2018 NFL Mock Draft: Chris Simms' Final Predictions
Draft week is an exciting time in the NFL. It's full of possibilities. It's full of drama, and above all else, it's extremely unpredictable. The mystery, of course, is part of the fun.
If you spend a few minutes on the internet, you're going to find a plethora of people trying to predict what teams will do when the draft kicks off Thursday. Well, that isn't what you'll find here.
I've been around the NFL a long time, and I love putting my experience and knowledge to work during the predraft process. However, I don't spend hundreds of hours trying to figure out what teams are thinking or how they view prospects. I spend that time breaking down game film, analyzing players and talking to people who know them.
It doesn't make a lot of sense to try to determine which guys teams want when the first couple of picks could throw those desires out the window.
I'm going to keep things within the realm of possibility—I won't have the Cleveland Browns drafting two quarterbacks in the top five, even if that would give them a better chance of finally getting the position right. This mock draft is based primarily on my research and analysis.
Consider it built on each team's needs and how I would address them if each franchise gave me the keys to its general manager's office. I won't predict trades because, well, that's just as silly as pretending to know what teams are thinking.
1. Cleveland Browns: QB Josh Allen, Wyoming
If I'm the Cleveland Browns, I'm taking Josh Allen at No. 1.
There are concerns about his 56.2 completion percentage, but I'm sick of hearing about them. The guy played outside in 40-degree Wyoming weather and had terrible talent around him. He also threw far fewer screens than the other top quarterbacks. If Allen threw 10 passes a game behind the line of scrimmage, we wouldn't be talking about his completion percentage.
Allen has the highest ceiling, and he has the highest floor, too. People have it wrong if they think he has the biggest bust potential. He had the best Wonderlic score among top quarterback prospects, has elite size at 6'5", 237 pounds, has elite athleticism for that size and has as an arm that is John Elway-esque. These are superstar traits.
Allen may need a little time to adjust to the pro game, but he's the best fit for a Todd Haley scheme and for what the Browns will want to do offensively.
2. New York Giants: RB Saquon Barkley, Penn State
I don't believe the New York Giants are going to go quarterback at No. 2. I simply can't look at the remaining quarterback prospects and see any of them as a guaranteed franchise QB.
They're going to grab Penn State running back Saquon Barkley, and that's what I'd do as well.
The Giants are closer than many people think. Let's not forget they were in the playoffs two years ago. New York needs to add a player who can help it win now, and that's exactly what Barkley is. He's the best player in the draft and the type of running back who comes around only once a decade.
Barkley is going to be even better with the Giants than he was in college. He'll be in an offense that knows how to utilize all his skills, and he'll have other weapons around him to command defensive attention. With Barkley and Odell Beckham Jr., New York could have the two best offensive players who aren't quarterbacks this season.
3. New York Jets: QB Josh Rosen, UCLA
When the New York Jets traded up to No. 3 overall, everyone knew it was to get a quarterback. The only question was which one would it be? I'm going with Josh Rosen. There has been talk that the Jets like Sam Darnold and Baker Mayfield, but the UCLA product is the most ready to play right away.
This is important for the Jets because both general manager Mike Maccagnan and head coach Todd Bowles likely need to win now to keep their jobs.
Is Rosen the ideal prospect from an athletic standpoint? No, but he's a polished dropback passer and is the prospect most likely to succeed if asked to win games as a rookie. He's a consistent, accurate thrower, and the Jets should have to change little about their offense to transition from Josh McCown to Rosen.
In addition, Rosen has the personality and maturity to handle playing in front of the New York media.
4. Cleveland Browns: DE Bradley Chubb, NC State
With a quarterback in the bag and Barkley off the board, Cleveland will go with NC State's Bradley Chubb. While Chubb doesn't remind me of a Khalil Mack, Von Miller or even a Myles Garrett coming out, he's close.
Chubb actually reminds me of Giants edge-rusher Olivier Vernon. He might not dominate every contest, but there's no weakness to his game.
By adding Chubb, the Browns would be getting a guy who'll go to a handful of Pro Bowls and be a really good football player for as long as Cleveland wants to keep him.
