Where Do They Go From Here? Bears

After our divisional season review podcasts, we are now looking to the future and asking where each franchise goes from here. We put ourselves in the chair of being GM or the owner and going over what moves we would make in order to win a Superbowl, make the playoffs or just regain some pride…

Today we take a look at the Chicago Bears.

Don’t forget to check out the NFC North podcast where we talked to Martin from BearDownUK and get their thoughts on them!

How Did Last Season Go?

It couldn’t have gone any better really, even with all the hype surrounding the team and the bandwagon getting overbooked. If you’d have offered a Bears fan a playoff spot, they’d have bitten your hand off like a bear would if you offered it a salmon…

Top of the North with a 12-4 record and if it wasn’t for Cody Parkey’s exceptional accuracy for connecting pigskin with metal, they would have seen the divisional round of the playoffs and maybe more.

A week 17 win vs the Vikings and knocking them out of the playoffs would’ve tasted sweet for those at Soldier Field, though. The Bears won 9 of their last 10 with the only loss coming in OT vs the Giants in a strange one.

The defence gave up the fewest points I the NFL over the regular season and were top 10 on offence in points scored, which may surprise some.


The Bears are not rich in the Salary Cap or Draft Pick stakes after their trades last year.

Around $18m in cap at the time of writing and their 1st and 2nd round picks have been traded away for Mack and Miller respectively. So it’s pretty much as you were in terms of personnel for the Bears.


Rumours of Jordan Howard going out the exit door are interesting. The tandem of Howard and Cohen seem to do the trick, its just a question of perhaps having them both in the backfield to help with trying to not be too predictable for playcalling when one of them are in on the snap. Apart from that, don’t expect too much change for a team that feel like they are almost there.

UPDATE: Amos has signed with the Packers


After all of the outlay last season, I’d be surprised if we see much movement from the Bears this offseason. They have most of their pieces in place on both sides of the ball. Maybe a sprinkle here or there for depth. Baked in to that is their lack of options with their salary cap position and draft picks for 2019. Expect a replacement for Howard if he leaves and also maybe an addition or two on the O Line.

UPDATE: Mike Davis has signed from the Seahawks

Outlook for Next Year

Things look great for the Bears and now look to maintain rather than be a part of the chasing pack, which may come as a weird feeling to Bears fans. The microscope will be on Trubisky to see if he can take another (needed) step forward.

The Bears will face a division winners schedule and the collective W% of their opponents last season stands at .520 with matches against the Chiefs, Saints, Rams, Chargers, Cowboys to add on top of 2 matches vs Green Bay and the Vikings. If they retain their division title, they’d have earned it.


You’d expect the Packers and Vikings to be much more competitive so things could be a lot tighter this season.

The defence will probably be leaned on once more and grinding out results, which was the winning formula last season. In Nagy’s 2nd season, maybe expect a bit more effectiveness on offence with a few more tricks up his sleeve to come out on the field. I’m not sure Trubisky progresses as much as most will hope and this may just come back to bite them in 2019.

That said, a playoff berth should await them again, but as a 5 or 6 seed.

Fantasy Football

Mitch Trubisky – No thanks. (likely undrafted in redraft, mid/low QB2 range. Maybe one for a late round bestball)

Jordan Howard – 5th Round, low RB 2 range

Tarik Cohen – 4th Round, High RB 2 range (higher in PPR)

Allen Robinson – 3rd Round, low WR2 range

Anthony Miller – 8th/9th Round, low WR3 range

Taylor Gabriel – Late rounds, low WR4

Trey Burton – 9th Round, low TE1

Joy Divisions – NFC North

Before the season starts, myself and good friend of the podcast Lee Wakefield (@wakefield90) will give a summary of each division, how we see it playing out over the season along with some players to target in fantasy in each.

NFC North:

This division could be a sneaky bet for being the best in the NFL, especially if the Bears live up to the hype and expectation considering the changes. Should be still the same 2 teams fighting for the division though…but which one will it be this year?


Minnesota Vikings

Controversial I put Minnesota in first over the Vikings? No, if you get offended that the first team out of the NFC North hat isn’t Green Bay, you need to get out more.

Let’s be honest here, Minnesota were more than lucky to get to the championship game last year. The performance vs Philadelphia probably said as much.

Maybe they didn’t feel like they deserved to be there? Or maybe they felt things were getting a bit too hot for them.

This year is a statement year from the Vikings. Kirk Cousins comes over from Washington to seemingly be the Captain of the ship hurtling towards either the Superbowl or an iceberg. We will never know what would’ve happened had Cousins been in the game vs Philly rather than Keenum, but maybe we’ll find out this year. What Cousins brings over a highly efficient Case Keenum (and a week 1 Sam Bradford) I am not so sure it can be considered too much of an upgrade. Dalvin Cook returns too partner Latavius Murray in the backfield and Vikings fans will hope the Cook ACL is in good shape because Jerick McKinnon has packed his bags for the Bay Area.

Stefon Diggs has signed a new deal and is the guy people want in fantasy this year. In the 3rd round, you are probably paying just enough draft capital for his services. That said, I’d take him over last years golden boy Adam Thielen. I like Kyle Rudolph’s projections this year; Kirk Cousins loves a Tight End and Kyle Rudolph is as durable and reliable as they come. He is a decent value in drafts.

The defence is the same but with an addition of Sheldon Richardson on the line so that can only help. All in all it will come down to their games with the Packers which will decide the division and I must say, I cannot wait for week 2.

They’ll have to do it with without mastermind Pat Shurmur, who has gone to the Big Apple.

Key Storyline: Is Kirk Cousins the missing piece of the jigsaw?

Green Bay Packers

The immediate concern for me is how durable Aarron Rodgers will be not only for this season, but for the rest of his career. Broken Collarbone (or clavicle for you doctors out there) breaks are now beating his Super Bowl wins 2 to 1 and it’s not farfetched to say that you cant see the Super Bowl wins levelling the score up.

Jordy Nelson is gone, the backfield is just as much a mess as it was last year (remember when everyone was over-drafting TY Montgomery this time last year) and it’s debateable whether the Jimmy Graham acquisition was worth it. On the plus side, Davantae Adams looks to be assured of a WR1 season in fantasy, possibly accumulating the most yards and most touchdowns in the league (hot take). Their defence will be a lot more improved from their draft haul so you should expect them to take a bit of the burden off of No.12.

Last season’s 7-9 record will definitely be bettered (assuming Rodgers’s health) and you would expect it to go to the wire between themselves and the Vikings. I’m gonna take the Vikings this year but it takes balls to bet against the GOAT.

Key Storyline: Can the Running backs keep Rodgers upright?

Detroit Lions

Fair amount of change here, including at the Head Coach position. Matt Patricia, former defensive co-ordinator of the New England Patriots gets his first crack at a HC job but Jim Bob Cooter is still the OC there and making the calls which is quite significant. In terms of personnel, not too much has changed.

