For football fans across the country, June is the most torturous month of the calendar. Aside from virtually worthless drips of information that come from NFL OTA sessions, the thirst for pigskin news goes unquenched.
That is until a new 2018 NFL mock draft is published.
CBS Sports’ Ryan Wilson took a swing at next April’s first round, using Sportsline’s projected win total for each team as the order for the top 32.
If Wilson’s mock draft is accurate, it’s going to be a heck of a draft season. The first three picks — Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers and New York Jets — are all quarterbacks, with USC’s Sam Darnold earning the distinction as the first player chosen by the Browns.
Two disruptive pass rushers — LSU’s Arden Key and Boston College’s Harold Landry — both come off the board in the top 10, with Key landing with the Chicago Bears (No. 5 overall) while Landry heads south to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (No. 8 overall).
I have an issue with the Buccaneers picking that high, as they are poised to make a serious run at the NFC South this season, but pegging Landry in the eighth spot is really all that matters at this time of year. He’s a top-10 talent.
The first receiver off the board is SMU’s Courtland Sutton, who Wilson sends to the Jacksonville Jaguars at No. 10. This is a little high for my liking, although it will probably be a common sentiment throughout the season. I’m just not blown away by any one particular aspect of Sutton’s game to suggest he’s an elite prospect worthy of top-10 status.
Two running backs find themselves in the top 20, with LSU’s Derrius Guice going to the Philadelphia Eagles at No. 13 and Penn State’s Saquon Barkley coming off the board at No. 17 to the New York Giants.
That’ll make for quite the storyline in the NFC East, especially because there’s sure to be a debate about who the most talented back in the 2018 NFL Draft is. For my money — at this point in the process — it’s Barkley. But it’s easy to see why Guice has many analysts in his corner.
For Wilson’s complete mock draft, click here.