Welcome to our 2018 NFL Mock Draft! We have joined together with writers from a handful of other fantasy sports websites to preview the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, from the viewpoint of how these picks will affect Fantasy Football owners. The mock draft is a slow draft, and we’ll be updating all of the picks here.
You can hit the links to see the thought process behind why particular drafters made the picks they made, and I’ll give you a brief synopsis of my thoughts on the pick as well.
1.01 Browns: Lott: Sam Darnold, QB, USC
It’s hard to pass on what could be a franchise Quarterback at #1 overall so I can’t disagree with this pick in any way. Keith Lott breaks down in detail here why Darnold is the right pick for the Browns.
1.02 Giants: Tomlin: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn St.
This would be a terrible, terrible pick by Giants GM Dave Gettleman, but all indications are that this will happen. With several promising QBs in this class and an aging and bad QB in Eli Manning, the Giants will rue the day they pass on all of them for a running back. Michael Tomlin disagrees with me and you can see why here.
1.03 Jets: Gonos: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
Baker Mayfield is a stud, he put up historic college numbers and the Jets would finally have their franchise QB. David Gonos explains why this is the right move for the Jets.
1.04 Browns: Lott: Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State
The Browns locked down their franchise QB with the first pick and now get a monster of an edge rusher to pair with Myles Garrett. Keith Lott is killing this draft for the Browns.
1.05 Broncos: Huo: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
1.06 Colts: Shane: Quenton Nelson, G, ND
Choosing the Colts in the lead up to this mock I hoped that Saquan Barkley would fall to me at 1.06. I don’t care if you’re not supposed to draft running backs in the first round. Barkley is not a mere mortal of a running back; he is the closest thing I’ve ever seen to a sure-fire future pro-bowler in my lifetime. But alas, it was not to be as Barkley went off the board at 1.02 to the Giants (they should have taken a QB)
There’s been a ton of consternation over Andrew Luck’s shoulder and if he’ll be able to play in 2018 and if so at what level. Based on the Colt’s trading back from 3 to 6 in the first round, I’m going to take them at their word that they expect Luck back and healthy this year. If Luck isn’t healthy, then the Colts trading back to 6 would be one of the worst moves any franchise in any sport has ever made. Based on the results of this mock drafting at 6 means the Colts would miss out on Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield, and Josh Rosen. I expect the NFL Draft to fall pretty similarly to the top of this mock, so the Colts better hope that Luck is healthy.
With that in mind, my selection is a fairly easy one to make. The Colts need to ensure that they take every measure to protect Luck.The Colts ranked as the 8th worst offensive line in 2017 per Pro Football Focus and led the league with 56 sacks allowed. That’s not conducive to keeping Andrew Luck upright and healthy, so the Colts will select Quenton Nelson, the 6’5” 330 lb Guard out of Notre Dame.
A guard at 6 overall? Yep, I was ready to select a running back at 6 so I have no concern taking a Guard instead. Nelson is a monster. He’s fast, extremely strong, can’t be bowled over and has the potential to be an all-pro for the next decade. Sounds like just what the doctor ordered for Luck. Most draft pundits agree that Nelson is the best lineman in this draft. I’d prefer to select a tackle but since there isn’t one nearly as good as Nelson is at guard Nelson is the pick. Watching his highlights shows the Nelson has the athleticism on pull plays to open up plenty of space for his running backs, while he’s also strong enough with enough burst to push defensive lineman back several yards in pass protection.
Nothing says fun like watching offensive line tape so go ahead and take a look at Nelson’s 2017 highlights below. (The mock draft continues below the highlight video).
1.07 Buccaneers: Gonos: Derwin James, S, FSU
The Bucs defense was atrocious in 2017. Getting the best Safety in the draft should help it improve in 2018. David Gonos talks the Bucs need for a playmaker on D.
1.08 Bears: Tomlin: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
After taking care of Wide Receiver and Tight End in free agency a stud Linebacker is a great pick here for the Bears. If you need more convincing read Michael Tomlin’s take.
1.09 49ers: Rigney: Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Va. Tech
This is a tough spot for the 49ers, I think they could still use a wide receiver, but it’s hard to pass on what could be a future All-Pro linebacker. Ron Rigney agrees, clearly since he made this selection.
1.10 Raiders: Huo: Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
Keeping the run on defense going the Raiders select Ward. Ward will likely start his career as a slot corner, an increasingly important role in today’s NFL and has the skills to be a shutdown corner.
1.11 Dolphins: Gonos: Minkah Fitzpatrick, S, Alabama:
I think the Dolphins would have been well served drafting Lamar Jackson here, but they need help on defense so it’s hard to quibble with selecting a quality Safety in Fitzpatrick here.
1.12 Bills: Gonos: Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming:
Again I think Lamar Jackson is a better pick than Allen. It’s hard to argue against the raw arm strength that Allen possesses if he improves his accuracy he could turn out being the best QB in this draft class. Gonos agrees with that assessment here.
1.13 Redskins: Tomlin: Vita Vea, DT, Washington
Vea is an absolute monster. He will occupy multiple blockers and collapse the pocket. Vea would solidify any defensive line. Tomlin digs deeper into this monster here.
1.14 Packers: Rigney/Conway: Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa
Is it just me or does it seem like Green Bay has been trying to fix their defense since time immemorial? Guess Ron and Colby apparently agree with me based on going CB in the first round.
