ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. released his first Mock Draft of 2018:
It has begun.
Mel Kiper Jr., the godfather of mock drafts, released his first projections of the year on Thursday morning. For the Giants at No. 2, he penciled in UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen. Kiper had Wyoming's Josh Allen, another passer, to the Browns as the first overall pick.
"Rosen is the top pure passer in this class," Kiper wrote. "He looked better than [Sam] Darnold when UCLA and USC played late in the season. Rosen, however, has dealt with injuries the past two seasons, and there have already been rumblings that he doesn't want to end up in Cleveland. There are some red flags. But some team is going to draft him high -- he has rare arm talent and has been much more secure with the ball than Darnold and Allen. The Giants could move into life after Eli Manning with a new franchise quarterback."
In 2017, Rosen led the Pac-12 while setting school records for most passing yards per game (341.5) and most games passing for 350 yards or more in a season (six). He finished his Bruin career with the school marks for most games passing for 350 yards or more (10), most games passing for 300 yards or more (17), most games with 350 or more yards of total offense (11), and most consecutive games throwing a touchdown pass (14).
After Rosen, Kiper had North Carolina State defensive end Bradley Chubb to the Colts at No. 3, Penn State running back Saquon Barkley to the Browns at No. 4, and Darnold to the Broncos to round out the top five.
"The evaluations for the 2018 NFL draft have been particularly tough this year," Kiper said. "When Todd McShay and I took an early look at the class, we focused on the quarterbacks, and bowl season didn't bring much clarity to the order of those prospects. It's also different from 2017, when Myles Garrett was the surefire No. 1 prospect."
The 83rd NFL Draft will take place April 26-28 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.