The NFL Draft has finally arrived and so has all the buzz that surrounds it. Responsible for producing a website based on analytics, RotoUnderworld’s NFL mock draft will not contain inferior prospects such as Josh Allen. While Allen will likely go near the top of Round 1, he certainly does not belong there based on advanced metrics. Instead, this mock draft will show where prospects should go based on their complete advanced stats, metrics, and analytics collegiate profile.
1. Cleveland Browns – Baker Mayfield, QB
In a loaded 2018 quarterback class Baker Mayfield rises to the top. Mayfield checks all of the NFL boxes, including a Breakout Age of 18.4 (100th-percentile), a College QBR of 92.6 (98th-percentile), a College YPA of 11.5 (99th-percentile), and a throw velocity of 60 mph (97th-percentile). Per ProFootballFocus, Mayfield excelled when under pressure, recording the number one passer rating under pressure the past three seasons. To top it all off Mayfield holds three of the top seven graded quarterback seasons since 2014, including the top two. Mayfield deserves to be the selection at number 1 and it is not close.
2. New York Giants – Sam Darnold, QB
Assuming the Giants remain at number two, given that Dave Gettleman has never traded down while in the position of GM, Sam Darnold looks to be the most likely selection. The youngest quarterback in this draft, Darnold posted a 19.3 Breakout Age (87th-percentile), a 80.4 College QBR (75th-percentile), and a College YPA of 8.5 (64th-percentile). With Eli Manning declining sharply, the Giants land their quarterback of the future here.
3. New York Jets – Lamar Jackson, QB
Widely considered among the second tier of quarterbacks, 2016 Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson deserves to be drafted near the top. Jackson’s dominant collegiate profile contains a 18.7 Breakout Age (97th-percentile), 85.0 College QBR (89th-percentile), and 8.5 College YPA (64th-percentile). While Jackson deserves criticism for his low completion percentage of 56.2-percent, he brings an added element of athleticism on the ground. Jackson did not test at the combine, but he posted more rushing yards in his career (4,132) and in 2017 (1,601) than Saquon Barkley (3,843/1,271). Colin Cowherd recently questioned Jackson’s ability to convert on 3rd down, but Benjamin Solak on Twitter showed that Jackson had the highest adjusted conversion rate on 3rd and 5+ yards with 52.2-percent.
4. Cleveland Browns – Denzel Ward, CB
Coming from a long line of Ohio State cornerbacks, the Browns find themselves with Denzel Ward. Most comparable player is former teammate Marshon Lattimore, Ward’s 4.32 40-yard dash (100th-percentile) tops the class and equates to a 105.1 Speed Score (87th-percentile). He also notched a 134.3 Burst Score (97th-percentile), showing his elite athleticism.
5. Denver Broncos – Saquon Barkley, RB
This year’s consensus top running back, Saquon Barkely falls right into John Elway’s lap at pick five. After investing heavily in Case Keenum, the Broncos could look to build around the quarterback position rather than invest additional assets into it. Barkley posted 96th-percentile or greater workout metrics, finishing as a 99th-percentile Sparq-X athlete. Barley’s College Target Share of 14.8-percent (93rd-percentile) shows he has the ability catch the ball out of the backfield and truly change an NFL offense.
6. Indianapolis Colts – Bradley Chubb, EDGE
After trading back with the Jets, the Colts fill their need at edge rusher with Bradley Chubb. After notching 10 sacks each of the past two seasons, Chubb recorded a 4.65 40-yard dash at 269-pounds (88th-percentile Speed Score) and an Burst Score of 121.7 (80th-percentile). Best comparable to Jadeveon Clowney, Chubb should anchor the Colts defensive line for the better part of the next decade.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Derwin James, S
With a gaping need on the back end, Derwin James presents a no-brainer pick at seven. The Buccaneers recently brought James in for a visit with the team and asked him to participate in a private workout, which he turned down. James played every position in Florida State’s secondary and at 6-2, 215-pounds, he has the size to matchup against NFL tight ends and running backs. Running a 4.47 40-yard dash (84th-percentile) he can also cover receivers in sub packages.
8. Chicago Bears – Quenton Nelson, OG
While he could go as high as number two to the Giants, Quenton Nelson falls to the Bears here at number eight. The draft’s top offensive line prospect, Nelson fills an immediate need for the Bears after Josh Sitton left in free agency. Per ProFootballFocus, Nelson only allowed one sack and five pressures on 411 pass blocking snaps.
9. San Francisco 49ers – Roquan Smith, LB
Butkus Award winner and SEC Defensive Player of the Year, Roquan Smith offers everything the 49ers thought Reuben Foster could be. Filling an immediate need, Smith makes too much sense for San Francisco. Smith posted a top five Speed Score of 114.1 (94th-percentile), showing the ability to stay on the field for all three downs. The 49ers met with both Smith and Tremaine Edmunds ahead of the draft, showing their interest in the position.
