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2018 NFL Mock Draft: Updated First Round Projections

Updated on September 8, 2017
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NY Jets already on the clock?

While most teams around the league have some optimism heading into the regular season opener, it appears that isn't the case with the NY Jets. This team had a miserable off-season and injuries have already hit this squad hard and that's without playing a down of football.

The front office has some tough work ahead as this squad has holes at nearly every position. Finding a leader on offense could be tops on the priority list and for that reason many experts have USC quarterback Sam Darnold as the best option.

Despite a slow start to the college football season, Darnold has the size, arm strength, and more importantly the leadership this team needs to start the rebuilding process.

Other options are signal callers Josh Allen of Wyoming and Lamar Jackson of Louisville, both who have unique skill sets that will take their game to the professional level next year.

Colts in trouble?

Andrew Luck won't start in week 1 against the LA Rams and a few reports have the Colts star set to miss upwards of a month to start the year.

This isn't great news for a team that is already under the microscope with its fans and could be a prelude to a less than average 2017 season, but it could help the franchise as a whole moving forward.

If Indy struggles to win games, a top-5 pick next year could be the building blocks to future success. Frank Gore isn't getting any younger and his inability to make big plays means this team could find his successor.

Walter Football has released its latest mock and has Penn State speedster Saquon Barkley as the best option. With no other backs ranked in the top-10 player rankings, grabbing this special youngster could be just the move this team needs to get back as a regular playoff contender.

Rebuilding Mode

Rebuilding is often a term used for younger NFL teams that struggle to win games, but it can also be used for aging squads that need an influx of youth to take a step forward.

Several teams are in this process, including the likes of San Francisco, Chicago, and the LA Rams.

The 49ers have made yet another coaching change over the off-season and that could mean several roster changes over the next couple of years. Some experts believe this team will look for a quarterback in the coming months, with Kirk Cousins of the Washington Redskins as the leading candidate.

If San Francisco lands the former Michigan State star, look for the front office to use its first round pick next year to upgrade the offensive line.

Trey Adams of Washington is the best ranked tackle at this point and a major improvement over any player on the current roster. If Cousins does move west, protecting their investment will be the next step for this organization.

The Bears have several needs on both sides of the ball and where they land in the first round will likely dictate which area gets addressed first. Pass rush specialist Arden Key from LSU is a big-time defensive play maker and the type of player needed to progress in a tough division.

For the Rams, what happens on the field over the next few months will play a big role in what the front offices decides is best for the future of this franchise.

Jared Goff has been given some added weapons at wide receiver and now the youngster must show some progression. If the young man takes that next step, this young football team could use next years draft to help the defense.

Corner could be a priority heading into next season and experts have Minkah Fitzpatrick of Alabama as the best choice. The young man can play on the outside of be moved to safety and with that flexibility, it could have the Crimson Tide star heading to Southern California to begin his professional career.

A long year ahead

Projections are just that at this time of year. Plenty can happen over the course of the upcoming season, both in the college ranks and at the professional level.

Injuries, lack of progression, and off field issues can make major changes in where and who gets picked early, but for the die-hard football fans, this is an early look at the best players available next April and how teams could go about changing their fortunes and hopefully get a chance to play for a championship in the near future.

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