The Superbowl is over, and the combine is 10 days away. I am here to share with you my pre-combine mock draft!
1. Browns: Saquon Barkley RB Penn State
Team Needs: QB, CB, RB
Saquon Barkley is a once in a generation back, in my opinion. He was so talented during his 3 years with the Nittany Lions, showing patience that compares well to some of the elite running backs in the NFL. He is so fast, but yet he is so strong. He can catch balls out of the backfield and can compliment Duke Johnson Jr quite well. The tailback can come in immediately and replace Isaiah Crowell who is a free agent this year. In my opinion, this back is better than the likes of Leonard Fournette, Todd Gurley and even Ezekiel Elliott coming out of college.
2. Giants: Josh Rosen QB UCLA
Team Needs: LB, RB, QB
A selection of this caliber makes a lot of sense for the Giants. Josh Rosen fits everything the New York Giants need. It is likely that this will be Eli Manning‘s last year in New York and it will give new head coach, Pat Shurmur a QB he can mold him into the QB of his dreams. Although Rosen is the most pro-ready QB in the NFL, I think sitting behind an experienced QB in Eli Manning will do him wonders.
3. Colts: Bradley Chubb EDGE NC State
Team Needs: CB, EDGE, RB
Had the Browns passed up on Myles Garrett last year, I guarantee you they would have picked Chubb at 1. The Colts are thrilled that Chubb is here at 3. Indianapolis’ defense is not very good. They drafted their center-fielder in Malik Hooker last year and they will draft their cornerstone on the defensive-line this year. Bradley Chubb won the Nagurski award, which is essentially the Heisman for defensive players, he joins tons of talented defensive players like Jonathan Allen, Aaron Donald, Luke Keuchly, Ndamukong Suh, Terrell Suggs and even Charles Woodson. Chubb was dominant against those ACC offenses and he will continue to dominate, but this time he will dominate AFC South offenses for years to come.
4. Browns: Baker Mayfield QB Oklahoma
Team Needs: QB, CB, RB
In my opinion, this is the only Quarterback with hall of fame potential. This 2017 Heisman winner is so talented, and poised outside and inside the pocket. He reminds me of Russell Wilson and even a younger Drew Brees when he was the quarterback for the Purdue Boilermakers. Baker has a chip on his shoulder and is a great leader. He is everything you want as a signal caller and I hope the Browns realize this.
5. Broncos: Roquan Smith LB Georgia
Team Needs: QB, LB, OL
This is obviously only if the Broncos go out and sign Kirk Cousins in free agency. Denver is my prediction on where Cousins will land. The Broncos have an amazing defense, and the best linebacker in this class will contribute. He is a bit small at barely 6 feet tall and has some troubles getting off the blocks but I think he can overcome that and be a great linebacker in the NFL.
6. Jets: Sam Darnold QB USC
Team Needs: QB, RB, OL
I have seen him go as high as pick 1 to the Browns. I just don’t see Sam’s upside. He isn’t a very good decision maker, we saw that against Ohio State in the Cotton Bowl, just to name 1 game. I believe the Trojan can be a serviceable starter in the NFL. However, I don’t see him as elite, and that’s what you need at pick 6. I think that the Jets will bypass those issues to get their, who they hope to be, franchise guy.
7. Buccaneers: Minkah Fitzpatrick DB Alabama
Team Needs: EDGE, DB, RB
The reason I have Minkah Fitzpatrick classified as a defensive-back over an individual position like the safety or a cornerback is because he is so versatile. Much like Jalen Ramsey coming out of Florida State, nobody knows what position he will play at the next level; will he play safety? Will he play Corner? It all depends on the team he is drafted to. If he were to be drafted to the Buccaneers, I truly don’t know where he would play.
8. Bears: Calvin Ridley WR Alabama
Team Needs: WR, OL, CB
The Bears have had woes at the receiver position for quite some time, and Calvin Ridley could help those out tremendously. Even if the Bears were to sign a Jarvis Landry or an Allen Robinson, I believe they will double down on their biggest position of need. Calvin Ridley will turn 24 during this upcoming season, which will be a concern, but we will see how he will translate to the NFL.
9. 49ers: Quenton Nelson G Notre Dame
Team Needs: CB, OL, WR
The 49ers have found their franchise quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo, and now they need to protect him. What’s better than the best offensive line prospect in a long time? Quenton Nelson did so well for Notre Dame protecting Deshone Kizer last year, and then Brandon Wimbush this year. He is so consistent and a definite lock for Niners’ Nation at nine.
