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.
Draft season is here! These rankings represent who I personally believe are the best prospects at each position in terms of how successful I believe they can be at the NFL level, as well as at what pick range I would be willing to draft them in if I was an NFL GM. They will be updated regularly as we approach the 2019 NFL Draft.
Where I'd be willing to draft them, taking position value into consideration:
Pick 1-10 Pick 11-20 Pick 21-32 2nd Round 3rd Round 4th Round
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.
Dan Barber's second and final mock draft is here! Barkley slides to the Broncos, Lamar Jackson goes in the top 15, and the Patriots potentially find Tom Brady's successor. Enjoy!
Mock drafts are fun (and stressful) but they don't really reflect my personal opinions on the prospects. My Top 25 however, most certainly does. I've been putting out positional rankings throughout the offseason but this is my final take on who I believe are the best 25 players are in the 2018 draft. I've tried to remove positional value as much as I can in order to make the list based purely on draft grade. So this is it, my Top 25 players in the 2018 NFL Draft. Enjoy!
1. OG - Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame
There's never really a "sure thing" prospect in the draft but I think Quenton Nelson is as close as you're going to get. Interior pass rush has become increasingly prominent in the NFL over the past season or two, meaning having elite guards on your team is as important as ever, so why not take the best one to come out of college this decade? He dominates on every snap, simple as that. Also, loads of people who have played the position and know a lot more about offensive line play than I do think he has a good chance of getting a gold jacket at the end of his career. To me, he's the number one guy in the class.
2. RB - Saquon Barkley, Penn State
Many draft analysts are saying that Barkley is a "generational talent" and even though I don't think he'll be quite as good as that, he's still pretty damn special. Barkley is the perfect type of running back for the NFL right now with great speed and size, big play ability, and the skills to line up as a receiver and make plays. He's probably going to be a top 5 back for the next 10 years in the right situation and I would be shocked if he makes past the fifth pick in the draft.
3. S/LB - Derwin James, Florida State
If you listen to the First Down Podcast then you probably won't be surprised to hear that Derwin James is one of my favourite prospects of the past five years. His athleticism is off the charts, he's a huge hitter, and his leadership ability is probably the best I've seen in a while. His cover skills are also incredible, he can do it all! Of course he has his flaws and some are still unsure about which position is best for him, but in the right scheme, I'm confident that James will be a Pro Bowl calibre player, if not All Pro. He's a star, no doubt about that.
4. EDGE - Bradley Chubb, N.C. State
I've been up and down on Chubb, but I think he just sneaks into my top 4. I think he's the best edge rusher in this class, but not quite as good as the top pass rushers we've seen go in the past few years, like Joey Bosa and Myles Garrett. However, he still looks like a top prospect with ideal size, speed and instincts that position him well to make an impact in the NFL. He's a pretty safe pick in my opinion.
5. LB - Roquan Smith, Georgia
Despite Virgina Tech's Tremaine Edmunds getting the majority of the praise at the linebacker position, I have no doubt in my mind that Roquan Smith will be best LB in the class. The Georgia prospect has great coverage skills as well as being an incredibly effective tackler who has the lowest misses per attempt out of the the top-rated players at his position in this draft. He reminds me of the Falcons' Deion Jones and I think he's ready to make an immediate impact in the NFL.
6. DT - Maurice Hurst, Michigan
Hurst has been underrated by almost everyone (apart from Pro Football Focus) throughout the whole scouting process, mainly because of his size. Considering both his height and weight are almost identical to that of Aaron Donald, probably the best defensive player in the NFL, I don't see how it's a problem. Production wise, Hurst was outstanding during his career at Michigan and I believe he's too good to not repeat that pass rush success at the next level. For me, Hurst is a stud that deserves to be taken in the top 10 of this year's draft.
7. QB - Sam Darnold, USC
Thats right, Darnold is my top quarterback in this draft. His footwork needs work and 13 interceptions in only 14 games in 2017 isn't the most appetising stat, however I think he has best chance of all the QB's in this class to be successful in the NFL. He has great arm strength, outstanding improvisation skills, and elite leadership quality. I really like both Rosen and Mayfield in this draft as well, but Darnold is the guy I'm most confident in.
8. S/CB - Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama
I think the questions about where Fitzpatrick's ideal position is has hurt his value over the past few months, but I think he can be a playmaker at either free safety or corner. If he does get moved to the outside I don't think he'll be as successful as Jalen Ramsey has been since making the move, but I do believe he can cope against some of the best wideouts in the NFL. Despite this, I would keep him as a ball hawking free safety and just let him go out there and make plays.
9. QB - Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
I would love to put Baker as my top quarterback in this class but I just can't do it. His accuracy is by far the best in this draft and he's an off the charts competitor who knows how to win. It's not even his height or personality that I have an issue with, I just feel as if he needs to be in the right situation in order to shine. However, I'm still a big fan and there's nothing I'd enjoy more than to see Mayfield succeed in the NFL.
