Cory’s 2018 First Round Mock Draft

By Cory Woodroof

I was going to post this at my personal blog, but y’know, I’ll share it here, with all my Rise Up Reader friends.

  1. Cleveland Browns – QB – Josh Allen – Wyoming

I refuse to think Cleveland does anything differently. Maybe Allen has it all along, and we’re all wrong. But, I don’t know, however the actual player does, this pick is so Cleveland-y it hurts.

  1. TRADE – Buffalo Bills – QB – Sam Darnold – USC

The Bills give up the farm to get Darnold when they realize what Cleveland is going to do. Poor Bradley Chubb wore that suit to that Giants interview for NOTHING. Suits are uncomfortable. Good for the Bills; they finally get a quarterback!

  1. New York Jets – QB – Baker Mayfield – Oklahoma

I tend to think Big Apple Baker is going to be the perfect fit for the Gang Green, though Josh Rosen is the better quarterback. I’ve seen Mayfield go here, and apparently, teams love his edge. Big Apple Baker…the Apple Pie. Please call him the Apple Pie, Jets fans.

  1. TRADE – Miami Dolphins – QB – Josh Rosen – UCLA

Ryan Tannehill missed all of 2017, and really, isn’t, like, the guy for the future in Miami. Adam Gase knows he’s got to win sooner than later, so the Dolphins pop up to get Rosen so he doesn’t get to Gase’s old team, the Denver Broncos. Four quaterbacks off the top rope! Waoah!

  1. Denver Broncos – RB – Saquon Barkley – Penn State

The best player in the 2018 NFL Draft ends up with the team that desperately needs *something* on offense. After releasing C.J. Spiller, John Elway gets a guy who could probably run the Denver offense on his own, and takes pressure off of Case Keenum to air it out every game. Lucky, lucky, Elway.

  1. Indianapolis Colts – G – Quenton Nelson – Notre Dame

Andrew Luck is kind of like the fragile fish on the episode of Spongebob who can’t eat any chocolate, so the Colts need to make sure he has an iron wall around him. Nelson will play for the Colts for a decade, and be an Indiana hero. This just feels right, and will make sure Luck doesn’t die.

  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – S – Derwin James – Florida State

Yes, the Bucs pass on Bradley Chubb (lolz), because they just spent a bunch of money on two defensive ends in Vinny Curry and Jason Pierre-Paul, and they’ve got a massive need at safety, so they go with James, the local kid who has Kam Chancellor potential.

  1. Chicago Bears – DE – Bradley Chubb – NC State

Somehow, the Bears get Chubb at eight, because every year, something like this happens. Chubb will pair with Akiem Hicks and Leonard Floyd to help an ascending Bears team push for a playoff spot in 2018. Yeah, I said it, the Bears are going to push for the playoffs in 2018. The Mitch Era Begins!

  1. San Francisco 49ers – LB – Tremaine Edmunds – Virginia Tech

Kyle Shanahan knows how important athletic linebackers can be for a defense from his time in Atlanta, and San Francisco has an obvious need there with Rueben Foster’s troubles. Edmunds fits the bill.

  1. Oakland Raiders – DT – Vita Vea – Washington

John Gruden wants to take football back to 1998, so he gets what every 1998 defense loves – a big, run-stuffing defensive tackle. Vea is a really good player, and will do his job well, and could help take some pressure off of Khalil Mack to do everything for Oakland’s front seven. The old school coach takes the old school player.

  1. Cleveland Browns (via MIA) – LB – Roquan Smith – Georgia

Gregg Williams has found success with a Georgia linebacker before, and Smith projects to be a day-one starter. The Browns need some help in their linebacking core, so Smith is the pick.

  1. New York Giants (via BUF) – DE – Harold Landry – Boston College

The Giants badly need edge help, and Dave Gettleman gets Landry to bookend with Olivier Vernon to replace Jason Pierre-Paul.

  1. Washington – CB – Denzel Ward – Ohio State

Washington sees Ward sitting there, and doesn’t hesitate to grab him to pair with Josh Norman. After losing Bashaud Breeland and Kendall Fuller this offseason, Ward is just too enticing a transition for the team to make at the position, especially in a pass-happy NFC East.

