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2018 NFL Mock Draft: Mathbomb’s Final Consensus

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We’ve reached the end, so it’s time to look at the numbers.

2017 NFL Draft Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

We’ve been tracking mock drafts since May to bring a consensus of who people think teams are going to take in the draft, compiling 1,200 mocks and putting us in a comfortable position numbers-wise to build a final consensus. We’re going to do things a little bit differently this time, breaking things up from an overall consensus as we’ve done all along ,as well as breaking it up by time period to show how things have changed over time. It’s hard to get more comprehensive than this, and we’ve got ground to cover, so let’s dive right in.

To break it up, we’re going to look at “Preseason”, which will include all mocks from May to September, “Pre-combine” which will encompass October through February, and “Post-Combine,” which is all mocks through March and April. Due to time, we weren’t able to get all mocks up until 4/25, but we’ve got most of April, so we’ve got a very good sample.

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1. Cleveland Browns
Consensus - Sam Darnold
Post-Combine - Sam Darnold
Pre-Combine - Sam Darnold
Preseason - Saquon Barkley

No mystery to who mock drafters have favored for the Browns, it’s been some combination of Darnold and Barkley pretty much since last season ended.

2. New York Giants
Consensus - Josh Rosen
Post-Combine - Saquon Barkley
Pre-Combine - Josh Rosen
Preseason - Mitch Hyatt

Prior to the season, not everyone believed the wheels were going to come off so quickly and so completely for the Giants. As such, the mocks were pretty varied. Once games started being played, it became a question of which quarterback they were going to pick. Over the past two months, it’s been between a quarterback or Barkley.

3. New York Jets
Consensus - Baker Mayfield
Post-Combine - Josh Rosen
Pre-Combine - Baker Mayfield
Preseason - Sam Darnold

Can you guess what position everyone thinks the Jets need? Though who it has changed, everyone has pretty much thought all along they were going to get a new signal caller.

4. Cleveland Browns
Consensus - Saquon Barkley
Post-Combine - Bradley Chubb
Pre-Combine - Saquon Barkley
Preseason - Derwin James

Once Darnold was locked down, most mock drafters thought it was down to Barkley. Over the past couple months, the conversation has shifted and Chubb has become much more popular, though part of that has to do with Barkley being gone before the Browns are on the clock a second time.

5. Denver Broncos
Consensus - Quenton Nelson
Post-Combine - Quenton Nelson
Pre-Combine - Quenton Nelson
Preseason - Vita Vea

The Broncos need an offensive lineman pretty badly. Though it’s been split with quarterbacks at various points, the most common pick that early in the draft has been Nelson. Not ironically, the pick is usually Nelson even if the Broncos trade out of their current spot.

6. Indianapolis Colts
Consensus - Bradley Chubb
Post-Combine - Tremaine Edmunds (behind Chubb, Barkley, Nelson)
Pre-Combine - Bradley Chubb
Preseason - Arden Key

The Colts need a pass rusher in a bad kind of way, though mock drafters don’t always agree on how they should land one. After the Combine, it opened up a bit more between the blue chip players.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Consensus - Minkah Fitzpatrick
Post-Combine - Minkah Fitzpatrick
Pre-Combine - Minkah Fitzpatrick (Behind Chubb)
Preseason - Bradley Chubb

I was a bit surprised it fell this way for the Bucs, but they’d have to be happy landing a premier playmaker in the draft like Fitzpatrick. It didn’t show up here, but there have been quite a few mocks with Barkley lately, ending any perceived slide.

8. Chicago Bears
Consensus - Calvin Ridley
Post-Combine - Denzel Ward (behind Nelson, Edmunds)
Pre-Combine - Calvin Ridley
Preseason - Minkah Fitzpatrick (Behind Key)

Prior to a poor NFL Combine, it was all Calvin Ridley, all the time, building up a lead in the consensus that was impossible to beat. A flurry of blue chip players started to catch up, however, and I’d put any of their post-Combine players as more likely than Ridley at this point.

9. San Francisco 49ers
Consensus - Denzel Ward
Post-Combine - Derwin James (Behind Edmunds, Ward)
Pre-Combine - Roquan Smith
Preseason - Josh Rosen

I felt like this was going to be either Edmunds or Smith, as it seemed like whoever the Raiders didn’t select would be mocked to the 49ers. Still, Ward is a playmaker and the team needs someone in the secondary who can add a spark. It’s neat how quickly mocks adjusted once the QB situation was resolved.

10. Las Vegas Raiders
Consensus - Roquan Smith
Post-Combine - Roquan Smith
Pre-Combine - Denzel Ward
Preseason - Malik Jefferson

The Raiders are going to need a new leader in their front seven and Smith to the Raiders is one of the most popular picks to any team.

