Well, the big day is finally here. The Browns are almost officially on the clock and this night promises to be an unforgettable one. After much time and deliberation, I have completed my first, second and third round projections.
This draft is one that is more unpredictable as any that I have ever experienced. From the first pick to Mr. Irrelevant, draftniks will be on the edge of their seats for the wild ride we call draft weekend.
Please enjoy responsibly and let me know what you all think in the comments section! Happy Draft Night everyone!
1. Cleveland Browns: Baker Mayfield – Quarterback – Oklahoma
Pick Analysis: Some recent mocks have projected Mayfield to slip, but I just do not see that happening. The latest rumors are that the Browns are leaning towards Mayfield in this draft and I believe it. He is mobile, fiery and has a big arm like John Dorsey’s pick last year, Pat Mahomes. Baker also has the college production to match the talent. He is probably the safer pick than Josh Allen.
2. New York Giants: Saquon Barkley – Running Back – Penn State
Pick Analysis: Saquon is the cleanest and top overall prospect in this entire draft. With the possible addition of Dez Bryant, this team will be in win-now mode and a top-tier running back can certainly help with that. An offense that boasts skill position players such as Odell Beckham Jr., Dez Bryant, Saquon Barkley and Evan Engram would be downright scary and will make them an early favorite to get back to the postseason.
3. New York Jets: Sam Darnold – Quarterback – USC
Pick Analysis: The Jets are gifted with the top-rated quarterback in the entire draft here at three. The trade that this team made to go from six to three will have paid off if it nets them Sam Darnold. The USC Signal Caller is made for the lime light in New York and would not have to play right away. He should be the bonafide starter for 2019 and beyond, once McCown retires.
4. Cleveland Browns: Bradley Chubb – Defensive End – N.C. State
Pick Analysis: While I don’t necessarily agree with the Allen selection, adding Chubb here at 4 could certainly make up for that. Chubb is easily the top defensive player available in this draft. To pair him with last year’s top overall pick, Myles Garrett would give the team a dynamic pass rushing duo for years to come. Chubb is an even more polished product than Garrett coming from college and should make an immediate impact.
5. Denver Broncos: Josh Rosen – Quarterback – UCLA
Pick Analysis: Another quarterback comes off the board in the top 5. The Broncos were reportedly enamored with Baker Mayfield early in the process, but he is long gone at this point. Rosen is possibly the safest quarterback option in the draft and most ready to play right away. This could turn into a Mike Glennon-Mitch Trubisky situation early if Case Keenum falters.
6. Indianapolis Colts: Quenton Nelson – Offensive Guard – Notre Dame
Pick Analysis: Being billed as the top interior lineman prospect in a decade, Nelson will be just what the doctor ordered for Andrew Luck. The talented signal caller for Indy has struggled to maintain good health for his career, so protection is paramount here. Nelson is a nasty run blocker and more than adequate in pass pro as well. He will be an immediate starter in Indy and should anchor this line for a long time.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Derwin James – Safety – Florida State
Pick Analysis: The 2017 season was a major setback in what promised to be an upstart season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. There are needs all over this team, but the most pressing ones belong in the secondary. Derwin James is an athletic freak who can hit like a linebacker and has the cover skills to drop down and cover slot receivers. The team gets the most bang for their buck here with the former Seminole.
8. Chicago Bears: Denzel Ward – Cornerback – Ohio State
Pick Analysis: The Bears have struggled mightily in the secondary for the past few seasons, so help is needed badly. Add in the arrival of Kirk Cousins to this division, the Bears need secondary reinforcements early in this draft. Adding Ward would be a big boost and the former Buckeye would give the team a feisty outside corner with the ability to play inside, ala Chris Harris.
9. San Francisco 49ers: Mike McGlinchey – Offensive Tackle – Notre Dame
Pick Analysis: The Niners are a team on the rise and are only a few key pieces away from really contending in Kyle Shanahan’s sophomore season. The biggest key is keeping their young stud Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo upright. Joe Staley is entering his twilight years, so a blindside successor is needed sooner than later.
10. Oakland Raiders: Roquan Smith – Linebacker – Georgia
Pick Analysis: The Raiders have been rumored to covet Roquan as their selection here at number ten. Smith was arguably the top defensive player in the entire SEC this past season. The team needs an heir apparent to NaVarro Bowman and this man is perfect for the job. Roquan has sideline to sideline range and can cover all over the field. He is a natural mike in a four-manfront and would fit perfectly in Oakland.
