Welcome to the second installment of the Downtown Rams Staff draft. In order to see our pre-combine draft click here! We are less then a month away and are excited to be your source for draft talk and information.
For this draft we changed around who drafted for what teams and give additional prospective on how the first round may play out. Now that the combine and free agency has happened we look into the how things may have been shaken up.
1. Cleveland Browns: Sam Darnold, QB, USC
Sam Darnold is a quarterback that can create plays when things break down. He is still a little raw, and struggles with turnovers, but his play style matches what Hue Jackson has liked in quarterbacks at every stop in his career. Sitting for a year behind Tyrod Taylor should help him learn the nuances of the NFL game without sending him through the meat grinder.
Previous Pick: Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
2. New York Giants: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
The Giants still believe in Eli but know that the future is sooner than they want to admit. Bringing in Rosen will win the headline battle in New York and add a critical asset to their roster. Learning behind a future hall of famers is never a bad thing and Rosen will greatly benefit from standing on the sideline for a year.
Previous Pick: Sam Darnold
3. New York Jets: Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
The Jets have the easy decision of taking Allen with Darnold and Rosen off of the board. Allen might have the highest ceiling of any QB in this draft. He will have to sit for a year, but sitting behind Jake McCown would be ideal. His big arm and big potential is a big win for the Jets who have traded up to get a quarterback of their future. Allen, like Rosen and Donald, may not start a single game next season.
Previous Pick: Saquon Barkley, RB, PSU (by the Colts).
Jets’ previous pick: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
4. Cleveland Browns: Saquon Barkley, RB, PSU
Barkley is the best player in the draft. He has speed, elusiveness, and great vision. He absolutely crushed the Combine, and the Browns are reportedly quite interested. They are delighted to get their QB of the future, and a running back who can help them win now. Who can blame them? The 2018 draft could be the draft that change the way we perceive the Browns in the future, and they know the kind of pressure on their organization.
Previous pick: Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, BAMA
5. Denver Broncos: Bradley Cubb, DE, NCST
The Denver Broncos are able to pass on the Quarterback position thanks to the signing of Case Keenum in Free Agency. They could decide to draft a QB anyways but the idea of having Bradley Chubb and Von Miller on the same team is too enticing. Von Miller is constantly getting double team and Shane Ray is not getting the job done on the other side. Bradley Chubb can come in and instantly take pressure off of Von Miller giving them a force off the edges.
Previous Pick: Baker Mayfield, QB, OKLA
6. Indianapolis Colts: Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame
The Colts have struggled to protect Andrew Luck. Coming off his recent injury, now is the time to shore up the offensive line. Nelson has natural power, quick feet, good balance, all the things you want to see in a big body in the interior. His ability to run block is also noteworthy. He would be an overall upgrade on the offensive line for the Colts.
Previous Pick: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
Previous Colts’ Pick: Saquon Barkley, RB, PSU
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama
If you have your quarterback in place and picking top 10, it usually means you have a lot of holes on your roster. With Fitzpatricks versatility, they can fill those holes from day one.
Fitzpatrick is a hybrid strong safety with exceptional explosiveness, tackling skills and great awareness on the field. He’ll step in day one and make that (and any) defense better with his skill set and strong leadership persona. Some people consider him the best player in the draft and the Buccaneers in a position where what they really need is just talented players. Fitzpatrick will impact the playing field and the locker room the moment he is drafted.
Previous Pick: Bradley Chubb, DE, NCST
8. Chicago Bears: Derwin James, Safety, Florida State
Even with the signing of Allen Robinson I still was very close to selecting Calvin Ridley, but settled on Derwin James because the Bears can always use a dynamic defender like James in the secondary. James is going to make the same sort of impact that guys like Jalen Ramsey and Marcus Lattimore have done in recent years.
