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Christian McCaffrey - 2017 NFL Mock Draft

DraftBlaster “Blastoff” for the 2018 NFL Draft

The road to the 2018 NFL Draft starts when the season starts, as team needs begin to come to the surface. DraftBlaster has compiled this “Blastoff” for the 2018 NFL Season, the first featured article for the 2018 NFL Draft coverage. We included a synopsis of last year’s team stats, draft results, post draft analysis, and our take on the “Keys to the Season.” To kick off our 2018 NFL Mock Draft, we have also included analysis on what each team should do if the draft were today.


Haason Reddick - 2017 NFL Draft

NFL Mock Draft - Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals

2016 Record: 7-8-1

Last Year’s ffense Rankings: Total (9) Pass (9) Rush (18)

Last Year’s Defense Rankings: Total (2) Pass (4) Rush (9)

Draft Picks:

1/13 Haason Reddick ILB TEMPLE
2/36 Budda Baker S WASHINGTON
3/98 Chad Williams WR GRAMBLING
4/115 Dorian Johnson G PITTSBURGH
5/157 Will Holden OT VANDERBILT
6/208 Rudy Ford S AUBURN

Key Additions: S Antoine Bethea, LB Karlos Dansby, K Phil Dawson, QB Blaine Gabbert, OLB Jarvis Jones

Key Losses: DE Calais Campbell, TE Darren Fells, S Tony Jefferson, LB Kevin Minter, OLB Alex Okafor, S D.J. Swearinger, LB Daryl Washington, G Earl Watford

Post Draft Thoughts:

While three teams moved up to take a quarterback, the Cardinals quietly replenished a defense that lost some key parts. They didn’t panic and got a player that many had in their top 10 at pick 13, and added an extremely versatile defensive back in the next round. The Cardinals can win now, they just need to stop losing games that they should win. They added an excellent guard that fell to them in the 4th round who comes from a pro style system and can step in immediately.  T.J. Logan is an exciting playmaker and should boost their special teams from day 1. They will have to start to make a plan at QB, but were smart not to mortgage their current assets to get one in this draft.

Keys To The Season:

The Cardinals could have started their transition from their past stars, Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald, in the 2017 NFL Draft, but wisely decided to wait at least one more year to do so.  Franchise quarterbacks and Hall of Fame wide receivers don’t come along every day, and when you have them, especially when you also have a dominating defense, you have to squeeze everything you can get out of them.

In 2016, they lost nearly every game that could have gone either way, primarily due to special team gaffes and turnover problems. They believe that they have that problem under control, and even if they won only half of the games that they gave away last year they would have been a playoff team. Furthermore, the division features teams in transition, with divisional opponents that are all trending up, so it’s time to strike while the iron is hot.

Robert Nkemdiche has some huge shoes to fill with the departure of Calais Campbell, but so far is showing that he has matured on and off the field. Haason Reddick looks like the next superstar for their defense, which needs to br better in their front seven, rather than having all of the star power in the secondary.

If the 2018 Draft were today: The 2017 Draft was probably the last year they could afford to pass on a quarterback. Time to start grooming Palmer’s heir. 2018 NFL Draft QB Prospects

Takkarist McKinley - 2017 NFL Mock Draft

NFL Mock Draft - Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons

2016 Record: 11-5

Last Year’s Offense Rankings: Total (2) Pass (3) Rush (5)

Last Year’s Defense Rankings: Total (25) Pass (28) Rush (17)

Draft Picks:

1/26 Takkarist McKinley OLB UCLA
3/75 Duke Riley ILB LSU
4/136 Sean Harlow OT OREGON STATE
5/149 Damontae Kazee CB SAN DIEGO STATE
5/156 Brian Hill RB WYOMING
5/174 Eric Saubert TE DRAKE

Key Additions: DT Dontari Poe, DE Jack Crawford

Key Losses: DE Dwight Freeney, FB Patrick DiMarco

Post Draft Thoughts:

McKinley fell a bit because he doesn’t fit every scheme and has an injury.  The Falcons must be ecstatic that he did, as he will not only help boost their pass rush, but he fits their scheme, their attitude, and when healthy, can step in immediately, not having to be “the man.” They then grabbed another linebacker. After scoring huge on one last year, it wasn’t necessarily a need, but they stayed true to their board. Hill becomes the wrecking ball running back that should help in 4 minute drills, and Saubert was a “sleeper” favorite by many draft experts. The offense has been explosive, but they also need to kill the clock when they have the lead and a power back and dynamic tight end will help.

Keys To The Season:

The Falcons had one of the most prolific offenses in NFL history last year in terms of scoring and yards, but their inability to both run out the clock in the 4 Minute drill and to make in-game adjustments cost them the Superbowl. Injuries along the offensive line came at the worst time, and perhaps their ability to run up scores quickly on teams left them ill-prepared to make critical adjustments to close out opponents.

The Falcons made two moves that should help solve their biggest weakness: generating a consistent pass rush. They added Dontari Poe in free agency and drafted gifted pass rusher Takkarist McKinley with their first pick. The addition of Brian Hill could be an under the radar draft pick, as his power running prowess should help take the burden off of the star backs in the 4 minute drill.

If the 2018 Draft were today: The Falcons will probably score less this year, but could be better set up to deal with match up problems. They like their young TE, but adding another gifted TE could allow them to operate much more in 12 and 22 personnel formations. 2018 NFL Draft TE Prospects

Marlon Humphrey - 2017 NFL Mock Draft

NFL Mock Draft - Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore Ravens

2016 Record: 8-8

Last Year’s Offense Rankings: Total (17) Pass (12) Rush (28)

Last Year’s Defense Rankings: Total (7) Pass (9) Rush (5)

Draft Picks:

1/16 Marlon Humphrey CB ALABAMA
2/47 Tyus Bowser OLB HOUSTON
3/74 Chris Wormley DT MICHIGAN
3/78 Tim Williams OLB ALABAMA
4/122 Nico Siragusa G SAN DIEGO STATE
5/159 Jermaine Eluemunor OT TEXAS A&M
6/186 Chuck Clark S VIRGINIA TECH

Key Additions: CB Brandon Carr, S Tony Jefferson

Key Losses: OT Ricky Wagner, LB Elvis Dumervil, WR Kamar Aiken, S Matt Elam

Post Draft Thoughts:

The Ravens must feel that the problems they have had on offense have been because of bad fits between the quarterback and the offensive coordinators, as they spent their first four picks on defense.  There has been a revolving door with coordinators, and internally, they surely feel that they have solved that disconnect. Humphrey is a supremely gifted and well coached corner, but had a lot of problems locating deep balls. The Ravens won’t need him to follow receivers all the way down the field, so they can utilize his strengths. They had a sudden retirement by a star linebacker, so they drafted the very highly rated Bowser, and then added another linebacker with the excellent pass rusher Williams. Wormley was one of the more underrated players in the draft, and the Ravens must have been shocked to be able to get him where they did. They lost a talented tackle in free agency, but getting Eluemunor in the 5th round was a great value.

Keys To The Season:

The Ravens have to find out what is wrong with their offense. They have been going through offensive coordinators, and are now going all in on Marty Mornhinweg’s West coast offense, which seems an odd fit for their big-armed, vertically passing QB. Their offensive line is going to be a major question mark, especially after losing arguably the league’s best right tackle.

The defense was much stronger than the offense last year, and it might be better this year. Yes, they lost an exceptional young linebacker to retirement (?) but they also added to their defensive talent level and depth through free agency and a very defense-heavy draft.

If the 2018 Draft were today: The Ravens will need to build their talent on the offensive side of the ball, particularly on the offensive line and at tight end.  It looks like a good year for left tackles, and they very well might be in position to draft one of the top players at that position next year. 2018 NFL Draft OT Prospects2018 NFL Draft TE Prospects

Tre'Davious White - 2017 NFL Mock Draft

NFL Mock Draft Buffalo Bills

Buffalo Bills

2016 Record: 7-9

Last Year’s Offense Rankings: Total (16) Pass (30) Rush (1)

Last Year’s Defense Rankings: Total (19) Pass (6) Rush (29)

Draft Picks:

1/27 Tre’Davious White CB LSU
2/63 Dion Dawkins G TEMPLE
5/163 Matt Milano OLB BOSTON COLLEGE
5/171 Nathan Peterman QB PITTSBURGH
6/195 Tanner Vallejo OLB BOISE STATE

Key Additions: FB Patrick DiMarco, WR Anquan Boldin, S Micah Hyde, K Stephen Hauschka, CB E.J. Gaines, WR Jordan Matthews

Key Losses: WR Sammy Watkins, CB Stephon Gilmore, WR Robert Woods, RB Mike Gillislee, LB Zach Brown, S Aaron Williams, K Dan Carpenter, CB Ronald Darby

Post Draft Thoughts:

Trading down in the first round should have reverberating positive effects for years to come. White is arguably the second best, and perhaps the “cleanest” corner in the draft. After a flurry of wide receivers going early, it was actually surprising that Jones lasted until 37, but it filled a great need at the right spot in the draft. Peterman is out of the box ready after playing in a pro system at Pitt, but the general consensus is that in Buffalo you need a strong armed QB, which he is not. He is extremely smart and ready to play, and they may simply be preparing to build a more short passing, rhythm offense around him.  Dawkins is a nasty player and will fit in immediately at a position of need.

Keys To The Season:

Saying the Bills are a team in transition is an understatement. The smoke is starting to clear on the tumult of the off-season, but with a new GM and new coach in Sean McDermott, this franchise should start to embrace a logical, sensible rebuild. McDermott has gotten this far because of his ability to develop a dominating front seven, and this season could be starting more with a blank slate. All front seven players should be prepared that this is an audition year to see if they will be part of the long-term plans.

Do the Bills have their quarterback for the long-term on their roster at the moment? Tyrod Taylor will have a long and fair interview for that position, while the smart and pro-ready Peterman will be in the wings. The question on Peterman is arm strength, which is an important requirement for playing in the cold and windy Buffalo.

