The “Underwear Olympics” are done. The NFL Scouting Combine has completed and we’re one step closer to the 2018 NFL Draft! The Combine is always an interesting time of year because it suddenly seems like boards take a drastic turn, film sessions become useless, and everything you’ve done up to this point goes to waste.
Let me tell you, don’t be that person. Be better than that. If your boards are having drastic shifts because of the way certain players are testing average or just above average, you’re doing this wrong. It’s always great to see where players are as athletes, and it helps justify some of their strengths and weaknesses on film, but trust the film. My rankings will only have a drastic shift when a player tests historically poorly or they have some type of medical issue. The Combine displays the athletic ability and versatility from a player. Those are two important traits that coaches and scouts covet in the players they want to draft. But an example of all this is that quarterbacks don’t need to broad jump, but wide receivers need to block. However, you don’t see those wide receiver blocking drills at the Combine. This isn’t me bashing the Combine and the drills that take place, it’s just a simple evaluation. Not everything there translates to game day. However, it gives you a good idea of the versatility a player has and where they stand athletically.
Before we get started, I should explain some of the details in this 2018 NFL Mock Draft. First of all, there are two mock trades. I believe these trades are pretty realistic and there’s a chance that they happen. What are the trades that happen? You’ll see them on the draft board, but here are the details:
Mock Trade Results
- Indianapolis Colts receive: 2018 first round pick (6th overall), 2019 first round pick and 2018 second round pick (49th overall)
- New York Jets receive: 2018 first round pick (3rd overall)
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers receive: 2018 first round pick (15th overall), 2018 third round pick (79th overall), 2019 first round pick, 2019 fourth round pick
- Arizona Cardinals receive: 2018 first round pick (7th overall).
You also have to be wondering why the quarterbacks are falling the way are in this mock draft. To be honest, this could be a smoke screen. But then again, it might not be. Benjamin Albright has been pretty much spot on with anything he’s shared and his sources are very reliable. Here are some of his predictions for how the free agent quarterback market will go:
Finally, you’ll notice two names not in the first round of this mock draft. Maurice Hurst from Michigan and Billy Price from Ohio State. Unfortunately, both players have some medical red flags despite having first round grades. Hurst has a heart condition that needs further evaluation and for that, I’m holding him out of this mock draft until we know if he can play for sure. If he can, he’ll go right back to where I think he should be, and that’s somewhere in the top-10 of the draft. As for Billy Price, he tore his pectoral doing the bench press at the Scouting Combine. He’s got a first round grade, but I expect him to hear his name on day two of the draft.
Moving forward, I promise this won’t be an overreaction mock draft. These picks will have relevance to your team’s needs, potential cap hits, and so much more. Obviously, so much can change between now and the draft. We know that. But let’s take a look at what teams should be doing if the NFL Draft was tomorrow.
2018 NFL Mock Draft | Post-Combine Edition
- Cleveland Browns – Sam Darnold, QB from USC
Going with the top player on the overall draft board isn’t a bad move by the Browns. They were the 18th-ranked rushing offense in the NFL and while it isn’t terrible, Barkley would change the dynamic of this offense. This hypothetical allows the Browns to see what they have with McCarron at quarterback, and it then allows them to see what quarterback would be available with the 4th overall selection. However, Sam Darnold has too much upside for the Browns to pass up. They wouldn’t have to play him in year one and they could really work on the mechanics with him. He’s 20-4 as a starter and with a 1-31 record over the last two seasons, the Browns need him. I’m not convinced that McCarron is an upgrade over Kizer, so having Darnold in their back pocket is a smart move.
