NFL: Brian Bosarge’s 2018 Pre Free Agency First Round Mock Draft
Hello and welcome to my first post here at WBLZ Media. Since I am mainly here to talk about the NFL Draft, I figured what better way to ingratiate myself to a new audience than with a MOCK DRAFT. Everyone loves these, right? Since this will be my first mock draft for WBLZ, I will NOT be including any potential trades. I will, however, be offering a small explanation for each pick. Sit back, relax, and enjoy!
1. CLEVELAND BROWNS – Sam Darnold, QB, Southern Cal*
In this scenario, I believe the Browns will sign free agent QB A.J. McCarron to be the bridge quarterback. Darnold is not ready to be a starter on day one as he has mechanical issues that need to be addressed. His potential is sky-high, however.
2. NEW YORK GIANTS – Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State*
The rumor is that new GM Dave Gettleman does not want to select a QB here and instead keep rolling with Eli Manning. I believe that will be a mistake in the long run. If they keep the pick, I think they go with the best player available that fits a need and that is Barkley. I could also see a QB needy team coming up to take this pick as well.
3. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS – Bradley Chubb, EDGE, NC State
The Colts need a pass rusher, Chubb is the best one in the draft. I feel like this is the safest pick in this mock draft.
4. CLEVELAND BROWNS (F. HOU) – Minkah Fitzpatrick, CB, Alabama*
Fitzpatrick can play corner for Cleveland or free safety and be an All-Pro at either spot. Think about the impact Jalen Ramsey has made for Jacksonville, and that is the impact Fitzpatrick can have for the Browns.
5. DENVER BRONCOS – Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA*
In this scenario, I believe the Broncos will miss out on free agent QB Kirk Cousins but instead get to draft the best and most pro-ready quarterback in the 2018 class.
6. NEW YORK JETS – Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama*
I believe Kirk Cousins lands in New York as the highest paid player in the NFL (until Aaron Rodgers gets his extension) and the Jets get him a weapon with Ridley. Ridley is a game breaker at wide receiver who can separate from any corner.
7. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS – Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame
Tampa Bay needs an edge rusher terribly and may look to trade up to acquire Chubb. If they stay put, they can add a 10-year, perennial Pro Bowl guard in Nelson.
8. CHICAGO BEARS – Cortland Sutton, WR, SMU*
The Kevin White experiment seems to be nearing its end since he can’t stay healthy. They need weapons for QB Mitchell Trubisky, so let us get him a big and physical wideout like Sutton.
9. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS* * – Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia*
Since last year’s 1st-round pick Reuben Foster has been arrested twice this offseason, the feeling is that he may not be long for the NFL. Smith is a tackling machine and an elite linebacker prospect. He can either replace Foster or form an unstoppable duo with him.
10. OAKLAND RAIDERS* * – Vita Vea, DL, Washington*
The Raiders can use some interior pass rush and Vita Vea is the best at that in this draft.
11. MIAMI DOLPHINS – Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech*
It would not shock me to see the Dolphins draft a QB here, but Edmunds is the pick here. He will only be 19 years old on draft day. He can anchor the Miami defense for years to come.
12. CINCINNATI BENGALS – Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma*
Cedric Ogbueghi has been awful at left tackle. Jake Fisher has not been much better. Orlando Brown is a mammoth human who can destroy opponents in the run game and is improving as a pass blocker each year.
13. WASHINGTON REDSKINS – Derwin James. DS, Florida State*
The Redskins could also go with a project QB like Josh Allen here to sit behind newly acquired Alex Smith. I think they go with the ultimate defensive chess piece in Derwin James. James can rush off the edge, be a hybrid LB like Deone Bucannon and Mark Barron, roam centerfield, or even play corner. He is a top-five NFL talent in this draft and frankly should be picked higher than this.
14. GREEN BAY PACKERS – Harold Landry, EDGE, Boston College
Based off of 2016 tape, Landry would be picked in the top ten. His bend off of the edge is extraordinary. He had health issues all during the 2017 season. If the medicals check out Landry is ten sack per year guy for Green Bay.
