defensive backs

Top 10 DBs that could make an impact in the NFL

There were a lot of players that were in the NFL Draft that would make an impact next season. Every defense needs good defensive backs that will be able to make plays and help win games. Here are the top ten defensive backs that could make an impact in the NFL.

1. Denzel Ward, CB—Cleveland Browns

defensive backs

Denzel Ward hits receiver. Mandatory Credit: Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

No question that the Browns are blessed to have one of the most phenomenal cornerbacks in the draft. Ward is a game changer. He plays excellent man coverage and is very physical. During his college career, Ward had a total of 67 tackles, 24 pass breakups and two interceptions. Ward is able to play tight on receivers and read routes very well.

2. Minkah Fitzpatrick, S—Miami Dolphins

Fitzpatrick is everything you want in a defensive back. He can read the quarterback really well, he’s a ballhawk, able to return interceptions back and is able to blitz and make plays in the backfield.  Fitzpatrick was a Freshman All American when he played for the University of Alabama. He was also named first team All American in 2017. He had a total of 171 tackles, five sacks, nine interceptions, 24 pass breakups, and ran four interceptions back for touchdowns. With his size and speed, Fitzpatrick will be a dangerous threat in the secondary.

3. Jaire Alexander, CB—Green Bay Packers

Alexander is an excellent playmaker who is able to cause turnovers. He’s able to play well in man coverage, and he’s able to catch interceptions and return them for touchdowns. Alexander is also phenomenal on special teams, catching punts and returning them to score. He had 77 total tackles, seven interceptions and 15 pass breakups for his whole career at Louisville.

4. Donte Jackson, CB—Carolina Panthers

defensive backs

Donte Jackson tackles receiver at LSU
(NOLA.com)

Jackson is young, tall, fast and physical. He is excellent at playing man coverage, and he knows how to track the ball very well. During his college career, Jackson had a total of 109 tackles, 17 pass breakups, four interceptions and a forced fumble. Jackson has also been second team All-SEC in 2017. He uses his speed in order to track down the ball and make something out of nothing.

5. Derwin James, S—Los Angeles Chargers

James was known for being one of the hardest hitting safeties in the ACC. Not only that he can read the quarterback in zone coverage, and play man-to-man coverage, he can come down and lay the boom on any offensive player. James is an athlete that can track down and make a play on the ball, and he is able to go down and blitz. James had a total of 186 tackles, 11 pass breakups, 5.5 sacks, and three interceptions during his college career at Florida State. He also earned second AP All American and All ACC honors. With James’ natural athletic ability, he will be a dangerous threat in the NFL.

6. Deshon Elliot, S—Baltimore Ravens

Here’s another hard-hitting safety that could also possibly become a threat later on. Elliot is an incredible athlete who can play outstanding zone defense, catch interceptions and can come down and lay the boom. He can also play the linebacker position. Elliot was a first team All-American and first team All-Big 12 honors back when he played for the University of Texas. He had a career total of 105 tackles, nine pass breakups and nine interceptions.

7. Anthony Averett, CB—Baltimore Ravens

Here is an underrated defensive back that is really slept on. Averett was able to show what he could do in the 2016-2017 season. Averett caught a lot of people’s attention, starting in 13 games and playing excellent man coverage on receivers. He may not be that big in size, but he’s fast and able to get to the quarterback during blitzes.

Averett had a career total of 90 tackles 15 pass breakups and an interception.

8. Josh Jackson, CB—Green Bay Packers

Jackson is an outstanding athlete who can play man coverage very well and play zone coverage. He is fast and has hands like a receiver. Jackson was the nation’s leader with eight interceptions and 26 pass breakups. He also earned first-team AP All American and first team all-Big Ten.

9. Mike Huges, CB—Minnesota Vikings

Huges is a major threat when it comes to making interceptions. He is an extraordinary ball hawk, he has speed and he can play zone and man coverage. Huges can also make an impact on special teams, returning kicks and running them in for touchdowns. He was an All American first team as a defensive back, with 44 tackles and four interceptions, and first team as a returner with 635 yards and two touchdowns.

10. Quenton Meeks, DB—Jacksonville Jaguars

Meeks is an all-around defensive back who can play the cornerback and safety position. He can read the quarterback really well and pick the ball off, and he can lock down a receiver pretty well. Meeks had a total of 113 tackles, seven interceptions and 12 pass breakups for his career at Stanford. With his amazing athletic ability, the Jacksonville Jaguars’ will be a great fit for him.

 

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2018 NFL mock draft April 26

The 2018 NFL Draft is today! All NFL teams will be looking to bolster their rosters for the 2018 NFL season and here is how it could go down. Check back for updates throughout the day.

1. Cleveland Browns- Sam Darnold, QB, USC

The Browns have smoke-screened so much, that they may not even know what they are doing with this pick. Josh Allen and Baker Mayfield are supposedly the favorites for this pick, but Allen has accuracy issues and now twitter problems. Darnold struggled this season with his decision-making which led to a lot of turnovers. He also has a flawed throwing motion. Although he went to the NFL Combine, he didn’t compete on the field and just interviewed with teams. Some have Darnold as their top quarterback, but his decision-making and ball security need to improve. Hue Jackson also has ties to USC and may be familiar with Darnold.

2. New York Giants- Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State

If Darnold is off the board, it is likely the Giants select Barkley. This is a little earlier than running backs usually go, but he is a transcendent talent. He can do a little bit of everything at the position and the Giants can use him to have some semblance of a running game.

2018 NFL mock draft April 26

Baker Mayfield (Photo by nj.com)

3. New York Jets- Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma

Mayfield has defied all the critics who have mentioned his size as a reason not to draft him. He can make all the throws and is athletic enough to avoid pass rushers. His main calling card is his accuracy, which is the best in this draft class. He said as much in his interviews with the media at the NFL Combine. The Jets have been tied to Mayfield and will want to scoop up a quarterback to develop.

4. Cleveland Browns- Bradley Chubb, DE/OLB, N.C. State

Chubb is a great pass rusher who has 10 sacks in each of the past two seasons. He displayed a good combination of size and speed at the combine. He is the best defensive player in the class and can be a cornerstone for the defense. The Browns could go Barkley if he’s available, but if he’s not they will likely select Chubb. Hue Jackson has publicly praised him and would be a good pair with Myles Garrett.

5. Denver Broncos- Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame

Denver is in a prime position to get the fourth best quarterback in the class, Quenton Nelson or trade down to other teams seeking quarterbacks. C.J. Anderson was just released, so they could be looking to draft Barkley, but he’s off the board. If they stay at this pick and John Elway isn’t enamored with the remaining quarterbacks, he will select Nelson. Nelson is one of the best players in the class and will be drafted early despite playing a position that doesn’t usually get talked about this soon. He has Hall of Fame potential.

6. Indianapolis Colts- Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State

The Ohio State product is a good cover corner, who isn’t afraid to get physical. He is a little slight and will need to put on some weight. The Colts top corner is Quincy Wilson and they’ll need to get some defensive help.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Derwin James, S, Florida State

He is athletic but doesn’t necessarily have a set position, which is turning some teams off. He ran a 4.48 at the combine and has great size for a defensive back, making him valuable. Tampa Bay can continue to play Justin Evans at free safety and get James to play strong safety.

8. Chicago Bears- Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech

Edmunds does just about everything on the football field well, as a good cover linebacker, rusher and run stopper. He is also big and athletic. The Bears miss out on Ward to improve their secondary, but can get a linebacker that can develop into a great linebacker.

9. San Francisco 49ers- Minkah Fitzpatrick, S/CB, Alabama

Jimmie Ward is at best an average NFL safety, so the 49ers can fill out a solid secondary with this pick. He likely fits in best as a safety in the NFL, but can also play corner. Whichever he needs to play, he will excel at. His 4.47 40 yard dash time at the combine was right in line where he should have run.

10. Oakland Raiders- Vita Vea, DT/NT, Washington

Vea can play both defensive tackle and nose tackle, depending on the scheme a team runs, which is valuable. He has great size at 6’5″ and 340 pounds, which makes him disruptive. Vea did suffer a hamstring injury at the combine. Oakland needs to get someone on the interior of the defensive line to stop the run and take some of the blockers off of Khalil Mack.

11. Miami Dolphins- Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia

Smith was the best linebacker in college football this year and does a little bit of everything well. He is especially fast, which is crucial for his coverage and tracking down of ball carriers. The Dolphins have Raekwon McMillan and Kiko Alonso, but McMillan got injured before his impact could be seen. They will still need a third linebacker.

2018 nfl mock draft April 26

Josh Rosen (Photo by buffalonews.com)

12. Buffalo Bills- Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA

Reports are that Rosen is falling. No major questions about Rosen arose from the NFL Draft Combine interviews, which is good news for him. Rosen had to carry UCLA and ended up having a successful season. He needed to have a good year to clear up any doubts about his shoulder injury he suffered during his sophomore season.The Bills are reportedly not looking to move up anymore, but can still get a solid quarterback at pick number 12 and would get a steal here.

13. Washington Redskins- Da’Ron Payne, DL, Alabama

Washington’s interior of the defensive line can be improved, as they allowed the most rushing yards per game in the NFL. Payne’s stats aren’t eye-popping, but he often gets double teamed. He is very athletic for his size and even played some offense in certain situations for Nick Saban at Alabama.

14. Green Bay Packers- Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State

The Packers are reportedly looking to trade up to get an impact player and may need to do so to get Ward if everything doesn’t go their way. Green Bay needs secondary help badly and can fill a need here. The Ohio State product is a good cover corner, who isn’t afraid to get physical. He is a little slight and will need to put on some weight.

15. Arizona Cardinals- Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

Josh Allen falls a bit in this mock, but teams will likely trade up to get him before this point. While Allen certainly has flaws in his decision-making and accuracy, he does have a strong arm and is athletic. He competed in all the drills at the combine and got some audible cheers when he displayed his arm strength.

16. Baltimore Ravens- Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama

Ridley is the best route-runner in the class and only lacked production in college because of the system he played in and inconsistent quarterback play. The Ravens signed Michael Crabtree, but still need a lot of receiver help, which they can fill with this selection.

17. Los Angeles Chargers- Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame

The Chargers’ offensive line is not good at all. If they want Phillip Rivers to play much longer, they need to protect him better. Orlando Brown had a rough combine, while Connor Williams has some questions about his length. McGlinchey might be the safest pick because even if he can’t be a great left tackle, he can move over to the right and be successful.

