The 2018 NFL Draft narrative is focused around the quarterback position. Mock drafts from ESPN, Sports Illustrated, and more have quarterbacks dominating selections in the top 10, but how the Browns ultimately decide to draft at No. 1 and No. 4 could alter the entire landscape of the first round.
The Colts’ No. 3 overall pick becomes an interesting trade target for whichever mid-round teams miss out on the Kirk Cousins sweepstakes, while the Buccaneers and Bears could be sitting pretty at the back-end of the Top 10 with clear needs along the offensive line and defense and top prospects potentially falling because of the chaos of a quarterback rich draft class.
Without considering trades, here’s a look at how the dominos could fall in the 2018 NFL Draft:
1. Cleveland Browns – Sam Darold, QB, USC
The Browns can’t pass on a quarterback any longer. They have an offensive line in place, and a defense that contains some building blocks, but no long-term solution under center. When the draft process is all said and done, I think Darold is the top quarterback taken because he’s the most well-rounded quarterback prospect with the highest ceiling as a passer, decision maker and leader.
2. New York Giants – Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
Rosen and the Giants are a natural fit, and the former Bruins quarterback definitely wants to fall here. He can spend a year under Eli Manning and new head coach Pat Shurmur, who worked wonders with Case Keenum this season.
3. Indianapolis Colts – Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State
Chubb still feels like the most logical pick for the Colts at No. 3 overall. There aren’t any clear weaknesses to his game, and Chubb would step in and make an instant impact on the Colts’ defense, both as a player and leader.
4. Cleveland Browns (via HOU) – Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
After grabbing its franchise quarterback, Cleveland solidifies its backfield of the future with Barkley, the best running back prospect since Adrian Peterson.