2018 NFL draft

Hudrick's 2018 NFL mock draft 1.0

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Hudrick's 2018 NFL mock draft 1.0

Mock draft season is here. The Super Bowl Champion Eagles will hold the No. 32 overall pick. Here is Paul Hudrick's mock draft 1.0 to get you ready for the 2018 NFL draft in Arlington, Texas. 

1. Cleveland Browns – Sam Darnold, QB, USC (6-4/220)
Darnold has work to do mechanically, but his intangibles are off the charts. Mentally and as a leader, he has what it takes to make it in Cleveland. He'd benefit from watching behind DeShon Kizer to start the season.

2. New York Giants – Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA (6-4/218)
If it were me, Rosen is the guy if I'm taking at quarterback. His footwork and toughness in the pocket are second to none in this draft. There are questions about his maturity, but moments like this make me believe he'll be just fine.

3. Indianapolis Colts – Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State (6-4/275)
The Colts need an impact pass rusher and Chubb is the best there is in this draft. He's also a nasty customer, something Indy could use a little more of.

4. Cleveland Browns (via Houston Texans) – Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State (5-11/223)
You already drafted your future franchise QB, now give him a serious weapon to work with. Sure, there are things Barkley needs to improve on, but he has the potential to be a perennial All-Pro.

5. Denver Broncos – Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame (6-5/329)
With Darnold and Rosen gone, the Broncos pick the best offensive lineman in the draft. Of all the players in the draft, Nelson seems like the most can't-miss prospect. He has the potential to make the Pro Bowl as a rookie.

6. New York Jets – Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma (6-1/220)
This is where things get interesting. You might look at Mayfield and think his antics and off-the-field issues wouldn't fly in New York. I look at it like this: What prospect has dealt with more scrutiny over the past year than Mayfield? I see a Kirk Cousins-like QB with a little more attitude.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Minkah Fitzpatrick, S, Alabama (6-1/201)
This is a perfect fit. Fitzpatrick is a versatile DB who will help fix the Bucs' biggest flaw. Fitzpatrick can cover, has excellent range and he's physical. Easily the best safety in this draft.

8. Chicago Bears – Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama (6-1/190)
When mock drafts first started coming out, Ridley wasn't regarded as a top-10 pick. I have no idea why. This guy has it all. He's an explosive and precise route runner who can be effective catching balls all over the field. He's a true No. 1 receiver, which the Bears desperately need.

9/10. Oakland Raiders (coin flip) – Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia (6-1/225)
Smith earned being a top-10 pick after his play during the CFP. He's a monster. He plays sideline-to-sideline and will be a welcome addition to a Raiders' defense that has some pieces but has struggled.

9/10. San Francisco 49ers (coin flip) – Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa (6-1/192)
Jackson fits the mold of the modern corner with his length and ability to press. He's also showed the ability to play off and excel in zone. The 49ers will be an intriguing team next season and Jackson will add to that.

11. Miami Dolphins – Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech (6-5/250)
Edmunds possesses unbelievable size and athletic ability. He'll excel at blitzing and covering tight ends at the next level.

12. Cincinnati Bengals – Connor Williams, OT, Texas (6-6/320)
The Bengals clearly made a mistake in letting Andrew Whitworth go to the Rams. Their first step in rectifying that would be to take the best tackle in the draft.

13. Washington Redskins – Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming (6-5/223)
You've all likely heard it by now: Allen has all the physical tools, he just needs work. Well, it's absolutely true. From a physical standpoint, there isn't a more gifted QB in this draft. Give him a couple seasons to sit behind Alex Smith and hope Jay Gruden can get the most out of Allen.

14. Green Bay Packers – Arden Key, EDGE, LSU (6-6/265)
Key was a beast his sophomore season (11 sacks), before a junior year mired by injuries and inconsistency. He has all the tools to be a disruptive NFL edge rusher. Can the Packers get it out of him?

15. Arizona Cardinals – Orlando Brown, OL, Oklahoma (6-8/360)
With the top four quarterbacks off the board, the Cardinals look to bolster their offensive line. Brown is a road grader that should help pave the way for star RB David Johnson. Does Brown have enough athleticism to play the left side? I believe he does.

16. Baltimore Ravens – Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU (6-4/218)
Sutton is an interesting case. He has great size and is pretty quick for a bigger receiver. He dominated in the American Conference and should test well at the combine. His stock could rise, but he'd be a great fit for the Ravens.

