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2018 NFL Mock Draft 1.0 - 1/30/18
Published at 1/30/2018 6:39:10 PM

This is my first edition mock draft for the 2018 Mock Draft. With each pick is a more detailed analysis or why/how I think this might happen. *Please note, the Raiders and 49ers are tied for the 9th pick, for which I flipped a coin to determine which team would hold the pick.* *We have also selected the Patriots as the Super Bowl Winner in this scenario.* Just for perspective on what this is coming from- I am a Panthers fan.

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Round 1

Picks 1-16
1. Browns: Josh Rosen, Quarterback, UCLA

I, personally, would like to see the Browns trade down from this pick unless they are eyeing Rosen or Barkley. Barkley is an amazing talent, but the Browns have had a lot of noteworthy ties to all the Quarterbacks in this draft. Out of all the Quarterbacks, I feel Rosen is the most NFL-ready and I like his skill set. We all know Rosen said he doesn't want to play for the Browns, but unless the Browns can convince him or have any interest in Saquon Barkley, the wisest move may actually be to trade down this pick.

If the Browns trade down, the top candidates are likely to be the Cardinals and Bills, who would both throw a lot at Cleveland, perhaps even multiple first rounders, to select a quarterback in this position. If I was mocking trades, I'd honestly mock one here.

2. Giants: Saquon Barkley, Running Back, Penn State

This is a nice value pick for the Giants that fills a position of need, and if Saquon Barkley is still here, they should jump on it. The new Giants GM, David Gettleman, also tends to like picking up value with each of his picks, and this is the best available player at the second overall spot. I think we have our match. If the Browns take Barkley, however, I would expect Rosen to be taken here.

3. Colts: Bradley Chubb, Defensive End, N.C. State

I was down to either Chubb or Nelson for this spot, but I frankly think Chubb is better value at this spot. I think Chubb and Nelson are both very good picks, however. Though the Colts do need lineman, the value at this position of need is probably just too good for them to pass up, as Chubb could become a premiere NFL pass rusher in the next decade to come.

4. Browns: Minkah Fitzpatrick, Safety, Alabama

Probably the best player available at this spot, and unanimously the best defensive back in this class. He can play both Cornerback and Safety extremely well, and the Browns have a big need at both positions. I can see them bringing him in and trying to find that ideal spot. He's a bit of a bigger body than Joe Haden and can probably surpass Haden on the field if he meets his potential.

5. Broncos: Mike McGlinchey, Offensive Tackle, Notre Dame

Well, before I say anything, I'm just going to mention that this is in the scenario that Kirk Cousins goes to Denver, which is probably the most likely destination for Kirk Cousins shall he enter Free Agency. This makes Denver's top priority an offensive line to protect him. McGlinchey is the best prospect as a Blindside blocker and will probably be a caliber Left Tackle. Overall, I think he's worth this spot.

6. Jets: Sam Darnold, Quarterback, USC

This was a tough choice to make. The Jets need upgrades just about everywhere on offense, with not a ton to chose from at this early of a selection. The top Running Back, Barkley, went four picks before to the rival Giants and OT McGlinchey went to the Broncos the pick before. Though I think Darnold has bust written all over him (the best USC Quarterbacks out there in the NFL now are Matt Cassel and Cody Kessler, really?) this is admittedly probably the best selection the Jets could make without trading down to the later half of the first round for Calvin Ridley or some other player.

7. Buccaneers: Marcus Davenport, Defensive End, Texas-San Antonio

A lot of teams seem to like Davenport's size and playmaking ability, and the Buccaneers are in need of a good pass rusher, this is likely the best shot they have at him. Even if Davenport is a rather raw talent, with some work he can be a superstar, and is easily the second best Defensive End in this draft class in my opinion.

8. Bears: Quenton Nelson, Offensive Guard, Notre Dame

I think the Bears would be extremely happy to see Nelson fall to them at Pick 8. Sure, they already have Sitton and Long playing the Guard spots, but Long has some history as an Offensive Tackle, or they could trade one of the two. They could also let him sit and mold him into the kind of Guard they want, or maybe even move him to Center. I think there's a wide range of possibilities as to what the Bears can do with Nelson and that ultimately makes this an ideal pick for the Bears.

9. 49ers: Calvin Ridley, Wide Receiver, Alabama

With Quenton Nelson falling the pick before to Chicago, this is probably the best San Francisco can get at the 9th pick. They have a starting Quarterback for certain in Jimmy Garoppolo, but he currently lacks weapons with San Francisco. Bring in Calvin Ridley, and this is a high caliber offense with few holes.

10. Raiders: Joshua Jackson, Cornerback, Iowa

This position is probably the top priority for the Raiders given that Gareon Conley hasn't really panned out as planned. I don't think Jackson is an elite cornerback in his ceiling, but he can probably start from day one with consistency, and may also be able to do well bailing out the defense when the daunting Khalil Mack can't quite reach the Quarterback.

11. Dolphins: Roquan Smith, Outside Linebacker, Georgia

If Roquon Smith makes it this far, I think the Dolphins will grab him in a heartbeat. The Dolphins are in need of a difference maker at linebacker, and Smith has the potential to have an immediate impact in the NFL level. He could also be moved to Inside Linebacker or stay on the outside as an additional formidable pass rusher to Suh.

12. Bengals: Orlando Brown, Offensive Tackle, Oklahoma

The Bengals, if they don't trade down or take a Quarterback, shouldn't have a crazy amount of choices. I considered Harold Landry for this pick, but he had an injury late season that may impact his draft stock some. Orlando Brown is probably a starting Right Tackle from day one, something that is much needed for the Bengals given the current state of the Offensive Line.

13. Redskins: Derwin James, Safety, Florida State

I would have given the Redskins a Quarterback here, however, Derwin James is still available and is a prime safety, pretty close to Minkah Fitzpatrick at the position. James would be an immediate difference maker for the Secondary and Potentially even the entire Redskins defense as a whole.

14. Packers: Courtland Sutton, Wide Receiver, SMU

Given a lack of good offensive lineman in this draft, this is probably the best selection. Randall Cobb could be a casualty of cap space, and Sutton is a tall versatile receiver who could be a nice target for Aaron Rodgers and would be the tallest Wide Receiver of Caliber in Green Bay, which would also make him a good red zone threat alongside Jordy Nelson and DeVante Adams.

15. Cardinals: Josh Allen, Quarterback, Wyoming

If he makes it this far, the Cardinals will be extremely lucky. I think they could go for a project and perhaps even a several year rebuild given the age of the rest of the Cardinals offensive core players. Larry Fitzgerald and Adrian Peterson are also aging and are in need of a younger replacement or upgrade.

16. Ravens: Hayden Hurst, Tight End, South Carolina

Hayden Hurst is older at 24, but this could really be a beneficial pick for the Ravens giving the age of the main core. He has some good years left, and Flacco could use another receiving threat. Given his height at 6 foot 5 and 250 pounds, he would be a large redzone target for the Ravens as well and will help out the offense.

Picks 1-16

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