With free agency yet to happen, combine and pro days looming, and many draft pick trades yet to go down, guessing who will get drafted where is almost pointless…but we love seeing mocks and projections, so screw it! Lets take a look at the best landing spots for 2018's best players.
- Players are listed by my personal rankings, not the order in which they'll be drafted
- Offensive skill positions only
- These are fantasy football centered, dream scenario landing spots.
Here are the best case landing spots for the top offensive prospects at each position of the 2018 draft.
New York Giants - Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
Baker Mayfield, Odell Beckham, and Evan Engram would easily be the most exciting trio in the NFL. Most sites have Rosen pegged here, but I believe Mayfield would best fit for every fantasy player involved. His accuracy and competitiveness are unmatched, both things the Giants lacked last season. Could one team handle the personalities of both Mayfield and OBJ? I hope we get to find out. Broadway Baker - it's happening.
Arizona Cardinals - Lamar Jackson, Louisville
The Cardinals pass on the “upside project” of Josh Allen and get the most electric playmaker the NFL has seen in many years. With the run-pass option (RPO) becoming such a popular dynamic for NFL offenses, the Cardinals pair David Johnson with the fastest quarterback since Mike Vick. New head coach Steve Wilks has watched Cam Newton bring his team back to relevance, and he’ll do the same with Lamar Jackson.
Denver Broncos - Josh Rosen, UCLA
Elway gets the most pro-ready passer in the draft. Rosen would inject life into a Bronco offense that has disappointed since Peyton Manning left. Emmanual Sanders and Demarius Thomas are two underrated receivers who just need a little consistency at quarterback. This is the best team for Rosen, and he’s the best guy for Denver.
Cleveland Browns - Sam Darnold, USC
This isn’t the sexy pick, but it’s the right one. Rosen is too frail to play in a place like Cleveland, and I don’t see Mayfield being a fit. Darnold needs to be a ball distributor for the Browns, as he was for USC. Cleveland will spend many picks in this draft on playmakers to support their new commander. Darnold possesses the quiet confidence the Browns need in a leader.
LA Chargers - Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State
The Chargers are certainly focused on competing now, but if Rudolph falls to them I believe they scoop up what could be Phillip River’s successor. Rudolph slings the rock with no fear, as does Rivers. He’d benefit from waiting a few years and developing, and the Chargers are the perfect spot. Enjoy the sunshine, Mason.
Buffalo Bills - Josh Allen, Wyoming
The Bills are ready to move on from Tyrod Taylor, and take their shot here with Josh Allen. Kelvin Benjamin’s wingspan is very forgiving of inaccurate passers. Allen is big, strong, and tough enough to last in a place like Buffalo, given he’s coming from Wyoming. This is the type of fit Allen needs, with a fanbase who’s been so QB deprived for decades they won’t have too high of expectations.
New England Patriots - Kyle Lauletta, Richmond
At the Senior Bowl the world realized the fearless pass throwing abilities of Kyle Lauletta. The Patriots are always drafting and developing Tom Brady’s next successor (although he’ll probably outlive them all). They’d be happy to get their hands on a kid with so much potential, and there’s no better spot for Lauletta to sit and learn.
Tampa Bay Bucs - Saquon Barkley, Penn State
The thought of trying to cover Mike Evans, OJ Howard, and Saquon Barkley is terrifying. Tampa has other needs, but this pick is too good to pass up, similar to how Howard fell in their lap a year ago. Most people think Barkley is already a Brown, but given the RB talent available in round 2 Barkley might go later than most think, even though he might be the best player in the draft. How do you compete with the Saints, Panthers, and Falcons? Get a game changer named Saquon Barkley.
Baltimore Ravens - Derrius Guice, LSU
The Ravens are a team built around the running back, and they get their next franchise piece in Guice. The Raven front office has made comments about spending a high pick on a running back, and they do so here. The Raven’s defense always keeps the score close, and as a feature back who punishes every tackler, Guice would thrive in the AFC. Baltimore punches it’s ticket back to playoffs with this pick.
Oakland Raiders - Nick Chubb, Georgia
Jon Gruden wants a bruiser he can feed the rock to and make life easier for Derek Carr. Oakland has one of the better run blocking offensive lines, and they finally get a back with the vision to hit those lanes. This is a dream spot for the Raiders, Chubb, and his fantasy owners.
New York Giants - Royce Freeman, Oregon
The Giants have played tag long enough at running back, and go in on an all purpose 230 lbs thumper in Royce Freeman. The Giants want to return to a balanced offensive attack under new head coach Pat Shurmur, and Freeman could do a lot to alleviate pressure on their new rookie QB, Baker Mayfield.
Denver Broncos - Rashaad Penny, San Diego State
With Denver likely moving on from CJ Anderson, look for them to choose a running back they believe can be their next bell cow. Penny has impressed every step of the way, and has earned a day 2 grade in the NFL draft. I see this as a perfect pairing that would make fantasy owners drool.
San Fran 49ers - Sony Michel, Georgia
This is the dream spot everybody wants their favorite running back to go. Shanahan is a creator, and Sony would dominate in a zone blocking scheme that features a young stud quarterback. Sony is a good pass catcher, but he isn’t a pass catching back. He has the ability to be an every-down player, and this is the spot to make it happen.
