2018 NFL Mock Draft - Kevin Hanson
|The Huddle Report tracks NFL Mock Draft Accuracy and EDSFootball's Kevin Hanson ranks 5th over the past five years. In addition, his 2015 NFL mock was the most accurate among the 113 tracked that year.|
With the seemingly endless amount of possibilities including draft-day trades, projecting an NFL draft is virtually impossible even minutes before it begins, let alone almost two weeks ahead of time.
With that said, here is a look at how the 2018 NFL Draft could play out:
1. Cleveland Browns (Draft History): Sam Darnold, QB, USC
Another prospect tops our 2018 NFL Draft Big Board (and most big boards), but this pick will almost certainly be a quarterback. While the Browns have two top-four selections, the only way they have their choice of quarterback is by using this pick to draft one.
With the Jets trading up to No. 3, at least one other QB will be selected before the Browns pick again at No. 4. Perhaps the Giants won't draft Eli Manning's eventual replacement at No. 2, but it wouldn't be shocking to see Buffalo (or Arizona or someone else) trade up in front of the Jets.
As we all know, no position is more important in professional team sports than quarterback and Cleveland needs to get this pick right after passing on opportunities to draft Carson Wentz and Deshaun Watson in back-to-back drafts. By trading for Tyrod Taylor, who will be the team's 29th starting quarterback since 1999 (when pro football returned to Cleveland), the Browns are afforded the opportunity to sit whichever signal-caller they draft here and allow him to learn and develop before being thrown into the mix.
So, will the pick be Sam Darnold, who has a higher floor, or Josh Allen, who has a higher ceiling?
Not only has John Dorsey's "friend" suggested the Browns will take Allen, but you could also argue that Allen more closely fits the style of a Dorsey pick. As NFL Network's Bucky Brooks notes (via Cleveland.com): "Dorsey ... has a long track record of going for projection and potential over production.''
As much as Allen fits the profile of what Dorsey may want, it's difficult to envision them pass on a safer prospect with plenty of his own upside given the team's track record at the position. Only 20 years old, the USC signal-caller possesses the prototypical size and arm strength to make all of the throws with plus mobility to extend plays.
For me, the tie-breaker is Vegas. Since my last mock draft update, the odds on Darnold-vs.-Allen (-200 to -220 for Darnold and +150 to +140 for Allen) as the top-overall pick has widened in favor of Darnold (via sportsbook.ag).
2. New York Giants (Draft History): Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
This is where the draft gets interesting (although the Josh Allen-vs.-Sam Darnold debate has added intrigue to the first overall pick as well).
Gettleman does not have a history of trading out of picks, but it would certainly make sense for him to do so (if he's not comfortable taking a quarterback here). In a previous version of my mock, I had Gettleman going with Darnold, the one quarterback the Giants GM seems willing to consider here. Gettleman has talked about drafting a future Hall-of-Famer this high and although it's obviously way-too-early to make those declarations about any prospect, that would seem to imply that he could go with Saquon Barkley or Bradley Chubb here.
An athletic freak at 230 pounds, Barkley put on a display at the NFL Scouting Combine last month -- 4.40 forty, 29 bench press reps, 41-inch vertical, etc. -- and racked up 3,801 yards from scrimmage and 43 touchdowns over his past two seasons at Penn State. If the Giants organization believes that Eli Manning has a few more years left, Barkley would give a turbo-charged boost to the running game they lacked last season.
"Heís one of those guys that my mother could have scouted," Gettleman said (via the NY Post). "When youíre picking this high, if you make a mistake, if you miss on a quarterback, itís a five-year mistake."
MORE: Giants get Eli's heir apparent in our way-too-early 2019 NFL Mock Draft
3. (via IND) New York Jets (Draft History): Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
Using Day 2/3 picks on quarterbacks -- Bryce Petty (2015) and Christian Hackenberg (2016) -- in recent drafts hasn't put the Jets any closer to finding their franchise quarterback. By giving up three second-rounders including both this year, the Jets will undoubtedly draft a quarterback here.
There have been increasing links between the Jets and Baker Mayfield with DraftAnalyst.com's Tony Pauline saying one of his sources calls Mayfield to the Jets a "done deal." Extremely confident and playing with a massive chip on his shoulder, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner has the two highest grades given by PFF College.
- Full 2018 NFL Mock Draft
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Way-too-early 2019 NFL Mock DraftWe are one week away from the 2018 NFL Draft, so naturally, I've just posted my 2019 NFL Mock Draft.
Yes, 2019. (That wasn't a typo.)
Of course, we wouldn't project how the 2019 NFL Draft could shake our without already posting our 2018 NFL mock draft.
With the 2019 draft more than a year away, the draft order, the prospects that will declare early, how next year's free agency will shape team needs, etc. are all as clear as mud.
I'm not here to tell you that I have all of that figured out.
Based on what we know today, however, this is a preview of how the 2019 NFL Draft could play out. But of course you should take it with a massive grain of salt as so much will change between now and then.
The draft order for this mock was determined by using the inverse order of our consensus NFL power rankings (average ranking from a variety of national media outlets). One exception is we made sure that the 12 playoff teams were represented evenly by the AFC and NFC.
With all of that said, here's our way-too-early 2019 NFL mock draft:
1. Indianapolis Colts (Draft History): Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State
At this point, who knows what the Colts will get from Andrew Luck in 2018? Yet to throw an NFL-sized football, a wait-and-see approach is probably best considering how last season played out. I suppose if the Colts are picking first, there's a good chance that Luck did not play (another season) and a quarterback would be in play here.
Second-to-last in the NFL in sacks (25) last season, the Colts are likely to target edge rusher Bradley Chubb in the 2018 NFL Draft. But even if they fall to him at No. 6, you can never have too many pass-rushers. With first-round draft pedigree (father Nick and brother Joey), Bosa was named Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year as a true sophomore as the former five-star recruit led the Buckeyes in tackles for loss (16), sacks (8.5) and QB pressures (nine).
2. Miami Dolphins (Draft History): Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
The Dolphins have been linked to Baker Mayfield as much as any other team throughout the draft process. If the Dolphins don't move up, it's unlikely that Mayfield falls outside the top 10 (and to them at No. 11). If they are selecting this high in 2019, they could have their pick of quarterbacks.
Possessing prototypical traits, Lock led college football with 43 touchdowns last season and may be the favorite to be the first signal-caller to hear his name called in 2019. NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah wrote earlier this offseason that "Lock gets the most buzz ... (and) ... might have the highest ceiling" (of next year's crop of quarterbacks). "Everyone loves his size and arm strength."
- Continue to 2019 NFL Mock Draft
2018 NFL Draft: Combine ResultsBelow you will find links to results from the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine.
- Scouting Combine Participants: QBs
- Scouting Combine Participants: RBs
- Scouting Combine Participants: WRs
- Scouting Combine Participants: TEs
- Scouting Combine Participants: OL