Once the Super Bowl is done and dusted, fans of the NFL feel a void. However, with a new year comes a flurry of NFL draft activity, and the excitement for this year’s new recruits is as great as ever. Due to having the first and fourth picks, which will reveal a real advantage in the long run, the Cleveland Browns will soak up much of the spotlight during this round of drafts.
Their first pick is overwhelmingly likely to be between one of Sam Darnold(QB) or Saquon Barkley(RB). The general feeling is that the Browns will go with Darnold due to their need for a Quarterback. He is athletic, boasts a strong arm and impressive leadership abilities. Ultimately, it comes as no surprise to see him top the latest live NFL online betting markets for the first picks (QB and overall) in the upcoming drafts.
Though current odds favor Darnold where being picked first is concerned, Saquon Barkley from Penn State is considered by a majority of experts to be the best player in the draft. The Browns will be hoping that both New York teams decide to draft a Quarterback instead but the likelihood is that he will be picked up before the Browns go again. Above all, Barkley is an explosive player who will surely take the NFL by storm in 2018, due to his vicious cut and knack for making huge plays.
The magnitude of Barkley’s potential impact is not lost on ESPN’s NFL experts.
As for the other Quarterbacks in the class, it’s likely that Josh Rosen (QB) will be the next to be taken after Darnold – again by one of the New York teams. A lot of the draft will rest on whether the Giants decide to take him with their second pick or opt for Barkley, presuming the Browns take Darnold. Rosen and Josh Allen (QB) are seen as the best QBs after Darnold.
On the defensive side of the draft, Minkah Fitzpatrick (S) looks like the top choice, and will probably end up with the Browns. Most agree that he would be a solid choice for any team looking to strengthen in that position and his versatility will be a real asset. Bradley Chubb (DE), Quenton Nelson (G) and Denzel Ward (CB) are other defensive players who won’t last long in the draft.
Away from the top of the draft, it will be interesting to see where Shaquem Griffin (LB) ends up. The linebacker blew everyone away at the combine as he showed that only having one hand wasn’t going to stop him from being a star in the NFL. Some predict that he may be drafted as high as the third round, but it definitely looks like we will be seeing him in the NFL. His story has been an incredible one, and a high draft for him would be a life-affirming moment.
As ever, a team choosing one player over another will have a huge domino effect throughout the rest of the draft, and time will tell which players have justified their selections, and which teams missed out on a future star.