We're through the evaluation process of the Senior Bowl, and the combine (Feb. 27-March 5) is on deck. The picture for the 2018 NFL draft is becoming clearer, though we still have to get through free agency -- and the Kirk Cousins sweepstakes -- before we have a better idea of what all 32 teams need.
Since my first mock draft in mid-January, we've seen the Eagles win the Super Bowl, Alex Smith traded to Washington and all of the vacant head-coaching openings filled. So, yeah, there are quite a few changes in my new projection of Picks 1-32, which you can read below:
A few reminders before I get started:
Upcoming combine testing, medicals, pro days and individual workouts are extremely important to the process, and draft boards will change a lot based on those.
There are no trades allowed in this projection, and several of these picks are based on who I think is the best player available. In some cases, I have identified a few needs that could be targeted.
An asterisk denotes a prospect who is an underclassmen.
The 49ers and Raiders are tied at Nos. 9 and 10, and the picks will be decided by a coin flip at the combine. For the purposes of this projection, I'm sticking with San Francisco for the ninth pick.
My new Big Board and position rankings can be found here. Let's dig in to Mock Draft 2.0:
*Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
I'm sticking with Allen here. The only way I see the Browns not ending up with a quarterback at No. 1 is if they sign Kirk Cousins, which is going to cost them around $100 million in guarantees. Then they could trade down with a quarterback-needy team to pick up more talent -- and remember, they have the No. 4 pick, too. Allen had a strong week at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, improving every day. The NFL statistical comp I make to Allen: Matthew Stafford, who completed 57.1 percent of his passes in 39 games at Georgia and still went No. 1 overall. And Stafford had better talent around him.