They’ve rolled the dice again at the running back position – drafting Kerryon Johnson, who has 3 down back potential and have signed multiple Super Bowl winning RB Legarrette Blount. Theo Riddick and Ameer Abdullah are still there and unfortunately we may see a 4 way committee here, something Patricia is accustomed to seeing in Foxboro’.

Wide receiver sees Tate, Jones return and Kenny Golladay in his 2nd year will have plenty of fans. You should get similar numbers from last season for these guys but at Tight End, Luke WIllson replaces the underwhelming Eric Ebron and I’m not sure Willson will offer anything this year in fantasy.

To me, it feels like the Lions are stuck in the middle lane. Almost feels like they have to wipe the whole slate clean and start again to get out of this rut that they are in (even though it’s not exactly a losing rut, but you get my drift).

9-7 record last year but should fully expect to be battling the Bears for 3rd place and probably wont be bothering the wildcard positions come the end of December.

Key Storyline: Can Matt Patericia install the Patriots way at Detroit?

Chicago Bears

Where do we begin? Matt Nagy comes in replacing the dinosaur John Fox so the offence has already been upgraded. The most recent protégé under the Andy Reid coaching tree has a crack at the Head Coach position and should employ a spread offence with plenty of excitement and creativity.

Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel and Trey Burton are signings in free agency that add to the draft selection of Anthony Miller in an exciting pass catching group.

Tarik Cohen is seemingly being latched on to as a fantasy breakout and you are paying a premium for him. Jordan Howard could be argued as a value in drafts after his fall in ADP compared to this time last season. You can still expect 1100 yards and 8TDs from Chicagos #1 running back.

Mitchell Trubisky will have no excuses this year if the offence falls flat as he now has the weapons around him to succeed. Even the defence is looking decent with the draft pick of Roquan Smith at the back end to go with all the other pieces that re-signed in free agency. Trubisky could be a sneaky dynasty play and even in redraft and is currently going undrafted.

The big questions is can all the new cogs fit together, gel and produce results. For the NFLs sake, let’s hope so because if they do, this division will be fascinating.

Did I mention Kevin White?

Key Storyline: How far can the overhaul take the Bears?


Whoever wins this division would have earned it. It’s a coin flip between Green Bay and Minnesota according to the bookies and it’s not surprising. Can Rodgers stay away from a 3rd broken collarbone? Can Kirk Cousins get Minnesota to the promised land of a Super Bowl appearance? Can the lions surprise? And don’t sleep on the Bears….

Minnesota take it for me as long as they stay healthy. The offensive line isn’t the best but the talent on the roster is probably the best in the division. Aaron Rodgers has over the years papered over the cracks in Green Bay and this year they have a fairly decent defence if the rookies hit the ground running. I worry about their run game and who the lead back could be. They all are not the best at pass protection, which will be vital for No.12.

Detroit will offer what Detroit always offer, an average standard. Usually around the 8-8 mark, Detroit will need to get lucky to make the post season in my opinion and I am intrigued to see how the backfield pans out. My money is on Kerryon Johnson. If you dont play well against the Lions, you wont win but perform well and they are usually there for the taking.

Chicago are a trendy team heading in to 2018 and there should be a lot of excitement in this team, not something you would’ve expected to say this time last season. Mitch Trubisky should be better for the run from last years experiences and you should see why the Bears traded up for him in the 2016 draft. Plenty of options and a playcaller that will get the most out of them. Pick up Anthony Miller in dynasty leagues. The Bears fans should be excited, but 2019 could be the real breakout from Chicago.


  1. Minnesota Vikings,
  2. Green Bay Packers,
  3. Detroit Lionss,
  4. Chicago Bears


So this week we’re kicking off the previews with that is, to me at least, the best division in the whole of football, the NFC North.

To me this division has so many great ingredients this season; the best QB in the league, one of the best and most complete teams in the league and a couple of new and interesting head coaching hires to spruce up the two teams that fell short a little bit last season… and that’s only just scratching the surface! So let’s get into it.

So A-Rod is back! Apologies to anyone who disagrees but he is the best quarterback in this league at the moment and that’s exciting enough on it’s own if you’re a cheesehead. Aaron Rodgers makes Green Bay a better team and more of a threat to anyone they play. Another thing that has made the Packers better is that they got rid of Ted Thompson and they went out and made a free agency splash and signed Muhammad Wilkerson! They also went out and got Jimmy Graham. Albeit it’s not Jimmy G who played in New Orleans, it’s still a version of Graham who will be a huge red zone weapon and target over the middle for the aforementioned superstar QB.

The Packers also had a good draft. I liked what they did with Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson early on and I like what they did late on in the selection of three wide receivers.

Obviously on the face of things it looks a little imbalanced but aside from running back and being short of a pass rusher, this is looking like a pretty good team. The secondary needed a refresh and the cornerback room now has three starters (the draftees, plus Kevin King) for years to come. The receivers all have a chance to make the roster and battle it out behind Devante Adams, who is the clear WR1 in Green Bay and will be a great fantasy pick up if you miss out on all the truly elite receivers.

Another fantasy tidbit would be to avoid Packers running backs. It’s pretty muddy back there but if you must then I’d bet on Aaron Jones but it’s not a clear shot at all.

It’ll be interesting to see how these guys pan out but the bottom line is; as long as Rodgers’ collarbones remain intact, these guys are going to the playoffs.

Another team who are going to the playoffs this season are the Minnesota Vikings. I’m not going to beat around the bush here. The Vikings are one of the best teams in the entire league and are a better team now than the one that was one a game away from a home Superbowl.

Kirk Cousins is an improvement of Case Keenum, Dalvin Cook is back and will have a breakout season, they selected another first round defensive back to keep that secondary depth, Stefon Diggs just signed a huge extension and just every position you look at in the whole depth chart is filled with quality players.

The only thing that bothers me a little is the offensive line but even then, it’s not horrible. Mike Zimmer and new OC, John DeFilippo are smart enough to get round that.

I think the Vikings are fantastic, I think they’ll win the division and have another chance at a Superbowl. The divisional games against Green Bay are going to be just watch matchups and that’s probably how the North will be decided. Another factor will be how many wins these four take off each other.

Fantasy wise; load up on guys that wear purple. Cousins, Cook, Diggs, Thielen, Rudolph, the D/ST, all great options.

The next intriguing team in this division is the Lions. I really like the hire of Matt Patricia for starters. One of the best defensive minds in the league and someone who I actually wanted my Chargers to hire a season earlier. Yes, I know the coaches from the Belichick coaching tree haven’t really had a great deal of success but I’m backing Matty P to buck that trend somewhat and have a good career. What success looks like in year 1 in Detroit is another question altogether; can they make the playoffs whilst sharing a division with the best QB and (maybe) the best team in the league? That’s a big ask! But over time he could change the culture and after a draft or two more they could have built on what is already a pretty solid roster and maybe open up a Superbowl window whilst they have a QB as good as the criminally underrated, Matt Stafford.

