Once again I've decided to attempt the impossible task of predicting how the first round of the NFL Draft will play out on Thursday night. Now obviously my picks are guesses as I'm not in the war rooms, but I ensure you they are educated guesses and I've not just thrown prospect darts at a dartboard of teams (although that would probably be more accurate). If you want to know what I would do in the first three round if I was the GM of each team then read my "What I Would Do" mock draft here. Anyway, my final note is this: unless I get at least 5 picks correct, forget this mock draft ever existed. Got it? Good. Well in that case, enjoy!
This year I've decided to do two different types of mock draft, and this is one of them. This mock represents what I would do in the first three rounds if I was the GM of each NFL team, not necessarily who I think they ultimately will draft in April. If you don't like the players I give to your team then I'm sorry, it's just my opinion.
Texans get Pick 12 / Packers get Pick 23 and Pick 54.
Chargers get Pick 25 / Eagles get Pick 28 and Pick 91.
* = Compensatory pick
By Reece Mowlem.
This year I've decided to do two different types of mock draft, and this is the first. This mock represents what I would do in the first round if I was the GM of each NFL team, not necessarily who I think they ultimately will draft in April. If you don't like the player I give to your team then I'm sorry, it's just my opinion. (Pick by pick analysis below picture).
1. Arizona Cardinals - Quinnen Williams (DI, Alabama)
The Cardinals don't draft Kyler Murray. Instead they take, in my opinion, the best player in the draft. Williams can wreck an offensive game plan in both the run and pass game, earning a 95.0 overall grade from Pro Football Focus in 2018, the highest the in country. Now I'm not saying Quinnen is bust proof, but I think he might be bust proof.
2. San Francisco 49ers - Nick Bosa (EDGE, Ohio State)
I know they just payed Dee Ford big money to bring some edge pressure, but adding another elite rusher to the other side certainly won't hurt. Nick would be a slam dunk pick despite him missing the majority of the 2018 season, and might even be better than older brother Joey.
3. New York Jets - Josh Allen (EDGE, Kentucky)
The Jets were willing to pay Anthony Barr a ridiculous contract to be a pass rusher. Josh Allen is younger, better and cheaper, and also posted the highest pass-rush grade in all of college football last season according to PFF. It looks like the Kentucky prospect will be available for the Jets whatever happens in the first two picks, so if I were them he'd be my choice.
4. Oakland Raiders - Jonah Williams (OT/OG, Alabama)
I nearly took Kyler Murray off the board here, but I stopped myself as I do still believe Derek Carr can be successful when surrounded by talent. So because of that, I gave the Raiders Jonah Williams, the best offensive linemen in the draft. Williams would be an upgrade over either of Oakland's current tackles in my opinion, but could also slot into the guard spot left vacant by the departure of Kelechi Osemele. Gruden would never make this move, but I would.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Kyler Murray (QB, Oklahoma)
I may believe in Derek Carr, but I don't believe in Jameis Winston anymore. The combination of his inconsistent play on the field and poor choices off it lead me to the conclusion that the former first overall pick is not the future of this franchise. That's why I've given them Kyler Murray, the best quarterback in the class and a player with the potential upside of a Patrick Mahomes or Baker Mayfield.
6. New York Giants - Brian Burns (EDGE, Florida State)
Now I know the Giants need a quarterback, because Eli certainly isn't still the answer, but at this point I'd rather wait until next year for either Herbert or Tua than draft Dwayne Haskins. Edge rusher is also huge need for the Giants after trading Olivier Vernon to the Browns, so the G-Men draft Brian Burns out of FSU. Burns is a top tier talent who racked up 69 pressures in 2018, the leading tally for all Power-5 conference defenders.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars - Ed Oliver (DI, Houston)
This could be another potential landing spot for Haskins, but seeing as the Jags just payed Nick Foles to be their starter, I decided to add even more talent to the already loaded defence. With Malik Jackson moving to Philly, there is a gap on the depth chart at the defensive tackle position. Enter Ed Oliver. I know Jacksonville need to improve on offence, but putting Ed Oliver next to Calais Campbell, Yannick Ngakoue and Abry Jones would make the Jags defensive line one of the scariest units in the NFL.
