2018 NFL Mock Draft: Predictions for Nation's Top Prospects Ahead of Super Bowl

Ryan McCrystal@@ryan_mccrystalFeatured ColumnistJanuary 31, 2018

North Squad quarterback Josh Allen of Wyoming (17) during the North team's practice for Saturday's Senior Bowl college football game in Mobile, Ala.,Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018.(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

The NFL season officially wraps up on Sunday after the Philadelphia Eagles take on the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, but the rest of the 30 teams are already deep into their offseason process. 

The Cleveland Browns, owners of the No. 1 pick in this year's draft, are on the clock and likely already diving deep into their research of the top quarterbacks in this draft class. The team likely hasn't made a decision yet, but the choice should come down to USC's Sam Darnold, UCLA's Josh Rosen and Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield. 

Heading into Super Bowl Sunday, here's a look at the direction the Browns and other teams may go with their first-round selections in the 2018 NFL draft:


1. Cleveland Browns: Sam Darnold, QB, USC

2. New York Giants: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA

3. Indianapolis Colts: Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State

4. Cleveland Browns: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State

5. Denver Broncos: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma

6. New York Jets: Minkah Fitzpatrick, S, Alabama

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State

8. Chicago Bears: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia

9. San Francisco 49ers*: Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame

10. Oakland Raiders*: Arden Key, DE, LSU

11. Miami Dolphins: Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa

12. Cincinnati Bengals: Derwin James, S, Florida State

13. Washington Redskins: Da'Ron Payne, DT, Alabama

14. Green Bay Packers: Sam Hubbard, Edge, Ohio State

15. Arizona Cardinals: Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma

16. Baltimore Ravens: Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M

17. Los Angeles Chargers: Vita Vea, DT, Washington

18. Seattle Seahawks: Tarvarus McFadden, CB, Florida State

19. Dallas Cowboys: Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan

20. Detroit Lions: Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA

21. Buffalo Bills: Harold Landry, Edge, Boston College

22. Buffalo Bills: Billy Price, OG/C, Ohio State

23. Los Angeles Rams: Mike Hughes, CB, UCF

24. Carolina Panthers: Carlton Davis, CB, Auburn

25. Tennessee Titans: Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech

26. Atlanta Falcons: Isaiah Wynn, OG, Georgia

27. New Orleans Saints: Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

28. Pittsburgh Steelers: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame

29. Jacksonville Jaguars: Connor Williams, OT/OG, Texas

30. Minnesota Vikings: Martinas Rankin, OT, Mississippi State

31. New England Patriots: Sony Michel, RB, Georgia

32. Philadelphia Eagles: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama

*San Francisco and Oakland draft order will be determined by coin flip at NFL Combine in February.


14. Green Bay Packers: Sam Hubbard

Jay LaPrete/Associated Press

The Packers have to find a way to generate a more consistent pass rush, especially with Clay Matthews aging. Matthews, who turns 32 in May, led the team with 7.5 sacks in 2017. 

Ohio State's Sam Hubbard wouldn't necessarily be a replacement for Matthews—he doesn't have the linebacker's range on the field—but he would give the Packers some much-needed depth in the front seven and offer them another threat as a pass-rusher. 

Hubbard generated 17 sacks in his three-year career at Ohio State, and he should be able to make an immediate impact as a situational pass-rusher in Green Bay. 

It make take some time to develop Hubbard into a more well-rounded player, but with Matthews and Nick Perry still on the roster, the team would have some time to ease him into a bigger role. 


16. Baltimore Ravens: Christian Kirk

Danny Moloshok/Associated Press

The Ravens offense had a few explosive performances in 2017, but consistency was an issue for the unit. 

Joe Flacco remains a competent starting quarterback, but at this stage of his career, it's clear he'll never be the type who puts the team on his back and elevates the play of those around him. So for the Ravens to take the next step as a team, they need to continue to build up the talent around Flacco. 

It's been three years since the Ravens invested a first-round pick in wideout Breshad Perriman, but due to injuries and ineffectiveness, he's hauled in just 43 career receptions; it's beginning to look like he'll never pan out. 

It's probably time for Baltimore to consider dipping back into the draft for another young receiver such as Texas A&M's Christian Kirk. 

Due to his lack of size—he's listed at 5'11"—Kirk isn't a traditional No. 1 receiver, but his speed would make him a dangerous deep threat in the Ravens offense, especially when teamed with Flacco's big arm. 


27. New Orleans Saints: Josh Allen

Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen is one of the most polarizing prospects in this draft class due to his incredible arm strength contrasted with his alarming inaccuracy. 

Allen fans are quick to point a finger at his supporting cast as the reason for his underwhelming statistics, but as CFB Film Room pointed out, his receivers fared well in comparison to some of the other quarterback prospects in this class:

It's unrealistic to expect an erratic passer such as Allen to step onto an NFL field and immediately perform at a high level after struggling in the Mountain West. As a result, the 21-year-old might be better off falling to the late first round and landing with a team such as the Saints, who can groom him behind Drew Brees for a few years. 

The Saints have to begin thinking about life after the 39-year-old, and they also have to address the backup quarterback position this offseason with Chase Daniel due to hit the free-agent market. 

By landing Allen in the late first round, the Saints could solve both issues with a single selection. 


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