Archive for April, 2018

April 26, 2018

In the 2018 Mock Draft, the Jets Select…

nfldraftFor the last several years, I’ve been posting who I think the Jets should draft.  This year, I think it’s safe to say we all know the Jets will be drafting a QB.  In my opinion, there are no clean QB prospects in this draft.  Each have fairly significant red-flags.  History tells us that two of these top four prospects will likely be busts.  Despite the significant red-flags, I actually think that all four will likely have successful NFL careers (as well as Lamar Jackson and Mason Rudolph should they be drafted into the right situation).  I believe that this will be the best QB draft class since 2004 (Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning, Philip Rivers, Matt Schaub) and has the potential to eclipse it.  Since there’s little mystery into the position the Jets are drafting, I thought I’d do something a little different and post a mock draft of the first round with explanation for the initial six picks.

Amidst five trades I predict for Thursday night, I think the storyline that will emerge is:

Four of the top five QB prospects go to the same division as the AFC East gets total overhaul at the QB position

Here is my mock draft:

1. Cleveland Browns select Sam Darnold, QB, USC

While it was widely reported early in the draft process that it was a lock for the Browns to make this pick, as of late, there has been a lot of noise that the Browns might select Allen or even Mayfield.  I think this is the typical flurry of leaked false reporting that happens as draft day grows closer.  My thought is that the Browns feel like they NEED to get this pick right.  They may like the upside of Allen better but I think that since the consensus among most draft “experts” is that Darnold is the number one QB in the draft (and has the highest floor), the Browns will play it safe and select Darnold. 

2. New York Giants trade their pick to the New York Jets; The New York Jets select Josh Allen, QB, WYOMING

Given the Jets don’t need a QB to start day one, they will have time to develop the raw talents of Josh Allen.  As we all have heard, Josh Allen would resemble the physical prototype of what a lab would produce had they been charged with the task of building the perfect QB.  6’5” tall, 237 pounds, 10 1/8” hands, highest score on the Wonderlic of QBs in this draft, rare arm talent (can throw the ball 80 yards).  My biggest concern about him is that he wasn’t a man among boys in college despite facing lower competition.  He wasn’t even named first or second team to the Mountain West All-Conference Team (he was named as an honorable mention).  I think there are significant red-flags with all of the top four QBs in this year’s draft and there are significant things to love about all four.  I will be very happy with any of the top four picks but I will be most happy with Allen or Mayfield.

3. New York Jets trade their pick to the New York Giants; New York Giants select Saquon Barkley, RB, PENN ST.

Since the New York Giants are sticking with Eli Manning, they must believe that his window to win a championship has not closed.  The biggest positional draft impact on picking a position early in draft and having it translate into increased wins from the previous season is RB.  This year, there is a rare RB prospect.  It seems like we hear that every year but many experts (and non-experts such as myself) believe Saquon Barkley is the best RB to come into the league since Adrian Peterson.  If I’m the Giants, I am thrilled to draft Saquon Barkley.  However, there’s no need to draft him with the second overall pick.  If they play their cards right, they should be able to bluff the New York Jets into swapping picks and procuring another mid-round pick in the process.  The Jets would guard against the Giants’ false threat of trading out of the pick to a QB hungry team and the Giants would get some free compensation for drafting the guy they want (plus spending about $1M less over the course of his rookie contract).

4. Cleveland Browns trade their pick to the Buffalo Bills; The Buffalo Bills select Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA

With Saquon Barkley off the board, the Browns opt to move back and collect more picks.  The Bills are obviously in need of a QB and while Mayfield’s personality might fit in better with the underdog Buffalo faithful, Rosen looks too good on film to pass up.  I think in 10 years when people look back at this draft and the success that Rosen will have had in the NFL, they’ll wonder if the “red-flags” that were identified with Rosen were just the media needing something to talk about.  Granted it’s just one game, but if you watched the head-to-head matchup between UCLA and USC this past November, Rosen looked like he should be the number 1 overall pick in this year’s draft.

5. Denver Broncos select Bradley Chubb, DE, N.C. STATE

In Super Bowl L, the Broncos learned that they could win a championship with stellar defense and merely competent QB play.  In that final year of Peyton Manning’s career, he completed just 59.8% of his passes (he completed over 65% over his career), threw for just 225 yards per game (he threw for over 270 yards per game over his career) and threw only 9 TD’s and 17 INT’s.  The Broncos just paid Case Keenum $36M over two years, of which $25M was fully guaranteed at signing.  I think they are banking on Case Keenum being able to deliver at least competent QB play and will look to supplement their still strong defense with one of the most elite players in the draft.  Despite having a bad season, the Denver defense still was the #3 defense in the league as measured by yards surrendered.  Adding Bradley Chubb on defense could help to significantly improve a defense that is already loaded with excellent players.