  1. Green Bay Packers – DB – Minkah Fitzpatrick – Alabama

Brian Gutekunst lucks out in his first NFL draft, and gives Ha Ha Clinton-Dix a Bama buddy to pair with in the team’s defensive backfield. Fitzpatrick can play both safety and corner, and the Packers need help in both spots. It’s a perfect match for a franchise who does not deserve this kind of luck.

  1. Arizona Cardinals – QB – Lamar Jackson – Louisville

Don’t think Bruce Arians’ ringing endorsement doesn’t mean anything for GM Steve Keim. The Cards choose to follow Kansas City’s model – draft Jackson now, give him a year behind Sam Bradford, give Jackson the reigns in 2019 (or sooner if Bradford gets hurt). It’s a great pairing.

  1. Baltimore Ravens – WR – Calvin Ridley – Alabama

Of course Ozzie Newsome is going to take a Bama player with his last pick as a GM. The Ravens need a true WR1 to help Joe Flacco, and Ridley can do that right away. The Ravens’ WR room looks decent now.

  1. Los Angeles Chargers – LB – Leighton Vander Esch – Boise State

The Chargers could come on in a big way in 2018 – like, best of the AFC West big – and Vander Esch would give that defense the linebacker it needs to take the next step.

  1. Seattle Seahawks – DE – Marcus Davenport – UTSA

The Seahawks need edge help after trading Michael Bennett and maybe losing Cliff Avril to a career-ending injury. Davenport will need a little time to get his bearings, but Seattle’s one of the best organizations for drafting and developing pass rushers.

  1. Dallas Cowboys – DT – Da’Ron Payne – Alabama

The Cowboys need interior help, and Payne’s got the pro pedigree and potential Dallas is likely to salivate over. The ‘Boys look to … bring the Payne … in 2018. I am so sorry.

  1. Detroit Lions – TE – Hayden Hurst – South Carolina

The Lions need to get Matt Stafford a new tight end, and Hurst could be the TE1 right away. He would also give the team excellent depth in Luke Willson and Levine Toilolo. Bob Quinn goes the Bill Belichick route of having a sturdy group of tight ends in house.

  1. Cincinnati Bengals – C – James Daniels – Iowa

This feels like the safest lock of the draft. Daniels fills an obvious need on the Bengals’ roster.

  1. New York Giants (via BUF) – RB – Derrius Guice – LSU

Guice comes in to give the Giants a de-facto presence at running back, something they’ve lacked for years. He’s got skyrocket potential, and David Gettleman just used a first on a running back last season.

  1. New England Patriots – T – Mike McGlinchey – Notre Dame

Mike McGlinchey becomes the most Patriot person to be a Patriot.

  1. Carolina Panthers – CB – Mike Hughes – UCF

The Panthers need another corner, and Hughes projects to be a quality starter.

  1. TRADE – New England Patriots – QB – Mason Rudolph – Oklahoma State

The Patriots get the Tom Brady heir apparent in Rudolph, who just screams “Patriot.” They leapfrog Pittsburgh and Jacksonville, two AFC foes.

  1. Atlanta Falcons – DT – Taven Bryan – Florida

We all assume this is how it will go. Which probably means we’re in line for something else.

  1. New Orleans Saints – TE – Dallas Goedert – South Dakota State

The dastardly Saints get a pass-catching tight end to help their red zone scoring.

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers – LB – Rashaan Evans – Alabama

Obvious fit, obvious need.

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars – CB – Jaire Alexander – Louisville

What do you get the roster that has everything? How about another corner?

  1. Minnesota Vikings – G – Will Hernandez – UTEP

The rich get richer.

  1. Tennessee Titans (via NE) – DT – Maurice Hurst – Michigan

The Titans get Hurst to pair with Jurrell Casey. It’s a dangerous pair at DT for the Titans.

  1. Philadelphia Eagles – CB – Isaiah Oliver – Colorado

The Eagles lost out on Daryl Worley because of legal issues, so they get the best corner available.

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