O/A Rank Top-15 CBs
9 Minkah Fitzpatrick
15 Tarvarus McFadden
17 Jaire Alexander
28 Tony Brown
35 Jordan Thomas
43 Denzel Ward
70 Adonis Alexander
80 Iman Marshall
94 Brandon Facyson
95 Quenton Meeks
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2018 NFL Mock Draft Round 1
Selections 17-32


17 Denver
Christian Kirk
    Texas A&M
    WRF
    Reach/Value:     +7
Height:
5'11"
Weight:
201



I am currently preparing a scouting report for Kirk and I am coming away with a player that I think is somewhere between Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. He has a physical build and shows an advanced ability to separate in his routes similar to Landry, but when the ball is in his hands, he is a terror like OBJ. After being the most productive player in the SEC over the past two years with 3,207 all-purpose yards, Kirk is looking to take his game to another level as a Junior. If that happens, he could be off the board in the top ten picks. If not, Denver will be getting a number-one target that can take the attention off of Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders as they start to decline. ~Austin Smith


18 Tennessee
Micah Kiser
    Virginia
    ILB
    Reach/Value:     -2
Height:
6'2"
Weight:
240



Eric Decker signing with Tennessee has eliminated the need to add another Wide Receiver for 2017, but he only signed a one-year contract, so if he has a bad year, Decker may not be back. However, for the time being, we'll stay away from looking at new receivers. Cornerback is still a need, but the top three are all off the board, and Tony Brown is a bit of a reach on our Big Board preseason rankings.

So, what's left?

Edge Rusher could be an option, with Derrick Morgan and Brian Orakpo having their contracts expire after the 2018 season, and Kevin Dodd missing most of 2016 with an injury. However, Inside Linebacker is a bigger need, as both starting linebackers, Wesley Woodyard and Avery Williamson, have their contracts expire after this season. Kiser has led the ACC in tackles and has finished on the All-ACC First Team the past two seasons, so not only does he fit a need, Kiser also fits the Jon Robinson profile of high-level production.


19 Carolina
Connor Williams
    Texas
    OT
    Reach/Value:     +5
Height:
6'6"
Weight:
320



Last month we pointed out that EDGE rusher is shaping up as a primary need for next year's draft. The team is relying on aged veterans Julius Peppers (37) and Charles Johnson (31 on July 10) to harass opposing passers. They added RD3 Daeshon Hall to the contingent in the 2017 draft; his development will influence this RD1 pick in 2018.

This month, we look at OT. One could convincingly argue that the root cause for the Panthers' steep fall from grace in 2017 was due to the inability to keep Cam Newton from getting repeatedly smashed. The team spent big money on Matt Kalil, the former Viking who could only suit up for two games in 2016, and didn't live up to his RD1 draft stock prior to that. GM Dave Gettleman then dropped a RD2 pick on Taylor Moton. It is known that Cam Newton is the secret to the Panthers' success. If the team can get a nice value pick like Connor Williams here at #19, that may trump a reach for Marcell Frazier or Da'Shawn Hand, the next-available DEs.


20 Detroit
Marcell Frazier
    Missouri
    EDGE
    Reach/Value:     -4
Height:
6'5"
Weight:
260



"Quick! Name a 2016 Lions' pass rusher not named Ziggy! Free Agent Armonty Bryant, suspended twice in less than a year, waived by the Cleveland Browns, the one with knee issues? Devin Taylor, now a NY Giant? The oft-injured, off-field-risk Cornelius Washington? Those in the know may say Kerry Hyder, a feel-good story with eight sacks last year. With this hodgepodge ""hockey line"" that doesn't really answer Ansah's need for a bookend rusher, the Lions ranked 31st in sacks in 2016.

Marcell Frasier can be the second EDGE that Teryl Austin is looking for. His disruptive knack for big plays stands out. In this play I've cued up, Frasier (#16) uses his 6'4" height, burst, and timing to stymie West Virginia. Frasier, Da'Shawn Hand, and Sam Hubbard will all get a look before April 26's pick."


