A lot has changed from the time I made my first mock draft after the NFL Combine.
Here’s a look at what I believe will happen on Thursday night:
- Cleveland Browns- Sam Darnold, QB, USC (Original Pick: Saquon Barkley) Darnold is the best Quarterback prospect in the draft, by far. Is there a chance Cleveland messes this up? Of course, it’s Cleveland. But they should choice Sam Darnold first overall.
- New York Giants- Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State (Original Pick: Sam Darnold)The Giants need a quarterback for when Eli Manning is done. However, Dave Gettleman, and ownership believe this team could win now. If Darnold is off the board and the Giants don’t LOVE another quarterback, they will switch their view to the dynamic, and best prospect, Saquon Barkley.
- New York Jets- Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma (Original Pick: Colts, Bradley Chubb)Is there a more exciting prospect in this draft than Baker Mayfield? Nope. The Jets finally get themselves a franchise Quarterback. Mayfield has some character questions, but he has no questions on skill.
- Cleveland Browns- Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State (Original Pick: Baker Mayfield)People are saying that Bradley Chubb is a mixture of Von Miller and Khalil Mack. Sign me up. The Browns got their franchise QB at 1, and now at four select Chubb to play alongside Miles Garrett creating a terrifying defensive end duo.
- Denver Broncos- Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA (Original Pick: Quenton Nelson)The Broncos need a quarterback, lets be honest. Case Keenum is a nice placeholder on a two-year deal. Rosen can sit and learn until his number is called, and he will be ready. His name has fallen out of taste lately, but he is the most NFL ready QB in the draft.
- Indianapolis Colts- Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame (Original Pick: Jets, Josh Rosen)The Colts NEED to start protecting Andrew Luck if they ever want that investment to pay off. Nelson is a start. Many are already calling him not just the safest pick in the draft, but calling him a future hall of famer.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama (Original Pick: Minkah Fitzpatrick)To me, Fitzpatrick is still the best Defensive Back in the draft. He can be a player in the slot and will probably play safety in the NFL. The Buccaneers make a great choice by choosing a defensive cornerstone.
- Chicago Bears- Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State (Original Pick: Marcus Davenport)Ward is the best cover corner in the draft, something the Bears have been looking for. They spend their 1st pick on Denzel Ward.
- San Francisco 49ers- Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech (Original Pick: Tremaine Edmunds)Tremaine Edmunds may be one of the most fun players in the draft. He runs like a saftley, covers like a corner and hits like a defensive end. The 49er’s add a dynamic linebacker at number 9.
- Oakland Raiders- Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia (Original Pick: Roquan Smith)In my eyes, the best defensive player in the draft. He is nothing short of a beast and he would fit in seamlessly to the Raiders defensive, that hasn’t been the hard hitting team it used to be.
- Miami Dolphins- Derwin James, S, Florida State (Original Pick: Derwin James)Miami needs secondary help. Many have the Dolphins trading up for a Quarterback. I don’t see it. Ryan Tannehill is still capable and the Dolphins can draft a QB such as Mike White later in the draft. The Dolphins keep the Florida State product in Florida.
- Buffalo Bills- Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming (Original Pick: Bengals, Connor Williams)
A lot has been made over the past few months about the Bills possibly trading up for a quarterback. If they don’t Josh Allen will be there at 12. Allen has the biggest ceiling of any quarterback prospect because of his rifle arm. To be honest, in my opinion, I think Allen stinks, but the Bills take the chance on him.
- Washington Redskins- James Daniels, C, Iowa (Original Pick: Brian O’Neill)The Redskins offensive line has been banged up, its old and it kinda stinks. James Daniels is the highest rated Center by many experts. I expect the Skins to take a look his way.
- Green Bay Packers- Vita Vea, DT, Washington (Original Pick: Carlton Davis) One of the best names in the draft, but also the best defensive tackle. Vita Vea is a beast and will help the Packers run defense tremendously, and will add some pass rushing abilities.
- Arizona Cardinals- Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville (Original Pick: Lamar Jackson)ELETRIC. That’s the best way to describe Lamar Jackson, who won a Heisman two years ago. Arizona is another team to watch trading up for a Quarterback, but if they’re smart, Lamar Jackson may fall into their laps. By the way, he won’t play wide receiver in the NFL.
- Baltimore Ravens- Harold Landry, DE, Boston College (Original Pick: Calvin Ridley)Not as appreciated as he should be, Landry is good enough to wreck a draft board. I wouldn’t be shocked to see him go even earlier, but I believe Baltimore’s struggling defense is a good fit.
