Author: DriveToTheDraft

2018 NFL Draft in Review, NFC West

Arizona Cardinals

Draft picks: UCLA QB Josh Rosen (No. 10 overall), Texas A&M WR Christian Kirk (No. 47 overall), Michigan C Mason Cole (No. 97 overall), Fordham RB Chase Edmonds (No. 134 overall), Penn State DB Christian Campbell (No. 182 overall), Cincinnati OT Korey Cunningham (No. 254 overall). 
 

While Arizona’s intentions were very public in that they had plans to move up to select one of the top 4 quarterbacks in the draft it almost seemed like a fairy tale that they would be able to maneuver there way high enough up in the first round to draft one. The Cardinals ended Rosen’s slide by moving up to the 10 spot taking the best pocket QB and best pure thrower in the class. Kirk also saw his stock decline and was an excellent addition at pick 47. Kirk is a playmaker from the slot and as a return man. Mason Cole played tackle out of necessity for Michigan last fall but will go back to center in the NFL. Edmonds might be a good compliment to David Johnson in the backfield. Campbell might compete to take some of the snaps left vacant by the Mathieu as a versatile defensive back.

 

Los Angeles Rams

Draft picks: TCU OT Joseph Noteboom (No. 89 overall), Michigan State C Brian Allen (No. 111 overall), Stephen F. Austin DE John Franklin-Myers (No. 135 overall), Virginia LB Micah Kiser (No. 147 overall), Oklahoma LB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (No. 160 overall), Tennessee RB John Kelly (No. 176 overall), Maine OG Jamil Demby (No. 192 overall), Rutgers DT Sebastian Joseph (No. 195 overall), Louisville LB Trevon Youg (No. 205 overall), TCU LB Travin Howard (No. 231), SMU DE Justin Lawler (No. 244 overall). 
 

The Rams are in win-now mode as they parted with a lot of draft capital to pick up some veterans. Noteboom will be able to compete at both left and right tackle and add depth to the Ram’s offensive line. Brian Allen is a tough nosed player and will fit in nicely in the interior. Franklin-Myers is someone that can contribute on the edge. Kiser is a good fit in the defense and could be an early favorite to win a starting spot at linebacker. Okoronkwo was dominant at Oklahoma as a pass rusher but does not have the length that usually wins in the NFL. Expect that Wade Phillips has a plan for his unique skill set. John Kelly was a good value at pick 176 and can develop into a strong number two back. The Rams drafted more edge/linebacker players late in the draft in hopes that one or two might stand out.

San Francisco 49ers

Draft picks: Notre Dame OT Mike McGlinchey (No. 9 overall), Washington WR Dante Pettis (No. 44 overall), BYU LB Fred Warner (No. 70 overall), Southern Mississippi S Tarvarius Moore (No. 95 overall), N.C. State DE Kentavius Street (No. 128 overall), Kansas State DB DJ Reed (No. 142 overall), Florida DB Marcell Harris (No. 184 overall), Temple DT Jullian Taylor (No. 223 overall), Middle Tennessee WR Richie James (No. 240 overall). 
 

When you have as much invested in a young QB as the 49ers do it is understandable why it was such a priority to beef up the offensive line. With that said, it must have been so difficult for Lynch, former safety, to pass on defensive stars such including Edmunds, James, Fitzpatrick, and Davenport. McGlinchey is a tough, smart, and well coached tackle. Mike is not an elite athlete in pass pro but is dominant as a run blocker. With Pettis, the 49ers are not only getting a solid WR, but also one of college football’s all time best punt returners. Warner will add depth and compete for time at linebacker. Moore was a quiet prospect who could develop into a starter at safety down the road. Street is a good athlete and can play up and down the defensive line but will need coaching to reach his potential. DJ Reed might be an option to play the slot early and also has experience on special teams. Harris and Taylor will try to add depth to the 49er’s defense while James is a sleeper to make the team at WR.

Seattle Seahawks

Draft picks: San Diego State RB Rashaad Penny (No. 27 overall), USC DE Rasheem Green (No. 79 overall), Washington TE Will Dissly (No. 120 overall), UCF LB Shaquem Griffin (No. 141 overall), Oklahoma State S Tre Flowers (No. 146 overall), Texas P Michael Dickson (No. 149 overall), Ohio State OT Jamarco Jones (No. 168 overall), Temple DE Jacob Martin (No. 186 overall), Florida International QB Alex McGough (No. 220 overall). 
 

Penny is a good back and Pete Carroll probably doesn’t care that the rest of us think picking him at number 27 was a reach. Seattle fans won’t care either if Penny develops into the lead back that the team has been lacking since Lynch left. Green is a versatile defensive lineman and is a natural fit in Seattle’s aggressive system. Dissly is an excellent blocker who needs some development as a receiving option at the TE position. Seattle stole the spotlight on day three by selecting Griffin to team up with his brother on the defense. Not only was Shaq a feel good story but he is also a great value that late in the draft. Tre Flowers has good size and will be a fit in the defense. Dickson is an excellent punter and will likely win the job this season. Jones is a good tackle who handled good competition week in and week out in the Big Ten East. Seattle did not have enough draft spots to fill in all of their holes in an aging roster but were able to get some good players.