8. Detroit Lions - Devin White (LB, LSU)
Unfortunately for the Lions there's not any players available at their positions of need that wouldn't be a slight reach to draft at pick 8 in this scenario. So instead I gave them the best available player on my big board, and that was Devin White. White is the ideal linebacker for the current NFL, showing great athleticism and coverage skills at LSU, as well as the ability to be an effective rusher when blitzing.
9. Buffalo Bills - Jawaan Taylor (OT, Florida)
The offseason addition of Ty Nsekhe, arguably the best swing tackle in the NFL, was certainly a savvy move, but I don't think it solved the problem at right tackle. If I were the Bills GM, I would make Jawaan Taylor the solution. Taylor, a player who was elite as both a pass and run blocker at Florida, could step in immediately and help keep Josh Allen safe.
10. Denver Broncos - Dwayne Haskins (QB, Ohio State)
I think we can all agree that Joe Flacco isn't the long term answer to Denver's seemingly eternal QB woes. Now Haskins might not be the solution either, but I'd still take the shot on the Ohio State pocket-passer here if I was John Elway. Haskins put up great numbers in college and possesses a lot of the skills required to succeed at the next level. He may not have the high ceiling that Murray does, but his floor looks reasonably safe and I expect him to have a successful career as a starting quarterback in the NFL.
11. Cincinnati Bengals - Byron Murphy (CB, Washington)
It seems every Bengals fan on planet earth (and maybe other planets if they care about Ohio sports) wants Devin White on their roster. Unfortunately for them, in this draft, the LSU prospect is no longer available. Cornerback isn't as big a need as linebacker, but it's still a position that Cincy need to address. Murphy, PFF's top graded college cornerback in 2018, is a top 10 player in my opinion, and would make an instant impact in a secondary that struggled last season.
12. Green Bay Packers - Jeffery Simmons (DI, Mississippi State)
Calm down Packers fans, CALM DOWN! Yes I know you have Mike Daniels. Yes I know you also have Kenny Clark. However, I think the Eagles have proved in recent years that having a rotation on the defensive line can be highly effective, so adding a defensive player with top 5 pick talent into the mix certainly wouldn't hurt the roster. In reality I wouldn't draft Simmons at all due to his assault of a woman in 2016, but it seems like most franchises are willing to look past the arrest. In terms of on the field play, the defensive tackle has All-Pro potential.
13. Miami Dolphins - Jerry Tillery (DI, Notre Dame)
One of the most underrated players in the draft, Jerry Tillery is en elite pass rusher from the interior. His abilities in the run game are questionable, but he got consistent pressure on the quarterback during his time at Notre Dame. Tillery would add some juice to a Dolphins defensive line that lacks high-level talent. I presume many Miami fans would probably want a QB in the first round, but I don't feel the value of Drew Lock and Daniel Jones is high enough to take either in the top half of round one.
14. Atlanta Falcons - DeAndre Baker (CB, Georgia)
I know my friend/colleague Owen Turner will enjoy this one, he likes to keep players in state. Baker may lack size and speed, but he certainly doesn't lack production. The Georgia cornerback only gave up a single touchdown during his collegiate career and I see no reason why he can't do similar at the NFL level. It may not be the most probable pick, but for the Falcons I think it's a necessary one.
15. Washington Redskins - Greedy Williams (CB, LSU)
Much like the Dolphins, the Redskins are in desperate need of a young quarterback. However, I still think this pick would be too early to take a shot on Lock or Jones. Instead I've decided to go with the best player available and give Josh Norman some help in the cornerback room. Williams is exceptional in man coverage and possess elite level speed, traits that most locker rooms would be more than happy to accommodate. The offence is in need of help more than the defence in Washington, but I don't feel the Redskins can pass on a talent like Williams.
