HawkTalk’s Final 2018 NFL Mock Draft
The rumors and guesswork will soon be over, as the 2nd most anticipated day of the NFL year is here tomorrow. Here is my Final 2018 NFL Mock Draft.
ICYMI – here are the links to HawkTalk’s Seahawks Draft Guide and Seahawks Draft Board. They are must-have resources for 12’s on draft weekend:
I’m saving my 7-round Seahawks mock drafts (yes that’s plural) for tomorrow. I’m looking at multiple scenarios in this unpredictable year, so I’ll post a few sample mocks containing top Seahawks targets. Last year, that method yielded Seattle mock-picks of Malik McDowell, Shaquill Griffin, Delano Hill, Amara Darboh. 2018 will be tougher with so many team needs, though I hope to nail a few picks this time around as well.
Once again, here is HawkTalk’s Final 2018 NFL Mock Draft, which I’m submitting to The Huddle Report this year:
1) Cleveland Browns: QB Sam Darnold, USC
Darnold, Baker Mayfield, or Josh Allen? Viable reports have the Browns targeting one of these three, but GM John Dorsey is holding his cards close to the vest. I ultimately expect them to choose Darnold, who can replace Lebron as the face of Cleveland sports (or is that jumping the gun?).
2) New York Giants: RB Saquon Barkley, Penn State
This should really be a QB to transition past the 37-year-old Eli Manning, yet I digress. Without any great trade-back options here, they go with Barkley over Bradley Chubb. DE is more valuable than RB, though GM Dave Gettleman values both positions.
3) New York Jets: QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
The Jets traded three 2nd round picks to move from #6 to #3, which is a hefty price. At least they finally get their QB of the future, with Mayfield edging Josh Rosen.
4) Cleveland Browns: DE Bradley Chubb, N.C. State
Barkley or Chubb is almost certainly the pick here. I can also see them trading back to #11 or #12 for Minkah Fitzpatrick.
5) TRADE – Buffalo Bills (from Denver): QB Josh Rosen, UCLA
With only two QB’s off the board, the Broncos hold an auction and receive both of Buffalo’s 1st round picks. The Bills use some of the ammunition they’ve accumulated to move up for one of the top QB’s in the draft. This would be a lot cheaper than trading up to #2, though it’s possible they feel the need to leapfrog the Jets.
6) Indianapolis Colts: LB Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech
The Colts probably want Chubb or Barkley here, because they have huge needs at both RB and DE. However, the needs don’t come close to ending there for Indy, and Edmunds would be a solid start to the draft. GM Chris Ballard could easily trade down again to #11 or #12.
7) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: S Derwin James, Florida State
A perfect match – the Bucs have a massive hole at SS and fill it with one of the top players in the draft.
8) Chicago Bears: OG Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame
Yet another perfect match. The Bears fill their top need (LG) with a once-in-a-decade Guard prospect.
9) San Francisco 49ers: LB Roquan Smith, Georgia
The 49ers are likely desperate for help at Linebacker following Reuben Foster’s domestic violence arrest. They’re lucky to land Smith here, even if they’d prefer Edmunds to fall into their laps.
10) Oakland Raiders: OT Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame
I think this comes down to Smith, McGlinchey and Fitzpatrick if the Raiders pick here. Jon Gruden reportedly wants to trade down if possible though. McGlinchey would start from Day-1 at RT and take over for Donald Penn at LT eventually.
11) Miami Dolphins: S/CB Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama
The Dolphins pass on QB’s here after re-structuring Ryan Tannehill’s contract (a sign of commitment in this case). They have a need in the secondary, and may feel Fitzpatrick is the BPA here.
12) TRADE – Denver Broncos (from Buffalo): CB Denzel Ward, Ohio State
The Broncos get their man in Ward, despite moving down from #5 to #12. They fill their need at CB with the best one in the draft.
13) Washington Redskins: DT Vita Vea, Washington
The third perfect match of the 1st round. Washington’s top need is the DT in their 3-man front, and they get a steal here with my #6 overall prospect. And Vea keeps playing for a Washington football team (kinda) so everybody wins.
14) Green Bay Packers: CB Joshua Jackson, Iowa
CB or EDGE here for Green Bay, though I’m betting they’d prefer help on the back-end. With Ward off the board, they get this draft’s top playmaker in Josh Jackson. Jackson and Kevin King would form a superb CB duo for years to come.
15) Arizona Cardinals: QB Josh Allen, Wyoming
Allen might not last this long, but I think he stands a greater chance of falling than most of the media. The Cardinals need a long-term option at QB to compete with Russell Wilson, Jimmy Garoppolo and Jared Goff in the NFC West.
16) Baltimore Ravens: OLB Harold Landry, Boston College
The Ravens could go in a few directions here, including WR (Ridley), LB (LVE) and Center (Daniels). Yet they have a need on the edge with Terrell Suggs turning 36 next season, and Landry gets the nod over Marcus Davenport.
