Mock Draft Monday 1.0 — Lynch gets his pass rusher, the Raiders snag their man in the middle

Full 1st-round mock, plus 2nd and 3rd-round selections for the Bay Area clubs

Tommy Call
April 02, 2018 - 6:54 pm

We finally made it to April and we’re in the prime of draft season so you know what that means — mock time. Without further ado, The Cleveland Browns are on the clock.

1. Cleveland Browns — Saquon Barkley — RB Penn State

Really, a running back number one overall? — Yes, Saquon Barkley is that good.

He is a four down back who can do it all. I don’t care that Cleveland signed Carlos Hyde in free agency — Barkley boasts Hall of Fame level talent and you don’t pass on a guy like that.

As for passing on a QB, I always thought it was a mistake giving up on Deshone Kizer who is only 22-years-old, but now proven vet Tyrod Taylor is the latest QB added to the infamous Browns quarterback jersey taking away the instant need for signal caller number one overall. With the Browns having two picks in the top five they can take a QB at four if they’d like.

2. New York Giants — Josh Rosen — QB UCLA

Even with the small inclination that the Giants would be willing to move Odell Beckham makes me believe they are ready to tear it all down and start over. Rosen has the talent to turn it around quickly.

I don’t buy the concerns around Rosen’s character, to me he reminds me of Aaron Rodgers and we all know how he works. But, if there are character flaws, sitting behind a future Hall of Famer like Eli Manning for a season could cure that (ie- Favre/Rodgers). One other reason I like this pick for the G-Men — Just think about what Pat Shurmur did to revive Case Keenum’s career, it gets me excited to think about what Shurmur could do with a talented youngster like Rosen.

3. New York Jets — Baker Mayfield — QB Oklahoma

Baker Mayfield is one of my favorite players in the entire draft.

Along with being one of my favorites Mayfield is one of the most polarizing. He has been listed up and down peoples draft boards. With the amount of buzz around Mayfield, it wouldn't surprise me if Mayfield was the guy The Jets had their eyes on when trading up to number three.

Mayfield reminds me of a combination of three elite quarterbacks — Phillip Rivers / Drew Brees / Russell Wilson — Mayfield has the competitive spirit of Rivers, the accuracy of Brees and the scrambling skills of Wilson. Mayfield has the potential and swagger to be the best quarterback in the entire draft.

Plus, being in the same room with future head coach Josh McCown would be an early benefit for his career.

4. Cleveland Browns — Sam Darnold — QB USC

This is where the draft could get a little wonky.

The Browns at four will be the main target for a team interested in trading up for a quarterback who is still available — teams like Miami, Buffalo, Jacksonville or Arizona could target a quarterback here.

But for now, in a mock draft with no trades the Browns get their guy Darnold at four. Darnold is loved by many, but his turnover issues are a concern. If Hue Jackson can get that under control Darnold has all the tools to be the next great Trojan pro.

5. Denver Broncos — Josh Allen — QB Wyoming

Since Peyton Manning retired John Elway has been scrambling to find his next franchise quarterback.

With Allen still on the board at five, Elway pulls the trigger. Allen reminds me of a more pro-ready version of Ryan Tannehill — big, strong and athletic. We’ve all heard about Allen’s rocket arm, now if he can lock down his accuracy underneath he could be the guy to turn Denver’s offense around.

On a two-year deal Case Keenum is clearly just a stop-gap option. If Allen is still available at five expect him to be the Broncos quarterback of the future.

6. Indianapolis Colts — Bradley Chubb — DE NC State

The Indianapolis Colts draft war room goes into full celebration mode if NC State edge rusher Bradley Chubb, the guy they originally wanted at three falls to them at six.

After drafting Malik Hooker last year they land another premier defender to build up one of the worst roster’s in the NFL. At 6-foot-4, 270 pounds, Chubb is a physical freak on the edge with a fierce football motor. Chubb’s drive and skillset line him up to be a future all-pro for years to come.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Minkah Fitzpatrick — DB Alabama

What can’t Minkah Fitzpatrick do?

He can play at safety, corner and even hybrid linebacker. With Tampa’s atrocious defensive backfield they get their guy to revamp it all at seven with Fitzpatrick.

Outside of everything that Fitzpatrick does on the field, another reason that makes him so desirable is his strong character and leadership skills. Fitzpatrick could inspire a defense that has really underperformed over years past.