2018 NFL Draft in Review, NFC South

Atlanta Falcons

Draft picks: Alabama WR Calvin Ridley (No. 26 overall), Colorado CB Isaiah Oliver (No. 58 overall), South Florida DT Deadrin Senat (No. 90 overall), Southern Mississippi RB Ito Smith (No. 126 overall), LSU WR Russell Gage (No. 194 overall), Yale LB Foyesade Oluokun (No. 200 overall)

The Falcons nabbed the best receiver in the class at pick 26. Ridley joins a super talented WR room and will probably see most of his targets come from the slot early. Oliver was another nice value at pick 58 and is a corner that should develop into a starter. Senat went a bit higher than expected but is a good prospect that checks off a team need. Ito Smith can do a bit of everything although there seemed to be some other options at RB worth looking at instead. Gage and Oluokun are two late round prospects that will have the opportunity to make the team.

 

Carolina Panthers

Draft picks: Maryland WR DJ Moore (No. 24 overall), LSU CB Donte Jackson (No. 55 overall), Tennessee DB Rashaan Gaulden (No. 85 overall), Indiana TE Ian Thomas (No. 101 overall), Mississippi LB Marquis Haynes(No. 136 overall), Maryland LB Jermaine Carter (No. 161 overall), North Carolina LB Andre Smith (No. 234 overall), Miami DT Kendrick Norton (No. 242 overall). 
 

DJ Moore raced up draft boards as he can wear a lot of different hats at the receiver position. Donte Jackson has track speed but plays even faster than he times on the track. Gaulden is a sticky defender than can play nickel, corner, and safety. Ian Thomas is an underrated TE who broke out during his senior season despite inconsistent QB play at Indiana. Haynes can rush the passer from sub-packages although he has a very slim frame. Carter and Smith will compete for snaps at linebacker while Norton is a good value at pick 242 at DT.

 

New Orleans Saints

Draft picks: UTSA edge rusher Marcus Davenport (No. 14 overall), UCF WR Tre’Quan Smith (No. 91 overall), Florida State OT Rick Leonard (No. 127 overall), Wisconsin S Natrell Jamerson (No. 164 overall), Boston College DB Kamrin Moore (No. 189 overall), Louisiana Tech RB Boston Scott (No. 201 overall), LSU C Will Clapp (No. 245). 

In one of the more shocking moves of the draft the Saints used two first round picks on Marcus Davenport to bolster the pass rush. Davenport is talented but a little raw. The Saints were without a second round pick this season as they used it to move up to take Kamara last year. Smith was picked in the third round to give Brees another WR to work with as he develops. Leonard by all estimates was a reach as he is switching sides of the ball to the offensive line. Jamerson and Moore provide depth in the secondary while Clapp will compete for an interior offensive line roster spot.

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Draft picks: Washington DT Vita Vea (No. 12 overall), USC RB Ronald Jones (No. 38 overall), North Carolina DB MJ Stewart(No. 53 overall), Auburn CB Carlton Davis (No. 63 overall), Humboldt State OG Alex Cappa (No. 94 overall), Pittsburgh S Jordan Whitehead (No. 117 overall), Pennsylvania WR Justin Watson (No. 144 overall), Wisconsin LB Jack Cichy (No. 202 overall).

The Buccs were able to move down the board and still select the player they coveted in Vea. If Vea can keep his wait under control and tap into his potential he can be a difference maker in the front seven. Ronald Jones is a threat to score every time he touches the ball and gives the team another playmaker on offense. Stewart is an impressive prospect at CB. Davis is a good press corner who will compete for one of the outside CB positions. The team added Whitehead who is a versatile safety that will provide depth. Cappa is a good prospect who might compete for time at guard this season. Cichy missed his senior season with an injury but will provide depth at linebacker.

2018 NFL Draft In Review, NFC North

Chicago Bears

Draft picks: Georgia LB Roquan Smith (No. 8 overall), Iowa C James Daniels (No. 39 overall), Memphis WR Anthony Miller (No. 51 overall), Western Kentucky LB Joel Iyiegbuniwe (No. 115 overall), Delaware DE Bilal Nichols (No. 145 overall), Utah Edge Defender Kylie Fitts (No. 181 overall), Georgia WR Javon Wims

 

The people of Chicago have been spoiled with excellent linebacker play through the years and may have found another good one in Smith. Smith is a sideline to sideline player who will slide right into one of the inside positions in Chicago’s 3-4. Rookie of The Year candidate. The Bears seem set at center which means the very athletic Daniels will start his career at one of the guard spots most likely. Miller is an extremely competitive wideout that plays with an edge. Iyiebuniwe might have been drafted a round early but will add depth. Nichols and Fitts are more than capable of adding depth and seeing the field their rookie years in the front seven. Wims is a former basketball player who is still learning the game but has some upside potential.

 

Detroit Lions

Draft picks: Arkansas C/OG Frank Ragnow (No. 20 overall), Auburn RB Kerryon Johnson (No. 43 overall), Louisiana-Lafayette DB Tracy Walker (No. 82 overall), Alabama DT Da’Shawn Hand (No. 114 overall), Oregon OT Tyrell Crosby (No. 153 overall), San Diego State RB Nick Bawden (No. 237 overall). 

