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It is finally NFL Draft night! I don’t know about you, but I am ready for this draft to be over. Question after question about where rookies will land and who will be the next Alvin Kamara or Myles Garrett. We can finally put a portion of that to bed with where each rookie will land, and try to decide which rookie will have the biggest impact in 2018. With the depth of talent in this draft, it could be any number of players that make their GM look like a genius.

This draft may be one of the most interesting drafts in recent memories. We will see several teams battle to find their QB of the future, several trades and a lot of talent that slip in the first round or even out of the first round. Expect a crazy first night.

For your reading pleasure, here is my final mock draft of the off-season. This is split into two parts, as I have already covered picks 1-16 in part one and picks 17-32 here. I want to say in advance: you will not agree with a lot of these picks. These are not meant to be hot takes or even bold predictions. This mock is supposed to cover some potential trades in the draft, picks that meet each teams need and some analysis of why I think that pick could happen. All of the mocks you read will be irrelevant in a few days anyway, so let’s have some fun with it!

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Mock NFL Draft 2018

17. Los Angeles Charges: Roquan Smith- LB, Georgia

Yeah, I know. I can hear the screams about Smith falling all the way to 19. If you’re a Charges fan, however, you would love this pick. Smith falls a few spots in this mock because I picked players that personally made more sense for teams. Would Smith have been the best available at some of those picks? Absolutely he would have, but crazier things have happened in the draft. The ILB position is a must for the Charges in this draft, so they will fill the need. The front line is stacked with Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram, but the only linebacker I have any faith in if Denzel Perryman. Smith would be a great addition and add speed and tenacity to this defense. If they could add a player of Smith’s caliber, they would have one of the best defenses in all of football. They were extremely underrated last season and would take a huge step forward with this pick.

18Seattle Seahawks: Minkah Fitzpatrick- FS, Alabama

Here's another player that has fallen in the draft due to no reason other than teams taking better fits. Even then, the Seahawks don’t need to take Fitzpatrick here, but Kam Chancellor has hinted at retirement before and so has Earl Thomas. Thomas will be a free agent at the end of the season and is most likely gone. The Seahawks have established themselves has one of the best teams in football based on defense, and they want to continue that trend. Even if Fitzpatrick doesn’t see a lot of time on the field in his first season, he gets an opportunity to work with two of the greats and keeps the Seahawks from spending big to re-sign Thomas.

19. Dallas Cowboys: DJ Moore- WR, Maryland

Another Big 10 star to the Cowboys to join Ezekiel Elliott. This is actually one of my favorite picks in this draft and one I am really rooting for to happen. Moore will come in and replace Dez Bryant, which is no easy task. Moore has everything needed to do that and then some. Moore is the WR1 in this draft and may be one of the best receivers we see come out in a while. The embarrassment of riches on offense for the Cowboys is exactly what they need to stay competitive in the NFC East. They will be competing against some good offensive teams and will need to score with the best of them. Getting the best out of Dak Prescott means having Elliott in the backfield and a weapon at WR. Prescott will get his weapon in this draft.

20. Detroit Lions: Harold Landry- DE, Boston College

The Lions need to add a pass rusher to pair with Ezekiel Ansah. The Lions will need to face Aaron Rodgers and now Kirk Cousins twice a year. If Detroit cannot get pressure on those guys, they will be shredded up. Great QBs will tear apart a defense at will if there is no pass rush to help the secondary. The Lions were 20th in the NFL in sacks last year. Not a bad number, but one that needs a lot of improvement in 2018 for the Lions to stay competitive. Landry has a chance to be very good, and playing opposite of Ansah could be a great start to his career.

21. New England Patriots (Mock Trade from Cincinnati): Lamar Jackson- QB, Louisville

I mentioned in the first part of my mock draft that the Broncos would move back hoping to grab their QB while adding an extra pick. Well, this is why. The Patriots will make their move to grab Jackson right before the Broncos. We all know the Patriots want a QB in this draft after trading both of their backups last season. Every day we get closer to Tom Brady announcing his retirement and the Patriots need to have his replacement ready. Jackson is going to the best situation possible to prepare for his NFL career. He has all of the talent in the world, but needs to refine some finer points of his game. Brady will help him with that.

