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NFL Mock Draft 2018: Edition 1 (Early Edition)

Bradley Chubb, NC State
The 2018 NFL Draft still remains many months away but that doesn't mean the long process hasn't begun. Every NFL team in the league has taken long looks at prospects across college football, and many teams are already waiting for their time on the clock. Expect plenty to change between now and the spring, but as things stand in early January, here is just how the 2018 NFL Draft may shape up.

1. Cleveland Browns
Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
Cleveland has invested picks in quarterbacks the past two Drafts, and yet they continue to lack any identifiable franchise signal-caller. They need help everywhere, but it is likely new general manager John Dorsey will want his own guy to groom as he takes the reigns of the franchise. He could go any number of directions (Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Lamar Jackson) but my bet is on UCLA's Josh Rosen. Rosen is the most NFL ready of any QB in this year's Draft Class, and he has the poise and confidence to have success from the get-go.
2. New York Giants
Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
After one of the most disappointing seasons in franchise history, the Giants have cleaned house and could very well be looking for a new quarterback with Eli Manning now 36. However, they may choose to wait a year or two to select Manning's replacement, or see what last year's draftee Davis Webb can do. With that in mind, New York should add the best offensive talent in the Draft in Barkley, who will add some serious bite to the offense and take pressure off Manning and his career comes to its conclusion.
3. Indianapolis Colts
Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State
Once a strength in Indianapolis, the Colts' pass rush has been exceptionally poor as of late. They have a number of pass rushers to choose from here at the third spot, but Bradley Chubb seems like the most likely move. Chubb stayed one more season at NC State and it definitely paid off, as the 6'4", 275-pound end had 23 tackles for loss and ten sacks in 2017 and proved he could lead a great defense.
4. Cleveland Browns (from Texans)
Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma
Already adding his franchise signal-caller with Rosen at No. 1, Dorsey adds his franchise left tackle a few picks later in Orlando Brown. Brown protected Baker Mayfield's blindside the past couple seasons and asserted himself as one of the most consistent linemen in the nation. He would be the ideal piece to be the leader of the offensive line as Joe Thomas' career comes to a close.
5. Denver Broncos
Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
Denver GM John Elway wants to upgrade his quarterback position, but that isn't the only concern offensively. While they still put together solid seasons, Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders are aging, and there is little depth beyond them. Adding an athletic, dynamic receiver like Courtland Sutton would immediately upgrade the offense no matter who is behind center.
6. New York Jets
Sam Darnold, QB, USC
38-year-old Josh McCown did an admirable job with little help this past season for the Jets, but there is no doubt New York needs to develop somebody new at the position. Sam Darnold will battle Rosen for top QB honors in this class. Darnold doesn't have Rosen's mobility, but he has a great arm and has prototypical NFL size. He would give the Jets the franchise QB they have lacked for some time now.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Harold Landry, DE, Boston College
Tampa Bay's pass rush has lacked much bite the past couple seasons, and talented young end Noah Spence can't seem to stay healthy. Adding some help on the D-Line seems necessary, and Landry would be one of the best available routes here. A veteran end with impressive size and a high motor, Landry seems like a great fit on the Bucs.
8. Chicago Bears
Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
Even though he did have some serious ups and downs, Chicago will still move forward with Mitchell Trubisky as their franchise quarterback. If they want Trubisky to succeed, upgrading his weapons should be a top priority. There isn't much young talent beyond Kevin White, who has had serious health problems. Calvin Ridley has been the top receiver at 'Bama since the day he stepped on campus, and adds a deep threat to take the pressure off the Bears' ground attack.
9. San Francisco 49ers
Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama
Since Jimmy Garoppolo was given the reigns of the offense, San Francisco has been flaming hot and the organization appears to be on an upswing. However, they still have major holes on defense, particularly a mediocre pass defense. Minkah Fitzpatrick won the Jim Thorpe Award for the nation's best defensive back after a huge junior season, and his versatility will immediately help out the unit.
10. Oakland Raiders
Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
Oakland already has a game-changing star at linebacker in Khalil Mack, but he can't do it all; this defense is still among the worst in the NFL. Roquan Smith was dominant this past season while at Georgia, finishing tenth in Heisman voting and helping lead them to a Rose Bowl win this past week. Pairing him and Mack will go along way in getting the Raiders back into Super Bowl contention.
