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NFL Mock Drafts 1.0

Check out 2 mock drafts for the upcoming NFL Draft on April 26-28.

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NFL Mock Drafts 1.0

NFL Draft 2018 held in Arlington, Texas

NFL Draft 2018 held in Arlington, Texas

NFL Draft 2018 held in Arlington, Texas

NFL Draft 2018 held in Arlington, Texas

Zachary Kontenakos and Nate Shirley

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The NFL Draft is less than a month away, and many college players are filled with excitement for an opportunity to be drafted and play in the NFL. Here are 2 mock drafts containing the top 10 picks, by NFL Insider Zach Kontenakos, along with Nate Shirley. A ground rule of this mock draft is that there are no trades.

Zach’s Mock Draft

Pick 1- Cleveland Browns- QB Josh Allen (Wyoming)- Cleveland needs a quarterback bad, as they have never had a solid QB since their founding in 1999. Many people believe Sam Darnold, QB from USC to be the best quarterback in the draft, however, there have been reports leaked from Cleveland’s front office that they do not think that Darnold is the best quarterback and they are interested in Josh Allen. Allen is not as accurate as Darnold, however, he has a cannon like Ben Roethlisberger, and with 1-2 years to develop, he will be ready to lead this franchise to a winning record. The current QB for the Browns is Tyrod Taylor, who was the QB of a playoff team last year, so he is a solid placeholder until Allen is ready.  

Pick 2- New York Giants- QB Josh Rosen (UCLA)- Rosen is considered the most NFL ready quarterback, and with Eli Manning getting up there in age, a cornerstone franchise needs another quarterback ready to go. Also, the Giants had a horrible season, which is quite rare for them, so it will be sometime before they have an opportunity at a number 2 overall pick.

Pick 3- New York Jets- QB Sam Darnold (USC)- The Jets have not had an elite quarterback since Joe Namath won them the third Super Bowl III in 1969. Darnold is a big guy that can sling the ball in the cold weather in the north. He had an impressive pro day, and when it started to rain, he threw the ball even better according to many scouts. He is a franchise caliber player, and he can start right now, as the Jets do not have any good QBs on the roster.    

Pick 4- Cleveland Browns- RB Saquon Barkley (Penn State)- Saquon is described as a generational talent running back who is a home run hitter. He also returns kicks on special teams and is a very good blocker. Although this draft is deep with running backs, the Browns would have a franchise running back and quarterback combo for the next 8 years.  

Pick 5- Denver Broncos- QB Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma)- Baker is a Johnny Manziel, but with more talent and more self-control. He has good escapability and can throw the ball downfield. He does have some character issues as he is on a police video running from the cops and he grabbed his crotch on live TV during a game. Despite these flaws, Mayfield has great upside, and he does not have to start immediately, as Case Keenum signed with the Broncos and is the starting QB.  

Pick 6- Indianapolis Colts- DE Bradley Chubb (NC State)- The Colts have an awful defense, and the best way to make a defense better is to add a great pass rusher. An elite pass rusher is the 2nd most important position, after QB and before Left Tackle. Many people believe that Bradley Chubb would have gone #1 overall in last years draft, ahead of defensive end Myles Garrett. Bradley Chubb had 198 tackles, 25 sacks, and 6 Forced Fumbles in his college career, and is going to have the easiest transition to the NFL of the new rookies.  

Pick 7- Tampa Bay Buccaneers- CB Denzel Ward (OSU)- Ward is one of the fastest rising players in the draft, who was generally considered to not be in the top 10 just a few weeks ago. He was Ohio State’s shutdown cornerback who had 15 pass defenses and 2 interceptions last season. Tampa Bay has a solid offense, and a good linebacker and Defensive line. An addition to the secondary will immediately impact a team that underachieved a season ago.  

Nelson is considered the safest player in the draft with the least bust potential.”

Pick 8- Chicago Bears- G Quenton Nelson (Notre Dame)- Nelson is considered the safest player in the draft with the least bust potential. 2nd year QB Mitch Trubisky really can use some protection up front, as his pocket was constantly collapsing last year. Nelson will also help running back Jordan Howard bounce back from his down season last year. Although Nelson will not make the Bears a Division contender, he will help them in their rebuilding process.     

Pick 9- San Francisco 49ers- S Minkah Fitzpatrick (Alabama)- He is the most versatile player in this mock draft, as he can play deep safety, blitz off the edge, cover the slot, and play cornerback. He leads Alabama’s defense to a national championship last year and has only been working on his game with an impressive combine. He has an incredible 4 defensive touchdowns, along with 9 picks and 24 pass defenses, and 2 national championships in his Alabama career. San Francisco already helped out their secondary by signing Richard Sherman, and if they draft Fitzpatrick, then the 49ers will be well on their way to making the no-fly zone 2.0.  

Pick 10- Oakland Raiders- DE Marcus Davenport (UTSA)- The Raiders have a bad secondary, and the best way to make a young secondary better is to add a pass rush. This means that the secondary would have to cover for less time as the pass rush would get to the QB quicker. Davenport would bookend the defensive line with Khalil Mack, who is a pro bowl caliber player and the best player on the Raiders. This improvement on the defense would also take some pressure off the QB Derek Carr, who will need some time to adjust to his new head coach, Jon Gruden.

