The first round of the 2018 NFL Draft is up and now it’s time to see how each selection fits their new team.
1. Cleveland Browns – Baker Mayfield, QB: The Browns needed a franchise quarterback and took one in Baker Mayfield. Deadly accurate quarterback who plays with a chip on his shoulder and gives you his best play in and play out. Mayfield will elevate those around him and has a toughness that is coveted at the quarterback position.
2. New York Giants – Saquon Barkley, RB: Barkley is one of the best home run hitters in the draft. A weapon in the rushing and passing game, he will give the Giants a running back they’ve wanted since the likes of Tiki Barber. The Giants got a running back who could very well become a top 5 back in the league.
3. New York Jets – Sam Darnold, QB: The Jets, just like the Browns, needed a franchise quarterback. Many expected Darnold to be gone, so Jets fans are probably excited he fell to them. Sam Darnold has a very high ceiling and has everything you want in a quarterback when it comes to accuracy and mechanics to throw receivers open.
4. Cleveland Browns – Denzel Ward, CB: With the likes of Antonio Brown and AJ Green in their division, the Browns went for need and took Ward. A cornerback who allowed very little separation and was always around the ball. He will bolster that secondary and give the confidence to set him up one on one against premier receivers.
5. Denver Broncos – Bradley Chubb, DE: Surprisingly Chubb fell to the Broncos. While Chubb is better to set for a 4-3 defense, he is great against the run and pass. Von Miller and Chubb will create nightmares for opposing quarterbacks for many years to come.
6. Indianapolis Colts – Quenton Nelson, OG: The Colts needed offensive line help and got the safest pick in the draft. Nelson is a tremendous talent and can do everything well, run blocking, pass blocking, and is sneaky athletic. Not a sexy pick, but a great building block for that line.
7. Buffalo Bills – Josh Allen, QB: The Bills were obviously all in for a QB this offseason, and they went after their guy Allen. Allen has a great arm and can do magic outside of the pocket. However, he’s very raw and there are concerns about his accuracy. Don’t expect him to start for a year or 2.
8. Chicago Bears – Roquan Smith, LB: A great linebacker who is instinctive and fierce. Smith can play sideline to sideline as well as cover well. Smith has a chance to become the leader on that defense and set the tone game in and game out.
9. San Francisco 49ers – Mike McGlinchey, OT: In a weak offensive tackle class, the 49ers went in on McGlinchey to help protect their franchise quarterback. While McGlinchey will most likely play on the right side early on, he very well could move to the left after Joe Staley retires. A strong player who catches very well, McGlinchey helps that line.
10. Arizona Cardinals – Josh Rosen, QB: The Cardinals went up for their hopeful franchise quarterback. Rosen is insanely accurate and can go through progressions as well as anyone in this class, he’s arguably the best at it. A pocket passer who can make all the throws, Rosen could go in and start day 1 if they wanted.
11. Miami Dolphins – Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB: Fitzpatrick is a great chess piece for this day of age in the NFL. You can set him up in the nickel to cover slot receivers or tight ends or keep him over the top as a safety. Fitzpatrick does a ton of things very well and is an extremely hard worker. Fitzpatrick has a chance to be the next best defensive back.
12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Vita Vea, DT: The Bucs went all in on changing their defensive line up by adding players this offseason. Vita Vea is a powerful guy who can also be twitchy and slip through tackles to make big plays. Vea is a great run stopper but also a sneaky pass rusher.
13. Washington Redskins – Da’Ron Payne, DT: The Redskins went after a great run stuffer in Payne. He has some technique issues that he needs to refine, but Payne immediately helps that defense and will give a strong wall that opposing running backs will have a difficult time going through.
14. New Orleans Saints – Marcus Davenport, DE: The Saints needed a pass rusher and it was no secret they loved Davenport. Davenport has the measurables and potential to be an extremely deadly pass rusher. But he’s a very raw prospect and may take some time for him to start to put production on the field consistently.