If the 2018 Draft were today: As this team seems a number of years from being a serious contender, the Bills would have to strongly consider adding talent to their front seven, and in the first round, that generally means a defensive end. 2018 NFL Draft DE Prospects

Christian McCaffrey - 2017 NFL Mock Draft

NFL Mock Draft - Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panthers

2016 Record: 6-10

Last Year’s Offense Rankings: Total (19) Pass (21) Rush (10)

Last Year’s Defense Rankings: Total (21) Pass (29) Rush (6)

Draft Picks:

1/8 Christian McCaffrey RB STANFORD
2/40 Curtis Samuel WR OHIO STATE
3/77 Daeshon Hall DE TEXAS A&M
5/152 Corn Elder CB MIAMI
6/192 Alexander Armah DE WEST GEORGIA
7/233 Harrison Butker K GEORGIA TECH

Key Additions: LB Julius Peppers

Key Losses: S Tre Boston, WR Ted Ginn Jr., WR Philly Brown, OT Michael Oher

Post Draft Thoughts:

If you review the first few years of the Panthers play, as they eased Newton into the offense, many fans forget that they actually ran an offense similar to New England.  This includes Erhardt-Perkins concepts where they can utilize wide receivers, running backs, and tight ends interchangeably (as much as possible) to create mismatches. They went all in with that concept in the 2017 draft.  McCaffrey and Samuel are the two pure hybrid RB/WR players in this draft and they got both.  They are not redundant. Moton is a right tackle that could play guard as well, but he is going to prove to be a very valuable piece for next year.

Keys To The Season:

Everything collapsed on the Panthers last year, and the casualties are just finally stopping to roll in. The offensive line and the secondary really fell off their level of play after their Superbowl loss, and their QB lost his mojo. In fairness their secondary was very young, and wasn’t helped by a front seven that was often playing from behind and getting older.

Perhaps the biggest problem with the Panther’s offense last year was that it was an attempt to take Cam Newton’s evolution to the next level, and that transition was bungled.  Their offense is theoretically predicated on having versatility on how you position wide receivers, running backs, and tight ends, but they too often leaned too much on Cam’s running ability, or inversely expected him to be a pure pocket passer. The good news is that they added two perfect pieces to have a much more dynamic offense in McCaffrey and Samuel, and Kelvin Benjamin looks like he has had a major wake up call.

If the 2018 Draft were today: The offensive line featured a questionable free agent acquisition, but adding Taylor Moton in last year’s draft could end up being one of the most important moves in the last year. They are locked in at left tackle with a big contract, so instead look for a long look at adding some young star power to that defensive front four. 2018 NFL Draft DE Prospects2018 NFL Draft DT Prospects2018 NFL Draft OLB Prospects2018 NFL Draft ILB Prospects

Mitch Trubisky - 2017 NFL Draft

NFL Mock Draft - Chicago Bears

Chicago Bears

2016 Record: 3-13

Last Year’s Offense Rankings: Total (15) Pass (14) Rush (17)

Last Year’s Defense Rankings: Total (16) Pass (7) Rush (27)

Draft Picks:

1/2 Mitchell Trubisky QB NORTH CAROLINA
4/112 Eddie Jackson S ALABAMA
4/119 Tarik Cohen RB NORTH CAROLINA A&T

Key Additions: QB Mike Glennon, CB Prince Amukamara, WR Markus Wheaton, TE Dion Sims, WR Kendall Wright, S Quintin Demps

Key Losses: WR Alshon Jeffery, QB Jay Cutler, DB Tracy Porter, WR Eddie Royal, QB Brian Hoyer, DL Cornelius Washington

Post Draft Thoughts:

If you simply stated that the Bears drafted Trubisky with the #2 pick overall it is understandable. He looks the part of an NFL starting QB. He has some challenges with his mechanics that need to be addressed, but he is good in the pocket.  He didn’t have a lot of starts, but did see the field in a lot of games, and has experience with a lot of pro style concepts.  The issues are the two other aspects to this move: 1) they moved up and gave up a lot to get him when they have a lot of needs, and 2) this was a GM pick and not a GM/Coach pick. GM’s and coaches that are not married at the hip don’t have a good chance to succeed. Shaheen was a pre-draft darling, and deservedly so.  He is a seam route nightmare to defend, and just seems like a perfect Chicago Bear. Cohen, the “Human Joystick,” is slippery and can make big plays out of nothing.

Keys To The Season:

The Bears made two very puzzling moves regarding the QB position in the offseason, but if you remove the circumstances of how they got Glennon and Trubisky, it could provide for a good transition to getting their QB position settled. It is unclear why Ryan Pace twice negotiated against himself in getting quarterbacks that he wanted, but if things work out, people forget circumstances.

The defense of the Bears has come together quicker and better than many people expected, and Fox has been the key behind that surge. They were arguably the worst team in football to start the season, but the running game and the defense provided a lot of hope for the near future. Whereas the running back group looks solid, and the defense is on the rise, the wide receiver core is a major question mark. An inexperienced free agent QB with a high draft pick QB on the bench will not help sort out that situation anytime soon.

If the 2018 Draft were today: This team could need help in the secondary and the offensive line, but those could also sort themselves out by season end. At the moment, the Bears need an offensive weapon in the form of an elite WR or pass catching TE prospect. 2018 NFL Draft WR Prospects2018 NFL Draft TE Prospects

John Ross - 2017 NFL Mock Draft

NFL Mock Draft - Cincinnati Bengals

Cincinnati Bengals

2016 Record: 6-9

Last Year’s Offense Rankings: Total (13) Pass (15) Rush (13)

Last Year’s Defense Rankings: Total (17) Pass (11) Rush (21)

Draft Picks:

2/48 Joe Mixon RB OKLAHOMA
3/73 Jordan Willis DE KANSAS STATE
4/116 Carl Lawson DE AUBURN
4/128 Josh Malone WR TENNESSEE
4/138 Ryan Glasgow DT MICHIGAN
5/153 Jake Elliott K MEMPHIS
5/176 J.J. Dielman C UTAH
6/193 Jordan Evans ILB OKLAHOMA
6/207 Brandon Wilson CB HOUSTON
7/251 Mason Schreck TE BUFFALO

Key Additions: LB Kevin Minter

Key Losses: LB Rey Maualuga, RB Rex Burkhead, LB Karlos Dansby, OT Andrew Whitworth, OG Kevin Zeitler, OT Eric Winston, DT Domata Peko, DE Margus Hunt

Post Draft Thoughts:

The Bengals have lost a lot of talent the last few years in free agency and always seem to draft guys that are high on mock drafts. They get a lot of high grades from analysts, but they are always locked into the middle class or below. For some reason, there was talk that the Bengals would be a great spot for Mixon to land as they have handled players like him in the past.  The truth is that they have TAKEN players like that, but they haven’t HANDLED players at all. There are a lot of trendy names in their draft, but from injury concerns, to scheme fit, to character problems, there are problems up and down the board without any discernible plan.  Willis was a steal falling to them there in the 3rd, and Glasgow is a run blocking machine and a great value in the 4th.

Keys To The Season:

The Bengals have been hemorrhaging talent and offensive coaches for several years now, and might be caught in a year where they won’t be able to tread water. They had a huge draft in terms of number of picks, and at offensive skill positions, but have profound questions on the offensive line. Once again, they have added heavily to the talent along the defensive line which could become one of the most talented in the league, and there is no question about the talents of the gifted WR and RB they added with their first two picks.

Will the Bengals be able to compensate for inadequacies on the offensive line with creative play calling, somehow keeping opposing defenses honest?  They certainly have the offensive weapons to get into defensive coordinators’ minds. The question will be how effective they can be at doing this throughout the season, and what that will mean for the team’s coaches in the aftermath.

If the 2018 Draft were today: The 2018 NFL Draft will feature a very good if not excellent offensive tackle class, and the Bengals could very well be looking hard at getting their left tackle of the future with their top pick. 2018 NFL Draft OT Prospects

Myles Garrett

NFL Mock Draft - Cleveland Browns

Cleveland Browns

2016 Record: 1-15

Last Year’s Offense Rankings: Total (30) Pass (28) Rush (19)

Last Year’s Defense Rankings: Total (31) Pass (21) Rush (31)

Draft Picks:

1/1 Myles Garrett DE TEXAS A&M
1/25 Jabrill Peppers S MICHIGAN
1/29 David Njoku TE MIAMI
2/52 DeShone Kizer QB NOTRE DAME
3/65 Larry Ogunjobi DT CHARLOTTE
4/126 Howard Wilson CB HOUSTON
5/160 Roderick Johnson OT FLORIDA STATE
6/185 Caleb Brantley DT FLORIDA
7/224 Zane Gonzalez K ARIZONA STATE
7/252 Matthew Dayes RB NC STATE

Key Additions: C JC Tretter, OG Kevin Zeitler, WR Kenny Britt

Key Losses: QB Robert Griffin III, WR Andrew Hawkins, QB Josh McCown, DB Tramon Williams, WR Terrelle Pryor, DT Stephen Paea, S Jordan Poyer

Post Draft Thoughts:

The Browns draft in 2017 needs a book about it.  Include the free agency moves and it was absolutely fascinating to see the events unfold. They never should have shown their hand that they had interest in moving up to get Trubisky, but it was a mistake that probably ultimately turned out for the best. And San Francisco should thank them for that as well. Garrett was a safe choice, and the counter actions of moving down and then up netted them two excellent players.  Peppers can have an under the radar year of gaining experience as a safety, and Njoku will be a safety net for whomever is playing QB. Ogunjobi was one of our favorite players in this draft, and can add to a very, very talented defensive line. Johnson was a steal in the 5th round, doesn’t need to start this year and can clean up some deficiencies. The Brantley pick was just a mistake unless they have a lot more info than is out there. It is a bad look because, unlike with Conley, there doesn’t seem to be enough compelling info to show that he might not have done what he is accused of doing. It is an example of when human common sense needs to supersede moneyball nonsense.