2018 NFL mock draft April 26

Joshua Jackson (Photo by the gazette.com)

18. Seattle Seahawks- Joshua Jackson, CB, Iowa

Jackson turned into an All-American corner at Iowa this season and has shown the ability to make acrobatic interceptions. Seattle needs to replace Richard Sherman and find someone to play across from Shaquill Griffin.

19. Dallas Cowboys- Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama

Evans is a quick, run stopping linebacker that can help out right away. He can fit in next to Jaylon Smith and Sean Lee. With Lee’s injury history it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have another linebacker ready to step in as well.

20. Detroit Lions- Isaiah Wynn, OG/C, Georgia

Detroit needs to have a better run game in order to have a more balanced offense. Running back is a position they will likely address in this draft, but can start by improving the interior offensive line play. Wynn played well in the Senior Bowl and the College Football Playoff for Georgia. He played tackle in college and will move inside for the NFL.

21. Cincinnati Bengals- Billy Price, OG/C, Ohio State

Cincinnati got Cordy Glenn with their trade down to this pick, but their offensive line is still very weak. Price has tons of experience at guard and center for Ohio State and will start right away.

22. Buffalo Bills- James Daniels, C, Iowa

When Eric Wood had to retire, the Bills lost a great player. They also traded Cordy Glenn to Cincinnati and need to upgrade their offensive line. Daniels has risen up draft boards lately and can immediately fill in for Wood. This pick may be traded if they move up higher to draft a quarterback.

23. New England Patriots- Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State

The Patriots just traded for this pick by giving the Rams Brandin Cooks. Having two first-round picks is an odd territory for New England to be in. They are reportedly interested in Rudolph and have brought him in for a visit. Brian Hoyer is the current backup, but the Patriots need another young quarterback after trading Jacoby Brissett and Jimmy Garoppolo.

24. Carolina Panthers- Marcus Davenport, DE/OLB, UTSA

Davenport has the build of a great pass rusher and can rush from the outside linebacker position, but reports are the media like him more than NFL teams do. The Panthers signed Julius Peppers, but he won’t last much longer and they aren’t very deep at defensive end.

25. Tennessee Titans- Harold Landry, DE/OLB, Boston College

Tennessee has Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan but can use a young pass rusher as well. Landry had a great 2016 season that put him on the map but is a little undersized for the position.

2018 NFL mock draft April 26

Jaire Alexander (Photo by stripehype.com)

26. Atlanta Falcons- Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville

Alexander is a fast and physical corner that will likely go in round one. Atlanta needs another corner to pair with Desmond Trufant and should try to take one early.

27. New Orleans Saints- Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville

The buzz surrounding Jackson is that he will go in the first round and be selected in the first half of the round. He is the most dynamic athlete at the position since Michael Vick. Drew Brees needs a successor.

28. Pittsburgh Steelers- Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State

Vander Esch has been moving up draft boards. With Ryan Shazier not playing next year, the Steelers signed Jon Bostic. He and Vince Williams will start, but that leaves a lot to be desired.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars- D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland

The Jaguars have a decent crop of young receivers but could use some more help at the position after the loss of Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns. D.J. Moore is a late-riser on big boards and mock drafts everywhere. He put up good production without great quarterback play at Maryland.

30. Minnesota Vikings- Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma

Brown had a bad combine, which may hurt his stock a little, but his game tape is great and shows a mauler. He may not have the athleticism to play left tackle in the NFL but could be a great right tackle. The Vikings’ offensive line is much better than last year, but can still be improved. With a good offense and defense, they can afford to make a good unit better.

31. New England Patriots- Mike Hughes, CB, UCF

With Malcolm Butler leaving, the Patriots need more help at corner. Hughes is a good cover corner but has some off the field concerns.

32. Philadelphia Eagles- Connor Williams, OT, Texas

They just won the Super Bowl with a backup quarterback and have a very solid roster. This pick could depend a lot on the health status of left tackle Jason Peters. If he isn’t healthy they’ll need a tackle. Williams’ draft stock has been all over the place, going from early first round to third round back into the first round.

 

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The Game Haus

The Game Haus Staff 2018 NFL mock draft

Over the last few weeks, The Game Haus staff has written draft profiles for each NFL team. Now Draftmas culminates with our Staff mock draft. The staff acts as general managers for each NFL team to make selections for the first round of the NFL Draft. The picks may not be what happens Thursday night, but they are the picks that our staff thinks will make these teams the best they can be. Some of our staff has been kind enough to give their reasonings for their picks. Here is how the draft shook out.

Staff mock draft

1. Cleveland Browns (Josh Burris)- Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State

“Barkley completes a stellar skill position group. Taylor has always had a good run game around him in Buffalo, and Duke Johnson is not a starting running back. Barkley is a freak and will also help the passing game.”

2. New York Giants (Manuel Finale)- Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame

“I have the NY Giants taking OG Quenton Nelson to keep Eli Manning healthy and provide a kick-butt mentality to the g-men. For me, picking a QB would be disrespectful to Eli, and Nelson can deploy, pull, and run block with authority.

3. New York Jets (Daniel Baldwin)- Sam Darnold, QB, USC

“The Jets originally thought Darnold to the Browns was a done deal, but after Allen to the Browns buzz picked up steam they brought Darnold in for a visit. They love Darnold’s build and toughness. However, the jets love Baker Mayfield’s leadership and fit in the west coast offense. Don’t be surprised if Maccagnan chooses the fiery Heisman winner Thursday night.”

4. Cleveland Browns (Burris)- Bradley Chubb, DE/OLB, N.C. State

“Defensive line was already weak, and after trading Danny Shelton, it got weaker. Chubb is the best defensive lineman in the class and is also a freak. He will be making an impact across from Myles Garrett for years to come.”

5. Denver Broncos (Dylan Streibig)- Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State

6. *Buffalo Bills (Braxton Angle)- Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA

“Once Denver decided to pass on Rosen, if felt like the logical move to make a deal with the Colts. We got a great talent at the Quarterback position and didn’t have to give up too many assets to do so.”

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Angle)- Minkah Fitzpatrick, S/CB, Alabama

“Minkah is a versatile, technically sound defensive play maker. This secondary needed an infusion of young talent, and Minkah does exactly that.”

8. Chicago Bears (Blake Van Poucke)- Derwin James, S, Florida State

9. San Franciso 49ers (Kenneth Hesse)- Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech

10. Oakland Raiders (Joe DiTullio)- Vita Vea, DT/NT, Washington

“Vea is big but has light feet. The Raiders are weak up the middle of their defense and need to take a defensive tackle in the draft. Taking Vea will help in the run game and should be able to take some blockers off of Khalil Mack on pass rushing situations.”

11. Miami Dolphins (DiTullio)- Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia

“The quarterbacks are falling, but the Dolphins liked Rosen. He’s not available and Adam Gase may like working with Ryan Tannehill over the other rookies. With Smith, the Dolphins can upgrade their very weak linebacking core. He’s the best linebacker in the draft and can just about everything on the football field. His speed is a great asset.”

12. *Indianapolis Colts (Rob Hanes)- Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama

“Chubb was the pick at 6 and while there were some other options the opportunity came to get the 12th and 22nd and that was too much to pass up. Clavin Ridley is a nice piece to go opposite of TY Hilton. With great route-running and 3 years of experience with the Crimson Tide this guy should finally give Luck someone else to throw to.”

13. Washington Redskins (Cecil Walker)- Da’Ron Payne, DL, Alabama

“The Redskins have holes all over the field. Defensive tackle is, both literally and figuratively, the biggest hole they need to fill. Payne is a great prospect and would be the best tackle prospect if not for the athletic freak Vita Vea.”

14. Green Bay Packers (Finale)- Joshua Jackson, CB, Iowa

“Their pass defense was bad, and Jackson can give the secondary coverage help and make crucial plays.

15. Arizona Cardinals (Angle)- Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma

“Despite his apparent off the field red flags, Baker is incredibly accurate, something you can’t teach. Having him play in a warm-weather climate and not have be forced into a starting role. Given Bradford’s injury history, Baker is a viable option as a backup when needed.”

16. Baltimore Ravens (David Schneider)- Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU

17. Los Angeles Chargers (Rob Doerger)- Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame

18. Seattle Seahawks (Walker)- Isaiah Wynn, OG/C, Georgia 

“Protecting Russell Wilson must be a top priority for the Seahawks this season. Wynn is a great prospect that has the versatility to play anywhere on the offensive line.”

19. Dallas Cowboys (DiTullio)- Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama

“With no wide receivers, safeties or defensive tackles worth taking, the Cowboys can select Evans and fill out their linebacker core. Every time Sean Lee gets injured, the defense completely loses its way. Jaylon Smith still doesn’t look totally at home on the football field after his gruesome knee injury in college. Evans can start from day one and can give some insurance to the team if Lee goes down again.”

20. Detroit Lions (Schneider)- Derrius Guice, RB, LSU

“Derrius Guice is too talented a back to pass up at 20th overall. If he is still on the board when the Lions pick I would expect GM Bob Quinn to stick to his M.O. and take the best play available. In this draft it was clearly Guice. However, I could also see them taking Landry or Davenport in this spot if Guice is gone.”

21. Cincinnati Bengals (Hanes)- Connor Williams, OT, Texas

“Wanted McGlinchey or Wynn and thought most of the centers would be available in the 2nd or 3rd round. Thus, Connor Williams made the most sense here as the Bengals upgrade a position of need and have now turned their 12th round pick into their starting tackles by getting Williams and Cordy Glenn.”

22. *Indianapolis Colts (Hanes)- Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville

“Getting a second first round pick was absolutely worth it as we upgrade in a major area of need with Alexander. He was probably the best player on the board and just happened to fit.”

23. New England Patriots (Schneider)- D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland

“DJ Moore could turn out to be the best receiver in this class and if he does, what a steal to get him at 23 for the Patriots. With very few young stars on the team, New England needs to address that in the draft, which is why I see them staying pat and not trading up for a QB.”

24. Carolina Panthers (Burris)- Will Hernandez, OG, UTEP

“Hernandez is the best guard available to replace Andrew Norwell. He can start immediately and develop into a pro bowler very soon.”

