2018 NFL Mock Draft

Last Updated: 11/2/2017

Draft order is based on the current NFL standings after week 8.

We will update the 2018 NFL Mock Draft periodically throughout the remainder of the regular season.

Enjoy!

2018 NFL Mock Draft


1.
 Cleveland Browns - Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA

While Cleveland has consistently traded down on draft night over the last few seasons, I don't expect that to be the case this year. For one, the team has been mocked all season for trading the draft picks that became Carson Wentz and DeShaun Watson, which means passing on yet another potential franchise quarterback simply can't happen.

Second, at some point you have to cash in the draft picks you've stockpiled. New England can trade down every year because they often have very few needs. Cleveland has a need at basically every position, and while Penn State standout running back Saquon Barkley may be tempting for former running backs coach Hue Jackson, the simple fact is this organization needs a franchise quarterback.

Rosen has been the most impressive among the potential first round quarterbacks in our opinion, and his arm strength should show up very well during his pro day workouts this spring. He still makes a few too many mistakes to be a clear cut franchise quarterback, but every young quarterback in this class is mistake-prone. Rosen is the best of the bunch at this point.

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

With several holes to fill and the team's recent trade for New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, the 49ers could look to trade down and recoup the second round pick they sent to New England, especially if Barkley isn't the top pick and a bidding war begins for the pick.

However, it's clear that John Lynch wants to build the team up as quickly as possible, and it's no secret the quickest way to do that is by finding superstars. There's no denying that Barkley is one of the draft's top talents, and likely to make a big impact from day one.

Carlos Hyde is a solid player but he's not the kind of running back that should stop the 49ers from drafting a potential superstar. Jimmy Garoppolo and Saquon Barkley would be a massively upgraded backfield for the 2018 49ers.

3. New York Giants - Sam Darnold, QB, USC

Coming into the season with potential super bowl aspirations, the Giants have been the league's most disappointing team through 8 weeks. The team has suffered some terrible injuries, most notably Odell Beckham Jr, and if they continue to lose at this rate it may be their one shot to find a replacement for Eli Manning.

Darnold, the USC standout, is only a redshirt sophomore, so despite high draft rankings there's no guarantee he puts his name into the draft pool. However, if he does, he's the perfect player to spend a season or two sitting behind Eli Manning. When Darnold makes the right read he's one of the country's best quarerbacks, and his arm strength is definitely NFL caliber.

Spending some time learning the NFL game from one of the league's smartest and most durable quarterbacks would be an ideal situation for Darnold and one Giants fans would likely welcome as well.

4. Indianapolis Colts - Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama

Minkah Fitzpatrick has been arguably the nation's best all-around defender this season, anchoring the spectacular Alabama defense and making big plays when needed. He only has one interception, but that's in large part because teams avoid him whenever possible.

Fitzpatrick is a bigger version of Tyrann Mathieu, with maybe slightly less ball skills. But he's capable of playing corner and safety at the next level, and he should be one of the better tackling corners in the league in the near future.

The Colts need to get Andrew Luck healthy most importantly, but adding a potential superstar defensive back isn't a bad consolation prize if Luck ends up missing the entire season.

5. Tampa Bay Bucs - Harold Landry, DE/OLB, Boston College

A 3-4 OLB or 4-3 DE, Landry led the nation in sacks last season with 16.5. As a fringe first round prospect, Landry decided to return for his senior season and has impressed thus far.

His sack numbers aren't quite as gaudy as last season, as he has just 5 this year, but he's being double teamed on almost every play and projects as an impact pass rusher at the next level.

The Bucs have just 7 sacks through 7 games, and their pass rush has been so poor that 43-year-old Simeon Rice tried to convince the Bucs to sign him as a situational pass rusher. They'll need to find a way to get after the quarterback next season, and Landry would be a great start.

6. Chicago Bears - Derwin James, DB, Florida State

Derwin James is only a redshirt sophomore, so while he could return to Florida State next season that seems very unlikely. A knee injury last season allowed him to redshirt, and because of his injury issues I doubt he risks another major injury while playing free College Football.

He's incredibly versatile, maybe even more so than Minkah Fitzpatrick, and he should test well at the combine with great physical gifts. Scouts rave about his football instincts and think he could play anywhere in the defensive backfield. He's even played well near the line of scrimmage, in a similar role to how the Vikings have used Harrison Smith over the last few years.

