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2018 NFL Mock Draft (1st edition)
Photo Courtesy of Cleveland.com

2018 NFL Mock Draft (1st edition)

1) Cleveland Browns: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA

In order for the Browns to right the ship, they MUST find the answer at quarterback. Rosen is the best pure passer in the draft.

2) NY Giants: Sam Darnold, QB, USC

As Eli’s career comes to an end in New York, they need to find his replacement. Darnold has the intangibles and talent to conquer the Big Apple.

3) Indianapolis Colts: Bradley Chubb, DE, North Carolina State

Their defense is terrible and needs help everywhere. Defensive line is a great place to start and Chubb is the best available. He can pressure the quarterback and stop the run.

4) Cleveland Browns: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State

With their future signal caller in place, the Browns continue to build the offense with running back Barkley. He is a generational player who can also impact the passing game.

5) Denver Broncos: Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame

Taking a quarterback may be tempting but not prudent. The offensive line needs help. Nelson will help protect whoever is at quarterback as well as create openings for the running game.

6) NY Jets: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville

The Jets need to inject some excitement into this franchise. What better way to do it with the most electrifying player in the draft? Jackson is improving as a passer and makes plays with his legs as well.

7) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Arden Key, DE, LSU

They need to upgrade their pass rush and no one does it better than Key, a pure edge rusher who can create havoc on the outside. Not only does he possess elite quickness, he also has the strength to support the run.

8) Chicago Bears: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama

With receiver Kevin White’s availability unclear, they must give young quarterback Mitch Trubisky a number one target. Ridley provides a deep ball threat and the ability to go over the middle.

9) San Francisco 49ers: Minkah Fitzpatrick, CB, Alabama

The 49ers continue to build their defense with the best cornerback in the draft. He falls right into their lap. He has great cover skills, tackles well in space and has a high football IQ.

10) Oakland Raiders: Joshua Jackson, CB, Iowa

Their defense could not stop the passing game all season. Enter Jackson, who has the talent to be a shutdown corner. Great hands and instincts will make him a fixture for a decade at corner.

11) Miami Dolphins: Roquan Smith, ILB, Georgia

They could sure use a boost on the defensive side of the ball. Smith is a tackling machine, can cover sideline to sideline and drop back into coverage. He will be the quarterback and leader of their defense from day one.

12) Cincinnati Bengals: Mike McGlinchy, OT, Notre Dame

Protecting the quarterback is a top priority. McGlinchy is the best of a deep tackle position. He is an immediate starter and will be around for the next 15 years. He has a powerful frame and excellent footwork.

13) Washington Redskins: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma

Kirk Cousins is likely headed to another team via free agency, so it’s time to find his replacement. Mayfield has great intangibles and can make all the throws. Despite his height, he has the moxie along with supreme confidence to make plays.

14) Green Bay Packers: Darwin James, S, Florida State

They sorely need to add talent in the defensive backfield. James is a natural cornerback who was moved to safety to get the best talent on the field in college. The Packers can use his versatility all over the secondary.

15) Arizona Cardinals: Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

With Carson Palmer’s retirement, the Cardinals need a new signal caller. Allen has great arm strength and touch, but decision making must improve. Not the most mobile but is hard to bring down due to his big frame.

16) Baltimore Ravens: Courtland Sutton, WR, Southern Methodist

They need help at receiver, especially in the red zone. Sutton is a huge target who can get the 50/50 balls and be a red zone touchdown machine. Despite his size, he can run away from defenders after the catch.

17) LA Chargers: Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma

Philip Rivers does not seem to be slowing down and is as productive as ever but won’t last much longer with the pounding he takes. Brown is a massive tackle with brute strength and will be a quarterback’s best friend. A comforting thought for Rivers.

18) Seattle Seahawks: Billy Price, OG, Ohio State

Quarterback Russell Wilson was running for his life last season, meaning offensive line help is the top priority for them. Price will immediately upgrade the line and help protect their franchise player. A nasty streak will help open homes for runners as well.

19) Dallas Cowboys: Da’Ron Payne, DT/DE, Alabama

They need to create more pressure on the quarterback. Payne’s versatility will allow them to move him all over the defensive line depending on down and distance. This would be a steal for the Cowboys to get this type of talent here.

20) Detroit Lions: Sam Hubbard, DE, Ohio State

The Lions could score but couldn’t stop anyone. Hubbard will help put pressure on the quarterback for a team severely lacking in that department. He has a relentless motor and strength to match.

21) Buffalo Bills: Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State

They need to replace the corner they traded away in Ronald Darby. Ward has elite cover and ball skills. He’ll be an immediate starter and solidify the back end of their defense. He loves to get physical.

22) Buffalo Bills: Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State

Seems like they are ready to move on from Tyrod Taylor and can’t be sold on Peterman. With a very deep quarterback draft, they take the opportunity to grab a signal caller. Rudolph excels on the deep pass and has surprising touch.

23) LA Rams: Carlton Davis, CB, Auburn

With both cornerbacks hitting free agency, they will need to make a choice on who to keep. This pick is in preparation of this situation. Davis is a good cover corner who hits like a truck. Loves to get down and dirty.

24) Carolina Panthers: Dorance Armstrong Jr, DE, Kansas

They have an aging defensive line and need to get younger. Armstrong can rush the passer and also help in the running game. His combination of speed, strength and hand use makes him a handful to deal with.

25) Tennessee Titans: Braden Smith, OG, Auburn

Solidifying and upgrading along the offensive line is always a good thing. Smith is tall (6’6”) for an interior lineman but is an effective run blocker and long arms helps him pass protect.

26) Atlanta Falcons: Tarvarus McFadden, CB, Florida State

They continue to build up their defense. McFadden is super talented with skills to be an All Pro. He is also a good open field tackler. The secondary will definitely get a boost here.

27) New Orleans Saints: Harold Landry, DE, Boston College

Although their defense is improved, including a young, talented secondary (missed tackle notwithstanding), you can never go wrong adding a pass rusher. Landry is one of the best at pressuring off the edge. He can also drop back in coverage.

28) Pittsburgh Steelers: Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama

The Steelers really need help on the back end of their defense. Harrison is a disciplined player who understands positioning. He also brings a load when he hits. A high football IQ allows him to quarterback the secondary as well.

29) Jacksonville Jaguars: Mark Andrews, TE, Oklahoma

Looks like Blake Bortles has shown enough for Jacksonville to trust him moving forward. With that said, the offense needs a tight end to control and occupy the middle of the field. Andrews is that player and the best tight end prospect. He has soft hands with precise route running.

30) Minnesota Vikings: Connor Williams, OT, Texas

The offensive line is the weakest unit on this team. Williams is a mammoth human with quick feet and great hands. He will immediately upgrade the line and help protect whoever is playing quarterback.

31) Philadelphia Eagles: Martinus Rankins, OT, Mississippi State

They addressed many positions via trades and free agency but offensive line was not one of them. Now they do, taking Rankins. He will help solidify the line and protect the franchise quarterback.

32) New England Patriots: Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado

The Patriots are always planning ahead. It’s very possible they let Malcolm Butler walk in free agency. Oliver is a well rounded, very intelligent player. Sounds like the perfect Patriot player. The rich get richer.

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