By: Alex Hale @TheCLESportsGuy
Now that the rules and explanation for my craziness are out of the way, I must say even though it’s kinda cliche, I’ve never been more fascinated than I am with this draft class. Compared to previous years, this might be the most confused I’ve ever been at the top of the draft. The reality is your Top 5 players in this draft aren’t Quarterbacks. My Top 5 Players on my board are as follows in order: Saquon Barkley, Quenton Nelson, Bradley Chubb, Minkah Fitzpatrick and Tremaine Edmunds. For the Browns, they have no choice it seems after passing on numerous top QBs in past years and are probably going to take a QB #1 overall. But what makes this draft so interesting is there’s no consensus Top Quarterback and yet teams are attempting to move up in this draft to get their Quarterback. All that can be said about this year’s draft is until we know for sure what Quarterback the Browns are taking at #1, anything and everything can happen. So with that said, here we go let’s dive into Mock Draft 1.0.
15. Arizona Cardinals- QB Lamar Jackson Louisville- The Cardinals are a team that’s in one of the most interesting places I’ve ever seen. They’re talented defensively, have a solid WR core led by a future HOFer and one of the best RBs in the NFL. They should be a playoff team, but there’s something off about them. They don’t have a Franchise QB. Carson Palmer did an admirable job at the end of his career making Arizona competitive, but now that he’s retired, it leaves Blaine Gabbert or a potential FA QB signing as their QB going into this year, but is their a young Franchise QB they can develop in this draft? One would think with Josh Allen on the board, this might be an easy choice, but Cardinals HC Steve Walks saw the damage a dual-threat QB who can beat you with his arm and his speed at Carolina, which makes me believe Arizona could very well be in play for Lamar Jackson. Lamar Jackson quite possibly has the highest upside out of all the QBs in this draft. Don’t call him a WR, he’s a true dual threat QB. Lamar vastly improved his passing ability from the pocket and showed the ability to go through progressions and make the throw instead of running with it. From his Heisman season to this past year, I would call the progress as a passer night and day. Jackson seems more comfortable as a passer and I truly believe with the right coaching staff and a veteran QB to learn from, he’s going to silence all the critics in the NFL.
Well…that was quite the first round wasn’t it? The Browns would come out as major winners walking out with a QB, a stud RB, a stud CB and a Pro Bowl WR. The Chargers would be huge winners as Josh Allen would be in a perfect situation to sit and learn behind Phillip Rivers for a year or two. I’d also put the 49ers in the winners column after getting a great LB in Tremaine Edmunds and going up and getting a Top WR in Courtland Sutton. I’d consider the Bills the biggest losers by not being able to move up and get a young QB, but they get back a solid haul that they can continue building their team with, but with the reports of Buffalo wanting to move on from Tyrod Taylor, to not even have Lamar Jackson fall to 21 would be a major disappointment.
A lot is going to change with Pro Days and private workouts in the next month. Mock 2.0 will be released sometime in early April after Free Agency has slowed down and teams will have a better understanding of what needs they will be targeting in the draft. Mock 3.0 will be unveiled Draft Week.
Be sure to plan on joining TripleThreatCLE and NewClevelandRadio.net from The Basement in Sagamore Hills on Draft Night April 26th for NewClevelandRadio’s Draft Party Show. We will be broadcasting TripleThreatCLE and After Further Review LIVE before and during the Draft. We will also have former Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl Champion TE and Cleveland native John Jones joining us and more will be announced in the coming weeks!