Happy draft day everyone and welcome to the first ever Win Column Sports team mock draft!!
You never really know what is going to happen at the draft. Players could fall and then become the best player in their class like Aaron Rodgers, or you could get a player like Johnny Manziel and have all the hype in the world then be out of the league in three years.
It’s truly a fun day for both the fans and the players with nobody genuinely knowing what is going to happen.
This is what they got:
#1. Cleveland Browns - Sam Darnold, QB, USC (Arik)
The Browns can’t afford to make a mistake this year at QB. Darnold is safe with strong potentia; the only question mark around his play is his turnovers. Darnold had 37 turnovers in 26 games with USC.
#2 New York Giants - Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State (Ben)
Arguably the best player in the draft, this should help the Giants balance their offence especially with question marks under centre. Barkley alongside the likes of Engram and OBJ should allow the Giants to field a more competitive team.
#3 New York Jets (Indianapolis Colts) - Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA (Liam)
Right now, the Jets don’t have sustainable future at QB. Rosen can be that guy. Bridgewater and McCown could work as stop gaps if the Jets chose to allow him to sit for the half of the season or until next season. Rosen has also been called the readiest QB In this class so the Jets may hit gold at three.
#4 - Cleveland Browns (from the Houston Texans) - Bradley Chubb, DE, N.C. State (Arik)
Drafting Chubb at #4 would give Cleveland a lot of flexibility in the pass-rush between him and Myles Garrett; for example, they can line up Myles Garrett inside if need be. Remember, Garrett got his first NFL sack lined up as a defensive tackle.
#5 Buffalo Bills (from the Denver Broncos) - Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming (Liam)
TRADE! BILLS TRADE #12 & #22 TO BRONCOS FOR #5
A strong arm which will be handy during that cold Buffalo winter. He’s the quarterback with the most potential, but we will probably see him sit for a year behind AJ McCarron or Nathan Peterman.
#6 Indianapolis Colts (from the New York Jets) - Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame (Liam)
They need to do whatever they can to protect Andrew Luck, as he’s their best chance of winning each week. Their offensive line also, frankly, sucks and the Colts desperately need to see an improvement.
#7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama (Arik)
Minkah Fitzpatrick will shore up a Tampa Bay defence that finished in the middle of the pack in the NFL in interceptions, but bottom 10 when it came to PTS/G.
#8 Chicago Bears - Roquan Smith, OLB, Georgia (Ben)
With Nelson off the board, Smith should be a no-brainer. You can argue that Tremaine Edmunds is a better athlete, but Smith is a natural outside presence - something the Bears severely lack. The Bears are already dealing with injuries at the position which should be a wake-up call.
#9 San Francisco 49ers - Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech (Liam)
With the future of Reuben Foster being very unclear right now, there could be a big hole in the middle of the 49ers defense that needs to be filed. If not, the Niners will have two studs in the middle of the field for years to come.
#10 Oakland Raiders - Mike McGlinchey, T, Notre Dame (Arik)
The Raiders have a franchise quarterback in Derek Carr; now, it’s time to get the insurance to protect him. Currently, they have Donald Penn, but he’s 35 and will need to be replaced soon.
#11 Miami Dolphins - Vita Vea, DT, Washington (Ben)
The ‘Phins lost Suh this off-season so filling that void with the 11th pick isn’t far fetched. Vita Vea is an NFL-ready DT and can make waves lined up with Robert Quinn. Had Smith and Edmunds still been on the board, either of them would have been excellent selections at #11 as well.
#12 Denver Broncos - Marcus Davenport, DE, Texas-San Antonio (Ben)
The Broncos defensive line is a mess; Gotsis, Wolfe, and Peko are all dealing with issues that can carry over into the regular season. Increasing the depth at this position should be a priority.
#13 Washington Redskins - Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State (Arik)
The Redskins needed Davenport, but with him off the board, Denzel Ward becomes the best defensive option for the Redskins. Ward will anchor their secondary for years with his speed and hands.
#14 Green Bay Packers - Mike Hughes, CB, UCF (Ben)
The Packers have a lot of holes to fill on both sides of the ball, but their perimeter defence needs the most work (Only 5 out of 11 INTs by CBs). With Ward gone, Hughes has a very high ceiling and provides the dynamic element of being a returner if deployed on special teams.
#15 Arizona Cardinals - Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma (Liam)
It’s the most critical position on the field, and the Cardinals need to find somebody to dominate that position for the foreseeable future. Sam Bradford has too many injury problems, which prevent him from being a reliable player. Mayfield dominated in his final year with the Sooners, and had the energy and talent to get the Cardinals back on top.
