When will the Five 2018 First Round quarterbacks Play?

The Cleveland Browns, New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, Arizona Cardinals and Baltimore Ravens all drafted a quarterback in the first round. They all have also signed or traded for at least one other new quarterback this offseason.

With each of these teams having other options at quarterback, when will the new draftees be given their time on the field in 2018? Will they at all?

Cleveland Browns

In recent years, it has been expected that quarterbacks chosen with the number one overall pick start opening week. Five of the last six have since 2009, the only hold out being Jared Goff in 2016 for the Los Angeles Rams.

With the 2018 first overall pick, Cleveland chose former Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield. Prior to the draft though, the Browns made a deal to bring in Tyrod Taylor from Buffalo, a quarterback who started 15 games including one during the playoffs in 2017.

Generally, with Taylor the Browns know what they will get.

Taylor is a disciplined and athletic player without a particularly strong arm. Last year, he threw the ball 420 times, only four of which were interceptions. He completed 62.6 percent of his passes. But, Taylor ranked at just 25 in the NFL in touchdowns, and has hovered around .500 as a starter in his career at 23-20.Close

Mayfield, fresh off of winning the Heisman, has a much stronger arm and similar athleticism. His bigger personality could also spark some swagger in a team that has seemed depleted in recent years. He has the potential of being a star for the Browns, something they have not had at quarterback since returning to the league in 1999.

With that, he also has bust potential as all young quarterbacks do. His lack of size and his attitude could send him down a path similar to other Browns busts like their last first round quarterback Johnny Manziel.

But the possible reward is worth the risk for an organization looking for someone to lean on. If Mayfield does not appear ready, then they have a guy in Tyrod Taylor to throw out there to hold down the fort until the reigning Heisman gets more instruction.

Week one starter: Baker Mayfield

New York Jets

Within a week of signing former Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, the New York Jets traded up in the draft to select at number three. With that pick, they selected Sam Darnold out of USC, a player with a rocket arm who was fifth in the NCAA in passing yards in 2017.

The Jets’ moves give Head Coach Todd Bowles three options to start week one. Bridgewater and Darnold will also battle Josh McCown, who started 13 games for New York in 2017 and

threw 18 touchdowns to just nine interceptions.

Due to McCown’s familiarity with the system and the fact that in 2017 he was effective, we should see him come out of the preseason with the starting job. The Jets will certainly transition to Darnold, but when might be up to McCown’s play.

The former USC quarterback displayed lots of skills in college, but his glaring weakness was turning the ball over. Spending the offseason with professional coaches and sitting behind a quarterback who has over a decade of experience could help shape him into a more disciplined quarterback.

Darnold will debut once McCown fails to lead the Jets to wins. The former USC quarterback would also come in once Bowles feels like the rookie has shown that he is ready in practice and wants to put him out for early experience.

It shouldn’t take Darnold a whole season to get ready, perhaps around weeks five or six he will have enough instruction to get into the game.


Photo via @nyjets

Teddy Bridgewater, 25, is a wild card. The Jets have their veteran place holder and hopeful future face of the franchise, but where does that leave Bridgewater, who, prior to a knee injury in 2016, was a playoff quarterback in Minnesota?

With the direction the Jets are going, Bridgewater is an odd fit for this roster. If he comes into camp looking like his 2015 self, then perhaps he could challenge McCown for the week one starter spot.

This team will be led by Darnold soon, so whoever he replaces is irrelevant for the future of the franchise. McCown is the safer bet at backup due to his healthy history and experience with many types of offenses.

Week one starter: Josh McCown

Buffalo Bills

The Bills ended the longest active NFL playoff drought last season by squeaking their way into the Wild Card round.

Their quarterback was Tyrod Taylor, who the Bills were not high on. Buffalo benched him midway through the season for one half before Nathan Peterman threw five interceptions against the Chargers, forcing Coach Sean McDermott to put Taylor back in.

Taylor has since been traded, and the Bills in another deal acquired former Cincinnati backup quarterback A.J. McCarron.

McCarron has been rumored to get traded to a team needing a quarterback since he received starts in 2015 after Andy Dalton suffered an injury. He performed well in four starts and almost won a playoff game before a defensive collapse buried the Bengals against Pittsburgh.

With just Peterman on the roster, it appeared McCarron would be handed the starter’s job. That was until Buffalo traded up in the draft to seven, where they selected Wyoming QB Josh Allen.