Keys To The Season:

Perhaps no other team in NFL history has had a longer drought relating to stability at the QB position than the Browns are undergoing now. Optimism is starting to grow about DeShone Kizer, but the road to him being the franchise quarterback of the future is a long one. The team is undergoing a massive overhaul, so this season is about trying to establish a foundation, and finding foundation players.

The strength of the team in the short-term should be its talented offensive and defensive lines, and that is a promising start for rebuilding an NFL team. The 2016 Draft has been a disappointment thus far, but it seems that the front office had to go through a trial by fire, but there is a lot to be optimistic about regarding the 2017 Draft.

If the 2018 Draft were today: The Browns are in talent rebuild for the next year or so, and if things go well, they will be in the unique position to not need a QB, Offensive lineman or Defensive lineman, and will have the opportunity to just grab the most talented player elsewhere on the field, most likely in the secondary. 2018 NFL Draft CB Prospects2018 NFL Draft S Prospects

Taco Charlton - 2017 NFL Mock Draft

NFL Mock Draft -Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys

2016 Record: 13-3

Last Year’s Offense Rankings: Total (6) Pass (13) Rush (2)

Last Year’s Defense Rankings: Total (14) Pass (26) Rush (1)

Draft Picks:

1/28 Taco Charlton DE MICHIGAN
2/60 Chidobe Awuzie CB COLORADO
3/92 Jourdan Lewis CB MICHIGAN
4/133 Ryan Switzer WR NORTH CAROLINA
6/191 Xavier Woods S LOUISIANA TECH
6/216 Marquez White CB FLORIDA STATE
7/228 Joey Ivie DT FLORIDA
7/239 Noah Brown WR OHIO STATE
7/246 Jordan Carrell DT COLORADO

Key Additions: G Jonathan Cooper, CB Nolan Carroll, S Robert Blanton

Key Losses: T Doug Free, G Ronald Leary, CB Brandon Carr, CB Morris Claiborne, S J.J. Wilcox

Post Draft Thoughts:

The Charlton pick contains two contradictory elements to it. First, he doesn’t have much of a burst, and seems to be a left defensive end that should work on being primarily a run defender with some pass rush skills.  That isn’t mere speculation; there is very dependable data over time of taking a defensive player’s 40, broad jump, vertical, etc., and knowing how that translates to sacks and TFLs at the next level.  There are exceptions, of course, and that brings in the contradictory part: Rod Marinelli.  Nobody gets more out of his defensive line players than Marinelli and he has a long, proven track record. The benefit of the doubt should go to Marinelli. Awuzie and Lewis are heralded defensive backs that will start to rebuild their secondary along with two other defensive backs that they added later. They can’t just throw out all of the rookies at once, and will need to find a good blend as the new guys gain experience, but they did a nice job last year with sub-par veterans. Switzer is an exciting player that should be in the mix for returns and special offensive packages right away.

Keys To The Season:

As bad as this off-season has been for the Cowboys, it actually wasn’t as bad as the previous year. There was talk about the league cracking down on teams that continually have players that get into trouble, and the Cowboys have to be dangerously close to that line. The offensive line lost a couple of starters, and without Elliot, the offense could take a step back, at least for the start of the year.

The defense has a completely revamped secondary, and that was by design. They will be very young, but very talented after drafting 4 defensive backs in last year’s draft. There is normally a long learning curve for DB’s, so opposing offenses should test the young players often.

If the 2018 Draft were today: The Cowboys have drafted well the last few years, but took too many chances on red flag players on the defensive line. They should be looking to add more talent to their defensive line in the next draft. 2018 NFL Draft DE Prospects2018 NFL Draft DT Prospects

Garrett Bolles - 2017 NFL Draft

NFL Mock Draft - Denver Broncos

Denver Broncos

2016 Record: 9-7

Last Year’s Offense Rankings: Total (27) Pass (21) Rush (27)

Last Year’s Defense Rankings: Total (4) Pass (1) Rush (28)

Draft Picks:

1/20 Garett Bolles OT UTAH
2/51 DeMarcus Walker DE FLORIDA STATE
3/82 Carlos Henderson WR LOUISIANA TECH
3/101 Brendan Langley CB LAMAR
5/145 Jake Butt TE MICHIGAN
5/172 Isaiah McKenzie WR GEORGIA
6/203 De’Angelo Henderson RB COASTAL CAROLINA
7/253 Chad Kelly QB OLE MISS

Key Additions: OG Ronald Leary, DT Domata Peko, OT Menelik Watson

Key Losses: OT Russell Okung, OLB DeMarcus Ware, NT Sylvester Williams

Post Draft Thoughts:

The Broncos knew who they wanted all along at tackle, and with all of the chaos happening in front of them, had no issue getting their man.  Bolles is a guy that was just a mess when a little younger, but has spent the last few years turning it all around. The draft fell very well for the Broncos, as Walker, Henderson, and Butt all fell to them at spots in the draft where value met need. Their other Henderson, De’Angelo, is a Maurice Jones-Drew type back that runs with authority, and will add power to their run game.

Keys To The Season:

The Broncos are still dealing with the aftermath of going “all in” several years ago to make a few Superbowl appearances, but are starting to make their way back to competitiveness.  The major issue is at QB, and this year either Siemian or Lynch, at any point this season, needs to show something, or they are going to have to go back to the drawing board.

Denver’s problems were very easy to sum up last year: they couldn’t run and they couldn’t stop the run. It was no mystery, and their front office worked both in free agency and the draft to correct both problems. The strength of the team is their secondary, which still ranks as one of the best in the league, helped by the ultra talented Von Miller wreaking havoc on opposing QBs.

If the 2018 Draft were today: If last year’s problems on both lines get corrected, they might be able to go after an offensive playmaker, particularly at wide receiver.  2018 NFL Draft WR Prospects

Jarrad Davis - 2017 NFL Mock Draft

NFL Mock Draft - Detroit Lions

Detroit Lions

2016 Record: 9-7

Last Year’s Offense Rankings: Total (21) Pass (11) Rush (30)

Last Year’s Defense Rankings: Total (18) Pass (19) Rush (18)

Draft Picks:

1/21 Jarrad Davis ILB FLORIDA
2/53 Teez Tabor CB FLORIDA
3/96 Kenny Golladay WR NORTHERN ILLINOIS
4/124 Jalen Reeves-Maybin OLB TENNESSEE
4/127 Michael Roberts TE TOLEDO
5/165 Jamal Agnew CB SAN DIEGO
6/205 Jeremiah Ledbetter DE ARKANSAS
6/215 Brad Kaaya QB MIAMI

Key Additions: G T.J. Lang, LB Paul Worrilow, Cornelius Washington, CB DJ Hayden, RT Rick Wagner, DT Akeem Spence, OT Greg Robinson, OT Cyrus Kouandjio

Key Losses: DE Kerry Hyder, LB DeAndre Levy, WR Anquan Boldin, G Larry Warford, T Riley Reiff

Post Draft Thoughts:

The Lions had a terrible time last year with opposing tight ends and quarterbacks.  This was primarily due to a linebacker core that got 0 (ZERO!) interceptions and 0 sacks. Add to that a lingering issue with Ansah that kept him out of a lot of games all year and they had a soft zone where opposing QBs feasted.  They desperately needed a linebacker that could not only come in and cover, blitz, and stop the run, but also could become the leader of the defense.  Davis is a perfect fit for that job description, and the addition of Reeves-Maybin in the 4th should help eliminate that soft zone. The talk of Tabor running a slow 40 is overblown, as he won’t be following receivers down the field, and Agnew will push for time in the slot. Roberts was near the top of touchdown receptions in college, and has the biggest hands in the draft. The Lions want to run out of 12 personnel and look for Roberts to work the inside, allowing Ebron to move outside much more.

Keys To The Season:

The Detroit Lions had one of the worst years of play from their linebackers as any team in recent history. They also had a need to add to their defensive line, but the time it takes for a middle linebacker to get acclimated to being the quarterback of the defense is longer than that of adding pass rushers, so they wisely got that process started first.

The Lions are actually in year two of a major overhaul of their roster, and so far the talent additions have been mostly hits rather than misses. The offensive line rebuild took a step back with the injury of Decker, but they are starting to look like they made a wise decision in trading a late round pick for Greg Robinson.

If the 2018 Draft were today: It would be an easy draft strategy for the Lions if the draft were today; they need to add talent along the defensive line. 2018 NFL Draft DE Prospects2018 NFL Draft DT Prospects

Kevin King - 2017 NFL Draft

NFL Mock Draft - Green Bay Packers

Green Bay Packers

2016 Record: 10-6

Last Year’s Offense Rankings: Total (8) Pass (7) Rush (20)

Last Year’s Defense Rankings: Total (22) Pass (31) Rush (8)

Draft Picks:

2/33 Kevin King CB WASHINGTON
2/61 Josh Jones S NC STATE
3/93 Montravius Adams DT AUBURN
4/108 Vince Biegel OLB WISCONSIN
4/134 Jamaal Williams RB BYU
5/175 Deangelo Yancey WR PURDUE
5/182 Aaron Jones RB UTEP
6/212 Kofi Amichia G SOUTH FLORIDA
7/238 Devante Mays RB UTAH STATE
7/247 Malachi Dupre WR LSU

Key Additions: TE Martellus Bennett, DL Ricky Jean-Francois, G Jahri Evans

Key Losses: TE Jared Cook, G T.J. Lang, OL JC Tretter, LB Julius Peppers, RB James Starks, RB Eddie Lacy, CB Sam Shields

Post Draft Thoughts:

That is a lot of running backs. Ted Thompson does a great job, but we tend to put certain people in the NFL on a pedestal and are afraid to criticize them so as to not be called out on it. However, the last few years it seems like Green Bay had some glaring weakness at a certain position that kept them from ultimately succeeding. Well, Thompson made a big mistake in letting T.J. Lang go to a division rival, and that is going to be an issue this year. However, Kevin King and Josh Jones are tough players that are going to help a struggling secondary immediately, and Adams is a disruptive one gap defender.

