Vance Meek’s Post-Free Agency Mock Draft

Obviously, free agency isn’t over, but most of the big names have signed. Most of the remaining players would be depth and wouldn’t affect draft plans. With that in mind, here is my new mock draft, taking the moves made over the past few weeks in mind. This is, as always, done as if I were the GM of every team, not a prediction of what I think will happen.

  1. Arizona Cardinals – Ed Oliver, DL: The Cardinals should not draft a quarterback at this spot. All of the system stuff is overblown. Who they should take is the best player in the draft. Oliver is a dominant force who will require double teams, which will free up the edge rushers. Or teams could choose to block him one-on-one, and good luck with that.
  2. San Francisco 49ers – Nick Bosa, Edge: The interior of the Niners defensive line is strong, but the edge has questions. They acquired Dee Ford, but he’s no guarantee, and Solomon Thomas hasn’t developed thus far. Bosa is a potential game changer as an edge rusher and has a terrific all-around game.
  3. New York Jets – Quinnen Williams, DL: There are many who have Williams as the best player in the draft, and it’s a fair argument. He was unblockable for most of the season, and is likely to be an immediate impact player in the NFL. The Jets may not have Leonard Williams long-term, so this makes sense.
  4. Oakland Raiders – Josh Allen, Edge: The Raiders have made some moves to add players through free agency, but they still need a lot of help on the edge. Allen isn’t as polished as Nick Bosa, and isn’t as good against the run, but his quickness and and ability to get to the passer is second to none. He would immediately become the team’s best edge rusher.
  5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Devin White, LB: This is the popular pick in mocks these days, but linebacker is their biggest need, so it makes sense. White is a terrific athlete who can run sideline-to-sideline to make plays. He is also a very good blitzer. The Bucs lost Kwon Alexander, so adding White would be a good move. He’s worth a top ten selection.
  6. New York Giants – Brian Burns, Edge: The Giants need a quarterback, but they might choose to wait until 2020 for that. If they go another way, getting an edge rusher should be a priority. They were one of the league’s worst teams in sacks. Burns is the best pure pass rusher in the draft. He has ridiculous speed and bend, and will be a nightmare for tackles who struggle with speed.
  7. Jacksonville Jaguars – Jawaan Taylor, OT: Nick Foles was signed to be the quarterback, so getting some extra protection should be the goal. Taylor is a big, long tackle who should immediately start on the right side of the line. He’s a great pass blocker and has a huge upside as an NFL tackle.
  8. Detroit Lions – Noah Fant, TE: I’ve been mocking Fant to the Lions for a while, and I see no reason to change it. The Lions signed Jesse James, but they still need a dynamic receiving threat at the position. Fant needs to develop his blocking more, but he’s a big-time receiver and athlete at the tight end spot.
  9. Buffalo Bills – Jonah Williams, OT: A big outside threat at receiver is needed, but they did add some talent. I’m addressing the offensive line instead. Williams has shorter arms than NFL teams like, but he proved that he’s a great player, despite that. At worst, he becomes a potential Pro Bowler at guard, but I think he can play and play well at left tackle as a pro.
  10. Denver Broncos – Devin Bush, LB: Like Tampa Bay, the Broncos let a veteran linebacker go, and now have an obvious need there. Bush has the speed to cover the entire width of the field and he is a sure tackler once he gets to the ball. Teams need quality linebackers in today’s NFL and Bush fits what Denver needs.
  11. Cincinnati Bengals – Kyler Murray, QB: This is well above where I have Murray graded, but with both top linebackers off the board, it’s either tackle or “go for it”. I’d go for it with Murray. He is a dynamic player who can win games with his arm and his legs. His size is a concern, and he has to learn to stay in the pocket more often, but he could be a home run.
  12. Green Bay Packers – DK Metcalf, WR: The Packers addressed their pass rush in free agency, and added a safety as well. So, they take the highest graded offensive weapon on the board. Metcalf is a work in progress, but he’s a physical specimen who can go get those Aaron Rodgers deep balls.
  13. Miami Dolphins – Dalton Risner, OL: Reaching for a quarterback is an option here, but they’re playing for 2020 and beyond. Addressing the guys up front is the direction to take here. Risner is a technically sound blocker with bad intentions. He might play tackle, and might play inside, but he will definitely start somewhere quickly.
  14. Atlanta Falcons – Christian Wilkins, DL: A teammate got more publicity, but Wilkins is a beast as well. He’s quick for his size and is very good against the run, and as an interior pass rusher. Grady Jarrett’s future isn’t certain, and Wilkins is a good replacement if needed, or gives them a deadly duo going forward.
  15. Washington Redskins – N’Keal Harry, WR: The Redskins are another team that could go ahead and draft a quarterback here. Instead of reaching on my board, a true offensive weapon is the pick. Harry knows how to go get the ball and then he’s truly special with the ball in his hands.