The Bears have played several solid games this season, keeping games close they had no business being in, but the defense could use a difference maker in the backfield. Adding James would help immensely in a division with Matthew Stafford and Aaron Rodgers, to be sure.

7. New York Jets
 - Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

Widely expected to be the league's worst team, the Jets have been a pleasant surprise through the season's first 8 weeks. With two close losses this team could conceivably be 5-2, although that's often the case with every NFL team.

It's no secret that the team needs to find a quarterback, as Christian Hackenberg continues to look lost and Josh McCown is the prototypical veteran journeyman.

Allen is in my opinion horribly overrated, but his size and arm strength seem to make him a lock for the top 10 come draft day. After completing just 56% of his passes last season, a very poor number for an NFL prospect in college, he hasn't shown any improvement this year. He's completing just 55.9% of his passes, with 12 touchdowns and 6 interceptions.

Allen isn't playing with great receivers, to be clear, but a top 10 prospect should put up better numbers than Allen has in two seasons. He's the most likely first rounder to be a bust in my opinion.

8. Los Angeles Chargers - Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas

A tackling machine, Texas linebacker Malik Jefferson remains a potential top 5 pick at this juncture. His combine numbers will be very important, as he appears to be an athletic freak whose football instincts continue to improve at an incredibly fast rate.

Jefferson can range from sideline to sideline, shows above average coverage skills, and as mentioned previously is a tackling machine. Scouts feel he's one of the best all-around linebacker prospects in a long time, and while that may be a bit of hyperbole, it's clear he's expected to be a difference maker very early in his career.

9. Oakland Raiders - Tarvarus McFadden, DB, Florida State

McFadden has the size and speed to be a fantastic press corner at the next level, although he'll need to add weight to maximize his press skill once he gets there.

Florida State's poor season has seemed to hurt McFadden's stock in scouting circles, but I expect an elite combine performance to open scouts eyes and force them to go back and watch more of his tape. In the right scheme, McFadden should shine, and it's no secret Oakland has had trouble finding lock-down corners since Nnamdi Asomugha.

*Trade: New England Patriots send the #31 overall pick, #33 overall pick (from SF) and a 2019 7th rounder to Arizona for #10 overall.*

10.  New England Patriots - Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville

Admittedly, this is likely wishful thinking on my part. New England never trades up, and Arizona is looking for their future quarterback as well so they may not even be willing to move down. However, I think New England has zeroed in on a specific quarterback, and I fully expect to see them move around to get whoever they're targeting.

Lamar Jackson is our favorite quarterback in the draft, and his rare skill set is going to require a very innovative coach to get the most out of him. Jackson is a better passer than he gets credit for and has a cannon of an arm, but his speed and running ability are what make him such an interesting prospect. He's the closest prospect by far to Michael Vick, and while Vick's on-field accomplishments never quite lived up to the hype, his skill set made him a matchup nightmare every single week.

Putting Jackson behind Brady would also allow him to develop his passing mechanics without the pressure of actually playing, and his running ability would allow the Patriots to design plays specifically for him to run the ball early in his career.

11. Cincinnati Bengals - Denzel Ward, DB, Ohio State

Ward has been the most impressive defensive back in the country in my opinion, shining night in and night out for an Ohio State defense that saw three defensive backs get drafted in the first round last year.

His play has moved him into a first round lock in scouting circles, although anyone who had watched him play last season in limited duty knew Ward was one of the more underrated players in College Football. Thanks to his dominant play this season he's no longer under the radar by any stretch.

The Bengals need to find a suitable replacement for Adam Jones, who's simply well past his prime at this point as he comes to the end of a very impressive career makeover.

12. Washington Redskins - Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama

Through 8 games this season, Ridley's numbers aren't quite what you'd expect from the draft's top receiving prospect. Alabama has been even more run heavy this year than usual, though, so it's hard to blame Ridley's lack of production on anything else.

While he's likely to be a tier below former Alabama standouts Amari Cooper and Julio Jones at the next level, he's got the skill set and athletic traits to be a true #1 receiver at the next level. With Josh Doctson disappointing and the rest of the Redskins receivers flashing very little, the Redskins should be expected to target a receiver in the draft or free agency.

They'd be ecstatic if the draft's top receiver fell to 12.

13. Denver Broncos - Arden Key, DE/OLB, LSU

Once viewed as a potential #1 pick, Key hasn't quite lived up to that potential this season. A physical freak with the ability to both rush the passer and drop into coverage, Key's sack numbers don't reflect the physical gifts he possesses.

