With the 2018 NFL Draft roughly 10 days away, it is coming down to the home stretch in terms of who will be going where. Like my fellow INSCMagazine colleague in Senior Managing Editor, David M. Levin pointed out, we at INSC pride ourselves on insightful analysis when it comes to football.
Unlike other sites, you won’t see outrageous and homerish trade-laden mocks with no substance or in-depth analysis here. As Founder, CEO and Publisher, we take pride in our content and love our football. That being said, the draft is fast approaching and we have a lot of potential draft-day trades and player movement that make cause teams to rethink their board.
Below is The Dawgfather’s Mock Draft 1.0!
- Cleveland Browns – Sam Darnold, Quarterback, USC – If one follows the tea leaves, you can see the Browns pulling the trigger on the former USC redshirt sophomore. While the turnovers are a bit of a concern, they can also be coached up properly, and in Cleveland, the 6’3 225-pound Darnold will sit behind both Tyrod Taylor and Drew Stanton.
- New York Giants – Bradley Chubb, Defensive End, North Carolina State – When one thinks of the G-Men, one cannot help but get visions of fast and fierce pass rushers such as Carl Banks, Lawrence Taylor, Michael Strahan destroying opposing QB’s. With the Giants trading Jason Pierre-Paul to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, drafting Chubb at No.2 makes the most sense. While taking Barkley or a QB here at No.2 is tempting, The Giants opt to restock their vaunted DL instead.
- New York Jets – Josh Rosen, Quarterback, UCLA – West Coast golden boy meets the bright lights of fast-talking and brash New York City. This is a match made in heaven for both parties, as the Jets secure the future face of their franchise for years to come.
- Cleveland Browns – Saquon Barkley, Running Back, Penn State – Despite being linked to the Giants at No.2, the former Penn State all-purpose back drops right into the waiting hands of the Browns as they pair him up with Darnold to form the two new cornerstones of their rebuilding franchise.
- Denver Broncos – Baker Mayfield, Quarterback, Oklahoma – Widely projected to go to the Jets, Mayfield falls into the hands of the Broncos, who will provide the perfect environment for the former Heisman Trophy winner to sit behind Case Keenum. Plus from a scheme point of view, the Broncos and Mayfield are a perfect match as they will likely use a lot of bootlegs, zone-read and spread formations like he did at Oklahoma.
- Indianapolis Colts – Quentin Nelson, Guard, Notre Dame – Protect Andrew Luck at all costs. This is an easy pick for the Colts.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Minkah Fitzpatrick, Defensive Back, Alabama – In a division that has the likes of NFL MVP QB’s in Cam Newton, Drew Brees and Matt Ryan, getting the top-rated DB in Ward is an easy selection.
- Chicago Bears – Denzel Ward, Defensive Back, Ohio State – Much like Fitzpatrick above, taking a DB while playing in a pass-happy division that has the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Kirk Cousins and Matthew Stafford makes the most sense.
- San Francisco 49ers – Marcus Davenport, Defensive End, University of Texas-San Antonio – The Niners add a much needed pass-rushing presence, after electing not to renew Elvis Dumevil’s contract in getting the talented and unheralded small-school gem in the 6’7 256-pound freak out of UTSA.
- Oakland Raiders – Roquan Smith, Linebacker, Georgia – In an effort to back to the “old-school” style that he wishes to employ, Jon Gruden’s first pick as Raiders coach is the former Bulldog LB, who will add some serious sideline to sideline nastiness.
- Miami Dolphins – Vita Vea, Defensive Tackle, Washington – After losing Ndamukong Suh in free agency to the Los Angeles Rams, drafting another pass-rushing DT is essential while playing in Mr. Brady’s neighborhood.
- Buffalo Bills – Josh Allen, Quarterback, Wyoming – There is always one quarterback who drops in the draft, and despite his BIG arm and his impressive size at 6’5, 245 pounds, Allen slides down to No.12 due to the glaring red flag that is his 56.2 percent accuracy, where the Bills would be doing backflips.
- Washington Redskins – Da’Ron Payne, Defensive Tackle, Alabama – The ‘Skins get some much needed interior pass rush in drafting former Huskies run-stopper in the high-motoring Vea.
- Green Bay Packers – Derwin James, Defensive Back, FSU – Thanks to trading cornerback Damarious Randall to the Cleveland Browns, Green Bay needs a lockdown enforcer in the secondary to help improve a very suspect defense. James fits the bill perfectly.
- Arizona Cardinals – Calvin Ridley, Wide Receiver, Alabama – Larry Fitzgerald cannot play forever and is ready to ride off into the sunset. Arizona drafts his replace in the former Alabama star who will be an impact player immediate out in the Valley.
