Round 1 of the NFL draft from Dallas will air live on April 26 at 8 PM ET on five channels: NFL Network, Fox, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes. Cleveland, as usual, has the first overall pick and there will be no shortage of drama. Let’s check out who we believe the top 10 teams in the draft will be picking.
Projected Draft Top 10
- Cleveland Browns – Josh Allen, Quarterback, Wyoming – Super Bowl Odds: 80-1
In a quarterback-rich draft, the Browns could very well drop down a spot or two, save a few bucks and still get a quality QB. But we’re talking about the Cleveland Browns, and their No. 1 and No. 4 overall picks could ring eerily similar to the 2012 draft when they owned the No. 3 and 22 picks, which manifested in running back Trent Richardson and Brandon Weeden, neither of whom panned out. The Browns will hitch their wagon to who they perceive to be a star in Allen, a big kid from a relatively small conference (Mountain West), armed with a cannon. Here we go again Cleveland.
- New York Giants – Sam Darnold, Quarterback, USC – Super Bowl Odds: 33-1
Eli Manning reminds me of the girl you can’t quite figure out if she’s hot or not. There are days when, with a little distance and the right lighting, she looks amazing. Then there are other days when her makeup is lacking and the sun shines a bright light outlining every homely feature. Well, our friend Eli is looking much more the latter these days than the former; nevertheless, he’ll have one more year to prove he’s finished while Darnold looks on in horror.
- New York Jets – Baker Mayfield, Quarterback, Oklahoma – Super Bowl Odds: 100-1
Like their roommates at MetLife Stadium, the Jets will select a quarterback, and it won’t be the logical choice, which would be Darnold (if he slipped here). No, they are channeling the glory days when Joe Willy roamed the field and will go for charisma over substance. Mayfield has that intangible but could prove to be a huge bust on a player the Jets could have had somewhere down the line.
- Cleveland Browns – Saquon Barkley, Running Back, Penn State – Super Bowl Odds: 80-1
Old habits die hard and like the previously mentioned 2012 draft, it would be just like the Browns to get a case of déjà vu and do it all over again. Granted, Barkley looks a lot more enticing than Richardson ever did but running backs are not exactly en vogue in today’s pass-happy NFL. Check out the industry’s best online sportsbooks to see if Cleveland’s draft day selections change their NFL odds in terms of total wins on the season and odds to win the division, conference, and dare we say — the Lombardi Trophy!
- Denver Broncos – Josh Rosen, Quarterback, UCLA – Super Bowl Odds: 33-1
If any Denver executives are reading this, they are praying the draft goes accordingly because getting Darnold to fall to No. 5 would be a dream come true for the suddenly quarterback-starved Broncos. Denver would love to have Darnold suiting up next season, and perhaps even starting after a brief period of playing the role of understudy to Case Keenum’s leading man. Except, the Broncos will have to settle for the other L.A. quarterback in Rosen. He might be more polished than Darnold but without quite the ceiling.
- Indianapolis Colts – Bradley Chubb, Defensive End, NC State – Super Bowl Odds: 40-1
The Colts would be walkin’ on sunshine if Chubb falls to them at No. 6, but it probably won’t happen as another team could very well trade up if they see Chubb falling. He is the elite pass rusher in the draft with lofty comparisons made to Julius Peppers, delivering pure power on the edge.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Quenton Nelson, Guard, Notre Dame – Super Bowl Odds: 50-1
If it’s one thing the Bucs management wants, it’s protection for Jameis Winston. Let’s not forget that Tampa Bay took a gamble a few years ago and drafted an offensive lineman named Ali Marpet in the second round from Hobart College, a D-3 school. That turned out to be a risk worth taking as Marpet has effortlessly made the jump to the pros and adding a beast like Nelson would be just fine with Winston.
- Chicago Bears – Minkah Fitzpatrick, Safety, Alabama – Super Bowl Odds: 80-1
Yes, the Bears would love to add Nelson to their decimated offensive line and may trade up to do it but in the event they don’t, then they will turn their attention to arguably the best defensive back in the draft, Fitzpatrick, with a winning Alabama pedigree behind him.
- San Francisco 49ers – Derwin James, Safety, Florida State – Super Bowl Odds: 14-1
It has been rumored the Niners would like to get an asset to complement Jimmy Garoppolo, but the fact is that the wideouts available don’t warrant a pick this high. Therefore, San Francisco will turn its eyes to a 6’3” monster to add to their defensive backfield by the name of Derwin James out of FSU.
- Oakland Raiders – Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech – Super Bowl Odds: 25-1
If you click on over to SBR’s NFL odds you will see the industry’s best online sportsbooks offering the Raiders at anywhere from 22-1 all the way up to 33-1 depending upon where you shop for your lines. If Jon Gruden plucks Edmunds from the draft at the No. 10 spot, you may see those odds drop because the linebacker from V-Tech is a defensive game changer.