2018 NFL Mock Draft, version 2.0: 7 Mock Draft Day Trades

By | March 9, 2018
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The Browns might have something to think about, with the #1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Reason #748,647 why most NFL Mock Drafts are entirely pointless: we project what we think what each team will do, in sequential order, in the first round of the upcoming NFL Draft. Yet, history shows us there are anywhere from four to eight trades that take place in Round 1, making most mocks entirely worthless.

Predicting who will make a trade — and with who — is even more futile as making a mock draft itself. So naturally, I spent more time than I probably should have coming up with an updated, post-2018 NFL Scouting Combine mock draft, which includes seven “mock” draft-day trades as well. Some of these (fake) trades are based on buzz going around the NFL, the team’s previous history of moving up or down on draft day, and juxtaposing team needs with available players. And, of course, like everything else mock draft related, some of these trades are purely hypothetical.

A couple of handy resources I used, when determining teams with the ammunition to move up or down, and whether such trades are realistic:

Away we go…

1. Cleveland — Sam Darnold, QB, USC

This pick stays static … for now. Darnold didn’t do himself any favors by not throwing at the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine, and given the rave reviews we heard about Josh Allen from the same venue, I do think the odds that Josh Allen ends up being taken with the #1 overall pick have gone up. And, of course, there’s also the possibility that a QB-needy team — like maybe Denver — tries to move up to #1 overall.

2. New York Giants — Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State

I’m becoming less and less convinced that the Giants will be taking a quarterback at this spot. After breaking the internet at the 2018 NFL Combine, there’s just no way they can pass on Saquon Barkley.

3. Indianapolis — Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State

I think that, in an ideal world, the Colts would want to trade down from this pick. Assuming they stay put, it’s hard to see them passing on Bradley Chubb, considering they didn’t have anyone on their team with more than six sacks last year.

4. Miami (from Houston via Cleveland) — Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA

Mock Trade: Miami sends a first (#11), second (#42), and fourth (#127) round pick to Cleveland, for their first round pick (#4).

Miami’s thirst to move up and get a quarterback in this draft is very real. I think the Dolphins would see Josh Rosen as a guy who could thrive in Adam Gase’s offense, and sell tickets to games (never underestimate the importance of the latter).

5. Buffalo (from Denver) — Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

Mock Trade: Buffalo sends their two first round picks (#21 & #22) plus a third round pick (#96) to Denver, for their first round pick (#5)

Buffalo pulls off a blockbuster deal to move up into the top five of the draft and get their guy, fully knowing that this is where there will very likely be a run at the quarterback position (and Denver ends up signing Case Keenum in free agency).

6. New York Jets — Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma

Assuming they miss out on Kirk Cousins, the Jets will keep Josh McCown around as an insurance policy (he’ll give them some continuity at the QB position under newly promoted OC Jeremy Bates), and build their future on the quarterback with most swag in New York since Broadway Joe Namath.

7. Tampa Bay — Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama

Tampa Bay was ranked 31st in passing defense DVOA last season, and it looks like they might let Brent Grimes walk this offseason. Some people believe the Buccaneers will go heavy on upgrading the defense this offseason, and Minkah Fitzpatrick might be the best defensive player in the draft.

8. Chicago — Quenton Nelson, OL, Notre Dame

He’s developed me into the player that I am today.” That was Quenton Nelson’s quote about former Notre Dame offensive line coach Harry Hiestand, who — coincidentally or not — was hired to the same position by the Chicago Bears this offseason.

9. San Francisco — Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State

Denzel Ward put up stupid numbers at the NFL Combine, including a time of 4.32 seconds in the 40 yard dash. He easily solidified himself as the best cornerback — which happens to be San Francisco’s biggest need — in this year’s class.

10. Oakland — Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech

The Raiders need a weakside linebacker next to NaVorro Bowman and Bruce Irvin, and Tremaine Edmunds is built very similarly to Vontaze Burfict, whom new Raiders defensive coordinator Paul Guenther had in Cincinnati.

11. Cleveland (from Miami) — Marcus Davenport, DE/OLB, UT San Antonio

Mock Trade: Miami sends a first (#11), second (#42), and fourth (#127) round pick to Cleveland, for their first round pick (#4).

Admittedly a little bit of a stretch here. But, the adage in the NFL is that “you can never have too many pass rushers.” Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams likes to rotate his pass rushers, and when Myles Garrett and Emmanuel Ogbah were not on the field for the Browns, the pass rush suffered. They could let Davenport develop slowly, by letting him start out playing only in passing situations early in his career.

12. Cincinnati — Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia

The Bengals’ lack of speed at the linebacker position was apparent last year, as they didn’t have anyone who could run around and blow up guys carrying the football for the opponent last year. Roquan Smith would immediately solve that.

13. Dallas (from Washington) — Derwin James, Safety, Florida State

Mock Trade: Dallas sends a first (#19) and third (#81) round pick this year, and a 4th round pick in 2019 to Washington, for their first (#13)

As much as I abhor the idea of Washington trading with Dallas, I think the Redskins would ideally like to trade down from this pick. Meanwhile, former Seattle defensive backs coach Kris Richard has assumed the same position in Dallas, and James compares very favorably to a guy Richard used to coach: Kam Chancellor. Dallas would have to trade up to get James, if they really wanted him.

14. Baltimore (from Green Bay) — Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama

Mock Trade: Baltimore sends a first (#16) and a fourth (#114) round pick to Green Bay, for their first (#14)

The Ravens would reportedly love to be in a situation where they could grab Calvin Ridley, so they could make a move to grab him away from teams like Green Bay and/or Arizona, who could both look at wide receivers in this year’s draft.

