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GiveMeSport's 2018 NFL Mock Draft 2.0 - Darnold goes first and Cardinals make a big trade

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The 2018 NFL Draft is here and NFL fans around the World are all excited to see which players come off the board tonight, with all 32 having the potential to change the face of their franchise in the future. 

Reports from Adam Schefter and other NFL insiders have hinted at the Cleveland Browns potentially going with Baker Mayfield as the number one overall pick and new quarterback, with Sam Darnold now thought to head to one of the New York teams.

But now is Mock Draft time, our final one of the year, and this one is a bit different. I've teamed up with Luke Drage, one of our NFL writers here at GiveMeSport, and we are taking turns drafting players. I will be going first and have all odd-numbered picks (1,3,5 etc) and Luke has the even-numbered picks. Let's see what we went with...

1) Cleveland Browns - Sam Darnold, QB, USC

The Browns go with the safest of the quarterback options at #1 overall. After years of risks and trade-downs, they stay put and hopefully get the face of the franchise.

NFL Combine - Day 3

2) New York Giants - Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State

All the talk out of New York has been that Darnold is the only QB they like, so with the USC signal-caller off the board they get Eli Manning some help in the run game. Barkley is the best player in the draft and his dynamic playmaking ability as a runner and catching balls out of the backfield will add a much-needed spark to the Giants offense. 

3) New York Jets - Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA

The man many are calling the best pure passer in the Draft, the former UCA star lifted his teammates to be better than what they were. The Jets will be hoping that Rosen can do the same with Jermaine Kearse and co.

4) Cleveland Browns - Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State

Pairing Chubb with last year's number one pick Myles Garrett gives the Browns the best young pass-rushing duo in football. The former NC State standout is athletic, powerful and plays with a relentless motor. He'll be a double digit sack guy and a perennial Pro Bowler early in his career.

North Carolina v North Carolina State

TRADE: Bills trade 1.12 & 1.22 to the Broncos for 1.05.

5) Buffalo Bills - Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma

The now-fancied number one overall pick slips to #5 where I have nabbed him for the Bills. He will have to compete with AJ McCarron to start on Week 1 but Mayfield loves a quarterback battle, having won two at Texas Tech and Oklahoma.

6) Indianapolis Colts - Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia

Smith's sideline to sideline coverage ability and outstanding leadership skills make him the perfect choice for a Colts defense lacking leaders and playmakers across the middle. He's a day one starter and an extremely intelligent player who will instantly improve one of the league's worst defenses.

Kentucky v Georgia

7) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Derwin James, S, FSU

James to the Buccaneers seems like the obvious choice. A hometown kid stays in Florida and gives the Bucs some much-needed help in the secondary. I could also see Denzel Ward coming off the board here. 

8) Chicago Bears - Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame

Nelson is arguably one of the best guard prospects in draft history. He's the complete player at the position and will provide Mitchell Trubisky with elite interior protection for a decade. The Bears also hired his old O-Line coach from Notre Dame this summer, making this Luke's most confident selection.

NFL Combine - Day 2

9) San Francisco 49ers - Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech

If Reuben Foster is suspended or fired by John Lynch and the 49ers then Edmunds can slot straight into his slot at middle linebacker. If he stays on the team, Edmunds can easily play at outside linebacker, likely on the weak side. At just 19, he has a lot of learning to do, but the potential is through the roof.

TRADE: Cardinals trade 1.15 & 3.15 to the Raiders for 1.10

10) Arizona Cardinals - Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville

They've got Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon, but Jackson is the future and this is a franchise that's not afraid to take chances and be progressive. Former coach Bruce Arians loves Jackson and you can bet he's been in Steve Keim's ear about it. Jackson is a potentially frachise altering talent and there are few better situations for his playing style than Arizona with the warm weather and chance to sit and learn behind two veterans for the foreseeable future.

Heisman Trophy Presentation - Press Conference

11) Miami Dolphins - Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

The 5th quarterback off the board is definitely not Josh Allen would be expecting but here we are. With the Dolphins having concerns about Ryan Tannehill and his comeback from injury, this move actually makes a lot of sense. Let Allen sit and learn for a year or two and see if his accuracy issues can be fixed.

12) Denver Broncos - Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State

Ward is an elite playmaker on the perimeter with blazing speed and comes from a proven recent production line of corners in Columbus. The Broncos get great value here at 12 and add another star to replace Aqib Talib.

13) Washington Redskins - Vita Vea, DT, Washington

The 'Skins need a big presence on the defensive line and get one in the 345lb Vea. The former Husky can take up running lanes and occupy multiple linemen when on the field, which should open up space for the rest of the Washington front seven.

Oregon State v Washington

14) Green Bay Packers - Minkah Fitzpatrick, S, Alabama

Fitzpatrick's versatility will fit well in Green Bay, where he could see action alongside Ha Ha Clinton Dix and operate in the slot. This defense needs difference makers and the former Alabama star gives them just that.

15) Oakland Raiders - Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville

Jon Gruden loves having a defensive playmaker, so he will jump at the chance to take Alexander from Louisville. Missing out on Minkah by one pick will sting, and I could see a trade up above Green Bay if he's still on the board come Thursday night. 

