2018 NFL Mock Draft

Last Updated: 1/19/2018

We will update the 2018 NFL Mock Draft on a weekly basis during the off-season so be sure to check back often, and don't forget to check out our links page on the right hand side to find several fantastic draft resources elsewhere on the web!

1. 


As the organization hit yet another all-time low this season, becoming just the second team ever to go 0-16, the Cleveland Browns could be turned around sooner than expected with a few successful drafts in a row. That's easier said than done, of course, but it literally can't get any worse than it was this season.

It's no secret Cleveland remains in dire need of a franchise quarterback after trading the draft picks that became both Carson Wentz and Dashaun Watson, but with two elite level quarterbacks available and the Colts unlikely to draft one, the Browns would still be able to draft a quarterback at 4. If Barkley is around at 3, I would be shocked if he wasn't the Colts pick, so Cleveland would need to take Barkley here to land him. The Colts could very well trade out of the third pick and the Browns would be screwed again, but it's entirely possible the new Browns regime decides to target someone like Alex Smith this off-season also.

As arguably the top talent in the draft, Saquon Barkley seems poised to burst onto the NFL scene and energize whichever fan base is lucky enough to watch him every Sunday (or Thursday, or Monday. Sometimes Saturday. My goodness the NFL's on TV a lot.) Giving Hue Jackson a legitimate offensive weapon to build his offense around would allow the organization to properly evaluate Jackson's coaching. Despite Jason McCourty's assertion the issue "wasn't the talent", the Browns roster has been atrocious over the last two seasons.


2. New York Giants - Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA


It's no secret the Giants need to find a quarterback of the future, and despite their assertions that they plan to keep Eli Manning, that's not at all a foregone conclusion. With the Giants reportedly set to hire Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, I think it's very likely they draft a quarterback. If the Giants do indeed prefer Rosen over Sam Darnold, he seems NFL ready from day one.

Josh Rosen threw for over 9,000 yards in three seasons at UCLA and possesses what should be very good NFL arm strength. Interestingly enough, Rosen's college career and pedigree is very similar to Eli Manning when he was coming out of Ole Miss, although Eli's older brother helped his reputation quite a bit.

Eli threw for over 10,000 yards at Ole Miss in basically 3 seasons, and then started from day one after using up his eligibility. Rosen can definitely step in and have a similar if not even better career, although Rosen will need to remain healthy long-term to do that and he's a year younger than Manning was in the draft.

The main knocks on Rosen seem to be that he feels college athletes deserve to be paid (they absolutely do) and that he'd prefer to play in New York over Cleveland (again, duh). Somehow stating the obvious causes the media to call you "outspoken" but Rosen is simply a great college quarterback with a very bright NFL future.

**TRADE: Indianapolis Colts trade #3 overall pick to the New York Jets for the #6 overall pick, #72 overall pick and 2019 6th rounder**


3. New York Jets - Sam Darnold, QB, USC


New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan has already said he'd be willing to trade up in the draft if need be for a quarterback they highly covet. With Saquon Barkley off the board the Colts can afford to trade back and add some extra picks, and the Jets wouldn't need to mortgage the future because they're only moving up a few spots.

Sam Darnold has the best throwing upside of any quarterback in the draft. He's less experienced then Josh Rosen and continues to be a turnover machine at times, but the pocket presence and ability to throw the ball under pressure are vital traits for a franchise quarterback and Darnold has them in spades. He took hit after hit against Ohio State in the Rose Bowl and still showed off remarkable arm strength and accuracy.

His fumbling issues are a bit worrisome and there's a chance his hand size will come in a bit smaller than expected, as fumbling issues are oftentimes due to small hands. Darnold seems as likely as anyone in the draft to be a superstar in the NFL, and while the Jets may insist they still believe in Christian Hackenberg, it's clear they really don't or he would've played by now.

And how fun would it be to see the two west coast rivals each leading a New York franchise?


4. Cleveland Browns (via Texans) - Derwin James, DB, Florida St.


In this scenario, the Browns would again appear to have outsmarted themselves by passing on two more potential franchise quarterbacks. The team could draft Wyoming's Josh Allen, who has a big frame and a big arm but his accuracy issues make him less than ideal for a franchise like Cleveland.

