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2018 NFL Mock Draft by Steezie - Round 1 w/ Trades (Take 1)
Published at 2/17/2018 6:59:34 AM

I'm heading into my first mock with a few pre-conditions: 1. The JETS sign KIRK COUSINS in free agency; 2. The JAGUARS sign AJ MCCARRON; 3. TRUMAINE JOHNSON, MALCOLM BUTLER, & ANDREW NORWELL all leave in free agency. That being said, I put together a few trades in the 1st round that could conceivably take place. Hope you all enjoy! Comments welcome.

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Round 1

Picks 1-16
1. Browns: Saquon Barkley, Running Back, Penn State

There are 3 or 4 1st round QBs in this draft, but only one game-changing RB. The Browns roll the dice and take Saquon Barkley rather than a QB at #1, and this sets off a domino effect that causes trades up from Denver and Buffalo - and ultimately, bad news for the Cardinals.

2. Giants: Baker Mayfield, Quarterback, Oklahoma

It's not Rosen, and it's not Darnold. But trust me, as a long-time Giants fan, this is the quintessential NYG quarterback. Strong leadership, a few subtle flaws, but no character issues. Don't be shocked to see Mayfield taken as the Giants' QB at #2.

3. Broncos: Josh Rosen, Quarterback, UCLA

***TRADE*** DEN and IND
When the Browns took Saquon Barkley #1, it means Denver could trade up past them to #3 and secure one of the top 2 QBs. Meanwhile, Indy slides down and doesn't lose anything, knowing picks #3 and 4 will be QBs. If Denver loses the Kirk Cousins battle, they pick up their QB of the future here - and lord knows Elway likes a strong arm and some moxie.
DEN gets: #3 pick, 2018
IND gets: #5 and #69 pick, 2018; 4th round pick, 2019

4. Browns: Josh Allen, Quarterback, Wyoming

And the QB dominoes continue to fall. The Browns know that if they wait until Round 2, Allen, Sam Darnold, and possibly 1 more QB could be off the board. So Josh Allen is the pick here, based on reports that the Browns' front office likes him more than Darnold.

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

The Colts move down 2 slots and still end up with the premier pass rusher of the draft, plus an extra 3rd round pick this year. Big score for Indianapolis, who can continue to address the O-line and defense with more picks.

6. Bills: Sam Darnold, Quarterback, USC

***TRADE*** BUF and NYJ
With Kirk Cousins on Gang Green, the Jets trade down. Yes, it's inside the division, BUT it gives NY two 1st round picks while forcing Buffalo to over-pay slightly in draft capital. Buffalo takes its QB of the future.
BUF gets: #6 pick, 2018
NYJ gets: #21 and #22 picks, 2018

7. Buccaneers: Quenton Nelson, Offensive Guard, Notre Dame

Tampa Bay cannot believe its good fortune. While edge rush is a position of need, the ability to get perhaps the best interior O-line prospect in the last 5 drafts is a huge score - and a big win in terms of protecting Jameis Winston, another area of concern.

8. Bears: Minkah Fitzpatrick, Safety, Alabama

Talk about another team raking in huge benefits from the QB rush at the top of the round. Minkah Fitzpatrick may be the best defensive player in the draft, and (at least in the last decade) nothing says Chicago football like a game-changing defensive back.

9. 49ers: Roquan Smith, Outside Linebacker, Georgia

I wouldn't have mocked Roquan Smith to San Francisco until the unfortunate recent events surrounding Reuben Foster. Foster's time in SF is likely done, and that leaves the 49ers without their ILB of the future - opening the door for Smith to become a top 10 pick.

10. Raiders: Denzel Ward, Cornerback, Ohio State

The Raiders' secondary was a mess last year, and this is an absolute need-based pick for Oakland. OT is also a possibility, but #10 seems a little early for any of the tackles in this class.

11. Dolphins: Tremaine Edmunds, Outside Linebacker, Virginia Tech

The Dolphins need help in a few areas, and edge rusher/linebacker is one of them. Edmunds looks to have some boom/bust in him, but the potential has him likely to go in the top 10-15 selections, making him a good fit for Miami.

12. Bengals: Orlando Brown, Offensive Tackle, Oklahoma

The Bengals would have liked to see Roquan Smith or Tremaine Edmunds here, but no such luck. Connor Williams from Texas may end up being the better player, but injury concerns push him below Orlando Brown here.

13. Ravens: Calvin Ridley, Wide Receiver, Alabama

***TRADE*** BAL and WAS
Baltimore needs a game-changing WR, and they need to jump Arizona and Green Bay (who may lose Randall Cobb) to ensure they get the #1 WR in this draft - and perhaps the only one with true 1st round value. Calvin Ridley is a great pickup for Baltimore here.
BAL gets: #13 pick, 2018
WAS gets: #16 and #81 picks, 2018

14. Packers: Joshua Jackson, Cornerback, Iowa

The Packers are still looking for assistance at CB and draft one in the 1st round for the second consecutive year. Josh Jackson is streaking up draft boards and, while Mike Hughes may be a 'safer' pick here, I think Jackson may supplant him on big boards by draft day.

15. Cardinals: Connor Williams, Offensive Tackle, Texas

A lot of mock drafts seem to like Arizona trading up - but how? They only have 4 selections in this draft, and that means no enticing capital to move. So, the Cardinals likely stand pat at #15 (even against their will). Without a quality QB or WR option here, Arizona will go with the best player at a position of need available and upgrade the O-line.

16. Redskins: Vita Vea, Defensive Tackle, Washington

The Redskins, much like the Colts earlier in this round, drop back a few spots and still find a quality player who fits a need. I toyed with Derwin James here, but ultimately the D-line is a more pressing need than safety, and Vita Vea is a strong choice for Washington.

Picks 1-16

NFL Picks - Sept. 24

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2020 NFL Mock Draft - Aug. 1

NFL Power Rankings - June 3


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