1. Cleveland Browns – RB Saquon Barkley (Penn State, Heisman Trophy winner)
This is undeniably the best route to go for the Cleveland Browns. Tyrod Taylor as the interim quarterback solution deserves a quality backfield like he commanded in Buffalo. The Browns adapted this offseason with acquisitions of Taylor, Jarvis Landry and Carlos Hyde on the offensive side of the ball. Bring it all together with a Heisman trophy winning running back to handle the bulk of the load, and step-in as the face of the franchise.
2. New York Giants – QB Josh Rosen (UCLA)
This pick seems boring and that is because it IS. The Giants were hoping for Saquon Barkley to fall to them at this spot, but alas, this quarterback situation in New York is not going to fix itself. Bring in a kid with west coast confidence to practice with big talent wide-outs Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, Evan Engram and possibly Dez Bryant?
3. New York Jets (from Colts) – QB Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma)
Baker Mayfield will be the big attitude needed in a big city for this New York Jets franchise trying to climb out of the basement of the AFC. Hopefully, Mayfield can be the savior to Todd Bowles’ ‘rebuild.’
4. Cleveland Browns – G Quenton Nelson (Notre Dame)
Time to commit for the Browns! Here is where Cleveland doubles down on their new run-first offense. Grabbing not only the best player available, but also the best compliment player to their face of the franchise, Barkley. Some might think quarterback is the obvious choice here, but Tyrod has proven he can take a balanced team to the playoffs in back to back years. Avoid adding quarterback controversy this year, and see what other areas of this franchise need focus.
5. Denver Broncos – DE Bradley Chubb (NC State)
Denver failed to get Von Miller a friend via the deliverance from Kirk Cousins. So the Broncos go best player available here and draft a player who has been oft’ compared to the aforementioned Miller.
6. Indianapolis Colts (from Jets) - ILB Roquan Smith (Georgia)
Indy continues the roll of best player available looking to add a central piece to a defense without an identity or a star player.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – SS Derwin James (FSU)
Tampa Bay lacks a defensive play maker that can pitch shutouts on the back end and stay strong against game-winning drives. The Buc’s lost six games by 5 points or fewer in 2017. Adding a defensive freak of nature would be a brilliant centerpiece.
8. Chicago Bears – ILB Tremaine Edmunds (VA Tech)
The Bears look to improve on the defensive side of the ball to try and hang tough in the black-and-blue division. Their best bet is to fill a hole in their front seven that recently turned over Pernell McPhee, Willie Young and Christian Jones.
9. San Francisco 49ers – CB Minkah Fitzpatrick (Alabama)
Richard Sherman, say hello to your new protégé, Minkah Fitzpatrick. Whether Sherman is healthy or not his new task will be to groom this young NFC West defense into a Legion of Boom to GM John Lynch’s standards. Fitzpatrick will be a tool ready to plug into this team on the rise.
10. Oakland Raiders – CB Denzel Ward (Ohio State)
The third secondary player goes off the board in the top ten here with Ohio State’s Denzel Ward going to Oakland to survive a non-existent secondary under Jon Gruden’s regime.
11. Miami Dolphins – DT Vita Vea (Washington)
Let’s not diddle with the remaining quarterbacks here. Goodbye Ndamukong Suh, hello replacement, Vita Vea. Dolphins plug an immediate hole with a quality starter and the number one defensive tackle on big boards.
12. Buffalo Bills – QB Mason Rudolph (Oklahoma St)
Here’s the kicker, Mason Rudolph going before the heralded USC product in Sam Darnold and Wyoming’s Josh Allen. Buffalo looks to rebuild its offense around a quarterback with a resume to back it up and a 6’5” frame to lead the helm.
13. Washington Redskins – DT Maurice Hurst (Michigan)
The worst 2017 rushing defense needs to get big and strong quick if it wants to stop the division rival Eagles or Cowboys run game in 2018.
14. Green Bay Packers – CB Josh Jackson (Iowa)
With the departure of Damarious Randall (Cleveland), and Jordy Nelson (Oakland), they can go one of two ways here with this pick. Since the Pack signed Jimmy Graham to equip Aaron Rodgers with yet another dynamic pass catcher, it will be easier for them to focus on the secondary with this pick in the draft.
15. Arizona Cardinals – QB Josh Allen (Wyoming)
How Josh Allen slipped this far will amaze the Cardinals front office, but all the same they go into the 2018 season in a full overhaul of the past regime. Be patient Larry Fitzgerald!
