It has been over two years since the 2018 NFL Draft took place. Looking back at it now, the class had about 10 players that we now consider to be elite NFL starters. Though the class was not very deep, the first round did have some big names. Now that we know how each player has performed in the NFL, if we were to go back in time to the 2018 Draft, who would be picked?
Re-Drafting the First Round of the 2018 NFL Draft, Part 1
1. Cleveland Browns – Lamar Jackson, QB
Original Pick: Baker Mayfield, QB
This seems like the obvious pick. Lamar Jackson won MVP last season and has overall been a very solid player for the Baltimore Ravens. He has lost less than ten games in his career with the Ravens, and is a nightmare for opposing defensive coordinators to plan for. He’s the most valuable player from the 2018 NFL Draft and deserves to be the first player off the board.
2. New York Giants – Saquon Barkley, RB
Original Pick: Saquon Barkley, RB
Although most people agree that drafting running backs early is not a good idea, as they are common and easy to come by, Saquon Barkley is a different story. Most running backs cannot run behind a bad offensive line, but Saquon is pretty much immune to this. He is a great player and continues to do amazing things year after year.
3. New York Jets – Josh Allen, QB
Original Pick: Sam Darnold, QB
Despite a slow start to his career, Josh Allen has performed very well so far this season, and is no doubt a top quarterback in this draft. Sam Darnold is by no means a bad player, however, Josh Allen has been absolutely amazing, and his rocket arm would help work miracles for the struggling Jets.
4. Cleveland Browns – Jaire Alexander, CB
Original Pick: Denzel Ward, CB
Denzel Ward is a great player for the Browns, no doubt. However, Jaire Alexander is unquestionably the best cornerback in this draft class. Alexander has shut down every receiver he has faced in the 2020 season, putting them on an island every week. With his speed, quick recovery, and other traits that you love to see in a corner, he is one of the best corners in the league altogether and the Browns would definitely love to have him play for them.
5. Denver Broncos – Darius Leonard, LB
Original Pick: Bradley Chubb, EDGE
Darius Leonard has been deemed by many to be the best linebacker in football. Although this is arguable, Leonard is definitely the best linebacker in this draft class. He is absolutely amazing in stopping the run, and also has unmatched ablities in coverage to go with that. Leonard would be a great help for the struggling Denver defense.
6. Indianapolis Colts – Quenton Nelson, OG
Original Pick: Quenton Nelson, OG
The Colts hit on this draft pick big time. Quenton Nelson is arguably the best guard in the NFL and continues to prove that every time he sees the field. He lays people down week after week, and is excellent in pass protection. This was a good pick by the Colts and I don’t think they would change a thing.
7. Buffalo Bills – Sam Darnold, QB
Original Pick: Josh Allen, QB
Due to the re-draft, the Bills have lost their quarterback of the future, Josh Allen. However, Sam Darnold is a great option. Darnold has struggled from being in a terrible system with the Jets, and has no weapons, no protection, and very bad coaching. With the Bills, Darnold would most likely be a lot better and could help them contend as they are now.
8. Chicago Bears – Fred Warner, LB
Original Pick: Roquan Smith, LB
Although Roquan Smith is an excellent player, Fred Warner is on a different level. Originally falling to the second round in 2018, he now makes it up to the top 10 this time. The Bears defense is already great, and Warner gives them an amazing young linebacker right in the middle who can help out in the run game and also make plays in the passing game.
9. San Francisco 49ers – Orlando Brown, Jr., OT
Original Pick: Mike McGlinchey, OT
The 49ers needed help desperately on the offensive line, and although McGlinchey is a good player, Orlando Brown is likely the better pick here. Brown has done a great job for the Ravens, and is one of the more durable players on the offensive line. He has played right tackle due to All-Pro Ronnie Stanley protecting the blind side, but has occasionally moved over to cover for Stanley’s injuries. All in all, Brown has been a great player and would probably be the better pick over McGlinchey.
10. Arizona Cardinals – Nick Chubb, RB
Original Pick: Josh Rosen, QB
By now we all know who Josh Rosen is. A huge draft bust. However, we also know that the Cardinals will end up with Kyler Murray in 2019, so why not get a great running back to help them in the backfield? Nick Chubb fell to the 2nd round in the original draft, but now that we know he is an incredible player, we make the Cardinals’ offense even scarier. If the Cardinals had Nick Chubb this year, their offense would be lethal.
11. Miami Dolphins – Minkah Fitzpatrick, FS
Original Pick: Minkah Fitzpatrick, FS
The Miami Dolphins made a great pick when they selected Minkah Fitzpatrick. However, he wanted out of there as quickly as he got in, and eventually got traded to the Steelers. It was a good trade for all parties involved, but if they were to select him again they would still benefit, either from keeping him as the player or the draft capital they received from trading him to Pittsburgh.
12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Derwin James, SS
Original Pick: Vita Vea, DT
Vita Vea has been a solid player, no doubt, but the Derwin James is just way too talented to pass up. James has been one of the best players in the “positionless” defense department, and is such a great player to have that the Bucs have to pass up on Vea for him.
13. Washington Football Team – Calvin Ridley, WR
Original Pick: Daron Payne, DT
Calvin Ridley is an absolutely amazing player, but lives in the shadow of future Hall-of-Famer Julio Jones, which is why he doesn’t get much recognition. Ridley is extremely talented, and pairing him with their future pick Terry McLaurin would be a scary thing to play against.
14. New Orleans Saints – Bradley Chubb, EDGE
Original Pick: Marcus Davenport, DE
Bradley Chubb is a great player indeed, but was very overhyped in the 2018 draft. There were plenty of players that should have been taken over him, and in this re-draft he gets selected toward the middle of the first round which suits his talents. The Saints defensive line gets even stronger, pairing Cam Jordan with Bradley Chubb to devastate offensive lines.
15. Las Vegas Raiders – Courtland Sutton, WR
Original Pick: Kolton Miller, OT
Although the Raiders needed an offensive lineman, “talent over needs” comes into effect here. Courtland Sutton’s pro bowl talent is hard to pass up on, and the Raiders help Carr out by getting him a legitimate weapon.
16. Buffalo Bills – Jerome Baker, LB
Original Pick: Tremaine Edmunds, LB
Tremaine Edmunds is a solid player, but Jerome Baker has been great for Miami so far. The Bills pass up on Edmunds this time to get their hands on an improvement at the linebacker position and further strengthen up their defense.
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