Hindsight is 20/20… Let’s Re-draft the 2018 NFL Draft!
9. San Francisco 49ers Mike McGlinchey
Finishing atop rookie offensive line grading (PFF), McGlinchey appears to have been the right pick for the 49ers. I wondered how he’d perform having to replace Trent Brown; from a scheme standpoint it made plenty of sense getting out and about in that outside zone scheme which the former Irishmen can do with ease. Continuing to stay healthy and improving in his pass pro set is the next step in his development as he was a beast in the run game and maybe one day he’ll be the left tackle that many think he can be. If not he’ll rank among the top right tackles in the league for years to come.
10. Arizona Cardinals Lamar Jackson
Considering the lack of talent along the Cardinals’ offensive line I prefer a guy who can move about in the pocket and get out when the getting is good. Jackson playing in Baltimore for me is a mismatch for the simple fact that I’m not sure they know what they have in Jackson or what they want to do on offense in general. I’d be intrigued to see what Kliff Kingsbury would and could do for a Lamar Jackson who managed to lead his team to the playoffs ousting the Pittsburgh Steelers in the process!
11. Miami Dolphins Minkah Fitzpatrick
You asking yourself “Yo why not Derwin James here?”, who had a helluva season but so did Minkah who I believe fits the Dolphins better in terms of his usage and where he will be at his best vs James and what he does at his best. Dolphins have two or three safeties on the roster who can play the James role while they don’t have another cover guy who can play all 4 back end positions in a Minkah. Which is what he did this past season. Now imagine him settling in on two roles instead of four where he can hone those skills and the nuisances of the position. How much better will the Dolphins be on the back end?!?!
12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Derwin James
We know Derwin is a helluva player but the part about him that intrigues me the most is not his play on the field which is undeniable; but rather his attitude, swag, and will he brings currently missing in Tampa, especially on the defensive side of the ball. James is the type of player who can be used in a variety of ways and positions lining up everywhere that a defensive player can play. James was as advertised and is the epitome of today’s safety. Versatility!
13. Washington Redskins Vita Vea
As I recall, this is who Washington coveted but instead ended up with Da’Ron Payne who in his own right had a damn good season. Honestly, I debated whether or not to maintain status quo with this pick. I know Vita was hurt for a good portion of the season, recovering from a calf injury that took place on the first day of padded practices. But once he was healthy and in “football shape” he took off. He displayed exactly what I saw on film while at Washington. A disruptive force in the middle, who demands a double team, leaving everyone else one-on-one with the man in front of them. I know there are folks out there who didn’t and still may believe that Vita can’t pass rush but I’m here to let you know this is false. Imagine him playing next to Jonathan Allen. Two guys collapsing the line of scrimmage, walking offensive linemen back into the lap of the QB, getting him off his spot and making it extremely difficult to run the ball with constant penetration. This is the vision I have (had) for Vita Vea in Washington.
14. New Orleans Saints Marcus Davenport
At the time of this trade I was skeptical and thought the Saints gave up too much including a pick that equates to the 30th overall selection in the upcoming 2019 NFL Draft. This is a raw, talented, small school player who had clear flaws and didn’t always dominate the lower level competition he faced in college; needing to develop more of a pass rush repertoire outside of a bull rush. Well, here I am doing exactly what the Saints did which means I was wrong and I am here to acknowledge that. Davenport was likened to a young DeMarcus Ware and I find it hard to disagree. You could tell during Senior Bowl practices and ultimately the Senior Bowl Game that Davenport simply got better everyday with requisite coaching. Getting hurt early in mini-camp slowed his development but as the season progressed you could see the flashes both in the run and pass game. Davenport ended his injury plagued rookie season with just 4.5 sacks along with 1 forced fumble and 2 pass deflections. Barring injury I expect a BIG jump in 2019.
15. Oakland Raiders Isaiah Wynn
I know. I know. He didn’t play last season due to injury but once healthy I expect greatness from a player like Wynn who was the most technically sound prospect coming out last year. Hands, feet, hips, head all line up and match and let’s not leave out that bit of nasty he can come to the table with. And yes I’d move Donald Penn to the right side just like the Raiders did, a la Kolton Miller. Miller struggled early just like we thought he would here at CPGM. Obviously, some of Miller’s struggles were due to injury, while others were due to learning a new scheme and adapting to the riggers of the NFL. But the primary issue with Miller and why I ultimately would have selected Isaiah Wynn in this spot was Kolton’s lack of technical refinement. His technique lagged behind his physical prowess and when it comes to offensive linemen a high floor often out-weighs a high ceiling. Wynn is a polished and refined player who possesses an extremely high floor and ceiling vs. Miller a raw but talented, meets the measurables work in progress. “I’ll take the former for $400 Alex.”
16. Buffalo Bills Leighton Vander Esch
This no slight to Tremaine Edmunds who I believe has a higher ceiling due to his measurables and raw ability. But with Vander Esch there is less of a learning curve and more of an immediate impact with smarts to line folks up and be in position to make plays. If Vander Esch started the entire season he may have led the league in tackles (140 tackles finishing third only behind Blake Martinez 144, and Darius Leonard 163. Remember he displaced Sean Lee who had been the main linchpin to the Cowboys defense for years.