Now that two of the biggest quarterback shoes have dropped, we have a better idea of how that dynamic will play out during the spring. All 32 teams have now also transitioned fully to the offseason after the Eagles’ upset win over New England in Super Bowl LII. Starting with the NFL Scouting Combine coming up here soon and free agency shortly after that, player movement is going to be the name of the game around the league.
We’ll definitely have a better understanding of how this year’s draft will unfold following free agency. But for now, there’s a general idea of what teams will be looking at. In this specific mock, we have six quarterbacks going in the first round. We also project one top-end running back prospect to fall a bit lower than he should. From there, playoff teams address perceived problems with potential long-term fixes while a downtrodden Browns squad looks for a fix on each side of the ball. Here’s our latest 2018 NFL Mock Draft.
- Cleveland Browns: Josh Rosen, quarterback, UCLA
It’s clearly time for Cleveland to bite the bullet and actually exhaust a top-round pick on a quarterback. In a class that’s filled with potential franchise signal callers, that time is now. DeShone Kizer isn’t the guy. The Browns have five picks in the first three rounds. Rosen is the most gifted natural passer in the draft and fits Hue Jackson’s offense better than the other top-end options. He can sit for a season while the Cleveland builds up the talent around him on offense.
2. New York Giants: Sam Darnold, quarterback, USC
New York is in a much different situation than Cleveland in that it has a starter-caliber quarterback on the roster. Though, we have no idea how much longer Eli Manning will play for. Following a disastrous season, the Giants find themselves in uncharted territory with a selection in the top five. The team just recently hired quarterback guru Pat Shurmur as head coach. Really, the stars are aligning for them to add a quarterback. Darnold is a project. He started for just two seasons at USC. But there’s no real reason to believe the Giants will pass up on him here. It makes too much sense to get that line of succession going immediately.
3. Indianapolis Colts: Bradley Chubb, EDGE, North Carolina State
We could have gone Saquon Barkley. After all, Frank Gore is on his last legs and will hit free agency. We also could have provided Andrew Luck with that dominant offensive lineman in Quenton Nelson. Instead, look for GM Chris Ballard to address one of the largest weaknesses on this roster. Not a single Colts defender racked up as much as six sacks last season. Chubb is by far the best EDGE rusher in the draft. Team him up with 2017 first-round pick, safety Malik Hooker, and the Colts have two solid building blocks on defense.
4. Cleveland Browns: Minkah Fitzpatrick, defensive back, Alabama
This scribe thinks Cleveland should double down in the backfield with Barkley here. But Browns general manager John Dorsey has other thoughts. Boasting three second-round picks, the first-year GM can afford to wait it out until Day 2 for a running back and other skill-position players. It’s in this that we project Cleveland will attempt to duplicate what the Jaguars did with Jalen Ramsey in the 2016 NFL Draft. It will do so with a player in Fitzpatrick that offers similar skill sets. Most have Alabama’s best defensive player from the past two seasons slated to play safety. Though, he could also work very well as a physical boundary corner. It’s a perfect fit for the Browns as they look to rebuild a secondary that’s struggled a great deal in recent years.