the void the Patriots seem to want to leave.

They took a shot last year with Zay that isn’t paying off but if Washington can come in and play and Zay can make a year 2 jump,  this team will be for real.

24. New Orleans Saints

Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville

The Saints struck gold when they acquired cornerback Ken Crawley as an undrafted free agent in 2016. They followed that up in 2017 by drafting Marshon Lattimore in the first round and now have one of the top cornerback duos in the NFL.

Unfortunately there is a steep drop off after that and Kenny Vaccaro is not the answer in the slot. Alexander was built for the slot and if he pans out, throwing against the Saints becomes a near impossibility. For the record, throwing against the Saints is the only way you beat them. Do you see why the pick makes sense?

25. Los Angeles Rams

Marquis Haynes, OLB, Ole Miss

This pick seems silly to me in the first round because Haynes is listed at 229 pounds. An edge rusher in the first round usually is going to check all the boxes so a guy that is about 40 pounds lighter than a typical Rams OLB is sort of iffy.

That said, DraftTek has the guy listed 16th overall and he appears to be shooting up the board. I watched a little bit of his film and his ability to use his speed to get around the edge, coupled with his insane ability to bend and turn towards the quarterback makes him a pass rush monster.

I’m concerned his speed will be his only move and being the same weight as a large wide receiver probably won’t make him great against the run, but with the Rams defense slowly slipping away, a pass rush specialist standing next to the best interior defensive lineman is a scary combo.

26. Pittsburgh Steelers

Dorance Armstrong Jr., OLB, Kansas

This would absolutely send Packers fans into a tailspin of depression and rage. 1 year after Packers fans saw T.J. Watt fall to the Steelers, the Steelers take Armstrong, another pass rusher that is regularly mocked to the Packers that Packers fans will be praying for throughout day 1.

But alas, the Steelers feel pretty fantastic about their 2017 pass rusher pick and wonder what life would be like with another. Dupree has been an absolute failure of a draft pick and they need to get help on the other side.

27. Green Bay Packers

Malik Jefferson, ILB, Texas

There was a time, not long ago, Jefferson was considered an elite inside linebacker prospect. One of the best to come out in years. In recent months, Jefferson has taken a nose dive on big boards.

Although I’m not sure why, the physical talent is there with Jefferson. Although corner, safety, and offensive line are probably bigger needs, Jefferson has the potential to be a pro bowl player. Pairing him with Blake Martinez can prove to be a home run.

28. Carolina Panthers

Sam Hubbard, DE, Ohio State

The Panthers defense is still an effective unit, but they aren’t what they used to be. Their defensive ends haven’t been very promising lately and they need to get better.

29. Minnesota Vikings

Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State

The Packers have Rodgers to Rodgers, the Seahawks have Wilson to Willson, it only makes sense the Vikings try to put together a Rudolph to Rudolph connection.

But seriously, the VIkings had something with Teddy. He may come back and be able to play at a high level but it isn’t very likely. If Sam Bradford were younger and not always beat up, they would have a good deal with him, but at this time the team is squandering a great defense.

By pairing a solid quarterback with their new running back and top end wide receiver Stefon Diggs, Rudolph won’t have to be great to make the Vikings a playoff contender.

30. New England Patriots

Micah Kiser, ILB, Virginia

Having the Packers and Patriots take linebackers in the first round makes me feel a little slow but really, the Patriots have to do something about their defense and looking at PFF, the only dire need they have is linebacker.  DraftTek has Kiser at 17 overall.

Value and need collide nicely here.

31. Buffalo Bills (Chiefs)

Ken Webster, CB,Ole Miss

Ken Webster is a new name that’s emerged but he’s making a lot of waves. Walter Football has him as his top corner. The Bills have a stout defense but they could use a little corner help.

32. Philadelphia Eagles

Deon Cain, WR, Clemson

The Eagles seem to be doing everything right and their team is firing on all cylinders. They could, however, use a little more help for their quarterback. No disrespect to Ertz, but he shouldn’t be their top receiver. Alshon Jeffrey has helped a little but they need a guy to play opposite him.

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