Eric Edholm’s NFL mock draft 3.0

Josh Rosen sliding? Raiders surprise pick? Patriots find their Brady successor?

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It felt like I finished my 2.0 mock about 11 hours ago. Turns out it has been 11 days.
 
Either way, it’s amazing how perception can change so vastly in that relatively short amount of time.
 
As with my previous mock, I didn’t specifically forecast trades — but if you read the comments closely enough, you’ll see I throw out a few possibilities for upward/downward movement with some of the picks. And there will be a lot of trade activity, I believe.
 
Beneath each pick, we’ve provided our subscribers full scouting reports for each of these prospects — and hundreds more — in our draft database, written by former NFL scouting director Greg Gabriel.
 
They’re certainly worth the pittance — 99 cents for a day pass, or $5 for All Access — and then some. And if you sign up for the All Access pass, please reach out to PFW’s digital editor John Sahly (jsahly@shawmedia.com), who will give you premium access to our private Slack channel where we will take your draft-related questions on Day 1.
 
Where else can you get that? Nowhere. Now for the picks …

1. Cleveland Browns — Wyoming QB Josh Allen

I wish I had something clever to say here. GM John Dorsey apparently has told people close to him that he really likes Allen. We could see the wind blowing this direction prior to our last mock draft, so no change at the top.
 
I guess you can start thinking about which offensive guru the Browns will hire as head coach to replace Hue Jackson. Perhaps Matt LaFleur? The top QB selected in each of the past three drafts has had a head-coaching change after their first season, and the 1-31 Jackson is very much on life support.
 

2. New York Giants — Penn State RB Saquon Barkley

GM Dave Gettleman has, as I see it, three options:
 
Take Sam Darnold. Take the best non-QB (let’s say either Quenton Nelson, Bradley Chubb or Saquon Barkley). Trade down
 
Gettleman has kept things close to the vest and apparently had no chats with the New York Jets prior to their trading up to the pick below Big Blue. Weird.
 
Passing on a quarterback here, one whom they supposedly love, and hoping for better a year or two from now doesn’t sound like an actionable plan. But there have been some strong whispers that the Giants think the world of Barkley, and he really could help make this offense something fascinating.
 

3. New York Jets — USC QB Sam Darnold

Last week I had Rosen in this spot. But with Darnold now slipping a spot, I just think this makes the most sense. Darnold is considered a safer pick for some reason despite his influx in interceptions last year and only 23 college starts. But there’s little doubting his upside with the right development. I would take back (almost) everything I said about the Jets’ risky and expensive trade up from No. 6 if it works out this fortuitously for them.
 

4. Browns (from Houston Texans) — Notre Dame OG Quenton Nelson

Let’s take Dorsey at his word a moment: He said he’d take the best player available here. (I think he’ll look to trade down a few slots, but who knows?) Assuming they keep this pick, cliché-speak notwithstanding, that would mean Nelson. Would it be all that shocking? Yes, the line is in decent shape but not impenetrable, not following Joe Thomas’ retirement.
 
After all, Dorsey took Eric Fisher first overall in his first draft pick as Chiefs GM and later took Patrick Mahomes over Deshaun Watson. Both took guts. I understand why some would want the Browns to pair Chubb with Myles Garrett, I really do. But this feels like a layup unless someone blows them away with a trade offer with Mayfield on the board.
 

5. Denver Broncos — Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield (trade)

To be clear, I don’t think the Broncos are drafting Mayfield here. I think they’re trading this pick — to the Dolphins, to the Bills, to the Cardinals, to someone — and whoever lands here takes Mayfield. This could be the first sign that Josh Rosen slides a bit.
 
As for why not Mayfield to the Broncos, I just got the idea that they felt he was a little tricky to work with at the Senior Bowl. I’ve heard the Broncos are looking hard at offensive linemen, linebackers and receivers. A trade down to the 12-15 range could still get them one of the top players at any of those spots.
 

6. Indianapolis Colts — North Carolina State DE Bradley Chubb

What this pick boils down to: GM Chris Ballard mostly has added to the front seven via free agency, so here he gets to add a high-energy rusher and edge setter through the draft and very much warrant the move down three slots to do so.
 

