2018 NFL Mock Draft: Baker Mayfield second QB drafted, Saquon Barkley falls out of top 10
We’re closing in on the one week mark until the 2018 NFL Draft, and it’s entirely possible that this draft becomes the most bonkers draft we’ve seen in years. The NFL offseason has been wild, full of trades all over the place and just generally insane.
Expect it to continue in the draft. In fact, most everyone who does a mock draft has been throwing trades in, even though that’s something you don’t often see. It’s just that obvious teams will be flying all over the place in order to make moves for quarterbacks.
In the latest version of my mock draft, which I suppose is my next-to-last mock, I tested out an idea that Pete Prisco mentioned on the Pick Six Podcast (subscribe on iTunes here to get a daily, 30-minute, NFL-related podcast sent to your app every day): what happens if Saquon Barkley falls?
It’s not that crazy an idea. I’ve had him going No. 7 to the Buccaneers in several mocks so far this year. The widespread assumption is that Barkley will simply go in the top five because that’s where running backs are drafted now (again). But the reality is there are four franchise quarterbacks who are going to get a lot of attention. And there are a few more blue-chip prospects that might push a guy like Barkley down out of the top five. If that happens, it’s possible the teams sitting there in the No. 7 to No. 11 range end up passing on him. He could certainly end up going No. 2 overall too. Nothing would surprise. But don’t be stunned if he falls down the board a bit. Here we have him doing just that.
We also have two mock trades for quarterbacks. First up are the Bills, who leap up to No. 4 in an expensive trade with the Browns (Buffalo gives up their two first-round picks this year, a first-round pick next year and a third-round pick to move from No. 12 to No. 4). It’s just going to be expensive to get one of these quarterbacks. In this case, it’s Sam Darnold, with the Jets passing on Darnold to take Baker Mayfield.
And then Miami also moves up to get Josh Rosen, when he dips outside of the top five. They make a move with the Colts, giving up a future first and their first-round pick this year in order to secure a franchise quarterback as well.
That’s a lot to unpack and it doesn’t remotely feel like it’s crazy enough to actually capture the real situation that’s going to unfold next Thursday.
1. Cleveland Browns
Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming: The big-armed quarterback fits the mold of Patrick Mahomes, the last first-round pick that John Dorsey drafted, and could sit behind Tyrod Taylor. Ultimately he’s got the most upside and it might be tough to pass up.
2. New York Giants
3. New York Jets (via Indianapolis Colts)
Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma: The Jets are doing their due diligence on Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen now too, but in this iteration they snag Mayfield as the second QB of the board.
4. Buffalo Bills (via mock trade with Browns (from Texans))
Sam Darnold, QB, USC: Brandon Beane can’t believe his eyes. His top quarterback on the board is there at No. 4 overall, so he packages No. 12, No. 22, No. 65 and a future first-round pick to move up to No. 4 and grabs Darnold.
5. Denver Broncos
6. Miami Dolphins (via mock trade with Colts (from Jets))
Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA: Appearing on the Pick Six Podcast (subscribe here for a daily, 30-minute dose of NFL news in your podcast app), Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald said that . He gets a shot to quench his thirst with a trade up to add a franchise quarterback.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Derwin James, DB, Florida State: The Buccaneers could certainly go Saquon Barkley here, but instead decide to grab a defensive back who can play all over the field and immediately improve their defense.
8. Chicago Bears
Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia: The Bears would love to see Nelson here, but instead decide to go with a guy who can inject some speed and athleticism into the second level of their defense right off the bat.
9. San Francisco 49ers
Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State: Another team that could pass on a running back, thanks to their free-agent investment. The 49ers instead decide to add a top defensive talent across the field from Richard Sherman.
10. Oakland Raiders
Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama: It wouldn’t be shocking if Jon Gruden dipped into the running back pool, especially with Doug Martin and Marshawn Lynch living on borrowed time. But the Raiders have much more important needs, especially on defense.
11. Indianapolis Colts (via mock trade with Dolphins)
Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State: Chris Ballard would get high marks if he pulls this off, as it would mean he managed to trade down twice and still come away with one of the top-tier prospects at a position of need for the Colts. Barkley could do a lot to ease the burden on Andrew Luck.
12. Cleveland Browns (via mock trade with Bills (from Bengals))
Harold Landry, EDGE, Boston College: And credit John Dorsey for moving all over the board as well. Piling up a huge haul from the Bills to move down nets the Browns a key defensive piece and their top choice at quarterback with more picks to come.
13. Washington Redskins
14. Green Bay Packers
Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State: The Packers should be in pretty good shape on the offensive side of the ball, and it’s hard not to imagine them investing heavily in the defensive side to start the draft.
15. Arizona Cardinals
16. Baltimore Ravens
17. Los Angeles Chargers
18. Seattle Seahawks
19. Dallas Cowboys
20. Detroit Lions
Da’Ron Payne, DL, Alabama: Matt Patricia can invest in a defensive anchor out of the gate by landing Payne here and plugging him into the middle of his defensive line.
21. Cincinnati Bengals (via Buffalo Bills)
22. Buffalo Bills from Chiefs
Kolton Miller, OL, UCLA: The Browns would be able to, in this scenario, leave the first round with a passer, a pass rusher and a potential franchise left tackle. People will sing the praises of John Dorsey out of the gate here.
23. New England Patriots
24. Carolina Panthers
25. Tennessee Titans
26. Atlanta Falcons
27. New Orleans Saints
28. Pittsburgh Steelers
29. Jacksonville Jaguars
Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama: The Jaguars have put a lot of resources into the wideout position, but it’s not hard to look at the group they have and see that it could use some upgrades over the long haul.
30. Minnesota Vikings
Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado: The Vikings draft their cornerbacks when it looks like they don’t need them, so they can learn Mike Zimmer’s system and get ready to play when the depth ahead of them disappears.
31. New England Patriots
Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa: Bill Belichick typically invests early in front seven players, but this cornerback class is really deep and it’s going to end up with guys falling down the draft board because of needs for teams elsewhere.
32. Philadelphia Eagles
Derrius Guice, RB, LSU: They don’t need a running back, but Guice could give them another body to throw out there. Having tons of talent at the position helped in a massive way down the stretch last year.