Draft Day

Joshua Jordan Mock 4.0: The Draft is finally upon us

I don't think Barkley slips past the Browns at No.4, but he could go as high as No.2 to the Giants. Penn State Football/Facebook

Here is my final mock draft and I have made several changes this week, to say the least. I think I have a better feel now for how the middle of the 1st round will play out, but we'll find out for sure tonight. Now, I certainly don't have the resume of Mike Mayock or Mel Kiper, but I do have the luxury of talking football with guys like NFL.com's Lance Zierlein, and have co-hosted draft shows in the Houston market the last few years. I watch as many players as I can, look at the needs and tendencies of every team, and get information from people I trust. So here we go. The NFL Draft is like Christmas morning for me, and I can't wait for this thing to get started. 

1. Cleveland Browns- Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield

The Browns finally get their franchise QB. There's a lot of buzz about Baker Mayfield being selected here, so I'll trust what I'm hearing. 

2. New York Giants- NCST DE Bradley Chubb

The Giants find a replacement for JPP, or they trade back.

3. New York Jets- UCLA QB Josh Rosen

I'm hearing that the Jets prefer Rosen over Darnold.

4. Cleveland Browns- Penn St. RB Saquon Barkley

Cleveland selects the best player in the draft. They could trade this pick to Arizona, Buffalo, or even Denver.

5. Denver Broncos- USC QB Sam Darnold

I can't believe it, but I think the Broncos can stay put and take Darnold at #5.

6. Indianapolis Colts- Virginia Tech OLB 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 one of the best players in the draft and protect their young QB.

9. San Francisco 49ers- Georgia LB Roquan Smith

I'm going with Lance's advice and keeping Roquan Smith in my Top 10. If you missed Lance Zierlein shaming me, you can check it out here

10. TRADE--------- Buffalo Bills via Raiders- Wyoming QB Josh Allen

The Bills trade with the Raiders to jump in front of Miami and grab their QB. Adam Gase and the Dolphins are rumored to be interested in a QB, so the Bills make their move.

11. Miami Dolphins- Washington DT Vita Vea 

 The Dolphins replace Suh, and give Tannehill another year.

12. TRADE--------- Oakland Raiders via BillsAlabama DT  Da'Ron Payne

The Raiders get some help on the d-line and add some picks.

13. Washington Redskins- Florida State S Derwin James

Washington gets a steal and adds to the secondary.

14. Green Bay Packers- UTSA OLB Marcus Davenport

The Packers are excited to get their pass rusher. Some compare Davenport to Lions DE Ziggy Ansah, but I see a lighter lowercase Jadeveon Clowney. 

15. Arizona Cardinals- Alabama DB Minkah Fitzpatrick

Arizona gets great value and upgrades the secondary.

16. Baltimore Ravens- Notre Dame OT Mike McGlinchey

Now the Ravens have bookend tackles with McGlinchey and Ronnie Stanley. I was lucky enough to watch some coaches tape of McGlinchey, and this dude looks legit.

17. Los Angeles Chargers- Boise St. LB  Leighton Vander Esch

The Chargers bolster their defense. This guy can PLAY.

18. Seattle Seahawks- Iowa CB Josh Jackson

Pete Carroll and John Schneider get their replacement for Richard Sherman. Jackson posseses size and terrific ball skills. He has Seahawk written all over him.

19. Dallas Cowboys- Florida DT Taven Bryan

The Cowboys could go Rahaan Evans or Calvin Ridley, but I'm betting they would take Bryan if he's available.

20. Detroit Lions- Boston College DE Harold Landry

The Lions get some help on their defensive line. Ziggy Ansah is playing on the franchise tag.

21. Cincinnati Bengals - Alabama LB Rahaan Evans 

Evans fills a need and he's a terrific player.

22. TRADE---------Oakland Raiders via Bills- Louisville CB Jaire Alexander

The Raiders take the extra pick from the Bills and get some much-needed help at corner.

