If Gang Green’s front office hits on their signal-caller selections, everything will be alright in Florham Park. If not, the Jets will likely have to hit the reset button once again. But you’ve got to respect the boldness of GM Mike Maccagnan and head coach Todd Bowles, who likely need a good season to keep their jobs.
Will another team jump them to get to No. 2? Will the Giants take a quarterback in that spot?
The 2018 NFL Draft order has been tweaked.
1. Cleveland Browns
Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming. At this point, it’ll be surprising if this pick isn’t Allen or Sam Darnold. I’m going with Allen because of the superior physical attributes and Darnold’s turnover issue which won’t exactly thrill GM John Dorsey who’s traded for risk-averse quarterbacks Alex Smith and Tyrod Taylor in his career.
2. New York Giants
Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State. GM Dave Gettleman would be open to a trade down, but he’s not taking less than what the Colts got to slide back three spots, and that compensation package ultimately doesn’t come his way. He picks Barkley to take pressure off Eli Manning and Odell Beckham as well as to give his ground game an ultra-talented ball-carrier.
3. New York Jets (from Colts)
Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA. The Jets get the most natural passer in the draft after their trade up. Rosen is as clean as they come from the technical side and can be very accurate. He does have a tendency to overextend plays and force the football.
4. Arizona Cardinals (via mock trade)
Sam Darnold, QB, USC. The Cardinals begin the Steve Wilks era with an aggressive move into the top 5 to pick Darnold, an immensely talented quarterback with some wrinkles that need to be ironed out. It wouldn’t be the worst thing if he sits for his entire rookie year.
5. Denver Broncos
Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma. The Broncos pair Mayfield with a quarterback who has a similar skill set in Case Keenum. There’s no rush to get the former Oklahoma star on the field, and Keenum is the ideal mentor.
6. Indianapolis Colts (from Jets)
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
8. Chicago Bears
Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech. It’s time for Vic Fangio to get some weapons on defense, and Edmunds is a freak athlete who proved to be a dominant run-stopper at Virginia Tech, and he’s only 19 years old.
9. San Francisco 49ers
10. Oakland Raiders
Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia. Don’t overthink this, Gruden. Smith is a sideline-to-sideline tackling machine with plus coverage ability. Suddenly, paired with Tahir Whitehead, the Raiders would have a dynamic linebacker duo for the first time in a while.
11. Miami Dolphins
Derwin James, S, Florida State. The Dolphins are ecstatic to land a hyper athletic defender who’s ideal for today’s NFL. James is capable of playing three or four positions and will make an instant impact.
12. Buffalo Bills (from Bengals)
Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State. With the Jets setting the price to move into the top 5 extraordinarily high, the Bills don’t make a trade, pick Rudolph and keep all their early-round selections in the process.
13. Washington Redskins
Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama. The Redskins need cornerback help with Bashaud Breeland gone and Josh Norman 30. Fitzpatrick isn’t an outside corner by trade but can play anywhere in the secondary, and he has the length and athleticism to get his hands on plenty of passes.
14. Green Bay Packers
15. Cleveland Browns (via mock trade)
Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State. To land Ward after a trade down is spectacular for the Browns, a team in need of a quality outside cornerback to round out its defense. Cleveland received this pick, No. 47 overall, and No. 79 overall from Arizona in the trade.
16. Baltimore Ravens
Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame. The Ravens can’t pass on Nelson here, as he’s picked much later than many expect in this mock. Baltimore’s offensive line had its moments in 2017 yet wasn’t up to its usual standards, and center Ryan Jensen is gone. Nelson will help to fortify the interior of the Ravens’ blocking unit.
17. Los Angeles Chargers
18. Seattle Seahawks
Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama. Pete Carroll loves to feature defensive linemen who can successfully one gap and two gap, and Payne has plenty of experience doing both.
19. Dallas Cowboys
20. Tennessee Titans (via mock trade)
Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State. As Vander Esch fell, the Titans eyes got bigger until they had to pull the trigger on a trade up. He’s the ideal inside linebacker to roam freely behind the Titans’ underrated defensive line and rack up double-digit tackles often.
21. Cincinnati Bengals (from Bills)
Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama. With Vontaze Burfict set to serve yet another suspension to begin the season — and reports of a trade being in the works before the suspension news hit — the Bengals send a clear message to the talented but unruly linebacker by drafting his future replacement in Evans.
22. Buffalo Bills
Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan. The Bills land a player pretty high on their board in Hurst, the heir apparent to Kyle Williams at the three technique spot in Sean McDermott’s scheme. The former Michigan standout gets to learn from Williams for a season too.
23. Los Angeles Rams
24. Carolina Panthers
Will Hernandez, G, UTEP. No-brainer. Immediate replacement for star left guard Andrew Norwell. Hernandez is a big, powerful, surprisingly mobile interior line prospect.
25. Detroit Lions (via mock trade)
Derrius Guice, RB, LSU. After the trade back — which nets Tennessee’s third-round pick, No. 89 overall — the Lions get their feature back of the future in Guice, a violent power runner with deceptive agility in the open field. Linebackers won’t love having to tackle him and LeGarrette Blount in 2018.
26. Atlanta Falcons
27. New Orleans Saints
Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville. The Saints plans for the future at quarterback with Jackson, who has a ridiculous amount of talent and could blossom into a transcendent signal-caller learning the subtleties of the position from Drew Brees for a season or two.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers
Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville. Alexander is a no-nonsense, ultra-aggressive cornerback who can play anywhere across the line. He’ll lock up opposing wideouts in man and make plays on the ball in zone.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars
D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland. Moore is a yards-after-the-catch specialist who’ll make the most out of Blake Bortles‘ high-percentage throws in Jacksonville’s run-heavy offense.
30. Minnesota Vikings
Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA. Miller is a tall, somewhat raw but very talented left tackle prospect who rounded into form his final season at UCLA. He can be slotted as one of the Vikings starting tackles to be begin the season.
31. New England Patriots
Harold Landry, OLB, Boston College. Landry has supreme bend and dip around the edge but is lacking a complete arsenal of pass-rushing moves. He would work wonders in sub-packages to begin his career in New England.