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2018 NFL Mock Draft: Giants improve their offense, but not with a quarterback

A full mock draft of the first round without trades.

Getty Images/Peter Rogers Illustrations

Welcome to the Fake Teams 2018 NFL Mock Draft. Heath, Paddi and myself each took 10 teams to draft for and did a quick mock to see who we like for each team. We decided no trades, otherwise you can bet the Bills would’ve made moves to get ahead of the Dolphins. Let us know what you think of our mock in the comments.

1. Cleveland Browns - Sam Darnold, QB

Darnold is the man to end the Browns’ quarterback purgatory. Though he may not start right away, the Browns are getting a high character player, who is accurate and has shown the ability to put a team on his back and win games. The no-brainer pick, Cleveland should run to the podium come draft night. — Paddi

2. New York Giants - Saquon Barkley, RB

I’m of the opinion that Gettleman will feel comfortable with Eli Manning and Davis Webb for the time being, especially if he can begin to construct a dominant rushing attack. There’s no better way to account for an aging Manning and the question mark that is OBJ than by taking the electric Barkley. This offense will suddenly have signs of life (I hope). — Heath

3. New York Jets - Josh Rosen, QB

The Jets traded up to get themselves a quarterback and they do just that, selecting one of the most day one ready QB of the class (Darnold and Rosen are equal in my eyes). There’s been a lot made about Rosen’s beliefs and interests—they guy cares about the environment, get over it—and while people may try and tell you that’s bad, personally, I like a guy who has, ya know, feelings and emotions. — Pete

4. Cleveland Browns - Bradley Chubb, DE

If the draft falls this way, I can see Cleveland trading out of this spot to a team moving up to take a quarterback but if not, Chubb fits the bill to play opposite Myles Garrett and give the Browns a fearsome young pass rushing duo. A high motor player, who consistently makes plays in the opponent’s backfield, Chubb would be a day one starter in Cleveland and a future Pro Bowler. — Paddi

5. Denver Broncos - Baker Mayfield, QB

Mayfield over Josh Allen. Article on SB Nation says it all. Elway finally stops drafting the big quarterback, and drafts the next “Favruh” instead. Get it, Baker! — Heath

6. Indianapolis Colts - Quenton Nelson, OL

As the fake GM of the Colts right here, I was hoping one of Barkley or Chubb would fall to me but alas, I must resort to Plan B. Nelson is probably the third best player in this draft and is an instant upgrade for an offensive line that has been... neglected to say the least. Plus keeping Andrew Luck healthy seems like a pretty good idea. — Pete

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Derwin James, S

The Bucs’ pass defense needs an overhaul after finishing 31st in passing yards allowed in 2017. James is a highly versatile and relentless defender, who will bring identity to a Buccaneers secondary with his alpha personality. A potentially huge upgrade in Tampa. — Paddi

8. Chicago Bears - Roquan Smith, LB

The Bears should trade down in this spot if one of the top four quarterbacks are available. But we aren’t mocking trades. Roquan Smith could be a set-it-and-forget it option for the Bears, likely for a decade. He gives an already promising defensive group a lot more youth and health at the linebacker position. — Heath

9. San Francisco 49ers - Denzel Ward, CB

Initially I thought I was going to take a wide receiver here for Jimmy Garoppolo, but I couldn’t pass up the chance to get a corner who gave up a 54.0 passer rating throughout his entire collegiate career. Now Ward gets to improve upon those shutdown tendencies learning from one of the best shutdown corners of this decade. Plus, Ward’s 4.3 speed will come in handy facing Brandin Cooks twice a year. — Pete

10. Oakland Raiders - Tremaine Edmunds, LB

The Raiders need to get better at all levels of their defense but in Tremaine Edmunds, they get an athletic freak who can play all across the linebacking corp. A monster of a man at 6-foot-5, Edmunds can both rush the passer and cover running backs and tight ends. He will be a productive starter from day one on a team that is desperate for playmakers in the middle on their defense. — Paddi

