NFL First Round Mock Draft – Pre-Combine Edition

Daniel Mosher with a full first round mock for the 2018 NFL Draft…pre-combine edition

As NFL Draft prospects flood into Indianapolis for this weekend’s scouting combine, Dan Mosher serves up a full first round mock draft.

For this mock draft, I decided to forego any trade scenarios and select prospects as if I was the team’s General Manager, rather than predicting what the current GM’s will do. Let’s dive right in.

Cleveland Browns – Sam Darnold, QB – USC

After a lot of trade talk and smokescreens on who they’ll take, the Browns scoop up their franchise quarterback. Darnold will have some growing pains as he cleans up his mechanics, but his ceiling is higher than any other signal caller in the class.

New York Giants – Saquon Barkley, RB – Penn State

The Giants transform arguably their worst position over the last decade by adding one of the top running back prospects in recent history. As a PSU fan, I watched a lot of Barkley; and although I shy away from selecting first round backs, Barkley is worth the pick.

Indianapolis Colts – Quentin Nelson, OG – Notre Dame

I flirted with the idea of flipping these two picks, sending Nelson to the Giants and Barkley to the Colts. Either pick will take some much needed pressure off Andrew Luck, Nelson will be an All-Pro for the next decade.

Cleveland Browns – Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB – Alabama

Cleveland not only drafts their quarterback of the future, but they walk away with the top defender in the class as well. Fitzpatrick can play anywhere in the secondary and brings the same Jamal Adams-type energy and leadership to a team that sorely needs it. Cleveland has to get as many can’t-miss players as possible, few options are safer than Fitzpatrick.

Denver Broncos – Josh Rosen, QB – UCLA

John Elway makes people to forget that he actually considered Paxton Lynch a viable starting quarterback by grabbing the most pro-ready signal-caller in this class. Rosen should be able to contribute quickly to a team whose championship window is rapidly closing.

New York Jets – Baker Mayfield, QB – Oklahoma 

Nothing would excite this starved fan base more than Broadway Baker running out of the MetLife Stadium tunnel. The Jets grab the Heisman winner and bring back Josh McCown to guide him along.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Bradley Chubb, DE – N.C. State

Three QB’s in the top-six lets arguably the top position player in the draft slip down to Tampa Bay at seven. Chubb should be dominant in Mike Smith’s versatile 43 scheme.

Chicago Bears – Denzel Ward, CB – Ohio State

Chicago makes up for the likely loss of Kyle Fuller by grabbing the top pure cornerback in this class. Ward has elite speed and athleticism that more than makes up for his smaller size.

San Fransisco 49ers – Tremaine Edmunds, LB – Virginia Tech

Freakishly athletic with the size and length that scouts swoon over. Edmunds can play any linebacker spot in any defense. He’ll be an immediate contributor who will only improve as the years go on.

Oakland Raiders – Roquan Smith, LB – Georgia

Smith is a sideline to sideline menace with elite athletic traits. While Jon Gruden said he wants to take the game back to 1998, Smith is the exact linebacker needed by every team in today’s NFL.

Miami Dolphins – Josh Jackson, CB – Iowa 

Jackson is an ascending player with elite ball skills and instincts (27 PD’s & 8 INT’s last season!!!). Incredible to think what he can become with a year or two of pro experience.

Cincinnati Bengals – Josh Allen, QB – Wyoming 

Cincinnati should be looking to move on from the yearly disappointment that is Andy Dalton. Allen’s physical traits are unquestionable but his accuracy is simply dreadful. He would be lucky to land in a situation where he isn’t expected to start in year one.

Washington – Derwin James, S – Florida State

One of the top prospects in this class finds his way out of the Top 10 and into a Washington secondary that would instantly benefit from his bruising, alpha style of play. James has true All-Pro potential from the jump.

Green Bay Packers – Isaiah Oliver, CB – Colorado

The Packers bolster their struggling secondary with a corner who has the ideal size, speed and length on the outside.

Arizona Cardinals – Connor Williams, OT – Texas

To me, Williams is the top tackle in this class. He has incredible agility and near flawless technique. His tape fell off a bit from years past, but he still should be a solid blind-side blocker.

