The 2018 NFL Draft is only hours away! Therefore, there are lots of rumors flying around leading up to 8:00 ET. Some may be credible, while others could be smoke to throw people off. Whatever the case is, we are all watching as the hours countdown.
Baker to the Browns?
Baker Mayfield, the 2017 Heisman Trophy winner, has been one of the more interesting prospects of this draft class. The flashy and exciting quarterback has been linked to several different teams throughout this process, but now reports are suggesting that there is a chance the former Oklahoma Sooners star could be the very first pick tonight.
Browns continue to keep the decision on their No. 1 pick a secret, but there is a mounting belief from HCs and GMs around the league that Cleveland will take Baker Mayfield.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 26, 2018
Steve Wyche of NFL.com has more on the rumor:
It was relatively quiet early at the Browns’ facility Thursday morning -- the calm before the storm that will crest in the evening when the team leads off the 2018 NFL Draft with the first overall pick. The rolling momentum parallels that of Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield, who just weeks ago was nowhere on the radar to be the No. 1 overall pick but could very well end up being so just after 8 p.m. ET.
Mayfield, the Heisman Trophy winner, has gained significant steam the past few days -- at least outside of the Browns’ facility -- and, according to multiple league sources, should not be ruled out as being Cleveland’s pick in its latest attempt to land a franchise quarterback. General manager John Dorsey has not disclosed who he plans to pick, telling me Wednesday that he hasn’t “even told my wife.” So, quarterbacks Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen and Josh Allen also are under consideration.
Nothing I have learned from inside and outside of the building indicates they will be drafting any other position but quarterback with the No. 1 pick. Dorsey also told me that there has been no potential trade option for the top draft selection.
Then, Daniel Jeremiah picked Mayfield to be the pick at 1 in his last mock draft:
1.) Cleveland Browns — Baker Mayfield - QB, Oklahoma
I’ve long said Sam Darnold should be the pick here, but the latest buzz has Mayfield landing at the top.
Josina Anderson added her own report:
Will the Giants decide against picking a new franchise quarterback?
Despite holding the second overall selection of tonight’s first round, the Giants are not looking at adding a potential franchise quarterback; instead, Big Blue is looking at superstar running back Saquon Barkley, according to Giants reporter Kim Jones.
2. NFL Network’s Kimberly Jones said on Path to the Draft that all signs are pointing to the New York Giants selecting former Penn State running back Saquon Barkley with the No. 2 overall pick. Jones noted no player on the current Giants team has been assigned No. 26 -- Barkley’s old college number.
EDGE rusher Bradley Chubb may still be in the mix, too.
#Giants are working out scenarios, but its sounds like they are debating: Penn State RB Saquon Barkley vs. NC State DE Bradley Chubb.— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) April 25, 2018
Don’t be surprised if the Giants try to move back, either.
Baker is going #1. That’s happening, but figuring out 2 will be extremely difficult since the buzz is that the Giants don’t love these QBs. The Bills could move to 2 but would they take Allen or Darnold? Do we live in a world where it’s Mayfield, Allen and THEN Darnold?— Lance Zierlein (@LanceZierlein) April 26, 2018
However, Pat Shurmur insists that they will pick at 2.
#Giants coach Pat Shurmur told reporters he’s “planning on picking at No. 2.” At this point, it seems like: 1. There isn’t a lot of interest in coming all he way up to 2. 2. The Giants want to make the pick.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 26, 2018
Will Dallas pick a WR at 19?
Following the release of Dez Bryant, many have wondered if the Cowboys will go after a WR in the first-round. Well, that’s certainly the trendy pick on the day of the draft.
19. Dallas Cowboys
Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama: It’s too easy to give them a wide receiver if one falls, but they do have a need there when you look at the depth chart.
