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2018 NFL Mock Draft 1.0

The Bills go offense with the 21st and 22nd overall picks

February 06, 2018 - 5:56 pm

Derek Kramer
@DerekKramerWGR


There is a lot of buzz surrounding this offseason for Buffalo Bills fans after making the playoffs for the first time since the 1999 season. In addition to being a playoff team, the Bills also have two first round picks with the 21st and 22nd overall picks in the 2018 NFL Draft.

There is a lot of hype surrounding the quarterback class, with as many as six quarterbacks that could crack the first round. There is more hype amongst Bills fans, with Buffalo showing signs of moving on from current starter Tyrod Taylor and having the draft capital to move up and down the draft board as they see fit, including the possibility of moving up to select a quarterback. 

With the first mock draft of the offseason, there won't be any predictions of trades and the teams will remain at their spots. As the draft approaches, there will be mock drafts that include trades. That said, let's get underway!


1.) Cleveland Browns
SELECTION:
Josh Rosen - Quarterback - UCLA
Height: 6' 4"
Weight: 218 pounds

There is no way that the Cleveland Browns passes up on a quarterback with the first overall pick. Browns general manager John Dorsey seems to be making it clear that they will be taking a passer here. The Browns can't afford to get cute and wait for the fourth overall pick to select their new franchise player. It's Josh Rosen at the top, as he's the top quarterback on my board.


2.) New York Giants
SELECTION:
Sam Darnold - Quarterback - USC
Height: 6' 4"
Weight: 220 pounds

The Giants may be all in on having Eli Manning back for 2018, but that doesn't mean that the Giants will pass up on a quarterback. Add in that New York was a playoff team blasted with injuries, including All-Pro wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., they can afford to take a quarterback high to prepare for life after Eli in the Big Apple. 


3.) Indianapolis Colts
SELECTION:
Minkah Fitzpatrick - Cornerback - Alabama
Height: 6' 1"
Weight:
203 pounds

There was a debate in my head between Minkah Fitzpatrick and Saquon Barkley, but the Colts need so much help on defense that Fitzpatrick makes too much sense for them to pass up on him. Fitzpatrick has elite covering skills and the Colts could use a shutdown corner to deal with the top quarterbacks of the AFC, including Deshawn Watson of the Houston Texans. 


4.) Cleveland Browns (from the Houston Texans)
SELECTION:
Saquon Barkley - Running Back - Penn State
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 229 pounds

The Browns offense gets revamped in a big way, first with Rosen and now with Saquon Barkley. Cleveland's defense was fairly impressive last season, it's now time for their offense to step up. Barkley is one of the best players available in this draft, and he'd be a welcome addition to the Browns offense. Expect Cleveland to also look to deal this pick. 


5.) Denver Broncos
SELECTION:
Baker Mayfield - Quarterback - Oklahoma
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 216 pounds

The Denver Broncos were a playoff team and a Super Bowl contender heading into the season, as long as the quarterbacks could play at an average level. Trevor Siemian, Brock Osweiler and Paxton Lynch cost this team's corps a season. Denver looks ready to move on from Lynch, a first round disappointment who never cracked the starting lineup.


6.) New York Jets
SELECTION:
Bradley Chubb - Defensive End - North Carolina State
Height: 6' 4"
Weight: 276 pounds

When three quarterbacks go in the top-five, it's going to start hurting teams. The New York Jets, who played better than many assumed they would last season, would not think to reach on a quarterback here when the value is not there, so here they take the best player on the board in Bradley Chubb. He's a fierce pass rusher, who some experts think is the best player of the draft class. 


7.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
SELECTION:
Arden Key - Defensive End - LSU
Height: 6' 6"
Weight: 265 pounds

There is no doubt that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fell off the map this season, and a large part was due to a defense that was the worst in the NFL against the pass and last in the league in sacks with 22. While the Buccaneers fall one pick shy of Chubb, Arden Key is still a top-10 player in this class, and one that would help shore up their woeful pass rush. 


8.) Chicago Bears
SELECTION:
Calvin Ridley - Wide Receiver - Alabama
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 190 pounds

If I was in charge of the Chicago Bears, I'd move on from Kevin White. Some Buffalo fans liked to complain about the injuries of former wide receiver Sammy Watkins, but White has played in just five games in three years due to injury since being drafted by the Bears in 2015. The Bears could at least get some help for quarterback Mitch Trubisky, in the event White gets injured again. 


9.) San Francisco 49ers
SELECTION:
Cortland Sutton - Wide Receiver - SMU
Height: 6' 4"
Weight: 216 pounds

The San Francisco 49ers have their quarterback moving forward with Jimmy Garoppolo, who played well despite the collection of receivers carried last season. Cortland Sutton has the size and speed to be a top-wideout for an NFL team and could be helpful to let Marquise Goodwin (962 yards and eight touchdowns last year) bump down to the second wide receiver or slot position. 


