Trades always fill the first round of the NFL Draft as organizations make moves to acquire specific players that they feel can have an immediate impact in the league. Last year, the Chicago Bears kicked off the trading by moving up to the second pick in order to select North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky. With six quarterbacks having the potential to be taken in the first round, April 26 might end up being the wildest day in NFL Draft history.
Before the Draft: The Bills trade picks No. 12 and No. 53 to the Buccaneers for pick No. 7.
The Bills need to move up higher in order to be in a better position to draft a quarterback and are willing to deal one of their second round picks to do so. The Buccaneers are eyeing safeties Minkah Fitzpatrick and Derwin James and believe that one of them will be available five picks later.
1. Browns select QB Sam Darnold, USC
Out of the four quarterbacks projected to be taken in the first ten picks, Darnold is the safest. Josh Allen has accuracy issues, Josh Rosen has personality concerns, and Baker Mayfield has had Johnny Manziel-esque off-the-field problems. Tyrod Taylor may be the temporary answer, but Darnold is the future of the Browns organization.
2. Giants trade pick No. 2 to Bills for picks No. 7 and No. 22; Bills select QB Josh Allen, Wyoming
The Bills need to find a quarterback for the future and have the draft picks to make it happen. Allen may have far and away the lowest floor out of the quarterbacks in this draft, but he has a Brett Favre-like cannon that the Bills will fall in love with.
3. Jets select QB Josh Rosen, UCLA
The Jets would be foolish to allow the outspoken mind of Rosen to keep them from acquiring a pocket passer with great vision. Rosen also has some experience under center which should make for an easier transition to the NFL. The Jets have one of the weakest supporting casts though, which the Jets need to improve in the later rounds.
4. Browns trade pick No. 4 to Buccaneers for picks No. 12 and No. 38; Buccaneers select RB Saquon Barkley, Penn State
The Browns have needs throughout the secondary and offensive line, and sliding back a few picks in the draft will reward them with their third second round pick. The Buccaneers trade one of their two picks in the second round in order to move up and acquire the most talented running back in this class. Barkley would be joining one of the best offensive lines in the NFL and give James Winston some much needed run support.
5. Broncos select QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
Mayfield has the most accurate arm that the draft has seen in a few years, paired with a unique attitude. Mayfield’s character is appalling to some NFL associates, but general manager John Elway will only buy into his passion and desire to win. Denver could select defensive end Bradley Chubb to give a much needed boost to the pass rush, but finding an answer to the quarterback position is a more pressing need.
6. Colts select EDGE Bradley Chubb, North Carolina State
The Colts may opt to strengthen their offensive line by picking Quenton Nelson, but pairing Jabaal Sheard with the best edge rusher in the draft on the Colts defensive line may be the better decision.
7. Giants (from Bills) trade pick No. 7 to Bears for picks No. 8 and No. 105; Bears select OG Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame
Both the Giants and the Bears are in need of an offensive guard and a strong pass rusher. Nelson and Tremaine Edmunds would both fill big holes on either team. The Giants have the ability to slide back one pick, add a fourth rounder, and select whichever player the Bears do not. The Bears recently lost guard Josh Sitton to free agency and prioritize protecting Mitch Trubisky.
8. Giants (from Bears) select LB Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech
After lots of trading, the Giants finally make a selection at the No. 8 spot. The Giants have been lacking at the linebacker position for years now, and even after the acquisition of Alec Ogletree, the position is still week. Edmunds is a natural outside linebacker and would play on the weak side for New York. He is a phenomenal run-stopper as well as a skilled pass rusher that would add tremendous talent to the Giants front seven.
9. 49ers trade pick No. 9 to Giants for WR Odell Beckham Jr.; Giants select CB Denzel Ward, Ohio State
The odds of Giants retaining Beckham Jr. after the 2018 season are slim. He has a very high asking price and the Giants simply don’t have the cap space. Just as the Patriots did with Brandin Cooks, it would be wise for the Giants to move on. The 49ers could use a defender like Ward, but would benefit more from adding an offensive playmaker.
The Giants had a weak secondary last season after coming off of an outstanding 2016 season. They released Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and both Janoris Jenkins and Eli Apple have had poor performances and off-the-field issues. Ward is an athletic outside corner who can be placed on an island and improve the secondary for the Giants.
10. Raiders select DB Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama
The Raiders have needs at corner and safety, and Fitzpatrick can meet either of them. He seems to be more natural as a safety who can play up near the line of scrimmage, but Jon Gruden will for sure have some fun moving Fitzpatrick throughout the defense.
11. Dolphins select LB Roquan Smith, Georgia
Smith would add some much needed speed to the Dolphins linebacking corps. Not only is Smith the best available player, but he is also a great fit who will bolster Miami’s front seven.
12. Browns (from Buccaneers) select DB Derwin James, Florida State
The Browns had arguably the weakest secondary in the NFL last year. One could argue that its inferior secondary is the sole reason the team could not win a single game last season (other than Hue Jackson, that is). James adds talent to a secondary that has to improve if the Browns want to be competitive in the forthcoming seasons.
13. Redskins select DL Vita Vea, Washington
At 340 pounds, Vea is the presence on the defensive front that the Redskins are lacking. Vea clocked in at 5.15 in the 40-yard dash, which is incredible for a player of his size. The combination of his unmatched size and surprising quickness will give interior lineman nightmares in the NFL.
