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The Champ
Final 2018 NFL Mock Draft by The Champ - 4.25
Published at 4/16/2018 8:11:17 AM

Major news about Mayfield possibly going 1st! Stock up: Roquan Smith, Bryan, Landry, Ragnow, Corbett, L. Carter. Stock down: Michel, M. Hurst, Hubbard. I think we're going to see a lot of trades in general, and this mock reflects that. Two full rounds here.

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Round 1

Picks 1-16
1. Browns: Baker Mayfield, Quarterback, Oklahoma

This bombshell report this morning about Baker Mayfield has to be taken seriously. I noticed last night that online sportsbooks took odds for the #1 pick down; I thought maybe that meant that Josh Allen could be the one that momentum had shifted to. But with this Schefter report, combined with the fact that another book this morning put 3/2 odds on Mayfield and then 4 huge bets on him dropped the odds to even just seems like there's too much smoke here. This could have more of an effect than simply changing Mayfield to 1st and Darnold to 3rd overall.

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

If Darnold is available here, I don't think the Giants would take him. However, could a team offer so much in a trade up that Gettleman can't pass him up? What if Denver, for example, coveted Darnold? At that point, you know the top 3 picks would be QB's, and the Giants would be guaranteed one of Barkley or Chubb. Interesting to think about, but I'll keep this pick as Barkley.

3. Jets: Sam Darnold, Quarterback, USC

Now that Darnold is available, I believe he would be the pick here over Josh Rosen, as I don't think that the Jets are interested in Josh Allen. (Rightfully, IMO.) I just can't see Woody Johnson signing off on "F Trump" Josh Rosen.

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

I'll disagree with Walter that having Chubb and Garrett brings up a financial problem that would supercede the incredible talent of Chubb. First off, if both guys pan out and merit being paid big dollars, the Browns will be supremely happy. They need to get this ship out to the shore and start winning games and change the culture. Besides, they won't have their rookie contracts end at the same time, and they could always franchise tag one of them if it came to it. A no-brainer pick at 4, for me.

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

Denver is said to love Denzel Ward, so if they are smitten with him, perhaps they could see about a trade down, with the Bills making sense. But there's not a guarantee that Ward will be there at 12, though perhaps Denver could try to trade back up to get him. With Nelson available, and as good as he is, perhaps Denver will see the value in simply adding him to their offensive line and reaping the benefits. Nelson is the safest player in this entire draft, for me.

6. Bills: Josh Allen, Quarterback, Wyoming

The Colts have already traded down (from 3 to 6), and with as many holes as they have, it would make sense to take advantage of a team moving up for a QB and do it again. I had Buffalo giving up #12 and #22 before, but in light of Peter King's report that the Bills really want to keep #22, I'll change the compensation package to #12, #53, and #65. I don't pretend to know if Bills brass would prefer Allen or Rosen, but maybe the "tougher" Josh Allen would be the choice over Rosen.

7. Buccaneers: Derwin James, Safety, Florida State

I think the Bucs will be targeting 3 DB's here: Derwin James, Denzel Ward, or Minkah Fitzpatrick. I'll give the nod to James.

8. Bears: Prospect not selected

Though I believe the Bears could take a look at Roquan Smith or even Ward here, I'll continue to think that Edmunds is a great fit with Leonard Floyd for Vic Fangio's defense.

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

Though it looks like Rueben Foster might escape his legal issues, Smith is just a fantastic football player. If Foster stays with the team and is healthy, this is quite a duo at linebacker for the Niners.

10. Cardinals: Josh Rosen, Quarterback, UCLA

There's been an awful lot of late chatter about a offensive tackle going to the Raiders. I've even seen Kolton Miller mocked here by some talent evaluators that I respect. Still, that really feels like a reach to me. I'd have to think that McGlinchey would be the pick if they stayed here at 10. But I think Arizona wants to come away with a QB, and I think they could move up right here to nab Rosen. The Raiders would be virtually guaranteed to get one of McGlinchey or Miller at 15, while picking up #79 overall and a 2019 3rd round pick.

11. Packers: Denzel Ward, Cornerback, Ohio State

While Fitzpatrick would be a nice pick for the Dolphins, Armando Salguero knows the inner workings of this team. I'm going to take his word for it that Miami wants a LB. With Smith and Edmunds off the board, I believe it makes sense for Miami to trade back and still get its next-best LB on the board (more on that later). Ward and Fitzpatrick are the 2 best DB's on the board, I would think that both the Packers and Redskins would have serious interest in both, but the Packers have more draft capital to offer the Dolphins. I'll guess that Green Bay coughs up #76 overall (a 3rd rounder) and #133 overall (a 4th Round comp pick), and they get a sorely-needed big-time CB talent. With Ted Thompson no longer calling the shots, a new tone of aggressiveness could be set with this pick.

12. Colts: Minkah Fitzpatrick, Safety, Alabama

Perhaps the Colts would've taken Roquan Smith if they had stood pat at #6; instead, they pick up a great prospect in his own right in Fitzpatrick, who could form a fearsome safety duo with Malik Hooker. Along with that, the Colts now have upcoming picks at 36, 37, 49, 53, 65, and 67. That's how you do it, if you're Chris Ballard.

13. Ravens: Lamar Jackson, Quarterback, Louisville

Three trades in the last four picks! Without Fitzpatrick (or Ward) on the board, and since I think the Redskins could be targeting Vita Vea or Da'Ron Payne now, they can get one of those players at 16. I have had a gut feeling that the Ravens will end up with Jackson for a long time, and this is the right spot to move up to get him. Washington picks up #83 overall and a 2019 3rd Round pick in the deal.

14. Dolphins: Rashaan Evans, Inside Linebacker, Alabama

This might feel high for Evans, but I'm going to trust the plugged-in Salguero on this one that Miami is targeting a LB with its first pick. (Recall that last year, he was adamant that the Dolphins would take a pass rusher in the 1st Round, and they took Charles Harris.) He believes that Bill Belichick loves this player. (In fact, he said he KNOWS that Belichick loves him.) If Miami could draft him while picking up an awful lot of draft capital in the process, that would be a solid job, so long as they are OK with not getting a top 5 QB in this class.

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

If the Raiders are targeting a tackle, then this trade worked out perfectly for them. They still get McGlinchey at 15, and they picked up two 3rd Round picks out of the deal (one this year and one next year).

16. Redskins: Vita Vea, Defensive Tackle, Washington

Sure enough, the Redskins have their choice of Payne or Vea here, while picking up draft capital from the Ravens. Last year it was an Alabama DT in Jonathan Allen, but I think that Vea might actually be a better fit for this team alongside Allen.

Picks 1-16


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