BFB Mock Draft 1.0, two takes: Bills land QB of the future in one, trade in other
Welcome to mock draft season.
The NFL draft will begin on April 26 and here’s the first Buffalo Football Beat mock draft of the 2018 offseason, featuring Spencer German from Roc Sports Report.
With that, here’s our pre-scouting combine mock draft, version 1.0. Leave your comments on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit or at the bottom. Let us know which mock you like better:
Nick Wojton, Buffalo Football Beat:
- Cleveland Browns: QB Sam Darnold, USC
Like many years in the past, Cleveland needs a quarterback. Darnold will be a project by many accounts, but could be worth it in the end.
- New York Giants: QB Josh Rosen, UCLA
Eli Manning will remain, but the Giants will want to take advantage of having the second-overall pick.
- TRADE – Arizona Cardinals (via Indianapolis Colts): QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
Arizona packages a future first rounder & a little more in a deal to jump up from 15 to take Mayfield, who has flown up draft boards in recent weeks.
- Cleveland Browns (via Houston Texans): DE Bradley Chubb, North Carolina St.
Chubb and Myles Garrett sounds like fun for a Browns fan.
- Denver Broncos: DB Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama
Assuming Denver lands Kirk Cousins, Fitzpatrick is added to the “No Fly Zone” in the Broncos’ secondary.
- New York Jets: QB Josh Allen, Wyoming
After taking a project in Christian Hackenberg which hasn’t worked out, the Jets do the same with Allen.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: RB Shaqon Barkley, Penn State
Bit of a slip for Barkley, but the Bucs couldn’t pass him up.
- Chicago Bears: WR Calvin Ridley, Alabama
In the “get a playmaker for EJ Manuel” sense, Ridley will be that for Mitchell Trubisky.
- San Francisco 49ers: CB Denzel Ward, Ohio State
Instead of getting Jimmy G a weapon, the 49ers opt to slow down opposing quarterbacks.
- Oakland Raiders: LB Roquan Smith, Georgia
A lot of needs on defense for Oakland, linebacker among them.
- Miami Dolphins: OG Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame
The Dolphins will be thrilled if Ryan Tannehill can stay on the field this season. A high-pick addressing that will help.
- Cincinnati Bengals: OT Orlando Brown, Oklahoma
Cincy doesn’t pick an Andy Dalton replacement with a run of quarterbacks early.
- Washington Redskins: LB Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech
Washington addresses a front-seven need, with their QB of the (near) future, Alex Smith, in town.
- Green Bay Packers: DT Vita Vea, Washington
Some solid linebackers in Green Bay still need some help in front of them in the trenches.
- Indianapolis Colts (via Arizona Cardinals): DE Marcus Davenport, UTSA
Indy always seems to have glaring needs on defense, getting to opposing quarterback is among them.
- Baltimore Ravens: WR Courtland Sutton, SMU
Baltimore is in desperate need of a playmaker outside.
- Los Angeles Chargers: OT Connor Williams, Texas
Keep old man Rivers up-right.
- Seattle Seahawks: OT Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame
Nothing shocking here, Russell Wilson runs for his life too much.
- Dallas Cowboys: DT Maurice Hurst, Michigan
Dallas needs a force a in the middle.
- Detroit Lions: C Billy Price, Ohio State
Maybe a possibility in a replacement for Eric Wood goes right before the Bills pick.
Buffalo Bills: LB Rashaan Evans, Alabama
The Bills made a strong selection in linebacker Matt Milano in 2017, but the team won’t want to bank on striking gold with a late-picked linebacker twice. Evans can play from sideline-to-sideline with his speed, despite a 6-foot-3 and 234-pound frame. That speed is what many assume Buffalo head coach Sean McDermott likes in his linebackers, when viewing the position through the scope of his time with the Carolina Panthers. Evans is also a senior, something McDermott clearly puts and emphasis on after selection only seniors in 2017.
TRADE – Minnesota Vikings (via Buffalo Bills, via Kansas City Chiefs): CB Josh Jackson, Iowa
Minnesota trades up to keep their defense, which led them to a near-Super Bowl season, a dominate unit.
- Los Angeles Rams: CB Isaiah Oliver, Colorado
The Rams need a complement to their strong front-seven.
- Carolina Panthers: DE Harold Landry, Boston College
Youthful addition to the Panthers’ pass rush.
- Tennessee Titans: OG Will Hernandez, Texas-El Paso
Hernandez did himself some good at the Senior Bowl.
