Ell’s NFL Mock Draft 2.0
- Browns – QB Sam Darnold, USC
The Browns need to solve the never ending story at QB and find their franchise guy; Rosen is the better QB, in my opinion, but Sam Darnold is battle tested and he can make all of the throws, which makes him a better fit for the Browns. Darnold actually wants to play for the Browns, which is another plus and he can sit behind veteran Tyrod Taylor for a year.
- Giants – DE/OLB Bradley Chubb, NC State
The Giants need a long term answer at QB, but selecting a QB here would be pushing Eli Manning out the door. The Giants allowed one of their best pass rushers to leave in Jason Pierre-Paul and Bradley Chubb is the top pass rusher and defender in the draft. Chubb has the size to play in the Giants new 3-4 defense, unlike Pierre-Paul, and he can be utilized in many ways; hand in the ground or standing up.
- Jets (via trade with Colts – QB Josh Rosen, UCLA
The Jets moved up giving up their own 1st (#6 overall) and three 2nd round picks to the Colts, so this pick has to be a QB with veterans Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater on 1yr deals. Josh Rosen has all the tools and can make all of the throws, sitting behind the vets would still be his best case scenario; why not select the guy who wants more rings than Tom Brady.
- Browns – RB Saquon Barkley, Penn State
The Browns are in need of play makers at many spots, but with possibly the best overall and offensive player in the draft available, Saquon Barkley is a RB they can move all over the field. Barkley is a workhorse back like Todd Gurley who also has the hands to not come off the field. He wowed teams at the combine with his overall skillset; the Browns could trade down for more picks at this spot.
- Broncos – QB Josh Allen, Wyoming
The Broncos claim to have found their QB in veteran Case Keenum, however, the Broncos will select Josh Allen a player they coached in the Senior Bowl with a close look before the hype. Allen is a big country boy with a big arm and good athleticism who could sit and learn behind the vet; he has shown good progress in footwork and accuracy in the offseason, but more work will be needed.
- Colts (via trade with the Jets) – G Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame
The Colts traded down to acquire more picks and could decide to make another move with this pick, but if they stay here Quenton Nelson should be the pick. Protecting QB Andrew Luck should be #1 on the priority list and Nelson is considered the best O-lineman in the draft, despite playing Guard, and he can help upgrade a horrendous offensive line immediately.
- Buccaneers – SS Derwin James, Florida State
The Bucs took a big step back this season, despite having the talent; the defense didn’t help an inconsistent offense, as the secondary was generally torched regularly thanks to average play at Safety, Derwin James has moved up the board after displaying top athleticism; he would be a tough enforcer and much needed playmaker for a secondary in need of talent and a big hitter.
- Bills – QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma (Projected trade with Bears)
The Bears answered a lot of their needs via free agency at WR and CB, where these obvious positions no longer need draft attention, allowing them to focus elsewhere. The Bears should be a good trade down spot to recoup some of the picks from trading up last year. The Bills need a QB of the future after the Tyrod Taylor trade. Baker Mayfield is the most polarizing player in the draft a player who has the swagger and confidence, but has also shown accuracy and athleticism despite the height limitations.
- 49ers – DB Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama
The 49ers could go a lot of different ways with this pick with needs on offense and defense. However, the team needs immediate help in the secondary, preferably CB, but in this case the top DB falls in their lap with the top 4 QBs coming off the board. Fitzpatrick can play both Safety and Cornerback, but some scouts believe he will be a better fit as a full time CB; he is a jack of all trades with ball-hawking skills.
- Raiders – LB Roquan Smith, Georgia
The Raiders need defensive playmakers to help star edge rusher Khalil Mack and there is still a spot open at ILB or OLB depending which spot free agent Tahir Whitehead starts. Roquan Smith is a slightly undersized MLB who plays with good speed, athleticism, and instincts. He would be a welcome addition in the middle or even on the weak side; drawing comparisons to Hall of Fame LB Derrick Brooks.
