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Final 2018 NFL Mock Draft (5.0)

NFL Mock Draft 5.0

Death, taxes (too soon?) and trades in the NFL draft. Technically, seven first-round trades have already transpired and the draft hasn’t even begun. Quarterbacks have dominated and will dominate the storylines of the 2018 NFL draft. As such, look for more trades as teams position themselves for said quarterbacks and other future franchise players, or just more draft capital. There are deals to be had. Finally, and as always with the NFL draft, expect the unexpected.

1.
Sam Darnold

Quarterback | USC

Darnold or Josh Allen? That’s the question the Browns will need to answer by 8 p.m. ET Thursday. Darnold may not have the highest floor in this quarterback class, but he’s seemingly the safest pick at the position.

2.
Saquon Barkley

Running Back | Penn St.

Barkley to the Giants has gained more steam in the last week or so. The Giants must seriously consider a quarterback, or even trading back for more picks, but Barkley is too tantalizing a prospect to pass up.

3.
Baker Mayfield

Quarterback | Oklahoma

Mayfield was made for the Jets. He can learn from and eventually start ahead of a savvy veteran in Josh McCown and the demands of playing in New York’s big market won’t be too much for him.

4.
Bradley Chubb

Defensive End | N.C. State

This is a popular trade back spot with someone like the Bills, but staying put could give the Browns the best pass-rushing duo for the next decade in Chubb and Myles Garrett.

5.
Josh Allen (trade with Broncos)

Quarterback | Wyoming

Allen has fallen far enough and the Bills can’t wait any longer for their signal-caller. AJ McCarron is not a longterm answer, and while Allen has question marks, he possesses the highest floor among this class’s quarterbacks.

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6.
Roquan Smith

Linebacker | Georgia

This is another potential trade back spot, but the group of linebackers in Indianapolis might be the saddest bunch in the NFL. Smith is a sideline to sideline machine who is ideal for Indy’s new 43 defense.

7.
Denzel Ward

Cornerback | Ohio St.

Ward is easily the best cornerback in this draft and an athletic freak to boot. The Bucs would have liked for Barkley to have dropped to them, but Ward is an ideal plan B.

8.
Quenton Nelson

Guard | Notre Dame

Chicago will demand that Roger Goodell literally run to the podium to announce this pick if Nelson is still available at No. 8. They need better protection and blocking for their young franchise cornerstones, Mitchell Trubisky and Jordan Howard, and Nelson and Kyle Long (when he’s healthy) would comprise one of the best guard combinations in the league.

9.
Tremaine Edmunds

Linebacker | Virginia Tech

Edmunds is just 19 years old and has a bright future in front of him. He can be San Francisco’s next NaVorro Bowman or Patrick Willis.

10.
Josh Rosen (trade with Raiders)

Quarterback | UCLA

Rosen’s fall ceases and the Patriots finally give in to trading up for their next franchise quarterback. Rosen will be in the perfect situation under Tom Brady and Bill Belichick’s tutelage.

11.
Leighton Vander Esch

Linebacker | Boise St.

Smith and Edmunds are gone and Miami just got sniped by the Patriots, but they’re happy to be debating between defensive tackle Vita Vea and Vander Esch. They eventually side with the player who they hope will be their next Zach Thomas.

12.
Minkah Fitzpatrick (trade with Broncos via Bills)

Defensive Back | Alabama

The Packers worry that either the Redskins or an outside trade partner will snatch Fitzpatrick if they don’t move a couple spots ahead for a big upgrade and an instant impact starter.

13.
Vita Vea

Defensive Tackle | Washington

Washington has to be thrilled that Vea is available here and gladly select a much-need gap filler and anchor for the middle of their defensive line.

 14.
Marcus Davenport (trade with Packers via Bills)

Defensive End | Texas-San Antonio

After missing out on Chubb and Barkley and bettering their draft capital, the Broncos take another elite pass rusher in Davenport. He steps in for an underperforming Shane Ray and helps take pressure off of Von Miller. Harold Landry is also a viable option.

15.
Derwin James

Safety | Florida St.

Arizona is practically in rebuilding mode with several immediate needs, including offensive tackle, quarterback, and safety. Lamar Jackson and Mike McGlinchey are real possibilities, but James is the best player available and becomes the biggest steal of the draft so far. He is a most welcome replacement for S Tyrann Mathieu.

16.
Da’Ron Payne

Defensive Tackle | Alabama

With Michael Crabtree, John Brown and now Willie Snead, the Ravens’ receiving corps isn’t in as dire straits as it’s made out to be. They pass on a receiver to fortify their defensive line.

