2018 NFL Mock Draft: Bengals select QB Baker Mayfield to replace Andy Dalton

Baker Mayfield and Lamar Jackson will be the most polarizing prospects in the 2018 draft class, and with an assortment of teams in need of a franchise signal-caller, it will be fascinating to watch how draft night unfolds regarding these two unconventional yet ridiculously productive quarterbacks. 

As is typically the case, the teams with the first few picks will be in the quarterback market, but there are other organizations picking later in Round 1 that'll be interested in upgrading their signal-caller spot. 

Mayfield will be wildly popular to some and toxic to others. The Bengals have had an affinity for those type of (talented) prospects in the past, and the Andy Dalton era is probably nearing its end. 

There will still be a variety of movement here, but as we head through December, I'm now using the official draft order.

1. Cleveland Browns

Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA. Going with what seems to be "chalk" for the No. 1 overall pick in this one. Rosen and Southern California's Sam Darnold are probably the interchangeable top two quarterbacks for NFL teams, but Rosen appears to be more polished. It will be the second straight draft Cleveland picks a 21-year-old signal caller. 


2. New York Giants

Sam Darnold, QB, USCThis will be a trendy mock pairing over the course of the pre-draft process, simply due to New York's need at quarterback and Darnold's immense natural ability. The turnovers were up this season, yet the USC signal-caller made a handful of "wow" throws each game.


3. Indianapolis Colts

Quenton Nelson, G, Notre DameHere's a list of interior defensive linemen the Colts have in their division: Marcell Dareus, Malik Jackson, Jurell Casey, D.J. Reader and at times J.J. Watt. Picking the best guard in the draft at No. 3 isn't risky, it's smart. 


4. San Francisco 49ers

Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma. With the future of Joe Staley uncertain, the 49ers fortify at least one of their offensive tackle spots with certainly the biggest and arguably, relative to size, the most gifted tackle in this class. 

5. Denver Broncos

Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU. Whether it be Tyrod Taylor, Kirk Cousins, Andrew Luck or Eli Manning, I'm still betting on John Elway adding a veteran quarterback this offseason. Therefore, Sutton would be a logical selection to improve the environment around said veteran quarterback. He's a large, jump-ball wideout with nice wiggle in space.


6. Cleveland Browns from Texans

Bradley Chubb, DE, NC StateWhen Browns general manager John Dorsey held the same position with the Chiefs, he picked Dee Ford in Round 1 when Kansas City already had Tamba Hali and Justin Houston flying off the edge. Dorsey helped build the Chiefs by infusing the team with a bevy of talented defensive players. While an offensive tackle to replace Joe Thomas could be an option -- after all, Dorsey's first pick as GM in Kansas City was Eric Fisher -- the Browns will gladly keep Thomas on the left side to protect Rosen for his rookie season and have two stud bookends on the defensive line with Chubb and 2016 No. 1 overall pick  Myles Garrett.


7. Chicago Bears

James Washington, WR, Oklahoma StateThe Bears will thoroughly vet offensive linemen so Connor Williams and Kolton Miller will be possibilities here. And yes, the Vikings have a tremendous defensive line in Chicago's division. The Packers' and Lions' pass-rushes are down though, which gives the Bears the green light to go wideout in Round 1. Washington is a fun field-stretcher with impressive body control and strong hands.


8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Minkah Fitzpatrick, CB, Alabama. Dream come true for Tampa Bay. Fitzpatrick is a long, super-athletic Swiss Army knife in the secondary. He'll pay immediate dividends for the Buccaneers.


9. Cincinnati Bengals

Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma. "Controversial" pick? Bengals aren't concerned with that. If all works out, Mayfield can replace Andy Dalton and create a fun offense in Cincinnati. 

10. New York Jets

Connor Williams, OT, Texas. Williams' 2016 film is the best among all offensive tackles in this class. He fell off slightly in 2017 before his injury, but the Jets -- who just might retain Josh McCown and look for a quarterback later in the draft -- can't pass on his overall skill set. 

11. Washington Redskins

Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia. Smith would be a home run of a selection for Washington at No. 11. His hyper-speed, super-physical playing style is precisely what the Redskins need in the middle of their improving defense. 


12. Arizona Cardinals

Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville. Bruce Arians has coached big pocket passers in his career -- Ben Roethlisberger, Andrew Luck, and Carson Palmer -- and let's venture a guess that he's willing to shift his prototype at the position, a spot he knows better than any other. Jackson presents a variety of issues for opposing defenses, and his arrow is pointing up as a passer.

13. Oakland Raiders

Derwin James, S, Florida State. Had this pairing last week. Won't be the last time I make the connection either. The Raiders could use another play-maker in their secondary after their turnover-starved season. James is a do-everything safety.

14. Miami Dolphins

Frank Ragnow, C, Arkansas. This might seem like a surprise selection. If you check out Ragnow's film, it won't surprise you nearly as much as it might have initially. Despite ending his season prematurely with an ankle injury, the Arkansas center's film is actually boring to watch. Mike Pouncey has regressed, and the Dolphins can save $7 million if he's released in 2018.