 

Nate’s Mock Draft

Pick 1- Cleveland Browns: QB Josh Allen (Wyoming) – The 2018 quarterback draft class is both strong and deep, but no quarterback in this class has the arm strength of Josh Allen. His cannon convinces the Browns to spend their number one overall selection on the QB out of Wyoming and Allen will attempt to bring stability to the disastrous quarterback situation that has historically plagued the Browns. While the Browns did make a trade for Tyrod Taylor earlier this offseason, the potential of Allen is too much to pass up and Taylor will serve as a bridge quarterback in the 2018 season while Allen develops. Bold prediction for this pick is that the Browns actually get it right for once and find their quarterback. They just locked down Jarvis Landry to a large contract extension and will hope to build around him and Allen to create a lethal offense for the future.

Pick 2- New York Giants: QB Josh Rosen (UCLA) – Eli Manning will be one of the many people on the edge of their seat while the Giants make this selection and I do not believe he will be happy with the result. The drafting of Josh Rosen out of UCLA will mark an end to Manning’s time in New York, and possibly an end to his career depending on if he wants to continue playing in a new city. Rosen will come in as a day one starter and will look to be the Giants franchise quarterback to rebuild that franchise around. Fortunately for Rosen, he will have one of the best receivers in the league catching passes from him in Odell Beckham Jr. The Giants will look to turn their abysmal roster around and either build around Beckham or trade the controversial star. Either way they choose to go, selecting Rosen at number two is the right decision.

Pick 3- New York Jets: QB Sam Darnold (USC) – The Jets are in desperate need of a quarterback and with the top two prospects gone they panic and reach for Darnold. With such a bad roster to begin with, the Jets pass up on some major talent and will regret this selection in the future. With Barkley and Chubb still on the board, the Jets will miss on some major talent for a guy that they hope will become a franchise quarterback, but I predict will be a mediocre starter at best.

Pick 4- Cleveland Browns: DE Bradley Chubb (NC State) – The Browns defensive line turns extremely scary with the addition of Chubb. The pairing of Myles Garrett and Chubb will be comparable to the Texans formidable force of Watt and Clowney with a few years of development. While they may regret passing on Barkley if the addition of Carlos Hyde does not pan out, Chubb will be a great addition to an already solid defensive line.

Pick 5- Denver Broncos: QB Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma) – An organization run by a hall of fame quarterback would know how to draft and evaluate quarterbacks right? Not necessarily. John Elway has so missed on quarterbacks the past few drafts, most notably Paxton Lynch and Tim Tebow, and this year will be no different. While Mayfield’s college heroics make him a desirable pick, his play style will not translate well to the NFL game and he will flame out after a few disappointing seasons. There are also off the field concerns that make him a difficult player to pick but supposedly the Broncos have fallen in love with him so he will most likely go at number five.

Pick 6- Indianapolis Colts: RB Saquon Barkley (Penn State) – The Colts are overjoyed that Barkley fell to them at number six. Barkley is arguably the most talented and NFL ready player in the draft and will look to be the next great rookie running back, following the success of Leonard Fournette, Kareem Hunt, and Ezekiel Elliott. Barkley will be the steal of the draft and teams like the Jets, Browns, and Broncos will regret passing on him for years to come.

Pick 7- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: S Minkah Fitzpatrick (Alabama) – Fitzpatrick was essential to Alabama’s playoff run and eventual National Championship victory. Personally, I think that he is the most talented defensive player in this draft and the second-best prospect behind only Barkley. His abilities in both run and pass make him a valuable asset and the leadership he showed during their championship run shows how special of a player he really is. Fitzpatrick is another player that teams will regret passing on for a long time.

Pick 8-  Chicago Bears: OG Quenton Nelson (Notre Dame) – While this is not a flashy pick, it is the right one. The Bears have a huge hole at the guard position with the departure of Josh Sitton and Nelson will be able to start at that position on day one. He is by far the best offensive line prospect in this draft and will be tasked with protecting last year’s first overall selection Mitch Trubisky.

Pick 9- San Francisco 49ers: CB Denzel Ward (Ohio State) – The 49ers found their quarterback of the future in Jimmy Garoppolo and now will look to fix up their defense. Denzel Ward will look to bring stability to one of the cornerback spots. He will look to be a leader of that secondary and start the rebuild of that defense to help bring Jimmy G and the Bay Area a championship.

While John Gruden’s tenure as the Raiders coach will not be defined by this pick, selecting Smith will be a good start to his time as the head coach of the Raiders.”

Pick 10- Oakland Raiders: MLB Roquon Smith (Georgia) – Roquon Smith was vital to Georgia’s SEC Championship victory and national championship appearance. His leadership ability and immense knowledge of the game make him an intriguing prospect at middle linebacker. Learning under defensive star Khalil Mack will turn Smith into a star of his own and help bring back the scary defense Oakland used to be famous for, even if they will play in Las Vegas instead of Oakland. While John Gruden’s tenure as the Raiders coach will not be defined by this pick, selecting Smith will be a good start to his time as the head coach of the Raiders.

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