Grant’s final 1st round mock draft of 2018

FILE – In this March 2, 2018, file photo, Notre Dame offensive lineman Quenton Nelson runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis. Nelson is expected to be a first round pick in the NFL Draft.(AP Photo/Michael Conroy, Com)

The draft starts Thursday night. Here is my final first-round mock draft.

1. Cleveland Browns: Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming.

Analysis: Allen isn’t good now, but he has more potential than the other quarterbacks in this draft.

2. New York Giants: Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame.

Analysis: The Giants wanted to sign All Pro guard Andrew Norwell this offseason, but he went to the Jaguars. Nelson could be even better than Norwell.

3. New York Jets: Sam Darnold, QB, USC. 

Analysis: Some consider Darnold the safest quarterback in the draft. But in two seasons at USC, he fumbled or threw an interception 43 times. Safe?

4. Cleveland Browns: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn St.

Analysis: The Browns get the best player in the draft with the fourth pick. Not bad.

5. Denver Broncos: Bradley Chubb, DE, North Carolina State.

Analysis: Chubb and Von Miller will form the best edge-rushing duo in the NFL, and the Broncos will have a bounce-back season.

6. Indianapolis Colts: Roquan Smth, LB, Georgia.

Analysis: Smith will start at weak-side linebacker right away and lead the Lions in tackles as a rookie.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Derwin James, S, Florida St.

Analysis: James is the best pure safety in this class. He can play strong or free, and he’s a heavy hitter.

8. Chicago Bears: Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virgnia Tech.

Analysis: Edmunds will start at middle linebacker right away and finish second on the Bears in tackles as a rookie.

9. San Francisco 49ers: Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio St.

Analysis: Ward is the best pure cornerback in the draft. The 49ers can’t pass on another premier corner. Since 2012, they’ve passed on Janoris Jenkins, Xavier Rhodes, Desmond Trufant, Bradley Roby, Marcus Peters and Marshon Lattimore.

10. Oakland Raiders: Vita Vea, DT, Washington.

Analysis: If Vea is available, he’s a slam-dunk pick for the Raiders. They need to solidify the middle of their defense.

11. Miami Dolphins: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA.

Analysis: According to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, Rosen “might drop out of the top 10,” and the Dolphins “had multiple visits with Rosen throughout the draft process and have spoken with former UCLA offensive coordinator and interim coach Jedd Fisch at length about Rosen.”

12. Buffalo Bills: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma.

Analysis: Some people think Mayfield should be a top-five pick, and some people think he’s the next Drew Brees. He isn’t. He’s the next Case Keenum.

13. Washington Redskins: Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama.

Analysis: The Redskins need help all over their defense, and Fitzpatrick can play multiple positions in the secondary. He’s a tweener — not quite a safety and not quite a corner.

14. Green Bay Packers: Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA.

Analysis: Clay Matthews is 31, he hasn’t had a double-digit-sack season since 2014 and he will be a free agent in 2019. Davenport is his replacement.

15. Arizona Cardinals: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama.

Analysis: Ridley will be the eventual successor to Larry Fitzgerald.

16. Baltimore Ravens: James Daniels, C/G, Iowa.

Analysis: Daniels will be the best center in the league by 2019.

17. Los Angeles Chargers: Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama.

Analysis: The Chargers allowed 4.9 yards per carry — tops in the NFL. Payne is an excellent run defender.

18. Seattle Seahawks: Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA.

Analysis: Miller has the talent to play left tackle, unlike some of the other top tackle prospects in this draft.

19. Dallas Cowboys: Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU.

Analysis: Sutton will replace Dez Bryant as the Cowboys No. 1 receiver.

20. Detroit Lions: Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa.

Analysis: The Lions defense ranked 27th out of 32 teams last season. Jackson can play corner or safety for Detroit.

21. Cincinnati Bengals: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame.

Analysis: McGlinchey is the best right tackle in this draft, and a future Pro Bowler.

22. Buffalo Bills: Isaiah Wynn, G, Georgia.

Analysis: The Bills drafted their quarterback with the 12th pick, and now they draft someone to protect him.

23. New England Patriots: Connor Williams, OT, Texas.

Analysis: The Patriots need tackles after losing start Nate Solder to the Giants during free agency.

24. Carolina Panthers: Will Hernandez, OG, UTEP.

Analysis: Hernandez will replace Andrew Norwell, who signed with the Jaguars.

25. Tennessee Titans: Harold Landry, OLB, Boston College.

Analysis: Titans outside linebacker Brian Orakpo will be a free agent in 2019.

26. Atlanta Falcons: Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado.

Analysis: Falcons starting corner Robert Alford will be 30 in November.

27. New Orleans Saints: Taven Bryan, DT, Florida.

Analysis: Last year, the Saints selected the best defensive player in the draft — Marshon Lattimore. He improved their pass defense. This year, they need to improve their run defense. It ranked 28th in yards per carry allowed last season.

28. Pittsburgh Steelers: Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama.

Analysis: Steelers starting inside linebacker Ryan Shazier suffered a spinal contusion last season and will not play in 2018. He may never play again.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville.

Analysis: Jackson would be an immediate upgrade over Blake Bortles.

30. Minnesota Vikings: Frank Ragnow, C/G, Arkansas.

Analysis: The Vikings don’t have many holes, but they could use a better left guard. Their current starter is Nick Easton, who used to play for the 49ers. They traded him for Gerald Hodges.

31: New England Patriots: Mike Hughes, CB, UCF.

Analysis: Hughes is a future Pro Bowler who will replace Malcolm Butler. Butler signed with the Titans this offseason.

32. Philadelphia Eagles: Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville.

Analysis: The Eagles gave up a record 500 passing yards in the Super Bowl. They need a corner.

