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2018 NFL Mock Draft--What Teams SHOULD Do, by The Champ - 4.14
Published at 4/14/2018 5:47:41 AM

I've already done a mock that's my best guess as to how the picks will actually shake out. This one is my version of what the teams SHOULD do.

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Round 1

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

Maybe Darnold will still be the selection, but reports this week indicate that Browns brass might prefer Allen. Allen has the highest bust potential of any of the top 5 QB's, yes, including Lamar Jackson, and I think it's a gigantic risk if he's the choice. Darnold should be the pick.

2. Bills: Josh Rosen, Quarterback, UCLA

If the Browns take Darnold, reportedly the Giants' top QB, the right thing to do would be to trade down with Buffalo and get a huge bounty from them, including #12 and #22. Rosen is the best pure passer in this class and should appeal to Sean McDermott, who was jonesing to replace Tyrod Taylor with Nathan Peterman last season, of all people.

3. Jets: Baker Mayfield, Quarterback, Oklahoma

Yes, Mike Maccagnan likes strong-armed passers, but that doesn't mean that you should reach for one, either. Mayfield offers upside as a mobile, accurate passer with solid (if unspectacular) arm strength, and he has the moxie and "it" factor that could win over NY fans.

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

I believe the Browns will take Barkley at 4, but I think the value of Chubb is actually higher for this team, if he pans out. As Rotoworld's Evan Silva correctly points out, there actually isn't great value financially with picking a RB high in the draft, and they have short shelf lives. If Chubb hit, the Browns could have a fearsome pass rush duo on their hands, and that is probably of more value, especially since they could still select a strong RB in round 2.

5. Broncos: Saquon Barkley, Running Back, Penn State

Josh Allen isn't worth taking here for Denver, and you could make a big argument for Quenton Nelson, the guy that I think Denver will actually end up taking. But with Case Keenum as the QB upgrade they needed to have a chance to win, Barkley would give them another huge and necessary jolt offensively. The Broncos tried to trade the mediocre CJ Anderson away already (Miami reportedly nixed the deal at the last minute), telegraphing their intentions with him, and they just cut him yesterday. I just feel that a backfield of Keenum and Barkley and a WR duo of DT and Sanders would give this team an infinitely better chance to compete this season.

6. Colts: Quenton Nelson, Offensive Guard, Notre Dame

If the Colts hope to have Andrew Luck return to a Pro Bowl level, it's critical that they surround him with better blocking on the offensive line. So they should not think twice here, and they should take the best guard prospect to come into the draft in a long time.

7. Buccaneers: Derwin James, Safety, Florida State

Safety is a huge need for the Bucs, and I like James more than Minkah Fitzpatrick. This is a case of BPA meeting a huge team need.

8. Bears: Tremaine Edmunds, Linebacker, Virginia Tech

Here's an awesome fit for Vic Fangio's defense, as Edmunds is the type of versatile linebacker that will go well with Leonard Floyd.

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

If I knew Roquan Smith was 100% healthy, I'd slot him here. But after the Niners took Foster at 31 last year with his injury concerns and off-the-field concerns, they might be a little gunshy about pulling the trigger on Smith, given that both Fitzpatrick and Denzel Ward are available. I think they should choose between those two, and I'll go with Ward, as the draft's top CB.

10. Raiders: Roquan Smith, Outside Linebacker, Georgia

It seems like teams are OK with Smith medically, so if they are, I guess I should be, too. Smith is an absolutely fantastic player, and as much as I like Vea and Payne, Smith is just better.

11. Dolphins: Lamar Jackson, Quarterback, Louisville

The Dolphins need a QB to replace Ryan Tannehill. I think they love Baker Mayfield, but they simply don't have the ammo to move up and get him, not if the draft plays out like it does in this mock. Is this an appropriate spot to gamble on the big arm of Josh Allen? No. Why? Well, there's a better QB available, and that's Lamar Jackson! That's right, folks: Jackson offers just as much upside as Allen, while being even safer because you KNOW his dual-threat ability will play. To be clear, I don't think Adam Gase would make this decision; he didn't make a lot of good decisions last season, so why should he start now?

12. Giants: Mike McGlinchey, Offensive Tackle, Notre Dame

I had Josh Allen here before, but the more I think about it, this is a mock of what teams SHOULD do, and Allen is the 5th-best QB in this class. This is too early to take him. Since I don't think the Giants would take a DB, they should take the best offensive tackle (by a lot) in this class, and that's Mike McGlinchey.

13. Redskins: Minkah Fitzpatrick, Safety, Alabama

Here's some big-time help for Washington's secondary, as Josh Norman can't do it all by himself. Some teams probably view Fitzpatrick as the best safety in the draft, and this is a nice pick for the Redskins.

14. Packers: Joshua Jackson, Cornerback, Iowa

Green Bay would have a lot of options here IMO. They could take a DT like Payne or Vea, or they could take a pass rusher like Davenport. But their need for a starting CB is so dire that I think they need to take one of the top 3 CB's. That means either Jackson or Jaire Alexander, and with Jackson being just a bit safer, and with the need for this pick to perform right away, they should take the Hawkeye here.

15. Cardinals: Josh Allen, Quarterback, Wyoming

OK, fine, it's time for a team to gamble on Allen's physical traits and big arm. The Cards desperately need a long-term solution, so they would hope that Allen is the eventual answer.

16. Ravens: Da'Ron Payne, Defensive Tackle, Alabama

With Payne still on the board, Ozzie Newsome should go back to the Alabama prospect well. Payne could very well be better than Vita Vea, and I just loved how he played during the CFP.

Picks 1-16


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