With several talented quarterbacks at the top, this draft class will create chaos in AT&T Stadium for the first-round of the NFL Draft on Thursday night. The number one pick is still in question, and the draft order will likely shuffle with a flurry of trades – Jake Brown
1. Cleveland Browns – QB Sam Darnold, USC
The Browns have been closely linked to Mayfield and Allen this week, but I still think Darnold is the option to rejuvenate this franchise.
2. New York Giants – RB Saquon Barkley, Penn State
Dave Gettleman seems content keeping the number two pick, and the Giants seem like they’re going to squeeze out a few more years with Eli Manning. Knowing that, they add Barkley – the highest rated player in this class – to their backfield.
3. New York Jets (via IND) – QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
The Jets traded up to get a quarterback, and they should have plenty of options at number three. Mayfield and Rosen both fit the Jets’ offensive scheme well, but it seems like Mayfield will be the pick tonight.
4. Cleveland Browns (via HOU) – DE Bradley Chubb, NC State
The Browns could trade down for a quarterback needy team, or they could add the top defensive player to add to their young pass rush with Myles Garrett and Emmanuel Ogbah.
5. Denver Broncos – QB Josh Allen, Wyoming
John Elway may be unwilling to draft a quarterback in the first round for the second time in three years, but the franchise has no long-term quarterback solution. They would love Mayfield, but settle for Allen.
6. Buffalo Bills (PROJECTED TRADE via IND, via NYJ) – QB Josh Rosen, UCLA
With three quarterbacks off the board, the Bills make a move up to #6 in this scenario while Indy collects more picks. Rosen will compete with A.J McCarron for the starting job.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – S Derwin James, Florida State
The Bucs were last in pass defense last year, so adding a hammer to their secondary should go a long way. Tampa Bay will likely consider Quenton Nelson as well, but their pass defense is too porous to pass on James.
8. Chicago Bears – G Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame
Chicago has plenty of options with this pick. They could pick up a linebacker like Edmunds or a corner like Ward, but adding Nelson to their offensive line is their best option.
9. San Francisco 49ers – LB Roquan Smith, Georgia
Reuban Foster may not play again, but the 49ers need linebacker help anyway. Smith is a high character, tone-setting linebacker.
10. Oakland Raiders – LB Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech
Oakland could address several issues on defense, but the 19-year old linebacker will help out Khalil Mack and this entire defense the most.
11. Miami Dolphins – DT Vita Vea, Washington
The Dolphins are quietly looking for a quarterback, but they won’t take drastic measures to acquire one. Vita Vea is a huge run-stuffer, and he will fill the gap left by the departure of Ndamukung Suh.
12. Indianapolis Colts (PROJECTED TRADE via BUF, via CIN) – CB Denzel Ward, Ohio State
The Colts trade down and grab a player they might have taken at #6. Ward is this class’ top corner and will form an Ohio State tandem with Malik Hooker in pass coverage.
13. Washington Redskins – DB Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama
Minkah’s best trait is his versatility. In Washington, he can play up high as a free safety or drop down into the box. However, if Vita Vea falls to 13, Washington will quickly grab him.
14. Green Bay Packers – LB Rashaan Evans, Alabama
The Packers need a game-changing defensive player. With no one special falling to them, they grab a speedy linebacker who can fly through gaps and into the backfield.
15. Arizona Cardinals – WR Calvin Ridley, Alabama
Arizona is another team who could trade up for a quarterback, but instead they take the first wide receiver in Calvin Ridley, whose sharp route running should pair well with Sam Bradford’s style for one year. The Cardinals lack depth at wideout and star Larry Fitzgerald is 34 years old.
16. Baltimore Ravens – EDGE Harold Landry, Boston College
Addressing their wideout needs in free agency, Baltimore spends their first-round pick on an edge rusher. Landry had a disappointing final year at Boston College, but if he can return to form, this will be a great pick for the Ravens.
17. Los Angeles Chargers – LB Leighton Vander-Esch, Boise State
LVE is a great tackler who can roam from sideline to sideline. The Chargers would be very happy to add him to their weak linebacker group.
18. Seattle Seahawks – CB Josh Jackson, Iowa
With the Legion of Boom on the way out, Jackson will begin a new era in Seattle. He’s a tall, physical corner who grabs a lot of interceptions – much like former Seattle corner Richard Sherman.
19. Dallas Cowboys – WR D.J Moore, Maryland
Moore has a great combination of size and speed and good replace Dez Bryant.
20. Detroit Lions – RB Derrius Guice, Louisiana State
Head Coach Matt Patricia won a Super Bowl in New England without premier running back talent, but the Lions’ roster lacks a hard runner for first and second down. Guice can do a lot for this offense.
21. Cincinnati Bengals (via BUF) – G James Daniels, Iowa
Daniels moves easily and can play three positions on the offensive line. Cincy needs o-line help to return to success.
22. Indianapolis Colts (PROJECTED TRADE via BUF, via KC) – DE Marcus Davenport, UT San Antonio
GM Chris Ballard will be very happy if the draft shakes out this way. He adds the top corner and then a raw, athletic pass rushing prospect. Davenport will be a project, but he could improve quickly.
23. New England Patriots (via LAR) – OT Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame
The Pats take the first tackle off the board and replace Nate Solder with McGlinchey, a consistent, pro-ready prospect.
24. Carolina Panthers – CB Mike Hughes, UCF
It’s tough to decide how much Hughes will fall due to his off the field issues, but Carolina is a good landing spot. He has great ball skills and can help in the return game.
25. Tennessee Titans – DT Da’Ron Payne, Alabama
I’ve had this pick mocked for a while. Payne is a great fit in Mike Vrabel’s scheme, and he can pair up with Jurrell Casey on the front line.
26. Atlanta Falcons – DT Taven Bryan, Florida
Bryan is a freakish athlete who has been linked heavily to the Falcons. Atlanta may also address their pressing need at guard.
27. New Orleans Saints – TE Dallas Goedert, South Dakota State
Drew Brees works well with big tight ends. It worked well with Jimmy Graham, and now it will work with Dallas Goedert, who I have just a bit above Mike Gesicki.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers – LB Jerome Baker, Ohio State
Pittsburgh biggest need is linebacker, and they reach for Baker a bit to fill that gap.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars – OT Connor Williams, Texas
The Jags will look at tight end but picking up Williams for offensive line help is their best option.
30. Minnesota Vikings – Frank Ragnow, Arkansas
Ragnow’s stock has shot up recently. Like James Daniels, he can play guard or center. The Vikings’ interior o-line was shaky throughout the 2017 season.
31. New England Patriots – LB Darius Leonard, South Carolina State
This small school linebacker seems like a Patriots-type pick. New England needs to restock on defensive talent.
32. Philadelphia Eagles – G Will Hernandez, UT El Paso
The run-blocking mauler falls to the Birds at 32 and could compete for the left guard spot this season. The Eagles may not value a guard this much, but it would be surprising if Hernandez drops this far.