NFL Mock Draft 2.0
1. Cleveland Browns: Saquon Barkley (RB, Penn State)
As the weeks go on, I feel more pressure to believe that the Browns will select their future quarterback here with the first pick in the draft. However, I’ll continue to stick with my gut and say that they take the best player in the draft. Barkley’s stock will only continue to rise, especially after he dominates at his pro day.
2. New York Giants: Sam Darnold (QB, USC)
If Barkley goes number one, the Giants will have plenty of options here, including trading out of the pick. However, I say they keep it, and instead take the best quarterback in the draft. Darnold will take a couple years to sit behind Eli, similar to what Aaron Rodgers did with Brett Favre many years ago.
3. New York Jets: Josh Rosen (QB, UCLA)
The Jets just signed Teddy Bridgewater who is coming off injury. Shortly after, they announced the re-signing of last year’s starting quarterback, Josh McCown. However, even after that, the Jets still made the big move everyone was anticipating and traded up for the third overall pick. For a franchise that has struggled at quarterback since the days of Joe Namath, you have to believe the only reason this trade was made was to grab their franchise signal caller. Having Rosen sit behind McCown until he is ready isn’t the worst plan in the world.
4. Cleveland Browns: Josh Allen (QB, Wyoming)
If the Browns can manage to grab the best running back prospect in years, AND the quarterback they have wanted all along, then I would consider this a massive win for the Browns. Allen would also sit behind new quarterback Tyrod Taylor for a couple games, but do not be fooled. This will be his team shortly enough. Time to begin a new era of football in Cleveland.
5. Denver Broncos: Minkah Fitzpatrick (DB, Alabama)
With Case Keenum firmly locked in as the new starting quarterback in Denver, it would be wise to take the best defensive player available. After shipping Aqib Talib to the Rams, the Broncos should think about taking their new leader of the secondary.
6. Indianapolis Colts: Bradley Chubb (DE, NC State)
This would be best case scenario for the Colts. They trade back, accumulate more picks for the future, and still get the best pass-rusher in the draft. Huge win for new General Manager Chris Ballard and his staff.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tremaine Edmunds (LB, Virginia Tech)
The Buccaneers will need to address their running back situation later in the draft. But for now, they take the best player available. Edmunds will contribute immediately. Look for a potential DROY candidate.
8. Chicago Bears: Quenton Nelson (OG, Notre Dame)
Between Trubisky, Jordan Howard, and new wide receiver Allen Robinson the Bears are all in on offense. They should take the best lineman in the draft, to ensure that Trubisky and Howard can flourish.
9. Buffalo Bills (PROJECTED TRADE WITH 49ERS): Baker Mayfield (QB, Oklahoma)
Last week the Bills traded away LT Cordy Glenn to Cincinnati for the 12th overall pick. Here, I have them trading that same pick to the 49ers in order to take their franchise quarterback. The 49ers have a lot of needs to fill, but none more pressing than the other. Therefore, look for John Lynch to trade this pick away. If this does happen, Mayfield will be competing with both Nathan Peterman and AJ McCarron for the starting job.
10. Oakland Raiders: Denzel Ward (DB, Ohio State)
Raiders just cut ties with David Amerson and Sean Smith. They will answer here by taking one of the top defensive backs. Ward and Conley, two former Buckeyes, will once again be playing beside each other in the black hole.
11. Miami Dolphins: Vita Vea, (DT, Washington)
The Dolphins very well could trade up or take a quarterback here. However, the Dolphins will more than likely be releasing Ndamukong Suh as soon as the new league year starts. It won’t take long for them to find their replacement. Vea is the best defensive tackle in the draft, and will get his chance to be a key player right away. Tannehill will get one more year to prove he can be the guy.
12. San Francisco 49ers (PROJECTED TRADE WITH BILLS): Derwin James (S, Florida State)
The 49ers just signed Richard Sherman. Paired with Eric Reid and Derwin James, the 49ers could very well be the Legion of Boom 2.0
13. Washington Redskins: Roquan Smith (LB, Georgia)
Like many teams, the Redskins have many needs. But first, they need to address the fact that they had the worst rushing defense in all of football last year. Drafting Smith here makes complete sense and will give them a defensive leader both on and off the field for years to come.
