We have a week until the draft, and the excitement is certainly building. Rumors continue to swirl about prospects and where they could end up. It’s almost exhausting in the last week, and many just want the draft to come to get rid of the rumors.
The most interesting rumor lies (of course) with the Cleveland Browns at number one. The debate sounds like it’s between Josh Allen and Sam Darnold, the two strong armed quarterbacks with high upside. They aren’t the most ready from day one, but they could pan out down the road.
Speaking of quarterbacks, many expect six quarterbacks to go in the first round of the draft. With plenty of teams having a need, including teams with quarterbacks at the end of their career, it’s likely to happen.
All that said, let’s take a look at this two round mock draft.
1. Cleveland Browns: Sam Darnold, QB, USC
The Browns need to find their signal caller of the future, and they stick with the player they’ve been linked to for the past couple months. Sam Darnold has the arm talent to succeed in the NFL, along with the ability to make things happen when things break down. He will get to sit behind Tyrod Taylor and develop.
2. Buffalo Bills (from Giants): Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
- Bills Get: No. 2 overall
- Giants Get: 12 overall, 21 overall, 53 overall, 2019 2nd
The first stunner of the draft. The Bills, seeing their guy is there after the Browns pick, make their move with the Giants to secure the second overall selection. They go with Josh Allen, another quarterback with high upside but plenty to learn. He needs to refine himself in the pocket and gain touch as a passer. He will also likely sit and develop.
3. New York Jets (from Colts): Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
The Jets moved up a while back, but they are in position to get their quarterback of the future. Baker Mayfield gets a lot of negative press, but his on-field acumen is hard to beat. He has a strong pocket presence and throws with very good accuracy and anticipation. He also possesses the qualities you want in a leader. The bright lights won’t be too much for him.
4. Cleveland Browns (from Texans): Bradley Chubb, EDGE, North Carolina State
After getting their quarterback of the future, the Browns take the top defensive player in the draft. Bradley Chubb is a relentless pass rusher on the edge. He wins with strong hand placement and a top flight motor. He reminds me a bit of Derek Barnett in last year’s draft. Pair Chubb with Myles Garrett, and you have an intimidating duo off the edge for a long time.
5. Denver Broncos: Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame
The Broncos miss out on their likely targets at quarterback, and they can’t find a trade partner here. Instead, Denver stays put and drafts the best talent in the class. Quenton Nelson is a better prospect coming out at guard that I’ve ever seen. He will start instantly next to Garett Bolles, and the two will protect Case Keenum very well.
6. Arizona Cardinals (from Colts via Jets): Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
- Cardinals Get: No. 6 overall
- Colts Get: 15 overall, 47 overall, 152 overall
Another trade! After seeing the Broncos pass on a quarterback, the Cardinals move up to the Colts spot and compensate them handsomely. Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon aren’t long term answers, so the Cardinals get their franchise quarterback in Josh Rosen. Rosen is questioned off of the field for his leadership qualities, but you won’t find a better pocket quarterback in this draft. Rosen can make all the throws with great accuracy, and he is a better player outside the pocket than given credit for.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
The Bucs have needs on defense, but it’s not often a player of this caliber falls in their lap. Saquon Barkley is a game changer at running back, with the speed and power combination to shred defenses. Barkley can take pressure off of Jameis Winston and give Tampa Bay a strong running game. Plus, he will be dynamic out of the backfield as a pass catcher.
8. Chicago Bears: Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
The Bears lose out on their likely target in Nelson, but they can look elsewhere. The secondary could use some work, especially at the cornerback position. Denzel Ward plays extremely physical near the line of scrimmage, and possesses the speed and ball skills to succeed at the next level. The Bears now have a nice duo with Ward and Kyle Fuller.
9. San Francisco 49ers: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
This pick wouldn’t make much sense, except that 2017 draft pick Reuben Foster is likely facing jail time. This creates a big hole at the linebacker position, one that Roquan Smith can definitely fill. Smith has the speed and instincts to play on every down, and the physical nature to punish opponents.
10. Oakland Raiders: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
Oakland needs plenty of defensive help, but Donald Penn is aging and the right tackle position is not good at all. The Raiders get their future left tackle in Mike McGlinchey here. McGlinchey has had a fantastic career at Notre Dame as a powerful tackle with good footwork. He can eventually move to the left side once Penn is done.
