CAPACCIO: 2018 Mock Draft No. 1

April 13, 2018 - 1:40 pm
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The NFL Draft begins in less than two weeks. Here is my first (but not final) mock draft, including trades:
 

1.) CLEVELAND BROWNS - Sam Darnold (QB, USC)

2.) NY GIANTS - Bradley Chubb (DE, NC State)

3.) NY JETS - Josh Rosen (QB, UCLA)

COMMENT: Two quarterbacks off the board in the first three picks. With the Giants passing on a signal-caller, the Jets have the option of Josh Allen, Baker Mayfield, and Josh Rosen. They take Rosen, who many believe is the best pure passer in this draft.
 

4.) CLEVELAND BROWNS - Saquon Barkley (RB, Penn State)

COMMENT: With how the board falls, the Browns will get plenty of phone calls to trade out of this spot, but they stay put and get both the best quarterback on their board and who many believe is the best overall player in the draft.
 

5.) BUFFALO BILLS - Josh Allen (QB, Wyoming)
***Trade with Denver - Bills give up 12, 22, 53, 2019 4th***

COMMENT: With Allen falling out of the top-four, the Bills have a chance to grab one of their top-rated quarterbacks and make a deal with the Broncos to make sure they get him. They could sit at No. 12 and he might still be there, but with the Dolphins and Cardinals also wanting quarterbacks, they make sure they don’t let that happen. They also still retain a second round pick (56) and both third rounders (65 and 96) in this year’s draft, allowing them to still fill needed holes on the roster. For the Broncos, John Elway wants a quarterback for the future, but after signing Case Keenum, he doesn’t need to grab one yet. By moving down, he can pick up another non-quarterback who can help his team win now, which is what they plan to do in 2018. 
 

6.) INDIANAPOLIS COLTS - Quentin Nelson (OG, Notre Dame)

7.) TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS - Derwin James (S, Florida State)

8.) MIAMI DOLPHINS - Baker Mayfield (QB, Oklahoma)
***Trade with Chicago; Dolphins give up 11, 73, 2019 5th***

COMMENT: Word out of South Florida is that Dolphins’ head coach Adam Gase really, really likes Mayfield. The Dolphins salivate at seeing him still there at No. 8, just three spots from where they pick, which means it doesn’t cost them a ransom to move up and get their man.
 

9.) SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS - Tremaine Edmunds (LB, Virginia Tech)

10.) OAKLAND RAIDERS - Roquan Smith (LB, Georgia)

11.) CHICAGO BEARS - Denzel Ward (CB, Ohio State)
***Trade from Miami***

COMMENT: After moving down three spots, the Bears get the player they may have selected anyway before trading with Dolphins and now also have an extra third round pick to show for it.
 

12.) DENVER BRONCOS - Mike McGlinchey (OT, Notre Dame)
***Trade from Buffalo***

13.) WASHINGTON REDSKINS - Vita Vea (DT, Washington)

14.) GREEN BAY PACKERS - Minkah Fitzpatrick (S, Alabama)

15.) ARIZONA CARDINALS - Lamar Jackson (QB, Louisville)

COMMENT: Although other teams think Arizona may move up to draft a quarterback, the Cardinals are perfectly fine with staying put at No. 15 thinking Jackson will still be there, and he is.
 

16.) BALTIMORE RAVENS - Marcus Davenport (DE, Texas-San Antonio)

17.) LOS ANGELES CHARGERS - Da’Ron Payne (DT, Alabama)

18.) SEATTLE SEAHAWKS - Josh Jackson (CB, Iowa)

19.) DALLAS COWBOYS - Calvin Ridley (WR, Alabama)

20.) DETROIT LIONS - Maurice Hurst (DT, Michigan)

21.) CINCINNATI BENGALS - Isaiah Wynn (G, Georgia)

22.) DENVER BRONCOS - Mason Rudolph (QB, Oklahoma State)
***Trade from Buffalo***

COMMENT: The Broncos achieve exactly what they wanted in their trade with the Bills. They get the best offensive tackle in the draft and a quarterback of the future who doesn’t have to play right away.
 

23.) NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS - Kolton Miller (OT, UCLA)

COMMENT: Miller has become a fast-riser in this draft, and, right now, the Patriots have a massive need at left tackle.
 

24.) CAROLINA PANTHERS - Will Hernandez (OG, UTEP)

25.) TENNESSEE TITANS - Harold Landry (Edge, Boston College)

26.) ATLANTA FALCONS - Taven Bryan (DT, Florida)

27.) NEW ORLEANS SAINTS - Hayden Hurst (TE, South Carolina) 

28.) PITTSBURGH STEELERS - Leighton Vander Esch (LB, Boise State)

COMMENT: With a huge question mark surrounding Ryan Shazier’s future after his spinal injury, the Steelers will have a choice of Vander Esch and Alabama’s Rashaan Evans and can’t do poorly with either.
 

29.) JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS - Christian Kirk (WR, Texas A&M)

30.) MINNESOTA VIKINGS - Connor Williams (OT, Texas) 

31.) NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS - Rashaan Evans (LB, Alabama)

COMMENT: Although they much more need a pass rusher, with the top ones off the board, Bill Belichick’s eyes still light up when he sees Evans still on the board this late, allowing him to address a major need. Over the last seven drafts, Belichick has selected four defensive players from his good friend Nick Saban’s Alabama squad, including two first rounders (Linebacker Dont’a Hightower in 2012 and cornerback Cyrus Jones in 2016).


32.) PHILADELPHIA EAGLES - Derrius Guice (RB, LSU)


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