2018 NFL Mock Draft

Mock 1.0: Mayfield to Broncos, Jackson to Browns

By Maurice Jones-Drew |

NFL.com Analyst

Published: April 10, 2018 at 09:35 a.m.

With 16 days until teams are officially on the clock, here's my first mock of the 2018 NFL Draft. Keep an eye out for trades -- I project three of them in Round 1.
  1. Pick No.
    1
    RB
    Penn St.
    He is the best player in the draft. Period. The Browns are in win-now mode; only adding guys who can play at a high level right now will help them do that.
  2. Pick No.
    2
    QB
    UCLA
    Eli Manning is nearing the end of his career, which works out, given that the Giants get the top young passer in this draft.
  3. Pick No.
    3
    QB
    USC
    Darnold can sit behind veteran Josh McCown until he's ready to roll. Plus, he will have a young, talented defense to help.
  4. Pick No.
    4
    DE
    N.C. State
    Teaming Chubb with Myles Garrett and Larry Ogunjobi will make Cleveland's defensive line a problem for years to come.
  5. Pick No.
    5
    QB
    Wyoming
    Projected trade to Bills
    PROJECTED TRADE WITH BRONCOS. The Bills package the 12th and 22nd picks to move up and nab the guy they love: Allen, a quarterback with the arm strength to throw in all weather conditions.
  6. Pick No.
    6
    G
    Notre Dame
    Indy's O-line has been a problem for years. Nelson will be an instant starter with an attitude.
  7. Pick No.
    7
    S
    Florida St.
    He's a physical safety with the cover skills of a cornerback. Tampa gets a jack of all trades.
  8. Pick No.
    8
    OT
    Notre Dame
    With all the new weapons added in free agency, Chicago needs to protect its franchise quarterback. McGlinchey, whose college O-line coach (Harry Hiestand) is now with the Bears, will help do just that.
  9. Pick No.
    9
    CB
    Iowa
    He gets to learn from the 49ers' marquee cornerback signing, Richard Sherman -- a player with similar size, ability and ball skills.
  10. Pick No.
    10
    LB
    Georgia
    Smith's instincts and range are something the Raiders haven't had in recent years. He'll be the missing piece in Paul Guenther's defense.
  11. Pick No.
    11
    CB
    Ohio St.
    Projected trade to Packers
    PROJECTED TRADE WITH DOLPHINS. Ward falls to No. 11 and the Packers, who are dying for a lockdown corner, make a move to get what they need.
  12. Pick No.
    12
    QB
    Oklahoma
    Projected trade to Broncos
    PROJECTED TRADE WITH BILLS. The Broncos trade down and still get their QB. Mayfield might sit early on, but he'll eventually take over because of his accuracy and ability to throw deep.
  13. Pick No.
    13
    ILB
    Virginia Tech
    He's a sideline-to-sideline player who's fluid in coverage and adds some pass-rush ability.
  14. Pick No.
    14
    S
    Alabama
    Projected trade to Dolphins
    PROJECTED TRADE WITH PACKERS. Fitzpatrick's versatility allows him to play anywhere in the secondary and make an immediate impact.
  15. Pick No.
    15
    T
    Georgia
    Arizona gets a big-time player who can start at tackle or guard because of his size. Regardless of where he lines up, he makes the offensive line better.
  16. Pick No.
    16
    EDGE
    Boston College
    He's an explosive pass rusher who could be Terrell Suggs' successor.
  17. Pick No.
    17
    DT
    Washington
    Gus Bradley's defense made huge strides throughout the 2017 season but struggled against the run. Vea allows the linebackers to run, taking pressure off the pass rushers.
  18. Pick No.
    18
    CB
    Colorado
    Long, rangy corner who fits the mold in Seattle. Oliver can play in press or off coverage.
  19. Pick No.
    19
    WR
    Alabama
    Dallas needs a WR2 and a guy who can eventually take over for Dez Bryant. Ridley is the most polished receiver in the draft and will do what the Cowboys need.
  20. Pick No.
    20
    DE
    Texas-San Antonio
    He's an athletic pass rusher who can learn from Ziggy Ansah and make an immediate impact for Matt Patricia's unit.
  21. Pick No.
    21
    G
    Texas-El Paso
    An old-school guard who can move guys around, Hernandez has the ability to anchor this rebuilding O-line.
  22. Pick No.
    22
    DT
    Alabama
    Projected trade to Broncos
    PROJECTED TRADE WITH BILLS. Payne becomes an instant starter on the interior. He's great against the run and will provide inside pressure. Think Malik Jackson.
  23. Pick No.
    23
    CB
    Central Florida
    Hughes is an athletic cornerback who fits the press-man scheme of the Patriots. He can also help in the return game.
  24. Pick No.
    24
    RB
    LSU
    Guice is a tough, hard-nosed runner who pairs well with Christian McCaffrey. Now the Panthers have two young backs who can take pressure off Cam Newton.
  25. Pick No.
    25
    DT
    Stanford
    He's a former wrestler with a rugged style. Phillips fits this 3-4 defense and allows others around him to be singled up.
  26. Pick No.
    26
    DT
    Michigan
    He's a penetrating DT in the run game and a quick, explosive rusher in the pass game.
  27. Pick No.
    27
    DE
    Ohio St.
    The Saints can now move Sheldon Rankins to his natural position as a 3-technique and add an explosive pass rusher opposite Cam Jordan.
  28. Pick No.
    28
    OLB
    Alabama
    He's a physical linebacker who'll provide immediate help at Pittsburgh's position of need.
  29. Pick No.
    29
    CB
    Louisville
    The top defense in the league lost a huge piece when Aaron Colvin left in free agency. Alexander steps in and Jacksonville doesn't miss a beat.
  30. Pick No.
    30
    OT
    Oklahoma
    His performance at the NFL Scouting Combine didn't help his stock, but the game tape shows Brown is a physical run blocker who flattens defensive ends.
  31. Pick No.
    31
    OT
    UCLA
    He's an athletic tackle who will be a plug-and-play guy from the start. His length will help keep defenders away from Tom Brady.
  32. Pick No.
    32
    QB
    Louisville
    Projected trade to Browns
    PROJECTED TRADE WITH EAGLES. The Browns trade up to get the fifth-year option for their QB. He gets to sit and learn behind a quarterback who has similar abilities, and he'll have a package or two in the offense as a rookie.
  33. 2015 NFL Mock Draft Central

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