Chubb's addition would also automatically put the team in the conversation for having the best pass-rusher duo in football with him and Garrett.
5. Denver Broncos: G Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame
The Denver Broncos got themselves a quarterback by adding Case Keenum, but their offense is still lacking. Denver has had no semblance of a running game over the past couple of years, and a lack of size and talent along the offensive line is a big reason why.
That is why Notre Dame's Quenton Nelson is an easy choice at No. 5. Nelson is as good a guard prospect as I've seen since I got into this business, and he could be in the conversation for the league's best guard in Year 1.
Heck, if you told me he's going to make five or six All-Pro teams during his career, I'd buy it.
Nelson is one of the best players in this draft, and he'll help the Broncos in two big ways. He'll add some punch up front in the running game, and he'll ensure Keenum has the time in the pocket to do what he was brought in to do.
6. Indianapolis Colts: DE Marcus Davenport, Texas-San Antonio
The Indianapolis Colts have a lot of holes on their roster and could go many different ways at No. 6. Indianapolis could go offensive line, though I believe the line is in better shape than people realize. It could also go cornerback, but there isn't one worth taking this high.
Instead, the Colts should go with Texas-San Antonio pass-rusher Marcus Davenport. He's one of the safest picks in the draft, and he's a tremendous fit for the Dallas Cowboys-style scheme Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus will run.
Davenport can be Indianapolis' version of DeMarcus Ware. He's a standout athlete at 6'6" and 264 pounds, and he has the versatility to excel against both the pass and run.
Adding him would instantly improve Indianapolis' front seven.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: S Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers could use help along the offensive line, but they should be able to find it at the top of Round 2. They're not going to land an elite defensive back like Minkah Fitzpatrick there, though, so scooping him up here would be smart.
The Buccaneers had the league's 32nd-ranked pass defense last season. Tampa added Jason Pierre-Paul and Vinny Curry in the offseason, which should boost the pass rush. Now it's time to improve the secondary.
The Buccaneers have watched Vernon Hargreaves struggle at times, Brent Grimes is nearing the end of his career, and there is nothing special at the safety spots. They aren't one defensive back away from having a good defense; they're several away.
This is why Fitzpatrick makes so much sense. He can be a Pro Bowl free safety as a rookie, but he also has the versatility to play cornerback or nickelback if Tampa Bay needs him to.
8. Chicago Bears: LB Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech
The Chicago Bears have one of the best offensive lines in football, so I don't think they'll go there. They just gave a ton of money to Kyle Fuller and re-signed Prince Amukamara too, so it doesn't make a ton of sense to go cornerback.
The one thing the Bears are missing is a big-time middle linebacker. That's why I'd take Tremaine Edmunds from Virginia Tech.
Edmunds is built to play in a 3-4 defense, which is the base of defensive coordinator Vic Fangio's system. He's an elite athlete with fluid hips and great change-of-direction in coverage. He's great against both the run and pass, and he can bring pressure up the middle.
Adding Edmunds could give the Bears their new version of Brian Urlacher.
9. San Francisco 49ers: OT Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame
The San Francisco 49ers could look to bolster the secondary or look for insurance for Reuben Foster's uncertain future. Ultimately, though, they'll pull the trigger on Notre Dame tackle Mike McGlinchey.
I know my good friend Kyle Shanahan loves athletic offensive linemen, and at 33, Joe Staley is getting up there in age. Adding McGlinchey would give Shanahan what he likes and give the 49ers their heir at left tackle.
McGlinchey is an athletic lineman. He moves well in space when pass blocking, and he's extremely powerful at the point of attack in the run game. I got to watch him in person at every Notre Dame home game last season, and he never failed to impress.
Now, McGlinchey might not be ready to be an NFL left tackle right away. However, San Francisco could put him on the right side for a year or two and then have its franchise left tackle for the next eight-plus years. He can both help protect Jimmy Garoppolo and lead Shanahan's run game.
10. Oakland Raiders: LB Roquan Smith, Georgia
I like Roquan Smith for the Oakland Raiders at No. 10. Yes, it could go secondary, but Oakland has drafted safeties the last two years, has Reggie Nelson on the back end and took cornerback Gareon Conley in the first round last year.