17. Los Angeles Chargers – Vita Vea, DT, Washington (6-4/344)
Putting Vea on the inside with Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram on the outside seems unfair. He's the most athletic 344-pounder I've ever seen.

18. Seattle Seahawks – Derwin James, S, Florida State (6-3/215)
James was once thought of as a top-10 talent but struggled last season coming off an injury. He's the type of physical, versatile player that will thrive in Seattle and possibly replace Kam Chancellor.

19. Dallas Cowboys – Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama (6-2/308)
Payne showed how disruptive and dominant he can be in the National Championship Game. If the Cowboys can get that player to show up every week, he'll be giving the Eagles trouble for years.

20. Detroit Lions – Marcus Davenport, EDGE, UTSA (6-6/255)
There may not be a player riding a bigger hype train than Davenport. He has great measurables, was extremely productive and should test well. The Lions are perpetually in need of pass rushers.

21. Buffalo Bills – Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan (6-2/282)
There are a few mocks out there that have Hurst ahead of Payne. I will say that Hurst was a more consistent player this season, but Payne is younger and has a bigger upside. Still, Hurst should help the Bills immediately.

22. Buffalo Bills (via Kansas City Chiefs) – Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado (6-1/190)
Like Jackson, Oliver fits the mold of the prototypical NFL corner. He also fits the mold of what head coach Sean McDermott has looked for in his corners.

23. Los Angeles Rams – Denzel Ward, CB, OSU (5-10/191)
I'm not as high on Ward as others. I thought he got bullied by bigger receivers. With that said, he has excellent footwork and speed to mirror receivers up and down the field.

24. Carolina Panthers – Harold Landry, EDGE, Boston College (6-3/250)
Landry would've probably gone around this range if he'd come out last year (16 1/2 sacks). He wasn't as productive this season (five sacks) but is certainly worth a shot here for the Panthers.

25. Tennessee Titans - Billy Price, C, OSU (6-4/312)
The Titans have bookend tackles but could use help in the middle. Price's issue might be that he's a little too aggressive at times. Better than the alternative. He's tough, athletic and plays with an edge.

26. Atlanta Falcons – Will Hernandez, G, UTEP (6-2/348)
Hernandez is the second-best guard in this draft. He had a nice week at Senior Bowl that will likely make him first-rounder.

27. New Orleans Saints – Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama (6-3/234)
Evans would've looked great in midnight green, but I don't see any way he gets to pick 32. Recruited as a pass rusher, Evans became an inside 'backer for Nick Saban. That versatility should serve him well as a 4-3 OLB.

28. Pittsburgh Steelers – Carlton Davis, CB, Auburn (6-1/203)
I like Davis more than Ward, but going off the hype, I'll mock Davis here. Joe Haden doesn't seem like a candidate to return for the Steelers and they could use more help at corner.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars – Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville (6-3/200)
The Jags are giving Blake Bortles another shot. Taking Jackson hedges their bets. No doubt Jackson has work to do with his mechanics and accuracy (though he's much improved), but putting him in the same backfield as Leonard Fournette with a dominant defense would be awfully intriguing.

30. Minnesota Vikings – Isaiah Wynn, G, Georgia (6-2/300)
The Vikings' O-line was vastly improved in 2017, but could still use more help. Wynn provides versatility, having played left tackle for the Bulldogs but projecting as a guard at the next level.

31. New England Patriots – Mike Hughes, CB, UCF (5-11/191)
This is an interesting spot. If Rob Gronkowski decides to retire, look for South Dakota State TE Dallas Goedert as a possibility. With Malcolm Butler on his way out, Hughes could make a solid tandem with Stephon Gilmore.

32. Philadelphia Eagles – Taven Bryan, DT, Florida (6-4/291)
If Beau Allen leaves in free agency, the Eagles are left with Destiny Vaeao and 2017 sixth-round pick Elijah Qualls at DT. With Jim Schwartz's D-line rotation, they'll need more depth and competition at the position. Enter Bryan. Don't be fooled by the lack of production (four sacks in 2017), Bryan has impressive physical traits that will translate to the NFL. He's an attacking style player, the perfect fit for Schwartz's scheme. He's got a quick first step and consistently blows offensive lineman off the ball. Asking him to be a rotational piece, especially in pass rush situations, would be the ideal way to bring him along.