- New York Giants – Saquon Barkley, RB from Penn State
Passing on Quenton Nelson will be tough to do for this team. He’s a talented offensive lineman and is going to be a premier left guard for the next 10-12 years in the NFL. However, the Giants have Pat Shurmur as their new head coach and he’s likely to run the football. Having Eli Manning for another season wouldn’t be too bad, especially with a healthy Odell Beckham Jr. back in the mix. Adding a player like Barkley gives them insurance for when Beckham potentially hits the free agent market and would prevent them from throwing a young quarterback into the fire. Barkley has his flaws when approaching the line-of-scrimmage (LOS), but despite his hesitation, he’s got an elite burst and has had over 100 receptions in his career. He’ll need to improve his blitz pickup, but he’s an every down back and would help with the Giants’ running woes.
- New York Jets (Mock Trade with Indianapolis) – Josh Rosen, QB from UCLA
Surprise, surprise! The New York Jets have some draft capital and will move up in this draft to get a quarterback. Josh Rosen is QB1, but he’s available with the third overall pick. Rosen does a phenomenal job with his pre-snap reads and is the most pro-ready quarterback in this draft. The Jets could potentially find themselves in a situation where they sign Teddy Bridgewater or trade for Nick Foles, but at this point, moving up and drafting a quarterback seems pretty ideal. Josh Rosen could come in and play right away. He doesn’t have elite arm strength, but he excels with short and intermediate throws. His natural release and pocket progression are very nice, which leads to many plus plays down the field. This would be a great pick for the Jets who have needed a franchise quarterback since the days of Chad Pennington.
- Cleveland Browns (from Houston) – Bradley Chubb, DE from North Carolina State
This would be a surprise to many, but I think there’s a realistic chance of it happening. Pairing up Bradley Chubb with Myles Garrett is absolutely insane. It wouldn’t even be fair. Chubb isn’t the athletic freak Garrett is, but Chubb is still a very productive player. He’s not as explosive as someone like Harold Landry, but he does a good job translating speed to power and you’d have to say that his hand usage is above any other edge rusher in this class. Chubb does a great job of stopping the run, and with 44 tackles for loss over the last two seasons, it certainly shows. This would be a home run first round for the Cleveland Browns and for the first time in a long time, the future looks bright.
- Denver Broncos – Josh Allen, QB from Wyoming
Despite my prediction of adding Case Keenum in free agency, the Broncos still need to consider their quarterback situation for the long-term. Keenum might not be the same player in Denver as he was in Minnesota. At the Senior Bowl, the Broncos got a chance to coach Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen. Allen has often been hyped as a great quarterback, but the film doesn’t show that. He’s incredibly inaccurate with the football and needs to do a better job at scanning the field. We all know that he’s got the strongest arm in the class, so it won’t be surprising when a team reaches for him. With how well he tested athletically at the combine (4.75 40-yard dash) and his familiarity of playing in the Mountain West, this pick makes sense. Allen can spend a year under Keenum and could actually develop into a decent starter. The upside is there, but rushing him into a starting quarterback role could be a team’s biggest mistake. For the Broncos’ sake, let’s hope they don’t do that.
- Indianapolis Colts (Mock Trade with New York Jets) – Quenton Nelson, OG from Notre Dame
Trading down and snagging the best offensive lineman in the class is a double plus for the Colts. They acquired a nice series of extra picks with the mock trade in this draft. I’ve often said that Nelson is a premier left guard and is an elite talent. Finding ways to protect Andrew Luck is the safest decision this team can make. Drafting Nelson would be a great way to start their draft process. He operates incredibly well in space, his hand placement is consistently inside, and with 35 reps on the bench press at the Combine, it’s clear how strong he is. Nelson will be a lockdown pass protector and a devastating run blocker over the next decade for the Colts.
- Arizona Cardinals (Mock Trade with Tampa Bay) – Baker Mayfield, QB from Oklahoma
If the Cardinals are going to trade up, they’re going to be drafting a quarterback. Their current QB situation looks similar to something you’ll see in the XFL, and that’s not good. The Cardinals will take Baker Mayfield, a verbal leader and an all-around high IQ football player. He doesn’t have the strongest arm in the class, but his accuracy is pretty much spot on with a 68.5 completion percentage over his career. People will consistently knock him for his size and compare him to Johnny Manziel. Take that as you will, but he’s the farthest thing from Manziel, and he’s going to play up to the competition. The Cardinals might want to consider a bridge quarterback, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see Mayfield as the starting quarterback from day one.