Based on film, the most glaring need is in the middle of the defense. The Raiders have talent along the defensive line and potential in the secondary. However, cleaning up the trash and covering in the middle of the field has been a problem.
This is why Smith can have an immediate impact. He is a sideline-to-sideline playmaker who fits right into defensive coordinator Paul Guenther's system. He'll help improve the Raiders' second-level coverage and has the speed to make a quick path to running backs and receivers when the ball is in their hands.
Smith can be Oakland's version of Vontaze Burfict.
11. Miami Dolphins, DT Vita Vea, Washington
The Dolphins could go quarterback here, but if I'm in charge, I'm sticking with Ryan Tannehill and addressing other needs. With Ndamukong Suh now playing for the Los Angeles Rams, one of Miami's biggest needs is along the defensive line.
This is why I'd scoop up Washington's Vita Vea.
Vea is a jaw-dropping player, and I wouldn't be shocked if he goes higher. He's a perfect 4-3 defensive tackle. He has plenty of size at 6'4" and 347 pounds, but he isn't just a space-eater who makes a mosh pit of things in the middle. He's a legitimate playmaker. He gets upfield, and he disrupts.
Vea may carry a lot of weight on his frame, but he's nimble and athletic. In the NFL it's not all about size or build; it's about results. Vea's results speak for themselves, and he made for one of the most fun watches in my predraft process.
12. Buffalo Bills: QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
I don't like the idea of drafting a 6'1" quarterback who runs a 4.84-second 40-yard dash in the top 10. This is why Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield is still available at No. 12. I'm also not positive Mayfield's personality will be attractive to Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott, who is a strict disciplinarian, but Mayfield has the arm talent and the decision-making needed to succeed in Buffalo.
Mayfield is a pure thrower, and he'll have no issues cutting through the winter weather in Buffalo. He can make every throw an NFL team could ask of him, he's accurate, and he isn't going to make drive-killing mistakes often.
While Mayfield does have some drawbacks, he is the third-best quarterback in this class. The Bills need a franchise quarterback, and they'll get one in Mayfield.
I know the Dolphins like Mayfield too, so I won't be surprised if the Bills make a trade to leapfrog them. However, I wouldn't go quarterback if I'm Miami, and I'm not mocking trades, so Buffalo gets its man.
13. Washington Redskins: S Derwin James, Florida State
The Washington Redskins could use another big man in the middle of their defense, but they added Jonathan Allen in Round 1 last year. They could also use a cornerback, but they at least have Josh Norman on one side and Fabian Moreau to develop. This is why it's Derwin James all the way here for me.
James is a tremendous safety. He has good range, he's a force in the box, and he's aggressive. James doesn't want to just hit you—he wants to take your head off. He'll provide the same things the Redskins got from Su'a Cravens when he was healthy, but he'll do them better.
For a team that's a little soft in the middle of the defense, James would add a lot. Whether Washington decides to play him as a true strong safety or as an extra linebacker, his physicality and aggressiveness are going to shine through.
With the size-speed combinations running backs and tight ends are bringing to today's NFL, James is exactly the kind of safety teams need in the second level. He'll instantly improve the Washington defense.
14. Green Bay Packers: CB Mike Hughes, UCF
With Jordy Nelson in Oakland, the Green Bay Packers could go wide receiver here. If I'm Green Bay, though, I'm looking for a shutdown corner. The Packers haven't had one in a long time. Plus, new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine is used to having guys like Darrelle Revis and Joe Haden on an island, which gives him more freedom with his defense.
The Packers are also in a division—the NFC North—that has a lot of quarterback talent and offensive firepower.
The play here is Mike Hughes from Central Florida. He's the best outside man-to-man corner in this draft. It's hard to find many instances where wide receivers got open against him, plus he'll quickly be in the mix as one of the top punt returners in football.
Hughes would give Green Bay a shutdown man corner and special teams value.
