Two-Round 2018 NFL Mock Draft: Giants trade down, then up as QBs go 1-2-3
The Bills make a big move to get to No. 2, and the Giants hop back into the top 10 after moving down
The Jets made an early move to get into position for a quarterback, trading to No. 3 by sending No. 6 and three second-round picks to the Colts. Now the ball is in Buffalo's court. And considering their Carolina connection with the Giants, shouldn't we expect them to move to No. 2 and get their quarterback?
Unfortunately for the Bills, the Jets may have placed a premium on moving up by overpaying to go up three spots. And if Buffalo wants to get to No. 2 and take their preferred option at quarterback -- while also denying their AFC East rivals their potential top pick at quarterback -- they're also going to have to overpay. In this mock draft, I have the Bills sending three first-round picks to the Giants as well as a second-rounder (while also getting a Day 3 pick back).
- Bills get No. 2 overall, 2019 fifth-round pick
- Giants get No. 12, 22, 56, 2019 first-round pick
But that's not all. I then have the Giants moving back into the top 10 and selecting a quarterback. Read on to see which signal-caller they end up landing.
1. Cleveland Browns
Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming. CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora wrote recently that , and since no one is more connected than Jason, I'm willing to go down that road too. While the Browns traded for Tyrod Taylor (as well as Jarvis Landry and Damarious Randall), I still think a quarterback is the most likely move for them at No. 1 -- Taylor isn't more than a one-year option on his current deal, but he's good enough that the Browns can draft Allen and let him sit and develop before taking over in 2019 (or late in 2018).
2. Buffalo Bills (NYG mock trade)
Sam Darnold, QB, USC. The Bills are almost certainly not done moving up, and with the familiarity between the Bills and Giants' front offices (both Carolina alums), this fit makes too much sense, particularly with the AFC East rival Jets now at No. 3. Thanks to that Jets-Colts trade, in which the Colts received excellent value for their pick, the Bills will likely have to overpay to get to No. 2. My mock trade has them giving up No. 12, 22, 56 and a 2019 first-round pick for No. 2 and a 2019 Day 3 pick.
3. New York Jets (from IND)
Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA. The trade-up for the Jets was all about getting into position for a quarterback, and if they can find a franchise signal-caller here, it's well worth the overpay to move up a couple spots. Walter Football's Charlie Campbell compares Rosen to Jay Cutler, a quarterback with which new Jets offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates has plenty of experience. Rosen could be the best fit for the Jets moving forward.
4. Cleveland Browns (from HOU)
Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State. The Browns picked their QB1 at No. 1 overall, and here they have the opportunity to take their No. 1 rated non-QB after three quarterbacks go in the first three picks. Will that be Chubb or Saquon Barkley? Having an elite pass-rusher is much more valuable than an elite running back, and having Chubb bookend Myles Garrett could quickly help make this a top-tier defense.
5. Denver Broncos
Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame. The Broncos land Case Keenum as their starter at QB, and while they still could be in the market for a player at that position in the draft, they don't have to force one. If they go best player available, that should be Nelson or Barkley. While Barkley is the flashier pick, Nelson addresses a bigger need, and he'd lock up the left side of the Broncos' offensive line and make them a right tackle away from potentially being elite. That should help the offense as a whole more than drafting Barkley.
6. Indianapolis Colts (from NYJ)
Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State. The Colts trade back and still get the guy they could have wound up drafting at No. 3, partly thanks to the Bills trading up and making the top three picks all QBs. That pushes one of the three elite non-QBs in this draft down to Indianapolis, and Barkley gives them the best running back they've had in a long time. With needs at guard and defensive end as well, the Colts will be happy if three QBs go in the top five and push one of Barkley, Chubb or Nelson to them.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Derwin James, S, Florida State. The Buccaneers are in a perfect spot to help their secondary with this pick by selecting either cornerback Denzel Ward, slot corner/safety Minkah Fitzpatrick or James. I think the Florida State safety is the best option for the Bucs, as he'll be able to give them what T.J. Ward couldn't at the strong safety position. James could quickly develop into an All-Pro caliber player.
8. Chicago Bears
Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama. This doesn't address a major need, with Kyle Fuller and Prince Amukamara back and Eddie Jackson playing well last year. However, Fitzpatrick is the best player available, and Vic Fangio would certainly welcome the opportunity to incorporate the versatile defensive back into his unit. The Bears could still lose slot corner Bryce Callahan as a restricted free agent as well, and Amukamara has only played 16 games once in his career. With a talent like Fitzpatrick, the Bears should take him now and figure out how to make it work later.