11. Miami Dolphins - Josh Allen, QB

If this scenario actually occured, the Dolphins would almost certainly take a signal-caller. Getting one of the top four guys this “late” would be something of an upset. You can’t trust Ryan Tannehill to stay healthy, right? The Bills get snaked! — Heath

12. Buffalo Bills - Lamar Jackson, QB

Heath might naively think he snaked the Bills but HA I wasn’t going to take Allen in the first place! The Bills get themselves a pro ready quarterback who can flick the ball 50 yards downfield and can make plays with his legs when everything breaks down (which it will). Jackson has his issues but he has just as much upside as any other QB in this draft. — Pete

13. Washington - Vita Vea, DL

The league’s worst rushing defense from 2017 needs some serious help, and the 347lb monster from Washington is the man for the job. With incredible athleticism for his size, Vea will cause havoc in both the run game and as an interior rusher and give the Redskins’ defense a much needed boost up front. He will need to improve his motor at the pro level, but the talent and rare measurables are off the charts. — Paddi

14. Green Bay Packers - Harold Landry, DE

Landry will offer some pass rushing ability to the Packers, who ranked 17th in the NFL with 37 sacks a year ago. The Packers also allowed 24 points per game, the seventh-worst mark in the league. Getting more pressure on opposing quarterbacks should aid the secondary, a position the Packers will probably also address during the draft. — Heath

15. Arizona Cardinals - Calvin Ridley, WR

Sure I would’ve liked a quarterback here but since they’re all off the board, I decided to go get the heir-replacement to Larry Fitzgerald. Ridley comes into the NFL an adebt route runner with the ability to explode in and out of breaks. He’s going to only get better learning from Fitz. — Pete

16. Baltimore Ravens - Rashaan Evans, LB

Like death and taxes, Ozzie Newsome selecting an Alabama player in the first round of the draft as as sure a thing as they come. Pairing Evans with fellow Crimson Tide alum CJ Mosley would give the Ravens a fearsome middle linebacker position. Evans is built like a modern NFL linebacker, who brings length, agility and speed to the position and his breakout 2017 season means the Ravens are adding strength on strength in the heart of their defense. — Paddi

17. Los Angeles Chargers - Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB

Another Alabama player! The Chargers can make an already formidable group of defensive backs even more formidable by selecting Fitzpatrick. You thought the Legion of Boom was gone, didn’t you? If the Chargers make this pick, get ready to embrace another shut-down group of defensive backs. Patrick Mahomes would have his hands full in that division. — Heath

18. Seattle Seahawks - Mike McGlinchey, OT

Germain Ifedi was pretty awful for the Seahawks at right tackle last year, leading the NFL in penalties and all around not doing a great job at protecting Russell Wilson. McGlinchey can come in and sureup the right tackle position and eventually take over the left side after Duane Brown. — Pete

19. Dallas Cowboys - Da’Ron Payne, DL

Defensive line depth is an issue for the Cowboys and Da’Ron Payne brings elite strength and athleticism to the position and will add immediate value to their run defense. He has also shown skills as an interior rusher, which adds to his value as he can stay on the field for third downs. — Paddi

20. Detroit Lions - Marcus Davenport, DE

The Lions seems like they are comfortable piecing things together at running back, and with a signal-caller like Stafford (who can unload the ball quickly) I’d be okay addressing the offensive line with a later pick. So give me Davenport, who ran a faster 40-yard dash than seven wide receivers...and oh yeah, he’s 6-foot-6 and weighs 260 pounds. Amen. — Heath

21. Cincinnati Bengals - James Daniels, OL

The Bengals need to upgrade the interior of their offensive line and Daniels helps them in a big way. He’s the best center in the draft and could also play guard, adding versatility and stability to Cincy’s O-line. Not the sexiest of picks, but could help turnaround a struggling offense. — Pete

