Tuesday night, I took part in “The 2018 Under The Dome Donnie Lambert Memorial Pre-Draft Special”, representing the teams from the AFC South. (There’s room for a Michael Scott Fun Run joke to be made.)
It was a one-round mock draft, with no trades. Among the rest of the panel, it was great to link back up with some of my old Pro Football Spot cohorts in UTD host Sean Williams, David Harrison of The Pewter Plank, Josh Schultz of NFL Draft Blackboard and Andrew Wiedemann.
In the first half of the show, the UTD crew interviewed New Orleans Saints cornerback Arthur Maulet, and then the mock got started. I pinned the embedded video to the start time of the mock (54:50).
6. Indianapolis Colts — Roquan Smith | Linebacker | Georgia
With no Bradley Chubb on the board, I went with a defensive playmaker in Smith. Quenton Nelson is enticing of course, but I think the Colts are looking for a defensive difference-maker. By the way, I only got asked about Andrew twice!
25. Tennessee Titans — Harold Landry | Outside Linebacker | Boston College
I was surprised that Landry was still available, but it sounded like he was tops on some other teams’ boards when I made the pick. Titans outside linebackers Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan are both 30-plus and hit free agency next spring. Third-year second-round pick Kevin Dodd hasn’t done anything.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars — Leighton Vander Esch | Linebacker | Boise State
With Paul Posluszny retiring, it’s a perfect opportunity to slide Vander Esch into the middle between Telvin Smith and Myles Jack. Vander Esch is way more athletic and rangy than Posluszny, though Poz’s leadership is something that is acquired over time. Vander Esch fits the Jaguars defense like a glove.
No First-round Pick. Houston Texans
Houston does not have a first (or second) round pick this year due to trading up in the first round with the Cleveland Browns last year to get Deshaun Watson. The 2018 first-rounder that Houston dealt is the No. 4 overall pick.