Welcome into the Forman Files with me WUTK Sports Director Sam Forman. It has been far to long since I have published this column for a multitude of reasons. So, I thought to myself how could I bring back this column with a real bang. Then it hit me…a mock draft would be great with the draft happening in just a few days.

However, not just any mock draft would work so here is what I think will happen in the first three rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft.

Round One

  1. Cleveland Browns – Sam Darnold QB, Southern California
    • Arguably the most NFL ready quarterback in the draft, Cleveland will feel they got this one right. However, only time will tell as Darnold still has plenty of people questioning him.
  2. New York Giants – Quenton Nelson G, Notre Dame
    • It’s an odd move I know, but the Giants quarterback of choice is gone and they cant find the right package for the second overall pick. So, the Giants go with maybe the best lineman in the draft and get Eli Manning some much needed help on the O-line.
  3. New York Jets (from IND) – Josh Rosen QB, University of California Los Angeles
    • The Jets so called love affair with Baker Mayfield is really more smoke then anything and with Rosen still on the board the Jets take the former Bruin. He might just wind up being the best QB in the draft, but much like Darnold in Cleveland only time will tell.
  4. Denver Broncos (from CLE) – Josh Allen QB, Wyoming
    • Trade Alert! Denver afraid of Buffalo moving up to the four spot make a trade with Cleveland to get their quarterback. They give up their second round pick in 2019 and pick 140 in 2018. Denver gets a strong arm QB with a lot of upside and a lot of questions surrounding him.
  5. Cleveland Browns (from DEN) – Saquon Barkley RB, Penn State
    • Cleveland gets who they would have taken at four in former Penn State running back Saquon Barkley and they get a few extra picks.
  6. Indianapolis Colts (from NYJ) – Roquan Smith LB, Georgia
    • With out Barkley on the board for Indy the Colts go to the defensive side of the ball and make Roquan Smith the first defensive player taken in the draft. This pick is more about getting the best player on the board and that matches your needs more than anything else.
  7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Derwin James S, Florida State
    • Tampa Bay needs secondary help and they can have their pick of the DB’s at seven. There is a chance they move back in my opinion to get a few more picks, but if they keep the pick its Derwin James from FSU who is the best DB in the draft.
  8. Buffalo Bills (from CHI) – Baker Mayfield QB, Oklahoma
    • Buffalo wasn’t able to move up to four to take Allen, but they do get a deal done with Chicago for the eight pick and get their QB. However, having to pick from the second level of first round QB’s; they gamble a bit with Mayfield because he probably won’t be able to sit for a couple of years prior to starting.
  9. San Francisco 49ers – Bradley Chubb DE, North Carolina State
    • San Francisco gets the best pass rusher in the draft according to a lot of draft experts and they get the cornerstone of their defense for years to come.
  10. Oakland Raiders – Vita Vea DL, Washington
    • The other team from the Bay Area, well for now anyway, goes defense as well and takes Vita Vea with the hope of him being a Warren Sapp type of player under John Gruden.
  11. Miami Dolphins – Da’Ron Payne DL, Alabama
    • The third straight defensive lineman is taken here as the first Alabama player comes off the board in Da’Ron Payne. Miami parted ways with Ndamukong Suh and gets a potential replacement with Payne.
  12. Chicago Bears (from BUF) – Minkah Fitzpatrick DB, Alabama
    • The Bears got some extra picks from Buffalo to move back and now get the second best DB in the draft in most peoples minds. A quality player with some versatility and he fits the classic Chicago defensive style.
  13. Washington Redskins – Tremaine Edmunds LB, Virginia Tech
    • The Redskins take Edmunds out of both need and him being the best player on the board for them. Edmunds should do well staying in the DC area.
  14. Green Bay Packers – Denzel Ward CB, Ohio State
    • Yes Green Bay needs some help on offense, especially at wide receiver. However, their needs go farther then just wideouts. So, they go defense and take possible the best pure corner in the draft in Denzel Ward out of Ohio State.
  15. Arizona Cardinals – Lamar Jackson QB, Louisville
    • This one is hard to get a feel for, but someone will take a shot on Lamar Jackson and Arizona is just the team to do it. They brought in Sam Bradford in the offseason and now can let Jackson sit and learn for a few years and see if he can be a top tear quarterback in the NFL.
