The conclusion of the Super Bowl launches us into a new period of the NFL season: the draft. It’s now time to turn our attention to the non-playoff teams. Many of these teams – such as the Browns, Jets, and Broncos – are still in need of a franchise quarterback. The dominoes of the QB carousal already began to fall when Alex Smith was dealt to the Redskins, but many other teams will still be seeking quarterbacks come late April. While quarterback is a flashy position, top talents like Saquon Barkley and Minkah Fitzpatrick can still change a team’s future.
- Cleveland Browns – QB Sam Darnold, USC
Unlike fellow L.A quarterback Josh Rosen, Darnold has a bigger frame to handle the punishing AFC North. New Browns General Manager John Dorsey will be searching for a quarterback that can lead Cleveland for a decade.
- New York Giants – QB Josh Rosen, UCLA
The race between Darnold and Rosen is close. While Rosen is not as humble as Darnold, he threw some great balls at the Senior Bowl.
- Indianapolis Colts – DE Bradley Chubb, NC State
A guard or running back would aid Andrew Luck, but the Colts have a pressing need for a pass rusher. The Colts went defense in the first-round last year, and they will likely do the same this year.
- Cleveland Browns (via HOU) – RB Saquon Barkley, Penn State
It should be easy for Cleveland. Take your quarterback with the first pick and then take the best overall player with the fourth pick. Barkley is a three-down back who can do it all.
- Denver Broncos – G Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame
Paxton Lynch is not the answer in Denver, but the Broncos are also a lead candidate to sign Kirk Cousins. GM John Elway may have interest in Josh Allen, but if they can ink Cousins, Quenton Nelson will immediately boost their offensive line.
- New York Jets – LB Roquan Smith, Georgia
The Jets have several needs, including quarterback. However, Roquan Smith is the best linebacker in the draft.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers – CB/S Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama
Tampa Bay had the worst pass defense last year, and the front office will be very happy if Fitzpatrick is undrafted come the seventh pick. While he played cornerback at Alabama, most scouts see him moving to safety in the NFL.
- Chicago Bears – WR Calvin Ridley, Alabama
Ridley may not be graded as a top ten pick, but the Bears biggest need is at wide receiver. They had the league’s worst passing offense last season, and they need to help their young quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.
- San Francisco 49ers – CB Denzel Ward, Ohio State
The Niners found their QB, and now they can look toward improving the defense. While they may select an edge rusher, Denzel Ward should be an improvement over Jimmie Ward.
- Oakland Raiders – DE Arden Key, LSU
Key’s stock has been volatile all season. But with Oakland’s terrible defense and Roquan Smith off the board, the Raiders could bet on Key’s ceiling.
- Miami Dolphins – LB Tremaine Edmunds, VA Tech
Edmunds is young and fast. He will bolster a pass rush that currently features an aging Cameron Wake.
- Cincinnati Bengals – T Connor Williams, Texas
The Bengals offensive line was decimated during free agency last year. Williams had a concerning knee injury, but his tape from his previous two seasons at Texas should sell the Cincy front office.
- Washington Redskins – S Derwin James, Florida State
James would be an improvement over D.J. Swearinger, plus his hard-hitting style would be scary for wide receivers coming across the middle.
- Green Bay Packers – CB Josh Jackson, Iowa
The Packers have a new front office group who will be charged with improving a porous defense. Jackson is a taller corner, but his man coverage is not as smooth as Ward’s.
- Arizona Cardinals – QB Josh Allen, Wyoming
It is unlikely the third quarterback is taken with the fifteenth pick due to draft day trades. However, Carson Palmer’s retirement leaves Arizona with zero quarterbacks on the roster. Allen has great size, but his completion percentage in college was under 60%.
- Baltimore Ravens – WR Courtland Sutton, SMU
Sutton is a tall receiver who will provide Joe Flacco with a large catch radius. If Sutton can improve his release off the line, he will be dangerous.
- Los Angeles Chargers – T Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame
The Chargers have an aging offensive line. With a pass heavy offense, McGlinchey will keep Phillip Rivers standing upright.
- Seattle Seahawks – LB Marcus Davenport, UTSA
Davenport is a raw pass rusher who relies on his athleticism to reach the quarterback. Sounds perfect for the Seattle defense.
- Dallas Cowboys – WR Christian Kirk, TAMU
Kirk stays in Texas and adds speed to the Dallas offense. With Dez Bryant and Kirk on the outside, Dak Prescott will have a talented duo to throw to.
- Detroit Lions – RB Derrius Guice, LSU
Guice runs hard and would balance a pass heavy team. A combo of Guice and a receiving back like Theo Riddick would look nice in Detroit.
- Buffalo Bills – QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
Tyrod Taylor has not been liked by the Buffalo staff, and Baker fits right in with the “Bills Mafia.”
- Buffalo Bills (via KC) – C/G Billy Price, Ohio State
The Bills’ starting center Eric Wood just retired due to a neck injury. Buffalo can quickly fill his position by drafting Price.
- Los Angeles Rams – CB Isaiah Oliver, Colorado
I liked Chidobe Awuzie, Colorado’s top corner last year, and Oliver was all over the field this year in Boulder. With Rams’ corner Trumaine Johnson’s future in question, Oliver will clear up any questions in the secondary.
- Carolina Panthers – LB Harold Landry, Boston College
If the Panthers become convinced that Landry can play as a 4-3 end, Landry will assist Carolina’s aging defensive line.
- Tennessee Titans – DT Da’Ron Payne, Alabama
Payne’s style fits with the big, physical Tennessee defensive line, and new Tennessee head coach Mike Vrabel comes from a defensive background.
- Atlanta Falcons – G Will Hernandez, UTEP
The Falcons are built well, but they have a gap at guard. Hernandez looked huge during Senior Bowl week.
- New Orleans Saints – LB Rashaan Evans, Alabama
Evans may not fall this much, but he can step in right away in New Orleans if he drops to them.
- Pittsburgh Steelers – LB Malik Jefferson, Texas
Jefferson is a speedy linebacker who should impress at the Combine. Pittsburgh has some quality edge rushers like Bud Dupree, but Jefferson would clean up the middle.
- Jacksonville Jaguars – OT Orlando Brown Jeremy parnell, brown is 6’8”
Brown is listed as 6’8” and 340 pounds. He’s a giant. Jeremy Parnell, the Jags current tackle, is 31 years old and shaky at times.
- Minnesota Vikings – T/G Isaiah Wynn, Georgia
The Vikings offensive line had lots of ups and downs this year. They have a great defense, so it can’t hurt improving the o-line.
- New England Patriots – DE Sam Hubbard, Ohio State
The Pats lost Chandler Jones and Chris Long last year. Hubbard will step in as an edge rusher.
- Philadelphia Eagles – G James Daniels, Iowa
Philly’s offensive line improved as the season wore on, but many linemen on the roster are over 30 years old. Howie Roseman has built a deep roster, and he can continue to build his depth by taking a guard like Daniels to conclude the first-round.