Welcome to the Niners Nation 2018 NFL mock draft. We’re back for the sixth round, with the draft less than a week away. You can view the full first round results here, the full second round results here, the full third round results here, the full fourth round results here, and the full fifth round results here, which includes an explanation for picks.
We’re starting the sixth round today, and this will take us through the weekend. We’ll get to the seventh round early next week leading up to the draft. The San Francisco 49ers have their own pick (No. 10, 184 overall). We’ll get to the 49ers pick this afternoon.
175. Cleveland Browns - Jeff Holland, DE, Auburn (Mertons Merkin)
Not gonna lie, I was really hoping that somehow, someway Shaun Dion Hamilton was going to fall to this pick. But it wasn’t to be. Thanks to all the holes in the Browns roster though, for giving me ample positions to explore if the guy I want disappeared.
At the top of the sixth, we are down to just a few guys that still have potential to start in the NFL. The last several picks have been very, very good in that regard. We’re sniffing out the last of the guys with real production or traits. Holland fits into that mix. He’s pushed his way into the draft discussion by exploding in production in 2017. And it wasn’t just sacks. He was routinely pushing the pocket, and getting into the quarterback’s face last season. He’s also got ample anchor to sink his hips and control the edge. He’s not just a rotational player at the defensive end position. He’s got a great motor, he’s productive, and he’s complete.
What’s holding him back is his somewhat sloppy body. He’s kind of got that (let’s call it) farm strength. In that way, he’s very much like what Cleveland already has in Ogbah, though I’d argue that Holland has a bit better sense for setting up blockers, and using his hands. Both are guys that win more with muscle than with twitch. By addressing the middle of the defensive line with twitchier players earlier in the draft, I hope that I can slide Holland in, and just manhandle tackles on the outside with a rotation of thickly built maulers, while my twitchier interior players draw double teams, and play a lot of T-E stunt games. We seem well stocked now to make life tough on passing downs. The hope for Holland is that he can shed some of the bad weight that he has, because if he were a bit leaner, I think he could challenge Ogbah for snaps and starts down the line... And maybe not too far down the line.
176. Los Angeles Rams - Andre Smith, ILB, North Carolina (ak4niner)
177. Houston Texans - Rashaan Gaulden, CB, Tennessee (Sacto Solon)
The Texans continue the overhaul of its secondary with the selection of Gaulden, a 6’1”, 193 lb physical corner who posted 63 tackles (3.5 for loss), 1 INT, 5 PD, 3 fumble recoveries, and a forced fumble as a junior last year. More quick than fast (4.61 40), Gaulden can come in and compete for early playing time in nickel packages. In fact, Daniel Jeremiah called Gaulden a “day one starting nickel in the league.”
I passed on CBs with Houston’s first 4 picks because of the depth at the position and, frankly, got the guy I wanted all along about 80 picks later. LSU’s Kevin Toliver II would have been the consolation choice had Gaulden been selected.
178. Indianapolis Colts - Tarvarius Moore, FS, Southern Mississippi (Rowingdave)
Yes, the Colts have drafted Jaire Alexander as their outside corner and M.J. Stewart as a joker safety/slot corner hybrid, but this is too good of value to pass up, and they go to the well with Moore. Malik Hooker is awesome...and he’s recovering from an ACL injury, and has a relatively checkered injury history already in his young career. You can never have too many athletes (Adrian Colbert anyone?), and this guy is icing on the cake for a unit that has to compete with Marcus Mariota, DeShaun Watson and Blake...never mind about Blake, but you get the idea. I looked really hard at OL, RB and another athletic Edge prospect, but you can’t coach legit 4.32 speed...and he’s been productive, to boot. Big miss by the Combine people. No way he goes this late, and is probably a Day Two pick, 4th round at worst when all is said and done. After this pick, the Colts have picked up five big pieces for their defense, all of them productive, and all great athletes. Coupled with Quenton Nelson, D.J. Moore and Kyle Lauletta, the Colts have one more pick to put the icing on a very solid draft.