 

The Lions got more physical on the offensive line with the selection of Ragnow who can play center or guard and Crosby who can play either guard or tackle. Ragnow is a very smart and physical interior lineman who will push the pile. Crosby was an exceptional value at pick 153 and is going to be an asset in the run game. Sticking to the toughness theme RB Kerryon Johnson is a back that has a reputation of being able to play through pain and carry a workload. Walker was a very surprising pick at 82 as there seemed to be higher ranked corners at the position available. Hand will be a good piece in the new defense and is versatile on the line.

Green Bay Packers

Draft picks: Louisville CB Jaire Alexander (No. 18 overall), Iowa CB Josh Jackson (No. 45 overall), Vanderbilt LB Oren Burks (No. 88 overall), Missouri WR J’Mon Moore (No. 133 overall), Washington State OG Cole Madison (No. 138 overall), Alabama P J.K. Scott (No. 172 overall), South Florida WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling (No. 174 overall), Notre Dame WR Equanimeous St. Brown (No. 207 overall), Cal DT James Looney (No. 232 overall), Mississippi State LS Hunter Bradley (No. 239 overall), Southeast Missouri LB Kendall Donnerson (No. 248 overall). 

The Packers came into the draft with a need at CB and somehow were able to manage to select two players at the position with first round grades. They were even able to land an additional 2019 first round pick. Alexander is not a large corner but is very athletic and is a good cover corner. Jackson, who somehow dropped to pick 45, is a ballhawk who is a converted receiver. Burks has the chance to start at linebacker as it is a position of major need. Madison can add depth on the interior offensive line. Between Moore, Valdez-Scantling, and St. Brown the Packers will likely find a guy or two at WR that can step up and give Rodgers another option outside.

Minnesota Vikings

Draft picks: UCF CB Mike Hughes (No. 30 overall), Pittsburgh OT Brian O’Neill (No. 62 overall), Ohio State DE Jalyn Holmes(No. 102 overall), Central Michigan TE Tyler Conklin (No. 157 overall), Auburn K Daniel Carlson (No. 167 overall), Appalachian State OG Colby Gossett(No. 213 overall), Tulane DE Ade Aruna (No. 218 overall), Cal LB Devante Downs (No. 225 overall). 
 

The Vikings landed a talented corner in Hughes who can play inside and outside. Hughes also is a dangerous threat in the return game. O’Neill has a lot of potential at tackle but is going to have to increase his strength and become more physical. Holmes is a forgotten defensive lineman from Ohio State that can play inside at tackle or outside at end. Conlkin comes from a small school but is a well-rounded TE. Carlson is the top ranked kicker in the class. Gossett falling to pick 213 makes him a nice value as he might compete for playing time as a rookie.

2018 NFL Draft In Review, NFC East

Dallas Cowboys

Draft picks: Boise State LB Leighton Vander Esch (No. 19 overall), Texas OG Connor Williams (No. 50 overall), Colorado State WR Michael Gallup (No. 81 overall), Kansas DE Dorance Armstrong (No. 116 overall), Stanford TE Dalton Schultz (No. 137 overall), Western Kentucky QB Mike White (No. 171 overall), Indiana LB Chris Covington (No. 193 overall), Boise State WR Cedrick Wilson (No. 208 overall), Alabama RB Bo Scarbrough (No. 236 overall). 
 

Despite what critics might say, Vander Esch is not a reach at pick 19. Leighton is an every down linebacker and fits with what Dallas is trying to accomplish on defense. Had Connor Williams been eligible for the 2017 NFL draft he would have been a top 10-15 selection. Injuries and inconsistent play held him out of the first round much to the benefit of the Cowboys. Williams will either play guard or tackle depending on what the team decides to do with Collins. Gallup is going to get every chance to have an impact as a rookie as the WR room is thin in Dallas. Armstrong has potential to be a player and was a good value pick at 116. Schultz might have big shoes to fill with the news of Witten retiring. Mike White is a QB who with proper coaching might develop into more than just a backup QB someday. Bo is another nice sleeper pick as he will be going into the season healthy and motivated.

 

New York Giants

Draft picks: Penn State RB Saquon Barkley (No. 2 overall), UTEP OG Will Hernanded (No. 34 overall), Georgia LB Lorenzo Carter (No. 66 overall), N.C. State DT BJ Hill (No. 69 overall), Richmond QB Kyle Lauletta (No. 108 overall), Miami DT R.J. McIntosh (No. 139 overall). 
 

There is a lot to like with the Giants draft. For one, they didn’t overthink things at pick number two as they selected the best player in the draft in Barkley. Saquon is not a perfect prospect, those don’t exist, but is going to be a great fit and a fan favorite in NY. Hernandez plays with the edge that the line needs up front and is a mauler in the run game. Carter is a versatile outside backer that will help the Giants transition into a 3-4 defense with his athleticism. Hill and McIntosh will compete for snaps on the defensive line. Lauletta is a nice consolation prize for not selecting a QB in the first round. Look for Kyle to compete with Davis Webb for the number two job as well the QB of the future.

