The New York Jets made waves Friday when they traded up from the number six spot in the draft to the third in a deal with the Indianapolis Colts. They sent three picks Indy’s way for the right to do so, and have presumably made the move to go up and get their franchise quarterback.
So how does this move affect the rest of the first round of the draft? Pretty significantly to be straightforward, so let’s take a look at how exactly it could all play out:
- Cleveland Browns: Sam Darnold, QB, USC
The Browns can’t afford to get cute here, and the Jets move up to number 3 officially forces their hand. Darnold may not be the best quarterback in the class, but word is that John Dorsey loves his skill set and demeanor. As Cleveland has proven, you could do a lot worse than a quarterback room of Darnold and Tyrod Taylor. If the Browns were to again pass on an opportunity to get a quarterback here and any of them are successful elsewhere, the entire city of Cleveland may just march collectively into Lake Erie along with Hue Jackson.
2. New York Giants: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
There has been a lot of buzz surrounding the Giants taking Saquon Barkley here, but I don’t buy that they’ll pass up a chance to select a quarterback of the future no matter their thoughts on Eli Manning’s ability to bounce back in 2018. Giving Rosen time to learn and acclimate behind a guy like Eli is a great situation too, as a transition to such a vicious media market may prove tough for the polarizing young passer.
3. New York Jets (from IND): Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
The Jets trade up to get their guy in Broadway Baker, who will get plenty of time to learn behind two consummate pros in Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater. The New York media will be licking their chops if this actually plays out in a month.
4. Cleveland Browns (from HOU): Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
This may look like a head scratcher as the Browns have two competent runners in Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson. However, Dorsey has stated a desire to acquire “real players” and no one fits that bill more than Barkley in this draft. He takes so much pressure off of whoever is under center, and will reign terror on the AFC North for years to come.
5. Denver Broncos: Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
This may seem an unlikely move from John Elway after he already missed on a tall/athletic, project passer in Paxton Lynch, and just signed Case Keenum to be his starter. However, the pressure is on to get it right at QB, and hedging Keenum with Allen might have to be the risk he takes to do so.
6. Indianapolis Colts (from NYJ): Bradley Chubb, EDGE, NC State
The Colts use the first of their war chest of acquired picks to bolster a front seven and a defense that scares absolutely no one. An impact player like Chubb will certainly help with that coming off the edge. Don’t count them out as a possibility to again trade down to a QB needy team and pickup even more draft assets.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama
The Bucs are a tough team to get a read on since flaming out as an expected dark horse playoff contender in 2017. Fitzpatrick would slot into a defense that could really use some help, he could start at corner or safety immediately for them, and hopefully help get their defense on track.
8. Chicago Bears: Quenton Nelson, Guard, Notre Dame
The Bears used free agency to get Mitch Trubisky the help he needs at pass catcher, and use the eighth pick to get him a mauler up front to replace Josh Sitton and solidify the line. This would be an absolute steal for the Bears as they land one of the best players in the whole draft thanks to a run on quarterbacks early.
9. San Francisco 49ers: Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
The Niners are another team that used free agency to build on offense, and now get the best corner in the draft to help a lacking secondary.
10. Oakland Raiders: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
The Raiders have had a need at linebacker for a while now, and if an intimidator like Smith does fall to them, Jon Gruden would be happy to scoop him up to bring some speed to that side of the ball.
11. Miami Dolphins: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
The Dolphins are probably one of the candidates to trade up to get a higher touted passer to replace Ryan Tannehill, but in this scenario they opt to go for the electrifying Jackson to energize the fan base in South Beach.
12. Buffalo Bills (from CIN): Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State
The unprecedented run on passers continues, as another likely trade up candidate in Buffalo swings on a guy for the future in Rudolph. This definitely looks like a reach, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility for a franchise that sold itself on E.J. Manuel in the first round.
13. Washington Redskins: Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa
The Redskins had to offload the promising Kendall Fuller to pickup Alex Smith, and here they compensate for the loss with the ready made Jackson to replace him.
14. Green Bay Packers: Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
The Packers are another team that seemingly always needs help at linebacker, and they get a pretty good one here in Edmunds to add some juice in their front seven and replace a declining Clay Matthews.