6. Indianapolis Colts trade their pick to the Miami Dolphins; The Miami Dolphins select Baker Mayfield, QB, OKLAHOMA

The Colts have a generational QB that they have totally abused and they will look to keep adding picks to address the many lot of holes on their roster.  This Dolphins’ pick will have our old friend Mike Tannenbaum’s fingerprints all over it.  The former Jets General Manager Tannenbaum is the Dolphin’s current Executive Vice President of Football Operations.  He has always been one for the big headline move despite whether or not it was a good long-term move for his team.  While some may still believe the jury is out on the viability of Ryan Tannehill, I think the Dolphins will look to make a splash move and try to take advantage of drafting a player that will excite the fan base in Miami.  Baker Mayfield should get the attention of the Miami fan base.  I began the draft evaluation process with Mayfield nowhere near my draft board but, the more research I did on him, the more I like him as a player.  I believe he will be very successful at the next level (despite the Dolphin’s drafting him).

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Derwin James, S, FLORIDA ST.

8. Chicago Bears select Quenton Nelson, G, NOTRE DAME

9. San Francisco 49ers select Denzel Ward, CB, OHIO ST.

10. Oakland Raiders select Tremaine Edmunds, ILB, VIRGINIA TECH

11. Miami Dolphins trade pick to Indianapolis Colts; Colts select Roquan Smith, OLB, GEORGIA

12. Buffalo Bills trade pick to Cleveland Browns; Browns select Minkah Fitzpatrick, S, ALABAMA

13. Washington Redskins select Vita Vea, DT, WASHINGTON

14. Green Bay Packers trade pick to the New England Patriots; Patriots select Lamar Jackson, QB, LOUISVILLE

15. Arizona Cardinals select Mason Rudolph, QB, OKLAHOMA ST.

16. Baltimore Ravens select Mike Mcglinchey, OT, NOTRE DAME

17. Los Angeles Chargers trade pick to Dallas Cowboys; Cowboys select D.J. Moore, WR, MARYLAND

18. Seattle Seahawks select Josh Jackson, CB, IOWA

19. Dallas Cowboys trade pict to the Los Angeles Chargers; Chargers select Da’ron Payne, DT, ALABAMA

20. Detroit Lions select Taven Bryan, DT, FLORIDA

21. Cincinnati Bengals select Will Hernandez, G, TEXAS-EL PASO

22. Buffalo Bills trade pick to the Cleveland Browns; Browns select Calvin Ridley, WR, ALABAMA

23. New England Patriots trade pict to the Green Bay Packers; Packers select Mike Hughes, CB, CENTRAL FLORIDA

24. Carolina Panthers select Marcus Davenport, DE, TEXAS-SAN ANTONIO

25. Tennessee Titans select Harold Landry, EDGE, BOSTON COLLEGE

26. Atlanta Falcons select Maurice Hurst, DT, MICHIGAN

27. New Orleans Saints select Hayden Hurst, TE, SOUTH CAROLINA

28. Pittsburgh Steelers select Leighton Vander Esch, ILB, BOISE ST.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars select Jaire Alexander, CB, LOUISVILLE

30. Minnesota Vikings select Will Hernandez, G, TEXAS-EL PASO

31. New England Patriots select Rashaan Evans, OLB, ALABAMA

32. Philadelphia Eagles select Mike Gesicki, TE, PENN ST.

For the Jets’ sake, I hope this mock draft is like most others and doesn’t resemble what actually will transpire in the draft.  My hope for the draft is that the QB that the Jets like best is still on the board for them with their third selection.  Of course if a QB or two is selected before the Jets (as at least one most certainly will), we’ll have no way of knowing if that’s actually the case.  I can get behind any of the top four QB’s but my preference, though not a strong one, is Mayfield or Allen.  I will also be hoping that the Bills, Dolphins and Patriots don’t land any of the other top QB prospects.  I would be surprised if the Bills don’t select one but the Dolphins and Patriots are wildcards.  This draft could determine who will own the AFC East for the next decade and that will make for some exciting television.