21 Miami
Quenton Nelson
    Notre Dame
    OG
    Reach/Value:     -10
Height:
6'5"
Weight:
329



Miami's 2016 defense was one of the worst in the league. The Fins' leaky run and pass defense caused the team to call upon many new faces. The additions of Lawrence Timmons, Charles Harris, and Raekwon McMillan should significantly enhance the Dolphins' run defense. Adding another DT monster next to Suh would provide long-term stability to the D-Line, but the Fins' secondary must get better before they can take down the big, bad Brady. TJ McDonald signed a one-year deal, and he's only available for half the season. Michael Thomas is a FA after the season and Nate Allen is a stopgap. That leaves Reshad Jones as the only real safety in Miami heading into next season. If the secondary isn't priority one, it's not far behind the O-Line. ~CME, Dolphins Analyst


22 Tampa Bay
Da'Shawn Hand
    Alabama
    EDGE
    Reach/Value:     -4
Height:
6'4"
Weight:
280



Last month, we highlighted RB and CB as potential trouble spots going into the 2018 Draft, if not the 2017 season. RB, expected to be a 2017 draft target (I mean, moreso than 5th rounder Jeremy McNichols), is having its hat hung upon a hopefully-resurgent Doug Martin. Meanwhile, over at CB, 2017 features starters Brent Grimes, VH3 and a bunch of no-names. 34-yo Grimes will depart in Free Agency after the season, so hopefully one of the pack will emerge for 2018.

This month, we look at DE. The starters are serviceable in WIlliam Gholston and Robert Ayers, and Sophomore Noah Spence is looking poised to take over sometime soon. None will be punching a ticket to Camping World Stadium (though Spence has upside). If one of the big names in the 2018 Draft were to fall on draft day a la O.J. Howard, the Bucs could jump.


23 Cleveland
Malik Jefferson
    Texas
    OLB
    Reach/Value:     +15
Height:
6'3"
Weight:
238



After spending all of last year preaching to the point of nausea that the Browns need to take the best players available, I am not changing my stance. The Browns have accrued an insane number of picks for 2018, and have a real opportunity to get out of the cellar of the NFL. To this point in his career, Jefferson has proven to be a scintillating combination of size and athleticism, but his next step will be improving mentally. His instincts aren't quite up to par with Micah Kiser of Virginia, but I will be interested to see if he starts diagnosing plays quicker as a Junior. If so, he could be the top linebacker in this draft. ~Austin Smith


24 NY Giants
Mitch Hyatt
    Clemson
    OT
    Reach/Value:     +0
Height:
6'5"
Weight:
295



The Giants could have done more to prepare the offensive line for years beyond 2017 in April's draft. They added Adam Bisnowaty in RD6 and a couple UFAs, but that won't begin to stem the tide of Free Agent defections after the upcoming season.

Starters Weston Richburg, DJ Fluker and Justin Pugh hit the road, as do reserves Brett Jones, and Michael Bowie. GM Jerry Reese will need to make multiple infusions in both Free Agency and the draft. Although the Giants major OL needs are in the interior of the line, a quality OT prospect like Mitch Hyatt can't be ignored.





25 Buffalo
Derrick Nnadi
    Florida St
    DL3T
    Reach/Value:     +3
Height:
6'1"
Weight:
303



A look at my version of the Bills' current Depth Chart shows Safety and DL3t depth as top priorities. The Bills' second RD1 pick addresses the Bills' DT 3-tech position. Kyle Williams will be 34 in June and is on a one-year deal. Jerel Worthy's in a contract year and lacks the height, vert, arm length, and hands to defend the pass. Backup Adolphus Washington (2016 RD3#80), suspended the last game he played in college, sat on the bench the last game of 2016 for lack of effort. Marcell Dareus was misused by Rex Ryan; he's best as an attacking one-technique (Remember he was a Pro Bowl selection in Jim Schwartz's 4-3).

