FOR 30 teams, next Sunday’s Super Bowl means squat. They are already looking ahead to 2018 and with the exception of my Super Bowl LII preview I write next week, so am I. Kicking off my mock draft season is a preview of how the first round of this year’s NFL draft could play out.

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Pick #1 Cleveland Browns – Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

I’M not sold on Darnold’s iffy year and Josh Rosen wants nothing to do with the Browns. Getting Allen along with signing a veteran helps them stabilize the position.

Pick #2 New York Giants – Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA

ADDRESSING the offensive line might be tempting, but finding Eli’s successor is more important.

Pick #3 Indianapolis Colts – Bradley Chubb, DE, N.C. State

YOU can’t win without a good pass rusher and a good quarterback in today’s NFL. Choosing Chubb gives the Colts both should Andrew Luck return to being himself.

Pick #4 Cleveland Browns (from Houston Texans) – Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State

THIS is a huge pick for the Browns. They go could defense with Minkah Fitzpatrick, who might be the safest surefire thing in the draft. The rare opportunity to get ‘the’ QB and ‘the’ RB in the same draft is hard to pass up though.

Pick #5 Denver Broncos – Sam Darnold, QB, USC

IT’S highly likely that the Broncos manage to address their quarterback needs in free agency and gets an O-lineman here. If not they can’t pass up on Darnold.

Pick #6 New York Jets – Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma

IF this is the way that things play out then the Jets can’t afford to wait on a quarterback.

Pick #7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Minkah Fitzpatrick, S/CB, Alabama

TAMPA Bay would love for Nick Chubb to be available here, but they aren’t complaining about Fitzpatrick sliding.

Pick #8 Chicago Bears – Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama

BACK-to-back Crimson Tide players as the Bears address their offensive needs. The temptation to go cornerback is real, not real enough to pass on Ridley though.

2018 NFL Mock Draft 1.0 1Image from youtube.com

Pick #9 San Fransisco 49ers – Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State

RESISTING the urge to help Jimmy Garoppolo with a receiver or offensive lineman, the 49ers instead make a move to strengthen the other side of the ball. It comes in the form of one of the best corners in the entire draft.

Pick #10 Oakland Raiders – Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia

THE uber-talented Smith is a perfect fit for the Raiders defense that needs, well, almost everything.

Pick #11 Miami Dolphins –  Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech

IT is no secret that the Dolphins have a pretty miserable crop of linebacker talent. There’s a chance that Edmunds is the best player out of the draft. It’s a match made in heaven.

Pick #12 Cincinnati Bengals – Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame

IN a lot of other mock drafts I’ve seen teams like the Giants, Broncos and Bucs taking guards before this pick. If they don’t and the Bengals have their pick of the bunch then Nelson is their guy.

2018 NFL Mock Draft 1.0 2Image from und.com

Pick #13 Washington Redskins – Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU

THE Kirk Cousins saga will determine exactly how this pick plays out. If they move on from him they could look at a quarterback here, should one be available. For now, I’m bolstering a receiving core that struggled all season.

Pick #14 Green Bay Packers – Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA

THERE are a few holes that the Packers could plug at 14. Getting their hands on an athletic edge rusher can help them return to the glory days.

Pick #15 Arizona Cardinals – Connor Williams, OT, Texas

DESPERATE for a quarterback the Cardinals could snap up one of the aforementioned players if they slide. In this scenario, they get protection for whoever succeeds Carson Palmer.

Pick #16 Baltimore Ravens – Derrius Guice, RB, LSU

SKILL position players are a must if the Ravens want to return to the playoffs. Expect to see Ridley or Sutton go if they are available, if not then the shifty Guice is their man.

Pick #17 Los Angeles Chargers – Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma

LA needs more O-line help and Brown is one of best guys available at 17 too. Win-win.

Pick #18 Seattle Seahawks – Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa State

AS the ‘Legion of Boom’ seems to be crumbling before our eyes adding Jackson could prevent that from happening. Even if Sherman leaves town.

Pick #19 Dallas Cowboys – Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan

ALMOST every mock I have seen has Hurst at this spot early on. I’m staying vanilla.

Pick #20 Detroit Lions – Vita Vea, DT, Washington

WHEN it’s all said and done I think Vea will be drafted before this slot. Detroit would be stoked if he slid all the way to them.

Pick #21 Buffalo Bills – Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State

WITH back-to-back picks thanks to a trade with KC last year, the Bills are presented with a variety of options. Whether they move up, move down or stay put, they will look for a QB and Rudolph is probably the best left on the board (sorry Lamar Jackson).

Pick #22 Buffalo Bills (from Kansas City Chiefs) – Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama

GETTING Payne to replace Marcell Dareus’ production on the defensive front is a wise investment.

Pick #23 Los Angeles Rams – Billy Price, C/OG, Ohio State

AN emerging unit up front can’t pass up on adding a blue-chip, flexible center to the team.

Pick #24 Carolina Panthers – James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State

CAROLINA is going to have to address receiver at one point in this draft, so why not now?

2018 NFL Mock Draft 1.0 3Image from tulsaworld.com

Pick #25 Tennessee Titans – Derwin James, S, Florida State

A move to improve their safety depth could be on the cards in the first round. If James is still on the board at 25, then you may as well mail the pick in now.

Pick #26 Atlanta Falcons – Taven Bryan, DT, Florida

IF an O-line stud slips then the Falcons could use this pick on one of them. If not they will likely look to bolster the D-line.

Pick #27 New Orleans Saints – Mike Hughes, CB, UCF

ADDING an elite corner to a much-improved defense means the Saints will be one of the favourites to win the NFC next year.

Pick #28 Pittsburgh Steelers – Lamar Jackson, QB, Lousiville

I could very well see a scenario were the Steelers wait to take a quarterback who can be their future in a ‘post Big Ben’ world. Given the fact that in this current scenario five quarterback prospects would already be off the board, they can’t afford to wait.

Pick #29 Jacksonville Jaguars – Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina

IN need of a tight end the Jaguars take the former baseballing stud off the board.

Pick #30 Minnesota Vikings – Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA

MINNESOTA’S defense is so damn good and they need to bolster their offense while their Super Bowl window is open. First things first, fix the front line.

Pick #31 Philadelphia Eagles – Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama

FUNNILY enough, every single mock has the Eagles picking in this spot, which would mean they fall short in Super Bowl LII. Every. Single. One. Either way, there aren’t many holes in their team and they get a potential steal in Evans.

Pick #32 New England Patriots – Sam Hubbard, DE, Ohio State

SLIPPING to 32nd, Hubbard gives the Patriots a piece to help their defense get off to a better start in 2018.

Peace ✌️

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