Reader Mock by The Champ

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The Champ
2018 NFL Mock Draft by The Champ - 4.5
Published at 4/5/2018 5:07:02 AM

Major changes here, with two full rounds. No trades projected in this one, but I do make comments where I think trades could go down. Just one day to go!

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Round 1

Picks 1-16
1. Browns: Sam Darnold, Quarterback, USC

The Browns aren't taking Baker Mayfield 1st, and they probably aren't taking Josh Allen, either. Darnold it is.

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

If Dave Gettleman could take Christian McCaffrey 8th last season, a much more limited back, I will not put it past him to take Barkley in this spot. I would probably take Bradley Chubb, take a QB, or trade down, but that just doesn't seem like it's in the cards.

3. Jets: Baker Mayfield, Quarterback, Oklahoma

The Jets are reportedly enamored with Baker Mayfield, and would probably take him ahead of Josh Rosen. Even if there's some support for Rosen amongst the coaching staff, owner Woody Johnson is a Trump confidante, and do you think he's going to take Rosen as his QB after the whole "F Trump" hat thing? Yeah, I don't think so.

4. Browns: Bradley Chubb, Defensive End, N.C. State

With Barkley off the board, the Browns can just make the obvious choice of Chubb here, who is more highly-rated by most draftniks than last year's #1 pick, Myles Garrett. And Garrett is pretty good, by the way. This should be a pretty enviable duo for Cleveland.

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

Denver could certainly trade down here, as teams could try to move up for a QB. With Mayfield off the board (the QB I believe Elway likes the most), and since Joe Marino has heard that Rosen is NOT in play for Denver, it seems like Nelson could be their guy if they stand pat. (Another alternative could be Denzel Ward.) Nelson would be a fantastic addition to the offensive line, and Denver would hope that he and last year's #1, LT Garrett Bolles, could anchor their O-line for years to come.

6. Colts: Roquan Smith, Outside Linebacker, Georgia

If the Colts miss out on all three of Barkley/Chubb/Nelson, I think it's very likely that they could trade down, and a QB could go in this spot. But if they kept the pick, the chatter seems to be that they love Roquan Smith. Again, though, if the draft fell like this, I think it's far more likely than not that the Colts would trade down.

7. Buccaneers: Derwin James, Safety, Florida State

Most of my mock drafts have James ending up with the Bucs (or Minkah Fitzpatrick in a trade down with Miami), as I think it's a great combination of an excellent prospect meeting up with a huge team need. Yet another spot where I can't rule out a trade down, if both Rosen and Allen are still available.

8. Bears: Tremaine Edmunds, Linebacker, Virginia Tech

Let's just get this out of the way: I think that all of the teams between #5 and #10 are logical teams to trade down, because teams looking to move up for a QB could conceivably offer a big ransom. Having said that, if the Bears keep the pick, I think Edmunds would be a great fit for Vic Fangio's defense, and would pair wonderfully with Leonard Floyd. Edmunds is only 20 years old, too.

9. 49ers: Denzel Ward, Cornerback, Ohio State

I think the 49ers would be in a spot here where they would be choosing between the consensus top CB in the draft, Ward, or the consensus top movable DB chess piece in the draft, Fitzpatrick. I'll opt for Ward.

10. Raiders: Minkah Fitzpatrick, Safety, Alabama

Just a gut feeling here, but I'll guess that the Raiders would prefer Fitzpatrick to a DT like Vita Vea or Roquan Smith, or to Mike McGlinchey.

11. Dolphins: Josh Rosen, Quarterback, UCLA

Adam Gase loves Mayfield, but if the Jets take him 3rd, it's hard to imagine the Dolphins somehow jumping up to #2 to steal him away. It's quite likely that the Dolphins would have to move up from 11 to get Rosen or another QB like Allen, but I'll slot them Rosen in this spot.

12. Bills: Josh Allen, Quarterback, Wyoming

Again, it's very unlikely that Allen would actually be available at 12. The Bills would likely have to move up to get him, possibly in the 4-6 range. With all of the ammo that Buffalo has in this draft, it would be a big surprise if the team didn't come away with one of the Big 4 QB's.

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

The only reason that Jonathan Allen fell to Washington last season was due to health concerns. He was having a fine rookie season when, sure enough, he got injured. So perhaps they could go back to the Alabama defensive line well in consecutive drafts. Even if Allen were fully healthy, Payne makes sense as the team still needs to get stronger in the trenches. With a healthy Allen and with Payne, the Redskins could go a long way towards having a good run D.

14. Packers: Joshua Jackson, Cornerback, Iowa

You could argue that the Packers could take a pass rusher like Marcus Davenport or Harold Landry here, but I just think that their need for a CB is so dire that it makes sense to take one in this spot, particularly when they could have their pick of whomever they have as their #2 CB. Jackson is a little safer than Jaire Alexander, due to the latter's injury history at Louisville.

15. Cardinals: Mike McGlinchey, Offensive Tackle, Notre Dame

Simply put, the Arizona O-line must be fixed, and McGlinchey is the best tackle in this class. If Jackson were actually available, I think he would be tempting, and I think they could try to trade up for Rosen or Allen, too. I realize that Jackson IS actually available at this point, but I am going to slot him to the Ravens for a reason.

16. Ravens: Lamar Jackson, Quarterback, Louisville

This is another of my gut calls, but I think that Ozzie Newsome comes away with Lamar Jackson, likely via a trade up. They could and should move on from Joe Flacco, who is in the final year of the guaranteed portion of his contract.

Picks 1-16


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