- Chicago Bears – Roquan Smith, LB from Georgia
After placing the transition tag on Kyle Fuller, the Bears still have a need at cornerback. However, they have just under $65 million dollars in cap space, so they should be able to make some noise when free agency begins. As for the draft, they should take the best player available. In this case, Roquan Smith is that player. He’s one of the most instinctive players I’ve ever scouted and when you pair that up with his explosiveness, it’s going to lead to tremendous results. By drafting Smith, the whole landscape to the Bears defense will change. They get a player that can play inside or outside linebacker, and it allows them to make a decision on Danny Trevathan. It wouldn’t be a popular choice to move on from him, but he’s only played in 21 games over the last two seasons. Keep in mind that he would only cost $3.75 million against the cap combined over the next two years if they cut him. With the addition of Smith, the Bears get a new identity on their defense and an instinctive player who will contribute from day one.
- San Francisco 49ers – Minkah Fitzpatrick, S from Alabama
With the run on quarterbacks, some of the top-ranked players in the draft move down the board. Fitzpatrick could be one of those guys and, in this case, he is. The 49ers would certainly be able to utilize a player of his caliber. I’ve got him listed as a safety, but there’s certainly a chance that he plays as a corner. The way this secondary has been for the 49ers, Fitzpatrick would contribute right away. He’s a versatile player with tremendous leadership ability. He’s another guy that just loves football and tries to get better with each and every single repetition. I love the way he can play man coverage or off in zone coverage. He’s very fluid in Cover 2 and has the range to play downhill and contribute in run support. This would be a great selection for the 49ers and would help revamp their secondary.
- Oakland Raiders – Vita Vea, DT from Washington
My top-ranked defensive tackle is Maurice Hurst, but with a recent heart issue, he’s staying off the board until it’s officially cleared. As for this pick, this is a selection that I can see Jon Gruden going with. You can’t bring Gruden out of retirement and not give him the player he’d love. Vea is one of the most athletic players for a player of his size. He’s shown versatility while playing all over the Huskies’ defensive front. The power in his first step is evident, but he relies too much on his power and not enough on working his hands. However, he’s going to be a fine fit as a 1-technique at the next level. Plugging him in the A-gap should help solidify the Raiders against the run for at least the next four to five years.
- Miami Dolphins – Tremaine Edmunds, LB from Virginia Tech
The Dolphins could go a couple of different directions with this selection. They could look at adding an offensive lineman or a defensive back. Players like Denzel Ward or Derwin James make a lot of sense for the Dolphins. However, they need another linebacker. Lawrence Timmons is on the wrong side of 30. Plus, finding an upgrade over Chase Allen at MIKE (middle linebacker) would be a smart move. Why not Tremaine Edmunds? He’s got the length at 6’5 and tested well at the Combine. He’s a fluid athlete who can drop in and out of coverage. Edmunds flows to the football and does a nice job coming downhill while wrapping up. I don’t like the way he takes on blocks, and at times he looks like he avoids them. He’ll need to become more consistent with that at the next level. However, he’s got the build and experience to play inside. That’s exactly what he’ll do for the Miami Dolphins as they add some much needed talent to their defense.
