March 4, 2024

1. Cleveland Browns – Baker Mayfield QB Oklahoma

Rumors have been swirling, sources have been quoted, experts have made their opinions and still no one knows what the Browns will do. Realistically, three QBs are all in play here, Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen, and Sam Darnold. Darnold feels like the best fit here, but rumors on draft day point toward Mayfield and that’s who the Browns select in this mock. Mayfield brings energy, experience and accuracy to the Browns. He may not have the big arm of Josh Allen or the perfect build of a Sam Darnold, but when it comes to a big moment, John Dorsey is going to trust Baker Mayfield to make the play. Mayfield will get to sit behind a player similar in style and build in Tyrod Taylor and hopefully end what has been a miserable run of QBs for a one-time storied franchise.

2. Buffalo Bills – Sam Darnold QB USC (via trade with the New York Giants)

After the Browns draft Mayfield, Buffalo will send a big haul the Giants way to have the opportunity to take Sam Darnold. He will be a great fit in blue collar Buffalo who will hope he is ready to play come day one of the season.

3. New York Jets – Josh Allen QB Wyoming

It is clear that the Jets traded up from six to three to take the best QB available. In this scenario, the Bills traded in front of them for Sam Darnold, realistically leaving two QBs are in play – Josh Rosen and Josh Allen. Overall, Allen is better equipped to handle the cold conditions of the New York with his size and arm strength making him the best fit. Allen will get to sit behind Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater for a year.

4. Cleveland Browns – Bradley Chubb DE NC State

With the Jets clearly trading up for a QB, it is feasible that not only will the Browns have the number one pick overall, but their choice of the best non-QB in the draft, like they do here. With this selection the Browns will copy the mold of the Super Bowl champion Eagles and beef up their defensive line with Bradley Chubb. A defensive line consisting of Myles Garrett, Emmanuel Ogbah and Bradley Chubb will give opposing offenses nightmares over the next 5-10 years.

5. Denver Broncos – Saquon Barkley RB Penn State

The Broncos, despite many rumors, will go ahead and stay put and select the best player on their board. In this case Saquon Barkley will give Denver a sustained ground attack that will be advantageous in the bitter cold at Mile High Stadium.

6. Indianapolis Colts – Quinten Nelson OL Notre Dame

The Colts will follow the trend of the Broncos and select the best player available instead of trading back. This isn’t a flashy pick, but it’s the right pick when you have a QB who desperately needs protection to stay healthy.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Denzel Ward CB Ohio State

The first Buckeye off the board will also be the first defensive back off the board. Denzel Ward will bring speed and playmaking ability to a treacherous secondary in Tampa Bay.

8. Chicago Bears – Minkah Fitzpatrick DB Alabama

Minkah Fitzpatrick could very well be the best defensive player in this draft. The Bears will be happy to snatch him here and bolster their poor secondary.

9. San Francisco 49ers – Derwin James S/CB Florida State

A string of three-straight DBs will land Derwin James in San Francisco where he will energize a young up-and-coming team that will challenge for the NFC crown next year.

10. Oakland Raiders – Roquan Smith LB Georgia

New head coach Jon Gruden will get a guy that fits the Gruden Grinder mold and will be the lead voice of his defense for the next 10 years.

11. Miami Dolphins – Marcus Davenport DE UTSA

Despite rumors of a QB here the Dolphins will take an edge rusher who has been skyrocketing up draft boards the last few months.

12. New York Giants (trade) – Mike McGlinchey OT Notre Dame

After trading back with the Buffalo Bills, the Giants will make a move that will anger some. However, selecting an offensive lineman for an aging Eli Manning makes sense here. Not to mention they still have another pick to take a playmaker later.

13. Washington Redskins – Josh Jackson CB Iowa

Washington will look to get back in the playoff race after trading for Alex Smith in the offseason. They will improve upon a weak secondary selecting ball hawking CB Josh Jackson.

14. Green Bay Packers – Harold Landry DE Boston College

Green Bay looks to get back into the playoff picture by improving upon a weak pass rush with Harold Landry.

