Todd McShay of ESPN released his third mock draft of the year on Wednesday, right on the heels of free agency. To compare, here is who he had the Cleveland Browns taking in his first two mock drafts:
McShay 1.0: QB Sam Darnold, RB Saquon Barkley
McShay 2.0: QB Sam Darnold, RB Saquon Barkley
But both of those mock drafts happened before the 2018 NFL Combine, which saw the stock of Barkley rise even more and Darnold choose not to throw. Did that change his selection for the Browns at No. 1 overall? Nope -- it’s still locked in at Darnold, and if McShay truly believes he’s the top guy, then I hope every single one of his mock drafts continues to represent that for consistency.
No. 1: Cleveland Browns - QB Sam Darnold: “I’ve had Darnold here in the previous two mocks as well. After the combine this past week, it’s sounding as if this pick could come down to him or Saquon Barkley. Darnold is the best QB in this class, in my opinion. However, I also could see Josh Allen as the choice here, since he has more experience in the cold, the big arm and the hand size (10⅛ inches) to diminish fumbling concerns in bad AFC North weather. If Cleveland addresses its quarterback situation in free agency (AJ McCarron?), then I think Barkley is the pick here.”
McShay now has RB Saquon Barkley going No. 2 to the New York Giants, followed by DE Bradley Chubb to the Indianapolis Colts at No. 3. That really only leaves one choice then at No. 4, doesn’t it?
No. 4: Cleveland Browns - S Minkah Fitzpatrick - “There are teams that could be looking to move up to this pick to get ahead of Denver and the New York Jets (Miami, Arizona, Buffalo to name a few), so the Browns could cash in with the QB they want and now get additional picks to move down. Since we can’t project trades, Cleveland goes with a difference-maker on defense in Fitzpatrick (Tremaine Edmunds would be another possibility). With needs at CB, WR, DE and offensive line (among others), this pick is also dependent on where Cleveland spends to upgrade in free agency.”
Here is how the rest of McShay’s Top 10 looks — would you be happy with this?
A look at @McShay13's top 10 with the combine in the rearview mirror: pic.twitter.com/lIzfB1wC0R— ESPN (@espn) March 7, 2018