USC quarterback Sam Darnold throws against Texas on Sept. 16,...

USC quarterback Sam Darnold throws against Texas on Sept. 16, 2017, in Los Angeles. Credit: AP / Mark J. Terrill

1. Browns: Sam Darnold, QB, USC

The Browns have been here before, in position to draft a franchise quarterback, only to trade the pick (see: Carson Wentz and Deshaun Watson). New GM John Dorsey can’t make that mistake again, so best to go with the consensus top quarterback in Darnold.

2. Giants: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA

Does first-year GM Dave Gettleman go with Penn State running back Saquon Barkley? Only if he is convinced none of the quarterbacks are worth a pick this high. Better to go with Rosen, who has sent out plenty of signals he’d like to play for the Giants.

3. Jets: Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

Mike Maccagnan made a major move up from No. 6 to guarantee he’ll get a top passer. The choice is between Allen and Baker Mayfield. It says here Allen has the bigger upside down the road.

4. Browns: Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame

Plenty of scouts see Nelson as one of the top two players in this draft, and if the Browns can get him at No. 4, he’d be an immediate starter, helping make up for the retirement of tackle Joe Thomas. The other alternative is Barkley.

5. Broncos: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma

John Elway said he’ll continue to try to find a franchise quarterback, and he has been on record saying he likes what he sees from Mayfield. Elway’s signing of free agent Case Keenum can buy Mayfield some developmental time.

6. Colts: Bradley Chubb, OLB, North Carolina State

Colts GM Chris Ballard made a wise decision to move down and collect picks by trading with the Jets. He can now address a major need in the pass rush with Chubb.

7. Buccaneers: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State

The Bucs have major needs in the secondary, but if Barkley falls, which is possible given the activity at the top of the draft and if Cleveland goes with Nelson at No. 4, then Barkley makes sense here.

8. Bears: Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama

The Bears kept cornerback Kyle Fuller away from the Packers by making an offer sheet. Adding a player of Fitzpatrick’s caliber would further elevate a defense that looks to be improved over last year.

9. 49ers. Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia

With 2017 first-round linebacker Reuben Foster facing potential discipline for off-field issues, the 49ers can again think linebacker here. The prospect of Smith teaming with Foster addresses a major need.

10. Raiders: Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech

Imagine adding a big-time pass rusher like Edmunds to a defense that already has Khalil Mack.

More football news


Unlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months