We’re barely three weeks away from the NFL’s Annual Amateur Player Selection Meeting and it’s time to start locking in our picks. For me, it’s been a solid four months since I last put together a mock draft, so there are quite a few changes in this one.
As usual, I don’t make mock trades because they rarely happen as predicted and all it’s going to do is screw up the bottom of my draft if I do. If I were to put together a couple of imaginary scenarios, I can definitely see the Buffalo Bills packaging their two first rounders to jump into the No. 2 slot. I also think New England could get into the teens with their two first rounders if there’s a quarterback left that they want.
I’ll be spring-boarding off this draft to complete perfect drafts for each team.
1. Cleveland Browns – Sam Darnold, QB – USC
I still like Mayfield the best out of this quarterback class, but Darnold is my No. 2 and, with a few exceptions, seems locked in as the Browns’ pick.
2. New York Giants – Saquon Barkley, RB – Penn State
You’ll see a lot of mocks with Jared Rosen here, but I just don’t see it. New head coach Pat Shurmer will ride with Eli Manning for at least the next two seasons. If they don’t take Barkley here, it’ll be Chubb.
3. New York Jets – (from Colts) Josh Rosen, QB – UCLA
I’ve been begging the Jets to take a quarterback for years and it appears they’ll finally pull the trigger. Rosen looks a lot like Jared Goff to me so Todd Bowles and the Jets need to take a page out of Sean McVay’s development strategy to get the most out of him.
4. Cleveland Browns – Bradley Chubb, DE – N.C. State
The Browns would love to see the Giants take Chubb, or even a quarterback, to land Barkley here. If they don’t, lining up Chubb on the opposite side from Myles Garrett isn’t a bad consolation prize. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Browns trade out of this spot and pick up an extra first rounder next season.
5. Denver Broncos – Baker Mayfield, QB – Oklahoma
I’m not ready to give up on Paxton Lynch, but it appears Denver is. Mayfield is my top quarterback in this draft and could very well be the next John Elway. He’s got the skillset.
6. Indianapolis Colts – Quenton Nelson, OG – Notre Dame
There’ll be a real desire to grab a wide receiver or defensive player at this spot (and if Chubb or Barkley falls this far, they won’t make it past), but with Andrew Luck coming back after a year off with an injury, they must invest in his protection. Nelson is the best OL in this group.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Minkah Fitzpatrick, Safety – Alabama
The Bucs are too loaded with talent to pick this high, yet here they are again. At least they get Fitzpatrick out of it for what should be Dirk Koetter’s farewell season.
8. Chicago Bears – Courtland Sutton, WR – Southern Methodist
The Bears could be looking hard at an offensive tackle or cornerback here, but they invested a high first round pick on Mitchell Trubisky last year. They need to get him some better weapons.
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