THE time for planning and mock drafts is over. Bring on the real thing. Tonight the 2018 NFL Draft gets underway with all 32 teams eager to add stars of the future and players who can help contribute to their Super Bowl chase. A few movers and shakers are fluctuating all over the place, while some players barely move from projected draft spots. Without further ado.
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Pick #1 Cleveland Browns – Sam Darnold, QB, USC
Last Rank: #1 (level)
TO kick things off I think the Browns are sticking with Darnold. I’m not falling for any of the smokescreen tactics Cleveland is trying to spread, Sam Darnold is their guy. Don’t overthink it John Dorsey.
Pick #2 New York Giants – Bradley Chubb, DE, N.C. State
Last Rank: #4 ( 2)
THERE is a chance NY trades down from here, but if they don’t I think they will take any of the quarterback prospects over Chubb. The N.C. State prospect could be a generational talent and is well and truly worthy of pick No. 2.
Pick #3 New York Jets (from Indianapolis Colts) – Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
Last Rank: #12 ( 9)
I have changed my mind about 20 times on what the Jets will do here. Despite the allure of taking a non-QB, they traded to find their franchise guy and my guess is they have had their eyes on Mayfield all this time.
Pick #4 Cleveland Browns (from Houston Texans) – Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
Last Rank: #2 ( 2)
SAQUON Barkley may be the safest pick in the Draft, while also owning one of the highest ceilings. Should he still be around at No. 4 he will almost certainly become a Brown.
Pick #5 Denver Broncos – Josh Rosen, UCLA, QB
Last Rank: #3 ( 2)
THIS pick is made with the thought that Buffalo will trade up to take Rosen. That being said, even if the Bills and Broncos can’t orchestrate a deal, Denver can lock up their future starter.
Pick #6 Indianapolis Colts (from New York Jets) – Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
Last Rank: #6 (level)
ARGUABLY the best player in the Draft continues to climb up mock drafts and to be honest, it wouldn’t surprise me if he went inside the top-5. A nice addition to the Colts defense.
Pick #7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame
Last Rank: #5 ( 2)
NELSON is going to go inside the top-10, the only question is where exactly will he land. After being linked to a bunch of teams I think he slides slightly to end up a Buccaneer.
Pick #8 Chicago Bears – Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
Last Rank: #9 ( 1)
IN a previous mock I had Ward landing at the Bears and I’m resorting back to my original pick. Not only does he fill a need, chances are he is the best corner in this class.
Pick #9 San Fransisco 49ers – Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
Last Rank: #10 ( 1)
MAYBE the most explosive and freakish athlete available lands in San Fran, capping off an awesome offseason for the 49ers.
Pick #10 Oakland Raiders – Minkah Fitzpatrick, S/CB, Alabama
Last Rank: #8 ( 2)
OAKLAND would be salivating at the chance of adding Smith or Edmunds to their squad. If both of them are gone, then Fitzpatrick is a fantastic consolation prize.
Image from armchairallamericans.com
Pick #11 Miami Dolphins – Derwin James, S, Florida State
Last Rank: #7 ( 4)
IT’S pretty unlikely that James slides this low, with the swiss army knife type of guy highly touted among NFL GM’s. Miami would lap up the chance to add a do-it-all player.
Pick #12 Buffalo Bills (from Cincinnati Bengals) – Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
Last Rank: 11 ( 1)
ONCE again it wouldn’t surprise me if this pick was on traded to Denver. Regardless of who is drafting in this slot, Josh Allen won’t be sliding any further.
Pick #13 Washington Redskins – Vita Vea, DT, Washington
Last Rank: #13 (level)
ANOTHER guy who is staying in the same spot is Vita Vea, who will help the Redskins a ton against the running game.
Pick #14 Green Bay Packers – Mike Hughes, CB, UCF
Last Rank: #18 ( 4)
GREEN Bay has a bunch of different options at this slot and a cornerback has been strongly rumoured to join the fray. Josh Jackson is on the radar, but my monies on Hughes becoming a Packer.
Pick #15 Arizona Cardinals – Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
Last Rank: #19 ( 4)
DURING my mock draft season Calvin Ridley has been bouncing all over the shop. The Bama star wideout could go almost anywhere in the first round and I think he would be an awesome fit in Arizona.