James is one of the best athletes in college football, but what separates him from most players is his football IQ. He jumps off the screen at times with his play, and while he tends to be a little over aggressive in coverage, his ball-hawking abilities are still very good.

He struggled for about half the season as he continued to come back from last season's gruesome injury, but his final five games were outstanding. If Florida State was in contention, James would've been one of the most talked about players in the country. His film is going to sky rocket him up teams draft boards, and his interviews should help him too.

He's also capable of playing in the box and blitzing off the edge, and would help form a great core with last year's number one pick Myles Garrett. The organization would still need to address their quarterback situation, but adding two standout talents like Barkley and James would help the team return to respectability sooner rather than later.

5. Denver Broncos - Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State


The Broncos badly need to find an answer at the quarterback position, and Josh Allen would be a possibility here, but they seem more likely to chase a veteran answer at the position. Adding arguably the country's best all-around defensive lineman to a very strong defense would only make the unit that much stronger.

Chubb would give the Broncos another potential franchise defender to pair with Von Miller and ideally develop into the anchor of the defense as Miller ages over the next few years.

The North Carolina State standout put up back to back 10 sack seasons, and compiled 44 tackles for loss over the same time frame. He's a monster, plain and simple, and his positional versatility is an added bonus. Only an injury or an historically poor pro day would move Chubb out of the top 5 in our opinion.


6. Indianapolis Colts - Denzel Ward, DB, Ohio State


The Colts badly need to find a number one corner, and while a player like Minkah Fitzpatrick is a possibility he's not the kind of true cover corner the Colts defense could really use. If Andrew Luck comes back healthy, the offense should be very good again, and even if he never plays again, Jacoby Brissett can likely lead a decent offense as well.

Improving the defensive backfield is a must and a player like Ward should be able to contribute immediately. He may not have the same kind of instant impact that his former teammate Marshon Lattimore had this season with New Orleans, but he's been one of the more underrated defensive backs in the country over the last two seasons.

Ohio State is quickly becoming defensive back university.

7. Tampa Bay Bucs - Arden Key, DE/OLB, LSU


Coming into the season, LSU's Arden Key was considered a potential number one pick. After spending his first two seasons as a defensive end, including an 11 sack season last year, Key spent the majority of his time playing linebacker this season.

He still rushed the passer quite a bit but he was expected to do a lot more then simply put his hand in the ground and get to the quarterback, and he struggled a bit in that role. He's best suited to be a pass rusher at the next level, someone who teams need to game plan against in key situations.

It's no secret the Bucs pass rush was embarrassingly bad, and while they seem likely to target at least one free agent defensive lineman, drafting a player like Key would go a long way toward improving the anemic pass rush from this past season.

8. Chicago Bears - Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama


A year after drafting quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, the Bears seem likely to target a pass catcher or two in the early rounds of the draft. It's hard to properly evaluate a young quarterback when he doesn't have anyone to throw the ball to.

Ridley will be in the discussion as the top receiver in the draft, along with SMU's Courtland Sutton. I expect Ridley to post better times in the 40-yard-dash and think that will make him the Bears top target.

The Alabama standout was expected to do a bit more this season, but Alabama's generally conservative play calling and Jalen Hurts' less than stellar passing ability played a big part in Ridley's down season. He still projects as a potential top tier receiver at the next level.

9. San Francisco 49ers - Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama


Considered potentially the best all-around player in the whole draft, Minkah Fitzpatrick is a defensive coordinators dream. He can line up outside and defend receivers one-on-one, he can line up in the slot and help take away a tight end or a speedy receiver, and he's a very good run defender/blitzer as well. 

What may cause him to slip a little is that he's likely going to be mostly a safety at the next level who can be moved around in certain packages, and NFL teams continue to simply undervalue safeties. With so few great safeties in the league, Fitzpatrick could potentially emerge as one of the league's best safeties as a rookie.

