The New York Jets and Indianapolis Colts made things interesting this week by swapping first round picks. Teams don’t typically move up like this unless they really want a player (see: 2017 Bears).
1. Cleveland Browns — Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn St.
Barkley was already slated to be a top pick, but his impressive Combine performance sends him to the top of the board. Any team would be lucky to have an athlete like Barkley at any position.
2. New York Giants —Sam Darnold, QB, USC
The consensus top quarterback in the class is still on the board, and the Giants still kinda need one. New York gets their man with the second pick.
3. New York Jets — Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
After losing out on Kirk Cousins, the Jets signed Teddy Bridgewater to a one-year deal and then swapped picks with the Colts. Signs indicate that the Jets really want Rosen. He’s a skilled player who will thrive in the New York market. Why else would they trade up when a good selection of players would be available at six?
Unless they really want someone else. That would make that take look pretty bad.
4. Cleveland Browns — Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State
After trading for Tyrod Taylor, the Browns take a defensive playmaker instead of a quarterback. It’s not the most exciting pick, but a practical one that acquires an elite talent.
5. Denver Broncos — Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
Denver GM John Elway already had an eye on Allen, and after having one of the better quarterback performances at the Combine, the Broncos are one step closer to pulling the trigger on him. Barring a shocker (the Browns are shopping their picks), he’ll be there for Denver to take.
6. Indianapolis Colts — Quentin Nelson, G, Notre Dame
Jim Irsay is confident that Andrew Luck is the Colts’ quarterback. It’s time to protect him. The Indianapolis offensive line has been more or less a sieve the past few seasons. Drafting Nelson addresses that issue.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Minkah Fitzpatrick, S, Alabama
A team desperately in need of a defensive back now has a chance to take the best one in the draft. Fitzpatrick at number seven is a steal for the Bucs.
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.
9. San Francisco 49ers — Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
The Niners have their quarterback now. It’s time for them to address their 25th-ranked defense with the best corner in the Draft.
10. Oakland Raiders — Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
Another incredible athlete, Smith can propel the Raiders’ defense to the next level. Imagine blocking Khalil Mack only to have Smith follow him. If this becomes a reality, expect great things from that tandem.
11. Miami Dolphins — Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
Mayfield is an intriguing player, and the Dolphins need to make an intriguing pick. Drafting to address needs hasn’t been doing the job for Miami. It’s time to take a risk on a talented guy. Coach Adam Gase says Ryan Tannehill is the starter, but Mayfield is a winner, and with some work, has the potential to become a reliable starter.
12. Cincinnati Bengals — Mike McGlinchey, T, Notre Dame
The Bengals can’t rely on AJ Green on every snap, but their run game is subpar. Adding McGlinchey will hopefully help Cincy improve on its 3.6 yards per carry.
13. Washington Redskins — Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
Not only is he a talented linebacker that suits Washington’s needs, Edmunds is also a Virginia native. It’s a good fit on both ends.
14. Green Bay Packers — Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa
It’s strange seeing the Packers hold a top 15 pick, isn’t it? What was normal in Green bay last year was the ball flying all over the defensive backfield. Jackson will help stop that.
15. Arizona Cardinals — Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
LAMAR JACKSON IS AN NFL QUARTERBACK! Understood?
After signing Sam Bradford to a one year deal, you might wonder if the Cardinals will still take a quarterback. You should also ask yourself if Sam Bradford is a long term solution. Jackson has a lot of potential, and giving him a year to learn while Bradford starts can set him up to perform well. Bradford is also injury prone, so Jackson could see the field sooner than later.