You’ve been driving down the roads of the NFL calendar year, but perhaps you haven’t turned on to the NFL Draft highway yet. There have been highway ramps before this, the Senior Bowl is one, the end of the Super Bowl is another. If you didn’t take any of those on ramps, it’s time to get on this one, the one titled “Scouting Combine” — no tolls required.

If you’re a football fan, whether obsessed or casual, it’s hard to not get into or at least in some way follow the Combine. This is where, for the first time, players of all ages, both seniors and underclassmen, go toe-to-toe in their positional groups to see who takes the athletic crown among them.

There is always some moving a shaking that is done pre- and post-Combine, so we’ve decided to give you a Pre-Combine mock to gauge your interest and have some players on your radar as we go into a fun and busy week in Indianapolis.

As always, you can view the entire mock draft in the table below, but if you want more explanation about each pick or the trade, you can click the analysis button and it will take you to that page.

Hopefully that makes it easy to navigate. Don’t forget to comment and tell us what you loved and hated about it, even if it doesn’t have to do with your team.

Enjoy!

No.TeamPickPos.Reason
1Cleveland BrownsSaquon BarkleyRBAnalysis
2New York Jets (via NYG)Josh RosenQBAnalysis
3Indianapolis ColtsBradley ChubbDEAnalysis
4Cleveland BrownsSam DarnoldQBAnalysis
5Denver BroncosBaker MayfieldQBAnalysis
6New York Giants (via NYJ)Roquan SmithLBAnalysis
7Buffalo Bills (via TB)Josh AllenQBAnalysis
8Chicago BearsMinkah Fitzpatrick DBAnalysis
9San Francisco 49ersQuenton NelsonOGAnalysis
10Oakland RaidersDerwin JamesSAnalysis
11Miami DolphinsLamar JacksonQBAnalysis
12Cincinnati Bengals Rashaan EvansLBAnalysis
13Washington RedskinsDerrius GuiceRBAnalysis
14Green Bay PackersHarold LandryOLB/DEAnalysis
15Arizona CardinalsOrlando BrownOTAnalysis
16Baltimore RavensAuden TateWRAnalysis
17L.A. ChargersVita VeaDTAnalysis
18Seattle SeahawksDenzel WardCBAnalysis
19Dallas CowboysNathan Shepherd DTAnalysis
20Detroit LionsRonald JonesRBAnalysis
21Tampa Bay Buccaneers (via BUF)Sony MichelRBAnalysis
22Tampa Bay Buccaneers (via BUF)Taven BryanDTAnalysis
23L.A. RamsArden KeyOLB/DEAnalysis
24Carolina Panthers James WashingtonWRAnalysis
25Tennessee TitansTremaine EdmundsLBAnalysis
26Atlanta FalconsMaurice HurstDTAnalysis
27New Orleans SaintsConnor WilliamsOTAnalysis
28Pittsburgh SteelersMalik JeffersonLBAnalysis
29Jacksonville JaguarsCalvin RidleyWRAnalysis
30Minnesota VikingsDa'Ron Payne DTAnalysis
31New England Patriots Josh JacksonCBAnalysis
32Philadelphia EaglesDallas GoedertTEAnalysis
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62 COMMENTS

  1. Keeping with that scenario I would rather see Edmunds and Key. Then go after a Settle in the 2nd. Start building the 34 def

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    • Pass on Key, and Edmunds would play where exactly? He’s good, don’t get me wrong, but he’s not starting over Alexander or Beckwith in the middle or David or Spence on the edges in a 3-4. And even if he does, the upgrade there would be so much less than an upgrade to RB, DL or CB.

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      • Trevor, I know that you’re a Gator fan. So I believe you if you say Taven is going to be the man. But I really would prefer waiting on that Sony pick until the 2nd and get Josh Jackson instead here.

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    • (Also, I don’t get the Settle hype.)

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      • Yeah, I don’t either. “Maintaining weight loss and conditioning could be a concern when he has to become a self-motivator on next level.” I’ve seen him in interviews and he’s a good kid, but upper-echelon determination and dedication to the job that you see in other prospects can make a huge difference.

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  2. Looks like the Cardinals at #15 will be another likely spot to trade down. In recent news:

    “…does not expect the Cardinals to join the bidding for free agent Kirk Cousins…expects the Cardinals to pass on Cousins and instead opt for two cheaper veteran quarterbacks to compete with a rookie… ”

    Let’s hope the QBs show up big at the combine and provide something Arizona will deem worthy of a trade up, and hope that the top of the draft shakes out in such a way that their guy falls to our pick. Arizona’s #47 and freshly minted compensatory #97 (that they got for losing Calais Campbell) will do just fine.

