Perry's Mock Draft 4.0: Pats go for help in four different areas
Coming down the stretch here, sorting through the truth and the lies, the reports and the rumors, to give you the definitive stone-cold-lock-won't-miss-any-of-the-next-64-picks-I-promise mock draft. (Spoiler alert.)
1. Browns: Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
I can't get past John Dorsey's affinity for athletic, strong-armed, big-handed quarterbacks. Allen seems to check every box in that regard. It might not be the right choice, but it feels like it'll be Dorsey's choice.
2. Giants: Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State
Dave Gettleman loves going with defense early in the draft, based off of his history in Carolina, and Chubb will help the Giants replenish their edge depth after losing Jason Pierre-Paul. He's not the pass-rusher JPP was, but he looks like a reliable pro.
3. Jets: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
This marriage continues to get all kinds of buzz. Mayfield is the most accurate passer in the draft. But if the Jets draft him, they'll have to tailor their offense to his skill set (and his height).
4. Browns: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
The Browns could pass on a running back and instead go with a game-changer defensively like corner Denzel Ward. But Barkley's next-level athleticism, and his ability to serve as a safety blanket for Allen in the passing game, makes him the choice here.
5. Broncos: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
He'll be confident. He'll need to be managed. And while he's not the athlete his new boss was coming out of college, John Elway could be the perfect mentor for the draft's most polished pocket passer.
6. Bills (from Colts): Sam Darnold, QB, USC
COLTS TRADE NO. 6 TO BILLS
BILLS TRADE NO. 12, NO. 53, NO. 121 TO COLTS
Darnold will turn it over, but the blemishes featured in his game may be viewed as more easily fixed than those of some of the other passers in this class. The opportunity to land this type of prospect is rare, and the Bills were willing to trade No. 12, No. 53 and No. 121 to Indy to have it.
7. Buccaneers: Derwin James, DB, Florida State
Tampa Bay could use a significant influx of talent to bolster its secondary, and James just might be the most well-rounded defensive playmaker in this draft.
8. Bears: Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame
Can't pass on him. Nelson might be the best player in the draft, regardless of position. In Chicago, he'll be reunited with former Fighting Irish offensive line coach Harry Hiestand.
9. 49ers: Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama
Is he a safety? Is he a slot corner? Can he play on the outside? San Francisco will figure out a way to use one of the best players in this class. He'll probably end up inside, which (again) is essentially a starting role in today's NFL.
10. Raiders: Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
If Jon Gruden really wants to mold his team as he might've 20 years ago, then grabbing Edmunds -- whose size makes him look like an old-school linebacker, but whose athleticism makes him a rare specimen -- feels like the play.
11. Dolphins: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
If Miami can't land Rosen or Darnold, then they should go with the best player available. That's either Smith or corner Denzel Ward. Smith makes the Dolphins more athletic on the second level and makes Kiko Alonso (and his bloated contract) expendable.
12. Colts (via Bills): Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
File this under things you haven't heard very often in recent years: The Colts nailed this one. They traded out of the top 10, picked up extra picks, and still reeled in a top 10 talent. Ward is undersized, but he's a stud.
13. Redskins: Vita Vea, DT, Washington
Washington finally finds the nose tackle it has been looking for since it began running a 3-4 defense since 2010. The fit is too clean. Can't change this one up.
15. Cardinals: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
Cards GM Steve Keim seemed to hint recently that he wouldn't trade up for a quarterback. Well, he didn't have to. Jackson's explosiveness and his ability to make accurate throws over the middle will quickly make him one of the most exciting players in the league.
16. Ravens: Harold Landry, EDGE, Boston College
The Ravens might've grabbed Jackson if he was available. They're looking forward to the post-Flacco era. But they'll have to look to the post-Suggs era as well. Landry will help them in that regard. The Boston College product is too special to pass up in the middle of the first round.
17. Chargers: Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan
Diagnosed with a heart condition at the combine, Hurst said recently that he's known about the condition for years. If he checks out medically, he'd be an immediate upgrade for a run defense in need.
18. Seahawks: Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa
Richard Sherman's out. Jackson's in. A tall corner with great ball skills, the Hawkeye will fit seamlessly in Pete Carroll's scheme.
