1. Cleveland Browns (@DFF_Thebrain) – Sam Darnold QB USC-
All signs point to the Cleveland Browns taking a signal caller at number 1. Which one is the question? Darnold has high upside, a good attitude and will represent the franchise well. I think these are all things new GM John Dorsey will value. While I am higher on Rosen, I think this pick is a good one for the future of the franchise.
2. NY Giants (@DFF_Feuker) – Josh Rosen QB UCLA
37 years and 1 year. The first number is Eli Manning’s age, and the second is how many years Odell Beckham has left on his contract. I am not trying to imply that Beckham won’t resign because of Eli’s age, but you know it has to play into his future. This is a cookie cutter pick to be quite honest. Rosen wants to go to the Giants, and you would think the Giants want Rosen.
Incoming head coach Pat Shurmur can put his stamp on his team by getting a quarterback who can learn under Eli and take over sooner rather than later. Get past the tools and God-given talent we all know that, but my favorite thing about Rosen is his ability and willingness to grind out tape Monday through Friday. Rest assured Giants fans with Rosen at pick #2, and you won’t be picking this high again for a long, long time. (input 2/26 by doc unedited erase when done)
3. Indianapolis Colts ( @DFFMemphis) – Bradley Chubb DE
The Colts could go a lot of different directions here, including Saquon Barkley, but that move doesn’t make sense. The free agent running backs and a deep running back draft make this a need the Colts may have already addressed via free agency. Or again, they could choose to address it later in this draft. The defensive ends/edge rushers available the offseason aren’t quite as plentiful. Enter Bradley Chubb, arguably the best player overall in this draft and the best defensive end available this offseason. Chubb is a day one starter that will fill that pass rush void, which is an immediate need for the Colts.
4. Cleveland Browns (From Houston) (@DFF_Thebrain)- Minkah Fitzpatrick DB Alabama
The Browns have a lot of different holes to fill, and after addressing the biggest one of QB with the first pick the Browns are in a great position here to take the best player on the board. Fitzpatrick is the best player in this draft in my opinion and makes a lot of sense here for the Browns. The secondary is a significant need and width recent news of Jabrill Peppers playing more of a box safety role (which is his strength) it makes even more sense for the Browns to target the rangy Fitzpatrick.
5. Denver Broncos (@DFFDynastyDude) – Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
The free agent signing of Kirk Cousins would obviously change things here; the Broncos would likely draft an offensive lineman, an offensive playmaker (Saquon Barkley?), or trade back in the first round. But I truly believe that – though it will damage John Elway’s pride – the Broncos will dodge a $60 million-guaranteed bullet and lose the Cousins derby. Rather than a good 29-year old QB, they land a 22-year old superstar with leadership qualities and electric playmaking abilities. Mayfield is instant offense and the long-term QB solution Denver has been craving for nearly four years.
6. N.Y. Jets (@DynastyDogg) – Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame
Biggest needs for the Jets are QB, OL (everywhere), WR, and RB. Skill position has potential everywhere but nothing that screams elite. The pick that makes the most sense here is Saquon Barkley. I debated heavily whether I should send in the card for him or not. The Jets also need OL help as well, and at risk of being cliche, I still believe that games are won in the trenches first. Quentin Nelson out of Notre Dame is probably the best OG prospect in recent memory for me. Nasty attitude. Tough as nails. Versatile. You need it in a player; he’s got it. For me, he is arguably the safest call in this draft which gives him the nod over Barkley.
This draft is also blessed with a bounty of RB’s to choose from in the later rounds. With two 2nd round picks coming and no real options after Nelson on the OL, I’m happy to take the best option this draft has to offer and get me a Guice, Michel, Chubb, etc. in the 2nd. Possibly the best WR available. Could also let the offense run with Powell and McGuire (who I still really like) through next season. The best part of taking Nelson is it opens up the rest of the draft with options to pursue.
This is also based on the assumption that the Jets are going to give Cousins a blank check contract as rumored. Otherwise, I’d have to heavily consider QB there. With the way the board fell, Nelson may still be my guy over Allen who is the best QB available. Maybe trade down.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@NFLscoutTampa) – Derwin James, S, FSU
With, Chubb, Fitzpatrick, and Nelson all gone, James is the worst-case scenario in terms of the way this mock fell. However, he is still a playmaker on a defense that was largely devoid of disruptive plays in 2017. He slides into the safety spot alongside Justin Evans and will bring solid run support as well as be able to cover the matchup nightmare type tight ends like Olsen and Ertz. The best part of this pick is that the Bucs can finally stop playing Chris Conte.
