Cleveland finally gets their Franchise QB. Sam Darnold is without a doubt the best QB prospect in the draft and there's an argument to be made he's the best overall player. With the poise and ability of Darnold under center not only will the Browns no longer be a laughing stock, they could be set to take over the AFC North in a few years. It's also worth noting I had Darnold to Cleveland in my very first 2018 mock back in May and nothing has changed in the past eleven months. Cleveland needs to get their face of the franchise with Darnold at 1.
I remember two years ago pre draft hearing how the Giants badly wanted Ezekiel Elliot. They get someone even better here to team up with Odell Beckham. Barkely is everything you'd want in not only a RB prospect but a football player overall. Barkely and Odell together is just too good to pass up here at two.
I personally wouldn't touch Josh Allen in the first round. He's a great person from all accounts but he's a project. I've said it many times and I'll say it again, he has top 5 athleticism and 6th round tape. Jets could be a good place for him to succeed because no one is expecting them to win ten games this year or next. He has to get better at all the easy little things and the hard things. There's not an easy fix for accuracy. Jets get the most physically gifted QB in the draft here.
Now that Cleveland has their QB they look to the defensive side of the ball. Secondary is probably their biggest weakness but Bradley Chubb and Myles Garrett together is a dream tandem for Defensive Coordinators. Every team in the NFL would be forced to respect the Brown’s pass rush. This pick would not only improve the whole defense but bring an attitude to Cleveland they haven't had since they've come back into the NFL.
John Elway gets his guy. Which is a good or a really bad thing considering he's probably the worst drafting GM in the NFL at this point. Rosen is the QB I would want if Darnold was off the board. He's a special QB talent and everyone has known it for years now. Rosen should be a day one starter who turns into franchise QB for someone for the next decade. If the defense in Denver can give up to the hype, Rosen with two great veteran receiving options like Thomas and Sanders could put the Broncos back on the playoffs very quickly. It all depends on if Elway is ready to give up on Paxton Lynch.
With Chubb and Barkely off the board this is probably a situation where Colts try to move down. No trades in this mock though. Nelson is the best player available and would instantly improved the whole offensive line and running game as a whole. That's perfect for what the Colts need to do in this draft.
Tampa lucks out here. The only thing tough for the Bucs here is deciding between Fitzpatrick, Ward, and James which is a great problem to have. Jameis is getting to much of the blame in Tampa. The Bucs defense has been average to poor on all three levels and at Defensive Coordinator. Fitzpatrick is an Elite DB prospect who can play all over the secondary for the Bucs and help the defense transform into a unit that Tampa Bay can win with.
Another team with the board falling perfectly to them is the Bears. They have all the top CBs and LBs available to them. They get Smith to be a tackling machine and new the QB of their defense. He will fit in perfectly with the speedy front 7 they've built.
49ers could be the team who reaches for a Wide Receiver in the top 10. With Rueben Foster looking like he might be spending more time in court then on the field this season they grab a guy who athleticly has been compared to Ray Lewis. Edmunds is far from a finished product but his ceiling might be the highest in the class. 49ers add another true defensive chess piece like they did last year with Soloman Thomas. Edmunds can move around their front 7 as a linebacker and situational pass rusher.
The Raiders secondary has been their Achilles heel for years now. They need vast improvements in the middle of the defense too but grabbing a corner like Ward after getting Conley last year in theory gives them to lockdown corners. Having that would turn the raiders biggest weakness into a strength. The draft is a lot more fun now that Gruden is back making picks.
Miami probably would strongly consider a QB here. Tannehill finally was looking like a franchise QB under Gase before his injury though. I think Miami has so many holes they should give Tannehill another year to prove he can stay healthy. Being a team with that many holes they opt to go best player available here in Derwin James. Not only do they get the best player available, he fits a huge need. Dolphins defense got tore up by Tight Ends and Slot Receivers last year and James is a guy who can line up with any type of player an offense can throw at him.
The worst kept secret in this draft is the Bills wanting to move up for a QB. Luckily they stay put here and get one. Baker Mayfield is perfect for the attitude the Bills want to have on their team of guys with chips on their shoulders who won't back down from anyone. Possibly the most accurate passer in this draft with some magic playmaking abilities Mayfield is a QB I'd feel comfortable taking round 1.
Washington is a wild card in this draft. They don't have a lot of glaring needs or strengths. That being said Redskins should take the best player available. Vita Vea is a perfect fit for that defense and will instantly improved a leaky run game.
Green Bay made the best for of the off-season in my opinion when they got Mike Pettine to come be the new DC. They get him a shiny new toy here at a position of need. Packers have wasted far too many years having a mediocre defense while Aaron Rodgers hero balls them to being a Super Bowl contender. Rodgers and a truely great defense can be a dynasty.
Arizona is pressing the restart button. I wouldn't be shocked at all if they take Mason Rudolph here. Mike Mcglinchy however is to good to pass up. The best Tackle in the class is a perfect way to start a rebuild. I think he can be a good LT or one of the best RTs in the NFL in a few years.
Ravens taking Alabama players is a running gag at this point. Joe Flaaco has been pretty close to awful since winning a Superbowl but at the same time so has his supporting cast. Perriman who was my worst graded first round pick the year they took him has turned out to go exactly how I thought it would. Ridley has the potential to be a special offensive playmaker, something the Ravens are in desperate need of.