The 2018 Draft is next week! I take a hilariously wrong guess at what might happen on April 26th.
1. Cleveland Browns – Sam Darnold (QB)
Only the Browns would be dumb enough to take Josh Allen No. 1 overall but I am still holding out hope for humanity here. Darnold has tools but isn’t ready to start as he was overly reliant on RPOs in college. He’ll get to sit behind Tyrod Taylor and learn, but will Hue Jackson even be Cleveland’s head coach in 2019?
2. New York Giants – Bradley Chubb (Edge)
The Giants are dysfunctional but serious about Eli, even if it’s his last hurrah (or two). Rosen should be the pick but Gettleman didn’t draft Cam Newton in Carolina either and will do what he always does and load up on the defensive line. Chubb is the best edge player in the draft, replaces Pierre-Paul, and there isn’t an interior defensive lineman worth this pick.
3. New York Jets – Josh Rosen (QB)
Todd Bowles did a good job last year with a depleted team and can’t believe the best quarterback prospect in the draft falls to three. You also don’t trade up to three and not take a quarterback. Rosen is ready to start and has the processing speed and anticipation you look for in a high-upside starting QB.
4. Cleveland Browns – Mike McGlinchey (OT)
The Browns reach a bit to replace future gold jacket wearer Joe Thomas.
5. Buffalo Bills – Baker Mayfield (QB)
The Broncos have a lot of needs and Elway is about to take the versatile Wynn, but the Bills are impatient and trade up for Mayfield, making an offer Elway can’t refuse.
6. Indianapolis Colts – Quenton Nelson (G)
The board doesn’t do the Colts any favors. They really need help in converting to a 4-3 but Chubb is gone and no 3-tech is worth this spot and the positional value for a linebacker isn’t there so they “settle” for the best overall player on the board.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Saquon Barkley (RB)
The board doesn’t do any favors for the Bucs either as only three quarterbacks go before them but they’re widely thought of as the three best, leaving Tampa with no trade partners and Chubb and Nelson are gone. The positional value isn’t there but Barkley is a home run threat on every play and that’s precisely why he’s a boom/bust prospect - he tries to turn every play into a home run. Still, he fills one of the Bucs’ two biggest needs and Koetter’s big-play philosophy. If Barkley can learn to make mature decisions with the ball he could be a star.
8. Chicago Bears – Roquan Smith (LB)
Pairing Harold Landry with Leonard Floyd is tempting and they need help at nickel but with a deep slot corner class the Bears pounce on the explosive linebacker from Georgia to help close the passing windows vs Aaron Rodgers.
9. San Francisco 49ers – Isaiah Wynn (G/OT)
Shanahan gets a solid foundational piece as he remakes the 49ers offense and understands how important the offensive line is.
10. Oakland Raiders – Derwin James (S)
The Raiders fall in love with James’ athletic ability.
11. Miami Dolphins – Denzel Ward (CB)
The Fins are in the middle of a rebuild and take a corner sticky in man coverage.
12. Denver Broncos – Harold Landry (Edge)
The Broncos should take a quarterback but after acquiring Case Keenum Elway decides to go for the best edge rusher left in the explosive Landry to pair with Von Miller.
13. Washington Redskins – Vita Vea (DT)
Vea is an athletic nose tackle who can become the centerpiece of Washington’s defensive rebuild.
14. Green Bay Packers – Isaiah Oliver - (CB)
The Packers need help on defense and take the lengthy Isaiah Oliver to pair with fellow enormous CB Kevin King.
15. Arizona Cardinals – Lamar Jackson (QB)
Jackson is the second most-talented quarterback in the draft and will lead the Cardinal rebuild; he possesses the requisite processing speed and experience in an NFL system to go along with his insane athleticism but also has some mechanical issues to work through.
16. Baltimore Ravens – Courtland Sutton (WR)
The Ravens were hoping Jackson would fall to them, but grudgingly take the big target Sutton in an effort to help Flacco.
17. Los Angeles Chargers – Kolton Miller (OT)
Kolton Miller immediately upgrades the pass protection in an effort to extend Rivers’ career.
18. Seattle Seahawks – Connor Williams (OT)
Josh Jackson is an option here to replace Richard Sherman, but the Seahawks’ offensive line is a giant mess. Williams should help anchor it.
19. Dallas Cowboys – James Washington (WR)
Cowboys get their replacement for Dez Bryant.
20. Detroit Lions – Derrius Guice (RB)
New Lions head coach Matt Patricia needs to rebuild the defense but since he doesn’t like the edge rushers here he goes with powerful running back Derrius Guice to take pressure off Stafford.
21. Cincinnati Bengals – Will Hernandez (G)
The Bengals need as much help on the offensive line as they can get.
22. Denver Broncos – Josh Jackson (CB)
The Broncos pick this up thru their trade with the Bills. Elway continues the defensive rebuild with a lengthy corner.
23. New England Patriots – Minkah Fitzpatrick (CB/S)
Fitzpatrick’s slide ends here as everyone groans about how Belichick somehow effortlessly fleeces the league yet again.
24. Carolina Panthers – Calvin Ridley (WR)
The Panthers try to help Cam Newton with a savvy route runner.
25. Tennessee Titans – Josh Sweat (Edge)
The Titans roll the dice on the super-athletic Sweat, betting that his knee is fully healed.
26. Atlanta Falcons – Maurice Hurst (DT)
The Falcons get a top 15 talent that falls because of his heart concerns.
27. New Orleans Saints – Mike Gesicki (TE)
The Saints replace Coby Fleener with a freakishly athletic tight end.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers – Justin Reid (S)
Steelers get a good safety.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars – Michael Gallup (WR)
The Jags take a receiver to help round out their offense.
30. Minnesota Vikings – Braden Smith (G)
The Vikings desperately need offensive line help but with the top guards and tackles all gone, they reach for Smith.
31. New England Patriots – Jaire Alexander (CB)
The Patriots remake their secondary in one night with the talented Alexander.
32. Philadelphia Eagles – Sony Michel (RB)
The Eagles add a dynamic feature running back.