With former safety John Lynch running things in San Francisco, he'd likely be elated to draft a player with Fitzpatrick's ability at this point. He's an early candidate to win defensive rookie of the year, and with Lynch's tutelage he would likely only get better.


10. Oakland Raiders - Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia


The Raiders decision to hire Paul Guenther as their defensive coordinator means they'll likely be in the market for a rangy linebacker to roam sideline to sideline while Khalil Mack continues to be a dominant force rushing the passer.

Guenther was the Bengals linebackers coach before becoming their defensive coordinator, and is widely regarded as one of the best blitz designers in the league. The Bengals didn't blitz as often as expected, although some attribute that to Marvin Lewis being conservative.

Adding a rangy speedster like Smith who can both get to the quarterback and hold his own in coverage would give Guenther plenty of options in developing his new defensive scheme. It's possible Gruden will want to draft a toy to play with on offense, but the fact remains the Raiders still have a solid core of offensive playmakers. It's important they find playmakers on defense to pair with superstar Mack.


11. Miami Dolphins - Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame


At times last season the Miami Dolphins showed flashes of the talent they possess, and improving their offensive line could help quite a bit in keeping Ryan Tannehill healthy next season. Even a healthy Tannehill doesn't guarantee improvement, but it should give the Dolphins some hope to simply move on from Jay Cutler.

Nelson is the best offensive lineman in the draft and one of the most dominant interior lineman to come out in recent memory. He should be able to step in from day one and be a starter at this level, and should emerge as a standout guard in the near future. 

If left tackle Laremy Tunsil can develop into the player some expect him to be, the Dolphins offensive line would be good for quite some time. Nelson would bring a lunch pail type attitude to a team that reportedly had issues with veteran players all season last year.

12. Cincinnati Bengals - Connor Williams, OT, Texas


The Bengals lost long-time standout Andrew Whitworth in free agency last year, then watched him help anchor a Rams offensive line that had one of the greatest offensive turn arounds in league history. 

With an offense built around a strong running game it's imperative the team has difference makers along their line, and Connor Williams has the potential to develop into a very special left tackle at the next level.

Another potential top 5 pick coming into the season, the former Longhorn blindside protector dealt with injuries for most of the season before coming back near the end. His performance seemed to put any doubts to rest if he was healthy, but his pro day workout and medical examination are very important dates to watch for.


13. Washington Redskins - Vita Vea, DT, Washington


The Redskins biggest off-season question mark is obviously what they decide to do with quarterback Kirk Cousins. He's played the franchise tag game perfectly over the past few seasons and is going to get to test the market as an unrestricted free agent if the Redskins don't sign him long-term. The franchise tag yet again would simply cost the team too much money for it to be a viable option.

Even if Cousins leaves, I doubt the Redskins would draft a first round quarterback. With plenty of veteran options potentially available (Alex SmithCase KeenumEli Manning) the Redskins can target a badly needed defensive tackle in the first round. 

Vita Vea has seen his name all over the place in mock drafts during the season, as some scouts feel he's a long-term health issue waiting to happen and think he's more a 3rd round prospect. Others have seen how he can take over games for stretches and his size makes him very difficult to move out of the middle, which makes him a day one prospect.

His film shows he's the most dominant tackle when he's fully engaged, and with some improved conditioning he could emerge as one of the league's best defensive lineman in short order. Pairing him with last year's first round pick Jonathan Allen would give the Redskins a great young core of defensive lineman to build around.

14. Green Bay Packers - Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas


The Packers biggest need is an edge rusher, as their below average defensive backs were too often left on an island trying to cover very good receivers for far too long as the Packers pass-rush did nothing to pressure the opposing quarterbacks.

While there are always edge rushers available in the draft, it seems more likely Green Bay will target an established edge rusher in free agency, as it seems likely they'd prefer to get some instant improvement as long as Aaron Rodgers is around.

Malik Jefferson is one of the best all-around linebackers in the country, and he also showed his intelligence by avoiding injury and choosing not to play in Texas' exhibition bowl game that means nothing. With Clay Matthews aging less than gracefully and Blake Martinez at his best as a run stopper, adding someone like Jefferson who can range sideline to sideline is a must for a Packers defense that needs to improve a lot next season.