16) Baltimore Ravens - Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame

Baltimore has a hole at right tackle and McGlinchey fits the bill perfectly as a plug and play starter. The Notre Dame prospect is athletic, technically sound and should help shore up what was a leaky O-Line in 2017.

17) L.A. Rams - Da'Ron Payne, DT, Alabama

The Rams get a big boy of their own to man the defensive line. Payne and Vea are 1a and 1b in the DT rankings so Rams fans should be happy to get the big man from 'Bama. Joey Bosa rejoices.

CFP National Championship presented by AT&T - Alabama v Georgia

18) Seattle Seahawks - Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA

There's no more Michael Bennett or Sheldon Richardson, and Cliff Avril is aging. Davenport is a project, but he's got outstanding physical tools with a rare blend of size and speed and could develop into a double-digit sack fiend on the edge.

19) Dallas Cowboys - Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama

Allen Hurns is currently the #1 target for Dak Prescott. That isn't good enough and the Cowboys quarterback needs some help. So let's give him the best route runner in the class. Courtland Sutton is a consideration but this is my pick and I like Ridley more.

20) Detroit Lions - Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina

Hurst fills an obvious need for the Lions after letting Eric Ebron walk in free agency. In his own words, South Carolina TE is a 'warrior' and he's ready to step in a make an impact from day one in the league. He needs to improve is route running but his solid hands and big play potential could make him Matthew Stafford's go-to guy very early in his career.

21) Cincinnati Bengals - Frank Ragnow, C, Arkansas

The consensus pick for the Bengals at #21, the former Razorback possesses excellent strength and should be an anchor on the Cincy line, making holes for Joe Mixon to run through and giving Andy Dalton time in the pocket. 

22) Denver Broncos - Will Hernandez, G, UTEP

Denver's O-Line has been unstable for a while now, and adding a mauler like Hernandez at one of the guard spots will go a long way to shoring up a shaky unit. The UTEP standout has elite size and athletic ability and he'll instantly improve the run-blocking game in the mile high city.

NFL Combine - Day 2

23) New England Patriots - Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA

The new Nate Solder? That's what Patriots fans will be hoping for and praying that O-Line coach Dante Scarnecchia can turn Miller's athletic traits into production.

24) Carolina Panthers - Mike Hughes, CB, UCF

The Panthers had a bottom ten pass defense in 2017 and desperately need playmakers on the back end. Hughes carries some character concerns, but he's an exciting talent who could make a Josh Norman-like impact given time in Carolina.

25) Tennessee Titans - Harold Landry, DE, Boston College

How was he still here? Steal of the round. That's all I have to say. Landry is a fantastic pass rusher, with unreal bend. It wouldn't surprise me if he finished his rookie deal with more sacks than Bradley Chubb.

NFL Combine - Day 4

26) Atlanta Falcons - Taven Bryan, DT, Florida

Bryan has a scary-fast get off but doesn't always finish plays in the way he should. However, the Falcons staff should be able to improve his technique and he could become a high-level interior lineman with the right coaching. Even if he doesn't reach the top of his ceiling, Bryan will make an impact for a team that has a huge hole over the middle after Dontari Poe's departure this offseason.

27) New Orleans Saints - Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama

The Saints don't really have all that many needs on their roster. A wide receiver or extra lineman would be nice, but I've decided to give them the best defensive player left on my draft board in Evans out of Alabama. A do-it-all linebacker, he can provide pressure and cover.  

28) Pittsburgh Steelers - Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State

Big Ben isn't going be around forever and Rudolph is a straight gamer who will only get better with a year or two sitting and learning behind the longtime franchise QB. The former Oklahoma State signal-caller has excellent size and is a proficient operator sitting inside the pocket. He needs to work on his precision throws though and though his upside isn't huge, he could become a serviceable starter down the line.

Oklahoma State v Iowa State

29) Jacksonville Jaguars - Isaiah Wynn, OG, Georgia

Some call him as good as Quenton Nelson, but Wynn lasts all the way to the Jags at #29. Wynn played left tackle last year for the Bulldogs but he projects to play inline more in the pros and should be a Pro Bowler in the not-too-distant future. 

30) Minnesota Vikings - Connor Williams, OG, Texas

Joe Berger retired this offseason, leaving a hole at right guard. Texas' Williams doesn't quite have the physical traits to play on the outside in the NFL but kicks inside here and fills that gap. 

31) New England Patriots - Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State

Patriots need more speed in their linebacking corps. Get it here with Vander Esch, a man who could be the new Anthony Barr. He has all the physical tools, now we see if Bill Belichick can turn that into a star defender.

Las Vegas Bowl - Boise State v Oregon

  • TRADE: Colts trade 2.04 & 2019 4th to Eagles for 1.32

32) Indianapolis Colts - DJ Moore, WR, Maryland

A trade makes sense for the Eagles here, they only have to move down a few spots and get a 2019 fourth rounder to boot. The Colts jump at the chance to move up and snag an exciting perimeter weapon for Andrew Luck. Moore is a polished receiver with big-play ability and will flourish opposite or alongside TY Hilton in Frank Reich's new offense.

And that is that. Let us know what you think in the comments below....

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