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Bucky Brooks Mock Draft 1.0: Broncos, Jags among 6 to pick QB

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MOBILE, Ala. -- A week of practices here at the Senior Bowl didn't make me re-evaluate much of what I saw on game tape from the top players in attendance, although it did confirm some of the beliefs I already had about players like Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield and Wyoming QB Josh Allen.

My first mock of the 2018 NFL Draft is primarily a reflection of the abundance of teams looking for answers at the quarterback position. I forecast six QBs to go in Round 1, which would be the most since 1983. That group is widely regarded as the best QB class of all time (John Elway, Jim Kelly, Dan Marino). Now, I believe some of this year's QBs are being overvalued, but it won't prevent them from being picked high because numerous teams are in desperate need of a franchise QB.

This mock is indicative of how I believe teams view these players, and it's not necessarily a reflection of my opinion of where the players should go.

I omitted Georgia LB Roquan Smith from this mock initially. He was added after the mock was first published.

NOTE: There's a tie for the ninth overall pick. A coin flip between the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders will determine which team picks first.

PICK

1

Sam Darnold - QB, USC

Despite the turnover woes that have led to questions about his readiness to play, Darnold could come off the board at No. 1 to serve a year-long apprenticeship to Alex Smith or another veteran quarterback who comes onboard.

PICK

2

Saquon Barkley - RB, Penn State

The most dynamic running back in the draft would alleviate a lot of the pressure on Eli Manning to carry the squad.

PICK

3

Bradley Chubb - DE, N.C. State

Rugged defender with a power-based game that overwhelms blockers on the edge.

PICK

4

Minkah Fitzpatrick - DB, Alabama

John Dorsey loves defensive backs with size, speed, athleticism and versatility. Fitzpatrick checks off all of the boxes.

PICK

5

Josh Rosen - QB, UCLA

The Broncos could elect to snag a veteran signal-caller, but the UCLA star could tickle John Elway's fancy as a polished pocket passer.

PICK

6

Baker Mayfield - QB, Oklahoma

The Heisman Trophy winner could be an enticing option for the Jets based on his alpha-dog mentality and ability to win big games.

PICK

7

Marcus Davenport - DE, UTSA

Disruptive edge rushers with length, athleticism and sack production are always coveted at a premium.

PICK

8

Denzel Ward - CB, Ohio State

Smooth cover corner with a polished game. Ward would upgrade the secondary as a premier CB1.

PICK

9

Tremaine Edmunds - LB, Virginia Tech

Versatile playmaker ideally suited to play the "Leo" role in the 49ers' defense.

PICK

9

Mike Hughes - CB, UCF

Explosive athlete with the speed and movement skills to blossom into a CB1.

PICK

11

Quenton Nelson - OG, Notre Dame

Adding a rugged road-grader will give the Dolphins' O-line a little more toughness and physicality at the point of attack.

PICK

12

Orlando Brown - OT, Oklahoma

The Bengals need a dominant presence on the edge to shore up a leaky O-line that underperformed in 2017.

PICK

13

Josh Allen - QB, Wyoming

Colt McCoy serves as the team's bridge quarterback until the young gunslinger is ready to assume the QB1 role.

PICK

14

Arden Key - OLB/DE, LSU

The enigmatic pass rusher hasn't played up to his potential, but his length, athleticism and natural skills could make him a worthwhile gamble on draft day.

PICK

15

Calvin Ridley - WR, Alabama

The silky smooth pass-catcher from 'Bama is an ideal No. 1 receiver in any offense. He could replace Larry Fitzgerald as the Cardinals' WR1 or spend a season soaking up knowledge from the legendary receiver as a WR2 before assuming the lead role in the passing game in 2019.

PICK

16

Connor Williams - OT, Texas

The Ravens need another bookend blocker to keep Joe Flacco upright in the pocket against an impressive collection of pass rushers in the AFC North.

PICK

17

Vita Vea - DT, Washington

Big, athletic run stopper to plug as a nose or 3-technique in Gus Bradley's defense.

PICK

18

Derwin James - S, Florida State

The 'Hawks find a Kam Chancellor clone to fill the void as the enforcer between the hashes.

PICK

19

Courtland Sutton - WR, SMU

The Cowboys need to make a decision on Dez Bryant's future this offseason. If the team parts ways with him, Sutton could step in as the team's new WR1.

PICK

20

Maurice Hurst - DT, Michigan

The potential loss of Haloti Ngata, who's due to become a free agent, could leave a crater in the middle of the Lions' defense. Hurst is a blue-collar 3-technique with the motor and game to be a disruptive force on the interior.

PICK

21

Mason Rudolph - QB, Oklahoma State

If Sean McDermott values prototypical traits and intangibles in his QB1, Rudolph could be the guy for the Bills. The Oklahoma State star is a natural leader with the tools to be a long-time starter in the league.

PICK

22

Josh Jackson - CB, Iowa

A defense can never have enough ball-hawking cornerbacks with the size to match up with the league's big receivers.

PICK

23

Jaire Alexander - CB, Louisville

Wade Phillips could use another corner with playmaking skills on the island.

PICK

24

Christian Kirk - WR, Texas A&M

Interim GM Marty Hurney could view Kirk as a Steve Smith-like playmaker with the potential to develop into a No. 1 receiver down the road.

PICK

25

Harold Landry - OLB/DE, Boston College

The Titans desperately need a sack artist on the edge. Despite Landry's disappointing final season with BC, he's a natural pass rusher with a knack for getting to the QB.

PICK

26

Billy Price - OG, Ohio State

Versatile interior blocker with a nasty demeanor and a rugged game.

PICK

27

Roquan Smith - LB, Georgia

Smith would give the Saints a dynamic playmaker in the middle of their defense.

PICK

28

Derrius Guice - RB, LSU

It might be time for the Steelers to move on from Le'Veon Bell. His contract demands could result in him receiving the franchise tag again this offseason. Guice gives the team a solid backup plan for his potential departure this year or next year.

PICK

29

Lamar Jackson - QB, Louisville

The most explosive playmaker in the draft is not a finished product as a passer, but he would add a dimension to the Jaguars' offense as a dual-threat athlete. With a spread offense aficionado (Nathaniel Hackett) at the controls, the Jaguars could craft an offense that would allow him to shine as a QB1 down the road.

PICK

30

Da'Ron Payne - DT, Alabama

The Vikings could follow the "BPA" (best player available) premise and add a rock-solid interior defender to the rotation.

PICK

31

Isaiah Oliver - CB, Colorado

The potential loss of Malcolm Butler, who's due to hit free agency this offseason, could lead the Patriots to take a cover corner early in the draft.

PICK

32

Rashaan Evans - LB, Alabama

Evans is a rugged ILB perfectly suited to play as a "plugger" behind a talented front line.

Follow Bucky Brooks on Twitter @BuckyBrooks.

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