8 NFL draft prospects to watch in CFP National Championship

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8 NFL draft prospects to watch in CFP National Championship

It’s time to crown the college football national champion.

It’s also our last chance to get a look at some NFL prospects before postseason All-Star games and the combine.

Here are eight prospects to watch in tonight’s CFP National Championship.

Alabama vs. Clemson
Mercedes Benz Stadium
8 p.m., ESPN

Georgia

No. 27 - Nick Chubb, RB, senior (5-10/225)

Chubb fits the mold of a bell cow back. He had a ridiculous freshman season filling in for an injured Todd Gurley in which he ran for 1,547 yards on 7.1 per carry. Chubb then suffered a gruesome knee injury of his own the following season. Chubb could’ve come out after a so-so junior campaign in 2016 but opted to return for his senior year. And boy, did that move work. Chubb rushed for 1,320 yards this season and 15 TDs while sharing time with the player listed below. If not for the injury history, Chubb would easily be considered the second-best back in the draft behind Penn State’s Saquon Barkley. The Eagles’ biggest need certainly isn’t at running back, but with a loaded class and questions about Jay Ajayi’s chronic knee issues going forward, it’s certainly worth looking into.

No. 1 - Sony Michel, RB, senior (5-11/215)
The other half of Georgia’s dynamic rushing attack has seen his stock rise, especially after his 181-yard, three-TD performance against Oklahoma. For the season, Michel has also gone over the 1,000-yard mark while averaging eight yards a carry with 16 TDs. Despite a couple productive seasons in 2015 and 2016, this season has really gotten Michel on to the NFL draft radar. A strong combine could only boost his stock.

No. 7 - Lorenzo Carter, EDGE, senior (6-6/243)
I would love to profile stud LB Roquan Smith, but with how he’s played recently, it’s hard to imagine him falling out of the top 15, let alone to wherever the Eagles pick. Carter fits the mold of former Bulldog and first-round pick Leonard Floyd (Bears). Much like Floyd, Carter never reached his full potential as a pass rusher in college (14 career sacks) because of his role. But as was the case with Floyd, someone will fall in love with his measurables. Could that team be the Eagles? Carter would be an intriguing rotational pass rush piece.

No. 6 - Javon Wims, WR, senior (6-4/215)
Wims has quietly had a solid season for Georgia and provided true freshman QB Jake Fromm with a reliable target. Wims led the Bulldogs in receptions (44), receiving yards (704) and TDs (7). While the numbers aren't mind blowing, Wims has one distinguishable NFL trait: size. That size helps him beat press coverage and make contested catches, two important things at the next level. Wims also has sneaky quickness, which was evident against Oklahoma. He ran several hitches where he stopped on a dime and hauled in a couple easy completions.

Alabama

No. 9 - Bo Scarbrough, RB, junior (6-2/235)

The bruising back gained a ton of hype after monster performances in the CFP last season. After beating up Washington's highly-touted defense (180 yards, two TDs), Scarbrough was having a similar performance against Clemson in the title game (93 yards, two TDs) before breaking his leg in the third quarter. Whether it's lingering effects from the injury or other factors, Scarbrough just hasn't had the same impact this season. He's rushed for just 573 yards on 4.8 yards a carry. His freakish physique and physical running style will intrigue somebody in the middle rounds. If the Eagles want a smash-mouth heir apparent to LeGarrette Blount, Scarbrough could be that guy.

No. 34 - Damien Harris, RB, junior (5-11/221)
Part of the reason for Scarbrough's lack of production is the emergence of Harris. With 17 yards tonight, Harris will have back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. That's impressive considering his timeshare at the position and playing with a run-heavy QB in Jalen Hurts. Harris may have come into the season less heralded than Scarbrough, but he'll end it being the better NFL prospect. He's a complete back and could be a steal in this deep class.  

No. 3 - Calvin Ridley, WR, junior (6-1/190)
Serious question: how does a program with a consistently inept passing game snag all these stud receivers? Following in the footsteps of Julio Jones and Amari Cooper, Ridley will likely be the next 'Bama wideout to be a first-round pick. After an impressive 1,045-yard, seven-touchdown freshman season, Ridley hasn't reached the 1,000-yard plateau in either of the last two campaigns (65 yards would get him there tonight, however). But the numbers don't tell the whole story. Ridley is lightning quick and an outstanding route runner. He has decent size and can take the top off a defense (his ability to track deep balls is also exceptional) . Most consider him to be the draft's second-best receiver behind SMU's Courtland Sutton. That's probably fair, but neither receiver is expected to go in the top 15. If Ridley somehow falls to the Eagles in the 20s, they should take a long, hard look. He'd be an outstanding complement to Alshon Jeffery and give Carson Wentz another dangerous weapon.

