2018 NFL Mock Draft 1.0: And we start anew
2018 NFL Draft 1.0
The 2017 NFL Draft is in the books, so it's on to 2018. Ben Standig already has a way too early mock draft for the next year's class. Who gets USC's Sam Darnold? Will another running back go early?
1. New York Jets: Sam Darnold, QB, USC
If any team has that tanking look, it's the Jets. No offense, Josh McCown. If the result means the No. 1 pick and a shot at the next so-called franchise quarterback, worth it.
2. Washington Redskins (via Los Angeles Rams): Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
Kirk Cousins never signs a long-term deal with the Redskins so he signs with the 49ers in free agency. That leaves Washington without a starting QB. So, they ship a bunch of picks to the Rams for the No. 2 overall pick.
It's 2012 all over again.
3. San Francisco 49ers: Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M
If the 49ers land Kirk Cousins or any viable quarterback, they'll need a dynamic receiving threat.
Kirk had 83 receptions and nine touchdowns during his sophomore year.
4. Buffalo Bills: Arden Key, DE, LSU
There's always that one pass rusher somewhere in the top five.
In 2018, that someone is Key, who had 12 sacks last season despite missing two games.
5. Cleveland Browns: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
Following Ezekiel Elliott and Leonard Fournette, the trend of at one team selecting an RB in the top five continues. The Browns could use a true lead back.
6. Chicago Bears: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
The Bears went for their franchise QB in 2017, though Mitch Trubisky might not play much as a rookie. That probably changes in 2018 so better get him a blindside protector.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
Blake Bortles, it's been real. Allen and Rosen will battle for the No. 2 quarterback selected throughout the next college season.
8. Baltimore Ravens: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
At some point the Ravens must land their next go-to receiver.
General manager Ozzie Newsome loves Alabama players. Sold.
9. Miami Dolphins: Derwin James, S, Florida State
Nate Allen is among Miami's free agents in 2018. James might turn into a game-changer.
10. Detroit Lions: Bo Scarbrough, RB, Alabama
The Lions didn't address their running game in the 2017 Draft, which means they'll enter the season lacking much oomph in the backfield. That won't be an issue after selecting the power-packed Scarbrough.
11. Philadelphia Eagles: Mitch Hyatt, OT, Clemson
Left tackle Jeremy Peters is already 35 and the Eagles cannot afford to mess up the investment made in quarterback Carson Wentz.
12. Los Angeles Chargers: Christian Wilkins, DL, Clemson
The Chargers went after and landed offensive lineman early in the 2017 draft with a pair of guards. Now it's time to land an interior force for the defense.
13. Minnesota Vikings: Tyquan Lewis, DE, Ohio State
The 266-pound Lewis recorded eight sacks and forced two fumbles last season. He could land closer to the top five with another disruptive season.
14. Tennessee Titans: Sam Hubbard, DE, Ohio State
Hubbard enters his senior season with a chance to build on an impressive career with the Buckeyes. Good shot at eight-plus sacks.
15. New Orleans Saints: Cameron Smith, OLB, USC
Many though they Saints would select linebacker Haason Reddick in the first round before realizing cornerback Marshon Lattimore would slip.
The linebacker help comes in the form of the hard-tackling Smith.
16. Indianapolis Colts: Connor Williams, OT, Texas
The Colts went defense, defense, defense with their first three picks in 2017. Building up the offensive line or adding a running back for the future should be the 2018 mantra.
17. Carolina Panthers: Tarvarus McFadden, CB, Florida State
Replacing Josh Norman remains something the Panthers must do. We'll see if the want to replace wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin after next season.
18. Cincinnati Bengals: Martinas Rankin, OT, Mississippi State
The Bengals lost a chunk of their offensive line in free agency. If you want John Ross to use that 4.22 40-time deep, Andy Dalton needs time in the pocket.
19. Arizona Cardinals: Jarrett Stidham, QB, Auburn
Carson Palmer might not last the season and yet the Cardinals didn't address their long-term QB situation.
Stidham or Washington State's Luke Falk could push their way into the first round.
20. Los Angeles Rams (via Washington Redskins): James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State
The Rams need receiver help. This is said every year. Always true.
Washington averaged 19.4 yards on 71 receptions last season.
21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
The Bucaneers might turn into on the league's most potent offense this season after adding DeSean Jackson and O.J. Howard, but their running game remains dicey.
22. Cleveland Browns (via Houston Texans): Martez Ivey, OT, Florida
Who knows. The Browns still need more. Pro Bowl tackle Joe Thomas becomes a free agent after the 2018 season. Cool?
23. Atlanta Falcons: Minkah Fitzpatrick, CB, Alabama
The NFC South might be the most offensively potent division in football. Get as many pass defenders as possible.
24. Buffalo Bills (via Kansas City Chiefs): Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
So, the Bills were flirting with a quarterback in the 2017 draft. Perhaps the reigning Heisman winner has Buffalo or another team thinking they should call Mr. Jackson's name on Day 1.
25. Dallas Cowboys: Harold Landry, OLB, Boston College
The Randy Gregory experiment is basically all over. Even tough the Cowboys went with Taco Charlton in the first round, they could still use more edge presence.
26. Denver Broncos: Kendall Joseph, ILB, Clemson
Inside linebacker remains a need area and more depth will be needed regardless with starter Todd Davis entering free agency,
27. Seattle Seahawks: Adonis Alexander, CB, Virginia Tech
After all the Richard Sherman trade-talk talk, the Seahawks need to prep for a day when the talkative corner isn't around anymore.
28. Oakland Raiders: Da"ron Payne, DL, Alabama
The middle of the Raiders' defensive line remains an issue.
29. New York Giants: Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia
Rushed for 1,100 yards last season after a serious injury wiped out most of his 2015 campaign. If he takes it back to his pre-injury levels, look out.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers: Troy Fumagalli, TE, Wisconsin
Fumagalli might be considered a first-round talent now or next year, but he enters 2017 as arguably the top tight end.
31. Green Bay Packers: Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
Davante Adams enters unrestricted free agency in 2018. Might be more cost-effective to replace in the draft.
32. New England Patriots: Byron Cowart, DE, Auburn
When in doubt, assume Bill Belichick will go for a pass rush. Granted, assuming you know what the Hoodie will ever do is the first mistake.