 

Philadelphia Eagles

Draft picks: South Dakota State TE Dallas Goedert (No. 49 overall), Pittsburgh CB Avonte Maddox (No. 125 overall), Florida State DE Josh Sweat (No. 130 overall), TCU OT Matt Pryor (No. 206 overall), OT Jordan Mailata (No. 233 overall). 
 

It was no secret that Philadelphia had an interest in trading out of the first round. The Eagles ended up selecting at pick number 49 (one slot ahead of Dallas) to take who a lot of execs feel was the best TE in the class in Goedert. Maddox will have the opportunity to replace Daryl Worley in the secondary. While it was a little ridiculous that pre-draft mock drafts were slotting Josh Sweat in the latter part of the first round, he was a great value at pick 130. If that knee holds up and he is able to work on his quickness of the snap he will get into Philadelphia’s deep rotation. When your roster is as strong as Philly’s you can take a chance at a freak athlete late in the draft like they did selecting Mailata. Mailata will try to win a roster spot at offensive tackle as he makes the transition from rugby.

Washington Redskins

Draft picks: Alabama DT Da’Ron Payne (No. 13 overall), LSU RB Derrius Guice (No. 59 overall), Louisville OT Geron Christian (No. 74 overall), Penn State S Troy Apke (No. 109 overall), Virginia Tech DT Tim Settle (No. 163 overall), Alabama LB Shaun Dion Hamilton (No. 197 overall), Virginia Tech CB Greg Stroman (No. 241 overall), SMU WR Trey Quinn(No. 256 overall). 
 

Some analysts were critical of Washington using such an early first round pick on Payne. Did they not watch the college football playoff last season? Payne is strong at the point of attack who is just starting to reach his potential in terms of getting penetration. Tim Settle was drafted later on who was a good value and can rotate in at NT. Guice is a first round talent who slipped into the second round with character concerns. If Guice is motivated and focused the Redskins may have found their guy at RB. Christian is an athletic tackle who can play on both sides of the line. Apke and Stroman both have potential to stick on the roster and provide depth in the secondary. If Shaun Dion Hamilton can stay healthy he is a player that might transition well into Washington’s defense as an ILB. Quinn is a good prospect as most had a 5th-6th round grade on the WR from SMU.

2018 NFL Draft In Review, AFC West

Denver Broncos

Draft picks: N.C. State DE Bradley Chubb (No. 5 overall), SMU WR Courtland SuttonC (No. 40 overall), Oregon RB Royce Freeman (No. 71 overall), Boston College DB Isaac Yiadom (No. 99 overall), Iowa LB Josey Jewell (No. 106 overall), Penn State WR DaeSean Hamilton (No. 113 overall), Wisconsin TE Troy Fumagalli (No. 156 overall), Arizona State OG Sam Jones(No. 183 overall), Washington LB Keishawn Bierria (No. 217 overall), Arkansas RB David Williams (No. 226 overall). 
Denver had larger needs going into the draft than finding another edge player to line up opposite of Von Miller. Teams were likely calling Elway offering a king’s ransom to move up into this slot either for Chubb or one of the two falling quarterbacks. The Broncos ultimately decided to stay put and draft the best player on their board which happens to play a premium position in the league. Sutton likely had some first round consideration so he was a good find in round two although it is uncertain how quickly he will have a significant impact on Sundays. Sutton is a big target but is going to have to work on his craft to create separation from NFL defensive backs. Royce Freeman runs with the vision and balance that will remind you of Kareem Hunt. Do not be surprised if he earns a lead role at RB for the team. Yiadom will give the team depth at CB but is going to have to bulk up significantly. Jewell might not possess freakish athleticism but he has the smarts and savvy to win a job inside and help Denver’s run defense immediately. Hamilton is a refined route runner and may end up finding action as a rookie. Fumagalli and Jones are two picks that have a shot to stick at their respective positions. Bierria might be a player that needs some development but could find his way on the back end of the roster or the practice squad.

 

Kansas City Chiefs

Draft picks: Mississippi DL Breeland Speaks (No. 46 overall), Florida State DT Derrick Nnadi (No. 75 overall), Clemson LB Dorian O’Daniel (No. 100 overall), Texas A&M S Armani Watts (No. 124 overall), Central Arkansas CB Tremon Smith (No. 196 overall), Tennessee OG/DL Kahlil McKenzie (No. 198 overall). 
This draft will be perceived, fairly or otherwise, on how well Pat Mahomes plays this year under center as the team gave up their first round pick to Buffalo this season to go get their guy last year. The Chiefs wanted to add a player that can move along the defensive line and accomplished that in Speaks. It is fair to question if Speaks went a round too early and the Chiefs decided to move up to get him. Speaks has the NFL body and is a NFL athlete but he has struggled in certain areas including awareness, pad level, and immaturity. Nnadi will be asked to play the NT position in KC. Nnadi is a good and smart player but is going to have to prove that he can handle the power of NFL centers at the point of attack. O’Daniel is an outstanding match-up player for passing downs but at his size might be a better fit for sub-packages and special teams than at being a full-time starter. Watts has big upside and was a good find at pick 124. Smith has a chance to make the team as CB quickly became a position of need after trading Marcus Peters in the offseason. MacKenzie is a freakish athlete who is switching sides of the ball to add depth at guard.

