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NFL Mock Draft 2018: Browns To Select Quarterback

April 24, 2018

The 2018 Draft begins on Thursday as all 32 teams will gather to select the best college talent at AT&T Stadium in Dallas.

Only three sides will not participate in the first round of the Draft, with the Cleveland Browns, Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots boasting multiple selections in the top 32.

We’ll now break down how we think the first round will play out, including the use of betting odds for relevant selections.

Darnold will first off the board

  1. Cleveland Browns (0-16) – QB Sam DarnoldThe quarterback was the outstanding candidate before the evaluation process and remains the best player at the position on the board. Josh Allen may have put pressure on the USC Trojans man, but Darnold remains the sensible option for Cleveland given that he will have time to develop. Back him to be taken first at odds of -260  with TopBet.
  2. New York Giants (3-13) – QB Josh Rosen – The Giants cannot afford to waste their position with the second-overall pick. By the end of Rosen’s rookie contact, Manning will be 42. He will have time to develop under the future Hall of Famer, setting up the future of the franchise. Back him to be selected before Saquon Barkley at odds of +170  with BetOnline.
  3. New York Jets (5-11) – QB Baker Mayfield – With their two top choices off the board, the Jets scramble to acquire Mayfield. The 23-year-old is arguably the most talented quarterback in the Draft. He has the potential to be an immediate starter, although he will also have time to learn the system in New York. Back him to be selected before the sixth selection at odds of -260 with BetOnline.
  4. Cleveland Browns (0-16) from Houston Texans – RB Saquon Barkley – The Browns could bolster their defense with this selection. However, the potential of Barkley has to come into consideration. He’s the best player solely on talent in the Draft given his performances for Penn State. An offense with Barkley and Darnold could launch Cleveland into the playoffs. Back him to be selected before the fifth pick at odds of 7/20  with 888Sport.
  5. Denver Broncos (5-11) – DE Bradley Chubb – Denver missed out on Kirk Cousins, adding Case Keenum to start at quarterback. It diminished a need, although they could still chase Allen. They could also trade the selection away. However, the opportunity to select a top-quality pass-rusher served them well in 2011 with Von Miller and they do it again with Chubb.
  6. Indianapolis Colts (4-12) – LB Tremaine Edmunds – The Colts moved back into the spot in a trade with the Jets. They acquired further capital, but in this scenario they’ll miss out on Chubb. He could still fall into their grasp if the Broncos trade out. However, if not, Edmunds fills a need at linebacker, adding speed and talent to the middle of the defense.
  7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-11) – S Derwin James – The Buccaneers have a lot of needs on their defense and may also be praying that Barkley falls. James would provide steel to the defense in the secondary, adding a physical presence outside of Lavonte David. Take him at 6/4  to be the first defensive back selected at 888Sport.
  8. Chicago Bears (5-11) – OG Quenton Nelson – The Bears have developed offensive talent with Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen providing a threat out of the backfield. Chicago will be looking for Mitchell Trubisky to take the next step. The addition of Nelson create lanes in the rushing lanes and add protection for Trubisky to settle into the pocket.
  9. San Francisco 49ers (6-10) – LB Roquan Smith – Last year’s first-round pick Reuben Foster’s future hangs in the balance following his off-the-field behaviour. The 49ers ease the transition away from him by adding Smith, who is a superior player in the middle of the field.
  10. Oakland Raiders – (6-10) – CB Denzel Ward – The secondary has been an issue for the Raiders. They moved for Gareon Conley in the Draft last year, but cannot pass up the opportunity for a solid corner in Ward. They will be hopeful the cornerback will have the same impact as his Ohio State team-mate Marshon Lattimore did in his rookie term for the Saints.
  11. Miami Dolphins – (6-10) – QB Josh Allen – The Dolphins move for Allen ahead of their rivals the Buffalo Bills with the 12th Ryan Tannehill has endured issues with injuries and consistency, therefore Adam Gase’s men look to the future with Allen. He has the raw tools and Gase could be the coach to get the best out the former Wyoming quarterback.
  12. Buffalo Bills (9-7) from Cincinnati Bengals – QB Lamar Jackson – The Bills may have to be proactive on Draft day to acquire their quarterback of the future. They cannot go into the season with Nathan Peterman and AJ McCarron after trading away Tyrod Taylor. Lamar Jackson is the next best quarterback on the board and he boasts plenty of potential along with being a fit in the Bills’ offense. Take Jackson to be selected before the 18th pick at odds of +160  at BetOnline
  13. Washington Redskins (7-9) – S Minkah Fitzpatrick – The Redskins lost Kirk Cousins in the off-season, but moved to replace him with Alex Smith before the fact in a trade deal. The club have a few needs, but should the scenario play out they cannot afford to overlook quality in the secondary. Fitzpatrick has the range and ability along with the communication skills to sure up the back end of the defense.
  14. Green Bay Packers (7-9) – DT Vita Vea – Green Bay are lacking depth in a few areas, but the need for quarterbacks at the top of the Draft has pushed Vea into their path. Kenny Clark has been a standout on the defense and could be even better with Vea alongside him in the trenches. The Eagles proved the value of a deep rotation on the defensive line in their Super Bowl triumph.
