1.Cleveland Browns – QB Sam Darnold – USC
The Browns are in a fantastic spot having two of the top 4 picks in the 2018 draft. New general manager, John Dorsey, has his hands full with trying to improve upon the impressive 1-31 record over the last two seasons. John Dorsey has done a superb job in his career finding the right quarterback for his team and his number one goal should be that with the first overall pick.
Sam Darnold doesn’t have the same type of hype that he had at the end of last season but his overall talent and arm strength justify this pick. Some sources have told us there are questions about his confidence and his turnovers this past season but when he is on he is the best QB in this class. Teams who need a QB will get one this year, next years QB class is extremely weak on paper.
2.New York Giants – QB Josh Rosen – UCLA
Dave Gettleman is the new sheriff in town for the G-Men and it will be his task to put some life into this franchise. 2017 was a big time disappointment where we witnessed a once dominant defense become a pushover and saw the Giants offense sputter without OBJ. Pat Shurmur is rumored to be the future Head Coach and has done wonders with Case Keenum in Minnesota.
The Giants will need a new Franchise QB and this origination isn’t planning in the top 5 of the NFL again in the near future so the time is now to get a QB. Josh Rosen has been kind of head case with his social media and media discussions but reports are that he has grown a lot in the last year. Josh Rosen has all the tools to be a franchise QB and getting to learn from Eli Manning and Pat Shurmur will do wonders for him.
3. Indianapolis Colts – EDGE Bradley Chubb – NC State
The Indianapolis Colts were second to last in the NFL last season in sacks. Josh McDaniels is reportedly the new Head Coach and has worked miracles with no name RB in his system so the idea of the Colts getting a stud like Saquon Barkley just doesn’t make sense. There is good chance the Colts will be switching to a 4-3 scheme with their rumored higher of Matt Eberflus who comes from the Lovie Smith / Rod Marinelli coaching tree.
Bradley Chubb reminds me a lot of Joey Bosa coming out of college with his dominant hands and non stop motor. He is the answer to the Colts prayers and will give them a legit pass rusher to pair with Jabaal Sheard , John Simon and Terrell Basham. Call him WAR DADDY.
4. Cleveland Browns – RB Saquon Barkley – Penn State
The Browns will most likely be getting rid of Isaiah Crowell and will need a bell cow running back. A solid offensive line and a star running back would be extremely beneficial for a young QB like I have the Browns selecting with the first overall pick. The Browns will look at the Rams, Cowboys and Jaguars and look at what elite running backs have done for their teams.
You are going to hear Saquon Barkley being compared to Adrian Peterson, Barry Sanders, Bo Jackson and Ezekiel Elliot to say the least in this off season and the truth is that they are accurate comparisons. Saquon Barkley is an elite talent who is the total package.
5. Denver Broncos - DB Minkah Fitzpatrick – Alabama
When the Denver Broncos have been a competitive team in recent years they have had excellent defensive play. Right now I am predicting that they go the route of signing a veteran QB to solidify that position otherwise theres a good chance they draft one. John Elway wants to win now and the best way for them to do that is to reload on the defensive side of the ball.
Minkah Fitzpatrick has the ideal size (6’1” 205 pounds) teams look for from elite lock down corner backs. Theres a good chance he will run like one as well. Reports are that he will run in the 4.3’s at the combine. The Crimson Tide used Minkah Fitzpatrick all over the field and he can do that for the Broncos as well. He is a true leader and winner and something the Broncos need in their locker room.
6.New York Jets- QB Baker Mayfield – Oklahoma
The New York Jets had a better year than a lot of NFL pundits imagined. The drafting of Jamal Adams in the 2017 draft got the Jets a true leader on the defensive side of the ball and its time they do the same on the offensive side. The Jets know that getting a franchise QB is essential and I would be shocked if they don’t get it done with their first pick. They are a team I expect to trade up in the draft come April.
Baker Mayfield is a former walk on turned Heisman trophy winner. Baker Mayfield is undersized and I like the comparison to Russell Wilson instead of the Johnny Manziel talk going around. He has a good enough arm and athleticism paired with great intangibles that teams will love.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – OT Orlando Brown – Oklahoma
The Buccaneers biggest need right now is finding more consistent pass rush from their front four. Right now I don’t think that there is a player that will help them at the EDGE spot. The Buccaneers still need a true Left Tackle and there is enough top level talent to help protect Jameis Winston.
