CoLLEGE Football Metrics

Fantasy Football Metrics

Brought to you by  - Total Football Advisors, LLC

Get the app

2018 NFL Mock Draft (four analysts making picks as THEY would make them) #13-16

Date:
April 12, 2018

The unfiltered transcripts of a mock draft and chat between four draft analysts -- rotating picks, putting themselves in the place of the GM for that team, making the picks THEY would make when it was their turn with explanations on why...and subsequent comments from the analysts.

We'll be displaying four picks per day over the next 8 days for a complete one round mock and a lot of words/commentary.

Enjoy!

1. XC = Xavier Cromartie...America's foremost mock draft authority, national award winner/record setter in draft accuracy on Huddle.com

2. END = Ender...budding mock draft analyst

3. MC = Myles Crowe...Draft analysts and RB prospect expert

4. RC = R.C. Fischer...College Football Metrics and Fantasy Football Metrics' own...

Fantasy author/analyst Jason Katz will moderate the proceedings

===================

1.13 Washington Redskins: DL Vita Vea

XC: Alex Smith's contract extension makes a QB impossible here. I gave consideration to a pair of CBs but didn't quite like the fit. As GM of the Redskins, I have nightmares about the OLs of the Cowboys and Eagles. And we're sitting here with trash on the DL, backed by weak LBs. Vea is an elite run stopper, but he also has shocking rush ability for such a gigantic man. His Combine was outstanding. Very powerful player.

  

1.01 Cleveland Browns: QB Baker Mayfield

1.02 New York Giants: EDGE Bradley Chubb

1.03 New York Jets: QB Josh Allen

1.04 Cleveland Browns: CB Denzel Ward

1.05 Denver Broncos: QB Josh Darnold

1.06 Indianapolis Colts: RB Saquon Barkley

1.07 Tampa Bay Buccaneers: S Derwin James

1.08 Chicago Bears: G Will Hernandez

1.09 San Francisco 49ers: G Quenton Nelson

1.10 Oakland Raiders: LB Tremaine Edmunds

1.11 Miami Dolphins: EDGE Marcus Davenport

1.12 Buffalo Bills: OT Mike McGlinchey

1.13 Washington Redskins: DL Vita Vea

 

 

END: 1.14 Green Bay Packers- WR Courtland Sutton 

Xavier will disagree with this pick, but I think we have spent enough early picks on secondary for now. Maybe we can add another 2nd rounder. I can’t pass up the best big receiver in the draft after losing Jordy though. Davante Adams is fine and Cobb is ok in the slot, but we really need a talented big guy on the outside. Sutton is the best in class and it’s not even close. 

 

RC: I think Vita Vea is one of the more overrated 1st round prospects in 2018. I assumed he must be good because it just seems like he should be. Classic...'he soooo big and soooo nimble'...but then he's blocked out of most plays and rarely causes a disruption at the line, but he does chase some guys down running near him and it looks cool because he's so big and quick for his size. He had just a handful of TFLs and sacks in 2017 (and career), no QB hurries recorded on a stat line I saw...and somehow he wins PAC-12 DPOY. It wasn't because he was double-teamed either. He was no more doubled than any other decent DT in the PAC-12. A guy his size/speed should have dominated the PAC-12. He never did. 

Vita Vea wasn't close to the production/skills of Danny Shelton...and two years later the Browns are like 'does anyone want our #12 pick from two years ago that analysts had top 3 at one point...we'll take nothing in exchange, if that sounds cool? No one really wanted Shelton having to give up anything...and Shelton is pretty decent. Vea, by comparison, empty...empty on tape and empty in production. All he has going for him is 'he looks like he should be good, so we'll assume he is'.  

Vea isn't a bust but he's not changing a defense. At best, he just clogs the middle like about a million other guys his size could. The upside is you get through to him but he just feels like a Dontari Poe, Star Lotulelei guy I don't get...but people keep plunking down money for them. 

Vea is OK/alright but not a game changer or disruptor...just human cholesterol on the defensive line, clogging holes/arteries, at best. 

 

XC: I don't know where you get any of that on Vea. He's better than Shelton. Those stats are a laugh. The guy was near the top in college football at both run stops and QB pressures. He lines up all along the interior rather than just the nose. He's right on the edge of the top 10. 