15. Arizona Cardinals: QB Lamar Jackson, Louisville
The Arizona Cardinals could add a variety of players. There are some nice pieces there, but it's far from a perfect roster. In addtion, Arizona lacks a true superstar—outside of Larry Fitzgerald, anyway—which is why Lamar Jackson makes a ton of sense.
Do the Cardinals have more pressing needs? Sure, but the quarterback position isn't set for the long term, and Jackson is the signal-caller with the most upside in the draft. If he continues to develop as a passer, he can be one of the better quarterbacks in the league, and he'll be exciting to watch right out of the gate.
For a small-market team like the Cardinals, adding Jackson would immediately energize the fanbase. He's fun, has a great personality and is a marketing executive's dream.
Arizona is also a perfect situation for Jackson. The Cardinals have Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon, so Jackson will have time to develop. If the Cardinals want to throw him in sub-packages as a runner or a receiver as a rookie to get him used to the speed of the game, that's great. However, Jackson is a quarterback all the way, and he could be Arizona's franchise QB for the next decade-plus.
16. Baltimore Ravens: DE Harold Landry, Boston College
The Baltimore Ravens could go a number of ways at No. 16. They could take a tight end, and they could go wide receiver as well. It makes more sense, though, to make a pick that helps them get back to their defensive identity.
The question I'm asking if I'm in charge of the Ravens is who'll be our next Terrell Suggs? Baltimore needs to find that guy on its front seven that every other team will fear on a weekly basis.
At this spot, Boston College's Harold Landry is the perfect mix of player, position and value.
Landry is arguably the draft's most natural pass-rusher. He has great get-off, elite bend and tremendous strength. He can beat offensive tackles almost any which way you can imagine. He can use his speed to get around the edge (he ran a 4.64-second 40 at the combine), and he can power through if the edge isn't there.
Landry could lead the NFL in sacks a few times in his career, and he's a guy Ravens fans will love.
17. Los Angeles Chargers: QB Sam Darnold, USC
You might be surprised to see USC's Sam Darnold available at No. 17, but I have several concerns about him. He isn't the best at any one thing among the draft's top quarterbacks, he doesn't have ideal pocket presence, his mechanics are ugly and he has a major turnover problem. With that said, Darnold can correct these issues and become a successful NFL quarterback, but he'll have to be in the right situation.
That could be with the Los Angeles Chargers. L.A. doesn't have any glaring weaknesses, so it can afford to take Darnold and sit him for a couple of years. Philip Rivers is 38, but he has at least a couple of quality seasons in him, and he'll be a great guy for Darnold to learn behind.
Here's the other reason this pairing makes sense: The Chargers have been getting one-upped by the Los Angeles Rams every step of the way over the last year. The Rams made the playoffs, have a young, exciting signal-caller in Jared Goff and added a bunch of wonderful pieces in free agency.
What better way to win over some of the L.A. fanbase than to draft the Southern California darling Darnold? The Chargers can set up their franchise for the future and get the fans going with a guy they're familiar with.
18. Seattle Seahawks: G Will Hernandez, UTEP
The Seattle Seahawks have a number of needs that could be addressed in Round 1, but the offensive line is by far the biggest. When Seattle was making its Super Bowl runs, it had standout linemen like Russell Okung, James Carpenter and Max Unger. In recent years, however, the line has been a joke, and Russell Wilson has been running for his life.
Will Hernandez is a hulking, powerful guard at 6'2" and 327 pounds. He can run block every bit as effectively as Nelson, and he'll be a force opening holes for the Seattle running game. This will help take pressure off Wilson.
Hernandez is also a tremendous athlete for his size. He has a great base, always keeps his feet under him and churning and won't be overpowered. He will neutralize interior pass-rushers, which will also make life easier on Wilson.
I also like that Hernandez has a bit of nasty in him. He'll fit right in with Seattle's aggressive identity, and he'll help restore balance to the Seahawks offense.
19. Dallas Cowboys: WR D.J. Moore, Maryland
The Dallas Cowboys could use a middle linebacker, but that's a need they can address in the second round. Getting a No. 1 receiver in Round 2 is far less likely, so Maryland receiver D.J. Moore is the right pick here.
