Of the 32 picks, I correctly predicted 26 of the players to be selected. I didn't predict the trades though I did predict if the trades were to start, the Bills would trade up to get their QB. Honestly though, most everyone assumed that. Once the Browns pulled a shocker and took Ward over Chubb at 4 and after the trades started rolling in, my draft predictions were shot in terms of pick by pick. I put the player I predicted in parenthesis next to the actual pick. I also listed the trades that shook the picks up. Here's how it unfolded:
I love the pick honestly. It definitely comes with risk, but I didn't see any sure fire QB's in this draft especially for a place like Cleveland. In a city that's been losing for years and has went through as many QB's as the country has presidents in 200 years, they needed someone with a strong mental makeup and that's Mayfield. He has Favre like qualities and he'll be a great fit in the offensive system. Many wanted Sam Darnold, but I wasn't sold on his ability to succeed in Cleveland.
2. New York Giants - Saquan Barkley (Saquan Barkley)
The most sure pick in the draft here. Barkley was the guy the Giants have needed for years. He slots right in and the Giants just got better on offense immediately. It wasn't time to spend a high pick on a quarterback yet. If they want an heir apparent, get Mason Rudolph in the second round.
3. New York Jets - Sam Darnold (Sam Darnold)
Maybe this is what the Jets wanted to do all along. Trade to the number 3 spot and either take Baker Mayfield or Sam Darnold if the Browns pass on him. They ended up with Darnold who is probably the most polished QB in the draft. He'll do great with the Jets especially learning under Josh McCown for a season. Great pick by the Jets.
4. Cleveland Browns - Denzel Ward (Bradley Chubb)
This one had me scratching my head a bit. I don't know how you pass up Bradley Chubb. I get that Ward was the best corner in the draft and the Browns desperately need one. I get that they have Myles Garrett from last year on the line. But how often do you get a chance at Bradley Chubb? I feel like they could have traded down a few spots and get Ward.
5. Denver Broncos - Bradley Chubb (Josh Allen)
I really wanted them to get Josh Allen, but how do you pass up Chubb? He's teaming with Von Miller and that defense is looking like the Orange Crush again! Home run pick and Elway has to be pinching himself that Chubb fell to him.
6. Indianapolis Colts - Quenton Nelson (Quenton Nelson)
It was really simple. Nelson was the best offensive lineman and one of the best overall prospects in the draft. Andrew Luck needs protection. Pick was easy.
7. Buffalo Bills - Josh Allen (TRADE - Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Derwin James)
The Bills gave up a lot to move up to 7 to get Allen. They had to really be in love with the guy because I really think he may have been there at 12 for them had they stayed put. The Bears, 49ers, and Raiders weren't going to take a QB. The Dolphins were the only possibility to take one but they were more connected with Rosen had he been available. I like Josh Allen a lot and I love the fit for Buffalo (in my mock I banged the table for him to Buffalo), but I hate the trade and what they gave up.
8. Chicago Bears - Roquan Smith (Roquan Smith)
It's the Mike Singletary / Brian Urlacher pick and I love it. Smith will be a beast on the Midway. Easy pick.
9. San Francisco 49ers - Mike McGlichey (Calvin Ridley)
I orginally mocked McGlichey to the 49ers, but I decided to play a wild card and hook Jimmy G up with a number one receiver in Ridley. I get the McGlichey pick because you have to protect your QB. I don't get him at 9 though.
10. Arizona Cardinals - Josh Rosen (TRADE - Oakland Raiders - Denzel Ward)
I absolutely hate this pick. I think Rosen is completely overrated and has one of the worst attitudes since Johnny Manziel. The Cardinals traded up to draft Sam Bradford's clone. It's the worst pick and worst move of the first round in my opinion. All that considered, there was no one ahead of the Cardinals at 15 that would have taken Rosen except possibly Miami. No one would have jumped ahead of them except maybe the Ravens. Complete head scratcher for me.
11. Miami Dolphins - Minkah Fitzpatrick (Minkah Fitzpatrick)
Adam Gase gets his Alabama player in the first round. I had Fitzpatrick as my top safety in the draft and the Dolphins needed help desperately in the secondary. I never bought into the hype of a quarterback. Gase is high on Tannehill, and he's got a lot of football left in him. Great pick.
12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Vita Vea (TRADE - Buffalo Bills - Josh Rosen)
I thought the Bucs would take Derwin James at 7. They traded with the Bills and Derwin James was still there. I was in the middle of saying how awesome the trade was for the Bucs due to the picks they got and the fact they can still get their man in James when Vea was announced. I don't get the pick. Obviously he helps immediately, but I feel like James would have been the better choice here.
13. Washington Redskins - Da'Ron Payne (Vita Vea)
The Redskins watched Vea go right in front of them so they take the other beast tackle in Payne. I really like the pick. He'll slide in day one and compete right away and help stuff the run in a division that has Ezekiel Elliott and Saquan Barkley in it.
14. New Orleans Saints - Marcus Davenport (TRADE - Green Bay Packers - Mike McGlichey)
This is a "push all your chips to the center of the table" move by Payton and the Saints. I don't get it. They traded up 13 spots to get an extremely talented, yet very raw pass rusher. They gave up next year's first to do it. If you're giving up a first round pick, you need to know that player is a home run. Davenport can be, but is far from certain. I get the need, but hate the trade.
15. Oakland Raiders - Kolton Miller (TRADE - Arizona Cardinals - Lamar Jackson)
I loved the trade down for the Raiders, but I don't really like the pick. I get they need to protect Carr, but they also need help on defense and Derwin James was sitting there. I think they could have got a tweener in the second round with the upside the Miller has.
