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2018 NFL Mock Draft -- Xavier Cromartie's 1st-Round (6.0)

Author:
XC
Air Date:
March 26, 2018

Mock Drafting can just be fun filler reading material by draft fans...but our Mock Drafts are not meant to be 'filler'. This is the start of a study process to be the most accurate Mock Draft source in the world. See the blurb below for more detail on our recent Mock Draft contest wins. Xavier has the best three-year average in the planet in the one place all the experts make their final predictions going into the NFL Draft...we also set the record for an all-time highest score in history last year with an amazing 91 of the first 100 picks identified correctly.

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In 2015, College Football Metrics joined forces with preeminent draft forecaster Xavier Cromartie to produce mock drafts and top 100 prospect boards for entry into The Huddle Report’s exclusive, experts-only NFL Draft contests. Xavier starts to posts mocks and boards in January and continues up to the draft in April. Our three-year average score in the Mock Draft Contest is 40.67. Our three-year average score in the Top 100 Contest is 86.0. In 2017, we won the contest, and we smashed the all-time record of 88 points when we scored 91.

2018 Mock Draft 1st-Round (6.0)

Draft Pick -- Team -- Name -- College -- +/- since last Mock -- # of pick on last Mock

1. Cleveland Browns: QB Sam Darnold (Southern California) (+) 2

Top needs (5): QB, OT, DL, WR, FS

The pick: Darnold has been the #1 QB throughout the process.

Position details: Tyrod Taylor is a temporary starter until the rookie they draft is ready. They still need another reliable WR. Shon Coleman isn't suitable for LT. RB Carlos Hyde is an ok stopgap. Another EDGE to go with Myles Garrett would be good, but the DL interior is a bigger concern. They need better LB performance. They need a serious starting FS.

2. New York Giants: EDGE Bradley Chubb (North Carolina State) (+) 3

Top needs (4): EDGE, RB, G, DL

The pick: If a team doesn't take a QB early, EDGE is the next most-prized position.

Position details: Eli Manning has only 1-2 years left. They could replace WR Brandon Marshall. LT Nate Solder helps the OL, but adding another guard is essential. RB Jonathan Stewart is washed up. They're shaking up the defense front and need another EDGE and DL. They need at least one more LB. They need a third CB and upgrade at FS.

3. New York Jets (via IND): QB Josh Allen (Wyoming) (+) 4

Top needs (2): QB, EDGE

The pick: He's looking like the #2 QB at this point.

Position details: They'll take a franchise QB at #3. The OL as a whole is an overpaid joke. They have no serious TE. RB Isaiah Crowell should be a backup. They need an interior DL after dumping the two big names. They haven't had an edge rusher for a long time.

4. Cleveland Browns (via HOU): CB/S Minkah Fitzpatrick (Alabama) (+) 8

Top needs (5): QB, OT, DL, WR, FS

The pick: I expect them to trade down from here to 11 or 12. I gave them Fitzpatrick because they could theoretically draft him either at 4 or after the trade down.

Position details: Tyrod Taylor is a temporary starter until the rookie they draft is ready. They still need another reliable WR. Shon Coleman isn't suitable for LT. RB Carlos Hyde is an ok stopgap. Another EDGE to go with Myles Garrett would be good, but the DL interior is a bigger concern. They need better LB performance. They need a serious starting FS.

5. Denver Broncos: QB Josh Rosen (UCLA) 5

Top needs (4): QB, CB, WR, TE

The pick: If they stay here they might have to accept the #4 QB (or miss all four of them).

Position details: QB Case Keenum got a 2-year deal but isn't a surefire solution. Their old WRs are fading fast. They're weak at LG. They have no serious TE. RB CJ Anderson is pretty solid but they don't seem to like him. The defensive front is in ok shape but they need better ILB support. They need a new third CB and an upgrade at FS.

6. Indianapolis Colts (via NYJ): RB Saquon Barkley (Penn State) (-) 1

Top needs (5): LB, RB, CB, OT, WR

The pick: The might look to trade back again, but probably not if Barkley is available.

Positional details: They still need a big WR. The OL is all junk except LT. They have no starting RB. The LB group may be the worst in the league. They need multiple CBs.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: G Quenton Nelson (Notre Dame) 7

Top needs (2): RB, G

The pick: I think they are sitting here waiting to jump on Nelson or Barkley.

Positional details: The OL still needs a G and maybe OT. They need a workhorse RB. They should find some CBs to develop. They might consider adding a S.

8. Chicago Bears: LB Tremaine Edmunds (Virginia Tech) (+) 11

Top needs (2): EDGE, LB

The pick: They likely have their choice between Edmunds and Roquan Smith.

