The NFL season is coming to an end. That means it is time for those teams with no playoff hopes to start looking at next year. Thinking about next year starts with where everyone wants to build their team. That is the draft. The 2018 NFL Draft is five months away but it is never too early to start looking at the prospects and possible teams they can go to. It’s mock draft season.
1. Cleveland Browns (0-13)-Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
The Browns have yet to win a game and are still not satisfied with their quarterback play. Head coach Hue Jackson missed out on some notable quarterbacks in the past. Those quarterbacks were Deshaun Watson, Jared Goff, and Carson Wentz. Instead of drafting those two young stars, Jackson went with DeShone Kizer and Cody Kessler. Both of those quarterbacks have shown some glimpses but that’s all.
Jimmy Haslam just fired Sashi Brown and said that Hue Jackson is going to be the Browns coach in 2018. Josh Rosen is a good pick for Jackson to try to save his job for the long-term. He is the most NFL ready quarterback in the draft and has great potential.
2. New York Giants (2-11)-Sam Darnold, QB, USC
The Giants went from looking like Super Bowl contenders to in the dweller real quick. That is big thanks to Ben McAdoo. Sam Darnold gets picked to take over the illustrious career of Eli Manning as Eli is going to be 37 in January and his future in the NFL is in doubt.
Darnold had an inconsistent year but he has shown enough to be considered franchise worthy. Darnold has to fix his turnover issue but he has the arm strength and accuracy to excel at the next level.
3. San Francisco 49ers (3-10)-Connor Williams, OT, Texas
John Lynch made a deal at the deadline for what seems to be his franchise quarterback. With Jimmy Garrappalo most likely getting the franchise tag, it would be nice if they can give him as much protection possible. Next season is going to show if Jimmy can confirm he can be the franchise.
Connor Williams is the most polished lineman in the draft and has All-Pro potential. The 49ers have something special brewing and should be a force to be reckoned with in the following years.
4. Indianapolis Colts (3-10)-Bradley Chubb, EDGE, NC State
There is a good chance that Bradley Chubb might just be the best player in this year’s upcoming draft. He has shown he can do everything, mostly against some big competition. The Colts defense has been left in disarray due to a terrible job by the previous regime. Chubb will pair up nice with Jabaal Sheard.
5. Cleveland Browns (0-13) via the Houston Texans (4-9)-Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
The Browns offense has a ton of talent. Josh Rosen and Saquon Barkley in the same draft would make the Browns offense easily of the most exciting in the NFL. Barkley can do everything. He can run the ball with power and elusiveness, catch the ball, and return the ball if given a chance. John Dorsey and company would have this team going in the right direction if they can find a way to make this possible.
6. Denver Broncos (4-9)-Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
The Broncos offense is a mess. The quarterback has been sloppy since week two. No matter who was slinging the ball, the quarterback just can’t get it done. It’s time for John Elway to yet again try to find his guy. Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch, and Brock Osweiler just aren’t starting caliber quarterbacks in the NFL, plain and simple. This defense is top notch and good quarterback play to compensate it can get this team to full potential.
Lamar Jackson has shown to be one of the most dynamic players in college football in his last two years. He is the definition of a dual-threat quarterback as he has over 55 touchdowns to go along with over 7,000 yards through the air and 38 touchdowns with over 3,000 on the ground within the last two years.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers(4-9)-Arden Key, EDGE, LSU
Arden Key has been a very disruptive edge rusher at his time in Death Valley. He has a total of 20 sacks in his time there and that production is something the Bucs desperately need. Tampa is currently last in the NFL in the sack category as they only have 17.
8. Chicago Bears (4-9)-Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama
The Bears need weapons of offense but they are going to have a huge hole on defense. Kyle Fuller and Prince Amukamara are pending free agents this offseason and the two haven’t been playing that great. Minkah Fitzpatrick is an extremely versatile player and would be a great piece of this defense.