16. Baltimore Ravens – WR Courtland Sutton (Southern Methodist)
Dez Bryant refused the courtship offered by the Ravens, but the Saints let Willie Snead slip from their fingers. The Ravens should double down here and get Joe Flacco some new red-zone targets to pair with a running attack that rushed for almost 2,000 yards last season.
17. Los Angeles Chargers - OT Mike McGlinchy (Notre Dame)
Philip Rivers is going to keep doing Philip Rivers, so why don’t you protect him and see if he can take the wide-open AFC West back over with a little help from Melvin Gordon’s run-game, and a stout front seven.
18. Seattle Seahawks – G Isaiah Wynn (Georgia)
No caption necessary. Seattle gets the best available interior linemen to help build their non-existent, ever-struggling offensive line.
19. Dallas Cowboys – WR Calvin Ridley (Alabama)
This pick might wow some of you, but to a certain type of analyst this move makes too much sense. Jerry Jones loves his big names, so here goes another one! Pretty soon, Dallas will be saying, ‘Dez Bryant, who?’
20. Detroit Lions – OG Will Hernandez (UTEP)
The Detroit Lions are statistically the worst team to have run the ball in 2017 by only gaining 1,221 yards from the line of scrimmage. To keep this one simple: Invest in your run game; you owe it to two-time Super Bowl winner LeGarrette Blount.
21. Cincinnati Bengals (from Bills) – C Frank Ragnow (Arkansas)
To stay on the topic of rushing offense, Cincinnati would do good to follow suit. This team is full of holes, but the talent they do have could use a little help on the O-line.
22. Buffalo Bills (from Kansas City) – OT Kolton Miller (UCLA)
This pick might seem vanilla, but what is actually going on here is the Buffalo Bills drafting their future blind side tackle. Somewhere out there LeSean McCoy is humming the sweet tune of gratitude. Did I mention he is a 6’9” prospect?
23. New England Patriots (from Rams) - DT Taven Bryan (Florida)
The Patriots front seven was fighting a war of attrition last year and this move is the best case scenario to add a big body in the middle of the defensive line.
24. Carolina Panthers – RB Derrius Guice (LSU)
Carolina should rock the draft with a devastating move to upgrade their offense. With the departure of Jonathon Stewart, the Panthers could use a run stuffing back to fill the need and create one of the most dynamic rushing duos in the NFL for 2018.
25. Tennessee Titans – OLB Leighton Vander Esch (Boise St.)
The Tennessee Titans are a good team and in order to get better they need to cause more turnovers and get faster on the edge. Both of these areas could improve by adding this defensive prospect out of Boise State. Last years Leighton Vander Esch forced three forced fumbles, two of them to win a game. He can make plays behind the line of scrimmage and in the secondary.
26. Atlanta Falcons - WR James Washington (Oklahoma St.)
The Falcons can draft a formidable compliment to Julio Jones here by grabbing James Washington out of Oklahoma State. He averaged a touchdown a game last year putting his touchdown mark at 39 for his college career, with a nice 4,472 receiving yards to match.
27. New Orleans Saints – OT Orlando Brown (Oaklahoma)
Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram combined for 2,070 yards in 2017. Adding big Orlando Brown to the mix can only make it better.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers – OLB Dorian O Daniel (Clemson)
Pittsburgh keeps tradition here by drafting linebacker to help stabilize a defense that is still without Ryan Shazier.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars – QB Lamar Jackson (Louisville)
Dare they tempt Blake Bortles’ fate by taking Lamar Jackson here and creating a quarterback race worth talking about? With the number one rushing attack in the league this offense will be one to follow on the road back to the playoffs.
30. Minnesota Vikings – OT Connor Williams (Texas)
30. Minnesota Vikings – OT Connor Williams (Texas)
The Vikings two biggest needs are the trenches on both sides of the ball. This move here will be an insurance policy for their new $84 million dollar quarterback Kirk Cousins.
31. New England Patriots – RB Sony Michel (Georgia)
With Dion Lewis heading to Tennessee the Patriots might look to replace him with Sony Michel out of Georgia. This is a move to keep the Patriots in contention of having one of the best offenses in the league.
32. Philadelphia Eagles - DE Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (Oklahoma)
The Super Bowl champs take the best player available here to add another element to their front seven.