This article has 136 Comments

  1. 1.Cleveland Browns: Sam Darnold, QB, USC
    2. New York Giants: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
    3. New York Jets: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
    4. Cleveland Browns: Bradley Chubb, DE, North Carolina State
    5. TRADE Buffalo Bills: Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
    6. Indianapolis Colts: Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame
    7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Derwin James, S, Florida State
    8. Chicago Bears: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
    9. San Francisco 49ers: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
    10. Oakland Raiders: Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA

    1. Razor:
      I’m tired of waiting, but still hope Nelson will drop to the 9ers. One more day and we can all stop guessing……
      * If you’re right about Roquan Smith, do you see him playing Mike, or Will?

      1. I’d imagine they’d play him at Will and move Smith to Mike, but I’m not in the Cohn camp that believes Obi-Quan can’t play Mike. I just think it wouldn’t be the best way to get the most out of his talent….

        1. Obi-quan might actually play the Mike. The reasoning is because the roles are interchangeable per Saleh, Smith and analysts that know the defense with the Mike being the better communicator as he helps set the D. From most accounts I have read Quan is very intelligent so I could see him eventually playing that role. Oddly enough in this D, he might be better suited to the role than Edmunds in our defense.

          1. There is a HUGE difference between the Mike backer and the Stack backer, starting with the fact that the Mike backer is the bubble backer playing off the ball aligned over the guard while the Stack backer in the Under or Over schemes plays behind the 3-technique and a loose 5 or a 7 technique. Reads are totally different and exposure to blocking schemes are totally different.

            Saying the two positions are the same is not good comprehension of the schemes. When I think of a Stack backer, I think of a real Stack backer, I am thinking of a Junior Seau. When I think of a true Mike backer I am thinking of a Mike Singletary in his hey day, or a Ray Lewis or a Luke Kuechly.

            Smith is not Singletary, Lewis or Kuechly. Guards will engulf him. He needs to be protected and to scrape and shuffle and be the cover backer from the Stack alignment.

              1. They have shown videos of when he is not protected he gets swallowed up and disappears. They have also stated that Foster is a lot stronger than Smith. The Falcons mike might be small but he might stronger than you realize.

            1. In most 4-3 schemes that is the case. However according to Robert Saleh ( You know, the 49ers defensive coordinator) …. ” Yeah, the MIKE-WILL, they’re interchangeable… ” but “whoever can communicate the best will be the MIKE linebacker ” then their is Malcolm Smith and Dave Lombardi who stated the same thing “49ers LB Malcolm Smith confirms what we saw last year on the field: The defense’s MLB/WLB roles are interchangeable, so Smith can move to MLB in event of Reuben Foster unavailability.”
              So yes they are very similar roles in this defense.

      2. I agree that will would be the ideal spot for Smith. The belief he can’t play Mike is not warranted as there is footage of every LB in this draft – including Edmunds – being taken out of plays by OL blocking on the second level. The truth is any Mike LB is going to be at the mercy of his DT’s holding up blockers and keeping him clean. I just like Smith at the Will because it gives him more freedom to diagnose and tackle which are his biggest strengths. He is also very good in coverage.

    2. If they go Smith. Say goodbye to Foster. That’s the same pick they made last season. To bad a wasted 9th pick is going for the same guy they drafted last year. Imagine where they’d go if Foster wasn’t an idiot.
      I’m still calling for and believing it’s Edmonds.

    3. Don’t think McGlinchey is at 8, more like late teens. If Nelson doesn’t slip to the Bears then I think Fitz, Edmunds or Ward.. at 8 or 10. I think K. Miller goes around 20-23 and the Raiders could also take Vita Vea maybe Davenport. If Josh Rosen is sitting at 9, SF will gets calls and maybe steal a deal like last year and trade down.

  2. I hope one of those two LBs fall to us or trade down and grab Evans.

    *** We need to assume the worse for Foster. We need to assume Malcom Smith is washed up. We need to assume Eli Harold is what he is. Leader in the middle is vital. Also resign Eric Reid to a team friendly 2-3 contract.

  3. This is from earlier post of mine.

    I’ve NEVER done a mock, but I’m going to try to do a top 10 to justify my niners pick at 9..
    Browns: Saquan Barkley. Saquan is a game changer. There is no QB in this draft of the same caliber as Saquan, a generational talent. They can’t afford to pass on him hoping to get a “just as good running back in the 2nd or 3rd”

    Giants: Quinton Nelson: The Giants have lost good olineman this off-season. They want Eli to play this year and maybe next. They have to protect him. So you do it with the best olineman in the draft.

    Jets: Josh Allen: the Jets need a good cold weather QB to thrive in New York City. Big,Strong, Big Ben lite. The Jets have their man.

    Cleveland: Sam Darnold. Now if last year’s regime was still in charge I’d go Bradley Chubb. But these boys have missed out on QB’s to many times. I think Sam D comes off the board here.

    Denver: Denzel Ward. Now this is the case of, put a dominant edge on the other side of Miller, or put a guy in your backfield to replace Talib. The Broncos secondary deems itself the no fly zone. Led the league in pass yardage and in forced turnovers. According to the majority of pundits, Ward is the best CB in the draft. They would want to keep that mentality.

    Colts: Bradley Chubb. They haven’t had a dominant pass rusher since Mathis. Enough said.

    Tampa Bay: Minkah Fitz. This Defense needs a captain in the secondary. Minkah fits the bill. On and off the field. He will become the best secondary player in Tampa since John Lynch.

    Chicago: Roquan Smith: Pundits consider Smith the best linebacker in the draft. But they say hes small at the point of impact on trying to avoid olineman. I personally think he’s a Bowman in the making inside of a 3-4 scheme. Would Vic want to pass on that?

    49ers: Derwin James: Razor got me checking on this guy earlier in the year. And the more I think about it, the more he reminds me of Kam Chancellor. This man has a nose for the big hit. This team is talking of moving Jimmie to CB. So you put Tartt at FS, who is a ballhawk, and put James as the SS. You have your LOB lite in the making.

    Oakland: Calvin Ridley. Surprise pick. John Gruden loves his offense, and since the other 2 top Dawgs are gone (Nelson, Barkley) you can’t go wrong with this man. He replaces Crab, big insurance for Cooper. John gives his top offensive player, an offensively gifted Playmaker.