16. Buffalo Bills - Tremaine Edmunds (TRADE - Baltimore Ravens - Da'Ron Payne)
Again, I love the player the Bills picked, but I hated the trade. The Bills were stacked with picks and they gave most of their early ones away for a quarterback that won't be ready year one and a very young, very talented linebacker. Edmunds is great and will be really good for the Bills, but if he was great, wouldn't Ozzie Newsome have taken him here . . . Just didn't get the Bills draft last night.
17. Los Angeles Chargers - Derwin James (Josh Jackson)
I figured the Chargers would get a defensive back. I liked Josh Jackson but I didn't believe Derwin James would still be available. The Chargers brass had an easy pick on their hands with James sitting there.
18. Green Bay Packers - Jaire Alexander (TRADE - Seattle Seahawks - Marcus Davenport)
The Packers traded down to 27 and then back up to 18 to get Alexander. I don't like the move at all. I think they could have stayed at 27 and possibly got him, Josh Jackson, or Mike Hughes. Clearly they were high on Alexander. I think he'll be good for them, but the trade back up puzzled me a bit.
19. Dallas Cowboys - Leighton Vander Esch (Courtland Sutton)
Yes the Cowboys need defense. Yes Vander Esch is a Sean Lee clone. So all that is great. But who is Dak Prescott going to throw the ball to? I think you can make the argument the receiving corps were in worse shape than the linebacker group before the draft and that hasn't changed. Don't like the pick.
20. Detroit Lions - Frank Ragnow (Sony Michel)
I could see the Lions going RB, OL, or defense. They ultimately decided to protect Stafford and open up holes for their new acquisition in Legarrette Blount. Good pick.
21. Cincinnatti Bengals - Billy Price (Isaiah Wynn)
I don't really know what to say. The Bengals needed offensive line help and they got it. That said, I can't remember the last time I got excited about anything the Bengals have done.
22. Tennessee Titans - Rashaan Evans (TRADE - Buffalo Bills - Kolton Miller / Baltimore Ravens)
I had the Titans going defense at their original pick of 25. I had Evans going to the Steelers after them. Evans is fantastic pick and the Titans identified him as their guy. They didn't give up much to get up and get him and he'll fit great with new coach Mike Vrabel. Good pick here.
23. New England Patriots - Isaiah Wynn (James Daniels)
I mocked an offensive lineman to the Patriots here. I had Wynn gone by this pick. He's still there and was an easy selection for the Patriots needing to replace Nate Solder. Good pick.
24. Carolina Panthers - DJ Moore (Tremaine Edmunds)
In my mock I had the Panthers wanting to go wide receiver, but being unable to pass up Edmunds who fell to them. Obviously the Bills traded up and got Edmunds so the logical pick was a receiver. I had Ridley as my top receiver. The Panthers had Moore. Steve Smith, who by the way was atrocious to listen to, believes he's the next great Panthers receiver. The Panthers are a dumpster fire.
25. Baltimore Ravens - Hayden Hurst (TRADE - Tennessee Titans - Harold Landry)
The Ravens trade down twice and get a TE and fill a need. I had Hurst as my top TE in the draft and Newsome fills a need with the number one guy at his position while picking up picks. Great move.
26. Atlanta Falcons - Calvin Ridley (Taven Bryan)
I absolutely LOVE this pick. Easily my favorite pick of the draft and not just because it's the Falcons. I have been high on Ridley for a while. I just didn't believe he would last past Dallas. I had been telling a few people that I would absolutely love if somehow Ridley would fall to Atlanta. As the picks kept rolling and Ridley kept falling, I started banging the table for him. Bryan would have been a great pick for the Falcons here, but would have simply been rotational depth to start with. Ridley is a starter week 1 and will be paired with Julio Jones. He'll learn from one of the best. The offense just added some firepower!
27. Seattle Seahawks - Rashaad Penny (TRADE - New Orleans Saints - DJ Moore / Green Bay Packers)
I don't get the pick at all. They essentially draft a clone of the last few running backs they've had in the locker room. Wilson is constantly running for his life and some great offensive line talent was sitting right there. I think they could have addressed running back later and could have traded back further, amassed more picks, and still got Penny if they were that high on him. I like the player. I just don't like the pick here.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers - Terrell Edmunds (Rashaan Evans)
I thought the Steelers would go with a linebacker to replace Shazier. Instead they go with a safety. While it's nice to have two brothers selected in the first round together for the first time, this seems like a big reach. I had Edmunds as my fifth ranked safety.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars - Taven Bryan (Hayden Hurst)
The Jags needed a TE but the Ravens took him. They probably didn't think Bryan would make it past the Falcons, but he did, and now he joins a juggernaut defense. Nobody wants to play the Jaguars. No one! Great pick!
30. Minnesota Vikings - Mike Hughes (Will Hernandez)
I don't understand the pick at all. They have two of the best corners in the league starting already. They drafted a nickel corner instead of a starter on the offensive line to beef up protection for their new multi million dollar quarterback.
31. New England Patriots - Sony Michel (Dallas Goedert)
I don't understand this pick at all. Michel joins a crowded stable of running backs. I really like Michel and think he'll be really good, but I think if they weren't going with a TE, defense should have been the focus. But this is Bill Belichik. Trust the process.
32. Baltimore Ravens - Lamar Jackson (TRADE - Philadelphia Eagles - Jaire Alexander)
I get a team trading up to get a fifth year of Jackson so he can learn and grow in the league. I don't get the Ravens making this pick though. They amassed picks and then gave some away to come up and get a guy that you're going to have to change your whole offense for when you have a good starter already in place. I thought Jackson fit better with a team that was already in transition. Flacco isn't the problem in Baltimore and this seems like a clear sign that he's not their guy anymore. I don't like this pick at all.