The start of the 2018 NFL Draft is just over eight hours, and that means mock drafts are coming to a close. We’ll have a 2019 mock draft following the weekend’s festivities, but other than that, it’s almost over!
Last night, NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock released his only mock draft, in which he had the San Francisco 49ers selecting Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward. A day later, ESPN analysts Mel Kiper and Todd McShay each released their own final mock drafts. Both went with the secondary for their picks, going away from the previously building linebacker consensus among mock drafters.
Kiper joined Mayock in going with Ward at No. 9. Kiper thinks Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith is a great fit, but he has the Georgia linebacker going No. 6 to the Indianapolis Colts. That has been a growing trend in mock drafts. But he sees Ward as the draft’s top true corner and went with him.
McShay went with Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick at No. 9. He doesn’t have a single defined position, but McShay thinks, “he’s a heck of a football player and could take Eric Reid’s spot.” He has Ward and Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds as considerations as well at No. 9. He had Edmunds going No. 11 to the Miami Dolphins and Ward No. 12 to the Denver Broncos.