Written by Ryan Goudy
With there having already been multiple trades made in the 1st Round, I only included the Bills trading both 12 and 22 to move up to 4 with the Cleveland Browns. On draft night there will be more than one trade that occurs, this one is the only one as of right now that is obvious. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Houston trade back into Round 1, or for teams like the Ravens trade up if they like a QB that is there.
With that being said, let the fun begin:
1. Cleveland Browns- Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
Cleveland gets the number one QB on my board. Not only is he my number one, but he fits what John Dorsey looks for in a QB: big, strong, mobile enough, huge arm, and on top of that potential. Look no further than the pick of Patrick Mahomes last year. They two are very similar, but Allen has a better arm and more potential.
When the trade for Tyrod was made, that made this pick possible. There is no rush to throw him out there week one. Allen can take his time and get acclimated to the life of an NFL QB.
2. New York Giants- Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
The Giants get who is almost universally viewed as the top player in the draft. Barkley can step in from day one and change the RB carousel that has been the New York Giants. They get a three down back who can come in and give Eli some help.
Scouts compare him to Zeke without the off the field question marks. There is no such thing as the perfect prospect, but Saquon comes close.
3. New York Jets- Sam Darnold, QB, USC
When the Jets traded up to 3, I don’t think that they thought they would wind up with Sam Darnold. He is someone that while he doesnt have to start from day one, he has the ability too. Learning from Josh McCown will help ease the transition into the league for Darnold. He will fit perfectly into Jeremy Bates’ offense, and should solidify the position for the Jets.
4. Buffalo Bills- Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
The Bills go up and get a QB. While this isn’t the one they had envisioned getting, he is someone that fits the roster. They have a blue collar feel, and getting someone who is a fiery, emotional leader is the perfect person to be the face of the franchise. With the way the board is breaking, I can not see them taking Rosen.
5. Denver Broncos- Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
Does John Elway see himself in Josh Rosen? Not sure, but he has to fix the QB problem otherwise he may find himself out of a job. Reports are starting to surface that Elway thinks he can get through to Rosen. Even though they signed Case Keenum, they have to come away with a QB of the future. If Rosen did not have character questions, he would be the first quarterback off the board.
6. Indianapolis Colts- Bradley Chubb, DL, NC State
The Colts get the player at 6 that they would have drafted at 3. Chris Ballard would look very good if this were the pick. Chubb is something that the Colts need, especially with the AFC South starting to look like one of the toughest divisions in football. Getting to the QB has been a problem, as well as defending the run. Chubb can do the first, and help with the second. This would be one of the quickest picks in the draft.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Derwin James, S, Florida State
The Bucs need someone who can take charge of the defense. There has been a lot of smoke starting to trend the way of James. Missing most of the 2016 season hurt James, as he didn’t look like himself until the end of the 2017 season. He is a temperature leader, that can change a defense much like Jamal Adams did last year. While I could also see them taking Quenton Nelson or Minkah Fitzpatrick, I think that James gives them more in the leadership category.
8. Chicago Bears- Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame
The Bears went and got Mitch Trubisky some help at the skill positions in free agency, allowing them to use this pick to sure up his line. Nelson has everything it takes to be one of the best guards in the NFL from day one. He will help sure up the middle of this line and help protect the franchise.
9. San Francisco 49ers- Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
Over the last week, linebacker has become a huge needs for San Francisco. The question marks that have arisen from the Reuben Foster situation could leave a huge void in the middle of the defense. Edmunds is my number one linebacker, and has huge upside for this defense. While only being 19, Edmunds shows off the chart instincts. He can continue to grow, and sure up this position where there is so much uncertainty.
10. Oakland Raiders- Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
Smith has long been the projected pick for the Raiders. He is the athletic linebacker that can remind Coach Jon Gruden a little bit of Derrick Brooks. Smith plays with good speed and intensity. Will do well in space as teams key on Khalil Mack.
11. Miami Dolphins- Vita Vea, DT, Washington
After releasing Ndamukong Suh, the Dolphins have a huge gap in the middle of their defensive line. Vea slides in well as someone who can fill that void. The huge tackle is probably a better fit at nose, but is athletic enough to play a true tackle in a 4–3 scheme. He put that athleticism on display in college playing on punt coverage and punt block teams, coming away with a blocked punt.
12. Cleveland Browns- Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
The Browns have had such a busy offseason addressing almost every need that they had. The move to trade back in this situation is one where they end up with a player they could covet a 4. Ward is the most athletic CB in this draft and would give Cleveland something that they don’t have at this moment. Even though he only started one year, he is someone that starred and projects to be a player for years to come.
13. Washington Redskins- Minkah Fitzpatrick, S, Alabama
The fall for Fitzpatrick ends here. Falling victim to run of quarterbacks that happens early in this draft, Fitzpatrick slipes to a team that desperately needs secondary help. Since he does not have a true position, look for him to play a bit of nickel and box safety.
14. Green Bay Packers- Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA
It is no secret that the Packers need help getting to the QB. Davenport is raw, but has been productive against the Power 5 schools that he plays. As someone who is still refining his skills, he already was the star of the senior bowl. As someone who wins with effort, he would be a natural fit into that defense.
15. Arizona Cardinals- Mike McGlinchy, OT, Notre Dame
The Cardinals miss out on a QB. After not being able to go up to grab one, they stick firm and select a tackle that can come in a fix the right side of the offensive line. McGlinchy looked natural and athletic is the run game. He should be able to come in and play right away on the right side of the line, much like Jack Conklin did in Tennessee a few years ago. While they didn’t address a future problem, they plugged one that needed to be fixed now as well.
16. Baltimore Ravens- Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Baltimore is taking a QB early in this years draft. What is to be seen is whether or not they trade up to do so. They are bringing in Jackson this week, which signifies the interest is real. He would be someone that could learn and adjust to an NFL locker room, while they sit decide what to do with Joe Flacco.
