With the Draft less than two weeks away, I figured it was time to do something shocking to keep up with everyone else’s mocks. Brace yourselves.
1. Cleveland Browns — Sam Darnold, QB, USC
The argument for Darnold going number one gets stronger each week.
After performing well at his pro day, Darnold said “[He’s] trying to go to Cleveland” as the top pick. 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.
2. Buffalo Bills (via trade with Giants) — Josh Allen, QB Wyoming
This is a deal that works well for both teams. The Giants pick up at least two, and likely three picks (12, 22, and a another). The Bills get their quarterback .
They still did Tyrod dirty.
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 — Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn St.
He’s still the best athlete in the draft, but after Sam Darnold overachieved at his pro day, and Barkley didn’t even work out at his, the argument for Saquon at number one is losing some steam. He certainly won’t drop any further than this.
5. Denver Broncos — Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
After missing out on Allen, John Elway takes a shot on the 2017 Heisman winner. If you ask me, Mayfield is a better fit in Denver anyway. Four quarterbacks in the Top 5 is crazy, but it could very well happen.
6. Indianapolis Colts — Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State
I still love the idea of the Colts taking Quenton Nelson, but leaving Chubb on the board is a mistake. Taking the best available player is almost always a great move.
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 — Quenton Nelson
Chicago really needs a guard after Pro-Bowler Josh Sitton left for Miami. Thanks to some major shakeups, the Bears can now take the best offensive lineman in the Draft.
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 — Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
My brand this Draft Season has been “Get Baker Mayfield to Miami” … until now. The Bills hypothetically messed all of that up by taking Josh Allen, prompting Mayfield to Denver. Despite this, Lamar Jackson is still a good pick at 11. He performed statistically better last year than he did in 2016, when he won a Heisman of his own.
12. New York Giants — Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
This is another “best available” scenario. Edmunds ads a pivotal piece to New York’s bottom five defense.
13. Washington Redskins — Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa
After dealing Kendall Fuller to the Chiefs in exchange for quarterback Alex Smith, Washington can replace him with another ball hawk.
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 set of hands for Aaron Rodgers to hit.
15. Arizona Cardinals — Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
Larry Fitzgerald keeps coming back, but he can only do that for so long. Drafting Ridley gives the Cardinals a potential replacement while letting him learn under Larry for at least a year.