15. Arizona Cardinals Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming


Widely considered a lock for the top 10, we believe Josh Allen is the most likely first round prospect to bust at the next level. Once teams go over the film I think they will see that he's going to need to be developed quite a bit still, and that's a red flag to some scouts.

With Carson Palmer and Bruce Arians retiring, the Cardinals seem poised to draft a young quarterback for their new head coach to develop long-term. Allen's size and arm strength are undoubtedly NFL-caliber, but he'll need to improve his pocket presence and accuracy. Those two traits tend to be the most difficult to develop, though, which is why we remain bearish on Allen's future.

In 11 games this year Allen threw for just 1,812 yards and 16 touchdowns, with 6 interceptions. He completed just 56% of his passes, almost identical to his completion percentage last season. Those who like Allen point to the talent level of his receivers as an issue, but he also played generally lower competition and failed to dominate at all. He would benefit more by being drafted on day two and getting a year or two to learn behind a veteran, but that doesn't seem likely with his arm talent.

16. Baltimore Ravens - Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU


Joe Flacco had one of his worst professional seasons this past year, but that can likely be attributed to him playing through a fairly serious back injury all season long. There were times where it was clear Flacco simply couldn't make throws he's proven he's capable of, and the back injury seems as likely as any other reasoning.

Of course, the Ravens receiving core was bad too, and didn't help Flacco at all. Mike Wallace hasn't been useful since he left Pittsburgh, and the Ravens would be wise to move on him from him this off-season. Former first rounder Breshad Perriman continues to be a speedster who can't stay healthy, and hasn't done a whole lot when he has seen the field.

Courtland Sutton is the draft's best deep ball receiver, as his ability to high point throws to snatch the ball away from defenders is phenomenal. A healthy Flacco would pair well with a receiver like Sutton, and no doubt the Ravens would love to finally find a consistent pass catcher for their franchise quarterback.


17. Los Angeles Chargers - Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma


With Philip Rivers still playing at a high level, he'd likely be angry at the team drafting his replacement instead of upgrading a more pressing need. However, the Chargers need to start planning for a future without Rivers, as aging quarterbacks seem to just hit a wall without warning and that's that.

Baker Mayfield won the Heisman trophy, and despite being undersized and a projected day 3 pick prior to the season, his dominant play has catapulted him into the first round discussion. Other than his size, Mayfield's biggest knock seems to be that he can let his emotions get the best of him at times. Most of his dust ups weren't big deals if it weren't for the microscope the media has on him, but undoubtedly his antics will turn off some scouts.

Interestingly enough, a young Rivers constantly let his emotions show on the field, getting into what seemed like yearly shouting matches with Jay Cutler when he played for the Denver Broncos. Mayfield isn't as highly regarded coming out of college as Rivers was, but they have a very similar mental makeup and the competitiveness Mayfield has is something his teammates will love.


18. Seattle Seahawks - Joshua Jackson, CB, Iowa


Richard Sherman has been one of the best and most outspoken players in the league over the last five seasons, although his days as a Seattle Seahawk would appear to be numbered. After shopping Sherman around last off-season and ultimately deciding the offers weren't good enough to move him, Sherman tore his achilles this season and may miss some games next season because of it.

I expect Seattle to simply let Sherman rehab his injury and play one more season in Seattle, and then let him leave via free agency. Because most corners take at least a year to develop into anything useful (Marshon Lattimore excluded) it's important for Seattle to find a replacement this season and develop him behind Sherman for at least a year.

Joshua Jackson is a prototypical Pete Carroll corner, as he has the size and physicality to press receivers at the line but also the speed to cover plenty of ground. While Jackson at this point seems to be slightly better as a man coverage corner, his skillset should allow him to develop into a standout cover 3 corner for Seattle. He would also give the team some insurance in case Sherman is unable to return to form following his injury.


