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(Ryan Kang/AP Photo)

2018 NFL Mock Draft 1.0 Pre-Combine

2018 NFL Draft
This 2018 NFL draft quarterback class is loaded with talent (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
  • A mock draft is not a ranking of players. A mock draft is making educated guesses at where players will land according to team needs.

2018 NFL Mock Draft 1.0

1. Cleveland Browns

2018 NFL Draft
Josh Allen (Ryan Kang/AP Photo)

Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

This is the year that the Cleveland Browns get their quarterback. Whether that is in the draft or free agency the time is now. They have had 11 first round picks in the last six years and only 5 of those players are still on their roster (3 coming off rookie campaigns). Thankfully there is a plethora of QB’s in free agency and a deep draft class. If they choose to fix their problem in the draft then Josh Allen makes the most sense. He is a QB with a high ceiling and fits the AFC North mantra, which we all know the way to the playoffs is winning in your division. With a high set of physical tools, he has the opportunity to finally turn things around in Cleveland.

2. New York Giants

2018 NFL Draft
Josh Rosen (Kelvin Kuo/USA TODAY Sports)

Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA

It’s time for the Giants to hand off the batton from Eli to Rosen. This changing of the guard could not be any more perfect. Rosen is by far the most talented QB in this draft class and by stating that he wouldn’t play in Cleveland sets up for a perfect landing spot in New York. Another good thing about Rosen is that he grew up and went to school in the LA area, giving him an advantage when it comes to dealing with the rough New York media. I believe Rosen has the highest ceiling of any QB in this draft and is an absolutely perfect fit for the Giants.

3. Indianapolis Colts

2018 NFL Draft
Bradley Chubb (Jeremy Brevard/USA TODAY Sports)

Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State

The Indianapolis Colts is a mess of an organization right now. Will Luck be back? Can this makeshift coaching staff work together? Will Irsay take over and make changes? No one really knows these answers yet, but what we do know is that they are in perfect position to draft what may be the best player in this draft. Chubb is an absolute beast and can be a starter from the minute he gets drafted. The Colts struggle on defense and have no running game. Saquon is a possibility here, but you can get a running back later in the draft. The chance of possibly getting an elite pass rusher is too good to pass up. Also if they get Luck back healthy they may not have this high of a draft pick again for a very long time.

4. Cleveland Browns (Via the Houston Texans)

2018 NFL Draft
Minkah Fitzpatrick (Chris Kirschner/SEC Country)

Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama

The second pick for the Browns comes as the number 4 overall pick in the draft. They have solved their quarterback issue with the first overall pick and now get their quarterback of the defense. Minkah has been praised for his defensive mind and has even been called an unreal athlete with the mind of Nick Saban. Not a bad combination if you ask me. With this pick, the Browns now finally have someone to build around on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. Maybe now they can hope to start to emerge out of this dark time in their franchise’s history.

5. Denver Broncos

2018 NFL Draft
Sam Darnold (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Sam Darnold, QB, USC

The Broncos won’t waste anytime drafting their quarterback of the future. With 3 or 4 QB’s left that could go in the first round, none make more sense than the quarterback from USC, Sam Darnold. John Elway has a lot of pressure on him in this draft, he hasn’t been able to draft quarterbacks and develop them in his tenure as a GM. Sam Darnold is by no means a polished QB nor is he ready to come in and immediately send the Broncos to the super bowl. He needs to cut down on his turnovers if he wants to survive in this league, but his upside is something that will make coaches and scouts drool over.

6. New York Jets

2018 NFL Draft
Baker Mayfield (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma

The quarterback bonanza continues! With the 6th overall pick, the New York Jets finally get their quarterback of the future. The Jets haven’t selected a quarterback in the first round since they took Mark Sanchez in the 2009 draft. By drafting Baker Mayfield they are drafting a playmaker. Is he undersized? Maybe. Does he have an elite arm? No. Is he a game changer? Absolutely. He is someone who can help reshape this broken franchise. He will need to be taught how to handle himself a little bit, but he’s no Johnny Manziel. I think the Josh Rosen, Baker Mayfield shootouts could be several exciting years in New York City.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2018 NFL Draft
Josh Jackson (Jeffrey Becker/USA TODAY Sports)

Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa

Tampa could go many directions with this pick, but I think it makes the most sense to draft Josh Jackson out of Iowa. Jackson is an absolute ball hawk. He has the ability to erase wide receivers and shut down one side of the field. The team drafted Vernon Hargreaves in the first round a few years ago and he has not lived up to expectations. Jackson is bigger and more physical than Hargreaves, who will most likely be moved to cover the slot. Jackson can be a plug and play guy immediately which is something that the Buc’s definitely need.