    So that is my top 10, barring trades. But there will be trades so it’s going to screw this all up.. lol. With that said if the niners pick and Fitz, Ward, Smith, James, Landry are on the board, I’d take Fitz. Just my opinion.

    1. While I hate the idea of James due to the amount the team has invested at the safety position it’s starting to make more sense with the Jimmy Ward move.
      Personally I’m starting to get pissed off with what this team does to players constantly changing their positions and never letting them develop properly.
      Armstead, Ward and now Thomas are all being subjected to position changes early in their development. I could easily all of them being disappointments here only to move on and flourish elsewhere when they are asked to master 1 role.

      1. I hear ya, but in their defense they inherited Armstead and Ward and it makes sense they would not know what the best spot for them is initially. I really have no idea why they kept Ward honestly. He doesn’t fit the style of CB they like and he’s been injury prone. Same with Armstead although he has a chance to be a bigger contributor at Big End if he can stay healthy.

      2. Shoup:
        While I understand what & why, the 9ers are not them any favors. It’s nice to have versatility, but you’re right, they do have to be given time to master one position.

        1. I wonder if they’d have that problem with Landry at Leo. I mean, just go get the quarterback. That’s the only job I’d want him to concentrate on.

          Saleh on Leo, “He is your premier pass rusher. We do everything we can to get him to the open side. His hair is on fire, just get after the quarterback.”

  4. @Grant
    I hear you on CB, but my thoughts are R. Smith will be a better LB and more impactful then a star CB. My belief is front seven over back four all day everyday. If the teams can’t run on us and there is a pass rush, our corners can be 5-7 million/yr guys, in their prime…

    However, man it would be nice to have another Lattimore out there running around. Witherspoon continue to grow. Maybe Sherman is good still… if he is, great problem to have. We can trade Ward.

    Bottom line I want LB but Ward (if he is what he is) would a great addition too.

  5. Razor:
    I’m tired of waiting, but still hope Nelson will drop to the 9ers. One more day and we can all stop guessing……
    * If you’re right about Roquan Smith, do you see him playing Mike, or Will?

    1. Roquan Smith is a Will in the perfect scenario. But I suspect he will be playing Mike too. We need to try and keep him clean so he can run around and make plays. The Mike and Will, will play stacked behind the DL so depending on schema and the actual play both of those LBs may have an interior lineman running at them.

      Smith is a baller and he will make plays. Niners job to put him an the defense in a position to succeed. I suspect he will be gone before 9. A Patrick Willis leader of a defense is needed by 4 of the top 10 teams.

  6. I like James over Fitz myself (disclosure: an FSU fan here), but can’t we just use Tartt in the box and/or resign Reid for cheap, thus use that pick to fill another pressing need. I am not trying to ordain Colbert, but he sure seemed to fit the mold.

    Grow Players You Have…Draft for need, don’t let the Jimmy G effect blind you. We need help all over the team and must nail this draft as we did last year.

    Good Examples:
    Colbert – seemed to show instincts and may have potential. And he is athletic. This was in year 1.
    Tartt – Took a couple years. He was lost as a rookie, but he seems to have what we need.
    Witherspoon – Lost in camp, but looks like a developmental CB that can start next year.

    Bad Examples
    Armstead – he was sold as an upside guy. All I hear is he is out of position with the different schemes and so on. If you are a baller, then you BALL. This guy just seems like a role player that is inconsistent.
    S. Thomas – Maybe it will take him a couple years, we will see. I was always suspicion with this tweener. Dude is undersized, gets washed out on inside. Weak moves on the outside. I get it, he was from Stanford and has a high motor, but as a top 3 pick???

    1. Colbert is decent. We aren’t talking Ed Reid here. He’s a serviceable backup. We are taking about an Ed Reid type of player in that position (Minkah). It’s best player, not need. In that case we would draft Calvin Ridley. Our front 7 could not generate a great pass rush. If that happens again, we need a guy who can be all over the field and create turnovers. I’m a turnover guy, it gets our offense back on the field. I believe someone of Minkahs caliber is game changer. That can’t be found every year. You don’t want your serviceable backup in there when you could have had a game changer.

      1. Fitz I think is more of a strong safety/slot. They said he can play all over, but not dominate one position. I have not heard anyone compare him to Ed Reid.

        My only point is we have greater needs elsewhere and can get a Patrick Willis at LB.

    2. If you listen to Armstead talk, he’s very soft-spoken. Maybe he just doesn’t have enough beast in him to succeed at the NFL level.

  7. This is a terrible mock. We will NOT be getting Denzel Ward at all lol. I would prefer Oliver over Ward, and I think he fits what we do much better than Ward.

  8. IMO, it’s going to be Edmunds or Smith. I’m honestly not big on the Ward kid, rather have Josh Jackson from Iowa if we are going secondary

      1. Press or zone, he’s better suited for this scheme than ward. And he actually creates turnovers.. Extra plus for me.

          1. A ninth pick in the first round as a cb should at least be able to cover big receivers who box out or out jumps cb’s for the ball. Ward will not be doing that. He’s small and not even close to being a shutdown corner in this league. He will be a bust. Remember this post!

          2. In light of today’s developments in the Reuben Foster case, do you feel silly for your past articles trashing the 49ers for not immediately cutting him? I mean, we still might not know everything, but your rush to judgement was probably a little rash.

          1. Desmond King is a pretty similarly player to Jackson out of the same school and he excellled under the same Bradley/Saleh scheme.

            I think if he falls to the 2nd round he could potentially trade up to get him!

      2. Bingo razor. Those saying he is a great fit for the scheme either haven’t watched him play or don’t know the scheme. He may become good in the scheme, but he will need to change the way he plays.

    1. Ward has excellent man to man skills but he’s smaller than this defense typically requires on the outside. I wouldn’t be shocked if the Niners took him as he is a very good player, but it would be going away from the typical style of CB they like.

