NFL Mock Draft 2018
The countdown has entered the final stages and the 2018 NFL Draft is finally ready to kick off in Dallas. After months of scouting, it’s time to make the draft board reality for every franchise and start turning in the card for the next step in filling out their roster for the upcoming season.
Taking into account everything from positional needs to free agent signings to the coaching staff, here’s a look at how the top 10 picks in the first round could play out at AT&T Stadium Thursday night.
1-Cleveland Brown: Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
Allen is likely the biggest boom-or-bust prospect in the draft, while Sam Darnold is probably the safest of the top four options. Which sounds more likely for Cleveland? Allen has elite arm strength. Matt Stafford-esque. Plus mobility. Inconsistent accuracy and decision-making. Often over-extends plays which gets him into big trouble. Has All-Pro and UDFA flashes.
2-New York Giants: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
The Giants would definitely consider Sam Darnold here, but Barkley is a generational talent and the top prospect in the draft. Rare flexion and smoothness as an athlete, particularly for a running back his size. Some cuts are reminiscent of Barry Sanders. Has elite downfield speed to hit home runs. Best on the outside though he’s not terrible between the tackles. Has plenty of power too. Dynamic running back prospect.
3-New York Jets: Sam Darnold, QB, USC
If the Giants pass on the second quarterback, the Jets should pounce. More often than not, Darnold plays well beyond his years mentally when reading coverages and when making anticipation throws at all levels of the field. Arm strength is fine. Good scrambling ability. and even better throw-on-the-run-skills. Footwork is sporadic. Accuracy is mainly spot-on. Effective eluding pressure but gets antsy when blocking is leaky. Owns awkward, elongated release.
4-Cleveland Brown: Bradley Chubb, DL, NC State
There will be a ton of interest in trading for this pick from teams that want Baker Mayfield and it wouldn’t even be surprising if the Colts extract something out of Denver to ensure that selection. By staying put however, the team gets the best defensive player in the draft and a truly top-notch tandem of edge rushers by adding Chubb to a defensive line that already boasts Myles Garrett.
5-Denver Broncos: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
By all indications, Mayfield won’t drop past the fifth pick (no matter if it’s Denver, Arizona or Buffalo). John Elway will listen to offers but will have no qualms grabbing the team’s long-term starter and enlivening the offense after he learns under Case Keenum.
6-Indianapolis Colts: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
The Colts are the trendiest team to trade back, but they already did that and currently have four selections in the top 49, an ideal rebuilding scenario. Take a look at their linebacker depth chart. It’s not pretty. Smith would be a game-changer in the middle.
7-Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Derwin James, DB, Florida State
James gives the Bucs defense a fantastic talent to build around in the secondary, and he’ll be the impact player at strong safety they didn’t get in the failed T.J. Ward addition. The scary thing is that he still has room to grow into a better player.
8-Chicago Bears: Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame
The Bears benefit from what may be their best-case scenario at No. 8 with Nelson, a plug-and-play guard who should garner multiple All-Pro distinctions in his career, especially if he gets a little better in pass blocking.
9-San Francisco 49ers: Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama
The 49ers still need help in the secondary after adding Richard Sherman, who is coming off a major injury himself. Enter Fitzpatrick, who could slide in at slot corner with Sherman and Ahkello Witherspoon on the boundaries, or at free safety if San Francisco decides it wants to move Jimmie Ward to corner. Either way, the Alabama product is a talent you want on your defense.
10-Oakland Raiders: Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
Edmunds might have the highest upside of any front seven player in this draft and would be a perfect fit to land in Oakland and be mentored by guys like Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin.