College Football Metrics aims to remove bias from NFL Draft analysis. We want to objectively scout prospects, and we want to accurately analyze how the free market values prospects. Thus, CFM has partnered with Xavier Cromartie (Twitter @xaviercromartie / Gab @xm) to produce mock drafts and top 100 prospect boards based on his latest intel, research, and analysis. Xavier was the final grand prize winner of ESPN’s NFL Draft 1st Round Forecast contest, and he is the undefeated Play The Draft Champion Emeritus.
In 2015, we made our debut in The Huddle Report’s exclusive, experts-only NFL Draft contests. Our two-year average score in the mock draft contest is 42.5 (#12 two-year average out of 86 entries), and our two-year average score in the top 100 contest is 83.5 (#4 two-year average out of 43 entries).
Draft scenarios change as new information comes in during draft season, and so we will run updates here as often as Xavier makes adjustments to his mocks and boards.
Round 1 (team, position, player, school, change from last/last mock pick)
Top needs: 7T, QB, FS
He’ll be a very good player. He’s not a QB, though.
Top needs: CB, FS, 9T
This pick makes sense. The top DBs fill the biggest needs, but an untalented team can win with a good running game. More important is that Fournette is seen as a top 2-3 player by most professionals. Stick to the board early in the draft. Trade down is possible.
Top needs: 5T, SS, WR
People are trying to force anyone but Allen into this spot. His medicals have him tumbling all the way to… pick #4? Maybe pick #7? Yeah right. It reminds me of Bosa last year. People said he might slide out of the top 10, and he was the 3rd pick all along.
Top needs: RB, LG, TE
If someone else wants Trubisky, trading up to pick 4 or 5 might be necessary. Bortles has 11 wins total in 3 seasons. It’s clear that Bortles is holding JAX back. JAX hasn’t even picked up his 2018 option. Now there’s a new VP and HC in town; Bortles wasn’t their pick.
Top needs: WR, ILB, CB
Hearing a lot of talk about how the Titans should take Conley because of Lattimore’s hamstrings… I interpret it as someone’s trying to get Lattimore to fall. He’s at the top of the CB rankings for most scouts, and for me as well. Trade down is possible here.
Top needs: QB, SS, CB
NYJ probably wants to mimic CLE and trade down to stockpile as many picks as possible. NYJ needs a QB, I’m not sure about here though. Adams would be the best non-QB choice here. If NYJ ends up at pick 12 or 13, there’s still an outside chance that Adams could last that long.
Top needs: RG, 9T, FS
Too comfy to move off this pick. It has made sense all along.
Top needs: WR, RB, CB
CAR is heavily interested in WRs and RBs this year. With this pick they get both. He’ll go early and he deserves it.
Top needs: LT, 7T, RB
I’m still sticking with this pick. Ogbuehi has been terrible. CIN can try starting him at LT but there needs to be a backup plan. Also, take Joe Mixon if he’s still there in round 2.
Top needs: CB, WR, ILB
Conley might be the second CB on a lot of boards, but I don’t think he fits in BUF. Humphrey is first or second on more boards than the media realize. Seems like either Lattimore or Humphrey would suit BUF.
Top needs: CB, 7T, ILB
I’ve been hard on him off-field, but the on-field is quite good. NO just wants talent on defense. Klein starts at MLB with Te’o backing him up. Foster would play WLB with Robertson backing him up. There’s pass-rusher and CB depth later.
Top needs: QB, FS, SS
Thomas should go in this area, not pick #2. I don’t think CLE will get Trubisky at 12. Garrett and Thomas would be a nice d-line combo. CLE could take a (bad) QB at #33 or maybe trade up into late round 1.
Top needs: QB, CB, FS
ARI might have to trade up to get Mahomes. Trubisky and Mahomes are the only two worthwhile QBs, in my opinion.