19. Dallas Cowboys - Tarvarus McFadden, DB, Florida State


The Cowboys seem likely to move on from the overrated Dez Bryant this off-season, but we expect Dallas to either re-sign Bryce Butler to fill his role or a different veteran pass catcher (Larry Fitzgerald, anyone?) so drafting a first round receiver won't be a major requirement for the organization.

A down season for Florida State will likely cause Tarvarus McFadden to fall further then he should, but he's as talented as any defensive back in the draft. He's got the size (6'2, 200) and speed (4.4ish) coaches dream of in their corners, and his ball skills are considerably better than most players his size.

He tends to get lazy in his technique at times and as is the case with most college standouts, he can be over aggressive and give up big plays. He'll need to improve his tackling, although he's willing to mix it up with defenders and his toughness is not an issue. If he can improve his tackling form and learn to be a little less aggressive, he should be one of the best corners from this draft class.

20. Detroit Lions - Marcus Davenport, DL, UTSA


If you've watched Monday Night Football any time the Lions are playing, you know that their running game has been a major problem for years now. Even after Calvin Johnson retired, the Lions seemed to abandon the running game far too early in most games. The interior of the offensive line badly needs an upgrade, but there aren't any players available at this point that wouldn't be a reach. Adding a first round running back could help, but without an improved line I'm not sure how much that would help.

If you can't run the ball, you better have a defense that can force turnovers and make quarterbacks very uncomfortable on a weekly basis. With Ezekiel Ansah lining up on one side, the Lions would be wise to find a pass rushing specialist to line up opposite Ansah. Forcing offenses to worry about two outstanding edge rushers is a nightmare.

Marcus Davenport may have been in the discussion for the top 10 if he had come from a bigger school. Playing in a conference that uses quick passes and inside runs, Davenport racked up 17.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks in 11 games this past season, despite being double teamed on almost every play. He's expected to impress at the combine, and if he does he may end up considerably higher than this. For now, the Lions would be thrilled to add a player like Davenport to their defensive line.

21. Buffalo Bills - Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State


After being benched for Nathan Peterman and basically thrown under the bus all season, it seems like a virtual lock that Tyrod Taylor will not return as the Bills quarterback next season. Peterman's play was so poor as a rookie that his NFL future is also very much in doubt, although he'll likely remain Buffalo's backup quarterback throughout his rookie contract.

Mason Rudolph was one of the best passing quarterbacks in the country, and his ability to lead his receivers so they can catch and run is one of his most underrated skills. It's hard to properly evaluate any college quarterback, but it's especially difficult in the Big 12 because the defenses are atrocious. 

Rudolph played well enough this season that he's in the first round conversation, and with so many teams looking for an upgrade at quarterback it'd be a bit surprising if he's not a first round pick.


22. Buffalo Bills (via Kansas City Chiefs) - Da'Ron Payne, DT, Alabama


After trading Marcell Dareus it's no secret the Bills needs to find an interior pass rusher. The team wasn't going to re-sign him anyway, so getting some draft picks for him at the deadline was a shrewd decision for a team that didn't have any real shot at the Super Bowl.

Da'Ron Payne at times looks like the most dominant defensive tackle in the country, and his great performance against Georgia in the national championship game should help propel him into the first round. At the very least Payne should be a useful rotation player, and if he develops into the player his talent suggests he could be, he might be one of the bigger steals of the draft at this point.

23. Los Angeles Rams - Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech


The Rams have a very strong core of players, and if they can draft a few valuable players to put around those core guys they could be built for a long run atop their division. With basically all of their defensive backs set to test free agency, a corner would seem like a lock, but the Rams could also use some youth at outside linebacker. 

Alex Ogletree
 and Mark Barron have been very good players over the last few seasons, but neither player is getting any younger and Edmunds will likely be more of a situational player as a rookie anyway. 

Tremaine Edmunds is expected to post eye-popping numbers during the combine, as he's arguably the most gifted athlete in the whole draft considering his size. He could be used as both a situational pass rusher and a nickel coverage linebacker while he learns the pro game, and he would give the Rams defense another great athlete to develop.