15. ARIZONA CARDINALS – Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
With the retirement of Carson Palmer, Arizona will be looking for a new signal-caller. Mayfield can step in right away and be the leader of a potential playoff team. The Cards may have to move up to get him because I don’t think when all is said and done that he will slip this far.
16. BALTIMORE RAVENS – Mark Andrews, TE, Oklahoma*
Baltimore needs more help on offense. I could see a WR here if the value was right. I could also see a trade down. If they stay put, I believe a tight end is in play and Andrews is my top rated at the position. Dallas Goedert could also fit here.
17. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS – Connor Williams, OT, Texas*
After selecting two guards last year, the Bolts continue to re-tool their offensive line. Williams was projected as a potential top-5 NFL pick before a knee injury early in the season derailed him.
18. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS – Tarvarus McFadden, CB, Florida State*
Richard Sherman could be on the move. If they do that they can replace him with a long-armed CB in McFadden.
19. DALLAS COWBOYS – Arden Key, EDGE, LSU*
Demarcus Lawrence is an unrestricted free agent and likely to get PAID by someone else. Key has some off-field issues to answer for, but his skills off the edge are unquestioned.
20. DETROIT LIONS – Marcus Davenport, EDGE, UTSA
Ziggy Ansah is also a UFA but will be back on the franchise tag. Davenport has a freaky skill set but needs to time to develop. His defensive line coach at UTSA id now the DL coach with Detroit. I am just connecting a few dots.
21. BUFFALO BILLS – Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming*
The smoke coming from Orchard Park this week is that the Bills may be willing to package both of their 1st-round picks to move up for a QB. Here they stay put and select the ultimate developmental player in Allen. Allen has accuracy issues that I am not sure can be fixed but NFL teams will be transfixed on his arm talent. I would rather develop Lamar Jackson but I don’t think NFL teams will think the same.
22. BUFFALO BILLS (F. KC) – Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama
Evans will be everything they thought Reggie Ragland would be a few years ago.
23. LOS ANGELES RAMS – Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State*
The Rams will likely lose Trumaine Johnson to free agency so they will need to add a corner. I have other corners higher on my board but Ward is a name I am hearing linked to the first round.
24. CAROLINA PANTHERS – Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M*
After losing Ted Ginn, Carolina has been seeking to replace his impact. Kirk can be a perfect slot receiver and impact return man.
25. TENNESSEE TITANS – Isaiah Wynn, OG, Georgia
Tennessee needs to protect the franchise QB better up the middle. Wynn dominated at the Senior Bowl and will be a day one impact starter.
26. ATLANTA FALCONS – Da’Ron Payne, DL, Alabama*
Atlanta needs to upgrade the defensive interior next to Grady Jarrett. In brief, Payne gives you two downs of run thumping with a little pass rush upside.
27. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS – Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State
Priority one for New Orleans this offseason is extending Drew Brees’ contract. Moreover, if they can’t do that, it really doesn’t matter who they pick here. Nevertheless, Goedert can be the field stretching and jump ball TE they lost after trading Jimmy Graham. After all, Colby Fleener was a waste of money in free agency.
28. PITTSBURGH STEELERS – Ronnie Harrison, DS, Alabama*
If Josh Allen were to fall here, I could see Pittsburgh pulling the trigger. Instead, they upgrade the safety position with Harrison.
29. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS – Will Hernandez, OG, UTEP
Hernandez is a nasty run blocker who will fit perfectly in the Jacksonville power run system.
30. MINNESOTA VIKINGS – Taven Bryan, DL, Florida*
Bryan can give Minnesota some sorely needed interior pass rush. In fact, he could be a Geno Atkins type for HC Mike Zimmer.
31. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS – Mike McGlinchey, OT Notre Dame
Nate Solder is an unrestricted free agent. Hence, McGlinchey could come in and start right away or New England could move back for more picks.
32. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES – Derrius Guice, RB, LSU*
I was at a loss as to what the Eagles would do here so I just went with the best player on the board. Guice is a top ten talent, but RB need was not there in Round One. Thus, a team looking to get a 5th-year option on a player could move into this spot for the right price.
Look for more draft-related content coming up over the next couple of days, including, but not limited to, a series of positional previews for the NFL Combine.
**-coin flip to decide pick order at the combine