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As we head into the final weekend before the 2018 NFL draft, we’re going to hear plenty of rumors and whispers involving not only the top prospects but the entire first round as a whole.
Whether it’s who will get drafted No. 1 overall, trade downs or teams being connected to certain players, expect your Twitter feed to be filled with draft hearsay.
That’s just what we’re going to cover here in addition to an updated first-round mock draft.
Below, you’ll find the mock draft, followed by three news pieces with analysis of them breaking it all down.
Who’s going No. 1?
NFL Mock Draft: Round 1
1. Cleveland Browns: Sam Darnold, QB, USC
2. New York Giants: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
3. New York Jets (via Indianapolis Colts): Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
4. Buffalo Bills (projected trade w/ Cleveland Browns, via Houston Texans): Josh Allen, QB, Buffalo Bills
5. Denver Broncos: Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame
6. Indianapolis Colts (via New York Jets): Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Derwin James, S, Florida State
8. Chicago Bears: Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
9. San Francisco 49ers: Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
10. New England Patriots (projected trade w/ Oakland Raiders): Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
11. Miami Dolphins: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
12. Cleveland Browns (projected trade w/ Buffalo Bills, via Cincinnati Bengals): Minkah Fitzpatrick, S, Alabama
13. Washington Redskins: Vita Vea, DT, Washington
14. Green Bay Packers: Harold Landry, EDGE, Boston College
15. Arizona Cardinals: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
16. Baltimore Ravens: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
17. Los Angeles Chargers: Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan
18. Seattle Seahawks: Isaiah Wynn, OG, Georgia
19. Dallas Cowboys: Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State
20. Detroit Lions: Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA
21. Cincinnati Bengals (via Buffalo Bills): Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
22. Cleveland Browns (projected trade w/ Buffalo Bills, via Kansas City Chiefs): Josh Sweat, DE, Florida State
23. Oakland Raiders (projected trade w/ New England Patriots, via Los Angeles Rams): Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA
24. Carolina Panthers: Will Hernandez, OG, UTEP
25. Tennessee Titans: Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama
26. Atlanta Falcons: Taven Bryan, DT, Florida
27. New Orleans Saints: Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama
28. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville
29. Jacksonville Jaguars: Equanimeous St. Brown, WR, Notre Dame
30. Minnesota Vikings: Billy Price, OG, Ohio State
31. Oakland Raiders (projected trade w/ New England Patriots): Joshua Jackson, CB, Iowa
32. Philadelphia Eagles: Mike Hughes, CB, UFC
Mayfield and Allen In, Darnold Out?
While it has been presumed for weeks now that USC quarterback Sam Darnold will be the No. 1 overall pick for the Cleveland Browns, and he’s the odds-on favorite, it appears that might have changed.
According to ESPN’s Dustin Fox, the latest he’s “hearing” is that the Browns have narrowed down their pick to Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen for the top spot.
As you’ll see in the mock above, I’m pressing on with Darnold.
This is just a big smokescreen to try to entice teams who want Allen and Mayfield to pay a Robert Griffin III and-then-some kind of king’s ransom for the top pick.
If the Browns drafted Allen, it wouldn’t be as shocking as Mayfield, but the rumors of them potentially using two high picks on quarterbacks, according to Kevin Clark of The Ringer, could also come to fruition.
I’m riding the Darnold train for the No. 1 overall pick. For me, it would be Josh Rosen, but the Browns have been connected to Darnold for what seems like a century now.
Darnold will be the No. 1 overall pick.
Patriots Connected to Rosen
At first, it was Lamar Jackson, but it appears now that might have changed.
According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, Rosen appears to be the “likeliest of the ‘big four’ quarterbacks” to fall into the early teens.
Equipped with two first-round picks and five total selections in the top 100, the Patriots have more than enough ammunition if they wanted to move up to grab a quarterback.
With the Raiders sitting at No. 10, they take the offer from the Patriots who will trade up to snag Rosen, leaving Jackson for the Cardinals at No. 15.
Rosen is the readiest quarterback of all the prospects to play on opening day, but even if he’s behind Brady for a couple of seasons, the UCLA product will be the guy for the next decade or more.
The only potential issue here is that Rosen might speak out against that as he’s not exactly a guy to mince his words.
But with that said, this is also the Patriots, so maybe that is enough for him to bide his time and wait his turn.
At this point, it would be a bit of a surprise to see the Patriots stand pat at No. 23 and 31 overall in the first round.
They’re coming for a quarterback, whether it’s Rosen or Jackson and in this case, it’s Rosen at No. 10.
Raiders Linked to Miller
This works out perfectly.
Above, we covered the Patriots trading with the Raiders who, in this scenario, would acquire the No. 23 and 31 overall picks from the Patriots.
With those picks, they use 23 on Kolton Miller.
According to La Canfora, the Raiders are in on Miller, though La Canfora is skeptical he will be there at No. 23.
This is not a strong offensive tackle class, and Mike McGlinchey is the best one in my estimation.
But, if this report is accurate, the Raiders get their man and accumulate additional assets to help rebuild a struggling defense, too.
This is a perfect trade for both the Raiders and Patriots as they both get who they want if the buzz around the league has any merit.
The Raiders will need to make a decision come draft day, though, should prospects like Roquan Smith, Tremaine Edmunds or even Denzel Ward be on the board at No. 10—are they worth passing up on?
In the mock draft above, the answer is yes.