2018 NFL Mock Draft

Mock draft 2.0: Darnold slips to Browns at No. 4

By Charles Davis |

NFL Media analyst

Published: March 22, 2018 at 12:00 p.m.

It's that time in the draft process when we all are reaching "information overload", but we also know that there is plenty more info to come, so strap in tight, and let's have some fun. Here is my second mock of the 2018 NFL Draft.
  1. Pick No.
    1
    RB
    Penn St.
    Yes, the consensus is Cleveland will take a QB here, but in the Browns' history, when they have been really good, they have been powered by runners: Marion Motley, Jim Brown, Ernie Davis (would have been a huge star if not for his passing at the age of 23), Leroy Kelly, Kevin Mack, Earnest Byner. Add the do-it-all dynamo from Penn State to the pantheon.
  2. Pick No.
    2
    QB
    UCLA
    We're still on the lookout for a potential trade in this spot, with the Bills possibly looking to move in front of the Jets, but in the end, the Giants' brass decides to pick its future franchise QB. Rosen's self-confidence (and terrific right arm) are what's necessary in NYC. Trading Jason Pierre-Paul might lead to more of a discussion about taking Bradley Chubb here, but the Giants don't pass on their top QB.
  3. Pick No.
    3
    QB
    Oklahoma
    It's Broadway Baker. The Jets should dispatch Broadway Joe Namath on draft night to welcome him to the organization, AND present him with a mink coat to match Namath's iconic garb.
  4. Pick No.
    4
    QB
    USC
    The man that many have written in as the top selection for the Browns still lands in Cleveland. Of course, he will be strongly considered for each of the top three picks, but Browns owner Jimmy Haslam (who sat in the rain to watch Darnold's pro day at USC on Wednesday) gets a new face of the franchise in an unexpected way.
  5. Pick No.
    5
    S
    Alabama
    The Broncos' signing of QB Case Keenum opened up several options to consider at No. 5. Getting this multi-talented safety adds a playmaker to a very talented, and proud, defense.
  6. Pick No.
    6
    DE
    N.C. State
    This selection fills a screaming need for the Colts, but a huge internal debate must be had: Do they pick Chubb or Notre Dame OG Quenton Nelson to protect Andrew Luck?!
  7. Pick No.
    7
    S
    Florida St.
    In the NFC South, where every opponent likes to run the ball, James' ability to run and hit (with relish) will help greatly. Don't underestimate his ability to cover, too.
  8. Pick No.
    8
    G
    Notre Dame
    If you draft your franchise QB in 2017 (Mitchell Trubisky), you continue to surround him with weapons and protect him in 2018. The middle of the OL for the Bears will be formidable with Pro Bowl OG Kyle Long, talented C Cody Whitehair, and now Nelson, the best OL in this year's draft.
  9. Pick No.
    9
    CB
    Ohio St.
    The Niners keep getting better. Veteran CB Richard Sherman's addition helps on the field, and he loves to tutor young DBs. Ward is the top cornerback in the draft.
  10. Pick No.
    10
    ILB
    Virginia Tech
    Don't worry, Mr. Davis, Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie has not forgotten your mantras about speed, and selects a multi-dimensional 'backer who can run with TEs, RBs, and chase down QBs, too.
  11. Pick No.
    11
    DT
    Washington
    Ndamukong Suh might have left the building, but Vea will be an excellent replacement with his stoutness at the point of attack. With a non-stop motor, he'll get downfield to make plays, too.
  12. Pick No.
    12
    QB
    Wyoming
    Free-agent addition AJ McCarron will take the ball first, but Allen's big frame, and arm, make him a great match for Buffalo winters. He also will play with a chip on his shoulder after being overlooked much of his career.
  13. Pick No.
    13
    LB
    Georgia
    Nothing wrong with more speed being added on defense, and Smith fits the bill. He's often favorably compared to Atlanta MLB Deion Jones due to his build, and ability to play FAST.
  14. Pick No.
    14
    DE
    Texas-San Antonio
    Expect the Pack to do their homework on the top CBs, but with this raw, talented edge rusher still on the board, GM Brian Gutekunst opts for an elite pass rusher.
  15. Pick No.
    15
    G
    Texas
    Agile, mobile, and most definitely hostile, Williams is exactly what the Birds need to improve the OL in front of new QB Sam Bradford.
  16. Pick No.
    16
    WR
