NFL Mock Draft 2018: Latest Picks & Projections – 2/28

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NFL Draft season is about to kick into full swing with the NFL Scouting Combine set to begin this weekend at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

While the top prospects in this year’s class will be putting their skills on display, scouts across the country are piling up their research to determine who will be the best fit for their franchise moving forward.

In this year’s draft, some teams will be looking for their quarterbacks of the future, while also looking for defensive talents they can build the team around.

Who could your team be zeroing in on for the 2018 NFL Draft?

Here’s a look at our latest 2018 NFL Mock Draft:

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1. Cleveland Browns: Sam Darnold

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Cleveland is in need of a franchise quarterback that can lead the team into the future. While Wyoming’s Josh Allen has been gaining momentum as a potential No. 1 overall pick, Darnold is a proven talent who has played in the spotlight before during his time at USC.

With a second first-round pick inside of the top five, the Browns have the ammunition to surround Darnold with more talent that could set him up for success moving forward.

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2. New York Giants: Josh Rosen

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Eli Manning isn’t getting any younger, and the New York Giants will need to line up his replacement.

Rosen is another signal-caller used to playing on a big stage thanks to his time in Los Angeles, and his college coach has NFL experience so Rosen will be ahead of the curve when it comes to his fellow rookie signal-callers.

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3. Indianapolis Colts: Bradley Chubb

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The Colts need talent everywhere, but an NFL team’s success always starts in the trenches.

In Chubb, Indianapolis would immediately receive a boost on the defensive side of the ball with the best pass rusher in the 2018 draft class.

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4. Cleveland Browns: Minkah Fitzpatrick

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After going with a quarterback with the No. 1 overall pick, the Browns can turn their attention to the defensive side of the ball.

Cleveland already has some talent on their defense, but they lack a true No. 1 cornerback after getting rid of former first-round pick Joe Haden a year ago. In Fitzpatrick, the Browns can add the top defensive back to their secondary to go along with last year’s first-rounder Jabrill Peppers in a division full of stud wide receivers like Antonio Brown and A.J. Green.

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5. Denver Broncos: Baker Mayfield

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Denver took a huge step back in 2017 so they will be looking to add a spark in the offseason.

There is perhaps a no better way to do that than to add one of the most competitive players college football has to offer. With Baker Mayfield, the Broncos will not only be adding a potential quarterback of the future but a player who is going to give it his all on every down to lead the team to victory.

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6. New York Jets: Saquon Barkley

While the New York Jets and their fan base may prefer to add one of the top quarterbacks in the 2018 NFL Draft, Saquon Barkley is too talented of a player to pass up at this point.

Some may argue that Barkley is the best available player in the draft regardless of position so the Jets will be picking up a future star.

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7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Marcus Davenport

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Davenport may not yet be a household name, but the UTSA product has tremendous NFL potential.

The pass rusher has been generating plenty of buzz in the draft community and has blossomed into a top ten pick. With the Scouting Combine and Pro Day yet to come, there is still plenty of time for Davenport to continue his meteoric rise up the draft boards.

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8.  Chicago Bears: Tremaine Edmunds

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Edmunds is an incredibly young player, so the sky is the limit when it comes to his possible success at the next level. In Chicago, Edmunds, who has drawn comparisons to former Bears legend Brian Urlacher, would be an anchor on the defensive side of the ball for years to come.

“The beauty of this kid is he’s 19 years old, he’s 6-foot-5, 250. At 19 years old. He doesn’t turn 20 until a couple days after the draft,” NFL Draft analyst Mike Mayock said on a pre-combine teleconference.

“I put the first tape in on this kid, and today he’s an off-the-ball linebacker. Meaning in a three-four, he’s an inside linebacker, and he’d be great there. He also has a scary skill set as an edge rusher, which he did a little bit at Virginia Tech, and I know for sure he’s working on that now.

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9. San Francisco 49ers: Roquan Smith

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10. Oakland Raiders: Denzel Ward

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Ward played in a star-studded defensive backfield during his time at Ohio State along with players like Gareon Conley, Eli Apple, and Marshon Lattimore. He is just the latest in a long line of Buckeyes who is projected to be a first-round pick.

Ward has a well-rounded game and should be able to contribute from Day 1.

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11. Miami Dolphins: Quenton Nelson

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It’s not often that you don’t see the first offensive lineman drafted outside of the top ten, but that could prove to be a blessing to the Miami Dolphins who land the top offensive lineman in this year’s draft.

It’s even rarer that the first offensive lineman selected is a guard, but Nelson’s nasty streak will have teams around the league waiting for the chance to plug and play him right away.

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12. Cincinnati Bengals: Mike McGlinchey

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That’s consecutive offensive linemen off the board for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and McGlinchey is highly regarded as the top offensive tackle available in 2018.

“He’s one of my favorite players in the draft because I know the kid, and that helps me with evaluation. I know what kind of kid he is,” Mayock said. “He’s Matt Ryan’s cousin. I saw this kid play football and baseball at Penn Carter High School. I know the kid well. I did Notre Dame games when he was young, and I’ve been around him when he works out in the weight room.

“So the reason I have him as the No. 1 tackle in the draft, and by the way, I believe very much that those other tackles — Orlando Brown, Connor Williams — are in the same category as players, but I love two things about Mike McGlinchey. I love that he got coached by Harry Hiestand at Notre Dame, which tells me when he comes out, he’s going to be ready to play. I don’t care if you put him at right tackle or left tackle, he’s going to be ready to play.

