It’s almost here. The 2018 NFL Draft in Arlington, TX, is about to begin on Thursday night. And months of evaluations on and off the filed will culminate with the teams doing their best “educated guesswork,” as to which prospects will help them.
And, now we get to see what they are all really thinking, as they have to put their selections where their bluffs and disinformation have been for weeks.
So, for the Buccaneers, currently picking seventh, and the Dolphins, currently selecting 11th, we at F.F.I. have heightened interest in what they will be up to in the first two hours of the process Thursday night.
And we love leaning on the knowledge and the “crystal ball” of our Fanrag Sports brothers at NDT Scouting, and specifically, Joe Marino. Marino, after all, had the best first round mock draft score with nine correct team-player matches and overall predicted 28 of the 32 players taken round one.
And yesterday, he put out his final mock for Thursday night and we were intrigued to look. Again, this is what he predicts teams will do, not what he would do, if the picks were his alone.
— Joe Marino (@TheJoeMarino) April 25, 2018
Interestingly, while Marino is in agreement with most analysts and “mockers” that Sam Darnold is the pick for the Browns at #1 overall, he doesn’t have the Giants following with a QB of their own. Instead, he has them taking Penn State RB Saquon Barkley. It’s important to point out that most do NOT have Barkley going, as high as one or two.
If that does happen, then mayhem ensues to try to get two or three of the remaining quarterbacks.
Marino’s top six plays out with Jets getting Baker Mayfield at #3, and then, the Browns, with Barkley off the board going to a defensive end at the top of the first round (Myles Garrett 2017) for the second straight year with Bradley Chubb of N.C. State. Then, he has a trade scenario with the Broncos giving their pick to the Bills to take QB Josh Allen at five.
Next in this scenario from Marino is that the Colts will keep their sixth pick, even though Josh Rosen is sitting there for someone trade up for, and Indy takes Notre Dame OG Quenton Nelson.
Now, the Buccaneers would be in the same position to listen to trade offers for Rosen, but here’s what Marino wrote about what he believes happens:
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Derwin James, S, Florida State
“Tampa Bay needs more playmakers on defense and James versatility, ball skills, athleticism, size and physicality is exactly what the defense needs. A tenure-defining season lies ahead for head coach Dirk Koetter and general manager Jason Licht to fix the defense and James would be a wise investment.”
This would be a popular pick with the Noles fan base, however, most don’t view this a “need” for the Bucs. We shall see.
Eventually, Marino worked his way to #11 and what the Dolphins will do (bearing in mind Miami might try to trade up earlier in this scenario).
11. Miami Dolphins: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
“Nobody likes a big splash quite like Mike Tannenbaum and Rosen certainly does that. Pairing Rosen’s skill set with Adam Gase puts Miami’s offense in good hands moving forward. Current starter Ryan Tannehill is on the wrong side of 30, coming off a knee injury and is quite expensive.”
As we have repeatedly written, either the Dolphins are “smitten” with Baker Mayfield or they’ve done a great job of making everyone think that they are. Will Rosen suffice as a consolation to that? We are not so sure.
However, Joe Marino has some “mock draft mojo” going, and we’re finally about to find out what happens.
It won’t be much longer.
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