11. Miami Dolphins
Consensus - Tremaine Edmunds
Post-Combine - Vita Vea
Pre-Combine - Arden Key
Preseason - Tarvarus McFadden

The Dolphins have needs all over, and, as such, their mocks have been all over. Most believe they need an impact defender, but over the last month or so, it's been a lot of talk about quarterbacks.

12. Buffalo Bills
Consensus - Josh Allen
Post-Combine - Josh Allen
Pre-Combine - Maurice Hurst
Preseason - James Washington (Behind Christian Wilkins)

When the Bills were picking lower in the round, it was a combination of a QB and a defender whenever it wasn’t both Mason Rudolph and James Washington paired up. That morphed to a QB first and a defender later once the team traded up.

13. Washington Redskins
Consensus - Derwin James
Post-Combine - Da’Ron Payne (Behind Vea, James, Smith)
Pre-Combine - Derwin James
Preseason - Mason Rudolph

The Redskins see Derwin James mocked to them a lot because of the surface similarities between James and legend Sean Taylor. Over the past couple months, it’s been a whole lot of defensive tackles, with Vita Vea making the biggest surge.

14. Green Bay Packers
Consensus - Joshua Jackson
Post-Combine - Marcus Davenport
Pre-Combine - Joshua Jackson
Preseason - Quenton Nelson

Joshua Jackson has been a popular pick for a while, but after he had a slightly disappointing 40 time, people turned to the biggest Combine winner they could find.

15. Arizona Cardinals
Consensus - Lamar Jackson
Post-Combine - Lamar Jackson
Pre-Combine - Josh Allen
Preseason - Luke Falk (Behind Mason Rudolph)

The Cardinals are drafting a quarterback or pretty much every mock drafter in the universe is going to flip. The team is also a popular trade-up candidate in mocks.

16. Baltimore Ravens
Consensus - Courtland Sutton (Behind Ridley)
Post-Combine - Calvin Ridley
Pre-Combine - Courtland Sutton (Behind Ridley)
Preseason - Courtland Sutton

Someone who can catch a football or block for the quarterback is a likely candidate to be mocked to the Ravens. We’ve seen a lot of quarterbacks of late, but mostly it’s been either Sutton or Ridley, ending his post-combine slide.

17. Los Angeles Chargers
Consensus - Vita Vea
Post-Combine - Mike McGlinchey (Behind Payne, Vea)
Pre-Combine - Vita Vea
Preseason - Connor Williams

Though Vita Vea was a popular pick for a long time, focus shifted to blockers once rumors about teams making a run on tackles in the first round crept up.

18. Seattle Seahawks
Consensus - Mike McGlinchey (Behind Joshua Jackson)
Post-Combine - Joshua Jackson
Pre-Combine - Derrius Guice
Preseason - Martinas Rankin (Behind Hyatt)

The Seahawks have more holes than they have draft picks, and mock drafts have largely mirrored that. Most common is a guy who shaped his game after Marshawn Lynch in Derrius Guice, someone who can restock the obliterated Legion of Boom, or someone to finally protect Russell Wilson.

19. Dallas Cowboys
Consensus - Maurice Hurst
Post-Combine - Courtland Sutton (Behind Payne)
Pre-Combine - Da’Ron Payne (Behind Hurst, Wilkins, Vea)
Preseason - Maurice Hurst

A nose tackle or pass rushing interior defensive lineman was the most popular pick by far for the Cowboys before letting Dez Bryant go. With 88 gone, mock drafters immediately looked for a replacement.

20. Detroit Lions
Consensus - Derrius Guice
Post-Combine - Derrius Guice
Pre-Combine - Marcus Davenport (Behind Guice)
Preseason - Derrius Guice

Yes, we get it, the Detroit Lions need a running back. One of the most popular team/player pairings overall, it’s interesting Guice didn’t land on the previous consensus mocks more often. That’s, in large, part due to other teams drafting before them, but a pass rusher is still far more likely than running back based on the coach and GM tendencies.

21. Cincinnati Bengals
Consensus - Connor Williams (Behind McGlinchey)
Post-Combine - Connor Williams (Behind McGlinchey)
Pre-Combine - Mike McGlinchey
Preseason - Mike McGlinchey

Geez, do you think the Bengals need someone to block for them? It was an issue prior to the season when they let their most talented blockers leave, and it’s still an issue now.

