The 2018 NFL Draft is on Thursday, April 26, through Saturday, April 28. This year, the Cleveland Browns hold the first pick. Most NFL Draft analysts believe that the Browns pick QB Sam Darnold from USC. But could Cleveland trade the top pick after bringing in QB Tyrod Taylor and RB Carlos Hyde? Who would be the top pick then? Is there a smarter top pick than Darnold? Who is the longshot pick to top first? Keep reading for answers to those questions and more.
NFL Odds & Picks To Be Drafted First Overall
- Sam Darnold -170
- Josh Allen +120
- Saquon Barkley +750
- Baker Mayfield +1200
- Josh Rosen +1500
- Bradley Chubb +3000
- M.Fitzpatrick +10000
The Las Vegas Oddsmakers Favorite Pick To Be Drafted First: Sam Darnold -170
USC’s former starting quarterback had a great pro day. Although it was raining in Los Angeles, Darnold threw as if it were a sunny 75 degrees. Most NFL scouts believe that Darnold has the most potential of any quarterback likely to be drafted next week.
He certainly has the physical tools. At 6’ 3” and 222 lbs., Darnold can not only heave the ball downfield, he can also rush with the football. He might be the closest QB in this draft to Philadelphia starter Carson Wentz.
But, the Cleveland Browns not only have Pick 1 in Round 1, they also have Pick 4 in Round 1. It’s hard to see Cleveland using the first overall pick for Sam Darnold when this QB class is so deep. One of the top 6 quarterbacks most definitely will be available with the Browns’ fourth pick.
The Smart Pick To Be Drafted First: Saquon Barkley +750
Some feel that Barkley is the best running back to enter the NFL since Adrian Peterson. That’s high praise. Actually, it doesn’t get any higher than that. Is Barkley that good? Based on game footage and his performance at the NFL Combine, yes, he is.
The real reason to back Barkley to be the first player chosen is that the Browns could use Barkley in their backfield, so could half of the other teams. Could the Browns trade the top pick away so a team that needs a franchise changing player right out of the gate.
Quarterbacks don’t always pan out in the NFL. Runners like Saquon Barkley do. Think Ezekiel Elliott or Leonard Fournette. Barkley is not only the safer pick but he won’t have to carry the load in Cleveland all by himself because the Browns signed Carlos Hyde.
Longshot First Overall Pick: Bradley Chubb +3000
If Cleveland decides that the best way to win is with their defense, they could draft Bradley Chubb first. Chubb is what NFL scouts call a “can’t miss” prospect. He’s a big, lengthy, defensive end that would complement Myles Garrett, Cleveland’s Round 1 first pick DE from last season.
There’s all sorts of reasons why Bradley Chubb could go first to the Browns. He immediately upgrades their defense while both Barkley and Darnold could take a few weeks to help Cleveland win games. That means not only is Chubb a safe pick but he’s also an impact pick.