This year's draft is going to be crazy. There are some top QB talents coming out of college and some real QB needy teams. I think there will be a lot of trades honestly, but I'm going to mock it as if everyone stays where they are. I think anything can happen, and I'm going to make some bold/stupid predictions, but that's why it's fun!
1. Cleveland Browns - Baker Mayfield, QB - Oklahoma
I really think Sam Darnold may be the pick here, but I know the Browns' GM is high on Baker. He's the first QB that Dorsey scouted. He's been to all of his workouts. Baker wants to play in Cleveland. He wants to be the savior for the franchise. He's got the skills and the moxie to not be shaken up by the past failures and there is a new air with the new regime. He's a Brett Favre like character. Dorsey is from the Andy Reid tree and Reid was Favre's coach. It would blow the draft up right off the bat and it would be amazing to see! Again, Darnold is the safe, smart pick. At 20 years old, he could sit for two years under Taylor and then take over, but I'm hoping to see Baker's name called first!
2. New York Giants - Saquan Barkley, RB - Penn State
I thought for the longest time the Browns would go with Barkley and take their next QB at number 4. In my original mocks, I had Barkely at 1 and Mayfield at 4 to the Browns. When the Jets traded up to 3, I believe they have Baker Mayfield in mind. Add in that the Browns signed Carlos Hyde to pair with Duke Johnson, I think the Browns may grab a RB in the second round (Penny or Chubb?). This leaves one of the draft's best players for the Giants and they desperately need him. Eli has a few more years in the tank. Why not give him something he hasn't had year in and year out on a consistent basis? Barkley will be the best RB Eli has played with. Seriously, don't say Tiki, Dayne, or Jennings. All had splashes, but Barkley's ceiling has been compared to Barry Sanders. Add to his marketing acumen and Barkley is a star in the Big Apple. If they go QB, I could see Darnold if the Browns do indeed pass on him.
3. New York Jets - Sam Darnold, QB - USC
I think the Jets traded to 3 so they could get Baker Mayfield. There are some definite similarities in Baker Mayfield and Broadway Joe Namath in terms of star power. Of course in my mock, Cleveland took him. That said, I think the Jets made the decision to go to 3 because they like Mayfield, Darnold, and Rosen. At 3, they're guaranteed to get one of them. Darnold is the best kind of consolation prize if their heart really is set on Mayfield. Darnold is probably one of the most polished QB's in the class and he'll be a good leader for the Jets. He'll learn behind Josh McCown who has shown flashes in his career and has been good for the Jets.
4. Cleveland Browns - Bradley Chubb, DE - NC State
In a perfect world, the Browns grab Mayfield, the Giants grab Darnold, the Jets grab Rosen, and Cleveland gets Barkley. In a near perfect world, the Browns get the guy many are saying is the best player in the draft, Bradley Chubb. Putting Chubb next to Garrett is going to be stout. This draft is going to be the turning point for the Browns . . . FINALLY!
5. Denver Broncos - Josh Allen, QB - Wyoming
Probably my favorite QB in the draft is Josh Allen. I love his arm strength, his leadership, and his poise. All the guy does is compete and he never quits. He has high character and will make any team better in the QB room. Take all of that and put him in then next door state of Colorado with one of the greatest QB's to ever play in the game in John Elway and you may have a star on your hands. Allen has a certain Elway flair to him and this would be exciting to watch!
6. Indianapolis Colts - Quenton Nelson, G - Notre Dame
I honestly think this is where the trades will start rolling in. Nelson is probably the best offensive lineman in the draft, but the Colts need a lot of help. Obviously if Andrew Luck can ever play again, he needs a ton of protection though, so if they stay, I think they get the top rated offensive lineman in hopes that Luck's arm doesn't get crushed on his next sack.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Derwin James, S - Florida State
I probably need to ask my cousin, Luke Easterling, who he likes here being he's the NFL Draft expert and a Bucs fan for life. I'm going with James because of his insane talent and the Bucs have a need in their defensive backfield. That and I have affinity for college guys staying in their home state to play pro ball.
8. Chicago Bears - Roquan Smith, LB - Georgia
The Monsters of the Midway are coming back. Smith is in the mold of Mike Singletary and a Ray Lewis type player. He'll be trouble for the NFC North teams to scheme around because he's a three down back. I could see someone leaping up to grab him before he falls to the Bears honestly.
