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It’s Draft Day and the 2018 NFL Draft is officially here – finally!

PewterReport.com has come out with its fifth and final 2018 Bucs’ 7-Round Mock Draft for our readers in the Tampa Bay area and beyond that bleed red and pewter. Our staff has put together its annual position previews and its popular Bucs’ Best Bets.

Now it’s time for one last mock draft – a league-wide first-round mock where each one of the Pewter Reporters guess who goes where and at what pick. Yours truly is up first, followed by Trevor Sikkema’s first-round mock draft on Page 2 and Mark Cook’s first-round offering on Page 3. Enjoy!

Scott Reynolds’ 2018 NFL First-Round Mock Draft

1. Cleveland – USC QB Sam Darnold
After several swings and misses the Browns need to get their QB situation resolved, and trading for Tyrod Taylor is only a short-term fix and a slight upgrade over what they’ve had. The current buzz says it’s Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield, but is that just Cleveland trying to get the Jets to trade up? Darnold has prototype size, arm strength, moxie and big-game experience to develop into a quality starter in the NFL. Cleveland hopes he’ll develop into a Pro Bowl-caliber QB.

2. New York Giants – Penn State RB Saquon Barkley
The temptation will be to draft Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson to make up for missing on Andrew Norwell in free agency, or North Carolina State defensive end Bradley Chubb to replace Jason Pierre-Paul, who was traded to Tampa Bay. But Barkley gives Eli Manning a multi-dimensional weapon to take some of the offensive load off the aging QB’s shoulders.

3. New York Jets – Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield
The Jets will have their choice of quarterbacks between Mayfield and UCLA’s Josh Rosen. While Rosen may be the more NFL-ready QB, he does come with some quirks and question marks, especially due to two concussions he suffered his junior year with the Bruins. Mayfield, the Heisman Trophy winner, is an extremely tough and gritty competitor with tremendous leadership ability despite his lack of prototype size.

NC State DE Bradley Chubb - Photo courtesy of NC State Univ.

NC State DE Bradley Chubb – Photo courtesy of NC State Univ.

4. Cleveland – N.C. State DE Bradley Chubb
Pairing Chubb with Myles Garrett, last year’s top overall pick, gives Browns defensive coordinator Gregg Williams two bookend pass-rushing defensive ends to chase the likes of Ben Roethlisberger, Joe Flacco and Andy Dalton in the AFC North. Another possibility is Barkley if the Giants elect to take Chubb with the second overall pick.

5. Buffalo (from Denver) – UCLA QB Josh Rosen
Buffalo is in desperate need of a quarterback and trades up with Denver to grab Rosen after he falls past the Jets at No. 3. The Bills traded away Taylor to Cleveland this offseason and need a mentally tough and savvy QB like Rosen to play in a division that features Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots.

6. Indianapolis – Notre Dame G Quenton Nelson
The Colts could trade down if a team wants to move up to grab Wyoming QB Josh Allen at this point, but will probably stick and pick at No. 6 to draft Nelson – although a wild card could be Georgia MLB Roquan Smith. Indianapolis missed out on Norwell in free agency and needs to bolster the offensive line in front of quarterback Andrew Luck, who has been battered and injured over the last couple of years.

7. Tampa Bay – Florida State SS Derwin James
While the temptation to trade down might be compelling, Bucs general manager Jason Licht has the chance to draft a Pro Bowl-caliber player inside the Top 10 and selects James, who has that type of ability. James can pair with Justin Evans and strengthen the Bucs secondary while bringing great size, speed, hitting ability and leadership to Tampa Bay.

8. Chicago – Notre Dame OT Mike McGlinchey
Do you know who Chicago’s left tackle is? Charles Leno, Jr., a former seventh-round pick. The Bears have just offensive two tackles on the current roster and must protect second-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, which is why it makes perfect sense to draft McGlinchey, who is the top left tackle candidate in this year’s draft, in the Top 10.

9. San Francisco – Georgia MLB Roquan Smith
The 49ers gambled on the character of middle linebacker Reuben Foster last year in the first round and may have lost as Foster was accused of domestic violence, which could force San Francisco to release him. His girlfriend has recanted her story, but Foster’s questionable character lingers. That would leave a glaring hole in the middle of the 49ers defense. Enter Smith, who is fast, physical and a sure tackler.

Ohio State CB Denzel Ward - Photo by: Getty Images

Ohio State CB Denzel Ward – Photo by: Getty Images

10. Oakland – Ohio State CB Denzel Ward
Oakland could go in several different directions, but Jon Gruden has a history of spending a first-round pick on a cornerback in Aqib Talib in his last draft in Tampa Bay. Ward is a good value at No. 10 and would team with former Buckeyes cornerback Gareon Conley for the foreseeable future in the Raiders secondary.

