Senior Fantasy Football Expert Adam Ronis provides two in-depth pick predictions every Wednesday leading up to the 2018 NFL Draft. Do you agree with his mock draft selections? Let us know in the forums!
2018 NFL Mock Draft
Pick 1: Cleveland Browns – QB Sam Darnold, USC
The Browns will select a quarterback. The question is which one? They have been linked to several of the top quarterbacks and it wouldn’t be surprising if they took any of them. There are some rumors building up that it could be Josh Allen, but they will most likely take Darnold. He has good size and has never missed a game due to injury. He moves well in the pocket and can extend plays. Darnold is the least experienced of the top quarterbacks with only 24 starts. He turns 21 soon. As a freshman in 2016, Darnold completed 67 percent of his passes for 3,086 yards, 31 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He was inconsistent in 2017, with a 63 percent completion rate, 4,143 yards, 26 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
Pick 2: New York Giants – DE Bradley Chubb, North Carolina State
The Giants are a real wild card in the draft. It makes sense for them to wait, increase the interest in teams looking to move up and trade for a quarterback and get their preferred one by moving ahead of the Jets. The Giants could take a quarterback and let him sit and develop behind Eli Manning, too. A lot of people believe three quarterbacks could go with the first three picks. It makes sense for the Giants to leak this to stir up interest in a trade and acquire multiple picks. On the other hand, the Giants do a need their quarterback of the future. General Manager David Gettleman never traded back in a draft when he was with Carolina. The Giants decision will change the complexion of the draft. If the Giants keep the pick, it’s likely they go Chubb or Sam Darnold if he’s there. The Giants are changing their defense, moving to a 3-4 under defensive coordinator James Bettcher. They traded away Jason Pierre-Paul and added linebacker Alec Ogletree and defensive linemen Josh Mauro and Kareem Martin. The Giants could use speed on the edge and Chubb provides it and can play all three downs. Chubb is 6-foot-4 and 275 pounds with speed and viewed as the top defensive prospect in the draft.
Pick 3: New York Jets – QB Josh Rosen, UCLA
The Jets traded up with the Colts to get a quarterback. They knew the Browns would take a quarterback at one and either believe the Giants will or they could trade with a team that wants to move up to get a quarterback. The Jets likely have three quarterbacks they desire and by getting up to pick three, they get one of them. There’s rumblings that Baker Mayfield could be the one the Jets covet. Rosen is one of the top quarterback prospects in the draft and the Jets take him. The Jets don’t have a long-term answer at the position with Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater. Rosen has a chance to start quickly. He is 6-foot-4 and 226 pounds. As a freshman, he completed 60 percent of his passes for 3,670 yards, 23 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He only played six games as a sophomore due to a shoulder injury and completed 62.6 percent of his passes for 3,717 yards, 26 touchdowns and ten interceptions as a junior. One of the negatives for Rosen are his penchant for injuries.
Pick 4: Cleveland Browns – RB Saquon Barkley, Penn State
The Browns don’t have a dire need for a running back with the addition of Carlos Hyde to go with Duke Johnson. It’s possible the Browns trade the pick to a team wanting to move up for a quarterback. If Barkley wasn’t such a standout prospect, it would be easy for the Browns to pass. Barkley is an ideal running back and great athlete. He excels in the passing game and will make the Browns offense more exciting. Barkley crushed the combine. In three years at Penn State. Barkley rushed for 3,873 yards, 43 touchdowns and averaged 5.7 yards per carry and caught 102 passes for 1,195 yards and eight touchdowns. Barkley is one of the best running prospects in a while and he’s got a high floor and high ceiling. After getting their quarterback at one, it will be difficult for the Browns to pass on Barkley.
Pick 5: Denver Broncos – Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
The Broncos have been linked to Mayfield and with Case Keenum signing a two-year deal, Mayfield will be the quarterback of the future. Some have questioned Mayfield’s height, but he could be the best quarterback in the class. He started three years at Oklahoma and never threw more than eight interceptions. He has a good arm, is accurate and is a playmaker. Mayfield is mobile and can extend plays with his feet.
Pick 6: Indianapolis Colts – Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame
Nelson is a 6-foot-5, 325 pound guard. The Colts need to bolster the offensive line to protect Andrew Luck. Nelson is a good pass protector and run blocker. Nelson returned for his senior season at Notre Dame and dominated and did it against good competition. The Colts have a lot of needs and offensive line is among them.
Pick 7: Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Derwin James, Florida State
The Buccaneers had one of the worst pass defenses last season and James will help improve it. He is 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds, the size and speed you want from a safety. He can help in coverage and can be used to blitz. He is a playmaker and can cover the slot.
Pick 8: Chicago Bears – Denzel Ward, Ohio State
Ward is an excellent cover corner and can stay with speedy receivers. He’s athletic and physical, even though he is 5-foot-10, 183 pounds. He had 37 tackles, broke up 15 passes and had two interceptions last season. Many teams have Ward as the top-rated cornerback in the draft.
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