2018 NFL Mock Draft- Updated: Friday, May 19th
Here are picks 17-32 of my 2018 NFL Mock Draft:
17. Arizona Cardinals (Draft History): Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville Cardinals
This is a holdover pick from my way-too-early 2018 NFL Mock Draft back in February, but with the Cardinals not adding a quarterback in the draft, this still makes sense. Carson Palmer will be back for at least the 2017 season, but it's very possible that this is his last.
While his production was at times video game-esque, Jackson threw for 3,543 yards and 30 touchdowns while rushing for 1,571 yards and another 21 scores. There are some concerns (slight frame, accuracy, etc.) for the Heisman Trophy winner, but his upside is undeniable. I've seen NFL.com's Lance Zierlein make an NFL comp for Jackson to Randall Cunningham and I like it.
18. Detroit Lions (Draft History): Josh Sweat, DE, Florida State
The Lions used six of their nine 2017 draft picks on the defensive side of the ball, but the two defensive ends they drafted were selected outside of the top-200 picks -- Jeremiah Ledbetter (No. 205) and Pat O'Connor (No. 250). Only the Raiders (25) had fewer sacks than the Lions (26) in 2016 and Ziggy Ansah will become an unrestricted free agent after next season so Sweat, or another pass-rusher, would make sense here.
19. (Via HOU) Cleveland Browns (Draft History): Derrius Guice, RB, LSU Tigers
When given an opportunity, Guice was highly productive when he touched the ball. Rushing for more than 150 yards in five games last season, Guice racked up 183/1,387/15 (7.6 YPC) last season after averaging 8.2 YPC on limited touches as a freshman. With Isaiah Crowell set to become a free agent next March, Guice would give the Browns a potential workhorse to take pressure off their young quarterback -- DeShone Kizer or Sam Darnold.
20. Denver Broncos (Draft History): Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama
As a sophomore from Tallahassee (FL), Harrison ranked second on the team behind Reuben Foster in tackles (86) and was tied for second with Minkah Fitzpatrick with seven pass breakups. In addition, he had two interceptions and two fumble recoveries, returning one of each for scores. Meanwhile, T.J. Ward will turn 31 in December and become a free agent after the 2017 season.
21. Miami Dolphins (Draft History): Quentin Nelson, OG, Notre Dame Fighting Irish
With Laremy Tunsil kicking outside, one pick in my 2017 NFL Mock Draft (that I got wrong, naturally) was guard Forrest Lamp to the Dolphins. Even though the Dolphins drafted Isaac Asiata in the fifth round, guard Jermon Bushrod graded out as PFF's 69th (of 72) guard, turns 33 in August and will become a free agent next spring.
22. Tennessee Titans, (Draft History): Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville Cardinals
Remaking their secondary, the Titans have signed cornerback Logan Ryan and safety Jonathan Cyprien in free agency and drafted Adoree Jackson with the second of their two first-round picks. Running a 4.32 forty this spring, Alexander had five interceptions in 2016 as a sophomore for the Cardinals.
23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Draft History): Tyquan Lewis, DE, Ohio State Buckeyes
The Bucs were tied for ninth in the NFL in sacks (38) last season, but you can never have enough pass-rushers, especially when you have to face Matt Ryan, Drew Brees and Cam Newton (at least) six times per season. The reigning Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year, Lewis has led the Buckeyes in sacks each of the past two seasons.
24. Seattle Seahawks (Draft History): Martinas Rankin, OT, Mississippi State
Per Tony Pauline, Rankin received a second-round grade from the advisory committee last season before the JuCo transfer decided to return to Starkville for another season. As much as the Seahawks need improved play from their offensive line, they used only one pick in the first five rounds on their offensive line -- LSU center Ethan Pocic in Round 2.
25. (Via KC) Buffalo Bills (Draft History): Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State Cowboys
With prototypical size (6-5, 235) and a strong arm, Rudolph would have been in the mix to be a first-rounder had he declared for the 2017 NFL Draft and it's certainly possible he hears his name on Day 1 in 2018. Rudolph completed 63.4 percent of his pass attempts for 4,091 yards, 28 touchdowns and four interceptions in 2016.
26. New York Giants (Draft History): Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas Longhorns
Jefferson is a freak athlete that has run a sub-4.4 forty. While he became "too high on [him]self" during the season, Jefferson closed the season strong and will look to carry forward that momentum into 2017.
27. Oakland Raiders (Draft History): Vita Vea, DT, Washington
A massive run-stuffer at 346 pounds, the nose tackle played some running back in high school, runs a 4.8 forty and has "unlimited, untapped potential" as defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski notes. Vea could be long gone by this point, but if available, he would help shore up an Oakland run defense that allowed 4.5 yards per carry in 2016.
28. Dallas Cowboys (Draft History): Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU Mustangs
The Cowboys re-signed Terrance Williams, but they could use an upgrade opposite Dez Bryant on the outside. The 6-foot-4 Sutton had 76 catches for 1,246 yards and 10 touchdowns last year including a record-setting 13/252/2 performance against South Florida in November. While he's not a burner, he has great size, physicality and hands with good body control. In fact, he has even spent some time on SMU's basketball team.
29. Pittsburgh Steelers (Draft History): Cameron Smith, LB, USC Trojans
The addition of Smith would give the Steelers a quartet of first-round linebackers -- Ryan Shazier, Bud Dupree, T.J. Watt and now Smith -- on their roster. Despite tearing his ACL at the end of his freshman season, Smith has led the Trojans in tackles in each of his first two seasons.
30. Green Bay Packers (Draft History): Da'Shawn Hand, DE, Alabama Crimson Tide
The former top-ranked recruit by Rivals.com, Hand has just seven sacks over three seasons. With his combination of strength, agility and versatility, however, Hand is poised for a breakout season in 2017 and could hear his name called much earlier than this in the 2018 NFL Draft.
31. Atlanta Falcons (Draft History): Billy Price, G/C, Ohio State
Starting the previous three seasons at guard, Price will move further inside to center to replace Pat Elflein, who was selected by the Vikings in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft. The Falcons did draft Oregon State's Sean Harlow in the fourth round, but left guard Andy Levitre and center Alex Mack are both 31 years old.
32. New England Patriots (Draft History): Harold Landry, EDGE, Boston College Eagles
Through the 2017 NFL Draft (either by trade of a pick or actual selection), the Patriots added three pass-rushers within the first four rounds -- Kony Ealy (via trade), Derek Rivers and Deatrich Wise Jr. That said, that wouldn't necessarily keep the Patriots from selecting Landry, who would represent a nice value at the end of Round 1. The edge rusher led the nation with 16.5 sacks and seven forced fumbles in 2016.
- Go back to picks 1-16 in our 2018 NFL Mock Draft
- An early look: 2019 NFL Mock Draft
- For more mocks, check out our NFL Mock Draft Database.
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