Hindsight is 20/20… Let’s Re-draft the 2018 NFL Draft!
17. Los Angeles Chargers – Tremaine Edmunds
No Derwin James in this re-draft for the Chargers, so they get another athletic, physical specimen that can help improve their run defense. Edmunds had an up and down season due to his inexperience but he should be an improved player once the game slows down a bit for him. The Chargers have a huge hole in the middle of their defense and their best linebacker Denzel Perryman can’t stay healthy.
18. Green Bay Packers – Jaire Alexander (Traded Up)
Status quo here as Alexander displayed his cover skills and swag this season for the Packers. With Denzel Ward still on the board, I chose to go with my CB1 over Ward due to Alexander’s anticipation and ball skills. Unlike Ward this season, Alexander was asked to shadow opposing teams’ number one receiver and outside of that Julio Jones matchup, he fared well. The Packers are all set at outside corner, they just need to address their lack of pass rushers which will make it easier for Alexander and company to rack up some interceptions.
19. Dallas Cowboys – Da’Ron Payne
The Cowboys did well for themselves selecting Leighton Vander Esch, however he’s off the board and they need more defensive help in the interior. Enter Payne who was a physical force for the divisional rival Washington Redskins in 2018. David Irving can’t get right and Demarcus Lawrence needs some needed help in the trenches. Payne is a dual threat asset as he racked up 5 sacks, 27 total pressures and 34 defensive stops against the run.
20. Detroit Lions – Harold Landry
One of the biggest surprises of the draft was Landry falling out of the first round and lasting until Day 2 of last year’s draft. At Boston College he showcased his excellent jump off the snap and his ability to bend the edge and use his balance to get to opposing quarterbacks. Sounds like the type of player the Lions are in desperate need of. With Ziggy Ansah on his way out and little talent on the edges for the Lions, the selection of Landry would’ve been solid. He is a bit undersized but you can’t have enough pass rushers and the Lions are in dire need for a guy with Landry’s skill-set.
21. Cincinnati Bengals – Sam Darnold
The Bengals offensive line has been a major issue over the last couple of seasons so the selection of Billy Price makes sense, but with the fall of Darnold in this re-draft, this is an absolute no-brainer. Starting quarterback Andy Dalton has been a model of consistency throughout his tenure in Cincinnati. The problem is he’s been consistenly average at best. It’s time for the Bengals to get a new signal caller and Darnold fits the bill. After struggling with turnovers and an injury in his rookie season, Darnold finished the season strong with 931 passing yards, 6 touchdowns, and 1 interception in his last 4 games of the season.
22. Tennessee Titans – Rashaan Evans (Traded Up)
After struggling for the first 9 weeks of the season, Evans finally flashed his high upside by dominating against the run in the second half of the year. Evans is a physical thumper that has the speed to run sideline to sideline and set the tone in the middle of the Titans defense for years to come. He was over-shadowed by Darius Leonard in his division but Evans is no slouch as he has all the makings of a future star in this league.
23. New England Patriots – Denzel Ward
The Patriots run more man-to-man defense than most teams in the league and Ward was the best man-to-man corner in the draft. Perfect marriage here as Ward slips to pick 24. The reason you ask? Well I had legitimate concerns regarding Ward’s physicality and his ability to handle big, physical receivers outside the numbers. I thought his game was more finesse and that he would be better suited for the slot. Year one was a bit of a mixed bag as he fared well in coverage but also battled injuries throughout his rookie season. Time will tell if Ward can have sustained success when challenged with the physical nature of the professional game.
24. Carolina Panthers – Calvin Ridley
The Panthers decided to select D.J. Moore in last year’s draft rather than Calvin Ridley. However, I am not on that boat. The pick for me is Ridley. While Moore is a more dynamic receiver after the catch, Ridley wins before the catch with his excellent route running. Cam Newton isn’t the most polished passer, therefore having a receiver like Ridley that gets open quickly would’ve made it easier for him. It’s splitting hairs based on talent because I like both receivers but I believe Ridley is the better player.