17. Los Angeles Chargers- Connor Williams, OT, Texas
The Chargers spent a good amount of draft capital last year on firming up the inside of the offensive line. With this pick they get a versatile tackle who can start out on the right side, but is athletic enough to play on the left side. With a young defense, and a running back that took a big step forward, this is a pick that sets them up for long term success.
18. Seattle Seahawks- Will Hernandez, G, UTEP
Hernandez is the nasty, run blocker that the Seahawks desperately need. They have to build an offensive line. Hernandez is a good start to get the line back to a run first offense. He also is a good enough pass blocker that would be a perfect fit into this offense. This would be a big step to reestablish the smash mouth run game that took the Seahawks to the Super Bowl.
19. Dallas Cowboys- Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
The Cowboys need an outside receiver bad. After releasing Dez Bryant, this need becomes that much more important. Sutton fits the mold of the receivers that the Cowboys value. Big receivers (like Bryant and Brice Butler) that can win 50/50 jump balls. Sutton also has enough speed to separate. He is different than the bigger receiver recently in the draft, in that he is dynamic with the ball in his hands. Look for Dallas to try to address the wide receiver position early in the 2018 Draft.
20. Detroit Lions- Da’Ron Payne, DL, Alabama
The Lions want to be a defense first team. With this selection, they do just that. Payne is a player that if he showed more consistency he would be a top 15 pick. In the College Football Playoffs, Payne showed his athleticism by catching a touchdown pass. He would bring a little pass rush from the interior of the front 7 that they currently don’t have.
21. Cincinnati Bengals- Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State
The Bengals get a linebacker with some versatility. Vander Esch brings speed and consistency to the position that they currently do not have. Vontaze Burfict is a ticking time bomb, and being able to bring in a player with a bit more athleticism will allow them to move on.
22. Cleveland Browns- Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
Guice is a machine. He is a three down back that can take some pressure off of the newly drafted Josh Allen. The Browns bought low on Carlos Hyde, but he is not the long term solution. Bringing Guice in allows the Browns to keep the backfield fresh. Duke Johnson is a free agent after next year, and Guice is an above average receiver if they decide to let him walk.
23. New England Patriots- Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State
Mason Rudolph is going to end up being a New England Patriot. Whether its at 23 or 31, one of these picks will be spent on him. He is the type of QB that fits Josh McDaniels system. He can sit and learn behind Tom Brady, and when the time comes will take the reins from him. While I do not value him as a 1st Round Pick, he will be one for the extra year of control.
24. Carolina Panthers- Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
If Ridley gets by the Ravens at 16, he would fit in nicely in Carolina. While they continue to build and give Cam Newton weapons, Ridley is a different receiver than the ones currently on the roster. He is a fluid runner, and a better receiver than Devin Funchess. As the Panthers prepare for life after Greg Olsen, look for them to continue to reload with receiving options.
25. Tennessee Titans- Harold Landry, Edge, Boston College
Coach Mike Vrabel is going to change the way that this defense plays. They are going to be fast, physical, and mean. Harold Landry is the perfect fit as a pass rusher to add some youth to that group. When healthy, Landry is a top 15 player. He has a knack for getting to the QB, and is skilled enough to contain the run. The Titans get one of the most polished pass rushers in the class.
26. Atlanta Falcons- Taven Bryan, DL, Florida
Again, there is just too much fire to this pick. Bryan fits the Falcons methodology of athleticism and traits rather than finished products. He is just that. At Florida, Bryan outworked people on a play by play basis, not really ever showing any real polished moves. He would fit perfectly into Michael Bennett role as the Falcons try to cope the Seahawks defensive mold.
27. New Orleans Saints- Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State
Drew Brees gets a versatile tight end that he can develop. It has been no secret that the tight end position has long been one of Brees’ favorite targets. Since Jimmy Graham left the saints, production out of that position has drastically diminished. Goedert would fill that void perfectly. He is a willing blocker, and a dangerous receiving threat. Nicknamed “Baby Gronk”, Goedert could be just one more weapon added to an already exciting offense.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers- Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama
Some players are meant to be Steelers. Harrison is one of those players. A thumper in the Mike Mitchell mold, would be the perfect addition to the secondary. Harrison play a physical center field type of role, the same that Mitchell did. This is a pick that just seems like it should be made.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars- Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama
One of the harder teams to mock for, the Jags do not have a lot of needs. With Paul Posluszny retiring, that leave as a small void in the linebacker spot. Evans would be a nice addition to an already loaded front 7. The only other position I could really see this as is a slot corner, someone like Jaire Alexander.
30. Minnesota Vikings- Billy Price, Ohio State, C/G
Selecting Pat Elflein worked out two years ago. The Vikings go back to the well and get a more athletic version. Price could be a fit at any of the three interior line spots. He could continue to bolster the run game, and sure up the interior for years to come.
31. New England Patriots- Mike Hughes, CB, Central Florida
The Patriots need to get two of these three positions in Round 1: QB, CB, and OT. With Hughes being on the board, I think the value is just too good to pass up. Im sure they would consider someone like Kolton Miller, but Hughes is just to good of a corner to pass up. On the field, he is a fluid shutdown corner, who also brings returner upside. There is some off field concerns, but the Patriots have shown the ability to control those matters for the most part.
32. Philadelphia Eagles- Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina
The Eagles are another team that are almost impossible to mock. The have no real glaring needs. They could draft for depth so many different ways. Hurst could slot in nicely as an all around tight end. He is a good blocker, and a good receiver. Could be a nice pair with him and Zach Ertz. Also he could fill the void left by the release of Brent Celek, and Trey Burton signing with the Bears.