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NFL Network’s Charlie Casserly disrupts top 5 in new 2018 NFL Mock Draft

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Well this is something.

UTSA DE Marcus Davenport tackles Old Dominion WR Zach Pascal
UTSA DE Marcus Davenport tackles Old Dominion WR Zach Pascal
Photo by Daniel Dunn/Icon Sportswire/Corbis via Getty Images

New mock from NFL Network’s Charlie Casserly. Leggo.

The top...4?

Casserly starts out conventionally with his top 4, but then throws that curveball at 5: USC QB Sam Darnold, UCLA QB Josh Rosen, Penn St. RB Saquon Barkley, Alabama DB Minkah Fitzpatrick...and UTSA DE Marcus Davenport. Heater!

The QBs

After Darnold-Rosen at the top, Casserly has Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield to the New York Jets at #6, a pick we’re seeing more and more. His only other first-round QB is Wyoming QB Josh Allen at #15 to the Arizona Cardinals, a pick I’m a fan of as a Los Angeles Rams fan.

It’s not that Allen is destined for the bust tag, but he’s got the lowest floor IMO. I think we’d all be shocked if Darnold or Rosen somehow make their way to Phoenix. Mayfield and Louisville QB Lamar Jackson could be far too explosive for my liking. And while Allen could certainly turn out to be Jared Goff 2.0, I do wonder if his floor (see: 2016 Jared Goff) makes him the most attractive option for the Cards for Rams fans.

Whatever the pick as someone we’re going to see twice a year for at least the next few years, here’s hoping they get it wrong.

Cornering the cornerbacks

This one’s a bit of a nightmare scenario if you’re on the Rams’ cornerback train.

Ohio St. CB Denzel Ward pops at #9 to the San Francisco 49ers. Five picks later, UCF CB Mike Hughes goes to the Green Bay Packers. And at #22, the Buffalo Bills take Iowa CB Josh Jackson.

Casserly then has the Rams at 23 going with:

23. Los Angeles Rams: Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado

Trumaine Johnson is due to become a free agent, and CB is already a weakness for the Rams.

Of note, Casserly has a fifth cornerback at #31 with the New England Patriots taking LSU CB Donte Jackson.

Given how frequently we’ve seen Oliver mocked our way, it doesn’t feel all that stretchy despite being the fourth cornerback of the round. But it’s just such a whackadoo mock (Notre Dame G Quenton Nelson at 12! LSU DE Arden Key at 18! Florida DT Taven Bryan at 19! Texas OT Connor Williams at 29!), I kinda wanted something flashier for us. You shorted me on pageviews, Casserly!

Two weeks to the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine. Hurry up and get here!