The NFL Scouting Combine is next weekend, which means it’s draft season.
This first mock draft is pretty short in all honesty, only picks one through eight. That’s because we don’t know who the ninth pick will belong to. It will either go the San Francisco 49ers or Oakland Raiders and will be decided by a coin toss on March 2, the same day the combine begins.
Let’s get this rolling.
1. Cleveland Browns: Sam Darnold QB, USC
The Browns need a quarterback and Darnold is the highest touted prospect in this draft class. With the first pick, Cleveland can get their man of the future … hopefully.
2. New York Giants: Josh Rosen QB, UCLA
Eli Manning isn’t good anymore. Rosen already said he’d prefer to stay out of Cleveland, so he’ll be there for the Giants. With a year to develop behind Manning, Rosen can thrive in New York with the talented (when healthy) receiving corps. He’ll also thrive in the New York media market.
3. Indianapolis Colts: Bradley Chubb DE, NC State
The Colts’ biggest concern going into next year is probably Andrew Luck’s health, but they also need to add some talent to an aging roster. Chubb will be a playmaker on a defense that ranked 30th in points allowed last season.
4. Cleveland Browns: Saquon Barkley RB, Penn State
Barkley might be the best college player in the draft, but here have been questions as to whether his skills will translate to the NFL. He’s still worth the pick. Sam Darnold won’t be able to do all the work in Cleveland, and having Barkley in the backfield will help distribute the load.
5. Denver Broncos: Josh Allen QB, Wyoming
The Broncos window for championships is still open, but they’ll get nowhere without a decent quarterback. General manager John Elway is believed to like Allen, and with the Jets prepared to pay Kirk Cousins big money, they’ll take their chances on the rookie from Colorado’s neighbor state.
6. New York Jets: Minkah Fitzpatrick S, Alabama
We already discussed how the Jets can land their quarterback, so now they turn their attention to the other side of the ball. Fitzpatrick is the best defensive back in the draft and will be an excellent piece to play alongside Jamal Adams. That’s a pretty goos secondary.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Josh Jackson CB, Iowa
An aging Brent Grimes is set to become a free agent, so the Bucs will need to find a replacement. Drafting a young and talented cornerback is a good way to go.
8. Chicago Bears: Calvin Ridley WR, Alabama
The Bears are committed to Mitchell Trubisky at quarterback. Now they need someone for him to throw the ball to. Ridley can fill the role of WR1, creating a potentially scary QB-WR duo.