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APC Mock Draft 2018: Four QBs go off the board in the first six picks

As we begin our annual APC writers’ mock, we see a scenario that benefits the Packers taking place in the early portion of round one.

NCAA Football: Potato Bowl-Central Michigan vs Wyoming Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

The 2018 Acme Packing Company Mock Draft is here, as eight APC writers put our heads together to pick the first two rounds of this year’s draft. The Green Bay Packers hold picks number 14 and 45 in those two rounds, and this year the Packers were assigned to Peter Bukowski to make the picks.

This year, we assigned each of the eight writers four teams — each of which are in different divisions and finished in different places (first through fourth) in those divisions. We did allow trades, and you’ll see a few instances of that taking place as we go along.

The mock will take is up through the eve of the draft with one batch of picks per day as we make it to pick number 64 at the end of round two.

Without further ado, here are the first six picks in this year’s APC Mock Draft.

1.1 — Cleveland Browns (Shawn)

Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

I have debated this pick over and over again in my own personal mock draft. The consensus is that the Browns will pick a quarterback, either Allen or Sam Darnold. Knowing what I know about John Dorsey, his draft value of the quarterback position at number one overall will be much higher than that of a running back like Saquon Barkley.

Something else I know about the track records of Dorsey and his former Packer counterparts that have gone on to be General Managers is that they have an affinity for strong-armed quarterbacks. During his time with the Packers, Green Bay rode the arms of quarterbacks like Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers. Dorsey himself drafted the strongest arm in the draft in Patrick Mahomes last season, while Reggie McKenzie and John Schneider selected hurlers Derek Carr and Russell Wilson, respectively. Josh Allen has the biggest arm in this year’s draft and the Browns can afford to be patient in Allen’s overall development with Tyrod Taylor under center. Allen, who was also coached by Carson Wentz’s mentor Craig Bohl, has great size and a lot of tools to work with if he can put the full package together with a rising Cleveland receiving corps.

1.2 — New York Giants (JBH)

Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA

If new Giants general manager Dave Gettleman want to continue building around Eli Manning, a player like Quenton Nelson better fits that directive. However, the team can best protect its long-term interests by drafting a quarterback. Josh Rosen appears as talented and safe as any signal-caller in his rookie class and could benefit from the longer development runway allowed by Manning’s presence.

1.3 — New York Jets [from IND] (Tex)

Sam Darnold, QB, USC

With Allen and Rosen going 1 and 2, the Jets keep the QB run rolling with Darnold at three. I’m a bit surprised that Darnold didn’t go #1 and if I’m the Jets, I’m perfectly happy with that scenario and getting either Rosen or Darnold here at the third pick.

Plus, with Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater on board for 2018, Darnold can sit back and learn for a year or so before taking the reins in 2019. It’s not like this Jets team is a threat to compete at all in 2018 anyway, so this is the rare occasion when a top-five quarterback actually has some time to adjust to the NFL before playing. Furthermore, with Darnold leaving college as a redshirt sophomore, it’s probably a good thing for him to sit back for a year after just two years of playing experience at USC.

1.4 — Cleveland Browns (Shawn)

Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State

If three quarterbacks come off the board in the first three picks as this mock forecasts, this is ideal for Cleveland to pick up the best available position player. Historically speaking, Dorsey and fellow Packer brass have not valued the running back position on the first day of the draft. But the Browns traded for a receiver in Jarvis Landry and that is not necessarily commonplace either.

Barkley would give the Browns a dynamic offensive weapon in the backfield to eventually pair with Josh Allen and three solid receivers. Yes, Cleveland signed Carlos Hyde and already has Duke Johnson on the roster. But Hyde is able to come off the books after just one season and a Barkley-Johnson duo would be dangerous. In the meantime, Barkley gives the Browns a different type of back than Hyde. Barkley can be used in many facets of a gameplan and that versatility gives him the edge over Bradley Chubb at pick four.

1.5 — Denver Broncos (Peter)

Quenton Nelson G Notre Dame

I considered quarterback here, but I think someone like Mason Rudolph could be there at the top of the second round and the difference between Rudolph and someone like Baker Mayfield wasn’t enough for me to pass on a premiere offensive linemen.

Some consider Nelson the best overall player in the draft and he can immediately start for the Broncos protecting new quarterback Case Keenum. The arrival of Keenum shouldn’t stop Denver from taking a quarterback, but they shouldn’t feel pressure to reach here for one. I think Elway would go Nelson in this scenario, and I think that’s the move as well, but Mayfield would be tough to pass up and could be the kind of guy Elway loves.

1.6 — Arizona Cardinals [From NYJ via IND] (Jordan)

Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma

[Editor’s note: Jordan, who is drafting for both the Colts and the Cardinals, elected to trade with himself and move Arizona up from the 15th pick. Indianapolis gets the Cardinals’ first-rounder (#15 overall), second-rounder (#47), and third-round compensatory pick (#97).]

