If you would have asked me March 1st, I would have told you Saquan Barkley is a lock here. However, with the Jets trading into the top 3, the Browns are forced to get their QB here. Darnold hasn’t had the same pre-draft hype as Rosen or Allen, but he has consistently been near the top of draft boards. Cleveland has been on Darnold from the beginning and gets their guy with the first overall pick.
Eli Manning is the quarterback of the Giants, for now. The Giants are in a great position to go after a quarterback with the most potential and let him grow behind Manning for a season.
Is it possible that the Jets end up with the top quarterback at #3? Around the league, there are varying rankings for who the top QB. Many believe, myself included, that Rosen is #1. Rosen will join a crowded QB room with recently signed Teddy Bridgewater and Josh McCown.
Well now that the QB craze has ended the Browns get the #1 ranked player in Saquon Barkley. Barkley will step right into a 3-down back and form a dynamic duo with Duke Johnson Jr in the backfield as well.
When an offensive lineman is taken in the top five it’s usually for a franchise Left Tackle. Quenton Nelson played Left Guard at Notre Dame and will stay in that position in the NFL. He is a bulldozer in the run game and his strength and athleticism are what makes him a Top 5 pick.
The Colts get the guy they have wanted all along. Indy had their eyes on Chubb when they held the #3 overall pick and after a trade with the Jets, they are still able to land an elite pass rusher while gaining additional draft picks.
Tampa Bay has added some firepower to their defense this offseason mainly along the defensive line (Jason Pierre-Paul, Vinny Curry, and Beau Allen). With the new additions up front, the Bucs look to lock up the back end with this drafts top safety.
Chicago has a relatively young team and they are in a position to go with the best player available and grab an instant impact linebacker in Roquan Smith. Smith moves like a safety while having the size and strength of an NFL linebacker. The debate here will be between Smith and Trumaine Edwards but Smith’s film while playing in the SEC will give him the edge.
The 49ers signed Richard Sherman to only a one year deal this offseason so they need a long-term answer at corner. Ward has the ability to play both outside and inside, where he will most likely start.
Donald Penn will be 35 at the start of the season and this pick is his replacement. Penn could be a camp casualty if McGlinchey proves to be NFL ready from day one. If that’s not the case, the Raiders will have McGlinchey ready to go next season as Penn’s replacement.
Miami cut ties with one of the NFL’s most disruptive forces along the defensive line in Ndamukong Suh. Vita Vea is not quite Suh, but he is a big man (6’4″ 347 lbs). Vea will do a great job of demanding double teams inside allowing the pass rushing pair of Cameron Wake and newly added Robert Quinn to dismantle opposing offensive Tackles in one-on-ones.
The Bills could very well try to trade up to get in on the top 3 QB’s and may have to ensure that no team jumps them for Mayfield. However, without involving trades in this mock, Baker Mayfield drops to 12 for the Bills. what Mayfield lacks in measurables, he makes up for on the field. Many are turned off by his antics on/off the field but plain and simple, this guy is a gamer!
Josh Jackson burst onto the scene this past season in Iowa, by finishing as the nation’s leader with eight interceptions and 26 passes defended. He earned first-team AP All-American and first-team All-Big Ten honors. Even after his breakout season, Jackson is still seen as raw as he came to Iowa as a wide receiver just 3 years ago. Washington gets a raw corner with a ton of upside.
The Packers have been plugging the holes in the boat at linebacker for years. Moving Clay Matthews back to the outside last year a good move and adding Tremaine Edwards to the inside will add a keystone to the center of that defense.
No quarterback here? The Cardinals missed on the top QB’s and they may consider Lamar Jackson here but ultimately Jackson may be a reach at this point in the draft. After losing both John and Jaron Brown in Free Agency, the Cardinals need to address adding playmakers on the outside. Ridley fits that and can take over as the teams #1 WR if Larry Fitzgerald ever decides to retire.
This may be a little early for a tight end in this years draft, however, Gesicki fills a big need for the Ravens. Gesicki is a match-up nightmare with his size and athleticism. He will be an instant impact player, especially in the red zone.
Chargers get the safety they have needed since Eric Weddle left. Derwin James was seen as a Top 5 player heading into this season and his up and play in 2017 has dropped him down a bit, but the talent is still there.
The Seahawks offensive line has been their Achilles heel for years now. Wynn is a nice start to build the offensive line from the inside out.
Reports have surfaced over the past week that the Cowboys may move on from Dez Bryant. Even with the signing of Allen Hurns, the Cowboys will need another playmaker on the outside.
Detroit adds another weapon to the offense with the intentions of taking the load off of Matthew Stafford. Guice joins LeGarrette Blount in the backfield making a nice “thunder and lightning” duo.
After losing guard Kevin Zeitler last offseason in free agency, the Bengals have had a hole on the interior line. Hernandez has the size and strength to maul defensive linemen in the trenches.
The Bills are a mess and have holes to fill all over the roster. They got their QB early in the first and here they look to give their young QB another weapon on the outside. The have Kelvin Benjamin locked in on one side if he can stay healthy. Zay Jones was expected to be WR2 but with his hotel incident this offseason, his season may be in question.
23. ILB Leighton Vander Esch BOISE STATE
The Patriots made headlines when they traded Brandin Cooks to the Rams for this pick. They seem to be moving towards future and they go with the best player available here and take Vander Esch to anchor the center of their defense.
The Panthers attempted to bring in a starting corner through free agency, however, Bashaun Breeland failed his physical. Hughes will step in and be the corner the Panthers have been missing since Josh Norman left. Hughes shows potential to be left on an island on the outside and lock down opposing WR’s without much help.
The Titans are young and talented on offense, now it’s time to build up this defense. Laundry is a freak athlete coming off of the edge. If not for injuries slowing him in his 2017 season, we may be talking about him in the top 10.
The Falcons can score with the best of them; however, they need to get some stops along the way. With Dontari Poe leaving for division rival Carolina, they need some help on the interior. Hurst is explosive off of the line and should offer an immediate impact rushing the passer from the inside.
The Saints will look long and hard at the remaining quarterbacks with this pick. Lamar Jackson would be the top QB remaining, and it may be a little reach for Mason Rudolph here. So the Saints look to get the TE they had hoped Coby Fleener was going to be.
It has been awhile since the Steelers had a feared defense. Adding Harrison to the back end may help bring some physicality back to their secondary. Harrison is no Troy Polamalu, but he is one of the more physical safeties in this year’s draft.
With Paul Posluszny retiring, there was a hole created in the center of Sack-sonville’s defense. Evans slides right in between two elite athletes at linebacker in Myles Jack and Telvin Smith. Evans will start right away in Posluszny’s role as a 2-down ILB.
The Vikings were hoping Trae Waynes would make the perfect pair alongside Xavier Rhodes unfortunately, that Waynes hasn’t turned into that elite talent. Oliver has the length and speed that NFL teams covet in today’s corners. He is a bit raw but has the potential to be a lockdown, press corner.
The Pats were able to gain an additional first round pick (23rd overall) and may look to package both in order to move up if they are eyeing a QB but staying with these two picks, the Patriots are able to get Brady’s eventual replacement. This also could be the out of the box move Belichick makes to eventually replace the GOAT.
The Eagles lack draft picks in this year’s draft and could trade out of the first round to gain an additional pick. However, if the Super Bowl 52 Champions stay at 32, they will look to solidify their linebacking core. Jefferson brings elite athleticism to the linebacker position, however, he seemed to play hesitant at times last season. If he can trust his instincts and play downhill, he can be a huge addition to this strong defense.