179. New York Jets - Darius Phillips, CB, Western Michigan (Blackout52)
Phillips is on the shorter side at 5’10, so he might be pigeonholed into playing slot only in the NFL, but that’s not a problem for the Jets, who desperately need help there. Buster Skrine is listed as the only nickel back on their roster, and he hasn’t been great since they signed him. Phillips size will cause him to fall, but he checks almost every box you want in a corner skill-wise: Man coverage, zone coverage, ball skills, speed, Phillips has it all (almost). His run defense is lacking, but at this point in the draft you’re not going to get a perfect prospect. He should immediately take Skrine’s spot as a starter.
180. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Kevin Tolliver II, CB, LSU (BayAreaBOI)
Tolliver will help out a weak secondary. With Minkah Fitzpatrick and Kevin Tolliver coming in as rookies to compete with Brent Grimes and Vernon Hargraves. It would give them some depth at CB and maybe move Fitzpatrick to Safety. Tolliver is a taller CB at 6’3 coming out of DB University it might be a steal to pick him up this late in the draft. He will have to be coached up but with a veteran like Grimes coming back will help him develop. Will be interesting to see how he pans out but has good upside.
181. Chicago Bears - Ade Aruna, DE, Tulane (#hawktomegoose)
6’6”, 260 pounds, 34 inch arms almost 11 inch hands who can run a 4.6. At defensive end? What Aruna lacks in polish, he more than makes up for with potential and athleticism, and that is what you draft for in the sixth round. Aruna will be a project, but should be a valuable rotational player early on with the potential to pay dividends sooner than people expect. Guys with his athletic profile don’t grow on trees, and Vic Fangio should find a way to make him useful in various looks.
182. Arizona Cardinals - Will Dissly, TE, Washington (AzSharksFan)
The Cardinals have Ricky Seals-Jones who showed some nice ability for a UDFA last year but the team definitely needs some help at TE. Dissly is a solid player overall and one of the better blockers in this year’s group of tight ends.
183. Los Angeles Rams - Tyler Conklin, TE, Central Michigan (ak4niner)
184. San Francisco 49ers - Allen Lazard, WR Iowa State (GSheen)
Lazard is an aggressive possession receiver with some interesting traits to work with. His 4.55, 17 reps, 38 VJ and 122 BJ at the combine put him in the 99th percentile for a receiver of his size since 2000. Plus, his Liberty Bowl and Senior Bowl standout performances should vault him in an early Day 3 consideration.
Known for his masterful back shoulder catches, Lazard relies on his sharp awareness and excellent body adjustment to make a name for himself in the Big 12 conference. His rare blend of size, leaping ability, and deceptive athleticism makes him a matchup nightmare for secondaries. If not for the defensive pass interference he drew, Lazard could have easily padded his receiving stats. Much like Anquan Boldin, he prefers using his frame and weight to lean on his defenders and create separation that way. His feisty demeanor in-game and his tenacity in contested situations will be highly regarded in Shanahan’s offense. Something else Shanahan would place a premium on is his run-blocking. It’s among the best in this draft class, with 71+ PFF run-block grade in each of his last three seasons.
Still 22, Lazard could stand to improve his release and refine his route-running. Personally, I would much prefer having Lazard as the fifth receiver than Aldrick Robinson. He would provide depth, red zone presence and competition to Bourne. He can get a year or two to work on his craft and vie for a bigger role when Garcon’s age catches up to him.
185. Oakland Raiders - Tanner Lee, QB, Nebraska (twolfe2)
Lee should have stayed in Nebraska for another year. However, with Frost being hired as the new HC, Lee decided to move on. He is your typical pocket passer. At 6’4” with 10” hands, he has the size you want in a QB.
186. Green Bay Packers - Kylie Fitts, DE, Utah (Fred Mercury)
Something that I failed to mention in my write up for Arden Key is that Clay Matthews is entering the last year of his contract. While I don’t pretend to have any insight into Green Bay’s free agency plans for 2019, I would be surprised if they let Matthews walk (unless he tears an ACL or something like that). So, while Key would upgrade the pass rush and help support the practice of Matthews being moved around the defense (as they’ve done recently) he is also insurance should Matthews not be re-signed. Fitts could be seen as insurance to the insurance, though he comes with a question mark. Fitts has good size and tested very well at the Combine. He profiles as an edge rusher either standing up or with a hand in the dirt. The issue with Fitts is his injury history. He played in 22 games in four years in college. You’d have to go back to 2015 to find quality game tape on him. It’s not a surprise that he’s available so late in the draft, but if he stays healthy there is a decent amount of upside here. Looking at the edge position from a pure succession stand point, I wouldn’t begrudge a Packers fan for asking me, “What is this draft actually accomplishing for the pass rush?” As it stands right now, Matthews is a free agent in ’19, Key has serious questions about his temporary “disappearance” last year, and Fitts has barely seen the field due to injury. Fair enough. But, if Fitts (and especially Key) can produce, this Green Bay defense will be downright nasty.