15. Baltimore Ravens

Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama. The Ravens could go running back here, although it seems like they're warming to the idea of Alex Collins leading a running back committee next season. Therefore, they go wideout with the silky smooth Ridley, who would produce instantly in a leading role.


16. Los Angeles Chargers

Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA. Miller is a tall, balanced and powerful left tackle without many flaws -- if any major ones at all. His athleticism and length help him stand out as well. The Chargers are loaded on defense and have a nice group of skill-position players on offense. Time to invest more on the offensive line in front of Philip Rivers


17. Dallas Cowboys

Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan. The Cowboys are likely to give huge money to edge-rusher DeMarcus Lawrence this offseason, and with Hurst, they would provide him with an interior pass-rusher who would certainly attract attention.  


18. Detroit Lions

Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State. The Lions will be tempted to pick Arden Key here. And with a gigantic need on the outside of their defensive line, it would be far from a  brutal pick. Instead, Detroit goes with more of a sure thing in Barkley to fix the franchise's running back issue. 


19. Green Bay Packers

Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, OLB, Oklahoma. Another prospect-team pairing I love. Okoronkwo is the consummate 3-4 outside linebacker with an electric speed rush and bend around the corner as well as experience sinking into coverage. 


20. Seattle Seahawks

Marcell Ateman, WR, Oklahoma State. With Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett and Paul Richardson, the Seahawks have cornered the market on the small, speedy wideout. With Ateman, they would give Russell Wilson another tremendous jump-ball wideout who just happens to be 6-feet-4.


21. Buffalo Bills from Chiefs

Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State. Rudolph is a pocket-passer by trade and demonstrated scrambling ability when needed. He has quality touch down the field and is capable of making all the throws, especially the deep out from the far hash. He's also unafraid to pull the trigger on a pass toward a  receiver being tightly covered. In many ways, his game contrasts with Tyrod Taylor's. 


22. Buffalo Bills

Vita Vea, DT, Washington. Third unchanged pick from a week ago. Can't tweak it at the moment. Too perfect. Vea is stunningly strong, capable of controlling offensive linemen and tossing them aside to make impact stops against the run. His hand use helps him as a pass-rusher too. He's what the Bills need in the interior.


23. Atlanta Falcons

Taven Bryan, DL, Florida. Bryan can play anywhere on any defensive line -- 4-3 alignment or 3-4 base. Dan Quinn runs a 4-3 with some traditional 3-4 elements, so the Falcons would love his versatility and pass-rushing polish.

24. New Orleans Saints

Quin Blanding, S, Virginia. The Saints could be interested in another run-stuffing safety if they move on from former first-round pick Kenny Vaccaro. Blanding would be an awesome replacement, as his superior athleticism and quick play-recognition skills keep him around the football near the line. 

25. Tennessee Titans

Marcus Davenport, DE, Texas-San Antonio. Davenport has everything you would want in a three-down defensive lineman. Length, explosiveness, pass-rush moves, power, bend and a non-stop motor. He might need to gain some weight to hold up better against the run, but the Titans would love to pair him with Brian Orakpo on their defense.  


26. Jacksonville Jaguars

Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame. The Jaguars want to run the football. Then run it again. And run more after they run more. Going into Week 15, they've run the ball 30 more times than the second-place team in carries. With McGlinchey, they would get a bulldozer on the edge for their ground game. 


27. Los Angeles Rams

Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas. Jefferson has to get more "aware" in coverage. Against the run, his natural talents allow him to freely flow to the football. He would flourish behind Los Angeles' defensive line. 

28. Carolina Panthers

Mark Andrews, TE, Oklahoma. Learning from Greg Olsen for a season would be beneficial to Andrews, a skilled pass-catching tight end with necessary size and bulk. The Oklahoma star would be a productive secondary option in Carolina's aerial attack. 


29. Minnesota Vikings

Will Hernandez, G, UTEP. The Vikings' roster is loaded. It just needs some interior reinforcement along the offensive line. Hernandez has dominated at UTEP at left guard and has NFL size. 


30. New England Patriots

Derrius Guice, RB, LSUAnother team that'll strongly consider Arden Key, yet Bill Belichick knows he has edge-rusher Derek Rivers returning from injury. With Guice, the Patriots will get a true bell-cow running back to pick up difficult yardage between the tackles, which will allow Dion Lewis, James White and Rex Burkhead to be mainly utilized in the pass game. 


31. Philadelphia Eagles

Tyrell Crosby, OT, Oregon. Crosby operated in a spread system at Oregon and was often asked to get out in front of zone run plays. He thrived in that role at left tackle, and he possesses the athletic skills to block Carson Wentz's blindside.


32. Pittsburgh Steelers

Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State. Ward is a Steelers type of defender ... pesky, athletic and consistently physical when tackling. He's precisely what Pittsburgh needs in its secondary as a Joe Haden replacement. 

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