25. Tennessee Titans (Hesse)- Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State

“The Titans fill the void left by middle linebacker Avery Williamson, who left in free agency. Vander Esch will spend his rookie season playing alongside veteran Wesley Woodyard, and should make an immediate impact at inside linebacker. As one of the most instinctive players in the draft, Vander Esch has the potential to become the centerpiece of Tennessee’s defense.”

26. Atlanta Falcons (Walker)- Marcus Davenport, DE/OLB, UTSA

“With the losses of Dontari Poe and Adrian Clayborne, the Falcons desperately need to shore up the defensive line. Davenport has excelled at every level and shined at the Senior Bowl this year. With the top wide receivers and offensive guards off the board, Davenport is a no-brainer.”

27. New Orleans Saints (Angle)- Billy Price, OG/C, Ohio State

“Andrus Peat and Max Unger have been steadily declining. Price’s versatility on the offensive line gives the Saints great depth, and will allow them to dominate the line of scrimmage even if an injury occurs.”

28. Pittsburgh Steelers (Finale)- Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama

“Harrison has a good frame for a safety, and has proven he can help disrupt the ground attack as well as anticipating routes so he can quickly adjust.”

29. Jacksonville Jaguars (Doerger)- Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina

30. Minnesota Vikings (Hesse)- James Daniels, C, Iowa

“The Vikings missed out on Isaiah Wynn and Will Hernandez, so trading down is also likely here. Pat Elflein has settled in as the team’s starting center, so Daniels will likely play as an undersized guard. The former Hawkeye will provide an immediate boost to one of the league’s thinnest offensive lines.”

31. New England Patriots (Schneider)- Harold Landry, DE/OLB, Boston College

“Harold Landry falling all the way to Belichick and the Patriots at 31 would be a great scenario for them. Even with Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen still on the board in this draft scenario, Landry is too naturally gifted at rushing the passer for New England to pass on him.”

32. **Cincinnati Bengals (Hanes)- Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

“I know Bengals fans may not like this pick but getting a quarterback that has his talent who can sit behind Dalton for a year or two and grow is a no-brainer.”

*The Bills trade picks number 12 and 20 to the Colts for pick number six overall.

**The Eagles trade number 32 for the Bengals’ second-round pick this year and next year.

 

2018 NFL mock draft April 24

It is NFL Draft week! A lot will come and go by Thursday night, but here are how the draft could look. Check back for updates throughout the week.

2018 NFL mock draft April 24

Josh Allen (Photo by newyorkupstate.com)

1. Cleveland Browns- Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

The Browns have smoke-screened so much, that they may not even know what they are doing with this pick. While Allen certainly has flaws in his decision-making and accuracy, he does have a strong arm and is athletic. He competed in all the drills at the combine and got some audible cheers when he displayed his arm strength. When general manager John Dorsey was with the Chiefs last year, he drafted a risky, strong-armed quarterback in Pat Mahomes and may take a similar risk this year, being that he has Tyrod Taylor behind center.

2. New York Giants- Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State

As far as rumors go, the Giants taking Barkley at pick number two is the biggest one going. It is earlier than running backs usually go, but Barkley is the best player in the class and fills a need. He can do a little bit of everything at the position and the Giants can use him to have some semblance of a running game.

3. New York Jets- Sam Darnold, QB, USC

The Jets fans get who they’ve wanted for over a year now. Darnold struggled this season with his decision-making which led to a lot of turnovers. He also has a flawed throwing motion. Although he went to the NFL Combine, he didn’t compete on the field and just interviewed with teams. Some have Darnold as their top quarterback, but his decision-making and ball security need to improve. He can learn behind Teddy Bridgewater and Josh McCown for the time being if he can’t beat them out for the job.

4. Cleveland Browns- Bradley Chubb, DE, N.C. State

With Barkley gone, the Browns would likely take Bradley Chubb. Head coach Hue Jackson has publicly praised Chubb and he is one of the best players in the class. Chubb is a great pass rusher who has 10 sacks in each of the past two seasons. He displayed a good combination of size and speed at the combine. He and Myles Garrett could be a great pass-rushing tandem for years to come.

5. Denver Broncos- Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame

Denver is in a prime position to get the fourth best quarterback in the class, Quenton Nelson or trade down to other teams seeking quarterbacks. C.J. Anderson was just released, so they could be looking to draft Barkley, but he’s off the board. If they stay at this pick and John Elway isn’t enamored with the remaining quarterbacks, he will select Nelson. Nelson is one of the best players in the class and will be drafted early despite playing a position that doesn’t usually get talked about this soon. He has Hall of Fame potential.

6. Indianapolis Colts- Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State

With Chubb off the board, the Colts will definitely explore trading down again. Since this mock doesn’t predict trades, Ward would be the pick. Quincy Wilson is currently slotted as the number one corner. He had a decent rookie season, but the Colts don’t have much behind him. The Ohio State product is a good cover corner, who isn’t afraid to get physical. He is a little slight and will need to put on some weight.

2018 NFL mock draft April 24

Derwin James (Photo by sbnation.com)

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Derwin James, S, Florida State

He is athletic but doesn’t necessarily have a set position, which is turning some teams off. He ran a 4.48 at the combine and has great size for a defensive back, making him valuable. Tampa Bay can continue to play Justin Evans at free safety and get James to play strong safety.

8. Chicago Bears- Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech

Edmunds does just about everything on the football field well, as a good cover linebacker, rusher and run stopper. He is also big and athletic. The Bears miss out on Ward to improve their secondary, but can get a linebacker that can develop into a great linebacker.

9. San Francisco 49ers- Minkah Fitzpatrick, S/CB, Alabama

Jimmie Ward is at best an average NFL safety, so the 49ers can fill out a solid secondary with this pick. He likely fits in best as a safety in the NFL, but can also play corner. Whichever he needs to play, he will excel at. His 4.47 40 yard dash time at the combine was right in line where he should have run.

10. Oakland Raiders- Vita Vea, DT/NT, Washington

Vea can play both defensive tackle and nose tackle, depending on the scheme a team runs, which is valuable. He has great size at 6’5″ and 340 pounds, which makes him disruptive. Vea did suffer a hamstring injury at the combine. Oakland needs to get someone on the interior of the defensive line to stop the run and take some of the blockers off of Khalil Mack.

11. Miami Dolphins- Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia

Smith was the best linebacker in college football this year and does a little bit of everything well. He is especially fast, which is crucial for his coverage and tracking down of ball carriers. The Dolphins have Raekwon McMillan and Kiko Alonso, but McMillan got injured before his impact could be seen. They will still need a third linebacker.

12. Buffalo Bills- Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA

Reports are that Rosen is falling. No major questions about Rosen arose from the NFL Draft Combine interviews, which is good news for him. Rosen had to carry UCLA and ended up having a successful season. He needed to have a good year to clear up any doubts about his shoulder injury he suffered during his sophomore season.The Bills are reportedly not looking to move up anymore, but can still get a solid quarterback at pick number 12 and would get a steal here.

13. Washington Redskins- Da’Ron Payne, DL, Alabama

Washington’s interior of the defensive line can be improved, as they allowed the most rushing yards per game in the NFL. Payne’s stats aren’t eye-popping, but he often gets double teamed. He is very athletic for his size and even played some offense in certain situations for Nick Saban at Alabama.

14. Green Bay Packers- Joshua Jackson, CB, Iowa

Jackson turned into an All-American corner at Iowa this season and has shown the ability to make acrobatic interceptions. The Packers don’t have much at corner and will need to improve the pass defense to keep up in their division.

2018 NFL mock draft April 24

Baker Mayfield (Photo by insidethepylon.com)

15. Arizona Cardinals- Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma

Mayfield has defied all the critics who have mentioned his size as a reason not to draft him. He can make all the throws and is athletic enough to avoid pass rushers. His main calling card is his accuracy, which is the best in this draft class. He said as much in his interviews with the media at the NFL Combine. The Cardinals will need a quarterback for when Sam Bradford gets injured.

16. Baltimore Ravens- Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama

Ridley is the best route-runner in the class and only lacked production in college because of the system he played in and inconsistent quarterback play. The Ravens signed Michael Crabtree, but still need a lot of receiver help, which they can fill with this selection.

17. Los Angeles Chargers- Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame

The Chargers’ offensive line is not good at all. If they want Phillip Rivers to play much longer, they need to protect him better. Orlando Brown had a rough combine, while Connor Williams has some questions about his length. McGlinchey might be the safest pick because even if he can’t be a great left tackle, he can move over to the right and be successful.

18. Seattle Seahawks- Marcus Davenport, DE/OLB, UTSA

Davenport has the build of a great pass rusher and can rush from the outside linebacker position, but reports are the media like him more than NFL teams do. The Seahawks lost Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril may not be the same player with his neck injury. They will need to make up for the loss in production.

19. Dallas Cowboys- Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama

Evans is a quick, run stopping linebacker that can help out right away. He can fit in next to Jaylon Smith and Sean Lee. With Lee’s injury history it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have another linebacker ready to step in as well.

20. Detroit Lions- Isaiah Wynn, OG/C, Georgia

Detroit needs to have a better run game in order to have a more balanced offense. Running back is a position they will likely address in this draft, but can start by improving the interior offensive line play. Wynn played well in the Senior Bowl and the College Football Playoff for Georgia. He played tackle in college and will move inside for the NFL.

21. Cincinnati Bengals- Billy Price, OG/C, Ohio State

Cincinnati got Cordy Glenn with their trade down to this pick, but their offensive line is still very weak. Price has tons of experience at guard and center for Ohio State and will start right away.

22. Buffalo Bills- James Daniels, C, Iowa

When Eric Wood had to retire, the Bills lost a great player. They also traded Cordy Glenn to Cincinnati and need to upgrade their offensive line. Daniels has risen up draft boards lately and can immediately fill in for Wood. This pick may be traded if they move up higher to draft a quarterback.

2018 NFL mock draft April 24

Mason Rudolph (Photo by cincyjungle.com)

23. New England Patriots- Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State

The Patriots just traded for this pick by giving the Rams Brandin Cooks. Having two first-round picks is an odd territory for New England to be in. They are reportedly interested in Rudolph and have brought him in for a visit. Brian Hoyer is the current backup, but the Patriots need another young quarterback after trading Jacoby Brissett and Jimmy Garoppolo.

24. Carolina Panthers- Harold Landry, DE/OLB, Boston College

The Panthers signed Julius Peppers, but he won’t last much longer and they aren’t very deep at defensive end. Landry had a great 2016 season that put him on the map and followed it up with a solid season this year.

