With both the Senior Bowl and Super Bowl completed, it’s time for another mock draft as teams begin preparing for the draft and free agency in earnest. Check out John "Moon" Mullin and my first mock here, which came before the Senior Bowl.
1. Cleveland Browns: Sam Darnold, QB, USC
1/22 mock: Darnold
No change here, as Darnold — despite a relatively disappointing 2017 at USC — will head to the NFL Combine later this month as the best quarterback on the board.
2. New York Giants: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
1/22 mock: Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
Allen struggled at times during practices leading up to the Senior Bowl, but then completed nine of 13 passes for 158 yards and two touchdowns in the actual game. He probably has the best arm in this class, and the rest of his physical tools are off the charts, but accuracy was issue No. 1 for him in Mobile. So for now, I’m sending Rosen to New York, which should be an excellent landing place for a quarterback to develop under Pat Shurmur and Eli Manning.
3. Indianapolis Colts: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
1/22 mock: Bradley Chubb, DE, N.C. State
The Colts have holes to fill on both sides of the ball, but since there’s not a tackle worth going this high, the next best thing Chris Ballard could do to help Andrew Luck is draft the best running back in this class.
4. Cleveland Browns (from Houston): Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama
1/22 mock: Barkley
If the Colts move to take Barkley, the Browns could look at the measly seven interceptions their secondary had in 2017 and try to address that with Fitzpatrick, who picked off nine passes in three years at Alabama.
5. Denver Broncos: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
1/22 mock: Quenton Nelson, OL, Notre Dame
I though Mayfield did a lot to boost his stock during Senior Bowl practices, which is worth noting because he was working with the Broncos’ coaching staff. Getting that direct Mayfield-to-Allen comparison in January could help sway them toward the 2017 Heisman winner come April.
6. New York Jets: Bradley Chubb, DE, N.C. State
1/22 mock: Rosen
Kirk Cousins will be playing somewhere besides Washington in 2018, and the Jets have loads of cap space to blow. So in this scenario, Cousins winds up in New York, solving the Jets’ quarterback quandary, and they’re able to add the best pass-rusher in the draft to a defense that only generated 28 sacks in 2017.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA
1/22 mock: Nelson
Davenport got off to a slow start at the Senior Bowl, but he’s a freak athlete with loads of raw skill that may push him into being a top 10 pick come April. Tampa Bay had the fewest sacks (22) in the NFL last year.
8. Chicago Bears: Quenton Nelson, OL, Notre Dame
1/22 mock: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
Is No. 8 too high to take a guard? That’s the bigger question with Nelson than how good he is. The Bears would need to cut a veteran offensive lineman to make this pick work (Josh Sitton or, if they were to shuffle Kyle Long back to tackle, Bobby Massie), but upgrading the offensive line is an important piece of Ryan Pace’s offseason puzzle. Offensive line coach Harry Hiestand developed Nelson at Notre Dame and it’s not unreasonable to think pairing the two back together could produce a Pro Bowl offensive lineman from Day 1 in Chicago. The other thought here: If Allen is still on the board, could the Bears trade down to a team in the market for a young quarterback, like the Arizona Cardinals?
9. San Francisco 49ers: Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
1/22 mock: Sutton
If Ridley is still on the board, he could be the guy here, but Sutton was hugely productive in college and would be a huge get for Jimmy Garoppolo and Kyle Shanahan’s offense.
10. Oakland Raiders: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
1/22 mock: Smith
No change here, either, as the Raiders spring for an elite inside ‘backer to plug into their defense.