Key was hurt early in the season and is likely still playing through it, but he has just 3.5 sacks through 6 games. He's expected to test very well at the combine and if he does he should be a first round lock, but a poor showing could see him tumble down draft boards as his production isn't as dominant as one would hope.

Pairing Key with Von Miller would allow him to work one-on-one almost exclusively early in his career, which is why Key to the Broncos is a best-case scenario for him.

14. Detroit Lions - Mike McGlinchy, OT, Notre Dame

A rare left tackle prospect that has considerable upside, McGlinchy is a great athlete for a left tackle but has only been playing the position for a little over a full season. Former first rounder Ronnie Stanley forced McGlinchy to start his career as a right tackle.

However, he's clearly skilled enough to stick as a left tackle at the next level, while his ability to move to the right side of the line if need be only adds to his value. The Lions have been starting former #2 overall pick and bust Greg Robinson at left tackle this season, which is as good of reason as any for the team to draft a replacement early. Taylor Decker is the Lions long-term left tackle if he can remain healthy, but adding someone like McGlinchy to play on the right side for a few years and as an insurance option for another Decker injury makes plenty of sense.

15. Cleveland Browns (via Houston Texans) - Connor Williams, OT, Texas

The only position that Cleveland hasn't needed to replace over their last however many years of futility is left tackle, but with Joe Thomas finally getting injured and approaching the end of his career, it's time for the Browns to work on finding his replacement.

Williams is arguably the draft's top tackle, and could see his stock improve considerably over the remainder of the season. He was injured early in the season, but is expected to return to the field in the near future. If he can play as well as scouts expect him to and he can continue to show he's healthy, the Browns would be very happy to groom Williams to replace Joe Thomas in the near future.

16. Baltimore Ravens - Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU

Sutton's combine performance will likely effect his draft stock more than any other receiver. His game film doesn't show great speed, but his route running and ability to put corners in his back pocket with double moves is second to none. That makes him a deep ball threat even without elite speed. If he tests faster than he appears on film, he very easily could be the first receiver taken.

The Ravens have been trying to find capable pass catchers for Joe Flacco for years without much success. Breshad Perriman was drafted high and has been injured and relatively ineffective when he does play, while veterans Jeremy Maclin and Mike Wallace seem to be well past their prime at this point.

17. Jacksonville Jaguars
 - Christian Wilkins, DE/DT, Clemson

Wilkins is my favorite defensive lineman in the draft, as he's always causing problems for opposing offenses during every Clemson game. Despite not being a great natural pass rusher, Wilkins may be the country's best run defender and his motor and effort on every play should help him get a handful of sacks and tackles for losses each season at the next level.

The Jaguars defensive line has been fantastic this season, as they lead the league in sacks, so adding a player like Wilkins would be more of a luxury than a necessity. With no quarterbacks worthy of this draft slot, the Jaguars would be wise to simply take the best player available and continue to improve the rest of the roster while targeting a second or third round quarterback prospect.

18. Miami Dolphins - Bryce Love, RB, Stanford

As college football's leading rusher to this point, it's not surprising that Bryce Love is getting serious Heisman consideration. He's been unbelievable to watch all season, and while Saquon Barkley is getting all the attention, it's Love who's been a better running back all season. Love has run for 1,387 yards on just 135 carries in 7 games. He's a home run threat every time he touches the ball.

To be clear, Barkley's ability in the passing game makes him a better pro prospect, but nobody should be surprised if Love runs a better 40 time than Barkley at the combine. Love was one of the nation's top high school track and field athletes, and was one of the best 200M sprinters growing up.

With the Dolphins trading starting running back Jay Ajayi to the Philadelphia Eagles at the deadline, they will undoubtedly be in the market for an every down back to replace him with.

19. Tennessee Titans - Sam Hubbard, DE, Ohio State

Recruited to Ohio State originally as a safety, Hubbard was moved to linebacker almost immediately before being slowly developed into a defensive lineman. At 6'5, 265 lbs it's clear Hubbard will need to fill out a little more at the next level, but as an incredibly hard worker with a never ending motor, there's little doubt Hubbard will put in the work to fill out his frame.

He hasn't been quite as dominant as a pass rusher as some had projected, but the skill set is there and scouts love his motor. He should get a handful of sacks just from his never ending hustle at the next level every year.

