2018 NFL Mock Draft: Latest Predictions for 1st-Round Prospects

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistApril 3, 2018

University of Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen (17) prepares for the passing drills during NFL Pro Day March 23, 2018 in Laramie, Wyo. (AP Photo/Margaret Bowles)
Margaret Bowles/Associated Press

The 2018 NFL draft hasn't hit a fever pitch yet. 

But it's close—the New York Jets didn't wait around when executing the trade with the Indianapolis Colts to move up to No. 3, a trade that typically would have gone down during the draft itself. Fear of being jumped or something else encouraged the move and is a sign this process could be wilder than in year's past. 

It's not hard to see why, either. The 2018 class has four or five potential first-round quarterbacks, and for what feels like the first time in a long time, the offensive tackle class looks great as well. 

Call it a one-two punch teams aren't going to wait around on because it presents a chance at a franchise cornerstone at a premium spot. With such a theme in mind, let's take a look at a new mock draft examining some interesting scenarios. 


2018 NFL Mock Draft

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1. Cleveland Browns: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma

2. New York Giants: Sam Darnold, QB, USC

3. New York Jets: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA

4. Cleveland Browns (via Houston Texans): Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State

5. Denver Broncos: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville

6. Indianapolis Colts: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State

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

8. Chicago Bears: Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame

9. San Francisco 49ers: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia

10. Oakland Raiders: Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU

11. Miami Dolphins: Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama

12. Buffalo BillsJosh Allen, QB, Wyoming

13. Washington Redskins: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama

14. Green Bay Packers: Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State

15. Arizona Cardinals: Vita Vea, DT, Washington

16. Baltimore Ravens: Harold Landry, DE/OLB, Boston College

17. Los Angeles Chargers: Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech

18. Seattle Seahawks: Isaiah Wynn, OT, Georgia

19. Dallas Cowboys: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame

20. Detroit Lions: Derrius Guice, RB, LSU

21. Cincinnati Bengals: Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State 

22. Buffalo Bills (via Kansas City Chiefs): Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State

23. Los Angeles Rams: Billy Price, C/G, Ohio State

24. Carolina Panthers: Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA

25. Tennessee Titans: Da'Ron Payne, DT, Alabama

26. Atlanta Falcons: Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan

27. New Orleans Saints: Will Hernandez, OG, UTEP

28. Pittsburgh Steelers: Marcus Davenport, DE/OLB, UTSA

29. Jacksonville Jaguars: Joshua Jackson, CB, Iowa

30. Minnesota Vikings: Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado

31. New England Patriots: James Daniels, OL, Iowa

32. Philadelphia Eagles: Mark Andrews, TE, Oklahoma 


3. New York Jets: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA

Gregory Payan/Associated Press

The Jets would be foolish to trade up for anything but a quarterback at this point.  

While the Josh McCown breakout was fun last year, he's 39 years old and the perfect candidate to act as a bridge for a young prospect like Josh Rosen out of UCLA. 

Rosen, 6'4" and 226 pounds, is one of the premier quarterbacks in the class but takes a slight dip here. He doesn't have the play-extending athleticism of a Baker Mayfield, but he does have the ability to diagnose a defense and is downright elite on the mechanics side. 

He's getting some great learning opportunities ahead of the draft as well: 

Maybe Rosen doesn't have the best potential upside of any passer in the draft, but he's one a franchise should bank its future on. 

Much of a rookie succeeding under center comes down to fit anyway. If the Jets keep building up the offense around the position while McCown soaks up a year or two of punishment, he could end up in one of the better situations anyway. 

Granted, Rosen might be ready to start as a rookie and could make for an interesting competition. Either way, he's one of the best-case scenarios for the Jets after their dramatic move. 


12. Buffalo Bills: Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

Margaret Bowles/Associated Press

Maybe the Buffalo Bills trade up and find a way to get into the quarterback conversation earlier. 

But they certainly can't complain about plucking Josh Allen out of a free fall.  

The Bills already jumped to this spot by shipping left tackle Cordy Glenn to the Cincinnati Bengals. It nets them Allen, a 6'5", 233-pound passer who checks in as one of the most polarizing players in the class. 

Polarizing, because while he looks like a future franchise passer with a booming arm, he also didn't complete better than 56.3 percent of his passes in either of his two seasons as a starter at Wyoming. Some will argue this matters, and some won't, but either way, it looks like he could have a tougher transition than some of the other names in the class. 

Kyle Kelly of The Browns Wire helped explain the risk-reward dilemma with Allen: 

The hesitation pushes Allen down the board to the Bills in the scenario above, which they won't complain about. At worst, Allen is a project and one worth taking on—and the team still has another pick to use in the first round. 

Buffalo has clearly been on a mission for a quarterback all offseason after dumping Tyrod Taylor. Whether Allen can be the guy is going to make for one of the most interesting things to watch from this class, but he has the arm strength to fire the passes necessary in the choppy Buffalo elements. 


18. Seattle Seahawks: Isaiah Wynn, OT, Georgia

Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

Isaiah Wynn is a good example of how great this class is along the offensive line. In most classes, he'd likely be the first prospect along the positional group off the board. 

Not this year. Quenton Nelson is a generational prospect. Mike McGlinchey is solid on the edge, and Will Hernandez is an elite interior prospect. 

Wynn is at least more interesting than most. 

Checking in at 6'3" and 313 pounds, the Georgia product has experience on the outside, the athleticism to pull off any scheme at guard and perhaps enough to play center if a team asked. 

For some, this athleticism and versatility is enough to label him as a top-10 prospect. That's what Rotoworld's Josh Norris did while writing the following: "Played left tackle in 2017 after previously playing left guard. Really is an ideal offensive lineman: Athletic, strong, footwork and an ability to recover and still win."

Maybe a team views Wynn as too short to play on the edge, which is a somewhat-valid criticism. But the Seattle Seahawks can't complain regardless of where Wynn eventually lines up. A year ago, Russell Wilson took 43 sacks and needed to end up leading the team in rushing with 95 attempts, a battering his body won't be able to take consistently. 

Wynn, in tandem with guys like Duane Brown, helps continue one of the league's most dramatic overhauls in the offensive trenches.