9. San Francisco 49ers - Calvin Ridley, WR - Alabama
This is probably high for Ridley, but in my books, he's the best receiver in the draft. You've got Jimmy G and you backed the Brinks truck up to his house, but who is he throwing the rock to? Team Jimmy G and Ridley together for Kyle Shanahan in the mold of Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, and the NFC West is going to be fun to watch! I could also see them going offensive line to protect their new QB investment, but unless Nelson slips, I think a tackle would be a further reach than Ridley here.
10. Oakland Raiders - Denzel Ward, CB - Ohio State
They desperately want Roquan Smith, but they settle for the top CB in the whole draft. Gruden will get the best out of his offense especially with Carr at the helm. If you're going to survive the AFC West though, you have to have a defense. Ward will be stellar for the silver and black.
11. Miami Dolphins - Minkah Fitzpatrick, S - Alabama
The Dolphins get a player some have called the best safety prospect in the draft. Adam Gase loves Alabama football players and Miami's defense is a mess. I could see them looking at Josh Rosen here, but I don't think Ryan Tannehill is done yet. There was a lot of buzz for him before he got hurt last year. They grab Fitzpatrick here and look sneakingly at Mason Rudolph in the second round . . .
12. Buffalo Bills - Josh Rosen, QB - UCLA
The Bills can't believe their luck. Rosen falls all the way to 12 partly because of some of his comments and attitudes from the whole draft process. There is cocky confidence and then there is just asinine commentary. Rosen falls in the last category for me. I'm not high on him at all. I think he's overrated honestly. When your own college coach won't vouch for you . . . I'd much rather see the Bills get Lamar Jackson, but they won't be able to pass up the upside that Rosen has. Maybe getting his tail kicked by Tom Brady twice a year will make him rethink having more rings than Brady has at the end of his career.
13. Washington Redskins - Vita Vea, DT - Washington
Up there with Chubb as one of the best defensive lineman in the draft, especially in run stuffing production. The Redskins have several needs and I could see them going with a tackle like McGlichey if he's still on the board here, but Vea is a real talent and could help the Redskins immediately.
14. Green Bay Packers - Mike McGlichey, OT - Notre Dame
This a blue chip tackle who will come in and be ready to compete and contribute on day one. Did anyone see what the Packers looked like without Aaron Rodgers? If McGlichey is still here at 14, I think the Packers pounce. If not, I think they go defense with someone like Tremaine Edmunds.
15. Arizona Cardinals - Lamar Jackson, QB - Louisville
If the Bills are going to take a QB at 12 and they take Rosen over Jackson, Arizona will thank them kindly. I think Jackson has all the tools to be a star in the league. He's a Michael Vick clone in many ways. As a Falcons fan, Vick drove me crazy and I was never a huge fan, but his talent was undeniable and at times, he was extremely fun to watch. Jackson will energize that fan base and having a veteran like Larry Fitzgerald to show him the ropes will have him ready to go. I want to see this pick happen!
16. Baltimore Ravens - Da'Ron Payne, DT - Alabama
Ozzie Newsome continues his trend of taking Nick Saban's players and making them into solid NFL defensive players. Payne will be solid on the Ravens' defensive front. Some have the Ravens going QB here, but Flacco still has a lot in the tank in my opinion.
17. Los Angeles Chargers - Josh Jackson, CB - Iowa
Jackson always seemed to show up in big games which is great. He disappeared sometimes in the lesser games which is not great. Lucky for him, in the NFL, most every game is big. He has great potential and the Chargers could use the secondary help with the other teams in their division ramping up their offenses.
18. Seattle Seahawks - Marcus Davenport, DE - UT San Antonio
Davenport fits the perfect mold of a Seahawks player. He's mean and versatile. He hits hard and he's really fast. I could see him being taken earlier than this, but if he's here I think Seattle bangs the table.
19. Dallas Cowboys - Courtland Sutton, WR - SMU
Dez Bryant is gone. Courtland Sutton stays home. He's tall. He's fast. He's young. He'll replace the recent production the Cowboys have been getting for the overpaid Bryant. He'll be a home state favorite as well. The Cowboys could go defense, but if they think Allen Hurns is going to the home run, someone needs to check Jerry Jones.