8. Chicago Bears (@sethfffellas) – Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa
While it’s true that the Bears desperately need WR help, I think that the Bears will sign at least one WR in free agency. That will allow Chicago to wait on WR in the draft this year, especially given that the prospects are not that spectacular compared to previous draft classes. If Quenton Nelson had dropped here, I would have gone with him to bolster an injury-prone interior OL. However, I went with Jackson here to help out a very weak secondary on the defense.
9. San Francisco 49ers (@DFF_Hillbilly) – Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn St.
Obviously, this is dependent on the team moving on from Hyde. This being my draft, I’m taking him and in the process trying my best to move Hyde for something along the lines of a 2nd round pick. Saquon can do it all he’s explosive, can catch the ball, has excellent vision. Adding this future HoFer would guarantee Jimmy G to have 90% of the pieces he needs to push the 9ers over the top.
10. Oakland Raiders (@ZaragozaAnthony) – Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
New Head Coach Jon Gruden needs to improve the defense at all three levels next season. Since so many teams in front of the Raiders need a quarterback, there will be plenty of options at #10. Vita Vea (DT), Tremaine Edmunds (LB) and Denzel Ward (DB) are all worthy selections, but Roquan Smith is an impact linebacker Oakland should not pass up.
Smith was all over the field for Georgia this past season, collecting 137 tackles, 14.0 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks. The 2017 SEC DPOY is fast, aggressive and displays a high football IQ. The only negative for the former All-American is his size (6’1” 225 lbs). But Smith has too much talent to let that affect him at the next level. If the Raiders bring back NaVorro Bowman in 2018, Smith will start at OLB next season.
11. Miami Dolphins (@DFF_TimSambor) – Denzel Ward, CB, OSU
Not sure the Dolphins are looking or expecting to address the need with this pick. I’m also not sure they are expecting a Ward to be available. Ward is extremely athletic and has excellent footwork. Not the biggest corner but can press well and attacks the ball with the intent to cause a takeaway. Steal.
12. Cincinnati Bengals (@_codygarrett) Connor Williams, OT, Texas
Standing at 6’6” and 315lbs, Connor Williams is a prototypical lineman. Williams is an extremely athletic and versatile lineman giving him the ability to play multiple positions across the line. He can kick out and mirror pass rushers while using his athleticism to get out to the second level to make blocks in the run game.
Williams also has good strength making it difficult for defenders to overpower him. He brings a ton of tenacity to the position consistently finishing his blocks and looks to bury defenders in the run game. Williams will provide much needed offensive line help to a Bengals team that struggled in run and pass blocking.
13. Washington (@JhawkChalk89) Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
Calvin Ridley is a 6’1”,188 lbs., Junior receiver out of the University of Alabama. Upon Amari Cooper’s departure to the NFL, Ridley stepped in to fill his shoes. Like Copper, CR excelled as a route runner and YAC machine. Playing in the ever-competitive SEC, his explosiveness led to constant separation, and he possesses excellent concentration when the ball is in the air.
Redskin fans will welcome Calvin Ridley with open arms, as Washington hasn’t had a receiver with Ridley’s game-breaking prowess since Desean Jackson left via free agency. Washington could form a dynamic receiving core in 2018 with Josh Doctson and Ridley on the outside, Crowder manning the slot, and a healthy Jordan Reed creating mismatches over the middle of the field.
14. Green Bay Packers (@kyleFFfellas) – Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
Green Bay doesn’t pick in the middle of the draft very often, so we’ll need to take advantage of this spot and grab a difference maker. I think that if Tremaine Edmunds fell here, the Packers would be nuts to pass him up. Edmunds, who turns just 20 days after the NFL Draft, is a sideline-to-sideline LB who could provide an instant boost to this LB core and still carry immense upside.
15. Arizona Cardinals (@TravisNFL) – Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
The Cardinals currently have a 3-way tie at “position of need” right now with QB, WR, and OL. This pick is assuming that AZ fills the QB position in free agency, even if with just a bridge-type player like Keenum, Bradford, or Foles. I think Calvin Ridley has a legitimate shot of being the pick here, as the Cardinals will be looking to draft a WR that they feel can contribute immediately to give it one last “Go” while Fitzgerald is still on the field.
