NFL Draft: Mock Draft 5.0
1. Cleveland Browns: Sam Darnold (QB, USC)
Despite the addition of Tyrod Taylor this offseason, it has remained clear that the Browns are going to draft a quarterback No. 1 overall. While Cleveland clearly likes Josh Allen, I think owner Jimmy Haslam will ultimately go with the most pro-ready quarterback in Darnold.
2. New York Giants: Saquon Barkley (RB, Penn State)
The Giants could go in several different selections with this pick. They could trade out of it, pick their future quarterback, or draft the best player in the draft. With the Mara family believing Eli Manning can play a few more years, New York will get Eli some help with the best prospect in the draft by selecting Barkley.
3. New York Jets: Baker Mayfield (QB, Oklahoma)
The Jets clearly traded up to draft their quarterback of the future and with the signing of Teddy Bridgewater, New York can afford to sit a guy for a season and then take the reins in 2019. With a personality like Baker Mayfield and his immense talent, the Jets and Baker seem to be a match made in heaven.
4. Cleveland Browns: Bradley Chubb (DE, NC State)
Now that Cleveland has their future quarterback, they will look to draft the best available player in this spot. With Barkley off the board, the Browns will draft Bradley Chubb to pair with Myles Garrett for years to come on the defensive ends.
5. Buffalo Bills (projected trade with Denver): Josh Allen (QB, Wyoming)
The Bills are going to trade up it just depends if it’s at No. 2 overall with the Giants or with someone else in the top 10. Buffalo trades up with Denver to draft their replacement for Tyrod Taylor. They go with Josh Allen as his arm talent will be able to survive in winters in Buffalo.
6. Indianapolis Colts: Quenton Nelson (G, Notre Dame)
Indianapolis is another team that could trade down to accumulate more picks as they have already this once. But, I think owner Jim Irsay goes with the safest pick in the draft and finds Andrew Luck some protection in Quenton Nelson.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Minkah Fitzpatrick (DB, Alabama)
The Buccaneers need some severe upgrades to their secondary, with Fitzpatrick or Derwin James being the likely picks. But, Tampa Bay will go with the more versatile of the two in Fitzpatrick to lead their secondary for the next decade.
8. Chicago Bears: Denzel Ward (CB, Ohio State)
By retaining Kyle Fuller, Chicago will draft a corner to pair with him for several years. Denzel Ward has climbed up many people’s boards since the combine and will immediately start in the Windy City.
9. San Francisco 49ers: Tremaine Edmunds (LB, Virginia Tech)
Derwin James could very easily be the pick here as he would complete the 49ers revamped secondary. But, with the uncertain future of Reuben Foster, San Francisco will look for a replacement in the speedy Tremaine Edmunds out of Virginia Tech.
10. Oakland Raiders: Derwin James (S, Florida State)
Oakland need to upgrade their defense through the draft and look for new coach Jon Gruden to do just that. The pick could be either secondary help or through the front seven but look for the Raiders to take the best player on the board left in Derwin James.
11. Miami Dolphins: Josh Rosen (QB, UCLA)
It is unlikely that Josh Rosen falls this far, but if he does expect the Dolphins to pounce on the opportunity to draft their future quarterback. With uncertainty surrounding Ryan Tannehill, Rosen could be the back-up for a year or two then be the guy in Miami.
12. Denver Broncos (projected trade with Buffalo): Marcus Davenport (DE, UTSA)
With Bradley Chubb being off the board at No. 5, Denver trades down with Buffalo to find the second-best pass rusher in the draft. Marcus Davenport’s intangibles translate and he could be a lethal pair on the edge with Von Miller.
13. Washington Redskins: Vita Vea (DT, Washington)
The Redskins need severe upgrades to their run defense and what better way to do that then drafting the best run-stopper in this draft class. Vita Vea is massive and will require two blockers at all time to help improve Washington’s last ranked run defense last season.
14. Green Bay Packers: Josh Jackson (CB, Iowa)
Green Bay was one of the worst teams in the league against the pass last season as they ranked 22nd in the NFL. With the trade of Damarious Randall to Cleveland, a secondary that was already bad got worse. Green Bay as a result takes the best corner in the Big Ten last season in Josh Jackson.
15. Arizona Cardinals: Lamar Jackson (QB, Louisville)
Sam Bradford is not the long-term answer at quarterback for Arizona. Thus, the Cardinals gamble on Lamar Jackson and hopes the Heisman winner can develop into an elite dual-threat quarterback in the NFL.
