Across The Middle: 2018 NFL Mock Draft

| April 25th, 2018

I don’t remember ever being so confused before a draft.

It used to be — back when men were men and beat writers smoked four packs a day — that we’d have some sort of idea at least how the top five would go. We’d have a few surprises but they’d be minor. This year, the Cleveland Browns could blow everything up by taking the quarterback nobody thinks they should. If that happens, the Giants could take another quarterback, then the Jets another and, who knows what could happen with the fourth pick?

The only thing we do know is to expect the unexpected. Everything is on the table. Here’s how I think it might play out, Warning: I didn’t spend too much time on it.

1. Cleveland Browns: Sam Darnold, QB,  USC

I think Darnold has been the guy for months, but the NFL wants them to keep everyone guessing up until draft day.

2. New York Giants: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn St.

Pretty much every old school scout says Barkley is the best player in the draft. The Giants are run by an old school scout. I think they’d take Darnold if he were available but aren’t enamored with the rest of the quarterbacks.

3. New York Jets: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma

This has been the buzz for about a month. In my opinion, Mayfield is the best quarterback in the draft this year and they’ll sell him as the second coming of Broadway Joe.

4. Cleveland Browns: Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio St.

The first big surprise, I guess, but their interest in Ward was rumored a couple of months ago before everything went quiet. Ward really is a top-level cornerback prospect and those guys tend to go very high.

5. Denver Broncos: Bradley Chubb, Edge, NC State

Chubb is going to be a good player from Day One. I don’t think he’s ever going to be a premier pass rusher, but I do think he’s going to be terrific against the run and at least adequate at taking down quarterbacks. Don’t be surprised if the Bears moved up to this spot if the draft falls this way.

6. Indianapolis Colts: Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame

There is a lot of buzz about Roquan Smith being the pick here, but I think that’s Chris Ballard intentionally leaking information. I think Nelson is their guy but they don’t want to risk a team moving ahead of them to take him. They have to protect Andrew Luck at some point, right?

7. Buffalo Bills: Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

I think this is the first prime trade-up spot for teams. The Bills can move from 12 to 7 without giving up their second first round pick. The other teams possibly pondering a quarterback would have a hard time getting the ammunition to move much higher than this.

8. Miami Dolphins: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA

The latest buzz has been that the Dolphins are going to sit tight and let the draft fall to them. I think that’s BS. They’re scared the Patriots are going to move here so Adam Gase calls his buddy Ryan Pace and offers a good package to go up.

9. San Francisco 49ers: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia

Smith is an elite-level talent and the 49ers have issues with the linebacker they spent a first round pick on last year.

10. Oakland Raiders: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame

(Jon Gruden voice): I tell ya what man, the Oakland Raiders have a franchise quarterback that they need make sure they protect or they won’t have a franchise quarterback for long.

11. Chicago Bears: Marcus Davenport, Edge, UTSA

Going by my big board from a week ago, Derwin James would be the pick, but I’ve grown a little hesitant on that for various reasons. The next guy down my list fits a position of need and has a really high ceiling. Could be a perfect complement to Leonard Floyd.

12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Derwin James, S, Florida St.

The connection here has been made quite often throughout the process. They tried TJ Ward last year and it didn’t work. James is a younger version.

13. Washington Redskins: Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama

Fitzpatrick can play a number of positions and gives Washington a high end player in the back of their defense.

14. Green Bay Packers: Harold Landry, Edge, Boston College

Cornerback is their biggest need, but I don’t see how they could pass up on Landry up here. (Mostly because he’s my favorite player in this draft.)

15. Arizona Cardinals: Isaiah Wynn, OL, Georgia

They need to do whatever they can to keep Sam Bradford upright. Or they need to draft his replacement.

16. Baltimore Ravens: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville

Both of their offensive coordinators have had success with mobile quarterbacks in the West Coast system before. I think Jackson is an easy fit and I think he’s their starter before Week 17.

17. Los Angeles Chargers: Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma St.

And here’s the sixth quarterback to go in the first round. The Chargers need buzz after falling behind the Rams in the battle for LA’s heart.

18. Seattle Seahawks: Da’Ron Payne, DL, Alabama

They let Mike Bennett go and aren’t going to get anything from the defensive lineman they drafted high in the second round last year. Payne makes sense.

19. Dallas Cowboys: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama

Ridley’s biggest strength is his ability go get open, which fits perfectly with Dak Prescott, who didn’t get along with Dez Bryant because the veteran couldn’t get open.

