This article is part of our NFL Draft series.
1. Cleveland – Sam Darnold, QB, USC
I like Darnold enough as a prospect – I was sold on him as the No. 1 overall pick at the conclusion of his redshirt freshman season – but I cannot believe he appears on track to go ahead of Josh Rosen. The ceiling isn't higher with Darnold, and the floor is lower. If it all works out it's not because he was the most sensible pick.
2. New York Giants – Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
Reporting regarding the Giants implies they're a real threat to pass on Rosen, but I'm going to be stubborn on this for now. To project any pick other than Rosen here would be to declare the Giants management a hopeless troupe of dunces, and I refuse to be so pessimistic.
3. New York Jets (from IND) – Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
Mayfield is literally twice as good as Josh Allen. At least.
4. Cleveland – Derwin James, DB, Florida State
No matter whether he eventually settles in as a corner or safety, James has the skill set and elite athleticism to thrive. Last year's selection of Jabrill Peppers is not grounds for passing on a talent like James. I don't know why the Browns would have signed Carlos Hyde if they intended to take Saquon Barkley here.
5. Denver – Quenton Nelson, OL, Notre Dame
Conventional projections would give the Broncos Bradley Chubb or Josh Allen here. I don't think Chubb can play outside in Denver's 3-4, though, and I doubt he projects well enough as a 3-4 interior lineman to justify this selection. Allen is just bad and I refuse to talk about it further.
6. Indianapolis (from NYJ) – Bradley Chubb, DE, North Carolina State
With the Colts shifting to a 4-3, this would be a dream selection for Indianapolis.
7. Tampa Bay – Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
Imagine going into an NFL season with Peyton Barber as your best running back.
8. Chicago – Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
The Bears quietly own a lot of standout talent at important positions, and adding a heat-seeking missile like Smith to Vic Fangio's arsenal could result in one of the better defenses in the league.
9. San Francisco – Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville
The 49ers need cornerback help. Whether this pick is Alexander, Denzel Ward, or someone else isn't important to me, but I like Alexander the most.
10. Oakland – Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
With a 4.32-second 40, Ward passes the Al Davis Test at a position of need for Oakland.
11. Miami – Minkah Fitzpatrick, CB, Alabama
Fitzpatrick seems to have some of the CB/S tweener traits that defined fellow former Alabama corner prospect Dre Kirkpatrick. I think his stock might slide if so. The Dolphins are in any case a good bet to botch this and all of their other picks.
12. Buffalo (from CIN) – Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
There are two kinds of people in the world: (1) People who think Josh Allen is a good quarterback prospect, and (2) People who think you shouldn't trade away players like Sammy Watkins and Marcell Dareus.
13. Washington – Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
Edmunds is a remarkable prospect to me – his combination of athleticism and age-adjusted production is truly rare – so I think there's a case for him to go higher than this. If he falls this far, though, it's hard to imagine Washington passing.
14. Green Bay – Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State
15. Arizona – Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
Maybe new coach Steve Wilks will be open to a quarterback with Jackson's skill set after seeing firsthand what Cam Newton's skill set provides in terms of tactical possibilities.
16. Baltimore – James Daniels, C, Iowa
I would guess Baltimore has bigger needs at WR, ILB, and CB, but I'm not sure the options at those positions in this range grade as well at their positions as Daniels does at his.
17. Los Angeles Chargers - Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan
Assuming his health is no longer a concern, Hurst would be a great pick here for a Chargers defense that presumably aspires to defend the run better in 2018.
18. Seattle – Isaiah Wynn, G, Georgia
A college tackle with a guard frame, Wynn has the sort of skill set to project as an immediate candidate to stand out at guard.
19. Dallas – Donte Jackson, CB, LSU
This class is deep at corner and Dallas could take a number of other guys here (or a different position altogether), but I'll project Jackson here under the thinking that Jerry Jones chases the shiny thing after seeing Jackson's 4.32-second 40.
20. Detroit - Taven Bryan, DT, Florida
A hyper-athletic and versatile talent in the front four, Bryan would be in good hands with Matt Patricia, an expert on amoeba defenses.
