Josh Norris

Mock Drafts

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2018 NFL Mock Draft No. 3

Friday, March 30, 2018


Friends, back again. Plenty has happened in the draft world over the last month, and plenty will happen during the upcoming month. Know that teams have not placed their final grade on players. That will happen in meetings in the weeks leading up to the draft. Presentations by scouts and coaches with the final decision will be made by decision makers. The longer I do this, the more I realize for early round prospects, the only evaluation that matters is that of the decision makers (head coach and GM).


Of course this mock will be inaccurate. The goal of every mock draft is to identify current needs, potential needs, draft trends of specific decision makers and highlight names that all of you can go and watch. Accuracy is not exactly the goal.

The Rotoworld Football Podcast is rumbling along. Subscribe. And Evan Silva and I are in the middle of the team needs/mock draft series. The schedule is here.


1. Cleveland Browns - QB Sam Darnold, USC - Thankfully the conversation has moved past the Browns possibly selecting Saquon Barkley at No. 1. It will be a quarterback, the only question is… which one? Chris Mortensen suggested the decision is down to Sam Darnold and Josh Allen (he mentioned Baker Mayfield, but it was a bit off-hand).


After Darnold’s pro day, Daniel Jeremiah, Bucky Brooks and Joel Klatt put it in permanent marker that Darnold would be the Browns selection. So who am I to disagree? I’ve seen or heard that Darnold is viewed as NFL ready. That’s not the case, in fact of the top four or five quarterbacks, he is most deserving of the “raw” label due to his frenetic footwork when working off his primary read.


2. New York Giants - EDGE Bradley Chubb, NC State - The Giants should select a quarterback. Shoot your shot at the position when you have the opportunity. Let’s talk through a scenario where they pick a different position. I know many would assume Saquon Barkley would be the selection. From a roster building perspective, I believe Dave Gettleman values EDGE over running back. And it’s amazing he has never traded down in any round of any draft. A flaw in Gettleman’s process is his inability to acquire extra picks.


3. New York Jets (via IND) - QB Josh Allen, Wyoming - We know the Jets traded up for a quarterback, but even they cannot be certain which passers will be available. However, in the case of Allen, it just makes sense. If we look at the Jets’ recent history, Allen fits on the Hackenberg/Petty spectrum more than, say, Baker Mayfield. Heck, even Josh McCown can be simplified down to an athletic passer who does not mind throwing down the field. Allen has a long way to go, but the NFL seems to really like him.

 

(TRADE) 4. Buffalo Bills - QB Josh Rosen, UCLA - This is a projected trade, as the Bills send the No. 12, No. 22 and a second round selection to the Browns to move up to No. 4.


If we look at the passers the Bills recently moved on from (Tyrod Taylor) and acquired (Nathan Peterman and A.J. McCarron), it appears the Bills want a prototypical pocket passer. Rosen is easily the best quarterback that fits that label. Josh Allen might as well. The Bills seemed to be interested in last year’s quarterback class (maybe Mitchell Trubisky specifically) and likely plan to not be near the top of the draft for years. Shoot your quarterback shot now.


5. Denver Broncos - QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma - Of the group of teams in the quarterback hunt, the Broncos likely feel most comfortable with Mayfield if only due to coaching him at the Senior Bowl. John Elway’s supposed height favorability kind of went out the window when signing Case Keenum. In fact, Keenum and Baker are practically identical in size.


6. Indianapolis Colts (via NYJ) - S Derwin James, FSU - The Colts are in a great spot to trade out again if a quarterback does drop out of the top 5. If not, adding a top talent like James to pair with Malik Hooker would be exciting. James is a fantastic athlete, is aggressive when moving towards the line of scrimmage and has plenty of experience as a split safety as well.


7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - RB Saquon Barkley, Penn State - You’re welcome. The Bucs clearly want to upgrade the running back spot, so this is an easy fit. I love Barkley’s game as his receiving skills perfectly fit the NFL, but too often as a runner he forces a two-yard loss rather than taking the one-yard gain.

 

8. Chicago Bears - G Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame - The NFL respects interior offensive linemen, as they should. Interior disruption is king, so preventing it is important. The Bears have a need at one guard spot, and hiring Notre Dame’s offensive line coach only adds fuel to the fire.

 

9. San Francisco 49ers - LB Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech - Football players Edmunds’ size should not move the way he does. He has his flaws, but as a run and chase player with a theoretical high ceiling, Edmunds could shine with the 49ers.


10. Oakland Raiders - LB Roquan Smith, Georgia - Roquan is a top five prospect in this class and perfectly fits a need for the Raiders. I wonder if Jon Gruden, who is now calling the shots, sees Derrick Brooks in Roquan’s game.


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Josh Norris is an NFL Draft Analyst for Rotoworld and contributed to the Rams scouting department during training camp of 2010 and the 2011 NFL Draft. He can be found on Twitter .
Email :Josh Norris



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