9. Cincinnati Bengals (5-8)-Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
Last offseason, the Bengals lost a lot of key players on their once dominant offensive line. Former first-round pick, Cedric Ogbuehi, has been terrible as the blindside tackle and should get replaced as quick as possible.
Mike McGlinchey has been a standout on Notre Dame’s amazing line. McGlinchey has the size, strength, and ability to accel at the next level. He is the just the left tackle the Bengals need.
10. New York Jets (5-8)-Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
The Jets have played great football considering their projections at the beginning of the season. Josh McCown has played the best football of his career and looks to have enough in the tank to play next year. A quarterback is still a huge need for the Jets though.
Josh Allen would be a perfect fit for the Jets. He would definitely benefit from watching McCown play next season. Allen has the most upside among the quarterbacks in this upcoming draft. He possesses great arm strength, athleticism, mechanics, and physical attributes. Allen still has a lot to work on though. His accuracy isn’t the greatest and his decision-making has a lot to get improved upon.
11. Washington Redskins (5-8)-Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
With the future of Kirk Cousins seemed to be unknown as of now, the Redskins should consider reloading at quarterback.
Baker Mayfield is easily the most polarizing figure in college football right now. You either love him or you just can’t stand him. Mayfield is a downright idiot both on and off the field with his actions. The man can play though. It is pretty evident from the Heisman he just won and his three straight Big 12 championships.
12. Oakland Raiders (6-7)-Derwin James, DB, Florida State
The Raiders secondary has really held this defense back. The secondary only has two interceptions which ranked dead last in the league. It also ranks 25th in passing yards and they gave up 20 touchdowns. Those stats alone show how much renovation the secondary needs.
Derwin James is a top-talent in this years draft that is extremely versatile. The former top recruit can both defend the run and pass great. That is evident from his 11 pass break-ups, two interceptions, and 84 tackles. James will help this team immensely.
13. Arizona Cardinals (6-7)-Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa
The Arizona Cardinals defense has been middle of the pack this year after years of dominance. They have what most people think to be the best corner in the game, Patrick Peterson. He is locking down his opponents but the corner opposite of him has been a bit of a revolving door. Tramon Williams was brought in late into the season and has provided some comfort but he is not a long-term answer. Brandon Williams and Justin Bethel aren’t the long-term answer either there.
Josh Jackson really came onto the scene this year as he showcased that he possesses some lockdown corner traits. Jackson captured all-American honors to go from his seven interceptions. Jackson and Peterson would make for one good cornerback room.
14. Miami Dolphins (6-7)-Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame
Another piece of the most dominant line in college football goes early. Quenton Nelson is known to many as the most polished lineman in the game. The only problem is he plays the wrong position. His guard position on the line is nowhere as important as the tackle spot. Nelson would make the line look much better for the return of Ryan Tannehill next year.
15. Dallas Cowboys (6-7)-Raquon Smith, LB, Georgia
The Cowboys defense has shown to be a much different unit whenever they lose Sean Lee. He is a great player and the depth behind is inadequate.
A player the Cowboys should really consider taking is Raquon Smith. Smith came into the scene the last couple of months with his great play. He looks like the best linebacker now and would improve this defense.
16. Los Angeles Chargers (7-6)-Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma
The Chargers are a better team than their record says. They got off to a bad start in their first season back in Los Angeles mostly due to special teams mistakes. If Yunghoe Koo could’ve made a couple of key kicks, this team would be eight and four.
The Bolts line has improved immensely since last season with the youth that has been added. They can still use a left tackle that can make their line great. Orlando Brown is a big bruiser who has the strength to block anybody. He won’t have to start at left tackle right away either as he can gear himself up to the game speed of the NFL at right tackle.
17. Green Bay Packers (7-6)-Tarvarus McFadden, CB, Florida State
The Packers took a corner last year with the top pick and it looks they should be in the position to take yet another one. Damarius Randall hasn’t been consistent and he could get improved upon.
