What if Roger Goodell said tomorrow, ‘Hey guys, let’s just draft offensive players in round one as props to our awesome fantasy football community.’ Well- quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends… not kickers, I am sorry Tampa Bay, people don’t take kickers in the first few rounds and I am firmly in the camp of kickers not belonging in fantasy football.
I’ve seen so many mock drafts and honestly most are not hardly any different and all will not be very close to what really happens. So I wanted to have some fun! I will mock draft the first round as if each team can only take a QB, RB, WR, or TE- I will take into account fit into the team and what would be a good ‘fantasy’ fit for each team. Without further ado….
1.01 Cleveland Browns Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
Cleveland gets on the clock and does what every fantasy player knows is the right pick- they draft uber-stud Saquon and have some fun with offense. Hue won’t know what to do with all the talent! Saquon gets a lion’s share of carries and some targets, Carlos Hyde spells occasionally, and Duke Johnson runs out of the slot and all over secondaries. We may even see some wishbone in the Browns backfield!
1.02 New York Giants Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
I could have went RB here but I think a QB to chuck footballs all over the place is a higher priority. Receiving weapons need to be fed and Eli’s decline is painful to watch- Josh will likely replace Eli several weeks in and push the NY offense up the field as possibly the most pro-ready QB in this draft class. New York has its new quarterback of the future.
1.03 New York Jets Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
I had to have the Jets go all Hall and Oates here and make Eliot Crist’s (@EliotCrist – must follow!) dreams come true- I love the passion Baker has when he takes the field and he will step in when Josh McCown breaks his clavicle, collarbone, colon- take your pick. I love McCown but Baker is ready for the throne and he will make the Jets offense much more fun and have more potential. Baker makes all the throws, is accurate, and is a winner- can’t teach that.
1.04 Cleveland Browns Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
Cleveland is going to make the Dawg Pound bark again baby! Lamar brings flair, explosiveness, and along with Saquon, Flash Gordon, David Njoku, and Duke Johnson- gives Cleveland something to build around for years. Lamar will need some time and could see the field early if Tyrod falters- but the upside with the weapons is tantalizingly fun.
1.05 Denver Broncos Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
Denver gets the franchise back to complement their offense, Derrius will give the offense a nasty running threat to take pressure off Case Keenum, allowing him to get the ball to his stellar veteran WR duo. Derrius will inject some smash-mouth mentality on the offensive side of the ball and hopefully give them some of the intensity the defense has had for years.
1.06 Indianapolis Colts Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia
Nick Chubb will give the Colts a strong RB and diversify the offense, hopefully taking some pressure off the offensive line in the process. Nick is a tough runner with great vision and will give the Colts a true stud RB and make the offense more complete. If Nick returns to form of several years ago like he was starting to last season, Indianapolis has a steal here.
1.07 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sony Michel, RB, Georgia
Sony will come into a fairly potent offense and add another dimension as a three down threat, potentially making the offense nearly unstoppable. The Bucs have been searching for what they thought the Muscle Hamster was and Sony will be that and so much more. A better inside runner than some think, Sony will be a do-it-all back to pair with Jameis and Evans for years.
1.08 Chicago Bears Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
Courtland will come in and be a red-zone threat and a great compliment to Allen Robinson for young Mitchell Trubisky. I could have went several directions at WR here but several of the top WRs in this class I don’t feel would complement ARob as well. Sutton is a big bodied threat that will take some time but doesn’t have to be ‘The Man’ right away in Chicago.
1.09 San Francisco 49ers D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland
I love the fit with the 49ers and budding GQ model/QB Jimmy Garopollo- D.J. does a lot of things well and can be moved all over to create mismatches. Shanahan would have fun with the talented young wideout and D.J. would make the 49er offense versatile and potent. Not likely- but I would like this to happen in the actual draft!
1.10 Oakland Raiders Rashaad Penny, RB, San Diego State
Marshawn is getting older obviously and Doug Martin is not the answer- Rashaad would come in and give them a dangerous home-run threat back to throw in the RB mix. I don’t believe it would take long for Penny to earn his money and overtake the old guard- Rashaad is quick with good vision and would add another dimension to the stellar Oakland offensive attack.