15. Arizona Cardinals – Josh Rosen QB UCLA

The Cardinals get the steal of the draft with Josh Rosen’s Aaron Rodgers-like fall down the board. Arizona will have the most polished and pro ready QB in the draft while preparing to make a playoff run in 2018.

16. Baltimore Ravens – Tremaine Edmunds LB VA Tech

Baltimore, despite rumors of QB, will take a big-time LB prospect and keep adding to an already stout defense.

17. Los Angeles Chargers – Kolton Miller OL UCLA

The Chargers have playmakers all over their offense, with this pick they will give them time to operate.

18. Seattle Seahawks – Vita Vea DT Washington

Vita Vea is a hot prospect that is shooting up draft boards. Seattle will look to make him a focal point of a revamped defense.

19. Dallas Cowboys – Calvin Ridley WR Alabama

After an ugly departure with Dez Bryant in the offseason, the Cowboys will look to get another playmaker for Dak Prescott and company.

20. Detroit Lions – Arden Key EDGE LSU

Detroit will select best player available here and get the top pass rusher on the board. Adern Key is a polarizing name, but Detroit will be happy with his productivity.

21. Cincinnati Bengals – Billy Price C Ohio State

Cincinnati will make a shocker pick here, staying in the state of Ohio and selecting Billy Price out of Ohio State. An injury at the Combine hurt his stock, but Billy Price was the model of consistency at OSU under Urban Meyer who has a history of putting great offensive lineman into the NFL.

22. New York Giants (trade) – Derrius Guice RB LSU

With the second pick in their haul from Buffalo, the Giants will take a playmaker to keep some of the pressure off Eli Manning. Many people predicted the Giants to select Saquon Barkley with their second overall pick, in this scenario they get a RB they feel is just as talented and an offensive lineman to give him room to run.

23. New England Patriots – Brian O’Neil OL Pittsburgh

With their first of two first-round picks, the Patriots will look to replace Nate Solder with big O lineman, Brian O’Neil.

24. Carolina Panthers – Will Hernandez OG UTEP

Carolina, after an inconsistent offseason, will look to add some consistency to their offensive line with this pick.

25. Tennessee Titans – Courtland Sutton WR SMU

Tennessee desperately needs to improve their passing offense in 2018, so they will select playmaker Courtland Sutton to give Marcus Mariota some help.

26. Atlanta Falcons – Jaire Alexander CB Louisville

Atlanta, after another disappointing playoff run, will bolster a weak secondary with Jaire Alexander.

27. New Orleans Saints – Malik Jefferson LB Texas

New Orleans has made a run of taking playmakers on defense and Malik Jefferson is no different here. He will be a leader and a playmaker for years to come.

28. Pittsburgh Steelers – Lamar Jackson QB Louisville

Pittsburgh has talent for days and are perennial Super Bowl contenders as long as Big Ben can stay upright. The only fear for Pittsburgh is life after Ben and with Lamar Jackson, they are getting one of the most talented players in the draft, whom they can groom and polish while Ben finishes up a first ballot HOF career.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars – Christian Kirk WR Texas A&M

Jacksonville hasn’t picked this far down in the draft in many years and with this pick they will continue to make a push toward a super bowl appearance.

30. Minnesota Vikings – Connor Williams OT Texas

Minnesota won the Kirk Cousins sweepstakes and they will look to protect him here with big Connor Williams from Texas. If Minnesota is going to win the Super Bowl, they have to give Cousins some time to operate in the pocket.

31. New England Patriots – Sam Hubbard DE Ohio State

The Patriots improved their offensive line with their first pick and they will improve their defensive line with Sam Hubbard from Ohio State.

32. Philadelphia Eagles – Ronald Jones II RB USC

Philadelphia did a great job of utilizing the tandem backfield with a big bruising RB and the smaller scat back. Ronald Jones II will be the perfect change of pace back for the Eagles who will only continue to get more talent.


Photo: ESPN

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