Nick Wilson's first NFL mock draft

How will things play out this April? An early run on QBs could be one guess

Nick Wilson
March 16, 2018 - 4:34 pm

Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports


NFL Mock Drafts are the worst, unless they are mine.

I bequeath unto you, one scenario I see playing out this April. While the Giants and Colts are the teams most likely to benefit from an early run on the quarterbacks, it only takes one of those teams to stay & pick for the right opportunity to present itself.

I can’t see a scenario where there are less than 3 quarterbacks drafted in the top 6, not given the teams within trade range to land their top guy.

1. Cleveland Browns: Sam Darnold QB USC

Pick a quarterback, any quarterback. Browns fans can’t seem to agree on a top quarterback and rightfully so. This year’s class certainly fits the cliché “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” The NFL is about projection which is why Darnold makes sense. He’s not the project Josh Allen is but is more likely to meet his upside than the Wyoming product & is more projectable than Josh Rosen. The best of both worlds.

2. New York Giants: Bradley Chubb DE NC State

The Giants will be choosing between Eli Manning’s heir, most impactful player left, and a potential trade down. GM Dave Gettleman is a man trying to build the best team possible to win now, so the best Edge Rusher in the draft it is.

3. Buffalo Bills (Via Indianapolis): Josh Rosen QB UCLA

 Buffalo finally makes the move to get their quarterback. Could see them going for the sizzle of Allen after watching Tyrod Taylor be good but not great the last 3 years but they make the safer play with Rosen.

4. New York Jets (Via Cleveland & Houston): Baker Mayfield QB Oklahoma

Welcome to the rest of America’s hell, Baker Mayfield in New York. Jets probably can’t wait multiple years for their QB of the future to develop as their QB’s are Josh McCown & Teddy Bridgewater so they gamble on the cult of personality that is Baker. It’ll either be a wonderful marriage or a wonderful disaster. Either way, it’ll be nauseating to the rest of us. Browns get a 2nd to move down 2 spots.

5. Denver Broncos: Josh Allen QB Wyoming

Denver should be a candidate to move up. Case Keenum is a nice bridge but John Elway needs to find his quarterback and stop the whispers in Bronco nation. Allen is boom or bust but does Elway have a choice?

6. Cleveland Browns (Via NYJ):  Denzel Ward CB Ohio State

Fitzpatrick is the most popular defensive back but there are a lot of doubts on the scheme fit in Cleveland. Ward isn’t the biggest corner but he has the speed which GM John Dorsey called out as a need in his most recent press conference.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Marcus Davenport DE UTSA

The first wildcard of the top 10 as this could go a lot of different ways. Bucs go EDGE here simply because this draft isn’t as deep as their other needs and one run will take the early impact guys off the board. Davenport is another boom or bust prospect.

8. Chicago Bears: Minkah Fitzpatrick DB Alabama

He might not have a defined position but Fitzpatrick is clearly the best player left on the table not named Saquon Barkley. Fitzpatrick gives the Bears defense an immediate impact player.

9. San Francisco 49ers: Harold Landry EDGE Boston College

GM John Lynch will have a plethora of options given the QB run in the top 5 but I’ll go edge rusher here even with Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson available.

10. Oakland Raiders: Saquon Barkley RB Penn State

The Raiders are another team that can benefit from the QB run. While a Tremaine Edmunds pick makes a lot of sense here, Jon Gruden gets his running back that’ll help him turn football back to 1998.


33. Cleveland Browns: Maurice Hurst DT Michigan

Browns need another edge rusher in this draft but there just isn’t a fit here. Instead, they land Hurst, a guy who could fall due to a heart issue. Browns DC Gregg Williams hit a home run with his development of a similar interior rusher in LA, Aaron Donald.

35. Cleveland Browns: Courltand Sutton WR SMU

Insert playmaker name here. This WR class is tough to read but I’ll go with Sutton here. He’s a big receiver (6’4, 220) with the raw tools of a star.

37. Cleveland Browns: Brian O’Neill LT Pittsburgh

Another spot for an EDGE guy but instead of the overdraft, we’ll go with the heir apparent to Joe Thomas. O’Neill is a project and might not play until year 2. Yet he has all the skills necessary to be a long term fit at LT. Has a much better skillset than guys who will be drafted above him.

64. Cleveland Browns: Ito Smith RB Sourthern Miss

Smith is a dangerous, dangerous back to see in space. This might be a slight overdraft but this pick gives the Browns a chance at having their own LeSean McCoy.

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