Previous Pick: Quenton Nelson, OG, ND
9. San Francscio 49ers: Denzel Ward, CB, OSU
The NFC West is in an arms race and the 49ers need to keep improving if they want to compete. Ward is the top player on the board at this point and is an instant impact player on day one. Learning across from Sherman will play out long term benefits in the future.
Previous Pick: Denzel Ward, CB, OSU
10. Oakland Raiders: Joshua Jackson, CB, Iowa
The Raiders secondary has been awful and they are desperately in need of an upgrade. Cornerback Joshua Jackson is an exciting upgrade for the Raiders defense. At 6’1” and 192 lbs, Josh Jackson is one of the bigger cornerbacks in the draft. He is an absolute ball hawk and he takes advantage of his length in jump-ball situations and thrives covering tall receivers. The Raiders have lots of needs on the defensive side of the ball, but if Jackson is available he is the best player to fill in one of their biggest needs.
Previous Pick: Roquan Smith, LB, UGA
11. Miami Dolphins: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
The Miami Dolphins have been in a downward spiral with only a few glimpses of hope. Baker would come in and be able to sit for a little bit before taking the franchise in the new direction the front office wants.
Previous Pick: Joshua Jackson, CB, Iowa
12. Buffalo Bills: Roquan Smith, LB, UGA
The Bills have made a lot of moves over the past year and have repositioned themselves for success. The Bills are likely to try to trade up into the top few picks to grab on of the top four quarterbacks, but if for some reason they don’t Smith is a great pick. Buffalo already has some good pieces on that defense and Smith is a long term enforcer in the middle of the field. His high motor, high football IQ, and ability to hit makes him a great fit for Buffalo.
Previous Pick: Mike McGlinchey
Buffalo’s Previous Pick: Vita Vea
13. Washington Redskins: Tremaine Edwards, LB, Virginia Tech
The Redskins defense has been a hindrance on the team for years. Last year the whole team was hard to judge due to the amazing amount of injuries that plagued the team, but they were still able to play pretty well in spite of that. The Redskins are letting ILB Will Compton leave in free agency but was able to resign Zach Brown. Tremaine Edmunds is a young stud who can come in beside Brown and take over the middle of the field. Add in Josh Norman, Ryan Kerrigan and Jonathan Allen and the defense is now looking like a strength.
Previous Pick: Da Ron Payne, DL, Alabama
14. Green Bay Packers: Marcus Davenport, EDGE, UTSA
If the Packers want to be serious and do right by their superstar quarterback they need to get better on defense. Marcus Davenport is an electric player on the outside who can pass the rusher and make a play in the backfield. Davenport will be able to get the ball back into Rodgers’ hands so he can continue to throw touchdowns for a long time in Green Bay.
Previous Pick: Arden Key, DE, LSU
15. Arizona Cardinal: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
Funny how these things work. The Bears loss is the Cards gain. In Ridley, they get a solid route runner with deceptive speed who will get to learn from one of the best ever in Larry Fitzgerald. Ridley would benefit greatly from getting to learn from one of the best who as ever done it.
Previous Pick: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
16. Baltimore Ravens: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville Calvin Ridley, WR, BAMA
Baltimore knows that teams who have long term success plan well into the future. With Joe Flacco on the decline, and on a big contract, now may be the time to prepare. Critics of Jackson say he is not ready yet, and Baltimore has the ability to allow him to sit for some time before starting. Quarterbacks such as Rodgers, Garoppolo, and Philip Rivers all sat for multiple seasons before becoming full time starers. Jackson has raw ability and finding the right fit will be very important for his future as a professional quarterback.
Previous Pick: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
17. Los Angeles Chargers: Vita Vea, DT, Washington
The Chargers would have a complete front seven with the addition of Vea. Imagine him next to Joey Bosa! Vea has violent hands and is more than just a run stopper. Like moving to Los Angeles, the Chargers should follow the Rams’ lead and improve their defensive line.
