1. Cleveland (0-16) Sam Darnold, QB, USC
After taking Myles Garrett first overall last year the Browns take a QB number overall in 2018. I am changing this pick to Darnold here from my last mock. I really don’t know, I think Rosen is ready to start now and is the more polished passer but Darnold is an exciting and intriguing prospect that I think has a higher ceiling. Either way, I think this pick needs to be a QB and I am having them pick Darnold. As for Darnold, people overreacted after their bowl loss saying that Darnold isn’t good and all sorts of stuff…..that is just crazy. Darnold is good, really good. He’s got an NFL arm, I like where his accuracy is at, I like where he’s at from a leadership standpoint and I think he’s been incredibly mature both on and off the field; and remember he’s only a redshirt sophomore. As of right now, I think Rosen is the safer pick but Darnold in my mind has the higher ceiling. If I were a Browns fan I would love this pick.
2. New York Giants (3-13) Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
The Giants will surely be in re-building mode this off season; coming off one of the worst Giants seasons I can certainly remember. I have them taking a young QB here and definitely one of the top prospects in this draft. Rosen is the most polished thrower in the draft and honestly could start day 1. Now, assuming Eli is still there I think he sits behind Eli for some time but hey it did wonders for Aaron Rodgers. I think Rosen got all the tools you look for, I think he’s accurate, makes smart decisions, can escape pressure and has shown good improvement throughout his career. I think the character concerns are nonsense and I would be shocked to see him fall out of the top five.
3. Indianapolis (4-12) Bradley Chubb, DE, N.C. St.
Bradley Chubb would make a lot of sense here. The Colts are a pretty bad team right and really have holes all over their roster. Chubb is one of the elite prospects in this draft and will make an immediate impact. He’s tough, recognizes plays quickly, has great hand use, stout, good vs the pass and the run…there’s a lot to like about him. I think Barkley is in play here but Chubb most certainly could very well be their pick.
4. Cleveland - from Houston (4-12) Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn St.
The Browns offense is instantly changed with 2 draft picks. It’s crazy how that works. I think Fitzpatrick is certainly tempting here, but if it’s me I am adding help for my young new QB. I think this takes a lot of pressure off Darnold and honestly can help you win now. As for Barkley, everybody knows him; I don’t need to give my take….he’s freaking good.
5. Denver (5-11) Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
I think Denver listens to calls for Fitzpatrick, but they are obsessed with getting a QB so they take Mayfield here. Mayfield will probably not get out of the top 10. I know he recently said get me to Miami, while that’s all fine and dandy I don’t think Miami will even have a shot to draft him. Denver was pretty bad this year and the QB was a big part of that. Elway will be aggressive in getting a QB and I think that QB will be the exciting Baker Mayfield.
6. Trade: Oakland from New York Jets (5-11) Minkah Fitzpatrick, CB, Alabama
My first trade of this mock. The Raiders trade up for the elite Minkah Fitzpatrick. The Jets are really set at safety and while I could see them drafting Fitzptrick here as a CB which would be absolutely terrifying, I think they could get a lot for someone trying to trade up for Fitzpatrick. The Raiders had a bad defense last season and Fitzpatrick here would be an immediate boost for a struggling secondary.
7. Tampa Bay (5-11) Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame
Nelson is a monster guard prospect that is one of the best players in this draft. You guys know how much scouts love him. He’s an immediate starter and really this is a no brainer for the Bucs. I know their pass rush is lacking and I would listen to someone try to sell me on Davenport this early but Nelson is too much to pass on.
8. Chicago (5-11) Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio St.
Chicago could use some help at CB and Ward has been solid all season. I initially was very impressed with Ward’s play but his size really scared me. He looks small on film; if he had Joshua Jackson’s size I’d say top 5 pick. However, his tape is good and I, as a rule, trust to the tape. He’s got gifted feet, terrific quickness and is an insane athlete.
9. San Francisco (6-10) Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
The 49ers grab the last elite prospect in my mind. You all know how much I love Roquan Smith and I think he’d be a great fit here. He’s a sideline to sideline, hard hitter, smart and instinctive LB that plays with an aggression that I love. He does lack ideal size and his block shedding will be a an issue but I think he’s a stud now and will only continue to improve.