21. Cincinnati (from BUF) – Will Hernandez, G, UTEP
I don't think Mike Brown (or Marvin Lewis) care about winning, but improving the offensive line in Cincinnati should make fans a little less angry.
22. Buffalo (from KC) – Vita Vea, DT, Washington
If Sean McDermott continues to emulate the tendencies of Ron Rivera, then he'll want to add another hulking defensive tackle alongside the recently signed Star Lotulelei. Remember, the Panthers recently spent a first-round pick on Vernon Butler despite already owning the rights to Lotulelei and Kawann Short.
23. Los Angeles Rams – Harold Landry, (3-4) OLB, Boston College
Although Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh alone are a threat to make an offense cave in, the Rams are a bit thin on the edges with Robert Quinn and Connor Barwin gone.
24. Carolina – Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
Marty Hurney is GM again folks. You know what that means: all picks from now on will be spent at running back or weak-side linebacker. I do like Guice a lot, though.
25. Tennessee – Lorenzo Carter, (3-4) OLB, Georgia
Carter isn't getting much hype right now but I think he could embark on a Nick Perry sort of trajectory.
26. Atlanta – Da'Ron Payne, DT, Alabama
Assuming Vita Vea doesn't fall to them, the Falcons probably have to let go of the idea that they're going to find a true replacement for Dontari Poe. But even if a different skill set, Payne would largely offset Poe's departure.
27. New Orleans – Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State
When you're the kind of athlete Gesicki is – 4.54-second 40, 41.5-inch vertical, 129-inch broad jump, and 10.86 agility score at 6-foot-6, 247 pounds – then your ceiling is Jimmy Graham and your floor is Coby Fleener.
28. Pittsburgh – Rashaan Evans, ILB, Alabama
Linebacker is the only pressing need on this roster, as far as I can tell.
29. Jacksonville – Justin Reid, S, Stanford
30. Minnesota – Brian O'Neill, OT, Pittsburgh
The right tackle spot might be an issue for Minnesota. O'Neill isn't considered a blue-chip talent at tackle, but he's an incredible athlete with a 4.82-second 40 and 7.14-second three-cone drill at 6-foot-7, 297 pounds. His lean frame might make him a better fit on the left side, but Riley Reiff can move right if necessary.
31. New England – Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
It's always difficult to anticipate which way the Patriots will go with any given draft pick, but Nate Solder's departure seems to make tackle an obvious need.
32. Philadelphia – Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA
Jim Schwartz may prefer denser builds for defensive ends in his wide-nine approach, but Davenport's rare athleticism (4.58-second 40 at 6-foot-6, 264 pounds) is tough to pass up here. The Eagles' biggest need is offensive tackle but there wouldn't seem to be one with a positional grade comparable to Davenport's.
33. Cleveland – Jessie Bates, S, Wake Forest
Jabrill Peppers might not be able to stick at safety due to coverage limitations. If so, Bates would offer a tempting alternative with a corner-safety crossover skill set.
34. New York Giants - Ronald Jones, RB, USC
Jones is so explosive that he could sneak into the first round even as a projected change-of-pace back.
35. Cleveland (from HOU) – Chukwuma Okorafor, OT, Western Michigan
This might be a reach for Okorafor (or any other remaining offensive tackle) but Cleveland figures to add some bodies on the offensive line with its surplus of selections on a roster with surprisingly few needs.
36. Indianapolis - Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
The Colts wideouts aside from Hilton are garbage.
37. Indianapolis (from NYJ) – Tyrell Crosby, OT, Oregon
Crosby is a bit undersized at tackle (6-foot-5, 309 pounds), but he has long arms and above average athleticism.
38. Tampa Bay – Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa
Jackson is a well-regarded prospect many project for the first round, but as a mediocre athlete with limited starting experience I think he may be overrated at the moment.
39. Chicago - Harrison Phillips, DT, Stanford
Perhaps the next Kyle Williams, Phillips would give Vic Fangio an athletic, high-motor disruptor on the interior.