8. Chicago Bears

2018 NFL Draft
Calvin Ridley (John David Mercer/USA TODAY Sports)

Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama

The Chicago Bears really can’t screw up this pick. They have a new, bright, offensive-minded head coach and a young QB in Mitchell Trubisky. Now they need to add weapons and Calvin Ridley would be a big one. He is a big-time playmaker with great hight, weight, speed combination. With Jordan Howard pounding the rock, Tarik Cohen is a nice change of pace, and Ridley spreading the field the Bears should be on the cusp of putting together a potentially potent offense.

9. San Fransisco 49ers

2018 NFL Draft
Saquon Barkley (Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State

Another playmaker is off the board! The first and only running back worthy of a first round pick goes to the 49ers. Now that they have their franchise quarterback locked in for the next several years it’s time to build around him. We have already seen what he can do with run of the mill wide receivers, now imagine if he had Saquon carrying the ball out of the backfield. Look at what happened to the Cowboys and Dak when Zeke wasn’t playing. Saquon has the potential to open up Mike Shanahan’s offense even more which is a scary thought. This pick becomes a no-brainer.

10. Oakland Raiders

2018 NFL Draft
Mike McGlinchey (Tom Loy/247Sports)

Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame

The Oakland Raiders underperformed this past season and are looking for a quick bounce back. The first step was to hire back former coach John Gruden. One thing about John is that he isn’t afraid to let people go that he things aren’t going to help him and his system. It’s possible that John cuts some players to make room for Mike McGlinchey. Mike is one of the best overall players in this draft and has a great chance to come in and start immediately. Not to mention protecting Derek Carr is going to be a major focal point since he missed a lot of this past season. Mike would be an instant upgrade that John would love to add.

11. Miami Dolphins

2018 NFL Draft
Roquan Smith (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

Roquan Smith, ILB, Georgia

Miami could go many different ways here because they need to fill a lot of holes on both sides of the ball. If they aren’t satisfied with Tannehill they could easily go quarterback here, but let’s say they are. If that’s the case I think you go with the best player available to fill the biggest hole. Roquan Smith put on a display in the college football playoff and showed everyone how good he is. He’s a natural leader on and off the field and could provide an anchor on that Dolphins defense.

12. Cincinnati Bengals

2018 NFL Draft
Quenton Nelson (Matt Cashore/247Sports)

Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame

Yet another Notre Dame offensive lineman off the board. Notre Dame has produced an astounding amount of NFL offensive lineman in the past few drafts and Nelson is no different. As one of the best overall players in this draft and the best at his position, Cincinnati needs to replenish an O-line that is going to lose people to free agency. Everyone knows that you start winning games in the trenches and Nelson is a mean technically sound player that can come in and help.

13. Washington Redskins

2018 NFL Draft
Denzel Ward (Joe Maiorana/USA TODAY Sports)

Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State

With the Kirk Cousins saga coming to an end in Washington, they now turn their attention to upgrading wherever they can. After trading Kendall Fuller in the Alex Smith trade, one place they should look to upgrade is their secondary. Denzel Ward is one of the top corners in the draft and fell nicely into the outstretched hands of the Redskins. He is someone who has great athletic ability that keeps him in plays but will need to gain some strength at this next level. Denzel most likely won’t step in immediately and be lockdown corner, but with time he has the potential to get there.

14. Green Bay Packers

2018 NFL Draft
Orlando Brown (Tony Gutierrez/AP Photo)

Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma

With Aaron Rodgers coming back healthy the Packers could give him something that he’s never really had, two bookend tackles. With David Bakhtiari emerging as a great tackle, adding Orlando Brown could help seal the right side of the line. With Brown’s massive size and power he could allow for Rodgers to open sit back and create even more magic with his arm. Playing with Baker Mayfield should help him with the crazy improvisation that Rodgers sometimes likes to do and could make him a natural fit for their playing style.

15. Arizona Cardinals

2018 NFL Draft
Cortland Sutton (Mikel Galicia/Icon Sportswire)

Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU

The Arizona Cardinals used to have a high flying offense. Larry Fitzgerald, Micheal Thomas, John Brown, J.J. Nelson just to name a few. But now with Larry Fitz on his last leg and in the slot, Micheal Thomas all but gone from the NFL, John Brown disappointing the past few season, and J.J. Nelson as a pure speed guy Arizona could use some new blood. Courtland Sutton is a big bodied wide receiver who can help take pressure off Fitz and help whoever the new quarterback may be.

