Draft season is firing up! The CFB season has finished up with a dramatic comeback win by Alabama against Georgia, and the Divisional round of the NFL Playoffs are this weekend. In-between wondering how incredible a Blake Bortles vs Nick Foles Super Bowl will be, or what kind of herbs Alex Guerrero is rubbing on Tom Brady’s thumb, we’ll take an early look at this years NFL Draft.
1. Cleveland Browns- Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
This years draft see’s a plethora of first round quarterbacks. Come Draft Day, don’t be surprised to see six QB’s taken by pick 32. With the First pick, the Brown’s go Josh Rosen.
It’s early, but Rosen looks like he’ll be the first QB taken. Rosen has impressed on the field, and been just as impressive off the field. Rosen had some sincere, transparent comments regarding the process coming out of school early and where he’d want to be drafted. Comments that included Rosen hinting at not wanting to go play for the Browns.
The Brown’s will take Rosen, and Hue Jackson will shape the offense to tailor Rosen’s skill set. The Brown’s are flush with cash this offseason too to improve said offense.
2. New York Giants- Sam Darnold, QB, USC
The David Gettleman era has begun in NYC.
Darnold has been mocked in the Top 5 of this draft since last season. He’ll have a shot to go to the Browns twice and the Giants here. Barring a trade by either the Bronco’s or Jets, he’s a Giant.
Eli will still be a Giant to start 2018, but if it’s another 0-3 start with Odell and the defense healthy, Darnold could take the torch from Eli early and will fall into a really solid situation.
3. Indianapolis Colts- Bradley Chubb, DE, N.C. State
Saquon Barkley could have gone here, but the Colts will continue to build up their depleted defense.
Chubb is a stud defensive end, and the best one in this draft class. The Colts defensive front is one of the worst in the league and lacks true star power. Chubb had 25 career sacks in his three years as a starter, and 54.5 tackles for a loss. He’ll be a disruptive force in the backfield at the next level.
4. Cleveland Browns– Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
The Browns are looking for a full revamp on offense. Barkley is a true three down back. He was a monster at Penn State.
Barkley had over 5,000 career scrimmage yards in his three season, including 51 touchdowns. The Browns already have a decent offensive line. Barkley should be able to find success immediately in the NFL, which can finally open up a real passing game.
5. Denver Broncos- Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
Elway will not wait to develop Paxton Lynch. His team is in turmoil. The defense hates the offense, the offense sucks, and people in Denver already want Vance Joseph fired. Elway is looking to grab is 2018 starter NOW.
The Broncos have already expressed interest in Mayfield. At the Senior Bowl, the Broncos have already requested to coach him. A solid Senior Bowl could seal the deal for Elway.
6. New York Jets- Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
This is a tough spot for the Jets. They have absolutely no optimism for Bryce Petty and especially Christian Hackenberg as their future quarterbacks. And even if Josh McCown comes back for another season, it will probably be his last.
The Jets need to think about the future now, and they won’t be able to wait. There are a lot of question marks around Allen’s game. But he has shown flashes of brilliance. He also has the perfect build of a quarterback, and not to mention he has a cannon for an arm.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Minkah Fitzpatrick, S, Alabama
The Bucs had an awful 2017 season. Some people had Super Bowl aspirations for them this year. Not even close.
The Bucs should look to spend in free agency and draft capital on their pass rush. They ranked dead last this season in sacks. Landry had an injury shortened Senior year, but had a monster junior season. He had 16.5 sacks and 7 forced fumbles. He was so disruptive.
But at this point they need to take the best player available. Fitzpatrick is a huge playmaker in the secondary, something the Bucs have been lacking.
8. Chicago Bears- Cortland Sutton, WR, SMU
The Bears need to get top draft pick Mitch Trubisky someone to throw the ball to. The Bears have arguably the worst receiving core in the league. Sutton will step in and be the big, outside threat this offense thought Kevin White would be.
9. San Fransisco 49ers- Connor Williams, OT, Texas
The Niners went out and got their franchise QB in Jimmy G. First, they need to resign or tag him. Next, they need to protect him. The Niners went undefeated with their new quarterback. They look like a completely different team.
Williams is the top OT in the draft, and will be tasked with protecting Jimmy G’s blind side.
10. Oakland Raiders- Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
If you watched the Rose Bowl, you’ll know the name Roquan Smith. He was everywhere. The Raiders need another playmaker on defense besides Khalil Mack, and Smith can do just that.
The Raiders went from being AFC favorites this offseason to completely inept on offense and defense. They need help everywhere, but Smith is the best available here.
11. Miami Dolphins- Harold Landry, DE, Boston College
The Dolphins seem to always be a team that’s close to breaking through. On defense, they have a dominate front 4, and a good secondary. But that front-seven is aging.
Cameron Wake is seeing his dominate career start to wrap up. They need a succession plan. Landry was a force at BC. He was disrutpive in the backfield, and the Dolphins will need to sustain this pressure if Tom Brady plays until 45.
12. Cincinnati Bengals– Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
The Bengals offense took a 180 this season. The offensive line was awful thanks in part to LT Andrew Whitworth heading to the Rams. Coincidentally, the Rams went from the 32nd to 1st ranked offense. The Bengals need to find another cornerstone LT here.
13. Washington Redskins- Derwin James, S, Florida State
This pick is dependent on whether or not Washington signs Kirk Cousin’s or not. And as of now, it looks like Cousins is gone. If he’s gone, they could go quarterback here. I don’t see them making another RGIII trade to move up for their guy.
