With the draft happening this week, here is my projected 1st round mock draft. This is of course if there are no trades, which is of course unlikely. So here are some teams I think that are have the means and motivations to make a move on draft night:
New England Patriots: With two 1st rounders and two 2nd rounders, they definitely have the picks to move up in the draft to snag a prospect, maybe QB, if they want to.
Washington Redskins: With so many good QBs projected to go in the early 1st round, if one of the 4 slip to Washington, look for them to trade back.
Arizona Cardinals: If a QB starts to slip, I think the Cardinals have the biggest motivation to move up to grab a QB. As the only quality QB on their roster, Bradford, has an extensive injury history.
Denver Broncos: With a pretty talented roster and a competent starting QB in Keenum, look for Denver to look for a QB needy trading partner to move back and gather as many picks as possible to give them more flexibility and freedom in this draft.
1. Cleveland Browns
QB Josh Allen- Wyoming
Josh Allen has by far the highest ceilings of all the QB’s in this draft. He has one of the strongest arms scouts have ever seen, and has the mobility and the size that have teams drooling over him. But, he also has one of the lowest floors of the many QB’s in this draft. His low completion percentage in college has people talking about his future in the NFL in regards to his anticipation and timing, which are key in today’s NFL. But I think Cleveland, being Cleveland, take the risk as they already have a veteran QB, Tyrod Taylor, set to be their starter.
2. New York Giants
QB Sam Darnold- USC
People have gone back and forth on whether the Giants take the can’t miss, combine monster RB Saquon Barkley, but I have come to the conclusion that they don’t. Many reports say that the Giants are in love with Darnold and if he’s there I predict they take him. It’s not very often that a roster as talented as the Giants have the #2 overall pick, and with that, they should pick a franchise QB that Darnold is. Causing a smooth transition from Manning to Darnold.
3. New York Jets (from Indianapolis Colts)
QB Josh Rosen- UCLA
Josh Rosen, I think, is the best pure passer in this draft. According to Rosen’s former coach, Jim Nora, Josh is built for New York. I think he’ll go there at #3 to the Jets. I think Josh McCown would be a great mentor to Rosen, and would keep the pressure off of him with both McCown and Bridgewater both on the roster.
4. Cleveland Browns (from Houston Texans)
CB Denzel Ward- Ohio State
Before Free Agency started, it was an easy fit to peg Barkley in at the #4 spot, but with the Browns signing RB Carlos Hyde, it takes away the need of a RB for Cleveland. Instead, I think they’ll go for another need, CB, after losing both Joe Haden and Jason McCourty over the past 2 seasons. Ward is the best combination of athleticism and instincts at corner in this draft.
5. Denver Broncos
QB Baker Mayfield- Oklahoma
The Broncos are in a similar situation as the Giants. They have a talented roster, but have a pick in the top 5. Also needing a need at RB, I think they take advantage of taking a franchise QB with Mayfield still available. I think he definetly leans more towards the Russell Wilson comparison than the Johnny Manziel comparison. Look for him to have a successful career, despite his height. Look for Keenum to tudor Mayfield well as he only signed with the Broncos for 2 years.
6. Indianapolis Colts (from New York Jets)
DE Bradley Chubb- NC State
Surprisingly, the best defensive player in this draft comes off the board at 6. The Colts need a multitude of upgrades throughout their roster, and will go best available. Chubb has the potential to become one of the most impactful defensive players in the league.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
RB Saquon Barkley- Penn State
The Buccaneers have looked to fill the RB spot for years. They thought they did when Doug Martin exploded with a huge rookie year; but soon enough, he fell off fast, and they eventually cut him this offseason. Now they can’t miss on Barkley, as he is the best prospect in this draft. They are just lucky to have all of these QB’s cause Barkley to fall to them.
8. Chicago Bears
G Quenton Nelson- Notre Dame
The Bears have committed this offseason to helping out their soon to be sophomore QB with weapons. Now they’ll help him out with adding a beast at guard; helping in both protection and the running game. Nelson is special, his tape is sensational to watch. He will continue to add to a successful offseason for Chicago.