        1. Yep no argument which is why I said typically. If they feel he can be a lock down guy in man they may just say the heck with the measurable, but I don’t think he’ll be their guy. They will be able to find good CB’s at the size they like later in the draft.

  9. I have NO IDEA if this is a good Mock or bad Mock. I don’t follow the draft as closely as I used to. This year it seems more wide open than almost any year in recent memory. IMO thats due to the number of QBs who have 1st round talent that haven’t necessarily distinguished themselves as clear cut #1s. They all are great at something and bad at other things. Seems like a good situation for the 49ers because great players could fall to them if anyone overreaches for a qb. Or it could be great trade potential if one of the 4 top QB’s is still sitting there at 9 and some team is willing to overpay to trade for the pick.

    Lastly, I honestly don’t see Lamar Jackson as a 1st rounder. He may be the best QB/Athlete to come out since Mike Vick. BUT his accuracy is atrocious. Just absolutely awful. I lost count of the times he just totally missed wide open receivers. You can’t really be that kind of guy in the NFL.

  10. Grant:
    * Change of Subject: Would you ( or anyone), care to speculate and offer an opinion?
    This will most likely be the most challenging draft Lynch and Shanahan will do, during their five year contract:
    * Between new F/A players the 9ers signed and players returning from IR, how can anyone know who will still be on the team, once pre-season is over?
    * Will rookies that show promise at the end of 2017 season, take the next step-up in 2018?
    * Will F/A Richard Sherman return to pre achilles surgery form? Will Reuben Foster be found guilty of DM? How will the Josh Garnett experiment turn out? Can Arik Armstead play big end? Will Jimmie Ward stay healthy? Will Trent Brown be traded?
    * How will F/A’s Weston Richburg, Jerick McKinnon, Jonathan Cooper and Jeremiah Attaochu turn out?
    * All these players will likely affect the success of the 2018 season!

  11. Good try Grant, but here’s how the first round will really play out:

    Cleveland – Sam Darnold
    NY Giants – Bradley Chubb
    NY Jets – Josh Rosen
    Cleveland – Saquon Barkley
    Denver – Baker Mayfield
    Buffalo (Trade with Indy) – Josh Allen
    TB – Quenton Nelson
    Chicago – Roquan Smith
    San Fran – Harold Landry
    Oakland – Minkah Fitzpatrick
    Miami – Vita Vea
    Indy (trade with Buffalo) – Denzel Ward
    Washington – Tremaine Edmunds
    Green Bay – Derwin James
    Arizona – Lamar Jackson
    Baltimore – Mike McGlinchey
    LA Chargers – Maurice Hurst
    New England (trade with Seattle) – Kolton Miller
    Dallas – Marcus Davenport
    Detroit – Derrius Guice
    Cincinnati – Isaiah Wynn
    Buffalo – James Daniels
    Seattle (trade with New England) – Isaiah Oliver
    Carolina – Da’Ron Payne
    Tennessee – Rashaan Evans
    Atlanta – Taven Bryan
    New Orleans – D.J. Moore
    Pittsburgh – Sony Michel
    Jacksonville – Calvin Ridley
    NY Giants (trade with Minnesota) – Mason Rudolph
    New England – Jaire Alexander
    Philadelphia – Hayden Hurst

    Best picks of the first round: Chubb, Nelson, Smith

    All 3 of these guys have a chance to be pro bowlers right out of the gate. Safest picks in the draft imo.

    Worst picks of the first round: Allen, Davenport, Miller

    Allen is going to struggle big time, especially if he goes #1 with the expectations that brings with it. He can’t read defenses, stares down receivers, and goes through stretches where he can’t hit the broad side of a barn. His play warrants no more than a 3rd round selection at best, yet he may go #1 all because he has great physical skills. Davenport is the defensive version of Allen. Great workout warrior who is not a very good football player. He didn’t dominate lesser competition in fact there are numerous instances of him being erased entirely by OT’s who will not be suiting up on Sunday’s in the future. You can never write off talent, but he is another guy who’s play doesn’t warrant a first round pick. Miller is the OL version of the previous two. Great athleticism but not a good player at all. The one thing he has going for him is I have him being taken by NE who has the best OL Coach in football. If any team can turn him into a capable starter it’s the Patriots.

      1. It’s possible but you need a partner to trade with and in this scenario I have the top 4 QB’s going before the Niners pick comes up which takes away the need for anyone to trade up that high.

        1. rocket,
          As I have noted on here for some time, I don’t see Landry as a top 10 pick.

          I believe Edmunds is more talented and much more Versatile. He could be a D-Cords dream player because of his ability to move to different positions.

          As many here have shared, Davenport’ interest is mostly based on potential. But he is an ancending talent that is barely tapping his potential.

          Roquan Smith is a natural at WILL but could slide to the MIKE occasionally.
          He is a mixture of Willis and Bowman which makes him my choice at #9.

          Landry is a pure pass rusher that could contribute. Like many here, I love what Landry did in 2016 but are we getting the 2016 or the 2017 version. I understand the limitations of his play due to the ankle injury, but I would add that because of Landry’ off the charts huge numbers in 2016 that O-cords were better at preparing a game plan to nullify his effectiveness.
          But you know how I feel about Landry so I’m sure what you expect from my take on him.
          But that said, if we trade out for him in the 12 – 15 spot I’d be good.

          1. AES,

            We are just rehashing now. I disagree with how you are giving some players more leeway than others as far as where they are and their prospects for development but you are entitled to your opinion.

            FWIW, I will be fine if they take Edmunds. He is a very talented kid with a ton of upside. My only concern is that he hasn’t played at the level of a top ten pick and his future hinges on whether he can learn how to read the play in front of him and react instantly instead of hesitating or taking a false step. He hasn’t shown he can do that consistently which is why I’m leery of taking him that high.

            Davenport would be a pick that I would absolutely hate. There is no way he belongs in the top ten with what he has shown on the field. He is a project and you don’t take projects in the first round never mind the top ten.