19. Cowboys: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
Senior Bowl director Phil Savage told Quick Slants the Podcast that McGlinchey might be the lone NFL-ready tackle in this year's class. That's good for Dallas, who signed Cam Fleming this offseason, but still might need a right tackle of the future.
20. Lions: Da'Ron Payne, DT, Alabama
With Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia running the draft board in Detroit, it makes sense to find a Patriots fit and slot him in as the newest Lion. Payne has the Alabama pedigree, the production in the SEC, and the violent hands to make himself worthy of a top-20 pick.
21. Bengals: James Daniels, C, Iowa
Arguably the best interior offensive lineman in the draft, Daniels could be the first domino to fall in what eventually looks like a complete offensive-line overhaul in Cincinnati.
22. Bills: Isaiah Wynn, OL, Georgia
Run on linemen! The Bills have a new franchise quarterback to protect, and Wynn could play either guard or tackle to help Buffalo achieve that goal.
23. Patriots: Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State
Vander Esch, who visited Matt Patricia's Lions during the pre-draft process, sure seems like someone Bill Belichick would be intrigued by. At 6-4, 256 pounds with 34-inch arms, Vander Esch has all the size and athleticism (4.65-second 40, 39.5-inch vertical, 10-4 broad jump, 6.88 three-cone) he needs to be a versatile chess piece. Vander Esch isn't a big-time thumper, but he was extremely productive against both the run and the pass last season, and with just one year of starting experience under his belt he should only be getting better. If his health checks out, and if he's available, he'd make all kinds of sense in New England.
2018 Draft Reel: Leighton Vander Esch, LB Boise State
24. Panthers: Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA
Good length, good athleticism, good motor . . . Davenport has the tools to be an impact player. He just needs to learn how to use them. Taking a back seat to Julius Peppers for a year might allow Davenport the chance to do just that.
25. Titans: Sam Hubbard, DE, Ohio State
Jon Robinson. Mike Vrabel. Patriots ties. Another prototypical Patriot off the board. Hubbard's height, weight, his ability to change direction (6.84-second three-cone), and his ability to play multiple positions should make him a Day 1 contributor in Vrabel's defense.
26. Falcons: Taven Bryan, DL, Florida
Bryan's explosive first step would give Atlanta a potential big-time interior rusher to play alongside Grady Jarrett. Will that first-step quickness work at the next level? Atlanta better hope so.
27. Saints: Justin Reid, S, Stanford
Kenny Vaccaro started 12 games for the Saints last season. He's still a free agent. Reid isn't exactly the same kind of player, but he could man the slot effectively for New Orleans. Reid is an NFL athlete (4.4-second 40, 6.65 three-cone) and at 6-1, 204 he has the ability to play deep or in the box.
28. Steelers: Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama
This is almost a two-for-one for Pittsburgh. They get the inside linebacker help they need in Evans, who is an athletic heat-seeking missile from off the line. But they also get a potential pass-rushing presence on third downs. The former outside 'backer can do both has a knack for getting into the backfield either through the A-gaps or off the edge.
29. Jaguars: Will Hernandez, OL, Texas
The Jaguars just made Andrew Norwell the highest-paid guard in the league, but they still need another. In Hernandez, they get someone who can maul in the run game. Think that'll fit their style of play? Me too.
30. Vikings: Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State
What better way to get Mr. Guaranteed Contract even more fired up for the 2018 season? Give him a receiving tight end to pair with Kyle Rudolph, making his offense even more explosive.
31. Patriots: Connor Williams, OL, Texas
Williams was a tackle for the Longhorns, and many are projecting him to play guard. I think there's a chance he could play both. He's the same height as Matt Light, and his arms are about as long as Sebastian Vollmer's. Plus, athletically he's gifted enough to play on the outside. He could help the Patriots at tackle in 2018, and then if they need a guard in 2019 and beyond (Shaq Mason is in a contract year), Williams will be ready to go. Versatility and athleticism up front are staples for the Patriots. Williams, who is considered a leader and a solid addition to any locker room, is a nice fit.
2018 Draft Reel: Connor Williams, OT Texas
32. Eagles: Sony Michel, RB, Georgia
Philly could go with Derrius Guice here, but Michel offers Philly a different type of back. He can catch it, he can protect, and he'll run hard between the tackles. Carson Wentz's offense just got a little more dangerous.