25. Tennessee Titans- Sam Hubbard, DE/OLB, Ohio State

Tennessee has Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan but can use a young pass rusher as well. Hubbard lacks elite athleticism, but can get after the quarterback and stops the run well for and edge rusher.

26. Atlanta Falcons- Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville

Alexander is a fast and physical corner that will likely go in round one. Atlanta needs another corner to pair with Desmond Trufant and should try to take one early.

27. New Orleans Saints- Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville

The Saints signed Tom Savage, but that’s not going to solve their issue after Brees retires. Taysom Hill is a backup they reportedly love, but he wasn’t highly thought of out of BYU. Jackson will likely go higher than this with a team trading up for him.

28. Pittsburgh Steelers- Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State

Vander Esch is another player that has been moving up draft boards. With Ryan Shazier not playing next year, the Steelers signed Jon Bostic. He and Vince Williams will start, but that leaves a lot to be desired.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars- Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU

Sutton is a great outside receiver, who produced a lot at SMU. He does have some questions as to if he can produce against NFL competition. The Jaguars have a decent crop of young receivers but could use some more help at the position after the loss of Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns.

30. Minnesota Vikings- Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma

Brown had a bad combine, which may hurt his stock a little, but his game tape is great and shows a mauler. He may not have the athleticism to play left tackle in the NFL but could be a great right tackle. The Vikings’ offensive line is much better than last year, but can still be improved. With a good offense and defense, they can afford to make a good unit better.

31. New England Patriots- Mike Hughes, CB, UCF

With Malcolm Butler leaving, the Patriots need more help at corner. Hughes is a good cover corner, but has some off the field concerns.

32. Philadelphia Eagles- Connor Williams, OT, Texas

They just won the Super Bowl with a backup quarterback and have a very solid roster. This pick could depend a lot on the health status of left tackle Jason Peters. If he isn’t healthy they’ll need a tackle. Williams’ draft stock has been all over the place, going from early first round to third round back into the first round.

 

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2018 NFL mock draft April 17

The NFL Draft is just over a week away and teams are prepping for the three days that can bolster their rosters. Here is the 2018 NFL mock draft April 17.

1. Cleveland Browns- Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

The rumors now are that the Browns are going to select Josh Allen with the first overall pick. How long will this rumor last? Nobody knows. While Allen certainly has flaws in his decision-making and accuracy, he does have a strong arm and is athletic. He competed in all the drills at the combine and got some audible cheers when he displayed his arm strength. When general manager John Dorsey was with the Chiefs last year, he drafted a risky, strong-armed quarterback in Pat Mahomes and may take a similar risk this year, being that he has Tyrod Taylor behind center.

2. New York Giants- Sam Darnold, QB, USC

When one rumor starts, the other rumors will start. Now it looks like the Giants will select Darnold if he is still available. Darnold struggled this season with his decision-making which led to a lot of turnovers. He also has a flawed throwing motion. Although he went to the NFL Combine, he didn’t compete on the field and just interviewed with teams. Some have Darnold as their top quarterback, but his decision-making and ball security need to improve.

2018 NFL Mock draft April 17

Josh Rosen (Photo by washingtonpost.com)

3. New York Jets- Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA

The Jets traded up to three and guaranteed themselves a quarterback, but they don’t even know who they will get. In this scenario, they would take Josh Rosen. No major questions about Rosen arose from the NFL Draft Combine interviews, which is good news for him. Rosen had to carry UCLA and ended up having a successful season. He needed to have a good year to clear up any doubts about his shoulder injury he suffered during his sophomore season.

4. Cleveland Browns- Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State

Yes, the Browns did just sign Carlos Hyde, but Barkley is still the best player in the class. With the trades for Jarvis Landry and Tyrod Taylor, Cleveland is making a concerted effort to improve the offense and with Barkley, they would have a lot of options in 2018.

5. Denver Broncos- Quenton Neslon, OG, Notre Dame

Denver is in a prime position to get the fourth best quarterback in the class, Quenton Nelson or trade down to other teams seeking quarterbacks. C.J. Anderson was just released, so they could be looking to draft Barkley, but he’s off the board. If they stay at this pick and John Elway isn’t enamored with the remaining quarterbacks, he will select Nelson. Nelson is one of the best players in the class and will be drafted early despite playing a position that doesn’t usually get talked about this soon. He has Hall of Fame potential.

6. Indianapolis Colts- Bradley Chubb, DE/OLB, N.C. State

The Colts pulled off a fantastic trade and will likely still get their first target in the NFL Draft. They could even trade down again. Frank Reich will be looking forward to working with Andrew Luck. When he is back, the offense will figure itself out. They can improve the defense to make the team more complete when Luck comes back. Chubb is a great pass rusher who has 10 sacks in each of the past two seasons. He displayed a good combination of size and speed at the combine.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Minkah Fitzpatrick, S/CB, Alabama

He likely fits in best as a safety in the NFL, but can also play corner. Whichever he needs to play, he will excel at. His 4.47 40 yard dash time at the combine was right in line where he should have run. Tampa’s secondary needs to be upgraded immediately if they wish to compete in the NFC South.

8. Chicago Bears- Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State

Chicago has signed Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel to bolster its wide receiver core. This means they may choose to address the secondary. The Ohio State product is a good cover corner, who isn’t afraid to get physical. He is a little slight and will need to put on some weight.

2018 NFL mock draft April 17

Tremaine Edmunds (Photo by roanoke.com)

9. San Francisco 49ers- Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech

Edmunds does just about everything on the football field well, as a good cover linebacker, rusher and run stopper. He is also big and athletic. San Francisco could have some serious linebacker issues if Reuben Foster is not able to play due to his off the field issues.

10. Oakland Raiders- Vita Vea, DT/NT, Washington

Vea can play both defensive tackle and nose tackle, depending on the scheme a team runs, which is valuable. He has great size at 6’5″ and 340 pounds, which makes him disruptive. Vea did suffer a hamstring injury at the combine. Oakland needs to get someone on the interior of the defensive line to stop the run and take some of the blockers off of Khalil Mack.

11. Miami Dolphins- Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia

Smith was the best linebacker in college football this year and does a little bit of everything well. He is especially fast, which is crucial for his coverage and tracking down of ball carriers. The Dolphins have Raekwon McMillan and Kiko Alonso, but McMillan got injured before his impact could be seen. They will still need a third linebacker.

12. Buffalo Bills- Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma

The Bills are trying to move up again to get a quarterback but could be deciding between Mayfield and Lamar Jackson. Mayfield has defied all the critics who have mentioned his size as a reason not to draft him. He can make all the throws and is athletic enough to avoid pass rushers. His main calling card is his accuracy, which is the best in this draft class. He said as much in his interviews with the media at the NFL Combine.

13. Washington Redskins- Da’Ron Payne, DL, Alabama

Washington’s interior of the defensive line can be improved, as they allowed the most rushing yards per game in the NFL. Payne’s stats aren’t eye-popping, but he often gets double teamed. He is very athletic for his size and even played some offense in certain situations for Nick Saban at Alabama.

14. Green Bay Packers- Joshua Jackson, CB, Iowa

Jackson turned into an All-American corner at Iowa this season and has shown the ability to make acrobatic interceptions. The Packers don’t have much at corner and will need to improve the pass defense to keep up in their division.

15. Arizona Cardinals- Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame

The Cardinals signed an injury-prone quarterback in Sam Bradford, and Mike Glennon, so they need to protect them. Orlando Brown had a rough combine, while Connor Williams has some questions about his length. McGlinchey might be the safest pick because even if he can’t be a great left tackle, he can move over to the right and be successful.

16. Baltimore Ravens- Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama

Ridley is the best route-runner in the class and only lacked production in college because of the system he played in and inconsistent quarterback play. The Ravens signed Michael Crabtree, but still need a lot of receiver help, which they can fill with this selection.

2018 NFL mock draft April 18

Derwin James (photo by bucsnation.com)

17. Los Angeles Chargers- Derwin James, S, Florida State

He is athletic but doesn’t necessarily have a set position, which is turning some teams off. He ran a 4.48 at the combine and has great size for a defensive back, making him valuable. The Chargers could use him next Jahleel Addae and have a solid safety pair.

18. Seattle Seahawks- Marcus Davenport, DE/OLB, UTSA

Davenport has the build of a great pass rusher and can rush from the outside linebacker position, but reports are the media like him more than NFL teams do. The Seahawks lost Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril may not be the same player with his neck injury. They will need to make up for the loss in production.

19. Dallas Cowboys- Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama

Evans is a quick, run stopping linebacker that can help out right away. He can fit in next to Jaylon Smith and Sean Lee. With Lee’s injury history it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have another linebacker ready to step in as well.

20. Detroit Lions- Isaiah Wynn, OG/C, Georgia

Detroit needs to have a better run game in order to have a more balanced offense. Running back is a position they will likely address in this draft, but can start by improving the interior offensive line play. Wynn played well in the Senior Bowl and the College Football Playoff for Georgia. He played tackle in college and will move inside for the NFL.

21. Cincinnati Bengals- Billy Price, OG/C, Ohio State

Cincinnati got Cordy Glenn with their trade down to this pick, but their offensive line is still very weak. Price has tons of experience at guard and center for Ohio State and will start right away.

22. Buffalo Bills- James Daniels, C, Iowa

When Eric Wood had to retire, the Bills lost a great player. They also traded Cordy Glenn to Cincinnati and need to upgrade their offensive line. Daniels has risen up draft boards lately and can immediately fill in for Wood. This pick may be traded if they move up higher to draft a quarterback.

23. New England Patriots- Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State

The Patriots just traded for this pick by giving the Rams Brandin Cooks. Having two first-round picks is an odd territory for New England to be in. They are reportedly interested in Rudolph and have brought him in for a visit. Brian Hoyer is the current backup, but the Patriots need another young quarterback after trading Jacoby Brissett and Jimmy Garoppolo.

24. Carolina Panthers- Harold Landry, DE/OLB, Boston College

The Panthers signed Julius Peppers, but he won’t last much longer and they aren’t very deep at defensive end. Landry had a great 2016 season that put him on the map and followed it up with a solid season this year.

2018 NFL mock draft April 18

Sam Hubbard (Photo by bleacherreport.com)

25. Tennessee Titans- Sam Hubbard, DE/OLB, Ohio State

Tennessee has Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan but can use a young pass rusher as well. Hubbard lacks elite athleticism, but can get after the quarterback and stops the run well for and edge rusher.