Los Angeles Chargers

Draft picks: Florida State S Derwin James (No. 17 overall), USC LB Uchenna Nwosu (No. 48 overall), N.C. State DT Justin Jones (No. 84 overall), West Virginia S Kyzir White (No. 119 overall), UCLA C Scott Quessenberry (No. 155 overall), Texas Tech WR Dylan Cantrell (No. 191 overall), Northwestern RB Justin Jackson (No. 251 overall). 
Perhaps the best combination of value and drafting a position of need in the entire draft was the Chargers landing Derwin James all the way at pick 17. James is a freak athlete and is an alpha on and off the field. James will add some edge to an already talented defense in Los Angeles. He will be a perfect fit for what the team is looking for in the safety position. Nwosu is a good fit for the team but there were some other good linebackers, arguably better prospects, available at the spot. Jones was drafted a round early but NT checks off a need. White is a big and physical safety that might get on the field as a nickel linebacker. Quessenberry adds depth in the interior offensive line. Jackson would have been drafted much earlier had the RB class not been so deep this year.

Oakland Raiders

Draft picks: UCLA OT Kolton Miller (No. 15 overall), Sam Houston State DT PJ Hall (No. 57 overall), North Carolina A&T OT Brandon Parker (No. 65 overall), LSU DE Arden Key (No. 87 overall), Wisconsin CB Nick Nelson (No. 110 overall), Michigan DT Maurice Hurst (No. 140 overall), Florida P Johnny Townsend (No. 173 overall), Washington LB Azeem Victor (No. 216 overall), Oklahoma State WR Marcell Ateman (No. 228 overall). 
The Raiders were able to add some picks by trading back into the first round. With both Tremaine Edmunds and Derwin James somehow still being on the board at 15 it was disappointing to see the Raiders reach on Miller. The Raiders obviously made it a priority to get younger at the position and the depth in this class is weak at tackle. With that said Miller always seemed like a late first to early second round prospect. PJ Hall is a nice fit for the defense but was over-drafted. Parker is a developmental project at OT who has some upside but also was drafted a round early. Save the off-field concerns and injury issues and Arden Key is a top 15 player in this draft. If Gruden can keep him focused and in shape Key can develop into one of the better pass-rushers in the league. Nick Nelson suffered an injury in the offseason but should be ready to go well before the season. Nelson is a nice player who can compete for playing time. If Hurst clears all of the medicals and can get on the field it is likely that he may end up being the best player in Oakland’s class. Gruden might see a lot of Warren Sapp in Hurst when it comes to off the ball quickness. Everyone is cheering for him. Ateman is a fun prospect as he has great size at WR but with the additions of Bryant and Switzer it will be difficult to get on the field this year. Victor showed promise early on in his career before being sent to the dog house last year in Washington.

2018 NFL Draft In Review, AFC South

Houston Texans

Draft picks: Stanford S Justin Reid (No. 68 overall), Mississippi State OT Martinas Rankin(No. 80 overall), UCF TE Jordan Akins (No. 98 overall), Texas Tech WR Keke Coutee (No. 103 overall), Wake Forest LB Duke Ejiofor (No. 177 overall), Mississippi State TE Jordan Thomas (No. 211 overall), Stanford LB Peter Kalambayi (No. 214 overall), San Jose State CB Jermaine Kelly (No. 222 overall). 

The Texans moved up last year to take Watson leaving the cupboard a little bear in terms of draft capital for this season. Justin Reid is a great find in the third round and is a very savvy player who should start many seasons in the NFL. Expect Reid to be on the field as a rookie. Rankin is another potential starter and it will be interesting to see if he lines up at tackle or somewhere inside. Selecting Akins over Ian Thomas to address TE position was a very perplexing decision. Ejiofor is a versatile player that was great value at pick 177 and could develop into a player at DE or as an edge rusher in Houston. Coutee is a WR that might benefit from having Hopkins lining up outside if he wins some time in the slot.

Indianapolis Colts

Draft picks: Notre Dame OG Quenton Nelson (No. 6 overall), South Carolina State LB Darius Leonard (No. 36 overall), Auburn OG Braden Smith (No. 37 overall), Rutgers DE Kemoko Turay (No. 52 overall), Ohio State DE Tyquan Lewis (No. 64 overall), N.C. State RB Nyheim Hines (No. 104 overall), Northern Iowa WR Daurice Fountain (No. 159 overall), Mississippi RB Jordan Wilkins (No. 169 overall), Clemson WR Deon Cain (No. 185 overall), Houston LB Mathew Adams (No. 221 overall), Syracuse LB Zaire Franklin (No. 235 overall). 