#16 Baltimore Ravens, Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama (Arik)
Calvin Ridley will help a Ravens offence that desperately needs weapons; while they did shore up the WR position during free agency, Calvin Ridley will join this roster and start in year one.
#17 LA Chargers - Derwin James, S, Florida State (Ben)
The Chargers have the pass rush covered, however, finishing the season ranked second-to-last is something that needs to be addressed. James is a physical presence that isn’t a stranger of meeting backs in the box, something the Chargers could use going forward.
#18 Seattle Seahawks - Connor Williams, OL, Texas (Liam)
I don’t need stats to tell you how bad the Seahawks offensive line has been the past few years. Open your eyes, and you’ll see for yourself. Williams can play both tackle and guard which will bring some much-needed versatility to the line.
#19 Dallas Cowboys - D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland (Arik)
The Cowboys going WR with the 19th pick might be the league’s worst kept secret, especially with the departure of Dez Bryant. D.J. Moore is the most explosive WR in the draft with the ball in his hands, he’s capable of making people miss downfield, and he’ll be the Cowboys next playmaker.
#20 Detroit Lions - Derrius Guice, RB, LSU (Ben)
Detroit ranked last in rushing last season and second last the season beforehand. Detroit needs a physical in between-the-tackles back, and Guice is precisely what they need. Taking Guice will only further help their offense reach their real potential.
#21 Cincinnati Bengals - James Daniels, C, Iowa (Liam)
Daniels is another versatile lineman that can play both centre and guard. He’s a safe pick which is exactly what the Bengals need. When Dalton is protected, they can win games, so they better start doing that.
#22 Denver Broncos from Bills - Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville (Ben)
After trading away Aqib Talib, Denver needs to add more depth and talent behind Chris Harris and Bradley Roby. The offensive line still needs a bit of work, but it can quickly be addressed in the later rounds.
#23 New England Patriots from LA Rams - Rashaan Evans, ILB, Alabama (Arik)
Evans will be the smallest linebacker drafted by a Bill Belichick-led Patriots team, but at 6’3″ 232 lbs Evans ability to blitz the passer and potential as an edge rusher makes him a versatile player for the Patriots defence.
#24 Carolina Panthers - Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado (Ben)
The Panthers could go a number of ways with this pick, but Oliver would be the best fit. Cornerback Bashaud Breeland failed his physical after agreeing to terms with Carolina, leaving a hole in the starting lineup opposite James Bradberry.
#25 Tennessee Titans - Isaiah Wynn, G, Georgia (Liam)
They have a strong up-and-coming team in Tennessee., Despite making the playoffs ,one of their biggest flaws last season was the play of Marcus Mariota. Mariota threw for only 13 touchdowns and also had 15 interceptions. With the addition of Wynn, he’ll get a little bit more time in the pocket to throw the ball which could mean we see those touchdown numbers go up, and the interceptions go down.
#26 Atlanta Falcons - Taven Bryan, DT, Florida (Arik)
The Falcons have long needed help on the defensive end of the ball, and Taven Bryan should provide some stability for a defence that finished middle of the pack in sacks last season.
#27 New Orleans Saints, Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama (Ben)
Although the Saints could use a TE - even with bringing Watson back through free agency - bolstering up their defence should still be a priority this offseason. They came alive this season but who knows if they may regress back to the Saints defence we’ve seen over the past couple seasons. Going after an interior lineman rather than an edge rusher with this pick is the smart move with the talent available.
#28 Pittsburgh Steelers - Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State (Liam)
With Ryan Shazier going down with his injury, a hole has been left in the middle of the Steelers defence. Van Esch can step in on week one and become a long-time starter for this team. This will also mark the 3rd straight year the Steelers take a linebacker in the first round.
#29 Jacksonville Jaguars - Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina (Arik)
The Jaguars are a couple offensive weapons away from being a contender. Grabbing a tight end early in the draft gives Bortles a big target to throw the ball to. Hurst also commits to the run game, which is very important for the Jaguars offence.
#30 Minnesota Vikings, Will Hernandez, G, UTEP (Ben)
Hernandez is the meanest and most physical guard in the draft. If the Vikings skip out on a QB, they should invest in bolstering their offensive line to keep whoever starts under centre upright.
#31 New England Patriots - Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA (Liam)
New Englands offensive line seems to be getting slightly weaker and weaker each year. Now that Nate Solider is with the Giants, they’re going to need to call in some backup to help them out. Miller can play either side of the line and will do a damn good job. Also, with Brady now being 41, it’ll be more important than ever to keep him up right.
#32 Philadephia Eagles - Sony Michel, RB, Georgia (Arik)
A lot of people have Sony Michel as the second RB going in this draft. He will be our third, and with Ajay’s knees possibly giving way at any moment insurance in that RB position is important for the Eagles.