- Atlanta Falcons: OG Isaiah Wynn, Georgia
Matt Ryan likes protection, but an investment in the run game here, too.
- New Orleans Saints: TE Dallas Goedert, South Dakota St.
The second coming of Jimmy Graham? That’s the idea, at least.
- Pittsburgh Steelers: S Derwin James, Florida St.
Big Ben very quickly said he’s going to come back this year, so I don’t think the Steelers go for his replacement.
- Jacksonville Jaguars: QB Lamar Jackson, Louisville
The early run on quarterback fades, but Jackson slides in as a late first-round pick. The Jags need a long-term answer.
Buffalo Bills (via Minnesota Vikings): DT Da’Ron Payne, Alabama
Without Marcell Dareus and an aging, and maybe retired, Kyle Williams, defensive tackle is a massive need for Buffalo. In this scenario, quarterback Mason Rudolph is still on the board, but Buffalo could roll the dice that he’d still be there in the second round with five quarterbacks going in the first round. Deandre Coleman (6-5, 341 lbs) is a massive tackle and McDermott & Co. kept bringing him around last year. Payne, at 6-foot-2 and 308-pounds, combined with Evans, would at minimal address big needs on the Bills defense. Buffalo could also nab an extra third-round pick in this hypothetical trade with Minnesota.
- New England Patriots: CB Mike Hughes, Central Florida
I don’t think Malcolm Butler is very happy after the Super Bowl.
- Philadelphia Eagles: LB Malik Jefferson, Texas
Lucky draftee going to the defending champs.
Spencer German, Roc Sports Report:
- Cleveland Browns: QB Baker Mayfield QB, Oklahoma
Another year, another draft where the Browns are picking first, only this time around they’re getting their quarterback of the future. GM John Dorsey praised Mayfield at the Senior Bowl, and it feels like those Lake Eries winds are shifting towards the Heisman winner being Cleveland’s selection at No. 1.
- New York Giants: QB Josh Rosen, UCLA:
Word is new head coach Pat Shurmur sees Eli Manning as part of his team’s plans for at least 2018. But the Giants can’t ignore Manning’s age (37) and must find his predecessor. The gunslinger, Rosen is considered the best quarterback in this class by most.
- Indianapolis Colts: DE Bradley Chubb, North Carolina St.
The Colts have a lot of needs but none of them are quarterback. Ultimately, I can see this pick getting traded, which will likely be reflected in future mock drafts, but Indianapolis needs pass rushers so should they stay put, Chubb is a no-brainer.
- Cleveland Browns (via Houston Texans): RB Saquon Barkley, Penn State
Number of options here for Cleveland, but they need playmakers on offense in the worst way, and Barkley is the best overall player in this draft class. Plus, Cleveland needs to find out if Hue 1-31 is just a fluke for Hue Jackson. Give him everything he needs to succeed.
- Denver Broncos: OG Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame
Quarterback could be in play here, but I see Denver coming away with a veteran in free agency. (Kirk Cousins perhaps?) Now it’s time for John Elway to make sure he’s protected.
- New York Jets: QB Josh Allen, Wyoming
Allen becomes the third quarterback taken in the top 10 as the Jets draft a signal caller for the fifth time in six years. Maybe they’ll finally get it right.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: DB Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama
Fitzpatrick could go as high as the top four, but hard to see him dropping much further than this. Tampa Bay’s secondary needs major help. DE Marcus Davenport is in play here though as well.
- Chicago Bears: CB Josh Jackson, Iowa:
Yes the Bears need to get some weapons for Mitch Trubisky, but this cornerback class isn’t as deep as last year’s so they’ll take care of that first and circle back to grab a wide receiver later.
- San Francisco 49ers: CB Denzel Ward, Ohio State:
San Francisco has Jimmy Garoppolo locked up, now it’s time they got themselves cornerback who can lock down some very good receivers that reside in the NFC West. This is such a good decision, Nick copied me.
- Oakland Raiders: LB Roquan Smith, Georgia:
Roquan Smith would be a perfect pick for Sean McDermott’s 4-3 defense, but he’s off the board well before the Bills are on the clock.10) Raiders
- Miami Dolphins: DE Marcus Davenport, UTSA:
Sam Darnold is still on the board, but the Dolphins are opt to ride with Ryan Tannehill and address a defensive need instead.
