2018 NFL Mock Draft Round 1

For those looking for a Packers only mock, Jacob Westendorf did just that. You can see the article here.

For my purposes, however, I’m looking to continue the tradition I started last year with a full 7 round mock draft.

Why? Because it’s draft season and I’ve got the fever. That’s why.

Rather than 1 ridiculously long post, however, I’m going to break it down into 7 posts from now until the draft.

Something to keep in mind is the fact that this exercise started mid-March so some trades and player rankings will likely change over time but considering a 7 round mock can’t be done with any seriousness in a week, you’ll just have to tolerate a couple errors here and there.

Finally, the big board I’m using is from NFLBigBoard.com. It uses an aggregation of several of the top big boards around the web. Also I built it so there’s that.

1 Cleveland Browns
Sam Darnold, QB, USC

As I’ve mentioned many times on the Packernet Podcast, I’m not, nor do I pretend to be a scout. For what it’s worth, however, I don’t think Darnold would be my pick here if I was John Dorsey.

With that said, the draft community as a whole seems to be zeroing in more and more on Sam Darnold as the pick at #1 overall.

2 TRADE- Denver Broncos
Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA

Denver gets #2
Giants get 2018 1st (5) and 2nd (40), 2019 1st and 2nd

The competition for the top 3 quarterbacks is going to be fierce and I can’t imagine Elway is going to risk his tenure as GM to be marred by a lack of ability to find a QB.

Although Allen is seen as an Elway type QB, I can’t see him going before Rosen. I just can’t.

3 New York Jets
Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

The Jets spent a lot to move up and it’s unlikely they did it for anything but a QB. Regardless of the fit, the Jets have at least 3 QB’s they like and are taking the best available. It could be Mayfield or Lamar but I’m playing the odds here and going with Allen.

4 Cleveland Browns
Bradley Chubb, N.C. State, EDGE

There’s a lot of talk about trading out of this spot but with Barkley and Chubb sitting here there’s no way I move. Saquon makes more sense if there’s only 1 round but I don’t like the edge rush talent beyond Chubb nearly as much as I like the RB talent in the later rounds.

Chubb/ Ronald Jones vs. Barkley/ Hubbard is a no-brainer for me.

5 New York Giants
Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State

How beautiful is this? Some want the Giants to take a QB but if they aren’t going that route, Barkley makes the most sense. They traded back, got a ton of picks, and still get a freak at RB, and likely the guy they wanted all along.

6 Indianapolis Colts
Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame

Some are hesitant to take a guard this early but it’s pretty straight forward for me. Nelson is a phenominal player that might be the most can’t miss prospect in the draft. Add in the fact that offensive line is maybe the biggest need and Nelson fits to perfection.

7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Minkah Fitzpatrick, S, Alabama

Pretty simple case of need meets value. Minkah is at the top of the board and the Bucs need help at DB pretty badly. I suppose you could make a case for Derwin as some like him more than Minkah (I’m one of them) but Conte isn’t terrible at SS. Their needs are at FS and CB. Minkah can help in both areas.

8 Chicago Bears
Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech

At first glance, PFF would have you believe the Bears have 2 good linebackers. Upon further examination, however, Trevathan has been abysmal in run defense.

Even if Kwiatkoski can continue to play well, as he did in his sophmore campaign, the Bears need to find an upgrade at ILB.

9 San Francisco 49ers
Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia

The 49ers have done a great job adding elite pieces to their defense the last couple years with Buckner and Foster. If they hit here with Roquan as their Will backer, on top of adding Sherman and a new young stud QB, the 49ers could be very quickly in the SB conversation.

10 TRADE – Buffalo Bills
Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma

Bills receive pick 10
Raiders receiver 1st (12) and 3rd (65)

With Miami coming up it’s likely now or never for the QB needy Bills. Mayfield was arguably the best QB in 2017 and should be an immediate upgrade and instant starter for Buffalo.

The Raiders could have stayed but the Bills are willing to overpay to get their guy so moving 2 spots for pick 65 is a no-brainer.