11. Miami – Virginia Tech OLB Tremaine Edmunds
The Dolphins are looking to upgrade their linebacker corps and Edmunds is a big, rangy athlete that can blitz quarterbacks, drop into coverage and fly around and make tackles. He has yet to scratch his potential and Edmunds has the physical tools to be a great one if used properly and coached up.

12. Denver (from Buffalo) – Wyoming QB Josh Allen
The Broncos passed on drafting a quarterback at No. 5, but with Allen available after sliding down to No. 12 there’s too much value to pass up. Denver G.M. John Elway sees some of himself in the mobile, strong-armed passer in Allen, who will learn behind Case Keenum. This move allows Denver to trade backup QB Paxton Lynch, a first-rounder from 2016.

13. Washington – Washington DT Vita Vea
Washington needs a big run-stuffer to man the nose tackle position in its 3-4 defense, but the 6-foot-4, 347-pound Vea is athletic enough to also play the five-technique defensive tackle position. To get the top defensive tackle with the 13th overall pick is quite a coup for the Redskins.

14. Green Bay – Alabama S Minkah Fitzpatrick
The Packers need to bolster their defense and drafting a Swiss Army Knife player like Fitzpatrick, who can play nickel cornerback, safety and even outside cornerback. Once thought of as a possible Top 10 pick, Fitzpatrick is a good value here for Green Bay.

15. Arizona – Louisville QB Lamar Jackson
The Cardinals are thrilled to find Jackson here at No. 15 and need to find a QB of the future as neither Sam Bradford nor Mike Glennon fit that description. New head coaches like to select their own quarterbacks, and Jackson doesn’t have the pressure of playing right away, which is a bonus because he does need time to develop. Give a player with the skill set that Jackson has time to learn and he could end up being the best QB taken in this draft.

16. Baltimore – Iowa C James Daniels
Ryan Jensen was signed by Tampa Bay in free agency, leaving Baltimore with a gaping hole at center. The Ravens need to protect quarterback Joe Flacco at all costs and the team had success in drafting an Iowa offensive lineman before in Pro Bowl guard Marshal Yanda. Daniels is a very athletic center that is equally adept at pass protection and run blocking.

Alabama DT Da'Ron Payne - Photo by: Getty Images

Alabama DT Da’Ron Payne – Photo by: Getty Images

17. L.A. Chargers – Alabama DT Da’Ron Payne
Corey Liuget isn’t getting any younger at three-technique defensive tackle, and Brandon Mebane is not a long-term answer at nose tackle. Payne has the size and toughness to play nose tackle and the quickness and athleticism to play three-tech at the next level, although he will need to be coached up in this area. The trio of Payne, Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram gives the Chargers a good nucleus of dangerous defensive linemen.

18. Seattle – Iowa CB Josh Jackson
The Seahawks need to replace Pro Bowl cornerback Richard Sherman and the team likes long cornerbacks. Jackson, the Jim Thorpe Award winner, has good length and ball-hawking skills despite a lack of playing time at Iowa where he led the FBS with eight interceptions last year. Jackson is the type of cornerback Seattle likes, and this would be a great fit.

19. Dallas – Boise State LB Leighton Vander Esch
The Cowboys have a desperate need for a strongside linebacker and are looking at all of the linebacker prospects in this draft. Vander Esch is one of the more athletic ‘backers in this draft class and Dallas would be thrilled to land the Boise State product, who some teams believe is a Top 15 pick.

20. Detroit – UTSA DE Marcus Davenport
The Lions used the franchise tag on Ziggy Ansah and would love to draft his eventual replacement in Davenport, a long, fast, athletic pass rusher. Davenport is far from being a finished product, and he will have a year to learn from Ansah before replacing him.

21. Cincinnati – UTEP G Will Hernandez
Clint Boling is a good guard, but Trey Hopkins, the team’s other guard, is less than ideal as a starter. The 6-foot-2, 327-pound Hernandez gives the Bengals a more stout pass protector and a more dominant run blocker to help Cincinnati’s offense achieve balance and take pressure off quarterback Andy Dalton.

22. Denver (from Buffalo) – Alabama WR Calvin Ridley
The Broncos acquired this first-round pick in the trade down with Buffalo and are thrilled to find Ridley, who is believed to be the best receiver in the draft, still on the board. Pairing Allen and Ridley together gives the Broncos’ passing game a bright future, and the Alabama product can learn from Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas in the present.