1.15 Cardinals: Gonos: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
The most electrifying player in this entire draft class. In Fantasy, I have a hard time not ranking Jackson as my QB1. The rushing ability is almost unparalleled, obligatory comparison to Michael Vick goes here. Jackson is going to thrive if his OC works around his skill-set and doesn’t force him into a scheme that doesn’t suit him. David Gonos shared his thoughts on why he thinks Jackson is the pick for the Cardinals.
1.16 Ravens: Huo: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
Kevin Huo gives you his argument why Ridley should be the Ravens pick.
I can’t argue the logic, but I think the Ravens should draft D.J. Moore over Ridley. Ridley is a divisive player among fantasy and real football fans and I fall into the camp that thinks he’ll flop.
1.17 Chargers: Rigney: Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama
Ron wants to see the Chargers sure up the d-line, never a bad idea. For a deeper look at the big ‘Bama DT look no further than here.
1.18 Seahawks: Shane: Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
I gave a lot of thought to an offensive lineman with this pick. Also thought about a receiver, and tight end and the defense needs some pieces as well. Yikes, what has happened to the Seahawks? Everywhere you look, outside of quarterback is weak. I settled on taking the 2nd best running back in this class, Derrius Guice. The Seahawks running game has been woeful the past two seasons, but that’s to be expected when you try to patchwork the position. Chris Carson, Thomas Rawls, Mike Davis and Eddie Lacy ranged from terrible to less terrible in 2017. Please don’t tell me that Chris Carson and his 4.2 ypc is the future bell-cow for Seattle, he’s a nice bench piece and nothing more than that.
Into this breach steps Guice. Guice runs with a nastiness not seen in Seattle since prime Marshawn Lynch was in full bloom. He’ll run through tackles and almost always picks up yards after contact. Guice has great vision, balance, is strong as a bull and the only flaw to be found is his lack of usage in the passing game while at LSU. LSU just doesn’t use their running backs in the passing game, see Leonard Fournette. Guice will be just fine in the passing attack, I don’t expect him to run any complex routes, but he’ll be fine as an outlet on dump offs and screens.
1.19 Cowboys: Tomlin: Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama
Mike explains why he the Cowboys would select a Linebacker here instead of a WR.
1.20 Lions: Chris Oertle: Taven Bryan, DL, Florida
The Lions defense has been terrible for some time now, drafting a versatile piece like Bryan should help them improve. Chris Oertle takes an in-depth look at Bryan here.
1.21 Bengals: James Daniels, C, Iowa
It was evident after last season that the Bengals needed to upgrade their O-Line. With the offseason trade for Cordy Glenn and drafting Daniels, the line should be much improved in 2018. Joe Mixon owners should love this pick.
1.22 Bills: Gonos: Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State
After taking a QB with their first 1st round pick Gonos goes defense with this selection.
1.23 Patriots: Chris Oertle Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
With the loss of Nate Solder offensive line in the first round makes a lot of sense for the Patriots who rarely expend high draft capital on skill players. Chris breaks down the pick further.
1.24 Panthers: Lott: Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado
Keith Lott thinks the Panthers get a steal here with the best CB in the draft.
1.25 Titans: Huo: Will Hernandez, G, UTEP
Though “Exotic smash-mouth” may be dead it doesn’t mean taking a lineman to protect your QB is ever a bad idea.
1.26 Falcons: Craig Talley: Isaiah Wynn, G, Georgia
Wynn helped likely top 10 2018 rookie picks Sony Michel and Nick ChubbNick Chubb shred the SEC and will look to do the same for Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman in the NFL.
1.27 Saints: Michael Tomlin: Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota St.
Remember Jimmy Graham in his prime with Drew Brees in New Orleans? If the draft falls like this I have no qualms taking Goedert at the end of the 1st round in rookie drafts.
1.28 Steelers: Tony Reimer: Mason Rudolph, QB, OSU
Big Ben can’t play forever and made noise about being washed up last season. Rudolph is an underrated QB who would be able to keep the offense running once Ben retires.
1.29 Jaguars: Huo: D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland
The consensus fantasy WR1 in rookie drafts lands with the Jags. I would not be happy with this landing spot, perhaps Kevin Hou can change my mind.
1.30 Vikings: Keith Lott: Billy Price, G/C, Ohio St.
Protecting the investment the Vikings made in Kirk Cousins should be goal #1 entering the NFL Draft. Selecting a versatile lineman is a good start. Keith explains why Price might fall to the Vikings here.
1.31 Patriots: Chris Oertle: Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA
Maybe the Superbowl would have turned out differently if the Patriots could have put more pressure off the edge on Nick Foles? The world will never know. I do know that Chris Oertle thinks the Pats could use Davenport on their line.
1.32 Eagles: Tomlin: Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville
Here’s Mike take on this pick:
“The Super Bowl Champs do not have many holes to fill so they can basically pick the best player available. In this mock draft scenario, that player turns out to be Jaire Alexander from Louisville. He is the 15th-best prospect according to draft guru Todd McShay and Philly gets him with the 32nd pick.
Alexander was hurt for most of 2017 otherwise he would be in consideration for a Top-10 pick. He has elite athleticism and a nose for the ball (five picks and nine other pass breakups in 2016). He will add nickel depth to an already top-shelf defense that will further solidify them as a top Fantasy unit in 2018.”