Sam Darnold made some comments this week that shook up this week’s mock a little bit. You’ll have to keep reading to find out what though. Sorry, millennials.
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. He didn’t work out at Penn State’s pro day, but it’s not like he had anything to prove.
2. New York Giants — Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State
After his pro day, Sam Darnold said he wants to go to the Browns, and this could scare the Giants off a bit. Instead, they take a defensive playmaker instead of a quarterback. It’s not the most exciting pick, but a practical one that acquires an elite talent.
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 this take look pretty bad.
4. Cleveland Browns — Sam Darnold, QB, USC
The consensus top quarterback in the class is still on the board, and the Giants kinda need one. After performing well at his pro day, Darnold said “[He’s] trying to go to Cleveland” as the top pick. It won’t be first overall, but he still ends up with the Browns. Even though they landed Tyrod Taylor, it’ll be good to have Darnold for the future. They might even need him sooner. We’ll see.
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, 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. 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. Mayfield worked out privately with Miami on Thursday.
12. Cincinnati Bengals — Mike McGlinchey, T, Notre Dame
AJ Green is elite, but Cincy’s run game is not. Adding McGlinchey will hopefully help the Bengals improve on their 3.6 yards per carry.
13. Washington Redskins — Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
Edmunds might be the best linebacker in the draft, but he falls under the shadow of stardom that Smith and Chubb hold. Not only is he a talented player that suits Washington’s needs, Edmunds is also a Virginia native. It’s a good fit on both ends.
14. Green Bay Packers — Michael Gallup, WR, Colorado St.
Who is this? He’s the best receiver you haven’t heard of. With an already thin receiving corps and the departure of veteran Jordy Nelson, the Packers need a pair of hands for Aaron Rodgers to hit.
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 good long term solution (he’s not). 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.