  15. Arizona Cardinals (8-8) WR Calvin Ridley – The Cardinals are also in the market for a quarterback… join the queue. The best ones are off the board therefore they’ll look to improving their receiving corps to find an heir apparent to Larry Fitzgerald. Ridley has the talent to thrive in Arizona. Back him to be selected before the 20th pick at -120  with BetOnline.
  16. Baltimore Ravens (9-7) OG Isaiah Wynn – Baltimore have needs in their receiving corps, but their recent failures in the first round may nudge them towards the offensive line. Marshal Yanda missed the majority of the 2017 season and at the age of 33, his best days are behind him. Baltimore select his replacement with Wynn, who can play tackle or guard.
  17. Los Angeles Chargers (9-7) OT Mike McGlinchey – The Chargers have long struggled to protect Philip Rivers in the pocket. Russell Okung and Joe Barksdale are the two starters at the moment for the club, but McGlinchey would provide an immediate upgrade.
  18. Seattle Seahawks (9-7) – DE Marcus Davenport – Seattle have taken their team apart in the off-season. Staples of their Super Bowl XLVIII triumph Richard Sherman and Michael Bennett have left the club. They have a lot of needs on defense, but Davenport would soften the blow of Bennett’s departure, operating in tandem with Frank Clark.
  19. Dallas Cowboys (9-7) – WR Courtland Sutton – Dallas cut Dez Bryant due to his high salary cap number for the 2018 season. The wideout was outstanding for the club for the majority of his tenure, although last term signs of decline were present. The Cowboys replace him with the big-bodied Sutton, who poses a similar threat in the endzone.
  20. Detroit Lions (9-7) – OG Will Hernandez – The Lions add a layer of protection for Matt Stafford in the pocket as well as the potential to finally open up room for a running game to ease the pressure on the quarterback. Hernandez fits the bill and would be a day-one starter.
  21. Cincinnati Bengals (7-9) from Buffalo Bills – DE Harold Landry – The Bengals have a potent pass-rush led by Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap. However, Michael Johnson is beginning to age on the other side of the line. Therefore the Bengals move to bolster their defensive line.
  22. Buffalo Bills (9-7) from Kansas City Chiefs – LB Rashaan Evans – Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane have rebuilt the team in their image, with a blueprint similar to that of the Carolina Panthers. They may have their Cam Newton in Jackson at quarterback, now they go for their version of Luke Kuechly in Evans at linebacker to control the defense.
  23. New England Patriots (13-3) from Los Angeles Rams – LB Leighton Vander Esch – The Patriots’ lack of speed on defense was evident in their Super Bowl defeat to the Philadelphia Eagles. As was their lack of depth at the linebacker position. Vander Esch gives the them the sideline-to-sideline player they need to ease the pressure on Dont’a Hightower and Kyle van Noy.
  24. Carolina Panthers (11-5) – TE Hayden Hurst – The Panther look to the future with this selection as Greg Olsen’s injury last term had an impact on their offense. Carolina lost Ed Dickson in free agency and are in need of a complement as well as a successor to Olsen. Hurst is the best tight end in the class and has earned comparisons to Dallas Clark.
  25. Tennessee Titans (11-5) – C James Daniels – The Titans added Dion Lewis in free agency to pair with Derrick Henry in the backfield. Drafting Daniels would open up holes for the duo to exploit in the middle of the field. It could make Tennessee’s offensive line one of the best in the NFL.
  26. Atlanta Falcons (11-5) DT Da’Ron Payne – Payne was instrumental in guiding Alabama to the BCS Championship last term. He had fine game in the middle of the defensive line. The Falcons have added a lot of talent to their defense, which gets even better with the addition of Payne to partner with Grady Jarrett.
  27. New Orleans Saints (11-5) WR DJ Moore – The Saints lost Willie Snead to the Ravens, and although the club alleviated the pressure on Drew Brees with an improved running game, there’s still a need for quality wideouts. Moore is a shiftier player than the outstanding Michael Thomas and will give Brees an option in the slot.
  28. Pittsburgh Steelers (13-3) S Justin Reid – The Steelers opted to cut ties with Mike Mitchell after his struggles against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Pittsburgh’s playoff defeat. Mike Tomlin’s men will have one eye on the linebackers available, but considering they’re off the board Reid offers a valuable resource to deploy at free safety.
  29. Jacksonville Jaguars (10-6) OT Kolton Miller – The Jaguars have to address their offensive line, with Jeremy Parnell and Cam Robinson lined up to start. Miller is a first-round talent and has the talent to develop into a fine player that could protect the Jags’ quarterback for a number of years.
  30. Minnesota Vikings (13-3) OG Connor Williams – Minnesota could also do with help on their offensive line, focusing on the interior. The club spent big to land Cousins in the off-season and now must protect their quarterback. Williams could play tackle, although his best position could be on the interior due his ability in the run game.
  31. New England Patriots (13-3) CB Jaire Alexander – Bill Belichick stunned his team and the rest of the spectators of Super Bowl LII by benching Malcolm Butler. The cornerback played only one snap as the Patriots’ defense wilted without him on the field. Butler joined the Titans in free agency, and although New England added Jason McCourty, Alexander could learn behind him for a season before taking on the starting role.
  32. Philadelphia Eagles (13-3) RB Sony Michel – The Super Bowl champions do not have many holes on their roster as they triumphed without starter Carson Wentz, highlighting the quality of their team. LeGarrette Blount left during free agency and his ability to get the hard yards could be missed. As a result, the Eagles go for one of the top backs in the Draft to replace Blount behind starter Jay Ajayi.

