1st-Round 2018 NFL Mock Draft: Barkley Giants, Mayfield Jets

Metro breaks down what might happen during the first round of Thursday's draft.
Saquon Barkley. (Photo: Getty Images)

1. Cleveland Browns- Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

 

It’s apparently down to Allen and Baker Mayfield for the top pick, but the Wyoming product has a cannon of an arm and all the intangibles needed to succeed in the NFL. It’s too much to pass up.

 

 

 

2. New York Giants- Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State

 

The Browns drafting a quarterback gives the Giants a chance to draft a generational talent in the backfield. Barkley is the best overall prospect in this year’s class and will flourish in the Big Apple.

 

3. New York Jets- Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma

Even with Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen available, the Jets have been high on Mayfield for the better part of the last month. The Heisman Trophy winner is a flat-out gamer and will likely redshirt his rookie season behind Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater.

 

4. Cleveland Browns- Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State

With Barkley off the board, the Browns will round out their defensive line with the best pass-rushing talent available. Chubb is an absolute force coming off the edge and will create a vaunted duo with Myles Garrett.

 

5. Buffalo Bills (from Broncos)- Sam Darnold, QB, USC

I have the Bills trading up into the top-five with the Broncos, who reportedly have made the pick available. Buffalo is desperate for a quarterback and might have the best one fall into their laps.

 

6. Indianapolis Colts- Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame

If Chubb somehow falls to No. 6, the Colts are snapping up the NC State defensive end in a flash. But with him gone in this mock, the Colts grab a vital piece for their offensive line in an attempt to protect the oft-injured Andrew Luck.

 

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Derwin James, S, Florida State

The Buccaneers need help in their secondary, especially at the safety position to support the developing Justin Evans. James is the best safety available and I see an awful lot of Kam Chancellor in him.

 

8. Chicago Bears- Roquan Smith, OLB, Georgia

The Bears need to bolster their depth chart at the outside linebacker spot. Leonard Floyd and Aaron Lynch have combined to miss 28 games over the last two seasons. Sam Acho and Isaiah Irving don’t provide much in relief. Smith would.

 

9. San Francisco 49ers- Tremaine Edmunds, ILB, Virginia Tech

San Francisco’s run defense was poor last season, ranking 22nd in the league. On top of that, 2017 first-round pick Rueben Foster has been arrested twice and charged with three felonies. Edwards provides much-needed speed on the inside.

 

10. Oakland Raiders- Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State

Oakland has been plenty active this season addressing their secondary, adding Rashaan Melvin, Senquez Golson and Shareece Wright. Ward is the best pure corner in the draft and gives the Raiders an immediate starter who can improve on a league-worst five interceptions last year.

 

11. Miami Dolphins- Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA

Ryan Tannehill’s absence last year made it clear just how much the Dolphins need to find a passer of the future. Nabbing a talent like Rosen could be huge as this is a mechanically sound passer with a strong arm who is of a pocket-first mindset.

 

12. Denver Broncos (from Bills)- Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa

While the Broncos need a quarterback, they also require help in the secondary more after trading Aqib Talib to the Rams. Case Keenum and Paxton Lynch will have to hold things down while John Elway picks up the second-best corner in the draft.

 

13. Washington Redskins- Vita Vea, DL, Washington

With the worst run defense in the NFL last season, the Redskins have to find an interior lineman that can help clog up running lanes and slow opposing offenses down. At 6-foot-5, 332 pounds, Vea is their guy.

 

14. Green Bay Packers- Minkah Fitzpatrick, S, Alabama

Entering March, the Packers looked poised to address the cornerback position. But the loss of Morgan Burnett in free agency will “force” them to take Fitzpatrick, a fantastic coverage safety and playmaker.

 

15. Arizona Cardinals- Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama

There is no doubt the Cardinals could use a quarterback even after signing Sam Bradford to a two-year deal. I believe they won’t be able to move up and aren’t high enough on Lamar Jackson to take a QB here. Instead, they’ll draft Ridley, Larry Fitzgerald’s successor.

 

16. Baltimore Ravens- Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina

Joe Flacco is no spring chicken. At 33 years old, he needs all the help he can get in the passing game. After signing Michael Crabtree, the Ravens can get Flacco a big-play tight end in Hurst.