Previous Pick: Derwin James, S, Florida State
18: Seattle Seahawks: Will Hernandez, OG, UTEP
The Seahawks draft a rock at guard because they will have to contend with Suh, Brockers, and Donald this season. The rookie will have his work cut out for him, but the Seahawks need to focus on protecting their most important player, Russell Wilson. Hernandez is an old school tough player who will use his strength to his favor in a division with very good defenses.
Previous Pick: Isaiah Wynn, OG, UGA
19. Dallas Cowboys: Maurice Hurst, DE, Michigan
Hurst is good in the pass rush and against the run. Hurst has the first step quickness that is coveted by defensive line coaches and he is great at generating interior pressure. His high energy attack means he is consistently running down plays on the outside as well. The Cowboys need defensive tackles and Hurst is one of the best fits available at this point.
Previous Pick: Tremaine Edmunds, LB, VT
20. Detroit Lions: James Daniels, Center, Iowa
Watching James Daniels tape is like putting on “How to play OL 101.” He’s a technician with elite speed, quickness and body control. Lions would love to land a pass rusher like Davenport, but at #20 overall they’re adding the best player at the position.
Matt Patricia will look to strengthen the trenches and adding a center like Daniels that can play all interior positions give the Lions good depth and an elite prospect for the next decade.
Previous Pick: Marcus Davenport, Edge, UTSA
12. Cincinnati Bengals: Connor Williams, OT, Texas
The Bengals just traded for Cordy Glenn, but his health has been an issue. Also, that whole offensive line is below average. Williams can play tackle in the NFL, but worse case scenario he can slide into guard. The Bengals need a lot of help and a starting linemen will benefit everyone.
Previous Pick: Vita Vea, DT, Washington
Bengals Previous Pick: Mike McGlinchey
22. Buffalo Bills: Isaiah Wynn, OL, Georgia
Wynn makes a lot of sense for a team like Buffalo. They still expect to get a lot of McCoy, who will benefit from an offensive linemen. Their future plans into an unknown young quarterback, so ensuring his protection is never a bad thing.
Previous Pick: Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama
Other Bills Pick This Round: Roquan Smith, LB, UGA
23. Los Angeles Rams: Harold Landry, EDGE, Boston College
The Rams have made a lot of moves this offseason, but if they end up drafting at 23 they are likely to fill on of the remaining needs. With plans to start young linebackers across the front seven, Landry will fit right in. Landry is a pass rusher who will greatly benefit from the elite defensive line the Rams have put together. Wade will hope to make Landry into the type of player he made Von Miller into at Denver. Opposing quarterbacks in the NFC West will not be happy about this pick.
Previous Pick: Connor Williams, OT, Texas
24. Carolina Panthers: Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville
Jaire Alexander had an amazing combine but due to off the field concerns he ended up falling to the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers traded cornerback Daryl Worley to the Eagles so they are in the market for another corner. Alexander can be lined up across from Bradberry to give them a solid cornerback duo to build off of. Alexander fits a need and is the type of player that the Panthers have had success with in the past.
Previous Pick: Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
25. Teneesse Titans: Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama
With the loss of linebacker Avery Wiliamson the Titans have a hole in the middle of their defense. Former middle linebacker, and now Titans’ head coach Mike Vrabel would love to make his first selection a talented middle linebacker he can personally groom into one of the top defensive players in the league.
Previous Pick: Mike Hughes, CB, UCF
26. Atlanta Falcons: Taven Bryan, DL, Florida
The Falcons defense was much improved in 2017, but they still lack a middle of the line presence. Enter Taven Bryan who can be super versatile by playing any of the 4 positions on the line. It will give the teams playing the Falcons another guy to have to game plan for week to week.
Previous Pick: Billy Price, OL, OSU
27. New Orleans Saints: Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State
A picture says a thousand words, and Drew Bress loves throwing to athletic pass catching TEs.
While Dallas will need to adjust to the higher level of competition, he meets one of the Saints’ few needs in a playmaking tight end. His strong hands and body control are exactly what a quarterback looks for in the red zone.
