Tomorrow kicks off day one of the 2018 NFL Draft and it continues until April 28. Teams will have seven rounds and seven picks (one pick each round) to draft players they think will benefit their team, regardless of the position. Some teams will have more than seven picks, while some will have less. Some teams will have multiple picks in one round, while some teams will have one, or possibly none. Here is a look at my predictions for the first 10 picks in the first round:
Cleveland Browns (#1 Pick):
My Prediction: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
Analysis: Although running back is not a top need for the Browns, drafting Barkley would be a huge plus for the Browns. Barkley is the best player in the draft and since the Browns are now in win-mode, having Barkley will help them get there.
New York Giants (#2 Pick):
My Prediction: Josh Allen, Wyoming or Sam Darnold, USC- both quarterbacks
Analysis: Finding a quarterback is a must as they need to find a successor for Eli Manning. In my opinion, drafting either Sam Darnold or Josh Allen will help the Giants as both quarterbacks possess great skill and having great arms. Both quarterbacks are great and for me, it’s hard to predict whether the Giants want Allen or Darnold If the Browns don’t take a quarterback as their number one pick, look for the Giants to draft one of these two quarterbacks.
New York Jets (#3 Pick):
My Prediction: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
Analysis: Baker Mayfield had an outstanding college career in Oklahoma, so drafting Mayfield would be a big deal for the Jets. Mayfield stated in an interview that the team that picks me will be drafting a winner. Whoever drafts Mayfield can turn the team’s franchise around.
Cleveland Browns (#4 Pick):
My Prediction: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
Analysis: This #4 pick was acquired when the Texans traded up to get Deshaun Watson. With this pick, the Browns should take a quarterback. If Allen and Darnold get taken before the fourth pick, the Browns have Josh Rosen as an option. He has great fundamentals, field-vision and decision making, however, he may be a questionable pick considering he suffered two concussions and having not-so-good leadership. f he improves those things, he should be fine.
Denver Broncos (#5 Pick):
My Prediction: Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
Analysis: With star corner Aqib Talib sent to the Rams, the Broncos need to find a corner to replace Talib. One of the biggest plays he made was blocking a punt and marking the start of an 18-point comeback for Ohio State. Ward is ranked as one of the top corners so drafting Ward could replace Talib.
Indianapolis Colts (#6 Pick):
My Prediction: Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan
Analysis: The Colts are switching to an upside 4-3 attack on defense so they need a defensive lineman who can help them with the transition. Hurst is positioned as the best defensive lineman in the draft and he can help the team with the 4-3 attack on defense.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (#7 Pick):
My Prediction: Sony Michel, RB, Georgia
Analysis: With Doug Martin gone, the Buccaneers need a running back, but at this point, Saquon Barkley will already be drafted. Michel is an option for the Buccaneers as he is a three down back with good speed, having decent receiving skills and has the ability to pass protect. His shiftiness is his only weakness, but he should be a good option for the Buccaneers.
Chicago Bears (#8 Pick):
My Prediction: Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame
Analysis: Drafting Nelson to the Bears would be great for the Bears, especially for quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. The Bears could have the makings of an all-pro interior line with Cody Whitehair at center, Kyle Long at right guard and now Nelson at left guard.
San Francisco 49ers (#9 Pick):
My Prediction: Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
Analysis: Drafting Edmunds will create sizzle to their defense with his run-and-chase defender and his crafty pass-rush skills. Along with that, Edmunds can run, hit and cover well.
Oakland Raiders (#10 Pick):
My Prediction: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
Analysis: He has great tackling, which can help him be a force on the Raiders’ defense. Pair him with defensive lineman Khalil Mack and both guys can be destructive forces on the field.
To me, the first four picks can go in any direction: the Browns can take a quarterback as their #1 pick, Barkley could be drafted to the Giants, the Jets could pass on Baker Mayfield. Anything can happen in the draft and we’ll see who gets drafted to what team.