10. Raiders: Tremaine Edmunds LB Virginia Tech
Team Needs: LB, CB, DL
Alas, my favorite team, the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders are in need of a whole new defense, except for Khalil Mack. Tremaine Edmunds has a ton of potential. He is only 19, going 20 to start the next season, and he is already looking like the next Brian Urlacher coming out of college. The rook can come in and help out Navarro Bowman if he decides to resign.
11. Dolphins: Rashaan Evans LB Alabama
Team Needs: LB,WR, RB
The Dolphins have needs all across the field on offense and defense, but they need to improve the linebacking core tremendously. They drafted Raekwon McMillan last year in the 2nd round, pairing him up with Rashaan Evans would be a nice young core that could dominate the AFC East for years to come
12. Bengals: Connor Williams OT Texas
Team Needs: T, G, LB
The Bengals have a dire need of offensive-line. After losing Andrew Whitworth to the Rams and Kevin Zeitler to the Browns, the Bengals offensive line has been the laughing stock of the NFL. Connor Williams can slot in at left-tackle and become a day 1 starter to fend off the likes of Myles Garrett, T.J. Watt and Terrell Suggs in the AFC North.
13. Redskins: Courtland Sutton WR SMU
Team Needs WR, CB, RB
Washington needs to give Alex Smith weapons. After acquiring the signal caller in a trade from the Chiefs, it is obvious they are moving on from Kirk Cousins. They need to focus on giving him some receivers and running backs and Courtland Sutton is a perfect fit. He is a big body receiver at 6 foot 4 and can catch that jump-ball and help out Smith tremendously.
14. Packers: Joshua Jackson CB Iowa
Team Needs: CB, EDGE, S
The Packers need to help out Aaron Rodgers on the defensive side of the ball. He can only score so many points in a game. The defense needs to shut down the NFC North‘s air and ground attack. Josh Jackson can be your number 1 corner and match-up with Stefon Diggs, Golden Tate or Calvin Ridley.
15. Cardinals: Lamar Jackson QB Louisville
Team Needs: QB, OL, WR
The Cardinals have no quarterbacks on their roster; that says it all. They are in dire need of a QB and I am super high on Lamar Jackson. He is my 2nd best QB in the draft and he will work wonders. Jackson will complement a nice core of David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald to make a dominant offense that will scare NFC West offenses.
16. Ravens: Orlando Brown OT Oklahoma
Team Needs: WR, OT, RB
The Ravens are in need of a WR, however I don’t think there is one of good value here. I have them selecting Orlando Brown here. That gives them the ability to move Ronnie Stanley over to RT where I think he will succeed. If you can’t replace Joe Flacco, you protect him.
17. Chargers: Derwin James S Florida State
Team Needs: S, OL, DL
The Chargers haven’t had success at the Safety position since Eric Weddle left. I think Derwin James can come in and be a very good starter. Derwin James has dropped on multiple boards because of injury concerns and the Chargers will be very thankful about that and I think it’s a steal for Los Angeles.
18. Seahawks: Mike McGlinchey OT Notre Dame
Team Needs: OL, CB, DL
The Seahawks have made a step in the right direction with trading for Duane Brown from Houston and Mike McGlinchey can slot in at RT immediately and the OT’s are locked down for Russell Wilson and the Seahawks offense. This would be a great fit for McGlinchey as I don’t think he can be a starter at LT but with training he could be in the future, once Duane Brown hangs them up.
19. Cowboys: Vita Vea DT Washington
Team Needs: CB, DL, LB
Vita Vea is so athletic. He is 340 lbs but is able to play in multiple defensive schemes. He fits in more as a nose tackle but he can also play 4-3 defensive tackle, like he would in Dallas. With the Cowboys likely franchise tagging Demarcus Lawrence, this will give David Irving the chance to move back to End and give this already, very talented line to a new level.
20. Lions: Derrius Guice RB LSU
Team Needs: RB, DL, OL
The Lions have had running back woes for a long time. They passed on David Johnson, for Ameer Abdullah, and now David Johnson has turned in to an elite running back for the Cardinals. Derrius Guice is so talented. He can be your power-back but has the ability to catch balls out of the backfield and be your 3-down-back.
21. Bills: Josh Allen QB Wyoming
Team Needs: OL, DL, QB
The Bills have shown that Tyrod Taylor isn’t their guy at QB, and its obvious it isn’t Nathan Peterman. In comes Josh Allen, he has upside, but is raw. A year of NFL coaching will do him wonders to get prepared for the next level. Josh Allen is a big guy, standing in at 6 foot 5 and 240 lbs; he will be able to stand those hard hits on the frozen ground in Buffalo.