22. Denver Broncos (Mock Trade from Bills): Calvin Ridley- WR, Alabama

This is also a pick I am rooting for. The Broncos could afford to add some depth at WR considering they may walk away from Emmanuel Sanders or Demaryius Thomas after this season. I like this move a lot for Ridley though. I have been vocal about how I feel when it comes to Ridley--he will not be successful on the outside. Going to this situation with Sanders and Thomas on the outside, Ridley has the potential to fall into the slot and show the Broncos he should stick there. I am comparing this situation to that of Juju Smith-Schuster in Pittsburgh last season. Obviously the offense is not nearly as impactful as Pittsburgh’s, but Ridley could offer the same type of impact to the Broncos as Smith-Schuster did to the Steelers his rookie year.

23. Cincinnati Bengals (Mock Trade from Patriots): Tremaine Edmunds- DE, Virginia Tech

This is a great pick for the Bengals, and one that will turn out very well for them. Edmunds may not give them impact numbers in year one, but this kid has so much room to grow, he will be a monster in a couple of years. When I refer to him as kid, it’s because he is only 19 years old right now. Coming in at 6’5” and 253 lbs, Edmunds comes with a high motor and a ton of untapped potential. The Bengals will love to add Edmunds to their defense.

24. Carolina Panthers: Derwin James- SS, Florida State

Some think the Panthers will be hunting for a WR in this draft, but not with the first pick. James is exactly what the Panthers defense needs. The Panthers are looking for a leader on defense to help carry them to the next season and give Cam Newton some support from the other side of the ball. Will James last this long? Probably not. If things play out this way, James could fall some but other teams will have him high on their board.

25. Tennessee Titans: Rashaan Evans- ILB, Alabama

The Titans need to get younger, stronger and faster on defense, especially at linebacker. Evans will offer exactly that. New head coach Mike Vrabel is a former linebacker that knows how much the position means to a defense and having a chance to add a player that could become a leader for that defense. The one thing I know we will get from Vrabel is a tough nosed defense that will attack the ball. Sounds like a match made in heaven to me.

26. Atlanta Falcons: Taven Bryan- DT, Florida

There is a huge hole in the front of the defensive line for the Falcons that needs to be filled. If the draft plays out different than my mock, Vea or Hurst could also fall this far. The Falcons defense is fast and plays tough, but they are a little undersized. They need to add a big man upfront to help stuff those holes and eliminate the run.

27. New Orleans Saints: Dallas Goedert- TE, South Dakota St.

Coby Fleener has not been what the Saints had hoped for a tight end and since Jimmy Graham left, the position has underwhelmed. The Saints restocked the defensive side of the ball the past two season and have plenty of offensive fire power, but will one more weapon hurt? It takes time for TEs to develop in the NFL, but Goedert could see some early success because opposing defenses will be so preoccupied with other weapons.

28. Pittsburgh Steelers: Sony Michel- RB, Georgia

The Steelers may need to replace Le’Veon Bell very soon and bringing in Michel this year would be a big help. Michel would get to learn from one of the best backs in the league and be insurance in case something happens. Michel would see some playing time, but not a ton in 2018. He would pair well with James Conner in 2019 though to help replicate what Bell has done.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars: Kolton Miller- OT, UCLA

The ink has dried on Blake Bortles new deal and now it’s time to keep him upright. The Jaguars are stacked on defense and have plenty of weapons on offense. They could use this pick to add another WR but that would be a waste. Instead, look to add to the offensive line and keep your QB clean moving forward. Miller would be an excellent choice here.

30. Minnesota Vikings: Isaiah Wynn- OG, Georgia

The Vikings fall into the same place as the Jaguars. Loaded on defense, lots of playmakers on offense, so draft a lineman to help keep your new franchise QB on his feet and give Dalvin Cook room to run. Wynn will be a great fit for the Vikings here and should be a tremendous win for them.

31. New England Patriots: Jaire Alexander- CB, Louisville

The best part of the Patriots only moving up two spots early was they would not need to give up their second first-round pick. Instead they use it to replace Malcolm Butler. The Patriots defense looked awful at times last season. They improved throughout the year, but they need some playmakers in the secondary. One of the best corners in this draft will help with that real quick.

32. Philadelphia Eagles: Leighton Vander Esch- LB, Boise

I did a mock for another website a few weeks back and was handed the Eagles draft pick. Vander Esch was who I wanted all along, although he went right before me. This kid has a ton of potential, but you may need to wait a while to see it all. He has some room to grow at the position, but won’t be asked to step into a staring gig right away. Perfect pick for this team at 32 though.


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