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  3. Is there a specific reason you pass on Key on this scenario? DT is all well and good but if the other pick isn’t a DE, I would rather the Bucs draft CB Jackson or C/G Price.

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    • I was turned off by Key this season. Acted like he barely cared. We can say “he was hurt” or “he was going through off the field stuff,” but I don’t know any of that for sure. Maybe interviews at the Combine will clear that up for me, because right now I just see a guy who should have done a lot more with the talent he had.

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  4. In that same scenario, I’d take Notre Dame OT Mike McGlichey and Ohio State’s C Billy Price. And be strapped for trench warfare.

    Can’t tell you where they’d start but I know we’d have some very nice depth. Solid players to play some smash mouth football.

    Don’t want Bryan as I’m hoping to score Ed Oliver Jr. next year. Don’t like Michel unless were getting both. Only other thought would be Josh Jackson but I’m skeptical of the kid. Which actually might be good for him as I was skeptical of tredavious white last year as well. Lol

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    • If you want Ed Oliver you better be hoping the Bucs only win three games! That kid is going Top 5.

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  5. If picking 21/22, I’m going Payne and Wynn. They’ll both be playing on Day 1 (as would Michel and Bryan), and that’s what you want from Rnd 1.

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  6. Based on your mock, I believe Josh Jackson and/or Bryan/Payne would give the Bucs a better 1st round overhaul. Looking at the teams behind them, can’t really see anyone taking a running back unless one of the earlier round teams jump back into the first round and grab Michel (who I believe will be gone by the top of the second round if not picked in the first). If that’s the case, we can pick up another back in the second or third round since we’ll have two picks in the second from this trade!

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  7. I just don’t get this mock, a LOT of these picks make me shake my head and I’m not talking about a pick here or there. I mean like over half of them.

    Many of these picks seem more like players that were fallen in love with rather than really seeing the state of the board. I can only assume it was built with knowledge we don’t know because from the outside looking in, whaaa?

    I really don’t want to nitpick so I’ll just focus on the funny part. For as much as you love this CB class, you mocked two S to be converted to CB before the first CB even comes off the board. That gave me a chuckle.

    Anyway, ty for putting out a mock.

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  8. I can’t understand the logic here? Yes the Bucs need a RB but they need linemen also.
    I know linemen aren’t a sexy pick but it is very hard for RB to do much without them.

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    • Bucs could still easily grab two offensive linemen in early day 2 in this scenario.

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      • And, they could easily draft a decent RB in the mid rounds too.
        RB in the first is throwing a draft pick away.

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        • Pete, Not like Michel. You draft bozo’s like McNichols in the mid rounds…

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    • I’m with ya 76…we need OL help more than anything. Got to keep Winston clean. We are close to having a stout offense…just missing the OL. Investing in some can’t miss OL is my vote.

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  9. I’d take Settle, or De Ron over Bryan. I also think first round is to high for Michel.

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    • Agree with that .

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  10. Like the players, just don’t agree with the value of a RB and DT that high.

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  11. I’m not that high on Bryan as well. I’d rather go Hernandez/Wynn and Josh Jackson in the first, and shoot for a RB in Chubb/Penny in the 2nd as it seems there’s a run on the RBs according to this mock. So Michel won’t be there when we come back around.

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  12. Thoughts on trading back up to get Vea?

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  13. I love this Mock for the bucs. We get a good RB and I’m a big fan of Taven Bryan. That dude is a beast.

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  14. Can you please explain to me why Buffalo is looking to trade up that high? The only team behind the Bucs, looking for a QB, in the 1st rd will be AZ!! Miami isn’t going to use their 11th on a QB when Tannehill is locked up for another 3 yrs!! It doesn’t make sense to me!! Hopefully you’ll be able to add some insight!!

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    • There are going to be other teams wanting to trade up and get a top QB. If Arizona doesn’t land Cousins they will want to trade up and get a QB.

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      • That was my point!! AZ is the only team!! Nobody, other than Buffalo, has the goods to make that trade!! There isn’t a QB left at 7 worth selling off your entire draft!! AZ isn’t going to trade, so why go all the way to TB when there are other, cheaper options?

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        • Arizona would give a 1st and a 2nd for a franchise QB. Specially is Darnold is still there. Look what the Eagles gave for Wentz.