I'm a fan of taking WRs early. WR is a valuable position. And the Packers need a WR. I'd just make sure all of the elite talents are gone before taking a WR out of need. Sutton's good but a nice three-cone doesn't change anything he has done on the field for three years. The routes that Sutton ran and succeeded at in college are not the major NFL routes. He has the build to be a #1 though. Everyone I know has him early round 2. Same for DJ Moore (round 2) but I prefer Moore because his data looks nicer than Sutton's. Same route criticism for Moore though. All these WRs this year are just good, not great. The guys that I like in round 2-3 are almost as good as these top guys. 

 

RC: I'm going to assume most/all of Vea and Shelton's numbers come from the run game...not deep in pass coverage...

Best Seasons, both at Washington:

3.8 solo tackles, 6.7 total tackles, 1.2 TFLs, 0.64 sacks per game = Shelton/2014

2.5 solo tackles, 3.6 total tackles, 0.5 TFLs, 0.29 sacks per game = Vea/2017

According to cfb.stats, Vea had no QB hurries last season. I'm just going by their number.

As for me, I didn't see heavy pressure when I watched Vea's games. I saw him as mostly a non-factor who had spurts from time-to-time...a good surge but would get his head down and lose track of what was going on and miss out on tackle opportunities...thus the weaker tackle totals.

I wasn't a huge Shelton guy either and he padded stats against garbage competition, but Shelton was more active and productive. It's not even so much about Shelton as it is -- why wasn't Vea better? With all his advantages?

Vea never had one game where he had 2.0 or more TFLs in a game...not once in college (Shelton did 6 times). He hit 1.5 TFLs in a game one time...vs. Idaho. Most Vea games were 1-2-3 solo tackles, 50-50 for a TFL and sometimes a sack...and 26% of his sacks vs. FCS teams. Shelton had a very similar output problem when facing better teams. 

In the same conference, Harrison Phillips was awesome as a DT in 2017 and no one cares because he's not 330+ pounds and not of the Washington DLine lineage myth. I'm just asking the question...is it possible we're all assuming Vea is good because he looks the part, but he doesn't really have production or great tape to go with it? If he's another Danny Shelton...is that good or bad...or worth a 1st round pick? He's NFL viable for sure...I just question how valuable his services are. Watching him work on tape...not thrilling...just like Shelton. Maybe Vea drops 20+ pounds and becomes a god, and that's the upside??

 

XC: I don't know how cfbstats thinks Vea, who played from the NT spot only about 22% of the time, managed to go 13 games without a single QB hurry. And Harrison Phillips had only six all year? They must be incredibly strict in what they consider a hurry. How did Vea not get credit for a single hurry against Washington State? Vea's real pass-rush stats are 3 sacks, 9 QB hits, 29 hurries (41 total pressures) for the year while playing 62% of Washington's snaps, compared to 34 total pressures for Phillips. Who says no one cares about Phillips? He's one of the top DL prospects and is graded as an early round 2 guy. He's more of a really good run defender. Vea's valuable because he's strong against both run and pass and has freaky potential.

 

RC: If Vita Vea had 29 hurries and 41 pressures that all had to happen in games I didn't watch. I didn't see that guy on tape, and I fully expected to. I just assumed he's quick, 340+, he's a monster. I saw a pussycat with occasional surges. Phillips, I mean, he's not in the first round discussion...yet he doubled-triple Vea's output in the same conference. 

I really think because Vea is what our (all of ours, me too) mind dreams up as the perfect DT...it's Vea. And then you look at Phillips and he looks the opposite. Then I watched on tape, after the Vea grades for us came in weak and Phillips so strong and I wondered what error happened...and then on tape Vea is a yawn and Phillips is just making things happen and has a knack for getting between two defenders and slicing through them. He's a weird freak magician maneuvering the interior. Phillips out-benched Vea (both were awesome). Phillips had a weak 40-time but upper-end agility times. Phillips has tape + awesome output for a DT + great agility and, for me, Vea has 'this is how a DT prospect is supposed to look in mind...and little else. I mean that from a  'is he a top 10-20 asset in the NFL Draft?' standpoint. Vea is legit useful with his size...but how valuable is he...he might be top 20 valuable on size. I might not fully appreciate the plug the middle value. 

I then go back to a similar recent DT from the same school who had all the same vibe, Danny Shelton, and two years later we're all like 'Danny who?' And I thought Shelton played well last year. Any team could have gotten high draft pick Shelton from the Browns this offseason, and CLE basically gave him to NE for free...so how important are these massive DTs with questionable output in college? 