26. Atlanta Falcons- Carlton Davis, CB, Auburn

Atlanta needs another corner to pair with Desmond Trufant and should try to take one early. Davis is a lengthy corner that has experience covering some good receivers in the SEC.

27. New Orleans Saints- Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville

Six quarterbacks going in the first round is looking like more of a likelihood. The Saints signed Tom Savage, but that’s not going to solve their issue after Brees retires. Taysom Hill is a backup they reportedly love, but he wasn’t highly thought of out of BYU. Jackson will likely go higher than this with a team trading up for him.

28. Pittsburgh Steelers- Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State

Vander Esch is another player that has been moving up draft boards. With Ryan Shazier not playing next year, the Steelers signed Jon Bostic. He and Vince Williams will start, but that leaves a lot to be desired.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars- Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU

Sutton is a great outside receiver, who produced a lot at SMU. He does have some questions as to if he can produce against NFL competition. The Jaguars have a decent crop of young receivers but could use some more help at the position after the loss of Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns.

30. Minnesota Vikings- Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma

Brown had a bad combine, which may hurt his stock a little, but his game tape is great and shows a mauler. He may not have the athleticism to play left tackle in the NFL but could be a great right tackle. The Vikings’ offensive line is much better than last year, but can still be improved. With a good offense and defense, they can afford to make a good unit better.

31. New England Patriots- Mike Hughes, CB, UCF

With Malcolm Butler leaving, the Patriots need more help at corner. Hughes is a good cover corner, but has some off the field concerns.

32. Philadelphia Eagles- Connor Williams, OT, Texas

They just won the Super Bowl with a backup quarterback and have a very solid roster. This pick could depend a lot on the health status of left tackle Jason Peters. If he isn’t healthy they’ll need a tackle. Williams’ draft stock has been all over the place, going from early first round to third round back into the first round.

 

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2018 NFL mock draft April 10

It’s just two and a half weeks until the NFL Draft. With the draft coming up at the end of the month, who will each team pick in the first round?

1. Cleveland Browns- Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

The rumors now are that the Browns are going to select Josh Allen with the first overall pick. How long will this rumor last? Nobody knows. While Allen certainly has flaws in his decision-making and accuracy, he does have a strong arm and is athletic. He competed in all the drills at the combine and got some audible cheers when he displayed his arm strength. When general manager John Dorsey was with the Chiefs last year, he drafted a risky, strong-armed quarterback in Pat Mahomes and may take a similar risk this year, being that he has Tyrod Taylor behind center.

2. New York Giants- Sam Darnold, QB, USC

When one rumor starts, the other rumors will start. Now it looks like the Giants will select Darnold if he is still available. Darnold struggled this season with his decision-making which led to a lot of turnovers. He also has a flawed throwing motion. Although he went to the NFL Combine, he didn’t compete on the field and just interviewed with teams. Some have Darnold as their top quarterback, but his decision-making and ball security need to improve.

3. New York Jets- Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA

The Jets traded up to three and guaranteed themselves a quarterback, but they don’t even know who they will get. In this scenario, they would take Josh Rosen. No major questions about Rosen arose from the NFL Draft Combine interviews, which is good news for him. Rosen had to carry UCLA and ended up having a successful season. He needed to have a good year to clear up any doubts about his shoulder injury he suffered during his sophomore season.

4. Cleveland Browns- Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State

Yes, the Browns did just sign Carlos Hyde, but Barkley is still the best player in the class. With the trades for Jarvis Landry and Tyrod Taylor, Cleveland is making a concerted effort to improve the offense and with Barkley, they would have a lot of options in 2018.

2018 NFL mock draft April 10

Quenton Nelson (Photo by onefootdown.com)

5. Denver Broncos- Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame

Denver is in a prime position to get the fourth best quarterback in the class, Quenton Nelson or trade down to other teams seeking quarterbacks. If they stay at this pick and John Elway isn’t enamored with the remaining quarterbacks, he will select Nelson. Nelson is one of the best players in the class and will be drafted early despite playing a position that doesn’t usually get talked about this soon. He has Hall of Fame potential.

6. Indianapolis Colts- Bradley Chubb, DE/OLB, N.C. State

The Colts pulled off a fantastic trade and will likely still get their first target in the NFL Draft. They could even trade down again. Frank Reich will be looking forward to working with Andrew Luck. When he is back, the offense will figure itself out. They can improve the defense to make the team more complete when Luck comes back. Chubb is a great pass rusher who has 10 sacks in each of the past two seasons. He displayed a good combination of size and speed at the combine.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Minkah Fitzpatrick, S/CB, Alabama

He likely fits in best as a safety in the NFL, but can also play corner. Whichever he needs to play, he will excel at. His 4.47 40 yard dash time at the combine was right in line where he should have run. Tampa’s secondary needs to be upgraded immediately if they wish to compete in the NFC South.

8. Chicago Bears- Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State

Chicago has signed Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel to bolster its wide receiver core. This means they may choose to address the secondary. The Ohio State product is a good cover corner, who isn’t afraid to get physical. He is a little slight and will need to put on some weight.

9. San Francisco 49ers- Derwin James, S, Florida State

Eric Reid is a free agent, which leaves Jimmie Ward and Jaquiski Tartt at safety. Neither has been overly consistent throughout their careers and the 49ers will likely feel the loss of Reid. He is athletic but doesn’t necessarily have a set position, which is turning some teams off. He ran a 4.48 at the combine and has great size for a defensive back, making him valuable.

10. Oakland Raiders- Vita Vea, DT/NT, Washington

Vea can play both defensive tackle and nose tackle, depending on the scheme a team runs, which is valuable. He has great size at 6’5″ and 340 pounds, which makes him disruptive. Vea did suffer a hamstring injury at the combine. Oakland needs to get someone on the interior of the defensive line to stop the run and take some of the blockers off of Khalil Mack.

11. Miami Dolphins- Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia

Smith was the best linebacker in college football this year and does a little bit of everything well. He is especially fast, which is crucial for his coverage and tracking down of ball carriers. The Dolphins have Raekwon McMillan and Kiko Alonso, but McMillan got injured before his impact could be seen. They will still need a third linebacker.

2018 NFL mock draft April 10

Baker Mayfield (Photo by fansided.com)

12. Buffalo Bills- Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma

The Bills are trying to move up again to get a quarterback but could be deciding between Mayfield and Lamar Jackson. Mayfield has defied all the critics who have mentioned his size as a reason not to draft him. He can make all the throws and is athletic enough to avoid pass rushers. His main calling card is his accuracy, which is the best in this draft class. He said as much in his interviews with the media at the NFL Combine.

13. Washington Redskins- Da’Ron Payne, DL, Alabama

Washington’s interior of the defensive line can be improved, as they allowed the most rushing yards per game in the NFL. Payne’s stats aren’t eye-popping, but he often gets double teamed. He is very athletic for his size and even played some offense in certain situations for Nick Saban at Alabama.

14. Green Bay Packers- Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech

Edmunds does just about everything on the football field well, as a good cover linebacker, rusher and run stopper. He is also big and athletic. The Packers need to make the defense better for when Aaron Rodgers gets the offense going again and he has alluded to it as much this offseason.

15. Arizona Cardinals- Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame

The Cardinals signed an injury-prone quarterback in Sam Bradford, and Mike Glennon, so they need to protect them. Orlando Brown had a rough combine, while Connor Williams has some questions about his length. McGlinchey might be the safest pick because even if he can’t be a great left tackle, he can move over to the right and be successful.

16. Baltimore Ravens- Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama

Ridley is the best route-runner in the class and only lacked production in college because of the system he played in and inconsistent quarterback play. The Ravens signed Michael Crabtree, but still need a lot of receiver help, which they can fill with this selection.

17. Los Angeles Chargers- Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama

The Chargers need safety and defensive tackle help, but could also use a linebacker. Evans is a quick, run stopping linebacker that can help out right away.

18. Seattle Seahawks- Joshua Jackson, CB, Iowa

Jackson turned into an All-American corner at Iowa this season and has shown the ability to make acrobatic interceptions. With Richard Sherman gone, the Seahawks need a corner and can take Jackson if they feel he can fit in their zone-coverage scheme.

2018 NFL mock draft april 10

Taven Bryan (Photo by gridironnow.com)

19. Dallas Cowboys- Taven Bryan, DT, Florida

The Cowboys need interior defensive line depth could pick up Bryan here. He’s very athletic and can be a depth player until he develops into a starter.

20. Detroit Lions- Isaiah Wynn, OG/C, Georgia

Detroit needs to have a better run game in order to have a more balanced offense. Running back is a position they will likely address in this draft, but can start by improving the interior offensive line play. Wynn played well in the Senior Bowl and the College Football Playoff for Georgia. He played tackle in college and will move inside for the NFL.

21. Cincinnati Bengals- Billy Price, OG/C, Ohio State

Cincinnati got Cordy Glenn with their trade down to this pick, but their offensive line is still very weak. Price has tons of experience at guard and center for Ohio State and will start right away.

22. Buffalo Bills- James Daniels, C, Iowa

When Eric Wood had to retire, the Bills lost a great player. They also traded Cordy Glenn to Cincinnati and need to upgrade their offensive line. Daniels has risen up draft boards lately and can immediately fill in for Wood. This pick may be traded if they move up higher to draft a quarterback.

23. New England Patriots- Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State

The Patriots just traded for this pick by giving the Rams Brandin Cooks. Having two first-round picks is an odd territory for New England to be in. They are reportedly interested in Rudolph and have brought him in for a visit. Brian Hoyer is the current backup, but the Patriots need another young quarterback after trading Jacoby Brissett and Jimmy Garoppolo.

24. Carolina Panthers- Harold Landry, DE/OLB, Boston College

The Panthers signed Julius Peppers, but he won’t last much longer and they aren’t very deep at defensive end. Landry had a great 2016 season that put him on the map and followed it up with a solid season this year.

25. Tennessee Titans- Marcus Davenport, DE/OLB, UTSA

Davenport has the build of a great pass rusher and can rush from the outside linebacker position, but reports are the media like him more than NFL teams do. The Titans have Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan but can use a young pass rusher as well.

26. Atlanta Falcons- Carlton Davis, CB, Auburn 

Atlanta needs another corner to pair with Desmond Trufant and should try to take one early. Davis is a lengthy corner that has experience covering some good receivers in the SEC.