Moore phenomenal at playing the ball in the air, and he'll make life easier on Dak Prescott. He's also the draft's most explosive receiver with the ball in his hands. Dallas can use him to attack downfield, but it can also use him on screens and speed-sweeps and even out of the backfield.
Moore is the perfect weapon to pair with Ezekiel Elliott because opposing defenses will think twice about leaving him one-on-one in coverage. That's going to open things up for Elliott and the run game.
While Moore has room to grow as a receiver, he's one of the most gifted athletes in the draft. Dallas will be able to use him immediately, and he could become a top-five NFL wideout in a couple of years.
20. Detroit Lions: CB Jaire Alexander, Louisville
The Detroit Lions could use a running back. However, general manager Bob Quinn and new head coach Matt Patricia both came from the New England Patriots, and I don't believe they value the running back position enough to take one here.
Patricia is a defensive coach, and he's going to want his defense to look good in his first year. Oh, and this just in: The Patriots really value man-cover corners, and Patricia probably values them, too. Plus, the Lions have to face plenty of quarterback talent in the NFC North. This is why Louisville's Jaire Alexander would be my choice.
The Lions need speed on the defensive side, and Alexander is one of the twitchiest, most explosive players in the draft. He ran a blistering 4.38-second 40 at the combine, which shows his straight-line speed. His short-area quickness is also phenomenal, as evidenced by his 6.71-second three-cone drill and 3.98-second short shuttle.
In addition, Alexander plays with swagger and loves to get in the face of receivers. He's the kind of aggressive corner Patricia will love, and he could be one of the league's most dangerous return specialists from day one.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: DT Da'Ron Payne, Alabama
The Cincinnati Bengals could use help on the offensive line. However, they have guys they've drafted, and I believe Cincinnati will give them at least one more year to develop. Instead, the team should and will address its 30th-ranked run defense.
This is why I would go with Da'Ron Payne from Alabama.
He's a tremendous football player, and he can do anything you ask him to along the interior defensive line. He can make plays as a 3-technique. He's also strong and stout enough to play nose tackle in Cincinnati's scheme and make a mess of things at the line of scrimmage. He can be a force in the run game, too. Think of Payne as a young Kawann Short.
The Bengals lost Domata Peko to Denver last offseason, and Geno Atkins just turned 30. Drafting Payne would add both youth and talent at an area of need for Cincinnati.
22. Buffalo Bills: G Isaiah Wynn, Georgia
Now that the Bills have addressed the quarterback position, they need to strengthen the offensive line in front of him. Buffalo traded Cordy Glenn, and I have no idea what's going on with Richie Incognito, so line is the biggest need after quarterback.
Georgia's Isaiah Wynn is the perfect fit for the Buffalo offense. He played offensive tackle in college, but at 6'3" and 313 pounds, he's physically suited to play guard as a pro. Wynn should be an elite guard too, as his experience at tackle has helped him develop tremendous footwork and movement skills.
Wynn has long arms, can move well in a phone booth and can drive defenders at the point of attack. There isn't a defensive tackle in the league the Bills will be worried about matching up against Wynn one-on-one.
Wynn will help improve the Buffalo running game and will help protect AJ McCarron and/or Mayfield from the interior pass rush. Plus, he's versatile enough to slide over to tackle in a pinch.
23. New England Patriots: CB Carlton Davis, Auburn
The New England Patriots have a few needs, especially after losing guys like Dion Lewis, Danny Amendola, Nate Solder and Malcolm Butler in free agency. The most pressing need, though, is at cornerback.
I know Bill Belichick wants two man-cover corners on his defense. If you can't win in man, he doesn't believe you can win. This is why finding a new running mate for Stephon Gilmore will be imperative. Auburn's Carlton Davis can be that guy.
He is one of the least talked-about prospects in this draft, but he deserves to go in the first round. He's also one of the five best corners in this class and is the best tall corner. The 6'1" Davis is phenomenal in man coverage, and he usually played on an island. In the SEC, that isn't easy.