Allen has a great arm, one that allows him to make throws that other quarterbacks cannot.

But, he has had accuracy issues throughout college, and his offense looked flat against their two toughest opponents last year (Wyoming only put up 26 total points in their two losses to Iowa and Oregon).

Regardless, Allen has the build and arm to make big plays in the NFL. But for a team that just made it to the playoffs, perhaps turning things over to the raw talented rookie isn’t in their best interest if they want to get back to the postseason.

McCarron should start week one, and if he plays like he did in 2015, he should stay the starter this season. Allen’s talent could use some molding, so having him backup in 2018 seems like a logical decision. If McCarron fails to keep Buffalo in the playoff race though, then Allen’s time should come sooner rather than later.

Week one starter: A.J. McCarron



Arizona Cardinals

There are three new quarterbacks in the desert.

After Carson Palmer’s retirement, The Cardinals signed Sam Bradford, despite injury holding him out in 2017. Mike Glennon was brought in after the Bears released their 16-million-dollar backup. And like the Jets and Bills, the Cards traded up to get their quarterback of the future, Josh Rosen out of UCLA.

Arizona will treat Bradford with caution in camp considering his latest injury. With the reps off Bradford will be getting, Rosen will have a chance to gain more with the first team. That extra work and exposure, if Rosen performs well, could show Head Coach Steve Wilkes that the rookie is ready to go week one.

Rosen’s biggest question has never been skill. His passer efficiency rating over three college seasons was over 140 and he threw for over nine thousand yards.

His issue has been maturity and ability to lead. He was difficult to coach at UCLA according to NFL.com scouting reports, and on the field, he took unnecessary risks leading to 10 interceptions in 11 games last year. The Bruins were just 18-20 with him as quarterback.

But, Bradford has yet to lead a team to the playoffs since he entered the league in 2008, as the first pick for St. Louis. Bradford is a consistently accurate quarterback, but he doesn’t throw down the field well and has never been able to elevate a team in the pros.

Week one starter: Josh Rosen

Baltimore Ravens

2008 was the last time Baltimore drafted a quarterback in round one of the NFL draft. Their draftee, Joe Flacco, has been the starting quarterback ever since. The Ravens made it to the playoffs from 2008 through the 2012 season when they won the Super Bowl.

Then, Flacco was made the richest quarterback in history at the time, and the Ravens have made it to the postseason once in the past five years.

Over the past two seasons, the Ravens were one play away from the playoffs.

On Christmas day in 2016, during week 16, Antonio Brown of the Steelers reached the ball over the goal line for the game winning touchdown with nine seconds left. That game ended Baltimore’s season.

In week 17 of 2017, a 53-yards touchdown pass from Andy Dalton to Tyler Boyd on fourth-and-13 in the final minute knocked the Ravens out of the wild card spot.

Flacco’s performance in those two seasons have gone similarly. Average to poor play prior to the bye week. Following their bye weeks, he has looked like a quarterback worthy of his pay check.

Last season, before the bye, Flacco had a quarterback rating of 73.6 while throwing eight touchdowns with 10 interceptions. After their bye, his rating shot up to 89.5, and he threw 10 touchdowns with just three interceptions.

But, with his early season struggles, the Ravens over the last couple of seasons have lost games in the opening weeks to teams that received a top ten draft pick. If the Ravens had won those games, they would have almost certainly made it to the playoffs in 2016 and 2017.

With the disappointments of the last few seasons, Ozzie Newsome’s last first round pick before retirement was selecting Lamar Jackson, the 2016 Heisman winner from Louisville.


Photo via @Lj_era8

Jackson led the Cardinals to three straight winning seasons. He threw for 9,043 yards and ran for another 4,132. He has drawn comparisons to Michael Vick with his ability to make plays with his legs.

With his speed, Jackson will need to learn to throw more accurately on rollouts and on the run. That could take some time to work on, therefore sitting behind a quarterback who had the sixth most completions last year could help Jackson’s accuracy development.

Flacco has been the guy in Baltimore for a decade. They have gotten him new weapons for 2018 in hopes of improving the production of the passing attack. Flacco will more than likely be the Ravens’ starter for this season, but another disappointing finish outside of the playoffs and Lamar Jackson will be the starter come 2019.