Keys To The Season:

Green Bay has run stunningly hot and cold the last few years and it is starting to feel like Aaron Rodgers’ play has been covering up for some frankly bad personnel decisions. There have been periodic shocking gaps in talent at different positions the last few years, followed by major over-corrections to fix the issue. Three running backs in five picks in the draft?

The secondary has been an issue recently for the Packers, but they added two very talented players with King and Jones with their top two picks. These are physical DBs that should be a shot in the arm for a secondary that needed a major talent boost. Rodgers was running for his life for much of the season, and losing T.J. Lang is going to be a major loss.

If the 2018 Draft were today: The Packers need to add talent to their offensive line so that they can simply be more consistent week to week. Rodgers’ brilliant play when being forced out of the pocket is not sustainable. 2018 NFL Draft OT Prospects2018 NFL Draft OG Prospects2018 NFL Draft C Prospects

Deshaun Watson

NFL Mock Draft - Houston TexansHouston Texans

2016 Record: 9-7

Last Year’s Offense Rankings: Total (29) Pass (29) Rush (8)

Last Year’s Defense Rankings: Total (1) Pass (2) Rush (12)

Draft Picks:

1/12 Deshaun Watson QB CLEMSON
2/57 Zach Cunningham ILB VANDERBILT
3/89 D’Onta Foreman RB TEXAS
4/130 Julien Davenport OT BUCKNELL
4/142 Carlos Watkins DT CLEMSON
5/169 Treston Decoud CB OREGON STATE
7/243 Kyle Fuller C BAYLOR

Key Additions:

Key Losses: QB Brock Osweiler, CB A.J. Bouye, S Quintin Demps, LB John Simon, DT Vince Wilfork

Post Draft Thoughts:

The Texans have a championship defense and some nice weapons on offense. The move to get Watson was bold, decisive, and they hope he will be the missing piece to a championship run. Watson has succeeded under the big lights, but will need to immerse himself in the complicated Texans’ playbook. Cunningham finds runners and shuts them down, and it is important for the Texans to have a stocked linebacker core. Davenport was probably the most prototypical left tackle in the draft, but doesn’t have much experience against top competition. He can sit in Houston and spend a year learning the position.

Keys To The Season:

For several years, the Texans’ elite defense has covered up an offense that just hasn’t been able to get going under Bill O’Brien. Hired as an offensive guru that worked as the offensive coordinator in the Patriots Erhardt-Perkins offensive scheme, O’Brien’s offense in Houston has failed to launch. A major component of that could very well be never being given a proper QB to run his system, but he may have found that in Deshaun Watson.

The league’s best defense lost multiple starters and the heart of the defense in Vince Wilfork, but does get back superstar J.J. Watt. They did make an adjustment to the defensive coaching staff with Mike Vrabel moving to defensive coordinator, but Romeo Crennel will not be far away, as he has moved to an assistant head coaching position with the team.

If the 2018 Draft were today: Where are the tight ends in this system? Last year they were used as a crutch, but this offense could use a “matchup nightmare” type tight end that can move all over the offensive line. 2018 NFL Draft TE Prospects

Malik Hooker - 2017 NFL Mock Draft

NFL Mock Draft - Indianapolis Colts

Indianapolis Colts

2016 Record: 8-8

Last Year’s Offense Rankings: Total (10) Pass (5) Rush (23)

Last Year’s Defense Rankings: Total (30) Pass (27) Rush (25)

Draft Picks:

1/15 Malik Hooker S OHIO STATE
2/46 Quincy Wilson CB FLORIDA
3/80 Tarell Basham DE OHIO
4/137 Zach Banner OT USC
4/143 Marlon Mack RB SOUTH FLORIDA
4/144 Grover Stewart DT ALBANY ST (GA)
5/158 Nate Hairston CB TEMPLE
5/161 Anthony Walker Jr. ILB NORTHWESTERN

Key Additions: LB Jabaal Sheard, LB John Simon, WR Kamar Aiken

Key Losses: TE Dwayne Allen, LB D’Qwell Jackson, S Mike Adams

Post Draft Thoughts:

The Colts hit the reboot button on their GM situation and haven’t looked back since.  They were wise in free agency to add in players that can hold down the fort as new talent arrives. Part of protecting Luck is simply creating a more balanced team; one with an offense that can run the ball and a defense that can maintain leads so they can get into their 4 minute offense. Hooker is the centerfielder that they need to help stop big plays against them, and Wilson is a physical corner that can boost their secondary. Basham is a relentless pass rusher that can sit behind talented mentors. Steward shined in his all-star game and was a sleeper pick for many draft experts.

Keys To The Season:

They probably won’t go ahead and say it out loud, but the Colts are in a rebuilding year. Since about midway through the 2012 draft the Colts have drafted poorly and have made some terrible free agency moves, but enough was enough and they made a move at GM this off-season. This season features a mix of aging, but still effective, veterans that should stabilize the faltering defense, and an impressive draft that was mostly on the defensive side of the ball.

Of course, the entire season comes down to Andrew Luck- his current health, and the ability to keep him healthy once he takes the field. The offensive line did actually make some progress last year and should continue to improve as many of the young players enter into times in their respective careers when players at that position often make the biggest leap. All in all there is a well thought out succession plan between veterans and youth, and the coming years should be more of an effort to build primarily through the draft instead of knee-jerk free agent moves.

If the 2018 Draft were today: The Colts, if they can stabilize their defense and offensive line, would love to add a talented young pass rusher that they can bring along under the tutelage of some of their veteran front seven players. 2018 NFL Draft DE Prospects2018 NFL Draft OLB Prospects

Leonard Fournette

NFL Mock Draft - Jackson Jaguars

Jacksonville Jaguars

2016 Record: 3-13

Last Year’s Offense Rankings: Total (23) Pass (20) Rush (22)

Last Year’s Defense Rankings: Total (6) Pass (5) Rush (19)

Draft Picks:

1/4 Leonard Fournette RB LSU
2/34 Cam Robinson OT ALABAMA
3/68 Dawaune Smoot DE ILLINOIS
4/110 Dede Westbrook WR OKLAHOMA
5/148 Blair Brown ILB OHIO
7/222 Jalen Myrick CB MINNESOTA
7/240 Marquez Williams FB MIAMI

Key Additions: DL Calais Campbell, CB A.J. Bouye, S Barry Church

Key Losses: OT Kelvin Beachum, G Luke Joeckel, S Johnathan Cyprien, CB Prince Amukamara, DL Tyson Alualu

Post Draft Thoughts:

Fournette to the Jags just made sense in so many ways.  Coughlin likes a power running game, and they need to make their offense more dynamic. With a newly acquired offensive tackle that is aging and wanting more money (and not great anyway), getting Robinson in the second round must have been a great relief. Westbrook is a supremely talented receiver but with a lot of character concerns.  He might have landed in the right place to get his mind set straight.

Keys To The Season:

The Jaguars have an excellent young defense, a possible generational talent at running back, and a young and talented wide receiver core. The problem is it looks like they don’t have a quarterback. With all of the chaos with Bortles last year, their emerging defense was overlooked, especially since they so often had to play from behind. They even added three outstanding new pieces to their defense in Calais Campbell, A.J. Bouye, and Barry Church, allowing that to be the strength of the team, they hope in the mold of the Houston Texans.

Whatever the problem has been and still is with Bortles, he will need to make a stunning turnaround to be kept as the starter next year. Henne could get the nod at some point, and could stabilize the offense, allowing it to focus more on the running game. Cam Robinson will be an intriguing player to watch as to what position he ends up in, as many experts felt he is better suited at guard, although he might get moved around throughout the season.

If the 2018 Draft were today: The Jaguars would love to finally get their QB situation handled, and with the talent around the rest of the team, a rookie QB would not have to shoulder the load. Look for the left tackle position to be of concern as well. 2018 NFL Draft QB Prospects2018 NFL Draft OT Prospects

Patrick Mahomes II - 2017 NFL Draft

NFL Mock Draft - Kansas City ChiefsKansas City Chiefs

2016 Record: 12-4

Last Year’s Offense Rankings: Total (20) Pass (19) Rush (15)

Last Year’s Defense Rankings: Total (24) Pass (18) Rush (26)

Draft Picks:

1/10 Patrick Mahomes II QB TEXAS TECH
2/59 Tanoh Kpassagnon DE VILLANOVA
3/86 Kareem Hunt RB TOLEDO
4/139 Jehu Chesson WR MICHIGAN
5/183 Marcus Eligwe ILB GEORGIA SOUTHERN
6/218 Leon McQuay III S USC

Key Additions: DL Bennie Logan, RB CJ Spiller

Key Losses: RB Jamaal Charles, QB Nick Foles, DL Dontari Poe, WR Jeremy Maclin

Post Draft Thoughts:

The Chiefs’s decision to move up to get Mahomes was a head scratcher.  Immediately there were comparisons to how Reid had Brett Favre, who was also a gunslinger.  There is one huge problem with that… Favre was actually a sound quarterback at his core that went all gunslinger in situations, sometimes with good results, sometimes bad. Favre had the fundamentals of an NFL QB but sometimes went rogue with his technique. Mahomes has none of the core fundamentals of an NFL QB.  He is going to have to be stripped down and built back up.  The Chiefs are just a few pieces away from getting over the hump, and it appears to be very bad timing for them to give up so much to develop a QB that doesn’t fit their system at all, and that will need a lot of time to develop.  Thought that pick may turn out to be a big mistake, they did get some interesting pieces in the draft. Kpassagnon is a physical specimen that could develop into a star defensive end, and Chesson fits exactly in the mold of what a WCO receiver needs to be… a yards after catch receiver.

