Doubling as page editors and hosts to the Goal to Go Podcast, Connor McCarthy and Blake Pace are in prime form for the NFL Draft. Debuting their first mock draft together, McCarthy selected for teams picking with an even number, while Pace took those selecting with an odd number.
1. Cleveland Browns select: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
While Josh Allen is my top quarterback in this draft, he needs a year on the bench to transition into the NFL. Josh Rosen is ready to start week one, so the Browns waste no time grabbing him with the top pick.
2. New York Giants select: Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
The Giants grab their quarterback of the future here. Allen has huge potential, and it will do him well to sit a year behind Eli Manning.
3. Indianapolis Colts select: Bradley Chubb, EDGE, North Carolina State
The top defensive player in the draft gets nabbed by the Colts at three. There are plenty of holes in the Colts’ roster, but upgrading the pass rush is a top priority this offseason.
4. Cleveland Browns select: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
The Browns get a surefire talent with their second pick. Barkley should instantly give the lowly Cleveland offense a boost.
5. Denver Broncos select: Sam Darnold, QB, USC
I’m not a Darnold fan one bit. But Broncos’ management has done a poor job evaluating quarterbacks over the last decade, so I expect them to make another incorrect evaluation and take Darnold at pick five.
6. New York Jets select: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
The Jets need a QB and Mayfield has the talent to be a star.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers select: Mikah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama
Tampa Bay’s secondary has question marks all around and, while there front seven isn’t getting younger, Minkah is the best player available at No. 7.
8. Chicago Bears select: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
The Bears need to find Mitchell Trubisky weapons after giving him a lackluster group his rookie year.
9. San Fransisco 49ers select: Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame
You’re telling me that the No. 2 player in this draft is available with the ninth pick? I could see the Colts, Broncos, Jets or Bears taking Nelson before here. He’s the most can’t-miss prospect this year and will serve his career protecting Jimmy Garoppolo.
10. Oakland Raiders select: Derwin James, S, Florida State
The Raiders need a lot of help on all levels of their defense. James is a plus talent and could take over as a leader of the Oakland secondary.
11. Miami Dolphins select: Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
Teams should pay attention to the level of talent coming at the cornerback position out of Ohio State, most recently with Marshon Lattimore. Ward is the top pure cornerback in this draft and will help out the Miami secondary.
12. Cincinnati Bengals select: Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma
The Bengals had a terrible line last season and need to improve the talent immediately. Joe Mixon is a talented back that needs guys like Brown to start opening up holes for him.
13. Washington Redskins select: Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
Since I’m still worried about the future of Su’a Cravens in DC, the Redskins need to improve the level of talent in the middle. Taking Edmunds is the best start for that and will add another strong talent in the front seven.
14. Green Bay Packers select: Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa
The Packers have had problems in their secondary for years, they’ll grab a talented corner back here in Jackson.
15. Arizona Cardinals select: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
One of the more polarizing prospects in this draft, the Cardinals pair David Johnson with a young quarterback who’s an amazing runner with the ball and has improved his pocket passing this year in college.
16. Baltimore Ravens select: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
The Ravens need a lot of help on offense, and it starts with finding more talent on the offensive line to protect the immobile Joe Flacco.
17. Los Angeles Chargers select: Connor Williams, OT, Texas
Williams is my No. 1 tackle in this draft, so him falling on to the laps of the Chargers would be a blessing for them. This team isn’t far away from a playoff berth, solidifying their offense line just might put them over the top.
18. Seattle Seahawks select: Will Hernandez, OG, UTEP
Seattle needs to make protecting Russell Wilson a priority and Hernandez is a good start.
19. Dallas Cowboys select: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
The Cowboys don’t have enough cap space to bring back Anthony Hitchens, leaving a hole at the linebacker position. Fortunately for them, one of the top defensive players this year falls right to them with pick 19.
20. Detroit Lions select: Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA
The lions might lose Ziggy Ansah to free agency, and Davenport would be a nice replacement.
21. Buffalo Bills select: Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State
The sixth quarterback off board, the Bills take their chances with the gunslinger from OK State. I don’t see him as a first-round talent, but the Bills have been desperate to move on from Tyrod Taylor.
22. Buffalo Bills select: Vita Vea, Dt, Washington
Losing Marcell Dareus left a big hole on the defensive line, and Vea can make a difference right away.
23. Los Angeles Rams select: Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado
With Tremaine Johnson set to hit the free agency market, I don’t see the Rams having the flexibility to retain their star corner. Oliver will develop under Wade Phillips and be a great role player in the young roster.
24. Carolina Panthers select: Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M
After losing Kelvin Benjamin last season, the panthers lack receiver talent. Kirk has the potential to be a star.
25. Tennessee Titans select: Harold Landry, EDGE, Boston College
The Titans could really use a talent at the EDGE position. Taking Landry here could be the steal of the draft, as the top talent has fallen down draft boards after an injury-plagued season.
26. Atlanta Falcons select: Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama
The Falcons still have a great offense, so balking up the defensive line would be smart way to go in the first round.
27. New Orleans Saints select: Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama
After a strong draft last offseason, the Saints bolster their linebacking core here with Evans. While they could go with another talent on the defensive line, Evans has more upside than the list of pass-rushers available at this pick.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers select: Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State
The Steelers definitely miss Ryan Shazier in their line backing core, and Vander Esch would give the Steelers an athletic playmaker over the middle.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars select: Billy Price, C, Ohio State
My favorite team to watch, the Jags have game-changers at every position besides quarterback and the offensive line. Since the top-6 quarterbacks are off the board by pick 29, the Jags upgrade the center position with Billy Price.
30. Minnesota Vikings select: Tyrell Crosby, OT, Oregon
The Vikings O-line improved last year, but they still need help at the tackle position.
31. The New England Patriots select: Maurice Hurst Jr., DT, Michigan
My favorite interior defensive lineman in the draft falls to New England at pick No. 31. The entire New England defense is in shambles, the worst being their front seven. Getting a young guy in the middle is the best place to start and taking Hurst will begin a rebuild on that side of the ball.
32. Philadelphia Eagles select: Mike Hughes, CB, UCF
There isn’t any glaring weaknesses on the Eagles, but they could use cornerback depth.