But for now, they take the BPA. James is a freak athlete on the field. Derwin didn’t have a ton of turnovers, but he was a tackling machine at safety, a quality all coaches love.
14. Green Bay Packers- Joshua Jackson, CB, Iowa
Once the Packers lost Aaron Rodgers to a broken collarbone we knew their season was over. There’s a number of ways they could use this pick, but it’s best spent on the secondary. The Packers defense is average at best. They need to add some playmakers. And Jackson’s 8 picks his Junior year will certainly help.
15. Arizona Cardinals- Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
Carson Palmer is now retired. They need to find their new franchise quarterback now.
Jackson was arguably the most electrifying player in college over the last few seasons. Anyone who tells you he’s a wide receiver is wrong. Jackson is a great quarterback who can read a defense. It also helps he can run like a running back.
16. Baltimore Ravens- Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
The Ravens NEED offensive playmakers. They have virtually none. Alex Collins had a nice season, but you have to wonder if he was another flash in the pan like Justin Forsett.
Guice might be just as good of a runner as Barkley. But one thing that has separated the two is Barkley’s ability to catch the ball. Guice wasn’t targeted much at LSU, but given the chance he has the talent to be a difference maker on this offense.
17. Los Angeles Chargers- Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame
Chargers will take the BPA here. Nelson is a monster on interior line. The Chargers struggled all season in the run and pass game due to inferior line play. Nelson stepping in will see immediate improvement in both areas.
18. Seattle Seahawks- Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma
Doesn’t matter who’s available here, the Seahawks are taking an offensive lineman. Their line is horrifically bad. If it weren’t for Russell Wilson, the Seahawks are picking in the top ten.
19. Dallas Cowboys- Maurice Hand, DT, Michigan
It was a Sophomore slump all around for the Cowboys. Their offense looked uninspired and checked out. And their defense lacked top end talent, especially on their interior defensive line. They’ll need a DT who can get in the backfield.
20. Detroit Lions- Sam Hubbard, EDGE, Ohio State
New coach Matt Patricia will look to add a new defensive playmaker, especially someone who can get after the quarterback. The Lions ranked in the bottom half of the league in sacks and tackles for loss. Hubbard can hopefully step in and be a breath of fresh air.
21. Buffalo Bills- Tre Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
The Bills will continue to build up their defense here on the first of their back to back picks. Edmunds was very productive at Virginia Tech, He’s an efficient tackler, with 108 last season. He always found a way in the backfield, too. He totaled 10 sacks in his career and an impressive 33 tackles for loss.
22. Buffalo Bills- Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State
The sixth quarterback to go in the first round! The Bills have made it no secret they don’t want Tyrod Taylor, even though he’s a pretty good quarterback. But the Bills want their franchise guy. Rudolph was very efficient last season. He threw for almost 5,000 yards, a nice 4:1 touchdown to interception ratio, and a 65% completion percentage. The Bills get a nice pickup here.
23. Los Angeles Rams- Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama
The Rams did not get much out of their linebackers last season. Alec Ogletree has been rough the last few seasons, and it might be time to replace him. Evans was a versatile inside linebacker that will fit well in Wade Phillips scheme.
24. Carolina Panthers- Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
The Panther need help at Receiver, Offensive Line and Cornerback. But the most glaring need is receiver. The Panthers need to do something to help Cam Newton. Aside from flashes from Devin Funchess, they got nothing. Ridley will be a breath of fresh air as the Panthers look to complete their offense.
25. Tennessee Titans- Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama
The second Alabama safety is off the board. This will be an interesting pick for the Titans. They should look for an upgrade over Jonathan Cyprien though. Cyprien got picked on a ton last season, and they’ll look to complement fellow stud safety Kevin Byard.
26. Atlanta Falcons- Derrick Nnadi, DT, Florida State
With Dontari Poe expected to hit free agency, they’ll have a large gap to fill. Nnadi is a powerful DT who has no problems getting to the quarterback. He had 12 sacks and 24.5 tackles for loss in his career.
27. Pittsburgh Steelers- Micah Kiser, LB, Virginia
The Steelers have pretty big needs at ILB, S, EDGE and QB. I think Kiser fits the biggest need at the moment. With the awful injury to Ryan Shazier, he won’t be back. Kiser was wildly productive at Virginia. In his four years, he averaged over 100 tackles per year.
28. New Orleans Saints- Billy Price, C, Ohio State
The Saints need a big upgrade on the interior line, and Price will be a nice pickup. Price is the best and most ready Center in this draft. He’s versatile enough to kick out to Guard, as well.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars- Brian O’Neil, OT, Pittsburgh
The Jaguars need a quarterback, and lots of other help on their offense. Their offensive line in terrible, especially their OT’s. Brian O’Neil will be competing for a starting spot out of camp. Cam Robinson was terrible this season.
30. Philadelphia Eagles- Vita Vea, DT, Washington
The Eagles would like to upgrade the LT spot after Jason Peters tore his pectoral muscle, and he’ll be 35 next season. But with no talent available here, they’ll look to upgrade on the DL. Vea has garnered some Haloti Ngata comparisons. He’ll also provide some nice depth at the position as well.
31. Minnesota Vikings- Braden Smith, OG, Auburn
The Vikings might be the most complete team in the NFL. But their offensive line is mediocre at best. Smith could easily come in next season and be one of their best lineman. They could also look for some CB depth here as well.
32. New England Patriots- Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas
The Patriots linebacking core is awful. Dont’a Hightower is their only real playmaker there. And he can never finish a season healthy. Jefferson was very a efficient tackler, had over 100 last season, and was disruptive in the backfield. He had 10 tackles for loss and 4 sacks last season.