I like what the Lions have some personnel wise in the off season; a nice draft that included two great offensive linemen in Frank Ragnow and Tyrell Crosby, a potential running back of the future in Kerryon Johnson and a nice rotational pass rusher in DeShawn Hand who can be groomed by Ziggy Ansah and maybe take over from him one day. I also like that the added LeGarrette Blount, who is a different mind of back to Johnson and Theo Riddick and will bring leadership and knowhow to the whole locker room. Luke Willson and Levine Toilolo add a pair of more traditional tight ends after they lost patience with Eric Ebron.

Detroit probably don’t make the playoffs this year but they have some good players and are in a much better position than a lot of teams who won’t either, so there’s almost certainly light at the end of the tunnel.

Fantasy tip; if yours in a PPR league, you want Golden Tate.

Last but by no means least in the North are the Chicago Bears. Another team who I think of hired themselves a really good head coach in Matt Nagy, who is one of the best, young offensive minds in the game and part of the hugely successful Andy Reid coaching tree.

Like the Lions, I think there’s a lot of light at the end of the tunnel for Chicago but due to the strength of the division, it will be a huge task to make the playoffs this year.

I loved the Bears draft and their free agency moves and I love that you can see how both aspects of their recruitment pieced together. They’ve given their promising, second year QB some weapons and a head coach who will give him much more freedom than his previous one and therefore we could see a big leap forward from Mitchell Trubrisky in 2018.

On the draft; Roquan Smith (once he actually signs for the Bears) will be a star for the next decade and James Daniels will be as solid a interior lineman as you will find in the NFL for the next decade, offering versatility to and adding to an already strong unit. However, anyone who has read my Twitter timeline recently will know I’ve been banging the table for Anthony Miller for a long while now and I think the Bears have got themselves a star in the making a wide receiver. Remember the name boys and girls, there are going to be a lot of people on your T.V. screens and on your podcasts who are asking how they missed this guy prior to the draft. If you’re in a dynasty league, draft Anthony Miller, stash him for a few weeks and then watch the points role in… if you’re in a league with me, ignore that part.

Chicago also have some nice players in situ. Adrian Amos and Leonard Floyd are two that immediately spring to mind who are young stars who could become stars. Then there’s the aforementioned offensive line and QB and that’s even before we mention the back field of Tarik Cohen and Jordan Howard, who I will be interested to see how Nagy deploys in what will be a clever and quirky scheme.

Wow. What a division. I feel like I was positive about all four teams and really like all four teams. As I said, these divisional games are going to be must see!


  1. Vikings
  2. Packers
  3. Bears
  4. Lions

I’m actually sad to put the Lions fourth here and I apologise to any Detroit fans reading. It’s not a huge negative against the team it’s just down to how much I really like the other three teams.


Podcast 20 – Electing to Punt

Adam Walford from Touchdown Tips (@Touchdowntips,TDtips.com) joins us as we speculate to accumulate!

We give you a great nugget of advice for betting on the antepost markets and we tell you which song you should listen to when watching any Bills games this year!
Great episode!

We have £100 of mythical money to spread over markets such as:

  • Super Bowl/ Conference Outrights,
  • Division winners,
  • Most Pass/Rush/Rec yards,
  • End of season awards &
  • Request a bet specials.

The full list will be on the punting page and we encourage you to send us yours! We will keep a track of them all on a spreadsheet and announce the winner at the end of the season! You have to have at least 1 bet in each of the categories to qualify.


Podcast 15 – Let’s get divisional

Good friend Lee Wakefield (@wakefield90) joins us as we take an early look at how the divisions could play out this year. We also run the rule over some end of season awards and decide whether or not Saquon Barkley is a shoo in for Offensive Rookie of the Year but also, why are the Quarterbacks so low in price?

(PS- Apologies for the sound difficulties you may hear in this podcast).

Podcast 12 – My Team My Thoughts – Bears

We “Bear Down” with Luke Campbell in this episode.

I am wearing a special shirt just for this episode and get Luke to guess which former Bears player is on the back of my non Bears jersey.

We talk about the intriguing prospect of the Bears offence in 2018 under Matt Nagy and we play a game of JoHo vs others close to him in terms of rushing yards last year. Can Luke be the first to get the full house?

I also explain how i got trolled by our version of football…

Mock Draft 3.0 w/Lee Wakefield

Lee Wakefield here, back again for Mock Draft 3.0 for The Full 10 Yards and this time we’re going to get a little wild! I’ve drawn up something that’s a little bit alternative and thrown in a few players who could go in the first round but who I don’t necessarily feel will have their name called next Thursday night. This also gives you an insight into more players, as opposed to it being the same 32 players each time just in a different order. Also, trades are included and there are a few… So let’s go! I hope you think it’s more “Philly Special” than that weird fake punt that The Colts tried to run against The Patriots a few years ago.

#1. Cleveland Browns – Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma

This would put the cat amongst the pigeons, wouldn’t it? Everyone seems to be of the opinion that The Browns are choosing between Sam Darnold and Josh Allen here. The Browns are going to pick Darnold but in this alternative reality, Cleveland picks Mayfield, the most accurate QB in the class. The fact that Mayfield seemingly isn’t even in the conversation to be the first overall pick, despite completing 70% of his passes in both of his final two years as a Sooner, is kind of weird to me. Allen, who is very much in the conversation, has never hit 60% in any season in Wyoming. To me this shows how much value fans, writers and General Managers place in measurables like height, weight and “arm strength”. Allen looks like a quarterback dressed in his uniform or in shorts and a t-shirt but last time I checked the job of the quarterback in the throw the ball to your guys, not throw it really far. Mayfield isn’t perfect but if he was 6”2 or 3, he’d be the consensus number 1 pick. No doubt.

#2. New York Giants – Bradley Chubb, Edge, N.C. State

This pick could go multiple ways, including The Giants trading back. I think New York and Dave Gettleman still believe in Eli Manning as a starting calibre QB and earlier in the off season, they were complimentary about Davis Webb as a player, so they may feel like they have a capable backup and possible future bridge QB who already has experience in their system. Quenton Nelson is going to be a great player for many years but #2 overall is probably going to be too rich for any guard, even if the position has become more valuable in recent years. So for me, it’s come down to Saquon Barkley or Bradley Chubb here. Chubb is the bigger need due to the trade of Jason Pierre-Paul and the draft class is much deeper at running back in comparison to pass rusher. New York also has a history of great pass rushers to continue, so Chubb heads to The Big Apple.

#3. New York Jets – Sam Darnold, QB, USC

 As a result of Mayfield being taken first overall, The Jets have the choice of Darnold, Rosen or Allen at 3. I know this is a slightly alternative mock but there’s really no point in considering any other position here, even with the presence of Teddy Bridgewater and Josh McCown on the roster. Darnold needs to work on his ball security but The Jets have Bridgewater who was a very capable player before his devastating knee injury and essentially a player/QB Coach in McCown, so bringing Darnold in and having him learn from both of them could be the ideal scenario. They’ve already seemingly given up on their last project QB, in Christian Hackenberg, without any success, so I don’t see Allen being the pick here as he’s essentially the same player.

