2018 NFL Expert Mock Draft: Picks 1-5

As teams get set for the month of April, the next step on the journey toward Super Bowl 53 in Atlanta involves invigorating the team’s rosters with an infusion of youth; the 2018 NFL Draft. We’re gathering some of the top experts from around the NFL world and taking a look at who they predict will go where, starting with picks 1-5.

#1: Cleveland Browns

CBS Sports: Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming | Bleacher Report: Sam Darnold, QB, USC | NFL.com: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State

Although a quarterback feels like the consensus #1 pick here, NFL.com’s Charles Davis feels differently. “In the Browns’ history, when they have been really good, they have been powered by runners: Marion Motley, Jim Brown, Ernie Davis (would have been a huge star if not for his passing at the age of 23), Leroy Kelly, Kevin Mack, Earnest Byner. Add the do-it-all dynamo from Penn State to the pantheon.” – Charles Davis, NFL.com


#2: New York Giants

CBS Sports: Sam Darnold, QB, USC | Bleacher Report: Bradley Chubb, EDGE, NC State | NFL.com: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA

There are a lot of directions, including trading down, that the New York Giants could go with the #2 overall pick, but Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller thinks they go defense. “Chubb is an ideal weak-side linebacker fit in the Giants’ new 3-4 scheme. Pairing him with Olivier Vernon would give new head coach Pat Shurmur a stud defensive duo. That might also help give quarterback Eli Manning a little bigger window to win a third ring before retiring.” – Matt Miller, Bleacher Report


#3: New York Jets (from IND)

CBS Sports: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA | Bleacher Report: Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming | NFL.com: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma

The one area where all experts seem to agree in this draft is at the #3 pick, where the New York Jets are expected to take a quarterback. “The trade-up for the Jets was all about getting into position for a quarterback, and if they can find a franchise signal-caller here, it’s well worth the overpay to move up a couple spots. Walter Football’s Charlie Campbell compares Rosen to Jay Cutler, a quarterback with which new Jets offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates has plenty of experience. Rosen could be the best fit for the Jets moving forward.” – R.J. White, CBS Sports


#4: Cleveland Browns

CBS Sports (traded to Buffalo Bills): Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma | Bleacher Report: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State | NFL.com: Sam Darnold, QB, USC

After taking a risk on a running back and waiting it out, NFL.com’s Charles Davis thinks Browns still get their man at #4. “The man that many have written in as the top selection for the Browns still lands in Cleveland. Of course, he will be strongly considered for each of the top three picks, but Browns owner Jimmy Haslam (who sat in the rain to watch Darnold’s pro day at USC on Wednesday) gets a new face of the franchise in an unexpected way.” – Charles Davis, NFL.com


#5: Denver Broncos

CBS Sports: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State | Bleacher Report: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma | NFL.com: Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama

Finally, controversial quarterback Baker Mayfield out of Oklahoma finds a home at #5. “Mayfield is a fiery prospect with an exciting track record on the field but a personality off it that might rub teams the wrong way. Broncos president John Elway probably cares more about getting back to his winning ways. Mayfield can help him get there.” – Matt Miller, Bleacher Report

To see full mock drafts:

For Matt Miller and Bleacher Report’s full 2018 NFL Mock Draft, click here.

For Charles Davis and NFL.com’s full 2018 Mock Draft, click here.

For R.J. White and CBS Sports’ full 2018 NFL Mock Draft, click here.



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