11 Miami Dolphins
Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State

The Dolphins need help absolutely everywhere but we’ll start here with corner as Ward is currently at the top of our board. Ward checks nearly every box athletically and is projected to be a very good pro corner.

12 Oakland Raiders
Vita Vea, DT, Washington

I was very torn here. I’m determined to give the Raiders OL help but it’s too much of a reach.

I also felt Payne could be a better pick with Ellis at least being serviceable at NT but ultimately Raiders fans don’t seem overly impressed with Ellis’ service up to this point and Vea is a better player (in my opinion) than Payne.

13 Washington Redskins
Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama

The Redskins need a wide receiver help desperately. This shouldn’t require a ton of explanation.

14 Green Bay Packers
Derwin James, S, Florida State

I can’t begin to tell you how torn I am on this pick. I actually tried really hard to trade it away and part of me wishes I had. Not because I think James is a bad player or that he can’t contribute. I’ve been on the Derwin James train for a very long time.

My issue is with Josh Jones. Jones is athletically gifted and has a chance to play the role we just handed Derwin quite well.

With this pick we have to choose who gets the ILB/SS job and who gets the FS/slot job in the nickle. You could argue Derwin can be the FS in the nickle but then we are taking a guy that is incredible as a nickle LB and using him improperly to be a less effective FS.

In other words, we end up having to use Josh Jones in his unnatural position and will have eliminated his potential and I hate that. Furthermore, Jones will likely be the next Micah Hyde who gets picked up by another team willing to use him properly.

Still, can the Packer afford to pass on Derwin? I’m not sure the answer to that question is yes.

15 Arizona Cardinals
Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame

I could have gone a few different ways but offensive line is crucial, the Cardinals line is horrible, and McGlinchey has consistently been projected as an early to mid-first round guy.

In other words this pick felt the safest with possibly the most upside.

16 Baltimore Ravens
Marcus Davenport, EDGE, UTSA

Being a 3-4 team I thought Landry would make a better fit as Davenport is likely more natural with his hand in the ground.

That said, from the nickel the Ravens need a bigger guy that can put his hand in the ground and Landry might have a harder time doing that in the NFL at 250 pounds.

With Davenport they have a guy that can stay on the field on every down. He’s raw but he’ll be able to learn from one of the best vets in the game, Terell Suggs.

17 Los Angeles Chargers
Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama

I have Payne as the 12th best player in the draft that slid due to teams not needing DT help. The Chargers could absolutely use him and they get a steal here.

For the record, this pick would put the Chargers in the conversation for best defensive line in the NFL with Payne, Liuget, Ingram, and Bosa

18 Seattle Seahawks
Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa

The Seahawks are a sad sight to see. They are losing talent at 3 times the rate they can replace it. Their attempts to fix the offense have failed and now still linger as the defense falls apart. Jackson could be a great player but it’s no substitute for Sherman and Lane. They also are likely to lose 1 or both of their incredible safety duo.

It was a good run…

19 Dallas Cowboys
Taven Bryan, DT, Florida

Taven Bryan is labaled as raw but athletically gifted. Even as a raw prospect he has a good shot at starting right away for the Cowboys who desperately need someone to pair with Irving.

20 Detroit Lions
Derrius Guice, RB, LSU

Yes, the Lions picked up Blount. So what. He’s a 1 dimentional back that’s turning 32 this year and isn’t really all that good. Guice is the future and is finally an answer to the problem that’s plagued this team since… let’s just call it forever.

21 Cincinnati Bengals
Isaiah Wynn, G, Georgia

It’s a bit of a reach but I’m okay with it. Even if Cordy Glenn is able to return to being a solid LT, the team has a grand total of 1 good O lineman. 2 if we want to call Clint Boling a good guard and I don’t.

Wynn is a versatile player that can play anywhere on the offensive line. He’s most likely going to play guard but with as many holes as they have they’ll want a guy that has the versatility to slide in at center if needed or move out to guard in a pinch.