The Colts needed to address a lot of areas of need during the draft to fill in some holes on the roster. The Colts did well to pick one of the best players in the entire draft at number six in Quenton Nelson. Interior offensive line might not be a glamourous position but it fills a need and Nelson is going to be amongst the best at the position in the NFL for a decade. The Colts landed several good players although they seemed to reach on several of them. Leonard is an off-the ball WLB who is athletic, yet small, and is coming from a small program that doesn’t face top competition often. Braden Smith is a bully at guard and will help the run game but also came off the board at least a round earlier than expected. Turay is a heck of an athlete who just hasn’t produced for one reason or another at Rutgers and will be a nice project for the Colts to develop. Tyquan Lewis had a disappointing season at Ohio State following a superb junior season the year before. Lewis might help early on by rushing from the inside on passing downs. Like some of the other names mentioned it was surprising that he was taken as early as he was. Nyheim Hines is an electric prospect and is a player that all of you fantasy players might want to take a flyer on. Fountain is a nice pick at WR but it might be Deon Cain that turns out to be the steal in the draft lasting all the way to pick 185 somehow.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Draft picks: Florida DT Taven Bryan (No. 29 overall), LSU WR DJ Chark (No. 61 overall), Alabama S Ronnie Harrison (No. 93 overall), N.C. State OT Will Richardson (No. 129 overall), Nebraska QB Tanner Lee (No. 203 overall), Wisconsin LB Leon Jacobs (No. 230 overall), Mississippi State P Logan Cooke (No. 247 overall). 

It is very unusual to see Jacksonville picking as late in the draft as they did this year-but it looks like we should start getting used to it. The Jaguars are a well-coached team without many glaring weaknesses. Jacksonville is lacking a true number one WR as Allen Robinson has departed, they could use someone to compete at MLB to replace Posluszny, and they could use a young QB to develop. The way the board fell to Jacksonville it doesn’t seem as though Jacksonville was able to completely satisfy any of those needs although they did get better as they landed some good players. Bryan might develop into a player that can get in the backfield and disrupt the play. He will benefit from the depth that Jacksonville possesses at the position as he can transition to the league in more of a specified role with the team early on. Harrison can cover and hit. He will add some nasty to a defense that is not lacking in that department. Chark is one of the better athletes in the draft and has a ton of potential to develop into a solid vertical threat. Richardson comes with some off-field issues but has the size and strength that will suit Jacksonville’s power running style. Jacksonville took a flyer on Lee but don’t expect him to be the type of prospect that can push Bortles.

Tennessee Titans

Draft picks: Alabama LB Rashaan Evans (No. 22 overall), Boston College edge rusher Harold Landry (No. 41 overall), Arizona S Dane Cruikshank (No. 152 overall), Washington State QB Luke Falk (No. 199 overall). 
The Titans went for quality over quantity this year and were able to find a couple of very good players at positions of need. Evans looks like a sure bet to start as a rookie inside and is going to be an excellent fit in Vrabel’s defense. Tennessee is still getting good play out of Derrick Morgan and Brian Orakpo off the edge but it was time to add some youth to the position. Landry might end up being one of the best value picks of this year’s draft as he has freakish bend and speed off the corner. Landry wasn’t the closer that he was in his previous season but injuries were a factor. Cruikshank is a corner/safety tweener that might develop into a nice matchup player on Sundays. Luke Falk has limitations as a QB but it was a nice value at 199 and he might develop into a dependable backup in the league.

2018 NFL DRAFT IN REVIEW, AFC North

Baltimore Ravens

Draft picks: South Carolina TE Hayden Hurst (No. 25 overall), Louisville QB Lamar Jackson (No. 32 overall), Oklahoma OT Orlando Brown (No. 83 overall), Oklahoma TE Mark Andrews (No. 86 overall), Alabama CB Anthony Averett (No. 118 overall), UCLA LB Kenny Young (No. 122 overall), New Mexico State WR Jaleel Scott (No. 132 overall), UCLA WR Jordan Lasley (No. 162 overall), Texas S DeShon Elliot (No. 190 overall), Wagner OT Greg Senat (No. 212 overall), Alabama C Bradley Bozeman (No. 215 overall), Ferris State DE Zach Sieler (No. 238 overall).

The Ravens had a busy draft weekend partnering up in multiple trades. Hurst adds toughness and maturity to the TE position. Hayden has very soft hands and will be a reliable target from day one. Baltimore doubled down on the position by drafting Andrews later on who will be a mismatch for defenders in the passing game. It will be fun to see if Jackson finds game action in a similar fashion that the 49ers introduced Kaepernick in SF. Nobody’s draft stock fell more during the offseason than Orlando Brown. Brown is a big man with big potential who will have a chance to compete right away for the starting RT spot. Averett is a competitive CB that can provide depth. The Ravens added a couple of wideouts to their roster in Scott and Lasley. One of the biggest upsets in the draft was that Calvin Ridley was available for Baltimore’s first selection even after trading down. What was even less likely is that Baltimore passed on him leaving a huge question mark at WR. Bozeman is a player that will compete for time early on at the pivot.

