Happy NFL Draft Eve! This 1st round mock was made with the assumption that all 32 teams stay put and draft accordingly.
***Disclaimer***: There is rumored to be a few trades in the works in just the first round alone. Picks and teams may change and mess up this entire mock.
1. Cleveland Browns – Sam Darnold, QB, USC
It’s no secret Cleveland wants their quarterback of the future. Darnold appears to be the guy they want. Crazier things have happened but the consensus seems to be Darnold will be Cleveland’s guy at number one.
2. New York Giants – Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
I know “experts” think top 5 is too high for a running back. But that’s what “experts” said about Ezekiel Elliott as well, and he is the best back in the league. Barkley is not only an elite running back but also an elite pass catching back. The Giants very well could go O-Line (Nelson) with this pick but I think it’ll be too hard for NY to pass up on arguably the best player in the draft. With Darnold off the board, Barkley goes to NY at #2. Also still holding out hope the Giants sign Dez Bryant. I not only want to see Dez play Dallas twice a year for entertainment purposes, NY is the only team in the division I can somewhat stand.
3. New York Jets – Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
The Jets and Baker Mayfield just seem to go together. Jets moved up to get their guy at #3 who they believe to be the QB that will take them over the top in the future. Mayfield will not need to start right away and will likely come in as the #3 QB on the roster. But will learn for at least a year and it’s the Jets hope he will take the reins at some point in the future.
4. Cleveland Browns – Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State
Cleveland gets the best pass rusher in the draft at 4 after getting their QB of the future at 1. Nice haul for a Browns team that for the first time in many, many years, looks like they may be headed in the right direction.
5. Denver Broncos – Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame
Elway is on record saying he is willing to trade this pick. So this is where I think the draft could get crazy. But if everything were to stand pat, Denver would be smart to take Quenton Nelson. He is the best offensive lineman in the draft, would provide protection for newly acquired QB Case Keenum, and should be a future pro bowler for years to come.
6. Indianapolis Colts – Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
To break the heart of many teams following this pick, the Colts take Roquan Smith. Many consider Smith to be the best defensive player in the draft and his athleticism, intelligence, and leadership make him the perfect pick for the Colts who are trying to re-invent their defensive identity.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Derwin James, S, Florida State
Derwin James is a stud. Tampa Bay will pounce on the chance to take James at 7 if he is still available (barring any trade ups). Don’t pay attention to the rumors of James falling. If these GM’s have done their homework they will see that James is a can’t miss safety and arguably the best DB in the draft.
8. Chicago Bears – Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
Tremaine Edmunds is a freak athlete. At only 19 years old, he probably has the most potential in the entire draft. The bears snag him here and have the potential cornerstone to their defense for years to come.
9. San Francisco 49ers – Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama
Minkah Fitzpatrick is the most intriguing prospect in the first round. He can line up at any DB position. His versatility is his biggest strength but also weakness ,which dropped him below James, as NFL teams must have a clear idea of where they want to play him. He could be great at any of the defensive back positions it’s just a matter of finding which position works best for the team. But San Francisco will be thrilled to have such a versatile weapon at their disposal at #9 and they’ll figure out where he fits best.
10. Oakland Raiders – Vita Vea, DT, Washington
Vita Vea is a big, strong, quick 1-tech defensive tackle. Some mocks have him falling but I think Oakland snags him here at 10. His speed and quickness are what jumps out, and to be so big and strong, and be that fast, he’s a one of a kind DT and the best one in the draft.
11. Miami Dolphins – Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
The Dolphins are beyond thrilled that Hot Tub Rosen fell out of the top 10 and into their laps at 11. Rosen has the potential to be a very good QB. And with the uncertainty of Tannehill’s future in MIA as the QB, Rosen makes a lot of sense here.
12. Buffalo Bills – Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
At 12 sits the biggest question mark in the draft. While Josh Allen dropped out of the projected top 5, he still goes earlier than I think he should. The unproven QB from Wyoming, with no big wins or impressive stats, gets picked up at 12 by Buffalo. Sounds like Buffalo right? The arm strength is there. The measurables are there. But there’s so much uncertainty with Allen that this is the biggest gamble in the draft.
13. Washington FC – Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
Washington FC (Football Club) couldn’t get up to the podium fast enough to announce this pick. Denzel Ward may not make it out of the Top 10 but if he does, this fills a real need for Washington FC.
14. Green Bay Packers – Harold Landry, DE, Boston College
Harold Landry is so skilled at rushing the passer he will not make past this pick. Landry fits right in with GB and their scheme and will be hounding QB’s for years to come. There will always be a need for pass rushers and Landry is about as good as it gets.
