1. Cleveland (0-11) Sam Darnold, QB, USC
The Browns place the future of their franchise in yet another QB’s hands. Fortunately for them they are making the right decision here. Assuming he declares (there’s a good chance the RS Sophomore doesn’t) he is certainly in play for the number one overall selection. He’s got all the tools to succeed in the NFL and could finally be the guy to lead the Browns back to being a respectable franchise.
2. San Francisco (1-10) Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn St.
The 49ers have to be thrilled the Browns passed on Barkley because he will surely be their number 1 rated guy.
Barkley gets a ton of attention and rightfully so. He’s the definition of a playmaker, game-changer, he’s got devastating quickness and change of direction speed; he’s an exciting, fun to watch prospect. Barkley is my number 1 overall player in this draft and an easy pick here for the young 49ers.
3. New York Giants (2-9) Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
What a mess the Giants are in right now. McAdoo will surely be fired soon and the Giants will be in full re-building mode. However, lucky for them Josh Rosen is still available. He’s the most polished QB in this draft and should be ready to start immediately. Drafting Rosen here will give Giant fans some hope after a horrendous season.
4. Denver (3-8) Minkah Fitzpatrick, S, Alabama
The Broncos will definitely be in the QB market in this draft but missed on their top 2 targets. I don’t see them reaching here so they go the safe route and grab one of the top players in the entire draft. Fitzpatrick is a game-changer on the defensive side of the ball and should be an immediate presence on their defense.
5. Indianapolis (3-8) Bradley Chubb, DE, N.C. St.
Another franchise that is in complete turmoil right now is the Colts. Without Andrew Luck they have been horrible. However, they do have some young core pieces to their team and added Chubb here would be a step in the right direction for them. It’s not a crazy, sexy pick but it adds a solid, proven defensive talent to a bad defense. Start in the trenches and improve the team from the inside out; that should be the Colts strategy here.
6. Chicago (3-8) Derwin James, S, Florida St.
One of the more popular prospects in this draft; the Bears grab the playmaking safety from FSU. There are certainly injury concerns here but he’s played well after starting the season rough and there’s no denying his talent. He’s got elite ability that only comes around every so often. A wide receiver here is tempting but there is way too many better rated prospects to reach for one here.
7. Cleveland - from Houston (4-7) Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio St.
After making a bold pick with Darnold the Browns grab the top rated CB here from local Ohio St. Ward is a solid all-around cornerback and a potential immediate contributor. I love his instincts and his break on the ball. His stock is rising and he could end up being a top pick in this draft.
8. New York Jets (4-7) Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma St.
This is the first surprise pick of this draft. The Jets clearly need to be thinking QB in the first couple rounds and if they believe in one they need to pull the trigger. He’s not the sexy Mayfield pick but I am higher on Rudolph then most. I think he comes in and competes for the starting job immediately.
9. Miami (4-7) Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame
The Dolphins sprint to the podium to make this pick. I swear I didn’t manipulate this to work out for the Dolphins (you guys know how much I love Nelson), but in this case it does. The Dolphins get an immediate starter in a position of great need. This would be a slam dunk pick.
10. Tampa Bay (4-7) Clelin Farrell, DE, Clemson
The Buccaneers desperately need to upgrade their pass rush and Farrell is one of the top rated pass rushers in this draft. Farrell has enjoyed a great season along a star-studded defensive line. He added youth and talent the Bucs defensive line.
11. Los Angeles Chargers (5-6) Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma
Orlando Brown is a mountain of a man at LT with an extremely high ceiling. He’s been good all year and now looks like a solid first round pick. He plays with great strength, good hand use and is solid in both the running and passing game. He does get heavy footed and his quickness isn’t good but like I said he’s been pretty good this year and could even get a lot better.
12. Cincinnati (5-6) Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama
Payne has been terrific this year, showing off true force and unbelievable athleticism. He’s truly a force in the middle and paired up next to Geno Atkins this will be a devastating duo for the Bengals.
13. Arizona (5-6) Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
Baker Mayfield has a first round grade from me. He’s one of the top players on the board and he fits a need for the Cardinals. Carson Palmer’s best days are behind him and they need a young QB to groom. Mayfield is one of the most popular prospects and frankly one of the most exciting prospects in this draft and Cardinals snatch him here.
14. Oakland (5-6) Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama
Harrison is a hard hitting safety, ultra-talented safety that has been playing at a high level all year. The Raiders have had a disappointing season and their secondary needs help. Harrison’s coverage skills do need improvement but he’s a top level talent that doesn’t come around every day.
15. Dallas (5-6) Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson
Wilkins is an ultra-talented d-lineman that I have a top 10 grade on. He’s physical, quick and powerful. The Cowboys get an immediate contributor and add toughness to the middle of their defense.
16. Washington (5-6) Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
The Redskins could clearly use a workhorse RB to take some pressure off of Kirk Cousins. Guice is a tough runner that is hard to bring down. He could be an immediate starter on the Redskin’s offense.
17. Green Bay (5-6) Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
McGlinchey is one of the top players still on the board and the Packer’s are known to go best player available. He just so happens to also fit a need too; protecting Rodgers needs to be a priority so McGlinchey would make a lot of sense here.
18. Buffalo (6-5) Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
The Bills defense has not been good this year; especially after they traded Marcell Dareus. Some have a top 10 grade on Smith so he’s terrific value here. He’s a fast, rangy LB that plays all over the field. He’s the perfect fit of today’s NFL LB.