Pick #16 Baltimore Ravens – Lamar Jackson, QB, Lousiville
Last Rank: Not Ranked
FOR a while now there has been a lot buzz about Jackson being taken in round one. If that is going to eventuate then the Ravens are a serious threat to snap him up at No. 16.
Pick #17 Los Angeles Chargers – Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama
Last Rank: #17 (level)
THE upside Payne offers is pretty unreal. The case could be made that the former Crimson Tide defender is the best run stopper available, making the Chargers even more dangerous.
Pick #18 Seattle Seahawks – Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
Last Rank: #15 ( 3)
SEATTLE needs to address their miserable offensive line. They are reportedly considering moving back to add more picks, but they should pounce on a talent like McGlinchey.
Pick #19 Dallas Cowboys – Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama
Last Rank: #28 ( 9)
EVANS, kind of like his Alabama teammate Calvin Ridley, has bounced all over the place in most mock drafts. I think landing in Dallas is about the right spot for him though.
Pick #20 Detroit Lions – Harold Landry, DE/OLB, Boston College
Last Rank: #16 ( 4)
THE Boston College prospect is fast becoming a touted target and will more than likely be a top-20 pick. If he lands at the Lions, then they would be pretty chuffed.
Image from sportingnews.com
Pick #21 Cincinnati Bengals (from Buffalo Bills) – Will Hernandez, G, Texas-El Paso
Last Rank: #21 (level)
THERE are a few certainties in life. Death, taxes and the Bengals taking an offensive lineman with pick No. 21.
Pick #22 Buffalo Bills (from Kansas City Chiefs) – Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA
Last Rank: #20 ( 2)
DAVENPORT might seem slightly raw and as a result, it’s tough to nail his draft spot. If he still on the board this late then Buffalo will happily take him.
Pick #23 New England Patriots (from Los Angeles Rams) – Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA
Last Rank: #23 (level)
IF the Pats decide to stay at No. 23 and not move up then Miller makes too much sense.
Pick #24 Carolina Panthers – Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville
Last Rank: #29 ( 5)
THE Panthers might have to move up to snag Alexander, but if he’s still here then they will address their need for another CB.
Pick #25 Tennessee Titans – Billy Price, C, Ohio State
Last Rank: #25 (level)
GETTING protection for Mariota is crucial, a flexible piece like Price is too good to pass up at No. 25.
Image from wkbn.com
Pick #26 Atlanta Falcons – Taven Bryan, DT, Florida
Last Rank: Not Ranked
AN athletic defensive lineman would be an awesome get for the Falcons. I had Bryan heading to Atlanta a handful of times throughout my mocks and it makes too much sense for this popular choice to not come true.
Pick #27 New Orleans Saints – Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina
Last Rank: #27 (level)
GIVING Drew Brees a target like Hurst is a massive plus. Don’t sleep on NOLA as a Super Bowl pick.
Pick #28 Pittsburgh Steelers – Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa State
Last Rank: #14 ( 14)
PITTSBURGH is in desperate for a reliable corner in their defense. They could be tempted to take a linebacker to make up for Ryan Shazier’s absence, but Jackson is too good to ignore.
Pick #29 Jacksonville Jaguars – D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland
Last Rank: Not Ranked
ONE of the big risers in the past week is Maryland wideout, D.J. Moore. The Terpins junior is gathering a lot of steam as a first-round choice and can help the Jags replace Allen Robinson’s numbers from day one.
Image from dynastynerds.com
Pick #30 Minnesota Vikings – Isaiah Wynn, G, Georgia
Last Rank: Not Ranked
MINNESOTA taking an offensive lineman makes too much sense at this slot. After flipping and flopping between a few guys I think they will make Wynn their newest addition tonight.
Pick #31 New England Patriots – Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State
Last Rank: #31 (level)
WITH New England crying out for defensive playmakers Vander Esch has ‘New England Patriot’ written all over him.
Pick #32 Philadelphia Eagles – Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State
Last Rank: #32 (level)
TO close out round one I have Philly taking South Dakota State’s Dallas Goedert. A ton of rumours are circulating about the Eagles moving this pick, potentially to the Browns. If they don’t then they need to address their tight end depth and Goedert does just that.
Banner from fieldgulls.com