Chris Ransom follow @DraftUtopia Last Updated: August 31, 2016.
Minnesota Vikings: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
- In this mock, the Vikings got the number one pick in 2018 assuming Teddy Bridgewater fails to recover from his torn ACL in 2017. It really sucked to see Teddy go down like that and I hope him a speedy recovery.
- Teams that host the Super Bowl rarely make the playoffs. If the Vikings host Super Bowl 52 and miss the 2018 NFL Playoffs in Teddy Bridgewater's contract year after he won his first playoff game, then the Vikings may be foolish enough to move on from him.
- Josh Rosen is the top prospect in the 2018 NFL Draft. If Rosen was eligible for the 2016 NFL Draft, he may have been picked over Jared Goff. That's how high NFL teams are on Rosen. UCLA Head Coach Jim Mora Jr. believes that Rosen is already showing the same leadership traits Peyton Manning displayed at Tennessee.
- Josh Rosen was the top true freshman in College Football in 2015. Rosen had 3,670 passing yards, 23 passing touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. Rosen will get tested at Kyle Field on Saturday when he has to go on the road and face the best defensive line in College Football. How Rosen handles himself against Myles Garrett, Daeshon Hall, and Daylon Mack after losing 3 offensive linemen will reveal a lot.
- Right now Josh Rosen is the early favorite to go first overall in 2018. A lot could still happen though, especially if NFL teams are rubbed the wrong way by Rosen wanting to party and be a kid. Rosen is still the top prospect in 2018 despite having those personality traits off the field since he is clean and has not been suspended or arrested at UCLA.
Previous Pick: Brad Kaaya, QB, Miami FL
2017 1st Round Pick: Daeshon Hall, LE, Texas A&M
Miami Dolphins: Arden Key, RE, LSU
- Miami picked second again. What are the odds? The Dolphins will need a 4-3 right end in 2018. Mario Williams will have an expiring contract and Cameron Wake will be 36-years-old.
- Arden Key also known as "The Tiger" really impressed winning the 4-3 right end job from 2017 prospect Lewis Neal. You have to think Key will be the key to LSU's pass rush for the next two seasons especially in 2017 if Neal and Godchaux leave for the NFL.
- The 6-6 231 lb right end had 21 solo tackles, 20 assisted tackles, 9 quarterback hurries, 6.5 tackles for a loss, and 5 sacks in 2015. Key needs to put on some muscle and get up to 240 or 250 this year and try to work his way into the 250-270 range by his junior season. Right now Key has 4.43 speed in terms of his 40 time and he literally runs like a tiger when getting after your quarterback.
- Miami could also target a quarterback here. With Ryan Tannehill's contract running through 2020, taking Key is more likely.
2017 1st Round Pick: Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
New York Giants: Cameron Smith, MLB, USC
- In this mock, the Giants go from NFC East Champions in 2016 to a bottom feeder in 2017. The Giants end up picking third overall here.
- The 6-2 245 lb Cameron Smith had 48 solo tackles, 30 assisted tackles, and 78 total tackles as a true freshman. Smith has ability to start at 4-3 middle linebacker right away if the Giants fail to find an upgrade to Keenan Robinson or Jasper Brinkley assuming neither gets renewed by the Giants in 2017 after their contracts are up.
Previous Pick: Martez Ivey, LG, Florida
2017 1st Round Pick: Avery Gennesy, LT, Texas A&M
New York Jets: DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame
- If the Jets pick fourth overall in 2018 as well as 2017 then the Jets will give up on both Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg to take a quarterback. Petty got cussed at by Jon Gruden, and even though he's beating out Geno Smith for the backup gig, that's not an indication that he's the quarterback of the future. It's more of an indication that the Jets need to be ready to draft a new quarterback in 2018. DeShone Kizer is a big man 6-4 230 lbs.
- Deshone Kizer had 2,884 passing yards, 21 passing touchdowns, and 10 interceptions in 2015. Kizer needs to beat out Maliek Zaire for the starting quarterback job at Notre Dame in 2016, but if he can do that he should be a 2018 first round quarterback. Right now Kizer is splitting reps with Zaire, but I'm willing to look past that since Kizer has incredible size.
Previous Pick: Daylon Mack, NT, Texas A&M
2017 1st Round Pick: Desmond King, CB, Iowa
Atlanta Falcons: Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State
- There have been rumors that Matt Ryan has regressed under Dan Quinn so much that Matt Schaub may start at some point in 2016. I'm calling that bluff right now. If The Falcons still have a top 5 pick after addressing their defensive needs in the 2017 NFL Draft, then Matt Ryan will be replaced and the guy that will replace him is Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph.
