As the season winds down, it's time to take a look back at how each team did in the 2018 NFL Draft. When it comes to the top 10, it's actually pretty apparent that most teams made the right calls and set themselves up well for the future. A couple of names do deserve to be switched, however, and 


Cleveland Browns - Baker Mayfield, QB

Baker Mayfield was probably the best thing to happen to the Browns this season. After earning the starting spot in Week 4, he was undoubtedly deserving of the starting job. He had a solid 3,725 passing yards and 27 touchdowns in his rookie season and is in the running for rookie of the year. For this reason, we're keeping him at No. 1.

New York Giants - Saquon Barkley, RB

It's clear that the Giants made the right call choosing  Barkley with the second overall pick. He's already ranked second among running backs in rushing yards with 1,307 yards, and he's also fifth among running backs for touchdowns at 11 on the ground. He was named PFWA offensive rookie of the year. 

New York Jets - Sam Darnold, QB

The Jets have found themselves a franchise quarterback in Sam Darnold, proving that they made the right choice. He got hurt in week 9, but he will benefit the team in the long run. He is also on one of the worst teams in the league right now. He had 2,865 passing yards on the season despite an awful offensive line and no weapons. He has the potential to be very good if the Jets can build a team around him. 

Cleveland Browns - Denzel Ward, CB

Ward was the first defensive player taken in the draft, and he did not disappoint. The Browns were able to grow on both sides of the ball with their two top 4 picks. Ward recorded 11 passes defended, three interceptions, a forced fumble, two fumble recoveries, five tackles for a loss, and 53 total tackles. He earned the start 12 times this year. Great pick. 

Denver Broncos - Bradley Chubb, DE

Chubb led all rookies in sacks in his outstanding debut year. He started every game and brought life to the Broncos defense. This was the right pick, earning 12 sacks, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, 60 tackles (14 of which were for a loss). There's no argument against him. 

Indianapolis Colts - Quenton Nelson, G

The Colts made the right call picking up a guy to protect Andrew Luck. Nelson was named a second-team all-pro by PFF and had a solid season. The Colts found a consistent starter in Nelson, who started every game this year.  

Buffalo Bills - Josh Allen, QB

The Bills did well in choosing Josh Allen with the seventh pick. Many think that he has the highest ceiling of all of this past year's rookie quarterbacks. Despite not immediately earning the starting sport and battling injury, he managed to pick up ten passing touchdowns and eight rushing touchdowns in his 11 starts. He's the Bills franchise guy, and they made the right choice. 

Chicago Bears - Roquan Smith, LB

The Bears made the right choice in adding to their scary defense with the eighth pick. Smith played in all 16 games and started 14 of them. He's good in both coverage and pass rush. He has five passes defended and an interception to go along with his five sacks, 121 combined tackles, and eight tackles for a loss. He was a menace this season. 

San Francisco 49ers - Derwin James, S

Looking back, the 49ers should have taken an impact guy like James instead of offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey. James was just too good, posting three interceptions with 13 passes defended, 3.5 sacks, and 105 combined tackles. He was a reliable operator in the Charger secondary, and he started every game. The 49ers could have benefitted greatly from him. He's at the Pro Bowl now. 

Arizona Cardinals - Trade the pick!

It's hard to argue that the Cardinals shouldn't have taken a quarterback, but Josh Rosen did leave much to be desired. The team would have been much better off trading up for Darnold or Allen-- or even trading back and taking a shot with a guy like Lamar Jackson or Mason Rudolph. Rosen could end up being a franchise guy if the rest of the team improves and coalesces under new coach Kliff Kingsbury, but he notably had more interceptions than touchdowns this season.

Underrated Players

It's no secret that linebacker  Leighton Vander Esch should have gone higher than 19th to the Cowboys. He probably should have been taken 12th overall by the Buccaneers instead of Vita Vea. In coverage, Vander Esch had two interceptions and seven passes defended, and is an authentic successor to Sean Lee. He was a reliable tackler, recorded 140 total tackles and two tackles for a loss. He'll improve significantly in the coming seasons.


The other name that comes to mind is Phillip Lindsay . He was completely passed up during the NFL Draft and went undrafted all together. He went on to have a 1,000-yard season with the Denver Broncos. He had nine rushing touchdowns as a rookie and earned eight starts despite going completely undrafted. It could be argued that he coulda-shoulda been a first-round pick. The Broncos were lucky to get him as such a steal. 


Praise also goes to the Colts for taking Darius Leonard at 36th overall, who had his own Pro Bowl case to make after a standout rookie campaign at linebacker.