10.) Oakland Raiders
SELECTION:
Roquan Smith - Linebacker - Georgia
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 225 pounds

The Oakland Raiders had a terrible defense last season, despite the talents of Khalil Mack. Oakland has a lot of issues, but getting a rangy, sideline-to-sideline pursuer like Smith can only help solidify one of the weaker front-sevens in the NFL. This team could use secondary help as well, so Derwin James could be in play as well. 


11.) Miami Dolphins
SELECTION:
Quenton Nelson - Guard - Notre Dame
Height: 6' 5"
Weight: 330 pounds

Another year, another issue with the Miami Dolphins having a subpar offensive line. However, they could use a player that is naturally an interior lineman, instead of bumping down a tackle to play guard like they usually do. Quenton Nelson is a steadying presence for the interior and agile enough to be mobile and get to the second level with ease. 


12.) Cincinnati Bengals
SELECTION:
Connor Williams - Offensive Tackle - Texas
Height: 6' 6"
Weight: 288 pounds

The Cincinnati Bengals have a lot of solid pieces that have not been able to put it together. One thing that never hurts is the best tackle of the draft class falling to 12, which would allow the Bengals to keep the line as steady as possible before they decide on what direction to go with Andy Dalton in the coming years. 


13.) Washington Redskins
SELECTION:
Joshua Jackson - Cornerback - Iowa
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 192 pounds

The Washington Redskins aggressively pursued quarterback Alex Smith, and in the deal to acquire him, they dealt a starting corner away. Luckily, they have a good shot at Joshua Jackson, who was an absolute ball hawk (no pun intended) last year in Iowa with eight interceptions. With good size and closing speed, Jackson would be able to fill in well for the spotty Washington secondary. 


14.) Green Bay Packers
SELECTION:
Ogbonnia Okoronkwo - DE/OLB - Oklahoma
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 240 pounds

The Green Bay Packers defense and lack of a pass rush has not been too kind to this team. With almost no shot at Chubb or Key, Green Bay could have their sights set on the versatile Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, who can play well as an edge rusher or dropping back at linebacker. 


15.) Arizona Cardinals
SELECTION:
Josh Allen - Quarterback - Wyoming 
Height: 6' 5"
Weight: 233 pounds

The Arizona Cardinals have a lot of uncertainty at the quarterback position, with both head coach Bruce Arians and quarterback Carson Palmer retiring. While the Cardinals could use a combination of Drew Stanton and Blaine Gabbert to allow Allen to ease into the job, Arizona still needs a new answer at the position. 


16.) Baltimore Ravens
SELECTION:
Derrius Guice - Running Back - LSU
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 218 pounds

The Baltimore Ravens don't have too many holes on their defense, it is still very good. However, their offense has been pathetic. Baltimore can't really ditch the Joe Flacco contract, but strengthening the running game with a long-term solution would not be a bad idea. Alex Collins did well, but the Ravens shouldn't pass on the best player available, and they rarely do. 


17.) Los Angeles Chargers
SELECTION:
Vita Vea - Defensive Tackle - Washington
Height: 6' 5"
Weight: 340 pounds

The Los Angeles Chargers are very talented from top to bottom and are a low key player in the quarterback conversation. However, seeing four quarterbacks taken early likely stops the Chargers from taking one in the first round and try for one more run with Philip Rivers. Vea is a big defensive tackle who helps plug holes in a 3-4 defense and has good pass rushing technique. 


18.) Seattle Seahawks
SELECTION:
Derwin James - Safety - Florida State
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 211 pounds

With the speculation that safety Kam Chancellor's neck injury could end his career, the Legion of Boom could reload with James, a hard-hitting, rangy safety that simply makes plays in many situations. Even if Chancellor doesn't retire this season, he could be the perfect mentor to James. 


19.) Dallas Cowboys
SELECTION:
Da'Ron Payne - Defensive Tackle - Alabama
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 308 pounds

The Dallas Cowboys are simply average on defense, but this class is very stacked at the defensive tackle position. Da'Ron Payne could be a fit as a 3-4 or 4-3 defensive tackle, which allows the Cowboys to put him anywhere they need to in order to help free up their talented linebackers like Sean Lee, Anthony Hitchens and Jaylon Smith. 


20.) Detroit Lions
SELECTION:
Orlando Brown - Offensive Tackle - Oklahoma
Height: 6' 8"
Weight: 348 pounds

The Detroit Lions could use some offensive line help for quarterback Matthew Stafford, who's been prone to taking beatings facing the pass rush of Everson Griffen and Clay Matthews in the NFC North. Orlando Brown is a mauler in the run game as well, which the Lions desperately need to improve. 


21.) Buffalo Bills
SELECTION:
James Washington - Wide Receiver - Oklahoma State
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 205 pounds

It's no secret that these two picks at 21 and 22 might not both be used by the Bills, more useful as ammunition to move up into the draft. However, if the Bills do stay at 21 and 22, help is still on the way offensively. James Washington has that speed to take the top off of defenses that the Bills desperately need, in addition to some clean route running. As for who's throwing to him... 