Nevertheless, with Ridley gone and some possible round-2 options still in consideration at the QB position to develop behind the new FA acquisition(s), I’m going to fill the remaining need of offensive line. McGlinchey is a consensus top 3-4 OL prospect in this class and possesses pro-ready technique and size. He will give the Cardinals immediate help on that OL as well as offer some flexibility with the capability and skill to play on either the left or right side.
16. Baltimore Ravens (@pacificscouting) – Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama
Ozzie Newsome’s history of drafting Alabama stars continues. The Ravens can pair the versatile linebacker with CJ Mosley and fill a need. Evans will make an instant impact on their defense and fill the void left by Zachary Orr when he decided to retire.
17. LA Chargers (@dibari22) – Isaiah Wynn, OT/G/C, Georgia
I was hoping one of the top 2 ILBs fell to me here, but with Smith & Evans off the board, everybody else felt like a reach at 17. Grabbing Philip Rivers’ successor was also a thought, but I can’t imagine them reaching for Jackson or Allen here when Mason Rudolph can fall to them later. That left me with the offensive line. A position they’ve been attacking via the draft recently. Wynn’s versatility will be an asset to a team that seems to be decimated by injuries at the position every single year.
18. Seattle Seahawks (@seahawksdan8) – Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA
If the Seahawks stay in the first round this year, they should draft an offensive lineman to help protect Russell Wilson. However, the Seahawks do have quite a few holes to fill due to some injuries and expected departures. Ultimately, I couldn’t let Davenport slide any farther. Cliff Avril will probably not be coming back due to injury, Sheldon Richardson may or may not be back as of this writing, so the Seahawks are going to need pass rushers for their defensive system to improve.
The Legion of Boom is much more effective when the pass rush is working well. Davenport can contribute and maybe learn a few tricks from Michael Bennett before he’s no longer with the Seahawks as well. Don’t be shocked if the Seahawks trade back and try to recoup some of the draft picks they traded away last season as they do not have a 2nd or 3rd round pick as of now.
19. Dallas Cowboys (@SlizzDigital) – Vita Vea, DT, Washington
It is not like the Cowboys to take a run stuffing D-linemen in the 1st round, but I think they just can not pass up the opportunity with Vea. Plugging Vea into the middle of this defense will not only make our run defense better, but it will make every single player around him better. Vea will help keep Jaylon Smith clean thus allowing him to be more productive at MLB in year 2.
Vea will attract double teams on running plays which will help Maliek Collins be more disruptive, Collins has shown the ability to make plays in the backfield, and he will have more opportunity with Vea next to him. This could be the off-season where Tyrone Crawford gets cut, Crawford has never found a true position on this d-line and has never lived up to his contract. Cut Crawford, Tag Lawrence, draft Vea and line up week 1 with Lawrence, Collins, Vea and Irving/Taco.
20. Detroit Lions (@DFFMikeJernigan) – Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
Had Seattle not taken Davenport two picks ahead of me, I would have had a really tough decision. With my top-ranked edge rusher off the board, It was a pretty easy decision to try to fix a running game that has been broken since Barry Sanders left in 1998. Guice is the 2nd best RB in this class and could add an entirely new dimension to a team that needs a couple of pieces to become a serious threat to win their first playoff game since 1991. Vision/awareness is excellent. Balance after contact, speed, power combo that will soften defenses up for Stafford.
21. Buffalo Bills (@DFF_JohnIDP) James Daniels, C, Iowa
Buffalo prided itself on the run game and defense. With the retirement of Eric Wood, the Bills needed this pick. Getting a top interior lineman is a critical need for this offense. With this pick, they can anchor their O line for years ahead and continue to be a good run blocking offense. The team will need a solid line with any QB they have, and it’s a move that helps them both short and long-term.
22. Buffalo Bills (From KC) (@DFF_JohnIDP) Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan
As the season went on it was obvious they were unable to stop the run game. This pick allows them to dominate on the line and this will put the ball in the air more which plays into a strength of the defense. Depth at CB here left the need at DT as the greatest need right now. Hurst can get downfield quickly and be a major force against the run and flashed enough for me to believe he will also get pressures on the QB. With both lines upgraded Buffalo has done well in the first round.
23. LA Rams (@fulst_rosto) – Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado
Even with Jackson and Ward off the board selecting the Colorado Buffaloes outgoing Junior is still an excellent choice to become a possible shut down corner. With excellent size, speed and length I expect the 6-1, 190Lb former track star and decathlete to show well at the combine.