23. New England – UCLA OT Kolton Miller
The Patriots need a left tackle to replace Nate Solder and protect franchise quarterback Tom Brady. Miller, who guarded Rosen’s blindside at UCLA, is one of the most athletic tackles in this draft and even has a similar frame at 6-foot-9, 309 pounds. New England is also desperate for a young quarterback to be Brady’s heir apparent and could draft that position here instead.

24. Carolina – LSU RB Derrius Guice
The Panthers parted ways with two of the team’s more physical runners over the last two years in fullback Mike Tolbert, who signed with Buffalo last season, and long-time tailback Jonathan Stewart, who was released this offseason. Guice is an angry runner that fits Carolina’s style and would be an instant starter in the backfield.

Boston College DE Harold Landry - Photo by: Getty Images

Boston College DE Harold Landry – Photo by: Getty Images

25. Tennessee – OLB Harold Landry
Pass-rushing outside linebackers Derrick Morgan and Brian Orakpo are in the twilight of their careers, and Kevin Dodd, a former second-round pick, is a bust so far. The Titans need to get younger, faster and more athletic at the 3-4 rush linebacker spot, and Landry, who led all FBS players in sacks as a junior before an injury-riddled senior campaign is a great fit.

26. Atlanta – Florida DT Taven Bryan
The Falcons lost Dontari Poe to free agency and need to find another impact defensive end to pair with Grady Jarrett inside. That player is not Jack Crawford, who is currently atop the depth chart. Bryan is a big, athletic tackle with good penetrating ability and tons of potential despite being raw.

27. New Orleans – South Carolina TE Hayden Hurst
The Saints might select South Dakota’s Dallas Goedert here instead, or even Oklahoma’s Mark Andrews, but Hurst has a good combination of run-blocking ability and receiving ability to meet New Orleans’ needs. Hurst plays with a reckless abandon that will endear him to future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees.

28. Pittsburgh – Louisville CB Jaire Alexander
The Steelers have Joe Haden and Artie Burns at cornerback, but neither played that well last year. Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin is a DBs coach at heart, and loves the swagger and playmaking ability that Alexander plays with. Whether it’s inside at nickel cornerback or outside on the perimeter, Alexnader has the confidence to get the job done.

29. Jacksonville – Maryland WR D.J. Moore
The Jaguars definitely need an upgrade at wide receiver with the loss of long-time contributors Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns in free agency. Jacksonville could opt for size over ability and select SMU’s 6-foot-3 Courtland Sutton here, but Moore is smoother and is simply the better receiver. At 6-foot-1, 210 pounds, Moore is no midget, either.

30. Minnesota – Georgia G Isaiah Wynn
The Vikings’ offensive line needs a boost, especially at guard next to promising young center Pat Elflein. Getting an athlete like Wynn, who played guard and left tackle at Georgia during his career is a huge step in the right direction. Wynn, who was the best offensive lineman at the Senior Bowl, is a technician that is battle tested.

31. New England – Oklahoma State QB Mason Rudolph
The Patriots’ gamble of waiting until the 31st overall pick pays off as Bill Belichick drafts Rudolph as the team’s quarterback of the future. Rudolph is a smart, savvy quarterback that has plenty of passing experience playing in the wide-open Big 12. With an NFL build and good enough arm strength, Rudolph will learn how to play the game from the best ever at the position.

Georgia RB Sony Michel - Photo by: Getty Images

Georgia RB Sony Michel – Photo by: Getty Images

32. Philadelphia – Georgia RB Sony Michel
The Eagles traded for Jay Ajayi last year, but his knee issues will shorten his playing days in the league. The Super Bowl champions parted ways with LeGarrette Blount and Darren Sproles this offseason, and could use another running back that can play all three downs to team with Corey Clement for the future. Michel is a fast and physical runner with great hands.

Click the next page to see Trevor Sikkema’s 2018 NFL First-Round Mock Draft




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Easythe great
3 years ago

If Jason Licht drafts Derwin James at 7 he should be fired. Hes average at best

Reply to  Easythe great
3 years ago


Especially drafting a Safety over a guard like Nelson!

I will be upset with them taking James at 7, but if they take James over Nelson at 7, I’m officially on the fire Licht train.

You don’t pass on a position of need, best player available and a player in the trenches for a Safety. Unless of course you’re a losing franchise.

Reply to  Easythe great
3 years ago

I have to agree. Certainly James would be an upgrade for us – but that’s a very low bar. In the mock above (trades aside) I would rather see us take McGlinchey – our OLine has holes all over it. If we go into Winston’s 4th season with another brutal line in front of him, and then the fan base claims he’s a bust (while once again being near the top of the league in passing under pressure), I’ll woof my cookies. Yes Jensen is an upgrade – but he’s never been more than average as C (not sure what… Read more »

Jolly Bucs Fan
3 years ago

Idk if i can see Bucs passing on Nelson if he’s there. Id imagine there would also be riots down Dale Mabry

3 years ago

I don’t see buffalo giving up 2 first picks to move up 2 spots. Maybe a first and 2nd but not 2 firsts.