14. Green Bay Packers: Calvin Ridley (WR, Alabama)
The Packers missed out on the Allen Robinson sweepstakes, and parted ways with longtime receiver Jordy Nelson. They could easily find his replacement here. Between Ridley, Jimmy Graham, and Davante Adams, this passing offense could be one of the best in football. Look out for Ridley to be an early favorite for OROTY
15. Arizona Cardinals: Lamar Jackson (QB, Louisville)
The Cardinals are in rebuild mode after losing their head coach and Carson Palmer. They signed Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon, but don’t be surprised if they take their future franchise QUARTERBACK here. Jackson will remain a Cardinal in a different city, and just imagine the potential of an offense where you have Jackson, David Johnson, and Larry Fitzgerald.
16. Baltimore Ravens: Orlando Brown (OT, Oklahoma)
I easily could see the Ravens going wide receiver here, but instead I think they choose to take Brown. It also helps that his dad played for them as well.
17. Los Angeles Chargers: Marcus Davenport (LD/DE, UTSA)
Chargers have a lot of options here. However, if they take Davenport and put him on the other end of Joey Bosa they could create the best pass rush in football.
18. Seattle Seahawks: Derrius Guice (RB, LSU)
The Seahawks shipped away their entire defense this offseason, so they very well could look to rebuild starting here. They also will be looking to sign a free agent running back like DeMarco Murray, but if they don’t, I believe they will take Guice here to take some of the pressure off Russel Wilson.
19. Dallas Cowboys: Mike Hughes (CB, UCF)
With Orlando Scandrick gone to the rival Redskins, the Cowboys can get some help at defensive back. They’re going to need it when they play inside a division with Alex Smith, Carson Wentz, Eli Manning and potentially one of the best quarterbacks in this draft.
20. Detroit Lions: Maurice Hurst (DT, Michigan)
The Lions haven’t been able to find a replacement for Suh since he left a couple seasons ago. They can finally solve that problem, and they won’t even have to look very far.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Sam Hubbard (DE, Ohio State)
Both of the Bengals pass rushers in Michael Johnson and Carlos Dunlap are set to hit free agency. Assuming they can’t resign both, they will look to fill that need here. Hubbard is a great scheme fit, and one of the best pass rushers in the draft.
22. Buffalo Bills: Christian Kirk (WR, Texas A&M)
Assuming they get their quarterback early in the draft, they need to be thinking about getting more weapons offensively. They very well could take an offensive tackle here, but instead choose a speedy wide out to complement Kelvin Benjamin.
23. Los Angeles Rams: Rashaan Evans (LB, Alabama)
Rams have made plenty of moves this offseason, including shipping their starting middle linebacker to the Giants. They can get their replacement here.
24. Carolina Panthers: Courtland Sutton (WR, SMU)
Panthers can either choose to add another weapon for Cam Newton or go best defensive player available. I say they go Sutton and give Cam a physical and speedy wide receiver to help out Curtis Samuel and Devin Funchess.
25. Tennessee Titans: Billy Price (C/OG, Ohio State)
Despite tearing his pectoral at the combine, Price is still one of the most talented lineman in the entire draft. He is versatile enough to play both guard and center, meaning he is a great fit to help block for Marcus Mariota and Derrick Henry for years to come.
26. Atlanta Falcons: Isiah Wynn (OG, Georgia)
The Falcons are best when their run game is as strong as their passing attack. Wynn will help to sure up their offensive line, and it doesn’t hurt that he went to school only an hour away.
27. New Orleans Saints: Mike McGlinchey (OT, Notre Dame)
I really wanted to say that the Saints would draft Gesicki here, but they will instead take an offensive tackle to replace the retired Zach Streif.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers: Leighton Vander Esch (LB, Boise State)
Steelers could shock the world and take Mason Rudolph here, but instead I believe they will draft one of the best line backers in the draft, filling the void left by Ryan Shazier’s devastating injury.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars: Mike Gesicki (TE, Penn State)
The Jaguars have a defense that is ready to win a championship right now. They already have a franchise running back, meaning they will go either quarterback, wide receiver or tight end. I believe they give Bortles one more year, and give him a massive red zone target in the form of the 6’6 tight end. If not Gesicki, look for the speedster from LSU DJ Chark.
30. Minnesota Vikings: Da’Ron Payne (DT, Alabama)
The Vikings will most likely just end up trading out of this pick, or taking best player available. Payne gives them an extra dimension to their already dangerous defensive line.
31. New England Patriots: Harold Landry (OLB, Boston College)
The Patriots desperately need another pass rusher. Landry will fill that spot nicely.
32. Philadelphia Eagles: Connor Williams (OT, Texas)
If Eagles fans are lucky, Jason Peters has one more season left in him. With the last pick in the first round they grab their future franchise tackle.
Jason Marcus is a junior majoring in telecommunications. To contact him, email at email@example.com.
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Junior / Telecommunications