Tarvarus McFadden is a lengthy corner with great athletic ability. This year was a bit of a down year. He didn’t record an interception after a year in which he led the NCAA with eight. McFadden still needs to improve his tackling and physicality but he will mold right into the Packers.
18. Detroit Lions (7-6)-Harold Landry, EDGE, Boston College
Ezekial Ansah’s contract is up after this season and the whoever played on the opposite side of him hasn’t played well.
Harold Landry has played extremely well in his time at Boston College. Landry has a high amount of sacks in his college career, 48 to be exact. Landy doesn’t have an ideal size for the NFL but his ability to rush the passer is unlike any other player in this draft.
19. Baltimore Ravens (7-6)-Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
The Breshad Perriman experiment in Baltimore is looking like a failure. The former first-rounder has been plagued by both injuries and inconsistent play. The other receivers he played with haven’t fared well either. Mike Wallace and Jeremy Maclin are mostly a shell of what they use to be. They are both inconsistent and also have injury issues. The Ravens and Joe Flacco are in need of a consistent receiver.
Courtland Sutton is a wide receiver with size and big-play ability. Joe Flacco will have a viable red-zone threat with Sutton and a true number one receiver.
20. Seattle Seahawks (8-5)-Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
Richard Sherman’s season ended early due to a torn Achilles suffered in a Thursday night clash against the 49ers. His counterpart, rookie Shaquill Griffin, has played quite well when he’s been on the field. The Seahawks also brought back Byron Maxwell. Maxwell has played abysmally.
Denzel Ward is an all-American for a program that keeps on producing NFL-caliber corners. He doesn’t have the usual size of a Seahawks corner but he can cover.
21. Buffalo Bills (7-6)-Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan
Brandon Beane decided to trade Marcell Dareus at the trade deadline to dump his contract. Since they traded him, the Bills have been getting run all over.
Maurice Hurst has been a beast in the middle for Michigan and would be a great addition to the Bills.
22. Atlanta Falcons (8-5)-Will Hernandez, OG, UTEP
In the Falcons Super Bowl run in 2016, their offensive line stayed in tack the whole year. This year though, not the same. It’s been a combination of injuries and bad play that is causing the Dirty Birds to start looking at their guard spot.
Will Hernandez has been magnificent in his time at UTEP. He has received a great amount of national recognition and is a very strong man.
23. Tennessee Titans (8-5)-Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson
The Titans are somehow eight and five. Marcus Mariota has regressed this year and the defense is leaky. This team still finds a way to win though. Edge rusher should be somewhere they look at. Derrick Morgan and Brian Orakpo have played okay. They are 28 and 31, respectively. It is time to infuse some youth into this pass rushing group who can be consistent.
Clelin Ferrell has really started to get some attention with his play this year. He will fit great in the 34 defense with his old teammate, Kevin Dodd in the future.
24. Carolina Panthers (9-4)-Martinas Rankin, OT, Mississippi State
Cam Newton needs some better protection. Matt Kalil is nothing like he was in college. He was picked up by the Panthers after a bit of a failure in Minnesota.
Martinas Rankin is a great pass protector. He is big and has a great amount of experience to take over right away in Carolina. Rankin is also extremely versatile if he doesn’t get the nod at left tackle right away.
25. Buffalo Bills (7-6) via the Kansas City Chiefs (7-6)-Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas
The Buffalo Bills let Zach Brown leave last year in free agency and it is looking to have them in a bit of a whole. Preston Brown has done an alright job replacing him but he is a free agent at the end of the year. If they keep him, someone at outside linebacker would be nice to have.
Malik Jefferson came into this season as the top-ranked linebacker and should be close to it still. He has had a great college career and is a true linebacker with a knack for the ball.
