NFL Draft 2018: 1st-Round Mock Draft, Odds and Early Buzz from Scouting Combine

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistMarch 2, 2018

MOBILE, AL - JANUARY 27:  Baker Mayfield #6 of the North team throws the ball during the Reese's Senior Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on January 27, 2018 in Mobile, Alabama.  (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Storylines abound with the 2018 NFL scouting combine officially underway in Indianapolis. 

There, even the result of a draft prospect bench-pressing 225 pounds is big news so far, which isn't as silly as it might seem if an NFL hopeful comes in too far on either end of the spectrum. 

Really, the biggest news ahead of workouts will come from the media interviews with coaches and front-office personnel, who take the chance in front of the microphone to talk about the team's plans, expectations and more, often free of the general gameweek coachspeak. 

As a whole, the combine doesn't alter a team's board too much, though it might send them scrambling back to the film over a few players. Below, let's look at a reshuffled mock draft, odds for which passer comes off the board first and the biggest rumblings out of Indianapolis so far. 

         

2018 NFL Mock Draft

1. Cleveland Browns: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State

2. New York Giants: Sam Darnold, QB, USC

3. Indianapolis Colts: Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State

4. Cleveland Browns (via Houston Texans): Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma

5. Denver Broncos: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA

6. New York Jets: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Derwin James, S, Florida State

8. Chicago Bears: Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU

9. San Francisco 49ers: Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame

10. Oakland Raiders: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia

11. Miami Dolphins: Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama

12. Cincinnati Bengals: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame

13. Washington Redskins: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama

14. Green Bay Packers: Arden Key, DE/OLB, LSU

15. Arizona Cardinals: Connor Williams, OT, Texas

16. Baltimore Ravens: Harold Landry, DE/OLB, Boston College

17. Los Angeles Chargers: Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech

18. Seattle Seahawks: Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma

19. Dallas Cowboys: Vita Vea, DT, Washington

20. Detroit Lions: Derrius Guice, RB, LSU

21. Buffalo Bills: Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State

22. Buffalo Bills (via Kansas City Chiefs): Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

23. Los Angeles Rams: Billy Price, C/G, Ohio State

24. Carolina Panthers: James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State

25. Tennessee Titans: Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan

26. Atlanta Falcons: Da'Ron Payne, DT, Alabama

27. New Orleans Saints: Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas

28. Pittsburgh Steelers: Marcus Davenport, DE/OLB, UTSA

29. Jacksonville Jaguars: Joshua Jackson, CB, Iowa

30. Minnesota Vikings: Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado

31. New England Patriots: Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, EDGE, Oklahoma

32. Philadelphia Eagles: Ronald Jones II, RB, USC

          

Odds for 1st QB Selected 

  • Josh Rosen (UCLA) -120 (bet $120 to win $100)
  • Sam Darnold (USC) +175 (bet $100 to win $175)
  • Josh Allen (Wyoming) +500
  • Lamar Jackson (Louisville) +1000
  • Mason Rudolph (Oklahoma State) +1000
  • Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma) +2000
  • Will Grier (West Virginia) +2000
  • Luke Falk (Washington State) +2500
  • Nick Fitzgerald (Mississippi State) +5000

via OddsShark's Justin Hartling

           

4. Cleveland Browns (via Houston Texans): Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma

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Considering the team has two picks over the first five selections, it's only natural the Cleveland Browns stand prominently in the draft-buzz department from the combine. 

It's interesting, though, to hear the Browns openly admit what we've mocked all along—they're likely to take a quarterback with one of those two picks, but said quarterback prospect isn't going to have to start right away. 

"Would we have to [start a quarterback drafted at No. 1 overall right away]? I would hope not," Browns head coach Hue Jackson said at the combine, according to Nate Ulrich of Ohio.com. "I would hope there's other things. There are going to be other opportunities. We have free agency right upon us."

Indeed, the Browns have plenty of options here. Some might not want to hear it, but DeShone Kizer is still on the roster and has some upside. In free agency, the Browns might not land a major fish like a Kirk Cousins, but they've been linked to guys like Cincinnati Bengals backup AJ McCarron and could look for someone such as a Case Keenum as a stopgap solution. 

This all snowballs into the mock above, where the Browns get the best outright player available in the draft with Penn State's Saquon Barkley at No. 1 overall, then turn around and get Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield at No. 4. 

It's hard to go wrong with a quarterback prospect this year, because while each has high upside, each also has a major flaw. Mayfield, at least, is the guy who completed north of 70 percent of his passes in each of his last two seasons and threw for 83 scores over that span while also boasting the ability to extend plays with his feet. 

The Browns being open about this strategy won't silence fans who start chanting for the rookie if a veteran isn't playing well, but the transparency is at least a breath of fresh air. 

           

18. Seattle Seahawks: Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma

Darron Cummings/Associated Press

As mentioned above, the bench press can actually move the needle on a prospect's stock if he goes out and bombs it. 

So let's talk about Oklahoma's Orlando Brown.

Brown, 6'8" and 360 pounds, turned heads in the worst possible way by only repping the 225 pounds 14 times.

NFL.com's Chad Reuter helped contextualize the gigantic misstep: 

Now, it's important to point out that Brown's gaffe here doesn't mean he won't be a good pro. He's never been the best athlete, if that makes sense, so bad testing might not be the biggest detriment to NFL evaluators. 

In the mock above, though, it dips Brown down a few spots and has him landing with the Seattle Seahawks, a team that is slowly getting more serious about the offensive line. It needs to after Russell Wilson took 43 sacks a year ago and also had to lead the team in rushing, both in attempts, yards, and well, any metric somebody can come up with, really. 

Despite the miserable testing, it's clear on film Brown is an intelligent player who knows how to use his great size and length in a productive manner. We'll have to see if that will be enough at the pro level, but he certainly deserves to be on some of the "stock down" lists right now. 

        

23. Los Angeles Rams: Billy Price, C/G, Ohio State

Jay LaPrete/Associated Press

There's bombing athletic testing, then there's the downright unfair. 

Ohio State interior lineman Bill Price falls under the latter. 

Price, the top interior prospect in the draft, hit the bench press in Indianapolis and suffered an injury, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport: 

On one hand, an injury doesn't take away the fact Price is an elite prospect. On the other, this is a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately league, and a team seeing they won't be able to have Price for most of summer camp, if not some of the season, will cause them to pass. 

It's a shame, because as NFL.com's Lance Zierlein wrote, he's elite at what he does: "Price's power and leverage give him a huge advantage over most centers in this draft. He should be able to come into the league and deal with NFL power right away. However, his impatience as a blocker and tendency to charge in head-first will be used against him by savvy NFL opponents if he doesn't get it cleaned up. Price is an early starter with Pro Bowl potential."

Some team will still take Price at a great value. The Los Angeles Rams do in this scenario and are more than willing to wait out an injury like this if it means he gets on the field sooner or later and helps keep a franchise passer like Jared Goff upright. 

Even if it means shifting around the interior, Price is a guy the Rams will need to find a way to get on the field, no excuses. 

      

Stats courtesy of NFL.com.  

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