Peter Schrager 2018 three-round NFL mock draft: Round 1

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Editor's note: Click through the tabs above to see each round of Peter Schrager's three-round mock draft.

With one day to go until teams are officially on the clock, here's my three-round mock of the 2018 NFL Draft.

PICK

1

Sam Darnold - QB, USC

John Dorsey, sitting in the catbird seat at No. 1, has no reason to keep this as quiet as he has. But trust me when I tell you, there's been more leaks from Area 51 than Browns headquarters in Berea this month. The way I see it, Darnold's the guy. He'll learn from Tyrod Taylor in Year One, he'll bring his obsession with football to Cleveland, and he'll eventually be the guy to lead this franchise back from oblivion.

PICK

2

Bradley Chubb - DE, N.C. State

Our first shocker of the NFL draft shouldn't be a shocker at all, if you know GM Dave Gettleman's draft history in both New York and Carolina. The defensive front seven is where Gettleman's made his bones. Chubb is a home run. Teams are telling me he's been blowing them away. Chubb broke Mario Williams' all-time sack and tackle for loss records at North Carolina State. He has the size, the character, and the upside. He's never been injured, and with Jason Pierre-Paul being shipped out for draft picks this off-season, this makes too much sense.

PICK

3

Baker Mayfield - QB, Oklahoma

Whether it was Mike Maccagnan spending the first day of free agency in Norman, Okla., back in March, or the glowing reports I got from the dinner the team's top brass had with him in Morristown, N.J., a few weeks ago -- there's been more than just smoke here. The Jets like Mayfield. A lot. And I see him -- Karate Kid headband and all -- being the first quarterback selected by Gang Green in the top 3 of the draft since Joe Namath in 1965.

PICK

4

Saquon Barkley - RB, Penn State

The Browns sit and hang tight, only to see the top player in the draft fall to them at No. 4. In an hour, the Browns get their franchise quarterback and running back. Here's to hoping it works out better than Trent Richardson and Brandon Weeden did a few years back.

PICK

5

Josh Allen - QB, Wyoming

PICK ACQUIRED IN PROJECTED TRADE WITH BRONCOS. The Bills trade picks 12, 22 and 65 for the fifth overall pick. They decide to make the big move when Allen slips out of the top four. Big-armed, built for the elements, and an alpha in the locker room -- Allen comes to Buffalo as the latest quarterback savior for long-suffering Bills fans.

PICK

6

Quenton Nelson - OG, Notre Dame

Many respected NFL personnel men have told me Nelson has Hall of Fame potential. Not one, not two, but many guys I trust around the league say this is the surest pick in the entire draft. Andrew Luck desperately needs more help up front. Nelson's a great fit.

PICK

7

Derwin James - S, Florida State

The Buccaneers would love Barkley, Chubb or Nelson to slip to them. James certainly is not a bad consolation prize. Though many see Tampa Bay trading back in this scenario, I don't. There's an expectation to win now in Tampa. That means taking a guy who can contribute right away. James is up to the task.

PICK

8

Denzel Ward - CB, Ohio State

Ward's the top corner in this draft -- that seems to be the consensus across the league. The Bears broke the bank open on offense in free agency; they get a Day One starter at corner with the eighth pick.

PICK

9

Mike McGlinchey - OT, Notre Dame

Seeing McGlinchey go this high might be a shocker to some, but the top tackle in the draft could go a lot sooner than he's being slotted in other mock drafts. Well-coached at Notre Dame and capable of playing either tackle spot, this could be the man protecting Jimmy Garoppolo's blind side for the next decade.

PICK

10

Josh Rosen - QB, UCLA

PICK ACQUIRED IN PROJECTED TRADE WITH RAIDERS. Arizona trades the 15th and 47th overall picks to move up five spots for their quarterback of the future. From Day One of this process, Rosen has been viewed as the purest passer of the bunch. If he's the fourth quarterback taken, he'll use that to fuel him for the rest of his career.

PICK

11

Minkah Fitzpatrick - S, Alabama

Adam Gase is a Nick Saban disciple. If one of Saban's favorite, most versatile players slips to 11, look for Gase to scoop him up. Miami's rumored to have interest in a few of the quarterbacks, too, but I have them hanging tight and going with Fitzpatrick.

PICK

12

Roquan Smith - LB, Georgia

PICK ACQUIRED IN PROJECTED TRADE WITH BILLS. The Broncos trade back seven spots and still land one of the most dynamic defensive players in the draft. Very often the best player on the field in games loaded with NFL talent, Smith heads to Denver where he joins Von Miller and Shane Ray in a strong front seven.

PICK

13

Vita Vea - DT, Washington

I love the idea of Jim Tomsula and Greg Manusky coaching up the 340-pound run-stuffing Vea. He's not Danny Shelton. He's viewed as a better and more polished big-boy prospect coming out of Washington. He can also sack the quarterback. An absolute handful to deal with inside.

PICK

14

Tremaine Edmunds - LB, Virginia Tech

Still only 19 years old, Edmunds is viewed as an athletic freak off the edge. A developing prospect, he's not as raw a player as you'd expect for someone his age. Pass rush is a Mike Pettine specialty, and Edmunds could have the highest upside of any defensive prospect in this draft. If he slips to 14, that's a steal.

PICK

15

Harold Landry - DE, Boston College

PICK ACQUIRED IN PROJECTED TRADE WITH CARDINALS. An ankle injury hampered Landry and he underwhelmed in 2017. But those 2015 and 2016 seasons were outstanding. Oakland trades back, collects an extra second-round pick, and still lands one of the draft's top pass rushers. That'd be a win for an Oakland defense that is desperate for talent at all three levels.

