I have never claimed to be an NFL Draft expert and very well could be completely mistaken upon submitting this mini-mock draft. But here is my (fairly uneducated) guess at the top-15 picks in this year’s draft – mock trades included.
1. CLEVELAND: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
2. NY GIANTS: Sam Darnold, QB, USC
3. NY JETS: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
4. CLEVELAND: Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State
5. BUFFALO (projected trade with Denver): Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
6. INDIANAPOLIS: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
7. TAMPA BAY: Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame
8. CHICAGO: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
9. SAN FRANCISCO: Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
10. GREEN BAY (projected trade with Oakland): Minkah Fitzpatrick, S, Alabama
11. MIAMI: Derwin James, S, Florida State
12. DENVER (from Buffalo): Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
13. WASHINGTON: Vita Vea, DL, Washington
14. OAKLAND (from Green Bay): Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa
15. ARIZONA: Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville
A few quick thoughts:
-There is just too much smoke around Baker Mayfield to Cleveland that I can’t resist (as of the time this was written on Wednesday night). If he doesn’t go #1, the next 6 picks will all be very incorrect.
-If the Browns do the unthinkable and take Mayfield, the Giants can’t pass on Darnold, who is most likely their top-QB on the board, right?
-I feel good about Rosen to the Jets if Mayfield is gone…if not, he likely goes before the UCLA QB, who in my opinion, is the best signal caller in this year’s draft.
-Buffalo has two first round picks and will use them to trade up with either Denver or Indy and draft a QB.
-To me, Barkley and Nelson are the safest players in the draft. If they both slip beyond pick #5, it’s a steal for the teams who draft them.
-As a Packers fan, I really hope they trade up for secondary help – specifically Fitzpatrick, James, or Ward.
-Alexander at 15 seems like a typical Cardinals / Steve Keim pick. Solid…fine…ok…but uninspiring. My advice: trade down and draft a WR while accumulating ideally another 2nd round pick.
Can’t wait to see how things play out on Thursday night!