20. Detroit Lions: Tremaine Edmunds, LB, V. Tech

Their new head coach gets a versatile toy. He could go much higher, but I have a feeling NFL teams aren’t comfortable with his instincts as an inside linebacker. The Lions will move him all over the field.

21. Cincinnati Bengals: Connor Williams, OL, Texas

Williams is a very interesting player. He’ll probably be a guard in the NFL, but the Bengals could put him at tackle.

22. Buffalo Bills: James Daniels, C, Iowa

The Bills lost their three best offensive linemen in the offseason.

23. New England Patriots: Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama

Double B grabs one of his buddy Nick Saban’s best players.

24. Carolina Panthers: Will Hernandez, G, UTEP

Hernandez is kind of a mauler, but athletic. A good fit for Norv Turner’s system.

25. Tennessee Titans: Leighton Vander Esch, Boise St.

I would really like LVE if I wasn’t convinced he was Shea McClellin 2.0.

26. Atlanta Falcons: DJ Moore, WR, Maryland

They need to add some speed to their offense after losing Turbo to the Bears.

27. New Orleans Saints: Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota

They made a push for Jimmy Graham, so I think TE is a real strong possibility here.

28. Pittsburgh Steelers: Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa

I’m not sure how I ended up with Jackson dropping this far.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars: Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU

They lost a pretty good receiver to the Bears and need someone with a big catch radius for Blake Bortles.

30. Minnesota Vikings: Frank Ragnow, OL, Arkansas

I think he’d play guard for the Vikings. They really need to make sure the interior of their line is in good shape because their high-priced QB crumbles under pressure.

31. New England Patriots: Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville

He’s probably going higher, but I forgot about him. I pretty much just forgot about cornerbacks after Ward. I’m ashamed.

32. Philadelphia Eagles: Taven Bryan, DL, Florida

They pretty much just always add guys who get after the quarterback, so here’s another.

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  • SC Dave

    I’d be okay with Davenport, I think, but the rest is a pretty horrible scenario – Landry to the Packers and Edmunds to the Lions. Are you prognosticating the “Death To Trubisky” draft?

    Also, in the trade-down, would the Bears get a Round 3?

    • Irish Sweetness

      Hosed for a 3, have to be a 2.

      The Jets gave up three second rounders to move from 6 to 3. We’re not as high, but if Pace has any balls he tells them if they want their QB it’ll cost them a 2.

    • Trade charts say a 3rd is about right. Moving up for a QB adds cost though, so maybe a 2nd instead, or a 3rd plus future 3rd, or something like that

    • leftcoastdave

      8 to 11 is 150 on the value chart. Miami’s third is worth 225.

      • SC Dave

        So my guess was pretty good. That would be s 50% premium.

        Although if we can get more….

  • That Guy

    Wait. You think Jackson will be starting for the Ravens this year? Are you predicting an injury to Flacco, or you think the Ravens are just done with him and want to pay him tens of millions to hold a clipboard?

  • Scharfinator

    I’m confused, did we trade down in this example?

    Edit: Oof, my reading comprehension is bad. I see it now.

    • BerwynBomber

      Yes to Miami’s slot, I believe.

  • Irish Sweetness

    This would be good. Get a guy …. get another pick.

  • Frank Schoenburg

    Edmunds is the guy I want. Disagree with Andrew.

    • SC Dave

      An intriguing prospect to be sure.

    • CanadaBear

      Either him or Nelson for me. Of course, the bottom line for me is I’m OK with the pick as long as he doesn’t suck moose wang.

      • Irish Sweetness

        Nelson helps both MT and Howard, and therefore the defense. We need an offense that can stay on the field, and maybe that’s worth picking up a pass-rusher in the 2nd instead.
        He could easily be there. There’s four QBs and Barkley up for grabs. Corners. Guards aren’t that sexy.

        • CanadaBear

          Gonna be interesting to see how it shakes out tomorrow night.

    • Irish Sweetness

      As long as Fangio doesn’t try and make him play linebacker in his first year, make him think. Just turn him and Floyd loose every other play. Don’t need instincts to run through an A-gap or rush the passer off the edge if you’re a freak.

  • leftcoastdave

    Now that would be a great outcome. I’m liking Marcus Davenport bigly as Pace gets his long and fast small school pick.

    • BenderMcLugh

      it’s hard to watch his highlights again North Texas and gleen anything, their DL just dominates them.

    • Davenport is def a darkhorse “reach”.