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  15. Fun to imagine if. I would be more inclined to go with Arden Key. There has been some discussion about his off field problems and an injury. But he was a top rate sacker in 2016 and when healthy could be one of the best pass rushers in the Class. I believe his stock will rise in the combine and he may progress to the top 15. I also think DaRon Payne would be worth considering. He to will move up after the combine.

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  16. Mr pants,

    Sean McDermott is not sold on Tyrod. He got benched for a rookie last year. They want to trade up to a QB.

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    • I responded to another post, so this is a copy of that response, since it will work here also!!

      That was my point!! AZ is the only team!! Nobody, other than Buffalo, has the goods to make that trade!! There isn’t a QB left at 7 worth selling off your entire draft!! AZ isn’t going to trade, so why go all the way to TB when there are other, cheaper options?

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  17. If they were going to trade back up it should be for Ward or Brown, not a NT.

    Under this scenario I would have taken Connor Williams without question, start him at guard and convert him as a long term replacement for Dotson or Smith.

    The other pick probably Josh Jackson. If we were converting to 3-4 then definitely Edmunds but he’s not a 4-3 scheme fit. And no Trevor, Spence is not better than him.

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    • Spence is better as a 3-4 OLB BUCK pass rusher than Edmunds, yes. Edmunds would only play on the inside for the Bucs and that’s if he beats Beckwith and Alexander out for a job which barely even helps them.

      I can get on board with the Williams pick! Just didn’t choose it this time.

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      • Fair enough Trevor, I’m just tired of hearing about Spence. The reality is he has 1 sack in his last 11 games. Lack of length is an issue for him and from what I’ve seen from Edmunds, his best snaps are as an edge.

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        • JC5100:

          I 100% agree.
          Edmunds is a freak athlete. 6’5″ 250 pounds with outstanding production and at only age 19. I don’t think he get’s out of the top 10 though.

          Per NFL.com:
          There is no denying that Edmunds is one of the most unique linebackers we’ve ever seen when you take into account his rare combination of size and speed. At 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds, it’s close to impossible to find another linebacker with his physical traits.

          Per Todd McShay:

          He’s an athletic freak who will turn some heads at the combine.

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      • Can Spence stay HEALTHY for 12-16 games?

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  18. A bonus of trading down offers us additional maneuverability when it comes to targeting players as well. If, for example, the team were very high on Vea instead of Bryan, Payne, etc they could package a 1st and their 3rd or 4th ,depending on how high they think they’d need to move, to grab him. Still have the additional 1st to grab a DT, CB, OL or RB, or it could even be used in a trade down to lower in the 1st to acquire more picks. Would be great to come out of Rd 1 with two starters that have 5th yr options.

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  19. Love the trade down scenario with Buffalo and haven’t made that a secret, as I’ve been banging this drum from the start.

    But, I cringe when I see the Michel pick. It’s literally like what happened in 2016…

    Great! We traded back and picked up some draft capital. Great! We already fucked up our 1st pick.

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    • Could be worse. Could be a kicker.

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  20. After obtaining spots 21 and 22, I would trade down into the second round to pick up additional more picks. My goal is to have 4 second-rounders and 3 third rounders.

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  21. I have not seen ONE mock draft that Bucs fans are happy with. You could give us Jim Brown and Jerry Rice and we’d still find something to complain about.

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    • You don’t do mock drafts so everyone can agree. They’re meant for discussion and scenario set up!

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  22. So, the Bucs have more needs than picks and you draft a RB in the first? Huh? By all means, let’s take a player with the shortest shelf life before we adequately beef up our lines. There are plenty of first round RB picks that are either average or out of football.
    I hate this mock. Trading with the Bills makes sense, but only if they toss in at least a second rounder and only if we shore up those lines first.
    Did the Browns hack into pewter and come up with these picks?

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    • I’m a double agent secretly working for the Panthers undercover, actually.

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      • That’s really funny!
        Especially since I live in NC. I’m the only Bucs fan up here, I think.
        And, now the Panthers have infiltrated Tampa too? Sigh.

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        • Haha!

          And, btw, I don’t think your RB value mindset is bad or incorrect. I actually share that view most of the time. Could very well switch out and get two trench players or a corner, but I really like Michel and wanted to see a case where it set up with him in Tampa Bay. I’m with you that RB value can be found anywhere, buuuuut the Bucs also had that mindset last year and it came back to bite them — they wanted Dalvin and Kareem, but were just out of their reach, then it was too late. Sometimes you gotta pull the trigger on the talent you like. If they trade back, maybe they do? Just wanted to see. They’d have another day 2 pick as well in this scenario.