Keys To The Season:

Did the Chiefs make the move a year too soon at QB? This was a borderline championship team, and the trade to move up to get a QB at the 10th pick overall was surprising. The decision to get Mahomes features a lot of talk about how Andy Reid worked miracles with Brett Favre, but how many coaches, GM’s, and announcers get to take credit for that? Say what you want about Favre, but he has made a lot of these people a lot of money.  The fact is that Favre was a bit of an anomaly, and as much as he was a gunslinger, he was able to operate the West coast offense core concepts well, which they adapted with elements to take advantage of his strong-arm. It seems like the Chiefs are trying to catch lightning in a bottle which is a risky thing to do when you are on the verge of competing for a championship.

The draft did little to improve the Chiefs this year, but the addition of Tanoh Kpassagnon could be interesting to watch as he continues to the learn the game. Another move that should cause some concern is the loss of Poe and the addition of Bennie Logan.  Poe was the anchor of the defense and fit the profile of a 3-4 nose tackle, but Logan is a bit of a stretch to fill that role.

If the 2018 Draft were today: The defense is good but aging, and they could use another young talented player to refresh the talent at defensive back. 2018 NFL Draft CB Prospects2018 NFL Draft S Prospects

Mike Williams - 2017 NFL Mock Draft

NFL Mock Draft - San Diego Chargers

Los Angeles Chargers

2016 Record: 5-11

Last Year’s Offense Rankings: Total (14) Pass (8) Rush (26)

Last Year’s Defense Rankings: Total (16) Pass (20) Rush (10)

Draft Picks:

1/7 Mike Williams WR CLEMSON
2/38 Forrest Lamp G WESTERN KENTUCKY
3/71 Dan Feeney G INDIANA
4/113 Rayshawn Jenkins S MIAMI
5/151 Desmond King CB IOWA
6/190 Sam Tevi OT UTAH
7/225 Isaac Rochell DE NOTRE DAME

Key Additions: OT Russell Okung

Key Losses: OT King Dunlap, CB Brandon Flowers, G DJ Fluker, LB Manti Te’o, RB Danny Woodhead

Post Draft Thoughts:

The Chargers are going all in on getting Rivers a championship and used early picks on getting him another receiver and interior offensive line help. Williams will join a talented, but often injured, wide receiver core, and should help create one of the most productive wide receiver combos in the league.  They got perhaps the best two guards in the draft, which perhaps more than anything else should allow them to run the ball consistently, allowing them to run out the clock when they have leads. Rochell is an underrated prospect that was the best defensive end against the run.

Keys To The Season:

The Chargers again are hit with the injury bug, so they could be in for a long year. They have already lost a high draft pick in guard Forrest Lamp, but luckily they went ahead and drafted another guard immediately after him in Dan Feeney. So yes, they used two of their first three picks on guards, so it is not difficult to see why they just can’t seem to get over the hump.

Rivers almost certainly will have to wait another year or two to get even a whiff of the Superbowl, as this team just can’t sustain leads, and did little in the off-season to correct that issue. Hopefully, the offensive line can find some cohesion, allowing them to concentrate more on controlling the time of possession, particularly when they have the lead. Melvin Gordon had a breakout year last year, but this team could use more help in the run game to become a more balanced offense.

If the 2018 Draft were today: Is Okung the answer at left tackle? Doesn’t matter, they are stuck with him for at least a few years. Immediately this team needs to add help in the secondary, especially at safety. 2018 NFL Draft CB Prospects2018 NFL Draft S Prospects

Gerald Everett - 2017 NFL Draft

NFL Mock Draft - Los Angeles RamsLos Angeles Rams

2016 Record: 4-12

Last Year’s Offense Rankings: Total (32) Pass (31) Rush (31)

Last Year’s Defense Rankings: Total (9) Pass (10) Rush (16)

Draft Picks:

2/44 Gerald Everett TE SOUTH ALABAMA
3/91 John Johnson S BOSTON COLLEGE
4/117 Josh Reynolds WR TEXAS A&M
6/189 Tanzel Smart DT TULANE
6/206 Sam Rogers FB VIRGINIA TECH
7/234 Ejuan Price OLB PITTSBURGH

Key Additions: WR Sammy Watkins, DE Connor Barwin, RB Lance Dunbar, QB Aaron Murray, CB Nickell Robey-Coleman, C John Sullivan, DT Tyrunn Walker, CB Kayvon Webster, OT Andrew Whitworth, WR Robert Woods

Key Losses: C Tim Barnes, WR Kenny Britt, S T.J. McDonald, DE Eugene Sims, CB E.J. Gaines

Post Draft Thoughts:

The Rams need people to throw to, so they spent three of their first four picks on targets for their young QB. All three players should get a lot of playing time this year, especially Kupp, who catches anything thrown at him. John Johnson is a very versatile defensive back that should play multiple positions in the secondary.

Keys To The Season:

Jackie Slater, the Rams Hall of Fame tackle, recently spoke about Greg Robinson (now in Detroit), and about what he thought his issues were with the Rams. He mentioned that Robinson was not being coached on some of the basic concepts that he needed to learn to play tackle in the NFL. That is another clear sign that the Rams malaise is over, and that their inability to succeed lied firmly in the former coaching staff. In fact, it is fair to say that there is a good amount of excitement and optimism surrounding the Rams, and that it is well founded. A prime example of this change of direction was their spending three of their first four picks on getting offensive weapons, an area in which the Rams were arguably the weakest of any team in the league.

There were a lot of moves in the offseason and Goff will have a lot more opportunities this year to show he was worthy of the first overall pick a few years ago. The Aaron Donald situation needs to be handled fast, as he is the team’s best player and this would be a terrible time for a protracted contract dispute.

If the 2018 Draft were today: The move to a 3-4 is going to require more talent at the linebacker position and they haven’t done much to boost the talent and depth there as of yet. 2018 NFL Draft OLB Prospects2018 NFL Draft ILB Prospects

Charles Harris - 2017 NFL Mock Draft

NFL Mock Draft - Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins

2016 Record: 10-6

Last Year’s Offense Rankings: Total (24) Pass (26) Rush (9)

Last Year’s Defense Rankings: Total (29) Pass (15) Rush (30)

Draft Picks:

1/22 Charles Harris OLB MISSOURI
2/54 Raekwon McMillan ILB OHIO STATE
3/97 Cordrea Tankersley CB CLEMSON
5/164 Isaac Asiata G UTAH
5/178 Davon Godchaux DT LSU
6/194 Vincent Taylor DT OKLAHOMA STATE
7/237 Isaiah Ford WR VIRGINIA TECH

Key Additions: QB Jay Cutler, LB Lawrence Timmons, S Nate Allen , TE Julius Thomas, DL William Hayes

Key Losses: QB Ryan Tannehill, T Branden Albert, DE Mario Williams, DT Earl Mitchell, S Isa Abdul-Quddus, DE Dion Jordan

Post Draft Thoughts:

The Dolphins have spent a lot of resources on their defense, but have been lacking pieces that complement each other. Harris is going to be free to get to the quarterback as other defenders garner double teams. McMillan will clog gaps as the defensive tackles attack their gaps. They very much needed a guard as they shuffle their offensive line, and getting Asiata in the 5th round was a very good value.

Keys To The Season:

Even with the big names on the defensive line, the Dolphins have had very inconsistent play from the defensive at linebacker and in the secondary. They patched up the linebacker and safety position with free agent veterans, but even those additions need a wait and see approach. McMillan is gone for the season, which is a shame because the primary problem with their defense is not being able to control the gaps after their attacking defensive linemen penetrate into the backfield.

The offensive line will be interesting to watch, but there is a lot of optimism that this could become one of the best units on the team. Tunsil is moving to left tackle, and Pouncey is back after a major injury. The major story is the addition of Cutler as the QB, but that could be a relatively smooth move due to his familiarity with the coach and the offense.

If the 2018 Draft were today: Assuming the linebacker rebuild is moving along as planned, the Dolphins should be looking to add talent to their secondary. 2018 NFL Draft CB Prospects2018 NFL Draft S Prospects

Dalvin Cook

NFL Mock Draft - Minnesota VikingsMinnesota Vikings

2016 Record: 8-8

Last Year’s Offense Rankings: Total (28) Pass (18) Rush (32)

Last Year’s Defense Rankings: Total (3) Pass (3) Rush (20)

Draft Picks:

2/41 Dalvin Cook RB FLORIDA STATE
3/70 Pat Elflein C OHIO STATE
4/109 Jaleel Johnson DT IOWA
4/120 Ben Gedeon ILB MICHIGAN
5/170 Rodney Adams WR SOUTH FLORIDA
5/180 Danny Isidora G MIAMI
6/201 Bucky Hodges TE VIRGINIA TECH
7/219 Stacy Coley WR MIAMI
7/220 Ifeadi Odenigbo DE NORTHWESTERN
7/232 Elijah Lee OLB KANSAS STATE
7/245 Jack Tocho CB NC STATE

Key Additions: RB Latavius Murray, RT Mike Remmers, WR Michael Floyd, QB Case Keenum, DE Datone Jones, T Riley Reiff

Key Losses: RB Adrian Peterson, CB Captain Munnerlyn, LT Matt Kalil, WR Cordarrelle Paterson, T Andre Smith, WR Charles Johnson

Post Draft Thoughts:

The Vikings moved up to get some talent that they targeted, and believe they may have stabilized some problems that they had last year. Cook was arguably the best RB in the draft, and getting him at 41 is quite a value.  He is going to catch a lot of passes this year. Elflein provides them with the center of the future, and can play guard as well. Isidora was viewed as one of the safer offensive line prospects, and could fight his way into the starting lineup.