- Cincinnati Bengals – Connor Williams, OT from Texas
Let’s be honest. Losing Andrew Whitworth hurt this team, and it showed statistically and on tape. The Bengals were the second-worst rushing team last season and that’s why the Bengals just hired Frank Pollack (former Cowboys offensive line coach) to be their offensive line coach. The goal for the Bengals is to fix this rushing attack. One way to do that is by drafting some offensive linemen. They’ve tried with Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher, but they could certainly be looking to find an upgrade over one of them. Connor Williams is my highest-rated offensive tackle and I think he can play left tackle. Many have already considered him a guard, but I see a left tackle. He’s aggressive, has a solid base, and is consistently working his hands inside. His kick-step is fluid, he can operate in space and will bury some linebackers at the second level. At the Combine, he looked athletic and tested well. He only checked in at 296 pounds, but part of me believes that was just to test better. Either way, he’ll bulk up at the next level and should get a shot to play left tackle. There’s no reason to believe that he can’t be a top-15 selection in this draft.
- Washington Redskins – Joshua Jackson, CB from Iowa
Even though Denzel Ward tested better than Jackson, I still believe that Jackson is the best cornerback in this class. Joshua Jackson has great size to play on the outside – don’t let anyone tell you he’s a slot cornerback. His hips are fluid, he’s got great ball skills and does a pretty good job in run support. He might not be as fluid as Denzel Ward and he might not be as good of a tackler as Mike Hughes or Holton Hill, but his ball skills are better than anyone else’s in this class. Pairing Jackson with Norman gives the Redskins a legit duo in their secondary and would help them significantly against the NFC East.
- Green Bay Packers – Harold Landry, EDGE from Boston College
Doesn’t it feel like one of the forgotten players of the first round is Harold Landry? People know he’s talented, but after having an off year the flaws are obvious. He lacks consistent hand usage and doesn’t display any combination of pass rush moves. However, when Landry is on, he’s on. At the Combine, he tested surprisingly well and was one of the most explosive edge rushers at the event. In the 3-cone drill he had a time of 6.88 seconds and his 20-yard shuttle was at 4.19 seconds. Fluidity and explosiveness were on display, and it was surprising. Landry has a nice bend off the edge and will rely heavily on “dipping” and “ripping” his way to the quarterback. This pick makes sense for the Packers because Clay Matthews is clearly declining, and he might be best suited to move inside or become a situational player. Obviously, they probably won’t do that, but having Landry wouldn’t be a bad thing. He’ll only be 22 years old when the season begins and has plenty of time to turn into an elite pass rusher. I had a top-10 grade on Landry before the Combine and that grade will still stand.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Mock Trade with Arizona) – Derrius Guice, RB from LSU
After cutting Doug Martin, the Buccaneers are certainly in the market to draft a running back. Moving down and acquiring more picks is a realistic option for them, especially when it comes to working on finding depth in the trenches. Guice is a really nice option to become the lead back for this offense. At 224 pounds, he ran a sub 4.5 time in the forty-yard dash and posted a 31.5 inch vertical with 15 reps in the bench press. He reminds me of Marshawn Lynch with the way he keeps his feet moving, consistently hits the hole and doesn’t shy away from contact. He’s an aggressive runner who excels in pass protection. The biggest concern for Guice is whether he can stay healthy. He’s had a history of leg injuries and has missed practices due to “undisclosed” injuries. But with trading down and the obvious need at the position, this is a great pick for the Bucs.
- Baltimore Ravens – Calvin Ridley, WR from Alabama
When looking at the Ravens’ wide receivers, there’s not much to like. Breshad Perriman hasn’t been healthy since he entered the league, Mike Wallace will be 32-years-old when the season starts, while Jeremy Maclin will be 30. Ridley didn’t have a terrible combine and he still has a top-15 grade on my board. He gets drafted one spot outside of his projected grade, but he is the top receiver in this class. However, he posted some very strange numbers at the Combine. The strange numbers were in his vertical jump and broad jump. With only a 31.5 inch vertical jump and a broad jump of 9’2″, it shows that he might lack some explosiveness. However, he ran a 4.43 in the forty-yard dash, so it’s very odd to see. This past season, he did drop 6 passes and hasn’t been heavily utilized in Alabama’s passing offense since his freshman year. Yes, the same season where he once had 89 receptions and over 1,000 yards receiving. With all that being said, Ridley is the most complete receiver in this draft. From a route running perspective to being a consistent weapon, he makes a ton of sense.
