With the 2018 NFL Draft just a few weeks away, speculation is at an all-time high. This is a very intriguing draft class, with a good assortment of talent at a variety of positions, most notably the potential for five to six quarterbacks going in the first round. This mock draft will go through the first ten picks and don’t account for potential trades that might occur.
Cleveland Browns – Josh Allen, QB
The Browns are in need of a quarterback of the future. Tyrod Taylor is there as a bridge, so they can afford to draft on potential in Allen, who compares to Patrick Mahomes from last year’s draft. It helps that the GM who drafted Mahomes last year is now in Cleveland, with the opportunity to strike gold on another superstar-caliber quarterback.
New York Giants – Sam Darnold, QB
This pick could almost go to anyone, and as many around the league have said, the Giants hold the keys to this draft. Saquon Barkley, Bradley Chubb, Quentin Nelson, and all of the remaining quarterbacks are in play for the second pick. It’s hard to tell exactly where the Giants might go, but if the rumors about Darnold being their top choice hold true they won’t pass up on him
New York Jets – Baker Mayfield, QB
The Jets are looking for their quarterback of the future. The pick is going to be between Mayfield and Josh Rosen from UCLA, and the lack of a great offensive line in New York pushes me to believe they won’t bet on Rosen holding up as a starter with his injury concerns and maligned athleticism. They’ll have better luck betting on “Broadway Baker” to make them relevant again.
Cleveland Browns – Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB
The Browns are generally pretty talented and the signing of Carlos Hyde likely means they won’t spend a top-four pick on Saquon Barkley. Fitzpatrick is regarded by some as the best defensive player in the draft, and they’ll revel at the chance to pair him up with Jabrill Peppers.
Denver Broncos – Quenton Nelson, OG
With the Case Keenum signing and a not great offensive line, I can’t see Denver taking Josh Rosen. Rosen wouldn’t survive behind the current offensive line and they’re better off taking the man some consider a walking future Hall-of-Famer. Barkley is in play here if the Broncos trade C.J. Anderson, but they can’t pass on Nelson.
Indianapolis Colts – Bradley Chubb, DE
The Colts would’ve had an easy case for taking Chubb when they were supposed to pick at three, and they’ll gladly take him at six. He could be their next Robert Mathis, and this team needs all the talent they can get to give Andrew Luck a real shot at being successful.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Denzel Ward, CB
While Tampa Bay is in need of a running back, they know as well as everyone else that this draft is rich in running backs and will pass on Saquon for Denzel Ward. Ward, like Fitzpatrick, is hard to pass on, especially since some think he can go as high as the fourth pick to Cleveland.
Chicago Bears – Marcus Davenport, DE
Davenport is second only to Chubb as far as pass rushers go in this draft, and if Quenton Nelson doesn’t drop into Chicago’s lap, it’s hard to see them letting him go. Pass rushers are the most valuable players on just about any team after the quarterback, and Chicago will be happy to “settle” for Davenport.
San Francisco 49ers – Saquon Barkley, RB
Running back is not the most pressing need for the 49ers, but with the top guard and top pass rushers off the board, it makes sense to take the only remaining player who has a case for the best player in the draft. Barkley is considered to be a perennial All-Pro, and Kyle Shannahan will be thrilled when they end up with the top running back in the draft at the ninth pick. Barkley will play a large role in making Garoppolo’s job easier.
Oakland Raiders – Derwin James, DB
This is probably the hardest pick to make because nobody knows what Jon Gruden is going to do. They have the luxury to pick between a few different players who fit needs or possibly trade down with Rosen on the board, eventually deciding to keep the pick and take Derwin James. James will help shore-up their below-average pass defense as Gruden tries to jumpstart this team back into the playoffs.
Shahan Kamal is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.