- The 6-4 220 lb Mason Rudolph could be a first round pick in 2017. I have him in my 2018 mock at the moment though.
- Mason Rudolph had 3,770 passing yards, 21 passing touchdowns, and 9 interceptions in 2015 as a sophomore. Rudolph will be a first round pick in either 2017 or 2018. Rosen will be the first quarterback taken in 2018 barring an injury or bad decision by Rosen, but the top candidate to challenge Kizer to be the second quarterback selected in 2018 is DeShone Kizer.
Previous Pick: Kevin Tolliver, CB, LSU
2017 1st Round Pick: Derek Barnett, RE, Tennessee
Detroit Lions: Iman Marshall, CB, USC
- Detroit has a lot of depth at cornerback. It still feels like they lack a #1 cornerback that can cover effectively.
- The 6-1 191 lb Iman Marshall had 39 solo tackles, 28 assisted tackles, 67 total tackles, 9 deflections from pass breakups, and 3 interceptions as a true freshman in 2015. Marshall has the man, zone, and press coverage to be a lockdown cornerback in the NFL. He should only get better as he continues to develop.
2017 1st Round Pick: Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
Washington Redskins: Daylon Mack, NT, Texas A&M
- The Redskins cut nose tackle Terrance Knighton, 3-4 left end Stephen Paea, and 3-4 middle linebacker Perry Riley plus they failed to replace Keenan Robinson in the 2016 NFL Draft. Washington may need two years to rebuild their run defense, hopefully they remain patient with Kirk Cousins if they do this bad. The 6-1 335 lb Daylon Mack had 15 solo tackles, 17 assisted tackles, 32 total tackles, and 9.5 tackles for a loss as a true freshman.
- Unlike Tennessee's Khalil McKenzie or Georgia's Trent Thompson who play in 3-4 defense, Mack plays in a 4-3 defense and Mack has the ideal size of a 3-4 nose tackle when you take into account that he is probably big enough to play defensive tackle or 3-4 nose tackle in either the 4-3 or the 3-4 in the NFL. I got Mack as a 3-4 nose tackle for now, but Mack has a chance to show us what he can do next to Myles Garrett and Daeshon Hall in 2016 as Mack enters his sophomore season.
- I think the fact that Mack did the most last year as a freshman makes him the top nose tackle for now. All 3 SEC nose tackles have the potential to be first round picks in 2018, but Daylon Mack has the advantage right now.
Previous Pick: Trent Thompson, NT, Georgia
2017 1st Round Pick: Jalen Reeves-Maybin, 3-4 MLB, Tennessee
Cleveland Browns: Jake Browning, QB, Washington
- The 6-2 206 lb Jake Browning had 2,955 passing yards, 16 passing touchdowns, and 10 interceptions as a true freshman in 2015. Washington has a pretty young offense so the first year adjustment is understandable when you consider Browning has to carry the Huskies.
- Robert Griffin III is not the long-term starter on this team. You have to love the additions the Browns have made. Cleveland needs a real face of the franchise and Jake Browning is an ideal candidate to replace him.
Previous Pick: Cameron Smith, MLB, USC
2017 1st Round Picks: Myles Garrett, 3-4 ROLB, Texas A&M and Jamal Adams, SS, LSU
Philadelphia Eagles: Mitch Hyatt, LT, Clemson
- Philadelphia finally gets Carson Wentz a left tackle in 2018 after getting a first round pick. The Eagles gave Cleveland their 2017 first round pick.
- Hyatt is currently 6-5 295 lbs. He should be 6-5 317 lbs by the time he declares for the 2018 NFL Draft if he keeps adding muscle. Many consider Hyatt to be the top left tackle in the 2018 NFL Draft after a dominant freshman season.
Previous Pick: Connor Williams, LT, Texas
2017 1st Round Pick: None
Los Angeles Rams: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
- Calvin Ridley stepped in and became Alabama's #1 wide receiver right away as a true freshman. The 6-1 188 lb wide receiver had 89 receptions, 1,045 receiving yards, and 7 receiving touchdowns. Ridley needs to do more over the next two years. If the Rams fail to make the playoffs in Jared Goff's first two years its due to poor receiving. Calvin Ridley can catch the ball, run with blazing speed, possesses route running, jumping, and blocking that you look for in a #1 receiver. Ridley has the potential to be a top 5 pick if he can add some muscle while maintaining his production and intangibles.