22. Buffalo Bills - Orlando Brown, OT

After snagging Lamar Jackson with the 12th pick, the Bills need to keep him upright. After trading Cordy Glenn to the Bengals and losing Eric Wood and Richie Incognito to retirement, there’s a gaping need on the offensive line. Despite a shocking performance at the Combine, Brown still offers starting tackle potential and is a giant of a man who will be hard to beat despite concerns about his athletic ability. — Paddi

23. New England Patriots - Leighton Vander Esch, LB

There are a few positions the Patriots could address here (tackle and quarterback being the top of the list) but I’m going to trust Tom Brady and Josh McDaniels to keep that offense running smoothly. Instead I’m going to improve a defense that single handedly lost Super Bowl 52 by adding an instinctive, hyper athletic linebacker to play alongside Dont’a Hightower. — Pete

24. Carolina Panthers - Hayden Hurst, TE

I’m a fan of the Panthers, okay? Hurst is the most complete two-way tight end right now, and Cam could obviously benefit from more help on offense. I just want my team to have this new toy. I don’t give a rip that Hurst is 25 years old, either. Give me that tenacity on my team and I’ll be super-happy when Round 1 is over. — Heath

25. Tennessee Titans - Arden Key, LB

A swing for the fences pick here for the Titans. Key has red flags all over the place but the Titans need an edge-rushing presence and Key has the tools to be that guy for them. He could become Mike Vrabel’s pet project to help Key rediscover his 2016 form and be a difference maker off the edge in Tennessee. — Paddi

26. Atlanta Falcons - Taven Bryan, DT

With Harold Landry and Marcus Davenport gone, Bryan can fit the proverbial bill for Atlanta. I considered a wideout at this juncture, but if I were Atlanta I’d be far more concerned about the defensive side of the ball given the offenses that exist in the NFC South. — Heath

27. New Orleans Saints - Maurice Hurst, DT

I was initially thinking tight end here since the Coby Fleener signing has been a bust but I couldn’t pass up on Hurst, the most explosive interior pass rush of this draft. He does have health concerns but was medically cleared. Hurst paired with Cameron Jordan and Sheldon Rankins could quickly develop into one of the most dominate pass rushing defensive lines in the NFL. — Pete

28. Pittsburgh Steelers - Ronnie Harrison, S

With Leighton Vander Esch off the board, the Steelers look to another area of need and pick the top remaining safety. Harrison has great size for the position and is a ferocious tackler, and playing in the Steelers’ predominantly zone defense would cover up for a potential weakness in man coverage. His flexibility to play high and low gives Harrison the chance to be an early starter. — Paddi

29. Jacksonville Jaguars - DJ Moore, WR

I’m in the camp that believes the Jaguars are committed to Blake Bortles for better or for worse, and therefore won’t mess up the status quo by selecting a quarterback here. Since that’s the case in this scenario, they should grab Moore, who has ties to Jaguars wide receivers coach Keenan McCardell—McCardell coached Moore in 2015. Allen Robinson is gone and the Jaguars added Donte Moncrief, but Moncrief isn’t reason enough for the Jags to pass on another weapon for Bortles. I considered taking a tight end, but I think Hurst is the only Day 1 pick at that position. — Heath

30. Minnesota Vikings - Isaiah Wynn, OL

The Vikings don’t need much improvement on their roster, but with Joe Berger announcing his retirement, the interior of their offensive line could use a boost. Wynn could easily come in and start Day one for the Vikings and as an added bonus, he can play all over the line. — Pete

31. New England Patriots - Kolton Miller, OT

Josh Rosen’s left tackle is the top tackle left on the board and fills in a big need for the Patriots as they look to replace Nate Solder. He has the necessary length and athleticism for the position and with some technique refinement, could be a long-term starter in New England. — Paddi

32. Philadelphia Eagles - Josh Jackson, CB

I agree with MJD that the Eagles could consider trading this pick away for a Day 2 pick (they don’t have one because of the trade that allowed them to draft Carson Wentz in 2016). This move definitely fits, though, if the Eagles decided to actually select a player at this point. I like that Jackson is known for his great attitude and his work ethic. With the reigning champions, that attitude seems like it fits in just fine. — Heath