16. Carolina Panthers - Clelin Ferrell (EDGE, Clemson)
I love this pick. Well I love all of my picks, they're my picks, but this one in particular I'm a fan of. The Panthers are in dire need off edge rushers and Ferrell can come in and produce from day one. The Clemson pass rusher has great hands, athleticism and football IQ, as well as being a stout run defender. He can certainly fill the void left by Julius Peppers and bring some excitement to the defensive front in Carolina.
17. New York Giants (via Cleveland Browns) - Dalton Risner (OT, Kansas State)
The Giants have worked hard to improve their offensive line over the past few off-seasons via free agency, trades and the draft. However, there is still a glaring hole at right tackle, a hole Dalton Risner could fill. The Kansas State prospect only allowed a single sack during his four year college career, a truly remarkable stat. Eli needs protection and Risner can provide it.
18. Minnesota Vikings - Andre Dillard (OT, Washington State)
Much like the Giants, the Vikings need help on the offensive line. Andre Dillard might be the best pass blocker in the entire draft, giving up just the single sack and 3 QB hurries in 2018. Kirk Cousins received a wave of criticism for his play last year, but with Dillard keeping the pocket clean, I think we could see the former Redskin get back to his best.
19. Tennessee Titans - D.K. Metcalf (WR, Mississippi)
The slide stops here. Is Metcalf the right style of receiver for Mariota's offence? Probably not, but I don't think the Hawaiian is necessarily the future QB of this franchise. Either way, D.K.'s raw athleticism and big play ability would be a great to compliment to the versatile Corey Davis and new addition in the slot Adam Humphries. That's one impressive receiver trio.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers - Devin Bush Jr. (LB, Michigan)
Despite their best efforts, the Steelers have struggled to replace Ryan Shazier at linebacker since his horrific injury in 2017. Now he not might be quite as good as Shazier, but Devin Bush would be a enormous upgrade on Jon Bostic. The Michigan man was one of the best off-ball linebackers in terms of blitzing over the past two years and could be a playmaker for a Pittsburgh defence that needs a spark.
21. Seattle Seahawks - Christian Wilkins (DI, Clemson)
The Seahawks defensive line isn't what it used to be, so why not add a stud on the interior? Christian Wilkins was top three in both PFF's run-defence and pass-rushing grades among interior players this past season. I know most people have Seattle pegged as taking an edge rusher, but nowadays in the NFL it's just as important to build up the middle.
22. Baltimore Ravens - Cody Ford (OT/OG, Oklahoma)
Let's be honest, the Ravens are going to the run the ball 99% of the time this year. Because of that, I decided to draft Cody Ford for Baltimore. I believe they need to keep building up front to create the lanes for Lamar Jackson if they want to be successful. Pass rusher might be a bigger need for this team, but I liked the value of Ford better than any edge defender at this spot.
23. Houston Texans - T.J. Hockenson (TE, Iowa)
The Texans, another team locking for offensive linemen. Unfortunately for them, none of my first round graded tackles or guards are on the board in this scenario. So instead I've given them T.J. Hockenson, a tight end who can be as effective as a blocker as he can as a pass catcher. Watson also needs another target outside of DeAndre Hopkins and the Iowa prospect could be that guy.
24. Oakland Raiders (via Chicago Bears) - Montez Sweat (EDGE, Mississippi State)
The Raiders as a team had only 13 sacks last year. In comparison, their former player Khalil Mack had 12.5 on his own, a total that was bettered by 11 players. So needless to say, Oakland needs pass rush. Montez Sweat might be more potential than production at this stage, but he showed enough at Mississippi State to make me believe he can put up good numbers in the NFL. Plus he can run fast and that matters for edge rushers now apparently.
25. Philadelphia Eagles - Josh Jacobs (RB, Alabama)
As most of you know, I often argue that running backs don't really matter and I still believe that. But in some rare situations, the right RB can help a team achieve greatness. This could be one of those situations. The Eagles' only open starting spot is in the backfield and Josh Jacobs could step into it day one and improve the Philly offence instantly. The Alabama grad is the most complete running back in the draft and has also never received a huge workload in college, something I see as a positive. This probably won't happen, but as an Eagles fan, I really hope it does.