It's like when people had Tim Jernigan rated way ahead of Aaron Donald their draft years, initially. I think there's a lot of 'this is the way this ____ position guy is SUPPOSED to look' and then they're taken/ranked on that 'emotion'. I just offer that up as food for thought because I thought for sure Vea was a slam dunk and then I watched and watched looking for it and didn't see it on tape or in numbers. How valuable are the Vea, Shelton, Jernigan, Poe types? Haloti Ngata always has work, so definitely valuable on some level.

 

1.01 Cleveland Browns: QB Baker Mayfield

1.02 New York Giants: EDGE Bradley Chubb

1.03 New York Jets: QB Josh Allen

1.04 Cleveland Browns: CB Denzel Ward

1.05 Denver Broncos: QB Josh Darnold

1.06 Indianapolis Colts: RB Saquon Barkley

1.07 Tampa Bay Buccaneers: S Derwin James

1.08 Chicago Bears: G Will Hernandez

1.09 San Francisco 49ers: G Quenton Nelson

1.10 Oakland Raiders: LB Tremaine Edmunds

1.11 Miami Dolphins: EDGE Marcus Davenport

1.12 Buffalo Bills: OT Mike McGlinchey

1.13 Washington Redskins: DL Vita Vea

1.14 Green Bay Packers WR Courtland Sutton

 

MC: 1.15 Arizona.  Lotta YIKES from the peanut gallery screaming How do you leave a particular someone on the board this deep?!  He's probably a popular choice considering the departure of the Honey Badger, but I don't feel like replacing him with a lesser player, at least not at the cost of a mid 1st round pick.  Zona could desperately use a WR, but even if they get one, I'm not confident that their offense is what will get them into playoffs anytime soon.   

I realize that most draft approaches focus on addressing weaknesses, but that's not how contenders are built.  They're built by creating strengths and bolstering those strengths.  Could you imagine if Baltimore passed on Ed Reed in 2002 b/c their defense ranked 4th in pts while the offense stumbled to 18th?...... or passed on Terrell Suggs the following year after the offense ranked 23rd in scoring?........ or if they passed on Haloti Ngata in 2006 to address their 25th ranked offense while the defense was still top 10?      In Arizona, this means getting the defense back on track b/c  that's their shortest path to creating a team strength IMO, and they were an impressive unit just a couple seasons ago.  The Cardinals need another pressure guy up front, someone who won't be tired by Russell Wilson and who fits well against Sean McVay's bunch, as well as offers the best chance of effecting San Fran's quick passing game with Garoppolo. So I'm going with the son of a Navy SEAL here... who plays like it!  This guy is perfect for today's game, and his full-throttle motor never stops.  Why's his motor never stop? Because his desire, mentality, upbringing, and work ethic won't let it.  He's this year's Tasmanian Devil.... with tremendous upside to become a game-wrecker.  Taven Bryan

 

MC: VIta Vea and Danny Shelton are not the same player.  Two different animals entirely.  I couldn't stand Shelton coming out and engaged in many a heated debates about how overrated he was.  Vea on the other hand is a planet-theory player with athleticism and strong active leg drive.  Shelton is shorter, unathletic, with no leg drive (which is terrible) who relied upon brute strength to overpower inferior college blockers.  I myself am a University of my Own Eyes type of guy rather than statistical driven, but I'm still going to add in that Vea's total pressures ranked 4th nationally among interior D-line.....  while also boasting the 2nd highest run grade.  I don't treat PFF's grades as gospel, but still, that's pretty notable.  Vea effects third down even if he's not always on the field..... as we all know that offenses placed in 2nd/3rd & longs will be much less efficient than 2nd/3rd and manageable.  A stout run defense means the ability to focus on the pass and send pressure on 2nd & long and 3rd downs  .  

 

Last year, 6 of the top 10 run defenses made the playoffs, including both NFC Championship teams (Philly, Minne).  

In 2015, 8 of top 10 run defenses made the playoffs, including both SB teams (who ranked 1st & 3rd).   

In 2014, 7 of top 10 run D's made the playoffs, including both SB teams.  

In 2013, 6 of top 10 run D's made the playoffs, including both SB teams.  {10-6 Arizona could've made it 7 teams}

In 2012, 6 of  top 10 run D's made the playoffs. {10-6 Chicago could've made it 7}

In 2011, 6 of  top 10 run D's made the playoffs. 

 

XC: The market tells you the value of front four guys. Damon Harrison is purest elite run-stuffing NT who offers no pass rush, and he makes only $9M per year. Fletcher Cox is dominant as both an interior rusher and run-stopper, and he makes $17M per year. Aaron Donald and Khalil Mack are in their own world above everyone else as both rushers and run defenders, and so they'll get $20M+. Donald was underrated coming out of college solely because of his size; no one with eyes questioned his skill. If Vea is a top run defender and gives you something as a pass rusher, he's in the $15M area with the other big name DLs. Taven Bryan solid. Probably a little early considering the players on the board still. But he has great athleticism that gives him upside. He's not the player Vea is though. Everyone says Bryan is like Derek Wolfe (who makes $9M per year).

