2018 NFL Mock Draft Top 20: January 4th

2018 NFL Mock Draft Top 20: January 4th

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2018 NFL Mock Draft Top 20: January 4th


With the announcements by Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold and Saquon Barkley that they’re turning pro early, how does the 2018 NFL Draft top ten look in early January?


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2018 NFL Mock Draft Top 20: January 4th

To no one’s surprise, Penn State’s Saquon Barkley, USC’s Sam Darnold, and UCLA’s Josh Rosen have declared themselves eligible for the 2018 NFL Draft. Where will each of the stars go, and what would be the best move for each team?

In the Who Actually Should Be Drafted In This Spot section for the top ten, it’s the alternative draft – it’s assuming that the teams draft according to how it would go in a correct, right and just world.

With the top 20 of the 2018 NFL Draft order set – for the most part – here’s where the fun starts.

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1. Cleveland Browns

The Pick Will Be: QB Josh Rosen, UCLA

Who actually should be drafted in this spot?
RB Saquon Barkley, Penn State

There’s a difference between taking a quarterback, and taking the quarterback. The Browns aren’t just going to take anyone, and there’s an off chance that they believe in DeShone Kizer – which they should, by the way, and let the 22-year-old develop, or trade him away for a slew of big draft picks – but Rosen will grade out as the one who can make the offense good right now.

However, there are a slew of question marks about Rosen – injured, concussions, brashness – and other good quarterback options are going to be there for the taking at the four. Get Saquon Barkley and build up the sure thing star power.

2. New York Giants

The Pick Will Be: RB Saquon Barkley, Penn State

Who actually should be drafted in this spot?
QB Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State

The Giants invested in Davis Webb, but this is spot at the two is special – there will be far, far better quarterback prospects here. The offensive line is a need, Mason Rudolph would be the ideal transition prospect from Eli Manning, and Bradley Chubb would be a fun pick for the line. But assuming the Browns go quarterback at the No. 1, Saquon Barkley changes the offense and the franchise immediately.

3. Indianapolis Colts

The Pick Will Be: DE Bradley Chubb, NC State

Who actually should be drafted in this spot?
DE Bradley Chubb, NC State

You need a linebacker here, Indianapolis? The three might be too early for Roquan Smith, but he’s the tone-setting terror who’d fit an immediate need. But Chubb is too good a pass rusher to pass up for a team that needs a new terror in the backfield.

4. Cleveland Browns (from Houston)

The Pick Will Be: SS Derwin James, Florida State

Who actually should be drafted in this spot?
OT Orlando Brown, Oklahoma

With Joe Thomas hurt and his Hall of Fame career winding down, the Browns need to build up the infrastructure up front. But the team also needs as many Pro Bowl talents as possible. For an 0-16 team that needs playmakers, James could step in and take over the defense from Day One.

5. Denver Broncos

The Pick Will Be: QB Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State

Who actually should be drafted in this spot?
QB Josh Rosen, UCLA

The Paxton Lynch thing didn’t work. Denver might have won a Super Bowl without a quarterback – Peyton Manning was a shadow of his former self – but as this year proved, there has to be a direction. Sam Darnold will be considered, but Rudolph is safer, and if he slides here, Rosen is the shot for an instant boost.

6. New York Jets

The Pick Will Be: OT Orlando Brown, Oklahoma

Who actually should be drafted in this spot?
QB Lamar Jackson, Louisville

The Jets have to come up with a long-term answer at quarterback after a revolving door of issues throughout this year. However, they also need a top-flight tackle. They can take a chance that the quarterbacks will slide and at least one of the bigger names might be there later. Brown is a safe choice for the foundation, but if the franchise wants a shot of energy, take the chance on Lamar Jackson. It’s a shot for the stars, and he needs a TON of work on his passing game, but he’s a chance for the Jets worth taking.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Pick Will Be: RB Derrius Guice, LSU

Who actually should be drafted in this spot?
S Derwin James, Florida State

The Buccaneers have to come up with a real, live running back option to take the pressure – and the offense – off of Jameis. The passing game will be much, much better if there’s a franchise back like Derrius Guice there to take over. However, if Derwin James really does slide this far – done. He’s that special.

8. Chicago Bears

The Pick Will Be: OG Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame

Who actually should be drafted in this spot?
WR James Washington, Oklahoma State

Everything is about helping Mitchell Trubisky. EVERYTHING. There might be a slew of worthy defensive prospects here, but nothing matters to the franchise if Trubisky isn’t special. Are there any receivers on the board worth the No. 8 pick? No, but the Bears might have to go for it no matter what.

However, keeping the main man in one piece is also a massive priority. A guard might not seem all that sexy, but getting a likely perennial Pro Bowl cornerstone in Nelson would be a part of the puzzle.

9/10. Oakland Raiders (coin flip with San Francisco)

The Pick Will Be: DE Arden Key, LSU

Who actually should be drafted in this spot?
OG Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame

The offensive playmakers are in place, but the line has to be better. Even so, it’ll be way too hard to not shoot for the stars with another high-end pass rusher. There might be a slew of concerns about Key, but for a defense that struggled to get behind the line with just 31 sacks, it needs a pass rushing terror to turn loose.

9/10. San Francisco 49ers (coin flip with Oakland)

The Pick Will Be: WR Courtland Sutton, SMU

Who actually should be drafted in this spot?
S Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama

The 49ers have their quarterback, but they need a top No. 1 target for him to throw to. Courtland Sutton looks the part and has a world of upside, but several receivers will be on the board to try out. As much as the Niners might like a receiver, if Fitzpatrick slides this far … yoink.

11. Miami Dolphins

The Pick Will Be: QB sam darnold, usc

12. Cincinnati Bengals

The Pick Will Be: lb roquan smith, georgia

13. Washington Redskins

The Pick Will Be: s Minkah fitzpatrick, alabama

14. Green Bay Packers

The Pick Will Be: dt maurice hurst, michigan

15. Arizona Cardinals

The Pick Will Be: qb lamar jackson, louisville

16. Baltimore Ravens

The Pick Will Be: WR james washington, oklahoma state

17. Los Angeles Chargers

The Pick Will Be: Ot kolton miller, ucla

18. Seattle Seahawks

The Pick Will Be: De/olb ogbonnia okoronkwo, oklahoma

19. Dallas Cowboys

The Pick Will Be: cb josh jackson, iowa

20. Detroit Lions

The Pick Will Be: rb bryce love, stanford

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