#4. Cleveland Browns – Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn. State

 The Browns are back on the clock and with two of the big four QB’s still on the board, they’ll be taking some calls from teams in need of a signal caller. However they resist all offers and take Barkley to complete the offence as they are in “win now” mode after years of production by the factory of sadness. They also have lots more picks to fill their other areas of need so adding blue chip talent at the top of the draft is the smart thing to do. The Browns are often the butt of jokes in the NFL but to me, their roster really isn’t that far away from being really competitive. Mayfield or Tyrod Taylor, Barkley, Carlos Hyde, Josh Gordon, Jarvis Landry, David Njoku and a decent offensive line looks like a unit that can put up points in Todd Haley’s system. Cleveland have a good front seven, headlined by Myles Garrett, Jamie Collins and Pro Bowler, Joe Schobert. They need a cornerback and some more depth pieces but Cleveland are coming.

#5. Denver Broncos – Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame

 John Elway could take another swing from the fences in an attempt to find Denver’s next franchise QB but chose to select the best player available instead. They brought in Case Keenum to pilot the offence, which to me, says they’re probably going to play it safe on offence via the pass and run the ball often. I think that they would love to pick up Barkley to support this way of playing and make him the focal point of the offence and I believe there could be a chance of Denver calling The Giants to try to move up to the second overall pick so that they get ahead of Cleveland at four. I seriously considered this scenario for this but I think they’d prefer Chubb over Nelson so want to stay put. As I mentioned above, the draft class is deep at running back this year so Elway and The Broncos take Nelson to keep Keenum upright and to open up holes for a new rookie or one of their other young guns in the back field. The release of C.J Anderson is a little puzzling given he just topped 1,000 yards for the first time in his career and played a full 16 game slate, this past year. Maybe Denver are looking at a potential second round selection at the position and Anderson is a couple of years away from hitting the dreaded 30 years old mark, which usually marks a decline in production. Another reason why Nelson is the pick here, as he makes their running backs better.

#6. [TRADE] Buffalo Bills – Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA [Colts receive 2018 first round picks, 12th and 22nd overall]

 Still two QB’s on the board and this may represent a little bit of a slide for Rosen, whom many consider the best quarterback available this year. The reason for the slide is down to the fact that Rosen has already had some serious wear and tear despite not having taken an NFL snap as of yet. Shoulder injuries and concussions are pretty serious concerns for a young QB as well. In addition to this, there are reports that Rosen can be difficult to coach and may rub coaches and teammates up the wrong way and the dreaded question of, “does he really love football?” has been mentioned. Rosen is evidently at least a little bit of a polarizing character, topped off by the fact that his college Head Coach, Jim Mora, said in an interview that he would pick Sam Darnold over Rosen if he was an NFL GM. Concerning at least, outright damming at worst. He’s also the worst athlete of the so-called big four, which closes some doors (although definitely not all) as some schemes and OC’s want at least a certain level of athletic agility under centre. Fortunately for Rosen, he’s still a good quarterback and there are QB needy teams aplenty, so he’ll still be selected high. The Bills would almost certainly be delighted in this scenario.

#7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Derwin James, S, Florida State

 If this pick went in, I feel like Derwin James has a chance at being John Lynch reincarnated for The Bucs. James is an alpha male who can be take over the defensive back room and become a leader of the defence, along with Lavonte David and Gerald McCoy. I feel that wherever he lands, the fire and passion for the game that James has, combines with his skill set as a safety, will raise the level of those around him. He reminds me a little bit of fellow ex-FSU DB, Jalen Ramsey, in the sense that he’s chippy and plays with a point to prove and I’m sure practices against another FSU alumnus, Jameis Winston would be very interesting!

#8. Chicago Bears – Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech

 I’m almost certain that Chicago will take a linebacker at 8. Edmunds has been compared with Bears great, Brian Urlacher, Vic Fangio has coached linebacking gods like Patrick Willis and Ray Lewis… this all makes far too much sense. Chicago have lost Parnell McPhee and Jurrell Freeman too, so they need to fill a couple of spots on their roster and Edmunds has the versatility to fill one or both of those roles. I like him next to Danny Trevathan in the centre of The Bears 3-4 base defence but in sub packages, he could be used as a pass rusher alongside Leonard Floyd and Aaron Lynch.

#9. San Francisco 49ers – Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia

 As I said in my last mock, Reuben Foster is not going to see a football field as a professional, for a long time and nor should he. With this in mind, I now can’t see anyone here aside from either Tremaine Edmunds or Roquan Smith. Due to more ideal size, length and also since he’s younger, I see Edmunds probably going first bit if I’m right, Smith isn’t a bad consolation prize. He’s going play in the league for a long time at a high level, despite concerns that he is undersized. Smith is a top 5 player in this draft class so to get him at 9 and immediately replace a problem on your team is a good pick.

#10. Oakland Raiders – Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan

 After the last two picks that I see as close to being locks, I’m going to drop a bombshell. If he didn’t have a heart scare at the combine, this is where Maurice Hurst would be being mocked on the regular. Based on talent alone, Hurst is a top 10 player and here, he just about sneaks into the top 10 with Oakland taking the plunge, especially given that Oakland are switching to a base 4-3 defence. Oakland do have bigger needs but they could go for BPA at this point. The D line could use a boost with both tackle spots being manned by mid round picks from the past few years. Hurst gives The Raiders a top talent who should give them some interior pass rush and help to give Mario Edwards and Khalil Mack some help when trying to get to the QB.


#11. Miami Dolphins – Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

 So to a lot of people this would be a big shock. To me, this is still too high but I’ll roll with it anyway. Miami needs a quarterback, despite having Ryan Tannehill under contract as don’t believe they see him as the long term solution at the sport’s most important position since he’s 30 years old and coming off an ACL tear. Obviously in Tannehill, Miami do have a capable starter and could be used as a bridge QB whilst they develop Allen and as I have expressed a lot over these mock drafts, Allen needs to be given time, and I mean years, before he gets on the field. If he gets thrown in the deep end in year 1, it could ruin the team’s season, Allen as a player and the career of the General Manager who picks him.

#12. [TRADE] Indianapolis Colts – Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State

 So after trading back again in the first, Indy finally makes a pick and what a pick this is. This is an absolute bargain. The top corner in the whole class has dropped right into their laps at 12th overall! It fills a big need for The Colts and gives them another blue chip prospect in the defensive backfield alongside Malik Hooker and this continues the rebuild on that side of the ball for Indianapolis. Ward could go as high as 4 in my opinion, depending on whether The Browns stay there or trade back and also how the rest of the top 5-10 picks pan out. As I have mentioned previously, the real value of a team like The Browns or Colts trading back with a QB need squad, is that they get to gather more picks and possibly more first round picks to fill out their roster with top end players.