Week one starter: Joe Flacco

Draft Grades: NFC East

Rookie camps have started so we should probably finish telling you how each team drafted. Here is the NFC East:

Dallas Cowboys: C 

Round 1, Pick 19: Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise St. Dc7yJUkUwAA7v_k.jpg

Round 2: Connor Williams, G, Texas

Round 3: Michael Gallup, WR, Colorado St.

Round 4: Dorance Armstrong Jr., DE, Kansas

Round 4: Dalton Schultz, TE, Stanford

Round 5: Mike White, QB, Western Kentucky

Round 6: Chris Covington, LB, Indiana

Round 6: Cedrick Wilson, WR, Boise State

Round 7: Bo Scarbrough, RB, Alabama

Vander Esch and Williams are both good players, but Dallas waited until the third round to address its biggest need. At one point I mocked Gallup in the first, so there’s some value in getting him in the third. But that leaves the question of how stacked could they have been if they took another receiver when they should have?

New York Giants: A

Round 1, Pick 2: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn St. DbwBw5CX0AMs_Ha.jpg

Round 2: Will Hernandez, G, UTEP

Round 3: Lorenzo Carter, LB, Georgia

Round 3: B.J. Hill, DT, NC State

Round 4: Kyle Lauletta, QB, Richmond

Round 5: RJ McIntosh, DT, Miami

Despite only having six picks, the Giants nailed this Draft. Barkley finally provides a steady running back. He’ll be running behind second round steal Hernandez, who also fills a big need. They could have taken Bradley Chubb at No. 2, but still found potential JPP replacements in the later rounds. Charlie Casserly of the NFL Network said Lauletta was the future franchise QB. I’m not too sure about that, but he’ll certainly make a decent backup.

Philadelphia Eagles: C+

Round 2: Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota St.


Round 4: Avonte Maddox, CB, Pittsburgh

Round 4: Josh Sweat, DE, Florida State

Round 6: Matt Pryor, G, TCU

Round 7: Jordan Mailata, South Sydney Rabbitohs Rugby Club

Goedert bumps the Eagles up half of a letter grade because he 1) is good 2) creates a threat to defenses as Philly works in a two tight end set. The rest of their draft wasn’t great, but it didn’t have to be. The Eagles were (obviously) good already. I’m not too sure about drafting Mailata, who has never played a down of football, but it’ll be cool if he translates.

Washington Redskins: C-

Round 1, Pick 13: Da’Ron Payne, LB, Alabama

Round 2: Derrius Guice, RB, LSU

Round 3: Geron Christian, OT, Louisville

Round 4: Troy Apke, S, Penn State

Round 5: Tim Settle, DT, Virginia Tech

Round 6: Shaun Dion Hamilton, LB, Alabama

Round 7: Greg Stroman, CB Virginia Tech

Round 7: Trey Quinn, WR, SMU

Washington’s best pick in this Draft was Guice in the second. There might be some character concerns, but he has great football value. Payne seems like an emergency pick after they lost out on Via Vea.

Draft Grades: AFC North

A quick note, be sure to check out Episode 3 of Two Kids in a Trechcoat to hear more takes from this wild NFL Draft.

Baltimore Ravens: B-

Round 1, Pick 25: Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina DbMezvWXkAEkJWl.jpg

Round 1, Pick 32: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville

Round 3: Orlando Brown, T, Oklahoma

Round 3: Mark Andrews, TE, Oklahoma

Round 4: Anthony Averett, CB, Alabama

Round 4: Jaleel Scott, WR, New Mexico St.

Round 5: Jordan Lasley, WR, UCLA

Round 6: DeShon Elliott, S, Texas

Round 6: Greg Sanat, T, Wagner

Round 6: Bradley Boseman, C Alabama

Round 7: Zach Sieler, DE, Ferris State

The Ravens nailed it with Jackson, Brown and Andrews. It seems strange that they passed on a lot of receivers and tight ends, all better, and much younger, than Hurst. Baltimore still added some decent pass catchers and bolstered its O-Line, which is never a bad move.

Cincinnati Bengals: A

Round 1, Pick 21: Billy Price, C, Ohio St.


Round 2: Jessie Bates III, S, Wake Forest

Round 3: Sam Hubbard, DE, Ohio St.