33. Browns: Mike Hughes, CB, Central Florida
The Browns traded Jason McCourty to the Patriots earlier this offseason, opening up a need at corner. Hughes provides them with a physical presence who has all the ability to be a shutdown guy.
34. Giants: Ronald Jones, RB, USC
The Giants still don't have their quarterback of the future, but that's OK with them. They grab the best running back available in what is an extremely talented class at that position. Jones should help take some pressure off Eli Manning and provide him with a safety valve out of the backfield.
35. Browns: Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville
My goodness. Doubling up on corners is never a bad idea. There just aren't enough good ones to go around. Somehow the Browns ended up with two of the best in the draft class and suddenly their secondary looks like it could be terrifying in the near future.
36. Colts: Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA
Miller won't be ready to start as soon as he sets foot in an NFL locker room, but he has the size and athleticism to be a starting left tackle down the line if he can refine his technique.
37. Colts: Lorenzo Carter, EDGE, Georgia
After going with a big-time talent on the offensive line in the first round, GM Chris Ballard doubles up on defensive front-seven help here. Carter can play on the edge, but he's athletic enough to play off the ball as a run-and-chase linebacker. The only question will be if Indy can manage to keep his motor running to the point where Carter maximizes his athletic gifts.
38. Buccaneers: Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
Guice's slide stops here. He's a power runner, who can handle workhorse responsibilities, and he provides great value here since in most other years he would be the best player at his position.
39. Bears: Carlton Davis, DB, Auburn
Davis has all the tools to be the big, physical corner the Bears need. He just has to take all those tools and figure out how to use them properly.
40. Broncos: Kemoko Turay, Rutgers
If John Elway isn't thrilled with what he's gotten from Shane Ray off the edge, Turay offers an exciting blend of pass-rushing traits that could blossom opposite Von Miller.
41. Raiders: Harrison Phillips, DT, Stanford
Jon Gruden opts for another addition to his front-seven here. Phillips is a powerful interior lineman who can play as a 3-4 end of a 4-3 tackle. He'll immediately help Oakland's run defense.
42. Dolphins: Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State
Opinions vary on Goedert, who in some circles is considered the top tight end in the class. In others he's viewed as a 6-foot-5, 255-pound man child who simply dominated lower-level competition. His size and coordination will make him an immediate red-zone threat for Miami.
43. Patriots: D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland
The consensus on this draft class of receivers, according to multiple NFL evaluators, is that it is not a good one. But to land Moore at this stage of the draft could be viewed as a coup for Bill Belichick and Nick Caserio. Moore is an explosive inside-outside threat who is a monster after the catch. His frame (6-feet, 210) and the power with which he runs makes him look like a running back. Plus, he also has some punt-return experience. Moore meets all the athletic traits that the Patriots have looked for in their top-end receiver draft picks in the past (they've never drafted a first-rounder at that position under Belichick) with a 4.42-second 40, a 39.5-inch vertical and a 4.07-second short-shuttle, and the team reportedly had him in for a pre-draft visit. The picture at receiver could be changing -- and soon -- for New England. Getting out ahead of those changes with a gifted pass-catcher is a wise move.
2018 Draft Reel: D.J. Moore, WR Maryland
44. Redskins: Donte Jackson, CB, LSU
The fastest man in the draft and also one of the quickest, Jackson's size (5-foot-11, 175) won't help him as a force player against the run, but he'll be able to run with all types of receivers. Inside, outside...won't matter. Redskins could use some help in the secondary
45. Packers: Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama
There are worse ways to attack a draft than to seek out productive defenders from Nick Saban's program. Harrison is too talented and the Packers are too deficient in the secondary to pass on him here.
46. Bengals: Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas
The Bengals could use some size and speed at the second level and Jefferson possesses both. He may not be the most polished of linebackers on the board, but his physical traits could get him drafted relatively early on Day 2.
47. Cardinals: DJ Chark, WR, LSU
By bringing in Chark -- who has the frame (6-foot-3, 200 pounds) and athletic ability (4.34 40, 40-inch vertical) to turn into a true No. 1 -- the Cardinals would be importing a player who can play alongside Larry Fitzgerald now and perhaps replace him down the line.