Baltimore Ravens – Calvin Ridley, WR – Alabama

The Ravens take the year’s best wideout to give Joe Flacco one last chance at a playoff run. Much like Cincinnati, this could be a potential landing spot for Josh Allen as the team looks toward life after Flacco.

Los Angeles Chargers – Leighton Vander Esch, LB – Boise State

The Chargers got absolutely gashed in the run game last season. Adding Vander Esch would sure up the middle of the defense as they continue to let their pass rushers terrorize the quarterback.

Seattle Seahawks – Mike McGlinchey, OT – Notre Dame

The Seahawks need lineman in the worst way. McGlinchey has the potential to play left tackle, but may find himself dominating the right side of the ball much like the Eagles’ Lane Johnson.

Dallas Cowboys – Marcus Davenport, DE – UT San Antonio

Davenport’s Senior Bowl performance helped his draft stock, and his menacing, aggressive style will fit well in Rod Marinelli’s scheme as a 43 DE.

Detroit Lions – Vita Vea, DT – Washington

Vea will be a terror in the run game for the Lions, with the athletic ability to get to the quarterback much like the Giants’ All-Pro Damon Harrison.

Buffalo Bills – Rashaan Evans, LB – Alabama

His injuries are a bit of a concern, but when Evans is healthy, he is the exact mold of a the new NFL inside linebackers. Crazy fast with great instincts.

Buffalo Bills – Lamar Jackson, QB – Louisville

The Bills very clearly don’t see Tyrod Taylor as the player who can lead them to a championship. However, the Bills were a playoff team last year and adding a player who is already more electric than Taylor could be the answer.

Los Angeles Rams – Arden Key, LB – LSU

Key was considered to be one of the top prospects going into this season, but as his production dipped, his off the field concerns were highlighted. The draft process will be important for where Key winds up, but he could be highly effective in Wade Phillips’ scheme.

Carolina Panthers – Isaiah Wynn, OG – Georgia

Wynn is a technically sound, premier run blocker with more than capable pass protection skills. While his size will be questionable for some teams, his technique should mask those concerns.

Tennessee Titans – Harold Landry, LB – Boston College

First-year head coach Mike Vrabel would love to have a pass rushing threat like Landry whose speed and athleticism will turn heads at the next level.

Atlanta Falcons – Will Hernandez, OG – UTEP

The Flacons sure up their line with a fast rising prospect. Hernandez showed out at the senior bowl and possesses top notch run blocking skills while not being a liability in pass protection.

New Orleans Saints – Taven Bryan, DE – Florida

Bryan is an absolute terror who has drawn J.J. Watt comparisons throughout the scouting process. Bryan plays a similar game to Cam Jordan, and the two of them would scare most any offensive line room. You can read my more in-depth look at Bryan here.

Pittsburgh Steelers – Malik Jefferson, LB – Texas

Jefferson is a prototype NFL linebacker and the Steelers unfortunately are in the market for that with the loss of Ryan Shazier. Jefferson has all the tools to be disruptive but will likely take some time to reach his full potential.

Jacksonville Jaguars – Courtland Sutton, WR – SMU

Sutton is a big bodied receiver who turns 50/50 balls into 80/20 balls. He won’t wow you with speed, and can stand to improve his route tree, but he would be an immediate red zone target for Blake Bortles.

Minnesota Vikings – Maurice Hurst, DT – Michigan

Hurst is the exact type of interior lineman Mike Zimmer looks for in his aggressive 43 scheme. Hurst has rare burst off the snap but with at 280 pounds, he will need to get a little stronger to take on NFL guards.

New England Patriots – Orlando Brown, OT – Oklahoma

Personally, I don’t see Brown as the top tackle in the draft, as most do. To me he is the Josh Allen of OT’s, scouts are drooling over his measurable, but the tape just doesn’t add up. If anyone can harness his size and power it’s OL Coach Dante Scarnecchia.

Philadelphia Eagles – Mike Hughes, CB – UCF

The champs grab an ultra aggressive, press man corner who never gives the opposing receiver a clean release. While his lack of experience will hurt his draft stock, Hughes has the speed and ball skills to grow into a high quality starter on the outside.

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