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  23. In this scenario I’d go with Michel and Payne.

    Side note: Josh Jackson does not fall to 31.

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  24. I have to think that if this scenario plays out and I really hope it doesn’t, that Payne is the other pick instead of Bryan. I like Michel alot.

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  25. Love the trade, and I hope that it happens. Billy Price/Deron Payne.

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  26. Besides Barkley, there isn’t another RB in this draft worthy of a 1st round pick. I also find it interesting that both Price and Davenport fall to the 2nd round in your Mock. No way Josh Jackson falls to 31.

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    • Price is still a fringe first round/second round guy, I think. Davenport isn’t a first round player. Would you play Price at center or guard?

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      • I would have to try him at both and see where he is best. We already know that Marpet is better at guard. It would be an interesting preseason.

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  27. I would rather trade back with Arizona, get their 1st and 2nd. Grab Vea at 15. Trade our 2nd and 4th to move up and grab Davenport or Price high in the 2nd. Then draft Wynn with Arizonas 2nd and Penny with our 3rd.

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    • Oh! I like this! The Vea and Wynn parts, at least. I’d draft Okoronkwo or a different edge rusher with the other second round pick. Even Haynes in the third after that.

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  28. I don’t know about the rest of this Mock Draft but I could totally see the Bucs wanting to trade down for Michel and I could see the Bills giving up both of their 1’s to move into the top 10 to get a QB. Makes total sense. I don’t know about the Bucs taking Bryan with the other 1st round pick though. I think they would take Hurst over him if he were still there.

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  29. Everyone has their own likes and dislikes about mocks but with that said and reading the analysis…

    -Why would the Giants trade out of pick 2? They need a new franchise QB.
    -Why do you think Ridley falls all the way down to the third WR being taken?
    -Why do you think Connor Williams will go day 1? Seems like he has a lot of work to do still. Why not more OG instead of project OTs?

    And I agree with you about Sony going in the first round, heck Detriot would probably take him before we would get a shot. Side note don’t think there is a chance Payne falls to the 5th DT taken, Josh Jackson to 31, or Edwards outside of the top 20.

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    • Will, you’re seeing right through me.

      I wanted to be very different with this mock. Part of why I do them is to explore some of the ins and outs as to what might be possible. Ultimately, I do think the Giants take a QB, I do think Ridley goes sooner, I do think Josh Jackson goes sooner. All of those are the likely outcomes.

      But, on the other hand, I know that what I think might be most likely isn’t always the case. The Giants could move back, pick up an elite player and fill more holes on their roster. They can take a QB in other years (though maybe not as high). Ridley could fall due to how the NFL views this WR class in terms of priority, and Jackson might get lost in some top-CB clutter.

      This was much more of an outside-the-norm mock before the Combine. Was trying to explore some new ideas with each team. It’s not always as straight and narrow as we think.

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      • Love the balls you have to do that! I honestly i do think you’re right that anything goes on draft day. O mean who saw at this stage last year the bears moving up one pick to draft mitchell. Who saw jonathan allen or hooker falling that far in the draft? The QB and Wr run alone was crazy and made for good entertainment.

        Circling back to the Giants, if that’s the thought then what do you think about the Missouri kid at QB?

        Also, has McCoys stance changed on drafting a 3 technique? I remember in Mike Evans draft class there were rumors circulating about us taking Donald and McCoy wasnt to pleased about the idea of that.

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  30. It would be heartbreaking to pass on Nelson (watching him make 15 prowls in a row) for Michel and Bryan….and lamenting how Michel can’t run behind our line, and how we still don’t have a pass rush from our DEs.

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  31. ON a side note, the rams just got Marcus Peters for a 4th this year and a second next year. How in the hell does light not make a play at that?

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  32. As for this draft, I’m really starting to hope we trade back , unless of course Chubb is there. I like the Arizona idea listed above about getting their second and the 15th pick. We trade back to 15 sit there and take the best defensive player available. We have two seconds to get a RB and another edge rusher. I think Licht makes a move, he’s been known to.

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  33. Just like the Bucs. Trying to get slick. The only problem is they aren’t slick. This needs to be a draft of big nasties in the early rounds. If Quenton Nelson is available at 7 and the Bucs don’t take him they are too stupid to be in the NFL.

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