Consensus NFL mock draft: Quarterbacks dominate Round 1

Southern-California-quarterback-Sam-Darnold

Southern California quarterback Sam Darnold, left, rolls out to pass while under pressure against UCLA. (Mark J. Terrill/AP)

After months of speculation, the 2018 NFL Draft is finally here.

But there are loads of questions still unanswered as we draw closer to 8 p.m. ET. What will the Browns do with the No. 1 pick? Who will land Saquon Barkley, widely considered the best talent available? How many quarterbacks will actually go off the board in the top 10?

With so much uncertainty in the hours leading up to the draft, we collected five of the most highly regarded first-round mock drafts — NFL.com (Mike Mayock), CBS Sports, SI.com, ESPN (Todd McShay) and Walter Football — and came up with an average draft slot for each player. (Note: If a player wasn’t listed on a mock draft, we assigned him a 33 to make the math work.)

So which prospects were rated highest by NFL insiders, and how should fans make sense of these rankings? We’ve laid it all out in the table and takeaways below.

Prospects NFL CBS SI ESPN WF AVG
1. Sam Darnold, QB 1 1 1 1 4 1.60
2. Saquon Barkley, RB 2 2 2 2 2 2.00
3. Baker Mayfield, QB 3 5 5 3 3 3.80
4. Bradley Chubb, DE 4 4 4 4 6 4.40
5. Josh Allen, QB 6 6 6 5 1 4.80
6. Quenton Nelson, OG 5 8 8 6 5 6.40
7. Josh Rosen, QB 15 3 3 10 8 7.80
8. Roquan Smith, LB 8 9 9 8 9 8.60
9. Derwin James, S 7 7 16 7 7 8.80
10. Minkah Fitzpatrick, S 12 11 7 9 14 10.60
11. Denzel Ward, CB 9 10 13 12 12 11.20
12. Tremaine Edmunds, LB 11 12 12 11 11 11.40
13. Mike McGlinchey, OT 10 16 10 15 10 12.20
14. Vita Vea, DT 13 13 11 13 13 12.60
T15. Marcus Davenport, DE 18 22 18 18 15 18.20
T15. Da’Ron Payne, DT 17 20 20 17 17 18.20
17. Calvin Ridley, WR 24 19 24 16 16 19.80
18. Lamar Jackson, QB 16 15 21 23 27 20.40
19. Harold Landry, DE 20 14 25 25 20 20.80
20. D.J. Moore, WR 27 29 19 19 24 23.60
T21. Rashaan Evans, LB 25 28 23 20 23 23.80
T21. Jaire Alexander, CB 14 30 28 14 23.80
23. Kolton Miller, OT 23 23 17 31 31 25.00
24. Joshua Jackson, CB 18 14 28 25.20
25. James Daniels, C 31 22 21 21 25.60
26. Taven Bryan, DT 26 26 26 26 26 26.00
27. Isaiah Wynn, OT 22 22 22 26.40
28. Leighton Vander Esch, LB 17 31 19 26.60
29. Frank Ragnow, C 21 21 27 27.00
30. Mike Hughes, CB 15 28 30 27.80
31. Will Hernandez, OG 30 24 30 24 28.20
32. Maurice Hurst, DT 25 18 28.40

NFL consensus mock draft takeaways

Five QBs selected in first round
Many expect quarterbacks to dominate the top 10 selections in this year’s draft, and that’s certainly the case here. Four signal callers are featured in the first seven picks, and former Heisman winner Lamar Jackson rounds out the group at No. 18.

Should a handful of QBs be taken on Thursday night, it would be the most since five pivots were drafted in the first round in 1999. And if Mason Rudolph or Luke Falk were to slide into the top 32, it would equal the record for most quarterbacks taken in the first round, set in 1983 when John Elway, Jim Kelly and Dan Marino were among those drafted.

Only one RB, two WRs selected in top 32
Maybe the biggest surprise about the consensus list above is the lack of offensive weapons coming off the board. Saquon Barkley is the lone running back, while just two receivers — Alabama’s Calvin Ridley and Maryland’s D.J. Moore — are predicted to be selected. If this mock holds up, that would be the lowest number of RBs/WRs selected in the first round of an NFL Draft since 2013 when three wideouts and no running backs were taken in Round 1.

Offensive linemen become top priority
Outside of Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson — who’s expected to be a top-10 selection — there hasn’t been much chatter around offensive lineman in the weeks leading up to the draft. NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah has just seven O-lineman in his top 50 draft prospects, but seven come off the board in the first 32 selections of our consensus mock.

Despite few linemen being regarded as first-rounders, it would not be entirely surprising to see some selected Thursday night given the current perceived “crisis” at the position.

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