11. Miami Dolphins: Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
Miami is in the market for a quarterback, but they decide to go a different direction. The linebacker position is one to address in this draft, and Tremaine Edmunds fits the bill. Edmunds has everything you want in a linebacker, and he is only 19 years old. He also has the versatility to play on the edge, something the Dolphins could do considering their depth in that area.
12. New York Giants (from Bills via Bengals): Harold Landry, EDGE, Boston College
After trading back, the Giants can do a number of things. New York traded JPP to the Bucs, so a pass rusher is certainly an option. Here, they go with Harold Landry, who can instantly provide a spark to a pass rush that sputtered in 2017. His quickness off the snap and bend around the edge would be a key part of that defense right away.
13. Washington Redskins: Vita Vea, DL, Washington
This would be more of a luxury pick for the Redskins, but if you pair Vita Vea with Jonathan Allen, you have a great young interior duo. Vita Vea lined up all along the line at Washington, and excelled at all of it. He has the quickness to get around blockers and the functional strength to push the line of scrimmage.
14. Green Bay Packers: Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville
The first surprise of the draft is here. The Packers lost out on Denzel Ward, and they decide no edge rusher is worth it. Also, they feel confident in their safety group. So the pick here is Jaire Alexander, a player forgotten because of missed time in 2017. Alexander possesses the physical style, cover skills, and swagger to be a top corner. The Packers would like a King-Alexander duo.
15. Indianapolis Colts (from Cardinals): Derwin James, S, Florida State
After trading back, the Colts need to add talent wherever they can. It starts with the defense. Malik Hooker will be back this season, hopefully better than ever, but he needs someone to finish out that tandem. Derwin James would be a great fit to complement Hooker. He plays physical near the line of scrimmage and has the speed to play in coverage.
16. Baltimore Ravens: Minkah Fitzpatrick, S, Alabama
A lot of analysts have a certain Alabama receiver mocked here, but in this case, a better Alabama player falls in their lap. This is more of a luxury pick for a team that still needs offensive help, but Minkah Fitzpatrick is too good to pass on. He can cover in the slot, blitz, and play single high.
17. Los Angeles Chargers: Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State
Philip Rivers is still playing very well at quarterback, but at some point, planning for the future is needed. With two of the big six still on the board, the Chargers pull the trigger. While Mason Rudolph doesn’t have the buzz that the others carry, he does possess a strong arm and good touch down the field. He will fit perfectly sitting and learning for a couple seasons.
18. Seattle Seahawks: Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa
The Seahawks are a team that is moving towards a rebuilding track. They still have a good core, but they need more young talent in the building. Now that Richard Sherman is gone, the cornerback group needs some work. Josh Jackson would be a perfect fit for the Seahawks because of his ball skills and anticipation on routes.
19. Dallas Cowboys: Isaiah Wynn, OL, Georgia
The Dallas Cowboys shock a bit here, considering their need at receiver. Before Dez Bryant’s departure, offensive line was a need. No receiver is really worth it here, so they follow the original script. Isaiah Wynn is a very talented tackle from Georgia. He played tackle his entire career there, but many expect a shift inside in the NFL. He could start his career at guard and possibly move to right tackle.
20. Detroit Lions: Maurice Hurst, DL, Michigan
Fixing the defensive line should be a priority for the Lions. Ziggy Ansah is still there, but they need help on the interior. After checking out okay in the second round of checkups, Maurice Hurst is cleared to play football. Hurst proved on the field why he’s the top interior defender in the class. His quickness off the ball is tough to mimic. He will bring life to the Lions defensive line.
21. Cincinnati Bengals (from Bills): Connor Williams, OT, Texas
The Bengals did acquire Cordy Glenn from the Bills in a trade, but there’s still work to be done on the offensive line. Neither Jake Fisher nor Cedric Ogbuehi are panning out, so it’s time to look elsewhere. Connor Williams is an excellent pass blocker with a mean streak. While some believe he should move inside, there’s no reason he can’t start out on the right side for Cincinnati.
22. New York Giants (from Bills via Chiefs): James Daniels, C, Iowa
The trade back is looking good for the Giants. Up next on the list is to replace the loss of Weston Richburg. James Daniels is an excellent pick here for the Giants. He had an excellent career at Iowa, and he works to the second level with ease while also holding his own against top defensive talent as a pass blocker.
23. New England Patriots (from Rams): Marcus Davenport, EDGE, UTSA
This is exactly what a Patriots pick looks like. Marcus Davenport has plenty of promise but needs coaching and refinement to maximize his skills as a rusher. Bill Belichick takes that gamble here and bets on the tremendous upside Davenport brings to the table.