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Alabama DB Minkah Fitzpatrick

The Bucs need defensive help all over. They had a terrible pass defense and could use a corner and a safety. Isn’t that Fitzpatrick? He also can blitz to help aid a poor pass rush. Some teams view him as a Jalen Ramsey-like CB prospect; others have him pegged as a safety and slot defender. We ask: why limit him? Fitzpatrick could start immediately, fill a variety of defensive roles and also help on special teams, where they were not great either.
 

8. Chicago Bears — Florida State DB Derwin James

Should Rosen slip to this range, I think GM Ryan Pace would get on the phone and look to deal down, as it would be nice to recoup a bit for what they paid up to get Mitch Trubisky. Dropping a handful of spots could still get the Bears a player who fits their ilk on defense.
 
But assuming they stay here, James easily could be an option, Adrian Amos is a nice player, but he’s had one interception — a gift one at that — in 40 career games and is a free agent after this season. The Bears were very much in on Jamal Adams a year ago as a fallback in case the Trubisky trade didn’t happen. James is cut from the same cloth and is perhaps a more special physical specimen.
 

9. San Francisco 49ers — Boston College DE Harold Landry

Pass rusher (they were 26th in the league in sacks) is a need, and if they don’t address it here they might not be able to fill that void adequately in the draft, even with eight more selections. Landry’s 2016 tape suggests he is very much worthy of this draft turf when healthy. I also could see them being open for a trade down with Rosen still here.
 

10. Oakland Raiders — Notre Dame OT Mike McGlinchey

The predominant thinking here has been defense. But I’ve heard two very interesting names connected to the Raiders on the other side of the ball. The first is McGlinchey. The second is LSU’s Derrius Guice. I just couldn’t pull the trigger on him, not here, even though that would be pretty fascinating.
 
McGlinchey wouldn’t be a sexy pick, but Donald Penn is almost 35 and coming off a Lisfranc fracture, David Sharpe is a relative unknown and Breno Giacomini is on a low-money deal. We’ll pencil in Penn’s eventual replacement here.
 

11. Miami Dolphins — Virginia Tech LB Tremaine Edmunds

Passing on Rosen or Pomano Beach native Lamar Jackson would be tough, but the recent contract adjustment for Ryan Tannehill suggests he’s staying on the books for at least another year. Besides, this roster just has so many holes elsewhere. There’s a big one at linebacker, and the rangy Edmunds would appear to fit with the type of player the Dolphins’ scouting staff tends to covet.
 

12. Buffalo Bills (from Cincinnati Bengals) — UCLA QB Josh Rosen

It’s tough to imagine Rosen suffering a Matt Leinart-ish fall to this point, so the Bills might have to slide up to get him. But they might not have to go too far, it seems, to ensure them landing a franchise passer. Boy, Rosen and A.J. McCarron in the same QB room — wouldn’t that be fascinating from a personality standpoint?
 

13. Washington — Washington NT Vita Vea

Passing on Roquan Smith might be a regret down the line, but there’s no run stopper who could help them immediately up front in the mold of Vea. That would give them an excellent front in a division that could end up with some really good RB talent (especially if my Giants pick goes as I project). Vea and Jonathan Allen could manhandle a few teams.
 

14. Green Bay Packers — Ohio State CB Denzel Ward

You can take that “Packers don’t draft shorter corners” narrative and stuff it. This would be a steal here. And forget the idea that bringing back Davon House and Tramon Williams (or drafting Kevin King last year, for that matter) means that corner isn’t a need. It is. And Ward is a beast, no matter his size.
 

15. Arizona Cardinals — Louisville CB Jaire Alexander

Yes, they’re hunting quarterbacks and are candidates to move up, but that would mean sacrificing next year’s 1 to do so. If they stay here, they’re a tough team to figure out. Gut feeling, but I don’t think Lamar Jackson is in play here. Instead, we go with a cover corner who could help replace some playmaking ability with Tyrann Mathieu gone.
 

16. Baltimore Ravens — Iowa C James Daniels

Maybe I am shoehorning this pick too hard. But center feels like a big need and Daniels would arrive from a trusted source in Kirk Ferentz, a former coworker of Ozzie Newsome’s in Baltimore. The last time the Ravens drafted an Iowa interior OL, it worked out pretty well with Marshal Yanda.
 
However, if they don’t sign Dez Bryant, let’s say, I wouldn’t be shocked by a pick of either Maryland’s D.J. Moore or Alabama’s Calvin Ridley here. They’re going to add another receiver some way, somehow.
 

