The 2018 NFL Draft kicks off Thursday, April 26th. The time period between the twilight days of free agency and the draft are known as mock draft season. Personally, this is the most exciting time of the year besides Week 1. I love seeing different opinions on prospects, as fans, analysts and teams all have different grades for these young athletes. Starting this Wednesday, I will mock draft the first ten picks two more times prior to the draft because I myself, am in the process of watching film on prospects so I don’t want to under/over grade some players I haven’t yet watched tape on. I would love to hear your opinions either through the comments on this post, or on the social media platform you see this from! Let’s get started!
Pick 1: Cleveland Browns: Sam Darnold QB (USC). The Cleveland Browns take the best quarterback off the board and get their face of the franchise, first overall. The former USC product takes on the challenge and starts the season under center Week 1.
Pick 2: New York Giants: Saquon Barkley RB (Penn St.). The need for a future franchise quarterback is highlighted, underlined and capitalized but, I think the Giants try and get 1 more winning season from Eli and to do that, they draft their backfield powerhouse.
Pick 3: New York Jets: Josh Rosen QB (UCLA). The most natural passer in the 2018 draft class comes off the board at number 3. He has all the tools to be a franchise quarterback but there are questions on his durability, but I like the Jets to take the risk.
Pick 4: (PROJECTED TRADE) Buffalo Bills: Josh Allen QB (Wyoming). The Buffalo Bills go ahead and get their guy at number 4 by trading their 12th overall pick and a first next year. If this does happen, expect Aj McCarron to start in Week 1 because Allen although is uber talented, needs AT LEAST a year on the bench before taking the reigns.
Pick 5: Denver Broncos: Denzel Ward CB (Ohio St.). The consensus number 1 corner back in the 2018 NFL draft goes to the No Fly Zone to partner up with Chris Harris Jr. and Bradley Roby. He can start day 1 need be if Roby plays the slot.
Pick 6: Indianapolis Colts: Bradley Chubb EDGE (NC St.). Would you look at that? The guy that everyone was projecting for them to take at 3 is still there at 6. This would be perfect for the Colts as they continue to look to stack their roster to help Andrew Luck get to the promise land. Chubb would definitely help that cause.
Pick 7: (PROJECTED TRADE) Arizona Cardinals: Baker Mayfield QB (Oklahoma). The Tampa Bay Buccaneers look to trade back to accumulate draft picks to put talent on a roster that lacks it. But, look at this move by first year head coach, Steve Wilks. They go and get their future, dismissing his reported attitude problems and off the field issues.
Pick 8: Chicago Bears: Quenton Nelson GUARD (Notre Dame). The big mauler inside would be a plug and play prospect for the Chicago Bears who would help give Trubisky throwing time and Howard running lanes. Kyle Long would perfectly help guide that man to be one of the the top guards in the National Football League.
Pick 9: San Francisco 49ers: Minkah Fitzpatrick DB (Alabama). The rangy, saftey/corner back hybrid would give the 49ers’ their defensive captain for the next decade. After years of misery of the post-Harbaugh era, the 49ers are playoff ready.
Pick 10: Oakland Raiders: Tremaine Edmunds LB (Virginia Tech.). The young rookie would head into the 2018 NFL season at only 20 years old!! Giving him a decade and a half of pro-bowl caliber play. His technique is very raw but if he is coached up the right way, it will be scary for the AFC West.
Tell me your thoughts on my first 2018 NFL mock draft. The day before the draft I will give a full 1st round mock to help kick off draft weekend the right way! I wish nothing but success for all of these athletes!
Photo: AP/ Jae C. Hong