22 Buffalo Bills
Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan

Bills starting D line are old guys that don’t really have it anymore. Hurst isn’t the biggest guy and is more of a pass rusher than a run stuffer, but his upside as a get up the field interior D lineman in a 4-3 scheme is too good for me to pass up here.

23 Los Angeles Rams
Harold Landry, EDGE, Boston College

The Rams were actually near the top of the league is sacks in 2017 but that’s only half the picture. Aaron Donald racked up 11 of the 48 total sacks and Robert Quinn, now a Dolphin, had 8.5.

Of the 6 edge rushers currently on the team, they managed a grand total of 12.5 sacks on 1,553 snaps. That’s 1 sack every 124 snaps.

As a reference point, Clay Matthews averaged 1 every 87 snaps.

Bottom line, they need to find better options on the outside to compliment the freaks they have on the interior.

24 TRADE – Jacksonville Jaguars
Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville

Jaguars receive pick 24
Panthers receive 1st (29) and 3rd (93)

The Jaguars are a team that could be 1 dynamic QB away from a Super Bowl appearance. Lamar is a great athlete with the ability to keep LBs on their heels while Fournette hammers up the middle.

And really, from an accuracy and decision making standpoint, how much worse do we think Lamar is than Bortles?

25 Tennessee Titans
Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State

The Titans don’t really have as many glaring needs as most team but if I had to prioritize I would maybe say SS, LB then WR. LVE is at the top of the board so this is an easy pick.

26 Atlanta Falcons
Will Hernandez, G, UTEP

Fusco had a respectable year in 2017 with the 49ers and was brought in to help at RG but at best he’s an average guard. Andy Levitre on the other side is solid but will be 32 this year and his contract is up after 2018.

Guard might not be a massive need but it’s likely to be next year. Having Levitre and Hernandez could be awesome for 2018, and beyond you could feel comfortable moving on from Levitre knowing you have Hernandez ready to take over at LG.

27 New Orleans Saints
Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU

Sean Payton listed DE, WR, and TE and their biggest needs. Who am I to argue?

Sutton is by far the highest on the board in those categories and could be a lethal #2 opposite Michael Thomas.

28 Pittsburgh Steelers
Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama

Beyond Shazier, who won’t play in 2018, there isn’t a ton to like about the Steelers LB’s. Evans is extremely talented and should start day 1.

29 Carolina Panthers
Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville

I strongly considered Alexander at 24 before trading back. The fact that we can pick up a 3rd and still get our guy is awesome.

Panthers need a lot of help at corner and the soon-to-be 30 year old Munnerlyn was useless in the slot last year. That’ll likely be Alexanders home in 2018.

30 Minnesota Vikings
Billy Price, G/C, Ohio State

There are a couple young players on the Vikings offensive line that could become decent starters. That said, exactly 0 of them have yet to prove to be anything but horrible.

Offensive line is still a massive issue for the Vikings and Price is a versatile weapon that will likely play guard but could slide back to his natural position at center if the Elflein experiment flops.

31 New England Patriots
Connor Williams, OT, Texas

I’m not sure what it is about the Patriots but every mock I do, the guy at the top of the board is a perfect fit and usually someone that is a great value. It’s just meant to be I suppose.

Connor was ranked 30 on my board so it isn’t exactly a “steal” but he’s a solid player most don’t see sliding this far and fills a void left by the loss of Nate Solder.

32 Philadelphia Eagles
Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado

Brett Kollmann made a solid case for Isaiah Oliver as the best corner in the draft and I found it pretty compelling. For that reason I wanted to at least add him to the conversation and I think the Eagles are a pretty good fit.

For the most part the Eagles have mastered the draft and free agency over the last year to build a quality team in every area, but corner could maybe use some help. Darby is solid and Sidney Jones could be a freak but as it stands I see 1 quality corner on the team.

With Oliver it should pretty well solidify the corner position and the team as a whole making the Eagles borderline unstoppable. And this is just the first round…

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About Ryan Schlipp

Metal forged, mettle tested, and medal earned as a Packers fan growing up in the heart of Chicago Bears country. Now a contributor to Packernet, it's my honor and privilege to represent the Green and Gold.

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