17. Los Angeles Chargers — Georgia LB Roquan Smith

This fortuitous turn of events would be incredible. This is exactly the type of player the Chargers need next to Denzel Perryman. Their one big need defensively is at linebacker, and Smith’s arrival would help take a good unit and make it potentially special. He shouldn’t be available here, and I frankly would be a bit surprised is he is. But here we are.
 

18. Seattle Seahawks — UTSA DE Marcus Davenport

As I’ve noted in previous mocks, the Seahawks would have to seriously consider trading down here — something they’ve done often in recent years — as their next selection currently isn’t until No. 120. But if they stay here, taking a developmental rusher who can help them replace Michael Bennett would be a savvy move.
 

19. Dallas Cowboys — SMU WR Courtland Sutton

I’d consistently been pegging them with a defensive player, such as a linebacker or interior rusher, and that still very well could happen. But the Cowboys have been scouting the holy heck out of wide receivers in this class, and I believe the conclusion they’ll arrive at is that they’re not going to find another wideout on the level of Sutton, Moore, Oklahoma State’s James Washington or Ridley — that’s how I think Dallas has them stacked — in Round 2 at No. 50 overall.
 

20. Detroit Lions — Georgia OG Isaiah Wynn

Another team I’ve been leaning defense with, the Lions nonetheless have an issue on the interior of the offensive line. Wynn would be a Day 1 starter at left guard, allowing them to push Graham Glasgow into center, which I imagine would be in their best interests. That’s certainly one way to help beef up the run game. Wynn absolutely should be drafted in this range and not much lower.
 

21. Cincinnati Bengals (from Bills) — UTEP OG Will Hernandez

A speedy linebacker and a solution for the drama surrounding Vontaze Burfict (the latest: a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's rules on performance-enhancing substances) would make a lot of sense. I also wouldn’t rule out an interior defensive lineman here.
 
But I am going with Hernandez on a gut feeling. I think they’d pounce on Daniels if he’s here, but if not I would not be shocked to see them take Hernandez and then come back in Round 2 (No. 46 overall) with a center such as Arkansas’ Frank Ragnow or Ohio State’s Billy Price. We’ve seen them double up at position groups quite frequently in recent years, and the Bengals really do need two OL starters. Hernandez and either Ragnow or Price would be exactly the type of interior linemen new OL coach Frank Pollack sought in his time with the Dallas Cowboys.
 

22. Bills (from Kansas City Chiefs) — Alabama DT Da’Ron Payne

Again, it’s very much up in the air if they’ll even have this pick depending on any QB trade-up options that evolve. But if they stay here, they’ll need to replenish the DT position, where Kyle Williams could have but one year left. Payne grew under former Bills DL coach Karl Dunbar at Bama and would come in with a role right away.
 

23. Patriots (from Los Angeles Rams) — Boise State LB Leighton Vander Esch

This guy just screams Bill Belichick linebacker. Vander Esch really should go higher than this, but his one year starting and injury history might give some teams just a bit of pause. Still, this is a sideline-to-sideline tackle machine who could be special on this unit.
 
I get the feeling the Patriots will draft a left tackle lower, especially with the news that Tony Garcia is healthy and back up to his pre-blood clot weight. There’s still a need there but not as big as previously thought.
 

24. Carolina Panthers — Iowa CB Joshua Jackson

This would be excellent value, giving the Panthers a starting outside corner after free-agent signee Bashaud Breeland failed his physical and the deal was voided. There are quietly a lot of holes on this roster, especially when you start thinking about 2019, but this would fill a big one right now.
 

25. Tennessee Titans — Alabama LB Rashaan Evans

Trade-down candidates, especially if someone like GM Jon Robinson’s former boss, Bill Belichick, were to pick up the phone. Sliding down six spots wouldn’t be the worst move in the world if they could beef up their Day 2 or 3 ammo and still get a player they might consider at this spot.
 
Evans fills a need as a front-seven playmaker who can rush the passer on third downs. Avery Williamson is gone, so Evans could step right in and be a good fit for Mike Vrabel’s new squad.
 

26. Atlanta Falcons — Florida DT Taven Bryan

A great fit for a team that is seeking more pressure sources up front. Bryan might not be instant coffee but could be a good third-down option while he develops. The Falcons have spent time in their offseasons training with Navy SEALs … so why not draft the son of a SEAL in Bryan? Nice fit.
 

