My first mock draft of the year, done before free agency. Picks are based on team needs, twitter chatter (from verified “experts”) and things I’ve read. Let’s dive in, hope you enjoy.
1. Cleveland Browns: Sam Darnold – QB – USC
The Browns need a franchise QB to have any sort of hope, and word is that new GM John Dorsey likes Sam Darnold.
2. New York Giants: Josh Rosen – QB – UCLA
Giants get who I believe is the best QB in the class, and who can successfully take the reigns from Eli Manning.
3. Indianapolis Colts: Saquon Barkley – RB – Penn State
I’d take Bradley Chubb over Barkley strictly due to needs, but I’ve read that ownership and some in the front office love the idea of pairing Barkley with Andrew Luck.
4. Cleveland Browns: Minkah Fitzpatrick – S – Alabama
Browns best case scenario would involve them getting their franchise QB at 1 and then Barkley at 4. But with Barkley gone, they get a great consolation prize with Fitzpatrick.
5. Denver Broncos: Josh Allen – QB – Wyoming
Elway knows he needs a QB. He’ll likely go swing for the fences with Kirk Cousins in free agency, but while he’s still in Washington, you have to think the Broncos go QB and that means Allen.
6. New York Jets: Connor Williams – OT – Texas
6 is too high for Baker Mayfield, so they get the best offensive lineman in the draft.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Bradley Chubb – DE – NC State
The Bucs ranked dead last in sacks this year, so they’d be thrilled to get the best pass rusher in the draft.
8. Chicago Bears: Calvin Ridley – WR – Alabama
They drafted Trubisky last year, now get him a #1 target.
9. San Francisco 49ers: Denzel Ward – CB – Ohio State
They have a good young corner in Akhello Robinson, so it’d be really smart for Lynch to go with the #1 corner in the draft to pair with him.
10. Oakland Raiders: Roquan Smith – ILB – Georgia
A rangy hard hitting middle linebacker to go along with Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin? Yes please.
11. Miami Dolphins: Rashaan Evans – ILB – Alabama
The Dolphins linebacker corps ranked near the worst in the NFL per PFF, so Evans would be a smart get.
12. Cincinnati Bengals: Quenton Nelson – OG – Notre Dame
The Bengals missed their mark not drafting Ryan Ramczyk in the first round last year (ranked 8th among tackles according to PFF), so if Nelson falls, they’ll quickly scoop him up.
13. Washington Redskins: Derwin James – S – Florida State
If they don’t go QB and decide to franchise Cousins one last time, James would be a good way to help their secondary.
14. Green Bay Packers: Josh Jackson – CB – Iowa
Packers get a rangy, athletic corner to pair with Kevin King and shift Damarious Randall to #3 corner. Would be a dream scenario for the Packers.
15. Arizona Cardinals: Baker Mayfield – QB – Oklahoma
Would love this pick more if they still had Bruce Arians, but with Palmer gone they need a QB. Would be a great spot for Mayfield to land.
16. Baltimore Ravens: Courtland Sutton – WR – SMU
Ravens this year had the 4th worst passing offense in the league. Partly due to the fact they don’t have a true #1 WR.
17. Los Angeles Chargers: Mike McGlinchey – OT – Notre Dame
The Chargers need to upgrade their offensive line in the first round if they’re not going to pick their QB of the future.
18. Seattle Seahawks: Orlando Brown – OT – Oklahoma
Let’s check in on Russell Wilson real quick. Yep, still running for his life. Draft an offensive lineman.
19. Dallas Cowboys: Vita Vea – DT – Washington
Plug up the middle with an athletic DT that some have started to compare to a young Haloti Ngata.
20. Detroit Lions: Derrius Guice – RB – LSU
The Lions had the worst rushing attack in the league this year. Get the #2 RB on the board.
21. Buffalo Bills: Harold Landry – DE – Boston College
22. Buffalo Bills (via KC): Maurice Hurst – DT – Michigan
23. Los Angeles Rams: Isaiah Oliver – CB – Colorado
24. Carolina Panthers: Christian Kirk – WR – Texas A&M
Their playoff game against the Saints showed that Cam Newton needs more weapons on offense.
25. Tennessee Titans: Arden Key – DE – LSU
26. Atlanta Falcons: Ronnie Harrison – S – Alabama
27. New Orleans Saints: Billy Price – C – Ohio State
28. Pittsburgh Steelers: Malik Jefferson – ILB – Texas
With the future of Shazier unclear, the Steelers grab the guy that could potentially replace him.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars: Dallas Goedert – TE – South Dakota State
The Jags may stick with Bortles after all (or go for Eli) so they take the best TE in the draft to help their offense.
30. Minnesota Vikings: Ronald Jones II – RB – USC
31. Philadelphia Eagles: Chukwuma Okorafor – OT – Western Michigan
32. New England Patriots: Mason Rudolph – QB – Oklahoma State
Everyone raves about the Patriots taking the successor to Tom Brady. And they will draft a QB since they traded Jimmy G and Jacoby Brissett.