#13. Washington Redskins – Derrius Guice, RB, LSU

 Derrius Guice could go this high if someone out there really believes in him. There are plenty of people out there who do believe a hell of lot in him, some even think he’s a better prospect than Saquon Barkley. The ‘Skins need a running back because they need to spread the load and give Alex Smith an outlet, as everyone knows he’s not a world beater through the air and is very much a dink-and-dunk QB. Guice would give great balance to Jay Gruden’s offence and is much better than anyone on their depth chart and has a higher ceiling, despite them recently drafting Samaje Perine last year. The Redskins have pretty good offensive line to open up the holes for Guice too, which could mean they can control the clock on offence and therefore control the game, especially when they have Alex Smith a QB to manage the game for them.

#14. Green Bay Packers – Harold Landry, Edge, Boston College

 I feel like this is Harold Landry’s floor, I cannot see Green Bay letting the second ranked pass rusher in the class slide by. They need freshen up on edge players and on defence as a whole. Corner is a possibility here too but pass rusher is more valuable in the league nowadays and I would personally rank Landry above the cornerbacks in the tier below Denzel Ward, especially since Green Bay could be hoping that at least one of those guys will be around for them to pick in the second. I think this will also be seen as a bargain pick in years to come too, as I said in my last mock, Landry has had big production in college and still no one is talking about those Von Miller esque combine numbers.

On a side note; I have seen Green Bay mocked as a possible trade back in a few mocks that I have come across but I really don’t see it as they already own 12 picks in the draft, so therefore don’t need any more. However, they could use some of those later round selections to move up in the mid rounds, should a player they really like be falling towards them at some point.

#15. Arizona Cardinals – Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama

 Entering the top 15 is an alternative WR1 for this class and in comparison to my guy, Anthony Miller, Ridley is probably a player you’ve heard more about. He played at a top, Power 5 college programme and has had national title success in a pro style offensive system. Ridley possesses rare speed and impeccable route running for a player who hasn’t played in the NFL yet. His drawbacks are his age, he’ll be 23 when he enters the league and due to both the nature of Alabama’s offence being run heavy and below average quarterback play, Ridley’s college production doesn’t jump off the page at you. The Cardinals need to fill a lot of holes and need players to hit the ground running and this is part of the reason why I feel like this is a nice fit. Ridley is safe. He’s not going to take as much time to adjust to the pros as players who have come from lesser colleges, like Anthony Miller. Ridley can come in and learn what he can from Larry Fitzgerald and then take over from him once The Cards legend hangs them up.

#16. Baltimore Ravens – Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama

 Long time Ravens General Manager, Ozzy Newsome is retiring after this season. One thing Ozzy Newsome has done for a long time is select players from his old college, Alabama. In this scenario, Newsome gets his final draft off to the perfect start, in that Alabama defensive back, Minkah Fitzpatrick drops right into his bread basket at 16. Not only is he delighted about which school Fitzpatrick attended but also that this is another absolute bargain pick in this mock draft. He would be a chess piece that new DC, Wink Martindale would have fun moving all over his defence and he could form a nice trio of safeties with Tony Jefferson and Eric Weddle. Weddle came out recently saying that he likes what Martindale is bringing to the table and that the defence looks to be more aggressive. Fitzpatrick’s playmaking abilities will help that and boost a defence which had a nasty habit of blowing leads and giving up yards a year ago.

#17. Los Angeles Chargers – Mike McGlinchley, OT, Notre Dame

 This pick would complete the offensive line for The Bolts and probably make it one of the best units in the game today. A sneaky stat from last year was that Los Angeles actually gave up the least sacks of any team in the league and that was with Spencer Pulley at the pivot, no Forest Lamp all year and a bit of turnover at the right tackle position. Now The Chargers have Mike Pouncey on board, Lamp back from injury and with this pick, McGlinchley locking down the right side of Philip Rivers’ line. The protection should be even better which is dangerous for The Chargers opponents as it gives Rivers more time to pick his pass. However the main reason it will benefit the team will be that the line will be far more better equipped to open up holes in the running game as they are now comprised of better blockers and better athletes. This is how HC, Anthony Lynn wants his offence to operate and is further aided by the free agent signing of Virgil Green, an excellent blocking tight end. This is evidence that The Charges want to go this way and why they select the best offensive tackle in the draft here.

#18. Seattle Seahawks – Carlton Davis, CB, Auburn

 This could be considered as a big reach here. This could also be Seattle replacing Richard Sherman with Richard Sherman 2.0. Davis is a big, physical cover man with excellent traits to play the position at a high level for a long time. He is used to going toe to toe with the best wide receivers in the SEC, the best conference in college football, which gives him a lead start compared to other guys in this class. It is said that in practice, Auburn QB, Jarrett Stidham shied away from throwing the ball to Davis’ side of the field because he knew it had a higher chance of being an incomplete pass…Sounds a little bit like another corner who didn’t get targeted often and had the ability to lock down one half of the field, doesn’t it? This is another great fit for Seattle who I figure to draft heavily on the defensive side of the the ball next Thursday night.

#19. Dallas Cowboys – Vita Vea, DT, Washington

 Dallas don’t have a bad roster at all and could be a position to just take the best player available. Now, they obviously have a big need at wide receiver after Dez Bryant was cut at the back end of last week and players like Anthony Miller, D.J. Moore and Christian Kirk are definitely in play here but it may be considered it to be too rich for any wide receiver to be taken at 19 and I wouldn’t be shocked at all if we didn’t see a wideout taken on Thursday night, at all, as it’s a class which generally lacks star power. Although I do think there are some good pass catchers in the draft. Dallas also has a hole at safety but when your division rivals are the current Superbowl champions and two other teams who want to get better quickly, you have to match that ambition. Hence why Vea is the pick here as BPA. Like I’ve mentioned with other interior D linemen, he will make the pass rushers in the team better as a man of his size and athletic ability will command double teams, thus taking away attention from other players.

#20. Detroit Lions – Sony Michel, RB, Georgia

 As I’ve mentioned in previous mocks, Detroit hasn’t had a ball carrier of note for a long, long time and that needs to change if they’re ever going to make any noise in a crowded NFC North and if they aren’t going to waste Matt Stafford’s career. Michel is definitely RB3 in a strong class and will provide The Lions with a hard running back to take the strain off Stafford and the passing attack. Jim-Bob Cooter could also use Michel as a pass catcher out of the back field and get creative in that way, as he has shown evidence in college of having soft hands and being a capable receiver during his time at Georgia. I mention this a lot with running backs and about when an offence has a capable one paired with a good quarterback, it adds balance and the ability for that offence to control the game clock. Always useful when you play up north, in cold weather against other teams who rely on running the ball well and keeping the ball out of your hands. Especially if that means keeping that Aaron Rodgers bloke from getting on the field as much.