11. Miami Dolphins: Tremaine Edmunds – Linebacker – Virginia Tech
Pick Analysis: Edmunds is a player that could end up going much earlier than expected in this upcoming draft. For now, I have him filling a big need for Miami as an outside pass rushing presence as the strong-side linebacker next to last year’s second rounder Raekwon McMillan. The big 19-year old has unlimited upside and has the ability to rush the passer, cover tight ends and hit ball carriers with sideline-to-sideline speed.
12. Buffalo Bills: Josh Allen – Quarterback – Wyoming
Pick Analysis: There is always one guy who falls unexpectedly on draft day, and Allen is my guess here. Buffalo gets a great fit and their Quarterback of the future here with Allen. Some Twitter nonsense may cause an unexpected draft-day slide, but this is much to Buffalo’s benefit. The Wyoming gunslinger should have no problem battling the conditions during his time in Western New York.
13. Washington Redskins: Vita Vea – Defensive Tackle – Washington
Pick Analysis: The Redskins run defense suffered greatly with the loss of Chris Baker last off-season, so reinforcements are needed along the defensive line. Vea is great against the run but is also quick enough to offer some significant pass rush upside. He could end up going much earlier, but if he is available, this would be a steal for Washington.
14. Green Bay Packers: Minkah Fitzpatrick – Cornerback – Alabama
Pick Analysis: The Packers struggled mightily in the secondary last season, getting gashed repeatedly throughout the year. The NFC North has also improved vastly this offseason, so help is needed badly. Fitzpatrick, a cover corner that also can drop back into deep coverage, cover the slot and man up as a linebacker in obvious passing situations will help the Packers cover a variety of needs with a singular selection.
15. Arizona Cardinals: Lamar Jackson – Quarterback – Louisville
Pick Analysis: Jackson is one of the more intriguing talents and prospects in this entire class. It’s anyone’s guess as to where he’ll end up, but it only takes one team to pull the trigger. After signing Sam Bradford to replace the retired Carson Palmer, quarterback is no longer an immediate need, but a future starter is needed. By taking Jackson here to back up Bradford, they can allow Jackson to develop into a dynamic, long-term answer in the desert.
16. Baltimore Ravens: Mike Gesicki – Tight End – Penn State
Pick Analysis: This could be one of the few surprises of the first round, but not from a value standpoint. Gesicki had a historic Combine performance and has put himself in the number one overall Tight End conversation. No quarterbacks are left for Baltimore, so they instead choose to upgrade the weapons around Joe Flacco with a big, athletic playmaker like Gesicki.
17. San Diego Chargers: Kolton Miller – Offensive Tackle – UCLA
Pick Analysis: Miller has been rumored to be the flavor of the month at Offensive Tackle in this draft, and for good reason. He is an athletic Left Tackle prospect who can keep Phillip Rivers upright during his twilight seasons. The Chargers offensive line has been spotty at best for the past few years, so Miller will help upgrade the unit right away.
18. Seattle Seahawks: Derrius Guice – Running Back – Louisiana State
Pick Analysis: The Seahawks’ running game has been an unmitigated disaster since the loss of Marshawn Lynch. The team seemed to have found a long-term answer before UDFA Chris Carson went down with nasty ankle injury last season. Carson is back, but the team will need a true workhouse running back and they find that here with Guice. Oddly enough, many experts have compared Guice’s hard running style to Beast Mode, so this pick makes a lot of sense for Seattle.
19. Dallas Cowboys: Courtland Sutton – Wide Receiver – Southern Methodist
Pick Analysis: The Cowboys will undoubtedly be looking for a true number one receiver to replace Dez Bryant. They find their replacement right in their own backyard. Sutton is a big, physical, possession-type receiver just like Bryant was and will provide a nice complement for Allen Hurns and Cole Beasley. He’s not the explosive down-field threat that Dez was early in his career, but he can provide a nice security blanket for Dak on the outside.
20. Detroit Lions: Marcus Davenport – Defensive End – UTSA
Pick Analysis: With Ezekiel Ansah still looking for a long-term deal, the Lions can protect themselves with this selection. Davenport would have gone earlier, if not for some subpar testing at the scouting combine and a lack of great effort in the Senior Bowl. He is still a special pass-rushing talent and first round pick. The Lions draft a similar player with Ansah’s upside coming out of BYU and it certainly worked out well for them before.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Connor Williams – Offensive Tackle – Texas
Pick Analysis: Anyone who watched the Bengals offense last season knows this team is in desperate need of offensive line help. Two new bookend tackles are needed badly to protect quarterback Andy Dalton. The running game could also use a boost, where Joe Mixon figures to take over as the lead man full-time in 2018. Williams can provide help in both areas and would be a great value this late.
