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2018 NFL Mock Draft: Early First Round Projections

Larry Seely
648   //    02 Feb 2018, 12:32 IST

Wild Card Playoffs - Atlanta Falcons v New York Giants
Wild Card Playoffs - Atlanta Falcons v New York Giants

After another losing season, the Cleveland Browns are again in position to select several talented college football players. In hopes of transforming the clubs run of success or lack thereof. The Browns own the first and fourth overall pick in this years NFL Draft and with any luck, will finally become relevant and an admired team in the league.

The front office has some big decisions to make throughout the coming weeks; most notably, to take another young quarterback or look for a veteran to lead this inexperienced team.

The Picks Are In

Walterfootball is a leading expert when it comes to player selection in the NFL. Their latest installment speculates that running back Saquon Barkley of Penn State is pegged to hear his name called first in April. However, that doesn't mean another signal caller isn't in the cards. In fact, Sam Darnold of USC could make his way to Ohio, a move that could make this one of the most explosive offenses in the league in the coming years.

If general manager John Dorsey decides to go in a different direction, looking for help in the secondary would be a good choice. Minkah Fitzpatrick is the best corner in the latest player rankings and could help turn things around immediately on defense.

Giants Seek Manning

Despite the veterans' questionable 2017 season, there's no indication that New York Giants fans are hoping Eli Manning goes anywhere, wishing one last big season from him. With decreased time in the pocket, however, and injuries at the skilled positions, Manning struggled, leading to a poor year in the Big Apple.

The latest mocks have UCLA young gun Josh Rosen as the heir apparent to the former Ole' Miss star, but that could change to Darnold or Josh Allen of Wyoming after the upcoming combine workouts.

Colts Anticipate Defensive Struggles

Indianapolis picks third and with Andrew Luck expected back to the squad, defense will be the main targeted area.

North Carolina State defensive end, Bradley Chubb, has been linked with the Colts for several weeks now. The youngster's combination of size and speed makes for an elite prospect and a player this franchise can build upon on defense.

Denver Struggle Through Identity Disparities

Denver won a Super Bowl just a couple years back, but now the team finds itself with an identity problem. With an above average defense, finding more offensive points will be key to a turnaround next season.

Several experts have the Broncos looking at snatching a quarterback in the first round with Darnold of USC leading the way, but Josh Allen has more game time under his belt. This experience could make Allen the more logical choice when the team takes the clock in April.

New York and Tampa Look to Bounce Back

It was a struggle for all New York fans this past season as the Jets also struggled to win football games. This franchise is another that could look at a quarterback in the opening round. In fact, the could make a trading move up on draft day in order to secure the signal caller of their choice, a move the fans would love. This team needs to become a force in the tough AFC East.

Heading into the 2017 season, many predicted big things from the Buccaneers, but Tampa Bay struggled to stop the opposition, making it difficult for a young offense. Yet that could all change with some roster moves in the coming months.

Land of 10 have released their latest mock scenario and have the Bucs looking to add help in the secondary. Florida State product Derwin James could even help the pass defense improve and his local connection would be a great move for a franchise that needs to start winning.

This is a big off-season for several struggling teams. The right moves, including free agent signings, could turn things around quickly, but getting the right young talent is imperative and for a franchise like Cleveland, it could finally be the time for more wins than losses if they choose wisely.

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