2018 NFL Mock Draft: Sean Dyer’s First-Round Mock 3.0

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 30: Fans cheer (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 30: Fans cheer (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
6 of 8

Iowa. James Daniels. C. 21. player. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. 56

Previous picks: 1.0 – Isaiah Wynn, OL, Georgia; 2.0 – Connor Williams, OT, Texas

The common theme here is that the Cincinnati Bengals need help along their offensive line. They moved back in the draft when they acquired Cordy Glenn but that only fixes one spot (assuming Glenn stays healthy). Neither Jake Fisher or Cedric Ogbuehi has been what Cincinnati expected. The Bengals are also still looking to replace Kevin Zeitler at guard.

Isaiah Wynn and Connor Williams can each play guard or tackle whereas James Daniels can play center or guard. If drafted by the Bengals, Daniels would immediately slide in at center. Iowa offensive linemen have a great track record of becoming successful NFL linemen and Daniels is expected to join that group.

22. player. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. Connor Williams. OT. Texas. 46

Previous picks: 1.0 – Mike Hughes, CB, UCF (Buffalo Bills); 2.0 – Will Hernandez, OG, UTEP (New York Giants) 

The Indianapolis Colts are able to trade back twice and still address one of their biggest needs. The Colts need to protect Andrew Luck so once he gets healthy, he stays that way. After passing on Quenton Nelson at No. 6, Indy adds Connor Williams at No. 22.

Although Nelson is considered a future All-Pro guard, Williams has the versatility to play tackle or guard. Some scouts few Williams as the best tackle in the draft with franchise left tackle potential while others see a move inside to guard. Either way, Williams would be an asset for the Colts. Williams could give right tackle a shot or move inside to guard as a rookie and team up with Jack Mewhort. If he’s able to stick at tackle, Williams could eventually take over for Anthony Castonzo at left tackle.

23. player. 47. CB. Louisville. Jaire Alexander. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis

Previous picks: 1.0 – Harold Landry, EDGE, Boston College (Los Angeles Rams); 2.0 – Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State (Chicago Bears) 

The New England Patriots lost the Super Bowl this year because they let a backup quarterback in Nick Foles hang 41 points on them. Bill Belichick needs to address his defense. One area of need that immediately comes to mind is cornerback after Malcolm Butler left via free agency. The Patriots did reunite the McCourty twins, trading for Jason, but he’s not a long-term answer at the position.

Jaire Alexander has been moving up draft boards, working his way into the first round. Alexander is quick and instinctive, never leaving receivers’ sides. Injuries held him back in 2017 but if you turn on his 2016 tape, you’ll be reminded why he was a top prospect coming into last season. Alexander could use his quickness to start in the slot, eventually taking over outside when Jason McCourty moves on.

UCF. player. 87. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. CB. Mike Hughes. 24

Previous picks: 1.0 – Will Hernandez, OG, UTEP; 2.0 – Mike Hughes, CB, UCF 

The Carolina Panthers clearly wanted to add to their secondary when they signed free agent Bashaud Breeland. Unfortunately, Breeland failed his physical, leaving Carolina with a hole opposite James Bradberry. Although they could use help at wide receiver, with Calvin Ridley off the board, the Panthers wait for better value in the middle rounds.

Adding Mike Hughes gives the Panthers a solid No. 2 corner to replace Daryl Worley and an excellent return man. Hughes was one of the best kick and punt returners in the country this past season.