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NFL Mock Draft 2018: Edition 3

Sam Darnold, USC to Cleveland
1. Cleveland Browns
Sam Darnold, QB, USC
Even though Cleveland added Tyrod Taylor just a few weeks ago, the organization still lacks a franchise quarterback, particularly after dealing DeShone Kizer to Green Bay. No quarterback has really separated themselves from the pack, but Darnold seems like a great fit at the top spot. His size, arm talent and feel for the game are all at NFL levels already.
Previous Selection: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
2. New York Giants
Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
While the Giants would love to add a quarterback here (and there are plenty available), Saquon Barkley's talent is just too impressive to pass up on here. Barkley's playmaking ability and excellent upside will immediately upgrade a New York rushing attack that has been lacking for years, and should also help take pressure off Eli Manning's shoulders.
Previous Selection: Sam Darnold, QB, USC
3. New York Jets (from Colts)
Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
After trading up three spots, it is nearly certain the Jets will add a quarterback with the No. 3 selection. There are a wide variety of candidates to choose from, but I like the Josh Allen pick. Allen continues to awe scouts with his astounding arm strength and insane potential, and adding him would give New York the franchise signal-caller they have been waiting on for a long time.
Previous Selection: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA (at pick six)
4. Cleveland Browns (from Texans)
Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
A superb Combine has cemented Denzel Ward as the top cornerback in this year's Draft Class, and I think he will continue to shoot up draft boards. Cleveland is still searching for a shutdown corner after moving on from long-time star Joe Haden, and staying inside the state to add the Ohio State product seems like a great move for new GM John Dorsey.
Previous Selection: Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
5. Denver Broncos
Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
Signing Case Keenum was a great stopgap addition for John Elway and the Broncos. Keenum will be a quality option for a year or two and pave the way for a real franchise quarterback. If Rosen manages to last until pick five, Denver has to jump on the chance to land the talented QB. While he struggled at times with injuries and turnovers while at UCLA, Rosen's talent is off the charts.
Previous Selection: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
6. Indianapolis Colts (from Jets)
Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State
This would be the ideal Draft Day scenario for Indianapolis as they trade down to add more picks later on, and still get their guy. A proven pass rusher with terrific size and an incredibly high motor, Chubb is the best defensive end in this Draft, and should be the new Dwight Freeney in Indy.
Previous Selection: Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State (at pick three)
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama
Tampa Bay upgraded their pass rush this free agency by adding linemen Vinny Curry and Beau Allen from Philadelphia, but they still lack difference-makers in the back-end, where their pass defense was dreadful in 2017. Fitzpatrick's versatility and incredible range are all top-notch, and the Bucs would not miss out on the Alabama product.
Previous Selection: Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama
8. Chicago Bears
Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
After addressing needs at receiver and cornerback just recently, Chicago should focus on their other needs, which include linebacker. Edmunds put together a great career at Virginia Tech and after a superb Combine, he continues to shoot up draft boards. His closing speed and fabulous instincts may soon remind Bears fans of Chicago great Brian Urlacher.
Previous Selection: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
9. San Francisco 49ers
Derwin James, S, Florida State
Adding Richard Sherman will immediately upgrade San Francisco's defense, but the secondary still lacks much long term pieces. It would be ideal if Derwin James manages to fall to nine for the Niners, who would snatch up the FSU product. James had a great Combine and his range and ball skills are wowing scouts.
Previous Selection: Derwin James, S, Florida State
10. Oakland Raiders
Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
In both of my previous mocks to this point I've had Roquan Smith going to Oakland, and I stick with that selection here. Smith was one of the most dominant defenders this past season at Georgia, and he would immediately fill a need at linebacker next to Khalil Mack. Smith is also an ideal fit for new head coach Jon Gruden, who loves his gritty, hard-hitting defenders.
Previous Selection: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
11. Miami Dolphins
Vita Vea, DL, Washington
Miami made the right move releasing controversial linemen Ndamukong Suh recently. While Suh clearly has loads of talent, his production was not worth his enormous price tag. The Dolphins find his replacement early in the first round here by adding Vea out of Washington. He isn't the pass rusher Suh is, but Vea is a more well-rounded defender.