Keys To The Season:

The big question for the Vikings is the progress for the entire offense now that they have had a full off-season to acclimate. Bradford seemed to get comfortable in the scheme after Turner suddenly departed midway through the season, but they were never really able to add much more than the basic concepts to the offense. They improved the interior of their offensive line, particularly at center, but the question remains if the changes at the tackle spots were nothing more than lateral moves.

The secondary is still the strength of this team, but the defensive line and linebacker core were starting to get old. They drafted multiple players at each position, allowing for a natural transition in the upcoming years. Getting Cook in the second round was one of the steals in the draft, and if he can become a strong pass protector, he should be a huge addition to this emerging offense.

If the 2018 Draft were today: The Vikings could use a safety to work with Smith, but will be tempted to draft an elite, 1 gap defensive tackle if one falls at the right spot in the draft early. 2018 NFL Draft DT Prospects

Derek Rivers - 2017 NFL Draft

NFL Mock Draft - New England Patriots

New England Patriots

2016 Record: 14-2

Last Year’s Offense Rankings: Total (4) Pass (4) Rush (7)

Last Year’s Defense Rankings: Total (8) Pass (12) Rush (3)

Draft Picks:

3/85 Antonio Garcia OT TROY
4/131 Deatrich Wise Jr. DE ARKANSAS
6/211 Conor McDermott OT UCLA

Key Additions: CB Stephon Gilmore, WR Brandin Cooks, DE Kony Ealy, TE Dwayne Allen, RB Mike Gillislee

Key Losses: CB Logan Ryan, RB LeGarrette Blount, TE Martellus Bennett, DL Chris Long, LB Rob Ninkovich

Post Draft Thoughts:

The Patriots this year did most of their work in free agency.  However, even with only a limited number of picks they managed to get some very high quality players. Garcia showed during the draft process that he can compete against top-level talent, and with the Patriots he has time to spend a year learning better technique. McDermott’s stock fell as shows put out film of Myles Garrett running through him early in the season, but is a great value in the 6th.

Keys To The Season:

The Patriots head into the season as one of the most balanced, stacked teams in NFL history. They appear to be primed to defend their Superbowl title, maybe even set up to keep winning as many as they can as Brady enters the twilight of his storied NFL career. This year was all about free agency, where they added stars at both wide receiver and cornerback.

With a strong core of veterans at most position groups, Belichick can begin to quietly build his next generation team for whomever leads this team upon Brady’s retirement. It is no secret that he loves versatile tight ends and running backs, as well as front seven players that are versatile enough to play in his multiple defense.

If the 2018 Draft were today: Belichick would love to have a Vince Wilfork like player, but those guys don’t come around too often, and don’t last long in the draft. However, he should be able to add a new breed tight end that can be used as a matchup nightmare. 2018 NFL Draft TE Prospects

Marshon Lattimore - 2017 NFL Mock Draft

NFL Mock Draft - New Orleans Saints

New Orleans Saints

2016 Record: 7-9

Last Year’s Offense Rankings: Total (1) Pass (1) Rush (16)

Last Year’s Defense Rankings: Total (27) Pass (32) Rush (14)

Draft Picks:

1/11 Marshon Lattimore CB OHIO STATE
1/32 Ryan Ramczyk OT WISCONSIN
2/42 Marcus Williams S UTAH
3/67 Alvin Kamara RB TENNESSEE
3/76 Alex Anzalone ILB FLORIDA
3/103 Trey Hendrickson DE FLORIDA ATLANTIC
6/196 Al-Quadin Muhammad DE MIAMI

Key Additions: WR Ted Ginn Jr., RB Adrian Peterson, G Larry Warford, LB A.J. Klein, LB Manti Te’o, QB Chase Daniel

Key Losses: WR Brandin Cooks, S Jairus Byrd, OL Tim Lelito, DL John Jenks, RB Tim Hightower, DT Nick Fairley

Post Draft Thoughts:

The Saints must have been high fiving as Lattimore fell to them in the first round. It was a dire need and they didn’t have to move at all to get him. He was the only potential shut down corner in this draft and is a starter day 1. Ramczyk being available at the end of the first round was another surprise.  It wasn’t their biggest need, but it is rare that you get quality tackles in the draft, and you have to take them when you can. Kamara falling to the third is a stunner, and the Saints continued to grab players that other teams missed on.

Keys To The Season:

The Saints were able to add three excellent pieces with their first three picks, particularly with a much-needed influx of talent in the secondary. As much as this defense was maligned last year, it started to make some strides, and the rebuild is now in its second year. A major boost for this defense could be a renewed concentration on running the ball and increasing their time of possession. They have no shortage of running backs, and even after adding Peterson, would have been foolish to pass on the versatile Alvin Kamara. If they can become more balanced on offense, killing the clock with longer drives, it should allow their young defense to develop.

The Saints are in a bit of a salary cap bind, and certainly must be planning for the end of the magnificent career of Drew Brees. They need to get younger and cheaper in several positions in order for them to have more depth.  However, the last few years continue to have questions on how long management, coaches, and their QB will be around, and they need to answer those questions sooner rather than later.

If the 2018 Draft were today: Time to look long and hard at the QB of the future. This is a complicated offense, and getting their heir apparent at QB in place with a year or two to learn it would be highly beneficial. 2018 NFL Draft QB Prospects

Evan Engram - 2017 NFL Mock Draft

NFL Mock Draft - New York Giants

New York Giants

2016 Record: 11-5

Last Year’s Offense Rankings: Total (25) Pass (17) Rush (29)

Last Year’s Defense Rankings: Total (10) Pass (23) Rush (3)

Draft Picks:

1/23 Evan Engram TE OLE MISS
2/55 Dalvin Tomlinson DT ALABAMA
3/87 Davis Webb QB CALIFORNIA
4/140 Wayne Gallman RB CLEMSON
6/200 Adam Bisnowaty G PITTSBURGH

Key Additions: WR Brandon Marshall, OL D.J. Fluker

Key Losses: WR Victor Cruz, K Robbie Gould

Post Draft Thoughts:

Engram was one of the more intriguing picks of the first round.  Not a lot of mock drafts had him going this high, but he is one of the biggest matchup nightmares in this draft.  After adding an experienced wide receiver, the Giants now have a very wide mix of weapons for Eli to throw to. Webb doesn’t seem, in any way, like a West Coast Offense QB, but that seems to be a trend of WCO coaches and GM’s- drafting QB’s that in no way match your system. Bisnowaty was an excellent value in the 6th and could become a starter by the start of the season.

Keys To The Season:

The Giants have created for themselves a window to succeed that might leads to some difficult decisions in a year or two. But the immediate future is full of promise, featuring a dynamic offense and a dominating defensive front. It is still puzzling why they didn’t spend on free agents with Coughlin several years ago, and more often than not a major splurge in free agency means you haven’t been doing your job in previous years, and rarely leads to a championship.

In the meantime, the Giants have a lot of talent at key positions, have a two-time SB winning QB, and are in a division where the defending champ is experiencing some turmoil. The iron is hot now for the Giants, and this year could be their best chance at a championship. With large contracts starting to pile up and many of those high-priced additions getting older, talk could start after this year about Eli leaving at the end of the season. With all of their talent, the Giants are surprisingly suspect at two key positions: running back and left tackle.

If the 2018 Draft were today: This team could use a left tackle to put in place and not worry about for the next decade. 2018 NFL Draft OT Prospects

Jamal Adams

NFL Mock Draft - New York Jets

New York Jets

2016 Record: 5-11

Last Year’s Offense Rankings: Total (26) Pass (27) Rush (12)

Last Year’s Defense Rankings: Total (11) Pass (17) Rush (11)

Draft Picks:

1/6 Jamal Adams S LSU
2/39 Marcus Maye S FLORIDA
3/79 ArDarius Stewart WR ALABAMA
4/141 Chad Hansen WR CALIFORNIA
5/150 Jordan Leggett TE CLEMSON
5/181 Dylan Donahue DE WEST GEORGIA
6/188 Elijah McGuire RB UL LAFAYETTE
6/197 Jeremy Clark CB MICHIGAN
6/204 Derrick Jones CB OLE MISS

Key Additions: QB Josh McCown, CB Morris Claiborne, LT Kelvin Beachum

Key Losses: CB Darrelle Revis, C Nick Mangold, WR Brandon Marshall, T Ryan Clady, T Breno Giacomini, K Nick Folk

Post Draft Thoughts:

How the Jets landed Jamal Adams is beyond even themselves, but it was a pick they had to make.  He will come in and quickly become the leader of that defense, something that they very much need. They didn’t deviate from their board in the second, when they grabbed another safety in Maye, but they are cleaning house at that position, and safety is increasing in importance in today’s “matchup” league. They doubled up again on a position as they went wide receiver twice, a position that is virtually barren on their roster.

Keys To The Season:

The Jets this year are a fun team for draft lovers, as they are in a full-blown revamp, with needs all over the place. What is interesting is that the culprits of creating this mess are at other teams and are in the process of using much of the same philosophy that creates a little short-term success but heaps of trouble down the line… and getting praise for it. Time will tell with those situations. For now, the Jets are rightfully shedding as much of the over the hill talent that they can and giving their younger players much-needed experience without any expectation or pressure to win short-term.

The worst place you can be in the NFL is in the middle. The Jets are a long way from drinking the wine, so why not go all in on stomping the grapes? The one problem that they need to figure out immediately is QB, and their next franchise player at that position does not appear to be on their roster.

If the 2018 Draft were today: Quarterback2018 NFL Draft QB Prospects

Gareon Conley - 2017 NFL Draft

NFL Mock Draft - Oakland Raiders

Oakland Raiders

2016 Record: 12-4

Last Year’s Offense Rankings: Total (6) Pass (13) Rush (6)

Last Year’s Defense Rankings: Total (26) Pass (24) Rush (23)

Draft Picks:

1/24 Gareon Conley CB OHIO STATE
2/56 Obi Melifonwu S CONNECTICUT
3/88 Eddie Vanderdoes DT UCLA
4/129 David Sharpe G FLORIDA
5/168 Marquel Lee OLB WAKE FOREST
7/221 Shalom Luani S WASHINGTON STATE
7/231 Jylan Ware OT ALABAMA STATE
7/242 Elijah Hood RB NORTH CAROLINA
7/244 Treyvon Hester DT TOLEDO

Key Additions: TE Jared Cook, RB Marshawn Lynch, OT Marshall Newhouse; WR/KR Cordarelle Patterson.