- Cincinnati Bengals, QB Sam Darnold:
At this point, Darnold is a steal, and should the Bengals lose A.J. McCarron this offseason, they could instantly find their next QB in waiting with Darnold. If the USC QB somehow does fall out of the top 10, there will be a lot of teams looking to trade up to around this area of the draft to get him.
- Washington Redskins: DT Vita Vea, Washington:
The Redskins were dead last in the NFL in rushing defense. Time to seal up the middle of their defensive line with the 344-pound Vea.
- Green Bay Packers: OG Will Hernandez, UTEP
The Packers found out what they are when Aaron Rodgers isn’t under center. Time to make sure they never find out again.
- Arizona Cardinals: QB Lamar Jackson, Louisville:
There maybe no team more desperate for a quarterback than Arizona and while I could easily see Nick’s projected trade or something similar happening, in this case they had to settle for the next best quarterback available in Jackson.
- Baltimore Ravens: WR Calvin Ridley, Alabama:
Joe Flacco needs some serious help on offense, that Ridley can provide.
- Los Angeles Chargers: OT Orlando Brown, Oklahoma
Brown is one of the best lineman in this draft and still available for a Chargers tem that needs help at tackle.
- Seattle Seahawks: S Derwin James, Florida St.
Best player available at this point. The Seahawks always use their safeties well.
- Dallas Cowboys: DT Da’Ron Payne, Alabama
Dallas needs a defensive tackle who can get up field and disrupt opposing offenses.
- Detroit Lions: RB Sony Michel, Georgia
The combo of Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick out of the backfield has gone stale. Matt Stafford and company could use a better play making back.
Buffalo Bills: LB Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech:
Assuming Preston Brown walks this offseason, the Bills are going to need a new inside linebacker to pull all the strings at middle linebacker. Edmunds would be an easy choice to fill the void in McDermott’s defense so long as he’s there at 21. The Virginia Tech product is rangy enough to drop into coverage or fly up and make plays on a ball carrier out of the backfield. Bills fans would love seeing Edmunds stationed in the middle of Buffalo’s defense for years to come.
Buffalo Bills (via Kansas City Chiefs): QB Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma St.
One of the most pressing questions surrounding the Bills as the daft approaches is whether or not they should trade up for a quarterback in the first round. In this scenario, they stay put and get a guy in Rudolph, who has some real potential in the NFL. At the college level he showed he can read opposing defenses effectively, something Tyrod Taylor often struggles with. We haven’t heard much about the Bills interest in Rudolph to this point, largely because he missed the Senior Bowl with a foot injury. But given where they are drafting in round one and what it will cost to potentially move up, they’d be wise to consider him at 21 or 22. How would you feel about the Bills ending up with Rudolph?
- Los Angeles Rams: CB Jaire Alexander, Louisville
Offensively, Sean McVay’s squad is pretty set. Time to bolster the secondary with a young corner.
- Carolina Panthers: OT Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame
Carolina desperately needs some upgrading along the offensive line, particularly at left tackle.
- Tennesee Titans: DE Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Oklahoma
Okoronkwo could provide some steady pressure off the edge that Tennessee was missing this past season.
- Atlanta Falcons: DT Harrison Phillips, Stanford
With Atlanta set to lose a few defensive lineman to free agency, Phillips would be a fine replacement.
- New Orleans Saints: WR Courtland Sutton, SMU
The Saints have to start thinking about life after Drew Brees, but while they still have him (assuming the two sides work out a deal) they might as well give him some help.
- Pittsburgh Steelers: LB Rashaan Evans, Alabama
Pittsburgh could use some help at corner as well, but the middle of the defense is more pressing. Evans shows like Lawrence Timmons 2.0.
- Jacksonville Jaguars: TE Dallas Goedert, San Diego St.
A receiver could be in play here too, especially if Allen Robinsons leaves in free agency. But Blake Bortles has never had a good tight end at his disposal and Goedert could become just that.
- Minnesota Vikings: C Billy Price, Ohio State
While Price was most recently a center he played guard for 15 games during the Buckeyes championship run in 2014. So he’s versatile and the Vikings need some o-line help.
- New England Patriots: DE Taven Bryan, Florida
Bryan shows J.J. Watt like tendencies except at defensive tackle instead of defensive end. His versatility would surely have a place in Bill Belichick’s defense.
- Philadelphia Eages: OT Chuckwuma Okorafor, Western Michigan:
Jason Peters is 36 and recovering from a torn ACL and MCL that ended his 2017 campaign early. It’s time to start thinking long-term about protecting Carson Wentz’s blindside.