Every year the forum here known as “The Tank” conducts it’s own group mock draft and
most years I mock all of their hard work. Some of it ends up being correct, a lot of it wrong. I think I generate a lot of laughs (but in reality I just get a chuckle or two) and generally just leave everyone chasing me like an angry mob carrying fiery pitchforks. Yet here I am anyway. Enjoy, or not. Just promise me you’ll be entertained.
1. Cleveland Browns – Sam Darnold, QB, USC
Hue Jackson will do his best to ruin him but with Todd Haley keeping him at bay (not sure this is a good thing), Sam has a chance. He’ll be given an opportunity to learn from a QB accustomed to his team putting him in a position to fail – and succeeding anyway.
2. New York Giants – Bradley Chubb, DE/Edge, NC State
Right or wrong (it’s wrong), everything the Giants have done this off-season points toward trying to win now. Bumbling Pat Shurmur will assist EliINT in crashing their ship into the iceberg, but Chubb will be a nice building block for the next group two years from now. Maybe that group will be picking high enough to draft a quarterback like the Giants should be doing now.
3. New York Jets – Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
Baker Mayfield and the New York media? Well, I guess it’s either this lightning rod or the Josh Rosen one. The Jets have come a long way from the Rex Ryan clown show, but trusting them to manage him would be a mistake. I want them to prove me wrong. A decade plus of Baker and his antics does sound like a fun time.
4. Cleveland Browns – Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
This is going to prove to be a very dumb selection about 29 picks from now. He’s going to be a very good player (potentially a great player) but he’s best fit on a team in a championship window that is ready to win now.
5. Denver Broncos – Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
John Elway is going to hate this guy and Josh Rosen succeeding despite (or to spite?) him is going to be excellent theater.
6. Indianapolis Colts – Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame
It’s weird looking at the Colts, seeing a sensible pick, and saying – yeah they could do that. A part of me misses the unintentional hilarity that was the Grigson days…
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Denzel Ward, CB Ohio State
Often times mocks are too fixated with needs instead of talent, but this is a case in which the need met the talent. Hargraeves can’t play outside, but he showed last year that he can be effective inside. Drafting Ward fills both holes inside and out.
8. Chicago Bears – Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
Chicago seems to be a popular landing spot prediction for Edmunds but what is Chicago’s plan for him? Is he going to be the ring leader of their defense? If so, then this has some hidden bust potential. If they’re planning to use him in various roles AND be willing to adapt if he isn’t translating to some of those roles – then he could be a star. I’m tugging at my collar though.
9. San Francisco 49ers – Derwin James, S, FSU
The Niners are in a great spot to just sit and let the draft come to them. That said, while I think they’re more likely to go with Derwin James, I think Fitzpatrick fits better on this team. James is kind of redundant to Jaquiski Tartt and with Foster such a risk, this unit really needs an on-field leader. Minkah has at least some projection to him no matter where he lines up, but what he lacks physically he makes up for mentally; I think that’s what this defense needs.
10. Oakland Raiders – Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
He won’t even be old enough to buy a celebratory beer when he’s drafted. There is absolutely no way Jon Gruden would sign off on this pick.
11. Miami Dolphins – Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
On the plus side, despite this operation inevitably crashing and burning this year with Tannehill under center, it will be difficult to justify playing this guy too early just because Ryan Tannehill will be just good enough. On the down side, next year will either have a new management group with no ties to Jackson or a retread GM who’s proven to be terrible at his job strong arming candidates into using him. If the Dolphins have a viable plan for him then it can work. If not though…
12. Buffalo Bills – Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB Alabama
It won’t happen, but if the Bills stay put and pass on Josh Allen I may just become a (closet) fan of theirs.
13. Washington Redskins – Vita Vea, DT Washington
This is a terrible pick and it has nothing to do with Vea nor what he would bring to a Redskins defense needing to perform better vs. the run. There’s just no way he meets this draft slot’s expectations unless he hits the high end of his ceiling in every regard – and even then he still may not. No one is ever going to evaluate him and say that he’s part of a problem, but he isn’t part of the solution either; he’s a run stuffer. Those can be acquired rather cheaply on the open market and there’s no need to use a 1st round pick on one.
14. Green Bay Packers – Marcus Davenport, DE UTSA
Him being paired with Pettine is an attention grabber, but between his level of competition and athletic profile there are lots of warning signs at this price. Beware.
15. Arizona Cardinals – Josh Allen, QB Wyoming
It’s too late to sell your David Johnson stock now! BHAHAHAHAHA suckers.