27. New Orleans Saints — Georgia LB-DE Lorenzo Carter

Another team that could seek to fill its long-term QB concern, the Saints also have a few more pressing and immediate needs. Pass rush appears to be chief among them, as Cam Jordan has been asked to do too much of the heavy lifting.
 
I can’t for the life of me mock them Maurice Hurst here, even though an interior penetrator would make sense. Given that Nick Fairley had to end his career based on his heart troubles, taking Hurst — who was cleared following an irregular EKG at the scouting combine — just feels too risky. Let’s go with Carter, a fast riser who fits the Jeff Ireland mold of athlete who can attack the NFC South’s franchise quarterbacks.
 

28. Pittsburgh Steelers — LSU RB Derrius Guice

Eighteen picks after we first dropped Guice’s name, he lands in a spot where it almost makes too much sense. On the one hand, the Steelers have invested so much in trying to keep Le’Veon Bell in town. But on the other, Bell has done so much to give the Steelers pause about giving him a long-term deal.
 
Guice would be a phenomenal fit here, in a football town without the distractions of big-city glitz elsewhere. He’s a Steelers mold of back if we ever saw one. The Steelers have gone defense with five straight Round 1 picks, so taking Guice here would not be that wild a concept.
 

29. Jacksonville Jaguars — Alabama WR Calvin Ridley

Losing Allen Robinson and cutting Allen Hurns most definitely opens a spot at wideout, and the Florida-native Ridley fits the mold of the type of player — a bit older, a bit lighter — they’ve drafted here recently. They’ve also taken a few Bama players high in recent years (Cam Robinson, T.J. Yeldon) and could add some immediate firepower for a team that’s suddenly in win-now mode after reaching the AFC championship game.
 

30. Minnesota Vikings — Texas OG-OT Connor Williams

The Vikings could use a tackle or a guard, and Williams could figure into either spot. Williams would be an upgrade over Nick Easton at left guard or could play on the right side with Mike Remmers and Williams manning the OG and OT spots, wherever the team best sees a fit.
 

31. Patriots — Louisville QB Lamar Jackson

OK, I’ll bite. In the end, who knows if this happens — and if it does, I get the feeling it’s not happening at this exact spot, as Jackson could go far earlier than this (see my comments for No. 25 with the Titans). But I feel the Patriots actually are enamored with Jackson’s skill set and could have the strangely perfect successor to Tom Brady in a quarterback whose skill set is so vastly different.
 
The Patriots surely had to take note of Cam Newton and Deshaun Watson shredding them last season and all the challenges that come with defending a mobile QB. And they’ve always done a great job tailoring their offense to the skill set of whatever quarterback the Patriots have had. They also have a good source in Matt Lombardi — son of longtime Bill Belichick consigliere, Mike Lombardi — who spent two years in the Cardinals’ program watching Jackson develop.
 

32. Philadelphia Eagles — Georgia RB Sony Michel

The Eagles have been doing a lot of work on the draft’s top backs, despite trading for Jay Ajayi, finding an undrafted gem in Corey Clement and drafting two other Day 3 backs (Wendell Smallwood and Donnel Pumphrey) the past two years. But Ajayi is a free agent after this season, and Michel has value in a lot of roles, so the fit would make sense. He played a lot of special-teams snaps for the Bulldogs and was used to sharing the load there. Perhaps the Eagles could groom Michel as a returner, something he did little of in college, with Kenjon Barner and Darren Sproles unsigned.
 

Bonus picks (teams without a first-rounder)

54. Kansas City Chiefs — LSU CB Kevin Tolliver
 
Press corner who fits their size requirements and could be insurance if David Amerson falls flat or if Steven Nelson walks in free agency next year. The Chiefs have shown a willingness to look past character flaws, too, in exchange for potential.
 
68. Houston Texans — Stanford TE Dalton Schultz
 
A nice replacement for the retired C.J. Fiedorowicz to help as a blocker and short receiver in Bill O'Brien's "Y" tight end spot.
 
 
87. Los Angeles Rams — Washington State DE Hercules Mata'afa
 
Have a talented defender that you're not quite sure what to do with? Give him to Wade Phillips — he'll figure it out. The Rams have looked at a slew of edge players this pre-draft season.
 
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