16. Baltimore Ravens: Calvin Ridley (WR, Alabama)
Despite the addition of Michael Crabtree, Baltimore’s wide receiver core is one of the worst in the league. GM Ozzie Newsome knows this and will upgrade the position with the best wideout in the draft in Calvin Ridley, if he falls this far.
17. Los Angeles Chargers: Roquan Smith (LB, Georgia)
Another that I believe actually won’t fall this far on draft day is Roquan Smith. Last season’s Butkus Award winner has the potential to be a star in this league and would immediately slide into the starting linebacker spot for the Chargers.
18. Seattle Seahawks: Da’Ron Payne (DT, Alabama)
Seattle’s defense has seen major changes this offseason and could use some muscle on the defensive line. Da’Ron Payne out of Alabama fits the bill and will start day one in Seattle.
19. Dallas Cowboys: Leighton Vander Esch (LB, Boise State)
Sean Lee is one the best linebackers in the league but can’t stay healthy. Dallas will look to find some cushion in case Lee gets hurt again in Leighton Vander Esch.
20. Detroit Lions: Derrius Guice (RB, LSU)
Detroit hasn’t had an elite running back since Barry Sanders. Detroit will finally get Matthew Stafford some help by taking the second best back in the draft. Derrius Guice will start right away for the Lions and could put up monster numbers with Stafford.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Will Hernandez (G, UTEP)
Cincinnati’s offensive line has been depleted over the past two off-season’s and have been unable to find replacements, despite the trade for Cordy Glenn. Expect the Bengals to get some help with the best guard in the draft.
22. Denver Broncos (projected trade with Buffalo): Mike Hughes (CB, UCF)
With the trade of Aquib Talib to the Rams this offseason, Denver finds a corner to immediately step in aside Chris Harris Jr. in Mike Hughes. Hughes is one of the best athletes in this class and could make an impact at kick returning as well.
23. New England Patriots: Harold Landry (DE, Boston College)
New England’s defense struggled mightily at different points last season. It showed greatly in the Super Bowl against Philadelphia. This forces the Patriots to take the best defensive player left on the board in Harold Landry.
24. Carolina Panthers: D.J. Moore (WR, Maryland)
When your two top receivers are Devin Funchess and Torrey Smith it is clear that you need an upgrade at the wideout spot. D.J. Moore could be a really good receiver in the NFL and would give Cam Newton some much needed help.
25. Tennessee Titans: Taven Bryan (DT, Florida)
The Titans could afford to add some depth and talent on the defensive line. Pairing Taven Bryan with Jurrell Casey would be a deadly combination for opposing offenses.
26. Atlanta Falcons: Maurice Hurst (DT, Michigan)
Atlanta lost two key veteran pieces on the defensive line this offseason in Dontari Poe and Adrian Clayborn. This pushes the Falcons to take the best defensive lineman left on the board in Maurice Hurst from Michigan.
27. New Orleans Saints: Mike Gesicki (TE, Penn State)
Drew Brees and Sean Payton have lacked a dynamic tight end ever since Jimmy Graham left. They find his replacement in the uber-athletic Mike Gesicki out of Penn State. Gesicki needs to work on his blocking but will be an immediate player in Sean Payton’s system.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers: Rashaan Evans (LB, Alabama)
The devasting injury to Ryan Shazier last season and forced the Steelers to have a major need at the middle linebacker spot. If Rashaan Evans falls this far, there is no doubt that Pittsburgh would select him to help fill the void left by Shazier.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars: Courtland Sutton (WR, SMU)
The Jaguars lost two key pieces this offseason at receiver in Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns and could afford to use a pick on finding a replacement. Courtland Sutton would be a perfect deep-threat for Blake Bortles and the Jacksonville offense.
30. Minnesota Vikings: Isaiah Wynn (G, Georgia)
With Kirk Cousins locked up for the next three seasons in Minnesota, the Vikings should to find him some protection up front. Isaiah Wynn would be a tremendous value pick here for a team ready to compete for a championship next season.
31. New England Patriots: Mason Rudolph (QB, Oklahoma State)
Tom Brady will be 41 next season and there is no succession plan with Jimmy Garoppolo with now in San Francisco. Mason Rudolph needs a couple years to learn the NFL game and being in New England would be a perfect place for him.
32. Philadelphia Eagles: Dallas Goedert (TE, South Dakota State)
The Super Bowl champions lost two of the top three tight ends this offseason. And with them being a team that has very few needs could afford to solidify the tight end position. Dallas Goedert would be a perfect complement to Zach Ertz in Philadelphia.
Camden Tofil is a freshman majoring in advertising. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.