15. Arizona — Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa

Arizona will probably address the quarterback position via free agency after losing out on the top QB prospects. They’ve been looking for an answer at cornerback opposite of Patrick Peterson for years, and that need could only grow if the rumors are true about their interest in trading Tyrann Mathieu.

16. Green Bay (from Baltimore) — Harold Landry, DE, Boston College

Mock Trade: Baltimore sends a first (#16) and a fourth (#114) round pick to Green Bay, for their first (#14)

Harold Landry had a fantastic day at the NFL Combine, which will move his stock in the right direction. He’s a trendy pick for the Packers right now, especially since he could be a good fit in new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine’s scheme.

17. LA Chargers — Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame

One of the Chargers’ biggest needs is a right tackle to replace incumbent Joe Barksdale. A lot of people feel Mike McGlinchey might be the most pro-ready prospect to step in and play on Day 1, for a team with legitimate playoff aspirations this year.

18. Atlanta (from Seattle) — Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama

Mock Trade: Atlanta sends their first (#26) and third (#90) round picks to Seattle, for their first (#18)

The prevailing thought is that the Falcons want to address the defensive line in this year’s draft, and they’ve shown in past drafts that they’re not afraid to make a move up to get one that they like (and Seattle almost always likes to trade down from their pick). I think Da’Ron Payne fits what they’re looking for, more than someone like Vita Vea.

19. Washington (from Dallas) — Vita Vea, DT, Washington

Many people think the Redskins will also focus on the defensive line position with their top pick. Some people think the Redskins covet Da’Ron Payne, though it seems like a certain fiery defensive line coach of theirs would be thrilled to have Vita Vea.

20. Detroit — Isaiah Wynn, OL, Georgia

The defensive line and the interior of the offensive line are the two biggest needs for the Detroit Lions, as of right now. Isaiah Wynn might be the second best prospect at any position along the offensive line in this draft, behind Quenton Nelson.

21. Denver (from Buffalo) — Mike Hughes, CB, Central Florida

Mock Trade: Buffalo sends their two first round picks (#21 & #22) plus a third round pick (#96) to Denver, for their first round pick (#5).

After the Broncos traded Aqib Talib to the Los Angeles Rams, they might want to think about drafting his replacement. Mike Hughes is a big, physical cornerback who would fit right in.

22. Denver (from Kansas City via Buffalo) — Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State

Mock Trade: Buffalo sends their two first round picks (#21 & #22) plus a third round pick (#96) to Denver, for their first round pick (#5).

If the rumors are true that the Broncos will pursue Case Keenum (after losing out on Kirk Cousins), then it appears their plan will be to sign Keenum and draft a young guy for the future. Mason Rudolph being taken in the first round, at this pick, is a very distinct possibility.

23. LA Rams — James Daniels, OL, Iowa

Based off comments made by head coach Sean McVay, it looks like the Rams are looking to address the interior of their offensive line, specifically at Center. Daniels might be the best player at that position in the draft.

24. Carolina — Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M

After doing the whole “big target for Cam Newton” thing for years, the Panthers realize they also need a speed receiver to stretch out opposing defenses.

25. Tennessee — Will Hernandez, OL, UT El Paso

General Manager Jon Robinson’s MO has been to identify a position of need, and attack it through the draft. This year’s position of need looks like the interior of the offensive line, and Will Hernandez is an absolute mauler.

26. Seattle (from Atlanta) — Billy Price, OL, Ohio State

Mock Trade: Atlanta sends their first (#26) and third (#90) round picks to Seattle, for their first (#18)

Seattle hops in on the run on interior offensive linemen, given that left guard is an opening with them, with Luke Joeckel potentially not coming back to Seattle next year.

27. New Orleans — Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama

This would be a steal of a pick for the Saints. They could use somebody like Rashaan Evans at the SAM (strongside) linebacker spot, next to A.J. Klein and Alex Anzalone.

28. Pittsburgh — Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State

Another guy who had a great day at the NFL Combine, even though not a lot of people are talking about him. Vander Esch would be a perfect fit for the Steelers, who are focused on replacing Ryan Shazier.

29. NY Jets (from Jacksonville) — Derrius Guice, RB, LSU

Mock Trade: NY Jets sends their second (#37) and fourth (#103) round picks to Jacksonville, for their first (#29)

I think Jacksonville would be comfortable trading out of this spot, considering they, along with Philadelphia, are one of those teams with no glaring need across their roster. Meanwhile, the Jets really need a running back, seeing as how they’re not really in love with Bilal Powell, and view Elijah McGuire as more of a 3rd down back.

30. Minnesota — Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA

If I were making a wager on it, I think Kirk Cousins ends up in Minnesota. If that does happen, Minnesota would want to upgrade their offensive line and protect their investment, especially seeing as how it’s an identified team need.

31. Tampa Bay (from New England) — Sony Michel, RB, Georgia

Mock Trade: Tampa Bay sends their second (#38) and fourth (#104) to New England, for their first (#31)

Tampa Bay trades back up into the first round, with a team that has shown zero interest in using their pick(s) late in the first round. After releasing Doug Martin (with nobody on the roster as an immediate replacement), and seeing how there could be a run on running backs early in the 2nd round, Tampa trades up to grab the fast-rising Sony Michel.

32. Philadelphia — Brian O’Neill, OT, Pittsburgh

As much as it makes me want to gag while saying this: Philadelphia might be the most complete team in the NFL. The only real concern they have is the future of one of their two tackle positions, given the injury history of Jason Peters. They could groom Brian O’Neill as a long-term answer at either tackle spot.



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