10. Trade: New York Jets from Oakland (6-10) Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
The New York Jets trade down and are still able to land to the top WR in the draft. The Jets offense doesn’t scare anyone and they need some legit threats. Ridley is a smooth route-runner with skills that remind me of Antonio Brown. Terrific pick here for the Jets.
11. Trade: Arizona from Miami (6-10) Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
Miami trades down with Arizona. The Cardinals grab their QB of the future in Josh Allen. Allen tape is fun to watch. He’s highly athletic and a couple times a game you will see him run all over the place extending the play and heaving it downfield in a way that makes me smile. His mechanics and accuracy are issues….true. He’s got skills that are raw, but this kid has an arm that blows me away. I’ve seen impressive touch and he can be accurate, he’s got the skill, he’s just inconsistent. I hear a lot of opinions on really all these QBs…..really I like all of them. I think Allen is talented and is a first round pick. I do think he needs to develop but I think this is a good selection for Arizona.
12. Cincinnati (7-9) Joshua Jackson, CB, Iowa
The Bengals grab one of the top rated CBs. Depending on who you talk to, I’ve seen Jackson and Ward both rated as the top corner….I really still haven’t decided who’s my favorite yet. Both are fantastic players and both I think have first round talent. For the Bengals, I though, I have them grabbing Jackson here. Jackson has elite ball skills and the potential to become even better.
13. Washington (7-9) Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama
The Redskins defense has not been good this year. Their defensive line is especially shallow in terms of depth and they could use another young stud alongside Jonathan Allen. So, why not double dip at Alabama and grab Allen’s college teammate. Payne has been phenomenal this year, showing off true force and unbelievable athleticism. He’s truly a force in the middle and will bring toughness and a stout plug along their D-line.
14. Green Bay (7-9) Vita Vea, DT, Washington
Green Bay addresses their defense here with this pick. I think Tremaine Edmunds and Marcus Davenport are both very strong possibilities but I am going with Vea. 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 a safe selection here for the Packers.
15. Trade: Miami from Arizona (8-8) Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
After trading down the Dolphins make their first selection and grab Virginia Tech LB Tremaine Edmunds. Edmunds has been great this year. He’s got good size, strength, and aggressiveness. He also has tremendous quickness for a guy his size which is impressive. I think he could be a versatile guy for the Phins on defense. I see a true 3-down LB that will have an immediate presence on the field. I would be very happy with this selection.
16. Baltimore (9-7) Marcus Davenport, DE, UTEP
This isn’t the biggest need for the Ravens but Davneport is great value here. His name has been all over the place recently and rightfully so; he’s a really good player. He’s very big, has a great motor and has some truly dominate film. He’s got an especially violent bull rush that is crazy good. In fact, his film is downright fun to watch; go type his name into youtube, I can’t say it enough; he’s very good. I am no longer hesitant to mock him this high (I wanted to get him higher) because he’s truly this good. I have a top 12 grade on him.
17. Los Angeles Chargers (9-7) Derwin James, S, FSU
James is one of the more talented prospects in this draft and he is too good for the Chargers to pass on here. He’s been up and down since his return from injury but I still think he ends up a high first round pick. James has natural elite talent that doesn’t come around often.
18. Seattle (9-7) Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
Seattle has a need at RT and McGlinchey is the top OT prospect in this draft. He’s a very good overall tackle. I do really like McGlinchey; but my main concern with him is how he handles the speed rush. He struggled with that this year and that’s what keeping him out of my top 10. However, this is a weak OT class and with Connor Williams injury concerns, McGlinchey is clearly the top tackle. The Seahawks invest in their O-line and snatch him up here.
19. Dallas (9-7) Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama
Dallas could go a couple different ways here but I have them selecting Rashaan Evans the stud LB from Alabama. Evans is a very good, athletic, sideline to sideline LB. I think he’s underrated and I have a late first round grade on him. I think he’s solid in the run game, has the ability to cover, and he can get to where the ball is going fast. He’s also very aggressive and plays with technique. This would be a solid pick here and a potential immediate starter for the Cowboys.
