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Bucky Brooks mock draft 2.0: Steelers among 5 clubs to pick QB


With free agency underway -- and many of the top names already off the board -- we have a better idea of which positions and players teams could target next month in the college marketplace. Here's my second mock of the 2018 NFL Draft, which takes into account the flurry of activity that changed rosters across the league.



Sam Darnold - QB, USC

The presence of Tyrod Taylor allows the Browns to take a patient approach with their QB of the future.



Quenton Nelson - OG, Notre Dame

New GM Dave Gettleman has already doled out top dollar to shore up the left tackle spot (Nate Solder). He could take care of the interior by using a top pick on the best lineman in the draft.



Saquon Barkley - RB, Penn State

This pick is likely on the auction block, but in this scenario, the Colts decide to give Andrew Luck an explosive backfield mate with a versatile game. Peyton Manning benefited from having Edgerrin James by his side, and Luck could see his game improve with a dynamic RB commanding attention from opponents.



Denzel Ward - CB, Ohio State

The Browns could opt for a safety in this spot, but the team really needs to find a No. 1 CB who can lock up the premier pass catchers in the AFC North. Ward's athleticism and ball skills make him an ideal fit on the island.



Minkah Fitzpatrick - DB, Alabama

Despite needing a long-term solution at quarterback (yes, even after the signing of Case Keenum), the Broncos could fortify their secondary with a Swiss Army Knife-like defender in Fitzpatrick.



Josh Rosen - QB, UCLA

Few quarterbacks can handle Broadway's bright lights and big stage, but Rosen has been viewed as a franchise quarterback prospect since he dotted recruiting lists as a five-star player. The UCLA standout could sit for a year or step on the field as a surprise starter following a strong preseason in an offense that fits his game.



Bradley Chubb - DE, N.C. State

The Bucs have been searching for a dominant edge rusher since the Simeon Rice years. Chubb fills the void and gives Gerald McCoy a talented complement on the front line.



Tremaine Edmunds - LB, Virginia Tech

The ultra-athletic Edmunds would team with Leonard Floyd to give the Bears a devastating 1-2 punch off the edge.



Derwin James - S, Florida State

The 49ers could use another pack leader on the defensive side of the ball. James is a Kam Chancellor-like enforcer between the hashes.



Roquan Smith - LB, Georgia

The Raiders need more speed and playmaking ability on the second level of their defense. Smith is a sideline-to-sideline defender with outstanding instincts and awareness.



Vita Vea - DT, Washington

After cutting Ndamukong Suh, the Dolphins could target the big, athletic interior defender as a suitable replacement.



Josh Allen - QB, Wyoming

The Bills might have to climb into the top five to get their guy, but in this scenario, Allen falls to them outside of the top 10. The Wyoming standout flashes some Cam Newton-like playmaking skills as an athletic passer with A-plus arm talent. The Bills can use free-agent addition AJ McCarron as a bridge QB.



Mike Hughes - CB, UCF

The loss of Kendall Fuller and potential departure of free-agent Bashaud Breeland is forcing the Redskins to explore the rookie CB market. Hughes is a standout performer with a set of tools that could allow him to develop into a lockdown CB1 as a pro.



Marcus Davenport - EDGE, UTSA

Disruptive edge rushers with length, athleticism and sack production are always coveted at a premium. The Packers need to find another explosive sack artist to neutralize the quarterbacks in the NFC North.



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.



Orlando Brown - OT, Oklahoma

Despite a historically poor performance at the NFL Scouting Combine, Brown comes off the board as a first-round selection for his late father's former team as Ozzie Newsome values film study over workout numbers.



Mike McGlinchey - OT, Notre Dame

Rock-solid offensive tackle prospect provides more protection for Philip Rivers on the right side.



Isaiah Wynn - OG, Georgia

The Seahawks start their rebuilding efforts with an emphasis on improving a leaky offensive line. Wynn should be a 10-year starter as an interior blocker.



Christian Kirk - WR, Texas A&M

The Cowboys need more speed and explosiveness on the perimeter. Kirk is a polished playmaker adept at doing damage from the slot or out wide.



Maurice Hurst - DT, Michigan

The free-agent departure of Haloti Ngata leaves a crater in the middle of the Lions' defense. Hurst is a blue-collar three-technique with the motor and game to be a disruptive force on the interior. The Michigan DT was diagnosed with a heart condition at the NFL Combine, but I'm hoping that the issue will not lead to a fall down the draft board.



Will Hernandez - OG, UTEP

The Bengals are looking to become more of a power-running squad with Joe Mixon as the centerpiece. Hernandez is a furniture mover with the strength and explosiveness to maul defenders at the point of attack.



James Daniels - C, Iowa

The loss of Eric Wood makes it imperative for the Bills to find a pivot with a high IQ and a sound technical game. Daniels is an athletic center with the movement skills to expand Buffalo's playbook as a pull/trap specialist.



Kolton Miller - OT, UCLA

After impressing scouts with his spectacular performance at the NFL Scouting Combine, Miller will pique the interest of teams looking for a developmental OT prospect in the back half of Round 1. Miller could back up Andrew Whitworth for a year or so before sliding into the starting lineup as a franchise tackle.



Sam Hubbard - DE, Ohio State

The Ohio State product is an explosive pass rusher with an intriguing set of tools that could make him a perennial double-digit sack artist off the edge. With a year or so to learn some tips and tricks from Julius Peppers, Hubbard could be the Panthers' No. 1 rusher for the next decade.



Harold Landry - EDGE, Boston College

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



Da'Ron Payne - DT, Alabama

The rugged interior defender with outstanding strength and power fills a void in the middle of the Dirty Birds' defense. Payne is a rock-solid run defender with pass-rushing skills.



Baker Mayfield - QB, Oklahoma

With Drew Brees nearing the end of his illustrious career, the Saints could target Mayfield based on his similarities as a pocket passer with pinpoint accuracy.



Lamar Jackson - QB, Louisville

Despite Ben Roethlisberger's declaration that he wants to play a few more years, the Steelers need to find the quarterback of the future at some point. Jackson offers more upside than the team's current backup options ( Landry Jones and Joshua Dobbs) and could appear in Mike Tomlin's eyes as an updated version of Michael Vick.



Rashaan Evans - LB, Alabama

The retirement of Paul Posluszny could prompt the Jaguars to target an MLB early in the draft. Evans is a rugged defender with a nasty disposition that fits the team's defensive persona.



Taven Bryan - DT, Florida

Mike Zimmer loves stockpiling talented defenders on his front line. Bryan is an explosive interior defender with disruptive potential as three-technique.



Connor Williams - OT, Texas

The loss of Nate Solder leaves a huge hole on the Patriots' front line. Williams could get a turn at left tackle or start on the right side (with Marcus Cannon moving over to the blind side).



Jaire Alexander - CB, Louisville

The Eagles' secondary could use an energetic defensive playmaker capable of covering outside or in the slot. Alexander is a firecracker with toughness, ball skills and outstanding instincts.

Follow Bucky Brooks on Twitter @BuckyBrooks.



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