11. Miami Dolphins
Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
The return of Ryan Tannehill from injury will likely end the Jay Cutler experiment in Miami, but is Tannehill much of an improvement? The veteran QB has never posted elite numbers, and Miami has been consistently average under his leadership. It may be time to look to another solution at QB, which is where Lamar Jackson will come in. Jackson will need time to adjust to the NFL, but his playmaking ability and big arm should translate just fine to the next level.
12. Cincinnati Bengals
Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
While their offense wasn't great in 2017, Cincinnati still has some exceptional talent at the skill positions. However, that talent wasn't able to shine due to a troublesome O-Line and poor QB play. McGlinchey, an intelligent, experienced offensive tackle should greatly improve the line play, and give this offense the opportunity to get into a rhythm.
13. Washington Redskins
Derwin James, S, Florida State
A torn MCL in 2016 and a disappointing 2017 hurt Derwin James' draft stock, but the athletic safety should still be a first-round lock. The former Seminole has elite closing speed and fabulous hands that have drawn him comparisons to greats like Ed Reed and Deion Sanders. He would bolster a weak Washington secondary from Day One.
14. Green Bay Packers
Arden Key, DE/LB, LSU
Green Bay's defense struggled all season and while there were a number of reasons why, perhaps paramount was a struggling pass rush. Adding a long term pass rusher early on in the Draft is a must for the Packers, and Key so happens to fall into their laps here. The LSU product is an absolute sack specialist off the edge, but is still growing other parts of his game.
15. Arizona Cardinals
Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
Carson Palmer officially announced his retirement from the NFL this past week, ushering in a new era in Cardinals football. It is time for Arizona to undertake the task of grooming a new signal-caller to replace Palmer. If they can't land one of the LA quarterbacks early on, Josh Allen makes a lot of sense here. Allen was inconsistent and turnover-prone in college, but scouts love his huge arm and vast potential.
16. Baltimore Ravens
James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State
Baltimore's offense has been extremely mediocre over the past couple seasons, and a lot of it can be blamed on the lack of elite weapons in the passing game. The Ravens should land their long-term No. 1 here at 16 by adding Washington, out of Oklahoma State. Washington has home run potential every play, and was incredibly reliable throughout his collegiate career.
17. Los Angeles Chargers
Connor Williams, OT, Texas
As Phillip Rivers career reaches the close, the Chargers must continue to focus on protecting him. The offensive line performed okay this past season, but is aging throughout, and struggles against the run, both things that could be solved by adding Williams. The Texas product was superb in 2017, and could push the inconsistent Russell Okung out of a tackle slot.
18. Seattle Seahawks
Austin Bryant, DE, Clemson
Coming into the season with very little fanfare, Austin Bryant had a breakout 2017, pairing with Clelin Ferrell to form one of the country's best defensive end duos. Bryant is an expert at creating havoc up front, something that has been missing from Seattle's D-Line all season. With Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril's future unclear, the Seahawks look towards the future here.
19. Dallas Cowboys
Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa
Dallas has lacked a clear No. 1 cornerback for some time now, and it has led to their defense being incredibly inconsistent. They can solve that issue by adding cornerback Josh Jackson, who had a huge season for Iowa. The athletic corner had eight interceptions on the season, and could be the Cowboys answer to Odell Beckham and the other elite receivers in the NFC East.
20. Detroit Lions
Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
While Matthew Stafford continues to play great, the Lions rushing attack continues to be a serious problem. The unit finished dead last in the NFL in yards this season, and has been in the bottom five four out of the last five years. They need to address this issue early, and adding Derrius Guice would certainly do that. Guice is a powerful runner who should have no trouble adjusting to the physicality of the NFL.
21. Tennessee Titans
Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson
Tennessee's pass rush was very good in 2017, finishing fifth in the NFL in total sacks. However, the D-Line is aging throughout, and adding a youthful pass rusher would be the right move here. Clelin Ferrell had a breakout performance in the 2016 CFB Playoff, and has cemented his stock with a great 2017. He would be a huge addition to the unit.