Key Losses: S Nate Allen, CB DJ Hayden, DT Stacy McGee, RB Latavius Murray, TE Mychal Rivera, LB Malcolm Smith

Post Draft Thoughts:

There has been a lot of talk about how the Raiders need help getting into the backfield, but much of that could be related to how the defensive was called during the game.  They made some adjustments in how the defense will be managed in-game and, theoretically, that should yield benefits.  Regardless, they needed help in their secondary, and were comfortable enough with the Conley situation to get him as a steal at 24 in the first round.  They immediately followed that up with the extremely athletic and versatile Melinfonwu.  Vanderdoes did not get a lot of draft talk this year, but if he finds the best weight for him to be productive, could work his way into the rotation early.

Keys To The Season:

The Raiders might have made a huge mistake in signing Marshawn Lynch. It seemed like an excellent move, adding a game changing talent to an already potent offense. However, this is a team that is moving to another city soon, and is on the verge of becoming a power in the AFC. They have many young and impressionable players that worship Lynch, and his disdain for any form of authority is going to be a powerfully divisive presence in an already fragile locker room.

Oakland addressed some obvious needs at the top of the draft, but their biggest improvement on defense could be with their change of defensive playcalling for the upcoming season. The defense should have been the strength of the team last year, but they were constantly fooled by offensive coordinators, making poor decisions on how to deal with matching up with opposing teams’ best offensive players.

If the 2018 Draft were today: The Raiders could have a long-term solution at creating a truly dynamic offense if they can add a young running back that forces teams to stack the box. 2018 NFL Draft RB Prospects

Derek Barnett - 2017 NFL Mock Draft

NFL Mock Draft - Philadelphia EaglesPhiladelphia Eagles

2016 Record: 7-9

Last Year’s Offense Rankings: Total (22) Pass (24) Rush (11)

Last Year’s Defense Rankings: Total (13) Pass (13) Rush (15)

Draft Picks:

1/14 Derek Barnett DE TENNESSEE
2/43 Sidney Jones CB WASHINGTON
3/99 Rasul Douglas CB WEST VIRGINIA
4/118 Mack Hollins WR NORTH CAROLINA
4/132 Donnel Pumphrey RB SAN DIEGO STATE
5/166 Shelton Gibson WR WEST VIRGINIA
5/184 Nathan Gerry S NEBRASKA
6/214 Elijah Qualls DT WASHINGTON

Key Additions: WR Alshon Jeffery, RB LeGarrette Blount, WR Torrey Smith, DE Chris Long, DT Timmy Jernigan, CB Ronald Darby

Key Losses: DE Connor Barwin, NT Bennie Logan, CB Nolan Carroll, CB Leodis McKelvin, WR Jordan Matthews

Post Draft Thoughts:

The Eagles are a rising team with an emerging QB and a tough defense.  They are in stage 2 of team building and used the draft to add a lot of talent to their defense, but also some dynamic weapons for their young QB. Barnett was extremely productive in college, but his poor performance at the combine threw some doubt on his potential at the next level. But Schwartz knows how to use defensive ends and should put him out in space to allow him to use his variety of pass rush moves. Jones is probably a redshirt player, but one that was gotten at a great value.  They followed that up with a tough corner that can play right away in Douglas. Hollins, Pumphrey, and Gibson are exciting, fast playmakers.

Keys To The Season:

The Eagles have found their QB of the futur, and that puts them ahead of a third of the teams in the league simply on that fact. Wentz had his ups and downs in his rookie year, but the game is definitely not too big nor too fast for him, and he is already establishing himself as a team leader. The defense has found its groove again under Jim Schwartz, and is gaining a reputation as an aggressive, attacking front four.

What the Eagles need now is to develop young players on both sides of the ball, and that is the debate.  Did they bring in too many veterans, especially those on one year “prove it” deals, and are perhaps hampering the potential growth of younger players?  The concept of “progress stoppers” is definitely worth applying to the Eagles, and the need to get good quickly could be impeding the long-term, home-grown talent level at key positions.

If the 2018 Draft were today: The Eagles should be looking to improve both lines with a best player available for the next few years. 2018 NFL Draft OT Prospects2018 NFL Draft OG Prospects2018 NFL Draft C Prospects2018 NFL Draft DE Prospects2018 NFL Draft DT Prospects

TJ Watt - 2017 NFL Draft

NFL Mock Draft - Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers

2016 Record: 11-5

Last Year’s Offense Rankings: Total (7) Pass (5) Rush (14)

Last Year’s Defense Rankings: Total (12) Pass (16) Rush (13)

Draft Picks:

2/62 JuJu Smith-Schuster WR USC
3/94 Cameron Sutton CB TENNESSEE
3/105 James Conner RB PITTSBURGH
4/135 Joshua Dobbs QB TENNESSEE
5/173 Brian Allen CB UTAH
6/213 Colin Holba LS LOUISVILLE

Key Additions: DE Tyson Alualu, CB Coty Sensabaugh, WR Justin Hunter

Key Losses: LB Lawrence Timmons, RB DeAngelo Williams, RB Karlos Williams

Post Draft Thoughts:

The Steelers needed a linebacker and didn’t wait long to get one. Watt is just learning the position but he won’t have to be counted on to be a star from day one. Smith-Schuster is a tough, reliable receiver, in the mold of Boldin, and could be the possession receiver that will be an excellent complement to their stars at WR and RB. Is Josh Dobbs the QB of the future?  He is raw, but this is the perfect timing for picking up a QB and seeing how he progresses.

Keys To The Season:

Few teams are as deep as the Steelers are at many positions, and they have the best QB / WR / RB trio in the league. The defense found their rhythm about midseason last year, and doubts about their offensive line soon were mollified as the group came together as a unit. This is a team with an offensive philosophy that is deeply ingrained from GM down to the last bench player, and the switch in defensive philosophy has taken hold.

There is, however, some lingering concern over how much longer Ben Roethlisberger is going to play, and if that turns out to be for not too much longer, if Dobbs is the projected replacement. Hopefully they don’t have to answer that question this year and can get a firm commitment out of Ben Roethlisberger as to how much longer he would like to play. Furthermore, they will be looking at an important decision regarding Bell, who is not only making some bad decisions off the fiel, but is also getting some bad advice from his representation regarding how to handle his contract.

If the 2018 Draft were today: They are a good, not great pass rush team, but would prefer to be elite. Look for them to pursue pass rushers high in the draft for the next few years. 2018 NFL Draft DE Prospects | 2018 NFL Draft OLB Prospects

Solomon Thomas - 2017 NFL Draft

NFL Mock Draft - San Francisco 49ers

San Francisco 49ers

2016 Record: 2-14

Last Year’s Offense Rankings: Total (31) Pass (32) Rush (4)

Last Year’s Defense Rankings: Total (32) Pass (14) Rush (32)

Draft Picks:

1/3 Solomon Thomas DT STANFORD
1/31 Reuben Foster ILB ALABAMA
3/66 Ahkello Witherspoon CB COLORADO
3/104 C.J. Beathard QB IOWA
4/121 Joe Williams RB UTAH
5/146 George Kittle TE IOWA
5/177 Trent Taylor WR LOUISIANA TECH
6/198 D.J. Jones DT OLE MISS
6/202 Pita Taumoepenu DE UTAH
7/229 Adrian Colbert CB MIAMI

Key Additions: QB Matt Barkley, RB Kapri Bibbs, OLB Brock Coyle, WR Pierre Garcon, OT Garry Gilliam, WR Marquise Goodwin, K Robbie Gould, RB Tim Hightower, QB Brian Hoyer, FB Kyle Juszczyk, DT Earl Mitchell, TE Logan Paulsen, WR Aldrick Robinson, OLB Malcolm Smith, C Jeremy Zuttah

Key Losses: S Antoine Bethea, CB Tramaine Brock, K Phil Dawson, RB Shaun Draughn, LB Gerald Hodges, QB Colin Kaepernick, OL Marcus Martin, WR Quinton Patton, WR Torrey Smith

Post Draft Thoughts:

It didn’t even seem like a believable bluff. Lynch seems like the good Catholic school boy who is bad at lying, but the Bears took the bait nonetheless. The question out there is what are their long-term plans at QB? C.J. Beathard is experienced in the pro system and it appears he will be the backup for a QB not currently on the roster next year. Their first round netted them two outstanding talents to help rebuild a defense that not only is changing schemes, but that is talent deficient. George Kittle is a tight end that will play more of an H-back role, but they just signed that exact player in free agency and gave him a big contract.

Keys To The Season:

The 49ers had one of the biggest hauls in free agency last year in terms of number of players. Their philosophy was not to pursue the biggest names and highest priced players, but to do a wholesale flush of personnel. They targeted mostly high football character guys that are not necessarily stars but that can build a foundation for regaining a strong team identity while they take the time to slowly build through the draft.

This season is about getting stability back to some fundamental parts of the game, specifically stopping the run and trying to establish some sort of passing game. Their defense has lost most of its stars from just a few years ago, and was the worst in the league last year. They started the draft off with three elite level defensive prospects and are also hoping that they can revive the career of several recent high round defensive draft picks.  There will be an underlying question, all season long, as to what will be their QB situation next year, with Kirk Cousins being mentioned often.