2018 NFL mock draft April 10

Lamar Jackson (Photo by dawgsbynature.com)

27. New Orleans Saints- Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville

Six quarterbacks going in the first round is looking like more of a likelihood. The Saints signed Tom Savage, but that’s not going to solve their issue after Brees retires. Taysom Hill is a backup they reportedly love, but he wasn’t highly thought of out of BYU. Jackson will likely go higher than this with a team trading up for him.

28. Pittsburgh Steelers- Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State

Vander Esch is another player that has been moving up draft boards. With Ryan Shazier not playing next year, the Steelers signed Jon Bostic. Him and Vince Williams will start, but that leaves a lot to be desired.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars- Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU

Sutton is a great outside receiver, who produced a lot at SMU. He does have some questions as to if he can produce against NFL competition. The Jaguars have a decent crop of young receivers but could use some more help at the position after the loss of Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns.

30. Minnesota Vikings- Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma

Brown had a bad combine, which may hurt his stock a little, but his game tape is great and shows a mauler. He may not have the athleticism to play left tackle in the NFL but could be a great right tackle. The Vikings’ offensive line is much better than last year, but can still be improved. With a good offense and defense, they can afford to make a good unit better.

31. New England Patriots- Donte Jackson, CB, LSU

With Malcolm Butler leaving, the Patriots need more help at corner. Jackson is a fast corner who is good in man to man coverage.

32. Philadelphia Eagles- Connor Williams, OT, Texas

They just won the Super Bowl with a backup quarterback and have a very solid roster. This pick could depend a lot on the health status of left tackle Jason Peters. If he isn’t healthy they’ll need a tackle. Williams’ draft stock has been all over the place, going from early first round to third round back into the first round.

 

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Los Angeles Chargers 2018 NFL Draft profile

The 2018 NFL Draft is just a few weeks away, which means that Draftmas is back. Draftmas will take a look at each NFL team heading into this year’s draft, what their needs are and who they could be targeting. Draftmas continues today with the Los Angeles Chargers 2018 NFL Draft profile.

Summary

Los Angeles Chargers 2018 NFL Draft Profile

Phillip Rivers (Photo by sportingnews.com)

The Chargers were able to get nine wins but just failed to qualify for the playoffs. With Phillip Rivers being near the end of his career, they will want to compete for a Super Bowl.

Rivers helped lead the team to the most net passing yards in the league last season. He also had the lowest interception percentage in his career at 1.7%. Wide receiver Keenan Allen being healthy for a full season aided Rivers in his good season. The rest of the receiving core is also solid with players like Tyrell Williams, Mike Williams and Travis Benjamin. Hunter Henry is also a threat from his tight end position.

Melvin Gordon not only is a great running back but fits the offense well with his ability to catch out of the backfield. The offensive line was improved with the signing of Mike Pouncey. The offensive tackles need to be improved before next season.

The defense is young and improving year by year. They do give up a lot of rushing yards, second-most in the NFL, and need to improve the interior of their defensive line.

They have a good pass defense, that features good pass rushers and corners. The Chargers ranked third against the pass last season and with the emergence of Joey Bosa, quarterbacks will not have a lot of time to throw. For them to really have an elite defense, they will also need to add some safety help.

Picks and Needs

The Chargers have seven picks in this draft to help them for next season.

First round (1 pick): 17

Second round (1): 48

Third round (1): 84

Fourth round (1): 119

Fifth round (1): 155

Sixth round (1): 191

Seventh round (1): 251

Offensive needs:

Offensive tackle- Joseph Barksdale needs to be replaced and depth at the position is needed. Rivers needs to be protected in his last few years because if he gets injured, the Chargers’ chances of winning decreases a substantial amount.

Quarterback- Phillip Rivers can’t play forever. Geno Smith was signed, but that is not the long-term answer. Taking a developmental quarterback in this draft needs to happen, even if it isn’t in the first few rounds.

Wide receiver- While the receivers are solid, someone needs to step up next to Keenan Allen. If Mike Williams can’t another receiver will be needed. This isn’t a huge need because they do have some talent and Williams should be able to step up this season if healthy.

Defensive needs:

Defensive tackle- The Chargers couldn’t stop the run last year and selecting a defensive tackle or nose tackle would help drastically. A good interior defensive linemen would also take some of the focus off of Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram.

Safety- There aren’t many weak points on the defense, but improving the safety position could help make this unit elite. They haven’t had great safety play since Eric Weddle was on the roster.

Targets

Los Angeles Chargers 2018 NFL Draft profile

Derwin James (Photo by sbnation.com)

First round:

Pick No. 17: Derwin James, S, Florida State

James is very athletic but didn’t really play a set position at Florida State. He was much like Jabrill Peppers in that regard but can be a productive safety in the NFL. With teams trading up for quarterbacks and others classifying Minkah Fitzpatrick as a safety, James could fall to the Chargers and fill a big need.

Second round: 

Pick No. 48: B.J. Hill, DT, N.C. State

Hill is a little overshadowed by playing on the same defensive line as Bradley Chubb, but he is a great player in his own right. He is good against the run and can take on multiple blockers. At N.C. State, he played a lot over his four seasons. Hill also impressed scouts at the Senior Bowl and would fit a need on the defensive line.

Third round: 

Pick No. 84: Martinas Rankin, OT, Mississippi State

The way the current offense is constructed, Rankin would present great value. He is one of the best pass blocking tackles in the class and can help extend Rivers’ career by protecting him. Rankin can start off at right tackle and eventually move over to left tackle when Russel Okung ages too much.

 

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2018 NFL mock draft April 3

It’s officially draft month as the calendar has flipped to April. With the draft coming up at the end of the month, who will each team pick in the first round?

2018 NFL Mock draft April 3

Josh Allen (Photo by usatoday.com)

1. Cleveland Browns- Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

The rumors now are that the Browns are going to select Josh Allen with the first overall pick. How long will this rumor last? Nobody knows. While Allen certainly has flaws in his decision-making and accuracy, he does have a strong arm and is athletic. He competed in all the drills at the combine and got some audible cheers when he displayed his arm strength. When general manager John Dorsey was with the Chiefs last year, he drafted a risky, strong-armed quarterback in Pat Mahomes and may take a similar risk this year, being that he has Tyrod Taylor behind center.

2. New York Giants- Sam Darnold, QB, USC

When one rumor starts, the other rumors will start. Now it looks like the Giants will select Darnold if he is still available. Darnold struggled this season with his decision-making which led to a lot of turnovers. He also has a flawed throwing motion. Although he went to the NFL Combine, he didn’t compete on the field and just interviewed with teams. Some have Darnold as their top quarterback, but his decision-making and ball security need to improve.

3. New York Jets- Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA

The Jets traded up to three and guaranteed themselves a quarterback, but they don’t even know who they will get. In this scenario, they would take Josh Rosen. No major questions about Rosen arose from the NFL Draft Combine interviews, which is good news for him. Rosen had to carry UCLA and ended up having a successful season. He needed to have a good year to clear up any doubts about his shoulder injury he suffered during his sophomore season.

4. Cleveland Browns- Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State

Yes, the Browns did just sign Carlos Hyde, but Barkley is still the best player in the class. With the trades for Jarvis Landry and Tyrod Taylor, Cleveland is making a concerted effort to improve the offense and with Barkley, they would have a lot of options in 2018.

5. Denver Broncos- Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame

Denver is in a prime position to get the fourth best quarterback in the class, Quenton Nelson or trade down to other teams seeking quarterbacks. If they stay at this pick and John Elway isn’t enamored with the remaining quarterbacks, he will select Nelson. Nelson is one of the best players in the class and will be drafted early despite playing a position that doesn’t usually get talked about this soon. He has Hall of Fame potential.

6. Indianapolis Colts- Bradley Chubb, DE/OLB, N.C. State

The Colts pulled off a fantastic trade and will likely still get their first target in the NFL Draft. They could even trade down again. Frank Reich will be looking forward to working with Andrew Luck. When he is back, the offense will figure itself out. They can improve the defense to make the team more complete when Luck comes back. Chubb is a great pass rusher who has 10 sacks in each of the past two seasons. He displayed a good combination of size and speed at the combine.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Minkah Fitzpatrick, S/CB, Alabama

He likely fits in best as a safety in the NFL, but can also play corner. Whichever he needs to play, he will excel at. His 4.47 40 yard dash time at the combine was right in line where he should have run. Tampa’s secondary needs to be upgraded immediately if they wish to compete in the NFC South.

8. Chicago Bears- Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State

Chicago has signed Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel to bolster its wide receiver core. This means they may choose to address the secondary. The Ohio State product is a good cover corner, who isn’t afraid to get physical. He is a little slight and will need to put on some weight.

9. San Francisco 49ers- Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama

Ridley is the best route-runner in the class and only lacked production in college because of the system he played in and inconsistent quarterback play. If they want to have a good offense, they will need to have a good target for Jimmy Garopolo.

2018 NFL Mock draft April 3

Vita Vea (Photo by nfldraftdiamonds.com)

10. Oakland Raiders- Vita Vea, DT/NT, Washington

Vea can play both defensive tackle and nose tackle, depending on the scheme a team runs, which is valuable. He has great size at 6’5″ and 340 pounds, which makes him disruptive. Vea did suffer a hamstring injury at the combine. Oakland needs to get someone on the interior of the defensive line to stop the run and take some of the blockers off of Khalil Mack.

11. Miami Dolphins- Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia

Smith was the best linebacker in college football this year and does a little bit of everything well. He is especially fast, which is crucial for his coverage and tracking down of ball carriers. The Dolphins have Raekwon McMillan and Kiko Alonso, but McMillan got injured before his impact could be seen. They will still need a third linebacker.

12. Buffalo Bills- Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma

The Bills are trying to move up again to get a quarterback but could be deciding between Mayfield and Lamar Jackson. Mayfield has defied all the critics who have mentioned his size as a reason not to draft him. He can make all the throws and is athletic enough to avoid pass rushers. His main calling card is his accuracy, which is the best in this draft class. He said as much in his interviews with the media at the NFL Combine.

13. Washington Redskins- Da’Ron Payne, DL, Alabama

Washington’s interior of the defensive line can be improved, as they allowed the most rushing yards per game in the NFL. Payne’s stats aren’t eye-popping, but he often gets double teamed. He is very athletic for his size and even played some offense in certain situations for Nick Saban at Alabama.