Round 3: Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas

Round 4: Mark Walton, RB, Miami (FL)

Round 5: Devontae Harris, CB, Illinois St.

Round 5: Andrew Brown, DE, Virginia

Round 5: Darius Phillips, CB, Western Michigan

Round 7: Logan Woodside, QB, Toledo

Round 7: Rod Taylor, G, Mississippi

Round 7: Auden Tate, WR, Florida

This is only the second A I’ve awarded, the other Being Miami’s A-. While we’re talking about A minuses, I just wanna ask why do they equal a 3.67? NO WAY the difference between a 93 and a 92 is .33 points.


The Bengals no longer have a human turnstyle starting at center, and filled other needs with great picks to follow. Bates definitely flew under the radar, and was a smart choice in the second. Cincy got great value in Hubbard and Jefferson in the third.

Cleveland Browns: C

Round 1, Pick 1: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma DcH0_a5V4AE87Hk

Round 1, Pick 4: Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio St.

Round 2: Austin Corbett, T, Nevada

Round 3: Chad Thomas, DE, Miami (FL)

Round 4: Antonio Callaway, WR, Florida

Round 5: Genard Avery, LB, Memphis

Round 6: Damion Ratley, WR, Texas A&M

Round 6: Simeon Thomas, CB, Louisiana

C is for Cleveland. The Browns’ Draft left me with so many questions. Why take Mayfield No. 1? Why pass on Chubb at 4? Mayfield and Ward are both great football players, but I’m still scratching my head. Cleveland passed on someone better at every one of its first four picks.

Pittsburgh Steelers: C

Round 1: Terrell Edmunds, S, Virginia Tech CxqagF9UcAEInIM.jpg

Round 2: James Washington, WR, Oklahoma St.

Round 3: Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma St.

Round 3: Chuks Okorafor, T, Western Michigan

Round 5: Marcus Allen, S, Penn St.

Round 5: Jaylen Samuels, RB, NC State

Round 7: Joshua Frazier, DL, Alabama

Edmunds was a str——————-etch  (get it?) in the first round. What prevented me from giving the Steelers a D was the great idea of taking Washington and Rudolph with back-to-back picks. Big Ben will likely call it a career after this season, which gives Rudolph a year to learn before taking over. Then, he gets to throw to his top college receiver AND Antonio Brown.


Here are the rest of the completed NFL Draft Grades:

AFC East

AFC South

NFC North


Two Kids in a Trenchcoat: A Football Podcast — Episode 3

This week, Ryan, Jacob and Josh dive into the NFL draft going in depth in the first round and talking about picks that surprised them.

Takeaway from Draft and First Pick: 0:254:00

Antonio Callaway: 4:056:12

Baker Odds: 6:209:34

Denzel Ward: 9:4013:37

Josh Rosen: 13:4520:00

Josh Allen: 20:1520:30

QB busts: 20:3523:55

Middle of first round: 24:0030:20

Worst first round picks: 30:3034:30

Slides: 34:3539:18

End of first round: 39:2547:18

Prospects that fell: 47:3053:30

Best drafts: 54:001:07

Draft Grades: AFC South

Houston Texans: C- DZZICYWVQAALCtE.jpg

Round 3: Justin Reid, S, Stanford

Round 3: Martinas Rankin, C, Mississippi St.

Round 3: Jordan Akins, TE, UCF

Round 4: Keke Coutee, WR, Texas Tech

Round 6: Duke Ejiofor, DE, Wake Forest

Round 6: Jordan Thomas, TE, Mississippi St.

Round 6: Peter Kalambayi, LB, Stanford

Round 7: Jermaine Kelly, CB, San Jose St.

Houston made a healthy eight selections in this Draft. The problem is none of them are that great. Reid will certainly help a thin secondary, but not having any high picks really hurt. The good news is they gave up those picks for Deshaun Watson, who is pretty good, and definitely worth the trade.

Indianapolis Colts: B+

Round 1: Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame

Round 2: Darius Leonard, LB, South Carolina State DbwA-abXkAAphou.jpg

Round 2: Braden Smith, G, Auburn

Round 2: Kemoko Turay, DE, Rutgers

Round 2: Tyquan Lewis, DL, Ohio State

Round 4: Nyheim Hines, RB, N.C. State

Round 5: Daurice Fountain, WR, Northern Iowa

Round 5: Jordan Wilkins, RB, Mississippi

Round 6: Deon Cain, WR, Clemson

Round 7: Matthew Adams, LB, Houston

Round 7: Zaire Franklin, LB, Syracuse

This was somewhat of a boring draft for the Colts, but still a good one. They got Quenton Nelson, the best offensive lineman in the class, and used four(!) second round picks to add another guard and some defensive help. Trading back from No. 3 paid off with a good haul of future assets.