If the 2018 Draft were today: The 49ers added talent all over the place in free agency and the draft, but could really use a young, talented safety that can be the leader of the secondary for years to come. 2018 NFL Draft S Prospects

Malik McDowell

NFL Mock Draft - Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks

2016 Record: 10-5-1

Last Year’s Offense Rankings: Total (12) Pass (10) Rush (25)

Last Year’s Defense Rankings: Total (5) Pass (8) Rush (7)

Draft Picks:

2/35 Malik McDowell DT MICHIGAN STATE
2/58 Ethan Pocic C LSU
3/90 Shaquill Griffin CB UCF
3/95 Delano Hill S MICHIGAN
3/102 Nazair Jones DT NORTH CAROLINA
3/106 Amara Darboh WR MICHIGAN
4/111 Tedric Thompson S COLORADO
6/187 Mike Tyson S CINCINNATI
6/210 Justin Senior OT MISSISSIPPI STATE
7/249 Christopher Carson RB OKLAHOMA STATE

Key Additions: DT, Sheldon Richardson, OT Oday Aboushi, DE David Bass, LB Arthur Brown, RB Mike Davis, OL Luke Joeckel DE Dion Jordan, RB Eddie Lacy, S Bradley McDougald, K Blair Walsh

Key Losses: OLB Brock Coyle, OT Garry Gilliam, K Steven Hauschka, DT John Jenkins, TE Brandon Williams

Post Draft Thoughts:

McDowell needed to go to the right situation, where he can continue to mature and learn to become accountable. A lot of mocks had him going to Seattle, and they were able to trade down and still get him. When healthy and motivated he is a top 5 pick in any draft, and if that happens in Seattle, they got an incredible steal. If the issues run deeper, they didn’t waste a first rounder on him. The Seahawks run an unusual offensive line scheme, and picked up perhaps the most versatile offensive line prospect in the draft in Pocic. Will he play center, guard, or tackle?  They have needs, so that will be interesting to watch.

Keys To The Season:

The Seahawks are essentially entering year three of a rebuild that has quietly gone unnoticed. They have their QB for many years to come in place, and a secondary that is still among the best in the league.  Their issue was, and perhaps still is, their offensive line.  For starters, for all of the hits in the draft at other positions, they have had an abysmal record at drafting offensive linemen. They signed their center to a contract extension recently, but he was the first in a very long line of offensive lineman that they drafted that actually made it to a second contract.

The problems with the offensive line have led to two obvious problems: the run game disappeared and they couldn’t keep their QB healthy. They added several free agent offensive linemen, and another two in the draft, but recent history doesn’t bode well for those moves. If they can change their recent luck, and find a combination of players that can form a cohesive group, so will go the fortunes of the Seahawks in the upcoming season.

The trade for Sheldon Richardson give them a dominant fron four again, but will it be enough if their offensive line doesn’t come together?

If the 2018 Draft were today: Would it be shocking if the Seahawks drafted a top college WR early in the draft? It would be, but also would add a much-needed element to their offense. 2018 NFL Draft WR Prospects

O.J. Howard - 2017 NFL Mock Draft

NFL Mock Draft - Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2016 Record: 9-7

Last Year’s Offense Rankings: Total (18) Pass (16) Rush (24)

Last Year’s Defense Rankings: Total (23) Pass (22) Rush (22)

Draft Picks:

1/19 O.J. Howard TE ALABAMA
2/50 Justin Evans S TEXAS A&M
3/84 Chris Godwin WR PENN STATE
3/107 Kendell Beckwith ILB LSU
5/162 Jeremy McNichols RB BOISE STATE
7/223 Stevie Tu’Ikolovatu DT USC

Key Additions: WR DeSean Jackson

Key Losses: QB Mike Glennon

Post Draft Thoughts:

What makes Tampa’s draft so intriguing is that the players at positions that they drafted are coupled with veterans that they picked up in free agency, or already have on their team.  It was an elegant draft that mixed in potential stars at positions all over the field. O.J. Howard was perhaps the best all around receiver in the draft, even better than the three pure wide receivers that went before them.  They have a very good tight end already, and are going to be in 12 personnel a lot, causing many matchup problems for defenses. Add to that Chris Godwin, and you have three excellent receivers. Stevie Tu’Ikolovatu is an under the radar selection.  In the NFL he is a 2 gap defender that can eat up blockers. It will be interesting to see how the Bucs rotate him in at different down and distances.

Keys To The Season:

The Bucs are the “it” team for the upcoming season and for some good reason. Winston has had a historic start to his career and they added more weapons for him in the passing game. The defense is on the rise, particularly with the emergence of Vernon Hargreaves III as a defensive superstar.

Tampa plays in a division with three of the best QB’s in the league and they need every bit of pass rush they can get. They also know that they are going to need to put up a lot of points in order to win games. They have taken much-needed steps to increase their offensive output, but will need to continue to look for help with establishing a pass rush. One very open question is the offensive line, and if they can’t protect Winston or hold up in the run game, the team will take a step back.

If the 2018 Draft were today: The Bucs will be on the lookout for elite talent on the offensive line, as they want to protect their most important player for years to come. 2018 NFL Draft OT Prospects2018 NFL Draft OG Prospects2018 NFL Draft C Prospects

Corey Davis - 2017 NFL Mock Draft

NFL Mock Draft - Tennessee TitansTennessee Titans

2016 Record: 9-7

Last Year’s Offense Rankings: Total (11) Pass (25) Rush (3)

Last Year’s Defense Rankings: Total (20) Pass (30) Rush (2)

Draft Picks:

1/18 Adoree’ Jackson CB USC
3/72 Taywan Taylor WR WESTERN KENTUCKY
5/155 Jayon Brown OLB UCLA
6/217 Corey Levin G CHATTANOOGA
7/227 Josh Carraway OLB TCU
7/236 Brad Seaton OT VILLANOVA
7/241 Khalfani Muhammad RB CALIFORNIA

Key Additions: CB Logan Ryan, DT Sylvester Williams, S Johnathan Cyprien

Key Losses: TE Anthony Fasano, LB Sean Spence, WR Kendall Wright, G Chance Warmack

Post Draft Thoughts:

The Titans were a team that had an excellent foundation of core players.  What they needed was to add the frosting and get more dynamic. Davis and Taylor are going to instantly change the wide receiver core into a versatile, exciting unit that should produce big plays and allow them to become much less predictable. You can even add in a little Adoree Jackson, who could see time in some special packages.  With Jackson, they add a corner that is just scratching the surface on his potential.

Keys To The Season:

The Titans are one of the most talked about teams to take that next step this year and the optimism has merit. After building in all other aspects of the team- QB, offensive line, run game, defensive line, linebackers, etc., they have saved adding the exciting offensive weapons until now.  And they did just that by grabbing two wide receivers, a tight end, and a cornerback that is a gifted return man and who should be in some special packages on offense. They allowed their QB to get comfortable in the position, and have established one of the best running attacks in the league. If they can get their passing game going early and often in games, this team should take a major step forward.

At times last year the Titans couldn’t stop the pass, but they went to free agency to add two proven veterans in Logan Ryan and Johnathan Cyprien to help stabilize that problem. They also added Jackson early in the draft, who was underestimated as a defender and too often looked at as just an exceptional return man who could help on offense. Jackson was an excellent cover corner in college but won’t have to come in day one and be the team’s best defensive back.

If the 2018 Draft were today: The Titans will be one of the teams to watch this year, but still need to continually add talent to their secondary. They should be looking at a defensive back early next year. 2018 NFL Draft CB Prospects2018 NFL Draft S Prospects

Jonathan Allen

NFL Mock Draft - Washington Redskins

Washington Redskins

2016 Record: 9-7-1

Last Year’s Offense Rankings: Total (3) Pass (2) Rush (21)

Last Year’s Defense Rankings: Total (28) Pass (25) Rush (24)

Draft Picks:

1/17 Jonathan Allen DT ALABAMA
2/49 Ryan Anderson OLB ALABAMA
3/81 Fabian Moreau CB UCLA
4/114 Samaje Perine RB OKLAHOMA
4/123 Montae Nicholson S MICHIGAN STATE
5/154 Jeremy Sprinkle TE ARKANSAS
6/199 Chase Roullier C WYOMING
6/209 Robert Davis WR GEORGIA STATE
7/230 Josh Harvey-Clemons S LOUISVILLE
7/235 Josh Holsey CB AUBURN

Key Additions: WR Terrelle Pryor, LB Stacy McGee, LB Terrell McClain, S D.J. Swearinger

Key Losses: WR DeSean Jackson, WR Pierre Garçon​

Post Draft Thoughts:

It is difficult to talk about the Redskins without acknowledging the elephant in the room- what are the long-term plans at QB?  They didn’t draft one, and are saying the right things at the moment, but that is going to be the underlying story for them until that is settled. Jonathan Allen falling to them at 17 was one of the biggest steals of the draft. He will move around the defensive line, causing sleepless nights for offensive coordinators. Moreau was a borderline first rounder and an excellent value pick in the 3rd. Perine is probably not a feature back, but is perhaps the most powerful straight ahead runner in the draft, and when they get leads, should be fed the ball to eat the clock.

Keys To The Season:

The Redskins are being written off my many people in the upcoming season, but with all of the managerial gaffes, this is still a powerful offense that also added some major defensive star power in the draft. How Jonathan Allen fell to 17 in the draft is anyone’s guess, but it was a windfall for the Redskins. They followed that up by adding talented defensive players at the next two levels with Anderson and Moreau, both of whom should work into starting roles.

The offense will miss the speedy Jackson, but Pryor shined last year in Cleveland, a team with few other offensive weapons. Cousins was one of the most prolific passers in the league last year, and that could continue this year, which is probably his last year with the team. If they lose Cousins to the 49ers next year, ownership will have to take a long hard look at management and how they have handled several situations in the last few years.

If the 2018 Draft were today: The Redskins added a lot of talent to their defense in last year’s draft, but need to be much better in getting to opposing teams’ QBs. They should be vying for a top DE in next year’s draft. 2018 NFL Draft DE Prospects



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