            While my preference is Landry and I feel you are woefully under rating him, I’ll be fine with pretty much any of the players we’ve talked about: Smith, Fitzpatrick, Edmunds, James, McGlinchey, Ward etc. They really can’t go wrong with any of these guys imo.

    1. Rocket,

      Anyone want to guess what the average draft spot for the top 5 QBs will be? Rather then guess the actual trades try to choose the ultimate spots on draft day.
      Grant has it at 11.2 (1+3+11+12+29/5), which is well below the draft gurus on the networks. Walter Football has (1+3+4+8+27/5) 8.6. You have the average at 6,0 (1+3+5+6+15/5). Who will be closer to the result? The gurus or the bloggers? Will the NFL GMs stick to talent per the Cohn mock draft or will key GMs trade away their draft capital for the QB of their liking?

      1. Interesting, I like it. I think when it comes to QB’s, teams tend to reach and the BPA edict goes out the window but if ever there was a time to eschew that thought process and go solely with BPA, it’s this draft because the talent is really top drawer.

        1. My hunch is draft average of the top 5 QBs will be a lower number in drafts that allow trades. For example in a Mock where the mocker anticipates AZ to draft a QB, the spot will have to be 15 ( or 47 in the 2nd round) if trading is NOT allowed.

          However, there are a significant number of “Mocks with Trades” having AZ trade to spot 9 or 10, or even up to 4 or 6. The more trading up exists the lower final value of the top 5 QBs draft average.

          This is just something to watch between pick 9 and 59 to keep from getting restless. :>

          My over/under for the top 5 QB average is 8.4. There will be one QB who slides into the 20s….the rest will be a free for all of drunken GM sailors spending their accrued paychecks in one night in one bar (in Dallas).

  12. I don’t understand why everyone completely dismisses Malcolm Smith? He didn’t fit with the Raiders but they say he was looking good before he tore his pectoral last year. He is completely ignored when anyone discusses the linebacker line up. He’s back training now. If he impresses maybe the linebacker position isn’t as bad as everyone fears.

    1. He was lousy for the Raiders which is why no one is expecting too much. If he plays well it’s a bonus but it shouldn’t be expected.

  13. Nice, Grant predicted Miami would select a QB. That means Buffalo would want to leapfrog ahead of Miami to grab their QB first.
    .
    Ideally, the Niners could trade back with NE for a first, second and third round pick. JL might do that in gratitude for the Pats giving JG to the Niners. Usually, teams would not be wanting to help the Pats in any way, because they are still a perennial SB contender. I hope the Niners do that, because they would get pick 43, which is the second round pick the Niners gave up for JG. Essentially, JG would then have been obtained for free.
    .
    I am wondering if the Niners could move back 14 spots, and take the player they covet, possibly Landry. It would be more feasible to trade back with Buffalo, and move back only 3 spots to obtain another second round pick, and still get the player they wanted.
    .
    Pats would then be poised to select a QB, and could hope Rosen, Mayfield or Allen could fall into their laps. The Pats are a SB team. They do not have many glaring holes. Their weakest position is backup QB, and now is the time to select a talented QB to groom as TB’s successor.
    .
    Buffalo needs a QB. They will not want to give up both of their first round picks for moving up. If they pull off a deal with the Niners, they only need to relinquish one of their second round picks. Buffalo would still have two firsts, and a second round pick. My last mock will include that trade back.

  14. How the first round will play out (with asterisks by the picks I am most sure about, and would put money on):

    1. Browns: Sam Darnold, QB USC
    2. Giants: Saquan Barkley, RB Penn State.* No one meets their trade demands.
    3. Jets: Baker Mayfield, QB Oklahoma
    4. Browns: Bradley Chubb, DE North Carolina State*
    5. Bills (trade with Denver, Denver gets pick 12, pick 53, pick 65, and a second rounder next year; the second first round pick is the difference, as Bills want to keep it and Giants want it for pick #2): Josh Rosen, QB UCLA
    6. Colts: Quenton Nelson, G Notre Dame*
    7. Buccaneers: Derwin James, S Florida State*
    8. Cardinals (trade with Bears, to get in front of Dolphins who would have had Josh Allen fall in to their laps at 11 otherwise. Also, according to rumors from reporters covering the Bears, they are attempting to recoup the pick they lost trading up for Trubisky last year): Josh Allen, QB Wyoming
    9. Niners (because no one else wants to trade this far up with every top quarterback other than Jackson gone): Roquan Smith, LB Georgia (I think Lynch’s comment about not needing a LB could be a smokescreen, but more importantly Smith is the top player on his Board at this point and you take best available according to Lynch’s draft philosophy)
    10. Raiders: Vita Vea, DT Washington
    11. Dolphins: Tremaine Edmunds, LB Virginia Tech*
    12. Broncos (from Bills): Denzel Ward, CB Ohio State
    13. Redskins: Wanted Vea, will settle with Minkah Fitzpatrick, S/CB Alabama
    14. Packers: Wanted Fitzparick, will settle for Harold Landry, Edge Boston College
    15. Bears (from Cardinals): Mike McGlinchey, T Notre Dame
    16. Ravens: Calvin Ridley, WR Alabama*
    17. Chargers: Maurice Hurst, DT Michigan*
    18. Patriots (from Seahawks, because the Seahawks are trying to sell this pick for more picks, and the Patriots will get to keep pick 31 in this scenario): Lamar Jackson, QB Louisville
    19. Cowboys: DJ Moore, WR Maryland*
    20. Lions: Marcus Davenport, DE UTSA.* The Ringer pointed out former UTSA coach Bo Davis is now the Lions’ defensive line coach, which is why they go with Davenport instead of an offensive lineman or running back.
    21. Bengals: James Daniels, C/G Iowa
    22. Bills: Will Hernandez, G UTEP. The Incognito clone replaces the retired Incognito
    23. Seahawks (from Patriots): Josh Sweat, DE Florida State. The surprise pick of the first round; the picks they get from the Patriots will be used to fill their holes at CB, Offensive Line
    24. Panthers: Jaire Alexander, CB Louisville.
    25. Colts (from Titans): Josh Jackson, CB Iowa. Colts use some of their second round capital to get a CB that won’t be there when they pick again, and the rumors are the Titans are looking to trade back.
    26. Falcons: Da’Ron Payne, DT Alabama.*
    27. Saints: Dallas Goedert, TE South Dakota.*
    28. Steelers: Rashaan Evans, LB Alabama.*
    29. Jaguars: Isaiah Wynn, G/T Georgia. Jags want to be a smash mouth run team; though, with the retirement of Paul Posluzny, I wouldn’t be surprised if Leighton Vander Esch, LB Boise State went here.
    30. Vikings: Taven Bryan, DT Florida.
    31. Patriots: Leighton Vander Esch, LB Boise State.
    32. Eagles: Hayden Hurst, TE South Carolina. Though, the Eagles would prefer to trade out of this spot and accumulate an extra pick in the second or third round.

