Posted August 30, 2017 at 05:00 AM | Updated August 30, 2017 at 10:29 PM
2018 NFL Mock Draft: Can the Bills find their quarterback?
By Matthew Fairburn
Orchard Park, N.Y. — The Buffalo Bills have six picks in the first three rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft, and that’s led many fans to look beyond the 2017 season and start thinking about the future.
Since the Bills traded away Sammy Watkins and Ronald Darby, it’s been easy to start wondering about Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen and the rest of the 2018 quarterback prospects. The Bills aren’t “tanking” in 2017, but it’s clear to most it will be a rebuilding year.
So why not get an early look at what the 2018 draft might look like? This mock draft will look foolish by the time the real thing rolls around, but this will at least serve as a starting point. The Bills have a pair of first-round picks to work with, and those picks will have a big part in the future of the franchise.
For the sake of simplicity, the draft order is based on Bovada’s over/under win totals for the season. With that, let’s mock the 2018 draft.
Associated Press photos
1. New York Jets: Sam Darnold, QB, USC
A lot can change between now and April, but the Jets are the odds on favorite to land the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Quarterback is the Jets’ most obvious need, and if USC’s Sam Darnold can build on an impressive 2016 season, he should find himself in the conversation for the No. 1 overall pick. Teams racing to the bottom are doing so with Darnold and the other talented quarterbacks in this class in mind.
2. San Francisco 49ers: Saquan Barkley, RB, Penn State
The 49ers are a tough team to predict. They have been connected to Kirk Cousins, who could become a free agent following the 2017 season. If Cousins lands with the 49ers, a quarterback wouldn’t be in the picture here. Saquan Barkley could be an ideal pairing with Carlos Hyde in the 49ers’ backfield. Barkley is a shifty and explosive back who will have to fight off LSU’s Derrius Guice to be the first running back taken in the draft.
3. Cleveland Browns: Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
Deshone Kizer has shown promise for the Browns after they drafted him in the second round last season. If he shows them enough as a rookie, maybe the Browns will pass on a quarterback at this spot. If that happens, they have plenty of options. Derrius Guice might be the best all around back eligible for the 2018 draft. It’s not farfetched to think he’ll grade out as a better prospect than his former teammate Leonard Fournette when it’s all said and done.
4. Chicago Bears: Harold Landry, Edge rusher, Boston College
The Bears need pass rushing help in the front seven, and Boston College’s Harold Landry profiles as a strong fit at 3-4 outside linebacker given his size and explosiveness off the edge.