Downes: Mock Draft 2.0

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Buckle up everyone, the 2018 NFL Draft is finally here and it’s going to be a wild ride. With five high-end quarterbacks, a running back a team could build a franchise around and an edge rusher expected to torment quarterbacks for many years to come, the first round is going to be insane.


1. Cleveland Browns
Sam Darnold, QB, USC
Previous pick: Sam Darnold, QB, USC

Don’t believe the media hype of this pick coming down to Allen or Mayfield. It’s hard to believe stories that come out days before the draft, they’re all smokescreens. Cleveland needs to go with their gut and take the most NFL ready quarterback in this draft.

2. New York Giants
Bradley Chubb, EDGE, NC State
Previous pick: Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming by the Bills

Looks like the suit paid off for Chubb, earned him the honor of being the No. 2 overall pick. It seems that the Giants are all in on Eli Manning for the next few seasons and with Jason Pierre-Paul gone, the defense needs some bolstering.

3. New York Jets
Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
Previous pick: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA

Mayfield falls into a situation where he can succeed with is rare to say with the Jets. The defense is getting younger and are in good hands with Jamal Adams leading the pack. Mayfield is going to have time to ride the pine and learn behind crafty veteran Josh McCown.

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

To land the best prospect in the draft to complement the best quarterback prospect, the Browns offense is completely revamped. Despite adding Carlos Hyde and re-signing Duke Johnson Jr. Barkley is too good for them to pass up. He is a jack-of-all-trades type of a back that can transform an offense.

5. Buffalo Bills (via Denver Broncos)
Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
Previous pick: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma by the Broncos

The Bills make their highly anticipated trade to move up into the top five picks to land their franchise quarterback. After giving up Tyrod Taylor and signing AJ McCarron, who is nothing more than a bridge, the Bills are in desperate need of a tall, big-armed quarterback with some big hands. No prospect checks those boxes quite like Allen.

6. Miami Dolphins (via Indianapolis Colts)
Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
Bradley Chubb, EDGE, NC State by the Colts

With three of the top four quarterbacks off the board, Miami gets nervous that Rosen won’t fall to 11. The panic and move up to the six spot to get a quarterback. Ryan Tannehill proves again and again that he can’t be trusted to headman a franchise, and Adam Gase gets his next star quarterback.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
Previous pick: Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama

The best cornerback in the draft finds a home in Tampa, a team in desperate need of secondary help. Brent Grimes isn’t getting any younger and Vernon Hargreaves isn’t quite what they wanted him to be. In comes Ward, a player that can be a No. 1 corner and has the ability to lockdown the best receivers in the league.

8. Chicago Bears
Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame
Previous pick: Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame

The Bears general manager Ryan Pace said the team has a list of eight names they are comfortable drafting and it’s hard to believe Nelson isn’t atop the list. With Josh Sitton no longer with the team, the Bears are in desperate need of a mauler in the interior.

9. San Francisco 49ers
Derwin James, S, Florida State
Previous pick: Derwin James, S, Florida State

With great tape and an outstanding combine, James finds himself the top 10 going out west to the Bay. His athletic ability will allow him to patrol the field and make big impact plays for San Fran.

10. Oakland Raiders
Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
Previous pick: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia

This pick just makes too much sense for the Raiders. Smith can be a quintessential Gruden Grinder. His instincts allow him to make nearly ever play needed. Is he undersized? Sure, but tell that hasn’t stopped players before and Smith will be no different.

11. Indianapolis Colts (via Miami Dolphins)
Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama
Previous pick: Vita Vea, DT, Washington by the Dolphins

Some might be shocked to see Fitzpatrick fall out of the top 10, but his versatility is a double-edged sword. While it can be a positive, teams are unsure what his true position is. The question becomes will he become a Tyrann Mathieu or Jabrill Peppers?

12. Denver Broncos (via Buffalo Bills)
Vita Vea, DT, Washington
Previous pick: Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech by the Giants

The Broncos get a much needed addition to their defense. The 347 pound Vea will eat blocks and make life easier for Denver’s linebacking corps.

13.Washington Redskins
Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
Previous pick: Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State

Washington takes the “best pick available” approach and land the 19-year-old phenom Edmunds. His size, 6-foot-5 and 253 pounds, his athletic ability makes him a force to be reckoned with.

14. Green Bay Packers
Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa
Previous pick: Marcus Davenport, DE, Texas-San Antonio

It’s not often the Packers are in desperate need of help, but with a secondary in shambles, the Packers are almost forced to take a defensive back. Jackson will have an immediate impact for Green Bay and should be an instant starter.

15. Arizona Cardinals
Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
Previous pick: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville

A retired Carson Palmer has been replaced by a decrepit Sam Bradford and a unreliable Mike Glennon, neither of which are the future of this franchise. It makes sense for Arizona to take a flier out on an athletic quarterback who could revolutionize their offense.

