2018 NFL Mock Draft: Bears take a surprise LB at No. 8; four QBs go in top five
The Bears gamble that Leighton Vander Esch will be their next great linebacker, while QBs go early
As we get closer to the NFL Draft, it's becoming clear that the top four quarterbacks will be off the board by the time pick No. 10 comes around. In fact, there is a good chance four could go in the top-5 picks.
That's how I have it in my latest mock draft (No. 5 for me). I have the Cleveland Browns taking Wyoming's Josh Allen with the first-overall pick, followed by the Buffalo Bills – making a trade to the second spot with the Giants – taking Josh Rosen from UCLA.
The likelihood is two of the four will be damn good quarterbacks, while the other two could be busts. That's just the way it is in the NFL, but it's also why teams take chances on quarterbacks high in the draft.
To get to the second spot, the Bills would be giving up the No. 12 pick (which they got from the Bengals) and the No. 22 pick (which they got from Kansas City). They would also likely have to throw in a second-round pick from next year's draft.
That's a big price to pay, but it's what happens when you are a quarterback-starved team.
The only non-quarterback going in the first five of my mock is Penn State running back Saquon Barkley to the Browns in the fourth spot. That's too high for a back for my liking, but he is ultra-talented.
Three weeks to go to the draft and the picture appears to be crystallizing. Get ready for an early run on quarterbacks – no matter which teams will be making the picks.
1. Cleveland Browns
Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming. I am starting to believe the talk in scouting circles that Allen will be the pick. He should be.
2. Buffalo Bills (via mock trade with Giants)
Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA. They make the bold move to go up and get their quarterback of the future. This is a move they have to make considering their current roster makeup.
3. New York Jets (from Indianapolis)
Sam Darnold, QB, USC. Take the quarterback and get on with the rebuild. They clearly made the move to get here to draft a quarterback.
4. Cleveland Browns (from Houston)
Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State. This is not a move I would make, but I could see the Browns getting the young back to help take the pressure off Allen when he does play.
5. Denver Broncos
Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma. They gave Case Keenum a two-year deal, which means there isn't a real commitment. They take his replacement here.
6. Indianapolis Colts (from New York Jets)
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
8. Chicago Bears
9. San Francisco 49ers
Marcus Davenport, OLB-DE, UTSA. They need to get edge-rush help. Davenport is the next highest-rated edge rusher behind Chubb.
10. Oakland Raiders
Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia. They need to get a playmaking linebacker and Smith would be that guy. He could play in the middle of their defense.
11. Miami Dolphins
12. New York Giants (via mock trade with Bills)
13. Washington Redskins
14. Green Bay Packers
15. Arizona Cardinals
16. Baltimore Ravens
17. Los Angeles Chargers
Da'Ron Payne, DT, Alabama. He is a player who would help improve them in a big way up front. They need to get stouter against the run.
18. Seattle Seahawks
19. Dallas Cowboys
D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland. They need to get faster outside in their passing game. Allen Hurns, who was signed as a free agent, doesn't fix that.
20. Detroit Lions
21. Cincinnati Bengals (from Buffalo)
James Daniels, C, Iowa. This just makes too much sense. They have to get a center who can push people off the line. Daniels is that guy.
22. New York Giants (via mock trade with Bills (from Kansas City))
23. New England Patriots (from L.A. Rams)
24. Carolina Panthers
25. Tennessee Titans
26. Atlanta Falcons
27. New Orleans Saints
Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State. They failed when they landed Coby Fleener, so why not take the best pure pass-catching tight end in the class?
28. Pittsburgh Steelers
29. Jacksonville Jaguars
Isaiah Wynn, G-T, Georgia. He played both guard and tackle at Georgia, but some scouts think he's too short for tackle. Tom Coughlin once had Leon Searcy at right tackle and he was about the same size as Wynn.
30. Minnesota Vikings
31. New England Patriots
32. Philadelphia Eagles
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