- Dolphins – DT Vita Vea, Washington
The Dolphins need a replacement inside for DT Ndamukong Suh. Vita Vea would be a welcome addition to an already active D-line, as a big piece to take on double teams and provide pressure up the middle; scouts believe he hasn’t reached his full potential similar to DT/DE Haloti Ngata.
- Bears (Projected trade with Bills) – LB Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech
The Bills have made it known they want a new QB to take over the team for the long term, so I projected a trade up above with the Bears. In this scenario, the Bears still get a player that had their eye on at #8, as well in Tremaine Edmunds. Edmunds is considered one of the best LBs in the draft a prototypical new age MLB with good size and athleticism; he would be an immediate starter.
- Redskins – CB Denzel Ward, Ohio State
The Redskins could go many ways with this pick, but after the trade for QB Alex Smith this pick will definitely be defensive. Denzel Ward is a slightly undersized CB who plays bigger than he is with solid coverage/ball hawking skills, speed, and recovery skills to knock the ball out; the Skins need a CB after losing Kendall Fuller and Bashaud Breeland; Ward is the #1 ranked CB in the draft.
- Packers – DE Marcus Davenport, UTSA
The Packers could go many ways with this pick, but it will be used on defense, so they decide to add another pass rusher in a division full of passing. Marcus Davenport is an intriguing pass rusher with good size and athleticism to be a problem off the edge, despite coming from a small school; he could cause a lot of matchup problems with pass rushers Clay Matthews and Nick Perry.
- Cardinals – WR Calvin Ridley, Alabama
The Cardinals have added QBs Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon, but outside of top targets WR Larry Fitzgerald and RB David Johnson, the team lacks playmakers. The Cardinals could use a WR who can make plays in space with the versatility to move inside and outside. Insert Calvin Ridley, one of the top WRs in the draft, a playmaker with good speed who wants to prove that he is the top WR In the draft.
- Ravens – OT Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame
The Ravens need to progress on offense as they seemed to have found a RB in Alex Collins while continuing to overhaul the WR core via free agency. The injuries on the offensive line are concerning and adding another lineman makes sense. Mike McGlinchey is a tough blue collar lineman who plays with a physical nature and good technique; however, some teams think he is a RT because of struggles against speed rushers. He could start immediately at RT, allowing Alex Lewis to stay at Guard.
- Chargers – T Kolton Miller, UCLA
The Chargers need to add a tackle for the long term to protect Philip Rivers and any QB they have down the line; with so many injuries along the line every year any investment in the O-line helps. Kolton Miller is a rising tackle in the draft with no elite prospect at the position. Miller is a huge tackle who plays with good strength and technique, but he is raw with only one year as a starter.
- Seahawks – DE/OLB Harold Landry, Boston College
The Seahawks are in a defensive rebuild with the ending of the Legion of Boom defense and the loss of pass rusher Michael Bennett, as well as, others due to injuries. Harold Landry is one of the top pass rushers in the draft and hard workers, he has been through his share of ups and downs in college making him battle tested and overly critiqued; he could help replace Cliff Avril, as a rusher off the edge.
- Cowboys – WR Courtland Sutton, SMU
The Cowboys finally released WR Dez Bryant after a decline in production due to injuries, with help already needed at the position, trying to find a replacement makes sense. Courtland Sutton is a big WR with good hands and the ability to go up and get the ball then make plays after catch, with the young Cowboys core in place; he could develop into a #1 WR.
- Lions – G Will Hernandez, UTEP
The Lions added RB LeGarrette Blount and would like to add an offensive lineman to kick start the run game which has been non-existent to inconsistent for years. Will Hernandez is a rising lineman who plays with good toughness and athleticism, as one of the top run blockers in the draft; he will be a welcome addition to an O-line that has transitioned nicely through the draft and free agency.
- Bengals (via trade with Bills) – LB Rashaan Evans, Alabama
After moving back in the draft and addressing a big need at LT with veteran Cordy Glenn from the Bills, the Bengals have options with this pick and could pick the best player available. Rashaan Evans is an athletic linebacker with good size the ability to play both inside and outside, but he will be an immediate starter on a good defensive unit next to Vontaze Burfict.