24. Carolina Panthers - Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma


One season after signing tackle Matt Kalil for $55 million, the Panthers are already in need of an upgrade. Kalil's contract was really a two-year deal with a 3-year option, meaning the Panthers will almost certainly release Kalil after next season.

Drafting and developing a replacement seems very likely, and if Orlando Brown remains available by the time their pick comes, I'd be shocked if he's not the choice. Notre Dame's Mike McGlinchy would be a possibility here too, but Brown's size has some scouts very intrigued. 

Brown could potentially replace Kalil from day one, but more likely would be used in multiple spots along the line as a rookie while being groomed to replace Kalil as soon as 2019.

25. Tennessee Titans - Harold Landry, DE/OLB, Boston College


The Titans could use a speed rusher to help get more pressure on the quarterback, as well as to possibly take away some attention from standout defensive lineman Jurrell Casey. While edge rusher is a need, Landry is arguably the best player available as well so they would likely turn their card in quickly if the Boston College standout is available at this point.

Harold Landry is a bit small for an edge rusher at just 6'3, 250 lbs, but he's a hard worker and likely will be able to put on weight if he needs to. After finishing with 16.5 sacks as a junior and 22 tackles for loss, he decided to go back to school for his senior season hoping to build upon his dominant junior season.

He wasn't nearly as dominant, but seems likely to go in the first round still as his tape was still solid and scouts will undoubtedly be watching his dominant junior season as well. Landry dealt with some injuries this season which held him to just 8 games played, and he tallied up 5 sacks and 8.5 tackles for loss.

26. Atlanta Falcons - Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M


Atlanta could really use a defensive tackle with so many of their defensive lineman headed to free agency, but in this particular situation a receiver like Christian Kirk is simply too enticing to pass on. Pairing the speedster with Julio Jones would give defenses headaches on a weekly basis.

Kirk was one of the most recruited wide receivers of all-time coming out of high school, and because of what was expected of him he didn't quite live up to expectations. However, he was still a good college receiver and seems like the kind of player who will be better served playing with better players on a daily basis.

The Falcons would be able to use Kirk in the return game as well as in the slot, and defenses would have way too many playmakers to deal with. The Falcons would need to find a better play caller than Steve Sarkisian to get the most out of Kirk's potential and the team's flexibility, but even if that doesn't happen until next off-season Kirk is simply too good of a talent to pass on at this point.

27. New Orleans Saints - Sam Hubbard, DE, Ohio State


The Saints used a very good draft class last season to come within one play of the NFC Championship game, and if they can put together another good class they could be set up really well for a future without Drew Brees.

Despite the obvious long-term need of a future quarterback, several sources continue to insist Sean Payton loves Taysom Hill and will continue to try to develop him as long as Brees is around. I would expect the Saints to draft a mid-round quarterback this year, but certainly not in the first round.

Sam Hubbard isn't the kind of player that will single handedly excite a fan base, but he's one of the hardest working defensive lineman in the draft whose motor never seems to run out. He compiled 7 sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss this past season and would help form a great tandem with the Saints Cameron Jordan over the next few seasons.

28. Pittsburgh Steelers - Derrius Guice, RB, LSU


We fully expect the Pittsburgh Steelers to re-sign or franchise tag running back Le'Veon Bell, despite his assertions he would consider retirement if he gets tagged again. While I guess it's possible Bell could retire at 25, that seems very unlikely no matter what Pittsburgh does.

However, it's clear that Bell thinks he should be among the highest paid players in the game, and as great as he is it's oftentimes a mistake to spend a large percentage of your cap space on a running back in today's game. Replacing Bell's production would be very difficult if not impossible, but using a two or three back committee like every other team could get them somewhat similar production at a fraction of the cost.

Bell's the best running back in football and a true threat in the passing game as well, so ideally the team and player will work out a long-term deal. We expect him to play on the franchise tag for one more season, hold out until the end of the pre-season again, and eventually Pittsburgh will agree not to tag him in 2019 for him to return in 2018. That would set the stage for Guice to take over duties next season, while providing some solid insurance as a rookie in case Bell does in fact retire.