    1. You say Smith is tops on his board, I say Minkah will be tops on his board by this point. You also have e to look at scheme fit. If Smith can’t attack an online at the point of attack, he wouldn’t fit in this scheme. Teams would run at him all day.

  15. With only two quarterbacks going the top 8, it’s lucky Ward fell to pick 9. Ward would be a great addition. I think he buys more 2018 wins than others mocked at this spot.

    Really good player at a cornerstone position.

    I like that Grant’s going against the grain by saying only two quarterbacks will go in the top 8. There might be 4 teams willing to take a quarterback high, but they could be coveting the same two guys.

  16. In my dream scenario, we trade back and get some draft capital, then trade back up to get two mid/late 1st round picks and take Vander Esch and Landry. It’s fun to dream

  17. As early as Jan. I was talking up Ward as the 9ers first pick and i was attacked by most here, they said he didn’t have the size the 9ers like. I still love the pick, I think he can be a true shut down CB.

    1. OldCoach – Ward would be my pick if Chubb or Nelson we’re taking top 8.

      Skill – Check
      Athleticism -Check
      Position Importance – Check
      Need – Check

      The knock is he’s”only” 5’11”

    2. Coach I agree, if it comes down to he is the best corner in the draft, we take him. If a pass rusher is there at #9, Id go there first. That would have to be Chubb, which no one will agree with me, will fall.

      My bet is we are going to see a lot of teams like AZ, MIA, BUF, try and move up in the top 6 and get a QB.

  18. http://www.sacbee.com/sports/nfl/san-francisco-49ers/article209795854.html#storylink=rss

    I’ve said all along that even though these guys talk about best player available, there are so many draft busts because the bpa doesn’t always fit your scheme. I think John and Kyle are drafting “Scheme Specific”. It’s why I mocked James, it’s why I like Josh Jackson, it could also be why a guy like Roquan doesn’t fit. After watching his YouTube, he literally gets pushed out of the way by olineman. He’s not that good at point of attack, and in this scheme you need to be able to take on olineman and succeed. I think he would flourish in a 3-4.

  19. Question to all: In your mind, what player is worthy of packaging 9+70 to move up for?

    I’d say Chubb.

    Tempted to add Nelson but I think any one of (Ward, James, Smith, Edmunds, Fitzpatrick) + player at 70 would generate more wins if Lynch’s comment about quality of the top 100 is accurate.

    1. None of them. Too many holes to fill and no player aside from Nelson is so good to be worth moving up for. And I wouldn’t trade up for Nelson given the position value and depth at the position.

    2. I’d be ok with a small move up for Chubb or Nelson, but I doubt the Niners will entertain the idea when the talent in the draft is so good through til day 3.

  20. While I hope they take Landry, there are so many good looking players going to be options for the 49ers I doubt I will be disappointed with the pick. Really the only guy that’s been mentioned I would be disappointed with is Davenport.

    Aside from the obvious top guys if one should fall, Ward would be a good pick. James or Fitz would be good picks. McGlinchey or Wynn would be good picks (heck, I’d even like Williams at #9). Even Edmunds would be a good pick, despite my reservations regarding how NFL ready Edmunds is. Should be hard for the 49ers to go wrong, and plenty of leeway for a trade back.

    1. I would be a little upset if it was McGlinchey. Seems a bit high for a guy that’s best suited for RT. But that’s not to say we don’t desperately need one. Tackle is arguably our biggest need. We have Staley with 2-3 years left max, Brown who is a mystery in this offense, and that’s pretty much it. No long term solution whatsever and no depth. But if he is the pick I’d like to see them trade back a bit.

        1. I really coming around to Edmunds, especially considering the LBs that Saleh has helped developed in the past. I think it would be a real good pairing.

    2. I’m loving the players that will be available at pick nine. Very small chance the Niners will screw this up. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.

      In the extremely unlikely event they did mess things up, it could be a series of botch-n-panic trade backs
      1) Trade back confidently expecting an acceptable player(s) will be at the new draft slot
      2) Surprise. The acceptable player(s) they thought no one else wanted that high is taken
      3) Panic. Conduct a 2nd trade back to justify the initial trade, reconfiguring the entire team building plan to “throwing more darts (rookies) at the dart board…”
      4) Repeat

      It’s happened before to teams that make assumptions instead of doing the math when trading back.

      But I feel great about tomorrow.

  21. Ledyard’s final rankings.

    https://www.ndtscouting.com/ledyard-2018-nfl-draft-big-board/

    WR
    2. Calvin Ridley
    4. Dante Pettis
    9. Equanimeous St. Brown
    11. Courtland Sutton
    12. Michael Gallup
    13. Allen Lazard
    19. Byron Pringle
    20. Marcell Ateman

    T
    1.Mike McGlinchey
    7. Brian O’Neill
    8. Kolton Miller

    Interior OL
    1. Quenton Nelson
    2. Isaiah Wynn
    3. Frank Ragnow
    4. Austin Corbett
    5. Billy Price
    6. James Daniels
    7. Will Hernandez
    8. Tyrell Crosby
    9. Connor Williams

  22. If they drafted McGlinchey does he sit for a year or do the Niners trade Brown? Myself I was hoping for an impact player but if McGlinchey is the pick its hard to complain, we are going to need a tackle sooner then later.

