With the combine over, it’s time for Mock Draft 5.0. Because you love to monitor our moves, this was our Super Early 2018 Mock Draft; we made a few changes in August. Our mid-season Mock Draft was in October. We also had an end-of-season Mock Draft in January.
1. Cleveland – Sam Darnold, QB, USC: Try as they may, the Browns are not going to find a way to smokescreen themselves into getting Saquon Barkey at No. 1 overall and Darnold at No. 4. The Browns would risk seeing another team trade up to scoop Darnold at second- or third-overall. Cleveland will have to concede Barkley to get the quarterback (I think) they’ve wanted all along despite intentionally dancing around him.
2. NY Giants – Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming: With Eli Manning still around but nearly out the door, the Giants can give Allen the time he will need to acclimate for a year as a backup. It’s tricky to put Allen and Manning on payroll, which is probably why general manager Dave Gettleman has said he’s open to trading the pick, but the Giants shouldn’t plan on picking second-overall again in the near future. They need to shoot their shot to secure the future of their franchise.
3. Indianapolis – Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State: The Colts land a running back who is considered by some scouts to be a perfect prospect. Barkley will be a great tool for Frank Reich and (hopefully) Andrew Luck.
4. Cleveland (via Houston) – Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State: The Browns may not get Barkley, but they still get the best defensive player. Yes, they just took defensive end Myles Garrett. But their pass rush is still deplorable. Plus, as incredible as Barkley is, not drafting him might be a blessing in disguise. The Browns can look to less expensive options at running back.
5. Denver – Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame: John Elway appears to be eying free agent quarterbacks much more than he’s interested in the draft. The Broncos should sign a veteran and consider one of the draft’s late-round signal-calling prospects. In the meantime, they’ll get the best offensive lineman in the draft at position of need.