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2018 NFL Mock Draft 2.0

Sam Darnold
The top of this draft class could have QB’s go in the first three picks. This NFL mock draft will try to decide where they could go. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

An NFL 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 2.0

1. Cleveland Browns

Sam Darnold
Sam Darnold(David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Sam Darnold, QB, USC

It seems more and more that reports are coming out that the Browns are going to take Sam Darnold with the number one overall pick. I personally believe the way to the playoffs is through your division and that Josh Allen fits the mold of the AFC East better. But Darnold seems to be the leading favorite to add his name to the infamous Browns QB jersey list.

2. New York Giants

Josh Rosen
Josh Rosen(Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports)

Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA

Lucky for the Giants the best quarterback in this draft is still available at pick number two. Some people believe Saquan could go here, but I don’t see how you can pass up on a top tier quarterback when he falls into your lap. Rosen is the most pro ready and can go to a team where he can sit and learn behind a two-time Superbowl champion. He can handle the New York market and can be the heir apparent to a franchise, just like Farve and Rodgers.

3. New York Jets (Via the Indianapolis Colts)

2018 Reese's Senior Bowl
Josh Allen(Glenn Andrews/USA TODAY Sports)

Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

The Jets made a big move by trading up to the number three spot so they can draft their quarterback of the future. Josh Allen has high upside and by far the biggest arm in the draft. The Jets haven’t had a competent quarterback since Chad Pennigton and two fluke seasons by Mark Sanchez. Being in a division with an aging Tom Brady and the other two teams looking for QB’s as well could be what helps Josh Allen have success early on.

4. Cleveland Browns (Via the Houston Texans)

2018 NFL Draft
Saquon Barkley(Evan Habeeb/Getty Images)

Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State

The Browns took their quarterback of the future with the first pick and now their immediately going get him some help. Everyone knows a strong run game helps out a quarterback. Look at Dallas when Dak and Zeke are on the field at the same time. Saquon can help alleviate some of that pressure on the offense. I generally think this is too high for a running back to go and you can get a quality back later in the draft like David Johnson, Alvan Kamara, and Kareem Hunt all were.

5. Denver Broncos

2018 Reese's Senior Bowl
Baker Mayfield(Glenn Andrews/ USA TODAY Sports)

Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma

Denver needs a quarterback. BAD. At this point in the draft, the only quarterbacks left all have major questions surrounding them. Baker is the one with the least amount of questions. Elway has not been good at drafting quarterbacks and developing them in his tenure and Mayfield will be a project. His natural elusiveness and playmaking ability is a plus, but it’s not something that is going to be able to carry him at this next level like it did in college.

6. Indianapolis Colts

Bradley Chubb
Bradley Chubb(Jeremy Brevard/USA TODAY Sports)

Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State

I had Chubb going to the Colts in my last mock draft at the number three spot, now they dropped back to number six and are still getting maybe the best defensive player in the draft. Being able to get the same player and more picks is a big win for a struggling franchise. Chubb is a can’t miss prospect and will be going to a team where he can shine as their top pass rusher.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Minkah Fitzpatrick
Minkah Fitzpatrick(Chris Kirschner/SEC Country)

Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama

Minkah is a player that got bumped down in this mock draft, not because of his skill but because of everyone else’s need of a quarterback. I believe that he may be one of the top 3 overall players in this draft so for the Bucs to snag him at pick number seven is a major steal. He will jump into a lineup that is slim at his position giving him the ability to start day one.

8. Chicago Bears

Quenton Nelson(Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame

With the addition of Allen Robison in free agency the Bears now no longer have to go wide receiver in the first round. Quenton Nelson is another guy that has a top three skill set but gets pushed back because of quarterback needs. Now that the Bears have weapons for Mitchell Trubiskiy they will need to protect him. Adding Quention Nelson is basically adding a future All-Pro to your line up so this pick becomes a no-brainer.

9. San Fransisco 49ers

Tremaine Edmunds(Aaron Nagler/USA TODAY)

Tremaine Edmunds, ILB, Virginia Tech

19 Years old and has a chance to go top ten in the NFL draft. In my last NFL mock draft, I had Edmunds falling late in the first round because I still wasn’t sure how I felt about him. But after watching the combine and more film of him I don’t believe there’s much of a chance he falls out of the top 10. He has elite size, strength, and speed and again is only 19 years old! Whoever drafts him has a chance to mold a young man to become the cornerstone of their defense.

10. Oakland Raiders

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

Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State

I go back and forth between Ward and Josh Jackson as the first corner off the board. Ward is smaller with elite athleticism which is why I believe he goes to Oakland. Al Davis always loved fast athletic players and drafted a lot of those players while Gruden was the coach. Now that Gruden is back it just makes sense that Ward would go to the Raiders. I believe that he has a chance to step in and make an immediate impact due to the slim cornerback group.

11. Miami Dolphins

Roquan Smith(Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports)

Roquan Smith, ILB, Georgia

Miami has a lot of holes to fill on both sides of the ball. They could go quarterback, o-line, d-line, cornerback, the list just keeps going. Roquan is a player that can play now and fills a need. He’s a disciplined player that can help a struggling franchise. Miami hasn’t hit on many draft picks recently and Roquan is a good way to start changing that narrative.