Cincinnati Bengals

Draft picks: Ohio State C/OG Billy Price (No. 21 overall), Wake Forest S Jessie Bates (No. 54 overall), Ohio State DE Sam Hubbard (No. 77 overall), Texas LB Malik Jefferson (No. 78 overall), Miami RB Mark Walton (No. 112 overall), Illinois State DB Davontae Harris (No. 151 overall), Virginia DT Andrew Brown (No. 158 overall), Western Michigan CB Darius Phillips (No. 170 overall), Toledo QB Logan Woodside (No. 249 overall), Mississippi OG Rod Taylor (No. 252 overall), Florida State WR Auden Tate (No. 253 overall).
After trading for LT Cordy Glenn, the Bengals continued their focus on their offensive line with the goal of giving Andy Dalton more time to throw in the pocket. While Price wasn’t expected to go this high, his ability to play any of the interior positions on the line makes him valuable. Reports seem positive that he will be ready to go for training camp following his injury at the combine. Jesse Bates is a rangy safety who should see time as a rookie. The Bengals had back to back picks at 77 and 78 and used them on two front seven players that should find immediate roles. Hubbard is a blue collar edge player where Jefferson is an athletic linebacker who is still getting a feel for the game. Harris and Phillips were added for competition in the secondary. Andrew Brown has nice potential inside and should win a spot in Cincinnati’s rotation. Auden Tate needed another year of college to develop but has a lot of upside as a big WR. Walton is a home-run hitter at RB who is coming off an injury.

Cleveland Browns

Draft picks: Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield (No. 1 overall), Ohio State CB Denzel Ward (No. 4 overall), Nevada OG Austin Corbett (No. 33 overall), Georgia RB Nick Chubb (No. 35 overall), Miami DE Chad Thomas (No. 67 overall), Florida WR Antonio Callaway (No. 105 overall), Memphis LB Genard Avery (No. 150 overall), Texas A&M WR Damion Ratley (No. 175 overall), Louisiana-Lafayette CB Simeon Thomas (No. 188 overall).

Don’t look now but there is a lot of talent throughout the Cleveland Browns roster. John Dorsey inherited a slew of picks from the previous regime this year. Which pick was more surprising? Mayfield or Ward? It doesn’t matter at the end of the day as the Browns stayed put and picked the best players off their board. Ward is a good player who can play inside or outside although the Browns spent other resources at CB this offseason. Baker is a polarizing player but will play with the hustle and chip on his shoulder that will represent Cleveland proudly. Mayfield could do worse than redshirting a year behind Tyrod Taylor and taking some notes. Corbett was a fast rising prospect that probably projects better as a guard although Cleveland might try to plug him in at tackle where they have a bigger hole. Chubb is a professional runner who won’t leave free yards on the field. Chad Thomas is a project at DE but has huge upside for Greg Williams to develop. Callaway is a top 50 talent that just can’t seem to stay out of trouble. The Browns brought in a lot of nice players to the organization but there are still questions at DT and at LT. The Browns stuck to their board early but didn’t take the QB or the defensive player that most other teams might have in their situation which puts the picks under a microscope.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Draft picks: Virginia Tech S Terrell Edmunds (No. 28 overall), Oklahoma State WR James Washington (No. 60 overall), Oklahoma State QB Mason Rudolph (No. 76 overall), Western Michigan OT Chukwuma Okorafor (No. 92 overall), Penn State S Marcus Allen (No. 148 overall), N.C. State FB Jaylen Samuels (No. 165 overall), Alabama DT Joshua Frazier (No. 246 overall).

Selecting Edmunds at 28 overall might have been the biggest reach of this year’s draft. It is one thing to trust your board, and Edmunds may very well end up surprising everyone and becoming the third best safety in this class, but it is very likely Pittsburgh could have landed him in the second round if not the third. James Washington doesn’t have the off-the-charts athleticism to replace the troubled Martavus Bryant but was a good value at number 60 and should be a factor right away. Rudolph was also a good value in the third down and will prove to be a better long-term answer than last year’s selection Josh Dobbs. Okorafor has good potential as a tackle prospect but is going to have to toughen up to appease the blue collar fans in Pittsburgh. Marcus Allen won’t have to travel far from Penn State and should find a role as a rookie in sub-packages. Save a roster spot for Samuels as he has the ability to play FB, TE, H-B, and even RB in a pinch. Frazier was coached well at Alabama and could win a roster spot lining up over the center.

2018 NFL Draft In Review, AFC East

Buffalo Bills

Draft picks: Wyoming QB Josh Allen (No. 7 overall), Virginia Tech LB Tremaine Edmunds(No. 16 overall), Stanford DT Harrison Phillips (No. 96 overall), Weber State DB Taron Johnson (No. 121 overall), Jacksonville State DB Siran Neal (No. 154 overall), Virginia Tech OG Wyatt Teller (No. 166 overall), Clemson WR Ray-Ray McCloud (No. 187 overall), North Carolina WR Austin Proeh(No. 255 overalll)

Josh Allen is not for everyone but he is the QB that the Buffalo Bills have decided to invest their future with. Acquiring Allen wasn’t cheap as it came at the expense of Cordy Glenn (the pre-draft trade to get them to number 12) and two second round selections. It was a bold selection that will either simply prove worthy or set the franchise back several years. Edmunds is a monster and the value was too good not to move up and select the young linebacker. Edmunds seems to project best as an outside backer but might be forced to play inside in Buffalo to fill a hole in the lineup. Phillips is a good value player and will fit in very nicely in the rotation and locker-room. The Bills found depth in the secondary but may have reached in both the Johnson and Neal picks. The McCloud and Proehl selections were interesting to say the least. Not in a million years was it expected that McCloud would be drafted ahead of teammate Deon Cain. The Bills desperately need help at WR and its odd that only spent later round picks on players that will work out of the slot instead of players that line up outside. Teller will play guard for the Bills and might have the chance to compete for a spot early on.

