4/4 Mock Draft With Trades (Brandin Cooks Trade Edition)

1. Cleveland Browns: Sam Darnold QB: I don’t believe the reports saying the Browns are feigning interest in Darnold to secure Josh Allen. Darnold will be the pick here.  (Previous pick: Sam Darnold)

2. Buffalo Bills (Trade #12,#22, #65, and a 2019 third round pick to the Giants for #2.) Josh Allen QB: The #2 pick will be a quarterback, whether the Giants select one or not. I have been swayed over the past week that the Giants will be attempting to compete this year, and this trade back will not be the end of their moves in the draft. I have not been swayed on Josh Allen however, I think he needs a gigantic amount of work to succeed in the NFL. Across the league I haven’t heard any knocks on Allen from anyone that actually holds an NFL position however, which is why I’m mocking him as the first QB taken after Darnold.  (Previous pick: Josh Allen)

3. New York Jets: Baker Mayfield QB: At this point in the draft process, I think the clear cut best rookie QB for the 2018/2019 season will be Mayfield. The two knocks on him are “character issues” (which I believe is a media creation), and his height. His height is a non-issue for me, as he had one of the lowest percentages of balls being batted down out of the entire NCAA last year. He can lead a team, read a defense, and make every throw he needs to make to succeed at the NFL level.  (Previous pick: Baker Mayfield)

4. Cleveland Browns: Saquon Barkley RB: This is a very difficult selection to mock. The value in this pick is insane with Rosen and Barkley still on the board. At first I thought that the Browns didn’t need Barkley to succeed on offense, but one of the evolutions currently happening in the NFL is a necessity to have multiple high level RBs on your team to succeed. The Eagles trade of Jay Ajayi, and the Patriots repeated success prove this. A trade back would not surprise me, (especially a trade back to 5 a la the Bears/49ers last year) but I couldn’t find a partner that would be able to give the Browns a good enough pick in return. Barkley doesn’t need any introduction, he will instantly be one of the best backs in the league.  (Previous pick: Giants pick Bradley Chubb)

5. Denver Broncos: Quenton Nelson OG: I think the Broncos need to take a QB in this draft, but I also thing John Elway wants to give Case Keenum a real shot. Denver has some holes, but they also have elite talent on both sides of the ball. Nelson will be a perennial all-pro, and be protecting whoever is taking the snaps in Denver for many years to come.  (Previous pick: Quenton Nelson)

6. Indianapolis Colts: Bradley Chubb EDGE: The Colts would have loved the chance to draft Nelson, but their consolation prize isn’t bad either. Chubb is the complete package coming off the edge, and will have the entire defense around him better. The Colts still have a lot of holes, but a terror coming off the edge changes everything for an opposing offense.  (Previous pick: Saquon Barkley) 

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Minkah Fitzpatrick S: This is the first time I’ve listed Fitzpatrick as a safety, and that’s because the more tape I’ve watched on him the more that I realize his talents would be wasted at CB. Minkah will be able to command the defense like a general, and give everyone else the peace of mindthat if the play gets behind them they’re gonna have one of the most reliable play makers to take care of things. (Previous pick: Minkah Fitzpatrick)

8. Arizona Cardinals (Trade #15, #47, #152, and a 2019 second round pick to the Bears) Josh Rosen QB: At first glance this may look like too much to pay to move up 7 spots, but the Bears have all the leverage here. They know anyone trading up will be going for a QB, and Rosen is the last elite prospect on the board. Luckily for the Bears I don’t see a great fit for them here aside from possible Derwin James, and if they love him they should have an opportunity to move back up for him. Sam Bradford is obviously not the long term solution in Arizona, but he will allow Rosen to learn how to be an NFL QB at his own pace. (Previous pick: Bears pick Denzel Ward)

9. San Francisco 49ers: Tremaine Edmunds LB: This is another one of those “Too good to be true picks” as Edmunds might be the best fit for this team out of all players previously selected. With Rueben Foster’s future in doubt, Edmunds will be a physical force in the middle of a much-improved defense. (Previous pick: Tremaine Edmunds)

10. Oakland Raiders: Denzel Ward CB: Yet again we have another perfect fit. This defense needs elite players at nearly all levels, and Ward will get to play alongside his college teammate Gareon Conley. (Previous pick: Josh Jackson)

11. Chicago Bears: (Trade #15, #47, and a 2019 third round pick to the Dolphins) Derwin James S: I think this is the player that fit best for the Bears at 8, and they were able to pick up a couple extra picks and still grab him. James is an incredibly talented safety, and will fit a position of need for the Bears. (Previous pick: Cardinals pick Josh Rosen)

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12. New York Giants: Roquan Smith LB: There’s no doubt that Roquan will be a successful NFL player, with his great speed and ability to play outside the numbers and in coverage. He will start the season playing as the Will, with the possibility of moving to the Sam if his struggles continue in the inside run game. Either way, the Giants will be happy to get an impact player after picking up so much draft capital.          (Previous pick: Giants pick Calvin Ridley)