- Los Angeles Chargers – Derwin James, S from Florida State
It wouldn’t be surprising if the Chargers addressed their offensive tackle position with this selection. Joe Barksdale and Russell Okung are lengthy veterans, and getting some youth at offensive tackle makes sense. However, going defense seems like the more logical strategy for the Chargers. Derwin James is on the board, and it’ll be hard for them to pass on him. Tre Boston is scheduled to hit free agency, and after a career year, it wouldn’t be surprising if he plays elsewhere. James has a ton of upside if he can become more consistent in coverage and if his ball skills become more reliable. He played well late into the 2017 season, but it wasn’t enough to guarantee him a top-15 selection, in my opinion. As a tackler, James is one of the more complete safeties. He does a nice job coming downhill with the proper angle, pursuit and technique to ensure a tackle for a loss or minimal gain. He won’t make an immediate splash, but the upside is there for him to make a consistent impact on the Chargers for years to come.
- Seattle Seahawks – Denzel Ward, CB from Ohio State
With a player of Denzel Ward’s skill set on the board, it’ll be hard for them to pass on him. He’s a fluid athlete with the ability to break up passes and consistently stay in the hip pocket of the receiver. Athletically, he tested off the charts with a 4.32 time in the forty-yard dash and a 39-inch vertical. Ward is a bit undersized at 5’10, but with 16 reps in the bench press, he’s stronger than I expected. However, he’s a fit and fills an obvious need for the Seahawks. This one should be easy for them.
- Dallas Cowboys – Rashaan Evans, LB from Alabama
What’s not to love about this pick? We can talk about all the defensive line needs on the Cowboys, but ultimately, let’s talk about linebacker. Anthony Hitchens is set to hit the free agent market, Sean Lee is consistently injured, and there’s still a lot unknown about Jaylon Smith. The Cowboys could use a player of Evans’s skill set for a variety of reasons. Explosiveness and fluidity is one way to describe Evans as a player, and the Combine furthers that point. He had a 6.95 time in the 3-cone drill and a 4.36 time in the short shuttle. Those aren’t incredible numbers, but they’re very good for a player of his size at 6’1 and 232 pounds. He’s a good tackler, and he is a sure thing when blitzing and scraping over the top. With what I’ve seen on film, I’m convinced that he would run through a wall to get to the ball carrier. He needs to improve what he does in coverage, but most of all he needs to improve his ball skills. He only has 5 pass deflections in his career and doesn’t have an interception. But he gives the Cowboys a great option in stopping the run as a WILL linebacker.
- Detroit Lions – Marcus Davenport, EDGE from UTSA
Despite franchise tagging Ezekiel Ansah, the Lions still have an obvious need at defensive end. Reaching for an edge rusher isn’t something I’d like for them to do and personally, I could see them sign a veteran to play opposite Ziggy. For the sake of the draft, they take a player they could use. Davenport is still raw coming off the edge and he plays high, but he’s an explosive player who is still putting it all together. Once he does, he could be a very productive player off the edge. This would be a nice way to ensure the Lions fan base that they have insurance at defensive end for when Ansah leaves after his franchise tag year.
- Buffalo Bills – Taven Bryan, DT from Florida
Not taking a quarterback is going to disappoint a lot of Bills fans. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a way to put a trade together that made sense. With that being said, the Bills draft an incredibly gifted defensive tackle. Bryan has the athletic ability and versatility to play all over the defensive line. By drafting him, the Bills could easily prepare him to be the replacement for Kyle Williams. He’s a high-motor guy with a great burst off the ball. He needs to come in under control more consistently, and has to do a better job at staying below pad level. Despite some of the flaws and still being somewhat raw as a pass rusher, Bryan has the upside to become a consistent three-down player for this defense.