187. Buffalo Bills - Akrum Wadley, RB, Iowa (Rhardin49)
He’s smaller 5 10, 190 but very athletic and elusive. Will complement McCoy and Chris Ivory really well.
188. Cleveland Browns - Jake Wieneke, WR, South Dakota State (Mertons Merkin)
Question: at this point, is anybody actually writing all that much about their seventh round selection? Well, az9rfan, just for you, the answer is “YES”. A very emphatic “YES”. I might write more about Jake Wieneke than I wrote about Baker Mayfield. Why? Because I can. This is the final of the Browns 9 picks, it’s a good one, and you are going to hear all about it. The 2018 WR class, Wieneke’s strengths and weaknesses, how he might fit with the Browns current roster, why that’s important for 49ers fans to consider, and so on and so forth. So let’s get started.
“Why I don’t like az9rfan anymore... Chapter 9... The conclusion... Havana Nights... Weineke edition”
This year’s WR class is filled to overflowing with mid to late round receivers with an awful lot of size. Some of those 6’1” and above guys, like DJ Chark and St. Brown have some speed to go along with it, but most of the rest of these guys don’t have a ton of speed. As 49er fans, we’re all probably worn down from hearing that Kyle Shanahan likes receivers that “can get open”, and the question with the vast majority of these receivers, from Tate, to Lazard, to Simmie Cobbs, is how exactly do any of these guys get open without speed, and with body types that make change of direction difficult?
For a lot of these guys, I just don’t know. The idea seems to be that because they are tall, they are redzone targets just by default. As if we could just go with the Tim Tebow jump pass on every redzone possession. It just doesn’t work that way. Being tall is a nice asset, but you need some other positive trait to rely on if you are going to find success. A lot of these guys just don’t have much. There are a lot of guys with questionable hands (Cobbs), or lack explosion, change of direction skills, or run lazy looking, rounded routes (Lazard).
Wieneke actually has some traits beyond being very tall. His 2016 game against TCU is available on Youtube, and I encourage people to watch it. Because you can start to see the skill set in action against top tier talent. Wieneke has a killer route in his pocket (the fade), runs sharp routes, with better than expected sharpness to the top of the routes, has tremendous hands, and plays with urgency. He high-points the ball very well, fights through contact, isn’t bumped off routes, and catches in traffic. Unlike a lot of these guys (Tate) he actually produced the prolific numbers you’d want to see out of a wide receiver banking on being a physical mismatch against corners in the NFL. If you can’t do that in college, why would that suddenly show in the pros?
So how does that fit with what the Browns need? Right now the Browns have Josh Gordon, who we should all hope stays clean, because he might be the best WR in the NFL, and Jarvis Landry who swears up and down that he’s not just a slot receiver. That’s nice that Landry says that, but I’m still a little dubious of that. He’s an awesome slot receiver, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But given the new contract, I would assume he’s out to prove he can do more. I do expect to see him play more... Maybe much more on the outside next season.
Beyond that, the Browns don’t have much talent at all. They need a guy to come out of a crowded field to show them the ability to match up with those two. You have to be able to catch a ball when nobody is scheming to take you out of it. I think Wieneke is that guy. He’s a cheaper and not as good version of Cooper Kupp. He can take snaps in the slot as a “big slot” option, and he can take some snaps outside, which I am positive that’s the case. He’s got deceptive build up speed to create separation at the top of his well-run routes, and has the body type to brush off some of the bumps he’s likely to get in man coverage.
