2018 NFL Mock Draft: Dolphins trade up for Josh Rosen; two freak defenders go in Top 10
Adam Gase sees a more refined Jay Cutler in Rosen, and the Bucs and Bears grab two superb athletes
UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen has the cleanest mechanics and is the most natural thrower of the football of any prospect in the 2018 NFL Draft, but his attitude and demeanor could rub some teams the wrong way.
In this mock, the Dolphins aren't one of those teams, with head coach Adam Gase having spent ample time with Jay Cutler. Miami's front office is known for its aggressive style, so the 'Fins trade up for the UCLA signal-caller.
The 2018 NFL Draft order is finally set.
1. Cleveland Browns
Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming. At the end of combine week there was some buzz about Saquon Barkley going to the Browns at No. 1 overall, but it was hard -- or should I say impossible -- to find anyone who thought the Browns would pick any quarterback other than Allen. GM John Dorsey traded up for Patrick Mahomes, the signal-caller with the strongest arm in last year's draft. He gets the strongest-armed quarterback again in Allen.
2. New York Giants
3. Indianapolis Colts
Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State. In this scenario, the Colts phones will be blowing up with trade offers. Instead of accepting a deal, they stay put and pick the best defensive end in this class in Chubb, a Cameron Jordan-type player.
4. Miami Dolphins (via mock trade)
Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA. The Dolphins aren't afraid to be aggressive, that's for sure, especially with Mike Tannenbaum in a key role in that front office. Given the structure of Ryan Tannehill's contract, his health and age, Miami looks to the future with Rosen, a Jay Cutler-ian quarterback prospect who's more polished than Cutler when he entered the NFL.
5. Denver Broncos
Sam Darnold, QB, USC. In this mock, I'm assuming Kirk Cousins lands in Minnesota, a place that gives him the best chance to quickly get to and potentially win a Super Bowl. John Elway falls in love with Darnold's immense talent and him sitting for at least half a season isn't out of the question.
6. New York Jets
Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma. Match made in media heaven here. Mayfield has a gravitational pull with fans and headline writers along with legit franchise-quarterback skills. He just needs to get through his reads quicker and clean up his footwork.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA. Davenport aced the combine, with a performance reminiscent of Ziggy Ansah and close to what we saw from Jadeveon Clowney in 2014. The Buccaneers' most glaring need is on the edge. They're pumped Davenport is still available.
8. Chicago Bears
Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech. Don't be shocked if the Bears land Allen Robinson in free agency. They may even acquire two starting receivers. That allows them to turn their direction to defense, where the freakish 19-year-old Edmunds is their top target.
9. San Francisco 49ers
Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame. Nelson is a Zack Martin-type prospect who'll anchor the interior of the line at an extremely high level for a decade-plus. The 49ers can't pass on that type of player in front of Jimmy Garoppolo.
10. Oakland Raiders
Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia. Smith is a speedy, rocked up off-ball linebacker who'll remind Jon Gruden of Derrick Brooks. Linebacker is a huge need for Oakland. The Raiders don't need to over-complicate things here.
11. Cleveland Browns (via mock trade)
Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama. The Browns netted this pick, the Dolphins' 2018 second-rounder, the Dolphins' second fourth-round selection and a 2019 third-round pick in the trade and still land a top-tier prospect in Fitzpatrick, a "slot safety" with plenty of athleticism to shoulder multiple responsibilities in Cleveland.
12. Cincinnati Bengals
Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame. The Bengals hope to get an Andrew Whitworth-esque career out of McGlinchey, a polished left tackle who's further ahead as a run-blocker than he is in pass-protection right now.
13. Los Angeles Chargers (via mock trade)
Derwin James, S, Florida State. As the Chargers see James fall, they want to make sure they get him, so they send their third-and fourth-round picks to Washington. James is a hyper-versatile gifted athlete who'll instantly be a playmaker in the Chargers secondary, especially playing behind Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram up front.
14. Green Bay Packers
Harold Landry, OLB, Boston College. Landry had a combine eerily similar to former first-round pick Vic Beasley. He's not as refined as Beasley was when he entered the league out of Clemson in 2015 but has the burst and bend to be productive as a stand-up outside linebacker in Green Bay.
15. Arizona Cardinals
Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU. In this scenario, I assume the Cardinals land either one of the quarterbacks from the Vikings or trade for either Nick Foles or Tyrod Taylor. To help their new signal-caller, they get the premier big wideout in this class who has serious ball skills and moves extremely well for his size.
16. Baltimore Ravens
Derrius Guice, RB, LSU. The Ravens got solid contributions from Alex Collins in 2017 yet still want to find a true feature back. Guice is 1B to Barkley being 1A in this class. He's that talented, especially between the tackles.
17. Washington Redskins (via mock trade)
Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State. The standout linebacker put on an absolute show at the combine on Sunday, and will be a tackling machine behind a defensive line that spends time two-gapping. The Redskins are able to get their target after the trade back.
18. Los Angeles Rams (via mock trade)
Taven Bryan, DL, Florida. The Rams stay aggressive and trade up with the Seahawks to nab a prospect similar to J.J. Watt in Bryan. While he's not exactly the physical freak that Watt is, their games and combine efforts are comparable. He gives Wade Phillips plenty of versatility.
19. Dallas Cowboys
20. Detroit Lions
21. Buffalo Bills
Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State. If Rudolph gets past Miami, Baltimore and Los Angeles, he should be there for the Bills at No. 21 overall. They can't pass on him. He's an experienced pocket passer with nice downfield touch and some mobility.
22. Buffalo Bills from Chiefs
Vita Vea, DT, Washington. Vita will be an instant-impact run defender the moment he steps on the field in an NFL game. He also has high-level athleticism and an impressive arsenal of pass-rushing moves. He'll be the foundation of the Bills' defensive line renovation.
23. Seattle Seahawks (via mock trade)
Joshua Jackson, CB, Iowa. Jackson is long with outstanding ball skills, a corner made for Seattle. The Seahawks will go into the draft with their first-round pick, then not another selection until the fourth round. So acquiring Los Angeles' third and a late-rounder helps.
24. Carolina Panthers
Will Hernandez, OG, UTEP. If Andrew Norwell signs elsewhere in free agency -- which is likely -- the Panthers will have a huge need at left guard. Hernandez is a mauler who'll fill in wonderfully for Norwell.
25. Tennessee Titans
Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama. Evans is one of the more fluid linebackers to come out of Alabama over the last five years, and he comes with the typical Crimson Tide demeanor on the field. He's not afraid to lower the boom.
26. Atlanta Falcons
27. New Orleans Saints
28. Pittsburgh Steelers
Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas. While Jefferson can get engulfed by second-level blockers, he's a super-fast sideline-to-sideline player with great size. He's the type of defender Pittsburgh's defense needs.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars
D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland. Moore had one of the best combine performances at the receiver spot and will fill in immediately for whichever wideout Jacksonville loses in free agency.
30. Minnesota Vikings
31. New England Patriots
Josh Sweat, DE, Florida State. Bill Belichick loves drafting high-caliber athletes, and Sweat showed in Indy he's clearly a special talent. With some coaching, the Patriots hope he can be a Chandler Jones type of pass-rusher.
32. Philadelphia Eagles
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