Welcome to the Truda Report everybody. Tomorrow is the NFL Draft, and unlike everyone else, I only do one mock draft every year, and I do it right before draft night. I also make my picks based on what I think should happen, not based on what is most likely to happen. For instance, if the Dolphins (I'm a Fins fan) had Vita Vea and Quenton Nelson available at pick eleven, most mock drafts I've seen would have them taking Vea due to the departure of Ndamukong Suh and the addition of Josh Sitton. That, though, is a stupid pick because Nelson is worlds better as a player. Hopefully that helped you understand what I mean when I say I make my picks based on what's smart, not on what teams have shown interest in and displayed as needs. I've found this approach is actually much more accurate than the way other mock drafts turn out, so we'll see how I do this year. Make sure to share this article as it helps TTR grow, and if you have any requests leave them in the comments below.
NFL Mock Draft:
Cleveland Browns: Sam Darnold, QB, USC (For everyone who says Josh Allen is the better pick, I respond by saying that trying to make up for mistakes of the past doesn't work in the NFL. Just because the Browns passed on the unknown quarterback from an irrelevant college a couple years ago, a.k.a. Carson Wentz, doesn't mean they should try to fix that by taking the prospect with the same background. Allen is nowhere near the prospect Wentz was, and Darnold has shown himself to be the most complete prospect in the draft. I like Baker Mayfield more than any other QB in this draft class, but all signs point to Darnold being the most appealing to NFL scouts).
New York Giants: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn St. (Barkley is the most valuable player in this draft, and it's all because of how the NFL salary cap system works. I'm not going to get into that now, but I will in a different article).
New York Jets: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma (I think that Baker is the best QB in the class, because his leadership qualities and accuracy are hard to find in players straight out of college).
Cleveland Browns: Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State (Chubb is most likely the most impactful player available here, and a rotation of young, talented pass rushers for Cleveland will make the lives of AFC North quarterbacks much more difficult).
Denver Broncos: Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame (John Elway and Gary Kubiak both liked Case Keenum out of college, so what's to say that their signing of him this free agency wasn't just a placeholder for their QB of the future. Denver has the talent to win now, so by fixing a below average offensive line with a player that many consider the safest pick in the draft, Keenum will now have more security and play better football).
Buffalo Bills (Trade With Colts): Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA (I like Rosen, despite his controversy, and I think that with Buffalo's solid offensive line he'll have less to worry about in the injury department. Also, Rosen is pretty NFL ready, and since Buffalo proved they were a playoff team last year, a better QB could mean making it further into the postseason).
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama (I think that Fitzpatrick is the most NFL ready and versatile defensive back in this draft, and as he said after the NFL Combine, "The tape speaks for itself").
Chicago Bears: Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State (Denzel Ward is the best pure cornerback in this draft, and I think that the Bears understand that to put less pressure on Mitch Trubisky, they need to have a solid defense).
San Francisco 49ers: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama (Kyle Shanahan did a lot for Jimmy Garoppolo last year with very little talent on the offensive side of the ball. Now that the defense has been upgraded with the likes of Richard Sherman, it's time for Shanahan to beef up the offense).
Oakland Raiders: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia (The Raiders defense is atrocious, so they had to do something for this side of the ball. Smith is an incredible leader and playmaker who will help the front seven, which as of right now is only respectable because of Khalil Mack).
Miami Dolphins: Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming (I am not a huge fan of Josh Allen myself, but if he falls this far the Dolphins have to take him. Adam Gase wants to develop a quarterback behind Ryan Tannehill for at least a year, and since Allen is clearly a developmental project, this would perfect for Gase. There are more pressing needs for the Fins, but Gase will want the insurance in case Tannehill gets injured again).
Indianapolis Colts (Trade With Bills): Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech (The Colts will trade back to acquire more picks because the have a LOT of holes to fill, and Edmunds will help their defense immensely).
Washington Redskins: Vita Vea, DT, Washington (Vea is a freak of nature, and Washington desperately needs help on the defensive line. Vea will help their run defense a lot and will also provide consistent pass rush).
Green Bay Packers: Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa (Jackson has possibly the best ball skills in this draft, and the Packers need to improve their defense if they want Aaron Rodgers to stick around. Jackson and Ward rank similarly for me as well, but I just think that Ohio State's marquee program helps lift his status to being selected first).
Arizona Cardinals: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville (Lamar Jackson is probably the most polarizing player in this draft, and is a huge risk to take this early. He'll be the fifth quarterback off the board, and despite his incredible athletic ability, Jackson suffers from accuracy issues. I think that his accuracy issues are similar to those of Josh Allen actually, but since Allen was in a Pro-Style offense and he has the stronger arm, he's going to be graded higher by every single team. I think that the Cardinals can't pass on a quarterback though, and since Jackson is available, that's who they take).