9. New York Giants (SF mock trade)
Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma. If the 49ers have a shot at a guy like Chubb, Nelson or James, I think they keep this pick. But with all off the board, they move down with the Giants, who jump ahead of the Dolphins to get their QB of the future in Mayfield, a guy they've scouted heavily. In this mock trade, I have the Giants surrendering the second-rounder they got from Buffalo (No. 56), while also receiving San Francisco's original third-rounder (No. 74). That's a valuable move up for John Lynch, who then has three picks in the top 60.
10. Oakland Raiders
Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State. The Raiders are seeing massive turnover at the cornerback position with David Amerson, Sean Smith and T.J. Carrie out the door. Rashaan Melvin was a nice pickup, but Shareece Wright is nothing more than depth. Enter Ward, an elite cover corner who has everything but prototypical size. He'll be an excellent slot corner and should excel in Oakland, where Melvin and Gareon Conley can match up with bigger receivers.
11. Miami Dolphins
Da'Ron Payne, DT, Alabama. The Dolphins cut ties with Ndamukong Suh, leaving a big hole in the middle of their defense. Luckily, they're situated in a great spot to address it at No. 11, especially if a targeted quarterback doesn't slide to them. Payne is a great run defender who also contributes as a pass-rusher, as he showed in the CFP championship, logging seven quarterback pressures.
12. San Francisco 49ers (NYG mock trade)
Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech. The 49ers need to find some help for Reuben Foster at the second level of the defense, and they might not necessarily be able to count on Foster either with his off-field issues. Edmunds is a ridiculous athlete who will excel either at the MIKE or WILL linebacker spot, and he'd be a fine pick at No. 9 even if the 49ers stay put.
13. Washington Redskins
Vita Vea, DT, Washington. Vea gives Washington a massive (read: 347 pounds) upgrade at nose tackle, and he should be a nice complement to Jonathan Allen on the team's defensive front. He could also be a three-down player who can give Washington something in the pass rush, and he's a better prospect than similar big defensive tackles who have come off the board in this range.
14. Green Bay Packers
Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA. Davenport rushed with his hand off the ground at UTSA, so playing outside linebacker in Green Bay's base set wouldn't be completely foreign to him. His best fit in the NFL might be as a down lineman rushing off the edge, but with NFL defenses playing nickel more than their base sets nowadays, he'd have ample opportunity to do just that even with a 3-4 team. His massive upside is well worth selecting him in the top half of the first round.
15. Arizona Cardinals
Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa. Jackson's stock took a bit of a hit at the combine after he ran just 4.56 in his 40 and was outplayed by several other players at his position in drills. Still, the tape shows he's more than worthy of being a first-round selection, and the Cardinals have a massive need at cornerback across from Patrick Peterson. Jackson won't be able to keep up with the burners, but he has tremendous ball skills and should record a handful of interceptions as a rookie.
16. Baltimore Ravens
Rashaan Evans, ILB, Alabama. The Ravens brought in a couple of receivers in free agency, opening them up to going with a different position at this pick if they want. While Calvin Ridley remains one of the favorites for this pick, Baltimore could also snag Evans and pair him with another former Alabama linebacker in C.J. Mosley, who is a mentor for the likely first-round pick. This might be a little high for Evans, so I can see the Ravens shopping this pick around as well before moving down and taking him.
17. Los Angeles Chargers
Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia. Smith would immediately step in and be the best linebacker on a strong Chargers defense, giving Gus Bradley a Deion Jones-type player to build around at the second level. He could very well be gone by this pick, although off-ball linebackers have become less emphasized in recent drafts, and Smith is battling Edmunds to be the top pick at the position.
18. Minnesota Vikings (SEA mock trade)
Will Hernandez, G, UTEP. The Seahawks have some rebuilding to do, but they have zero picks on Day 2. The Vikings don't have many needs, but one glaring one is guard. They can certainly sacrifice their second-rounder to move up and get one of the top-tier guards behind Nelson, and Hernandez and Isaiah Wynn are unlikely to make it to No. 30 with guard-needy teams like the Cowboys, Lions, Panthers and the Seahawks themselves ahead of Minnesota.