1.11 Miami Dolphins Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State
Miami needs many things but a TE as athletic and dangerous as Mike Gesicki would help Tannehill transition from the loss of Jarvis Landry immensely. Gesicki can stretch the field and add an element that Miami hasn’t had for quite some time. A big WR was also a possibility here but adding an athletic TE for Tannehill to call his new security blanket was too tough to pass up.
1.12 Buffalo Bills Sam Darnold, QB, USC
Too many needs for Buffalo here but QB is priority one and Darnold falling here would be a big-time present for the Bills. Sam will likely take a year or two to be fantasy relevant as the offense needs playmakers other than McCoy but the USC quarterback is a no-brainer here.
1.13 Washington Redskins Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
Alex Smith meet your new best friend- Mr. Calvin Ridley. One of the best technical receivers in the draft will quickly become the WR1 in an offense starving for a WR to take the reins and elevate the passing game. Ridley would step in on day one and quickly become a fantasy viable asset in the Redskins offense.
1.14 Green Bay Packers James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State
Packers fans would rejoice- adding James Washington to Aaron Rodger’s arsenal is almost criminal. James was one of the best deep ball threats in college football history and would click well with one of the best deep ball passers of our generation. I truly believe this would be a match made in heaven and James would groom into filling Jordy’s cleats over time nicely.
1.15 Arizona Cardinals Equanimeous St. Brown, WR, Notre Dame
Arizona needs QB but I am not saddling them with Josh Allen- I like the Cardinals! ESB would get a year at least to learn from the great Larry Fitzgerald and then give the Cards a true WR1 for years after Larry is gone. ESB is immensely talented and will need a little time to catch on but the fit in the desert should be a great one for many years.
1.16 Baltimore Ravens Dallas Goedert, TE, S. Dakota State
At one point in his career, Joe Flacco loved TEs like Jon Gruden loves ancient football players but Joe hasn’t had a really good TE for some time. Dallas Goedert is a mismatch nightmare and a TE that can get vertical with great hands to boot. Dallas along with the new WR trio could extend Flacco’s career and make the Raven offense potent again.
1.17 Los Angeles Chargers Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
This was a tough one- the Chargers offense is mostly set, a WR on the outside to complement Keenan was in consideration as well. But a young QB to groom as Philip Rivers’ heir apparent is a priority and Josh Allen will need the time to groom as well. The fit here would be almost as good as it gets for the Wyoming gunslinger.
1.18 Seattle Seahawks Royce Freeman, RB, Oregon
Royce takes a short jaunt north to join his new team and will become the feature back they have been looking for. Royce is proficient out of the backfield catching passes and has a nose for the end-zone. Pairing him with Russell Wilson and Doug Baldwin gives Seattle some offensive firepower. A TE or WR to complement Baldwin were also in consideration here.
1.19 Dallas Cowboys Michael Gallup, WR, Colorado State
Michael Gallup has improved every year in his college career and should continue into the NFL and will give Dak a reliable target to compliment the Cowboys offense. Gallup is a strong route runner and great after the catch- also improved hand and body positioning- and would be the WR Dak needs at this point in the draft.
1.20 Detroit Lions Kerryon Johnson, RB, Auburn
Kerryon is a patient and powerful runner and would quickly give Detroit the strong runner they have missed for many years. Kerryon would also complement Theo Riddick and Ameer Abdullah well, but would step into the workhorse role from his first snap. Detroit hasn’t had a RB anywhere near as authoritive as Kerryon- he would be fun in Detroit’s offense.
1.21 Cincinnati Bengals Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M
The Bengals have been searching for weapons to complement A.J. Green for years and they will get one with Christian Kirk. Kirk will likely man the slot and could even play outside at times- he runs precise quick routes and has great hands. The fit in Cincinnati would be nearly perfect and add a dimension they have needed for some time.