Top needs: CB, CB, RB
PHI appears to have 5 WRs… but it’s a mirage. PHI doesn’t want Matthews. Jeffery is a one-year trial. Smith and Agholor are trash. DGB probably won’t make the roster. The only reason Ross lasts this long is medical questions.
Top needs: CB, ILB, 9T
Since IND has signed a bunch of defenders while leaving CB wide open, it’s safe to assume IND has plans for a CB in the draft. Conley is a top 20 guy, not that far behind Lattimore except Conley can’t tackle.
Top needs: RT, C, 9T
Is there something more permanent than carving this pick in granite? Nothing can move me off this pick.
Top needs: 5T, 9T, CB
Barnett’s kind of a tweener between 4-3DE and 3-4OLB, but that’s fine in WAS. Add him to the rotation with Preston Smith. Take a 5-tech in round 2.
Top needs: WR, ILB, FS
TEN might consider Williams at 5, or 12/13 with a trade down. He’s somewhere in the top 20. He doesn’t seem special enough for the top 10.
Top needs: RB, TE, CB
I’m starting to think the negative stuff is slightly overblown. It’s real, for sure, but maybe not ‘2nd round’ real. More of a mid/late 1st. And TB is clearly interested in Cook.
Top needs: LT, RB, TE
DEN has to find an o-lineman. Robinson is tricky. Some might see him as a high-upside LT (early 1st), others might see a RT or G (late 1st). Right around here is the midpoint.
Top needs: ILB, 7T, CB
ILB is the bigger need, but 7T is the more valuable position. Most of the defense needs work but DET may want to start up front.
Top needs: FS, RG, CB
Awoo~. His stock is hot. Although Lamp would be a good fit, MIA may want an impact defender here. Specifically, a hybrid nickel/safety like Awoo would be an excellent fit.
Top needs: 3T, ILB, TE
He’ll probably go in the 20s; a lot of teams in this area need a LB. Njoku is a hot name here but I question whether he goes in the 1st round like everyone thinks. TEs go lower than expected. LT is still an option here.
Top needs: ILB, 3T, CB
King might not make it here. Like with DET, while the need for ILB is big, OAK may go with the more valuable position (CB). King would be the heir to Sean Smith’s throne. Fits the OAK mold.
Top needs: QB, RT, RG
He throws 46 MPH, people! You’re all crazy!
Top needs: CB, LT, SS
Still comfy here. Obi is still long and athletic. He’s a SEA CB.
Top needs: ILB, 5T, QB
If KC wants Mahomes, it’s not happening at pick 27. KC is the prime candidate to trade down if someone wants to come up for one of the other (bad) QBs still on the board. Reddick has hyped his way into the 1st round.
Top needs: CB, SS, 7T
I’m becoming more willing to accept that even though Watt has early-2nd round grades, his name will get him into the late-1st. DAL is looking hard at edge-rushers and DBs. I consider DAL a smart team, so I’m not giving them Harris or McKinley.
Top needs: CB, ILB, 9T
Best available Pac-12 CB here. King and Awoo~ will probably be gone. Jackson could be too, but his height likely drops him. He should still fit the GB athletic mold. Insane 3-cone. Also has the versatility that GB likes.
Top needs: 9T, CB, WR
White isn’t the super-athlete PIT has become associated with, but neither was Artie Burns last year. White is good enough, and he’s a good cover CB. Burns is the only other long-term CB on the team, probably.
Top needs: RG, 7T, 3T
Lamp is clearly the best guard, but I’m not sure who’s willing to burn their 1st-round pick on the position other than ATL.
Top needs: CB, 7T, QB
Some people have Harris in the early teens, others have him at the end of the 1st round. NO has picks in both areas and needs an edge, so this is a probability play. I think the late-1st grades are more accurate. If NO goes CB or ILB early, then an edge is likely here.
Dropped out: ILB Zach Cunningham (23), QB Davis Webb (25)
Left out: RT Ryan Ramczyk, TE David Njoku, QB Davis Webb, WR Corey Davis, 9T Takkarist McKinley, SS Jabrill Peppers
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