*** 2018 NFL MOCK DRAFT (2 rounds) updated Oct. 19. This mock draft will be updated occasionally. Check out old versions of this 2018 NFL Mock Draft in the archived mock section. Follow @walterfootball for NFL Draft updates. ***
Cleveland Browns: Sam Darnold, QB, USC
A couple of weeks ago, I had the Browns trading down with the Giants, who moved up for Sam Darnold. Now, I'm wondering if Cleveland just doesn't take him. DeShone Kizer showed promise during the preseason, but he hasn't shown any signs that he can be a viable NFL quarterback. Despite getting good protection, Kizer has made lots of mistakes and has held on to the ball too long in the pocket. Kizer was only a second-round pick, anyway, and we saw the Panthers give up on Jimmy Clausen, another second-rounder, after one year when they selected Cam Newton first overall.
Sam Darnold took the Pac-12 by storm last year, but hasn't lived up to the hype this season. Much of that is his worse supporting cast. Through five games, Darnold had been sacked more times than he was last year. He still has the talent to be the No. 1 overall pick, and he could win over the Browns and their new coaching staff next spring.
San Francisco 49ers: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
A quarterback would make sense for the 49ers if they didn't stand a good chance of obtaining Kirk Cousins. There's a decent shot it happens next offseason, so I'm going to avoid giving them a signal-caller for now.
Saquan Barkley is the other candidate to go No. 1 overall. If the Browns pass on him, the 49ers will definitely consider taking him. Carlos Hyde is having a great year thus far, but he's an impending free agent, and San Francisco could deem him too injury-prone to sign to a big contract.
Saquon Barkley ran a 4.33 at the Penn State pro day in March and happens to be an even better prospect than Ezekiel Elliott. It's quite possible that he could be the first-overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
New York Giants: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
As mentioned, I had the Giants trade up for a quarterback three weeks ago. They no longer have to do that, as they can pick the California signal-caller the Browns don't want.
Eli Manning turns 37 in January, and he's in obvious decline. The Giants will likely have a new front office, so they'll want their own franchise quarterback.
Josh Rosen was once the projected No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, but he's been passed by Sam Darnold, and maybe even Lamar Jackson. NFL coaches and owners are wary of the sort of things Rosen has discussed to the media, and his open views could hurt him. Scouts have told us that his teammates don't like him either, so that's a major strike against him. And for the cherry on top, even if his high school coach criticized him. However, Rosen's epic comeback against Texas A&M almost certainly has helped repair his draft stock a bit.
Indianapolis Colts: Arden Key, DE/OLB, LSU
No team in the 3-5 range needed an edge rusher in last week's mock, so the Colts happily scooped up Arden Key. They can get him here as well. Indianapolis has some nice outside linebackers in Jabaal Sheard and John Simon, but neither is the elite talent Key happens to be. Some will want the Colts to select an offensive tackle, but Key is one of the three best players available, and they don't need a safety, so he makes the most sense at No. 4 overall.
Oakland Raiders: Minkah Fitzpatrick, S/CB, Alabama
Reggie Nelson is an impending free agent, but it's unlikely the Raiders are going to re-sign the 34-year-old anyway, given how much he has struggled this season. Oakland needs help at safety next to Karl Joseph if it wants to improve its struggling pass defense.
Minkah Fitzpatrick is having a dominant 2017 campaign and is now likely to go in the top 10. He could be chosen in the top five, as seen in this mock draft update.
Pick change; previously Austin Bryant, DE
Los Angeles Chargers: Derwin James, S, Florida State
The Chargers had a chance to select Malik Hooker at No. 7 overall in the 2017 NFL Draft. They may end up regretting that decision, as their safety play isn't very good right now. Perhaps they'll make amends for it this upcoming April.
Derwin James has missed some time in 2016 with a knee injury, but he's a monstrous safety (6-3, 211) who happens to be a terrific athlete. He's still projected to be a top-10 pick.
Chicago Bears: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
The Bears missed out on the top two safeties, but that's fine because it'll allow them to upgrade their offensive tackle position. The Bears are very strong in the interior of their offensive line, but their tackles can certainly be bolstered.
