The NFL regular season is now behind us, but the mock drafts are just starting up. Particular analysts from The Athletes Hub have worked together to compile a list of how the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft will play out. Here are the results:
#1 Cleveland Browns Select: QB Sam Darnold, USC
Luke’s Take: Despite the fact that Tyrod Taylor made the move to Cleveland during the free agency period, the Browns still need a quarterback that is going to take them well into the future. Sam Darnold is seen as the best quarterback by most in the draft. He can learn off Taylor for a year or so, and then move forward as the franchise quarterback.
#2 New York Giants Select: QB Josh Rosen, UCLA
Martin’s Take: With Eli Manning being 37-years old and this past season being one of the worst of his career, this draft pick is a no-brainer for the Giants. The franchise needs to plan for life after Manning, and Josh Rosen could be the future face of New York. It may take him a year or two of sitting behind Manning in order to learn the offense, but once Manning is gone, Rosen will be ready to lead.
#3 New York Jets Select: QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
Tristin’s Take: At this stage, the New York Jets will get a franchise quarterback. In reality, I don’t like taking Mayfield this high, but I really didn’t like Josh Allen this high either.
#4 Cleveland Browns Select: DE Bradley Chubb, NC State
Luke’s Take: Outside of the quarterbacks, Bradley Chubb is arguably the best player in the draft. Cleveland needs someone who is going to be able to get through the offensive line of the opposition, and Chubb has shown that he can do that time and time again.
#5 Denver Broncos Select: OG Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame
Hunter’s Take: Even though the Denver Broncos traded for Jared Veldeer in the off-season, the offense will still need to add competition at the tackle position. With that, drafting Quenton Nelson at #5 overall could solve that problem fairly quickly.
#6 Indianapolis Colts Select: RB Saquon Barkely, Penn State
Tristin’s Take: With Chubb off the board, the Indianapolis Colts could have gone with cornerback Minkah Fitzpatrick. However, I feel like they’d jump at the opportunity to replace Frank Gore with a potential “generational talent” in Penn State running back Saquon Barkley.
#7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Select: S Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama
Kaleb’s Take: For the Buccaneers, I think they will go for the best player available of their needs. In this case, Minkah Fitzpatrick would be the player they select to hold down the secondary with his amazing play-making ability. This would be another step in the right direction for the Bucs rebuild process.
#8 Chicago Bears Select: CB Denzel Ward, Ohio State
Devon’s Take: Although the offense was near the bottom of every category, capitalizing upon a prospect such as Denzel Ward could prove to be crucial. Viewed as a starting nickel corner, Ward could be viewed as a game changer when it comes to Chicago’s defense.
#9: San Francisco 49ers Select: LB Roquan Smith, Georgia
Luke’s Take: San Francisco has seemingly taken care of a majority of their offensive needs through the free agency period, with the exception of another wide receiver. With their first round pick, they need to look at their secondary, and Roquan Smith would fit nicely into the 49ers defensive scheme.
#10 Oakland Raiders Select: LB Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech
Elsio’s Take: What’s likely to happen on draft night is the San Francisco 49ers are going to choose either Roquan Smith or Tremaine Edmunds, which leaves Oakland to take the second pick of the two. In this case, Edmunds was the one left, but that wouldn’t be such a bad thing for Oakland anyways, as they would get a young versatile linebacker here.
#11 Miami Dolphins Select: DT Taven Bryan, Florida
Hunter’s Take: Some may say I’m crazy with this pick, but in my opinion, this selection makes a whole lot of sense. The Miami Dolphins need to find depth at the defense tackle position, and I think Taven Bryan would be great to fill that void in Miami.
#12 Buffalo Bills Select: QB Lamar Jackson, Louisville
Luke’s Take: This is a bit of a different pick, but Buffalo did lose their starting quarterback to Cleveland. The Bills need to take the best one left on the board, and while you could argue that Josh Allen could be taken here, Lamar Jackson is a dual threat quarterback that can send them downfield with bombs, or scamper to gain crucial yards.
#13 Washington Redskins Select: DT Vita Vea, Washington State
Elsio’s Take: The defensive line desperately needs help in Washington. In this particular draft, Vita Vea out of Washington State is likely the best defensive tackle, and would be an instant upgrade for their line up front.
#14 Green Bay Packers Select: S Derwin James, FSU
Elsio’s Take: The Green Bay Packers could use some secondary help. If Denzel Ward is gone and James is available, I don’t see why Green Bay would reach for another corner. At this point, James would be the best player available on the board.
#15 Arizona Cardinals Select: QB Josh Allen, Wyoming
Kaleb’s Take: The Cardinals are in a tough spot when it comes to the quarterback position. The team currently has Sam Bradford, who has injury concerns, as well as Mike Glennon, who hasn’t proven to be a serviceable starter in this league. In reality, Arizona will need a quarterback in this draft, and Allen is the best available at the position at pick #15.
#16 Baltimore Ravens Select: WR Calvin Ridley, Alabama
Martin’s Take: Ever since Torrey Smith signed with the San Francisco 49ers in 2015, the Baltimore Ravens have been looking for a young option at wide receiver for Joe Flacco. Over his college football career, Calvin Ridley has proven that he has the skill set to be a number one option in the NFL, and he would be an amazing addition to the Ravens’ offense.
