NFL Mock Draft: Picks 1-10

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Barkley vs Akron” by Penn State is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

We are less than a month away from the 2018 NFL Draft that will take place at AT&T Stadium right here in Arlington, TX. With the time winding down, NFL analysts across the country are writing up their mock drafts and they’re so different from analyst to analyst, which makes them fun to analyze. Here’s my mock draft for the first 10 picks in this year’s draft.

#1 Cleveland Browns: Sam Darnold, QB, USC

Sam Darnold is the perfect build for today’s NFL Quarterback. He’s smart, can be elusive in the pocket, and his rainy day pro day has NFL scouts drooling at his potential. He will fit perfectly in Cleveland and won’t be forced to start week 1 with Tyrod Taylor running the show for the time being.

#2 Buffalo Bills (TRADE WITH NYG): Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

In this scenario, I have the Bills giving up their two first rounders this year and more to the Giants in order to go get their franchise quarterback. Allen is big, tall, and probably can throw the ball out of New Era Field in Buffalo. Allen has an accuracy problem, but can sit behind AJ McCarron for the time being and adapt to the NFL lifestyle and preparation. Also he played at Wyoming, so he is used to cold and breezy conditions.

#3 New York Jets: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA 

After trading with the Indianapolis Colts and giving up a lot of picks to only get your third choice, I believe the Jets will take Rosen here. He is probably the most NFL ready and smartest QB in this class, but most scouts question his love for the game and his durability, which he struggled with at his time at UCLA. He can sit behind McCown and Teddy Bridgewater and take over the helm when he is ready.

#4 Cleveland Browns: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State 

I don’t think John Dorsey and the Browns get cute here and they should take Barkley. I’m sure they will get a field of calls, but Barkley is arguably the best player in this draft and he is a game changer to a Browns team desperate this year to win games. Browns walk into day 2 with a franchise QB and RB. The future is looking bright in Cleveland, maybe they’ll get it right.

#5 Denver Broncos: Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State

John Elway probably wants to pull the trigger on a QB here and hopes Keenum can lead him to success in the mile high city. He takes the #1 pass rusher in this years draft and pairs him up with Von Miller to create a nasty edge rushing combo that could be dominant for years to come. Elway gets back to building a defense that was present during the run to the Lombardi Trophy.

#6 Miami Dolphins (TRADE WITH IND): Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma

Miami pulls the trigger to trade with Indianapolis to go up and select Baker Mayfield. The 2017 Heisman winner walks into a team freshly starting a rebuild after sending most of its offensive power away. Baker can sit back for a bit behind Tannehill, and eventually take over the reigns of the franchise. Baker goes to Miami and brings some smash mouth to a team needing some swagger.

#7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Minkah Fitzpatrick, S, Alabama

Minkah Fitzpatrick is arguably the lowest risk player in this draft and fits the mold of the hybrid safety that teams in the NFL are branching towards. He is an overall playmaker and will immediately improve this defense. Now the Bucs have a leader on the line in Gerald McCoy, a leader in the linebacking core with Lavonte David, and now with Minkah in the secondary. Don’t get cute Tampa Bay.

#8 Chicago Bears: Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State

Another one of these low risk players in this years draft. Denzel Ward is the best corner in this years draft and thanks to the quarterback frenzy in the top half of the draft, Ward falls right into the laps of Chicago. Ward will easily slide into CB2 role behind Kyle Fuller and the Bears defense is starting to take shape after a good offseason improving the offense. Ward to Chicago.

#9 San Francisco 49ers: Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame

John Lynch and his staff do it again. They get the best interior offensive lineman in this year’s draft and they didn’t even have to move up this time to get him. They sure up the o-line for Jimmy Garoppolo and walk into the 2018 season looking to make some noise in the NFC. San Francisco keeps making the right moves.

#10 Oakland Raiders: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia

I had some decisions to make here on who newly appointed head coach, Jon Gruden, and General Manager, Reggie McKenzie would go here. I think Gruden likes the tough and gritty players and Roquan Smith fits the bill. He is a tough linebacker with a nose for the football. Gruden gets his guy.

There it is! Hope you enjoyed the read!

-Tanner

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