22. Buffalo Bills: Calvin Ridley – Wide Receiver – Alabama
Pick Analysis: The Bills already landed their franchise quarterback at 12 with Josh Allen, so they use this selection to give him a big-time weapon. The team lost Jordan Matthews to New England in Free Agency, so Ridley will start from Day One. Ridley is a great route runner and can give them a downfield threat to compliment the bigger bodied, possession receiver Kelvin Benjamin.
23. New England Patriots: D.J. Moore – Wide Receiver – Maryland
Pick Analysis: There are some varying opinions on the value of D.J. Moore. The one undeniable fact is that this man is a burner. The team traded Brandin Cooks to Los Angeles in the offseason to clear some salary, so it only makes sense to replace that deep threat here. Moore could very well end up being the top player picked at the wide receiver position, but he fits in very nicely here for New England.
24. Carolina Panthers: Josh Jackson – Cornerback – Iowa
Pick Analysis: The Panthers have been looking for secondary help since the loss of Josh Norman a few years ago. While James Bradberry has been a nice surprise, a running mate is needed on the other side. Jackson is a real ballhawk and has unbelievable ball skills. I believe Ron Rivera will love his play-making ability, confidence and tenacity enough at this position to pull the trigger here.
25. Tennessee Titans: Harold Landry – Defensive End – Boston College
Pick Analysis: Landry is a player that entered the 2017-2018 College Football season as a consensus top ten projection in this draft. Depending on who you ask, that case could still be made for him. If available for the Titans, he will provide a much-needed pass rushing boost to the Tennessee front seven.
26. Atlanta Falcons: Da’Ron Payne – Defensive Tackle – Alabama
Pick Analysis: The Falcons go back to the defensive line with this first round selection. Payne’s effort left much to be desired during the regular season, but he was arguably the most dominant overall player on the field for the College Football Playoffs. A true disrupter that will set the tone for this defense in 2018.
27. New Orleans Saints: Mason Rudolph – Quarterback – Oklahoma State
Pick Analysis: New Orleans is looking for their successor for Drew Brees in this coming draft. Mason Rudolph could be that guy. He is a big, experienced quarterback that can make all the throws and the team would not have to move up to land him. This may be a little early for some people, but I believe Rudolph finds his way into the first round tonight.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers: Rashaan Evans – Linebacker – Alabama
Pick Analysis: As much as the Steelers missed linebacker Ryan Shazier emotionally last season, there’s no question his presence was felt most on the field. The whole unit seemed to take a steep drop after the loss of the rangy playmaker, and a replacement is needed badly. Evans is a smart, athletic mike linebacker that could drop some due to his lack of elite athleticism.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars: Dallas Goedert – Tight End – South Dakota State
Pick Analysis: The Jaguars surprised a lot of teams last year on their way to the playoffs. They are completely set on defense but could use more playmakers on offense. After extending Blake Bortles this offseason, it would make a ton of sense to upgrade the weapons around him with a big RedZone option like Goedert.
30. Minnesota Vikings: Orlando Brown – Offensive Tackle – Oklahoma
Pick Analysis: Orlando may have the best tape of the Offensive Tackle prospects in this class, but his Combine performance and athletic testing may cause him to drop a bit. However, this is a plug and play offensive tackle that could fit on either side at the next level and will provide a big boost in front of new franchise Quarterback Kirk Cousins.
31. New England Patriots: Frank Ragnow – Offensive Center – Arkansas
If Tom Brady is going to continue his dominance, some help is needed along the offensive line. Ragnow is a solid run blocker and equally as adept as a pass blocker. He will upgrade the Patriots offensive line and be a starter on the interior right away. The latest rumors suggest the Patriots are very high on the former Razorback.
32. Philadelphia Eagles: Jaire Alexander – Cornerback – Louisville
Pick Analysis: With the loss of Patrick Robinson this offseason, the Eagles will likely use this pick to replenish their secondary. Alexander is a confident, feisty defender with a great nose for the ball and will fit great on this defense. The one potential weakness of the defending champs is fortified here.
