2018 NFL Mock Draft analysis 2.0: Darnold or Rosen for Jets

Print

Editor's note: Each week leading up to the 2018 NFL Draft (April 26-28 on NFL Network), Chase Goodbread will delve into the most recent NFL.com mock drafts for a closer look at what might transpire once teams are officially on the clock, continuing this week with his takeaways from the mocks of analysts Bucky Brooks, Maurice Jones-Drew, Charley Casserly and Chad Reuter.

With a pick early enough in the 2018 NFL Draft to land a top quarterback, and an obvious need at the position, the New York Jets are positioned to make a franchise-altering decision in less than two weeks.

All that's left is the hard part -- selecting the right one.

NFL.com analysts are split on which direction the Jets will go with the No. 3 overall draft pick in their latest mock drafts, but they all see the Jets taking one of Los Angeles' best: USC's Sam Darnold or UCLA's Josh Rosen. Bucky Brooks and Maurice Jones-Drew see Darnold wearing Jets green, while Chad Reuter and Charley Casserly project Rosen to be GM Mike Maccagnan's pick. The Jets gave the Indianapolis Colts the No. 6 selection plus three second-round picks (two this year, one next) for the No. 3 choice in a trade last month. That's a heavy investment, but it put the Jets in range of getting one of the elite prospects in a quarterback-rich draft.

Trouble is, the Cleveland Browns and New York Giants could both select a quarterback ahead of the Jets, leaving the club with options that might or might not include Darnold or Rosen. Only Brooks, who projects Wyoming's Josh Allen at No. 1 and N.C. State DE Bradley Chubb at No. 2, expects the Jets to have their choice of either Darnold or Rosen.

Here are eight other takeaways from NFL.com's latest mock drafts:

2) Expectations for a quarterback to come off the board No. 1 overall aren't unanimous. Jones-Drew is projecting the Browns to select Penn State RB Saquon Barkley with the first choice. It's a move Cleveland has the leverage to make, because the club could get its quarterback just three selections later at No. 4. It's also a move other quarterback-needy clubs would love to see, because it would enrich their own quarterback options with the subsequent picks.

3) Quarterbacks fly off the board early in Brooks' mock, starting with Allen at No. 1 overall. From there, it's Darnold to the Jets (No. 3), Rosen to the Broncos (No. 5), Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield to the Dolphins (No. 11), Oklahoma State's Mason Rudolph to the Bills (No. 12) and Louisville's Lamar Jackson to the Ravens (No. 16). That's six quarterbacks gone in the first half of the round. Consider it a nightmare scenario for a club hoping for a QB late in Round 1.

4) Reuter projects a flurry of trade activity, beginning with the New Orleans Saints moving up to take Mayfield at No. 8. The other swap in the top 10 of Reuter's mock: the Bills trade up to No. 9 for Jackson in a deal with the 49ers, who take Alabama DB Minkah Fitzpatrick at No. 12.

5) All four analysts project that the Cardinals will have their choice of any wide receiver in the draft at No. 15 overall, and three of them expect them to take one. Brooks and Casserly see Alabama's Calvin Ridley going to Arizona, while Reuter is sending Maryland's D.J. Moore to the club.

6) Suffice it to say that Jones-Drew is high on Colorado CB Isaiah Oliver. The Buffs' underclassman is off the first-round board for the other three analysts, while Jones-Drew places him with the Seahawks at No. 18 overall.

7) The four analysts are in full agreement on only one pick in the first round: the Indianapolis Colts taking Notre Dame OG Quenton Nelson at No. 6 overall. It could be the best thing the club could do to keep QB Andrew Luck healthy and productive, particularly in a draft that is thin at offensive tackle.

8) When it comes to picking outliers, NFL.com analysts are a fearless bunch. There are a dozen players projected for the first round by only one of them: Rudolph, Oliver, Arkansas C Frank Ragnow, SMU WR Courtland Sutton, Stanford S Justin Reid, Ohio State C Billy Price, Stanford DT Harrison Phillips, FSU DE Josh Sweat, Ohio State DE Sam Hubbard, Oklahoma OT Orlando Brown, Iowa C James Daniels and Georgia RB Sony Michel.

9) The analysts unanimously project four teams to draft a player at a particular position in the first round: the Jets (QB), Colts (OG), Buccaneers (S), and Falcons (DT).

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

Print

Headlines

The previous element was an advertisement.

NFL Shop