The quarterback run is on with Mayfield being the 4th QB already selected within the first six picks. Arizona needs a quarterback option with the retirement of Carson Palmer and to alleviate some of the pressure on David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald. With Arizona’s suspect offensive line, getting a quarterback that can move doesn’t hurt. And new head coach Steve Wilks has already coached on a team with a QB that had a big personality.

According to Pro Football Focus, Mayfield is ranked No. 1 in passer rating when he’s under pressure. That’s good news if you’re concerned with his height. Running the spread at Oklahoma doesn’t guarantee Mayfield’s college successes will translate to NFL ones. However, Mayfield had to be able to make NFL throws and he completed them at a high percentage (68.5%) and at 9.8 yards per attempt over his collegiate career.

APC Mock Draft 2018

Pick Team Author Player Position College
Pick Team Author Player Position College
1 CLE Shawn Josh Allen QB Wyoming
2 NYG Jason Josh Rosen QB UCLA
3 NYJ Tex Sam Darnold QB USC
4 CLE Shawn Saquon Barkley RB Penn State
5 DEN Peter Quenton Nelson G Notre Dame
6 ARI (Trade w/ IND) Jordan Baker Mayfield QB Oklahoma
7 TB Jon B Bradley Chubb DE NC State
8 CHI Mike Tremaine Edmunds LB Va Tech
9 SF Owen Denzel Ward CB Ohio State
10 OAK Jon B Minkah Fitzpatrick DB Alabama
11 MIA Mike Vita Vea DT Washington
12 BUF Jon B Roquan Smith ILB UGA
13 WAS Owen Josh Jackson CB Iowa
14 GB Peter Derwin James S Florida State
15 IND (trade w/ARI) Jordan Harold Landry EDGE Boston College
16 BAL Jordan Marcus Davenport EDGE UTSA
17 LAC Jason Mike McGlinchey T Notre Dame
18 SEA Mike Isaiah Wynn OL Georgia
19 DAL Shawn Da'Ron Payne DL Alabama
20 DET Tex Maurice Hurst DT Michigan
21 CIN Jason Will Hernandez G UTEP
22 BUF Jon B Lamar Jackson QB Louisville
23 NE Peter Courtland Sutton WR SMU
24 CAR Peter Connor Williams OL Texas
25 TEN Owen Josh Sweat EDGE Florida State
26 ATL Tex Taven Bryan DT Florida
27 NO Jason Mike Gesicki TE Penn State
28 PIT Owen Leighton Vander Esch LB Boise State
29 JAX Mike Hayden Hurst TE South Carolina
30 MIN Jon B James Daniels C/G Iowa
31 NE Peter Kolton Miller OT UCLA
32 PHI Jordan Rashaan Evans ILB Alabama
33 CLE Shawn Jaire Alexander CB Louisville
34 NYG Jason D.J. Moore WR Maryland
35 CLE Shawn Martinas Rankin OT Mississippi State
36 IND Jordan Calvin Ridley WR Alabama
37 IND Jordan Isaiah Oliver CB Colorado
38 TB Jon B Holton Hill CB Texas
39 CHI Mike Billy Price OL Ohio State
40 DEN Peter Sony Michel RB Georgia
41 OAK Jon B Tim Settle DT VA Tech
42 MIA Mike Lorenzo Carter LB Georgia
43 NE Peter Mike Hughes CB UCF
44 WAS Owen Derrius Guice RB LSU
45 GB Peter Donte Jackson CB LSU
46 CIN Jason Malik Jefferson LB Texas
47 IND (trade w/ARI) Jordan Orlando Brown OT Oklahoma
48 LAC Jason Mason Rudolph QB Oklahoma State
49 IND Jordan Arden Key EDGE LSU
50 DAL Shawn D.J. Chark WR LSU
51 DET Tex Sam Hubbard DE Ohio State
52 BAL Jordan James Washington WR Oklahoma State
53 BUF Jon B Harrison Phillips DT Stanford
54 KC Tex Carlton Davis CB Auburn
55 CAR Peter Justin Reid S Stanford
56 BUF Jon B Braden Smith G Auburn
57 TEN Owen Nick Chubb RB Georgia
58 GB (via ATL) Peter Christian Kirk WR Texas A&M
59 SF Owen Austin Corbett OG Nevada
60 PIT Owen Jesse Bates III S Wake Forest
61 JAX Mike Darius Leonard LB South Carolina State
62 MIN Jon B Anthony Averett CB Alabama
63 NE Peter Dallas Goedert TE South Dakota State
64 CLE Shawn Rasheem Green DE USC