Positional details: Despite their WR signings they should still be in the market for one more. The OL needs a G at minimum. EDGE is a glaring weakness on defense, while ILB also needs more bodies.

9. San Francisco 49ers: LB Roquan Smith (Georgia) 9

Top needs (4): LB, EDGE, G, WR

The pick: They should take either of the LBs, if available.

Positional details: They should get another WR target for Jimmy G. Other than C, the future of the OL is uncertain. They have little at EDGE, but LB is a greater weakness because of Reuben Foster. They need depth at S.

10. Oakland Raiders: CB Denzel Ward (Ohio State) 10

Top needs (3): DL, CB, OT

The pick: They could also consider at Fitzpatrick or Vita Vea here. Pure CB is the most valuable, though.

Positional details: They need 1-2 WRs behind Amari Cooper. They don't have a RT. They need another EDGE to go with Khalil Mack. The DL interior is weak. There's no MLB. They lost a good CB.

11. Miami Dolphins: QB Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma) (-) 6

Top needs (3): QB, TE, LB

The pick: I'm projecting that they'll move up to 4 to make this pick, but it could also happen here.

Positional details: They've shown interest in the top QBs. They still need a G. They have nothing at TE. They need a big young RB. Cutting Suh opened a hole on the DL. Their LBs are awful. Their CBs are also terrible.

12. Buffalo Bills (via CIN): QB Lamar Jackson (Louisville) (+) NR

Top needs (6): QB, LB, WR, CB, DL, C

The pick: Maybe they still move up to pick 2 or 4, but with so many needs it would be wiser to keep all of their picks.

Positional details: They have to get a QB somehow. They're in bad shape at WR. They lost their C. They need youth at RB. DL Kyle Williams is near the end. They have nothing at LB. They need 1-2 CBs.

13. Washington Redskins: DL Da'Ron Payne (Alabama) (+) 21

Top needs (2): DL, RB

The pick: With their two top-100 picks, I'd expect them to plug their DL hole first and then upgrade at RB.

Positional details: They need to upgrade at G and C. They want to replace RB Samaje Perine. Rotating a bunch of bad DL isn't working. They resigned mediocre LBs. Two key CBs are gone.

14. Green Bay Packers: S Derwin James (Florida State) 14

Top needs (3): CB, SS, WR

The pick: Morgan Burnett left as expected, and James could step right into that role.

Positional details: They need a WR after releasing Jordy Nelson. There's a big hole at G. CB is an ongoing problem and Tramon Williams is a temporary fix. SS is open after losing Morgan Burnett.

15. Arizona Cardinals: OT Mike McGlinchey (Notre Dame) (-) 12

Top needs (4): QB, CB, OT, WR

The pick: The Cards may have to wait until round 3 for a QB. McGlinchey is a clean match of need and value.

Positional details: Sam Bradford is not a long-term QB solution. They lost the two Browns at WR. The OL needs a C and OT, minimum. The DL interior is all rotational. The ILB play is poor. There's nothing at CB after Patrick Peterson.

16. Baltimore Ravens: WR Calvin Ridley (Alabama) 16

Top needs (3): WR, C, OT

The pick: They really haven't solved anything long-term at WR. One more Alabama player.

Positional details: They could look for a future QB. They're still completely remaking the WRs. The OL is a mess and could use a C and RT at least. Since they usually draft defense early, they could go ILB or CB.

17. Los Angeles Chargers: DL Vita Vea (Washington) 17

Top needs (3): DL, LB, FS

The pick: They should be hoping for Vea or Payne here, and then they can go LB with their next pick.

Positional details: The OL needs better depth. Fixing the DL interior should be the top priority. They need better LB play. They have no starting FS.

18. Seattle Seahawks: CB Carlton Davis (Auburn) 18

Top needs (1): CB

The pick: With only one top-100 pick and a lot of needs, they should trade down. Davis seems to fit their style if they stay here.

Positional details: The OL is terrible year after year. They lost a pair of TEs. They lost key DL and EDGE players. They dumped their #1 CB.

19. Dallas Cowboys: G Will Hernandez (Texas-El Paso) (+) 25

Top needs (3): G, WR, LB

The pick: Their philosophy is to run the ball behind an elite OL. Hernandez is a strong fit.

Positional details: They should remake the WRs even after adding Allen Hurns. Even if La'el Collins moves to G, they need someone better. They are pathetic on the DL interior. The LBs are useless whenever Sean Lee gets hurt. The secondary needs depth.

20. Detroit Lions: RB Derrius Guice (Louisiana State) 20

Top needs (3): C, RB, TE

The pick: The media are underrating Guice because he was injured in 2017.

Positional details: They have no starting C. Luke Willson is a second TE. All of their RBs are backup-tier. They could use DL depth. They may need a starting LB. They resigned CB Nevin Lawson and S Tavon Wilson but they aren't good.