14. Packers select LB Rashaan Evans, Alabama
Linebacker isn’t the top priority for the Packers, and they could very well take a corner or reach for a safety, but Evans is one of the best players available at this point and can still improve the front seven for Green Bay. Evans was mainly used as an inside backer at Alabama, but also lined up at outside linebacker and even defensive end. His pass-rushing ability will give Clay Matthews some help.
15. Cardinals select QB Lamar Jackson, Louisville
The Cardinals do not have the draft picks to trade up in the draft like the Bills do, and will have to hope that one of their top choices fall to them. Many believe that Jackson cannot succeed as an NFL quarterback, and perhaps the Cardinals are included as they may opt to select Mason Rudolph. Sam Bradford is under contract for two years, which will give Jackson time to improve his mechanics and become the starter for the Cardinals.
16. Ravens select WR Calvin Ridley, Alabama
The third Alabama player comes off the board as the Ravens attempt to improve their receiving corps. Wide receiver has been an issue in Baltimore for years, but Ridley has the speed and route running ability to finally put the position group on an upward trend.
17. Chargers select OT Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame
The first two offensive linemen selected are from Notre Dame. It seems like every April the Chargers are in need of an offensive tackle and they always look elsewhere in the first round. At pick No.17, there is no Melvin Gordon or Joey Bosa to choose over McGlinchey, who will help keep Philip Rivers off the ground.
18. Seahawks trade pick No. 18 to Cowboys for picks No. 50, No. 81, No. 116, No. 193, and No. 208; Cowboys select DL Maurice Hurst, Michigan
The Cowboys acquire another first round pick in order to select the player in this draft best fit for the Cowboys needs. Hurst is an interior defensive lineman who can rush the passer. The Seahawks have no picks between No. 18 and No. 120, so trading back to acquire more picks would be a wise move.
19. Cowboys trade pick No. 19 to Titans for picks No. 25 and No. 89; Titans select EDGE Marcus Davenport, UTSA
Davenport had one of the best Senior Bowl performances in the history of the event, which entices the Titans to trade up and select him. The Titans biggest priority in this draft is getting an edge rusher, and Davenport fills that need. The player the Cowboys want will likely be available at No. 25, so they move back and get a third round pick in return.
20. Lions select EDGE Harold Landry, Boston College
Landry can be used as an edge rusher along with Ziggy Ansah or as an outside linebacker. Both positions are weak for the Lions right now, and Landry will be a dominant pass rusher at either position. Ansah will finally get some help rushing the passer.
21. Bengals select OL Billy Price, Ohio State
If the Bengals want Joe Mixon to develop into a 20-carry per game running back, then they need to improve their interior offensive line, which was among the worst in 2017. Price is an immediate starter at either center or guard and is one of the best run blockers in this draft. His recent pectoral injury reportedly is unlikely to force him to miss any time.
22. Giants (from Bills) select QB Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State
This is the sixth quarterback selected in the first round. The Giants trade back and still end up with a strong-armed quarterback who can learn from predecessor Eli Manning.
23. Patriots select CB Jaire Alexander, Louisville
Alexander is an explosive outside corner who has the ability to start immediately in New England, possibly forcing Eric Rowe and Jason McCourty to fight for the slot corner position. Alexander has the speed (4.38-second 40-yard dash) that Malcolm Butler lacked.
24. Panthers select CB Josh Jackson, Iowa
The Panthers add a ballhawk corner who has the ability to play outside or inside in a variety of schemes. His presence in the secondary can completely flip the takeaway differential in the Panthers favor.
25. Cowboys (from Titans) select WR D.J. Moore, Maryland
The Cowboys are in desperate need of speed at the wide receiver position. Dak Prescott was often forcing throws last season because his receivers were unable to create any sort of separation. Moore clocked a 4.42-second 40-yard dash, faster than Ridley, Courtland Sutton, and Christian Kirk.
26. Falcons select DL Da’Ron Payne, Alabama
Another Alabama player is chosen as the Falcons select Payne. Payne’s size and run-stopping ability will be a great replacement for Dontari Poe. Payne will pair nicely with the quickness and pass-rushing ability of Grady Jarrett.
27. Saints select WR Christian Kirk, Texas A&M
Willie Snead IV has been ineffective as a slot receiver. The Saints added Cameron Meredith, but could still use a player in the slot with quickness and great route running.
28. Steelers trade pick No. 28 to Jaguars for picks No. 29 and No. 129; Jaguars select LB Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State
The Steelers need to fill Ryan Shazier’s role at inside linebacker, but so do the Jaguars after Paul Posluszny retired earlier in the year. Vander Esch has good size and is quick to fill at the line of scrimmage.
29. Steelers (from Jaguars) select S Ronnie Harrison, Alabama
Yet another member of the Crimson Tide is taken. Ronnie Harrison will fill the void left after the release of Mike Mitchell. Harrison is a dominant run stopper and powerful tackler. He has the intimidation factor that will pair well with the Steelers defense.
30. Vikings select OL Isaiah Wynn, Georgia
Wynn is a Pro Bowl-caliber offensive guard who will effectively protect the Vikings new prized possession, Kirk Cousins.
31. Patriots select OT Connor Williams, Texas
Nate Solder and Cameron Fleming joined the Giants and the Cowboys, respectively. Nothing is more important to the Patriots than protecting their MVP quarterback, and Williams can effectively protect Tom Brady’s blind side.
32. Eagles select CB Isaiah Oliver, Colorado
The Eagles don’t really need anything. Patrick Robinson joined the Saints in the offseason, so the Eagles grab Oliver, who excels in press coverage.
Jackson Haskins is an NFL writer for DYSTNOW.com, you can follow him on Twitter @JacksonHaskins1.