3 years ago

Mark Baron was an absolute beast in college and had a much better final year in college than James.

So I know the shiny new toy gets all the hype, but Baron was every bit the player James is. James is more athletic, but he’s still a Im the box safety like Baron.

Fingers crossed the Bucs don’t burn a top 7 pick on a Safety.

3 years ago

Can’t see the fascination with James. If you want to draft a defensive player instead of Nelson, it would have to be Roquan Smith. He is a budding D.Brooks . Regardless of need, pick the best Defensive player.

3 years ago

Safety? Ugh.

It seems to be a concensus on all the sites from all the experts. At least he can cover the slot(with swagger and leadership!!) Wait, I thought VH3 was covering the slot. Wait, FS Justin Evans is also covering the slot.

How many slot receivers do teams have again and how did they become such game wreckers??

3 years ago

I remember how this went last time…

Bucs passed on Luke Keuchly at 7 and drafted Mark Barron.

Yes, those were different players drafted by different regimes. So what? A safety is NOT worth a top ten pick. EVER. It was a bad idea then and its a bad idea now.

Draft heirarchy: QB, LT, RDE, DT, CB, RB, LB, WR, OC/OG, TE, S

Reply to  BucWild02
3 years ago

I can only name two safeties that were drafted in the top 15 players of the draft that have kind of panned out…Eric Turner and Sean Taylor. This guy Derwin James is neither of them.

Even if he turns into an Ed Reed type leader, the Ravens winning percentage was 70-58 with him on the roster according to an article on WalterFootball. That’s basically 9-7. And they drafted Reed 24th overall. They were already a decent team before they added him. http://walterfootball.com/nfldraftsafeties.php

3 years ago

So here we go again….bad teams like the Bucs are picking at seven, when it should have been five, and selecting a guy that is really more mid round first quality, and teams like the Packers are getting Fitz in the middle rounds…. a guy that could be as good or better than James. And you wonder why the Bucs stunk last year and will be hard pressed to have a better record this year than last year?

3 years ago

Bucs most likely should go with Fitzpatrick, James made it clear he did not want to be a Buc by not coming to workout, his attitude will be in question should Bucs pick him.
With this coach and lack of free agency the Bucs will have a first or second pick next year they can use on QB!

Reply to  Mike.Seven
3 years ago

He declined the workout because he didn’t want to risk injury scenes dropping draft position. He already met with Tampa and said he would lidge to be apart od the organization.

Reply to  Mike.Seven
3 years ago

Lol, absurd Derwin assumptions and a Jameis shot. Sad.

Brooks Dunn-Winston
3 years ago

James is a great pick, but can be had at 13. Why not trade back and draft him.

3 years ago

So Pewter Reports Love fest with FSU Players continues for like the 5th yr in a row, listen I like Derwin James myself but more than Quentin Nelson or Minkah Fitzpatrick? Hell no!!! Could the Bucs draft James? Sure, but I have a hard time believing if Nelson on board who is a blue chip player at guard for a safety who reminds me a lot of Mark Barron.

3 years ago

People are mad at Licht over mock drafts? What’s funny is when people bring up Mark Barron and tie him to James. Barron was an Alabama product like Fitzpatrick so it’s the same system. Barron wasn’t a bad Safety to be honest, he had a good rookie season and improved his second season, then Lovie Smith crappy defense showed up.

3 years ago

I will be shocked if Josh Sweat goes in the in the first round let alone at 18. I don’t recall seeing a single mock draft by anyone having Sweat in the first round. Rich McKay used to talk about drafting production as in Warrick Dunn when many thought he was to small. I understand Josh Sweat had a great combine, he has been an underachieving disappointment at FSU. Hopefully he will learn how to use his physical talent, he certainly has not thus far.

3 years ago

Trevor, you literally just released your top 100, with Quenton Nelson being the top prospect, yet you have us passing on him for Derwin James.

Wtf? Explain yourself.

3 years ago

At this point, I would bet on the Bucs taking Minkah Fitzpatrick rather than James or Ward.
He is a high character guy. He is versatile. He is 6.0 feet tall. He has decent speed. He is a great potential talent.

Go Bucs!!!!

3 years ago

U guys took the bait. Wooohooop trade back baby!! Finally Licht is working it!! Atta boy licht!!

3 years ago

Absolutely comical how you folks take these mock drafts so seriously to the point of wanting to fire Jason Licht for Scott’s prediction.

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