22. Bills: Billy Price C Ohio State
Team Needs: OL, DL, QB
After Eric Wood‘s retirement it is time for a replacement. Billy Price is a 1 year starter at center, after replacing Pat Elflein after he graduated. He has started for a few years at guard though. Billy has the ability to come in and start at center day 1, and snap balls to the Bills new signal caller in Josh Allen.
23. Rams: Denzel Ward CB Ohio State
Team Needs: CB, S, LB
The Rams are likely to lose Trumaine Johnson in free agency, and they find their day 1 replacement in Denzel Ward. Ward is undersized at 5 foot 10 190 lbs; he fits well as a slot corner, but can also play on the outside. Ward is super fast, he is likely to run in the 4-3 range, which is very ideal for a cornerback. The Rams defense is going to take a hit, so look for the Rams to look primarily for defense in the draft.
24. Panthers: Will Hernandez G UTEP
Team Needs: OL, DL, S
The Panthers are likely to lose their star offensive-lineman in Andrew Norwell to free agency. In comes Will Hernandez to immediately replace him. Hernandez is a monster in the run game, which will help out Christian McCaffrey tremendously, as he looks to find success coming off of his rookie campaign.
25. Titans: Ronnie Harrison S Alabama
Team Needs: EDGE, DL, S
The Titans found their franchise Free Safety in Kevin Byard, but to pair with him I don’t think Jonathan Cyprien is the answer. Ronnie Harrison comes from a successful system at Alabama, that produces many successful defensive players in the NFL, and I believe Ronnie Harrison will be one of them. That secondary is looking nice with Byard, Harrison, Logan Ryan and Adoree’ Jackson.
26. Falcons: Da’Ron Payne DT Alabama
Team Needs: DL, OL, CB
The Atlanta Falcons are likely to lose Dontari Poe in free agency, and Da’Ron Payne would be a perfect replacement. Payne is an athletic defensive tackle playing in a really good system at Alabama. He will be able to come in and start immediately and anchor that defensive line out in Atlanta.
27. Saints: Malik Jefferson LB Texas
Team Needs: LB, QB, WR
The Saints don’t really have needs other than linebacker. Malik Jefferson is your sideline to sideline linebacker, he fits in as a 3-4 middle linebacker or a 4-3 outside linebacker. Malik will fit in well with that aging front 7 and head coach Sean Payton will do wonders preparing him for NFC South offenses.
28. Steelers: Mason Rudolph QB Oklahoma State
Team Needs: LB, S, QB
Ben Roethlisberger has been rumored to retire for a while now and the Steelers don’t want to take the chance. Mason Rudolph would benefit greatly from sitting behind a veteran like Roethlisberger and learning. He is a big guy at 6 foot 5, 230 lbs, he fits the mold of Big Ben quite well, and can handle those hits to the frozen ground in the winter.
29. Jaguars: Mark Andrews TE Oklahoma
Team Needs: TE, QB, WR
It’s obvious that Marcedes Lewis isn’t the future at tight-end and if you can’t replace Blake Bortles you might as well give him some weapons to throw to. Mark Andrews was the primary weapon for Baker Mayfield at Oklahoma and now he could be the primary weapon for Bortles in Jacksonville.
30. Vikings: Jaire Alexander CB Louisville
Team Needs: CB, OL, QB
Terence Newman is 39. He is old, will likely retire soon and the Vikings need a replacement. Jaire Alexander is a very talented corner and will compliment Xavier Rhodes very well across the field. Jaire was suffering from injury this year, but if you watch his tape from last year you will see that he is a very talented cornerback.
31. Patriots: Arden Key EDGE LSU
Team Needs: S, EDGE, DL
The Patriots defense is not good; we saw it in the Superbowl. Arden Key can help out that pass rush that didn’t get to Nick Foles all game. Arden Key can be that guy, he didn’t have the best year at LSU last year and some off-field issues have been surfacing. I am confident that Bill Belichick will make him into an elite pass rusher in the NFL.
32. Eagles: Isaiah Wynn OL Georgia
Team Needs: OT, CB, LB
Isaiah Wynn is the most versatile offensive lineman in the draft. He can play tackle, guard, and even center, and he did that with the Bulldogs. The Eagles need a replacement for Jason Peters because his season got cut short because of injury and with his age, he is likely to retire. Wynn was really good protecting Jake Fromm and blocking for fellow 2018 draft prospects in Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, and I think he will do well for Carson Wentz and Jay Ajayi.