Derrrick Nnadi offers the strength and run-stopping skill that we expected from Kyle Williams. He will have to outshine my favorites, Vita Vea, Da'Ron Payne, and Lowell Lotulelei, as a pass rusher to be picked on Day One, but the best news is that it's a great year to need a DL3t. ~Dean Kindig


26 Seattle
James Washington
    Oklahoma State
    WRF
    Reach/Value:     +7
Height:
6'0"
Weight:
205



During the latest NFL Draft, the Seahawks neglected one of their larger positional needs; pass catchers. Despite having superstar-level talents in Jimmy Graham and Doug Baldwin, Seattle lacks in the "effective outside receivers" department. On top of that, Paul Richardson, Tyler Lockett, and Jermaine Kearse are all set to be free agents by 2019; only one will likely continue to cash checks signed by Paul Allen.

James Washington could be that extra piece Russell Wilson dreams of at night. As a starter at Oklahoma State during 2015-16, Washington has snagged 124 passes for 2,467 yards and 20 TD. If a player like Washington is a Seattle target, expect Schneider to be zeroing in on at least one more pass catcher, as he likes to load up on only three or four positions in a draft. ~@JefferyMChapman, Seahawks Analyst


27 Green Bay
Sam Hubbard
    Ohio State
    EDGE
    Reach/Value:     -14
Height:
6'5"
Weight:
266



Clay Matthews has two years left on his contract. While the Packers locked up Nick Perry to a new 5-year deal, it is very cap- and team-friendly for the first two years. If his play doesn't live up to his pay, the Packers can bail after two years. It's a very realistic scenario that after the 2018 season, the Packers could find themselves without one and possibly both of these players. Ted Thompson is always drafting with future needs in mind, so an edge rusher makes all the sense in the world here.

- @JerseyAlGBP, Packers Analyst


28 Pittsburgh
Lamar Jackson
    Louisville
    QB
    Reach/Value:     +1
Height:
6'2"
Weight:
205



The Steelers drafted Josh Dobbs out of Tennessee this April as they were enamored with his character and football IQ. Dobbs has a role on the team but Steelers President Art Rooney II declared shortly after the draft that Dobbs should not be viewed as the heir apparent to Roethlisberger. Looking around the league, I see precious few starters that were not drafted in the first two rounds. Having passed on a poor QB class in 2017, the Steelers will start looking for the next franchise QB this year. While Jackson is as electric a playmaker as you could hope for, Steeler fans, still wary from the Kordell Stewart years, will expect the team to make sure he has the skills to succeed in the NFL as more of a pocket passer.


29 Oakland
Dante Booker
    Ohio State
    OLB
    Reach/Value:     +4
Height:
6'2"
Weight:
233



There's a lot to like about where Oakland sits right now. We're finally good again, possess some of the league's top young players, and have locked down our franchise QB for the long haul. Our recent draft also adds some much-needed young talent to the woeful defense. It wasn't enough. The defense still has plenty of holes, most notably at Linebacker, where the team's lone veteran ranked as the worst at his position, according to PFF. Despite Reggie McKenzie's seeming opposition to placing any sort of priority on the position, it is tough to imagine that, he does not draft at least one new starter early in 2018, even if Marquel Lee surpasses expectations.


30 Dallas
Lowell Lotulelei
    Utah
    DL3T
    Reach/Value:     +7
Height:
6'2"
Weight:
310



In our last episode, we explored addressing ILB in case Jaylon Smith does not recover from his injury (2016 Fiesta Bowl). Since that time, there have been encouraging reports on his recovery process . . . one from the esteemed Dr. Byron Jones , who examined him from his FS position during off-season practices.

Moving forward in the Front 7 to the DL, it appears Dallas has taken a "strength in numbers" approach at DE (11 on the current roster); as a result, we analyze the DT position. Maliek Collins appears to be the "real deal" at 3-Tech, but Stephen Paea is on a 1-year deal and Cedric Thornton has been a disappointment . . . and despite DC Rod Marinelli's enthusiasm on Draft Day, Joey Ivie and Jordan Carrell are RD7 selections.

Star Lotulelei's (2013 RD1 by Carolina) little brother has a strong, thick frame which helps him anchor against double teams and forces ball carriers outside into teammates. His stability and leg-drive allows him to find the ball carrier and if he gets one hand on him, he's likely to bring him down. Sounds like a good 1-Tech to pair with Collins!