If the Browns decide to go QB at one and Barkley is gone at four, expect Fitzpatrick gone before Tampa is on the clock.

8. Chicago Bears — Quenton Nelson — OG Notre Dame

If a guard and a running back go in the top eight, throw away everything you know about the NFL draft.

The tape on Quenton Nelson is some of the most fun you’ll ever have watching an offensive guard. After losing Josh Sitton, adding Nelson’s combination of technique, power and attitude to protect Mitchell Trubisky would be a good idea for Ryan Pace, who has already had a solid offseason.

Oh, and did I mention former Notre Dame offensive line coach Harry Hiestand is the Bears new offensive line coach...Hmm?

9. San Francisco 49ers — Harold Landry — DE Boston College

Some may say this is a reach at nine, but I just believe Harold Landry has been criminally underrated in this draft class.

Landry could be the key piece to fixing the 49ers defense. Although they have taken a defensive line in the last three first rounds they don’t have anyone like Landry on their roster. Landry is a dynamic pass rusher with elite speed, but my favorite part of Landry’s game is his ability to bend low to blow by bigger offensive tackles is eye popping.

General manager John Lynch has mentioned before how tough it can be to find an premier edge rusher, and here at nine is his chance to lock one down. Landry is a bit small, but his long arms and relentless motor make up for it.

The 49ers could be sitting in a nice position here at nine with the chance to trade back if they believe they can get Landry later. Nine could be a spot where a quarterback hungry team tries to trade up for one of the quarterbacks who falls or a team that’s interested in Lamar Jackson.

10. Oakland Raiders — Roquan Smith — LB Georgia

Linebacker has been a consistent issue for the Raiders over the past few seasons and finally it’s  solved here at 10 for Oakland.

Roquan Smith is a nasty-speedy modern day linebacker that would be an instant starter in the Oakland defense. Smith’s ability to track and accelerate to the football is what makes him special. Smith is a little small for the middle and does struggle shedding blocks from bigger offensive linemen, and that will only get harder at the pro level.

Even with all that being said, Smith would be a home run for the Raiders defense that needs upgrades all over the field. If the Raiders decide to go away from defense, don’t be surprised if they reach for an offensive tackle like Mike McGlinchey or Connor Williams.

11. Miami Dolphins — Derwin James — DB Florida State

With the evolution of the hybrid linebacker position Derwin James will be a hot commodity on day one of the draft, so much so that I wouldn’t be surprised if he lands in the top 10.

But in this mock the Dolphins land the do it all defensive playmaker.  With Rob Gronkowski tormenting the Dolphins for the past several season, they finally draft a guy who can lock up some of the best tight ends in the NFL.

With a back seven that include Reshad Jones, TJ Mcdonald, Xavien Howard and Derwin James, the Dolphins might finally be able to slow down the Patriots for a play or two.

12. Buffalo Bills — Mike McGlinchey — OT Notre Dame

With none of the top-five quarterbacks on the board this is a worst case scenario for Buffalo. Don’t expect them to sit tight — the Bills wanting to draft a quarterback has been one of the worst kept secrets in the entire offseason.

This mock has no trades, so the Bills land Quenton Nelson’s buddy Mike McGlinchey at 12. McGlinchey can play with LT or RT and both are  needed for Buffalo since trading Cordy Glenn to Cincinnati.

13. Washington Redskins — Denzel Ward — CB Ohio State

No doubt the Redskins will be bummed if Derwin James is gone by 13, but they get a good consolation prize in Denzel Ward at 13.

Ward is a fierce corner with elite athleticism. His timing and jumping ability are spectacular. His size is his biggest concern, but having big Josh Norman at the other corner position takes away some of Ward’s worry.

14. Green Bay Packers — Jaire Alexander — CB Louisville

After missing on Damarious Randall and not being able to land a corner in free agency, the Packers turn to stud Louisville defensive back Jaire Alexander.

Alexander is one of my personal draft crushes. He reminds me of L.A.’s Marcus Peters with his ability to play deep off the ball and bait quarterbacks to throw it his way. Alexander has some of the biggest upside out of any player in this draft class.

15. Arizona Cardinals — Lamar Jackson — QB Louisville

If you’re a Cardinals fan reading this how comfortable are you with Sam Bradford as your quarterback?…Exactly.