  16. Baltimore Ravens – D.J. Moore WR, Maryland
    • The Ravens go to the offensive side of the ball and take the first wide receiver of the draft in Maryland’s D.J. Moore. He is a solid receiver and should fit well with what Baltimore likes to do.
  17. Los Angeles Chargers – Taven Bryan DT, Florida
    • The Chargers have a lot of different directions they could wind up taking, but I think they go to the defensive side of the ball and get Joey Bosa some help in Taven Bryan from Florida, who will shock some people to still be available.
  18. Seattle Seahawks – Will Hernandez G, University of Texas El Paso
    • Seattle has their fair share of issues, but looks to fix a problem with the O-line in the first round. Will Hernandez could easily wind up starting at either guard sport for the Seahawks in 2019.
  19. Dallas Cowboys – Calvin Ridley WR, Alabama
    • With no more Dez Bryant, the Cowboys take maybe the best receiver in the draft at 19 by selecting Alabama’s Calvin Ridley. Ridley was overshadowed early in his career at Alabama and then saw the passing game take a significant down turn late in his time with the Crimson Tide. However, he is still a first round talent and the Cowboys may just get steal at 19.
  20. Detroit Lions – Marcus Davenport DL, University of Texas San Antonio
    • The Lions are another team that could go in a few different directions in the first round, they need help on both sides of the ball. However, with a defensive minded coach coming in look for the Lions to go defense in the first round and take the best name on the board at 20, Marcus Davenport.
  21. Cincinnati Bengals (from BUF) – James Daniels G/C, Iowa
    • The Bengals need to revamp the offensive line and they get a top level guard that might start at either one of the two guard spots in 2019 and someone who might be able to be a quality center in the NFL.
  22. Chicago Bears (from KC via BUF) – Leighton Vander Esch LB, Boise State
    1. Chicago gets their second pick of the first round and they continue to focus on the defensive side of the ball and take someone that just screams classic Bears linebacker in Leighton Vander Esch.
  23. New England Patriots (from LAR) – Kolton Miller OT, University of California Los Angeles
    • New England could go in a lot of directions as well with two picks late in the first round. They could get Tom Brady’s backup, add depth at a few positions or get a possible starter. The bottom line for New England is you have to keep Brady safe if he is your guy, so they take the best offensive lineman left in Kolton Miller from UCLA.
  24. Carolina Panthers – Josh Jackson CB, Iowa
    • The Panthers have a lot of needs, but in the NFC South you need defensive backs to hang with the Saints and Falcons wideouts. With that in mind Carolina takes Josh Jackson from Iowa, who has a chance to be the best corner in the draft.
  25. Tennessee Titans – Harold Landry Edge, Boston College
    • Tennessee worked on the backend of their defense in free agency and they look to address the front line of the defense in the draft by taking Harold Landry from Boston College
  26. Atlanta Falcons – Darrius Guice RB, LSU
    • The Falcons saw first hand how much damage a two headed running back group can do, now Atlanta has a two headed monster, but contracts are starting to become an issue. So, they take Darrius Guice from LSU and keep their two headed monster moving forward in the future.
  27. Cleveland Browns (from NO) – Maurice Hurst DL, Michigan
    • The Browns move back into the first round and get some more help for their defense in Maurice Hurst from Michigan.
  28. Pittsburgh Steelers – Rashaan Evans OLB, Alabama
    • Thinking they would be reaching on any running back left on the board, Pittsburgh goes to the defensive side of the ball and adds Rashaan Evans to their linebacking core.
  29. Jacksonville Jaguars – Courtland Sutton WR, SMU
    • Much like Dallas the Jags overhauled their receiving core this year and will take a young receiver early in the draft. Sutton will be the best available and should be a solid target for Blake Bortles.
  30. Minnesota Vikings – Isaiah Wynn G, Georgia
    • This one is simple, Minnesota could use some more depth on the O-line and Wynn is a still on the board at 30.
  31. New England Patriots – Mason Rudolph QB, Oklahoma State
    • New England got a piece of the puzzle to keep Brady health and now they get their possible QB of the future in Mason Rudolph, who is the sixth QB taken in the first round.
  32. Philadelphia Eagles – Sony Michel RB, Georgia
    • The Super Bowl champs lost LeGarrette Blount this offseason and will need someone new to pair with Jay Ajayi and they do so with a change of pace back and someone who can do it all in Sony Michel.