9. San Francisco 49ers
OLB Tremaine Edmunds- Virginia Tech
The rebuild in San Francisco continues, but with a franchise QB in place in Jimmy G I think they’ll go best available defensive player, and that’ll be Tremaine Edmunds out of Virginia Tech. Edmunds is a physical freak who can do it all on the football. Defend the run, pass, rush the passer and take on blocks; He can do anything on the gridiron.
10. Oakland Raiders
CB Minkah Fitzpatrick- Alabama
The Raiders had one of the worst secondaries a year ago, and they’ll definitely improve it by drafting the most versatile DB in the draft. He can play outside, nickel, or even safety; Jon Gruden will love his versatility. Fitzpatrick has best football instincts of any CB in this year’s crop. He’ll be a staple in Oakland’s secondary for years to come.
11. Miami Dolphins
LB Roquan Smith- Georgia
The Dolphins have hit the reboot button this offseason with trading away WR Jarvis Landry and cutting DT Ndamukong Suh. They also will hit the jackpot getting Smith here to be the new leader for this defense. Smith is a dominate sideline to sideline defender, who has the best instincts of any LB of this class.
12. Buffalo Bills from Cincinnati Bengals
T Mike McGlinchey- Notre Dame
The Bills traded with the Bengals up to 12 and sending tackle Cordy Glenn, causing a need at LT. McGlinchey is the overall best tackle in this draft, and would be a huge help on the offensive line with protecting recently signed QB AJ McCarron.
13. Washington Redskins
DT Tevita Tuliakiono Tuipuloto Mosese Va'hae Faletau Vea (Vita Vea) – Washington
After a season where the Redskins finished last in the NFL in rush defense, they need to bulk up their defensive line. And in no better way could they do that than drafting Vita Vea. Vea is a monster of a man who has a great mix of both size and athleticism; the Redskins will add a force in the middle of the defensive line.
14. Green Bay Packers
S Derwin James- Florida State
The only problem the packers have had have nothing to do with the offense. I think them drafting James, paired with Clinton-Dix would solidify their secondary and help their defense out tremendously. James is the most talented safety in this draft, and has
15. Arizona Cardinals
QB Lamar Jackson- Louisville
After having Carson Palmer under center for 5 seasons for the Cardinals, Palmer retired this offseason. And after signing an unreliable Sam Bradford, there is still a need for QB. Lamar Jackson is the only prospect in this year’s draft who had the must see factor when he had the ball in his hands. He is a Michal Vick, Reggie Bush type of talent who, with the right teaching, cold be a game changer in the NFL.
16. Baltimore Ravens
WR DJ Moore- Maryland
Let’s face it, Joe Flacco the past 5 seasons since Flacco got the contract of a lifetime after winning a Super Bowl, has been mediocre at best. Last season especially, barely throwing for 3,000 yards in 16 starts. This offseason they have revamped their receiving corps, and I think they’ll continue to do that with adding the talented DJ Moore. Moore is one of the most talented WR in this draft at YAC, he can take any slant, or screen the distance on any play.
17. Los Angeles Chargers
DT Da’Ron Payne- Alabama
The Chargers have arguably the best pass rush tandem in the NFL in Bosa and Ingram, but their rush defense however finished 2nd-to-last in the NFL. Da’Ron Payne has a unique mix of size and athleticism, and is elite at stuffing the run game.
18. Seattle Seahawks
DT Maurice Hurst- Michigan
With the Seahawks needing to make room for Russell Wilsons contract, needed to clear space off of their cap that has decimated their defense. So they’ll need to pick a big force in the middle of their defense, Maurice Hurst. Hurst can penetrate and wreak havoc in the backfield with ease.
19. Dallas Cowboys
WR Clavin Ridley- Alabama
Dez is gone. The Cowboys need a playmaker. Calvin Ridley is the best all-around WR in this draft; match-made in heaven. Enough said.