15. Arizona Cardinals: Derwin James, DB, Florida State
Another trade-up-for-a-QB possibility, the Cardinals instead get a steal in James who will step in next to Budda Baker to create one of the most exciting young safety tandems in football.
16. Baltimore Ravens: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
The most predicted draft scenario for Baltimore comes to fruition, as they add a third starting option at the position to complement John Brown and Michael Crabtree. This isn’t the strongest draft for receivers, but Ridley is a good option at the sixteenth pick. Put up or shut up time for Joe Flacco.
17. Los Angeles Chargers: Vita Vea, DT, Washington
The Chargers have a legit front seven, but picking Vea would take attention off of Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram, a scary thought for O-Lines across the AFC West.
18. Seattle Seahawks: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
Another year, another offseason where Seattle is seeking help on the offensive line. In this scenario, they’re lucky enough to have the best prospect at tackle fall to them.
19. Dallas Cowboys: Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State
The Cowboys should be better in 2018 if they’re young offensive core remains intact for most of the season, so adding a talented linebacker to an oft-injured/suspended front seven will help them rebuild the other side of the ball moving forward.
20. Detroit Lions: Marcus Davenport, EDGE, UTSA
Matt Patricia comes over from New England where building up the front lines is prioritized. Davenport will help in this sense as the Lions have Ziggy Ansah and not much else currently.
21. Cincinnati Bengals (from BUF): Connor Williams, OL, Texas
The Bengals got into this draft spot by moving back and picking up Cordy Glenn to bookend their left tackle spot, and add more youth along the line by nabbing Williams. After missing on Jake Fisher and Cedric Ogbuehi, they’ll need to nail this pick if they do in fact go O-Line.
22. Buffalo Bills: Isaiah Wynn, Guard, Georgia
The Bills traded Glenn to move up and grab their quarterback, and now use pick #22 to get him some more protection up front. Wynn and Richie Incognito would be a truly vicious interior combo.
23. Los Angeles Rams: Harold Landry, EDGE, Boston College
The Rams have made two scary additions to their defense in Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib, and have another potential one coming if they reel in Ndamukong Suh. If they add Landry to that mix (with an already great defense from 2017), they’ll be considered an early NFC favorite if they’re not already.
24. Carolina Panthers: Will Hernandez, Guard, UTEP
Cam Newton has been on the wrong end of a subpar offensive line for a few seasons now, and the Panthers are worse at the position after losing Andrew Norwell. Hernandez is a good addition to the mix, and would show a commitment to keeping Newton upright.
25. Tennessee Titans: Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State
The Titans could very well go defense here, but an investment in Marcus Mariota and the passing game seems possible as well. Delanie Walker is effective but aging, and since Gesicki is essentially a receiver, they don’t quite make each other obsolete.
26. Atlanta Falcons: Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama
The Falcons lost Adrian Clayborn and Dontari Poe, and are pretty much still set on offense. Payne would be a good pick here as he would add even more youth and speed to a front seven that already has a ton of both.
27. New Orleans Saints: Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan
Another NFC South team goes meat and potatoes in the front seven, and with New Orleans currently interested in Suh, Hurst would be a great young consolation prize if they end up missing out.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville
The Steelers again need help on defense after being unexpectedly bounced by Jacksonville in the divisional round, and another young corner may be the route they take. Safety is also an option here.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars: James Daniels, Guard, Iowa
The Jags have almost no weaknesses (except for quarterback) but you can never have enough strong options on the offensive line. Adding Daniels to pair with Norwell would give Blake Bortles much needed time in the pocket, and help clear lanes for Leonard Fournette.
30. Minnesota Vikings: Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama
The Vikings have swung heavily on this being a Super Bowl window after signing Kirk Cousins, and contenders often have great defensive depth. Even if he doesn’t fill an immediate need for them, Evans at least gives them that.
31. New England Patriots: Kolton Miller, OL, UCLA
The Pats need to do some retooling along the line after losing Nate Solder to New York, and Miller’s impressive combine numbers may have secured him a spot in the first round.
32. Philadelphia Eagles: DJ Moore, WR, Maryland
The Eagles got rid of a former Terp at the position in Torrey Smith, and add one to replace him in Moore who has been a steady riser since the end of the season. They’ve improved their defense even more through free agency and will probably use the draft to do the same on the other side of the ball.