BY HUNTER DONELSON
2018 NFL Mock Draft (No Trades)
Cleveland Browns: Josh Allen (QB, Wyoming)
Ultimately it’s going to come down to Josh Allen or Sam Darnold for the Browns. But, Allen would be a great fit for speedy receivers Jarvis Landry and Josh Gordon with his great arm strength and play-making ability. That’s what will put him over Darnold.
New York Giants: Sam Darnold (QB, USC)
The Giants have fallen in love with the USC quarterback. Most experts call Darnold the best quarterback in the draft. With an aging Eli Manning, that’s exactly what the Giants need to go alongside superstar wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
New York Jets: Josh Rosen (QB, UCLA)
The quarterback situation with the Jets has been a disaster ever since Mark Sanchez’s career went downhill in 2010. Since then they have amassed 9 different starting quarterbacks with not 1 trip to the postseason. Rosen could be the hero Jets fans have been waiting the last 7 seasons for.
Cleveland Browns: Saquon Barkley (RB, Penn State)
Penn State RB Saquon Barkley is the clear-cut best player in the draft this year but a lot of these early pick teams are in desperate need of a quarterback. The Browns haven’t had a great running back since Jim Brown in the 60’s or maybe the original multi-purpose back, Eric Metcalf, in the 80’s and early 90’s. Barkley could be the answer at #4.
Denver Broncos: Bradley Chubb (DE, NC State)
With the contract they gave Case Keenum, the Broncos are confident he’s the next franchise quarterback. Chubb is the best defensive player in the draft and the Broncos could have the scariest pass rushing duo in the NFL by pairing Chubb with Von Miller.
Indianapolis Colts: Roquan Smith (LB, Georgia)
They are very thin at the linebacker position and Smith is the defensive playmaker they’ve been looking for to fill the rushing lanes, and he has also shown the ability to drop back into coverage when needed.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Derwin James (S, Florida State)
The Buccaneers have put together a solid defense but need a little more help in the secondary. After drafting Vernon Hargreaves III in 2016, who they hope puts an end to his struggles, the Buccaneers are looking to continue improving the defense.
Chicago Bears: Quenton Nelson (G, Notre Dame)
Bears rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky took a lot of hits last year and offensive lineman Quenton Nelson will help solve that problem. Nelson will also be a big factor in the Bears running game with Jordan Howard in the backfield.
San Francisco 49ers: Minkah Fitzpatrick (DB, Alabama)
Although they signed All-Pro CB Richard Sherman, they lost key defensive back Eric Reid who remains a free agent. This pick would allow Sherman to mentor Fitzpatrick through his first couple years while also playing on the other side of him.
Oakland Raiders: Tremaine Edmunds (LB, Virginia Tech)
The Raiders secondary is sub-par, but they also need to make some adjustments with their linebacker crew. Edmunds is a great addition for just that.
Miami Dolphins: Vita Vea (DT, Washington)
After releasing DT Ndamukong Suh in the off season for locker room purposes, the Dolphins will need a replacement to fill what is now a big hole in their defense. Vea has shown he is a strong, powerful defender the Dolphins need.
Buffalo Bills: Baker Mayfield (QB, Oklahoma)
The Bills traded away starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor this off season and are yet to find someone to fill in for him. It’s a risk, but if Mayfield can keep his off-field antics calm it can become a big reward.
Washington Redskins: Denzel Ward (CB, Ohio State)
Washington traded away great young corner, Kendall Fuller in return for Pro Bowl quarterback Alex Smith. Ward would be a great piece to put alongside Josh Norman to replace Fuller.
Green Bay Packers: Marcus Davenport (DE, UTSA)
The Green Bay pass rush has been pretty mediocre for quite a bit of time now, so I’d be looking towards Davenport or Harold Landry of Boston College to add to their defense.
Arizona Cardinals: Josh Jackson (CB, Iowa)
Tyrann Mathieu was released by the Cardinals this off season, and they will be looking to get young talent for the secondary. Jackson would be great to put on the other side of Patrick Peterson that would become a nightmare for opposing QB’s.