- Baltimore Ravens – Lamar Jackson, Quarterback, Louisville – Perhaps the steal of the draft, the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner lands in a perfect situation in Charm City, as he will get to sit behind Joe Flacco and fellow Heisman alum in Robert Griffin III.
- Los Angeles Chargers – Tremaine Edmunds, Linebacker, Virginia Tech – While one LA team has perhaps the best DL in the entire NFL, the crosstown—and soon to be co-tenant—Chargers add another blue chip playmaker to their defense in the former Hokie here.
- Seattle Seahawks – Josh Jackson, Cornerback, Iowa – The Legion of Boom is no more, and with Richard Sherman now down the road in hated rival, San Francisco, The ‘Hawks draft his replacement in the former Hawkeye ballhawk.
- Dallas Cowboys – Courtland Sutton, Wide Receiver, SMU – With Dez Bryant now gone, the Cowboys land the perfect replacement in the 6’4 216-pound former SMU star, who could mesh with Dak Prescott immediately.
- Detroit Lions – Taven Bryan, Defensive Tackle, Florida – The Lions need more defensive pressure up front, especially in a division that has Arron Rodgers and Kirk Cousins. The 6’4 291-pound former Gator DT will slide in nicely.
- Cincinnati Bengals – Will Hernandez, Guard, UTEP – It’s the Joe Mixon show now in the Queen City. The Bengals draft perhaps one of the best run-blocking guards in the 6’3, 330-pound human boulder to have clear some holes for their running game.
- Buffalo Bills (via Kansas City Chiefs) – Kolton Miller, Tackle, UCLA – Buffalo drafts a massive blind side bodyguard in their future franchise QB in Allen in the massive 6’8 310 left tackle out of Westwood.
- New England Patriots— Mike McGlinchey, Tackle, Notre Dame – Protect Tom Brady at all costs. That is what the Pats do in landing the 6’8, 315-pound McGlinchey.
- Carolina Panthers – Isaiah Wynn, Tackle/Guard, Georgia – The Panthers add some much needed pop on the OL in landing the former Bulldog tackle/guard in the 6’2 302-pounder, who will pave the way for the Panthers rushing attack.
- Tennessee Titans – Harold Landry, Defensive End, Boston College – With Brian Orakpo getting on in age, the Titans draft an heir apparent in the former 6’3 250-pound Eagles star out of Boston College
- Atlanta Falcons – D.J. Moore, Wide Receiver, Maryland – The Dirty Birds lose WR Taylor Gabriel to the Bears in free agency. The former 6’0 215-pound Moore slides right into his former role and will make an immediate impact.
- New Orleans Saints – Dallas Goedert, Tight End, South Dakota State – Unable to bring beloved TE Jimmy Graham back to The Big Easy, New Orleans lands perhaps the top tight end in the draft in the 6’5 255-pound red zone nightmare for opposing defenses.
- Pittsburgh Steelers – Mason Rudolph, Quarterback, Oklahoma State – Big Ben has hinted at possible retirement, and while Pittsburgh already has Landry Jones, the former 6’5 235-pound former big-armed gunslinger out of Stillwater is the fifth QB taken, and is the perfect heir apparent to Roethlisberger.
- Jacksonville Jaguars – Texas A&M Hayden Hurst, Tight End, South Carolina – Missing out on Goedgert and cutting Marcedes Lewis, Jacksonville lands a nice consolation prize in the highly-touted former Gamecock TE in the 6’5 250 pound Hurst, who could start Day 1
- Minnesota Vikings – Mike Hughes, Cornerback, UCF—Perhaps the No.1 defense in the league, the Vikings add another quality piece in the ball-hawking 5’11 190 –pound cover corner, who will only add to Minnesota’s already impressive defense.
- New England Patriots – Sam Hubbard, Defensive End, Ohio State – Bill Belichick loves his Buckeyes. He adds another one in the former 6’5 265 pound Cincinnati Moeller (OH) alum, who can really get after opposing QB’s
- Philadelphia Eagles – Mike Gesicki, Tight End, Penn State – Jersey boy. Lifelong Eagles fan. The Eagles landing the former Penn State star will play well to the large Nittany Lions alum that live in the Philly area as well as a viable replacement for TE’s Brent Celek and Trey Burton.
Top Remaining Prospects:
Sony Michel, Running Back, Georgia
Leighton Vander Esch, Linebacker, Boise State
Derrius Guice, Running Back, LSU
Nick Chubb, Running Back, Georgia
D.J. Chark, Wide Receiver, LSU
Jaire Alexander, Cornerback, Louisville
Christian Kirk, Wide Receiver, Texas A&M
Maurice Hurst, Defensive Lineman, Michigan
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