2018 NFL Mock Draft: 1st-Round Predictions for Top Prospects After Week 11

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistNovember 20, 2017

UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen scrambles against Washington in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

There are a lot of bad teams across the NFL this season, and as a result, many of them are already looking forward to the future and the 2018 draft.

Each team's needs are starting to become clearer as front offices evaluate the best college players at each position. Some might take a few years to reach their potential, but there is upside in each first-round prospect.

The upcoming college football games could be significant for some top players, but here is the latest look at the first round of the NFL draft. 


NFL Draft Predictions

1. Cleveland Browns: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA

2. San Francisco 49ers: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State

3. New York Giants: Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame

4. Denver Broncos: Connor Williams, OT, Texas

5. Indianapolis Colts: Bradley Chubb, DE, North Carolina State

6. Chicago Bears: Minkah Fitzpatrick, CB, Alabama

7. Los Angeles Chargers: Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson

8. Cincinnati Bengals: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame

9. Oakland Raiders: Rashaan Evans, ILB, Alabama

10. Arizona Cardinals: Sam Darnold, QB, USC

11. Cleveland Browns (from Texans): Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama

12. New York Jets: Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

13. Washington Redskins: Arden Key, OLB, LSU

14. Miami Dolphins: Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma

15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Derwin James, S, Florida State

16. Dallas Cowboys: Harold Landry, OLB, Boston College

17. Buffalo Bills: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville

18. Green Bay Packers: Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State

19. Atlanta Falcons: Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan

20. Detroit Lions: Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson

21. Baltimore Ravens: Bryce Love, RB, Stanford

22. Tennessee Titans: Roquan Smith, OLB, Georgia

23. Buffalo Bills (via Chiefs): Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, DE, Oklahoma

24. Seattle Seahawks: Derrius Guice, RB, LSU

25. Jacksonville Jaguars: Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU

26. Los Angeles Rams: Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado

27. Carolina Panthers: Chukwuma Okorafor, OT, Western Michigan

28. New England Patriots: Holton Hill, CB, Texas

29. Minnesota Vikings: Billy Price, OG, Ohio State

30. New Orleans Saints: Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama

31. Pittsburgh Steelers: Vita Vea, DT, Washington

32. Philadelphia Eagles: James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State


Top Prospects to Watch

Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA

There's rarely any agreement when it comes to evaluating quarterbacks prior to the NFL draft, but this year's class might feature as much debate as we have seen in recent years. Not only is there no agreement as to who is No. 1, there are more than half a dozen players who could be in consideration depending on who you ask.

Josh Rosen and Sam Darnold have plenty of arm talent but have struggled with consistency this season. Josh Allen looks the part but is difficult to evaluate playing for Wyoming. Baker Mayfield and Mason Rudolph have put up huge passing numbers but benefit from great systems, while Mayfield has question marks about his size and attitude. Lamar Jackson is the most electrifying player in the class, but his passing ability doesn't quite match his running.

This draft is going to get some general managers fired, either for taking a bust or passing on a star.

Everyone's boards will change dramatically before April, but Rosen could end up as the top option thanks to his size and pure arm talent that will show up in the predraft process. The best analysis might surprisingly come from an opposing coach.

"There's nothing he doesn't do well," Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez said of Rosen, per Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times. "I mean, he moves well, he's athletic, he can make all the throws, he's a tough guy, he can take some shots and stay in the pocket. I'm really impressed with him."

Even as UCLA loses games, you can't take away what Rosen can do on the field.

The Cleveland Browns have passed on quarterbacks for long enough, they need to find their face of the franchise this time around.


Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State

Chris Knight/Associated Press

Opposing teams have started to key on Saquon Barkley and his numbers had suffered, but he bounced back on Saturday to show what he can do at his best. The running back finished with 158 rushing yards and three touchdowns, plus 66 receiving yards in a win over Nebraska.

Bleacher Report's Matt Miller has had high praise for the Penn State star since September:

Matt Miller @nfldraftscout

Saquon Barkley is the closest thing to Marshall Faulk I've ever seen.

Barkley has the ability to beat defenders in a variety of ways, going around them, over them or through them. He is always a threat to turn any play into a touchdown, especially when he gets the ball in space. 

If he goes to the right situation, he could have as big an impact in his first year as Ezekiel Elliott had with the Cowboys where he immediately became one of the most dangerous running backs in the NFL.

The 49ers don't have as good a setup, but they do need offensive playmakers, especially if Carlos Hyde leaves in free agency. Assuming they lock down Jimmy Garoppolo, giving their future quarterback some help would be an ideal move.


Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame

Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

This is generally way too high for an offensive guard, which isn't a position valued as highly as tackle. Considering the type of impact an elite offensive line can have on an offense, however, there shouldn't be any hesitation on adding a near sure-thing like Quenton Nelson.

The Notre Dame star has shined alongside Mike McGlinchey as the duo helped transform the program back into a national title contender.

Even in the team's worst game of the year against Miami, Nelson still showed off his ability:

Duke Manyweather @BigDuke50

Quenton Nelson still out there engaging, straining and finishing. Putting folks in the dirt almost every play

Dylan DeSimone @DylanADeSimone

Just finished Quenton Nelson's snaps vs. U of Miami. One of his more impressive games, especially when you consider the athletes he faced and how he dominated his matchups for four quarters despite his team getting blown out.

The All-American has excellent size at 6'5", 330 pounds and knows how to use his strength to help on both run and pass plays. He should immediately enter a starting lineup and potentially stay there for the next decade.

The New York Giants have talent offensively when healthy, but the unit has been held up by poor play on the offensive line. Adding a bulldozer like Nelson should help clear things out and upgrade the entire team.


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