#21. Cincinnati Bengals – Connor Williams, OT, Texas

 Much Like the fact I’ve mentioned about the Lions needing a running back before, I am going to keep saying that The Bengals need to revamp their offensive line. Williams is a player I haven’t mocked here before but I’ve previously gone for Isaiah Wynn and Mike McGlinchley – One guard and one tackle, now I’m going for a player who could in theory play either of those positions, giving Cincinnati an element of flexibility moving forward as they surely add more players to their offensive line. I would play Williams at right tackle opposite Cordy Glenn to start with, giving The Bengals two good bookends. If I was them I would also double down, adding a guard or centre prospect in rounds 2 or 3. They have to give Joe Mixon some running lanes and keep Andy Dalton clean if they are to have any chance moving forward.

#22. [TRADE] Indianapolis Colts – Ronald Jones II, RB, USC

 The Colts used their trade down from 6 to enable themselves to really pick up a greater number of top prospects to really refresh their roster quickly. Earlier on they picked up a defensive player and now they flip over to the other side of the ball and take their running back of the future. Ronald Jones is another of the top backs in the class, he isn’t quite Saquon Barkley but he is going to be a very useful back and is in the second tier of runners alongside the likes of Derrius Guice and Sony Michel. All four have a big chance to go in the first round, especially if a couple are off the board early on and it creates and bit of a rush for players at that position. Frank Gore has been pretty decent for Indy since he came over from San Francisco a few years back and still managed over 950 yards at the age of 34, last season and did crack the 1,000 yard mark the year before last. In doing so however, he has been a massive anomaly in terms of doing so at his age. Jones will take the pressure of Andrew Luck or Jacoby Brissett and be a reliable runner who should delivery more yards per attempt score than Gore did, which was only 3.7.

#23. New England Patriots – Rashaan Evans – LB, Alabama

 I’m going back here again with Evans ending up is New England as it just makes too much sense should the board end up falling like this. There are plenty of linebacker needy teams who will be waiting to pounce before the 31st pick, should The Patriots be silly enough to wait and when do New England do silly things? (Throwing a pass to Tom Brady perhaps? I hear you say), not very often, so this has to happen now. Evans has the big time and big game experience to work well in The New England defence and he also possesses enough versatility to cope at different spots in this complex and multifaceted defence.

#24. Carolina Panthers – Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M

 Here’s another new name for you and another wide receiver. Christian Kirk is a player I really like. I feel like he’s a good fit for the Carolina offence too as he’s a little bit different to Devin Funchess and he’s less of a running back than Curtis Samuel. Kirk is a solidly built and sturdy looking receiver, who has good hands, speed and can also help the team he lands on as a punt and kick returner, where he had good success as an Aggie. 24, and maybe the whole first round is possibly a little bit rich for him but I wanted to include him in this alternative setting to get his name out there for those who maybe haven’t heard of him and as a way of recognising how highly I rate him. He’s another one of this class’s smaller, quicker pass catchers who I feel will contribute from very early on in his career.

#25. Tennessee Titans – Josh Sweat, Edge, Florida State

 Another new name for my mocks is Josh Sweat. To some the FSU pass rusher could have been a top 5, if not top 1, player in this class had it not been for a devastating knee injury in his senior year of high school, which resulted in a dislocation of the knee and the rupturing of all the major ligaments of the knee. At one point it looked like Sweat’s leg may have had to have a below knee amputation as it was first feared that there would be artery damage. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case and Sweat is working his way back to having the explosiveness that had him being compared to Jadeveon Clowney. Sweat has ideal length and is talked about as a very coachable as a player, these aspects help him out massively…probably not enough to get him drafted this highly but someone will take a flier on someone with huge upside potential like Sweat. Sometimes they work (Myles Jack), sometime they don’t (Malik McDowell).

#26. [TRADE] Indianapolis Colts – Marcus Davenport, Edge, UTSA [Atlanta receives 2018, 2nd round pick, 36th overall and 3rd round pick, 67th overall]

 This would make things interesting for Indy as they flip back to the defensive side of the ball. As a team with a lot of high value picks they are well armed to either take a lot of quality players or pull something like this. Here The Colts trade back into the back of the first round, targeting one of the squads with stacked rosters as a trade partner, to pick up another high upside player in Marcus Davenport. Trading back into the first round gives Indianapolis the 5th year option, so it gives players more time to develop under their first contract. As I’ve previously stated, Davenport needs some work and needs to be in a situation where he can come in and play as a situational rusher, rather than a full time starter right away. The Colts don’t possess a bevy of top edge rushers but they have a group of guys who rotate and could use a boost. Davenport would come in and learn from good pros like Jabaal Sheard and John Simon, who have been around the league a little bit and he could possibly be joined by another edge rusher or defensive tackle later in the draft as Indy looks to revamp both the back and front of it’s defence. As I’ve also said, Davenport has the ingredients but it’s really up to him to soak it all in and learn as much as he can, as quickly as he can. If he is successful in doing so, he can be a beast coming off the edge.

#27. New Orleans Saints – Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama 

The Saints don’t have a lot of holes in their roster so are a prime candidate to trade as they did in my last mock draft. This could be to trade up, mortgaging their future in order to get a QB to take over from Drew Brees in future or trading back to accumulate more picks so they can do so in future. I think The Saints are going to be good for a while with the roster that they possess, so I doubt they will be picking in the top 10 any time soon, so are likely to need to make a move to find their next long term QB. However, if a team like Atlanta beats them to the trade back and they don’t have a partner, I can see them picking a tackle like Payne or Taven Bryan. Payne is the better player so they go in that direction here and the strong get stronger. Trading away multiple picks is always a little scary and New Orleans have a Superbowl window open the whole time Brees lines up under centre so they’re in “win now” mode.

#28. Pittsburgh Steelers – Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State 

One of the top four linebackers is available and Pittsburgh have to take him to safeguard their possible post-Ryan Shazier future. As I’ve said, I personally hope we see Shazier back on the field again but the signing of Jon Bostic was another safeguarding move from the front office. Vander Esch does need work but I am a big fan of how he can affect the game in multiple ways. He’ll be an asset for whoever he joins when he gets on the field but this situation where he joins a good team where the pressure isn’t on his shoulders immediately may be best for him, as he isn’t a complete player yet.

#29. Jacksonville Jaguars – Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville 

What if the Jags don’t want to make a pick to protect Blake Bortles but want to keep an eye on the future should he not blossom into the player they want him to be? Blake was great in the playoffs last year but throughout the season defences began to figure it out and load the box to guard Leonard Fournette and dared the offensive play caller to let Bortles throw it against them. Jacksonville can’t harbour Superbowl ambitions if they are going to allow that to happen again. Jackson is a good quarterback and an electric athlete who can always make a play with his legs, who if coupled with Fournette would be very fun to watch (unless they’re playing against your team). Get the Jags some pass catchers and add in the outrageous defence and Duval could be bringing home the Lombardi soon.

