1. Cleveland Browns – Sam Darnold (QB/USC)
This is the first time since 2006 where there really isn’t a clear-cut favorite for who is going No. 1 overall. A few weeks ago, Saquon Barkley was in the running since the Browns could still land a top signal caller at No. 4, but with the Jets trading up, it’s more likely that they could miss out on their quarterback than Barkley.
I think right now this pick comes down to either Darnold or Josh Allen, with Darnold getting a slight edge.
2. New York Giants – Josh Rosen (QB/UCLA)
Another pick that has become harder to predict due to some great smokescreens set up by General Manager David Gettleman and the fact that they just traded away Jason Pierre-Paul. At the end of the day, I still think quarterback is the pick here given the team’s lack of a long-term solution at the position.
3. New York Jets – Baker Mayfield (QB/Oklahoma)
As a prospect, I value Josh Allen more, but I think the Jets are bigger fans of Mayfield. Moving up from No. 6 to No. 3 shows that the Jets are serious about getting a signal caller here despite signing Teddy Bridgewater and Josh McCown.
4. Cleveland Browns – Saquon Barkley (RB/Penn State)
Cleveland still lands their running back due to the virtue of owning Houston’s first-round draft pick. Like last year, Cleveland is having a good offseason, but as they have learned, games are not won in March.
5. Denver Broncos – Josh Allen (QB/Wyoming)
Quenton Nelson is definitely an option here too, but John Elway loves his gigantic quarterbacks. Case Keenum was signed, but the deal didn’t completely rule out the possibility of the Broncos taking a quarterback in the opening round.
6. Indianapolis Colts – Bradley Chubb (DE/N.C. State)
The Colts were able to trade down and still land their man. An edge rusher is desperately needed and ESPN Louis Riddick recently said Chubb is a better player than last year’s No. 1 pick, Myles Garrett.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Quenton Nelson (G/Notre Dame)
Tampa Bay needs to upgrade from J.R. Sweezy at right guard. Mike McGlinchey could be a possibility as well given how bad Donovan Smith is, but Nelson is the top overall prospect on the offensive line and definitely fills a need for the Buccaneers.
8. Chicago Bears – Denzel Ward (CB/Ohio State)
Both starting cornerbacks for the Bears are returning after they match Kyle Fuller’s offer sheet with Green Bay and signed Prince Amukamura to a one-year deal, but Ward will provide a long-term solution for the Bears secondary should they be unable to retain Amukamura next year.
9. San Francisco 49ers – Tremaine Edmunds (LB/Virginia Tech)
Either Edmunds or Roquan Smith could be an option here. Reuben Foster was an absolute stud as a rookie last year, but he has been in legal trouble throughout the offseason and the 49ers have made it known that they can’t depend on him long-term.
10. Oakland Raiders – Roquan Smith (LB/Georgia)
The Raiders are still working to bring back NaVorro Bowman, but if they fail to sign him, Roquan Smith is more than a fine fallback option. Vita Vea could also be in play.
11. Miami Dolphins – Minkah Fitzpatrick (CB/FS/Alabama)
Xavien Howard had a strong second half last season, but both cornerback and free safety could be upgraded in Miami. There has been whispers about Miami trading up for a quarterback, but landing one of the top defensive backs would be great too.
12. Buffalo Bills – Vita Vea (DT/Washington)
Buffalo could trade up again to land a quarterback, but if they fail to do so, defensive tackle is a pressing need. They Bills traded Marcell Dareus last season and their run defense suffered as a consequence.
13. Washington Redskins – Derwin James (S/Florida State)
Washington just traded Su’a Cravens to Denver, so James is definitely in play here and would be an upgrade at safety. James can play both safety positions, but he comes with some red flags in coverage.
14. Green Bay Packers – Marcus Davenport (DE/UTSA)
A cornerback is in play here too, but the Packers need an edge rusher as well. Clay Matthews turns 32 in May and his play has steadily declined over the past few years.
