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): Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
Even though another prospect tops our 2018 NFL Draft Big Board (and most big boards), 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 missing out on Kirk Cousins in free agency and trading up to No. 3, at least one other QB will be selected in the top three. ESPN insider Adam Schefter described a potential QB-QB-QB start to the draft as "likely." 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.
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): "John Dorsey spent a lot of his formative time in the league in Green Bay when Brett Favre was the quarterback, a big, strong-armed thrower, a guy who could really throw off platform, could make improvisational plays and really make up for a lot of things with his exceptional arm talent. And then when you go back and you look at (Dorsey's) draft history and some of the guys that he's taken, he has a long track record of going for projection and potential over production.''
2. New York Giants (Draft History): Sam Darnold, QB, USC
This is where the draft gets interesting.
Will the Giants stay put and draft the best player available (not a quarterback)? Will they take advantage of a rare opportunity of holding such a high pick to draft Eli Manning's successor? Or parlay this pick into a slew of additional picks by trading back to a QB-needy team like Buffalo?
Not only has Gettleman never traded out of a draft pick (either up or down in any round), reports suggest the Giants would only consider one quarterback at this spot -- and he's available here if the Browns go with Allen over Darnold at No. 1. Only 20 years old, the USC signal-caller will have an opportunity to sit and learn behind Eli Manning, but he possesses the prototypical size and arm strength with plus mobility to give the franchise back-to-back decade-plus starters once it's Darnold's turn.
3. (via IND) New York Jets (Draft History): Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
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.
The only concern is that the Jets could be stuck with their third choice if the draft plays out like this. It's possible that Rosen, the most pro-ready among the draft class, could be their first choice though, but it wouldn't be a surprise if the Jets attempt to move up to No. 2 or even No. 1. Reports were that tried to move to No. 1 initially. By bringing back Josh McCown, the Jets have an ideal bridge quarterback and mentor for Rosen.
MORE: 2018 New York Jets Mock Draft Database
4. (via HOU) Cleveland Browns (Draft History): Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
An ideal scenario for Dorsey, the Browns get their franchise quarterback (Darnold) and the prospect widely-viewed as the best in this year's draft class with the fourth overall pick. Perhaps he goes with a prospect like Bradley Chubb, but Dorsey has his choice of quarterback and choice of non-quarterback under this scenario.
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 in his past two seasons at Penn State. In addition, Barkley's presence would help take the pressure off Allen when he takes over for Taylor.
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2018 NFL Draft: Combine ResultsBelow you will find links to results from the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine.
- Scouting Combine Participants: QBs
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- Scouting Combine Participants: OL