24. Carolina Panthers: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
The Panthers could go a lot of directions at 24. The defense needs some help along the edge and the secondary needs help on the boundary. However, they didn’t think they’d see Calvin Ridley fall this far. With no elite talent on the perimeter, the Panthers pull the trigger. They get an excellent route runner with the burst to break away in space.
25. Tennessee Titans: Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama
The Titans could use some help on the front seven, and new head coach Mike Vrabel will certainly want to address it early. Rashaan Evans is good value in the late first round. He can play right away and become a leader on that defense. He plays very aggressive and is very good getting off blocks, whether it be with his hands or his quickness.
26. Atlanta Falcons: Taven Bryan, DL, Florida
These two are consistently being paired up in mock drafts, and the buzz seems to be that this could happen. The Falcons don’t exactly have a lot of needs, so beefing up their front makes sense. Taven Bryan is a little raw, but he has the physical tools to succeed in the NFL.
27. New Orleans Saints: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
The fall for Lamar Jackson starts here. Sean Payton has described this to be an underwhelming quarterback class, but that could be a smoke screen. After all, the Saints tried to move up for Patrick Mahomes last year. This time, no trade is necessary. Lamar Jackson is an electric playmaker with a very good pocket presence. Sitting behind Drew Brees would help him out a ton, and he can be an eventual franchise quarterback for New Orleans.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers: Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State
The Steelers definitely need linebacker help after the injury to Ryan Shazier this past season. He isn’t the fastest linebacker in the draft, but Leighton Vander Esch is extremely effective as a downhill thumper. He is also solid in coverage and closes well to make plays. He would fit well in Pittsburgh.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars: Will Hernandez, G, UTEP
The Jags are another team with very few needs. At this point, strengthening the offensive line to create more lanes for Leonard Fournette and to protect Blake Bortles is the right strategy. Will Hernandez is a mean machine at the guard position. He showed out in a big way at the Senior Bowl and could start day one at guard.
30. Minnesota Vikings: Billy Price, G, Ohio State
The Vikings don’t have a ton of needs either. Their offensive line could also use some depth. After drafting Pat Elflein last year, they reunite him with Billy Price. Despite a pectoral injury suffered at the combine, Price should be ready for training camp. Having him and Elflein in the middle will create some nice holes for Dalvin Cook.
31. New England Patriots: Mike Hughes, CB, Central Florida
After adding Davenport, the Patriots now look to the secondary, which got torn up by Nick Foles and company in the Super Bowl. Mike Hughes would help the Pats right away. He is very good in coverage and has good ball skills down the field. He is another who fits the Patriot mold.
32. Philadelphia Eagles: Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
The rich get richer here. The running back position isn’t as highly regarded as others, but the Eagles are happy to take a top 10 player in the draft in Derrius Guice. Guice runs like every carry is his last and he also possesses great lateral quickness. He can also be a three down player because of his prowess in pass protection. Guice, Ajayi, and Clement in a backfield together sounds pretty good.
33. Cleveland Browns: Sony Michel, RB, Georgia
The Browns get a smooth runner with some giddy up to pair with Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson.
34. New York Giants: Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia
The Giants follow suit, grabbing Michel’s running partner at Georgia in their attempt to retool the roster.
35. Cleveland Browns (from Texans): Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA
Joe Thomas has retired, and the Browns surely don’t want Shon Coleman as their starting left tackle come September.
36. Indianapolis Colts: Da’Ron Payne, DL, Alabama
The Colts trading back twice netted them plenty of picks, and they start the second round with a quick and powerful defensive linemen in Da’Ron Payne, who has tons of potential.
37. Indianapolis Colts (from Jets): Josh Sweat, EDGE, Florida State
They missed out on Bradley Chubb, but Josh Sweat is a very athletic pass rusher with plenty of prowess playing the run.
38. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado
The Bucs could use some corner help opposite Vernon Hargreaves, and Isaiah Oliver is a long corner who plays well near the line of scrimmage.
39. Chicago Bears: D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland
The Bears continue to build a strong supporting cast for Mitchell Trubisky. D.J. Moore is an electric playmaker who will complement Allen Robinson well.
40. Denver Broncos: Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
The era of Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders is in the twilight stage, and Courtland Sutton brings a little Thomas to his game.
41. Oakland Raiders: Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas
The linebacker position is very weak in Oakland, and Malik Jefferson brings the speed and physical nature to reinvigorate it.