21. Cincinnati Bengals (via BUF): C Billy Price (Ohio State) (+) 22

Top needs (4): C, OT, WR, DL

The pick: Price's minor injury should not drop him.

Positional details: They need to move on from WR Brandon LaFell. They should get three OL, starting with a C. They need more run-stopping help on the DL. LB is a problem.

22. Buffalo Bills (via KC): LB Leighton Vander Esch (Boise State) (+) 28

Top needs (6): QB, LB, WR, CB, DL, EDGE

The pick: The Bills may need a LB more than any other team.

Positional details: They have to get a QB somehow. They're in bad shape at WR. They lost their C. They need youth at RB. They need more on the EDGE. DL Kyle Williams is near the end. They have nothing at LB. They need 1-2 CBs.

23. Los Angeles Rams: EDGE Marcus Davenport (Texas-San Antonio) 23

Top needs (2): EDGE, LB

The pick: This area is right Davenport, and EDGE is a blatant need.

Positional details: The offense could add depth at WR, G, and RB. The major focus of the draft should be the front 7, where they could use two EDGE rushers, two LBs, and another DL.

24. Carolina Panthers: CB Josh Jackson (Iowa) (-) 13

Top needs (4): CB, FS, RB, WR

The pick: They tipped off their interest in a CB with Breeland, and then gave Cockrell backup money.

Positional details: Torrey Smith only makes their WR problem worse. There's a competition for LG. They'll need a TE for the future. They need a starting power RB. The could add more at EDGE. They still need two CBs with Ross Cockrell. They need a young starting S.

25. Tennessee Titans: G Isaiah Wynn (Georgia) (+) 30

Top needs (3): LB, SS, G

The pick: He can start at LG and provides valuable versatility.

Positional details: Despite resigning both Gs, they could upgrade. The DL needs bodies. The future at EDGE is concerning. A starting ILB should be a top priority. Johnathan Cyprien is a failure at SS and there's no one behind him.

26. Atlanta Falcons: DL Taven Bryan (Florida) 26

Top needs (3): DL, CB, LB

The pick: They need interior DL players. Anything else would be a depth pick.

Positional details: They lack depth at WR and TE. Interior DL is the clear-cut top need. Depth at LB and CB is thin.

27. New Orleans Saints: WR Courtland Sutton (Southern Methodist) (-) 19

Top needs (2): WR, TE

The pick: They need another tall pass-catcher.

Positional details: WR is weak after Michael Thomas. They should find interior OL to develop. They should dump Coby Fleener and find a new TE. The defense has transformed into a strength but could use more depth at LB and S.

28. Pittsburgh Steelers: LB Rashaan Evans (Alabama) (-) 27

Top needs (3): LB, FS, EDGE

The pick: They will likely take their highest rated LB or S here.

Positional details: The offense could add a WR and G. Despite signing LB Jon Bostic and SS Morgan Burnett, they are average players and those positions remain the biggest needs. They also need more from the EDGE.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars: RB Sony Michel (Georgia) (+) NR

Top needs (3): G, QB, RB

The pick: I dont think anyone else has a RB here, but it would be very shrewd. Michel could play an Alvin Kamara-like role for the run-heavy Jags, and he would be a capable backup whenever Fournette is dinged. He's an ideal complementary RB.

Positional details: There is no backup QB behind Blake Bortles. The OL needs a RG despite signing Andrew Norwell. With an offense built around Leonard Fournette, they need a strong backup/change-up RB. The defense needs depth all-around.

30. Minnesota Vikings: C James Daniels (Iowa) (+) NR

Top needs (3): G, C, CB

The pick: Unless there's an appealing CB here, they should focus on the OL interior. Elflein could move to G or, better yet, the bench.

Positional details: They should look for a third WR. They need 2-3 starters on the OL. LB is weaker than it seems. They need a third CB or starter.

31. New England Patriots: DL Rasheem Green (Southern California) (+) NR

Top needs (4): OT, LB, DL, EDGE

The pick: Underrated player who seems like the Patriots type.

Positional details: They need youth at WR. LT is wide open after losing Nate Solder. They should add another EDGE despite signing Adrian Clayborn. They need DL depth. The LBs are a disaster.

32. Philadelphia Eagles: CB Mike Hughes (Central Florida) (-) 29

Top needs (1): CB

The pick: Hughes is getting some love but he's 5'10 with short arms. He seems like a good slot CB.

Positional details: They could add OL depth. They need a second TE. EDGE depth is thinning. They need backup LBs. They lost their star slot CB.

Dropped out: G Connor Williams (15), CB Jaire Alexander (24), EDGE Sam Hubbard (31), WR DJ Moore (32)

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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. 

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