Derrius Guice has long been under the radar despite being one of the country's best running backs. He played behind superstar Leonard Fournette, and then LSU struggled out of the gate this year so their games didn't get the same kind of national coverage as in years past. Guice is a very good all around running back and has a similar skill set to Bell when Bell was coming out of Michigan State. He'd be a steal this late in the first round.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars - Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville


It's hard not to feel bad for Blake Bortles. After spending the majority of his young NFL career as a punching bag for the media and opposing players, he's finally contributing to a winning situation and yet he's still the joke of the team. He's had opponents he just beat call him "trash" and the Steelers were talking trash about him before their divisional round game this past weekend. And he won at Pittsburgh.

To be clear, Bortles didn't play a great game, but he made a few key throws down the stretch to help extend drives and ultimately beat Pittsburgh. Ideally, this Jaguars team would land someone like Alex Smith, a proven veteran to help them get over the hump (assuming they lose to New England) next season.

However, with the majority of the team's current core being so young, it would be wise to attempt to find a young franchise quarterback to develop over the next few seasons. Allowing Bortles to leave and drafting a quarterback remains possible, and wouldn't be surprising to really anyone.

Lamar Jackson is the most exciting college football player of the last decade in our estimation, and if he can find himself in the right situation he could be a lot better than "experts" seem to think. While he's not a great passer, his arm strength is very good and everyone knows about his insane speed. He's the closest prospect to Michael Vick we've ever seen, and while Vick's career was a bit of a disappointment, he still had some spectacular moments.

Jacksonville would likely need to sign a veteran stop gap like Josh McCown to allow Jackson to learn at his own rate, but would this year's Jaguars team really have been any worse with McCown instead of Bortles? I don't think so. 

30. Minnesota Vikings - Mo Hurst, DT, Michigan


The Vikings are in a strange situation. While the defense continues to be outstanding, linebacker Anthony Barr is a free agent to be and defensive end Brian Robison seems likely to retire. With Shariff Floyd's career likely over, the Vikings are going to need to add some depth along their defensive line and may need to add a linebacker if Barr leaves.

The offense has played very well but doesn't have any established stars quite yet. Obviously Dalvin CookAdam Thielen and Stefon Diggs give them a very good core, but a quarterback and some offensive line upgrades may be necessary as well. The Vikings can afford to simply take the best player available, but unlike most elite teams it's more so because they could still use several upgrades rather than having every hole filled.

Mo Hurst flashed great potential at times during Big Ten play, and the Vikings have a history of getting the most out of underrated defensive lineman. Both Everson Griffen and Danielle Hunter were mid-round picks, while Tom Johnson was originally signed as the team's final defensive lineman. Finding and developing defenders has been a Mike Zimmer speciality, so hopefully the Vikings stick to what's worked and continue to draft first round defenders.

31. Philadelphia Eagles - Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame


One of the more underrated players in the whole draft, Mike McGlinchey was a two-year starter for the Fighting Irish, moving from the right side of the line to the left for his senior season. He's experienced enough that he's capable of starting from day one, and his versatility would help an aging Eagles line that may not make it through an entire season.

With Jason Peters coming off a serious injury and 35-years-old, it's possible the Eagles will simply move on. If not, McGlinchey would be insurance for another injury while he develops into Peters long-term replacement. 


32.  New England Patriots - Carlton Davis, CB, Auburn


Despite spending $80 million on Stephen Gilmore last off-season, the Patriots seem likely to target a young corner in the early parts of the draft because of Malcolm Butler's impending free agency. It's impossible to imagine New England tying up a large percentage of their cap space on two cornerbacks, which makes Butler's exit all but guaranteed.

Carlton Davis is big for a corner at 6'1, and is expected to run 4.45 or better in the 40-yard-dash, which would make him a perfect fit in New England's scheme. He's at his best playing man-to-man and is very good in press coverage, but he's a capable zone defender as well. The main knock on Davis is his lack of ball skills, as he had just 4 interceptions in 3 seasons at Auburn. 

He should develop into a solid corner, though, and would be a capable replacement for the great Malcolm Butler.

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