The dust of free agency is settling and now we have a much clearer view of every team's needs. As we approach draft day the fever is rising day by day and the web is full with mock drafts.
In our second edition we changed a lot. Now we know where Cousins will play next season (Minnesota) and we can also assume which teams are in need of a franchise quarterback in the long run.
The situation is going to keep shifting as free agency unfolds even more and we expect other bold moves and trades like the one the New York Jets pulled off a few days ago. Gang Green gave up a lot to move up from #6 to #3 overall, so in their case it is more than obvious that a) they have a quarterback they like too much and b) they traded because they wanted to get ahead of the competition for a franchise QB.
With all that said, it is logical to anticipate that more than four signal callers are about to be picked in the first round. The Browns, Bills, Jets and Cardinals all have found their bridge quarterbacks, to ensure they will have time to groom the young gun they will choose. The Giants, Broncos and Dolphins also might be in the hunt of their next leaders so... here we go again!
1. CLEVELAND BROWNS – SAM DARNOLD, QB, USC
I'm not changing my first pick. When you really need a franchise QB and have the No.1 pick you MUST draft your guy. Darnold has all the tools to be the Browns' guy.
2. NEW YORK GIANTS – JOSH ROSEN, QB, UCLA
It's tempting to pick Barkley who is arguably the best prospect in the draft. They can go that way but the next QB class is not that strong and they have to find Eli's successor.
3. NEW YORK JETS – JOSH ALLEN, QB, Wyoming
Many experts believe that Allen has the best arm in the draft. Rumor has it the Jets are in love with his skills but know he’ll need time to adjust to the NFL game, hence the McCown and Bridgewater acquisitions.
4. CLEVELAND BROWNS – SAQUON BARKLEY, RB, Penn State
This is the dream scenario for the Browns who take another spectacular athlete with great upside, upgrading their backfield in an instant.
5. DENVER BRONCOS – QUENTON NELSON, OG, Notre Dame
They may be intrigued to pick Mayfield but after signing Keenum they may try to find their next QB later. Nelson is a rock in a position of need and he’s very athletic.
6. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS – BRADLEY CHUBB, DE, NC State
A dominant pass rusher and the best defensive player in the draft will transform their pass rush from day 1.
7. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS – MINKAH FITZPATRICK, S, Alabama
They go with the best available player. He is ultra-versatile and super athletic. A franchise altering prospect for any secondary.
8. CHICAGO BEARS – MIKE MCGLINCHEY, OT, Notre Dame
Like Nelson, McClinchey would be an immediate contributor and a significant upgrade for Chicago's offensive line.
9. SAN FRANSISCO 49ERS – DENZEL WARD, CB, Ohio St.
They need to get better in defending the pass and Ward is the the best corner in this class.
10. OAKLAND RAIDERS – VITA VEA, DT, Washington
Phenomenal mix of athleticism and strength will upgrade their d-line from the get-go.
11. MIAMI DOLPHINS, BAKER MAYFIELD, QB, Oklahoma
After a fantastic collegiate career, Mayfield is ready to bring his talents and mojo in the NFL. The word is that the Dolphins love him.
12. BUFFALO BILLS, MASON RUDOLPH, QB, Oklahoma St.
The Bills need a new signal caller and the very productive Rudolph can be the long term answer for the team, especially if McCarron doesn’t establish himself right way with his play on the field.
13. WASHINGTON REDSKINS – DA'RON PAYNE DT, Alabama
He can be an anchor in the defensive line and help improve stopping the run and also rushing the passer.
14. GREEN BAY PACKERS – MARCUS DAVENPORT, DE, UTSA
The Packers have many needs and pass rusher, along with corner, is the number one priority. His ceiling is very high to pass on him.
15. ARIZONA CARDINALS – LAMAR JACKSON QB – Louisville
Surely the best athlete at his position with a tremendous upside, Jackson needs to be groomed under the new coaching stuff for a year (or a month, considering Sam’s durability) and then take over for Bradford.
16. BALTIMORE RAVENS, CALVIN RIDLEY, WR, Alabama
They have a history of picking pass catchers in the first round but It is clear that they still need help in this department. Ridley is a day 1 starter.
17. LA CHARGERS, DERWIN JAMES, S, FSU
An excellent defender who can be the next Eric Weddle for the Chargers, who will probably lose Tre Boston in FA.
18. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS, CARLTON DAVIS, CB, Auburn
There is a huge revamp in the defense now that the “Legion of Boom” is officially dismantled. Davis has a lot of potential and the team’s hope is that he will pan out right away.
19. DALLAS COWBOYS, COURTLAND SUTTON, WR, SMU
They need more toys for Dak and Sutton can be an instant starter, with Dez declining.
20. DETROIT LIONS, HAROLD LANDRY, OLB, Boston College
Ansah needs help on the outside and Landry can provide it after working out with Matt Patricia.
21. CINCINNATI BENGALS – TREMAINE EDMUNDS, LB, Virginia Tech
He can be a day 1 starter and a star for every team with his high motor and energy.
22. BUFFALO BILLS, KOLTON MILLER, OT, UCLA
They traded Gordy Glenn to the Bengals and now they can find his heir in the UCLA product.
23. LOS ANGELES RAMS, ROQUAN SMITH, ILB, Georgia
A tackling machine who can help both in the running and the passing game.
24. CAROLINA PANTHERS, JAMES WASHINGTON, WR, Oklahoma State
Carolina needs a deep threat and the former Cowboy will provide it.
25. TENNESSEE TITANS – JOSHUA JACKSON, CB, Iowa
They might just got Malcolm Butler and already have Logan Ryan in the fold, but you can never have enough good corners, right? A real ball-hawk, Jackson will provide the ballhawk this defense needs.
26. ATLANTA FALCONS – TAVEN BRYAN, DT, Florida
A reliable lineman who will help bolster their running defense right away.
27. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS – MAURICE HURST, DT, Michigan
The Michigan product can be a three down player in Dennis Allen’s scheme.
28. PITTSBURGH STEELERS – RASHAAN EVANS, LB, Alabama
Another Saban product who can play immediately and fill Shazier's big void.
29. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS, SONY MICHEL, RB, Georgia
They let Ivory go but Leonard Fournette has still the feature role. With this selection they find the perfect complementary back to their starter’s style.
30. MINESSOTA VIKINGS – ISAIAH OLIVER CB, Colorado
Newman is probably gone (or in his last season) and Oliver could take over the job on the outside of their secondary.
31. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS – CONNOR WILLIAMS, OT, Texas
After losing Solder they have to find a new left tackle and Williams can be their guy.
32. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES – MIKE HUGHES, CB, UC
The Eagles seem pretty much set on the position but as I said earlier, you can never have enough good corners. Hughes is an intriguing prospect with great upside.