Baltimore Ravens: D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland (D.J. Moore might be the best receiver in this draft, as he is an incredible playmaker. He operates out of the slot, though, and that usually causes teams to devalue a player. Baltimore is desperate for offense though, and since they've added a couple of receivers through free agency Moore will fit right in on the depth chart as the slot receiver).
Los Angeles Chargers: Da'Ron Payne, DT, Alabama (The man is a freak of nature, and he's dominated interior offensive lines his whole career. He's really too talented to fall this far in the draft, but since he does, the Chargers have to swoop him up).
Seattle Seahawks: Derwin James, S, Florida State (Derwin James is an incredible player and him falling this far in the draft is unlikely. I can see it happening though, and with the break up of the Legion of Boom, Seattle is going to need someone new on the back end of their defense. Not only does this give them a great player, but it gives them a cheaper option then old, beaten up, Kam Chancellor).
Dallas Cowboys: Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU (Sutton is a big dude, and his play style is that of a Calvin Johnson. He's a clear red zone threat, and since the Cowboys have released Dez Bryant, they need someone new to work with Dak. This could be a great move for the Cowboys, but many people, including me, see a lot of bust potential in Sutton, making this a risky move).
Detroit Lions: Harold Landry, DE, Boston College (Edge rushers are a commodity in the NFL, and I think that Harold Landry is right behind Bradley Chubb as the best in this draft. The Lions need support on defense to aid Matthew Stafford and the offense, so this pick makes sense).
Cincinnati Bengals: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame (McGlinchey is a rising prospect according to multiple reports, but I still don't see him getting inside the top 20. The Bengals need a new offensive tackle, though, since the departure of Andrew Whitworth in free agency two years ago has left a hole their for Cincy).
Indianapolis Colts (Trade With Bills): Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma (Like I said before, the Colts have a lot of holes to fill, and I see the offensive line as this teams most pressing need. Here, they get a new offensive tackle to protect an often injured Andrew Luck).
New England Patriots: Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma St. (OH BOY TOM BRADY IS PISSSSEEED. Bill Belicheck basically says "screw you" to Brady and Robert Kraft, goes and drafts himself his QB of the future since he was forced to give up his previous one...Jimmy G stand up...and sits in the draft room looking smug. No, Belichick isn't going to waste his time on winning now, that's Brady's job; Belichick wants HIS dynasty to continue, and to do that he needs a QB).
Carolina Panthers: Marcus Davenport, DE, Texas-San Antonio (I love Davenport and I think that he's a great edge rusher. I think that John Gruden likes him too, so I could actually see him being taken with the tenth overall pick if the Raiders decide to go defensive end. If they don't though, I have Davenport dropping this far because I think that Harold Landry is a more complete player, and is thus a more valuable draft pick).
Tennessee Titans: Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama (I think that Evans is one of the most underrated players in this draft. He's a really good linebacker and offers great value, especially this late in the first round. The Titans have made a lot of moves this offseason, and I think that since their biggest splash was on the offensive side of the ball, they'll go defense first in the draft).
Atlanta Falcons: Taven Bryan, DT, Florida (Bryan is a solid interior lineman, and since the NFL has seen that the best teams have deep defensive lines, the Falcons take another step in that direction. For the second straight year, their first round pick will be a player on the defensive line).
New Orleans Saints: Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota St. (Goedert is probably the best tight end in a very deep class at that position. The Saints are looking for more offensive fire power to match their young, talented defense, so this makes sense for giving Drew Brees another target to throw to. Also, the Saints just passed on matching the Ravens offer sheet to Willie Snead, so they need another pass catcher now more than they did just a week ago).
Pittsburg Steelers: Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State (The Steelers defense really struggled without Ryan Shazier in the middle last season, and they clearly need more help their. I'm not saying that Vander Esch is Ryan Shazier, but it doesn't hurt to bring in somebody that can help stop the bleeding at that position.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina (Hurst is another great tight end in this draft, and his pass catching proficiency will definitely help a thin Jaguars offense. Allen Robinson just left in free agency this year, so Blake Bortles is going to need another big bodied target to throw to, especially in the red zone).
Minnesota Vikings: Will Hernandez, OG, UTEP (Hernandez has great size and strength, and would definitely be talked about more frequently if it wasn't for the Quenton Nelson hype. The Vikings need to give their over paid new quarterback, Kirk Cousins, protection, as well as running lanes for Dalvin Cook when he returns).
New England Patriots: Justin Reid, S, Stamford (I think that Justin Reid is a really, really good player, and since he's still available, it's a no brainer for the Pats. After watching a backup QB torch their defense in the Super Bowl, defense is clearly the move).
Philadelphia Eagles: Ronald Jones III, RB, USC (Ronald Jones fits right in with what the Eagles want to do. They love their multi man running back rotation, and Jones is a home run hitter with a lot of speed, and great hands. Along side power runners like Jay Ajayi and LeGarrette Blount, Jones will have a huge impact for the Eagles).
High School Senior from Connecticut obsessed with sports stats, facts, and management.