The 2018 NFL Draft is just around the quarter, with a little over 24 hours until NFL commissioner Roger Goodell steps to the podium to announce the No. 1 overall pick. The Cleveland Browns are the owners of the top pick in this year’s draft, and there is still plenty of debate about what direction they will go. Few people are debating the fact that Cleveland will be draft a quarterback, opinions just vary on whether it will be Wyoming’s Josh Allen, USC’s Sam Darnold, Heisman Trophy-winner Baker Mayfield, or UCLA’s Josh Rosen.
That’s where the mock drafts come into play. While no mock draft is perfect, it allows a scenario to unfold that give you an idea of who could fall into your team’s lap.
This year, we seem poised for a wild opening night in the NFL Draft with plenty of quarterback-needy teams aiming to get in the top five while other teams appear eager to trade down in the first round to add more picks to their arsenal.
Who could your team be zeroing in on for Thursday night?
Here’s a look at our final 2018 NFL Mock Draft:
1. Cleveland Browns: Sam Darnold, QB, USC
Cleveland is in need of a franchise quarterback that can lead the team into the future. While Wyoming’s Josh Allen has been gaining momentum as a potential No. 1 overall pick, Darnold is a proven talent who has played in the spotlight before during his time at USC. With a second first-round pick inside of the top five, the Browns have the ammunition to surround Darnold with more talent that could set him up for success moving forward.
2. New York Giants: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
Many reports have claimed the Giants favor Darnold, so with him off the draft board they must go to Plan B. Luckily for the Giants, they have the opportunity to draft the best player available in Penn State running back Saquon Barkley. The best part? Barkley, who is from the Bronx, has openly expressed his desire to play for one of the New York teams. He would get his wish, while the Giants get a workhorse running back that will add another dynamic weapon to compliment Odell Beckham Jr.
3. New York Jets (via Indianapolis Colts): Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
The New York Jets didn’t trade up to not take a quarterback, so it should come as no surprise that the team takes a swing at one of the top signal-callers available. Mayfield has gained momentum in recent days as a potential No. 1 overall pick, but it’s likely he lands on the big stage in New York. Mayfield has a personality made for the New York sports market and he has the competitiveness and drive to turn around a franchise. Josh Allen could be a possibility, but the draftnik community seems to believe Mayfield is favored in the Jets front office.
4. Cleveland Browns: Bradley Chubb, DE, N.C. State
The Browns would love to get a quarterback at No. 1 and Saquon Barkley with the No. 4 pick, but it’s looking less likely as the draft approaches. However, the good news for Cleveland is they could continue to bolster their pass rush by adding NC State star Bradley Chubb, the best edge player in this year’s draft. Pairing Chubb with last year’s first-round pick Myles Garrett sets up the Browns defense for the future with two of the most promising pass rushers in recent years. That’s one way to turn a franchise around.
5. Denver Broncos: Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
The Broncos aren’t in desperate need for a quarterback in this year’s class, but if Allen, a potential No. 1 overall pick, were to fall to No. 5 we could see Denver pulling the trigger and bringing the strong-armed Wyoming signal-caller to Mile High. Allen is a promising talent, but there are some who believe he needs time before he is ready to start. That could prove to be a perfect scenario in Denver where he could sit behind Case Keenum before being handed the keys to the offense. Another player to keep an eye on is Notre Dame offensive guard Quenton Nelson. Josh Rosen could also be a potential selection, but it seems like a guarantee that the Broncos will either go with a quarterback or Nelson if they decide to stay put.