Miami Dolphins

Draft picks: Alabama DB Minkah Fitzpatrick (No. 11 overall), Penn State TE Mike Gesicki (No. 42 overall), Ohio State LB Jerome Baker (No. 73 overall), Notre Dame TE Durham Smythe (No. 123 overall), Arizona State RB Kalen Ballage (No. 131 overall), Southern Mississippi S Cornell Armstrong (No. 209 overall), Ohio LB Quentin Polling (No. 227 overall), New Mexico K Jayson Sanders (No. 229 overall).

While the nickel/safety position wasn’t Miami’s biggest need coming into the draft selecting Minkah 11th overall was an easy decision as he provides just too good of value for a team who probably isn’t ready to win next year regardless. Gesicki is a guy that could see similar success that Giants TE Evan Ingram enjoyed during his rookie year if he is used in a similar fashion. Gesicki is far from a complete TE but plays around the rim in the end zone. Smythe is a TE that can both block and catch and was a nice add doubling down at the position. While the team needed LB help, Jerome Baker will probably be featured only as a role player at the position instead as a permanent fixture in the lineup unless he can bulk up. Ballage can provide a spark in the offense as a receiving option out of the backfield for Tannehill. It is surprising that Miami did not at least take a flyer on DT and QB to address those specific needs.

New England Patriots

Draft picks: Georgia OT Isaiah Wynn (No. 23 overall), Georgia RB Sony Michel (No. 31 overall), Florida CB Duke Dawson (No. 56 overall), Purdue LB Ja’Whaun (No. 143 overall), Arizona State LB Christian Sam (No. 178 overall), Miami WR Braxton Berrios (No. 210 overall), LSU QB Danny Etling (No. 219 overall), Western Carolina DB Keion Crossen (No. 243 overall), Florida State TE Ryan Izzo (No. 250 overall).

Bill Belicheck doesn’t care that almost everyone in the world projected Wynn as a NFL guard and not a tackle. While Wynn doesn’t have the height that most teams covet he does have long arms and pops out of his stance very quickly. There were also rumors that Michel was going to slide due to medical concerns. Obviously Sony got the thumbs up from New England’s medical staff and will be an explosive option in New England’s deep RB stable. Dawson may have been over-drafted but is a good player that fills a need. Bentley and Sam will provide depth and competition at LB. Berrios is a player that might just stick in the slot. Izzo is good value late in the draft as the team begins to prepare for the possibility of life after Gronk after next season. Can Etling be a guy they can develop into a dependable number two?


New York Jets

Draft picks: USC QB Sam Darnold (No. 3 overall), Fort Hays State DT Nathan Shepherd (No. 72 overall), Miami TE Christopher Herndon (No. 107 overall), Tulane CB Parry Nickerson (No. 179 overall), Connecticut DT Folorunso Fatukasi (No. 180 overall), Virginia State RB Trenton Cannon (No. 204 overall).

By most accounts, the Jets decision to move up to the number three spot landed them this year’s best QB. Darnold is a good player, a good person, and has a ton of upside. Spending a year in the QB room with Josh McCown is going to help his development early on. Shepherd is a small school prospect who will have a chance to compete for the starting NT spot. Nickerson is a small corner who might develop into a nice player in the slot. Herndon is a solid pickup at the TE position. The Jets had a lot of needs without a lot of picks. For what seems like the millionth year in a row they were not able to find an elite edge rusher to develop or get younger on the offensive line. If Darnold does become the guy they’ve been waiting for they will not regret parting with the three second round picks.

2018 Final Mock Draft

#1 Cleveland Browns  Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
#2 New York Giants  Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
#3 New York Jets  Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
#4 Cleveland Browns  Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State
#5 Denver Broncos  Sam Darnold, QB, USC
#6 Buffalo Bills (trade projection with Colts)  Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
#7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers  Derwin James, S, Florida St
#8 Chicago Bears  Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame
#9 San Francisco 49ers  Tremaine Edmunds, VT, LB
#10 Oakland Raiders  Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
#11 Miami Dolphins  Vita Vea, DT, Washington
#12 Indianapolis Colts (trade projection with Bills)  Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA
#13 Washington Redskins  Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama
#14 Green Bay Packers  Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
#15 Arizona Cardinals  Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
#16 Baltimore Ravens  Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
#17 Los Angeles Chargers  Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama
#18 Seattle Seahawks  Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa
#19 Dallas Cowboys  DJ Moore, WR, Maryland
#20 Detroit Lions  Harold Landry, DE, Boston College
#21 Cincinnati Bengals  Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
#22 Indianapolis Colts (trade projection with Bills)  Isaiah Wynn, G, Georgia
#23 New England Patriots   Connor Williams, OT, Texas
#24 Carolina Panthers  Mike Hughes, CB, UCF
#25 Tennessee Titans  Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State
#26 Atlanta Falcons  Taven Bryan, DT, Florida
#27 New Orleans Saints  Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State
#28 Pittsburgh Steelers  Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama 
#29 Jacksonville Jaguars  Will Hernandez, G, UTEP
#30 Minnesota Vikings  Billy Price, G/C, Ohio State
#31 New England Patriots  Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville
#32 Philadelphia Eagles  Derrius Guice, RB, LSU