2018 NFL Mock Draft 3.0: New League Year Edition

Players and picks are on the move, and as team needs continue to evolve in the new league year with signings, trades, and releases, I am pleased to present my 2018 NFL Mock Draft 3.0. These first-round projections are based on the current draft order and my impression of team needs as of April 3, and do not reflect any potential trade scenarios.

1 | Cleveland Browns — Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
Reports suggest the Browns are still considering their quarterback options with the first overall pick. This round goes to Allen.

2 | New York Giants — Sam Darnold, QB, USC
If the Browns take Allen first, expect Darnold to go immediately thereafter, possibly to the Giants, but more likely to a team paying a heavy price to trade up.

3 | New York Jets — Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
The Jets could potentially be in the position to take the second quarterback off the board, but more likely they’ll need to be content with the third—in this case, Mayfield.

4 | Cleveland Browns — Bradley Chubb, DE, North Carolina State
Back on the clock, the Browns have their choice of positional players and elect to bookend last year’s top pass rusher Myles Garrett with this year’s in Chubb.

5 | Denver Broncos — Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
The Broncos opt to surround new starting quarterback Case Keenum with weapons, bringing in the best ball carrier in the draft for instant offense.

6 | Indianapolis Colts — Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
A surprise move, but the Colts are talent-deficient at multiple positions and have a sneaky need at linebacker.

7 | Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Derwin James, S, Florida State
The Buccaneers fortified their defensive front with veterans, now they need a young lion to roam in the secondary.

8 | Chicago Bears — Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame
The Bears can afford to upgrade their offensive line, and there’s no better value to be had than the draft’s best blocker and top overall prospect.

9 | San Francisco 49ers — Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama
With a veteran mentor in Richard Sherman and a versatile talent like Fitzpatrick to build around, the 49ers secondary would appear to be in excellent hands.

10 | Oakland Raiders — Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
If Ward happens to still be available, the Raiders might have to entertain investing another high pick into a secondary that’s filled with them.

11 | Miami Dolphins — Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
In Edmunds, the Dolphins might finally have the solution for their seemingly perpetual need at linebacker.

12 | Buffalo Bills — Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
The Bills are the team most likely to trade up for a quarterback, but in this scenario, they sit tight and still happen to land Rosen.

13 | Washington Redskins — Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
Known for a pass-first approach, the Redskins take a page from their NFC East rivals who have found more success by running the football.

14 | Green Bay Packers — Marcus Davenport, RSH, UTSA
With their sack production trending down, the Packers grab the edge rusher who checks all the boxes for physical tools and upside.

15 | Arizona Cardinals — Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
The ageless Larry Fitzgerald continues to produce at a high level for the Cardinals, but a sidekick and eventual successor is needed.

16 | Baltimore Ravens — D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland
After landing Michael Crabtree and John Brown in free agency, the Ravens add an explosive playmaker in Moore to complete their receiver corps rebuild.

17 | Los Angeles Chargers — Vita Vea, DT, Washington
The Chargers have a fierce outside rush, but they could use some help inside to help stop the run and push the pocket.

18 | Seattle Seahawks — Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado
The Seahawks will need to replace a number of familiar names on defense. Oliver fits the profile of what they look for in the secondary.

19 | Dallas Cowboys — Taven Bryan, DT, Florida
The Cowboys, specifically defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli, put Bryan to the test during Florida’s Pro Day, and might see him as an ideal fit at the three-technique.

20 | Detroit Lions — James Daniels, C, Iowa
Currently short a starting center, the Lions could look at adding a plug-and-play pivot like Daniels in lieu of shuffling blockers around.

21 | Cincinnati Bengals — Isaiah Wynn, OG, Georgia
The Bengals traded for Cordy Glenn, but drafting a dominant blocker like Wynn to insert at guard, or potentially tackle, isn’t out of the question.

22 | Buffalo Bills — Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State
If the Bills don’t package this pick in a trade up, the ascending Vander Esch could be in play to fill the void at linebacker.

23 | New England Patriots — Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
The Patriots just acquired this pick from the Rams, and with a need at offensive tackle, take the first anchor off the board.

24 | Carolina Panthers — Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa
The Panthers have made modest secondary investments in free agency, but Jackson would give them a true ballhawk on the boundary.

25 | Tennessee Titans — Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama
With former starter Avery Williamson signing with the Jets, Evans fills the immediate opening the Titans have at inside linebacker.

26 | Atlanta Falcons — Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama
The Falcons defensive front took a hit when Dontari Poe defected to division rival Carolina, so Payne makes sense as the next man up.

27 | New Orleans Saints — Harold Landry, RSH, Boston College
The Saints are in the market for another pass rusher and Landry has the speed and athleticism to get to the quarterback with frequency.

28 | Pittsburgh Steelers — Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville
Alexander would primarily be a value selection for the Steelers, but would serve to elevate their overall talent level at the cornerback position.

29 | Jacksonville Jaguars — Will Hernandez, OG, UTEP
The Jaguars signed top free-agent guard Andrew Norwell, but an upgrade for the opposite side should still be a consideration.

30 | Minnesota Vikings — Mike Hughes, CB, UCF
With a number of contracts coming up for their league-leading defense, the Vikings might need to start putting new pieces in place.

31 | New England Patriots — Sam Hubbard, RSH, Ohio State
Hubbard might not project to have the ceiling of other edge defenders, but he’s a pro-ready prospect and the type of scheme-versatile player the Patriots tend to favor.

32 | Philadelphia Eagles — Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State
The Eagles parted with a pair of tight ends this offseason and they could deploy the athletic Gesicki in a variety of ways.

Jason Pruett