20. Detroit (9-7) Sony Michel, RB, Georgia
One of my favorites; and a big riser; Sony Michel comes off the board here. There is no doubt in my mind Michel is a first round RB and Detroit has lacked a true number 1 RB for a while. This pick solidifies the RB position and takes a lot of pressure off of Stafford.
21. Buffalo (9-7) Mike Hughes, CB, UCF
Hughes is a CB that I need to do more film breakdown on. There is a ton of buzz about him right now and really after Ward and Jackson, there is a bounty of really good CBs that you can choose from. Hughes will certainly be in that mix and will most likely join Ward and Jackson as a first round pick. This is a crazy good CB class and don’t be surprised if you see a ton of CBs taken early.
22. Buffalo - from Kansas City (10-6) Harrison Smith, DT, Stanford
The Bill’s defense has not been good and since getting rid of Dareus they have a hole in the middle of their defense. Harrison Smith is not a common household name in this draft but I think he’s very impressive. Go watch the Notre Dame game film against Nelson. He performed well against an elite prospect in this draft. He’s got a high motor, very stout, good hand use, and has the ability to be disruptive. I have a first round grade on him; I think he’s a very underrated prospect right now. I think he’s a solid first round pick and a safe selection here for the Bills.
23. Los Angeles Rams (11-5) Billy Price, C, Ohio St.
Billy Price is another prospect that I am feeling starting to love. I think he’s smart, instinctive, tough and a leader. I think he ends up being a mid-first round pick and an immediate starter in the NFL.
24. Carolina (11-5) Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma
This is all about protection Cam Newton. Brown has played well this season but I think he’s got the potential to become a lot better. He’s got elite frame, good strength and pretty good production. I think he needs to learn to move a little bit better and control his big body but once he gets his basics and details of his game down he could be an All-Pro LT.
25. Tennessee (9-7) Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan
The run on DTs continues here with Hurst. Hurst was pretty good last season and I think he played even better this year. He’s disruptive, tough, aggressive and shed blocks really well. I think he’s a pretty versatile guy and will be capable of contributing early in his career. The Titans need help on defense so drafting Hurst here makes a lot of sense.
26. Atlanta (10-6) Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, OLB, Oklahoma
As I said in one of my previous scouting notes, Okoronkwo is a great prospect that has top 10 talent; the problem is he’s very undersized. He’s supremely athletic though, can drop into coverage, rush the passer and be a defensive playmaker. Atlanta would love to snatch him up here.
27. New Orleans (11-5) Taven Bryan, DT, Florida
The Saints add depth along their defensive line by selecting the highly athletic Bryan. Bryan had a tremendous year showing dominant traits and truly elite talent. He brings quickness and toughness to the Saints D-line.
28. Pittsburgh (13-3) Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama
This pick screams Steelers to me. Harrison is a tough, hard hitting safety that will fit right in to what the Steelers like to do. His coverage skills do need some improvement but he’s ultra-talented and, in my mind, fantastic value here.
29. Jacksonville (10-6) Isaiah Wynn, G, Georgia
Wynn had an unreal end to his college career. Even though it didn’t end in a national championship, it was still so impressive. He was dominant against elite talent showing great pass and run blocking ability. I can’t imagine him not being drafted in the first round now. I think he bring versatility and toughness to any franchise.
30. Minnesota (13-3) Carlton Davis, CB, Auburn
Carlton Davis is a solid CB that has been good all year. He’s got good size and plays physical. As good as the Vikings have been on defense they could use some more youth at CB, so this pick makes a lot of sense.
31. Philadelphia (13-3) Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado
Oliver is another CB with good size that has a physical style of play. The Eagles defense is scary good and with this pick it’s about to get even scarier.
32. New England (13-3) Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville
The first round ends with a mini run on CBs. This was my initial selection for the Dolphins months ago. Alexander is a really good corner who unfortunately has been injured a lot of this season. Outside of Jackson and Ward, who really seem to be separating hthemselves from the other corners, there’s a lot of debate on whose next in line. You have guys like Isaiah Oliver, Carlton Davis, Ken Webster, J.C. Jackson, Tarvarus McFaddden Mike Hughes, and a couple more that could all end up late first or second round picks. I like Alexander here though; he’s a good football player and assuming he’s healthy I could see him being a first round pick.