    • SC Dave

      If you’re talking about Landry on the Packers and Edmunds on the Lions, I’m not agreeing its a “great outcome”.

  • Irish Sweetness

    Joaquin Phoenix is really good in You Were Never Really Here. Badass.

    • BenderMcLugh

      intriguing poster. was it really Taxi Driver for a new century?

      • Irish Sweetness


        And the end wants to be a bit Leon, but that’s their call. Great performance though.

    • CanadaBear

      He’s really good in Inherent Vice. Goofy stoner comedy/mystery.

      • EnderWiggin

        ‘Her’ was also creepily good.

      • Irish Sweetness

        I haven’t seen him be bad in anything that I can remember.

        • CanadaBear

          Josh Brolin is hysterical in that movie.

          • Irish Sweetness

            He’s a really good-looking talented charming bastard.

    • AlbertInTucson

      HBO was free this weekend.


      1 Have part 2 recorded.

      Good stuff.

  • Irish Sweetness

    Westworld is going next-level. Anyone see that premiere? Arnold timeline. Hats off.

    • EnderWiggin

      Thanks for the reminder. I’ll check that out tonight. ‘Humans’ season 3 soon too.

    • BenderMcLugh

      watched it last night, should be an excellent season

    • Sactowns#1

      I’m going to have to watch it this evening for sure.

    • Russian Hacked Pacebot 2.0

      don’t fucking give it away irish!

  • Irish Sweetness

    Interesting, Nelson is #2 on Mayock’s board. He has McGlinchey in our spot. Certainly would be an upgrade over Massie. Any love?


    • When it comes to the draft, I always ask, how MUCH of an upgrade would the prospect be over our current “starter”

      For instance, Nelson would be a def upgrade over Kush or even Long.

      James would def be an upgrade over Amos

      (pick CB) def upgrade over Prince (due to his inj proneness)

      Edmunds over Kwiat. Plz.

      I’m no expert, but I don’t think McGlinchey is that much of an upgrade Massie.

      In fact, Nelson himself might make a better RT than McGlinchey according to some “experts”

  • FresnoBear88

    I’d say trade our eighth pick and stack up more picks.

    • Russian Hacked Pacebot 2.0


      • FresnoBear88

        Very clever response. Intriguing….

  • Shae is a URFA.

    He’s still country strong!

  • Trade down is a possibility, but teams always trade up only as much as needed.
    As is, the 9ers are behind us, and no way they draft a QB.

    Teams know this, so they’ll feel no need to trade up with us to draft their QB (and it’s almost always a QB traded up for that high).

    That being said, if even ONE team calls, that’ll create a market, much like with the 9ers last yr who were auctioning off the 2nd overall.

    Let’s hope teams get desperate and stupid.

    • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

      Teams also the 49ers are behind us and that one of those other teams wanting a QB could easily call us instead of the 9ers to get ahead.

      Right now I’ve heard 3 teams wanting to move up, Bills, Cards, and Dolphins. although not sure about the validity of the Dolphins.

      My bet is some team trades up with Indy or possibly Denver, leaving us at 8 with no one to trade back with.

      • Yeah, and the Raiders are behind the 9ers, so they’re not in the QB market either.

        In other words, I think the QB rush will come before us 1-5 likely Gmen and Broncos

        Lamar Jackson might be the wild card which might make a team want to trade up if he’s the last man standing.

        Dolphins are a mystery. I don’t know how they can be sold on Tannenhill (a converted WR), but he posted decent #s and is still young.

  • 0034

    Andrew Dannehy. Quick question about comparing Davenport & Landry? Why would you think that the Bears would take Davenport over Landry. Both seem to fit the Bears scheme. I like Landry more as well but there are many draft boards predictions having Davenport going ahead of Landry. Why do you think that is? The worst that I’ve read about Landry is that is not good enough against the run. His production is down from previous year, which seems due to an injury and this injury is not lingering one that will affect his long term play. I’m completely missing something about Landry. This dude seems like a top 10 pick and not a top 20 pick. Why?

    • 0034

      Oh, I welcome anyone thoughts about Davenport vs Landry. Per my comment above. I don’t get why so many sports pundits have Davenport ahead of Landry.

      • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

        They listed them alphabetically.

  • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

    I know these are just kids entering the draft but how stupid can they be. How is it possible that they can be this dumb. Seriously what is their thought process. “Hmmm, I am going to the biggest interviewing event in my career, and I could make millions based on my scores and numbers, I know they are going to run every test in the book on me including a drug test. I am so nervous I need to take the edge off, I know I should smoke weed.”


