2018 NFL Mock Draft: Raiders go defense, Ravens add much-needed WR speed
Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds jumps ahead of Georgia star Roquan Smith
The prospect with the most buzz in Mobile during Senior Bowl week who wasn't a participant was Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds. The huge, freak athlete who had 108 tackles and 14 tackles for loss for the Hokies in 2017 at the ripe age of 19.
Let's examine that possibility and the impact it would have on the 2018 NFL Draft.
Below is the current draft order, which is nearly 100 percent set.
1. Cleveland Browns
2. New York Giants
Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA. Similar situation here for Rosen, but he'll hold the clipboard while Eli Manning starts the 2018 campaign under center. Eli will be an exquisite mentor for the young, talented quarterback.
3. Indianapolis Colts
Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State. The Colts are the wild-card team early in the first round. They'll have a new coach -- expected to be Josh McDaniels -- and Andrew Luck should return from a serious shoulder injury. Indianapolis got ample production from defensive free-agent signees this past season, yet Chubb is an alpha pass-rusher on the edge. He'll instantly upgrade the Colts defense.
4. Cleveland Browns (from Texans)
Minkah Fitzpatrick, CB, Alabama. Plenty of top prospects in play here. GM John Dorsey goes with a secondary member who can play safety, corner, and be utilized as an effective blitzer. Fitzpatrick has the size and athleticism to thrive in today's NFL.
5. Denver Broncos
Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming. John Elway's going to test the veteran quarterback market, but I don't think that'll preclude him from taking a quarterback. If the Broncos stay put, it'll either be Allen or Mayfield, and in this mock, Denver goes with the riskier option who, to many, has the most upside of any quarterback in this class. Allen won't be asked to start right away.
6. New York Jets
Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma. The Jets are ecstatic with how the top five unfolded, even though they technically pick the fourth quarterback at No. 6 overall here. Mayfield is ready to handle the limelight of the Big Apple and made serious strides as a passer while at Oklahoma.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Derwin James, S, Florida State. The Buccaneers tinker with the idea of Marcus Davenport, yet ultimately believe this is too early to pick the small-school star. James is a do-it-all safety prospect who can cover the more athletic wideouts in the NFL and strike often against the run.
8. Chicago Bears
Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama. Ridley's route-running is what gets him drafted here to the Bears. While he lacks size and may not be the fastest wideout down the field, he'll frequently create separation at the next level for Mitchell Trubisky.
9. San Francisco 49ers
Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State. If the Browns don't pick Barkey at No. 4 overall, this could be the landing spot for the consensus top offensive non-QB prospect. Jimmy Garoppolo gets his feature back.
10. Oakland Raiders
Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech. In a surprise at the linebacker spot, Edmunds goes ahead of highly-touted Roquan Smith of Georgia simply due to what many believe is massive potential. At 6-foot-4 and 250 pounds with rare movement skills, the young linebacker has all the tools to be an impactful sideline-to-sideline tackling machine in the NFL.
11. Miami Dolphins
Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame. Another team thrilled with how the board fell, as the Dolphins get a serious upgrade to the interior of their offensive line. Nelson is a brick wall in pass protection but really thrives paving lanes for the run. Big boost to Kenyan Drake's fantasy stock.
12. Cincinnati Bengals
13. Washington Redskins
Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia. The Redskins recently re-signed Mason Foster. Cool. Zach Brown is a free-agent though, and the depth at linebacker is sparse. Smith's football intelligence, speed, and power will allow him to be a star right away.
14. Green Bay Packers
Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU. With Jordy Nelson nearing the end of his time in Green Bay, the Packers plan ahead at wide receiver with Sutton, a 6-4 monster who dominates the catch point and is elusive after the catch.
15. Arizona Cardinals
Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma. The Cardinals arguably had the most troubling offensive tackle situation in football a season ago. With Brown, they got a somewhat unconventional yet reliable left-tackle prospect. At 6-8 and close to 350 pounds, he doesn't have the foot quickness of other edge blockers, but he's incredibly long, balanced and an amazing run blocker.
16. Baltimore Ravens
17. Los Angeles Chargers
Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA. Miller is flying under the radar now, and that's fine. His athleticism will be on full display at the combine, and his film is rife with textbook pass-blocking sets. Miller's what the Chargers need.
18. Seattle Seahawks
19. Dallas Cowboys
Joshua Jackson, CB, Iowa. The Cowboys drafted Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis in 2017, yet they need a lockdown perimeter cornerback to fortify the strength of the secondary. Jackson has the length, technique, and physical ability to cover No. 1 wide receivers.
20. Detroit Lions
Derrius Guice, RB, LSU. The Lions desperately need a true feature back, and that's precisely what Guice is. He looks and runs like a power back and possesses the change-of-direction ability of a much smaller runner.
21. Buffalo Bills
Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State. This pick makes too much sense to tweak right now. The Bills like experienced prospects -- as evidenced by their 2017 draft haul -- and Rudolph gives Buffalo pocket-passing ability with a familiarity in modern spread offenses that feature plenty of run-pass option. Brian Daboll is happy with this pick.
22. Buffalo Bills from Chiefs
Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, OLB, Oklahoma. Okoronkwo isn't your father's 4-3 defensive end at 6-1 and 240 pounds, and that's ok. He's an explosive speed-rusher who demonstrates the ability to dip around the edge and bend to the quarterback. The Oklahoma star has a large arsenal of pass-rushing moves too. He can man the SAM spot in Buffalo's front.
23. Los Angeles Rams
24. Carolina Panthers
Michael Gallup, WR, Colorado State. Carolina needs a reliable wideout to take pressure off Devin Funchess and Christian McCaffrey. Gallup is one of the most sound receiver prospects in this class who can win in a variety of ways.
25. Tennessee Titans
Taven Bryan, DL, Florida. Tennessee could use more youth on its defensive line, and Bryan is a versatile prospect who can play inside at either one or three technique and generate pass rush on the outside at five technique.
26. Atlanta Falcons
Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State. The Falcons bolster their pass-catching group with Goedert, a big, seam-stretching tight end with strong hands and above-average athletic talents. He'll take some attention away from Julio Jones on the outside.
27. New Orleans Saints
28. Pittsburgh Steelers
29. Jackonsville Jaguars
30. Minnesota Vikings
Chukwuma Okorafor, OT, Western Michigan. Okorafor is height/weight/athleticism freak with the overall ability to become a franchise left tackle. Minnesota still needs to improve its blocking up front.
31. Philadelphia Eagles
32. New England Patriots
Mark Andrews, TE, Oklahoma. As if covering Rob Gronkowski wasn't difficult enough, the Patriots give their opponents another huge tight end to deal with in Andrews, who was Mayfield's go-to option in Norman.
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