Previous Selection: Joshua Jackson, CB, Iowa
12. Buffalo Bills (from Bengals)
Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
With the Tyrod Taylor era effectively over, and no replacement added so far, Buffalo is almost certainly going to draft a quarterback here. They could move up further in the Draft and try for one of the LA quarterbacks, but sticking here and selecting Mayfield is a great consolation prize. The reigning Heisman winner is clearly an elite playmaker, and could be the answer to the position Buffalo has been searching for.
Previous Selection: Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State (at pick 21)
13. Washington Redskins
Joshua Jackson, CB, Iowa
Apart from splitting from Kirk Cousins, Washington has been pretty quiet this off-season, but that doesn't change the fact they need to upgrade a mediocre defense. Adding a defensive linemen could make sense here, but the Redskins might not be able to pass up on Jackson, who was an interception machine at Iowa, and adds a terrific playmaker to the fold right away.
Previous Selection: Da'Ron Payne, DT, Alabama
14. Green Bay Packers
Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville
Trading away one of their best corners (Damarious Randall) to Cleveland in exchange for backup quarterback DeShone Kizer was quite confusing, and leaves Green Bay very thin in the secondary. Aside from Quinten Rollins, current Packers' defensive backs have just 12 starts between them. Jaire Alexander won't help increase the experience level, but will definitely increase the talent.
Previous Selection: Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
15. Arizona Cardinals
Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State
Arizona added Sam Bradford recently, but believing the oft-injured Bradford can be a long-term solution at QB at this point would be foolish. The Cardinals could opt to trade up to land a bigger name, but if they do stay at 15, selecting Rudolph seems like a great move. The Oklahoma State product doesn't have the hype of others in this Draft, but his huge arm could work wonders in the Desert.
Previous Selection: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
16. Baltimore Ravens
Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
Despite adding Michael Crabtree and John Brown this off-season, Baltimore's receiver corps are still among the weakest in the NFL, and a major factor why their offense has been average over the past few years. Calvin Ridley isn't a perfect prospect, but his home run potential makes him likely the top wide out in a pretty weak class.
Previous Selection: James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State
17. Los Angeles Chargers
Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
Despite rumors in the past about possibly trading him, the Chargers seem committed to Phillip Rivers at quarterback until he retires. If that is truly the case, upgrading the protection in front of him is crucial for the aging signal-caller. Mike McGlinchey is probably the safest OL pick in this Draft, and seems like a great fit for LA.
Previous Selection: Vita Vea, DL, Washington
18. Seattle Seahawks
Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado
Seattle has trimmed their roster of significant expenses this off-season, letting go of Richard Sherman and Jimmy Graham. While it may make them slightly weaker in the current, it was the right move to ensure a brighter future. Losing Sherman may hurt, but Colorado's Isaiah Oliver has just as much potential without the massive price tag.
Previous Selection: Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma
19. Dallas Cowboys
Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame
Projecting where Quenton Nelson will end up in this Draft is an imperfect science. The former Notre Dame guard has Top 10 talent and could end up going as high as fifth to Denver, but it is just hard to imagine a player at his position going so high. If he does slip a little bit, Dallas would love to further solidify their superb offensive line, only make Ezekiel Elliott more lethal.
Previous Selection: Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M
20. Detroit Lions
Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
Detroit opted to sign LeGarrette Blount over the free agency period, and while he may help, they still haven't completely solved their issues at running back. New head coach Matt Patricia may want to go defense here, but Derrius Guice is the best back in this year's Draft, and it may just be too hard to pass on the former LSU Tiger.
Previous Selection: Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
21. Cincinnati Bengals
Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama
Trading down with Buffalo to acquire veteran Cordy Glenn helps solve Cincinnati's offensive line woes for the time-being, opening up the door for them to focus on something else. The Bengals need an upgrade at linebacker, and Evans could be a steal here at 21. Evans was never a star with Alabama, but he could be the next in a long line of former Tide 'backers who have been very productive in the NFL.
Previous Selection: Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame (at pick 12)
22. Buffalo Bills (from Chiefs)
Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State
Playing at Boise State, Vander Esch didn't get much attention playing college ball, but his stock is rising rapidly over the past few weeks and he could be a first rounder. Buffalo wants a linebacker and if Evans is off the board, they turn to Vander Esch, who is a ferocious presence coming off the edge.
