1. The Browns Draft Josh Allen
For weeks, draft experts have been mocking USC’s Sam Darnold first overall. However, as the draft gets closer, more and more people are buying that the Browns will make Josh Allen the first player taken this Thursday. The selection of Allen at pick one would have a huge ripple effect on the rest of the draft. Before, the New York Giants were all but guaranteed to select Saquon Barkley at number two. However, that was with the expectation that Darnold would be off the board. There have been multiple reports saying that the Giants have Darnold as the only true franchise QB in this draft and in this scenario they would be forced to pull the trigger for Eli’s successor. With the Jets guaranteed to draft a QB as well, the selection of Josh Allen number one overall would mean three QBs go in the first three picks, with teams like the Bills, Dolphins and Broncos fighting to trade for the Browns’ fourth overall pick.
2. The Giants Trade the #2 Pick
Speaking of the Giants, they have been linked to several franchise-changing players at number two, but it makes sense that Gentlemen trades out of the second overall slot if they aren’t interested in picking a quarterback. This year’s draft has four potential quarterbacks going in the first several picks. Allen, Darnold, Mayfield and Rosen may all be gone in the top five picks, so value-wise it doesn’t seem smart for the Giants to grab a running back or a guard at number two, even if they are Hall of Fame guys…and believe me they are. The Giants would be wise to trade this pick if they are able to somehow still pick within the top eight picks. That means if the Dolphins at number 11 or the Bills at 12 want to get to the number two spot, they either have to offer a massive haul or trade up twice. Another potential trade would be for the Giants to swap picks with the Jets, similarly to the 49ers and Bears swapping picks last year.
3. The Colts Trade Down Again and Continue to Waste Andrew Luck
The Colts were smart to net three second round picks just to move down three spots with the Jets; however, if they trade down again, they will doom their franchise and Andrew Luck for years to come. A report has claimed that Chris Ballard is willing to move down again and teams linked to them include the Dolphins, Bills and Cardinals. There is a significant drop off in talent outside of the top ten picks and the Colts have failed to draft great talent around Andrew Luck for the past few years. They must start to invest in their quarterback by putting a team around him. They have to stay pat and either draft a defensive superstar like a Bradley Chubb or the best guard prospect this decade in Quentin Nelson. When healthy, the Colts have a top-five quarterback in Luck. It’s time to put a team around him and compete.
4. Saquon Barkley Falls to the 49ers
Barkley has been mocked as high as two to the Giants in many analyst mock drafts. He has been dubbed the best RB prospect ever, as well as a generational talent and surefire HOFer. However, the NFL just doesn’t value the running back positon. The NFL Rookie of the year and the NFL rushing leader last year were both third round picks. With four stud QBs and an elite pass rusher in this year’s draft it is very possible that Barkley falls out of the top five picks. If he falls to number nine to the 49ers, the rest of the NFL better prepare themselves now. The Niners already have their franchise quarterback in Jimmy G and their offensive mastermind in Kyle Shanahan. If they add Saquon Barkley to that offense they will take the league by storm. They were already being compared to last year’s Rams, just a year or two away. If Kyle Shanahan has Garoppolo and Barkley for the next five years they will haunt NFC teams for years.
5. The Bills Don’t Draft a Quarterback in the First Round
The Buffalo Bills have two picks in the first round, #12 and #20. Their have been multiple reports saying they are “trying like hell” to trade up to draft a QB. Potential trade partners could be the Giants, Browns, Broncos or even Colts. However, it is possible that all four of the QBs are off the board by the fifth pick, and the Bills are left sitting there at 12. I believe that if that is the case they have no other options besides reaching for a QB and drafting either Lamar Jackson or Mason Rudolph with one of their first round picks. If the Bills go into the season with Nathan Peterman and AJ McCarron as their only QBS on their roster they are all but guaranteed for another top five pick in next year’s draft.
6. The Patriots Draft a Quarterback in the First Round
Like the Bills, the New England Patriots also have two picks in the first round and could potentially leverage them to draft Tom Brady’s eventually successor. If the Patriots draft Lamar Jackson or Mason Rudolph, the NFL would explode. Both QBs have potential, but neither of them are thought to be in the elite tier that the top four are in. If the Patriots draft a QB, NFL teams will be kicking themselves for years to come. The Patriots let Jimmy Garoppolo get away this past season and will likely look to add their next Tom Brady in this year’s draft. Whomever they draft will be able to learn from Josh McDaniels and Tom Brady. If that’s the case, odds are Belichick will add another diamond in the rough, and the NFL will have worry about the Patriots reign over the NFL for another 15 years.