40. Denver – Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State
Quarterback thirst may cause Rudolph to go higher than this, and the dropoff after him appears substantial.
41. Oakland - Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
I think Ridley goes higher than this, I just couldn't find a fit. But this is a wide receiver class with more depth than upside, and Ridley might not have enough upside of his own to avoid blending with the crowd.
42. Miami - Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State
Goedert could go higher than this, and Miami has nobody at tight end.
43. New England (from SF) – Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia
Regardless of his seeming agelessness, the window for Tom Brady is brief from this point. Giving him an instant All-Pro candidate at running back is one way to make an immediate impact.
44. Washington – Billy Price, C, Ohio State
I guess all these centers gotta go somewhere.
45. Green Bay – Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado
The Randall trade left Green Bay thin at corner.
46. Cincinnati – Rasheem Green, DE, USC
The Bengals have a history of targeting big defensive ends from big college programs.
47. Arizona – Tim Settle, DT, Virginia Tech
If Steve Wilks is to behave like Ron Rivera, then he'll need to start stockpiling big defensive tackles.
48. Los Angeles Chargers – Jerome Baker, LB, Ohio State
The Chargers pass defense was strong last year, but the run defense was not.
49. Indianapolis (from SEA via NYJ) – Anthony Averett, CB, Alabama
Corner seems like a perpetual need in Indianapolis.
50. Dallas – Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama
Dallas could go back-to-back at corner here, but Harrison is a standout safety prospect who probably needs to go off the board by this range.
51. Detroit – Sony Michel, RB, Georgia
I like Michel plenty, but I think it's clear at this point that he's been overrated a bit. His production was great last year, but it was his only year of great production and he did it as an off-the-bench runner with modest volume. He's more Felix Jones than Alvin Kamara.
52. Baltimore – D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland
Like Calvin Ridley and other wide receivers in this projection, Moore could go higher than this but could also slide if the whole position is devalued due to its depth.
53. Buffalo – Frank Ragnow, C, Arkansas
Ragnow is a center prospect who seems unlikely to fall out of the second, and Buffalo's interior line could use some help.
54. Kansas City – Mike Hughes, CB, UCF
Kendall Fuller is one good corner, but the Chiefs have trash otherwise.
55. Carolina – Carlton Davis, CB, Auburn
A big, grabby cornerback like Davis should fit with Carolina's press defense.
56. Buffalo (from LAR) – M.J. Stewart, CB, North Carolina
The Bills, too should be in the market for corner help after E.J. Gaines walked in free agency.
57. Tennessee – Josey Jewell, (3-4) ILB, Iowa
This might be a bit early for Jewell, but the Titans look thin at inside linebacker.
58. Atlanta – D.J. Chark, WR, LSU
Atlanta needs a deep threat to punish safeties for sitting on Julio Jones' routes.
59. San Franciso (from NO) – Rashaad Penny, RB, San Diego State
Jerick McKinnon could be great between the 20s in Kyle Shanahan's offense, but he has no leg drive for when the 49ers need an in-traffic runner. At 220 pounds, Penny offers better power and at no expense to his explosiveness.
60. Pittsburgh – Connor Williams, G, Texas
Williams won't be a tackle in the NFL and has short arms even for a guard, but his athleticism should give him a good chance to eventually start.
61. Jacksonville - Isaac Yiadom, CB, Boston College
Yiadom has the arm length (32 and ¼ inches) to project conventionally into the Pete Carroll defense.
62. Minnesota – Sam Hubbard, DE, Ohio State
Hubbard looks like he might be another Brian Robison, who he would eventually replace as Minnesota's third edge rusher in this scenario.
63. New England - Mark Andrews, TE, Oklahoma
Andrews' floor as a prospect is probably that of Jace Amaro, while his ceiling is probably something like Todd Heap.
64. Cleveland (from PHI) – Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M
They already have Jarvis Landry to play in the slot, but I think Kirk can provide a WR2 skill set on the outside if necessary. It doesn't seem as if the John Dorsey regime is particularly attached to Corey Coleman, and it's understandable if the Browns look to sell high on Josh Gordon in the future.