2018 NFL Mock Draft

Mock draft 1.0: Bengals land QB of future

By Charles Davis |

NFL Media analyst

Published: Feb. 20, 2018 at 09:20 a.m.

With the NFL Scouting Combine (March 2-5 on NFL Network) a little more than a week away, here's my initial mock of the 2018 NFL Draft. Per usual, quarterbacks will dominate the conversation leading up to the draft in April. I have five QBs going in Round 1 in my first mock, although I expect that free agency will change the outlook for which QBs will land where, and how many will hear their name called in the opening round.
  1. Pick No.
    1
    QB
    USC
    Yes, there are questions about turnovers, but there are plenty of magical plays on tape, as well. Obviously, the Browns are hoping that pixie dust travels with him to Cleveland.
  2. Pick No.
    2
    RB
    Penn St.
    The most talented runner in the draft since (fill in the blank). He's a true three-down player with a very special set of skills. If the Giants turn him down, it's for a QB.
  3. Pick No.
    3
    DE
    N.C. State
    Projected trade to Colts
    The best edge rusher in the draft. Chubb will provide the Colts their best pressure since the days of Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis.
  4. Pick No.
    4
    S
    Alabama
    I've stated tongue-in-cheek (somewhat) that the Browns should consider taking a QB at No. 1 AND 4, but good sense will reign, and this versatile defender helps Cleveland improve its takeaway quotient.
  5. Pick No.
    5
    QB
    UCLA
    The Broncos are used to having very strong personalities at QB when they are at their best (John Elway, Peyton Manning), and Rosen is a bright, opinionated young man with the best arm talent in the draft. He also could easily be the most scrutinized prospect this year.
  6. Pick No.
    6
    QB
    Oklahoma
    Projected trade to Jets
    "Broadway Baker" has a ring to it. He has the skill set, and personality, to embrace NYC.
  7. Pick No.
    7
    CB
    Ohio St.
    There is a huge need for a pass rusher, but another talented pass defender is welcome in the NFC South.
  8. Pick No.
    8
    G
    Notre Dame
    Instant starter with a mean streak a mile wide who will help protect last year's No. 1 pick for the Bears, QB Mitchell Trubisky.
  9. Pick No.
    9
    ILB
    Virginia Tech
    The team of John Lynch (GM) and Kyle Shanahan (HC) collaborated last year to get the Niners back on the road to respectability. They continue down that path with this athletically gifted defender.
  10. Pick No.
    10
    LB
    Georgia
    Diagnose, run, hit. Diagnose, run, cover, hit. Rinse. Repeat. I love this playmaking thumper so much that I voted him third for last year's Heisman Trophy.
  11. Pick No.
    11
    DE
    Texas-San Antonio
    Yes, he's raw. However, putting heat on the QB is a huge part of the game in the NFL, and rushing the passer is what he does best.
  12. Pick No.
    12
    QB
    Wyoming
    Projected trade to Bengals
    They need help at a number of spots, but the Bengals might not be able to resist hitting the reset button for the future with this strong-armed Cowboy.
  13. Pick No.
    13
    DT
    Washington
    I loved the building-block pick of Jonathan Allen last year, and Vea's selection continues to bolster the defense. For a BIG man, he makes a lot of hustle plays, as well.
  14. Pick No.
    14
    CB
    Iowa
    The Packers drafted another lengthy corner last year in Kevin King, and this instinctive Hawkeye nearly had double-digit interceptions last season (eight).
  15. Pick No.
    15
    G
    Texas
    The Cardinals are most definitely in the QB market, but Williams has excellent technique and a good dose of nasty to help them bolster their OL.
  16. Pick No.
    16
    OT
    Oklahoma
    Yes, it would honor his father, the late former Raven Orlando "Zeus" Brown, but more importantly, it helps the 2018 Ravens in a huge way, bookending LT Ronnie Stanley with this mountain of a prospect on the right side.
  17. Pick No.
    17
    S
    Florida St.
    James is a big hitter, but he has plenty of range in coverage, as well. He might not be exactly like former Charger Eric Weddle, but he could provide a similar impact.
  18. Pick No.
    18
    CB
    Central Florida
    The Seahawks hit it big last year with a third-round CB from the same school in Shaquill Griffin, and they would expect similar results from this shifty, tough cover man. The Legion of Boom makeover is underway.
  19. Pick No.
    19
    WR
    Alabama
    The Cowboys need a young, big target to help QB Dak Prescott push the ball downfield, and Ridley provides exactly that option.
  20. Pick No.
    20
    DT
    Michigan
    The Lions did not have to go far to scout him. They need his stoutness and get-off in the middle of the DL.
  21. Pick No.
    21
    DT
    Alabama
    Projected trade to Bills
    Head coach Sean McDermott's background is defense, and Payne helps him continue to build from the inside out. Payne was a force in the CFB Playoff.
  22. Pick No.
    22
    C
    Ohio St.
    With the unfortunate news that Eric Wood's career is coming to an end due to injury, Price could plug right in and help keep the Bills' ground attack rolling. Ohio State has been cranking out quality centers in recent years.
  23. Pick No.
    23
    CB
    Colorado
    Projected trade to Rams
    Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips' versatility gets an added dose of secondary help with this talented CB.
  24. Pick No.
    24
    WR
    Texas A&M
    The Panthers have plenty of size at WR. Kirk gives them the speed that they have been seeking to put DBs on their heels.
  25. Pick No.
    25
    EDGE
    Boston College
    New head coach Mike Vrabel likes to be aggressive in his calls, and while Landry had a better 2016 than 2017, he definitely has some juice.
  26. Pick No.
    26
    T
    Georgia
    Wynn was a tremendous LT for the Bulldogs, and I think he will be an instant starter at OG for the Falcons. He had an excellent Senior Bowl week of practices at his new spot inside.
  27. Pick No.
    27
    OLB
    Alabama
    The Saints really made a jump on defense last season. Now they add an ILB who can run and make sideline-to-sideline plays in a division built on speed.
  28. Pick No.
    28
    RB
    LSU
    The questions about Le'Veon Bell's future will continue, barring a long-term deal, and the Steelers hedge their bets with an RB who can fly but also run inside and catch.
  29. Pick No.
    29
    QB
    Louisville
    There will be plenty of breakdowns of his game, but smart OCs will figure out ways to "meet him halfway" by utilizing concepts/schemes that play to his strengths (and can hurt defenses). A beyond-exciting playmaker who feels he has something to prove.
  30. Pick No.
    30
    OT
    Notre Dame
    The Vikings OL made a huge jump last season, and perhaps the best LT in CFB makes them even better. McGlinchey might make the move to RT if the Vikings keep Mike Remmers inside at OG.
  31. Pick No.
    31
    S
    Alabama
    He moves and hits. Harrison was trained by one of the best secondary coaches in Nick Saban, whose close relationship with Bill Belichick is well documented.
  32. Pick No.
    32
    CB
    LSU
    The Eagles' secondary did an excellent job at tackling -- and not permitting big runs after the catch -- last season. Jackson adds his talents to the mix, and he can play inside, as well.
  33. 2018 NFL Mock Draft Central

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