After months of mocks and pro days and workouts and takes, we've finally made it. Welcome, to the 2018 NFL Draft. It feels great to be here. The draft is one of my favorite events on the NFL calendar, and this year's offering figures to be one of the most wild, entertaining, and potentially franchise-altering we've seen in quite some time. So many teams need a quarterback, and with five to six franchise caliber passers in this draft (depending on who you ask), there could be plenty of trades and moves that shake up Night 1.
With so many passers shuffling around the draft board, there will be wide-ranging fantasy implications. And that's before we even get to where Saquon Barkley, Derrius Guice, Calvin Ridley, D.J. Moore and the other top skill position players land. The fantasy football landscape will look a lot different after the next few days, and we'll finally have (most of) the information we need to start preparing in earnest for fantasy football drafts this fall.
All weekend long I'll be updating this page live during the draft with analysis of the fantasy relevant picks. I won't be commenting on defensive selections, so apologies to you true IDP degenerates who were hoping for that insight. Bookmark this page and keep coming back, or just catch all of my thoughts once this thing wraps up on Saturday.
And with that, let's get to it.
1. Cleveland Browns - Baker Mayfield, QB: As expected, the Browns get their quarterback. But is it the QB everyone expected? Mayfield has the arm, accuracy, mobility and big-game experience to thrive in the spotlight. He also may not be pressed into starting immediately with Tyrod Taylor joining the Browns this offseason. However, Mayfield carved up nearly every defense he faced in college, and will get to attempt to do the same in the pros with an enviable amount of talent around him. Josh Gordon, Jarvis Landry, Corey Coleman, David Njoku and Seth DeValve will make life easy for Mayfield once he gets under center. When that is, remains to be seen.
2. New York Giants - Saquon Barkley, RB: Widely regarded as the best overall prospect in this draft class, Barkley is headed to the Big Apple. He immediately becomes the workhorse, featured back in the Giants offense, whose depth chart is, well, abysmal. The big question for ultimately determining Barkley's value will be how much Eli Manning has left in the tank. If Manning, finally with a running game, can keep his arm strength beyond Week 6 Barkley will have ample scoring opportunities. Last year in Minnesota, Pat Shurmur's quarterbacks targeted the running backs on 17 percent of their throws, but with a talent like Barkley that number could rise in New York. Right now, Barkley looks like a first-round fantasy pick, probably going in the second half of the draft though after the true elites like Le'Veon Bell, Todd Gurley and Antonio Brown.
3. New York Jets - Sam Darnold, QB: The consensus No. 1 quarterback in the draft goes No. 3 overall, and Jets fans couldn't be happier. Darnold was viewed as one of the most pro-ready prospects in this class and will get to learn from Josh McCown, who has frequently been praised as an excellent mentor/teacher. Darnold probably won't light up the fantasy world as a rookie, but in time he could have yearly late-round appeal.
6. Indianapolis Colts - Quenton Nelson, G: Normally I wouldn't put a lineman in here, but let's all just thank the football gods Andrew Luck got some more protection. Of course, this all hinges on whether or not Luck ever plays again, but the eternal optimist in me likes this pick a lot. The Colts offensive line has been a disaster for years and Nelson is unanimously viewed as an absolute stud.
7. Buffalo Bills (via trade) - Josh Allen, QB: Our first trade came later than expected in the draft, but it was from the team we all expected. Allen going to Buffalo basically gets a "nah wave" from me fantasy-wise. An inaccurate passer goes to a team lacking dynamic playmakers outside of LeSean McCoy and Charles Clay. I'm hoping for the best for all of Bills Mafia out there, but right now, I'm indifferent.
10. Arizona Cardinals (via trade) - Josh Rosen, QB: Following in the Bills' footsteps, the Cardinals jump up for the quarterback they desperately needed. Rosen lands in a better situation than Allen, in that he gets to throw to future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald and hand the football off to David Johnson, assuming he a) beats out Sam Bradford at some point or b) Bradford gets injured (a distinct possibility given his knee issues). Rosen might have some late-round, 2QB intrigue, but right now this looks like a better long-term move than an immediate one for fantasy purposes. To this point, Rosen would probably be my QB1 in dynasty rookie drafts.