10. Oakland Raiders – Tremaine Edmunds, LB
Two consecutive linebackers come off the board to round out the top 10. Tremaine Edmunds fills a need at inside linebacker for the Raiders. Like Smith just ahead of him, Edmunds also posted a top five Speed Score of 119.1 (97th-percentile). Not yet 21-years old, Edmunds recorded 5.5 sacks this past season, adding the ability to rush the passer as a blitzer.
11. Miami Dolphins – Josh Jackson, CB
The second corner off the board, Josh Jackson lands in Miami. Jackson led the NCAA with eight interceptions this past season, and recorded twenty-six pass breakups. Jackson disappointed in the 40-yard dash at 4.56 (32nd-percentile), but his 10.89 Agility Score (83rd-percentile) and 10.18 Catch Radius (80th-percentile) keep him near the top of the draft. With NFL length and proven play making ability, Jackson should slide in opposite Xavien Howard.
12. Buffalo Bills – Josh Rosen, QB
Clearly targeting a quarterback, the Bills get their guy in Josh Rosen. Rosen posted a below-average 67.1 College QBR (33rd-percentile) and a 7.9 College YPA (43rd-percentile). Rosen also dealt with shoulder injuries throughout his career and concussions while at UCLA. Despite possessing traits that draft evaluators target, Rosen has yet to put it all together on the field. Closely comparable to Eli Manning, the Bills would be ecstatic if Rosen could amount to that level as a pro.
13. Washington Redskins – Minkah Fitzpatrick, CB
With needs at multiple positions, the Redskins select versatile chess piece Minkah Fitzpatrick. Although Fitzpatrick played only a handful of snaps at outside corner, the Redskins will likely try Fitzpatrick on the boundary at first. However, at 6-0, 204-pounds Fitzpatrick can easily slide into the safety positions, if corner does not work out.
14. Green Bay Packers – Harold Landry, EDGE
With a dire need at pass rusher, Green Bay steals Harold Landry at pick 14. An athletic specimen, Landry recorded a 4.64 40-yard dash (87th-percentile), a 120.7 Burst Score (77th-percentile), and a 11.07 Agility Score (97th-percentile). Landry’s best season came in 2016, when he led the nation with 16.5 sacks. Landry battled an ankle injury in 2017, which limited him to nine games. The Packers hope their first round pick returns to 2016 form.
15. Arizona Cardinals – Mason Rudolph, QB
With only Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon on the roster, the Cardinals address the quarterback position with Mason Rudolph. Deceptively, Rudolph finished 2017 with some of the best quarterback measurable. He finished just behind Baker Mayfield with a 84.9 College QBR (88th-percentile) and a 10.7 College YPA (98th-percentile). At 6-5, 235-pounds Rudolph also possesses prototypical NFL size.
16. Baltimore Ravens – D.J. Moore, WR
Despite Ozzie Newsome’s affinity for Alabama players, the Ravens pass on Calvin Ridley and select D.J. Moore. Unlike Ridley, D.J. tested like an elite athlete, posting a 40-yard dash of 4.42 (89th-percentile) and a Burst Score of 133.2 (94th-percentile). Despite playing with eight different quarterbacks in college, Moore finished his final college season with a 53.3-percent (97th-percentile) College Dominator Rating.
17. Los Angeles Chargers – Maurice Hurst, DL
After leaving the combine with a heart condition, a few teams will remove Maurice Hurst from their draft board. However, Hurst participated in Michigan’s pro day after doctors cleared him for football activities. Highly productive in college, Hurst ranked first in ProFootballFocus total pressure metric. Going to Los Angeles, he will round out a defensive line unit with Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram.
18. Seattle Seahawks – Isaiah Wynn, G
With a depleted roster and no second/third round picks, the Seahawks are a trade-back candidate. Staying at 18 in this draft, they select Isaiah Wynn and give Russell Wilson the protection he needs. Per PFF, Wynn allowed 4 sacks, 2 hurries, and 20 pressures in 1,104 pass blocking snaps at Georgia. In a division that includes Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh on the interior, Wynn provides immediate relief up front.
19. Dallas Cowboys – Courtland Sutton, WR
Dallas finds its Dez Bryant replacement in Courtland Sutton at pick 19. Sutton projects to play the X-receiver role in Dallas. He closely compares to Alshon Jeffery after testing with an elite Agility Score of 10.68 (97th-percentile) and a massive Catch Radius of 10.27 (90th-percentile). Dallas desperately needs receivers and Sutton looks to be the answer.
20. Detroit Lions – Marcus Davenport, EDGE
With Ezekiel Ansah playing on the franchise tag, the Lions need to consider their future at pass rusher. Picking at 20, they get elite athlete but project player, Marcus Davenport. Davenport notched a Speed Score of 120.0 (95th-percentile) and a Burst Score of 119.0 (73rd-percentile). Coming out of UTSA, Davenport faces a significant learning curve in the NFL. However, the Lions have the ability to let Davenport learn behind Ansah in 2018.