Orlando Brown isn’t my number one tackle and his 2016 tape was pretty bad but he improved tremendously in the 2017 season. I expect his value to sky rocket in the pre draft process. He is a monster standing 6’8” and weighing 340 pounds who moves quite well. He is a better version of Cam Robinson (2017 2nd round pick of the Jaguars) who has done quite well this season.
8.Chicago Bears – OG Quenton Nelson – Notre Dane
When you have a young signal caller you need to surround him with weapons and do a good job protecting him. I’m choosing to do the latter in this case. Matt Nagy has done an impressive job bringing in excellent coaches and by far his best decision was bringing in offensive line coach Harry Hiestand from Notre Dame. He is quite possibly the best offensive line coach in the college game with a history in the NFL as well.
Drafting a guard in the first round isn’t sexy. You know what is sexy though, Quenton Nelson. Watching him literally choke slam an LSU lineman is quite possibly the craziest and most impressive thing I have seen an offensive lineman do. He is a big time mauler in the running game who possesses a mean punch. He has Zach Martin type upside and is the safest player in the draft.
9. San Francisco 49ers- CB Joshua Jackson – Iowa
Before the 49ers traded for Jimmy G, they were in desperate need of a QB. They had the luxury of getting their prized signal caller for a 2nd round pick. The 9ers will have a ton of cap space so they will be able to fix a lot of their holes on their roster in free agency.
Joshua Jackson is ball hawking corner who had 8 INT last season for the Iowa Hawkeyes. He is a long and athletic corner who has the hips and feet to develop into a shut down corner.
10. Oakland Raiders – NT Vita Vea – Washington
John Gruden is back!!! As much as an offensive guy as he is, he knows the importance of a dominant defense (look at his super bowl win). The Raiders are in desperate need to solidify the defensive line and to get a disruptive force to stop the constant double teams of their pass rushers.
Vita Vea is one of the most entertaining players to watch in this class. The way this man moves for a guy weighing close to 340 lbs is unreal. He will demand double teams or he will eat guards and centers alive even in the NFL. Vita Vea has Danny Shelton to thank for warranting the selection of a NT in the top 10.
11. Miami Dolphins – LB Tremaine Edmunds – Virginia Tech
The biggest need for the Dolphins might be the Guard spot. For the Dolphins I don’t see Quenton Nelson dropping to the 11th pick. There is no other Guard who warrants a pick this high. For the Dolphins they have had an issue with covering Gronk and with this pick they are getting someone who can match him with size and speed.
Tremaine Edmunds is still unknown right now to a lot of NFL fans. Tremaine Edmunds is a freak of nature. He will be a stand up linebacker who has excellent closing speed, length and awareness. This pick just makes sense.
12.Cincinnati Bengals – OT Connor Williams - Texas
The Bengals normally do a good job addressing draft needs in the draft by going all in on a position. This is exactly what they need to do in this years draft with the offensive line. I still believe Joe Mixon was the best running back in the 2017 class which is saying a lot but he’s no miracle worker.
The Bengals draft a plug and play left tackle in Connor Williams. I understand the beginning of the season (Maryland game) didn’t go exactly as planned and his injury might put some doubts into some peoples head but this kid can play. His 2016 tape was absolutely amazing and the end of the 2017 makes me believe he is back. One of the nastiest offensive lineman in this class. Fun to watch.
13.Washington Redskins – DL Da’Ron Payne – Alabama
The Redskins addressed the defensive line in the first round of last years draft and they need to do it again. They struggled at the end of the season trying to stop below average running backs and they will need to do a hell of a lot better if they want to compete in the NFC East.
Da’Ron Payne has been one of my favorite defensive tackles in this class. His impressive National Title game will earn him the chance to have his name called early on day one. He possess excellent athleticism for the position and can provide a solid pass rush from the inside.