PLAYER TRADE: Raiders give up a third-round pick for Martavis Bryant: This move makes all the sense in the world for the Steelers. They get a higher draft pick (third-round) than they originally spent on Bryant back in 2014 (fourth-round), and with JuJu Smith-Schuster's emergence last year, Bryant (nearing the end of his contract) became expendable. The Raiders also needed some juice in their passing game, and Bryant will provide that in spades. He joins a crowded group with Amari Cooper and Jordy Nelson already in tow, though.
24. Carolina Panthers - D.J. Moore, WR: All-time great Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith called Moore his "spirit animal" earlier in the night on NFL Network, and now Moore will attempt to fill Smith's massive shoes for the Panthers. This is a perfect pick for the Panthers, pairing Moore's speed and route-running with Devin Funchess' size. The Panthers offense is set to sizzle now, and Moore will absolutely have late-round appeal. He'll have to battle Torrey Smith early for looks, but their roles will be different and I'd expect Moore to make his presence known in this offense sooner rather than later.
25. Baltimore Ravens - Hayden Hurst, TE: Hurst is viewed by most draft analysts as one the best plug-and-play tight ends in this draft, and the Ravens desperately needed one. The reason they view Hurst this way, however, is that he's 24 years old (and will turn 25 before the season starts). That certainly dings his dynasty prospects, but he might be one of the rare rookie tight ends who can come in and make an instant impact. At 6-foot-4, he'll be an instant factor in the red zone, and he has a lot of experience as a move tight end from college. Plus, Joe Flacco has a history of heavily targeting his tight ends. Husrt will be one to watch on the waiver-wire or in late rounds of deeper leagues.
26. Atlanta Falcons - Calvin Ridley, WR: Fantastic fit for player and team here. Ridley was among the best wideouts in this class, but few viewed him as anything close to a No. 1. Good news for him, he now gets to run all his routes opposite Julio Jones. Not too shabby. Plus Matt Ryan gets an excellent route-runner who can create separation at all levels, especially on the fast track in Atlanta's dome. Ridley will have to battle Mohamed Sanu for looks early, but his dynasty stock rises with this picture perfect landing spot. Great fit all around.
27. Seattle Seahawks - Rashaad Penny, RB: Well, Seattle was in desperate need of a workhorse running back and Penny certainly fits that bill. He went for 2,248 rushing yards and scored 25 total touchdowns in his final year at San Diego State. Penny isn't a burner and isn't the most elusive back in the class, but he's a very capable back who can play all three downs and handle a heavy workload. He's an early fantasy stud if he gets ahold of the lead job early for the Seahawks, which shouldn't be too hard given what their depth chart currently looks like.
31. New England Patriots - Sony Michel, RB: Could it be? Could #Belitricks finally be coming to an end? Lol no, come on people. In reality, this means one of the draft's top running backs gets saddled in one of the league's most frustrating committees. This is also bad news for Rex Burkhead from a touches standpoint. Michel is an excellent playmaker and could have a puncher's chance at a semi-featured role. The optimist in me wants to believe Michel/Burkhead can be what Dion Lewis/Burkhead were last year (i.e. both fantasy relevant on a weekly basis). But, if we've learned anything in Bill Belichick's tenure it's that running backs in New England are tough to trust.
32. Baltimore Ravens (via trade) - Lamar Jackson, QB: Whew! What a finish. Many thought the Ravens would take Lamar Jackson with their first pick, but they managed to trade back and then trade up to land him anyway. The Ravens needed a QB of the future and Jackson will fit that bill. He can adjust to the NFL and learn a bit behind Joe Flacco, but he's a great fit for Marty Mornhinweg's offense. Jackson will be worth a flier in best ball formats with one of your final picks, but his redraft value is minimal right now. He should be on speed dial in the event that Flacco suffers any sort of injury.
33 & 35. Cleveland Browns - Austin Corbett, T & Nick Chubb, RB: The Browns find a replacement for Joe Thomas, who retired this offseason, in Austin Corbett, as well as the back who will carry the rock behind him in Nick Chubb. Chubb was a force to be reckoned with at Georgia, accumulating 44 career rushing touchdowns in the SEC. The Browns signed Carlos Hyde as a free agent, and still have Duke Johnson in tow, which clouds this backfield fantasy-wise. All three take a hit on the ole fantasy draft board, as this has the look of a full-fledged committee. The Browns could cut ties with Hyde next year with minimal cap damage, so Chubb's dynasty/long-term outlook is pretty great. He and Johnson would form an excellent thunder-lightning combo. But, for the immediate future ... it's not great, Bob.
38. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Ronald Jones, RB: The Bucs were in dire need of a playmaking running back and they got one in USC's Ronald Jones. Jones has homerun ability and is a capable pass-catcher. He'll bring tons of dynamism to the Tampa Bay backfield while providing Jameis Winston a reliable outlet option if he's under pressure. Jones has immense fantasy appeal here, as he should run away with the feature back in a high-powered offense. I'll need to sit on this one a bit, but he should be a relatively early-round selection in fantasy drafts this fall.
40. Denver Broncos - Courtland Sutton, WR: Sutton might have a hard time finding targets in Year 1, with both Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas still in Denver. However, both of those players are over 30 and carry hefty contract price tags, meaning Sutton is very much the future at wideout for the Broncos. For redraft leagues, he'll maybe have some late-round appeal, but he'll mostly be a dynasty/best ball pick in 2018. Sutton is a big, physical wideout who can stretch the field and make hay after the catch. With a year of seasoning, he'll be on the sleeper radar come 2019.
42. Miami Dolphins - Mike Gesicki, TE: The Dolphins had a huge need at tight end, and get a player in Gesicki who could be an immediate contributor. Gesicki ran a 4.5-second 40-yard dash and stands over 6-foot-5. He'll be a matchup nightmare and can help exploit the middle of the field for the Dolphins offense, who were lacking in that area after trading Jarvis Landry. Rookie tight ends rarely hit in fantasy, but Gesicki could see the field early and be a featured red zone weapon for Adam Gase, who turned Julius Thomas into a star back in Denver. And, oh by the way, Gesicki used to play basketball.
43. Detroit Lions (via trade) - Kerryon Johnson, RB: The last 1,000-yard rusher for the Lions was ... Reggie Bush. So it makes sense that they'd trade up for Johnson, a talented back who made himself known for Auburn in his collegiate days. Johnson has a good frame and brings a three-down skill set to the Lions, but injury concerns are there. He'll certainly be someone to watch, but he joins a crowded group that features LeGarrette Blount, Theo Riddick, and the ghost of Ameer Abdullah.
44. San Francisco 49ers (via trade) - Dante Pettis, WR: The 49ers trading up for Pettis is a bit of a surprise, as he projects as more of a slot wideout and Trent Taylor served well in that role for them last year. Pettis looks to have minimal redraft value at this point, but he'll be worth keeping an eye on in training camp because Kyle Shanahan is a damn offensive wizard.
47. Arizona Cardinals - Christian Kirk, WR:Larry Fitzgerald's amazing career will come to an end eventually, and now the Cardinals have a potential heir apparent. Kirk is a strong route runner with speed to spare, but he'll have to adjust to life on the outside as he played in the slot a ton in college, but that's Fitz' turf at this point in his career. He could see the field early and often and may have some late-round redraft appeal because targets will be up for grabs in Arizona.
49. Philadelphia Eagles (via trade) - Dallas Goedert, TE: The Eagles leap-frogged the now TE-needy Cowboys (reports of Jason Witten retiring surfaced on Friday) to grab one of the best remaining tight ends in the draft. Goedert won't factor in fantasy-wise as a rookie unless Zach Ertz gets injured, but the Eagles did need to find a new backup after they lost Trey Burton to the Bears in free agency.
51. Chicago Bears (via trade) - Anthony Miller, WR: Has anyone had a better offseason than Mitchell Trubisky? He gets Matt Nagy as his head coach, Allen Robinson as his new No. 1 wide receiver, Trey Burton as a new tight end, Taylor Gabriel as his weapon X, and now the speedy Miller to round out his receiving corps. Miller could be in the fantasy mix if the Bears pick up the tempo and pass more frequently under Nagy. But really, this is better news for Trubisky, who should start getting more consideration in deeper leagues or best ball formats.