 

17. Los Angeles Chargers- Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama

The Chargers are set on the outside of their defensive line with Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. The same can’t be said about their interior. Ranked the second-worst run defense in the league, Payne gives LA a stellar athlete in a big package.

 

18. Seattle Seahawks- Mike McGlinchey, OG, Notre Dame

Russell Wilson continues to run for his life behind an offensive line that has done little to protect him over the past few years. McGlinchey provides a stud of an option. They don’t pick again until No. 120, so don’t be surprised if they trade down.

 

19. Dallas Cowboys- D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland

The release of Dez Bryant suddenly leaves the Cowboys yearning for receiving help. Moore has the assets to become a weapon in a Dak Prescott-led offense as an agile route-runner with an ability to pick up yards after the catch.

 

20. Detroit Lions- Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA

With Haloti Ngata having gone and signed with the Eagles, all pass-rushing pressure falls on the shoulders of the franchise-tagged Ziggy Ansah. Davenport is coming off a solid senior season in which he racked up 8.5 sacks and 17.5 tackles for loss.

 

21. Cincinnati Bengals- Will Hernandez, OG, UTEP

The Bengals rushing offense averaged just 3.6 yards per carry last season and could use some added muscle on the inside. Hernandez is a fierce run blocker and isn’t afraid to be aggressive in order to move the pile.

 

22. Denver Broncos (from Bills)- Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU

Their second pick obtained from the Bills will land the Broncos a weapon for Keenum. Sutton is an obvious candidate to be a deep threat given his size and can pull of Odell Beckham Jr.-like catches.

 

23. New England Patriots- Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama

Dont’a Hightower is New England’s only consistent contributor when it comes to the linebacking situation. This is an explosive pass rusher off the edge who can dictate the play with his ability to recognize plays.

 

24. Carolina Panthers- Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M

Torrey Smith and Devin Funchess simply are not enough for quarterback Cam Newton, the star Panthers QB who needs a true No. 1 receiver after Kelvin Benjamin was traded. Kirk isn’t the biggest receiver, but he’s a burner who is tough to catch when in the open field.

 

25. Tennessee Titans- Harold Landry, DE, Boston College

The Titans have been unable to generate much of a pass rush on the edge lately, but Landry can change all that. This is a pass rusher who will keep opposing blockers on their toes thanks to an arsenal of moves and is fast enough to chase down many would-be ball carriers.

 

26. Atlanta Falcons- Taven Bryan, DT, Florida

Atlanta’s defensive line looked bad enough in their postseason loss to the Eagles, but it’s in even worse shape after Dontari Poe joined Carolina. A disruptive tackle like Bryan is just what they need.

 

27. New Orleans Saints- Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville

It’s clear the Saints want a quarterback after missing out on Pat Mahomes last year. They can tab Jackson as Drew Brees’ successor thanks to a big arm that still needs some developing. It can do just that learning under Brees.

 

28. Pittsburgh Steelers- Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State

The Steelers have to prepare for a future without Ryan Shazier and Vander Esch would be a step in the right direction. Pittsburgh is high on the Boise State alum, who is a nightmare when blitzing.

 

29. Jacksonville Jaguars- Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA

The Jaguars could complete their offensive line in the draft after signing Andrew Norwell last month. Miller is deceptively athletic and is competent in both the run and pass block.

 

30. Minnesota Vikings- Billy Price, C, Ohio State

Kirk Cousins and Dalvin Cook need an upgrade in protection, especially on the inside of Minnesota’s offensive line. While he’s naturally a center, Price can slot in at guard and take on a defense’s biggest, baddest nose tackle.

 

31. New England Patriots- Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville

After nabbing a linebacker, the Patriots address their largest need in a cornerback. The departure of Malcolm Butler is leaving New England thin in the secondary and bringing on Alexander would be a much-needed injection of youth and speed.

 

32. Philadelphia Eagles- Sony Michel, RB, Georgia

LeGarrette Blount joined the Lions this offseason and Jay Ajayi is a free agent in 2019. Michel provides depth in the backfield along with the promise of developing into an every-down back in a few years.

 
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