2017 1st Round Picks: None
San Diego Chargers: Connor Williams, LT, Texas
- San Diego gets a blindside for Philip Rivers. Connor Williams is 6-5 282 lbs right now, but he should be able to add 20 lbs of muscle over the next two seasons.
- Williams is an excellent run blocker. As long as he can remain a consistent pass blocker, add some muscle, and stay out of trouble, Williams could be a top 5 pick in 2018 assuming Mitch Hyatt goes in the top 5. With Hyatt dropping to the Eagles at 9 in this mock, Williams falls two spots to 11.
Previous Pick: Trevor Darling, LT, Miami FL
2017 1st Round Pick: Jabrill Peppers, FS, Michigan
San Francisco 49ers: Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M
- If the 49ers are picking 12 it means DeShaun Watson had some success as a rookie. Carlos Hyde probably took some pressure off of him while offensive tackles Joe Staley and Anthony Davis played like the Pro Bowl offensive tackles that helped the 49ers get to Super Bowl 47.
- The 5-11 200 lb Christian Kirk had 80 receptions, 1,009 receiving yards, and 7 receiving touchdowns. Kirk will only get better over time and looks like the top receiver in the 2018 NFL Draft after Calvin Ridley at this point. Getting Watson a #1 receiver will be paramount to his success. Jehu Chesson will be a good #2 target, but putting Kirk and Chesson with Watson could put the 49ers in a position where they can contend by 2018 or 2019 if they keep rebuilding well.
Previous Pick: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
2017 1st Round Pick: Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
Jacksonville Jaguars: Orlando Brown, LT, Oklahoma
- Jacksonville goes from first to worst in the AFC South after winning the division in 2016. The AFC South is extremely competitive and will only get even more competitive so this could happen.
- I don't trust Kelvin Beachum at left tackle. The Jaguars cannot rely on Luke Joeckel either so Orlando Brown makes a ton of sense.
- The 6-8 357 lb Orlando Brown will be a sophomore redshirt in 2016. He will be a junior redshirt in 2017 and can declare for the 2018 NFL Draft at left tackle then.
Previous Pick: Mitch Hyatt, LT, Clemson
2017 1st Round Pick: Ethan Pocic, C, LSU
Oakland Raiders: Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
- Oakland needs a middle linebacker and a #1 cover corner before they can be a playoff team, but most of the pieces are there for this team to win long-term. Drafting Kendell Beckwith in 2017 takes care of one of those problems. Sidney Jones is a lot better than I realized so he may declare for the 2017 NFL Draft. That makes Marlon Humphrey the top cornerback in 2018 after Iman Marshall.
- The 6-1 192 lb Marlon Humphrey had 35 solo tackles, 10 assisted tackles, 45 total tackles, 8 deflections from pass breakups, 3 interceptions, and 2 forced fumbles as a true freshman in 2015. Going up against Calvin Ridley a true freshman wide receiver in practice also helps as Humphrey should be a 2018 first round pick for Alabama.
Previous Pick: Sidney Jones, CB, Washington
2017 1st Round Pick: Kendell Beckwith, MLB, LSU
Tennessee Titans: Malik Jefferson, 3-4 MLB, Texas
- The 6-3 232 lb Malik Jefferson has the versatility to play 4-3 right outside linebacker, 4-3 middle linebacker, 4-3 left outside linebacker, or 3-4 middle linebacker. Jefferson can rush the quarterback, stop the run, and cover effectively despite only having 37 solo tackles, 24 assisted tackles, and 61 total tackles as a true freshman. Jefferson will use his next two seasons in Austin to improve those numbers.
- Pairing Malik Jefferson up with Jalen Reeves-Maybin after getting a new coach to replace Mike Mularky puts the Titans in great position to finally make a playoff push when the 2018-2019 season rolls around. Marcus Mariota will be in his contract year unless he receives a fifth year option and will have no more excuses for holding back.
2017 1st Round Picks: Sidney Jones, CB, Washington and JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, USC
Cincinnati Bengals: Geron Christian, LT, Louisville
- Cincinnati a left tackle to replace Andrew Whitworth here. Cedric Ogbuhei and Jake Fisher are showing they have durability issues. The 6-6 320 lb Geron Christian started every game at left tackle in 2015. Christian did a good job as Lamar Jackson's blindside when Jackson started as a true freshman in 2015. Christian has better size than some of the starting left tackles that were ranked higher than him coming out of high school which is why I have him going to the Bengals at 16.
Previous Pick: K.D. Cannon, WR, Baylor
2017 1st Round Pick: Cam Robinson, LT, Alabama