- Buffalo Bills (via Kansas City) – Mike McGlinchey, OT from Notre Dame
Don’t try and sell me on Jordan Mills as the right tackle for this team. Drafting Mike McGlinchey would be a great idea for the Bills. Last year he played out of position for Notre Dame, but he’s a natural fit to play right tackle at the next level. With his frame at 6’8 and 310 pounds, he’s a perfect fit for a zone blocking scheme. He operates well in space, even if he’s not the most athletic player on the field. His angle on his kick-step is consistent, but his hand placement can become inconsistent. I’d like to see him more consistent with anchoring at the point-of-attack (POA), but this would be a great selection for the Bills.
- Los Angeles Rams – Lorenzo Carter, EDGE from Georgia
The Rams are making a ton of moves as of late. First, they traded for cornerback Marcus Peters, and now they traded away edge rusher Robert Quinn. It doesn’t all add up, but clearing up cap room and trying to change your roster isn’t a bad thing. With that being said, Lorenzo Carter blew up the Combine. At almost 6’5 and 250 pounds, Carter tested extremely well and put himself in the first round discussion. He’s a second round talent off the tape, but with a 4.5 time in the forty-yard dash, a 36-inch vertical, and almost an 11’0″ broad jump, he’s fast and explosive. The biggest issue with him is that he was playing out of position at times for the Bulldogs. From dropping into coverage and blitzing up the middle, he displayed versatility. He’ll enter the league simply as an edge rusher and that will be very beneficial for the Rams.
- Carolina Panthers – Isaiah Wynn, OG from Georgia
Despite cutting Charles Johnson and Jonathan Stewart, the Panthers aren’t expected to retain Andrew Norwell. That puts them in position to draft an interior offensive lineman. At this point, there isn’t one ranked higher than Isaiah Wynn. He’s got a first round grade and is one of the most versatile offensive linemen in this class. He dominated on the interior during the week of the Senior Bowl. From his lateral quickness to his ability to anchor at the point-of-attack (POA), there’s not much that Wynn can’t do. He’d be a great replacement for Norwell and would help this offense continue to be one of the top scoring offenses in football with 22.7 points per game.
- Tennessee Titans – Leighton Vander Esch, LB from Boise State
Even with almost $50 million in cap space, the Titans might not be able to re-sign Avery Williamson. He’s scheduled to hit the free agent market and there will be plenty of teams eyeing his services. That’s okay, the Titans get their replacement with this selection. Leighton Vander Esch, a.k.a LVE, is a talented linebacker. He’s not good at shedding through blocks when sent on a blitz. However, he’s a great tackler all around the field and processes the plays in front him very well. With Mike Vrabel as the new head coach of the Titans, he could very well mold LVE into a terrific linebacker. After all, Vrabel is a former linebacker and linebackers coach.
- Atlanta Falcons – Da’Ron Payne, DT from Alabama
Moving on from Dontari Poe seemed evident the moment they signed him to a one-year deal. With that said, the Falcons are going to address their defensive line once again. By drafting Payne, they get a player that can play as a 1-tech or as a 3-tech. He’s stout at 6’2 and 311 pounds with a 4.95 forty-yard dash time and 27 reps in the bench press. There’s a lot more power behind him than speed, and he doesn’t have an arsenal of pass-rush moves. Stopping the run will always be an area that he’ll excel in. At the next level, teams will scheme against him and he’ll be disruptive with power and hand usage.
- New Orleans Saints – Andrew Brown, DT from Virginia
It wouldn’t be surprising if the Saints look at a linebacker or a wide receiver at this spot. But this pick just makes too much sense. Tyeler Davison and David Onyemata aren’t terrible at defensive tackle, but Brown would certainly upgrade the position. He’s a fantastic fit as a 3-technique and his burst off the ball makes him one of the most intriguing defensive tackles in this class. Virginia didn’t play him in the proper position on their defensive line, but the Saints will know what to do with him. Placing him with Sheldon Rankins gives this defensive line a nice pairing next to Cameron Jordan.