20. Detroit Lions
DE Marcus Davenport- UTSA
Rookie head coach Matt Patricia is a defensive coach who I think will address one of the team’s biggest needs, rushing the passer. Marcus Davenport is the best DE in this class that isn’t Bradley Chubb, who is exceptional at rushing the QB with incredible size, length and quickness.
21. Cincinnati Bengals (from Buffalo Bills)
C James Daniel- Iowa
The Bengals finished last year only averaging 3.6 YPC and need to improve their interior offensive line. Daniel is the best pure center in this class whose elite quickness helps him strive in zone blocking schemes, and pass protection.
22. Buffalo Bills from Kansas City Chiefs
LB Leighton Vander Esch- Boise State
The Bills are in need a of a tackle machine after losing Zach Brown a couple seasons ago, and Vander Esch is a clear fit. His production in the both run and pass are impressive as he seems he is a magnet to the football. An every down linebacker, who is ready to fill the stat sheet.
23. New England Patriots (from Los Angeles Rams)
CB Josh Jackson- Iowa
After the very odd scenario at Super Bowl LII that led to Malcolm Butler’s departure from New England, there is now a whole at CB for the Patriots. Jackson, former WR, led the FBS with 8 INTs. He has tremendous ball skills and the best zone-coverage corner in this year’s draft.
24. Carolina Panthers
CB Jaire Alexander- Louisville
The Panthers have really struggled trying to find a successful replacement to Josh Norman, and have the potential to snag one in this year’s draft. Alexander is a quick, instinctive corner who is elite on jumping on routes. He battled a sprained knee last season, which will allows him to drop to Carolina.
25. Tennessee Titans
EDGE Harold Landry- Boston College
Landry fits perfectly with the Titans who need a stand up, pure pass rusher in their 3-4 system. Landry has elite speed around the outside, allowing him to dip and rip around most tackles at the next level, comparable to Vic Beasley and Bruce Irvin in the NFL.
26. Atlanta Falcons
DT Taven Bryan- Florida
Taven Bryan will fill the whole that Dontari Poe left in free agency. Bryan brings raw and elite athleticism at the DT position. Still feeling out and learning the instincts at the position, he has a really high ceiling. With correct coaching and some patience, he has the potential to be a wrecking force, paired with Grady Jarrett in Atlanta.
27. New Orleans Saints
TE Hayden Hurst- South Carolina
With Coby Fleener not panning out as most expected In New Orleans, I expect them to create competition at the TE spot. Hayden Hurst is a great combination, blocking and receiving, tight end who has reliable hands. He definitely has the potential to become any NFL QB’s security blacnket at the next level.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers
LB Rashaan Evans- Alabama
After Ryan Shazier went down with a devastating spine injury against the Bengals, it left a big hole at ILB for the Steelers. Rashaan Evans is a versatile LB who can track sideline to sideline very well, and is great at rushing the passer up the middle.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars
T Connor Williams- Texas
With the combination of the need of tackle for the Jags and them being a run first offense, Williams seems to fit Jacksonville’s needs. Williams, I think is the best run blocking tackle in this class and could strive in the Jaguars offense.
30. Minnesota Vikings
G Isiah Wynn- Georgia
Minnesota just invested a whole lot in Kirk Cousins this past offseason, and are looking to stabilize their offensive line in this draft. Wynn is a technically sound guard who is dominant in pass protection, and can play anywhere on the offensive line. Exactly what the Vikings are looking for.
31. New England Patriots
T Kolton Miller- UCLA
After Nate Solder signs with the Giants, the Patriots need a left tackle, and they draft one in Miller. Miller is the most athletic tackle available in this year’s draft, and has the most potential. But with some miss steps in pass protection he needs some coaching, and I don’t doubt he’ll get it in New England.
32. Philadelphia Eagles
RB Derrius Guice- LSU
The Eagles executed RB by committee to the finest with adding Jay Ajayi to LeGarette Blount and Wendell Smallwood; as this rushing attach carry the Eagles to a Super Bowl victory. I think they’ll continue that strategy by adding Guice out of LSU. Guice is a great, do it all back who will add only another dimension to the Eagles running game.