This is the last mock before free agency, which means the last one that has little or no direction based on roster holes.
I will have three or so more mocks, but this is it before teams fill holes in free agency, while creating some for other teams.
With the Cleveland Browns making a move to acquire Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor last week, I have them passing on a quarterback with the No. 1 overall pick to take NC State pass rusher Bradley Chubb.
The Browns have Myles Garrett and Emmanuel Ogbah, but Chubb is the best player in the draft and you can never have enough edge rushers. There is value in that spot.
I have them taking Chubb because they can get their future quarterback at No. 4.
I have the Bills trading up with the Colts to the third spot to take Wyoming's Josh Allen, which would leave USC's Sam Darnold to the Browns in the fourth spot. The Bills would give up the 12th overall pick (which they got from the Bengals in the Cordy Glenn trade Monday, plus the 22nd overall pick (which they got from Kansas City last year), and a fifth-round pick to get to the third spot.
The Browns would pass on Penn State running back Saquan Barkley with the first pick because they can get a back at the top of the second, where they have two picks.
Position value matters. That would be smart.
This mock is based on Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins signing with the Vikings, which leaves the Jets in play for a passer here. But that would all change if Cousins opts to sign with the Jets or another team.
Like I said, this is the last mock before free agency, which makes it the last exercise without any real meaning.
|NFL Mock Draft - 03/14/2018|
|1. Cleveland Browns|
|Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State: He is the best player in the draft and you can never have enough good pass rushers.|
|2. New York Giants|
|Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State: This is way too high for a back for my liking, but if the Giants think he's their special runner they will take him.|
|3. Buffalo Bills (Mock Trade with Indianapolis)|
|Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming: They move up to get their big, strong-armed passer who will not have issues in the Buffalo weather.|
|4. Cleveland Browns (from Houston)|
|Sam Darnold, QB, Southern California: They wait to take their quarterback and end up with one some think is the best in the draft.|
|5. Denver Broncos|
|Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma: They wanted to work with him at the Senior Bowl for a reason. Mayfield is a guy they are said to like.|
|6. New York Jets|
|Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA: With it appearing Cousins might be going to the Vikings, the Jets have to take a passer here. Rosen is the choice.|
|7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|Minkah Fitzpatrick, FS, Alabama: They have to get better on the back end. What better way to do that than with a versatile player like Fitzpatrick?|
|8. Chicago Bears|
|Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State: They need help outside, even if Kyle Fuller (transition tag) stays with the team. Ward is small, but he might be the most fundamentally sound corner in this draft.|
|9. San Francisco 49ers|
|Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame: They have to get better inside on their offensive line and Nelson has the look of a 10-year Pro Bowl player.|
|10. Oakland Raiders|
|Derwin James, SS, Florida State: Yes, they have Karl Joseph and they took Obi Melifonwu last year, but James would bring a versatile player who could play a number of spots. Melifonwu didn't play much last year because of injuries and was used at corner.|
|11. Miami Dolphins|
|Vita Vea, DT, Washington: They let Ndamukong Suh go, so why not take a player to replace him? Vea has the power and the push to be a good inside player.|
|12. Indianapolis Colts (from Cincinnati)|
|Joshua Jackson, CB, Iowa: They have to get better outside. They let Vontae Davis walk and they will likely lose Rashaan Melvin in free agency.|
|13. Washington Redskins|
|Tremaine Edmunds, ILB, Virginia Tech: This is a big, physical player who can run and would really help the second level for the Redskins.|
|14. Green Bay Packers|
|Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA: They need to amp up the outside pass rush and Davenport is a raw prospect who has the speed to do that. He might take some time to develop.|
|15. Arizona Cardinals|
|Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville: They need to get a young quarterback and Jackson would be the choice with all the others off the board. Like some other rookie passers in this class, he might need to spend time behind a veteran first.|
|16. Baltimore Ravens|
|Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama: They have to get help outside in their passing game. Ridley didn't run a great 40 at the combine, but he plays fast and the scouts love him.|
|17. Los Angeles Chargers|
|Roquan Smith, ILB, Georgia: They can't pass up a quality player in this spot who can help a position in need. Smith can fly and we know Gus Bradley loves speed linebackers.|
|18. Seattle Seahawks|
|Mike Hughes, CB, UCF: With Richard Sherman gone, they could use a corner in the worst way. Hughes would team with Shaq Griffin, another UCF player, to give them a nice duo.|
|19. Dallas Cowboys|
|D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland: With Dez Bryant's future unsettled, and even if he stays, they need speed outside. Moore is a player whose stock has risen in the past month.|
|20. Detroit Lions|
|Da'Ron Payne, DT, Alabama: They are bringing back Ziggy Ansah up front, but they need more bodies. Payne has the tools to be an immediate impact player.|
|21. Cincinnati Bengals (from Buffalo)|
|James Daniels, C, Iowa: They traded down to this spot when they landed left tackle Cordy Glenn. Now they can get a center to upgrade a weak spot on their line for years.|
|22. Indianapolis Colts (from Kansas City)|
|Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan: This is based on his getting a clean bill of health after a heart issue at the combine. He would be an immediate help inside to a defense that needs it.|
|23. Los Angeles Rams|
|Harold Landry, OLB, Boston College: They traded Robert Quinn away to the Dolphins. While they like some of their younger players, you can never have enough edge rushers.|
|24. Carolina Panthers|
|Will Hernandez, OG, Texas-El Paso: They are losing Andrew Norwell in free agency, so why not get a replacement who can plug and play right away?|
|25. Tennessee Titans|
|Rashaan Evans, ILB, Alabama: He is a thumper who could take over when Avery Williamson likely leaves in free agency.|
|26. Atlanta Falcons|
|Isaiah Wynn, OT, Georgia: He played tackle for the Bulldogs, but would slide inside and upgrade the guard spot. He is coming off a shoulder surgery.|
|27. New Orleans Saints|
|Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina: They need to add a nice threat in the middle of the field since Coby Fleener hasn't worked out.|
|28. Pittsburgh Steelers|
|Leighton Vander Esch, OLB, Boise State: The Steelers had major issues on defense after Ryan Shazier got hurt. Vander Esch could step in and start inside right away.|
|29. Jacksonville Jaguars|
|Courtland Sutton, WR, Southern Methodist: With it looking like Allen Robinson is moving on, they need to get a bigger receiver to go with their smallish young ones. Sutton ran better than expected at the combine.|
|30. Minnesota Vikings|
|Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville: In a division with Aaron Rodgers and Matt Stafford, you can never have enough corners. Plus, Terence Newman is coming to the end.|
|31. New England Patriots|
|Taven Bryan, DT, Florida: He is the type of player who brings the versatility the Patriots like. He can play inside or outside.|
|32. Philadelphia Eagles|
|Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado: They have solid corners, but Patrick Robinson is likely leaving via free agency. Oliver would join Sidney Jones, who missed last season, as two new corners.|