16. Baltimore Ravens

2018 NFL Draft
Derwin James (Melina Vastola/USA TODAY Sports)

Derwin James, S, Florida State

Derwin James is an interesting player. He had a great first half of his college career and an ok second half. He has unreal athletic ability and pretty good vision that could be molded into a star safety. With Eric Weddle getting close to retirement, Derwin could spend a year learning from a seasoned vet and 5 time all pro. I don’t think that Derwin is ready to come in and start immediately, but with a year or two to learn and get used to the speed at this level could serve him well.

17. Los Angeles Chargers

2018 NFL Draft
Connor Williams (Michael Thomas/AP Photo)

Connor Williams, OT, Texas

The Chargers drafted Forest Lamp with their second-round pick last year and adding Connor Williams could be what puts their offense over that barrier into an elite offense. Connor will help them Rivers sit in the pocket and pick defenses apart. With Kennen Allen, Mike Williams, and Henry Hunter all young guys Connor could step in and help create a dominant empire. There’s a chance that Connor can end up being the best tackle in this draft class and could easily come out and start as right tackle allowing him to both fill a need and be a high-value pick in the second half of the first round.

18.Seattle Seahawks

2018 NFL Draft
Isaiah Wynn (John Paul Van Wert/Georgia Athletics)

Isaiah Wynn, OG, Georgia

Seattle has swung and missed a few times on offensive linemen in the past few years in the draft, but Wynn seems like a solid prospect that they can’t mess up. Wynn is a solid interior lineman that can help Russell Wilson sleep easier at night knowing that he won’t have the pocket pushed back into him. His technique is pretty refined at this stage and is good as a pass blocker, allowing him to even slide out and play tackle. Versatility is something that all NFL teams look for in players and the fact that Wynn could play almost every spot on the offensive line will most likely have more teams take a look at him.

19. Dallas Cowboys

2018 NFL Draft
Equanimeous St. Brown (Robert Franklin/South Bend Tribune)

Equanimeous St. Brown, WR, Notre Dame

I know what you’re thinking, how do I say this name and why is he going to the Cowboys with their first pick? Well, this is how it’s broken down eck-wah-nihm-ee-ous and he’s a stud of a receiver with a high ceiling. Jerry Jones can’t resist a big-time playmaker and Equanimeous screams that. He is 6’5 with good speed and could be the successor to Dez Bryant. After the combine, everyone will see his freak athleticism and then he’ll start climbing up boards. The idea of a big wide receiver that can win one on one matchups with Dak and Zeke is a scary thought, keep a close eye on this being a possibility.

20. Detroit Lions

2018 NFL Draft
Arden Key (Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

Arden Key, DE, LSU

The Lions have a couple options at this point in the 2018 NFL draft. They will probably tag Ziggy Ansah and try to work out a long-term deal, but the thought of having two dangerous pass rushers seems pretty sweet for new head coach Matt Patricia. Arden Key is someone with a lot of potential but will need some guidance at this next level. Right now he is probably nothing but a situational pass rusher that will have the opportunity to become an every down D-end. He will need to put on some weight to play in this defense, but there is the potential to become a good outside pass rush.

21. Buffalo Bills

2018 NFL Draft
Mason Rudolph (Sue Ogrocki/AP Photo)

Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State

Finally, another quarterback is taken! It did not seem like the new regime in Buffalo thought highly of Tyrod Taylor and would like to start this season with their own quarterback. Mason Rudolph seems like a safe pick that can be molded into what the Bills would like. There is a chance that Lamar Jackson goes here if the Bill’s like his workout and interview more, but I believe that Mason suits this staff better.

22. Buffalo Bills (Via Kansas City Chiefs)

2018 NFL Draft
Vita Vea (Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports)

Vita Vea, DT, Washington

With back to back picks in the 2018 NFL draft the Bills use it to add a piece on the other side of the football. Vita Vea is arguably the best interior defensive lineman in this draft and has fallen all the way to the Bills. With the trading of Marcell Darius to the Jaguars, it left a pretty big hole in their defense. Vita’s strength and ability to take on multiple defenders at once makes him a dominant force on the field. Coming off a playoff appearance and having two first round picks is a pretty rare thing. The Bills need to make sure they do their research and not mess up this rare opportunity. These two picks could be the way they do that.

23. Los Angeles Rams

2018 NFL Draft
Tavarus McFadden (Ross Obley/Florida State Athletics)

Tavarus McFadden, CB, Florida State

The Rams seem to have found their coach and quarterback now it’s time to fill out the rest of the roster. They will most likely lose Trumaine Johnson to free agency but have gained Marcus Peters in a trade. Adding another corner could help and the Rams deeper into the playoffs. His length, size, and speed give him high potential, but he had an up and down season at Florida State that could impede his stock. Going to the Rams could be a great spot for Tavarus considering his upside and the already stout defense they have under Wade Phillips.