    Alabama
    Ridley fills a big need to help take pressure off of RB Alex Collins and QB Joe Flacco.
  17. Pick No.
    17
    QB
    Louisville
    The Chargers begin planning for life after Philip Rivers. In his previous job, head coach Anthony Lynn coordinated the offense in Buffalo for a QB with a similar skill set in Tyrod Taylor. Jackson is the more explosive, dynamic version.
  18. Pick No.
    18
    G
    Texas-El Paso
    With the loss of DT Sheldon Richardson in free agency, and an obvious rebuild needed on that side of the ball, a pick to help the D makes sense. But, it also makes sense to do more to take care of the team's No. 1 asset, QB Russell Wilson.
  19. Pick No.
    19
    CB
    Central Florida
    With a 4.53-second 40-yard dash, Hughes did not run as fast as expected at the NFL Scouting Combine (pro day is March 29), but he has tremendous ball skills, and big-play ability as a kick returner. The Cowboys need to cover some big-time playmakers on the perimeter in the NFC East.
  20. Pick No.
    20
    DT
    Alabama
    Tough to move in the run game and has good pass-rush skills up the middle. He had enough agility to intercept a pass, and catch a TD pass in successive series in the national championship game. Lions need help in the defensive interior.
  21. Pick No.
    21
    TE
    South Carolina
    OL is a place that could use some shoring up, but QB Andy Dalton needs some more weapons, too, and this former minor league baseball player is an excellent catch/run threat.
  22. Pick No.
    22
    DT
    Florida
    Bryan continues to receive some J.J. Watt comparisons. I'm not ready to go all in on those, but he's slippery to block, and plays all out each snap. DL Kyle Williams will appreciate his new teammate.
  23. Pick No.
    23
    OLB
    Alabama
    Projected trade to Rams
    The trade of Alec Ogletree to the Giants opens a spot for this gifted LB. Like so many of recent vintage from 'Bama, Evans runs well, and is well-versed in pro-style scheme, and reasoning. Plus, he makes an impact as soon as he arrives.
  24. Pick No.
    24
    CB
    Louisville
    Did not get to fully display his wares in 2017 due to injury, but he put on a show at the NFL Scouting combine. The Panthers are looking for a speedy WR, but Alexander also fills a big need opposite CB James Bradberry.
  25. Pick No.
    25
    EDGE
    Boston College
    The Titans need to put more pressure on the QB. Landry's numbers were better in 2016 than they were in 2017, when he missed time due to injury, but new head coach Mike Vrabel's scheme fits his talents.
  26. Pick No.
    26
    T
    Georgia
    Wynn is a projection as he spent the bulk of his career at OT, but he had an excellent week at the Senior Bowl making the transition. QB Matt Ryan needs consistency from his guards so that he can step up in the pocket and deliver.
  27. Pick No.
    27
    WR
    Texas A&M
    Head coach Sean Payton can never have enough toys. After getting RB Alvin Kamara in 2017 to confound defenses, this flyer from College Station will help take pressure off WR1 Michael Thomas, and make a number of big plays downfield himself.
  28. Pick No.
    28
    ILB
    Boise St.
    After signing Morgan Burnett to bolster the safety position, the Steelers turn their attention to linebacker, and find an instinctive one in Vander Esch.
  29. Pick No.
    29
    TE
    South Dakota St.
    After the release of Marcedes Lewis, the Jaguars pick a new target for QB Blake Bortles to give him some "easier" completions. Goedert is smooth, runs good routes, and possesses strong hands.
  30. Pick No.
    30
    OT
    Notre Dame
    The Vikings' OL made a huge jump in 2017, and with the addition of prized free-agent QB Kirk Cousins, they cannot afford any slippage. If the Vikes decide to keep converted OT Mike Remmers at OG, McGlinchey could easily compete to start at right tackle.
  31. Pick No.
    31
    OT
    UCLA
    The loss of starting LT Nate Solder to the Giants clears room for this athletically gifted youngster.
  32. Pick No.
    32
    CB
    Iowa
    Just a one-year starter, but what a year it was! Jackson led the FBS with 8 interceptions, displaying excellent instincts and ball skills. He struggled a bit at the NFL Scouting Combine, but he has good size and length to make plays on the ball late in routes.
  33. 2018 NFL Mock Draft Central

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