14. Green Bay Packers- Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech

Edmunds does just about everything on the football field well, as a good cover linebacker, rusher and run stopper. He is also big and athletic. The Packers need to make the defense better for when Aaron Rodgers gets the offense going again and he has alluded to it as much this offseason.

15. Arizona Cardinals- Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame

The Cardinals signed an injury-prone quarterback in Sam Bradford, and Mike Glennon, so they need to protect them. Orlando Brown had a rough combine, while Connor Williams has some questions about his length. McGlinchey might be the safest pick because even if he can’t be a great left tackle, he can move over to the right and be successful.

16. Baltimore Ravens- Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU

Sutton is a great outside receiver, who produced a lot at SMU. Baltimore signed Michael Crabtree, but need more talent at the receiver position as a whole.

2018 NFL mock draft April 3

Derwin James (photo by tallahassee.com)

17. Los Angeles Chargers- Derwin James, S, Florida State

Some of the trades that have happened in the last few weeks have helped teams that weren’t even in them. Now James might fall to the Chargers, who need a safety. He is athletic but doesn’t necessarily have a set position, which is turning some teams off. He ran a 4.48 at the combine and has great size for a defensive back, making him valuable.

18. Seattle Seahawks- Joshua Jackson, CB, Iowa

Jackson turned into an All-American corner at Iowa this season and has shown the ability to make acrobatic interceptions. With Richard Sherman gone, the Seahawks need a corner and can take Jackson if they feel he can fit in their zone-coverage scheme.

19. Dallas Cowboys- Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama

Evans is a quick, run stopping linebacker that can help out right away. The Cowboys current linebackers all have played different positions throughout their career, so Evans should be able to slide in and produce alongside them.

20. Detriot Lions- Taven Bryan, DT, Michigan

The Lions could go with an offensive lineman or running back, but they do have some holes on the defensive line. Taven Bryan could take some pressure off of Ziggy Ansah.

21. Cincinnati Bengals- Billy Price, OG/C, Ohio State

Cincinnati got Cordy Glenn with their trade down to this pick, but their offensive line is still very weak. Price has tons of experience at guard and center for Ohio State and will start right away.

22. Buffalo Bills- James Daniels, C, Iowa

When Eric Wood had to retire, the Bills lost a great player. They also traded Cordy Glenn to Cincinnati and need to upgrade their offensive line. Daniels has risen up draft boards lately and can immediately fill in for Wood. This pick may be traded if they move up higher to draft a quarterback.

23. Los Angeles Rams- Marcus Davenport, DE/OLB, UTSA

Los Angeles will get good pressure from Ndamukong Suh and Aaron Donald, but need better outside pass rushers, especially after trading Robert Quinn to Miami. Davenport has the build of a great pass rusher and can rush from the outside linebacker position, but reports are the media like him more than NFL teams do.

24. Carolina Panthers- Harold Landry, DE/OLB, Boston College

The Panthers signed Julius Peppers, but he won’t last much longer and they aren’t very deep at defensive end. Landry had a great 2016 season that put him on the map and followed it up with a solid season this year.

25. Tennessee Titans- Isaiah Wynn, OG/C, Georgia

Wynn played well in the Senior Bowl and the College Football Playoff for Georgia. He played tackle in college and will move inside for the NFL. The Titans need to improve the interior of their offensive line to help their young players at skill positions.

2018 NFL mock draft April 3

Carlton Davis (Photo by al.com)

26. Atlanta Falcons- Carlton Davis, CB, Auburn

Atlanta needs another corner to pair with Desmond Trufant and should try to take one early. Davis is a lengthy corner that has experience covering some good receivers in the SEC.

27. New Orleans Saints- Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State

Vander Esch is another player that has been moving up draft boards. The Saints don’t have much at linebacker and can get a starter from day one here.

28. Pittsburgh Steelers- Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville

Jackson will likely go higher than this with a team trading up for him. The Steelers could take a quarterback because Ben Roethlisberger is often injured and has recently contemplated retirement. The organization has some experience with ahtletic quarterbacks, albeit a long time ago with Kordell Stewart, and can use Jackson similarly early in his career if Roethlisberger stays healthy.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars- Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M 

Kirk is dynamic when he has the ball in his hands and can play in the slot or on the outside. Jacksonville really doesn’t have too many needs and have said they are sticking with Blake Bortles at quarterback. The Jaguars have a decent crop of young receivers but could use some more help at the position after the loss of Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns.

30. Minnesota Vikings- Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma

Brown had a bad combine, which may hurt his stock a little, but his game tape is great and shows a mauler. He may not have the athleticism to play left tackle in the NFL but could be a great right tackle. The Vikings’ offensive line is much better than last year, but can still be improved. With a good offense and defense, they can afford to make a good unit better.

31. New England Patriots- Donte Jackson, CB, LSU

With Malcolm Butler leaving, the Patriots need more help at corner. Jackson is a fast corner who is good in man to man coverage.

32. Philadelphia Eagles- Connor Williams, OT, Texas

They just won the Super Bowl with a backup quarterback and have a very solid roster. This pick could depend a lot on the health status of left tackle Jason Peters. If he isn’t healthy they’ll need a tackle. Williams’ draft stock has been all over the place, going from early first round to third round back into the first round.

 

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San Francisco 49ers 2018 NFL Draft profile

The 2018 NFL Draft is now under a month away, which means that Draftmas is back. Draftmas will take a look at each NFL team heading into the NFL Draft, what their needs are and who they could be targeting. You will find it here. Draftmas will continue with the San Francisco 49ers 2018 NFL Draft profile. 

Summary

San Francisco 49ers 2018 NFL Draft profile

49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. (Photo from usatoday.com)

For the San Francisco 49ers, the beginning of the 2017 season was a complete disaster. The 49ers lost their first nine games and entered December with a 1-10 record. They then got hot, winning their last five games in a row. This hot streak was sparked by the addition of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who came in a trade with the New England Patriots.

Offensively, the 49ers exceeded all expectations, thanks to new head coach Kyle Shanahan. The 49ers ranked ninth in passing yards per game and 12th in total offense. Their rushing attack was not as impressive, ranking 21st in the league. The struggles in the running game were mainly due to average offensive line play and constantly playing from behind last season.

The Garoppolo trade was the highlight of the year in San Francisco, and it appears that the 49ers now have their quarterback of the future. Garoppolo signed a five-year, $137 million contract extension with the team in February. The 49ers will look to add talent around their new quarterback during the offseason. They recently signed running back Jerick McKinnon and center Weston Richburg in free agency.

On defense, the 49ers ranked near the bottom of the league in nearly every category. Despite having some talented players (DeForest Buckner and Reuben Foster), the Niners struggled to stop anyone in 2017. The team signed former Seattle Seahawk Richard Sherman to a three-year deal, but there is still much more work to be done.

Aside from defensive tackle and cornerback, the 49ers could use help at any position on the defensive side of the ball.

Picks and Needs

The San Francisco 49ers have nine picks in the 2018 NFL Draft. This will give them plenty of opportunities to continue rebuilding their team with young talent.

First round (1 pick): 9

Second round (1): 59

Third round (1): 70, 74

Fourth round (1): 128

Fifth round (1): 143

Sixth round (1): 184

Seventh round (1): 223, 240

San Francisco 49ers 2018 NFL Draft profile

Former Minnesota Vikings running back Jerick McKinnon. McKinnon signed a four-year deal with the 49ers this offseason. (Photo by Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports)

Offensive needs:

Running back – This may be an odd choice since the 49ers recently signed Jerick McKinnon to a four-year, $30 million deal. However, McKinnon and Matt Breida are both pass-catching backs. Adding a power back later in the draft for early downs will form a more complete running back room.

Wide receiver – Pierre Garcon and Marquise Goodwin are talented pass catchers, but neither are true No. 1 receivers. Finding Garoppolo a legitimate weapon in the passing game would make this offense one of the league’s best.

Guard – The 49ers signed free agents Weston Richburg and Jonathan Cooper in free agency to help their offensive line. However, if you are going to pay your quarterback over $27 million per year, you need to do everything possible to protect him.

Defensive needs:

Linebacker – When he is on the field, Reuben Foster is a force in the middle of the 49ers defense. However, outside linebackers Malcolm Smith and Eli Harold are just average starters. Adding more talent around Foster will help unlock his full potential and fix the run defense.

Safety – The absence of Eric Reid leaves a hole in the back of the defense. The 49ers’ pass defense was below average in 2017, and a rangy free safety will help limit any big passing plays. With a new safety and an improved cornerback group, the 49ers’ secondary could greatly improve.

Targets

First round:

Pick No. 9: Derwin James, S, Florida State

As a former safety himself, general manager John Lynch knows the importance of an enforcer in the backfield. Derwin James is best suited as a strong safety but can play free safety as well. He is extremely versatile and can excel in almost any defensive scheme. In his time at Florida State, he displayed excellent ball skills and tackling ability. If the 49ers can pair James with their improved cornerback corps, their secondary could quietly be one of the league’s best.

Second round:

Pick No. 59: Will Hernandez, OG, UTEP

Hernandez may not make it past the first round, but this year’s draft is very deep for interior offensive linemen. This may allow Hernandez to slip to the 49ers at pick No. 59. Hernandez is somewhat undersized but has all of the traits of a starting guard in the NFL. He displayed excellent strength and run-blocking ability and performs adequately in pass protection. If Hernandez manages to fall to pick No. 59, the 49ers should jump at the chance to draft him.

Third round:

San Francisco 49ers 2018 NFL Draft profile

Georgia running back Nick Chubb. Chubb is expected to be picked between the second and fourth round. (Photo from cbssports.com)

Pick No. 70: Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia

Nick Chubb is the type of running back that could be the thunder to Jerick McKinnon’s lightning. He does not display excellent speed or catching ability but could be a solid early-down back. Chubb runs with a low center of gravity and is very strong in between the tackles. If he falls this far in the draft, the 49ers can form an impressive three-headed running back committee.

Pick No. 74: Anthony Miller, WR, Memphis

Wide receiver is not a deep position in this year’s draft, so it may be wise to wait until the later rounds to add another pass catcher. Miller is not the big-bodied threat the 49ers need but can be a strong supporting member in the passing game. He shows outstanding potential with good route running and work ethic. Miller still needs to improve his reliability and avoid costly drops. If so, he could get playing time early as the 49ers’ third receiver.

