2018 NFL Mock Draft: Two trades in top five, Giants go linebacker after moving down
Buffalo turns its two first-round picks into its QB of the future
We're three weeks away from the NFL Draft, and there are still plenty of things left to be decided before Roger Goodell walks onto that stage inside AT&T Stadium and gets booed like he's never been booed before. Sure, he'll play it off, and act like he enjoys it, but deep down I bet it hurts his feelings a little bit.
Some people enjoy being the heel, and I'm not sure Roger's one of them.
Anyway, onto slightly more important things: the actual draft. There's been a big change to the first round since my last mock two weeks ago, as the Patriots have added a second first-round pick to their bevy of selections, and some wonder if this is a precursor to the Patriots making a move to draft Tom Brady's successor. It would make sense, seeing as how Jimmy Garoppolo was sent to the 49ers last season, and according to some reports, Bill Belichick didn't do so willingly.
As interesting a storyline as that is, though, I think a lot of what happens in the first round -- and this draft in general -- hinges on what the New York Giants do at No. 2. Maybe they trade the pick to New England, or maybe they hold onto it. Some mock drafts have them keeping the pick to choose their own QB, but I'm not sold on that outcome. Nor am I sold on the idea that the Giants are shopping Odell Beckham. If somebody makes a ridiculous offer maybe they pull the trigger, but my gut says that's all the Giants are doing. Hoping for somebody to do something stupid.
All their other moves this offseason leads me to believe this is a team looking to make a run at another title before Eli Manning rides off into the sunset. If they keep the pick and don't draft a QB, teams like the Browns, Colts, Buccaneers, and Bears might be able to get a king's ransom for their draft spots. Or maybe the Giants trade down themselves. The 49ers received four draft picks from the Bears last season for the No. 2 spot, and that was just so the Bears could move up one spot. Teams like Buffalo and New England could offer the Giants two first-rounders this year, and for a team trying to build a winner quickly, that's awful enticing.
Or maybe they do take that QB and send a bunch of other teams scrambling for position. What does my mock draft have the Giants doing? Let's find out.
1. Cleveland Browns
2. Buffalo Bills (NYG mock trade)
Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA: The Giants create a bidding war between division rivals in the Bills and Patriots, and Buffalo's two first-rounders are more attractive than New England's. The Bills move on their QB of the future.
3. New York Jets (from IND)
4. Denver Broncos (CLE mock trade)
Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming: The Broncos can't risk the Patriots or anybody else jumping up to take Allen, so they pay the Browns a similar price to what the Bears paid San Francisco last season to move up a spot.
5. Cleveland Browns (DEN mock trade)
6. Indianapolis Colts (from NYJ)
Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State: The Colts wouldn't have minded trading down from this spot, but with four QBs gone already there won't be much fighting for picks at this point. I guess they'll have to take the best pass-rusher in the draft!
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
8. Chicago Bears
Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame: The Bears invested a lot in Mitch Trubisky last year, and now they need to protect him. Nelson might be the surest thing in this draft, and the Bears hired his OL coach from Notre Dame this offseason.
9. San Francisco 49ers
Minkah Fitzpatrick, CB, Alabama: The Niners need a corner in this draft, and you have to imagine John Lynch would be thrilled to see Fitzpatrick on the board here.
10. Oakland Raiders
Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia: I'm sure Jon Gruden will try to trade this pick for an aging veteran first, but then he'll come to his senses and take the best defensive player left on the board.
11. Miami Dolphins
12. New York Giants (BUF mock trade)
13. Washington Redskins
14. Green Bay Packers
15. Arizona Cardinals
Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville: Arizona added both Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon, but neither are long-term answers. Instead, they both provide Arizona with the time to groom Jackson to become the starter.
16. Baltimore Ravens
Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama: He's the best WR in this draft, even if he's not a true No. 1 type in my opinion.
17. Los Angeles Chargers
18. Seattle Seahawks
Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa: Seattle certainly opened up some room in its secondary this offseason, and Josh Jackson could be the perfect replacement.
19. Dallas Cowboys
Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama: The Cowboys could go quite a few different directions here, but I think Evans will be hard to pass up.
20. Detroit Lions
21. Cincinnati Bengals (from BUF)
22. New York Giants (BUF mock trade)
23. New England Patriots (from LAR)
Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State: The Patriots weren't able to move up to get their QB, but maybe they weren't trying to? In my mind, Rudolph fits the mold of what the Patriots have looked for before.
24. Carolina Panthers
D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland: The Panthers need somebody who can stretch the field for them from the outside, and Moore just might be the guy to do it.
25. Tennessee Titans
26. Atlanta Falcons
Da'Ron Payne, DT, Alabama: I don't know who it will be, but I'm 99.99 percent certain the Falcons will draft a defensive lineman in the first round.
27. New Orleans Saints
Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville: The Saints are somewhat mysterious in this spot, but I have them taking a corner to shore up the secondary.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers
29. Jacksonville Jaguars
Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame: The Jags need help at OT, and while their particular preference in the player that fills it may be different than mine, I think it makes sense for them to go this direction at No. 29.
30. Minnesota Vikings
31. New England Patriots
Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA: Belichick ends up getting a QB of the future and a tackle to help protect the QB of right now.
32. Philadelphia Eagles
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