Sure, I'd have liked to have seen Davis run faster than the 4.53-second 40 he ran at the combine, but he plays faster than that on film. He reminds me of Richard Sherman when he was coming out of Stanford, only more athletic and more explosive. Davis is missing from a lot of people's mock drafts—which I don't quite understand—and he's exactly the kind of guy Belichick will jump on.
24. Carolina Panthers: WR Calvin Ridley, Alabama
The Carolina Panthers could use help at cornerback and along the offensive line. However, there's a bigger hole at wide receiver. Carolina needs a downfield playmaker who can make an impact right away. A project at the position won't cut it.
This is why Alabama's Calvin Ridley makes sense at No. 24.
Now, Moore and LSU's D.J. Chark are more physically talented than Ridley. In this situation, though, I have to go with the guy who's most pro-ready and can help Cam Newton immediately.
This isn't to say Ridley won't be a great NFL receiver. He could be. He can do a little bit of everything well. He's explosive, and he's a good route-runner. I don't see a superstar in Ridley, but he can be a very, very good receiver, and he can be one from Day 1.
25. Tennessee Titans: LB Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State
This is a no-brainer pick for the Tennessee Titans. Brian Orakpo, 31, and Derrick Morgan, 29, are getting up there in age, and the Titans lost Avery Williamson in free agency. Tennessee now has Mike Vrabel as its head coach, and I think Vrabel will look for a linebacker who reminds him of himself.
This is why Leighton Vander Esch makes a ton of sense for Tennessee. Vander Esch is athletic and versatile enough to play both inside and outside, and he fits the New England-style scheme coordinator Dean Pees is likely to run.
I wish Vander Esch was a bit more physical, but that often develops at the pro level. Otherwise, his measurables and positional versatility will make him a favorite of Vrabel's.
At the worst, drafting Vander Esch would give Tennessee a very good 3-4 outside linebacker for years. He has the attributes, though, to be something special.
26. Atlanta Falcons: DT Taven Bryan, Florida
I could see the Atlanta Falcons looking at a tight end at No. 26. I could see them going tight end, too. However, it's more imperative that Atlanta finds a replacement for Dontari Poe next to standout defensive tackle Grady Jarrett.
Florida's Taven Bryan has the perfect skill set to fill that role in the Seattle-style defensive scheme the Falcons run.
Bryan reminds me of a poor man's J.J. Watt or Michael Bennett in terms of power and agility at the point of attack. He can shed blockers and create havoc in the backfield. He has quick hands and can disengage blocks as fast as anyone in the draft.
For a team that values versatility and playmaking along the defensive front, Bryan is a great fit. He's aggressive, has a high motor and a ton of upside. Bryan will be able to make plays next to Jarrett and then kick out to end to bolster Atlanta's pass rush or anchor against the run rotation if needed.
27. New Orleans Saints: TE Hayden Hurst, South Carolina
The New Orleans Saints don't have many big weaknesses. There isn't a quarterback of the future sitting at No. 27, and there isn't an edge-rusher worthy of this pick. Therefore, I'd address a piece of the offense that's been missing since the team traded Jimmy Graham in March 2015—a pass-catching tight end.
South Carolina's Hayden Hurst is the best tight end in the draft—I see a more gifted Dallas Clark. Hurst is an elite athlete, and he's great at making moves both before and after the catch. He can run people over when he has the ball, and he's a phenomenal run-blocker.
New Orleans wants to balance the run and pass, so Hurst is a natural fit.
Adding him to one of the top offensive lines and best offenses in the league will make things very difficult on opposing defenses. He'll be able to crack heads as a blocker and then go out and torch defenses off play action.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers: LB Rashaan Evans, Alabama
There's one glaring weakness for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and it should be obvious. Pittsburgh has a massive hole at middle linebacker, left after Ryan Shazier went down. Pittsburgh's middle linebacker play really suffered without Shazier. Vince Williams was OK, but he wasn't good enough in a Steelers defensive scheme that places heavy importance on the position.
Alabama's Rashaan Evans is the perfect guy to take over for Shazier. He's a tremendous athlete, he's physical and he'll be able to do everything the Steelers ask him to do. Evans is phenomenal in coverage, and he can even creep down and rush the passer.