“And, number two, his work ethic and passion for the game of football is unparalleled. So I know what I’m getting with that kid, and that’s why I bang the table for him.”

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13. Washington: Derwin James

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14. Green Bay Packers:  Harold Landry

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Landry is a talented pass rusher who excelled behind the line of scrimmage with 8.5 tackles for a loss during his senior season at Boston College.

Landry led the nation in sacks in 2016 with 16.5, so he has proven his ability to get after the passer.

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15. Arizona Cardinals: Josh Allen

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While Josh Allen may be a favorite among draftniks and some believe he could be the No. 1 overall pick, he is better suited to fall in the mid-teens rather than flying off the board early and entering the NFL with unrealistic expectations.

Allen has the prototypical size for an NFL signal-caller, but his accuracy issues should have teams cautious when they consider adding him to the roster.

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16. Baltimore Ravens: Courtland Sutton

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Sutton is one of the top wide receivers in this year’s class and at 6-foot-4, 218 pounds he brings the size you want from a pass catcher who could be a red zone threat.

If Sutton is able to impress with his 40-yard dash time in Indianapolis, you could hear his name called even earlier on draft night.

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17. Los Angeles Chargers: Vita Vea

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Vea is a powerful force along the interior defensive line, and he has drawn comparisons to five-time Pro Bowler Haloti Ngata.

Vea is incredibly versatile and athletic for his size, spending time at defensive tackle, nose tackle and defensive end during his time at Washington. Vea is stout against the run and virtually impossible for an offensive lineman to move in a one-on-one battle.

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18. Seattle Seahawks: Orlando Brown

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The Seattle Seahawks have long needed to protect Russell Wilson, and Brown gives the team one of the top offensive tackles available to keep their franchise quarterback clean.

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19. Dallas Cowboys: Will Hernandez

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20. Detroit Lions: Maurice Hurst

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Hurst is one of many talented defensive tackles who is projected to be selected in the first-round of this year’s draft.

Hurst would pair well with A’Shawn Robinson moving forward and would provide a young player who can eventually replace an aging Haloti Ngata.

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21. Buffalo Bills: Joshua Jackson

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Jackson is one of the top cornerbacks available in the 2018 NFL Draft and brings a 6-foot-1 frame that NFL scouts drool over.

While he may not have as much experience as some of the other defensive backs in this year’s class, his raw talent speaks for itself and will lead to his name being called within the first round.

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22. Buffalo Bills: Lamar Jackson

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The former Heisman Trophy winner was one of the most electric playmakers in college football.

There are some concerns about Jackson’s ability to play quarterback in the NFL due to his size, but if he is given the opportunity and excels, he could prove to be one of the steals of the 2018 draft.

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23. Los Angeles Rams: Isaiah Oliver

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Oliver is another long corner who measures at 6-foot-1.

The latest in a long line of Colorado Buffaloe’s standouts, Oliver also brings some NFL lineage. Oliver’s father, Muhammad Oliver, played in the NFL for the Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins and Washington Redskins.

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24. Carolina Panthers: Christian Kirk

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The Panthers need to give Cam Newton some weapons and Kirk is an experienced playmaker who can excel in the slot.

During his time at Texas A&M, Kirk hauled in 229 passes for 2,796 yards and 26 touchdowns. With big bodies like Devin Funchess on the outside for the Panthers, Kirk could fill in nicely to add a dynamic threat to the offense.

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25. Tennessee Titans: Isaiah Wynn

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26. Atlanta Falcons: Calvin Ridley

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While the Falcons have Julio Jones, Matt Ryan doesn’t have any additional big-play threats on the outside.

By adding Ridley, the Falcons passing attack could find new success as he flourishes while Jones continues to draw the double teams for the immediate future.

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27. New Orleans Saints: Rashaan Evans

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From NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zeirlein:

“Evans is an ideal inside linebacker fit for a blitz-happy 3-4 unit, but he could easily fit as a 4-3 WILL with rush potential on sub-packages. Evans is an early starter with high-end potential if he can stay healthy.”

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28. Pittsburgh Steelers: Ronnie Harrison

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The standout safety has drawn comparisons to Kam Chancellor.

Since losing Troy Polamalu, the Steelers have struggled to find a player who can patrol the secondary and provide a big, imposing force that intimidates opponents. In Harrison, they would be getting exactly that. For a team that has had secondary issues for years, addressing the need for a player who fits the Steelers mentality like Harrison would be a natural fit.

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29. Jacksonville Jaguars: Connor Williams

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Williams would be targeted higher in the draft if it were not for a torn meniscus and sprained MCL and PCL that prematurely ended his college career.

In Indianapolis, Williams will have the opportunity to prove he has fully healed and can contribute immediately at the next level.

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30. Minnesota Vikings: Da’Ron Payne

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Payne brings incredible strength to the interior defensive line and comes from an Alabama team that has been mass producing defensive talent for the NFL.

While he may not have the height that you would want and he is limited when it comes to pass rushing, his ability to use his hands and his non-stop motor allow for him to find success.

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31. New England Patriots: Arden Key

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The New England Patriots are incredible at finding value in the NFL Draft.

In the Key selection, New England would be adding a dynamic pass rusher who entered the 2017 college football season as a projected top-five pick.

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32. Philadelphia Eagles: Sony Michel

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