The Titans have been at their best when they control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, and a player like Hubbard should help them continue to do that.

20. Green Bay Packers - Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame

At 6'5, 330 lbs, Quenton Nelson is a behemoth of a human being. He's been one of the best offensive lineman in college football this season and has played a major part along with Mike McGlinchy in helping Notre Dame's running game carry them to a top 4 ranking to this point.

The Packers offensive line had improved considerably over the last few years, but with their interior offensive lineman aging and leaving via free agency, the team badly needs to find someone to help protect Aaron Rodgers.

Nelson should be able to step in and start from day one, and he should also help improve a running game that has struggled over the last year and a half.

21. Atlanta Falcons - DeShon Elliott, S/DB, Texas

Elliot is likely a safety at the next level, but the 6'2, 210 pound defensive back has put himself squarely in the first round discussion with his outstanding play this season.

Elliott has been the Longhorns most consistent defender on a nightly basis, and he currently leads all of division 1 with 6 interceptions, showing he's got ball skills that should translate to the next level.

The Falcons defense could use an upgrade at the safety position next to Keanu Neal, and Elliott's natural coverage instincts make him a great fit with the hard-hitting, in-the-box Neal.

22. Dallas Cowboys - Da'Ron Payne, DT, Alabama

The Cowboys will be looking to improve their defensive line depth, and will likely give several defensive lineman long looks during the draft process. Scouts are torn between the Alabama standout and Washington's Vita Vea, but Payne's conditioning and overall body of work are simply stronger at this point which is why he gets the nod.

Payne's been superb against the run this season despite being double teamed a lot, and Dallas would love to see him holding up blockers to allow the rangy Jaylon Smith to chase down running backs for the next 5+ years.

23. Carolina Panthers - Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma

The Panthers signed Matt Kalil this past off-season, hoping he'd be able to man the left tackle position for the next few years. He's been average at best, and given the amount of money he's going to be making over the next few years, the Panthers would be wise to draft his replacement in the near future.

Brown is in the discussion to be the first offensive lineman drafted, and would be a great pick at this point in the first round. He has the skill set to develop into a franchise left tackle if everything breaks right, but he should be an upgrade over Kalil almost immediately.

24. Buffalo Bills - Mo Hurst, DT, Michigan

A run stuffing defender, the Michigan standout is never going to rack up huge sack totals. However, he's one of the most disruptive run defenders in recent memory, and he has a very good motor for a defensive lineman.

He's helped anchor Michigan's stout defense, and should be able to contribute along a defensive line early in his career. With the Bills surprising trade of Marcell Dareus to Jacksonville, it's clear the team is going to be in the market for a defensive tackle.

25. Los Angeles Rams - Ken Webster, CB, Ole Miss

Listed at 5'11, Webster is likely closer to 5'9 or 5'10, but he plays much bigger. He's a bit under the radar at this point in the draft process, likely because of his size and the fact that he doesn't fill the stat sheet, so it's hard for him to standout.

That said, anyone who watches Ole Miss consistently knows that Webster is one of the most gifted corners in the country, constantly shutting down one side of the field. His footwork is outstanding, his instincts continue to improve, and his ability to break on the football is truly elite.

He'll likely be relegated to a nickel role early in his career as NFL coaches will worry about his size, but I fully expect him to emerge as possibly the best corner in this class when it's all said and done. You can't teach the elite measurables that players like Minkah Fitzpatrick and Derwin James possess, but Webster's natural ability to play corner will shine.

The Rams high scoring offense remains one of the league's most surprising units this year so it makes sense to target a defensive back to replace the very solid Trumaine Johnson, who's likely going to get overpaid to leave via free agency.

26. New Orleans Saints - Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama

The Saints defense has shown some drastic improvements over the last few weeks, thanks in part to the play of rookie defensive back Marshon Lattimore. The Saints would be wise to continue to try and improve that side of the ball, and adding a hard hitting safety to strike fear into players going over the middle would be a good start.

Harrison has shown improved coverage skills all season and there's no denying he's the best in-the-box safety in college football, so he'd be a welcomed improvement over the Saints current safeties and could help the team build their own version of the legion of boom over the next few seasons.

27. Seattle Seahawks - Derrius Guice, RB, LSU

It's no secret that Seattle's offense was at it's best when Marshawn Lynch was in the backfield, as the team's offensive game plan is always based around a strong running game. Even Russell Wilson is at his best moving around outside of the pocket, and being able to freeze linebackers and safeties with a play action pass is key to Wilson's success.