31 Atlanta
Martinas Rankin
    Mississippi St
    OT
    Reach/Value:     +1
Height:
6'5"
Weight:
302



Heading into training camp, the Falcons have a fairly complete roster. They have two DTs, Dontari Poe and Ra'Shede Hageman, in the last years of their contracts, but otherwise, they are locked in at the various skill positions that usually warrant a first-round pick. Jake Matthews had his option year picked up, but his overall play is best described as "competent." The general pattern under Dan Quinn has been to draft interior OL late in the draft and then develop them (this is clearly the plan with Wes Schweitzer and Sean Harlow). However, adding a premier talent on the offensive front could be a nice long-term move for a team that needs Matt Ryan to be healthy and have a clean pocket. Rankin might develop as a prospect anywhere along the OL and could give the Falcons both talent and depth.


32 New England
Tony Brown
    Alabama
    CB
    Reach/Value:     +4
Height:
6'0"
Weight:
198



Last month, we pointed out that the cupboard is looking thin at the WR position following the 2017 season due to a plethora of Free Agent expirations, including stalwarts Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola. Well, the same can be said for the CB positions. The Pats poached Stephon Gilmore from Buffalo to pair with the highly-competent Malcolm Butler in the off-season. The second-in-lines, Justin Coleman and Eric Rowe, are nothing special. Bill Belichick hopes to see more from 2016 RD2 Cyrus Jones this season; last year he played just 147 snaps. So 2017 is shaping up nicely with two established starters backed by some serviceable JAGs.

As with the situation at WR, the Free Agency gods visit to collect their tribute after the season. Butler and Coleman both depart, followed by Rowe in 2018. Via Free Agency or the NFL draft, the Pats will need to add starter-level CB talent, and Tony Brown deserves a look-see.

Traded Round 1 Picks:
Buffalo gets Kansas City R1 Pick (2017 Draft trade)
Cleveland gets Houston R1 Pick (2017 Draft trade)

Return to Round 1 Picks 1-16
Forward to Round 2 Picks 33-64





Drafttek Twitter:
Get Consensus Mock Draft revs upon release!
Atlantic Coast Conference
Big Board Rankings
O/A Rank ACC Conference
Top-40 Players
Psn
4 Derwin James
Florida St
S
5 Harold Landry
Boston College
EDGE
7 Christian Wilkins
Clemson
DL3T
15 Tarvarus McFadden
Florida St
CB
17 Jaire Alexander
Louisville
CB
20 Micah Kiser
Virginia
ILB
22 Derrick Nnadi
Florida St
DL3T
24 Mitch Hyatt
Clemson
OT
27 Lamar Jackson
Louisville
QB
34 Kendall Joseph
Clemson
OLB
50 Tyrone Crowder
Clemson
OG
52 Deon Cain
Clemson
WRF
53 Quin Blanding
Virginia
S
56 Drew Bailey
Louisville
DL5T
58 Max Browne
Pittsburgh
QB
68 Rick Leonard
Florida St
DL5T
70 Adonis Alexander
Virginia Tech
CB
73 Josh Sweat
Florida State
EDGE
78 Duke Ejiofor
Wake Forest
EDGE
82 Jordan Whitehead
Pittsburgh
S
86 Auden Tate
Florida State
WRF
88 Matthew Thomas
Florida St
OLB
94 Brandon Facyson
Virginia Tech
CB
99 Trey Marshall
Florida St
S
101 Chad Thomas
Miami (FL)
EDGE
116 Jaylen Smith
Louisville
WRF
124 Andrew Brown
Virginia
DL5T
142 De'Asian Richardson
Louisville
DL1T
162 Cam Serigne
Wake Forest
TE
171 Nick Linder
Miami (FL)
OC
179 Scott Pagano
Clemson
DL3T
181 Greg Stroman
Virginia Tech
CB
184 Bentley Spain
North Carolina
OT
202 Ro'Derrick Hoskins
Florida St
ILB
206 Geron Christian
Louisville
OT
209 Van Smith
Clemson
S
218 Alec Eberle
Florida St
OC
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Drafttek Player Rankings


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