24. Carolina Panthers

2018 NFL Draft
Chuckwuma Okorafor (David Dermer/Associated Press)

Chuckwuma Okorafor, OT, Western Michigan

The Panthers need to keep Cam Newton upright if they want a chance to be a successful football team. Obtaining a left tackle has to be the first thing they do and the later they wait in the draft the harder that will get. Chuckwuma has the ability to play at a high level in the NFL. Being able to protect Cam will not be an easy task, but with proper training and improvement on his technique, he could become the left tackle that Carolina so desperately needs.

25. Tennessee Titans

2018 NFL Draft
Taven Bryan (Matt Pendleton/

Taven Bryan, DT/DE, Florida

The Titans have a lot of potential on their team, but potential doesn’t mean much if you can’t develop it. Unfortunately, Taven Bryan falls into that category. Maybe under new head coach Mike Vrabel things will change that. Taven has drawn comparisons to J.J. Watt in playing style and physical form but does not have the same ceiling as the all-time great. If the Titans decide to draft Taven they could have the best interior pass rush in the NFL with Jurrell Casey playing alongside him.

26. Atlanta Falcons

2018 NFL Draft
Billy Price (Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire)

Billy Price, OG, Ohio State

Atlanta has a really good team that is already made to make a deep playoff run, adding Billy Price will do nothing but help that run. With a young defense that is already playing well together and an offense that has all its major skill positions mainly filled the next thing to do is add to that o-line. Former MVP, Matt Ryan, could always use more time to make decisions and Billy Price will help with that. Jake Matthews and Alex Mack are among the best at their positions and adding Billy Price give another smart fundamentally sound lineman to the Falcons.

27. New Orleans Saints

2018 NFL Draft
Trumaine Edmunds (Michael Shroyer/Getty Images)

Tremaine Edmunds, ILB, Virginia Tech

Tremaine Edmunds has the ability to come out of this as the best inside linebacker in the 2018 NFL draft and getting him at the 27th pick is a steal. With not a high value placed on inside linebackers, Tremaine could slip down the late first round. The Saints defense is what lost them the game against the Vikings and upgrading over Manti Te’o could be a big step into getting back to the super bowl before Drew Brees hits a wall.

28. Pittsburg Steelers

2018 NFL Draft
Donte Jackson (Sam Spiegelman/SEC Country)

Donte Jackson, CB, LSU

The Steelers are one or two pieces away from making a super bowl run. They could go running back here, but plenty of great running backs can be found in mid-rounds. Donte Jackson is someone who could come in and help immediately. The Steelers are shallow at cornerback and Donte’s athleticism is unmatched at his position in this class. He does have a small frame that could hinder his ability to handle some bigger wide receivers but has the ability to use his world-class speed to catch up with most players.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars

2018 NFL Draft
Kolton Miller (Rick Scuteri/Associated Press)

Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA

Jacksonville has all the depth you can think of on defense and one of the best to step on the field. Adding an offensive tackle makes a lot of sense here. It is possible that the Jaguars go wide receiver here since Allen Robinson and Marqise Lee are set to hit free agency. The Bortles extension also eliminates a QB being drafted here. Now insert Kolton Miller, he helped protect Josh Rosen’s blind side for three years and could come in and play on what is one of the biggest weaknesses on Jacksonville’s team.

30. Minnesota Vikings

2018 NFL Draft
Marcus Davenport (Edward A. Ornelas/San Antonio Express-News)

Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA

The Vikings are pretty set on both sides of the ball in order to make another run at a super bowl, but adding another pass rusher never hurt. The Vikings biggest problem will be deciding who their next quarterback is going to be. Being able to add depth at the pass rusher position is an investment that always pays off. Being able to consistently replenish your defensive line is something that separates a playoff team from a super bowl team.

31. New England Patriots

2018 NFL Draft
Harold Landry (Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)

Harold Landry, EDGE, Boston College

Somehow the almighty Patriots seem to be in a perfect situation to draft an EDGE rusher that may have the most upside of anyone at his position in the 2018 Draft. The Patriots could not get to Nick Foles enough in the super bowl to disrupt him and adding Landry could help fix that. He as great speed and size that could translate absolutely perfectly into Bill’s defense.

32. Philadelphia Eagles

2018 NFL Draft
Rashaan Evans (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

Rashaan Evens, ILB, Alabama

Rashaan Evens is yet the next in a long long line of outstanding Alabama inside linebackers. Coming into a defense that is already strong he might struggle to come in and make a major impact immediately, but he will eventually become the leader of that defense. As the Eagles look to repeat next year Evens is a player that has all the talent in the world and one of the best linebackers in this draft class.

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