The biggest thing, though, is Evans is a three-down linebacker with good size (6'3", 234 lbs) and top-tier athleticism. He'll also be ready to play in Week 1.
Evans reminds me of Ravens linebacker C.J. Mosley, and he can be the same kind of player for Baltimore's biggest rivals.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars: CB Denzel Ward, Ohio State
The Jacksonville Jaguars have almost no weaknesses. Because of this, they're going to make what I like to call an in-your-face pick. Jacksonville will be able to grab any top-tier talent here, add him to a championship-caliber roster and rub it in the rest of the AFC's face.
To me, this pick comes down to Chark or Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward. It wouldn't hurt to have another downfield playmaker, but that doesn't fit Blake Bortles' strengths. I also don't believe receiver will be a priority for executive vice president Tom Coughlin.
For me, the closest thing to a need for Jacksonville is nickel corner, as the team lost Aaron Colvin during the offseason. This is where Ward comes into play. Ward isn't my favorite corner in this class, but that's a reflection on the quality of this corner class and not necessarily a negative on Ward.
I don't see Ward as a top-tier outside cornerback. He's on the smaller side, and I'd like to see him react to the ball a little quicker, but he should be a phenomenal nickel corner immediately. He'll fit right in replacing Colvin, and with a little seasoning may be able to move to the outside if Jacksonville decides it can't afford Jalen Ramsey or A.J. Bouye down the road.
The Jaguars are ready to win the Super Bowl this year. Adding Ward would ensure their defense doesn't take a step back along the way.
30. Minnesota Vikings: C James Daniels, Iowa
The Minnesota Vikings are another team without many glaring needs. The biggest thing they should address is the interior offensive line. The Vikings aren't especially weak there, but Joe Berger's retirement does create a hole.
This is why it makes sense to add Iowa's James Daniels. While Daniels primarily played center in college, he did play some guard and appears willing to play the position in the NFL.
"I played right and left guard," Daniels explained, per Mark Emmert of HawksCentral.com. "I didn't play center my true freshman year. Transition to guard wouldn't be a problem for me."
Daniels is a phenomenal player. He has an explosive first step and great hand usage, and he's a force at the point of attack. He is easily one of the top interior linemen in the draft, and he got a lot of useful experience playing in Iowa's pro-style offense.
I'd rather move Daniels to guard, then add another remaining guard or experiment with moving a guy like Isaiah Wynn from tackle to guard. Adding him would plug one of the few holes Minnesota has.
31. New England Patriots: OT Kolton Miller, UCLA
Now would be the time for the Patriots to add an offensive tackle. Good offensive line play has been one of the biggest keys to New England's success over the years, and losing Solder shouldn't be overlooked. Yes, the team picked up Antonio Garcia in last year's draft, but he was injured before the season and remains a question mark because of blood clots.
The Patriots have their next Solder sitting at No. 31 in the form of UCLA's Kolton Miller.
Miller is the second-best tackle in the draft for my money. He's built a lot like Solder with long arms (34 ⅛) and above-average height (6'9"). This should help make the transition easy on New England's end. Miller is great in pass protection, and while he needs to work on his pad level in run blocking, he has tons of upside.
With a little guidance from Patriots line coach Dante Scarnecchia, Miller has the potential to be New England's left tackle for years.
32. Philadelphia Eagles: WR D.J. Chark, LSU
Like the Jaguars, the Philadelphia Eagles have the freedom to make a luxury pick in Round 1. If I'm Philadelphia, I'm adding another explosive playmaker at receiver.
LSU's Chark is one of the most underrated wideouts in the draft. If he had a better quarterback in college, this wouldn't be the case. Between missed throws and underthrown balls, Chark saw numerous wasted opportunities that would be touchdowns with an NFL quarterback under center. Too many people are sleeping on him.
I don't get what's not to like about Chark. He's 6'0", ran a 4.34-second 40 at the combine, has a 40-inch vertical, goes up for 50-50 balls and is a great route-runner.
Chark reminds me of A.J. Green when he came out of Georgia in 2011. Adding him to Carson Wentz on this Eagles offense makes too much sense.