    • AlbertInTucson

      Kids says : “Yeah, I did smoke some weed.”

      His agent says: ” It was a diluted sample.”


  • Juan Stone

    If a QB falls to the Bears and he’s the BPA, they will draft him. Watch.

    • Fans would lose their minds.

      • Juan Stone

        Yeah, it would sick. It might also turn our to be the right move 2 or 3 years down the road. You nevva ka-know. One things for show, MB called it spot on last year. They absolutely could have waited until this year to draft a QB.

        • MB and I had basically the same plan. If Pace insisted on another yr of dumbass Fox, might as well stick with Hoyer, draft a D stud, then dump both Hoyer/Fox this yr and let the new HC hand-select his own QB.

          Seemed like a realistic plan since everyone and their mom knew this QB class was gonna be good.

          That being said, the other QBs aren’t sexier than Trub.

          Darnold was Luck last yr draft season. Looked like a lock. Then he had a TO prone Senior season. I watch USC. Lots of reasons for that which I think he can overcome, but still.

          And Darnold was never going to really be in the cards.

          Then there’s Rosen, Mayfield, Allen and Jackson.

          It is quite possible one of them falls to us at #8, in which case, we would still have 3rd RDer.

          BUT, does anyone want to bet Rosen, Mayfield, Allen or Jackson are surerer things than Trub?

          Personally, I think Darnold and Mayfield are going to be good.

          But who the hell really knows?


          Sidenote. The more intriguing story to me is last yrs class.

          Watson looks like a gamer, though INJ prone.

          But the really interesting part to me is Mahomes.

          Sean Payton was recently asked who he would’ve drafted last yr if not Lattimore, and without skipping a beat, he responded Mahomes.

          So basically Sean Payton and Andy Reid, two of the best QB evaluators, liked Mahomes perhaps over Trubisky.

          It’s going to be interesting to see these two QB draft classes unfold going forward because the laws of probability tell us like 50% of them will bust.

          Let’s hope it’s not our guy.

          • Cam Meredith >/= Jerry Rice

            I think the whole thing broke well for the Bears. Not only did we get what I think is going to be a very good QB in Trubs, (emphasis on THINK), but he also got a year of seasoning which he desperately neeeded given his college experience. Meanwhile, the Bears still pick high, and there are likely three, maybe four QBs coming off the board before us. Given we don’t need a QB, this makes the Bears’ pick something equal to a third overall as far as positional talent outside of QB goes.

            And I don’t see anything to feel like those other 4 QBs are a lock to be a better choice than Trubisky. So, for the moment, I’d take the position the Bears are in given the chance to choose. I’d also take the Bears situation over the Niners. Garrapolo looked to be the goods, but there’s no way Lynch is getting any sleep with that contract he just gave him given his lack of starts. Now it DOES, look like he’s legit, but that’s a pretty small sample size to lock up that much cash on.

          • Yeah, but the counter is that the Bears could’ve had Solomon Thomas (the top Rush/OLB of the draft), Mayfield AND the 3rd (Trust me, we’re gonna be missing that 3rd this weekend)

            And the additional bonus of having Nagy give Pace input as to his QB.

            But I totally see the benefits of our situation now as you illustrated.

            It’s all on Trub. Either he pans out or not, but if he doesn’t…holy shit, that’ll hurt real bad knowing all the QB options Pace could have had.

            I’m surprised Sac’s head didn’t explode since he was bullish both on Jimmy G and Watson from the start.

          • Cam Meredith >/= Jerry Rice

            If Trubisky doesn’t pan out the whole Ryan Pace exercise was a waste of five years and the clock resets.

            I don’t think that’s the case though. And who knows, perhaps we land a pass rusher this year that ends up being better than Thomas in the long run.

            A girl can dream.

          • Yeah, I just checked out Walt’s latest mock today.
            They have the Cards trading up with us to draft a QB.


            Bears get a 3rd.
            At #15 Pace drafts Davenport.

            And for all we know, Davenport>Solomon Thomas…Trub>Darnold

            In which case, Pace is a golden god.

          • Irish Sweetness

            8 is a sweet spot for that 4th QB. They will call. I think Pace would take that extra pick and draft a corner in the first, or Edmunds if he falls.

          • Irish Sweetness

            Yeah, the third. Still hurts. Just had to sit pretty and you were getting Watson or MT.