And the 49ers should have some interest in a player like that as well. Don’t count him out. He’s got the same thing that the only other drafted wide receiver in the Shanahan era has had... A ton of production, and the ability (viewable on tape) to get himself uncovered. He can take snaps all over the field, and that’s a big positive. Also, like Taylor and Kupp, Wineke is a blue collar lunch pail guy that is a gym rat.
So now my draft is over. I can close all these tabs! Best of luck to all. Congrats to az9rfan for reading all of this.
189. New Orleans Saints - Kameron Kelly, DB, San Diego State (DeltaLima)
At this point in the draft, we’re looking at players who can provide depth. Kameron Kelly was mocked early and often as a third or fourth-round selection, with most teams having an eye to moving him to CB in order to take advantage of his ball-hawking skills. In some instances, he was mocked in the second round. His performance at the combine simply didn’t rate for CBs, however, and here we are mid-way through the sixth round.
The Saints like to use a three-safety system into which Kelly could fit. I’m not sure a move to CB is something Kelly will manage to do in the NFL, so instead, I would keep him in the same position that he played for the most part in college. That is, until he showed he could handle the demands of CB on an NFL level. The Saints’ system is one that could likely use his skill either way, plugging him in as a depth option.
This is a case of Kelly falling, I’m sure, because of a poor combine performance. Combine performance is often overvalued, particularly 40-time. Kelly’s sluggish 4.66-second 40-yard dash could be a result of him having poor testing technique, as opposed to poor athleticism. He shaved about a tenth of a second off at the San Diego State pro day. And while those timings are often questioned, Kelly thinks he triggered the laser-based clock prematurely at the combine by moving his hand early. He also claims to not be better at football than drills. His production as a ball hawk and his proven ability to handle his business in the run game earns him the chance to prove his doubters wrong with the Saints.
190. Baltimore Ravens - Mike Love, DE, South Florida (LizardState)
The Ravens d-line like most of the team was injury riddled in 2017. Backup DE Brent Urban came in for the injured starter but was also injured missing four games that the Ravens posted a 1-3 record with significant drops in sacks, TFLs, & stopping the run. Urban is an RFA & not expected to be back. Love can work his way into the starting lineup at DE in the Ravens’ 3-4 alignment over time. Love, who had 11 TFLs last year & five sacks, saved the win for the USF Bulls in their Bowl game with a forced fumble in his last play at the college level & they hope he can become a playmaker for them who will facilitate sacks & turnovers.
191. Los Angeles Chargers - Tre Flowers, S, Oklahoma State (Brother Girth)
We need a safety. He’s there. He ran a 4.45. Hopefully we can teach him to tackle.
192. Dallas Cowboys - Al-Rasheed Benton, ILB, West Virginia (BiggySmalls)
193. Dallas Cowboys - Quin Blanding, S, Virginia (BiggySmalls)
194. Los Angeles Rams - Leon Jacobs, LB, Wisconsin (ak4niner)
195. Los Angeles Rams - Daurice Fountain, WR, Northern Iowa (ak4niner)
196. Kansas City Chiefs - Tony Adams, OG, N.C. State (LoreofGore)
Pretty simple pick, Chiefs need to bring in more competition at Guard. Also considered Taylor Hearn, Kendrick Norton and all CB’s still available.
197. Carolina Panthers - Jordan Thomas, TE, Mississippi State (86derps)
198. Los Angeles Rams - Jamil Demby, OG, Maine (ak4niner)
199. Tennessee Titans - Christian Sam, LB, Arizona State (HarbaughalypseNow)
Outstanding tackler who can also move and cover. Some questions about attitude, but otherwise a nice value on day three.
200. Atlanta Falcons - Sean Welsh, OG, Iowa (RinaldoPurrisimo)
Welsh is like an unathletic version of his Iowa guard James Daniels. He’s fundementally sound in a pro style offense, he’s slightly small for the job. He is good at taking on doubles and he tends to make all of the necessary blocks. if he can get onto a team I think he has the chance to be a John Greco type of guard. A guy that does everything right doesn’t lose much but never really wows anyone. That said because he’s not bringing anything special he’s likely not to make an NFL roster if he’s not drafted. The Falcons need depth on their Oline and could use Welsh as a back Guard and Center and he has a shot to make the roster. I would have greatly preferred more athletic interior lineman for their scheme but the falcon’s don’t have a lot of picks. Signing Fusco now seems pretty smart as Welsh is likely not a long term starter for anyone in the NFL.