1.22 Buffalo Bills Anthony Miller, WR, Memphis
It pains me sending one of my favorite players to Buffalo but the fit is perfect- Anthony Miller would give the Bills a proficient WR out of the slot to garner targets from their inexperienced quarterbacks. Miller was productive at the college level- extremely quick with phenomenal moves to create separation, should see the field from day one in the NFL.
1.23 New England Patriots Deon Cain, WR, Clemson
Deon Cain is a WR with tons of talent that greatly disappointed last season at Clemson- but possesses many tools to be a strong, quality outside WR. Deon is physical and has a great gear when he gets open to be a deep threat. Will need some development but has all the tools to be a WR1 if game is refined- the Patriots can develop with the best of them.
1.24 Carolina Panthers DaeSean Hamilton, WR, Penn State
‘BaeSean’ has been climbing the boards and may not be as high profile but would fit what the Panthers need here at pick 24. DaeSean will likely work out of the slot but doesn’t have to be exclusive to it, he has the size to play outside as well. He is a great route runner and his play on tape is far better than the measurables or scouting reports- Hamilton is a true football player.
1.25 Tennessee Titans D.J. Chark, WR, LSU
D.J. exploded at the combine with a tremendously fast 4.34 40-yard dash and is a true burner that could complement Corey Davis in the young Titan offense. D.J. was a deep threat solely in LSU but the LSU offense isn’t the most WR friendly offense by any means. It’s possible he shows more but will likely be deep threat complementary outside WR for Mariota.
1.26 Atlanta Falcons Richie James, WR, Middle Tenn. State
Richie would be a great piece in Atlanta’s offense- a great complement in the slot to Julio and Sanu manning the outside WR spots. Richie was insanely productive in college- he is quick, tenacious, shifty, and dangerous after the catch. He will likely take some time to acclimate to the pro game but his mix of tools will get into the Falcon game plan sooner rather than later.
1.27 New Orleans Saints Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina
While Gesicki and Goedert in New Orleans would be special- Hayden Hurst is by no means a slouch here and will be a starting TE and target for Drew Brees early on. Hayden pursued a major league baseball career at one point so he is older than most prospects, but he has shown ability to be a complete TE and will get an opportunity in the Big Easy early.
1.28 Pittsburgh Steelers Ronald Jones, RB, USC
It seems criminal to give a player with RoJo’s explosiveness to the Steelers offense- TE was also a consideration- but Jones’ game would complement LeVeon Bell’s when Bell needs to be spelled. Ronald is electric in the open field and a home run threat on every touch. I like him or John Kelly here at this spot- went with Ronald Jones because of more upside in my opinion.
1.29 Jacksonville Jaguars John Kelly, RB, Tennessee
I really like John Kelly going here as a complementary piece to Leonard Fournette, and with Fournette’s injury history- an opportunity for a bigger role could come to fruition. John Kelly is a powerful decisive runner that excels in finding the hole and being difficult to tackle. He can also potentially be an asset receiving out of the backfield and would make a solid 1-2 punch with Fournette.
1.30 Minnesota Vikings Mark Andrews, TE, Oklahoma
Captain Kirk loves to pepper the tight ends with targets and with Kyle Rudolph in Minnesota to learn the ropes from- Mark Andrews would be a solid fit in the Vikings offense. Mark is able to create mismatches due to his size and body positioning, as well as smooth route running. Mark will need to learn the game as he projects more as a big slot receiver but few know the TE game as well as Rudolph.
1.31 New England Patriots Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State
Tom Brady will retire someday right? Right??? An unsexy move but necessary, the Patriots grab Mason Rudolph to hopefully take the reins when Brady retires. Rudolph will need a little time to develop but has ideal size and arm strength to be successful. Mason has also shown good touch on many types of throws and will be groomed to be the next Pats QB.
1.32 Philadelphia Eagles Kalen Ballage, RB, Arizona State
I admit- this one is far-fetched- but heck, it would be fun right? I personally believe Kalen will have a role in the NFL although his role would be similar to what Corey Clement did in 2017. Ballage has flashed immense big play ability and ability to break a long run every touch. What do you get a team that won the Super Bowl and doesn’t have many glaring weaknesses?