12. Buffalo Bills (Via the Cincinnati Bengals)

Mike McGlinchey(Matt Cashore/USA TODAY Sports)

Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame

Although the Bills made the playoffs last season for the first time in the past decade they made a lot of offseason moves that left them with a few holes. The trading of Cordy Glenn and Tyrodd Taylor left them without two of the most important positions in football. I believe they will try to trade up and get a quarterback on draft day, but if they can’t get high enough to acquire their guy then they will sit here and draft McGlinchey. He is the best tackle in this class and is step one in the offensive rebuilding process.

13. Washington Redskins

Vita Vea(Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

Vita Vea, DT, Washington

From Washington state to Washington D.C. Vite Vea is without doubt the best interior defensive lineman in this draft class. In a division that has two up and coming quarterbacks in Wentz and Prescott geting into the backfield will be pivital since your will play each QB two times each. Vita Vea uses his size and power to take on double teams freeing up space for others. He also has surprising quickness for someone his size and can wreck havoc in the backfield when given the chance.

14. Green Bay Packers

Josh Jackson(Jeffrey Becker/USA TODAY Sports)

Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa

The Packers have never had a great defense in Aaron Rodgers career, but when they had a slightly above average one they won the Super Bowl. Adding Josh Jackson to this defense would be a step in the right dirrection. He is a big corner with the ability fo lock down his man and cause problems with opposing offenses. Rodgers elevates those around him, but he can’t do it all by himself. Thats why I have Josh Jackson to the Packers in this NFL mock draft.

15. Arizona Cardinals

Calvin Ridley(Adam Hagy/USA TODAY Sports)

Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama

Ridley is the best wide receiver in this draft class and Arizona needs a successor to Larry Fitzgerald. They could go quarterback here because I do not believe that Sam Bradford is the quarterback of the future, but the chance of them getting their franchise guy at 15 isn’t likely. Calvin gives Arizona a deep threat that they should be able keep for several years.

16. Baltimore Ravens

Courtland Sutton(Mikel Galicia/Icon Sportswire)

Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU

The Ravens haven’t had a quality receiver in a while and Ozzie Newsome hasn’t been great at drafting wide receivers so hopefully this pick doesnt jynx Sutton. Joe Flaco needs all the help he can get and the addition of Sutton along with Crabtree could provide a start for the Ravens. If Brershad Perriman ever shows up with his ability to be a burner the Ravens could have a good receiving core.

17. Los Angeles Chargers

Connor Williams(Michael Thomas/AP Photo)

Connor Williams, OT, Texas

I believe the Chargers are only a piece or two away from competing for a Super Bowl in the AFC. They have a lot of key pieces already on both sides of the ball and even with an injury-plagued season and no kicker they still almost made the playoffs. Getting their first and second round pick back from last year and adding Connor will immediately vault them into playoff contention.

18.Seattle Seahawks

Derwin James(Gene Williams/Warchant)

Derwin James, S, Florida State

The legion of boom era is over with. Now the Seahawks need to rebuild while they still have a few pieces in play. Although Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor are still on the team they may not be for much longer. Drafting Derwin James is the perfect way to keep that secondary strong once they leave. He has crazy athleticism and major upside. He looked a little inconsistent at times during this last season which is why learning under Thomas and Chancellor would do nothing but help him.

19. Dallas Cowboys

Rashaan Evens(Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

Rashaan Evans, ILB, Alabama

The Dallas Cowboys aren’t too far away from not only competing for a playoff spot but probably winning some playoff games. The loss of Anthony Hitchens was a big one since he had been a player you could always count on to be a solid producer. Insert Evens and not only will it be like the Cowboys never lost a Hitchens, in fact, it could be an upgrade. If Sean Lee can stay healthy and Jaylon Smith can keep improving his health than this could easily be one of the best linebacking cores in the NFL.

20. Detroit Lions

Da’Ron Payne(Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

Da’Ron Payne, DL, Alabama

Lions new head coach Matt Patricia is a man who knows how to lead a dominant defense and that starts up front. With Ziggy coming off the edge and Payne causing trouble on the interior that d-line could end up being a dangerous duo for teams. Payne’s versatility can allow him to play multiple positions on the defensive line which makes him a more valuable pick at this spot.

21. Cincinnati Bengals (Via the Buffalo Bills)

Isaiah Wynn(Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Isaiah Wynn, OG, Georgia

Cincy has a chance to make a big jump this next season by drafting Wynn. Making this addition will give Andy Dalton a solid o-line to sit behind and a ton of potential at the skill positions. Mixon will benefit from Wynn’s addition and the passing game could become dominant with Ross and Green. Wynn is the second best interior offensive linemen in this draft and would be filling the last hole on this already good o-line.