26. Indianapolis Colts - Jachai Polite (EDGE, Florida)
I don't care that he had a miserable combine, Jachai Polite can play. The Gator was one of the best in the nation as both a pass rusher and run defender in 2018, achieving a 90+ grade from PFF in both departments. Now despite signing veteran Justin Houston, the Colts still need to add bodies on the defensive line in this draft. It may have only been one year of high level production, but I have faith that Polite can make plays in the NFL.
27. Oakland Raiders (via Dallas Cowboys) - Dexter Lawrence (DI, Clemson)
The Raiders have so many holes that from this point on they should just be drafting the best player available. In this scenario, the highest ranked player on my board was big Dexter Lawrence. The 160kg nose tackle can affect both the run and pass game and would be a great compliment to the smaller interior defender Oakland drafted last year, Maurice Hurst.
28. Los Angeles Chargers - Nasir Adderley (FS, Delaware)
Pairing Adderley with Derwin James, my favourite player in the NFL, would create one of the most dynamic safety duos in the league. The Delaware free safety has incredible speed and range, traits that make him a superb single-high safety, which would allow James to play in the box where he does his best work. The fit is perfect, I'd love to see it become reality.
29. Kansas City Chiefs - Amani Oruwariye (CB, Penn State)
The Chiefs are crying out for help at two positions: cornerback and edge rusher. Now despite Rashan Gary being on the table still, I have Amani Oruwariye quite a few places higher on my big board. It would only be one piece, but he would add some much needed ability to the secondary in KC.
30. Green Bay Packers - Deebo Samuel (WR, South Carolina)
Deebo wouldn't just be Randall Cobb's replacement, but would be a major upgrade in the slot. My second highest graded receiver in this draft, Samuel is incredible in space and after the catch, breaking 21 tackles on 62 catches in 2018. He also knows how to get open and find the end-zone. I think Aaron Rodgers would love having him on the roster.
31. Los Angeles Rams - Garrett Bradbury (C/OG - N.C. State)
And the first interior offensive linemen comes off the board! This is a simple one for me personally. The Rams don't have too many weaknesses and I think Bradbury would be the perfect replacement for departing centre John Sullivan.
32. New England Patriots - J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (WR, Stanford)
With Gronk retiring I was tempted to slide Noah Fant into this spot, but New England also have a huge need for receivers and Arcega-Whiteside is higher on my board than the Iowa tight end. The wideout from Stanford is a superb contested catch receiver as well as having the ability to create separation. Oh and he also does solid work in the red zone. He may not be the most exciting player in this class, but that why he's a Patriot.
It's taken a lot of blood, sweat and tears but my final Mock Draft is here. It seems the buzz is now saying the Browns will take either Mayfield or Allen at number one overall, but I'm sticking with Darnold and hoping it's all just a smokescreen. There's some other fun picks in this one so I hope you enjoy it.
My penultimate mock is here! Darnold is back at first overall and the Bills and Cardinals both trade up to get their quarterback of the future. Stay tuned for my final mock draft which will be released on the week of the draft.
Now that free agency and trading has finally settled down, I thought it was time for a new mock draft. The Giants have been the biggest problem for me lately, as I try to figure out whether they're drafting a quarterback or not. At the moment I think they will take their future franchise QB but I wouldn't be surprised if they took any one of Barkley, Nelson or Chubb instead. As for the rest of the mock, it's not perfect but it will do the job. Enjoy!
With the 2018 NFL Combine in the books, I felt it was a good time to do my second Mock Draft of the year. There's been a lot of talk recently that the Browns might take Barkley at pick 1 so, although I don't think they will, I've decided to have them going that way in this mock so I could see how that would effect the rest of the first round. Please remember that the mock depicts what I expect the teams to do, not necessarily what I think they should.
Mowlem is a young sports writer from Reading, United Kingdom. All articles are written by Reece Mowlem (unless stated otherwise).