14.Green Bay Packers – EDGE Arden Key – LSU
One of the biggest needs when I look at the Packers is adding a pass rusher. Clay Matthews isn’t the same player and could possibly move to inside backer. It was one of the bigger needs for the club as well before the 2017 draft and they didn’t address it early enough. Its time to give Aaron Rodgers some help on the defensive side of the ball.
Arden Key is a big question mark heading into the pre draft process. I expect him to have outstanding combine numbers and measure out physically as the most impressive edge rushers. He comes with some baggage though. He suffered multiple injuries this season and was a head case at times but if you want to see his ceiling check out the tape versus Alabama this year.
15.Arizona Cardinals – QB Josh Allen – Wyoming
As I sit here writing this, the Cardinals have no quarterbacks signed for their franchise for next season. This is a huge issue. The Cardinals will be getting David Johnson back and have an above average defense. They have yet to hire a head coach but this is the direction the team should go if given the chance.
Josh Allen is the quarterback in this class who has an amazingly high ceiling and an extremely low floor. He isn’t the most accurate passer and played lesser competition but might have the best arm in this class.
16.Baltimore Ravens – WR Calvin Ridley – Alabama
Ozzie Newsome loves his Alabama players and in this draft he had an excellent one fall to him. Wide receiver is one of the bigger needs for this team.
Calvin Ridley is coming from a pro style offense who didn’t use him effectively so don’t be fooled by his college stats. This kid can play and compares well to Amari Cooper. He will step in day one and be the best WR on this team.
17.Los Angeles Chargers – OT Mike McGlinchey – Notre Dame
The Chargers defense ended up being one of the most improved units in football last season. The Chargers went all in last season addressing the offensive side of the football by spending their first three picks on Mike Williams, Forrest Lamp and Dan Feeney.
Adding Mike McGlinchey would help turn the offensive line into one of the stronger units on the team. I don’t think he projects well to the left side as he has struggled with speed (Georgia and Miami games) but he can be a nice mauling run blocker on the right side.
18.Seattle Seahawks – S Derwin James – Florida State
There was been a run on first round offensive lineman which is one of the biggest needs for the Seahawks. Rumors of Kam Chancellor retiring made me love this pick for the Seahawks.
Derwin James can slide right in and fill that role that Kam Chancellor has played so well in Seattle. He is big and his play reminds me of Chancellor quite a bit. He will excel at playing close to the line of scrimmage and matching up on tight ends.
19.Dallas Cowboys – WR Courtland Sutton – SMU
Without Ezekiel Elliott the Dallas Cowboys offense wasn’t the same last season. Issues along the offensive line and issues with their WR being play makers were big time issues. The Cowboys get a steal with Courtland Sutton. He will give the Cowboys a second weapon besides Dez Bryant who can help take some pressure off Dez Bryant. He would create a whole new dimension to the Cowboys offense and give them a ton more firepower.
20. Detroit Lions – DT Taven Bryan – Florida
It appears that Bob Quinn got his guy in Matt Patricia to be the new head coach of the Lions. Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn both come from the Patriots organization who have always believed in building through the trenches. Taven Bryan is a dominant force in the middle who can cause absolute chaos in the middle. Taven Bryan shows excellent ball get off and unreal closing ability. He can do things that most men his size can’t. He will be a prized possession come draft time.
21.Buffalo Bills – DT Maurice Hurst – Michigan
The Bills have two first round picks this season due to their trade with the Kansas City Chiefs last season. They need help in the trenches on both sides of the football. With their first pick Sean McDermott gets himself some help with his interior pass rush. Maurice Hurst has an explosive first step that has a similar play style to Sheldon Rankings of the New Orleans Saints. He has the attributes to slide right into the 3 tech spot on the defensive line for the Bills.
22.Buffalo Bills- CB Denzel Ward – Ohio State
The Bills got a steal in the 2017 draft when they drafted Tre’Davious White. He has turned out to be one of the better corner backs in the league. Pairing him with Denzel Ward gives the Bills two fantastic young corners to build the defense around. Ward is a little bit undersized but plays with a nasty streak and fits the scheme the Bills run to the tee.
23. Los Angeles Rams- CB Isaiah Oliver – Colorado
Wade Phillips relies on corners to play a vital role in his scheme. The Rams ran a lot of man coverage last season and that is what Isaiah Oliver does best. The potential loss of Tremaine Johnson makes this a major need for the Rams.