19. Dallas Cowboys
Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama. Ridley's stock is down after an unimpressive combine, but the Cowboys decided to use one of their predraft visits on the talented wideout, who might not fall any further than this pick. Considering wide receiver is one of the team's biggest needs, they could jump at the chance to draft Ridley, who could eventually take over the No. 1 role if the Cowboys move on from Dez Bryant next offseason, which would save them more than $12 million on the cap.
20. Detroit Lions
Isaiah Wynn, G, Georgia. Finding a left guard might be the Lions' biggest need coming out of the first wave of free agency, and with the big-name free agents at the position already matched up with teams, Wynn or Hernandez will likely be Detroit's best bet to address the position. That could have been the plan all along, as they reportedly met with both at the combine.
21. Cincinnati Bengals (from BUF)
Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame. The Bengals took a step toward addressing their offensive line woes by acquiring left tackle Cordy Glenn from the Bills and moving down to this pick. They should keep adding talent to the position with McGlinchey, who is a fit at either tackle spot. He'll slot in at right tackle initially but could move to the left side if Glenn can't stay healthy. Either way, drafting the Notre Dame standout puts the Bengals halfway to fixing their line issues.
22. New York Giants (BUF mock trade)
Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville. The Giants picked up this selection by moving down from No. 2 in a trade with the Bills, and after getting a quarterback earlier in this draft, they address their cornerback need with Alexander, who had a fantastic combine to boost his draft stock. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is gone and Eli Apple's future isn't on solid ground, so adding talent at the position makes a lot of sense.
23. Los Angeles Rams
Leighton Vander Esch, ILB, Boise State. The Rams threw a lot of resources at upgrading their secondary while dealing away linebackers Robert Quinn and Alec Ogletree this offseason. That makes both rush linebacker and inside linebacker a need for the team heading into the draft. Vander Esch is the last blue-chip linebacker available, and he's a better fit for Wade Phillips's 3-4 than Ogletree or Mark Barron.
24. Carolina Panthers
Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU. The Panthers find a replacement for Kelvin Benjamin here by bringing in the 6-foot-3 Sutton, who put up one of the best 20-yard shuttle times at this position despite his relatively mediocre 4.54 40. He should quickly develop into a security blanket for Cam Newton.
25. Tennessee Titans
Harold Landry, OLB, Boston College. Landry is an athletic freak as an edge rusher, but he'll likely be better served not playing a large role as a rookie while he adjusts to the NFL and potentially bulks up. That should be just fine for the Titans, who will have a huge need at edge rusher next offseason with Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan slated to reach free agency. Landry can be a subpackage player in Year 1 and eventually take over one of those starting spots in 2019.
26. Atlanta Falcons
Taven Bryan, DT, Florida. The Falcons don't have many needs, but one spot they could be targeting in the first round is defensive tackle, with Dontari Poe only signing a one-year deal last offseason. Bryan has earned some J.J. Watt comparisons despite the lack of stats at the collegiate level, and he put up similar numbers to Watt at the combine. Defensive tackle is one of the Falcons' few needs, and they'll be fortunate if Bryan makes it to them.
27. New Orleans Saints
Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State. The Saints can go one of many different ways with this pick, as they don't have one burning need that must be addressed. One spot that could use an upgrade is tight end, where Coby Fleener hasn't panned out on a big-money contract. New Orleans should have its pick of tight ends at No. 27 if it chooses to address the position, and Goedert had a formal interview with the team at the combine. Considering the Saints don't have a second-round pick and he's unlikely to make it to the late third, that could be a clue as to where the team is headed with this pick.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers
Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville. The Steelers miss out on the top linebackers and instead draft the heir apparent to Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback. Jackson is a divisive prospect but did a good job in the passing drills at the combine, even if no one would grade him the best passer in this class. He met with the Steelers at the combine, showing interest on their part, and it's realistic he makes it to the end of the first round.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars
D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland. Moore put together a fantastic combine, running a 4.42 40 at 210 pounds while delivering a 39 1/2-inch vertical, 11-foot broad jump and excellent numbers in the shuttle drills. With the Jaguars losing Allen Robinson in free agency and Donte Moncrief not exactly proving himself a starting-caliber talent, there's an opportunity here to keep adding talent at wide receiver.
30. Cleveland Browns (SEA/MIN mock trade)
Connor Williams, OT, Texas. The Seahawks move down again, picking up No. 35 and 114 and giving them two seconds (including the one received from Minnesota in a previous mock trade), two fourths and four fifths to address several issues and move around a bit more on Day 2 and 3. The Browns move up to snag a potential Joe Thomas replacement at left tackle before the Patriots and Eagles have the chance to take him.