42. Miami Dolphins: Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State
Adam Gase loves productive tight ends in his scheme. While Dallas Goedert is a little raw, he has all the potential to be a number one tight end.
43. New England Patriots (from 49ers): Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama
The Patriots continue adding on defense, bringing in Ronnie Harrison to use in coverage and near the line of scrimmage.
44. Washington Redskins: Justin Reid, S, Stanford
Justin Reid is an excellent safety who continues to shoot up boards. He will fit well on the back end of Washington’s secondary.
45. Green Bay Packers: Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, EDGE, Oklahoma
It’s no secret edge help is needed in Green Bay, and the Packers opt for Obo Okoronkwo, who has plenty of potential as a three down player.
46. Cincinnati Bengals: Darius Leonard, LB, South Carolina State
It’s hard to know how many games Vontaze Burfict will play each season, and adding a physical, raw talent in Darius Leonard could eventually ease the burden.
47. Indianapolis Colts (from Cardinals): Austin Corbett, G, Nevada
The Colts need to protect Andrew Luck and find offensive balance. Austin Corbett is an excellent guard talent who can play right away.
48. Los Angeles Chargers: Nathan Shepherd, DT, Fort Hays State
Adding a player like Nathan Shepherd, who caught plenty of attention at the Senior Bowl, would make the Charger defensive line very formidable.
49. Indianapolis Colts (from Seahawks): Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State
The Colts keep acquiring talent in the second round. Getting Mike Gesicki for Andrew Luck and the offense would get the passing game back on track.
50. Dallas Cowboys: Anthony Miller, WR, Memphis
It’s finally time to find a replacement for Dez Bryant. Anthony Miller is a great route runner who wins at the catch point more than you think at his size. He’s also not just a slot receiver.
51. Detroit Lions: Lorenzo Carter, EDGE, Georgia
The Lions continue to build the front seven, adding an athletic edge player in Lorenzo Carter.
52. Baltimore Ravens: Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M
The Ravens get their speedster in the slot to complement Michael Crabtree and company.
53. New York Giants (from Bills): Tyrell Crosby, OT, Oregon
Tyrell Crosby is a powerful presence in the run game who could start his career off at right tackle.
54. Kansas City Chiefs: Sam Hubbard, EDGE, Ohio State
After Tamba Hali’s release, the Chiefs need some depth on the edge. Sam Hubbard is an athletic edge rusher with a number of moves in his arsenal.
55. Carolina Panthers: Donte Jackson, CB, LSU
The Panthers need help in the secondary, and Donte Jackson has the speed to garner attention in the early rounds.
56. Buffalo Bills (from Rams): Frank Ragnow, C, Arkansas
The Bills get an absolute steal late in round two to replace Eric Wood.
57. Tennessee Titans: Dante Pettis, WR, Washington
The Titans seem to be interested in adding more receivers, and Dante Pettis has tons of upside and can start as a returner.
58. Atlanta Falcons: Braden Smith, G, Auburn
The Falcons add a solid guard in Braden Smith to fill the hole left by Andy Levitre.
59. San Francisco 49ers (from Saints): Chukwuma Okorafor, OT, Western Michigan
Offensive linemen go at a premium nowadays, so the Niners getting Chukwuma Okorafor would give them a lineman to develop to be their next left tackle.
60. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jessie Bates III, S, Wake Forest
The Steelers still need secondary help, and Jessie Bates is a do-it-all safety.
61. Jacksonville Jaguars: Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina
The Jags added a couple tight ends in free agency, but none are really top end quality. Hayden Hurst gives them a pass catcher who can also line up inline.
62. Minnesota Vikings: Arden Key, EDGE, LSU
The Vikings can afford to do whatever at the end of round two, and they pick up a pass rusher with plenty of potential, should he stay clean off of the field.
63. New England Patriots: Harrison Phillips, DT, Stanford
The Pats finish out their first two rounds with another defensive player. Harrison Phillips plays relentless on the defensive line.
64. Cleveland Browns (from Eagles): M.J. Stewart, CB, North Carolina
The Browns desperately need corner help, and they get M.J. Stewart, a name that isn’t getting enough buzz right now.
How do you think your team did? Questions? Comments? Follow Jake on Twitter @JSchyvinck13.
Also, NEWS! Nate and Jake will be back again this year breaking down picks live and chatting with all you NFL and draft fans on Twitter. Go to @SportsGuysBlog on Twitter for coverage of the first two nights.