No. 32 - Rashaan Evans, LB, senior (6-3/234)
Evans is at the heart of Alabama's stellar defense. The senior 'backer recorded 66 tackles (11 1/2 for a loss) and six sacks. He's not the easiest player to evaluate because of the run-heavy SEC and how clean the Crimson Tide's stout front keeps him. But what Evans does show is solid instincts and great burst. He trusts his eyes and doesn't over commit on fakes. He's a strong blitzer (he was recruited as an edge rusher) and plays a violent brand of football. In the small sample size of coverage snaps he has, he's looked solid. His time at MLB will serve him well, but he might be best served as a weak side linebacker at the next level. One that might look pretty good next to a (hopefully) healthy Jordan Hicks.

6 NFL draft prospects to watch in bowl games Saturday

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6 NFL draft prospects to watch in bowl games Saturday

This week's bowl games wrap up with four games on the docket and plenty of NFL prospects in action.

The Eagles will have a late first-round pick and no second- or third-rounders. But Howie Roseman isn't one to sit on his hands come draft day.

Here are six prospects in action today that could help the Eagles next season.

Louisville-No. 23 Mississippi State
Taxslayer Bowl (12 p.m./ESPN)

No. 55 - Martinas Rankin, OT, Mississippi State, senior (6-5/315)
Rankin will certainly be a possibility for the Eagles late in the first round. His body type might project better as a guard, but he’s excelled as a tackle. The biggest thing to like about Rankin is his improvement from his junior to senior year. At times last season, he looked tentative. This year, he’s been aggressive, getting his hands on defenders early and pushing them off the ball. He’s looked like a solid NFL tackle prospect all year long.

Iowa State-No. 20 Memphis
Autozone Liberty Bowl (12:30 p.m./ABC)

No. 3 - Anthony Miller, WR, Memphis, senior (5-11/190)
Miller is as explosive as they come. His size will obviously be an issue, but he’s been incredibly productive. He’s put up back-to-back 1,400-yard campaigns and has 21 receiving TDs during his three seasons at Memphis. He’s also added three rushing touchdowns. Doug Pederson would certainly like to add an electric player like Miller in his offense.

No. 11 Washington- No. 9 Penn State
Playstation Fiesta Bowl (4 p.m./ESPN)

No. 88 - Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State, senior (6-6/250)
Gesicki’s overall numbers dipped a little bit this season, but he did record nine receiving TDs this season. He’s big and sure-handed. He’s also a pretty solid blocker. The Eagles will likely lose Trey Burton in free agency and Brent Celek isn’t getting any younger. Gesicki could be a solid backup option for Zach Ertz that would add more in the passing game than Celek and more in the blocking department than Burton.

No. 2 – Marcus Allen, S, Penn State, senior (6-2/207)
Allen is a hard-hitting, rangy safety. The biggest question going forward will be Allen’s ball skills. The senior safety snagged just one interception during his time with Penn State. This is a deep safety class so the “lack of ball skills” label will likely push Allen down draft boards. With that said, he’s excellent in run support and solid in coverage. If he slips into the middle rounds, he’s someone worth keeping an eye on. Worst case, he’ll be a special teams ace.

No. 6 Wisconsin-No. 10 Miami
Capital One Orange Bowl (8 p.m./ESPN)

No. 81 - Troy Fumagalli, TE, Wisconsin, senior (6-6/248)
Fumagalli is in a similar mold to Gesicki. Again, his numbers won’t blow you away. He’s had back-to-back 500-yard seasons but has just six touchdown catches in that time. The lack of numbers is really in large part because of Wisconsin’s offense. They have a strong offensive line and a star freshman running back. Fumagalli’s ability to block in the run game should appeal to the Eagles.

No. 52 - Kc McDermott, OL, Miami, senior (6-7/300)
McDermott is an extremely versatile lineman, playing all across the offensive line. This season, he’s settled in and excelled as the Hurricanes’ left tackle. He was named to the All-ACC third team. There's nothing flashy to McDermott, but he's long and aggressive and always seem to be under control and in the proper position. He’ll be tested against a strong Badgers’ front.