Round Two

  1. New Orleans Saints (From CLE) – Jaire Alexander CB, Louisville
    • Still looking for help in the secondary and moving out of the first round the Saints grab a corner that has a first round grade according to a lot of people in Jaire Alexander from Louisville.
  2. New York Giants – Jamarco Jones OT, Ohio State
    • Still holding off on a QB since they would be reaching at this point the Giants get even more help for Manning along the O-line with Jamaica Jones.
  3. Cleveland Browns (From HOU) – Billy Price G/C Ohio State
    • The Browns have made three picks already and have gone in a few different directions. Once again they change it up and  address the offensive line and its depth by taking Billy Price.
  4. Indianapolis Colts – Mike Hughes CB, UCF
    • The Colts stay on the defensive side of the ball after seeing Sony Michel taken at 32 and add depth to their secondary with Mike Hughes.
  5. Indianapolis Colts (from NYJ) – Connor Williams G, Texas
    • The Colts go back to back here and add a possible starter to their O-line in Connor Williams from Texas.
  6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Sam Hubbard DE, Ohio State
    • Sam Hubbard still being on the board is to much for the Bucs to pass up with the sixth pick of the second round.
  7. Chicago Bears – Harrison Phillips DT, Stanford
    • Its more defense for the Bears as they add Stanford’s Harrison Phillips to the middle of their defensive line.
  8. Denver Broncos – Orlando Brown OT, Oklahoma
    • Denver got their possible future quarterback in the first round and now they get him and current starter Case Keenum some protection with Orlando Brown who could start at tackle as a rookie.
  9. Oakland Raiders – Mike McGlinchey OT, Notre Dame
    • Oakland follows their division rivals lead and get help for their QB by taking Mike McGlinchey from Notre Dame.
  10. Miami Dolphins – Mike Gesicki TE, Penn State
    • Miami needs to add more weapons on offense and take the first Tight End of the draft in Mike Gesicki from Penn State.
  11. New England Patriots (from SF) – Justin Reid S, Stanford
    • The Patriots get a young stud for their secondary in Stanford’s Justin Reid.
  12. Washington Redskins – Arden Key OLB, LSU
    • Issues surrounding Arden Key cause him to fall, but Washington takes their second linebacker of the draft in Key as his talent is to much to pass up here.
  13. Green Bay Packers – Ronnie Harrison S, Alabama
    • Surprisingly staying on the defensive side of the ball the Packers add Ronnie Harrison to their secondary and its a quality pick here.
  14. Cincinnati Bengals – Frank Ragnow C, Arkansas
    • Cincinnati keeps working on their O-line with Frank Ragnow from Arkansas.
  15. Arizona Cardinals – Isaiah Oliver CB, Colorado
    • After getting their future at the quarterback spot, Arizona replaces the honey badger with Isaiah Oliver from Colorado.
  16. Los Angeles Chargers – Carlton Davis CB, Auburn
    • The Chargers continue to add to their defense and take Carlton Davis from Auburn.
  17. Indianapolis Colts (from NJY via SEA) – Malik Jefferson LB, Texas
    • The Colts third pick of the round and they keep building their defense with Malik Jefferson from Texas.
  18. Dallas Cowboys – Tim Settle DT, Virginia Tech
    • Dallas turns their attention to the defense and takes Tim Settle from Virginia Tech.
  19. Detroit Lions – Ronald Jones II RB, Southern California
    • Not sold on Blunt as a long term solution the Lions add Ronald Jones II with their second round pick.
  20. Baltimore Ravens – Christian Kirk WR, Texas A&M
    • Still looking to add weapons for Joe Flacco the Ravens add gifted Christian Kirk with the 20th pick of the second round. Tall and speedy just the type of receiver that fits perfectly with Flacco.
  21. Buffalo Bills – Deon Cain WR, Clemson
    • Here comes the start of a small run on receivers as Buffalo adds a new weapon for Mayfield.
  22. Kansas City Chiefs – Darius Leonard LB, South Carolina State
    • The Chiefs know they need defense to play in the AFC West and to compete with New England so they add depth to their linebacking core with Darius Leonard.
  23. Carolina Panters – James Washington WR, Oklahoma State
    • It almost scares me to make this pick as it almost seems to good to be true and makes to much sense for Carolina, so they probably won’t actually do it. However, if they listen to me they get a steal in James Washington from Oklahoma State and add a very nice new toy for Cam Newton.
  24. Buffalo Bills (from LAR) Larenzo Carter OLB, Georgia
    • The Bills add depth on defense with Larenzo Carter from Georgia.
  25. Tennessee Titans – Rasheem Green DE, Southern California
    • Tennessee continues to add depth to their front seven with Basheem Green from USC.
  26. Atlanta Falcons – Hayden Hurst TE, South Carolina
    • The Panthers aren’t the only NFC South team that needs to add weapons for their QB. They did that with Guice in the first round and do it again with Hayden Hurst at tight end.
  27. San Francisco 49ers (from NO) – Braden Smith G, Auburn
    • The 49ers get some help and protection for Jimmy Garoppolo by going O-line in the second round.
  28. Pittsburgh Steelers – Nick Chubb RB, Georgia
    • Now feeling the value and the player are right, Pittsburgh gets the potential replacement for Le’Veon Bell in UGA standout Nick Chubb.
  29. Jacksonville Jaguars – Jerome Baker LB, Ohio State
    • The Jags got a receiver in the first round and now look to bolster a defense that is still missing a few pieces to compete with the Pats.
  30. Minnesota Vikings – Uchenna Nwosu DE, Southern California
    • Minnesota was close to a super bowl and the Eagles pass rush was a part of the reason they fell short. So, the Vikings add help in the pass rushing department with Uchenna Nwosu from USC.
  31. New England Patriots – Royce Freeman RB, Oregon
    • New England let Dion Lewis walk in free agency and draft his replacement in a similar back in the second round with Oregon’s Royce Freeman.
  32. Cleveland Browns (from PHI) – Dallas Goedert TE, South Dakota State
    • Ending the second round is the Browns who take advantage of a surprising fall. The Browns add a new weapon and a decent blocker in tight end Dallas Goedert from South Dakota State.