33. Cleveland Browns: Maurice Hurst – Defensive Tackle – Michigan
34. New York Giants: Isaiah Wynn – Offensive Guard – Georgia
35. Cleveland Browns: Mike Hughes – Cornerback – Central Florida
36. Indianapolis Colts: Sony Michel – Running Back – Georgia
37. Indianapolis Colts: Sam Hubbard – Defensive End – Ohio State
38. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Nick Chubb – Running Back – Georgia
39. Chicago Bears: James Daniels – Offensive Center – Iowa
40. Denver Broncos: Will Hernandez – Offensive Guard – UTEP
41. Oakland Raiders: Tyrell Crosby – Offensive Tackle – Oregon
42. Miami Dolphins: Hayden Hurst – Tight End – South Carolina
43. New England Patriots: Leighton Vander Esch – Linebacker – Boise State
44. Washington Redskins: Ronald Jones – Running Back – USC
45. Green Bay Packers: Lorenzo Carter – Linebacker – Georgia
46. Cincinnati Bengals: Taven Bryan – Defensive Tackle – Florida
47. Arizona Cardinals: Christian Kirk – Wide Receiver – Texas A&M
48. Los Angeles Chargers: Ronnie Harrison – Safety – Alabama
49. Indianapolis Colts: Malik Jefferson – Linebacker – Texas
50. Dallas Cowboys: Darius Leonard – Linebacker – South Carolina State
51. Detroit Lions: Harrison Phillips – Defensive Tackle – Stanford
52. Baltimore Ravens: Uchenna Nwosu – Linebacker – Southern California
53. Buffalo Bills: Donte Jackson – Cornerback – Louisiana State
54. Kansas City Chiefs: Nathan Shepherd –Defensive Tackle – Ft. Hays State
55. Carolina Panthers: James Washington – Wide Receiver – Oklahoma State
56. Buffalo Bills: Martinas Rankin – Offensive Tackle – Mississippi State
57. Tennessee Titans: Jessie Bates – Safety – Wake Forest
58. Atlanta Falcons: Isaiah Oliver – Cornerback – Colorado
59. San Francisco 49ers – Arden Key – Defensive End – Louisiana State
60. Pittsburgh Steelers: Justin Reid – Safety – Stanford
61. Jacksonville Jaguars: Billy Price – Offensive Center – Ohio State
62. Minnesota Vikings: Anthony Miller – Wide Receiver – Memphis
63. New England Patriots: Kyle Lauletta – Quarterback – Richmond
64. Cleveland Browns: Jamarco Jones – Offensive Tackle – Ohio State
65. Buffalo Bills: Rashaad Penny – Running Back – San Diego State
66. New York Giants: Jerome Baker – Linebacker – Ohio State
67. Indianapolis Colts: Anthony Averett – Cornerback – Alabama
68. Houston Texans: Chad Thomas – Defensive End – Miami (Fla.)
69. New York Giants: Josh Sweat – Defensive End – Florida State
70. San Francisco 49ers – Dante Pettis – Wide Receiver – Washington
71. Denver Broncos: Mark Andrews – Tight End – Oklahoma
72. New York Jets: Braden Smith – Offensive Guard – Auburn
73. Miami Dolphins: Luke Falk – Quarterback –Washington State
74. San Francisco 49ers: Tony Brown – Cornerback – Alabama
75. Oakland Raiders: Kyzir White – Safety – West Virginia
76. Green Bay Packers: Tyquan Lewis – Defensive End – Ohio State
77. Cincinnati Bengals: Austin Corbett – Offensive Center – Nevada
78. Kansas City Chiefs: Dorance Armstrong Jr., Linebacker – Kansas
79. Arizona Cardinals: Kalen Ballage – Running Back – Arizona State
80. Houston Texans: Duke Dawson – Cornerback – Florida
81. Dallas Cowboys: Da’Shawn Hand – Defensive End – Alabama
82. Detroit Lions: Kerryon Johnson – Running Back – Auburn
83. Baltimore Ravens: Michael Gallup – Wide Receiver – Colorado State
84. Los Angeles Chargers:Rasheem Green – Defensive End – USC
85. Carolina Panthers:Duke Ejiofor – Defensive End – Wake Forest
86. Kansas City Chiefs: Carlton Davis – Cornerback – Auburn
87. Los Angeles Rams: Josey Jewell – Linebacker – Iowa
88. Carolina Panthers: Nyheim Hines – Running Back – N.C. State
89. Tennessee Titans: Armani Watts – Safety – Texas A&M
90. Atlanta Falcons: Jack Cichy – Linebacker – Wisconsin
91. New Orleans Saints: D.J. Chark – Wide Receiver – Louisiana State
92. Pittsburgh Steelers: Duke Dawson – Cornerback – Florida
93. Jacksonville Jaguars: Marcus Allen – Safety – Penn State
94. Minnesota Vikings:KemokoTuray – Linebacker – Rutgers
95. New England Patriots: Braxton Berrios – Wide Receiver – Miami (Fla.)
96. Buffalo Bills: Kendrick Norton – Defensive Tackle – Miami (Fla.)
97. Arizona Cardinals: Jalyn Holmes – Defensive End – Ohio State
98. Houston Texans: Ogbonnia Okoronkwo – Linebacker – Oklahoma
99. Denver Broncos: Geron Christian – Offensive Tackle – Louisville
100. Cincinnati Bengals: DaeSean Hamilton – Wide Receiver – Penn State