Despite Seattle's clunky attempts to fill Lynch's shoes with a committee of running backs, nobody has stepped up consistently over the last two years. Adding a talent like Guice this late in the first round would be huge for them.

28. Pittsburgh Steelers - Luke Falk, QB, Washington State

With long-time Steelers franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger flirting with retirement on a yearly basis now, it's no secret Pittsburgh needs to do everything they can to find his replacement sooner rather than later.

Drafting a first round quarterback would likely anger many Steelers veterans, as they'd likely prefer an impact rookie at a position of need, but the simple fact is if you don't have a quarterback in this league winning is almost impossible.

Falk will enter the draft as the Pac 12's all-time leading passer, thanks in part to Mike Leach's offensive system but also because of Falk's ability to thread the needle. He doesn't have the eye-popping arm strength or athleticism of some of the other first round prospects, but he's incredibly intelligent and his passing ability is comparable to anyone else in the draft at this point.

He's a bit older than the other prospects, which should keep him a tier below the elite ones, but Pittsburgh would have to be happy with this kind of prospect learning behind Big Ben.

29. Minnesota Vikings - Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State

The Vikings defense has been elite over the last few seasons, with the team's only real weakness being a safety to play next to Harrison Smith. However, Andrew Sendejo has been adequate and the Vikings scheme doesn't seem to need two great safeties to succeed.

What the Vikings defense relies on is great interior defensive line play, and depth from their pass rushers. With Brian Robison expected to retire after the season and Shariff Floyd's career likely in limbo due to injury, the Vikings once deep defensive line group could use a shot in the arm.

Chubb could move around on the defensive line much in the way Robison has this year, as he's a very good pass rusher and run stopper. His measurements at the combine are going to be a bit disappointing, in my opinion, which should move him a bit further down the first round than his production would suggest.

The Vikings love to draft undervalued defensive lineman, and Chubb would be their latest.

30. Buffalo Bills (via Kansas City Chiefs) - Jaire Alexander, DB, Louisville

Alexander missed 5 games earlier this season and hasn't really had an opportunity to impress scouts. However, his talent is undeniable and if he can play well over the remainder of the season scouts won't care all that much about his missed time.

The Bills have surprised everyone with their 5-2 start this season, but finding more talent at the cornerback position is a must after the team sent speedster Ronald Darby packing earlier this season. With Lamar Jackson understandably the story every time Louisville plays, Alexander is a bit under the radar, but he has the potential to emerge as a very solid NFL corner in the future.

31. 
Arizona Cardinals (via New England Patriots) - Clayton Thorson, QB, Northwestern

Scouts continue to rave about the upside of Clayton Thorson, and while he has the prototypical size and arm strength, his inconsistent play week in and week out would make me very wary of drafting him in the first round.

Northwestern obviously doesn't have the kind of talent a USC or UCLA would have for Thorson to throw too, and his overall numbers over the last two seasons are solid. He threw 22 touchdowns and 9 interceptions last season while throwing for 3,182 yards, but his 58.6% completion percentage needed to improve.

He's completing 61% of his passes this season, but he's thrown just 10 touchdowns compared to 9 interceptions. If he can play well down the stretch, or even just in a bowl game, Thorson has a real chance to be the third quarterback taken behind Darnold and Rosen. For now, we'll project him to a Cardinals offense that would love to let him sling the ball around, especially if Carson Palmer decides to retire in the off-season.

32. Philadelphia Eagles
 - Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M

One of the most highly recruited prospects out of high school, Kirk didn't do himself any favors by picking Texas A&M. To be fair, he's been a good player for the Aggies and he's put up some solid stats, but the problem is that A&M doesn't require their receivers to learn the NFL route tree so Kirk will be years behind other prospects.

Route running is one of the more underrated aspects of NFL receivers, and the main reason we see Division 2 receivers like Adam Thielen outshine high division 1 receivers like Laquon Treadwell. If you can't get open, it doesn't matter how great your physical gifts are.

He hasn't been great this season but he's a potential pro bowl punt returner and he should run a very good 40 time. With Carson Wentz emerging as one of the game's top quarterbacks, and maybe the best deep ball thrower in the league, adding a speedster to get behind defenses would be a wise decision to allow Wentz to continue to improve.