Round Three

  1. Buffalo Bills (from CLE) – Martinas Rankin G/C Mississippi State
    • The QB pick is in the books and now its time to protect him if you are the Bills. With Martinas Rankin you get a player that could help you out at either guard or center.
  2. New York Giants – Brian O’Neill OT, Pittsburg
    • It’s more of the same for the Giants as they continue to wait on a QB and draft another offensive lineman to protect Manning and the quarterback they will draft at some point in the draft.
  3. Indianapolis Colts – Dante Pettis WR, Washington
    • The Colts add a weapon on the outside for Andrew Luck and take the talented wide out from Washington.
  4. Houston Texans – Tyrell Crosby OT, Oregon
    • DeShaun Watson had a solid first season once he was given the reins to the Texans and before he was injured. Houston has added some help on the offensive line in free agency, but still needs more so the former Duck is a solid pick here.
  5. New York Giants (from TB) – Rashaad Penny RB, San Diago State
    • Ok enough lineman its time to get some help at the skill position. Penny may be a questionable pick in ways, but offers the Giants a lot in both the running game and the passing game.
  6. San Francisco 49ers (from CHI) – Da’Shawn Hand DE, Alabama
    • San Fran goes back to the defensive side of the ball and takes Da’Shawn Hand from Alabama who is somehow still sitting there.
  7. Denver Broncos – Jerome Baker ILB, Ohio State
    • So far Denver has gone QB and O-line, now its time to address the defensive side of the ball. Jerome Balker from Ohio State is still on the board and the Broncos say welcome to the ‘Mile High’ City.
  8. New York Jets – Mark Andrews TE, Oklahoma
    • The Jets add a offensive weapon in Oklahoma tight end Mark Andrews to help their QB’s.
  9. Miami Dolphins – B.J. Hill DT, North Carolina State
    • Still trying to replace what they lost in Suh Miami goes back to the defensive tackle spot and bring in the former Wolf Pack member.
  10. San Francisco 49ers – Fred Warner LB, BYU
    • San Francisco keeps building there defense with this pick due to not liking the offensive lineman left in this spot.
  11. Oakland Raiders – Anthony Miller WR, Memphis
    • Oakland gets itself a talented weapon for the outside and for Derek Carr after letting some of his targets go in the offseason. Miller has speed and hands and will be a good compliment to Amari Cooper.
  12. Green Bay Packers – D.J. Chark WR, LSU
    • The Packers finally address the offensive side of the ball and grab the raw talented D.J. Clark out of LSU. He will still have a lot of work to do to become a good NFL receiver, but he has a good group to work with and the best QB in the league at the moment.
  13. Cincinnati Bengals – Michael Gallup WR, Colorado State
    • Now, its Cincinnati’s turn to get a wideout. The Bengals are not really happy with what they got out of last years first round pick John Ross. They will hope to get more out of him this year as well as fourth round pick Josh Malone. However, you have to have a plan B and for the Bengals that is drafting a member of the all-name team in CSU’s Michael Gallup.
  14. Kansas City Chiefs (from WAS) – M.J. Stewart CB, North Carolina
    • KC made some moves involving their secondary this offseason and will look to add some depth in the draft and at this stage M.J. Stewart is a solid pick for the Chiefs.
  15. Arizona Cardinals – Chukwuma Okorafor OT, Western Michigan
    • Arizona will look to add to its O-line in the third round and Okorafor is a solid pick at this stage with the number of tackles taken already.
  16. Houston Texans (from SEA) – Quentin Meeks CB, Stanford
    • Houston got Watson some O-line help and now its time to add some help to the back end of the defense. Meeks should fit in well with what Houston wants to do and should be a successful DB in Houston.
  17. Dallas Cowboys – Dalton Schultz TE, Stanford
    • Jason Witten isn’t getting any younger and you got rid of Bryant. So, you need more than just Ridley in the first round. Schultz is not Witten, but gives you one more body to do the heavy lifting and give Witten some much needed rest during games and it allows you to play Witten at wide receiver more often.
  18. Detroit Lions – Nathan Shepard DT, Fort Hays State