201. New Orleans Saints - Kendrick Norton, DT, Miami (FL) (DeltaLima)
I looked at the interior of the offensive line here, but there are few picks with any real upside. I also scoured a little bit for value at other positions, but I think this is a blend of positional need and great value. As a result, I’ve decided to hedge my bets and, notwithstanding what I said earlier about thinking the defensive line would improve for New Orleans this year, invest in a run-stopping nose tackle.
He may not play every down but if the running defence doesn’t improve for the Saints, Norton could see important playing time on a rotational basis. The Saints run defence was so bad last year that spending this pick makes too much sense, given the quality of the player available.
And he’s also Ken Norton’s son, so that’s something!
202. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Timon Parris, OL, Stony Brook (BayAreaBOI)
Tampa Bay could use some depth at OL. He stands in at 6’5 and 312. He was a 4 year starter and might turn into a decent rotation player. With addition of Ryan Jensen at Center. They don’t need to much starters but LT Donovan Smith and LG Evan Smith might need rotation help. Ali Marpet and Demar Doctson on the right side don’t need help. He could come in and compete for a backup spot on the left side.
203. Jacksonville Jaguars - Braxton Berrios, WR, Miami (FL) (Lancashire49er)
At this point in the draft I’m looking for potential/upside, perhaps with a particular skillset we don’t have, or someone who can contribute on special teams.
Christian Sam was in play prior to the Titans taking him 4 spots earlier. Although Fred Warner was my preferred mid round SAM Linebacker (positive coverage and athletic skills), Tegray Scales and Sam were my next options for LB depth, even if both suited a MIKE role in my opinion. Nevertheless, Sam is gone, so my attention broadened!
Instead of being 6ft4, he’s 5ft9. Instead of being 220lbs, he’s 186lbs. Can he produce and hit a skillset the Jags don’t currently have. Sure can!
Berrios is this year’s Trent Taylor!
Berrios led Miami’s receiving core with 55 catches for 679 yards and nine scores, as well as returning 13 punts for 207 yards last year. Quieter in his previous two seasons, but when you watch the tape, the guy just makes play after play. Short area speed, twitchy and with excellent route running skills he can separate from defenders at various points as the route develops. He won’t necessarily tear the field up in open play (besides his punt return skills), but he will make the contested catches in traffic and get you the 5 or 10 yards to move the chain, with an ability for a bigger score always on the table. I was very impressed with the tape.
As I’ve rationalized before, the Jags have paid out like Moncrief and Lee are there, big outside receiver, red zone threat, WR1A and WR1B - jury is still out. They have Dede Westbrook, former Biletnikoff winner who showed promise at the end of his rookie season, post preseason injury. Westbrook can be the guy who keeps defences honest and will stretch the field. With run stoppers and linebackers coming down hard into the box to stop Fournette, the Jaguars could use someone like Berrios to exploit the middle gaps and provide Bortles/Rudolph with a safety blanket to pass to for a quick throw and sustained drives.
For the specific skillset, ability to produce and exploitation of defence game plans, I really like the value in this pick.
204. Minnesota Vikings - Jack Cichy, LB, Wisconsin (Blackpool Niner)
With Barr in a contract year I’m taking a flyer on a versatile linebacker with solid size, good closing speed and great instincts. Cichy can cover, set the edge, do it all when healthy and his teammates love him. The problem is you have to go back to 2016 to see evidence of these qualities. He’s struggled badly with injuries in the last couple of years, but if this proves to be no more than a stretch of bad luck in a sport that injures everyone, I’ve landed one of the better linebackers in the draft with a late round pick.
205. Washington - Godwin Igwebuike, S, Northwestern (Shanafandom)
Another guy I expected to be gone, and I will happily take him. While listed as a free safety in college, he would likely be a strong safety in the NFL. He could potentially play some linebacker or be a hybrid player, which gives some nice versatility, especially since Cravens traded to Denver. Safety and linebacker aren’t massive weaknesses, but I wouldn’t call them strengths for this roster making Igwebuike a nice addition.