Mike McGlinchey would probably have been the top tackle chosen in the 2017 NFL Draft if he had declared (No. 7 overall to the Chargers?), but he announced that he would be returning to school.
Pick change; previously Minkah Fitzpatrick, S
Cincinnati Bengals: Da'Ron Payne, DT, Alabama
Da'Ron Payne seems like the rare, freak athlete the Bengals would draft in the first round. Payne would be an excellent complement to Geno Atkins, as Cincinnati has needed someone talented to play next to Atkins for a long time. Payne would be the solution.
Pick change; previously Trey Adams, OT
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Bradley Chubb, DE, N.C.State
Robert Ayers is just a temporary solution for the Buccaneers at defensive end. They'll need a long-term starter across from Noah Spence to help put pressure on Cam Newton, Matt Ryan and Drew Brees.
Bradley Chubb has been steadily moving up my mock drafts. At 6-4, 275, Chubb has a great blend of size and speed, and he's been dominant this season.
Dallas Cowboys: Clellin Ferrell, DE, Clemson
The Cowboys don't need a defensive end if they re-sign DeMarcus Lawrence, as they spent last year's first-round pick on Taco Charlton. There's always a chance Lawrence could be too expensive, but even if Dallas manages to retain him, an edge rusher would still be in play, as teams can never have too many talented players who can rush the quarterback. It's not an ideal pick, but Dallas is taking the best player available.
I've had Clellin Ferrell slotted high in my 2019 NFL Mock Draft, but we've seen enough from the redshirt sophomore to believe he's going to enter the 2018 NFL Draft. Ferrell is a highly athletic player who has been very productive this season.
Baltimore Ravens: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
It's the best Alabama player available, right? That might just be Calvin Ridley, who would help Baltimore's pedestrian receiving corps. Mike Wallace and Jeremy Maclin have both been inconsistent thus far, while Breshad Perriman has done nothing. The Ravens need to give Joe Flacco a No. 1 wideout.
Arizona Cardinals: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
The Cardinals could use a tackle to replace Jared Veldheer, but I have to believe that they'll pick a quarterback if they can get one of the three top-10 prospects.
Lamar Jackson has some issues - ball placement is a big one - but scouts are ranking him favorably, and they believe he'll be a top-10 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. For more, check out the new NFL Draft Rumor Mill for scouts' thoughts on Jackson and the other quarterbacks.
New York Jets: Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
The Jets spent all of their efforts tanking this offseason, yet they've done so incorrectly. They won, which has hurt their chances of landing Sam Darnold. Perhaps they'll consider committing to Josh McCown for the long term. He could be their quarterback for the next 12 years, even though he'll be 50 by then.
Josh Allen struggled in some big games this year, but I'm wondering if NFL teams will understand that Allen has zero talent around him and thus had no chance to thrive versus elite competition. Allen is very talented, and all it takes is for one desperate team to fall in love with him.
Pick change; previously Clayton Thorson, QB
Cleveland Browns: Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M
Teams that spend their first pick on quarterbacks generally like to add a weapon or blocker to build around that signal-caller. The Browns will need to give Sam Darnold another receiver to throw to besides Corey Coleman, who has struggled to stay healthy thus far in his career. They can't keep relying on the likes of Kenny Britt and his half-hearted routes.
Christian Kirk just had an explosive game against Arkansas, and he could be the second receiver chosen in the top 15 of the 2018 NFL Draft.
Tennessee Titans: Ken Webster, CB, Ole Miss
Logan Ryan has been solid for the Titans this year, and rookie Adoree Jackson looks like he's going to be terrific for Tennessee in the slot. However, the Titans still need a No. 2 corner to play across from Ryan. They're terrible against the pass, so an upgrade at that position would go a long way in shoring up Tennessee's struggles.
Pick change; previously Da'Ron Payne, NT
Detroit Lions: Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson
Haloti Ngata turns 34 right after the season, and he happens to be a free agent anyway. The Lions will need some young blood at defensive tackle, so finding a starter to play next to A'Shawn Robinson will be imperative.