Baltimore Ravens: Hayden Hurst (TE, South Carolina)
Baltimore is desperate for any kind of piece to put with Joe Flacco, but they don’t seem to be making any real progress in terms of actually signing anybody. That means they’ll look toward the draft to get it done, and Hurst is their guy.
Los Angeles Chargers: Tayven Bryan (DT, Florida)
The Chargers are one piece away from having a premiere defense. Joey Bosa has become a huge threat but could become less and less effective if they don’t find another part to put on the opposite side.
Seattle Seahawks: Harold Landry (DE, Boston College)
The loss of Michael Bennett is big for the Seahawks so they will need to find someone to take his spot soon or their defense is in trouble with other losses like Richard Sherman.
Dallas Cowboys: Rashaan Evans (LB, Alabama)
It comes to a surprise that Evans has fallen this far in the draft, but the Cowboys will be thankful for the drop after losing Anthony Hitchens to the Chiefs. Evans is quick to fill the gaps and is great when wrapping up the ball carrier.
Detroit Lions: Da’Ron Payne (DT, Alabama)
The Lions D-Line suffers and Payne looks like he can prove to be a great player in the NFL with his strength and toughness.
Cincinnati Bengals: Frank Ragnow (G/C, Arkansas)
Cincinnati needs an offensive lineman, specifically a center, and Ragnow is the best one they could find in the draft.
Buffalo Bills: Calvin Ridley (WR, Alabama)
After drafting Mayfield the Bills will be looking for weapons. So why not take the best WR in the draft?
New England Patriots: Kolton Miller (OT, UCLA)
New England needs some extra protection for the reigning MVP Tom Brady, and Miller is a good late round choice for the Patriots.
Carolina Panthers: James Daniels (C, Iowa)
Cam Newton has taken his fair share of blows from opposing defenses in the past and it’s time for the Panthers to end that, especially after the retirement of Ryan Kalil.
Tennessee Titans: Leighton Vander Esch (LB, Boise State)
Vander Esch is a great play maker on the defensive side and that’s what the Titans have been looking for. Brian Orakpo is close to the end, and Vander Esch is a player to fill that hole.
Atlanta Falcons: Courtland Sutton (WR, SMU)
Just as you think the Falcons offense couldn’t get any better, it can. The potential Sutton possesses is amazing and the Falcons will definitely look into pairing him up with Julio Jones.
New Orleans Saints: Dallas Goedert (TE, South Dakota State)
Tight end Coby Fleener just hasn’t worked out at all in New Orleans, so they’ll be looking for a new weapon at tight end to go along with young star receiver Michael Thomas and hall of fame QB Drew Brees.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Lamar Jackson (QB, Louisville)
From what I’ve heard, the Steelers have high interest in former Heisman winning QB. Ben Roethlisberger’s future has been in question in these last few seasons but he has already announced he’ll give it another go in 2018. Although, Pittsburgh is aware Big Ben’s end is coming soon.
Jacksonville Jaguars: D.J. Moore (WR, Maryland)
Jacksonville lost both receivers Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson in the off season and Blake Bortles isn’t the type of quarterback to make others around him better. Moore is one that can go get the long ball which makes Bortles’ job easier as his passes won’t need to be as accurate (as they typically aren’t).
Minnesota Vikings: Isaiah Wynn (G, Georgia)
The retirement of Joe Berger forces the Vikings to add protection for new quarterback Kirk Cousins. Wynn is good with his ability to block up to the next level and that will be key in getting Minnesota’s running game going with Dalvin Cook.
New England Patriots: Derrius Guice (RB, LSU)
Most experts would agree that Guice is the second best RB in this draft, of course behind Saquon Barkley. Guice has a great combination of strength and speed that the Patriots could use to take some pressure off of Brady or just make them a dual threat offense.
Philadelphia Eagles: Jaire Alexander (CB, Louisville)
Alexander is great at things like his awareness and quick response to opposing quarterbacks passes. We saw that exact thing in the Super Bowl-winning interception by Malcolm Butler.
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