Previous Selection: Marcus Davenport, DL, UTSA
23. Los Angeles Rams
Sam Hubbard, DE, Ohio State
While Sam Hubbard was often overshadowed at Ohio State by future NFL Draft selection Nick Bosa, there is no denying the defensive end's supreme talent. His length, quickness and motor are all great assets, and the Rams are searching for a new pass rusher after getting rid of Robert Quinn. This seems like the right move for them.
Previous Selection: Arden Key, DE/LB, LSU
Donte Jackson, LSU to Carolina
24. Carolina Panthers
Donte Jackson, CB, LSU
Since Carolina decided not to bring back Josh Norman following his career year in 2016, they have had issues at corner. The need for a cornerback got even more intense when the Panthers opted to trade veteran Daryl Worley. Jackson was inconsistent at times with LSU, but he has the size and athleticism to be a rock-solid cover corner at the next level.
Previous Selection: D.J. Chark, WR, LSU
25. Tennessee Titans
Isaiah Wynn, OL, Georgia
There may not be a stronger position group in this class than, amazingly, interior offensive linemen. Nelson, Wynn, Will Hernandez out of UTEP and Billy Price out of Ohio State could all go in the first round. I have Wynn going here to Tennessee, who would love to protect Marcus Mariota and also open up holes for their new feature back, Derrick Henry.
Previous Selection: Will Hernandez, OG, UTEP
26. Atlanta Falcons
Da'Ron Payne, DT, Alabama
Even with Grady Jarrett equipped at nose guard, Atlanta's defensive line looked incredibly soft in this year's Playoffs. The good news is they have a number of options here to upgrade the interior of the D-Line, and Payne could be quite the steal here. The fierce Alabama product isn't a great pass rusher, but he terrific in run support.
Previous Selection: Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
27. New Orleans Saints
Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
No player in this Draft has people quite as split on him as Lamar Jackson. Some see him as the next Michael Vick and a Top 10 pick, others don't even see him playing QB at the next level. No matter what, Jackson couldn't land in a better situation than New Orleans where he can learn behind Drew Brees as the future Hall of Famer's career comes to an end.
Previous Selection: Mark Andrews, TE, Oklahoma
28. Pittsburgh Steelers
Marcus Davenport, DL, UTSA
In my last mock, I mentioned how I think Davenport will rise up draft boards as the process continues, and while he is here at 28, don't be surprised if the former UTSA Roadrunner rises quickly. Pittsburgh's defense hasn't been itself over the past few seasons, but adding Davenport, along with a healthy T.J. Watt, would really work wonders.
Previous Selection: Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama
29. Jacksonville Jaguars
Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma
Once considered a Top 10 pick, a weak Combine and some shifting in the first round has forced Brown's stock to plummet. Even so, he is still a first round prospect and would be a great value pick for Jacksonville down here. After signing QB Blake Bortles to a fresh, three-year deal, the Jags would love to add some help to protect him.
Previous Selection: Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
30. Minnesota Vikings
Mike Hughes, CB, UCF
Hughes has not got much attention throughout the Draft process, but the former UCF Knight is evolving into a first-round possibility, and it is well known Minnesota head coach Mike Zimmer loves his cornerbacks. Hughes is very physical and has exceptional ball skills, with the versatility to play the nickel or cover the slot.
Previous Selection: Carlton Davis, CB, Auburn
31. New England Patriots
Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA
With Nate Solder now gone, New England needs a quick solution to their offensive tackle issues. Bill Belichick and staff should pounce on Kolton Miller here. Even though he is still pretty raw, Miller has astounding size (6'9") and all the tools to be a franchise tackle.
Previous Selection: Harold Landry, DE/LB, Boston College
32. Philadelphia Eagles
Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State
Long-time tight end Brent Celek and the ultra-versatile Trey Burton are now gone, which opens up the possibility Philadelphia looks for a tight end here at the end of Round 1. They do have star Zach Ertz, but head coach Doug Pedersen has long utilized his tight ends, and Gesicki's athleticism and deep threat ability aren't typical tight end traits.
Previous Selection: Connor Williams, OT, Texas

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