48. Chargers: Jessie Bates, S, Wake Forest
He's not the fastest defensive back in the draft, but Bates might be one of the quickest. His three-cone (6.78), short shuttle (4.26 seconds) and long shuttle (11.34) proved he's one of the best change-of-direction safeties in the class. Combine those skills with his ability to process on his feet, and he seems ready to contribute in Year 1.
49. Colts: Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
What better way to help out your banged-up quarterback than with a big-bodied (6-foot-3, 218) and surprisingly agile (6.57-second three-cone) receiver?
50. Cowboys: Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina
The Cowboys will need their Jason Witten replacement at some point. Hurst is old relative to other rookies, but at 25 he's not Witten old.
51. Lions: Fred Warner, LB, BYU
Warner could play a variety of different linebacker roles in Matt Patricia's defense -- Mike, Will or Sam -- because he's big enough, smart enough and athletic enough to do so. If he's available at the end of the second round, he could be in play for Detroit.
52. Ravens: Billy Price, C, Ohio State
Price suffered a pec injury on the bench press at this year's combine, but he's one of the top interior linemen in the class, and he makes his way to a team that could use some help after losing center Ryan Jensen.
53. Colts (via Bills): Josey Jewell, LB, Iowa
Jewell won't be the most athletic player in Indy's front seven, but he'll be able to get his new teammates aligned quickly and serve as an extension of the coaching staff on the field.
54. Chiefs: Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado
The Chiefs sent one starting corner away and picked up another this offseason. They still need some help. Oliver is an ascending player who can press on the outside. His blend of size (6-1, 190) and speed (4.5-second 40) make him an exciting prospect, even if it may take him some time to find his footing at the next level.
55. Panthers: Michael Gallup, WR, Colorado State
Good size (6-foot-1, 205). Good speed (4.5-second 40). Good route-runner. Good production in college. Just . . . good. Not great. But good enough for Cam Newton to trust right away as a dependable option.
56. Bills: Brian O'Neill, OT, Pitt
O'Neill is far from a finished product. But he has the traits to someday be a franchise left tackle and protect Sam Darnold's blind side.
57. Titans: Uchenna Nwosu, LB, USC
The Titans added a base end in the first round. In the second, they add a tremendous athlete who could play a variety of roles (something head coach Vrabel did during his playing days) in Tennessee's front.
58. Falcons: James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State
One of the most explosive players in the draft, Washington will provide Matt Ryan with another down-the-field burner after losing speedy No. 2 Taylor Gabriel this offseason.
59. 49ers: Anthony Miller, WR, Memphis
Miller can play both inside and out, and his route-running ability should make him an immediate contributor. The Niners take him here in the hopes that he'll develop with Jimmy Garoppolo and provide him with a long-term go-to option in the passing game.
60. Steelers: Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State
The Patriots would love to have their choice of either Rudolph or Lauletta at No. 63, but the Steelers jump on the chance to land the quarterback they think has the potential to be Ben Roethlisberger's successor.
61. Jaguars: Jamarco Jones, OT, Ohio State
The Jags could use a swing tackle, or a full timer on the right side, and Jones can be that guy if he's able to refine his game as a rookie.
62. Vikings: MJ Stewart, CB, North Carolina
The Vikings defense was the best in football last season, but there isn't a team in the league that couldn't use more help at corner. Stewart is the kind of physical, versatile corner that coach Mike Zimmer will love.
63. Patriots (via Browns): Kyle Lauletta, QB, Richmond
The Patriots need a quarterback, and if Lauletta falls to this point in the draft I think he'd be worth the selection. One of the most accurate quarterbacks in the draft with experience in a variety of offenses -- including pro-style systems -- Lauletta has the mind to succeed at the next level. He was the MVP of the Senior Bowl, quickly taking to the sliver of Bill O'Brien's offense he was given and carving up higher-level competition. Lauletta's deep ball will need some work, but he'll be afforded time to polish his game behind Brady, and down-the-field efficiency is something that quarterbacks have proven they can improve upon even after they reach the pro ranks.
2018 Draft Reel: Kyle Lauletta, QB Richmond
64. Browns: Equanimeous St. Brown, WR, Notre Dame
This 6-foot-5 receiver has all kinds of athleticism, and if he'd had better quarterback play last year he might've been considered a first-rounder. With Allen throwing the passes in 2018 and beyond, the Browns should welcome big targets who can help mask some of their new quarterback's accuracy issues.