- Pittsburgh Steelers – Justin Reid, S from Stanford
I’ve watched limited film on Reid, at this point in the process. However, I’ve seen some of his stuff and he’s really stood out. At the Combine, he also stood out. He was a “workout warrior” and as of right now, all signs point to him going in the first round. His forty yard dash was 4.4 seconds flat and his 20-yard shuttle was at 4.15 seconds. Those numbers are incredible, but it’s no surprise because his brother is Eric Reid of the San Francisco 49ers. Justin Reid is a player that can play in the box and his physicality stands out. At times he’ll grab in coverage, but overall, he’s smooth and has turned plenty of heads.
- Jacksonville Jaguars – D.J. Moore, WR from Maryland
Auden Tate is my second-ranked receiver. The upside is certainly there with him, and I thought he would have tested better than he did. However, that’s not the case. I’ll keep in my top five rankings for receivers, but realistically, he’s not going in round one. So who does that leave to go in the first round? Calvin Ridley is off the board. I’m going to go with the receiver that won the combine for receivers, and he’s more than just a tall receiver or a speedster. Consistently utilized in the Terrapins’ offense was D.J. Moore. From being thrown to in short-areas to passes across the middle, D.J. Moore was their offense. With Allen Robinson not getting franchise tagged and Marqise Lee set to the hit the market, the Jaguars need to find another offensive weapon, primarily at wide receiver. They’ll reach for a player at the end of the first round, but if any receiver helped himself, it was D.J. Moore.
- Minnesota Vikings – Will Hernandez, OG from UTEP
Despite the Vikings’ offensive line being much better in 2017 compared to where it was in 2016, they still need some help on the interior. With Hernandez on the board, the Vikings can’t pass on him. He’s much more versatile than he looks and he’s every bit of the 327 pounds he weighed in at the Combine. In fact, he’s down 20 pounds since the Senior Bowl, which is fantastic. He’s a physical run blocker who does a nice job in space. Not as well as Wynn or Nelson, but he’s efficient enough to survive on Sundays. With Dalvin Cook coming back from a torn ACL, this helps ensure that he’s got some help in front of him.
- New England Patriots – Jaire Alexander, CB from Louisville
It’s the New England Patriots, who knows what they’re going to do. If I had to pick, finding a way to replace Malcolm Butler would be a smart move. My highest-ranked cornerback is my CB3, Jaire Alexander. Alexander is a physical playmaker who is always in the way of a receiver making a play on the football. The biggest question mark on Alexander is if he can stay healthy. If he can, the Pats are going to get a quality cornerback to lock down one side of their defensive backfield.
- Philadelphia Eagles – Kolton Miller, OT from UCLA
Once Orlando Brown came out and was historically bad at the Combine, there was no way to justify him as a first round pick. He’ll still get drafted, but with his athletic percentage being less than the one percentile of all offensive tackles, there’s no way he goes in the first round. He ran the 40 yard dash in 5.85 seconds and only had 14 reps in the bench press. I get he has 35-inch arms, but there’s just no excuse, especially when Kolton Miller has 34-inch arms and he had 24 reps in the bench press. Normally, I don’t move players around the board too much after the Combine, but Brown was a player that’s just moving out of the first round. I’d be shocked if he was taken in the first 50 picks. As for the Eagles, they have to start preparing themselves for what’s to come after Jason Peters. Their offensive line coach, Jeff Stoutland, has done wonders for Lane Johnson, but he’s also helped Peters re-emerge as a left tackle. Kolton Miller is incredibly gifted as an athlete, but he’s inconsistent with his technique at times. His kick-step doesn’t always have the right angle, and there are times that too much weight goes to the heels of his “post” foot (inside). The Eagles have so much depth along their roster, it’ll be hard to predict who they draft. I’d say Miller is an ideal fit and with his athletic ability, he should be able to translate to either tackle position.