16. Baltimore Ravens
Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
Previous pick: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama

A month ago it was nearly a guarantee the Baltimore was gonna draft a wide out, but with the addition of Michael Crabtree and Willie Snead they can wait and take a solid prospect in the second. The Ravens need to focus on keeping Joe Flacco upright in hopes that he will return to elite form,

17.Los Angeles Chargers
Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama
Previous pick: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame

With the pass rush set in stone, The chargers need some help in the middle of the field. Evans alongside Denzel Perryman would be Bash Brothers-esk. Those two patrolling the middle of the field would be bad news for opposing run games.

18.Seattle Seahawks
Will Hernandez, G, UTEP
Previous pick: Isaiah Wynn, G, Georgia

With Seattle’s offensive line looking more like ruins of a destroyed building, there is no doubt that the Seahawks will be going offensive line in first round. Will Hernandez will set the tone for the rest of the line as he mauls anyone and everyone who comes his way.

19. Dallas Cowboys
Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
Previous pick: Taven Bryan, DT, Florida

Once considered to be a top 10 pick, Ridley’s draft stock has taken a bit of a hit. However, he lands in a perfect spot in Dallas, with the opportunity to be the teams No. 1 receiver by season start.

20. Detroit Lions
Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama
Previous pick: Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama

Newly hired head coach Matt Patricia is drooling at the fact Payne has fallen to him at 20. He’s the perfect prospect for his system. He’s big and strong enough to be a defensive tackle in a 4-3 and athletic enough to handle the defensive end role in a 3-4. This would be a home run selection for Patricia and Detroit.

21. Cincinnati Bengals
Isaiah Wynn, G, Georgia
Previous pick: Will Hernandez, G, UTEP

The Bengals need offensive line help more than anything and with Hernandez off the board, Cincy will have to “settle” for Wynn. While he didn’t participate at the Combine, there is no doubt the kid is big enough and athletic enough to hold his own at the NFL level.

22. Denver Broncos (via Buffalo Bills)
James Daniels, C/G, Iowa
Previous pick: Harold Landry, EDGE, Boston College by the Giants

While his main position is at center, Daniels is able to play all throughout the interior. Daniels’ football IQ will allow him to have an easy transition over one spot and he will thrive for years to come.

23. New England Patriots
Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State
Previous pick: Connor Williams, OT, Texas

Bill Belichick and the Patriots are in desperate need of a solid inside backer. Vander Esch is going to be able to do whatever Belichick needs, whether it’s in coverage, pass rush or stopping the run.

24. Carolina Panthers
Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville
Previous pick: Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa

There is still a huge hole at corner since the departure of Josh Norman. Alexander will help patch that hole up quickly and be able to make some plays for the secondary.

25. Tennessee Titans
Harold Landry, EDGE, Boston College
Previous pick: Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State

The Titans pass rush needs an upgrade and that’s something that Landry can supply. With some veterans to learn from, Landry will have a crash-course in what it takes to succeed at the NFL level.

26. Atlanta Falcons
Taven Bryan, DT, Florida
Previous pick: Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan

The Falcons need to address their defensive line, without Dontari Poe holding it down, it won’t be the same. Enter Bryan, who can be effective in stopping the run as well as rushing the passer.

27. New Orleans Saints
Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State
Previous pick: Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State

After missing out on the Jimmy Graham sweepstakes and the disappointing play from Coby Fleener, the saints are due for a new tight ends. Goedert’s frame makes him a great red zone option for Drew Brees.

28. Pittsburgh Steelers
Marcus Davenport, DE, Texas-San Antonio
Previous pick: Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama

With most of the inside linebacker talent off the board, the Steelers mindset needs to switch over to their defensive front. Davenport is the unfortunate player to take a first round tumble, but finds himself as part of the Steel Curtain.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars
D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland
Previous pick: Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU

The Jaguars receiver room is looking a little barren at this point and with one receiver off the board the Jacksonville has a slew of talent to choose from. Moore’s not the biggest receiver in the draft, but he plays like a monster and will be a reliable target for Blake Bortles.

30. Minnesota Vikings
Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA
Previous pick: Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA

The Vikings biggest need for the offseason was to lockdown a quarterback long term. They’ve done that, but now they need to make sure he stays upright. Miller will be able to become a mainstay on the right side of the line for Minny.

31. New England Patriots
Connor Williams, OT, Texas
Previous pick: Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville

When you’ve got a 41-year-old quarterback it’s important to keep him clean and upright. With the loss of Nate Sodler, the Pats are desperate for a left tackle.

32. Philadelphia Eagles
Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State
Previous pick: Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State

The Super Bowl winners don’t have a long list of needs entering the season. One of the positions that took a hit in the offseason was tight end, losing Trey Burton and Brent Celek. Bringing in Gesicki to work in tandem with Ertz will be nearly impossible to cover.


For more NFL Draft coverage from Impact, listen in to Sunday’s episode of the Green and White Report (draft talk starts at 13:05), or tune into Impact’s On the Clockand watch for new articles.

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