24. Carolina Panthers (@_PeteLaw) – Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
Right now the Carolina Panthers WR room is Devin Funchess, Damiere Byrd, Russell Shepard and an injured Curtis Samuel with some speculative special team players rounding out the bottom. Byrd is a 4.32 speedster who can take the top off while Funchess is that 6-4 big bodied WR that the Panthers have chased. Sutton is another 6-4 WR who is crushing run blocker who uses his body well to shield defenders. His 40 Yard Dash time will be key. Almost went Auden Tate here but another big tall FSU WR seemed too easy.
25. Tennessee Titans (@DFF_DWIN) – Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama
The Titans have a new coaching regime in place, and they will want to put their stamp on the team right away. Tennessee has a number of holes to fill and would’ve liked to grab one of the top corners. But with most of those already gone, they add help at safety to go with Byard. Harrison is a big hitter and will help them in a number of areas.
26. Atlanta Falcons (@FranchiseKF) – Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama
The Falcons continue to invest on the defensive line. Dontari Poe had a nice 2017 campaign, but Payne is a cheaper, long-term replacement. Payne’s ability to eat blocks should be ideal for the undersized Debo Jones to continue his menacing ways at linebacker.
27. New Orleans Saints (@JoshBrickner)– Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota St.
I was VERY tempted (as the Saints would be on draft night) to pick Josh Allen as heir apparent to Drew Brees. The Wyoming signal-caller needs some development before leading an NFL offense, and learning under the future HOF’er is the ideal situation. However, a team that was a fluke play away from making the NFC Title game needs a player that can contribute this season, not in a few years. Dallas Goedert fits that bill and then some.
The South Dakota product gives the Saints the athleticism, play-making prowess, and ability to high-point the football they have been missing from the mediocre duo of Coby Fleener and Josh Hill. Some members of the local sports media in NO have already made the comparison to Jimmy Graham, and the potential is there. It might take Goedert several weeks into the season to refine his skills(consistent run blocking, more precise route running, etc.). Once he figures it all out, the Saints will find the missing piece to make their offense truly elite once again.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers (@DFF_JamesH) – Donte Jackson, CB, LSU
I was torn here between taking a CB and a LB, both obvious needs for Pittsburgh since losing Shazier. I believe Jackson is an NFL ready corner, despite not being the biggest guy around – he is a fantastic cornerback. I would be looking for Pittsburgh to address the linebacker position in the 2nd round so I am happy with this type of pick.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars (@WhiskeyD0G) – D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland
Moore brings to Jacksonville a complementary stretch option for Blake Bortles and Allen Robinson. The offense will need to address the offensive line during day two or three of the draft, however, the splash option Moore brings to the offense is too much to pass over.
30. Minnesota Vikings (@bdhawkes) – Orlando Brown Jr., OT, Oklahoma –
The Vikings relied on former Jacksonville practice squad player, Rashod Hill, to fill in at both OT spots in 2017. Quality depth at the OT position is a necessity, and to have Brown fall to them at 30 is a dream scenario. Brown could be the long-term starter at RT, and he also allows the team to move Mike Remmers inside (where he finished the year as starting LG). Upgrades to the OL will be critical to protect Kirk Cousins and pave the way for future pro-bowler, Dalvin Cook.
31. New England (@DynoEconomist) – Harold Landry, EDGE, BC
There are some flashy offensive players on the board and New England could use a QB of the future, but Bill always takes defense first. 10 out of the past 11 years to specific. The Patriots need as much talent on that side of the ball as they can get right now.
32. Philadelphia Eagles (@DFF_Walk) – Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise St
I would’ve selected Orlando Brown had he fallen to pick 32 but @bdhawkes stopped his slide at pick 30. No other OT warrants a 1st round selection and my hope would be that the Eagles trade out of the first to allow some team to jump back in and get that coveted extra year out of a rookie contract (someone looking for a QB perhaps).
The Eagles second biggest area of need is LB (Nigel Bradham likely gone in FA) and it came down to Vander Esch vs Jefferson here. I like LVE slightly more from the neck up as he reads and reacts quickly which is imperative from a MIKE. That’s right I also think that this selection allows Jim Schwartz to eventually move Jordan Hicks to his more natural OLB (WILL) position thus upgrading at 2 LB spots.
Thanks for reading. We’ll bring you round 2 and 3 tomorrow.