#30. [TRADE] Cleveland Browns – Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa [Vikings receive 2018, 2nd round pick, 33rd overall and 4th Round pick, 114th overall] 

We have another trade. Cleveland address another need and use some of the draft capital they’ve stockpiled to get back into the first round. This trade is almost identical to the one they pulled off last year in order to go up and get David Njoku. Jackson is a longer, more physical corner who Gregg Williams should love and should match his aggressive style of coaching. Jackson should play opposite from E.J. Gaines and match up with the bigger wide receivers in the AFC  North. Like I’ve mentioned previously with this kind of trade, this is worthwhile because it gives the team a 5th year option on the player. This means they aren’t a unrestricted free agent until they’re into their 7th year, should the team exercise the option. That’s the majority of the player’s career in most cases which is a lot of control and time to develop a prospect.

  #31. New England Patriots – Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville 

Everyone knows The Patriots have three major needs; right tackle, corner and linebacker. The earlier pick of Rashaan Evans fills one need so it comes down to a tackle or a corner here. Since there’s been a run on corners, especially with Cleveland trading up for one and teams like Green Bay probably looking to pick one up in the second round, New England look to jump in and take one whilst there are still really good players available. Alexander fits The Patriots physical, press-man corner style as well so this should be a great fit for both the player and the team.


#32. Philadelphia Eagles – Mike Hughes, CB, UCF

Philadelphia, as the Superbowl champion, have not got a lot of holes in their roster. So with this in mind, they have a lot of freedom with the 32nd pick. They’re pretty deep at cornerback already but with Hughes they get a super athlete who can help both on defence and in the return game. Hughes only started one year at UCF so he isn’t the most experienced of players but like a few players, he has the physical ingredients to be a great player. Also like a few players in the first round, he is best suited to landing on a good team, who don’t necessarily need him to contribute immediately. This pick also fills the spot of Daryl Worley who was released this last weekend after his DUI and weapons possession arrest and thinking further ahead, Hughes and last year’s first rounder Sidney Jones, could form a nice cornerback tandem for a long time.


So there we are, that’s another mock draft in the books from me on behalf of The Full 10 Yards. I hope you enjoyed reading about a few alternative scenarios. With that in mind please take certain picks with a pinch of salt but as always, hit me up with comments and criticism on Twitter (@Wakefield90) or on Facebook. I’ll be appearing on the next Full 10 Yards podcast that will be recorded and released very soon, which I’m very  excited about. So keep an eye out for that one for more draft content, it should be a lot of fun.

Team Power Rankings

NFL Power Rankings – pre draft (31.03.18)

1.  Philadelphia Eagles

A steady offseason from the Superbowl champs. re-signing Bradham to a long term deal along with Ngata and Michael Bennett, ensuring that this defence will be one of the premier ones for the next few years. Added in to that, the return of Carson Wentz and upgrading the speed at WR, replacing Torrey Smith with Mike Wallace in another great low cost deal for the Eagle’s. *Pukes*

2. Minnesota Vikings

With the highest profile capture of the offseason in Captain Kirk, this team which was already deemed SuperBowl ready with Bradford/Keenum last year and the next year or so is going to be how this Vikings team is judged. Despite letting Jerrick McKinnon go, they have the returning Dalvin Cook makes this team a stellar one and can expect that they’ll be deep in the postseason come January 2019. Oh yeah, and they added Sheldon Richardson to that defence…

3. Los Angeles Rams

Boy, what an overhaul going on in LA. Wade Phillips, a defensive master in the NFL now has so many weapons on that defence. Aqib Talib, Marcus Peters, and Nickell Robey-Coleman sure up the secondary to help alleviate pressures that Jared Goff may have felt when going out and forcing the issue along with Suh to partner Aaron Donald to get some pressure on opposing QBs, which was a void showed in their loss to the Falcons in the postseason. Many may see #3 too high for this team, but this team is built for success next year and anything other that a championship match this year will be considered a very disappointing season. I’d take them to beat the patriots (maybe even at Foxboro!)

4. New England Patriots

Despite that massive exodus in personnel including star RB Dion Lewis, clutch performer WR Danny Amendola and Nate Solder on the O-Line and Malcolm Butler in the secondary, this will likely be the highest the Patriots will get on the power rankings. Why? well this could be the season where it all falls flat for New England. Helped by a poor quality division (which usually is the main reason why they get the #1 seed for the past few years), New England can regress but still win the division with ease considering the coaching staff there. Matt Patricia has gone, but Belichick called most plays on defence anyway and they managed to keep Josh McDaniels as OC, with a view to him taking over the patriots in due course (probably working out well for the Colts too). There were some players brought in as cover, not that they make many heads turn. In fact, their best signing will probably be the new deal for Rex Burkhead, who seems to be the go to guy in this offence for 2018. Watch out for the Gronk rumours though….

5. New Orleans Saints

Teams from 5-10 could probably be shuffled around and not too many eyebrows would be raised. Considering how close they came last year to the NFC championship game, it makes sense to put the Saints here. Adding pieces to the resurgent defence along with resigning Brees’s to a relatively low contract will see the Saints in the post season again in 2018.

6. Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh are here by default on the offensive talent. However, they wont want to have a repeat of last seasons and secure LeVeon Bell. Look out for a resurgent season from Martavis Bryant. Defence will have to play tough again this year to beat the New England hump. the additions of Burnett and Bostic will help.

7.  Atlanta Falcons

Probably a bit too high for Atlanta, but the offence is so powerful. letting Taylor Gabriel go probably wont hurt them a great deal. Letting Dontari Poe and Adrian Clayborn go may hurt them more. I put Atlanta at 7 as it was either them or the Packers, and i fancy the Falcons to take the Packers at this point

8. Green Bay Packers

The main question heading into the 2018 season is how will Rodgers get on in a Nelson-less offence? Davantae Adams obviously will see a lot of targets and receptions this year. As may new TE Jimmy Graham, who will be the redzone target that Jordy Nelson vacated. Defence will be their downfall again this season but any team with Rodgers in it is capable of getting to the big one.

9. Jacksonville Jaguars

Had Blake Bortles been replaced by someone slightly more forward thinking (Alex Smith, Case Keenum), then the Jags would be leapfrogging the Packers and the Falcons. Andrew Norwell signing will help the run game and Austin Seferian-Jenkins upgrade the TE position, where the Jags could do with helping for Bortles. The loss of Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns puts pressure on the young WR core in Jacksonville.

10. San Francisco 49ers

The ranking of 10 for Jimmy G and Kyle Shanahan’s boys is assuming that the trajectory continues from the promise shown in the back end of 2017. The capture of Richard Sherman will pay immediate dividends and it will be interesting to see the market share of carries in this backfield with Jerrick McKinnon coming over from Minnesota to take over from Carlos Hyde. Either way, they are in good shape heading in to the draft and the future looks very good for the Bay side team.

