2018 NFL Mock Draft analysis 4.0: Mayfield in mix for Browns

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Editor's note: Each week leading up to the 2018 NFL Draft (beginning Thursday night at 8 p.m. ET on NFL Network and FOX), 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.

Analysts Daniel Jeremiah and Lance Zierlein have heard a loud enough drumbeat on Baker Mayfield to predict the Cleveland Browns to draft the Heisman Trophy winner No. 1 overall. Sam Darnold remains the most popular choice for the top pick; among 11 NFL.com mock drafts, the former USC star is predicted to go No. 1 in seven of them. But at least we have some legitimate intrigue with the Browns' lead-off selection, whereas a year ago, Myles Garrett was a foregone conclusion as the No. 1 pick.

Whether he's drafted first or not, Mayfield's rise as a prospect has been a remarkable one. Last summer, Darnold, Josh Rosen and Josh Allen were being heralded as the flag bearers for what was expected to be a landmark QB class, even though Mayfield was more accomplished at the college level than any of them. Nine months later, expectations for this QB class remain high, but that's in part because Mayfield inserted himself into the top tier despite concerns about his size and maturity.

Here are six other things to know from the final editions of NFL.com's mock drafts:

2) Collectively, analysts aren't buying the into the notion that the New York Giants will invest the No. 2 overall pick in an eventual replacement for QB Eli Manning. Ten of 11 project the Giants to take either Penn State RB Saquon Barkley, or N.C. State DE Bradley Chubb. The lone outlier is Maurice Jones-Drew, who sees the Giants taking UCLA QB Josh Rosen.

3) The most likely team to trade out of its current first-round slot? The Buffalo Bills, who are moving up from No. 12 in seven of 11 mocks. The most common trading partner for Bills GM Brandon Beane's first draft? Five of those seven mocks see Buffalo moving up to No. 5 in a deal with the Denver Broncos.

4) Who will be the first receiver off the board? Analysts are all over the place on this point. Alabama's Calvin Ridley, SMU's Courtland Sutton and Maryland's D.J. Moore are all predicted for that distinction by at least two analysts. Projections go as high as the Arizona Cardinals taking Ridley at No. 15, yet as low as the Philadelphia Eagles picking Sutton at No. 32. In the latter scenario, Ridley, Moore and Texas A&M's Christian Kirk would make for some excellent second-round value at the position.

5) The New York Jets are the only team projected to select a quarterback in the first round by all 11 analysts. The votes: Five for Mayfield, three for Darnold and three for Rosen. Analysts were nearly unanimous (10 of 11) on the Browns and Bills taking a QB in the first round.

6) How polarizing is Oklahoma OT Orlando Brown as a prospect? Of all the players placed in the first round by at least one analyst, Brown is the latest selection in analyst Chad Reuter's seven-round mock: Jones-Drew projects Brown to the Minnesota Vikings at No. 30 overall, while Reuter has him slotted in the fourth round, at No. 119 overall to the Los Angeles Chargers.

7) There are only four consensus top-10 picks: Darnold, Barkley, Chubb and Notre Dame OG Quenton Nelson.

RANK

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BRONCOS

Draft picks: N.C. State edge rusher Bradley Chubb (No. 5 overall), SMU WR Courtland Sutton (No. 40 overall), Oregon RB Royce Freeman (No. 71 overall), Boston College DB Isaac Yiadom (No. 99 overall), Iowa LB Josey Jewell (No. 106 overall), Penn State WR DaeSean Hamilton (No. 113 overall), Wisconsin TE Troy Fumagalli (No. 156 overall), Arizona State OG Sam Jones (No. 183 overall), Washington LB Keishawn Bierria (No. 217 overall), Arkansas RB David Williams (No. 226 overall).

Analysis: I mean ... they got Chubb with the fifth pick. That's huge. They didn't trade the pick -- they stayed still and took an elite defender. I give them credit for that. While I might not see Sutton or Hamilton reaching the heights of Demaryius Thomas or Emmanuel Sanders, they can step into those roles at some point. Freeman could take on a starter's workload in 2018.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

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