24.Carolina Panthers - C /OG Billy Price – Ohio State
One of the cornerstones on the offensive line has ben Andrew Norwell who is about become the highest paid guard in the NFL. He played at an all pro level last season so he will be missed. That leaves a gaping hole on the interior of their offensive line. Billy Price has been a rock for the Buckeyes throughout his 4 years there. He is excellent in pass pro and run blocking. He has the ability to anchor when facing bigger DT and the feet to deal with speed.
25. Tennessee Titans- EDGE Harold Landry – Boston College
The two most effective edge rushers for the Titans have been Brian Orakpo and Derek Morgan. Both of those two are over the age of 30. The Titans have a ton of young talent but they need an infusion of talent at the EDGE spot. Harold Landry had a down year compared to his 2016 film but suffered injuries that really hampered him. He has shown that he can be a liability stopping the run but he would be an instant upgrade as a situational pass rusher day one.
26. Atlanta Falcons- WR Anthony Miller – Memphis
Remember when the Atlanta Falcons had the best offense in football? Remember when they were routinely putting up 30 points on any defense that they faced? I do to. The 2017 season was a big time step back for this football team on the offensive side of the ball. When I look at this roster the biggest needs are at the G, FS and WR spots. There is no G or FS that warrants a selection here so they are getting one of my favorite players in this draft Anthony Miller. Miller is a small receiver who played at a small time school BUT I think the kid is special. He is excellent at creating separation and getting open and that is what the Falcons need right now. They need someone besides Julio Jones that is a threat all over the field and that is what Anthony Miller is. Falcons fans feel free to bitch.
27. Pittsburgh Steelers- LB Rashaan Evans – Alabama
The tragic injury to Ryan Shazier left a hole at the linebacker spot for the Steelers. Just look what happened in their playoff game against the Jaguars. They need an upgrade at the linebacker spot in case Shazier is never cleared to play again. Evans will give the Steelers a linebacker with range and great run and hit ability. Nick Saban has had high praise for Evans and he and his play style would fit in perfect in the Steelers system.
28. New Orleans Saints – LB Malik Jefferson – Texas
The Saints have been starting a few liabilities at the linebacker position this season and adding a physical freak like Malik Jefferson would be a welcomed addition. Watching film, Im not the biggest Malik Jefferson fan. There a lot of instances where he looks lost and takes horrible angles. When he is on his game he is something else though. Texas has reported that he has been clocked in the 4.4s and will probably test out of this world at the combine making him a first round pick.
29.Minnesota Vikings – OG Will Hernandez – UTEP
The Vikings did a good job patching together an offensive line this season. In a perfect world the Vikings would run the football more than they pass so adding a stud offensive guard would do wonders. Will Hernandez is the definition of a mauler. He is big, physical and a people mover. You tell him to move someone and open a hole and he does it. Reminds me a ton of Mike Iupati. Dalvin Cook fantasy owners can now rejoice.
30. Jacksonville Jaguars – TE Mark Andrews – Oklahoma
We all know why the Jaguars are where they are right now. Their defense is top notch and one of the truly elite units in the NFL. There is a good chance the Jaguars let Allen Robinson walk and they are in need of an offensive weapon to help the pedestrian Blake Bortles. Mark Andrews would provide the Jaguars with a big bodied offense weapon. His pass catching ability reminds me of Travis Kelce.
31.Philadelphia Eagles- OT Chukwuma Okorafor – Western Michigan
The Eagles have truly been built the right way. On paper they don’t have many glaring weaknesses. That’s exactly why they are playing in the NFC Title game this week. One area of need though might be at the LT. Jason Peters is getting up there in age and has been struggling with injuries. Chukwuma Okorafor might need some time to develop but he has that excellent size and rare feet for a big man.
32.New England Patriots- EDGE Sam Hubbard – Ohio State
This pick just screams New England Patriots. Sam Hubbard is a do it all edge rusher who plays the run equally effective as he rushes the passer. He is a 3 year starter for the Buckeyes who has been extremely consistent for them. I personally don’t see Sam Hubbard falling this far and hope the Patriots don’t get this kid, but that’s how this mock went.