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.

Jordan Matthews thought folks should have cut Carson Wentz some slack

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Jordan Matthews thought folks should have cut Carson Wentz some slack

When Jordan Matthews sat down to read the now-infamous PhillyVoice story that characterized one of his best friends as “selfish” and “egotistical,” he couldn’t help but think of one thing. 

Maybe everyone should have cut Carson Wentz some slack. 

Matthews, a pending free agent, was on SiriusXM and gave his take on Wentz and the article. While Matthews thought much of it was a stretch, he seemed bothered by some of the anonymous quotes: 

“I also think that some of the quotes that were, I guess, in the article … I don’t think they were very well-thought-out or measured, only because when you’re playing through injury, when you’re coming back off of a season where you don’t get to play in the playoffs and all this stuff, if there’s any slip in character for somebody of Carson’s caliber, I think there should be some grace applied. I think that should be the type of posture everybody should bring to somebody like that because this dude is the face of a franchise. 

“You think of the pressure that’s on his shoulders every single day and to miss out on being that leader and being in that position and come back and for right back into it and play through pain, I think there should always be some grace applied, especially somebody in that position.”

In his interview back in late January, Wentz didn’t dismiss everything in the report and even admitted he can be selfish (see story). He then admitted the last couple years haven’t been easy on him as he went through the ACL injury and then the back injury this past season. 

Wentz even admitted that he probably “wasn’t the greatest teammate at times because I was emotionally kind of all over the place.” 

Sure, that’s an excuse, but it’s a pretty good one. Wentz does have a ton of pressure on him and it couldn’t have been easy to go through what he went through. Does that excuse him from being a good teammate? No, it doesn’t. 

But Matthews seemed to wish that his fellow teammates would have been more understanding of the situation Wentz was in.  

“Just reading it, obviously, it was a stretch,” Matthews said. “Even when you read the article, it feels like a scary story you’d read to your kid. It seemed like such a stretch. And so, I think the second Carson goes out there, they’ll play the Rocky theme music, he’ll start ballin’ and it’ll all be forgotten.”

Well, Matthews is absolutely right about that. If Wentz turns out to be the franchise quarterback the Eagles think he’ll be, this entire story will be forgotten.

A history lesson of the No. 53 pick in the NFL draft

A history lesson of the No. 53 pick in the NFL draft

During last year’s draft, the Eagles were opportunistic when they were on the clock with the 32nd pick. They knew there was a chance a team that wanted a quarterback would come calling. 

They were right. 

The Ravens wanted to get back in the first round to select their future starting quarterback Lamar Jackson and the Eagles were happy to oblige. The Eagles moved down to 52 and in that deal got back a second-rounder this year. The next day, the Eagles traded up a few spots to 49 to take Dallas Goedert. 

But they still have the second-rounder from the Ravens for this year and it’s actually better than their own second-round pick. It will be the 53rd pick, while the Eagles’ own second-round pick is at 57. 

In all, the Eagles are expected to have nine draft picks this year, including the extra second-rounder from the Ravens as well as a few more compensatory picks in later rounds. 

We already gave a history lesson on the No. 25 pick (see story), but now it’s time to see the history on these second-round picks. We’ll look at 53 today and 57 Thursday. 

The Eagles have had the 53rd pick just twice in the modern era. Both times, they’ve used it on a running back. Perry Harrington in 1980 and LeSean McCoy in 2009. 

Here’s a look at the pick’s history over the last 10 years: 

2018: M.J. Stewart, CB, UNC (Bucs) 
As a rookie last year, Stewart played in 11 games and started three. He had 33 combined tackles and three passes defensed. He took over as a starter when Vernon Hargreaves went down, but then Stewart hurt his foot and missed five games. He ended up playing 28.7 percent of the Bucs’ defensive snaps. It’s unclear what Stewart’s role will be with the Bucs in 2019. 

2017: Teez Tabor, CB, Florida (Lions) 
If Tabor ran faster at the combine, he might have been a first-round pick, but instead he ended up in the second. In two seasons with the Lions, he’s played in 22 games with five starts. He’s largely been a disappointment in Detroit. He hasn’t even been good enough to get on the field, but he still has two years left on his rookie deal. The Lions took Tabor 10 picks after the Eagles took Sidney Jones. 

2016: Su’a Cravens, LB, USC (Redskins) 
This is an interesting one. Cravens was drafted as a linebacker, but played safety and played in 11 games as a rookie. He was expected to be a starter in 2017, but was placed on the reserve/left squad list as he contemplated retirement because of concussion issues. Eventually, Cravens decided to return and was reinstated by the league. He was then traded to Denver, where he played in just five games in 2018 thanks to a knee injury. When he was on the field in 2018, he didn’t play well, but he’s still just 23. 

2015: Jake Fisher, OT, Oregon (Bengals) 
In four years with the Bengals, Fisher played in 48 games with 12 starts. He started just one game in 2018 and ended his season on IR. Fisher has dealt with a few injuries in his career and is set to be a free agent this offseason. 

2014: Davante Adams, WR, Fresno State (Packers) 
In his five-year (and counting) career in Green Bay, Adams has caught 348 passes for over 4,000 yards. He has been named to the Pro Bowl in each of the last two seasons. He has 35 receiving touchdowns in the last three seasons; only Antonio Brown (36) has more. Adams signed a $58 million extension in December 2017 and is under contract through 2021. 

2013: Margus Hunt, DE, SMU (Bengals) 
The Estonian-born Hunt put up freakish numbers at the combine to get drafted this high, but didn’t have a great four years in Cincinnati. After his rookie contract ran out, Hunt spent the last two years with the Colts and began to find success. He had five sacks in 2018 and will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason. 

2012: Devon Still, DT, Penn State (Bengals) 
Still played three seasons with the Bengals and part of the 2016 season with the Texans, but never really made his mark in the NFL. After spending some of the 2017 summer with the Jets, Still retired from the NFL later that year. His young daughter has had a public battle with cancer; the two won the Jimmy V Award at the 2015 ESPYs. 

2011: Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State (Bears) 
The big DT from New Zealand put up an incredible 49 bench press reps at the combine before getting drafted. He played in 55 games with 40 starts over four years with the Bears. He then spent time in Washington, Cleveland and Dallas. He decided to retire in the middle of the 2017 season. 

2010: Jermaine Cunningham, DE, Florida (Patriots) 
In three seasons in New England, Cunningham played in 36 games with 14 starts for the Patriots. He was suspended for a PED offense and in 2015 was placed on probation in a revenge porn incident. He played in just two games after leaving the Patriots. Carlos Dunlap and Sean Lee were taken in the two spots after Cunningham. Oops. 

2009: LeSean McCoy, RB, Pittsburgh (Eagles) 
The last time the Eagles had No. 53, it worked out pretty well. They happened to draft the best running back in franchise history. McCoy went on to rush for 6,792 yards in an Eagles uniform (a record) and was a three-time Pro Bowler with the Eagles before Chip Kelly traded him to Buffalo. 

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