15. Arizona Cardinals – Mike McGlinchey (OT/Notre Dame)
Arizona signed Sam Bradford, but that shouldn’t prevent them from being another team who could potentially trade up for a quarterback. The offensive line, however, was a mess last season and Jared Veldheer was sent packing. Given how delicate Bradford is, they will need to upgrade the line.
16. Baltimore Ravens – Calvin Ridley (WR/Alabama)
Baltimore signed Michael Crabtree, but they still need more help at wide receiver. Ridley has drawn comparisons to Crabtree’s former teammate, Amari Cooper.
17. Los Angeles Chargers – Da’Ron Payne (DT/Alabama)
The Chargers need to upgrade from Brandon Mebane, who has struggled with injuries and poor play since joining Los Angeles.
18. Seattle Seahawks – Isaiah Wynn (G/Georgia)
Another team in desperate need of offensive line help, Seattle targets an interior offensive lineman to help rebuild a run game whose wheels fell off last season.
19. Dallas Cowboys – Taven Bryan (DT/Florida)
Dallas is in a tough spot here as many of the positions they need do not have a player worth selecting at this juncture. Defensive tackle, however, is a need as Maliek Collins has struggled in his career.
20. Detroit Lions – Josh Jackson (CB/Iowa)
Running back may no longer be considered with LeGarrette Blount giving Detroit a crowded backfield. Instead, Detroit may look for someone to play across from Darius Slay.
21. Cincinnati Bengals – Will Hernandez (G/UTEP)
The Bengals are desperate for help on the offensive line and still land one of the top guards available despite trading down with the Bills. This trade allows the Bengals up upgrade at left tackle and guard.
22. Buffalo Bills – Lamar Jackson (QB/Louisville)
Buffalo signed A.J. McCarron after trading Tyrod Taylor to Cleveland, but given his cheap contract, I doubt the envision him as their quarterback of the future. Jackson is polarizing as a prospect as some teams even want him to convert to wide receiver, which he is opposed to doing, but he has the most upside of any signal caller in this class.
23. Los Angeles Rams – Courland Sutton (WR/SMU)
The Rams lost Sammy Watkins in free agency and they have been trying to pry Odell Beckham Jr. from the Giants, so it’s obvious they’re looking to upgrade at wide receiver.
24. Carolina Panthers – Donte Jackson (CB/LSU)
The Panthers traded Daryl Worley, opening the door again for a need at cornerback.
25. Tennessee Titans – Rashaan Evans (LB/Alabama)
Tennessee has some issues at linebacker with both Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan entering their contract years.
26. Atlanta Falcons – Maurice Hurst (DT/Michigan)
The Falcons need to find a replacement for Dontari Poe, who signed with division rival Carolina. Hurst was flagged for a heart condition at the combine, but multiple cardiologists have cleared him to play.
27. New Orleans Saints – Leighton Vander Esch (LB/Boise State)
The Saints don’t have a lot of holes, but could stand to upgrade at linebacker. Vander Esch’s stock has risen after a solid combine.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers – Sam Hubbard (DE/Ohio State)
A change of scenery didn’t make a difference for Tyson Alualu, who continued his poor play with the Steelers. Pittsburgh needs a long-term solution at defensive end.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars – D.J. Moore (WR/Maryland)
The Jaguars lost Allen Robinson in free agency and then released Allen Hurns. Donte Moncrief was signed, but only on a one-year “prove it” deal.
30. Minnesota Vikings – Isaiah Oliver (CB/Colorado)
Trae Waynes has been a disappointment in his NFL career and Minnesota could ultimately move on from him.
31. New England Patriots – Kolton Miller (OT/UCLA)
Nate Solder left the Patriots to sign with the Giants this offseason, but New England seemed content with moving on from him. A blindside protector is still in need, however.
32. Philadelphia Eagles – Connor Williams (OT/Texas)
Jason Peters has been an anchor for the Eagles offensive line, but he’s 36 and coming off of a torn ACL, so it’s time for them to find a long-term answer for their blindside protector.