10. CB - Denzel Ward, Ohio State
As much as I don't like to admit it, it's Ward's size that prevents him from being higher on this list. The talent is most definitely there but when you're only 5'10" and you have to line up against 6'5" beasts like Mike Evans, you're going to have problems. But despite his lack of height, I still believe Ward can be a number one cornerback at the next level.
11. QB - Josh Rosen, UCLA
For me, Rosen is without a doubt the best pure pocket passer in this draft class. He has incredible arm talent and I think he's the most NFL ready of all the QB's in this class. My doubts with him don't lie with either his personality or background (I'm pretty sure Tom Brady asks his coaches "why?" and Peyton Manning's privileged upbringing didn't seem to hinder him), my problem with Rosen is his durability, or lack thereof. A history of concussions and shoulder injuries isn't what I want to see on a quarterback's medical report, but if he can stay healthy and land in the right situation, then I think he'll thrive in the NFL.
12. EDGE - Harold Landry, Boston College
In my opinion, Landry is one of the most underrated players in this draft. He's the best pass rushing 3-4 OLB in the class and should be taken more seriously as a top 15 pick. Despite having a disappointing 2017 season, due partly to injury, Landry was exceptional in 2016 stacking up 65 pressures in 265 snaps. In the right scheme, it's not inconceivable that he has a better career than Bradley Chubb.
13. LB - Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech
There's no question that Edmunds has bucket loads of talent but he's still so raw. At only 19 years old, he has a way to go in his football development but, if he can fulfil his potential, then I think he can be a top tier NFL talent.
14. DT - Vita Vea, Washington
Now this man is a beast. Vea is an athletic freak with incredible speed for his immense size, he even played running back in high school. He's likely to get drafted just outside the top 10 and I think he'll be worth it.
15. CB - Josh Jackson, Iowa
Another underrated player in this draft. He's had some comparisons to Marcus Peters and I sort of agree. I don't think he'll be as good as Peters, but he plays in a similar way and has the potential to be an interception machine in the NFL. When it comes down to it, he's a playmaker with a bright future, especially with him being so young at the position, not playing CB till 2015.
16. OT - Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame
McGlinchey is far and away the best tackle in the draft for me and will probably be the second offensive linemen off the board. Some people argue that he was helped out by having Quenton Nelson next to him, but he was just as solid when playing right tackle as he was on the left. McGlinchey could be a guy that a tackle needy team can plug in day one and be extremely comfortable with him as a starting tackle.
17. EDGE - Marcus Davenport, UTSA
Davenport has been sliding down mock drafts all over the NFL internet over the past few months, but I think the middle of the first round is about right for him. He's most definitely a work in progress still, but he does have the tools to be an elite pass rusher.
18. CB - Mike Hughes, UCF
After being suspended in 2015 and spending the 2016 season in community college, Hughes needed to have a good 2017 season at UCF and he did just that. He didn't give up a single touchdown all season and he has the all traits to be a shutdown cornerback in the NFL.
19. OG - Will Hernandez, UTEP
He isn't quite on the same level as Quenton Nelson overall, but when it comes to run blocking I think Hernandez could give him a run for his money. The UTEP guard has a great base and is a real people mover, well worthy of a first round selection.
20. LB - Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State
Not many prospects have moved up draft boards as much as Vader Esch has over these past few months. A physical freak comparable to Tremaine Edmunds with great instincts in the run game, I believe he could go in the top 20 despite his deficiencies in coverage.
21. OT/OG - Connor Williams, Texas
Don't let Williams' injury affected 2017 season fool you, this guy can play. He was dominant in his sophomore year at Texas and I believe he has the tools to be a starting tackle (or guard) for many years at the next level.
22. RB - Ronald Jones II, USC
Ronald Jones' stock has dropped massively over the past few weeks for many scouts, but not for me. He has some questions to answer in the passing game, but he more than makes up for it as a runner. He's a home run hitter and I think he can make an immediate impact in the NFL.
23. WR - Calvin Ridley, Alabama
One of the main reasons Antonio Brown is the best receiver in the league is that he's an exceptional route runner and Calvin Ridley is clearly the best in that area out of the top WR's in the class. His size and speed are good enough to make him a potential number one receiver for an NFL team.
24. RB - Nick Chubb, Georgia
Despite his size, Chubb is deceptively elusive and far from slow. With elite vision and cutting ability, Chubb was almost as productive as Gurley at Georgia when he was healthy and I think he can have a productive NFL career.
25. EDGE - Arden Key, LSU
Take away his off field issues and I think Key is a top 15 talent. He's a bit light for his height, but his production at LSU is unquestionable and if he can stay out of trouble, I think he can be a highly effective pass rusher in the league.
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!
We’re now into the meat of draft season with the combine wrapped up and free agency just around the corner, and you can’t help but feel that this is going to be a particularly intriguing year. The quarterback debate appears to be more clouded than ever and unlike previous years there is no consensus number one overall pick. Thus, here is my first 2018 mock draft, covering just one of the many scenarios that could occur come April:
Mowlem is a young sports writer from Reading, United Kingdom. All articles are written by Reece Mowlem (unless stated otherwise).