15. Oakland Raiders – Kolton Miller, OT: Miller is a great athlete when it comes to offensive lineman. He can move his feet quickly and catch pass rushers. He is another raw prospect who will need coached up and definitely get stronger in his legs, but he certainly has the athletic feet you want in a tackle against these quick rushers.
16. Buffalo Bills – Tremaine Edmunds, LB: The Bills needed a linebacker badly and traded up to get one of the best in Edmunds. Just 19 years old and already playing at a high level, there’s no telling how high Edmunds’ ceiling is. Great athlete who has a nose for the ball, he’s only going to get better as he gets older.
17. Los Angeles Chargers – Derwin James, S: James is an extremely talented safety who’s also a ball hawk. James can do anything you ask him of the safety position. The Chargers got an extremely talented player for their secondary who could be a star for them.
18. Green Bay Packers – Jaire Alexander: The Packers got arguably the best cornerback in the draft. While Alexander has injury concerns, his game tape shows a guy who’s constantly on the receiver and can play the ball very well. Jaire Alexander’s tape is very similar to that of Jason Verrett’s.
19. Dallas Cowboys – Leighton Vander Esch, LB: The Cowboys got a very athletic linebacker. He can read quarterbacks well and is a great asset in the passing game. Many Cowboys fans wanted a wide receiver here, but Vander Esch is going to give them a great linebacking duo for some time.
20. Detroit Lions – Frank Ragnow, C: Interior lineman is going to be a hot commodity as many of them show great tape, and Ragnow is part of that group. He’s a dominant player who can become one of the best centers in the NFL. He’s strong, pushes opponents back, and takes no plays off.
21. Cincinnati Bengals – Billy Price, C: The Bengals went with a center as well in Price. While sustaining a torn pectoral during the Combine, Price does possess some good games where his strong upper body will push players back and show a sneaky athletic side to him as well. The Bengals are hoping he will be healthy for the season.
22. Tennessee Titans – Rashaan Evans, LB: Evans is a very good player who can play both as a pass rusher and linebacker. The Titans got a player who can come in day 1, play, and show how powerful he truly is. Evans could become a strong candidate for defensive player of the year.
23. New England Patriots – Isaiah Wynn, G/T: Wynn is an amazing blocker who can come in and start day 1. He plays with a mean streak, he’s powerful, and he goes hard on every single play.
24. Carolina Panthers – DJ Moore, WR: Moore is a fast, physical player that can immediately step in and become a #1 target for Cam Newton. The Panthers needed more weapons for Newton and Moore gives them a player who can go get the long ball as well as outmuscle defenders on him.
25. Baltimore Ravens – Hayden Hurst, TE: Hurst isn’t going to amaze you with his pass-catching abilities. However, he is arguably the best all-around tight end. He can block extremely well and can be a sneaky receiver in the play action.
26. Atlanta Falcons – Calvin Ridley, WR: Ridley is a tremendous route runner and very good hands. Putting Ridley alongside Julio Jones is going to create crazy mismatches for all opposing defense for years to come.
27. Seattle Seahawks – Rashaad Penny, RB – A bit of a surprise here, but running back was definitely a need for the Seahawks. He’s a bell-cow type of back who will certainly be able to carry the load. Expect him to be used quite often in the run game.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers – Terrell Edmunds, S – The Steelers obviously had a need at safety. Edmunds is an athletic player who can change direction quickly and pursues the ball. Will certainly need to clean up some over aggressive moves that get him out of position, but there’s certainly upside.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars – Taven Bryan, DT – Defense has been the Jaguars strength and they made it even better with Bryan. While it is unlikely that Bryan will start, he can be thrown in on rotational snaps and offer a great set of legs and pass rush moves.
30. Minnesota Vikings – Mike Hughes, CB – The Vikings got an extremely talented player. Hughes is physical, fast, and can cover very well. Of, course there’s the question mark about his past. Expect Hughes to be a return specialist his first year.
31. New England Patriots – Sony Michel, RB: The Patriots always have a rotation at the running back position. What they needed was a fast player and Michel gives the team just that. He’s also a player who can catch the ball, Michel will be integrated into that offense very well.