17) Los Angeles Chargers: DT Da’Ron Payne, Alabama
Both Payne and Leighton Vander Esch make sense for the Chargers, and they could be tempted by Lamar Jackson as well.
18) TRADE – New England Patriots (from Seattle): QB Lamar Jackson, Louisville
Here we go – the Seahawks make their first jump down the draft board, and it’s a big one. New England moves up from 31 to land their next QB of the future, which is a strong possibility. They’ve met with Jackson multiple times during the pre-draft process. Bill Belichick is the perfect coach to develop and get the most out of Jackson in the NFL.
19) Dallas Cowboys: LB Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State
The Cowboys reportedly love Vander Esch, and would likely be thrilled to land him here. I don’t think they’ll be willing to deal this pick for Earl Thomas, but their 2nd-rounder (#50) is still in play. I’m sure there would be extra 2018 and/or 2019 picks attached in that case.
20) Detroit Lions: DE Marcus Davenport, UTSA
The Lions need an edge rusher, and they hired Davenport’s defensive line coach from Texas-San Antonio this offseason. The dynamic DE isn’t not falling past Detroit if he even makes it this far. One more note – if Seattle can’t trade down from 18, Davenport is my pick for them.
21) Cincinnati Bengals: C James Daniels, Iowa
The Bengals are so desperate for help on the OL that they have no choice but to eschew other needs here. This comes down to Daniels or Frank Ragnow, as Center is the top need within a need.
22) TRADE – Denver Broncos (from Buffalo): OG Will Hernandez, UTEP
This could be the Broncos dream scenario (along with getting Ward at 12). They passed up on Quenton Nelson by trading back from #5, but fill their hole at Guard with the next best thing. Moreover, Denver’s new OL coach was Hernandez’s head coach at UTEP.
23) New England Patriots: OT Kolton Miller, UCLA
The Pats have a hole at LT following the departure of Nate Solder. 2017 3rd-round pick OT Antonio Garcia missed his entire rookie year with blood clots in his lungs (yikes). New England may not want him to start next year as a result. Miller is raw himself, but he has upside and can provide competition in 2018 at the very least.
24) Carolina Panthers: OG Isaiah Wynn, Georgia
The Panthers likely go LG or CB here, and Wynn would be a terrific value. He would provide an instant upgrade on their offensive line, and could even transition to Center after Ryan Kalil retires.
25) Tennessee Titans: OLB Lorenzo Carter, Georgia
Watch out for the Titans next year – they’re roster is well-stocked across the board. They could use an rush-LB and coverage-LB however, so why not kill two birds with one stone? They may also look to trade down if they don’t like the options at Linebacker here.
26) Atlanta Falcons: DT Taven Bryan, Florida
Another team with a loaded roster – the only pressing need is DT. I think they’d prefer Da’Ron Payne here, though Bryan would form an explosive interior duo with Grady Jarrett.
27) New Orleans Saints: G/C Frank Ragnow, Arkansas
It’s remarkable how well the Saints have drafted in recent years. Alvin Kamara and Ryan Ramczyk get a lot of hype, but the defense is also great now after setting records for futility in recent years. I think this comes down to Guard or TE (hello, Dallas Goedert).
28) Pittsburgh Steelers: LB Rashaan Evans, Alabama
Ryan Shazier’s scary injury was incredibly unfortunate, and the Steelers have no choice but to move forward. They’re desperate at Linebacker now, and I could see either Evans or Malik Jefferson at this spot.
29) Jacksonville Jaguars: TE Dallas Goedert, SDSU
The Jags essentially don’t have any pressing needs, but TE stands out the most. Which works out perfectly here, as I think Goedert is one of the top-20 players in this draft.
30) Minnesota Vikings: G/T Connor Williams, Texas
The Vikings literally have only one need worth spending a 1st on, and it’s a big one. They need an instant starter at Guard from this draft, and this comes down to BPA at OG. Williams is another top-20 player on my board, and he’d help to solidify Minnesota as Super Bowl contenders.
31) TRADE – Indianapolis Colts (from Seattle/NE): CB Jaire Alexander, Louisville
Aaaaaand the Seahawks trade out of the 1st round once again. With Williams off the board, Seattle trades down to #37, where some several of their top targets will still be available. Here’s a look at potential Seahawks targets throughout the draft: Seahawks 2018 Draft Targets Board. The Colts are looking to move back into Round-1 with their excess draft capital. Alexander would be a great value here at a need position.
32) Philadelphia Eagles: WR Calvin Ridley, Alabama
The champs would surely like to recoup missing day-2 draft picks, though I can’t find a trade at both #31 and #32. Since this is a Seahawks draft site, Indy generously agrees to do business with Seattle > Philly.
- Denver trades #5 to Buffalo for #12 and #22
- Seattle trades #18 to New England for #31 and #63
- Seattle then trades #31 to Indianapolis for #37 and #100