206. Philadelphia Eagles - Mike McCray, LB, Michigan (GreatOden’sRaven)
Mike McCray is a helluva instinctive player. He is a right spot, right time kinda player who tackles well and holds his lane. He’s going to be a fantastic rotational LB for the Eagles. I don’t ever expect him to be a starter due to his overall speed (not great) and his lack of top end athleticism to overcome that lack that of speed. He’s gonna get torched every now and then by tight ends, so realistically he’s probably best suited as depth on running downs. If he had athleticism, he would be a 1/2 round player, but that’s what you get in the 6th round. Flawed but useful prospects. He will help the Eagles a ton just by being a solid backup and depth at a position they have seen a lot of injuries at. Happy he was still here.
Other choices: still considering a CB, someone like Kamerin Moore. I’ve gotten scooped twice, first with SDH, and now with Cichy. He was my first choice but glad McCray was available as well.
207. Green Bay Packers - Joel Iyiegbuniwe, ILB, Western Kentucky (Fred Mercury)
Athletic, rangy and productive inside linebacker who brings immediate special teams value to Green Bay. Iyiegbuniwe played in a hybrid safety/linebacker role at Western Kentucky. While 2107 draftee Josh Jones was at his best in the linebacker/safety hybrid role, McCarthy seems intent, for now, playing him at safety in spring practices. In the recent past, Green Bay has made some head-scratching decisions when it comes to where it plays its secondary draftees and even with the departure of Capers, this trend may continue. Perhaps that’s just (a poor) smokescreen so as not to tip their hand at who they might draft in the first round. If they do end up drafting Derwin James, that would almost surely force Jones back to the linebacker/hybrid role. As with virtually all small school prospects, Iyiegbuniwe will need to prove that he can hang with the big boys to see the field beyond special teams snaps. But for now, he’s a special teams player.
208. Dallas Cowboys - Taylor Hearn, OG, Clemson (BiggySmalls)
209. Miami Dolphins - Ito Smith, RB, Southern Mississippi (MD49erFaithful)
With trading away Jay Ajayi, the Dolphins need to replace that RB production. Ito is full of production with over 3700 total yards and 32 total touchdowns. He has excellent size and physical attributes. We are hopeful he can continue to develop as a player and will be a diamond at the end of the draft for us for several years forward.
210. New England Patriots - Skai Moore, ILB, South Carolina (JMichael39)
211. Houston Texans - Jalyn Holmes, DE, Ohio State (Sacto Solon)
212. Oakland Raiders - Grant Haley, CB, Penn State (twolfe2)
213. Minnesota Vikings - Quadree Henderson, WR, Pittsburgh (Blackpool Niner)
I’ve shored up my O-line, grabbed some defensive contributors – time to get some playmakers.
Vikings already have some great receivers, but they do have a need in the return game after losing Cordarelle Paterson a year ago. Marcus Sherels didn’t pull up any trees as a returner overall, so I’m gonna drop a late comp pick on a guy who can make a real splash in this area.
Henderson also had catches and carries on offense, but the main reasons I’m drafting him are the 26.6 average yards per kick return and seven kick/punt return TDs he produced in college.
214. Houston Texans - Jordan Wilkins, RB, Mississippi (Sacto Solon)
215. Baltimore Ravens - Trey Quin, WR, SMU (LizardState)
Their best WR was lost in FA & the Ravens need to restock receivers to improve on their 27th ranked passing offense from last year.
216. Oakland Raiders - Dylan Cantrell, WR, Texas Tech (twolfe2)
217. Oakland Raiders - Matthew Thomas, LB, Florida State (twolfe2)
218. Minnesota Vikings - Phillip Lindsay, RB, Colorado (Blackpool Niner)
I love this guy. In Shepherd, Cichy and now Lindsay, I’ve drafted some serious underdog competitors.
Lindsay lacks the size of an every-down back (5’7” 184 lbs), but we already have Dalvin Cook and Latavius Murray. Lindsay will compliment them nicely as a tough, pass-catching back with good hands, ability to separate, actual blocking skills (he appears to love it), special teams and kick return value.
Lindsay’s love for the game is infectious and it shines through in everything he does on film. To complete the string of tired clichés, he has a chip on his shoulder over not beinginvited to the combine. Delighted to get him for a sixth round comp pick. Jerick who?