  16. Carolina Panthers – Nasir Adderly, S: Carolina has a talented young pair of cornerbacks. I add a talented young safety to the mix. Adderly has great measurables equating to excellent range in centerfield. The Panthers could take a receiver here, but they have a gap at safety that I fill here.
  17. New York Giants – Hakeem Butler, WR: The Giants traded away one of the five best receivers in the league, so they use the pick they got for him on a replacement. Butler has great size and an elite catch radius. He high-points the ball as well as anybody, and at the Combine, he proved he has the speed and athleticism worthy of a top 20 pick.
  18. Minnesota Vikings – Yodny Cajuste, OT: The offensive line must be improved in 2018 for the Vikings to have a chance at the playoffs. Cajuste is the highest graded lineman on the board, so he’s the pick. He has great size and impressive strength. He has NFL left tackle potential and could wind up the best tackle in this class.
  19. Tennessee Titans – TJ Hockenson, TE: Getting a quarterback additional weapons is never a bad thing. Hockenson is the top tight end for many, and is a top 15 player either way. He’s a good receiver and a very good blocker. He’ll be a nice piece to use along with Delanie Walker in two tight end sets.
  20. Pittsburgh Steelers – Byron Murphy, CB: The Steelers have not had a lot of success at drafting cornerbacks in recent years. However, the top corner in the class is too good to pass on. Murphy has terrific instincts and magnificent ball skills, and might finally be a good pick at cornerback in Pittsburgh.
  21. Seattle Seahawks – Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, S: There are a couple of good options here, but replacing Earl Thomas is as good a start as any. Gardner-Johnson has the necessary range to make plays in the secondary, though he’s not as good a tackler as Thomas was. The Seahawks like a strong secondary, so they strengthen it here.
  22. Baltimore Ravens – Kelvin Harmon, WR: This is a bit of a reach for need here, but the Ravens have a major need at receiver. They need to come away with more than one in this draft. Harmon is a big-bodied pass catcher with great hands. He can go up and grab the ball and will be terrific in the red zone.
  23. Houston Texans – Cody Ford, OL: Deshaun Watson got hit way too many times last year. In a class with plenty of quality offensive linemen, that works out well. Ford is massive, and moves well for his size. He has great instincts and physically dominates opponents. He’ll probably be a guard, but versatility is nice.
  24. Oakland Raiders – Greedy Williams, CB: A team can never have too many good cornerbacks, and Williams is the highest graded player left on the board. His speed is elite, and gives him an amazing ability to recover. He had a rough Combine, but he might wind up the best cornerback from this class.
  25. Philadelphia Eagles – Garrett Bradbury, OL: Running back is an obvious need, but I’m not picking any of them this high. The highest player on the board is Bradbury, who is a sound technician and is worthy of a much higher pick. The Eagles don’t have as much depth on the interior of their line, and Bradbury could take a starting job right away.
  26. Indianapolis Colts – Jerry Tillery, DL: The Colts are a team on the rise. They’ve added some pieces through free agency, but still have a need on the interior of the defensive line. Pressure up the middle is key in the NFL and Tillery is a very good pass rusher from the tackle position.
  27. Oakland Raiders – Montez Sweat, Edge: Yes, this is a double dip at edge. However, it is good value. I’m not quite as high on Sweat as NFL teams reportedly are, but he does have a tremendous upside. His speed is uncoachable, and he just needs to add some pass rush moves to his game.
  28. Los Angeles Chargers – DeAndre Baker, CB: There are questions about Baker’s speed, and that’s a concern, but it hasn’t hampered him much so far. He has the right atttitude for the position as well, cocky and fearless. There’s more risk involved, but he could be a steal at this spot.
  29. Kansas City Chiefs – Justin Layne, CB: The Chiefs defense was abysmal in 2018. They also lost some key players. Layne is a high upside player with excellent size for the cornerback position. He plays the ball well, and uses his size effectively. If he continues to develop, he could be an All Pro.
  30. Green Bay Packers – Clelin Farrell, Edge: This is simply a value pick, as he’s the highest graded player left on the board. The Packers can always use more pass rushers. Farrell isn’t the speed rusher that some of the other top guys are, but he uses his hands well, and has an NFL moveset.
  31. Los Angeles Rams – Chris Lindstrom, OL: There are a few defensive needs for the Rams, but the interior of their offensive line struggled badly in the Super Bowl. Roger Saffold is also gone, leaving a huge hole on the offense. Lindstrom is a ready-to-play lineman who should hold down the position for years to come.
  32. New England Patriots – Dwayne Haskins, QB: To be clear, Haskins isn’t my highest graded QB here, but he’s lower risk. The Patriots probably trade this pick, but if they keep it, it makes sense to take a quarterback and get the fifth year. Tom Brady can’t play forever can he? CAN HE?
Vance Meek
Cincinnati Bengals and NFL Draft fan. Started this website just so I could call myself CEO.

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