  23. Rosen is considered the safest QB in the draft, no idea why you think Darnold is.

    Allen and Darnold are the upside guys who have accuracy issues and are living off unproven hype.

    Mayfield is the unknown, a pocket qb who’s a bit undersized to be a pocket QB who people also want to label as a Manziel clone.

  24. MM’s full mock:
    http://www.nbcsports.com/bayarea/49ers/49ers-seven-round-nfl-mock-draft-will-team-protect-jimmy-garoppolo

    1. First round (No. 9): OT Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame
    The 49ers invested greatly in quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. It would make a lot of sense if the 49ers put a plan in place to keep him protected for the foreseeable future. McGlinchey (6-8, 310) is widely considered the top offensive tackle in the draft. He is smart enough to learn multiple positions as a rookie. He could start off at guard and swing tackle before transitioning to a starting tackle spot at the proper time. Right tackle Trent Brown is scheduled for unrestricted free agency, and the 49ers appear reluctant to present him with a lucrative, long-term contract offer. Six-time Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Staley turns 34 during training camp.

    2. Second round (No. 59): WR Anthony Miller, Memphis
    This is not a statement against the wide receivers already on the 49ers’ roster. This is all about the vision for Miller being inserted into Kyle Shanahan’s scheme and how he can become a trusted target for Garoppolo for many years. Miller (5-11, 200) could easily be the best all-around wide receiver in this draft with his understanding of the game and his willingness to mix it up.

    3. Third round (No. 70): EDGE Sam Hubbard, Ohio State
    The 49ers must improve their pass rush. Hubbard may not be a double-digit sack producer, but he will work hard and should be a solid player for a long time. After Bradley Chubb, this draft has a lot of question marks at edge rusher. Hubbard is not far behind the two other edge rushers – Marcus Davenport and Harold Landry – who are likely to be selected in the middle of the first round.

    4. Third round (No. 74): LB Fred Warner, BYU
    Roquan Smith and Tremaine Edmunds are widely considered two of the more likely options for the 49ers with their first-round selection. But the 49ers can wait a little while and fill this spot while Reuben Foster’s future with the organization remains uncertain. Warner (6-3 ½, 235) has good height and can get a lot stronger. He has the athleticism to run and cover.

    5. Fourth round (No. 128): CB Carlton Davis, Auburn
    Richard Sherman and Ahkello Witherspoon are the starting cornerbacks. The 49ers can use another young player to develop as a mid-round pick behind Sherman, who entered the NFL as a fifth-round pick in 2011. Davis (6-1, 205) has good size and arm length, and his skills as a press corner are a good fit for the 49ers’ scheme.

    6. Fifth round (No. 143): S Kyzir White, West Virginia
    The only thing wrong with the three safeties currently on the 49ers who project as starters is that two of them – Jimmie Ward and Jaquiski Tartt – are not signed beyond this season. White (6-2, 219) could ultimately be a good fit at strong safety. Although he does not run well, he would immediately be one of the team’s core special-teams players.

    7. Sixth round (No. 184): OT Brandon Parker, North Carolina A&T
    He is big (6-7 1/2, 302), smart and athletic. But he is also very raw and needs to get a lot stronger. The 49ers have the time to develop him, as there would be no need to get him on the field as a rookie.

    8. Seventh round (No. 223): RB Justin Jackson, Northwestern
    Jackson (6-0, 199) proved his durability in college with 1,142 carries for 5,440 yards during his four-year career. He has elusiveness and good speed. He must get stronger to put himself in position to contribute on special teams and be ready if his number is called on offense.

    9. Seventh round (No. 240): TE Will Dissly, Washington
    Dissly (6-4, 262) takes over the role that veteran Logan Paulsen filled last season as a blocking specialist. Dissly moved to offense after beginning his college career as a defensive end. He was the second-slowest tight end at the combine (4.87 seconds in the 40-yard dash). But that’s OK. He is here for his power, not his finesse.

    1. Love Miller, love Warner but he lost me with Davis in the 4th round. That has a snowballs chance in hell of happening. Mayock’s should be dropping any minute, and has been the most accurate….

    2. This would be a fantastic draft, but largely because the value MM has falling to the 49ers in round 4 and 5 is ridiculous. Heck, even the guys he has going to us in round 3 are pretty optimistic.

  25. 2018 NFL Mock Draft:

    9. 49ers trade down with Buffalo to 12, gaining one of Buffalo’s 2nd Rd. picks
    12. 49ers select edge– Marcus Davenport
    56. via Bills, WR, DJ Chark, LSU
    59. OG, Braden Smith, Georgia
    70. DE, Lorenzo Carter, Georgia
    74. CB, Davontae Harris, Illinois St.
    109. QB, Kyle Lauletta, Richmond
    128. RB, Rashaad Penny, SDST
    143. WR, J’MonMoore, Missouri
    184. ILB, Nick DeLuca North Dakota St.
    223. Tyronne Swoops, TE, TEX
    240. DE, Keionta Davis, Chattanooga

    Good Luck all.

    1. Well now, I was wondering when she hired an attorney that she was going to recant, I thought that there would be a payoff for her to do so but there seems to be a video, eh see what happens.

      1. http://www.pressdemocrat.com/sports/8218419-181/grant-cohn-reuben-foster-case

        “You released a statement saying you’re not going to do anything right now. Or, someone in the organization released the statement. No one took credit for it. Not you. Not Jed York. How gutless.”

        “And it’s obvious you refuse to admit your mistake of drafting him in the first place.”

        “The 49ers used to be about winning with class. Now, they’re winning with crass, and you’re the crass one. How disappointing.”

        “Oh, and another thing.”

        “Jed York, where are you? Are you in hiding?”