#17 Los Angeles Chargers Select: LB Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State
Devon’s Take: The offense wasn’t the issue for Los Angeles last season. In fact, their lack of ability to stuff the run was their eventual downfall. By snagging Vander Esch at this stage in the draft, the Chargers could certainly sneak in some starting reps for the Boise State native.
#18 Seattle Seahawks Select: DE Marcus Davenport, UTSA
Devon’s Take: After the departure of Michael Bennett, the Seattle Seahawks could use a breath of fresh air on the defensive line. With a career high 8.5 sacks in 2017, Davenport could be useful for a Seattle roster that contains holes in multiple areas.
#19 Dallas Cowboys Select: DT Da’Ron Payne, Alabama
Devon’s Take: While the Cowboys continue to build upon their defense, the addition of Da’Ron Payne could prove to be useful. Currently, Maliek Collins and David Irving are positioned as the starting defensive tackles for Dallas, but Payne could surely earn his reps during the early stages of his NFL career.
#20 Detroit Lions Select: DE Harold Landry, Boston College
Tristin’s Take: The Lions defensive coordinator, Paul Pasqualoni, coached Harold Landry on the defensive line at Boston College. This makes more sense than, someone like Taven Brown. It also helps that he is versatile, which is something Matt Patricia really likes.
#21 Cincinnati Bengals Select: OT Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame
Martin’s Take: Last off-season, the Cincinnati Bengals let two of their starting offensive linemen depart to free agency in Kevin Zelter and Andrew Whitworth. All throughout last season, the offensive line has been a big problem for the Bengals. The potential addition in Mike McGlinchey is something Cincinnati has been missing since Zelter and Whitworth left.
#22 Buffalo Bills Select: C/OG Will Hernandez, Texas-El Paso
Luke’s Take: If Buffalo has a rookie quarterback by the start of 2018, they will need some strong protection in front of him. Will Hernandez is one of the strongest prospects coming out of the draft, with the ability to protect a mobile quarterback such as Jackson. It seems like a bit of a risky pick, but it could pay huge dividends in the last run.
#23 New England Patriots Select: OG Connor Williams, Texas
Hunter’s Take: After losing Nate Solder, I think going with an offense lineman at this pick is what the New England Patriots need the most. This offensive lineman will add more size and better competition, as Williams could be used almost instantly within the starting roster.
#24 Carolina Panthers Select: OT Isaiah Wynn, Georgia
Elsio’s Take: Isaiah Wynn is a bonafide stud at offensive guard. If not for Quenton Nelson already playing like a pro bowler, Wynn would be far and away the best guard in the country. The Panthers interior line could use the help and Wynn would be an instant plug in.
#25 Tennessee Titans Select: DT Harrison Phillips, Stanford
Tristin’s Take: Based on the tape, Phillips is one of the strongest players in this entire draft class, and could prove to be a monster on the interior. This may be a bit of a reach, but it’s well worth the gamble for Tennessee.
#26 Atlanta Falcons Select: DE Arden Key, LSU
Luke’s Take: Atlanta has an opportunity to grab a defensive threat that can turn a game on its head, and Arden Key is a proven defensive end with an eye to drop anyone in front of him. There are some concerns about his discipline, but if he can keep that in check, Atlanta will have an elusive end to attack the line.
#27 New Orleans Saints Select: TE Hayden Hurst, South Carolina
Martin’s Take: Since trading Jimmy Graham to the Seattle Seahawks, the New Orleans Saints have been lacking at the tight end position. The team signed Colby Fleener in hopes to fill the void of Graham, but Fleener has not lived up to expectations the past two seasons. At this point, it’s time to move on from Fleener, and Hayden Hurst out of South Carolina is the best tight end option in this draft.
#28 Pittsburgh Steelers Select: LB Rashaan Evans, Alabama
Hunter’s Take: With finding assistance at the inside linebacker and safety positions marked as one of their biggest priorities, I think going out and drafting a prospect like Rashaan Evans would be perfect for this Steelers defense.
#29 Jacksonville Jaguars Select: WR Courtland Sutton, SMU
Kaleb’s Take: The Jaguars offense was in a great position last season, even without their best wide receiver, Allen Robinson. Although, now that both Robinson and Allen Hurns have left to free agency, Jacksonville is in need of another viable weapon. In this case, Cortland Sutton is the best available WR at pick #29, and he will give Bortles yet another valuable target.
#30 Minnesota Vikings Select: C Frank Ragnow, Arkansas
Devon’s Take: The Minnesota Vikings were strong in a lot of areas in 2017, and building up the front to support Kirk Cousins will only solidify themselves as the NFC favorites for the upcoming season. The addition of Ragnow could be sneaky, as he is often described as the “underdog” when it comes to offensive line prospects.
#31 New England Patriots Select: CB Josh Jackson, Iowa
Hunter’s Take: With the departure of Malcolm Butler to Tennessee, I think it’s no question that the New England Patriots will select a cornerback with this pick. Josh Jackson had an excellent college career, and could develop nicely in New England. If he can work upon some of his weaknesses, he will be a solid contributor for the Patriots.
#32 Philadelphia Eagles Select: S Ronnie Harrison, Alabama
Kaleb’s Take: The Eagles’ defense was fierce in 2017, but their secondary was by far their weakest point (even though it wasn’t all that bad). Bringing in Harrison to play alongside Malcolm Jenkins will be a huge boost in talent for their secondary, and could make for another exciting postseason run.