Conclusion

The San Francisco 49ers’ main goal during the draft should be to surround Jimmy Garoppolo with as much talent as possible. With a limited amount of talented tight ends and wide receivers, the 49ers may focus on improving the running game, which was one of the league’s worst in 2017. After having a solid draft, the 49ers may have a chance at making the playoffs as a Wild Card in 2018.

Enjoy the days of Draftmas here at The Game Haus! Make sure to tune in tomorrow for the Oakland Raiders 2018 NFL Draft profile.

 

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2018 NFL mock draft March 27

Free agency and trades have turned the NFL on its head. With a lot of team needs being addressed, fans can look forward to the draft in just under a month. Here is the 2018 NFL mock draft March 27.

1. Cleveland Browns- Sam Darold, QB, USC

The Browns have done a great job of keeping who they prefer at quarterback under wraps. First, it was Baker Mayfield, but now Sam Darnold is the favorite at quarterback. Hue Jackson has loved big, strong-armed quarterbacks in the past. Darnold struggled this season with his decision-making which led to a lot of turnovers. He also has a flawed throwing motion. Although he went to the NFL Combine, he didn’t compete on the field and just interviewed with teams. Some have Darnold as their top quarterback, but his decision-making needs to improve.

2. New York Giants- Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA

No major questions about Rosen arose from the NFL Draft Combine interviews, which is good news for him. Rosen had to carry UCLA and ended up having a successful season. He needed to have a good year to clear up any doubts about his shoulder injury he suffered during his sophomore season. Eli Manning will need an heir apparent, as Davis Webb isn’t the answer.

2018 NFL mock draft March 27

Baker Mayfield (Photo by predominantlyorange.com)

3. New York Jets- Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma

The Jets have moved up to number three to get a quarterback, but who will they draft? Mayfield has defied all the critics who have mentioned his size as a reason not to draft him. He can make all the throws and is athletic enough to avoid pass rushers. His main calling card is his accuracy, which is the best in this draft class. He said as much in his interviews with the media in Indianapolis.

4. Cleveland Browns- Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State

Yes, the Browns did just sign Carlos Hyde, but Barkley is still the best player in the class. With the trades for Jarvis Landry and Tyrod Taylor, Cleveland is making a concerted effort to improve the offense and with Barkley, they would have a lot of options in 2018.

5. Denver Broncos- Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

Denver got Case Keenum in free agency, but he’s already 30 years old. While Allen certainly has flaws in his decision-making and accuracy, he does have a strong arm and is athletic. John Elway went to Boise, Idaho to watch him in his bowl game personally. He competed in all the drills at the combine and got some audible cheers when he displayed his arm strength. The Broncos have a solid roster and can afford to use a pick on a developmental quarterback. If they don’t select a quarterback, they will likely go with Quenton Nelson to help their offensive line.

6. Indianapolis Colts- Bradley Chubb, DE/OLB, N.C. State

The Colts pulled off a fantastic trade and will likely still get their first target in the NFL Draft. Frank Reich will be looking forward to working with Andrew Luck. When he is back, the offense will figure itself out. They can improve the defense to make the team more complete when Luck comes back. Chubb is a great pass rusher who has 10 sacks in each of the past two seasons. He displayed a good combination of size and speed at the combine.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame

Tampa Bay needs to protect Jameis Winston to ensure that he has a good year. Nelson is one of the best players in the class and will be drafted early despite playing a position that doesn’t usually get talked about this soon.

8. Chicago Bears- Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State

Chicago has signed Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel to bolster its wide receiver core. This means they may choose to address the secondary. The Ohio State product is a good cover corner, who isn’t afraid to get physical. He is a little slight and will need to put on some weight.

9. San Francisco 49ers- Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama

Ridley is the best route-runner in the class and only lacked production in college because of the system he played in and inconsistent quarterback play. If they want to have a good offense, they will need to have a good target for Jimmy Garopolo.

10. Oakland Raiders- Minkah Fitzpatrick, S/CB, Alabama

Tahir Whitehead was signed at linebacker in free agency, so the Raiders may elect to go in a different direction. With some of the trades and signings that occurred, Fitzpatrick could slip to this pick. He likely fits in best as a safety in the NFL, but can also play corner. Whichever he needs to play, he will excel at. His 4.47 40 yard dash time at the combine was right in line where he should have run.

11. Miami Dolphins- Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia

Smith was the best linebacker in college football this year and does a little bit of everything well. He is especially fast, which is crucial for his coverage and tracking down of ball carriers. The Dolphins have Raekwon McMillan and Kiko Alonso, but McMillan got injured before his impact could be seen. They will still need a third linebacker.

2018 NFL mock draft March 27

Lamar Jackson (Photo by boltsfromtheblue.com)

12. Buffalo Bills- Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville

The Bills moved up this far with their trade with the Bengals, but don’t be surprised if they move up again to get a better quarterback. They signed A.J. McCarron, but there really wasn’t a reason to move up unless they were taking a quarterback.  Some people are questioning whether Jackson can play quarterback, but he showed improved accuracy this season and is a dynamic playmaker. He should be given a shot to play the position in the NFL.

13. Washington Redskins- Vita Vea, DT/NT, Washington

Vea can play both defensive tackle and nose tackle, depending on the scheme a team runs, which is valuable. He has great size at 6’5″ and 340 pounds, which makes him disruptive. Vea did suffer a hamstring injury at the combine. Washington’s interior of the defensive line can be improved, as they allowed the most rushing yards per game in the NFL.

14. Green Bay Packers- Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech

Edmunds does just about everything on the football field well, as a good cover linebacker, rusher and run stopper. The Packers need to make the defense better for when Aaron Rodgers gets the offense going again and he has alluded to it as much this offseason.

15. Arizona Cardinals- Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU

Sutton is a great outside receiver, who produced a lot at SMU. The Cardinals could go quarterback here, but that would be a reach, so they should find a wide receiver to put aside Larry Fitzgerald.

16. Baltimore Ravens- Da’Ron Payne, DL, Alabama

Payne’s stats aren’t eye-popping, but he often gets double teamed. The Ravens don’t have many good defensive linemen and can immediately get an upgrade if they select Payne.

17. Los Angeles Chargers- Derwin James, S, Florida State

Some of the trades that have happened in the last few weeks have helped teams that weren’t even in them. Now James might fall to the Chargers, who need a safety. He is athletic but doesn’t necessarily have a set position, which is turning some teams off. He ran a 4.48 at the combine and has great size for a defensive back, making him valuable.

18. Seattle Seahawks- Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame

Orlando Brown had a rough combine, while Connor Williams has some questions about his length. McGlinchey might be the safest pick because even if he can’t be a great left tackle, he can move over to the right and be successful. The Seahawks need a few good offensive linemen and might elect to go for the player with the highest floor.

19. Dallas Cowboys- Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama

Evans is a quick, run stopping linebacker that can help out right away. The Cowboys current linebackers all have played different positions throughout their career, so Evans should be able to slide in and produce alongside them.

20. Detroit Lions- Taven Bryan, DT, Florida

The Lions could go with an offensive lineman or running back, but they do have some holes on the defensive line. Taven Bryan could take some pressure off of Ziggy Ansah.

2018 NFL mock draft March 27

Billy Price (Photo by hogshaven.com)

21. Cincinnati Bengals- Billy Price, G/C, Ohio State

Cincinnati got Cordy Glenn with their trade down to this pick, but their offensive line is still very weak. Price has tons of experience at guard and center for Ohio State and will start right away.

22. Buffalo Bills- James Daniels, C, Iowa

When Eric Wood had to retire, the Bills lost a great player. They also traded Cordy Glenn to Cincinnati and need to upgrade their offensive line. Daniels has risen up draft boards lately and can immediately fill in for Wood. This pick may be traded if they move up higher to draft a quarterback.

23. Los Angeles Rams- Marcus Davenport, DE/OLB, UTSA

Los Angeles has good inside pressure in Aaron Donald and Michael Brockers, but need better outside pass rushers, especially after trading Robert Quinn to Miami. Davenport has the build of a great pass rusher, but reports are the media like him more than NFL teams do.

24. Carolina Panthers- Harold Landry, DE/OLB, Boston College

The Panthers signed Julius Peppers, but he won’t last much longer and they aren’t very deep at defensive end. Landry had a great 2016 season that put him on the map and followed it up with a solid season this year.

25. Tennessee Titans- Isaiah Wynn, OG/C, Georgia

Wynn played well in the Senior Bowl and the College Football Playoff for Georgia. The Titans need to improve the interior of their offensive line to help their young players at skill positions.

26. Atlanta Falcons- Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa

Jackson turned into an All-American corner at Iowa this season and has shown the ability to make acrobatic interceptions.  If Jackson falls this far, the Falcons will run to the podium to draft him. Atlanta needs another corner to pair with Desmond Trufant and should try to take one early.

27. New Orleans Saints- Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State

Vander Esch is another player that has been moving up draft boards. The Saints don’t have much at linebacker and can get a starter from day one here

28. Pittsburgh Steelers- Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama

Harrison is a good strong safety prospect, who plays physically. Despite being known for all of their great safeties throughout their history, the Steelers are very bad at the position right now.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars- Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M 

Kirk is dynamic when he has the ball in his hands and can play in the slot or on the outside. Jacksonville really doesn’t have too many needs and have said they are sticking with Blake Bortles at quarterback. The Jaguars have a decent crop of young receivers, but they rarely stay healthy.

2018 NFL mock draft March 27

Orlando Brown (Photo by sbnation.com)

30. Minnesota Vikings- Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma

Brown had a bad combine, which may hurt his stock a little, but his game tape is great and shows a mauler. He may not have the athleticism to play left tackle in the NFL but could be a great right tackle. The Vikings’ offensive line is much better than last year, but can still be improved. With a good offense and defense, they can afford to make a good unit better.

31. New England Patriots- Donte Jackson, CB, LSU

With Malcolm Butler leaving, the Patriots need more help at corner. Jackson is a fast corner who is good in man to man coverage.

32. Philadelphia Eagles- Connor Williams, OT, Texas

They just won the Super Bowl with a backup quarterback and have a very solid roster. This pick could depend a lot on the health status of left tackle Jason Peters. If he isn’t healthy they’ll need a tackle. Williams’ draft stock has been all over the place, going from early first round to third round back into the first round.

 

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