Draft Day

Joshua Jordan: 2018 NFL mock draft

The Bills would be elated to see Baker Mayfield still on the board at pick No. 12. Brett Deering/Getty Images

Now that all the big moves of free agency have taken place, it's time to take a look at how the first round of the draft may play out. I'm probably one of the few people that don't have a projected trade in the Top 10. That's because I think the Broncos stay put and take their franchise QB at pick No. 5. My mock draft is a bit different from some the national guys like Mel Kiper Jr. and NFL.com's Lance Zierlein.  And I certainly don't have their resume, but I do have the luxury of talking football with guys like Lance, and have co-hosted draft shows in the Houston market the last few years. If you want to see how Lance has the first round shaking out compared to mine, you can read his mock draft here. Below is my first mock, and I'll continue to update it every Thursday up until draft day. 

 

1. Cleveland Browns- USC QB Sam Darnold

The Browns finally get their franchise QB.

2. New York Giants- NCST DE Bradley Chubb

The Giants find a replacement for JPP.

3. New York Jets- UCLA QB Josh Rosen

The Jets grab their QB.

4. Cleveland Browns- Penn St. RB Saquon Barkley

Cleveland finally has some talent on offense, and they get the best player and best QB in the draft.

5. Denver Broncos- Wyoming QB Josh Allen

Many have the Broncos trading out here, but I think they stand pat and take their future QB.

6. Indianapolis Colts- Virginia Tech LB Tremaine Edmonds

The Colts add an incredible playmaker to their defense.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Ohio St. CB Denzel Ward

The Bucs get the best corner in the draft.

8. Chicago Bears- Notre Dame OG Quenton Nelson

The Bears get maybe the best player in the draft and protect their young QB.

9. San Francisco 49ers- UTSA DE Marcus Davenport 

The 49ers need some pass rush and they get it with Davenport.

10. Oakland Raiders- Alabama DB Minkah Fitzpatrick

The Raiders take the best player available and get some secondary help.

11. Miami Dolphins- Washington DT Vita Vea 

 The Dolphins replace Ndamukong Suh with Vita Vea and don't skip a beat.

12. Buffalo Bills- Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield

The Bills don't even have to trade up into the Top 10 to get their QB.

13. Washington Redskins- Georgia LB Roquan Smith

Washington needs a physical presence at LB.

14. Green Bay Packers- Louisville CB Jaire Alexander

The Packers go back to the well and select another corner in the first round.

15. Arizona Cardinals- Florida State Safety Derwin James

They get some help in the secondary after the departure on Tyrann Mathieu

16. Baltimore Ravens- Alabama WR Calvin Ridley

Ozzie Newsome adds the best receiver in the draft to help his veteran QB. He'll be a nice pairing with possession WR  Michael Crabtree.

17. Los Angeles Chargers- Alabama DT  Da'Ron Payne

Payne falls right into the Chargers' lap.

18. Seattle Seahawks- Iowa CB Josh Jackson

Pete Carroll and John Schneider get their replacement for Richard Sherman.

19. Dallas Cowboys- Alabama LB Rashaan Evans

The Cowboys fall apart when Sean Lee is out, and he's always injured. Evans will fit in nicely.

20. Detroit Lions- Texas OT/OG Connor Williams

The Lions get some help on their offensive line. Williams can play tackle and guard.

21. Cincinnati Bengals - UTEP OG Will Hernandez

The Bengals line was awful last year.

22. Buffalo Bills- UCF CB Mike Hughes

Hughes should step in and start right away.

23. New England Patriots- UCLA OT Kolton Miller

The Pats need a LT to replace Nate Solder.

24. Carolina Panthers- Boston College DE Harold Landry

Julius Peppers can't play forever.

25. Tennessee Titans- LSU DE Arden Key

The Titans need pass rush and they address it with Key.

26. Atlanta Falcons- Florida DT Taven Bryan

Dontari Poe left in free agency so the Falcons add a DT.

27. New Orleans Saints- Iowa OC James Daniels

The Saints grab an offensive lineman in the first round for the second straight year.

28. Pittsburgh Steelers- Wake Forest S Jessie Bates

The Steelers still need help in the secondary and they add a playmaker that has range and can cover the slot.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars- Michigan DT Maurice Hurst

Calais Campbell is getting old, so the Jags add some depth on the defensive line.

30. Minnesota Vikings- Georgia OG Isaiah Wynn

The Vikings spent a ton of money on Kirk Cousins, so they add some help on the line.

31. New England Patriots- LSU CB Donte Jackson

The Patriots lost Malcolm Butler and can't stop anybody on defense.

32. Philadelphia Eagles- Boise St. LB  Leighton Vander Esch

The Super Bowl champs add to their already stout defense.

 

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Houston's offense once again obliterated Baltimore in Wednesday's finale. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Owners of a nine-game winning streak, the Astros tried to keep the train rolling to make it double digits and complete the three-game sweep of the Orioles in Baltimore. Not only would they get the win, but they also did it by dominating on both sides of the ball again in a one-sided shutout.

Final Score: Astros 13, Orioles 0

Astros' Record: 46-28, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jose Urquidy (6-3)

Losing Pitcher: Thomas Eshelman (0-1)

Houston keeps mashing

Unlike Tuesday's game which ended 3-1 in a much closer affair, the finale on Wednesday was once again a lopsided affair like Monda's opener, favoring the Astros. Houston once again put up double-digit runs in an offensive explosion. It started right off the bat, with three runs scoring in the top of the first on a two-RBI double by Carlos Correa and an RBI single by Kyle Tucker to grab a 3-0 lead.

Yuli Gurriel extended it to 4-0 with a two-out RBI single in the second, then Jose Altuve made it a six-run game with a two-run blast in the top of the fourth. Michael Brantley joined in with an RBI single in the top of the sixth, then Yordan Alvarez led off a four-run seventh with a solo bomb before a three-run homer by Abraham Toro made it 11-0.

Urquidy cruises through seven scoreless

Jose Urquidy was cruising all the while, allowing just three baserunners over that span, a double to start his night, which he erased, then a one-out walk in the second and leadoff single in the sixth. He returned at the bottom of the seventh with a manageable pitch count, where he'd erase a one-out single to keep Baltimore scoreless. With the insurmountable lead, he'd be given the rest of the night off. His final line: 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 84 P.

Astros complete the sweep and grab tenth straight win

Chas McCormick, who came off the bench defensively in the bottom of the seventh, made it a twelve-run lead with a one-out solo homer in the top of the eighth, then later Abraham Toro notched his fourth RBI with a run-scoring single to make it 13-0. Brandon Bielak took over for Urquidy in the bottom of the eighth, and after loading the bases with no outs, was able to escape with a strikeout and double play.

Ralph Garza Jr. was Houston's third pitcher, wrapping things up at the bottom of the ninth. He erased a one-out walk and a single with a double play to end the game, giving Houston the three-game sweep and extending their winning streak to ten games as they continue to look like baseball's best team.

Up Next: The next stop on this road trip for Houston is Detroit, where they will kick off a four-game set with the Tigers on Thursday at 6:10 PM Central. The pitching matchup for the opener will be Luis Garcia (5-4, 2.82 ERA) for Houston and Jose Urena (2-7, 5.79 ERA) for Detroit.

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