PICK

16

Lamar Jackson - QB, Louisville

This is Ozzie Newsome's last draft as the GM of the Ravens, and I can see him going out with a giant splash. Has there ever been a franchise that needed a spark more than Baltimore right now? Alex Smith seemed like the future of the franchise in Kansas City ... until the Chiefs drafted Patrick Mahomes. Could we see the same deal in Baltimore with Joe Flacco and Jackson?

PICK

17

Kolton Miller - OT, UCLA

The Chargers add some talent to their offensive line in the form of Miller, the 6-foot-7 beast who protected Josh Rosen's blind side at UCLA. He started 13 games at the left tackle spot last season, has had impressive workouts with teams, and can likely play left or right tackle at the next level.

PICK

18

Marcus Davenport - DE, UTSA

One of the best stories in the draft -- the long, athletic UTSA product goes 18th overall to Seattle. Cliff Avril is signed through 2018, but we don't know what the future holds for him, and Frank Clark needs a complement off the edge. Davenport's a bit of a project, but he has improved leaps and bounds over the past two seasons. He stole the show at Reese's Senior Bowl practices.

PICK

19

Taven Bryan - DT, Florida

Don't be shocked if the Cowboys take Bryan. All eyes will be on the wide receiver position here, but there's a feeling out of Dallas that the Cowboys are going defense with the 19th selection. The "Wyoming Wild Man" made the rare trip from Casper, Wyoming, to Gainesville, Florida, (no direct flights) because he wanted to play for Will Muschamp. When Muschamp was relieved of his duties, Bryan stayed and excelled at Florida. The Cowboys are getting a gamer.

PICK

20

Da'Ron Payne - DT, Alabama

In Matt Patricia's first draft with Bob Quinn, I expect Detroit to go with another defensive player in the first round. The Lions' offensive line was bruised and battered for most of last season, but when healthy, it can hold its own. So, Detroit goes defense here. Payne is an accomplished player who competed at the highest level in college, and he still has room to grow.

PICK

21

James Daniels - C, Iowa

A versatile offensive lineman who played under Kirk Ferentz, Daniels projects to be a starting center or offensive guard for many years in the NFL. Safe, solid selection for a Cincinnati team that needs to hit in the first round this year.

PICK

22

D.J. Moore - WR, Maryland

PICK ACQUIRED IN PROJECTED TRADE WITH BILLS. If the Broncos do indeed make the trade I'm projecting here with Buffalo, they'll get two stud players with the 12th and 22nd picks. Mike Mayock is not alone in his love for Moore, whom he has rated as his No. 1 WR. Most teams I speak to have him rated higher than Courtland Sutton and Calvin Ridley on their boards, as well. This is a great score for Denver, if he's there, as the long-term futures of Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas are not set in stone.

PICK

23

Rashaan Evans - LB, Alabama

It sure feels like the Patriots have a bigger move than this up their sleeve on Thursday, doesn't it? Let's say they keep the 23rd and 31st picks and hang tight. A linebacker out of Alabama -- especially someone as accomplished as Evans -- sure makes sense.

PICK

24

Will Hernandez - OG, UTEP

Mean, angry, tough. Hello, Ron Rivera. Hernandez won't be Andrew Norwell right away, but he certainly would lessen the blow of losing the talented offensive guard to Jacksonville in free agency.

PICK

25

Maurice Hurst - DT, Michigan

If teams believe Hurst's medical scare at the NFL Scouting Combine was only a scare and not something more serious, he's a first-round pick. You know what you're getting with Hurst, the 6-3, 270-pound defensive tackle: Nifty footwork and a run stuffer who can also make plays in the backfield. Would Mike Vrabel, who played and coached at Ohio State, use his first-round pick on a Michigan Man? Let's see.

PICK

26

Jaire Alexander - CB, Louisville

You can never have enough cornerbacks in this league. The Falcons go to Bobby Petrino's team (of all places) for their next defensive back. The Charlotte native has the height, speed, and, most importantly, attitude to work well in Marquand Manuel's defense.

PICK

27

Calvin Ridley - WR, Alabama

The 23-year-old precise route runner out of Alabama falls to 27, where the Saints gladly scoop him up. Another talented performer to add to an already loaded Saints offense. Drew Brees isn't getting any younger; the Saints get him another playmaker.

PICK

28

Josh Jackson - CB, Iowa

Pittsburgh gets a talented cornerback who saved his best efforts for the Hawkeyes' biggest games of last season. Three interceptions against Ohio State and a dominant performance against Wisconsin are on tape. He can play right away in Pittsburgh, and they might need him to.

PICK

29

Dallas Goedert - TE, South Dakota State

Goedert's the first tight end off the board in this mock draft, and I think Jacksonville is the perfect spot for him. A superb athlete, he's another weapon for Blake Bortles in the wake of losing Mercedes Lewis, Allen Robinson, and Allen Hurns this offseason.

PICK

30

Leighton Vander Esch - LB, Boise State

The Vikings add another piece to a defense that ranked No. 1 in the league last season. Vander Esch doesn't have a ton of tape beyond this past season, but it was an awfully impressive season in 2017. The Mountain West's Defensive Player of the Year dominated his conference, and in the nationally televised Las Vegas Bowl, he recorded 12 tackles, including 3 for a loss (one sack) and a forced fumble.

PICK

31

Frank Ragnow - C/OG, Arkansas

Again, I can see New England doing something special on Thursday night. If they keep the pick, Ragnow is a solid addition to an offensive line that could use some depth.

PICK

32

Isaiah Oliver - CB, Colorado

Maybe my favorite defensive back prospect in this draft, Oliver is a 6-foot-tall big body with an insane 80-inch wingspan. Philadelphia already cut Daryl Worley this offseason. Oliver is a guy who can contribute right away.

Follow Peter Schrager on Twitter @Pschrags

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