Jacksonville Jaguars: C+

Round 1: Taven Bryan, DT, Florida DQyomY4VoAAAX80.jpg

Round 2: DJ Chark, WR, LSU

Round 3: Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama

Round 4: Will Richardson, T, N.C. State

Round 6: Tanner Lee, QB, Nebraska

Round 7: Leon Jacobs, LB, Wisconsin

Round 7: Logan Cooke, P, Mississippi St.

Bryan certainly has value at No. 29, but Jacksonville has no real issues on the defensive line. Additionally, both their starting safeties are signed through 2020. Chark was their best pick, because they lack wide receivers. My question is why not take a better one in the first?

Tennessee Titans: B DTMgBUbXkAA_cyn.jpg

Round 1: Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama

Round 2: Harold Landry, LB, Boston College

Round 5: Dane Cruikshank, S, Arizona

Round 6: Luke Falk, QB, Washington State

Realistically, the Titans should get a C for this Draft. I’m not sure about trading up for Evans, but he was certainly a good pick. Him and Landy are really what convinced me to bump them up half a letter. Expect good things from those two.



Draft Grades: AFC East

Buffalo Bills: C+

Round 1, Pick 7: Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

Round 1, Pick 16: Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech download

Round 3: Harrison Phillips, DT, Stanford

Round 4: Taron Johnson, CB, Weber St

Round 5: Siran Neal, CB, Jacksonville State

Round 5: Wyatt Teller, G, Virginia Tech

Round 6: Ray-Ray McCloud, WR, Clemson

Round 7: Austin Proehl, WR, North Carolina

Tyrod Taylor took the Bills to the Playoffs for the first time in 17 years, but nah, they threw him out and took a gigantic risk on Allen; the third best QB in the Mountain West. Edmunds was a steal at 16, and Buffalo’s best pick. It will be interesting to see how Ray-Ray McCloud plays out.

New England Patriots: B-

Round 1, Pick 23: Isaiah Wynn, T, Georgia DbwrzbGWsAARPRQ.jpg

Round 1, Pick 31: Sony Michel, RB, Georgia

Round 2: Duke Dawson, CB, Florida

Round 5: Ja’Whaun Bentley, LB, Purdue

Round 6: Christian Sam, LB, Arizona St.

Round 6: Braxton Berrios, WR, Miami

Round 7: Danny Etling, QB, LSU

The Patriots own the greatest draft pick of all time, and will still be good in 2018, so none of this really matters. I love Michel at No. 31. He’s an upgrade from Dion Lewis and it might be beneficial for him to run behind his college teammate. Berrios provides a potential Danny Amendola replacement. Trading back a few times prevented New England from taking a more reliable linebacker.

New York Jets: B+

Round 1, Pick 3: Sam Darnold, QB, USC DSqAJwHVQAE3bLb

Round 3: Nathan Shepherd, DE, Fort Hayes State

Round 4: Chris Herndon, WR, Miami

Round 6: Parry Nickerson, CB, Tulane

Round 6: Foley Fatukasi, DT, UCONN

Round 6: Trenton Cannon, RB/KR, Virginia St.

New York’s B+ grade is propelled by Sam Darnold. It was the right pick to make after he ended up being available. The Jets also made the necessary moves to begin replenishing their defensive line, which took a hit with the departure of Muhammad Wilkerson.

Miami Dolphins: A-

Round 1, Pick 11: Minkah Fitzpatrick, S, Alabama COxAQDAa_400x400.jpg

Round 2: Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn St.

Round 3: Jerome Baker, LB, Ohio St.

Round 4: Durham Smythe, TE, Notre Dame

Round 4: Kalen Ballage, RB, Arizona St.

Round 6: Cornell Armstrong, CB, Southern Miss

Round 7: Quentin Poling, LB, Ohio

Round 7: Jason Sanders, K, New Mexico

Yeah, it’s kinda suspect that I gave my favorite team the best grade in their division. Get over it.