Previous Pick: Dallas Goedert, TE, SDST
28. Pittsburgh Steelers: Leighton Vander Esch, LB, BSU
The Steelers always seem to draft linebackers, but they never work out. ILB is the biggest need when you look at their depth chart. Vander Esch has a high ceiling and will be a great leader on that defense.
Previous Pick: Leighton Vander Esch, LB, BSTU
29. Jacksonville Jaguars: Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
The Jaguars can’t put enough quality targets on the field for quarterback Blake Bortles. Although they need help at tight end, Sutton would be one of the best pass catching talents on the board at this point. Although speed I not his strong suit, at 6’4, 220 lbs., Sutton is a big body target with plenty of athletic ability to be useful deep. He has an extended catch radius and is good at using his large frame to his advantage.
Previous Pick: Orlando Brown, OL, Oklahoma
30. Minnesota Vikings: Billy Price, OL, Ohio State
The Minnesota Vikings had a very good offensive line last year and plan to make it even better this year. The Vikings drafted Pat Elflein last year so they will end up playing Billy Price at Guard next to him. This gives them amazing depth and rotational pieces. The Vikings just signed Kirk Cousins to a mega deal and giving him a great offensive line can only be a good thing. This team knows that they need to build a strong line for their new quarterback and their young stud runningback.
Previous Pick: Maurice Hurst, DE, Michigan
31. New England Patriots: Jessie Bates, Safety, Wake Forest
Bates has Patriots written all over him. He’s a smart player who is versatile and plays with a chip on his shoulder. His versatility will allow the Pats to place him in a position where he can excel against the run and the pass. Bates is raising up teams draft boards and the Patriots would be willing to spend the pick on him to avoid the chance of losing him.
Previous Pick: Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado
32. Philadelphia Eagles: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Norte Dame
The defending world champions already have one of the best lines in football but with Peters reaching the end of his carrer it’s never to early to start preparing for the future. McGlinchey can play wherever the Eagles ask him to depending on if they plan on switching Lane Johnson to left tackle at some point.
Previous Pick: Will Hernandez, OG, UTEP
The official first round draft order is:
1. Cleveland Browns
2. New York Giants
3. New York Jets (via Indianapolis)
4. Cleveland Browns
5. Denver Broncos
6. Indianapolis Colts (via NYJ)
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
8. Chicago Bears
9. San Francisco 49ers
10. Oakland Raiders
11. Miami Dolphins
12. Buffalo Bills (via Cincinnati)
13. Washington Redskins
14. Green Bay Packers
15. Arizona Cardinals
16. Baltimore Ravens
17. Los Angeles Chargers
18. Seattle Seahawks
19. Dallas Cowboys
20. Detroit Lions
21. Cincinnati Bengals (via Buffalo)
22. Buffalo Bills(Via Kansas City)
23. Carolina Panthers
24. Los Angeles Rams
25. Tennessee Titans
26. Atlanta Falcons
27. New Orleans Saints
28. Pittsburgh Steelers
29. Jacksonville Jaguars
30. Minnesota Vikings
31. New England Patriots
32. Philadelphia Eagles
I want to give an extra special thank you to:
Alex Kelly, who drafted for the: Jets, Bengals, Chargers, and Steelers
Dennis Duolee, who drafted for the: Buccaneers and Lions
Gary Weed, who drafted for the: Bears, Cardinals, and Falcons
Jake Ellenbogen, who drafted for the : Ravens, and Patriots
James Lamar, who drafted for the: Browns, Seahawks, Saints
Jonah Trevino, who drafted for the: Colts, Raiders, Cowboys, and Jaguars
Joshua Hill, who drafted for the: Broncos, Redskins, Panthers, and Vikings
Mark Lujan, who drafted for the: Giants, Dolphins, and Bills
Please note that descriptions of the draft picks were mostly written by the contributor in charge of drafting for that team and then edited by me.