20. Detroit Lions - Sony Michel, RB - Georgia
Michel may be a little high here, but the Lions have been one dimensional for years now. Stafford isn't getting any younger and he takes a beating every game. Add a dependable running game with a player like Michel who is fast enough to get around the edges, can run between the tackles, can catch the ball out of the backfield, and can block too, and you may have the next big RB in Detroit. Yes, I know they just signed Legarrette Blount, but come on . . . we all know they did that so they could go to the Super Bowl this season . . .
21. Cincinnatti Bengals - Isaiah Wynn, G - Georgia
I could see them maybe going with Tremaine Edmunds if he's still there. They have a defensive need and Burfict will be out the first four games of the season for them. That said, they need to protect Dalton better and open up some more lanes in their run game. That offense looked abysmal at times last year and protection was a big issue. They get Wynn to shore up the inside and flip him outside on some packages.
22. Buffalo Bills - Kolton Miller, T - UCLA
If you're going to draft your franchise QB, you need to make sure he can be protected. The Bills bring in Rosen's tackle from UCLA to play with him in Buffalo. Miller has been given a Nate Solder comparison. The Bills grab him before the Patriots have a chance to replace the departed Solder with him in pick 23.
23. New England Patriots, James Daniels, C - Iowa
The Pats watch Miller go off the board in front of them and grab Daniels who is arguably the best center in the draft. He can also play guard and played for Kirk Ferentz who Belichick admires. If Brady is going to play until he's 40 (come on . . .) then you have to protect him. Or maybe you get the protection for the next guy . . .
24. Carolina Panthers - Tremaine Edmunds, LB - Virginia Tech
The Panthers look to beef up their defense with all the firepower from division rivals getting stronger seemingly every year. I could see them taking DJ Moore here to add to bolster their receiving corps, but Edmunds is a big talent at 24.
25. Tennessee Titans - Harold Landry, DE - Boston College
Landry has star potential and in new coach, Mike Vrabel's first draft, he goes defense. Receiver may also be an option here.
26. Atlanta Falcons - Taven Bryan, DE - Florida
Dan Quinn goes back to his old university and gets a beast to sit next to Grady Jarrett. Bryan is big, fast, and a heavy hitter. He fits the Quinn defense perfectly. Great pick here.
27. New Orleans Saints - DJ Moore, WR - Maryland
The Saints had a renaissance last season and Brees is coming back. They thought about bringing Jimmy Graham back home because they want to increase their firepower while Brees is still slinging the ball. They brought in Cameron Meredith from the Bears and lost Willie Snead to the Ravens. They bring in Moore to stretch the field as a great complement to Meredith.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers - Rashaan Evans, LB - Alabama
The Steelers find a top replacement for the unfortunately injured Ryan Shazier. Evans was a top contributor for Nick Saban and will be solid for the Steel Curtain.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars - Hayden Hurst, TE - South Carolina
The Jags found great success last year with their top defense and new found running game. They don't need Bortles to be the savior for every game anymore and he responded greatly down the stretch despite having a decimated receiving core. It was so bad Mercedes Lewis became fantasy relevant again. The Jags get the best TE in the draft in Hurst. He can catch. He can split out wide. He can block. He's a Coughlin kind of player. I love the pick!
30. Minnesota Vikings - Will Hernandez, G - UTEP
Hernandez reminds me of the Hogs on the old Redskins teams that were so successful. He's a throw back player. He's a bulldozer. That's the kind of guy you want protecting your new highly paid quarterback and opening holes for your returning running back stud (Davin Cook).
31. New England Patriots - Dallas Goedert, TE - South Dakota State
I so want the Patriots to take Mason Rudolph here. I honestly think they trade out of this pick which is their normal thing. If they stay, they send Gronk a message instead of Brady. Keep riding dirt bikes, go wrestle in the WWE, and go make movies. We're going to play football. Goedert is the perfect prospect for the "Just do your job" style of Bill Belichik.
32. Philadelphia Eagles - Jaire Alexander, CB - Louisville
I could see the Eagles going with a running back here, but they did get Jay Ajayi from the Dolphins last year and have him and Smallwood to run together. They may go Guice because of his upside, but character concerns will factor and have factored into his drop. In the end, I think they bolster their defense with a solid, speedy corner back who can also return punts.
There you have it folks. Let's see how right and wrong I am. It's all in good fun and I can't wait to see the results! Happy Draft Day!