59. Washington Redskins - Derrius Guice, RB: Washington's long, painful search for a featured running finally comes to an end. Guice is the complete package and a wrecking ball when he gets up to top speed. He is the perfect back for what Washington needs, and he'll allow Chris Thompson to slide back into a complementary role. Guice has the look of an RB2 in fantasy redraft formats next fall.
60. Pittsburgh Steelers - James Washington, WR: The Steelers created a need at wide receiver by trading Martavis Bryant to the Raiders on Thursday, and then immediately addressed it on Friday by taking Washington. He'll fill the role of the field-stretching deep threat while Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster do work everywhere else. Fantasy-wise Washington doesn't figure to make a massive impact as a rookie, but he could be a matchup-based flex here or there.
61. Jacksonville Jaguars - D.J. Chark, WR: The Jaguars ran play-action frequently last year to great effect (especially in the playoffs), and Chark is a field stretch tailor-made for a role in that type of offense. From Lance Zierlein's profile on Chark, "Chark will be coveted by play-action passing attacks looking to win with chunk plays down the field." Chark will likely be fighting for scraps in this low-volume passing attack, but when he hits in a game he'll likely hit big. Looks more like a possible flier in best ball drafts as a rookie.
71. Denver Broncos - Royce Freeman, RB: After releasing C.J. Anderson and no re-signing Jamaal Charles, the Broncos were left with two running backs on their depth chart: Devontae Booker and De'Angelo Henderson. Freeman will be in the mix for a heavy workload in this backfield, as neither back on the roster has done anything to establish themselves as a lead back yet. Watch this battle closely all summer and be ready to pounce on Freeman if he gains a lead.
80. Dallas Cowboys - Michael Gallup, WR: No team needed a wide receiver more than Dallas today, and they got the perfect one for their situation in Gallup. Matt Harmon called Gallup a "sleeper X receiver" in this class, and he'll fall into a sizeable target share on Day 1 in Dallas. This is a perfect marriage of talent, opportunity and fit for fantasy purposes. Gallup will have a chance to finish near the top of the rookie fantasy wide receiver leaderboards at the end of 2018.
86. Baltimore Ravens - Mark Andrews, TE: After taking a tight end in Round 1, the Ravens come back around and double down on the position in Round 3. Andrews is also a pretty natural pass-catcher as a former wideout, but his road to playing time and targets could be a bit longer than Hayden Hurst's who went in Round 1.
91. New Orleans Saints - Tre'quan Smith, WR: Wide receiver wasn't a big need for the Saints, but they may have found a good one here nonetheless. Smith ran a sub 4.5-second 40-yard dash and stands over 6-foot-2 with long arms. He'll probably slide in as a situational deep threat to start, but could blossom into a bigger role.
103. Houston Texans - Keke Coutee, WR: Coutee is a speed merchant with some return ability who projects as a slot wideout at the next level (he's under 5-foot-10 and about 181 pounds). He could add an exciting element to the Texans high-powered offense, but if he gets into the mix early it could mean Braxton Miller is on his way out in Houston.
105. Cleveland Browns (via trade) - Antonio Callaway, WR: Callaway is a hyper-talented individual, but has struggled with off-field issues. Mike Mayock called Callaway a "first-round talent" on the NFL Network sete, btu Callaway didn't play at all in 2017 for disciplinary issues. He also failed a drug test at the combine. If Callaway can keep himself focused and out of trouble, he could be a playmaker for the Browns.
107. New York Jets - Christopher Herndon, TE: Per Lance Zierlein, Herndon is an excellent athlete but raw prospect at tight end. This likely means he'll have a hard time seeing the field as a rookie, but could be a name to watch in a year or two.
112. Cincinnati Bengals - Mark Walton, RB: This seems like a luxury pick for the Bengals who already have a strong 1-2 backfield combination with Joe Mixon and Giovani Bernard. Walton's 2017 tape leaves something to be desired, but he was battling an ankle injury. I'd let Walton slide in dynasty rookie drafts and look elsewhere in redrafts as well. His path to touches will be an arduos one.
113. Denver Broncos - DaeSean Hamilton, WR: The Broncos still have Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas, but they're both in their 30s. So it makes sense why a few rounds after the Broncos took Courtland Sutton they'd turn around and nab Hamilton as well, who is one of the best route runners in this class. He doesn't figure to factor in too much in 2018, but his fantasy future will be bright once Sanders/Thomas move on.
