Mocking The Top Five Picks of the 2018 NFL Draft
With just over one month left to go before the 2018 NFL Draft, let’s take a quick look at the latest news and rumors surrounding the top five picks, while giving our prediction as to who might be taken:
- Cleveland Browns — Sam Darnold, QB, USC: While there’s an outside chance that Josh Allen is still in the running for the #1 overall pick, based off everything you hear in the news, Sam-Darnold-to-Cleveland is getting closer and closer to being a lock. The only way the Browns do not take a quarterback here would be because of trade, which appears to be highly unlikely. In other words, they’re taking a quarterback, unless they get a franchise-altering haul from a team that’s desperate to move up to this pick to grab their quarterback of preference. Things can certainly change between now and late April, but it would be a major surprise if Darnold is NOT the pick here, come draft day.
- New York Giants — Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming: The New York Giants are the mystery team of the 2018 NFL Draft, which means new General Manager Dave Gettleman is playing his cards right. With this pick, there are two schools of thought. The first is that the Giants will take a player who can help them win immediately, as they stick with Eli Manning as their quarterback. However, the other school of thought is that the Giants rarely pick this high, and when the opportunity presents itself to do so, they should capitalize on it, especially in a quarterback-rich draft. The Giants could sit Josh Allen on the bench for at least a year, if not two, while Eli Manning keeps the seat warm for the time being.
- New York Jets — Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA: According to folks around the team, the New York Jets have Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, and Josh Rosen as their top three quarterbacks, and then a clear line of demarcation between them and Baker Mayfield. In this scenario, the first two guys are gone, meaning they would (happily) take Rosen. Rosen’s personality — which you could call “rough around the edges” — reminds a lot of people of Jay Cutler’s personality. But here’s the thing: new Jets offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates actually had a very strong relationship with Cutler, as he’s viewed as one of those guys who’s smart enough and brash enough to really challenge these gun-slinging “smarter than thou”-type of quarterbacks.
- Cleveland Browns — Bradley Chubb, DE, North Carolina State: If the Browns decide not to trade this pick on draft night, there are very high odds that Cleveland goes with Bradley Chubb from NC State (assuming he’s available), because it’s no secret they’d love to continue to build their group of pass rushers which now includes Myles Garrett and Emmanuel Ogbah. One other name to keep an eye on, if they don’t trade back: cornerback Denzel Ward from Ohio State. Even after signing cornerback TJ Carrie in free agency, they still have a big need at that position.
- Denver Broncos — Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma: Regardless of what the people in the Denver Broncos front office might tell you, going into this offseason, Plan A was always to try and get Kirk Cousins, and Plan B was always to try and sign Case Keenum to a “win-now” short term deal, while they draft a quarterback to sit and wait behind Keenum. Since they clearly didn’t get Cousins, they’ll execute Plan B, especially considering Mayfield is still available with this pick. It will be difficult for the team to manage personalities, considering Mayfield will want to play right away, but that’s one area where having John Elway as a part of this organization will really help.