In only a few more weeks, we're going to know what the Denver Broncos will do with a pick that should be franchise-altering in the 2018 NFL Draft. It's not all about the first round, though, as John Elway has done a nice job of loading up on picks, making this a real make-or-break draft for the franchise.
Because of this, we set out to project the first three rounds. As things head up and the rumors are swirling more than ever, here's what we think could happen in the upcoming draft.
Mind you, this is a prediction of how we think things will go, not how we would select the players, our latest big board and updated position rankings are the best way to gauge that.
Let's dig in.
1) CLEVELAND BROWNS, SAM DARNOLD, QB, USC
This pick is up in the air with Cleveland’s brass still torn—and debating internally—between Darnold or Wyoming’s Josh Allen. Even though Darnold and Allen are likely to be the first two signal-callers to go off the board, who Cleveland takes will have a massive trickle-down effect on the rest of the draft.
Darnold is younger, has played against better competition and I believe he's a better fit in Hue Jackson’s scheme. More importantly, he’s more NFL ready, though that’s debatable since Allen comes from a pro-style offense. For now, we’re projecting Darnold but Allen being selected wouldn’t surprise at all.
2) NEW YORK GIANTS, BRADLEY CHUBB, DE, NORTH CAROLINA STATE
This is where the trickle-down effect starts to take shape because if the Browns go with Allen, the Giants are said to really like Darnold. If Darnold isn’t around, the situation is much more fluid as a trade down could be in play, too.
However, if there’s one non-quarterback prospect that the top five teams seem to really like—including Denver—it’s Chubb. With New York caught between rebuilding and trying to win now, Chubb can be a solid building block for the future on a defense that could be competitive with a few touch-ups.
3) NEW YORK JETS (FROM IND), JOSH ALLEN, QB, WYOMING
The Jets moved up back in March because they’re hungry for a quarterback of the future, and given the depth of this class, felt good enough to be at the third pick where they could take whoever fell to them.
In this scenario, they’re in an enviable position with Josh Rosen, Baker Mayfield, and Allen all still available. Given the way in which he’s improved during the draft process, Allen seems like a safe bet, especially in New York where his big arm is suited perfectly to handle the adverse weather.