13. Washington Redskins: Vita Vea DT: The Redskins were one of the worst teams against the run last year. Vea is one of the few players that will plug up holes against the run while still making a large impact on passing downs. (Previous pick: Derwin James)

14. Green Bay Packers: Josh Jackson CB: The Packers need to shore up their defense, and Jackson is the best defensive player available. (Previous pick: Roquan Smith)

15. Miami Dolphins: Connor Williams OL: Williams is listed as a tackle, but can play any position on the line. That versatility should keep him starting for the Dolphins for a long time. (Previous pick: Connor Williams)

16. Baltimore Ravens: Calvin Ridley WR: I think that Sutton is a better fit for the Ravens, but the value doesn’t match the pick and there isn’t a great opportunity to trade down. Ridley is elite when he has the ball in space, and will help lighten the load for the Ravens’ other offensive players. (Previous pick: Cowboys pick Rashaan Evans)

17. Los Angeles Chargers: OT Mike McGlinchey: The Chargers look like they’re set for a long time with Forrest Lamp and Dan Feeney in the middle. Not so much at the tackle position. (Previous pick: Mike McGlinchey)

18. Cleveland Browns: (Trade #33, #64, and #114 to the Seahawks) Harold Landry EDGE: The Seahawks only have one pick in the top #119, so I think a trade back is going to happen no matter what. The team is full of holes, and if they want to do a quick reload instead of a full rebuild, they need extra picks this year. Landry is an excellent fit on the Browns, and will be able to be a gigantic impact on passing downs, and Gregg Williams will eventually mold him into the perfect compliment to Myles Garrett. (Previous pick: Seahawks pick Billy Price)

19. Dallas Cowboys: Rashaan Evans LB: Another perfect fit, Evans just had his visit to Dallas. If he’s available, he’ll be the pick. (Previous pick: Browns select Harold Landry)

20. Detroit Lions: Isaiah Oliver CB: A lot of people would say this is too early for Oliver, but the fit here is perfect. Oliver has yardsticks for arms, and great athleticism and ball skills. Matt Patricia could turn him into DROY. (Previous pick: Jaire Alexander)

21. Cincinnati Bengals: Jaire Alexander CB: He’s the last CB with a first-round grade, and has tremendous upside. (Previous pick: Isaiah Oliver)

22. New York Giants: Derrius Guice RB: With their first pick they get a monster on defense, and now they get one on offense. Guice doesn’t grade as high as Barkley, but there’s no reason he can’t be the feature back on an NFL team. (Previous pick: Ravens select Courtland Sutton)

23. New England Patriots: Marcus Davenport EDGE: There’s a lot of talk about the Patriots wanting two first round picks for the opportunity to trade up and get a guy like Rosen, and while that might happen, that isn’t why they traded Brandin Cooks. Cooks got dealt because he only has one year left on his deal, and the last time he played football he was knocked out, you don’t need a plan when you pull off a steal like that. Back to the pick, I think the only holes on New England are DE and OL, and there’s no good value pick for OL here. New England gets lucky and Davenport falls right into their lap. (Previous pick: Rams pick Marcus Davenport)

24. Carolina Panthers: Da’Ron Payne DT: Immediately fills the shoes of Star Lotulelei (Previous pick: Vita Vea)

25. Tennessee Titans: Sam Hubbard EDGE: There’s always room on a team for a guy that creates the kind of disruption in the backfield Hubbard does. (Previous pick: Sam Hubbard)

26. Atlanta Falcons: Christian Kirk WR: Could do really special things across the middle if defenses keep committing all their resources towards covering Julio. (Previous pick: Christian Kirk)

27. New Orleans Saints: Lamar Jackson QB: Lamar will have the opportunity to sit and learn within a winning culture, and behind one of the most high-character guys in the league. The physical tools are there but he will still need to learn how to run an offense at an NFL level. (Previous pick: Lamar Jackson)

28. Pittsburgh Steelers: Leighton Vander Esch LB: Ryan Shazier’s future is still unknown, and Vander Esch will make impact plays at the LB position whether Shazier is around or not. (Previous pick: Derrius Guice)

29. Jacksonville Jaguars: Courtland Sutton WR: The Jaguars might have gotten good production from the WR position last year, but they are very inexperienced. I believe that Sutton can be a real #1 option in the NFL, and will help be a safety net for Blake Bortles. (Previous pick: Leighton Vander Esch)

30. Minnesota Vikings: Billy Price OL: Price can play anywhere in the middle of the line, and that versatility will be important as the Vikings look to protect their QB. (Previous pick: James Daniels)

31. New England Patriots: Kolton Miller OT: Miller will compete to fill the hole left by Nate Solder. (Previous pick: Kolton Miller)

32. Philadelphia Eagles: Isaiah Wynn OL: He’s a little bit of a tweener between G and OT, but no matter where he ends up playing, he’ll do so at a very high level. (Previous pick: Isaiah Wynn)

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