22. Buffalo Bills
Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
The Bills' frustration with their quarterback situation was evident earlier this season when they benched starter Tyrod Taylor for rookie Nathan Peterman, who would come in and throw five interceptions. Somehow, Buffalo was able to get to the Playoffs with their QB woes, but it is time to move on from Taylor. If Mayfield does manage to drop all the way to 22 here, he would be the right move for the Bills. Despite his small stature and off-the-field question marks, Mayfield's swagger and confidence should lend him well at the next level.
23. Atlanta Falcons
Vita Vea, DT, Washington
With solid interior linemen Dontari Poe set to hit free agency, Atlanta will be in the market for an impactful tackle here to pair with Grady Jarrett. This class has a number of productive interior linemen that could be options here, but Vea makes probably the most sense. The massive defensive tackle is an absolute monster in run support, and has impressive potential.
24. Buffalo Bills (from Chiefs)
Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan
Buffalo gave up 22 touchdowns on the ground this past season, and vastly need to upgrade the rush defense. It all starts up front, where they lacked much production from an aging and thin D-Line. Adding Maurice Hurst seems like the most likely scenario here. Hurst was the leader of Michigan's top-notch defensive line this past season, and is an absolute machine in rush defense.
25. New Orleans Saints
Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
Offensively, New Orleans has been as great as ever under the Drew Brees/Sean Payton pairing. On the other side of the ball, the Saints have certainly made strides, but they still major help, particularly at linebacker. Tremaine Edmunds proved to be incredibly reliable throughout his time at Virginia Tech, and the rangy linebacker would greatly improve the Saints' versatility and options.
26. Jacksonville Jaguars
Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M
Despite the fact Jacksonville made the postseason for the first time in a decade, their offense still remains highly one-dimensional. Things could be even worse, as top receiving options Allen Robinson and Marqise Lee are set to hit free agency, leaving QB Blake Bortles with no help. Christian Kirk was a beast since the moment he stepped on the field at Texas A&M, and could be a factor on special teams as well.
27. Los Angeles Rams 
Dorance Armstrong, LB/DE, Kansas
Don't let Kansas' 1-11 record fool you; Dorance Armstrong is a legitimate NFL talent who has a very good chance of going in the first round. The athletic edge linebacker recorded 9.5 tackles for loss this past season for the Jayhawks, and has NFL size and strength. He would add another dynamic pass rusher to pair with All-Pro Aaron Donald.
28. Carolina Panthers
Sam Hubbard, DE, Ohio State
Amazingly, 37-year-old Julius Peppers managed 11 sacks this past season, but the Panthers can't be relying on him nor Charles Johnson much longer. Adding a great, young defensive end is a must in this Draft, and Hubbard would be quite the pickup late in the first round. The highly productive former Buckeye has an explosive first step, and an NFL frame.
29. Pittsburgh Steelers
Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado
After a mediocre 2016, Pittsburgh's defense took a major step forward this past season. But, the secondary will soon be losing veteran corner Joe Haden, and Artie Burns has made constant mistakes. Isaiah Oliver is a strong, physical defensive back who should be able to adjust to the NFL quickly and make plays right away.
30. Philadelphia Eagles
Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA
Philadelphia's offensive line performed very well for most of 2017, but there is concern about the future of veteran Jason Peters. Peters tore his ACL and MCL against the Redskins, and it is unclear what his future looks like. No matter whether he is able to come back or not, adding Miller, a highly talented prospect out of UCLA, seems like a smart idea.
31. Minnesota Vikings
Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame
Look almost anywhere and you will Quenton Nelson as likely a Top 10 pick, perhaps even in the Top 5. The reason he drops to Minnesota here is the fact he plays exclusively guard, which of course, rarely equates to a high pick during Draft Day. For the Vikings, getting the talented guard would be a major win, as he would immediately upgrade an okay interior line.
32. New England Patriots
Christian Wilkins, DL, Clemson
It's no secret New England's defense struggled throughout much of 2017, and a lot of it can be attributed to a pass rush that could not pressure opposing quarterbacks. It could be quite a steal to get Christian Wilkins in the late first round here. Wilkins has serious talent, and can play inside or outside on the D-Line.

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