I just mentioned how Jaire Alexander has some of the biggest upside out of any player in this draft class, well Lamar Jackson has the biggest upside in the entire class. There are some risks with taking Jackson this early, but the potential outweighs the risk tenfold.

Teams in the back end of this draft in need of a quarterback like Los Angeles Chargers, Jacksonville and Pittsburgh will be fighting to land Jackson; but Arizona is sitting perfect at 15 — finding their quarterback of the future. Jackson is and unreal athlete and instinctive playmaker with the football, but if you throw all that out the window — Jackson still has a rocket for an arm.

If he can prove to read defenses and make throws underneath we will be talking in years down the road about how the hell did Jackson last till 15th overall?

16. Baltimore Ravens — Calvin Ridley — WR Alabama

Ozzie Newsome does his thing and drafts a kid from Alabama, but this time it’s a major need.

Baltimore signed receivers John Brown, who cant stay healthy and Michael Crabtree who is getting older by the minute this offseason, but that still isn’t good enough if they expect to get anymore production out of Joe Flacco at this point in his career.

17. Los Angeles Chargers — Connor Williams — OT Texas

The Chargers revamped their interior offensive line in last season’s draft, now they look to the outside in this draft. If they expect to finally make a run at the playoffs they have to keep Philip Rivers upright — Williams is the guy to do it.

18. Seattle Seahawks — Josh Jackson — CB Iowa

After a weird offseason the Seahawks have many holes to fill, but if they expect to slow down Jimmy Garoppolo and Jared Goff they need to find Richard Sherman’s replacement quickly. Jackson is another big rangy corner with ball skills that could make up for Sherman’s loss.


19. Dallas Cowboys — Leighton Vander Esch — LB Dallas

The Cowboys land another one of my personal favorite players in the draft with Vander Esch at 19 years old.

With Sean Lee nearing the end of his career and Anthony Hitchens leaving in free agency, the Cowboys need a young linebacker to pair along with Jaylon Smith. Vander Esch is an athletic lengthy linebacker who thrives in coverage.

If Lee can help his instincts in the run game Vander Esch could be better than LB classmate Roquan Smith.

20. Detroit Lions — Derrius Guice — RB LSU

New Head Coach Matt Patricia scraps the run-and-gun Detroit offense that has failed to produce and drafts a running back with his first pick to go back to smash-mouth football.

The separation of skill sets between Derrius Guice and Saquon Barkley is not as big as people think. Guice could be the best backfield-mate Matt Stafford has ever had.

21. Cincinnati Bengals — James Daniels — Iowa C

Who really knows what the Bengals are trying to do. They have needs in several different areas and this could be a best player available situation, but here in this mock we’re going to give them James Daniels from Iowa.

Daniels is a center who has the ability to play guard if needed. The Bengals are trying to rebuild their offensive line with Cordy Glenn, but now get their guy in the middle with Daniels at 21.

22. Buffalo Bills — Tremaine Edmunds — LB Virginia Tech

Again, it would be a surprise if the Bills are on the clock here at 22. I expect this pick to be part of the package that gets them their quarterback in the top-five.

As for Tremaine Edmunds to the Bills — Edmunds is another guy that has immense potential, I mean he’s only 19 years old. What makes Edmunds so interesting is interior linebackers just aren't built like him at 6-foot-5 250 pounds and if he can put it all together he could be the guy that changes the linebacker position.

23. Los Angeles Rams — Marcus Davenport — Edge UTSA

How do the Rams get this lucky? Marcus Davenport has top-ten talent and falls to L.A. at 23?

Pass rusher Robert Quinn walks out one door and Davenport walks in the other. Davenport is a former sprinter who ran a 4.58 40 at the combine and with Ndamukong Suh and Aaron Donald on the inside they just need to a clear a runway for Davenport to do his thing.
DJ Moore Photo

24. Carolina Panthers — D.J. Moore — WR Maryland

After adding Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel in last year’s draft the Panthers give Cam Newton another weapon with D.J. Moore from Maryland this year.

Moore has the potential to be the best receiver in the entire draft class and is the perfect fit for the Panthers because he reminds me of Steve Smith. A receiving corp of Moore, Curtis Samuel and Devin Funchess could be the best Newton’s had since Smith left.