11. Houston Texans

This is another ranking assuming the starting QB is as good as last year. Deshaun Watson lit up opposing defences last year before suffering injury. JJ Watt needs to stay healthy, something he has done for a few seasons so that he , Whitney Mercilus and the newly signed Tyrann Mathieu can do some serious damage in what is an intriguing division last year.

12. Los Angeles Chargers

Quiet offseason for the chargers, though did sign C Markice Pouncey, which will help the run game. Health has always been an issue for the chargers, so it was nice to see most guys stay healthy last year, especially Keenan Allen. More of the same will be the prescribe modus operandi for this team and are my dark horses for the AFC participant in the Superbowl.

13. Dallas Cowboys

The re-signing of DeMarcus Lawrence and David Irving along with the potential reinstatement of Randy Gregory will give the cowboys much needed oomph on the D Line. Sean Lee will always be the key to the defence but with the way they’ve played the last few seasons, they try and take the game out of their hands. Zeke will be back so expect a run heavy offence. WR help has been signed in the offseason in Allen Hurns and Deonte Thompson; speedsters to cover the ageing Dez Bryant and the indifferent Williams/Beasley combo. Interesting season for the Cowboys.

14. Kansas City Chiefs

The defence has seen better days, but the offence is one of the most interesting to watch going into week 1. Pat Mahomes gets the keys to the Chiefs Cadillac and the signing off Sammy Watkins raised a few eyebrows. will be a very hot and cold team, but always efficient in their gameplay may see them win more games than most expect them to.

15. Tennessee Titans

Some interesting signings for the Titans in this offseason. Dion Lewis again means a crowded backfield, whilst Malcolm Butler will help their gaps on defence. The change in coaching on the offence will help Marcus Mariota, just a shame they are in a tough division.

16. Carolina Panthers

Quiet offseason means that Carolina will be a middle of the road team this year. They’ll expect a 8/9 win season, and they’ll need Cam Newton to be more consistent than last year to achieve that in a competitive division, and conference.

17. Seattle Seahawks

Massive fall for the Seahawks. Ed Dickson replaces Jimmy Graham, and there are just so many holes here, as shown last year. Russell Wilson covered up most of the cracks, but he can only do so much. plenty of free agent signing on defence after the Legion of Boom has been disbanded. Will take all of Pete Carroll’s coaching abilities to get this team to a winning record this year.

18. Denver Broncos

Keeping both Sanders and Thomas at WR will be music to the ears of new QB Case Keenum. If he shows the same level as last season, the Broncos could becoming contenders in a tough AFC West.

19. Cincinnati Bengals

Quiet Free Agency for the Bengals, but they have enough on this team to be in contention for a wildcard again this season.

20. Detroit Lions

Detroit will have new faces on defences this year and will also try and finally solve the RB puzzle. Legarrette Blount will add power and brute force which probably signals the end of Ameer Abdullah. For the offence to flourish, the defence will need to improve on their 27th rank in total defence last year.

21. Washington Redskins

Alex Smith takes over the reigns in the nations capital where there are question marks all over the place. Seemingly no leaders on this team, especially on offence, so Alex Smith will have a lot on his plate to replicate last season at Arrowhead.

22. Baltimore Ravens

Probably a bit low on the Ravens here, who will once again rely on defence to win them games. Offence was inept last year so a slight overhaul at WR. with the outgoing Wallace and Maclin being replaced by Michael Crabtree and John Brown. Will struggle to post a .500+ record.

23. Oakland Raiders

Jon Gruden obviously is in a 2013 time warp. Swapping their most reliable WR for Jordy Nelson. Adding other golden oldies like Doug Martin and signing a whole host of new faces on defence, could mean that Oakland fans wont have much cause for optimism when they head to Las Vegas.

24. Chicago Bears

It’s a put up or shut up, no excuses time in Chicago after Mitch Trubisky was given a lot more weapons on offence. Allen Robinson, Trey Burton and Taylor Gabriel will certainly keep defences honest, which should help JoHo. the re-signing of Kyle Fuller and Amukamara  will help them stay in games from a defensive standpoint. Will need to make Soldier Field a fotress to get anywhere near a .500 record.

25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The defence has been addressed with the capture of Jason Pierre-Paul and Vinny Curry. RB question marks will probably be addressed in the draft or maybe DeMarco Murray? Will blow hot and cold again this year, probably 4th in the NFC South though,.

26. New York Giants

Big year for the Giants. New coaching staff and GM captaining the ship, and plenty of voids that need addressing. Wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Giants trade back to try and accumulate picks like the Colts did, but it could be a long 2018, especially with the OBJ trade rumours circling, but expect him to stay. They have the talent on offence, especially with the addition of Nate Solder, but have no running game and a QB in the twilight of his career.

27. Cleveland Browns

Cleveland have had a massive overhaul which is not surprising considering the last 2 years. reasons for optimism are that the WR core has never been as good (or safe) as it is this year, they have a QB that is going to be a calming influence and not turn the ball over as often as his predecessors and they have some talented sparks such as NJoku heading in to his second year. They also have picks #1 and #4 in the draft so could surprise with number of wins if it all goes together.

28. New York Jets

The re-signing of Josh McCown will probably be the best bit of business, maintaining the stability of the team. Robby Anderson will probably be suspended for a lengthy portion but Quincy Enunwa returns. Trumaine Johnson Signing helps their young defence. Will be taking a QB in the draft with their #3 pick, which they need to get right considering the price they paid.

29. Buffalo Bills

Going for the Bills to sink like I thought they would last season. No More Tyrod Taylor for the Bills who will sorely miss him, even if they don’t know it now. AJ McCarron has been signed to replace him and likely to take a QB in the draft. Signing of Gaines and Davis at CB will help but they’ll be fighting with Miami and New York for 2nd place in the AFC which will flatter any of them as none of them have a chance at the offseason.

30. Arizona Cardinals

Signing of Sam Bradford could be a costly one if he doesn’t stay healthy (especially behind one of the worst Offensive lines). Honey Badger has left the defence and all signs point to a top 5 pick in next years draft. David Johnson will have a heavy workload in this offence, along with Larry Fitz in probably his final year.

31. Indianapolis Colts

Loads of holes, but more importantly, loads of questions for this team;

Is Luck healthy? what are their options at RB? how much will they address the defence going in to the draft. Almost certainly candidates for worst record this season, ever with Andrew Luck playing a full 16 games. Signing of Eric Ebron, Ryan Grant and Christine Michael do not excite anyone.

32. Miami Dolphins.

No Suh, Pouncey or Timmons on Defence. No Landry, Julius Thomas or Jay Ajayi on offence means that the Dolphins are fighting for identity this year. I don’t think they have any idea what they are doing at all. Tannehill will be coming back and the goings on in Miami can all be symbolised by the signing of Brocket Man, Brock Osweiler. They will be relying on Danny Amendola to be their discount Jarvis Landry and Frank Gore to be their Jay Ajayi (though Kenyan Drake should have this backfield). Their only wins will probably come at home vs the poor divisional opponents, if they are lucky.