The Dolphins had one of the best drafts when it came to addressing their needs. They added two linebackers (by far their weakest position) and two tight ends — one who can catch and one who can block. The combination of Fitzpatrick and Reshad Jones at safety is good one.



NFL Draft Page

With the NFL Draft just hours away, we thought it would be cool to throw all of Sideline Intel’s coverage in the same place.

Mock Drafts:                       DbgaypvV4AA5bNM

Ryan Sharp 1.0

Ryan Sharp 2.0

Ryan Sharp 2.1

Ryan Sharp 3.0

Ryan Sharp 4.0

Ryan Sharp 5.0

Ryan Sharp 6.0

Ryan Sharp 7.0 (Full first round)

Jacob Rosenfarb 1.0 (Full first round)

Jacob Rosenfarb 2.0 (Full first round)


Two Kids in a Trenchcoat Episode 1

Two Kids in a Trenchcoat Episode 2

Other Content:

Whose draft stock improved at the Combine?

Get Baker Mayfield to Miami

Note — Some of these draft overviews have aged poorly, but in case you were interested, here they are:

Draft Overview: Cleveland Browns

Draft Overview: New York Giants

Draft Overview: Indianapolis Colts

Draft Overview: Houston Texans

Draft Overview: Denver Broncos

Two Kids in a Trenchcoat 4/25/18

Jacob, Ryan and Josh go rapid fire and give you their full mocks heading into NFL draft day. The trio also dive into some prospects that intrigue them and how Reggie Bush might be the greatest Dolphin running back of all time.

Top 10 Picks: 01:30 – 12:46

Picks 11 through 32: 12:50 – 23:30

Eagles Talk: 23:35 – 25:10

Derrius Guice/Reggie Bush: 25:15 – 28:47

Josh Jackson: 29:00 – 30:00

Harold Landry: 30:00 – 31:43

Lamar Jackson: 31:45 – 36:16

Last week’s episode

Ryan Sharp Mock Draft 7.0

Jacob Rosenfarb Mock Draft 2.0

Mock Draft 7.0

The Draft is almost here, so I decided to get motivated and do a full first round mock. It’s back on track with what I’ve been putting out, and much more realistic than my previous mock draft.

If there are any big trades before Thursday, I’ll do a 7.1. For now, you can expect this to be my final mock of the year.

Be sure to tune in to the next episode of Two Kids in a Trenchcoat to hear about some of the changes made and for more Draft chatter.

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. Mind you, he worked out in the rain in what was supposed to be a controlled setting. And Jimmy Haslam sat outside in the rain to watch. It seems they really like each other, and I like this fit.

Even though Cleveland landed Tyrod Taylor, it’ll be good to have Darnold for the future. They might even need him sooner. We’ll see.

2. New York Giants — Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State

This is the first time I have Saquon going second. Last week, the Giants reportedly called Barkley “a perfect prospect.” They’re not wrong. Picking him at number two allows for the Giants to take some of the load off of an aging Eli Manning by giving him a reliable ball carrier.

Barkley was also spotted at a Pennsylvania barber shop wearing a Giants hoodie. Teams give players gear all the time, so this could be nothing … but it might be something.


Photo: TMZ Sports

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 — Bradley Chubb, DL, NC State

My mock is starting to look more and more like Jacob Rosenfarb’s, but he’s right about this pick. Chubb is a freak of nature who will bolster any defense. Putting him next to Myles Garrett would make the Browns scary. Weird, right?

5. Buffalo Bills (via trade with Denver) — Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

Last week, I had the Bills trading up to the second pick. John Elway then said the Broncos were shopping pick number five.

Case Keenum is coming off of a career year, and Paxton Lynch is still around, so why draft a quarterback? It goes against all of my previous mocks, but signs point to the Bills wanting Allen. With this trade, Denver adds an additional first round pick (22) and likely another later on.  The Bills get their strong-armed quarterback who was the third best in the Mountain West last season.


6. Indianapolis Colts — Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame

Is Nelson Worth a top ten pick? Yes.

He’s the best offensive lineman in this class, and the Colts offensive line can’t let their QB get sacked 56 times this year. Especially if it’s Andrew Luck, who has been proven to be kind of fragile.

