It’s Super Bowl week, so all teams know what’s in store for them this offseason. They know their needs, their strengths and their weaknesses. The 2018 NFL Draft will be a big way to help them fill those needs. Here is the 2018 NFL Mock draft for January 31st.
1. Cleveland Browns- Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
Yes, Rosen has voiced his displeasure over playing for the Browns. But, the Browns need a good quarterback and he is the best available. Rosen had to carry UCLA and ended up having a successful season. He needed to have a good year to clear up any doubts about his shoulder injury he suffered during his sophomore season. The Browns have a new GM, who has no allegiances to anyone on the roster, which means DeShone Kizer is likely done as quarterback. If Rosen really doesn’t want to play for them, expect a team to trade up.
2. New York Giants- Sam Darnold, QB, USC
Maybe Eli Manning can mentor Sam Darnold for a year, if he chooses to stay in New York. Darnold struggled this season with his decision-making which led to a lot of turnovers. He also has a flawed throwing motion. Some have Darnold as their top quarterback, but his decision-making needs to improve.
3. Indianapolis Colts- Bradley Chubb, DE, N.C. State
Josh McDaniels is the next coach of the Colts and will be hoping to get quarterback Andrew Luck back healthy. When he is back, the offense will figure itself out. They can improve the defense to make the team more complete when Luck comes back. Chubb is a great pass rusher who has 10 sacks in each of the past two seasons.
4. Cleveland Browns (via Hou)- Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
Barkley is one of the most complete running backs to ever come out of college and might be the best player in the entire class. The Browns tried to improve the defense in last year’s class, but now need to focus on the offense. With Rosen, a good offensive line and now Barkley, the offense should improve.
5. Denver Broncos- Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
While Allen certainly has flaws in his decision-making and accuracy, he does have a strong arm and is athletic. John Elway went to Idaho to watch him in his bowl game personally. The Broncos have a solid roster, but just need a quarterback to lead the team.
6. New York Jets- Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
Baker has defied all the critics who have mentioned his size as a reason not to draft him. He can make all the throws and is athletic to avoid pass rushers. His main calling card is his accuracy, which is the best in this draft class. The Jets did well this season for the talent they had on the roster, but need a franchise quarterback.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama
He likely fits in best as a safety in the NFL, but can also play corner. Whichever he needs to play, he will excel at. Fitzpatrick will have to help improve a bad Bucs’ pass defense, which ranked last in the league in passing yards allowed.
8. Chicago Bears- Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
The Bears have some nice young pieces in Trubisky and Howard, but now need to get a weapon at wide receiver. Ridley is the best route-runner in the class and produces even without the best quarterback play.
9. San Francisco 49ers- Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
Ward is the best cover corner in the draft. He had to really make his way this season, as he had to sit and wait his turn to get playing time. The 49ers got their defensive lineman and linebacker in the first round last year and can now get a good secondary player to go along with them.
10. Oakland Raiders- Vita Vea, DT, Washington
Oakland really needs to improve the interior of their defensive line and their defense in general. Vea can play both defensive tackle and nose tackle, which is valuable. He has great size at 6’5″ and 340 pounds. Jon Gruden thrived on having good defensive line play when he was a head coach before.
11. Miami Dolphins- Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame
Adam Gase has said that Ryan Tannehill is the starting quarterback. There are other holes on the team, but they need to have better offensive line play if they are going to be successful. Nelson is one of the best players in the class and will be drafted early despite playing a position that doesn’t usually get talked about this soon.
12. Cincinnati Bengals- Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
The Bengals were able to go 7-9 with a terrible offensive line. They need help at just about every position and can start with tackles. They have taken tackles before in the first round, but they haven’t panned out. McGlinchey would’ve been a first round pick last year and the Bengals can get good value and fill a need with this pick.
13. Washington Redskins- Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama
Payne’s stats aren’t eye-popping, but he often gets double teamed. Washington’s interior of the defensive line can be improved, as they allowed the most rushing yards per game in the NFL.
14. Green Bay Packers- Joshua Jackson, CB, Iowa
Jackson turned into an All-American corner at Iowa this season and has shown the ability to make acrobatic interceptions. The Packers need to improve the secondary and make the defense better for when Aaron Rodgers gets the offense going again.