26. New Orleans Saints (9-4)-Rashad Evans, LB, Alabama
The Saints defense has really played great this season. This is in most part to Marshon Lattimore and Cameron Jordan taking control of this defense. One position group that lacks though is the linebacker group. It can use an influx of youth.
Rashad Evans is just another one of those Alabama linebackers who look like they can excel at the next level. Saints almost got Rueban Foster last year but they just missed out.
27. Jacksonville Jaguars (9-4)-Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
Blake Borles look like he bought himself another year in Jacksonville. He has played quite well and he has done his job. His weapons could get a bit improved upon though.
Calvin Ridley is a very well known receiver in this class. He has been great in Alabama even though not the greatest quarterbacks. His volume has gone down each year but he has still put up numbers.
28. Los Angeles Rams (9-4)-Lorenzo Carter, EDGE, Georgia
Robert Quinn has really fallen off a cliff since 2014 because of injuries and not so great play. He has stepped it up a bit the last few week but it needs to come more often. He might be a cap casualty. Even if they keep him, the other edge rusher hasn’t been too great. Connor Barwin is getting too old and fighting injuries and Samson Ebukam is still a rookie.
Lorenzo Carter really stands out in his film. He is a very underrated player who is not getting the attention he deserves. He can stop both the run and rush the passer. Carter also has a great motor. He would take this defense to an elite level.
29. Minnesota Vikings (10-3)-Billy Price, OG, Ohio State
The Vikings offensive line has played great due to a lot of free agents coming over to help. Nick Easton and Joe Berger are easily replaceable though.
Billy Price can play both the guard and center position on the line. The Vikings have his former teammate, Pat Elflein. They had great chemistry at Ohio State and would like to continue that in the pros.
30. New England Patriots (11-2)-Luke Falk, QB, Washington State
Bill Belichick did it again this season. He traded his backup quarterbacks for high picks or a former first rounder. That plural quarterback wasn’t a typo either. He really found a way to trade Jimmy Garrappalo for a second rounder and Jacoby Brissett for a former first rounder. The Brissett trade doesn’t look too good for them as of now. Philip Dorsett isn’t on his way to get rid of his bust label anytime soon. Garrappalo also looks to be the franchise quarterback the 49ers just needed.
Bill Belichick can probably take a quarterback in any round of the draft and there is a good chance that they will start with another team one day. Belichick needs to get Tom Brady, the greatest of all time, another young backup though.
Tom Brady is still great even though his fluke performance against the Dolphins. It is still time to start looking for his successor as he is 40 years old. Brady will still probably somehow play until he is 60, but it is still worth a shot.
31.Philadelphia Eagles (11-2)-Chukwuma Okorafor, OT, Western Michigan
Future Hall of Famer Jason Peters career is coming to an end. It is time for the Eagles to find his apprentice this year. Halapoulivaati Vaitai has had a couple of bad games after a strong start to replacing him.
Eagles need a young tackle to protect Carson Wentz’s blindside for the next several years. Chukwuma Okorafor is a big, strong player who loves to play in the trenches. He is a great run-blocker. Okorafor is the reason that last year’s Western Michigan’s offensive lineman drafted was at right tackle. Okorafor will get the opportunity to learn behind a future Hall of Famer in which he is taking in what he learns to become better. He still needs to improve his pass protection technique but he will be set once he gets that down.
32. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-2)-T.J. Edwards, LB, Wisconsin
It is time for yet another Wisconsin T.J. in the first round for the Steelers. The Steelers behind Ryan Shazier, are very poor at inside linebackers. Shazier is a great player who possesses great instincts and speed. Shazier suffered a spine injury last week that put a slight halt in his career. He is forced to miss the season and his career is up in the air right now. My prayers are with Shazier, you never want a player to suffer an injury like that.
Steelers chose yet another T.J. from Wisconsin. T.J. Edwards would help this defense a lot, especially if Shazier ever comes back. This defense is different without Shazier but Edwards might be able to disguise that a bit.