19. Detroit (6-5) Austin Bryant, DE, Clemson
The Lions need pass rushing help pretty bad. Ziggy Ansah has been banged up and grabbing some young help here would make a lot of sense. Bryant is a guy who’s quick off the ball, has a high motor, and can get after the QB. He’s a little stiff and I don’t see a great bend but he’s definitely got NFL talent and the Lions could sure use him.
20. Trade: Carolina From Seattle (7-4) Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
I am having a bit of fun with this mock and adding a trade. I don’t think this is too far-fetched either. Most people have Ridley in their top 10 which is a little rich for my liking but if he falls to the Ravens I think there’s a high chance Baltimore grabs him. So, the WR-needy Panthers jump ahead of the Ravens and steal the top rated WR.
21. Baltimore* (6-5) Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
Missing out on Ridley will sting but the Ravens won’t but be too sad because they grab the next best WR in Sutton. Sutton is much different then Ridley but he’s got a higher ceiling then Ridley. Sutton is a big bodied WR that has been very productive at SMU. He could be a weapon for Flacco from day one.
22. Buffalo - from Kansas City* (6-5) Vita Vea, DT, Washington
As I mentioned earlier, the Bill’s defense has not been good and since getting rid of Dareus they have a hole in the middle of their defense. Vea has been phenomenal this year; dominating at times and having big impacts on games. I think he’s a solid first round pick and even though QB is certainly in place here, taking Vea is the safer option.
23. Atlanta (7-4) Ken Webster, CB, Ole Miss
Webster is one of the top players available and he fits a need for the Falcons. Webster has some minor off the field issues and a torn ACL in his past but has played very well this year and could end up being a first round pick.
24. Los Angeles Rams (8-3) Arden Key, DE, LSU
There are a ton of mixed reviews on Key; I wasn’t overly impressed with Key to begin the season and felt that he was overhyped but I have actually seen some pretty impressive plays from him this year. I think he’s inconsistent and still has areas of improvement but I feel this is more his range here in the first round.
25. Jacksonville* (7-4) Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
The Jaguars will be moving on from Bortles in the near future. They have to be looking hard at the QBs in this draft and they may believe that Allen can turn into something special. Allen’s hype has died down but I believe he (like Key) was overhyped to begin with; not that I dislike him, he’s got a ton of traits that I am very impressed with. He’s a competitor that doesn’t ever give up. He’s very athletic and has an NFL arm. Sure he’s raw but he’s playing at Wyoming for goodness sakes. I like his potential and in this fake draft so do the Jaguars.
26. Tennessee (7-4) Joshua Jackson, CB, Iowa
Joshua Jackson has had as good a season any prospect could ask for. He’s been a playmaker and a game-changer from the defensive side of the ball. His tape is very, very good. I know there’s concern for his frame but he’s got first round talent and could very easily be drafted around this range. Tennessee did go CB in the first round last year but I believe they may double dip here. You can never have too many good corners and reaching for need is (in my mind) usually not the way to go.
27. Trade: Seattle From Carolina (8-3) Tarvares McFadden, CB, Florida St.
The Seahawks need to start looking for a big, young CB for Richard Sherman to groom and McFadden certainly looks the part. Standing almost 6-2 198 lbs he could the next big CB in line for the Hawks. He’s a fantastic athlete, fluid hips, good ball skills, and has pretty good awareness. The biggest knack for him is ironically his physicality…..I am pretty sure Sherman and the Seattle secondary coaches can help him with that.
28. New Orleans (8-3) Anthony Miller, WR, Memphis
Anthony Miller makes an appearance in this edition, and it rightfully deserved. He’s another prospect that wasn’t on my radar at all in May; well I certainly know him know! I have mentioned before I think him and Calvin Ridley both has a deadly quickness and change of direction speed that is natural and unmatched. That trait (not comparing the overall prospect just the trait) reminds me of Antonio Brown. I do think Miller is a little raw but he’s a solid playmaker that is just scratching the surface of his potential. He will fit in nicely with the Saint’s high powered offense.
29. Pittsburgh (9-2) Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
The Steelers love to draft LBs in the first round, they just do. Edmunds, I believe is flying under the radar and bit and could end up sneaking into the opening round. He’s a bigger LB that does a lot of things very well. I am a big fan of his and I think he would fit in nicely in Pittsburgh.
30. Minnesota (9-2) Taven Bryan, DE, Florida
Bryan recently declared for the draft and I think he made the right decision. He’s coming off a breakout season and his stock is soaring now. Minnesota’s defense is legit and adding Bryan; a player who has unbelievable potential and talent, is going to make them even better. This is a scary good pick for Vikings fans and brings another young piece to an already young and tough defense.
31. New England (9-2) Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, DE/LB, Oklahoma
The Patriots need help on defense. I mean, as long as they have Brady and Belichick, they really don’t need anything; but point is their defense isn’t good. Okoronkwo has been a terrific pass rusher this year and also could be a guy that sneaks into the first round.
32. Philadelphia (10-1) Isiah Oliver, CB, Colorado
Oliver is a player that has been gaining a lot of hype since the season began. I personally need to get more film on him (still….sorry) but from what I’ve watched he’s a good size cornerback that is physical and plays with decent coverage skills. I think he’s got a lot potential and with his athleticism he could become a pretty good corner.