17.
QB Lamar Jackson

Quarterback | Louisville

The Chargers are reportedly high on Jackson and breathe a sigh of relief when Arizona passes on him. They select the heir apparent to Philip Rivers, who turns 37 years old this year.

18.
Mike McGlinchey

Offensive Tackle | Notre Dame

The Seahawks have plenty of needs. They must improve their offensive line and fill big holes on defense created by Richard Sherman and Michael Bennett. McGlinchey is arguably the best offensive tackle in the draft and helps Russell Wilson sleep a little better this season.

19.
WR D.J. Moore

Wide Receiver | Maryland

Moore’s star is on the rise while Calvin Ridley’s has been declining since his lackluster combine performance. There’s a good chance Moore is the first pass-catcher taken and no one needs a receiver more than the Cowboys (except perhaps the Bills) after divorcing with Dez Bryant.

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20.
Harold Landry

Defensive End | Boston College

Pairing Landry with Ziggy Ansah is an enticing proposition. Taking the pressure off of Ansah should be one of Detroit’s priorities in this draft and Landry does that.

21.
James Daniels

Center | Iowa

The Bengals need an overhaul on their offensive line aside from left tackle, where they just traded for Cordy Glenn this offseason. Daniels can start right away and will give franchise running back Joe Mixon some more breathing room. Arkansas center Frank Ragnow, among others, is another serious consideration here.

22.
Will Hernandez (trade with Bills)

Guard | Texas-El Paso

Hernandez has to be one of Denver’s targets if they do trade back in the first round. Not only is Hernandez one of the best interior linemen available this year, but his former college head coach, Sean Kugler, is an offensive line coach for the Broncos.

23.
Kolton Miller (trade with Patriots)

Offensive Tackle | UCLA

Miller becomes the heir apparent to 35yearold Donald Penn and helps maintain one of the best offensive lines in football.

24.
Josh Jackson

Cornerback | Iowa

The Panthers amassed a paltry 10 interceptions in 2018. Jackson is a ball hawk with suffocating coverage whose length makes him one of the most coveted cornerbacks in the draft. Don’t be surprised if he’s already taken by the time Carolina picks.

25.
Billy Price

Center/Guard | Ohio St.

Taylor Lewan and Jack Conklin already give Tennessee one of the best offensive tackle duos in football, but the Titans could use an upgrade on the interior.

26.
Taven Bryan

Defensive Tackle | Florida

Dontari Poe is gone and the Falcons have a gaping hole in the middle of their defensive line. They will gladly end Bryan’s availability if he makes it to them.

27.
Mason Rudolph

Quarterback | Oklahoma St.

Rudolph makes six quarterbacks selected in the first round the most QBs taken in the first round since six were drafted in the famed 1983 class. Drew Brees is 39 years old and can mentor Rudolph until he hangs up the cleats.

28.
Justin Reid

Safety | Stanford

I would not at all be surprised to see Rashaan Evans taken here with Ryan Shazier out of commission. Safety is a big need too, though, and Reid’s hype train has gained speed with just a few days left until the draft.

29.
Calvin Ridley

Wide Reciever | Alabama

Jacksonville has to be pleased that Ridley has lasted this long. An underwhelming combine performance sent Ridley’s stock plummeting, but he was successful in college in the toughest conference in college football and can get open better than any receiver in this year’s group. He’s a viable replacement for Allen Robinson.

Suggested Read:

30.
Isaiah Wynn

Guard | Georgia

This pick was between Wynn and cornerback Jaire Alexander, but the Vikings prioritize protecting a handsomely paid quarterback in Kirk Cousins and a franchise running back in Dalvin Cook, who is coming off a serious knee injury.

31.
Jaire Alexander (trade with Patriots)

Cornerback | Louisville

We’d like to report a robbery at pick No. 31. Alexander makes an instant impact in a Raiders secondary that tallied a league-worst five interceptions in 2017. Goodell may find some saliva when the Raiders turn in their card on this one because Oakland will be drooling over themselves if Alexander is still available.

32.
LB Rashaan Evans

Linebacker | Alabama

Jordan Hicks has missed 17 games in his three-year career and Evans represents another great value pick as the first round concludes, but will the Eagles regret not picking defensive tackle Maurice Hurst or either running back Sony Michel or Derrius Guice?

Best of the Rest

  • TE Hayden Hurst
  • OT Connor Williams
  • Michel, Guice
  • CB Mike Hughes
  • CB Isaiah Oliver
  • WR Courtland Sutton
  • S Ronnie Harrison
  • LB Lorenzo Carter

 

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