Jim Irsay is committed to Luck. Nelson is the right choice to help him out.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Derwin James, S, Florida State

It was considered likely that the Buccaneers would take a defensive back. Now, ESPN’s Todd McShay reports that they have “narrowed in on Derwin James.”

Who can blame them? He’s a talented safety and they desperately need one.

8. Chicago Bears — Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama

Mitchell Trubisky is the man now in Chicago, and he needs some guys to throw at. The Bears took a step in the right direction by signing Allen Robinson in free agency. This provides Ridley with the opportunity to work with a veteran early on. And both of them are good. This plays out well in my head.

You might be thinking, “What about Kevin White?” Don’t think that.

9. San Francisco 49ers — Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia

I’ve never seen someone cover as much ground in a single than Smith. He is the best in this draft class at finding the ball and chasing down a runner in the backfield. His main weakness is coming off of blocks, but he is fast enough to still perform while he works on that.

I still like Denzel Ward to San Fran, but with the future of former first round pick Reuben Foster up in the air, it makes sense to take a linebacker — a really good one. Richard Sherman plays there now, so it’s not like they’re thin at corner.

10. Oakland Raiders — Minkah Fiztpatrick, S, Alabama

Safety Reggie Nelson is turning 35 in September. Aside from him and 2017 top pick Gareon Conley, the Oakland secondary is, well, bad. Fitzpatrick adds a much-needed presence to the Raider defense and will certainly make an impact right away.

He also has some experience playing slot corner, and added benefit to a phenomenal player, and sensible pick.

11. Miami Dolphins — Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma

Back on brand.

If Elway sells that No. 5 pick (which is seeming more likely, @Bills), then Mayfield will be available for the Dolphins.

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 commented #GetMeToMiami on fellow Sooner Kenny Stills’ Instagram live video.

12. Denver Broncos (via Buffalo) — Mike McGlinchey, T, Notre Dame

Denver needs a receiver, too. But there is a significant drop-off between McGlinchey and the next best group of offensive lineman. Taking him allows the Broncos to secure the best available OL and still take a decent wideout at 22.

13. Washington Redskins — Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa

Josh Norman has cooled off, and after dealing Kendall Fuller to the Chiefs in exchange for quarterback Alex Smith, Washington needs a new corner.

Enter Josh Jackson. Adding him to a secondary with DJ Swearinger significantly improves the Washington defense.

Jackson hauled in eight interceptions last year, half of the Washington team total.

14. Green Bay Packers — Marcus Davenport, DL, UTSA 

This is the first time Davenport appears in one of my mocks, because I thought he would go outside the top 15. He’s just too good for that, and Green Bay could use an additional pass rusher to play next to Mike Daniels.

15. Arizona Cardinals — Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville

Lamar Jackson has proven that he can play at the next level, but he also showed us that he needs some time to develop.

Arizona brought in a new coach and offensive coordinator, which of course means a new offense. Let Jackson work on his game while Sam Bradford takes the beating under center.

Additionally, Larry Fitzgerald is a great veteran to help Jackson along the way.

16. Baltimore Ravens — Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech

I had to think about this for a bit. The Ravens defense was among the best in the league in 2017, so I thought they don’t really need to do anything with it. Upon more thinking, I remembered Terell Suggs is kind of old. Still good, but old. Like, he’ll be done soon.

Having Edmunds and Suggs on the same team will be fun for now, and then Edmunds can lead them later.

17. Los Angeles Chargers — Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State

Last year, the Chargers took a wide receiver when they needed a defensive back. Let’s see if they get it right this year. If they don’t, something is wrong. Ward is a steal at 17 and it would be questionable for any team to pass on him this late.

18. Seattle Seahawks — Kolton Miller, T , UCLA

Miller is not quite on the prospect level with the Notre Dame guys, but he’s still the real deal, greatly due to his insane athleticism. The 6 foot 9 inch (nice), 310 pound tackle had a stellar Combine. He ran a 4.95″ 40 yard dash (second to Quenton Nelson) and set a new record in the broad jump; 10 feet 11 inches.

Also, Seattle’s offensive line was bad last year, so yeah, this should help.

19. Dallas Cowboys — Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU

Dez Bryant is gone. That might be good for the environment, but Bryant still had almost 300 more yards than the next best Cowboy receiver. Sutton might not be Dez Bryant (when he was super good), but he’s still a good replacement. He shares a lot of the same abilities, as well as size.

