Our respected friends, Pat Kirwan and Jim Miller at Movin’ the Chains — Monday through Friday on SiriusXM Channel 88 — broadcast their first 2018 NFL Mock Draft on Friday. As always, it was as enlightening as being in a team’s war room and as entertaining as old-time radio — complete with sound effects.
Kirwan is a former NFL team executive and Miller a former NFL quarterback; both bring exceptional professional insight in their observations. We will go over their mock draft here, and compare it to those of NFLDraftScout.com analysts Rob Rang and Dane Brugler. But you can hear the Kirwan-Miller production as a podcast available at SiriusXM, if you are a subscriber.
And each group will soon offer a new mock, as Moving the Chains will invite callers to join in and NFLDraftScout.com will publish Mock version 4.0
We have all worked together before, including last year when we featured videos of Kirwan and Miller on the 2017 draft and numerous times Rang or Brugler have been guests on SiriusXM. So let’s skip the formalities and get on a first-name basis.
In their mock draft production, Pat and Jim alternated selections, with Pat taking the odd picks, which is just a numerical fact, not a commentary. We will step back and match the mocks by the Moving the Chains team against our own NFLDraftScout.com analysts, Rob and Dane. Yeah, we know the math is awkward with Draft Scout offering selections by each analyst on every pick while Pat and Jim alternated between odd and, ah, Jim.
Because they all spend hours, days and months scrutinizing draft prospects — and talk among themselves — it shouldn’t be surprising that there were numerous similarities. The choices were unanimous five times, including four of the first six and then again at No. 13.
So the following is agreed by all:
–No. 2, New York Giants: Saquon Barkley, running back, Penn State
–No. 3, New York Jets: Josh Rosen, quarterback, UCLA
–No. 4, Cleveland Browns: Bradley Chubb, DE, North Carolina State
–No. 6, Indianapolis Colts: Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame
–No. 13, Washington Redskins: Roquan Smith, ILB, Georgia
This isn’t to imply that these guys agreed more often than not. In fact, through the 32 picks in the first round there was no agreement whatsoever 19 times among these experts. Check the chart below to verify the acrimony.
For those who follow these draft analysts there were also a few picks that were hardly surprising.
Pat has often said on and off air that he believes Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield is the ONLY quarterback who would be NFL-ready in the first week of the 2018 season. For those who totally ignored college football last season, Mayfield’s Heisman Trophy is among the vivid and diverse memories he created.
Pat, among others, embraces Mayfield’s demonstrative and sometimes controversial, leadership qualities. Those who believe in Mayfield surmise his strength of character, as it were, would allow him to overcome, if not ignore, rookie jitters even in a tough town.
So it was no surprise that Pat was the first to select Mayfield, going No. 11 to Miami. But the NFLDraftScout.com team was of a similar mind with Dane naming Mayfield No. 12 to Buffalo and Rob No. 15 to Arizona.
But those who have listened to Pat sing the praises of Mayfield knew there was something about the selection that was, well, odd. And it wasn’t the number 11.
Despite debating the overall quality, or diverse nature, of the quarterbacks in the 2018 draft, Pat selected a quarterback with four of his first six picks (numerically odd picks only). Before naming Mayfield, he called out No. 1 Josh Allen, Wyoming, to Cleveland; No. 3 Rosen to the Jets and No. 5 Sam Darnold, USC, to Denver.
So, either Pat thought those teams didn’t need a game-ready quarterback on the first week of the season or, well, we know Pat has the courage of his convictions so that must be it.
Speaking of quarterbacks, which is common when discussing the draft or football in general, Rob told viewers at NFLDraftScout.com that this could be a draft that goes down in history with the fabled 1983 lottery that featured six quarterbacks in the first round. Three are now in the Pro Football Hall of Fame — No. 1 overall John Elway, No. 14 Jim Kelly and No. 27, the last of the sextet, Dan Marino.
The three trivia question answers, depending on how the question is phrased, were/are No. 7 Todd Blackledge, No. 15 Tony Eason and No. 24 Ken O’Brien. Yep, all taken before Marino. Go figure. We aren’t counting No. 3 Curt Warner because he was a running back whose first name is indeed spelled with a “C,” not a “K” like the latter-day Warner, a quarterback inducted into the Hall of Fame last year.
Getting back to 2018, Rob was predictably the only one to select six quarterbacks in the first round. To the names Allen, Rosen, Darnold, Mayfield and Lamar Jackson (Louisville) selected by everybody, Rob added Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph, tying him with Marino as the No. 6 QB, albeit in the 30th position of an expanded NFL.
One can’t help but wonder how many of those quarterbacks will be Hall of Famers and how many will be trivia answers 35 years from now. Vegas doesn’t even have an over/under on that yet, but the call here anyway is to go with the under on Hall of Famers from this draft.
Here is a chart showing side-by-side picks by the crews from NFLDraftScout.com and Moving the Chains. Players in bold and italics appear in only one mock. Keep checking in because each group will soon update its mock draft.