22. Buffalo Bills
Consensus - Mason Rudolph (Behind Allen, Jackson)
Post-Combine - Baker Mayfield (Behind Allen, Rosen)
Pre-Combine - Mason Rudolph (Behind Hurst)
Preseason - Lamar Jackson (Behind Wilkins, Washington)

As before, the Bills really need a quarterback. Yes, I know they aren’t taking two of them in the same draft. If I had a hand in picking these, that wouldn’t happen.

23. New England Patriots
Consensus - Kolton Miller
Post-Combine - Kolton Miller
Pre-Combine - Sam Hubbard
Preseason - Josh Sweat (Behind Lotulelei, Jefferson)

When the Patriots landed an extra pick in the first round, the speculation very quickly fell to one of two possibilities. Either they’re angling for a quarterback or they’re picking a tackle. Since most mock drafts don’t do trades, most mocks fell into the Kolton Miller camp.

24. Carolina Panthers
Consensus - Christian Kirk (Behind Sutton)
Post-Combine - Will Hernandez (Behind Sutton)
Pre-Combine - James Washington
Preseason - Deon Cain (Behind Chubb, Rankin)

With Kelvin Benjamin out and gone, mock drafters quickly descended on getting a new pass catcher. Lately, Will Hernandez has rightly been climbing up boards after killing the Combine.

25. Tennessee Titans
Consensus - Harold Landry
Post-Combine - Harold Landry
Pre-Combine - Harold Landry
Preseason - Harold Landry

Well hey, guess who sees a team-to-player match?

26. Atlanta Falcons
Consensus - Taven Bryan
Post-Combine - Taven Bryan
Pre-Combine - Isaiah Wynn (Behind Vea, Hurst, Payne)
Preseason - Billy Price (Behind Nelson, Washington)

Interior offensive line and interior defensive line have been the most popular picks for the Falcons, though people couldn’t figure out who fit the best until the past few months. Hard to find a mock that isn’t Taven Bryan these days.

27. New Orleans Saints
Consensus - Dallas Goedert
Post-Combine - Dallas Goedert
Pre-Combine - Rashaan Evans
Preseason - Sam Hubbard (Behind Landry, Fitzpatrick)

The Saints are one of the only teams that needs a tight end enough to reach for one in the first round, but Rashaan Evans had a pretty strong lead until he failed to run the 40 three times and turned off teams. Goedert competed with Mike Gesicki and, oddly, Hayden Hurst for this spot.

28. Pittsburgh Steelers
Consensus - Rashaan Evans
Post-Combine - Leighton Vander Esch
Pre-Combine - Ronnie Harrison (Behind Evans)
Preseason - Jaire Alexander (Behind Jefferson, Cameron Smith)

An impact defender who fits the Steelers’ tendencies wasn’t hard to find in this draft, so linebackers like Evans, Vander Esch, and Jefferson were very common.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars
Consensus - Mark Andrews (Behind Jackson)
Post-Combine - D.J. Moore
Pre-Combine - Mark Andrews
Preseason - Mark Andrews

Another team that needs a tight end and might reach for one is the Jaguars, one of the only teams that Mark Andrews has been mocked to in the first round. D.J. Moore is a common mock these days after having a fantastic Combine and navigating the draft process well.

30. Minnesota Vikings
Consensus - Billy Price
Post-Combine - Isaiah Wynn (Behind Hernandez)
Pre-Combine - Billy Price
Preseason - Orlando Brown

The Vikings need someone to keep one of their quarterbacks upright. With Kirk Cousins now in town, that need is more prevalent than ever.

31. New England Patriots
Consensus - Sam Hubbard (Behind Miller)
Post-Combine - Jaire Alexander (Behind Miller)
Pre-Combine - Isaiah Oliver (Behind Hubbard, Landry)
Preseason - Lowell Lotulelei

As before, only minus the tackles.

32. Philadelphia Eagles
Consensus - Chukwuma Okorafor (Behind Guice, Miller)
Post-Combine - Isaiah Oliver (Behind Guice, Goedert, Williams, Miller)
Pre-Combine - Chukwuma Okorafor
Preseason - Christian Kirk (Behind Barkley, Guice, Sutton, Jefferson)

It’s a bit surprising to me that so many folks are mocking the Eagles tackles who measured poorly after they’ve fielded the most athletic line in football for nearly a decade. Likewise, it’s weird to see mocks for a first-round tight end so often with Ertz still there.

Wrap Up

With the Consensus Mock Draft in the rear view, it’s time to look ahead to the real deal. The full results will be posted in a few weeks so you can go back and look at how insane some of these are and get a good laugh at some of the players who were mocked in the first round only to go undrafted or get picked up late. Remember that Brad Kaaya was once mocked first overall! In the meantime, I hope you’ve enjoyed this project, and I look forward to hearing about how silly this all was in a few days!