- Los Angeles Chargers- Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama (Original Pick: Josh Allen)Payne was an electrifying player during Alabama’s championship run this season. The Chargers already have an insane Defensive End duo to rush the passer, but their run defense hasn’t been great. Payne will change that on the inside.
- Seattle Seahawks- Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa (Original Pick: Denzel Ward)Great combine numbers for Jackson but him in this great position. Seattle’s Legion of Boom isn’t there anymore as they recently cut ties with Richard Sherman. Josh Jackson could be a guy to fit into that roll on the LOB.
- Dallas Cowboys- Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama (Original Pick: Courtland Sutton)Calvin Ridley is another guy that could go anywhere in the first round, but Dallas lacks wide receivers. After cutting Dez Bryant, they need a number 1, and Ridley is their guy.
- Detroit Lions- Derrius Guice, RB, LSU (Original Pick: Derrius Guice)In almost any other year, Guice could be head and shoulders the best running back in the draft. Don’t be fooled, he’s only a tier below Saquon Barkley. The Lions finally figure out their running game with this pick.
- Cincinnati Bengals- Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame (Original Pick: Bills, Billy Price)The Bengals would be a lot better if they protected Andy Dalton. They helped by swapping picks with the Bills and snagging an Offensive Lineman from Buffalo, but a young controllable OT would be a huge addition.
- Buffalo Bills- Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State (Original Pick: Vita Vea)Here it is: the darkhorse pick of the first round. This will leave many just NFL fans saying, “Who?!?”. The Boise State product is hard hitting and entertaining to watch, and could be the best linebacker in the first round if he pans out.
- New England Patriots- Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA (Original Pick: Rams, Da’Ron Payne)Davenport became a hot name around the senior bowl, and his combine performance was good. He was projected higher at one time, and New England will love to take the pass rusher.
- Carolina Panthers- Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA (Original Pick: Kolton Miller)The key to Carolina’s success is Cam Newton. They just let Andrew Norwell walk and will need someone else on the line to protect Cam. Miller spent his college days protecting Josh Rosen and now will protect Cam Newton.
- Tennessee Titans- Sam Hubbard, DE, Ohio State (Original Pick: Harold Landry)Tennessee lacks defensive line production and that can change by choosing the Ohio State product with the 25th pick. He is overlooked by a lot of players in the draft, but he can be just as good, if not better.
- Atlanta Falcons- Taven Bryan, DT, Florida (Original Pick: Orlando Brown)Hot take alert: Taven Bryan will be the best NFL defensive tackle to come out of this draft. Overlooked by guys like Vita Vea and Da’Ron Payne, who grade better, but Bryan can be the best out of them all.
- New Orleans Saints- Isaiah Wynn, OG, Georgia (Original Pick: Maurice Hurst)The Saints could use another Wide Receiver, but Wynn is too good to not pick at 27. He was rated much higher earlier in the process, but tape doesn’t lie. He is good and can protect a newly paid, aging Drew Brees.
- Pittsburg Steelers- Arden Key, DE, LSU (Original Pick: Josh Jackson)He has had some character concerns. But at 28, he is way to good to not take. He will be fine, by the way. Key and Watt could make another lethal duo on Pittsburgh’s front.
- Jacksonville Jaguars- Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State (Original Pick: Mike Gesicki) I still believe Mike Gesicki will be the best Tight End to come out of the draft, but all signs point to Goedert being the first tight end taken, and the Jags really could use the security blanket across the middle of the field.
- Minnesota Vikings- Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama (Original Pick: Mike McGlinchey)Another guy who can go a lot earlier if a team liked him. But this would be an outstanding pick for the Vikings as they strengthen their strength by adding a great value pick in Rashaan Evans.
- New England Patriots- Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State (Original Pick: Arden Key)Tom Brady won’t play forever, and hey, we all know he will play this year, but there are questions floating around. Rudolph will be the 6th quarterback taken in this first round, but in my opinion is the 4th best, and will only get better playing behind the best quarterback ever.
- Philadelphia Eagles- DJ Moore, WR, Maryland (Original Pick: Isaiah Wynn)The Super Bowl champs (can’t believe I’m saying that) could continue to improve their great defense, but I think they will take a great complement to Alshon Jeffery.
That’s right- six QB’s in the first round!! Should be an exciting Draft on Thursday, and maybe even some surprise trades.
Watch out for the Bills or Cardinals to move up, and that would be most likely with Denver moving down.
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