15. Arizona Cardinals- Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
The Cardinals have to find a new quarterback now that Carson Palmer is retired. Some people are questioning whether Jackson can play quarterback, but he showed improved accuracy this season and is a dynamic playmaker. He should be given a shot to play the position in the NFL.
16. Baltimore Ravens- Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
Sutton is a bigger receiver who has put up big numbers in the AAC. The Ravens won’t be getting rid of Joe Flacco, so they need to get him some better targets to throw to.
17. Los Angeles Chargers- Derwin James, S, Florida State
He is athletic, but doesn’t necessarily have a set position. The Chargers can use the help at safety and James would be a great addition to help make a good defense better.
18. Seattle Seahawks- Arden Key, DE/OLB, LSU
Reports have come out that it will be tough for Cliff Avril to play football again and Michael Bennett has said that he doesn’t think he’ll be back in Seattle. Key only played eight games this season and had four sacks, but has proven in the past to be a good speed rusher.
19. Dallas Cowboys- Taven Byan, DT, Florida
The Cowboys are seemingly always weak up the middle of their defense. Shutting down their opponents’ running game would allow them to control the clock like they love to do. Byan is a more agile and athletic defensive tackle than most and would fill a need for Dallas.
20. Detroit Lions- Billy Price, OG/C
Detroit hasn’t had a solid running game in Matthew Stafford’s tenure as quarterback. Some more balance on offense would make it even better. They may be able to achieve this if they improve the offensive line. Price has tons of experience at guard and center for Ohio State and will start right away.
21. Buffalo Bills- Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
Smith is the best linebacker in college football and does a little bit of everything well. His game is fueled by his speed. The Bills are thin at linebacker and Smith is a day one starter.
22. Buffalo Bills (via KC)- Carlton Davis, CB, Auburn
Davis is a lengthy corner for Auburn, who has withstood a lot of good SEC competition. The Bills took Tre’Davious White last year and will likely want to get another corner to pair with him.
23. Los Angeles Rams- Marcus Davenport, DE/OLB, UTSA
Los Angeles has good inside pressure in Aaron Donald and Michael Brockers, but need better outside pass rushers. Davenport has the build of a great pass rusher, but reports are the media like him more than NFL teams do.
24. Carolina Panthers- Harold Landry, DE/OLB, Boston College
The Panthers signed Julius Peppers, but he won’t last much longer and they aren’t very deep at defensive end. Landry had a great 2016 season that put him on the map and followed it up with a solid season this year.
25. Tennessee Titans- Justin Reid, S, Stanford
Johnathan Cyprien has been bad for the Titans this year, in one of their lone weak spots on the roster. Reid took a huge leap this season in terms of production and has put himself on the map for a first round selection.
26. Atlanta Falcons- Donte Jackson, CB, LSU
Jackson has the potential to develop into a great cover corner. Atlanta needs another corner to pair with Desmond Trufant and should try to take one early.
27. New Orleans Saints- Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State
The Saints need to plan for the end of Drew Brees’ career sooner rather than later. Not everyone likes Rudolph, but he has a lot of experience and quite possibly the best deep ball in the class.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers- Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama
Harrison is a good strong safety prospect, who plays physically. Despite being known for all of their great safeties throughout their history, the Steelers are very bad at the position right now.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars- Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M
Kirk is dynamic when he has the ball in his hands and can play in the slot or on the outside. The Jaguars have a decent crop of young receivers, but they rarely stay healthy.
30. Minnesota Vikings- Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma
The Vikings’ offensive line is much better than last year, but can still be improved. With a good offense and defense, they don’t have too many needs. Brown has great size for an offensive tackle and his father played in the NFL.
31. Philadelphia Eagles- Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
Another team that doesn’t have too many needs is the Eagles. They could use another linebacker for depth and a future starter. Edmunds is a linebacker who can do it all. He rushes the passer, covers and helps to stop the run.
32. New England Patriots- Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas
The Patriots’ defense needs to be revamped. Jefferson was a highly-touted recruit that hasn’t reached his potential yet, which means the Patriots will get the most out of him.