  • AlbertInTucson

    “Prospect the league isn’t aware of: my cat, Bear. His closing speed – especially when a pigeon lands on our alley air conditioner – is impressive.” Ad Bears Blog

    Our first basset used to lay on the patio like a lump several feet away from her water bowl.

    More than ONE bird that stopped by for a drink misjudged HER closing speed, much to their regret, which was impressive.

  • AlbertInTucson

    T minus 24 hours, 22 minutes and counting…

  • Per Mayock, Denzel Ward has “oily hips”. Sounds flat-out disgusting. – Jeff

    Lol Mayock is back to the oily hips, eh? NTTAWWT

    Some of the scouting mumbo-jumbo is pretty funny. Talking to scouts in person I imagine is fun.

    “How you like that LB, Jim Bob?”
    “I don’t, He’s an ass-grabber”
    “Oh, he goes around harassing women?”
    “No, Idiot. He just lunges with his hands. No wrap up”

  • CanadaBear

    I”m probably the worst guy on here to talk about the draft but typically the QB’s come off the board way sooner than projected. I think 4 will be off the board before the Bears pick. I don’t think anyone wants the #8 pick that bad and the Bears get a top 4 position player. I’m good with that (as long as they don’t suck moose wang).

    • I was under the impression that Canadians love moose!

      Agree. QBs are gonna fly like hot cakes manana.

      • CanadaBear

        Moose is actually fantastic. The wang, not so much (I’m told).

  • BerwynBomber

    Josh Jackson (CB) is the most intriguing D player in the Draft, IMO.

    His one year highlight reel is amazing/incomparable. A staggering # of huge impact plays. The question is — like all these guys — is how much of it transfers to the next level. In Jackson’s case, specifically comes down to his technique and speed. Are each good enough or can the former be improved?

    His ball skills look like they would be top of the league, day 1.

  • Russian Hacked Pacebot 2.0

    Waffle’s Guide To The Draft:
    1. Black…..check
    2. Man Meat Mountain…..check
    3. Not white……check
    4. Not a Guard…..check
    5. No one from Boise State…..check

  • Irish Sweetness

    Trade partners:

    Bellifat might be thinking of Brady’s replacement. He’s got two picks in the first near the bottom. If there’s a QB he likes who’s there at 8, maybe we get both.

    Do the cards see Bradford as their future? On a 2 yr contract ten million a year? Or do they want him in place to mentor the kid that will take his job?

    Maybe Pace feels the weight of last year’s moving up one spot and wants the balance restored.

    • There’s sooooo many scenarios for the trade down this yr.

      That’s why I said early on that this may actually be the year for the mythical trade down scenario to materialize like Bigfoot coming into focus.

      But here’s a very realistic scenario.

      1. Darnold
      2. Barkley
      3. Mayfield
      4. Allen
      5. Nelson

      Colts #6.

      They’re taking calls (they’ve already traded down to this spot, and would love more picks)

      Should Pace pick up that phone and trade up to get Chubb?

    • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

      Bradford has proven he is a great mentor, going in and teaching and never demanding a trade after the team drafts a QB the first round…. oh wait.

  • AlbertInTucson

    So, Reuben Foster’s accuser is going to recant…?

    Isn’t that special.

    • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

      sounds like the DA does not care and proceeding with charges.

      • AlbertInTucson

        Now, she claims she was injured in a fight with another woman.

        • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

          He may get out of that charge but its going to be hard for him to explain why he had an assault rifle

          • AlbertInTucson

            “Well, um, er eh, I, uh…”

          • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

            The woman is going to claim it’s hers.

          • AlbertInTucson

            “Yeah, right, it was HER’S, your honor.”

          • Never know when an angry teen is around, your honor!

          • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

            You should see all the black men wearing hoodies where I live.

  • AlbertInTucson

    So, Saquon Barkley had all of FIVE 100 yard rushing games in 2017?

    THAT surprised me.

    • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis


      • “generational” like Fournette, Zeke, Gurley…

        • AlbertInTucson

          On the other hand, Sweetness was also 4th, overall, and the first running back to go in ‘75.

          • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

            Benson was also the 4th overall.
            Enis was the 5th.

          • AlbertInTucson

            Rashaan Salaam was 21st, overall.

      • AlbertInTucson

        Gale Sayers was the 4th pick of the 1965 draft, right behind Butkus, but he was only the 3rd running back behind Tucker Fredrickson (Giants) and Ken Willard (49ers).

        • AlbertInTucson

          Yes, that’s THE Tucker Fredrickson.

  • catfish44

    roquan smith – bears #8. he will be an all-pro.

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