19. Dallas Cowboys
D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland
With Dez Bryant cut, Dallas definitely has a need at wide receiver. Moore’s 4.34 40 at the combine helped turn some heads, and he’s a good route runner and great after the catch. Leighton Vander Esch has been rumored here, but there are some concerns about a neck injury. Seems to be a team-by-team deal on their comfort level.
19.) Dallas Cowboys — D.J. Moore - WR, Maryland
After the release of Dez Bryant, the Cowboys pluck Moore to handle the role as the team’s top pass catcher for the next decade.
19. Dallas Cowboys
Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
I keep hearing the Cowboys like Sutton, though I’d go with Maryland wideout D.J. Moore. Linebacker could also be in play.
19. Dallas Cowboys
The Pick: WR Courtland Sutton, SMU
If the Dallas Cowboys have cleared Leighton Vander Esch medically, I believe he’s the pick here. But as I reported on Wednesday’s Stick to Football podcast, many teams have removed him from their board. With Vander Esch’s future in question, the Cowboys look to plug the hole left by the release of Dez Bryant.
Courtland Sutton entered the 2017 season as a potential top-10 pick but never answered the critics’ questions about speed and separation on film or in workouts. He’s a big-bodied receiver who can dominate on 50/50 balls but might not be super savvy as a route-runner. The Cowboys can make that work opposite Allen Hurns if Sutton can give them wins on slant routes and comebacks—something his tape says he can do.
Don’t be surprised if this is Vander Esch on Thursday night, but Sutton might be the better pick long-term.
Miller goes on to say that Dallas “won’t force a pick at wide receiver”. Leighton Vander Esch is a strong possibility.
Dallas Cowboys: NFL Network’s Jane Slater reported what I’d also heard this week: The Cowboys really like Boise State linebacker Leighton Vander Esch. The feeling from scouts I’ve talked to is that Dallas won’t force a pick at wide receiver in Round 1.
Who is looking to move up?
In addition to the Bills, for instance, there a few other teams looking to potentially make a move up in the first-round. This is something to watch, as the Cowboys have been a team mentioned to possibly look to move back tonight.
The #Saints have made plenty of calls about making a big leap up from pick No. 27, I’m told. Could be due diligence in case a certain player (perhaps a QB) falls. But they will be well-prepared to move tonight if it comes down to it.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 26, 2018
A few hours to go... who could trade up or down? pic.twitter.com/XnWQNt1KXb— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 26, 2018
How many QBs go in round-one?
There will almost certainly be four quarterbacks that go tonight — maybe all in the top-ten — and more-than-likely a fifth. But, can we see as many as six quarterback hear their names called in AT&T Stadium this evening?
One GM estimated today that there is a “50 percent chance” that four QBs will go in first five picks Thursday night. Would be a big help to top 10 teams not in QB market.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 24, 2018
Sam Darnold has the most potential to grow— Kevin Negandhi (@KNegandhiESPN) April 26, 2018
Josh Rosen is the most ready right now
Baker Mayfield is the wildcard
Josh Allen has the most question marks
Lamar Jackson is the most exciting
Mason Rudolph is the sleeper
Drafting a franchise QB is the hardest job in sports
The Jets are the team to watch regarding Josh Allen, says Matt Miller.
Hearing there are #Jets coaches making a late push for Josh Allen. Buckle up, folks.— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) April 26, 2018
The Patriots appear to be interested in 2016 Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson:
Lamar Jackson had a private workout with the Patriots in addition to his “quiet” visit https://t.co/3IigBBew9X— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) April 25, 2018
A few notes from Dallas:— Jenny Vrentas (@JennyVrentas) April 25, 2018
+Lamar Jackson visited w/Patriots 2x: private workout in S.Fla w/McDaniels plus visit to Foxborough
+He marveled at seeing Belichick laugh
+Rosen has been told he looks like a cross btwn Eli & A. Rodgers (yes)
+All players happy to be drafted anywhere
Jeremiah mocks Jackson to New England in his mock.
Will Mason Rudolph sneak into the first-round?