Chad Reuter 2018 seven-round NFL mock draft: Round 1

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Editor's note: Click through the tabs above to see each round of Chad Reuter's seven-round mock draft.

Seven-round mock drafts are a labor of love. Building one is like putting together a 256-piece -- or 256-pick, in this case -- puzzle without knowing what the final picture will look like.

As always this time of year, keep in mind that there might be developments over the next several days leading up to the draft -- be it a trade or some other information about a prospect -- that changes the outlook for how things could play out. This is one example of how the dominoes could fall once picks start rolling in on Thursday night.

PICK

1

Josh Allen - QB, Wyoming

I projected Allen to Cleveland in my previous mock and was lambasted for it. Now, it appears others are coming around that this is a possibility.

PICK

2

Bradley Chubb - Edge, N.C. State

The question is, will the Giants pick a quarterback or select a pass rusher to replace Jason Pierre-Paul? New GM Dave Gettleman might try to bolster the defense to help Eli Manning get another ring before he retires.

PICK

3

Baker Mayfield - QB, Oklahoma

The Jets apparently have great interest in the feisty, talented Mayfield. It's hard to blame them.

PICK

4

Saquon Barkley - RB, Penn State

Yes, Cleveland signed Carlos Hyde this offseason, but Barkley's talent might be too great to pass up. Duke Johnson is due to become a free agent after the season and he might fetch them a middle-round pick if they make him available in a trade on draft weekend.

PICK

5

Sam Darnold - QB, USC

PICK ACQUIRED IN PROJECTED TRADE WITH BRONCOS. Buffalo gets a new quarterback in Darnold, who will try to show the Browns and Jets that they shouldn't have passed on him.

PICK

6

Josh Rosen - QB, UCLA

PICK ACQUIRED IN PROJECTED TRADE WITH COLTS. The Dolphins need to find their next franchise QB, and Rosen is the guy to eventually replace Ryan Tannehill. Adam Gase won't be afraid of Rosen's intelligence and will instead appreciate his ability to master an offense. The team might have to give up a couple first-rounders and their 2018 second-round pick to secure Rosen.

PICK

7

Derwin James - S, Florida State

James will play in the box as a run defender, and also has the agility to handle coverage duties, which makes him a favorite among general managers.

PICK

8

Quenton Nelson - OG, Notre Dame

New Bears offensive line coach Harry Hiestand would love to see his former pupil at South Bend available here. Hiestand previously served as ND's O-line coach.

PICK

9

Minkah Fitzpatrick - S, Alabama

I think the Niners will try to trade out of this spot, but if they stay put, Fitzpatrick can fill the shoes of Eric Reid, who remains a free agent.

PICK

10

Tremaine Edmunds - LB, Virginia Tech

Edmunds fits in the Raiders' defense because he can play off the ball and rush the passer.

PICK

11

Roquan Smith - LB, Georgia

PICK ACQUIRED IN PROJECTED TRADE WITH DOLPHINS. Smith would be a great fit for the Colts, who are transitioning to a 4-3 defense and need linebackers who can cover ground.

PICK

12

Denzel Ward - CB, Ohio State

PICK ACQUIRED IN PROJECTED TRADE WITH BILLS. The departure of Aqib Talib puts Denver in a position to pick a corner early in the draft. If they do indeed trade back, Ward should be a prime candidate for Denver.

PICK

13

Derrius Guice - RB, LSU

Last year, Christian McCaffrey made a late push to the top 10. Guice's toughness and speed could get him into the top 15 this year.

PICK

14

Vita Vea - DT, Washington

Green Bay takes the best player on the board in Vea, who can play anywhere on the defensive line.

PICK

15

Lamar Jackson - QB, Louisville

New Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks brings in his man at QB to learn behind Sam Bradford.

PICK

16

Leighton Vander Esch - LB, Boise State

GM Ozzie Newsome finds a linebacker who'll be a leader in the middle of the Ravens' defense for years to come.

PICK

17

Da'Ron Payne - DT, Alabama

The Chargers need an athletic tackle inside, and Payne meets that criteria.

PICK

18

D.J. Moore - WR, Maryland

PICK ACQUIRED IN PROJECTED TRADE WITH SEAHAWKS. For a price of their first- and third-round picks, the Panthers can move ahead of the Cowboys to pick their top receiver. I believe Moore is the top receiver in the class.

PICK

19

Calvin Ridley - WR, Alabama

Ridley's quickness and ability to make plays in the air could help him become Dak Prescott's new No. 1 target.

PICK

20

Harold Landry - Edge, Boston College

Now that Ziggy Ansah has signed his franchise tender, the Lions could add Landry across the way and make them a nice one-two punch.

PICK

21

Frank Ragnow - C, Arkansas

Ragnow has athleticism and power that the Bengals desperately need up front.

PICK

22

Marcus Davenport - Edge, UTSA

PICK ACQUIRED IN PROJECTED TRADE WITH BILLS. Davenport has the potential to be a star playing opposite Von Miller.

PICK

23

Kolton Miller - OT, UCLA

The Patriots get their man in Miller, who steps in for the departed Nate Solder at left tackle.

PICK

24

Jaire Alexander - CB, Louisville

PICK ACQUIRED IN PROJECTED TRADE WITH PANTHERS. Alexander is an excellent value at this point in the first round, as he's tough and fast. Only his average height makes him available here.

PICK

25

Rashaan Evans - LB, Alabama

Plugging the hole left by Avery Williamson in the middle of the defense should be among the Titans' highest priorities.

PICK

26

Taven Bryan - DT, Florida

Bryan is not the same sort of tackle that Dontari Poe was for the Falcons, but his active nature should complement the powerful Grady Jarrett.

PICK

27

Dallas Goedert - TE, South Dakota State

Drew Brees is going to love throwing to Goedert, who's an athlete in the Jimmy Graham mold.

PICK

28

Jessie Bates - S, Wake Forest

Bates is athletic enough to be used in multiple spots in the Steelers' secondary.

PICK

29

Connor Williams - OT, Texas

PICK ACQUIRED IN PROJECTED TRADE WITH JAGUARS. GM John Dorsey moves back into the first round for a starting left tackle in Williams, giving up the 35th and 114th picks to do so.

PICK

30

Mike McGlinchey - OT, Notre Dame

Bringing in competition at both offensive tackle spots would be a good thing for a team that needs to protect its new quarterback, Kirk Cousins.

PICK

31

Courtland Sutton - WR, SMU

PICK ACQUIRED IN PROJECTED TRADE WITH PATRIOTS. Indianapolis desperately needs weapons on offense. Sutton has the size and footwork to become a playmaker in the NFL.

PICK

32

Mike Hughes - CB, UCF

The release of Daryl Worley leaves a corner position open, and Hughes fits the slot role quite nicely.

Follow Chad Reuter on Twitter @chad_reuter.

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