22. Buffalo Bills (Via Kansas City Chiefs)

Taven Bryan(Matt Pendleton/ Scout.com)

Taven Bryan, DT/DE, Florida

Buffalo has the luxury of two first-round picks and they are going to use both of them to sure-up the trenches. Bryan has major major upside, drawing physical comparisons with J.J. Watt, and great versatility by being able to play all over the defensive line. Winning starts up front and with the loss of Marcell Dareus along with the aging of Kyle Williams makes the drafting of Taven Bryan a no-brainer.

23. New England Patriots (Via Los Angeles Rams)

Harold Landry(Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)

Harold Landry, EDGE, Boston College

The Rams just added a key piece to their offense in gaining Brandon Cooks, but now the Patriots have ammunition to load up in this draft. Getting rid of Chandler Jones and Jammie Collins was a business decision that hurt them in the super bowl this past season. The fact that the Patriots had no consistent pass rush hurt them significantly. Landry could help fix that problem by bringing versatility and athleticism to the field.

24. Carolina Panthers

Mike Hughes(Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Mike Hughes, CB, UCF

The Panthers are a playoff team that needs to add a few younger pieces to get over the hump. Adding players like Mike Hughes could help them get there sooner rather than later. The Panthers need wide receiver help as well, especially in the slot, so you could see someone like Christian Kirk go here. But I believe Mike Hughes is a more talented player that fills a bigger need.

25. Tennessee Titans

Malik Jefferson(Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY)

Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas

The Titans are one of the NFL’s biggest question marks. They have back to back 9 win seasons but win a playoff game with a lesser roster. Now they have younger players that should be on the brink of taking that next step and are looking for some of the final pieces to make a playoff push. Linebacker is the biggest position of need and Malik Jefferson has the skill set to fill that need. I didn’t have Malik in my last 2018 NFL Mock Draft, but due to need, he gets bumped up in this one.

26. Atlanta Falcons

Billy Price(Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire)

Billy Price, G, Ohio State

The Falcons are right on the cusp of making it back to the Super Bowl. They have a nice young defensive core that is gaining experience and familiarity with each game they play together. Now insert another piece that will allow them to keep Matt Ryan upright and get the ball to Julio Jones. Sounds like a recipe for success. Billy price is one of the best interior offensive linemen in this draft class and he can come in ready to start on day one.

27. New Orleans Saints

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

Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA

Another NFC South team that is ready to make the push for a Super Bowl run. The Saints already have one of the best rosters in the NFL, the addition of Davenport could help them get over the edge and back to one more Super Bowl before Drew Brees gets too old. Marcus can be a good rotational piece that can be moved all over the defensive line. His depth could be what helps the Saints get past the surging Vikings, Rams, and Eagles.

28. Pittsburgh Steelers

Leighton Vander Esch(Trevor Ruszkowski/USA TODAY Sports)

Leighton Vander Esch, ILB, Boise State

With the unfortunate loss of Ryan Shazier the Steelers are yet again looking for another linebacker. Leighton is considered one of the better inside linebackers in this class even though he only has one year of starting experience under his belt. He has great natural instincts and size to be an NFL linebacker, but the fact that he took so long to gain the starting role at Bosie State may raise some questions around his draft stock. Good thing for the Steelers is they can surround him with experience and slowly form him into a starting linebacker.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars

Mike Gesicki(Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State

Blake Bortles is the one major weak link in the Jaguars organization. Choosing to extend his contract was a strange decision by many in the NFL community, but is one they now have to deal with. They could go quarterback here but I believe that the smartest move is to surround him with as much talent as possible. With the loss of Hurns and Robertson to free agency Gesicki makes for major matchup problems. They can add a quarterback or another wide receiver in the second round to provide even more options for a team that competed in the AFC championship game.

30. Minnesota Vikings

Will Hernandez(Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

Will Hernandez, OG, UTEP

The best teams going into next season are all in the NFC and the Vikings are one of them. With the addition of Kirk Cousins, they could separate themselves and become the best. If Case Keenum can lead a team to the NFC championship game than Cousins should theoretically be able to get them to the Super Bowl. With already great skill positions adding strength to the trenches is where the Vikings can separate themselves. Will Hernandez will be able to come into camp and compete for an interior line position. All so he can help Kirk dial-up dimes and live up top that fully guaranteed contract.

31. New England Patriots

Kolton Miller(Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA

The Patriots lost their left tackle this offseason and need to add one since they have a 40-year-old quarterback to protect. Kolton Miller was really the only consistent offensive lineman at UCLA this past season and has the ability to be a starting left tackle in the National Football Leauge. He fits the Patriots style of play, being a quick and agile player with high intelligence. Miller may not be the most obvious choice, but he is a safe choice at this spot in the draft.

32. Philadelphia Eagles

Antoni Callaway(Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

Antonio Callaway, WR, Florida

Troubled past? Maybe a little. A little bit of a reach? Possibly. Untapped potential? You bet ya. Callaway is someone who has always had great potential but has had a troubling journey along the way. The Eagles time is now to make another run and Callaway can help them get there. Doug Peterson is a coach that can provide structure and stability to Callaway’s life. With an already stacked defense, Giving Wentz another toy in that offense is what will keep them at the top of the NFL.

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