2018 NFL Mock Draft: Bills trade up into top 5 for QB, Saquon Barkley drops
Making a pick for every single team in the 2018 NFL Draft
What a wild start to free agency. Good luck keeping up with all the moves. Not gonna lie: it's not easy to fully incorporate everything in the context of a mock draft. But we'll give it a shot.
The biggest thing that stood out to me from free agency over the first 24-48 hours was just how many teams will still be involved in the quarterback hunt. Everyone ended up landing with someone in musical chairs -- even the Bills found AJ McCarron -- but I think the Broncos, Cardinals, Jets, Browns and Bills are all very much involved in the quarterback search.
Buffalo in particular is going to be EXTREMELY interesting. It's been widely expected they will try to move up into the top five to chase a quarterback after flipping Cordy Glenn to the Bengals so they could slide nine slots up in the 2018 NFL Draft.
And there's a trading partner there. I've detailed how it could happen, but the Bills swapping with the Colts and giving them No. 12, No. 22 and No. 65 (they got it for Tyrod Taylor) in a swap for No. 3 overall. The move would let them slide up and grab their choice of quarterback in this scenario, outside of whoever the Browns took.
The interesting domino to that is the Colts not taking a blue-chip guy and the result being Saquon Barkley almost falling out of the top 10. See for yourself and let's get ready to really start mocking now that we know what teams are really facing which holes.
1. Cleveland Browns
Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming: There is an argument the Browns could not take a quarterback after getting Tyrod Taylor, but getting Taylor makes it even easier to stand up at the top of the draft and take a quarterback who you don't need to play right away. Allen mimicks the Chiefs draft of Patrick Mahomes very nicely.
2. New York Giants
Quenton Nelson, OL, Notre Dame: Dave Gettleman is going to stay here and take a blue-chip player who can help the Giants right away. It will either be Nelson or Barkley, and after missing out on Andrew Norwell in free agency, he leans for the nasty Notre Dame guard.
3. Buffalo Bills (via Mock trade with Colts)
Sam Darnold, QB, USC: A really well-played offseason by the Bills here, as a slew of trades and movements ultimately results in them being able to package a bunch of picks, move up and grab their quarterback of the future. Legions of draftniks shriek about Darnold's tiny little hands in the harsh Buffalo weather.
4. Cleveland Browns (via Houston Texans)
5. Denver Broncos
Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma: The Broncos signed Case Keenum in free agency and gave him a lot of money but that certainly doesn't prohibit them from drafting someone else at the top. John Elway's been all over Mayfield this offseason.
6. New York Jets
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State: This feels crazy. Barkley's considered a potential top pick in this draft. But if the Colts trade down and the Giants don't take him, he could fall. The Buccaneers cut Doug Martin and might swoop on this.
8. Chicago Bears
9. San Francisco 49ers
10. Oakland Raiders
11. Miami Dolphins
12. Indianapolis Colts (via mock trade with Bills (via Bengals)
13. Washington Redskins
14. Green Bay Packers
Will Hernandez, OL, UTEP: The Packers could go in a lot of different directions here, but with the investment in the defensive line in free agency, they can beef up the interior of the offensive line and make sure to protect Aaron Rodgers and open up the running game.
15. Arizona Cardinals
16. Baltimore Ravens
Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama: The Ravens signed Ryan Grant and John Brown in free agency early on but that can't be the extent of what they hope to put around Joe Flacco. Ozzie Newsome loves his Alabama guys.
17. Los Angeles Chargers
18. Seattle Seahawks
Maurice Hurst, DL, Michigan: The Seahawks lost a ton to free agency and cuts on the defensive side of the ball, so why not reinvest in the position now? It would be fine if they took an offensive lineman too.
19. Dallas Cowboys
20. Detroit Lions
21. Cincinnati Bengals (via Bills)
22. Indianapolis Colts (via mock trade with Bills (via Chiefs))
23. Los Angeles Rams
24. Carolina Panthers
Connor Williams, OL, Texas: The Panthers have to get more talent on the offensive line with Andrew Norwell gone, Ryan Kalil departing after 2018 and Matt Kalil not looking like he's going to work out exactly how they hoped.
25. Tennessee Titans
26. Atlanta Falcons
27. New Orleans Saints
28. Pittsburgh Steelers
Derrius Guice, RB, LSU: Running back in the first feels weird for the Steelers, but at this point they have to imagine a world without Le'Veon Bell and that world would begin next year. They did take Bell in the second.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars
30. Minnesota Vikings
Mike Hughes, CB, UCF: Corner isn't a need for the Vikings, but it takes time to learn Mike Zimmer's scheme for these defensive backs so they need to prep years in advance for an opening. Nice value here.
31. New England Patriots
32. Philadelphia Eagles
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