23. New England Patriots-  UCLA OT Kolton Miller

The Pats need both tackle and corner, but this draft is thin at tackle. They can grab a corner at pick #31.

24. Carolina Panthers- Alabama WR Calvin Ridley

They get Cam a much-needed weapon outside.

25. Tennessee Titans- Texas A&M WR Christian Kirk

Kirk can help Mariota get the ball out fast, and that will help keep their QB healthy. They just took Corey Davis in the 1st round last year, but there aren't any LBs or pass rushers worth taking here. They may look to trade down.

26. Atlanta Falcons- Michigan DT Maurice Hurst

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

27. New Orleans Saints- UTEP OG Will Hernandez

The Saints know the running game was a difference maker for them last year. 

28. Pittsburgh Steelers- Stanford S Justin Reid

This dude can run and has Pro Bowl potential. 

29. Jacksonville Jaguars- Louisville QB Lamar Jackson

Blake Bortles will have competition.

30. Minnesota Vikings- Texas OL Connor Williams

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

31. New England Patriots- UCF CB Mike Hughes

The Pats get lucky and grab Hughes to replace Malcolm Butler. Hughes should go sooner , but several of the teams in front of the Pats have bigger needs than corner.

32. Philadelphia Eagles- SMU WR Courtland Sutton

The Super Bowl champs add another toy for Carson Wentz, and Alshon Jeffery is recovering from a shoulder injury.

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McCullers Jr. out-pitched friend and former teammate Dallas Keuchel on Father's Day. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

With three impressive wins to start this series against the once AL-leading Chicago White Sox, Houston tried to extend their winning streak to seven games and finish a four-game sweep on Father's Day. Thanks to a big inning against former-Astro Dallas Keuchel, they would win to keep their hot streak going.

Final Score: Astros 8, White Sox 2

Astros' Record: 43-28, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Lance McCullers Jr. (4-1)

Losing Pitcher: Dallas Keuchel (6-2)

Rough return to Houston for Keuchel

In his first game against his old squad, Dallas Keuchel would not have a memorable start on the mound for Chicago. Houston made him labor in the first inning, loading the bases though they only came away with one run on an RBI single by Abraham Toro, grabbing the early 1-0 lead. After going down 1-2-3 in the second, they got after Keuchel again in the third.

They ended up batting around against him that inning, including a two-RBI single by Yordan Alvarez, RBI double by Taylor Jones, and bases-loaded RBI-walk by Jose Altuve, which would end Keuchel's day very early and leave the bases juiced. Chicago's bullpen would walk another batter to give Keuchel another earned run, making it a 6-2 game, with all six going against the former Houston ace. Carlos Correa extended the lead to five runs in the next inning, hitting a leadoff solo home run to make it 7-2.

McCullers Jr. gives up two over six

That gave Lance McCullers Jr. a nice lead to work with, and he managed it well. He had one big mistake in the early goings of the game, giving up a one-out single in the second to set up a two-run home run, which at the time put Chicago in front 2-1 before Houston's offense came alive. He followed that up with four scoreless innings, erasing a walk in each with some tremendous defense behind him—his final line: 6.0 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 94 P.

Astros complete the sweep to jump on top of the standings

Still a six-run game in the top of the seventh, Blake Taylor entered as the first reliever out of Houston's bullpen, tossing a 1-2-3 frame. He continued in the top of the eighth, getting two strikeouts in another scoreless inning. The 8-2 score would go final as Ralph Garza Jr. would enter as the third pitcher of the day to wrap things up with a scoreless top of the ninth to finish the four-game sweep. The win, their seventh straight, paired with an Oakland loss earlier in the afternoon, moves Houston into the top spot in the AL West based on winning percentage.

Up Next: This long stretch of consecutive games continues on Monday in Baltimore, as the Astros pick up a seven-game road trip starting with a three-game set against Baltimore getting underway at 6:05 PM Central. Jake Odorizzi (1-3, 5.68 ERA) will get the start for Houston, going opposite of Keegan Akin (0-2, 5.76 ERA) for the Orioles.

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