25. Tennessee Titans — Sam Hubbard — Edge Ohio State

Former Buckeye Mike Vrabel gets his guy Sam Hubbard at 25. The Titans turned to free agency to fill their needs at corner and now get a pass rusher to Jurrell Casey, Derrick Morgan and Brian Orakpo.

Usually young pass rushers don’t have the best hand fighting skills coming out of college, it’s  something they learn after playing at the professional level, but Hubbard seems to have that skill set on pat. Linemen would continuously be off balance lunging at Hubbard while trying to get ahold of him.

26. Atlanta Falcons — Vita Vea — DT Washington

Dontari Poe and Adrian Clayborn out, Vita Vea in at 26. The Falcons will be lucky if Vea falls all the way to them at 26, but with a run on corners and offensive linemen it could happen.

Vea is a new age defensive tackle who sits a whopping 347 pounds, but has serious pass rushing skills from inside — something that is coveted in the NFL. The Falcons continue to build their young defense with Vea at 26.

27. New Orleans Saints — Arden Key — DE LSU

The Saints are another team sitting in the position to draft the best player available and at this point, on pure talent alone Arden Key is the guy.

Key could be a nasty complement to the Saints budding defense. With New Orleans lock down secondary, Key could be the pass rushing weapon to line up opposite of Cam Jordan.

Key does have character concerns, but landing in a locker room with leaders like Drew Brees, Cameron Jordan and Sean Payton — New Orleans could be the perfect landing spot for Key.

28. Pittsburgh Steelers — Rashaan Evans — LB Alabama

Unfortunately due to Ryan Shazier’s injury there is hole at linebacker for Pittsburgh.

They fill it with National Champion Rashaan Evans at 28. Evans was all over the field on a stacked Alabama defense. His football IQ and ability to diagnosis plays to be in the perfect spot is rare for a young prospect like Evans. He would be a great fit in the middle of the Steelers defense.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars — Courtland Sutton — WR SMU

I struggled with trying to understand what the Jaguars would do here at 29.

Their defense is stacked with young players everywhere or else Mike Hughes from Central Florida would be the pick. I also contemplated giving them a QB like Mason Rudolph or Luke Falk here, but instead they land a big rangy playmaker like Courtland Sutton at 29.

Sutton could make up for production lost after Allen Robinson left in free agency. Blake Bortles loves his big targets and Jacksonville doesnt really have a guy like Sutton at 6-foot-3 in their receiving corp.

30. Minnesota Vikings — Will Hernandez — G UTEP

The Vikings protect their Kirk Cousins investment at 30 with big man Will Hernandez. If I had to pick one word to describe Hernandez it would be nasty.

I could only imagine a football guy like Mike Zimmer watching Hernadez’s film and just salivating. Hernandez often rag-dolled defenders at the line of scrimmage in college. With a stacked roster in Minnesota they add some beef up front in Hernandez at 40.

31. New England Patriots — Kolton Miller — OT UCLA

Bill Belichick finds Nate Solder’s replacement at 31 with Kolton Miller.

Tackle is a clear need for the Patriots and they get their guy Miller from UCLA at 31. Miller knows what it takes to protect a premier passer like he did with Josh Rosen in college, now he gets to protect future hall of famer Tom Brady in the pros.


32. Philadelphia Eagles — Mike Hughes — CB UCF

Eagles have shown to be aggressive after just winning the Super Bowl and they don’t slow down in the draft selecting dynamic defensive back Mike Hughes with the last pick in the first round.

Hughes can fill in as a slot corner and can play outside, plus he gives the Eagles a proven punt returner adding another element to their championship roster.

*Bonus Second and Third Round Picks for San Francisco and Oakland:

Second Round

41. Oakland Raiders — BJ Hill — DT NC State

59. San Francisco 49ers — Equanimeous St. Brown — WR Notre Dame

Third Round

70. San Francisco 49ers — Brian O’Neil — OT Pitt

74. San Francisco 49ers — Quenton Meeks — CB Stanford

75. Oakland Raiders — Dante Pettis — WR Washington

Check back next Monday for 95.7 The Game’s latest edition of #MockDraftMonday where I dive deeper into the 49ers and Raiders mid to late round picks. For more draft coverage follow me on twitter @tommy_iii.
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