2018 NFL Mock Draft: Palm Beach Post’s Jason Lieser | Version 4.0

Sam Darnold hasn’t proven himself as the clear No. 1 quarterback. (Getty Images)

The NFL Draft starts Thursday, which means the Dolphins will have their board set no later than Tuesday in preparation for all the wild wrinkles that can happen when teams start trading and prospects start sliding.

The biggest mystery remains whether they’ll take a quarterback, be it at No. 11 or later in the draft.

Here’s the latest projection for the first round:

1. Cleveland Browns: Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
Allen’s raw talent has propelled him past Sam Darnold and everyone else at the position to make him the likely No. 1 overall pick.

2. New York Giants: Sam Darnold, QB, Southern Cal
There’s a thought that the Giants have become infatuated with running back Saquon Barkley, but Darnold is a really good option as a successor to Eli Manning.

3. New York Jets: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
Mayfield has successfully convinced teams he can do the job despite size and personality concerns, and he won’t last long on draft day.

4. Cleveland Browns: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
If Barkley’s here at No. 4, it’s a great pick for the Browns. They’d go into the season with several nice pieces on offense.

5. Denver Broncos: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
Rosen’s getting knocked down on a lot of draft boards and would be intriguing for the Dolphins. If Denver passes on him, the next five teams aren’t thought to be in the market for a quarterback.

6. Indianapolis Colts: Bradley Chubb, DE, North Carolina State
Chubb would be a potential No. 1 pick if not for there being so many quarterback-hungry teams up high.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Minkah Fitzpatrick, CB, Alabama
The Buccaneers need tons of help in their secondary, and Fitzpatrick is thought to be the best defensive back in the draft. He can play safety as well.

8. Chicago Bears: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
The Bears are usually conservative in the draft and will be tempted by Quenton Nelson, but Mitchell Trubisky gets a big-time threat here.

9. San Francisco 49ers: Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame
Nelson should be an instant starter on a San Francisco offensive line that needs some upgrades after last season.

10. Oakland Raiders: Derwin James, S, Florida State
James has shown the potential to be a proficient safety in coverage and playing up in the box as a run stopper.

11. Miami Dolphins: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
The Dolphins need offense, but this is a good consolation prize after missing out on the top four quarterbacks and Saquon Barkley. Smith is thought to be pro-ready and provides flexibility going forward.

12. Buffalo Bills: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
Assuming the Bills don’t get desperate and trade up for a quarterback, they’ll land the top left tackle here.

13. Washington Redskins: Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
Edmunds is a dangerously athletic prospect and he enters the draft at just 19. The word upside gets overused at draft time, but it’s definitely appropriate in this case.

14. Green Bay Packers: D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland
Moore has climbed toward the top of the receiver class and would be a welcome addition to the Green Bay offense.

15. Arizona Cardinals: Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
Rather than give up a huge ransom to take a quarterback high, the Cardinals can get a potential top-10 talent in Ward.

16. Baltimore Ravens: Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama
Vita Vea is an impressive defensive tackle, too, but there are concerns about his weight, plus it always seems safer to take an Alabama guy.

17. Los Angeles Chargers: Vita Vea, DT, Washington
Speaking of Vea, he’ll join a well-established defensive line here.

18. Seattle Seahawks: Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA
This offensive line needs tons of help, and Miller can play either tackle spot for the Seahawks this season.

19. Dallas Cowboys: Courtland Sutton, WR, Southern Methodist
The loss of Dez Bryant makes it imperative that Dallas dig a top receiver out of this draft, and Suttons a nice target at 6-foot-4.

20. Detroit Lions: Marcus Davenport, DE, Texas-San Antonio
Davenport is a bit of a question mark because he faced low-level competition in college, but new coach Matt Patricia will get him up to speed.

21. Cincinnati Bengals: Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama
The Alabama guys continue to get the benefit of the doubt, and Evans should be a big help to a Cincinnati defense that needs it.

22. Buffalo Bills: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
Were the Patriots really interested in Jackson, or was it a ploy to entice teams ahead of them to take him? Either way, the Bills are in.

23. New England Patriots: Will Hernandez, G, Texas-El Paso
Hernandez is the best guard in this class after Nelson and he’s a good value pick for the Patriots this late.

24. Carolina Panthers: Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville
Alexander is an excellent cornerback, which helps a Panthers team that looks thin at the position.

25. Tennessee Titans: James Daniels, C, Iowa
The Titans need interior line help and could use Daniels at guard if that’s where they need him most this season.

26. Atlanta Falcons: Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina
Hurst will be a nice pickup for Atlanta’s offense, and this is the perfect spot to take him. He’s the best tight end available this year.

27. New Orleans Saints: Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M
Kirk fits nicely as a versatile receiver in New Orleans’ system and he’s one of the most polished receivers in his class.

28. Pittsburgh Steelers: Justin Reid, S, Stanford
Reid would be fortunate to land in Pittsburgh, one of the perks of not being a top-10 pick. He’d join a stable organization that’s well-equipped to develop him.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars: Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State
This would be an interesting spot for the Dolphins to trade up to if they think they can get Goedert or Hurst late in Round 1.

30. Minnesota Vikings: Mike Hughes, CB, Central Florida
NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock ranks Hughes as the third-best cornerback in the draft.

31. New England Patriots: Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa
Jackson has slipped a bit this spring, but it’s hard to forget that he had eight interceptions for the Hawkeyes last season.

32. Philadelphia Eagles: Taven Bryan, DT, Florida
One fun thing about being world champs is that you don’t have to draft for need. Bryan’s the best player left, and the Eagles will snatch him up.

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