The NFL off-season has been action-packed. The Brandin Cooks trade from the New England Patriots to the Los Angeles Rams was the latest domino to impact how experts project the NFL draft to go.
The Cooks-Rams trade does have an Alabama connection, as linebacker Logan Snead, son of Rams’ general manager Les Snead, visited and posted a picture posing on Twitter with Nick Saban this past weekend.
The ESPN and PFF mock drafts each are two rounds. ESPN also has two separate projections from each Mel Kiper and Todd McShay.
This week’s mocks are all over the place for the potential Alabama draft picks.
Defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick has the least variance among mock draft selections. His highest selection is by Bleacher Report, where he goes seventh to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. USA Today mocks the Alabama safety eighth overall to the Chicago Bears. McShay, Kiper and CBS all like Fitzpatrick ninth to the San Francisco 49ers and both PFF and Walter peg him 13th to the Washington Redskins.
Wide receiver Calvin Ridley has taken a bit of a slip. No mocks have him in the top 10 anymore and just three, PFF (Green Bay Packers’ No. 14 pick), Bleacher Report (Baltimore Ravens’ No. 16 pick) and USA Today (Packers at No. 17 via trade). CBS Sports has Ridley pegged with the 22nd pick to the Buffalo Bills, McShay has him 24th to the Carolina Panthers, Kiper interestingly has Ridley mocked to the Pittsburgh Steelers, joining Antonio Brown and Ben Roethlisberger. Walter Football is the lowest on Ridley, mocking him 29th to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Defensive tackle Da’Ron Payne is mocked as going as high as 13th by CBS Sports to the Redskins and as low as 53rd (second round) to the Bills by PFF. USA Today mocks him 15th to the Oakland Raiders (via mock trade), Walter Football has him 16th to the Ravens, while McShay and Kiper have another rare agreement with Payne going 17th to the Los Angeles Chargers. Bleacher Report mocks him 25th to the Tennessee Titans, joining former Alabama running back Derrick Henry.
Linebacker Rashaan Evans also has a high variance in mock selections, going as high as 18th in the USA Today mock to the Steelers (via mock trade) and as low as 43rd to the Patriots by PFF. In between those, Kiper has Evans 19th to the Dallas Cowboys, McShay 21st to the Cincinnati Bengals, 23rd by CBS Sports to the Patriots (via draft pick in Cooks trade), 27th by Bleacher Report to the New Orleans Saints and 28th by Walter Football to the Steelers.
Safety Ronnie Harrison is projected to go in the first round in one mock, by McShay, who pegs him 31st to the Patriots. PFF (48th overall to the Chargers) and Kiper (63rd overall to the Patriots) both project Harrison as a second rounder.
Cornerback Anthony Averett is also projected the second round in only one mock. McShay projects him as the 63rd overall pick to the Patriots.
The 2018 NFL draft will be held on April 26-28 in Arlington, Texas.