126. Atlanta Falcons - Ito Smith, RB: Nice depth add for the Falcons, who had a need at RB with basically empty cupboards on the depth chart behind Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. The NFL Network crew weren't enamored with Smith going this early (they figured he'd go a few rounds later), but Smith is quick, strong and can catch out of the backfield. He'll be a name to consider if the Falcons backfield suffers injuries only.
131. Miami Dolphins - Kalen Ballage, RB: Ballage is a big back with some explosiveness to his game, but isn't a great pure runner and lacks decisiveness between the tackles. He could contribute on third downs though as he's an excellent pass-catcher. Right now, he looks like a solid rotational player alongside Kenyan Drake, whose stock takes a slight hit as more competition is added around him.
132. Baltimore Ravens - Jaleel Scott, WR: The Ravens have completely redone their wide receiver room in one offseason, and Scott represents a nice upside pick here. He's a 6-foot-5 wideout who ran a 4.56-second 40-yard dash. Scott will have a lot of competition for snaps since the Ravens added Michael Crabtree, John Brown, and Willie Snead already, but he could have a bright future in Baltimore.
133. Green Bay Packers - J'Mon Moore, WR: The Packers had a need for a size-speed combination receiver, and Moore fits that bill. He's going to need time for seasoning at the NFL level, but his athleticism should help him out. He did have some drop issues in college, though. With some time to tighten his route-running and (hopefully) improve his hands, he could be a factor catching passes from Aaron Rodgers.
137. Dallas Cowboys - Dallas Schultz, TE: Stanford has become "tight end U" in recent years, with Schultz becoming the latest in a long line of Cardinal tight ends to go pro. Many analysts view Shultz as a better in-line, blocking tight end at the next level, so the Rico Gathers truthers can continue to celebrate if Jason Witten retires.
144. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Justin Watson, WR: Watson is a big, productive receiver from a small school. He has plenty of upside based on his athleticism but will need to make that translate on the field at the next level. The Bucs are deep at wide receiver, so Watson is more of a luxury/depth pick who's likely to find his way onto the field on special teams to start, meaning his fantasy outlook is bleak early on.
169. Indianapolis Colts - Jordan Wilkins, RB: Wilkins might represent more of a fantasy threat to Marlon Mack than Nyheim Hines did a few rounds earlier. Wilkins has the size (6-foot-1, 216 pounds) of a featured back to go with his plus vision and feet. He's not the most physical runner, but is an excellent pass-catcher and will very much be in the mix for touches in this offense.
174. Green Bay Packers - Marquez Valdes-Scantling: The Packers wide receiving corps has needed an injection of speed and size, and Valdes-Scantling has both. He ran a 4.37-second 40-yard dash and stands 6-foot-4. One of these guys will factor into the Packers offense next year, and it'll be worth watching the training camp battle to see if it's an incumbent or one of the rookies.
175. Cleveland Browns - Damion Ratley, WR: Ratley has an intriguing mix of size and speed, but he accumulated just 47 catches over three years at Texas A&M.
201. New Orleans Saints - Boston Scott, RB: I honestly know nothing about Scott, and we didn't have a profile for him from Lance, so ... stay tuned until I can do a little digging.
204. New York Jets - Trenton Cannon, RB: Cannon only weighs 185 pounds but is an explosive athlete. He could provide highlight-reel plays, if he ever finds his way onto the field.
207. Green Bay Packers - Equanimeous St. Brown, WR: Many draftniks thought Brown was going to go much higher, but he fell into a perfect spot with the Packers in Round 7. The Packers are going to have a HEATED competition for their No. 3-5 wide receiver spot this summer, and whoever wins that role could be fantasy relevant.
208. Dallas Cowboys - Cedrick Wilson, WR: Has limited experience at wide receiver, but comes from football bloodlines and may find his way into a big slot roll in heavy wide receiver packages.
226. Denver Broncos - David Williams, RB: I didn't study Williams and we don't have a profile on him either, so this is a bit of a blind spot right now, but he's a seventh-round running back so I'm sure no one is too up in arms.
A few more players are getting picked but I'm signing off because it's been a long weekend! Thanks for following along and reading.