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2018 NFL Mock Draft *Colts Trade Down?*
Published at 4/25/2018 11:18:49 AM

Rounds 1 through 5 have full write-ups. PLEASE DISREGARD 6-7. They are not done.

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Round 1

1. Browns: Baker Mayfield, Quarterback, Oklahoma

Despite the current rhetoric about Sam Darnold being a lock for the number one spot come the start of the NFL draft, it should not be forgotten that Mayfield has gone on record to show his interest in leading the Browns out of darkness. He was the most prolific passer in college football over the past two years, and is as polished as any of the other top-rated QB's currently being discussed as potential number one picks. Given the Browns current offensive weaponry, it might make more immediate sense to draft Mayfield, who loves to spread things out.


2. Giants: Sam Darnold, Quarterback, USC

The Giants, in a twist of fate, get the man many believe they're in love with. Tall and strong, Darnold has all of the tools the G-Men envision in Eli's heir. Darnold is regarded to have the highest ceiling of all the quarterback's in this year's class. He's often been compared to Andrew Luck. His promise is more than enough to sell him as a worthy
2nd overall pick.


3. Jets: Josh Rosen, Quarterback, UCLA

The Jets luck out here too, and get to choose between Allen and Rosen. Ultimately, it falls down to risk, and Allen is simply too risky for the the disaster-prone Jets.


4. Browns: Saquon Barkley, Running Back, Penn State

While the Browns have many great options at number four, they decide to push all their chips into their offense in Round 1, given their abundance of mid-round picks. With an adept QB who loves to screen and checkdown, Cleveland can confidently take the most talked about player in the draft.




5. Broncos: Quenton Nelson, Offensive Guard, Notre Dame

The Broncos, like the Browns before them, have a lot of options. The most obvious seems to be Josh Allen. It all makes sense. It's almost too perfect. There's a good chance it happens, but consider that Allen may not be NFL ready, while Nelson is a generational talent that could bolster their line for years to come. Assuming Elway and co. feel strongly enough about Keenum (for this year), they take a chance on passing on a guy they like, in favor of the guard.


6. Bills: Josh Allen, Quarterback, Wyoming

*TRADE*

Bills 12th and 22nd for the Colts 6th

Bills panic and overpay for their guy. He loves the snow, I mean loves the stuff. Unlike the teams before them, the risk vs. reward for Allen here actually makes enough sense to bank on. The Colts get a steal, and pass on Chubb, who many believe they'll take at 6, in the absence of this proposed trade. Remember that this is a draft day trade, and value has already been established by the Jets-Colts trade. It's not that crazy an overpay.


7. Buccaneers: Bradley Chubb, Defensive End, N.C. State

In the fallout of the QB rush, the Bucs become the beneficiaries of the most coveted defensive player in the draft. Despite their other needs, the Bucs decide that Chubb's elite skills and size are too much to let slip past them.


8. Bears: Denzel Ward, Cornerback, Ohio State

With Nelson off the board, the bears face a one-dimensional decision. What secondary prospect do they take? Given their current need at CB, and Ward's promise, they take him at 8.


9. 49ers: Tremaine Edmunds, Outside Linebacker, Virginia Tech

Edmunds is an electrifying, freak of an athlete with NCAA production and youth to back up his candidacy as a top-10 pick. Shanahan will love the potential that this kid has and while some might see it as a stretch, linebacker is a pressing need for the 49ers.


10. Raiders: Minkah Fitzpatrick, Safety, Alabama

Slipping slightly down the board, the Raiders capitalize on the needs of other teams and grab one of the most talented and multi-dimensional players in the class. More comfortable at Safety, Fitzpatrick can be moved freely around in Gruden's new defensive unit.


11. Dolphins: Vita Vea, Defensive Tackle, Washington

I previously had Derwin James here, but I was admittedly drawn away from logic by comments made by Adam Gase about taking talent over need. I think the Dolphins will not simply take the BPA, but instead take Vea (who you could argue is actually the BPA). Roquan Smith also makes a ton of sense.


12. Colts: Roquan Smith, Outside Linebacker, Georgia

*TRADE*

Bills 12th and 22nd for the Colts 6th

By moving back from the 6th to the 12th pick, the Colts effectively give up on Chubb and a young DE, in return for filling a different roster hole. They need a stronger linebacker corps, and Smith is a good as they come.


13. Redskins: Da'Ron Payne, Defensive Tackle, Alabama

The Redskins pass on Derwin James in favor of Payne, who brings a greater immediate impact. With Vea off the board, the Redskins have to prioritize a need vs. the intrigue of James.


14. Packers: Derwin James, Safety, Florida State

Green Bay should select James in a heartbeat, having him plummet this far down the boards. He's a difference maker on all levels.


15. Cardinals: Joshua Jackson, Cornerback, Iowa

The Cardinals are in the market for a QB too, but unless they're thrilled with the bumpiness (and reward) of someone like Jackson, they go elsewhere in round 1. After Ward, Jackson is the most dominant Corner in the draft. He excels at man coverage and bats down everything thrown his way.


16. Ravens: Lamar Jackson, Quarterback, Louisville

Call me crazy, but the signing of RG3 makes me think they're okay with changing their play style in the near future. He won't start away but the aging Flacco only has so much left in the tank. There are concerns about Jackson's ability to translate his college successes into the NFL, so a year may do him some good. He can handle an NFL offense, and his speed is a game changer for a very stale offense.


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