Tips Summary

Sam Darnold To Be First-Overall Pick
Thursday 26th April 2018 20:00 ET (Friday 27th April 01:00 BST)
Odds: -260

Josh Rosen To Be Selected Before Saquon Barkley
Thursday 26th April 2018 20:00 ET (Friday 27th April 01:00 BST)
Odds: +170

Baker Mayfield To Be Selected Before Sixth Pick
Thursday 26th April 2018 20:00 ET (Friday 27th April 01:00 BST)
Odds: -260

Saquon Barkley To Be Selected Before Fifth Pick
Thursday 26th April 2018 20:00 ET (Friday 27th April 01:00 BST)
Odds: 7/20

Derwin James To Be First Defensive Back Selected
Thursday 26th April 2018 20:00 ET (Friday 27th April 01:00 BST)
Odds: 6/4

Lamar Jackson To Be Selected Before 18th Pick
Thursday 26th April 2018 20:00 ET (Friday 27th April 01:00 BST)
Odds: +160

Calvin Ridley To Be Selected Before 20th Pick
Thursday 26th April 2018 20:00 ET (Friday 27th April 01:00 BST)
Odds: -120

  • Cleveland Browns
  • New York Giants
  • New York Jets
  • NFL Draft
  • Sam Darnold

    About the author

    Eric Roberts
    Eric Roberts

    Sports Journalist

    Eric has been a sports journalist for over 20 years and has travelled the world covering top sporting events for a number of publications. He also has a passion for betting and uses his in-depth knowledge of the sports world to pinpoint outstanding odds and value betting opportunities.