31. New England Patriots
Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA. There weren't many players that had a better combine than Miller, who set a record for offensive linemen with a 10-foot-1 broad jump while also running a 4.95 40 at 310 pounds. Coupled with the expected fall of Orlando Brown after his woeful showing, Miller could earn a ticket to the first round in the draft. With the Patriots unable to retain Nate Solder, Miller gives them a potential blindside blocker for Tom Brady.
32. Philadelphia Eagles
Justin Reid, FS, Stanford. With two potential tackle options coming off the board right before their pick, the Eagles pivot to taking Reid, a safety they've reportedly had a lot of interest in. Corey Graham is a free agent, so Reid can come in and immediately fill the third safety role for the Philadelphia defense while giving them a long-term plan when Malcolm Jenkins or Rodney McLeod get too old or expensive to keep.
33. Cleveland Browns
34. New York Giants
35. Seattle Seahawks (CLE mock trade)
36. Indianapolis Colts
37. Indianapolis Colts (from NYJ)
Billy Price, G/C, Ohio State. Price injured his pec at the combine and had surgery to repair it, but he should be fine for the start of the season. He should immediately plug into a guard slot for Indy.
38. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
39. Chicago Bears
Arden Key, OLB, LSU. Key has the talent of a top-10 pick, but he struggled in 2017 and brings off-field red flags. Even so, expect a team to gamble on his upside on Day 2.
40. Denver Broncos
Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State. With Case Keenum only signed for two years, the Broncos should be open for business when it comes to drafting a potential long-term QB. Rudolph could be a late first-round pick, so this is good value for John Elway.
41. Oakland Raiders
Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma. Brown's stock tanked after a woeful combine performance, but he improved his numbers at his pro day. The Raiders have a massive need at right tackle.
42. Miami Dolphins
43. New England Patriots (from SF)
44. Washington Redskins
James Daniels, C, Iowa. Washington lands a plug-and-play center to replace Long, who didn't have the ceiling of the Iowa pivot anyway.
45. Green Bay Packers
46. Cincinnati Bengals
Martinas Rankin, C, Mississippi State. The Bengals keep attacking their offensive line issues by taking Rankin, who should be a great fit at center in the NFL.
47. Arizona Cardinals
48. Los Angeles Chargers
49. Indianapolis Colts (from NYJ/SEA)
Darius Leonard, LB, South Carolina State. The Colts have a major need for linebackers who can play in the new 4-3 scheme, and I'd be shocked if they didn't use a second-round pick to get one. Pencil in Leonard at WILL.
50. Dallas Cowboys
51. Detroit Lions
52. Baltimore Ravens
53. Buffalo Bills
D.J. Chark, WR, LSU. The Bills traded up for their QB earlier but kept this pick in the deal. Now they pair their new signal-caller with a size/speed complement to Kelvin Benjamin and Zay Jones.
54. Kansas City Chiefs
55. Carolina Panthers
56. San Francisco 49ers (NYG/BUF mock trades)
Tim Settle, DT, Virginia Tech. The 49ers moved down from No. 9 to 12 to get this pick from the Giants, who picked it up from the Bills in a move-down from No. 2. Settle pairs with Edmunds to give the 49ers two excellent Virginia Tech defenders.
57. Tennessee Titans
58. Atlanta Falcons
Rasheem Green, DE, USC. The Falcons get some pass-rush help after losing Adrian Clayborn in free agency.
59. San Francisco 49ers (from NO)
60. Pittsburgh Steelers
Lorenzo Carter, OLB, Georgia. This pick was Ronnie Harrison until the Steelers signed Morgan Burnett, so instead they take a rush linebacker who can play behind Bud Dupree and potentially start if Dupree eventually walks in free agency.
61. Jacksonville Jaguars
Ronald Jones II, RB, USC. The Jaguars went big at running back in last year's draft, and here they get a nice complement who can be lethal in small doses at a great value.
62. Seattle Seahawks (MIN mock trade)
Jamarco Jones, OT, Ohio State. The Seahawks acquired this pick by moving down in the first round, and they use it on an immediate starter at right tackle.
63. New England Patriots
Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama. Even after Patrick Chung was extended, the Patriots won't hesitate to grab Harrison at this value.
64. Cleveland Browns (from Philadelphia)
Harrison Phillips, DT, Stanford. The Browns don't have much at defensive tackle, but there should be good value at the position on Day 2.
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