Cleveland Browns - Kerryon Johnson, Auburn
The Browns love Duke Johnson, but recognize the need for another running back to pair him with. KJ is a great fit, he gets the ugly yards needed to set up a manageable 3rd down, and doesn’t give up easily. KJ and DJ make for a killer 1-2 punch that the Browns were hoping to get out of Isaiah Crowell.
New England Patriots - Ronald Jones, USC
After losing Dion Lewis the Pats look to add another elusive running back. A high-efficiency, slasher type role is what Ronald Jones would thrive in at the next level. No stacked boxes, and touchdown opportunities galore would be the best situation for Ronald Jones, and the Patriots need this playmaker to run the show alongside James White and Rex Burkhead.
Chicago Bears - Christian Kirk, Texas A&M
The Bears will add several playmakers this offseason via free agency and the draft. At the top of round 2 they snag the SEC star, Christian Kirk. Mitchell Trubisky gets a target hog who can take it to the house on any play. Kirk’s added value as a dynamic returner will get him off the board quickly.
Green Bay Packers - James Washington, Oklahoma State
Packers love WR’s. They also love wide receivers who can separate, which is Washington’s specialty. James would have some opportunity to flash early, but Aaron Rodgers is particular about his chemistry with receivers. Year one would be slow from a production standpoint, but this is the best long-term spot you could possibly hope Washington to land in.
Indianapolis Colts - Auden Tate, FSU
With or without Donte Moncrief leaving, the Colts need serious help at the wide receiver position. Auden Tate is the perfect compliment to TY Hilton, and gives Andrew Luck what they’ve been hoping to get from Moncrief. Tate would have double digit touchdown opportunity from day one, and would be my pick for the top producing rookie wide receiver if he landed here.
San Francisco 49ers - Calvin Ridley, Alabama
After signing Jimmy G to a monster deal, they aim to get him a smooth route runner who is pro-ready. Ridley and Goodwin are a nice pairing and fit well with coach Kyle Shanahan’s scheme. This is a best case scenario for Calvin Ridley becoming an instant fantasy producer.
Cleveland Browns - Courtland Sutton, SMU
Sam Darnold gets a new weapon in Sutton. Cory Coleman isn’t built to play on the outside, so the Browns pair Josh Gordon and Courtland Sutton as two "go up and get it" targets for their new franchise quarterback. Sutton would benefit from not having to face #1 corners as a rookie, and has the raw ability to be a difference maker if he refines his route running and press coverage technique.
Miami Dolphins - D.J. Moore, Maryland
Out goes Jarvis Landry, in comes D.J. Moore. The Dolphins are in big trouble in the passing game if they let their franchise wide receiver walk out the door. Look for them to replace that production with Maryland standout D.J. Moore. 120+ available targets with a limited QB; What Moore could you ask for?
Arizona Cardinals - Anthony Miller, Memphis
The Cardinals haven’t drafted wide receivers well in a long time. If not for Larry Fitzgerald, they might have competed with the Bears for the worst receiving core in the NFL. I expect them to address the position early, and Miller would be an excellent addition. Adding Lamar Jackson and now Anthony Miller, the Cardinal offense just got a whole lot more dangerous.
New York Jets - Michael Gallup, Colorado State
Kirk Cousins will need wide receivers badly in New York. Gallup is very well rounded and could get a ton of targets in New York. Gallup will be best suited on a depth chart where he won't be buried as a rookie and can get NFL experience out of the gate. I see this as a win-win scenario.
Carolina Panthers - DaeSean Hamilton, Penn State
Cam Newton has badly missed Ted Ginn, so the Panthers go out and get him another elusive speed demon in Hamilton. With Funchess, Hamilton, Olsen, and McCaffrey, the Panthers add the missing element to their offense and look to regain the NFC South.
New Orleans Saints - Mark Andrews, Oklahoma
This is a luxury pick for the Saints who absolutely dominated the draft last year. Since Jimmy Graham, the Saints have received some of the worst tight end play in the NFL from Josh Hill and Coby Fleener. They are ready for an upgrade, and take the best pass catching tight end in college football. As if the Saints offense wasn’t scary enough…
Denver Broncos - Dallas Goedert, South Dakota State
A rookie QB's best friend is a big, athletic tight end who can catch. Rosen would greatly benefit from a pass catcher like Goedert. The Broncos have Jake Butt, but Goedert is a difference maker in the passing game who will take tons of heat off of DT and Sanders. If Denver can land Goedert at the top of round 2, they would race up to the podium to make this pick.
Baltimore Ravens - Hayden Hurst, South Carolina
The Ravens need offensive players, badly. Baltimore may stick with Ben Watson or bring in a vet like Jimmy Graham, but look for them to add a sound tight end early in the draft. Hurst would have the ability and opportunity to develop into a regular target for Flacco.
Washington Redskins - Mike Gesicki, Penn State
Jordan Reed has been less than available, and might not be with the team next year. Vernon Davis is there, but is approaching the end of his career. Look for the Redskins to get Alex Smith a pass catching tight end early in the draft. Gesicki fits the bill, and is ready to produce.
Seattle Seahawks - Troy Fumagalli, Wisconsin
With Jimmy Graham gone, Seattle will desperately need a tight end. Fumagalli is a player who can do it all, and Seattle would be happy to pair him with Russell Wilson, another former Wisconsin Badger.