15. Arizona Cardinals – Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
Some mocks have AZ taking a QB with this pick. But with the recent signings of Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon, it appears AZ is comfortable with their QB situation at the moment. They pick up a great value pick here and fill a need at tackle with the best one on the board.
16. Baltimore Ravens – Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
The Baltimore Ravens take who they believe to be the best WR in the draft. They recently signed Willie Snead but I don’t think that takes them out of the running to draft who they believe will be their number one WR of the future. Ridley is the most polished out of the all the WR prospects and this alone is why he will be the number one receiver taken in the 2018 draft.
17. Los Angeles Chargers – Leighton Van Der Esch, LB, Boise State
Thank the Football Gods that LVE is selected at 17. As a Cowboys fan, if he was there at 19 it’s been widely speculated that this would be the Cowboys pick. He may be good down the line, but LVE is all potential at this point. Not that excited about the player, but hey, I’ve been wrong before. (Not often).
18. Seattle Seahawks – Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA
With the entire Seattle defense doing a complete overhaul, it’s time to get some new blood on this case. Marcus Davenport is the best remaining pass rusher and can come in and start right away for Seattle next season.
19. Dallas Cowboys – Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
Courtland Sutton was the top rated receiver all year until the combine and pro days. If the Cowboys truly want to replace Dez Bryant, Sutton is the guy. DJ Moore makes a lot of sense here too if Dallas is set on going WR in round one but I think Sutton’s pure skill as a jump ball receiver and his size give him the edge over any other receiver in this draft and make him the perfect fit for the Cowboys. By letting #88 go, the Cowboys made WR one of if not the biggest need on this team. Sutton could step in day one and while he may not duplicate the production of Dez, he could be somewhere close. Just don’t give him the #88. It’s too soon…
20. Detroit Lions – Taven Bryan, DT, Florida
Taven Bryan has drawn JJ Watt comparisons. Not only because they are big and white but Bryan is actually a dominant force against the pass and the run.
21. Cincinnati Bengals – James Daniels, C, Iowa
James Daniels could be dominant at either Center or Guard. QB could be enticing for Cincinnati here but they end up taking
22. Buffalo Bills – Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa
Bills got their Quarterback earlier in the draft and now they get their Cornerback. Jackson has been ranked as the highest CB coming out and I’ve also seen some have a 2nd or 3rd round grade on him. He may not have elite speed but he is a physical, rangy CB
23. New England Patriots – Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
And there he goes! The most electrfying football player in college football history goes #23 to the New England Patriots. Lamar Jackson may end up being the best Quarterback in this draft class and he’ll going to the best team of the past two decades. This is the most fun pick of the draft, as the Patriots get their successor to Brady. Jackson couldn’t dream of a better situation. If Brady ends up playing for 4 or 5 more years, he’ll get shipped off to a new team and get that Jimmy G money!
24. Carolina Panthers – DJ Moore, WR, Maryland
Carolina gets DJ Moore! The shifty and explosive reciever goes to a team that will perfectly utilize his talent.
25. Tennesse Titans – Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama
Rashaan Evans is a very interesting prospect. He’s got the speed to compete at the next level and plays extremely hard. He’s a steal here for Tennessee.
26. Atlanta Falcons – Da’ron Payne, DT, Alabama
Da’ron Payne is a perfect fit here for Atlanta. Rumblings around the league are that Atlanta highly covets the big man in the middle.
27. New Orleans Saints – Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina
Really believe New Orleans wants to go TE here with all the first round QB’s taken off the board. It was a toss-up between Hayden Hurst and Dallas Goedert. Hurst is a slightly better blocker while Goedert is a slightly better receiver. New Orleans has changed its offensive philosophy and wants to run more in future years. So Hurst edges out Goedert ever so slightly.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers – Justin Reid, S, Stanford
Little brother of Eric Reid, Justin Reid has the makeup to be as great if not greater than his brother. Justin Reid is the playmaking safety that Pittsburgh hasn’t had in quite a while.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars – Conor Williams, T, Texas
Connor Williams is a little small for Tackle and there’s a lot of question marks about him transitioning to the speed of the NFL. But he’s worth taking a gamble on this late in the first round.
30. Minnesota Vikings – Isaiah Wynn, G, Georgia
Wynn could end up being the best offensive lineman in this draft. The biggest question mark is what position will he play in the NFL. Can play either tackle or guard.
31. New England Patriots – Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA
New England lost their starting left tackle (Nate Solder) in free agency. They need a tackle. Kolton Miller plays tackle. Boom.
32. Philadelphia Eagles – Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
This is scary. The Eagles don’t really have any glaring needs. Jay Ajayi only has one year left on his deal. The Eagles pick up the next best RB in the draft and
Thanks for reading!
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