- Bears (Projected trade with Bills) – C James Daniels, Iowa
After the projected trade with the Bills, the Bears now own the 22nd spot in the mock, after selecting a LB earlier it is time to address the interior O-line. James Daniels is a raw, but very talented interior lineman with good size and technique, however he is only a two year starter; scouts believe he would fit nicely in the Bears new zone blocking scheme.
- Patriots (trade with Rams) – QB Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State
The Rams needed a WR with this pick and decided to smartly add veteran Brandin Cooks instead. The Patriots need a QB to groom behind Tom Brady. Mason Rudolph is a tough athletic QB with good size and arm strength, but some teams question his accuracy and decision making; a year behind Brady with the coaching of Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels could have him ready to put it all together.
- Panthers – G/T Isaiah Wynn, Georgia
The Panthers could go a few ways with this pick as they have many holes to fill, but after losing underrated G Andrew Norwell via free agency it would be best to find a replacement; Norwell made 1st team All-Pro last season. Isaiah Wynn is a huge lineman who plays with good strength and run blocking skills, his height is a concern, but he should be a dominant Guard and fill-in RT.
- Titans – LB Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State
The Titans could go many ways with this pick with needs on both sides of the ball, but new HC Mike Vrabel should go defense with his 1st choice and best player on the board. With intriguing LB Leighton Vander Esch on the board the Titans could mold him as their future at MLB. He is a raw, but talented LB who can do everything on the field, but the biggest concern is that he is a 1yr starter.
- Falcons – DT Da’Ron Payne, Alabama
The Falcons could use some help up front with the 1yr rental of veteran NT Dontari Poe coming to an end. Payne would be a solid run stuffer next to DT Grady Jarrett who can also give a good push inside with a relentless motor; some scouts believe he extremely underrated in a strong defensive draft.
- Saints – DE/OLB Arden Key, LSU
Most people think the Saints will continue to add offense, but that side was a well-oiled machine, so adding to the front 7 would help as the secondary turned into a strength position. Arden Key is an edge rusher with good size, speed, and talent, but off the field concerns and injuries are causing him to drop; I think he would be most comfortable in New Orleans and the Saints are interested.
- Steelers – QB Lamar Jackson, Louisville
The Steelers need to find a QB to groom behind Ben Roethlisberger similar to the Patriots and at this point in the 1st round Lamar Jackson would be an ideal fit. Jackson is an athletic QB, who seems to have a better arm than people gave him credit for, but he is clearly a dual threat; a year behind Ben could have him ready with weapons in place.
- Jaguars – TE Hayden Hurst, South Carolina
The Jags are a young team without many needs, but they could use a young reliable pass catching TE with so much inconsistency at the position. Hayden Hurst is considered the best overall TE in this draft with good blocking, versatility, and passing ability; some scouts feel was underutilized.
- Vikings – C/G Billy Price, Ohio State
The Vikings should continue to upgrade their O-line, as the team got great results out of an above average group. Billy Price is considered to be the best Center in the draft with the physicality to even move inside to Guard; versatility always adds value; he could start at either spot immediately. However, he is recovering from an offseason injury, but he is expected to be cleared by training camp.
- Patriots – TE Dallas Goedert, South Dakota State
The Patriots could go many ways with this pick with a lot of talent on the board, but in this case they add a TE with TE Rob Gronkowski contemplating retirement and oft-injured. Dallas Goedert is considered TE 1B in the draft and has impressed coaches. He has been a pass catching nightmare in college, but comes from a small school, so transition is always a question, but the talent is not.
- Eagles – RB Derrius Guice, LSU
The Eagles allowed RB LeGarrette Blount to walk like teams before them, especially after adding Jay Ajayi, but the team needs a power back to fill that role. Derrius Guice is a solid power back who plays with good game speed and could be a workhorse in the league like many other LSU backs in the league.
Teams Without 1st Round Picks: Texans and Chiefs