 

END: I like Vea as well, but I just have to ask as a theoretical question: are successful teams successful because they have a great run defense or do they have a great run defense because they are successful? (Typically leading in the 4th quarter so the weaker team is passing trying to catch up) It’s been proven statistically that winning teams have better rush numbers because they run out the clock late instead of the running helping to get the lead. Shouldn’t it work similarly for defense? 

 

MC: If I thought Taven were just another Derek Wolfe I would've never taken him 15th overall.  That's a borderline lazy comparison IMO.  Taven is more explosive and a slightly better athlete who plays with greater intensity, better flexibility (Wolfe is tighter), generates better pop off the snap, displays more violent arms, creates a hair better leverage, drives his legs harder, and is a bit more sudden.  Very few guys I recall with that level of intensity but still maintain a high motor.  Usually these high-intensity guys wear themselves down a bit and need a breather or need to take plays off. Not Taven Bryan.  Very few interior linemen can run the arc around a guard from the defensive tackle spot and sharply bend it back into the QB. Taven does it in near Aaron Donald fashion.   I have him as a top 15 player.  

 

RC: I'm about to start the Taven Bryan deeper studies but do I recall properly -- was he playing mostly DE for Florida, thus the kinda so-so output -- because the gold is moving him to light/DT prospect? You see him as a freaky DT or a big DE?

 

1.01 Cleveland Browns: QB Baker Mayfield

1.02 New York Giants: EDGE Bradley Chubb

1.03 New York Jets: QB Josh Allen

1.04 Cleveland Browns: CB Denzel Ward

1.05 Denver Broncos: QB Josh Darnold

1.06 Indianapolis Colts: RB Saquon Barkley

1.07 Tampa Bay Buccaneers: S Derwin James

1.08 Chicago Bears: G Will Hernandez

1.09 San Francisco 49ers: G Quenton Nelson

1.10 Oakland Raiders: LB Tremaine Edmunds

1.11 Miami Dolphins: EDGE Marcus Davenport

1.12 Buffalo Bills: OT Mike McGlinchey

1.13 Washington Redskins: DL Vita Vea

1.14 Green Bay Packers WR Courtland Sutton

1.15 Arizona Cardinals DT Taven Bryan

 

RC: #16 Baltimore Ravens select OC/OG James Daniels, Iowa

Can I trade Ozzie Newsome for anything? I don't get what they're doing for 2-3+ years now, but they're always lurking around the wild card every year...so, what do I know? 

I don't like the Ravens at all, so I am having hard time making a pick here because I want to re-do so much. They do have some talent but they're so dull. I'd like to take a WR but with Sutton gone, none for me in the 1st. Not taking a real RB in the 1st round. I could go QB but they don;t have to have that for the right now. I should take a cornerback but I feel like center/director of the offense in the sense is critical...or I could use Daniels as a guard. I love Daniels' talent, one of the handful in the argument for best OL in this draft. 

There are better players still out there but the O-Line group is thin and the need is great and I am smitten with Daniels...so, Daniels it is. 

 

END: I see him playing mostly DT already, but maybe I’m missing something. I know all his best plays come from inside. Bryan just seems to have a knack for getting his pads underneath his blocker so they can’t get any leverage on him. Once he has a good angle on his man he uses his strength or quickness to close the gap to the QB. He’s a good athlete, but I think his hustle is his biggest strength. He just never gives up and it lets him finish a lot of plays others might not even if he wasn’t the first to the passer. He doesn’t make as many plays on the ball as I hoped to see, but he seems to beat his man pretty regularly which frees up others to make some. 

 

RC: To me, he's a top 20-40 overall as a DT. #50-75 as a DE. The gold is at DT, I think.

 

END: 4-3 rush tackle or 3-4 end 

See more of our football work at College Football Metrics – dedicated to the NFL Draft and Dynasty Rookie Draft scouting and valuations all preseason. Celebrating our 7th season covering all things draft. Go to (link): College Football Metrics

Tags:

About R.C. Fischer

R.C. Fischer is an NFL Draft analyst for College Football Metrics, and a football projections analyst and writer for Fantasy Football Metrics. 

Learn more about RC and the College Football Metrics system >>