The Super Bowl is over, so now it’s time to officially get into mock draft season mode. In Todd McShay’s second mock draft of the year, he’s sticking with his Sam Darnold as the Cleveland Browns‘ No. 1 overall pick.
McShay said he believes the Browns still need to address the quarterback position, which is no surprise because hey, EVERY mock draft has the Browns taking a quarterback. He added, “This pick obviously changes (or is up for grabs via trade) if Cleveland lands Kirk Cousins in free agency. Between off-field issues for Rosen and his tools and intangibles on the field, Darnold should be the pick. I understand why Kiper went with Josh Allen in his first mock, but Darnold is a little safer. He’s the best of the bunch at this point.”
In Dan Kadar’s latest mock draft, he has Baker Mayfield going No. 1, and Darnold going No. 2 to the Giants.
Darnold didn’t impress to finish his college career after a bad Cotton Bowl performance against Ohio State. The Buckeyes beat USC 24-7, where Darnold completed 26 of his 45 passes for 356 yards and an interception in the game. While he does have a great arm, he made some questionable throws and looked shaken from the Buckeyes’ vicious pass rush.
Here are other notable parts of McShay’s second 2018 mock draft.
He, much like Kiper and Kadar, see plenty of offensive linemen going early.
Mel Kiper’s first mock draft of 2018 showed a change in heart by NFL teams, who only took two offensive linemen in the first round of last year’s draft. McShay and Kadar’s mocks also sees that changing course in 2018, both having seven.
McShay’s first lineman off the board is Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson at No. 11 to Miami. While he believes quarterback could be an option for the Dolphins if one is available, McShay says the Fins still have a glaring need at the guard position after going 29th in rushing last season. “Dolphins fans won’t be excited with this pick,” he said, “but they would be getting one of the top five players in this draft.”
In Dan Kadar’s latest mock, it seems that he would agree on Nelson’s talent, but he has him going No. 5 to Denver.
The very next pick, McShay has the Bengals taking tackle Connor Williams out of Texas. Then, he has Texas tackle Orlando Brown going No. 15 to Arizona, Georgia guard Isaiah Wynn at No. 20 to Detroit, and Ohio State’s Billy Price at No. 23 to the Rams.
He also has Atlanta taking Boston College’s James Daniels, and the Vikings going with Mike McGlinchey out of Notre Dame. Kadar has McGlinchey going two picks later to the Eagles.
Offensive lineman for everybody!
Defensive linemen are a hot choice, but spread out in the first round.
NC State’s Bradley Chubb is McShay’s first defensive lineman off the board at No. 3 to the Colts, assuming Andrew Luck is healthy.
McShay said, “He’s a grinder with a great motor and has played his way into being a top-10 pick. The Colts will be another potential team looking to trade back if someone wants to move up for a QB.”
McShay then has the Raiders taking Virginia Tech’s Tremaine Edmunds at No. 10, who can also play off the line as a linebacker. While he has the Packers taking UTSA’s Marcus Davenport at No. 14, Kadar has Edmunds going to Green Bay — so we can probably expect both of these teams to be looking for pass rushers.
At No. 22, McShay has the Bills taking Da’Ron Payne, another bruising defensive tackle like Marcell Dareus. Dareus also happened to be an Alabama defensive tackle that the Bills drafted, so this one makes sense.
Kadar, on the other hand, sees the Bills taking Ohio State offensive lineman Billy Price after Eric Wood’s retirement.
Wide receivers aren’t a hot commodity this year.
After having three receivers taken in the top 10 last year, we’ve got just one this year, and two in the entire first round in McShay’s mock.
McShay has the Bears drafting Calvin Ridley to fill a desperate need at receiver. Kendall Wright was the team’s leading receiver last year with 614 yards, with Josh Bellamy coming in second with 376 yards.
McShay wrote, “Ridley is the clear No. 1 wideout in this class, and while I don’t think he’s a true No. 1 NFL wide receiver, he’s much better than his stats in a run-heavy Alabama offense indicate.”
The other receiver taken in the first round is Christian Kirk, who McShay sees going to Carolina. It’s no secret that the Panthers need to get Cam Newton weapons, and Kirk would be a good start.
Kadar also has Ridley going at No. 8, but that’s the only wideout he has in the first round.
With the NFL Combine coming up at the end of the month, we’re sure to see more changes on the horizon across all mock drafts.