        “You own the team. If Lynch can’t pull the trigger, help him. Order Lynch to get rid of Foster.”

        “If Foster plays another game for the 49ers, you’re a disgrace, Lynch is a disgrace, your whole organization is a disgrace. Disgraceful.”

            1. I feel bad now too. But this time, I think the best approach is what Lynch said….”We will let this play out”

              :p

            1. He hasn’t done that in quite while. Running silent, running deep. I don’t believe he’d dare. A writer that doesn’t look before he leaps, ends up in a journalistic nightmare….

  26. http://www.sacbee.com/sports/nfl/san-francisco-49ers/article209852989.html

    “The attorney, Stephanie Rickard, said that the injuries that sent the 28-year-old woman to the hospital were suffered in a fight with another woman and there is a video of that confrontation.”

    “(Foster) did not strike her, injure her or threaten her,” said Rickard. She said Foster tried to end the relationship with her after learning of the fight.”

    “She was extremely upset and told him if he broke up with her she would ‘trash his career,’” Rickard said.

    1. WOW!!! This changes things significantly. Sounds like the DA’s case is going to be very difficult to prove now.

      ILB is still a need, but nowhere near as much as if Foster is gone for good.

    2. Holy crap!! What a piece of s*it liar!
      Draft board changes now.
      Foster is back!!! (Soon)
      I doubt Foster paid her off, he hasn’t shown enough intelligence yet to pull that off.

    3. This is quite a story, probably the only one that can get Foster off the hook. I’m not saying I don’t believe it, but I am reserving judgement. Ask yourself why the purported fight with the other woman would have been videotaped.

      F-i-s-h-y.

      1. Possible someone got it on a cell phone (or a convenience store security cam)–common these days. We’ll see.

      2. No not fishy-have you been living under a stone. A majority of society has phones that video tape. Security cameras are cheap. People worried that big brother (govt) would be the culprit, turns out it is your kissing cousins. Friends will always tape the other friend-look at FB.

        The DA, once they lock onto a case like this have a Hard time backing down, especially if you got a dick trying to make browny points if they got political ambitions.

  27. If her recanted statement holds up and she can produce the tell-tale video, the domestic violence charges against him will fall apart. That leaves the DA with a questionable firearms violation to pursue or drop. At the most, coupled with the weed charge down in Alabama, he’s perhaps looking at a 4 game suspension and some ongoing scrutiny. The 49er draft board just clarified itself in a major way and all those barking dogs on here who rushed to judgement can hang their heads in mumbling shame.

  28. I told you guys a couple weeks ago…If a chick got hit 8-10 times in the head area by someone as strong as Foster, no way she’s running down the street flagging cars down! She’d be knocked the F out!!

  29. Mayock has the Bears taking Obi-quan Smith, and the 49ers selecting Ward. He has the Raiders taking McGlinchey, while Edmunds falls out of the top 10….

  30. Kudos to John Lynch and the entire organization for not jumping to conclusions before all the evidence was presented.

  31. come on grant ur quick to tweet all the time funny ur hiding now (antifoster) hahaha
    now if u would have been gm we would have lost him so glad u do only news hahaha

  32. Mock 6.0-Final mock, 1 day before draft.
    .
    Niners trade back with Pats. Payback to BB for the JG gift. Patriots will leapfrog over Miami, Buffalo, Cards, Ravens, Chargers, Bengals, Saints, and Steelers, all teams with QB needs. Pats need upgrade over Hoyer, who is not in their future plans . Or, Pats could replace Solder with McGlinchey.
    .
    Niners trade pick number 9 for the Patriot pick numbers 23, 43, and 95. Niners then trade up with Detroit. Niners trade pick numbers 95, 184 and 223 for Detroit’s pick number 82. Detroit moves back for more picks. Niners end up with pick numbers 23, 43, 59. 70, 74, 82, 128, 143 and 240.
    .
    Using the Draftek big board, and trying to pick within 5 of the draft number, the Niners could select-

    23- Harold Landry, Edge.
    43- Carlton Davis, CB.
    59- James Daniels, OC
    70- Royce Freeman, RB
    74- DJ Chark, WR.
    82- Dalton Schultz, TE
    128- Micah Kiser, ILB.
    143- Dorian O’Daniel, OLB.
    240- Troy Apke, S.

    1. I think Harold Landry will be gone early. The upside for him is way too high.

      I think our trade value is high. There may be a top 5 player at 9 b/c of QB run. How’s both first round picks from NE??

      1. Harold Landry is ranked 26 on the Draftek big board, and 52 on the CBS board.
        .
        Personally, I think BB is too savvy to give up both their first round picks. He still has Brady, so there is no urgent need to spend 2 firsts for a QB. He might even wait til later and pick up a small school QB like Lauletta, just like he did with JG.
        .
        Lamar Jackson, Mason Rudolph, White, Ferguson, Woodside, Falk and Shimonek may be on his draft board.

  33. I’ll say it here, if a one of the the 4 QBs drops to the niners, teams are going to come calling and start a bidding war. The niners won’t stay put, they want to build a team and getting a possible 2nd day pick, which could be as high as an additional 2nd rounder. is something Lynch won’t pass up.

    Ward does not fit the profile. We will see and all the Ward draft crushers will be mad, if the niners do take him then the niners don’t follow their profile or they will move him as a slot and free saftey DB because of his range and bonus that he can play CB if Sherman can play right away.

    1. Buffalo has the picks, they NEED a QB for the future. I suspect they will try to trade into #4 spot on down. They are at 12 so slide will be minimal. I just don’t think Lamar Jackson will be had at #9… but you never know.

  34. Tonight is the night boys and girls…

    * Do Niners draft defense with their first two picks??? Two picks may come tonight if they trade out then back in.
    1. NYG must take a QB
    2. Barkley is being cast as the greatest of all time. Funny as hell… RB are a dime a dozen and top RB don’t win you super bowls… FULL STOP
    3. I love to see Lamar Jackson go to Saints to learn…. NOT AZ b/c I don’t want to face him twice a year.

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