    • This one is easy, you have a defensive minded head coach and you need help at linebacker and on the D-line….So, you take a defensive tackle here.
  19. Baltimore Ravens – Ian Thomas TE, Indiana
    • It’s not a wide receiver this time, but it is one more weapon for Flacco and the Ravens offense. Thomas will help in the running game and in the passing game.
  20. Los Angeles Chargers – Kyzir White S, West Virginia
    • The Chargers keep trying to get better and younger in the back end of their defense and get one of the best safeties in the draft in White.
  21. Carolina Panthers (from BUF) – Kalen Ballage RB, Arizona State
    • Yes you have Christian McCaffrey, but you let Jonathan Stewart walk in free agency. This means you need a complementary back to McCaffrey and Ballage is just that. He gives you a bit more power then McCaffrey, but won’t give you everything that Stewart did.
  22. Kansas City Chiefs – Ogbonnia Okoronkwo OLB, Oklahoma
    • KC’s linebackers are getting older and you need to keep finding quality youth to add. You have that in the former Sooner.
  23. Los Angeles Rams – Dorian O’Daniel OLB, Clemson
    • The Rams traded away one of their best linebackers in the offseason in Alec Ogletree so grabbing O’Daniel out of Clemson here just seem right.
  24. Carolina Panthers – Tre’Quan Smith WR, UCF
    • The Panthers have needed help at wide receiver for years and haven’t really done anything about it. Even if they do take Washington they still need more help and Smith would bring a lot of explosiveness to their offense.
  25. Tennessee Titans – Austin Corbett G/C, Nevada
    • This pick is more about adding depth now and getting a possible starter later on down the road. Corbett would give the Titans a little bit of flexibility with their line as well, which is never a bad thing.
  26. Atlanta Falcons – Kemoko Turay DE, Rutgers
    • Pass rush, pass rush and more pass rush help is what this pick is all about.
  27. New Orleans Saints – Tegray Scales LB, Indiana
    • Scales is the best overall linebacker at this point and the Saints could use some youthful depth in the front seven.
  28. Pittsburgh Steelers – Jeff Holland OLB, Auburn
    • Holland to me just seems like a Steelers linebacker and I think they will be looking to add some depth at that position.
  29. Jacksonville Jaguars – Will Richardson OT, North Carolina State
    • The Jags will be looking to add some depth on the offensive line and this is the best Tackle left at the moment.
  30. Minnesota Vikings – Keke Coutee WR, Texas Tech
    • This is a chance for Minnesota to land a third quality receiver, there are people the Vikings liked better, but most of them have been drafted already. So, Coutee is who they pick as he is the best receiver left.
  31. New England Patriots – Shaquem Griffin LB, UCF
    • It seems like every year the Pats take a guy around this point in the draft with some sort of issue and make them a star. Griffin is that person this year without a doubt.
  32. Buffalo Bills (from PHI) – Kerryon Johnson RB, Auburn
    • LeSean McCoy is getting up their in age and you need to find someone who can take some of the load off of him and Johnson is a great choice at this point.
  33. Arizona Cardinals – Tyrell Crosby OT, Oregon
    • This one is all about depth and protecting the Quarterback.
  34. Houston Texans – Simmie Cobbs Jr. WR, Indiana
    • Houston still needs one or two more weapons on the outside and Cobbs Jr. falling this far is a steal of a pick for the Texans.
  35. Denver Broncos – Rashaan Gaulden CB/S, Tennessee
    • Denver sent Aqib Talib to the Rams in the offseason and need to fill his spot. Gaulden is a hard hitting DB and can play both the nickel and safety. Their are questions as to where he will play most of his career, but that is something the Broncos need in their secondary at the moment. Gaulden makes a ton of sense here, the real question is will he still be here or will someone take a shot on him earlier in the round.
  36. Cincinnati Bengals – Donte Jackson CB, LSU
    • We end the third round with the Bengals hoping to find a replacement for Adam Jones and LSU’s Donte Jackson is a good pick at this point and most would tell you he fell if he is still on the board for the last pick of the third round, but that is a win for Cincinnati.

Written by: Sam Forman

Edited by: Colin Castleberry