22.) Buffalo Bills (from the Kansas City Chiefs)
SELECTION:
Lamar Jackson - Quarterback - Louisville 
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 211 pounds

Despite improving mechanics in each of the past two seasons, as well as improving his accuracy, Lamar Jackson remains a polarizing player in this draft. Jackson could use some time on the sidelines to learn, which is something the Bills could provide. In addition to a rocket arm and solid mechanics, Jackson is a dangerous runner who could dazzle any time he's out of the pocket.


23.) Los Angeles Rams
SELECTION:
Jaire Alexander - Cornerback - Louisville
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 192 pounds

The Los Angeles Rams missed E.J. Gaines at points during this season after trading him to Buffalo. Jaire Alexander only played six games this past season, but the talent is there to help out an already solid defense. Alexander also has ability to help in the return game, where the Rams are likely to release Tavon Austin and saw Pharaoh Cooper muff several punts in their playoff game. 


24.) Carolina Panthers
SELECTION:
Christian Kirk - Wide Receiver - Texas A&M
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 200 pounds

After building a receiver corps based mainly on size to the point of redundancy (and lost their speed element when Ted Ginn left last season for rival New Orleans), the Carolina Panthers could be gearing up to draft some speed to aid Cam Newton in the passing game. 


25.) Tennessee Titans
SELECTION:
Sam Hubbard - DE/OLB - Ohio State
Height: 6' 5"
Weight: 265 pounds

The Tennessee Titans offense is fine, as long as Marcus Mariota recovers from this past season's slump. However, the defense still has some holes to be addressed, including their pass rush. Enter Sam Hubbard, a player who maximizes his talents as an edge rusher on the outside. Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan have contracts expiring next season, so this move would allow Tennessee to fill a hole. 


26.) Atlanta Falcons
SELECTION:
Maurice Hurst - Defensive Tackle - Michigan
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 280 pounds

Maurice Hurst is a tenacious pass rushing defensive tackle who could further help an Atlanta Falcons defense that was steady this season. Hurst would allow Atlanta to get Takkarist McKinley in more one-on-one matchups, and that would make plenty of quarterbacks tremble with his own capabilities as a pass rusher. 


27.) New Orleans Saints
SELECTION:
Mason Rudolph - Quarterback - Oklahoma State
Height: 6' 5"
Weight: 230 pounds

The New Orleans Saints are one of the most complete teams in the entire league and lost a playoff game simply due to a bad playcall and a bad play by a promising young safety. As good as Drew Brees is, he is 39 years old and the Saints have a deep roster that could allow them to take a young quarterback to groom to start two years from now. 


28.) Pittsburgh Steelers
SELECTION:
Tremaine Edwards - Linebacker - Virginia Tech
Height: 6' 5"
Weight: 250 pounds

With the Saints grabbing the "next in line" quarterback, the Pittsburgh Steelers hold off and focus on a need that was created late last season with Ryan Shazier's injury. Shazier is just getting back to walking, which means he'll be a bit of time from even trying to return to football. Tremaine Edwards is more of a thumper, where Shazier was crazy athletic. Edwards would still fill a hole in the middle of their defense. 


29.) Jacksonville Jaguars
SELECTION:
Will Hernandez - Guard - UTEP
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 330 pounds

The Jacksonville Jaguars don't have many holes, Blake Bortles aside. With Doug Marrone's love for smashmouth football, a powerful guard like Will Hernandez is a match made in football heaven for the run-heavy Jaguars. Jacksonville can worry about their quarterback situation next season and ride that elite defense and running game to another playoff run. 


30.) Minnesota Vikings
SELECTION:
Kolton Miller - Offensive Tackle - UCLA
Height: 6' 8"
Weight: 310 pounds

With the return of Teddy Bridgewater as the Minnesota Vikings starter being the most likely scenario (coach Mike Zimmer seems to love him like a son), Minnesota could use a new bookend tackle to help keep the rhythm passer upright in the pocket. The Vikings line played better this past season, but a new tackle would still be nice. 


31.) New England Patriots
SELECTION:
Denzel Ward - Cornerback - Ohio State
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 191 pounds

With Malcolm Butler clearly on the way out of New England and Eric Rowe better served as a nickel corner or backup safety, the Patriots could use another corner to bookend the solid play of Stephon Gilmore in the secondary. 


32.) Philadelphia Eagles
SELECTION:
Mike McGlinchey - Offensive Tackle - Notre Dame
Height: 6' 8"
Weight: 315 pounds

The Philadelphia Eagles are still a dangerous offense, but they could use a left tackle to groom into the lineup to replace Jason Peters, who is 36, after his contract expires next season. Mike McGlinchey could go anywhere from the middle to the end of the first round, and here the Eagles could take him and stash him for next season or play him right away if Peters doesn't recover on time. 

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