21. Cincinnati Bengals – Will Hernandez, OG
Losing Kevin Zeitler and Andrew Whitworth completely derailed Cincinnati’s offense in 2017. At pick 21, they address the interior with Will Hernandez. Hernandez closely compares to Jason Peters at 6-2, 327-pounds, with 35 ¼ inch arms. With this size the Bengals could try Hernandez at tackle as well, but he projects to protect Andy Dalton from the interior.
22. Buffalo Bills – Mike McGlinchey, OT
With a weak tackle class, Mike McGlinchey falls all the way to the Bills at pick 22. After losing Cordy Glenn to the Bengals, the Bills suddenly have a need at tackle. Per PFF, McGlinchey only allowed 16 pressures on 411 pass blocking snaps. A mammoth of a man, McGlinchey came to the combine at 6-8, 309-pounds. The Bills now have protection for their rookie signal caller.
23. New England Patriots – Jaire Alexander, CB
Letting Malcolm Butler go to the Titans, the Patriots find his replacement in Jaire Alexander. Alexander smashed the combine, running a 4.38 40-yard dash (94th-percentile) and recording a 10.69 Agility Score (93rd-percentile). Alexander also closely compares to Stephon Gilmore, a corner Bill Belichik payed $65 million dollars in 2017.
24. Carolina Panthers – Sam Hubbard, EDGE
After missing out on the draft’s elite pass rushers, Carolina settles for Sam Hubbard at 24. Although he didn’t have the same production, Hubbard closely compares to former teammate Joey Bosa. Like Bosa, Hubbard recorded disappointing speed with a 40-yard dash of 5.00 (10th-percentile). However, he posted an elite Agility Score of 11.16 (92nd-percentile), similar to Bosa. With Julius Peppers in place as a mentor, Hubbard could succeed in Carolina.
25. Tennessee Titans – Leighton Vander Esch, LB
Without many glaring needs, the Titans select Leighton Vander Esch to bolster the second level of their defense. 2017 Mountain West defensive player of the year, Vander Esch recorded 141 tackles, 4 sacks, and two interceptions in 2017. At 6-4, 256-pounds Vander Esch should play inside for the Titans. However, his Speed Score of 109.5 (88th-percentile) and Agility Score of 11.03 (91st-percentile) should allow him to stay on the field for all three downs.
26. Atlanta Falcons – Vita Vea, DL
At 26 the Falcons select Vita Vea and solidify their defensive line. Closely comparable to Dontari Poe, Vita Vea should play a similar role to the ex-Falcon. At 6-4, 347-pounds, Vea can disrupt from the interior and fill multiple gaps in the run game.
27. New Orleans Saints – Dallas Goedert, TE
After struggling at the tight end position for years, the Saints draft Dallas Goedert. A mega-producer at South Dakota State, Goedert recorded a College Dominator of 30.7-percent (89th-percentile). At 6-5, 256-pounds, Goedert also possesses the size to work inside as a blocker.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers – Rashaan Evans, LB
With Ryan Shazier out of the lineup, the Steelers draft his replacement in Rashaan Evans. Although Evans did not complete a full workout, he produced when called upon at Alabama. In 2017 he led the Crimson Tide with 13 tackles for loss and 74 tackles. On top of his tackle making ability, he showed that he can rush the passer in his final season at Alabama.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars – Wyatt Teller, OG
Without many needs, the Jaguars select Wyatt Teller to bolster their offensive line. Committed to hiding Blake Bortles, Teller excels at pass blocking. Teller did not allow a single sack in 2017 and should protect Bortles from the interior. Teller adds to an interior group that already contains Andrew Norwell and Brandon Linder.
30. Minnesota Vikings – Connor Williams, OT
After securing their franchise quarterback, the Vikings add tackle depth with Connor Williams. After starting only five games in 2017, due to a knee injury, the Vikings hope Williams returns to his dominant 2016 form. A little undersized 6-5, 296-pounds, Williams may end up inside for the Vikings.
31. New England Patriots – Justin Reid, S
The Patriots again add to their back end with Justin Reid at pick 31. An elite athlete, Reid recorded a 40-yard dash of 4.40 (96th-percentile) and an Agility Score of 10.80 (92nd-percentile). Brother of Eric Reid, Justin Reid solidifies the Patriots back end.
32. Philadelphia Eagles – Derrius Guice, RB
After losing LeGarrette Blount and with Jay Ajayi on the last year of his rookie deal, the Eagles take LSU running back Derrius Guice. Comparable to Ezekiel Elliott, Guice recorded a Speed Score of 110.2 (91st-percentile). Although he was hampered by injuries in 2017, Guice recorded a 32.2-percent Dominator Rating (70th-percentile).