The 2018 NFL Draft is here and the Sports Spectrum crew decided to throw in its thoughts on who the first 12 picks would be. Each person on our board had three selections. Jon Ackerman was first, Raymond St. Martin second, Justin Adams third and Jason Romano fourth.
Here is the Sports Spectrum Mock Draft:
1. Cleveland Browns – Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming (Jon Ackerman) – The draft hasn’t been this heavy with quarterbacks in years, and as usual, the Browns need one. Allen is the most ready to take on that challenge.
2. New York Giants – Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State (Raymond St. Martin) – This is probably the biggest no-brainer in the draft. Barkley instantly takes the load off Eli Manning and opens up lanes for receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard to drive defenses nuts.
3. New York Jets – Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma (Justin Adams) – The Jets select a quarterback with the attitude and talent to thrive in the New York spotlight.
4. Cleveland Browns – Bradley Chubb, DE, North Carolina State (Jason Romano) – Cleveland addressed their QB with the number one overall pick. Now they get the best defensive player in the draft.
5. Denver Broncos – Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame (Jon Ackerman) – Everyone thinks the Broncos need a quarterback, even though they just signed Case Keenum. It doesn’t matter who’s throwing passes if he doesn’t have time to throw. Denver needs an offensive line, and Nelson is the best offensive lineman in the draft.
6. Buffalo Bills (trade via Indianapolis Colts) – Sam Darnold, QB, Southern California (Raymond St. Martin) – This trade had to be made. Buffalo needs to stop the QB carousel and begin building an offense to compliment its defense. I was surprised that Darnold was available, and the Colts get extremely rich by trading back again.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Derwin James, Safety, Florida State (Justin Adams) – Tampa Bay selects arguably the best safety in the draft. James’ talent is comparable to Eric Berry of the Kansas City Chiefs.
8. Chicago Bears – Mike McGlinchey, OT, Norte Dame – (Jason Romano) – Chicago took their QB last year. This year, they get him a stud to protect him. Just plug in McGlinchey and let him dominate for a decade.
9. San Francisco 49ers – Minkah Fitzpatrick, Safety, Alabama (Jon Ackerman) – Derwin James is not the best safety in the draft — because Fitzpatrick is. He can play corner too. The Niners receive the gift of Fitzpatrick, who was the best college defender in the nation last year.
10. Oakland Raiders – Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia – (Raymond St. Martin) – I had to do it. Denzel Ward and Tremaine Edmunds grade higher, but, Roquan is the player the Raiders need. Period. In old school Al Davis fashion, I took MY GUY. Bruce Irvin and Khalil Mack have the edge nailed down, but the middle cupboard has been bare.
11. Miami Dolphins – Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State (Justin Adams) – With the majority of NFL offensives going to a three-receiver base formation, Ward will be a valuable pick and a day one starter covering the slot. Despite his lack of size, Ward is an effective tackler in the run game and has the talent to become one of the best corners in the league.
12. Indianapolis Colts (trade via Buffalo Bills) – Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville (Jason Romano) – Crazy things happen in the draft, so with the uncertainty of Andrew Luck, the Colts gamble and take a game changer in Jackson.
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