20. Detroit Lions — Derrius Guice, RB, LSU

Detroit has been plagued by an inconsistent run game for a while now. It’s time for them to do something about it. Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick are just okay. The Lions need someone who can pick up good yardage on the ground. Guice is a strong power back who is capable of filling that role.

21. Cincinnati Bengals (via Buffalo) — James Daniels, C, Iowa

Russell Bodine departed in free agency, but he needed replaced anyway. The Bengals need someone who isn’t a human turnstyle to play center.

Many experts are mocking Daniels to Cincy, and I have to agree with them. He’s the best center in this draft, and that’s what the Bengals need most.

22. Denver Broncos (via Buffalo) — D.J. Moore, WR, Marlyand

Moore has passed Calvin Ridley as the top receiver in some mocks, thanks to his impressive Combine performance where he ran 4.42 40 yard dash. It’s also pretty impressive to earn first team All-Big Ten AND Big Ten Receiver of the Year while playing for Maryland (who shouldn’t be in the Big Ten).

23. New England Patriots — Maurice Hurst, DL, Michigan

The Patriots traded Brandin Cooks to the Rams, so a receiver could be on the radar. But you have to remember that Tom Brady is still the quarterback. He can work with literally anything.

The New England defense could use some work, as it struggled at times last season, including in the biggest game of the year.

Hurst is also from Massachusetts, so there’s that.

24. Carolina Panthers —  Michael Gallup, WR, Colorado St.

The Panthers have lacked a WR1 since dealing Kelvin Benjamin to Buffalo. Gallup can come in and fill that void. We didn’t hear much about him until recently, but he has a strong ability to find and go get the ball. He could be a good deep threat for Cam Newton.

25. Tennessee Titans — Harold Landry, LB, Boston College

Cornerback was a need, but Tennessee inked Malcolm Butler after he left New England on bad terms. And after Avery Williamson signed with the Jets, Landry fills their next biggest need at linebacker.

26. Atlanta Falcons — Vita Vea, DL, Washington

Many mocks have Vea going in the top 15, but I see better picks to be made for other teams that need d-lineman. Even though there are some better, Vea is still a solid player and will make a replacement for Dontari Poe, who left for Carolina.

27. New Orleans Saints — Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State

He’s been called the “most game-ready” tight end in the draft, and the Saints could really use one. Colby Fleener is there, but he isn’t the answer. Despite standing only 5 feet 10 inches, Goedert is still a fantastic blocking tight end with good hands. If he works on his route-running, he’ll be the full package.

28. Pittsburgh Steelers — Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise St.

Ryan Shazier has already been ruled out for 2018 after suffering a scary spine injury against the Bengals last season, and the future of his career remains up in the air. Vander Esch is a skilled inside linebacker who at the very least is a good placeholder. If Shazier is well enough to be around the team, then Vander Esch could become even better with help from the two time Pro-Bowler.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars — James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State

Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson left in free agency, leaving the Jags with some big holes to fill. Washington is considered by some to be the best vertical threat in this draft class. He can certainly back it up with numbers, as he hauled in 74 catches for 1,549 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2017.

Of course, we all know what happened last time Jacksonville took a receiver from OSU.

30. Minnesota Vikings — Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville

Alexander has been under-appreciated this entire draft season, but he is a first round talent. The Vikings have yet to pick up Trae Waynes’ option and Terrance Newman remains unsigned (he’s also 39). It’s likely the Vikings end up bringing Waynes back. Him and Alexander would make up a good secondary.

31. New England Patriots — Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State

New England traded Brandin Cooks to the Rams, so they’re in need of a new pass catcher.

Rob Gronkowski also hasn’t committed to playing in 2018. Gronk is a generational talent,  but Gesicki would still be a great replacement. He’s a bit faster than Gronkowski and shares his ability to come down with balls that shouldn’t be caught.

UPDATE: Gronkowski is returning, but I don’t think that changes much. Gesicki is skilled enough to still be drafted at this spot, and is a good fit in New England.

32. Philadelphia Eagles — Sony Michel, RB, Georgia

The platoon system worked well last year, but having a consistent ball carrier is important to extended success. However, Michel is used to working in a system with two running backs, so it could work again if Jay Ajayi rebounds.

Ajayi has one year left on his deal, so Michel could potentially spend this season sharing the load before becoming the lead back in 2019.