Cleveland Browns pick Baker Mayfield and Denzel Ward
Giants land running back Saquon Barkley at No 2, while Jets take Sam Darnold at No 3; Five quarterbacks selected in first round for first time since 1999
By Paul Prenderville
Last Updated: 27/04/18 12:30pm
Cleveland Browns surprised the NFL by selecting Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield with the first pick in the 2018 Draft.
Ever since the end of the season, talk has centred on just who new General Manager John Dorsey would select as the franchise look to turn around a miserable run of one win from the last two seasons.
First Sam Darnold, and then Josh Allen, had been the buzz around which signal caller the Browns would opt for, but as Draft Day dawned in Dallas, speculation centred on Mayfield and when they were put on the clock by Commissioner Roger Goodell, it was the 2017 Heisman Trophy winner that Dorsey opted for.
Mayfield joins Tyrod Taylor and Drew Stanton as the QBs on the Browns depth chart and it remains to be seen whether he sits for a year to learn his trade or goes straight into the starting line-up.
The Browns returned at pick number four and again made a slightly surprising move, opting for Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward to strengthen an area of weakness rather than NC State defensive end Bradley Chubb - who was to fall to Denver Broncos with the fifth overall pick.
With Mayfield off the board, first there was plenty of talk about teams trading up to take the Giants second overall pick - but Big Blue remained in position and took the man widely regarded as the best player in the Draft.
Penn State running back Saquon Barkley was the Giants option and he was followed off the board by quarterback Darnold, who is also headed for the Big Apple after the New York Jets landed the 20-year-old prospect.
2018 NFL Draft - Top Five
|(1) Baker Mayfield||Cleveland Browns|
|(2) Saquon Barkley||New York Giants|
|(3) Sam Darnold||New York Jets|
|(4) Denzel Ward||Cleveland Browns|
|(5) Bradley Chubb||Denver Broncos|
With only two QBs going in the first six selections, it was the Buffalo Bills who were the first team to make their move up the board, trading their two second-round picks with Tampa Bay for the seventh pick and with it, took Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen.
Arizona were the next team to make their move, grabbing the chance to select UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen by trading their 15th spot along with a third and fifth round selection for Oakland's No 10 overall pick.
Carson Palmer's retirement in January always meant the Cardinals were contenders for a move and Rosen will compete with Sam Bradford for a starting spot. He was keen to talk up his prospects, being less than impressed by being the fourth signal corner off the board.
1999 was the last time that five quarterbacks were taken in the first round and with four selected in the top 10, it was widely expected that Lamar Jackson would follow and he did but was made to wait.
The Louisville QB had been linked with New England, amongst other teams, but it was Baltimore who traded back into the first round, taking Philadelphia's 32nd pick to land Jackson.
New Orleans caused a stir with the biggest trade of Day One at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, moving up from 27th spot to number 14 with Jackson the hottest rumour, but they landed defensive end Marcus Davenport rather than a successor to Drew Brees.
Buffalo continued to be one of the more active teams, trading back up the board to take Baltimore's 16th pick and with it landed teenage linebacker Tremaine Edmunds whose brother Terrell was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers at No 28.
Terrell's selection was announced by Ryan Shazier, the Steelers linebacker who has been battling a serious spinal injury that ended his season in December.
Last year's star Drew Pearson whipped up the Cowboys fans but rather than replace departed wide receiver Dez Bryant, they recruited Boise State linebacker Leighton Vander Esch with the 19th overall pick.
New England had a pair of first-round picks and had been rumoured to be ready to move for a quarterback, but as is the Patriots' way, they opted for a pair of players from Georgia with tackle Isaiah Wynn at No 23 and running back Sony Michel with the penultimate pick of opening night.
The Super Bowl-winning Eagles had made little secret of the fact that they wanted to trade out of their final spot and so they did, with Baltimore putting a fitting end to a big night for the quarterback class of 2018.
After a Heisman Trophy winner had been the first name off the board in Mayfield, the winner in 2017 was Day One's last name off the board.
2018 NFL Draft
|(6) Quenton Nelson||Indianapolis Colts|
|(7) Josh Allen||Buffalo Bills||Acquired from Tampa Bay|
|(8) Roquon Smith||Chicago Bears|
|(9) Mike McGlinchey||San Francisco 49ers|
|(10) Josh Rosen||Arizona Cardinals||Acquired from Oakland|
|(11) Minkah Fitzpatrick||Miami Dolphins|
|(12) Vita Vea||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Acquired from Buffalo|
|(13) Da-Ron Payne||Washington Redskins|
|(14) Marcus Davenport||New Orleans Saints||Acquired from Green Bay|
|(15) Kolton Miller||Oakland Raiders||Acquired from Arizona|
|(16) Tremaine Edmunds||Buffalo Bills||Acquired from Baltimore|
|(17) Derwin James||LA Chargers|
|(18) Jaire Alexander||Green Bay Packers||Acquired from Seattle|
|(19) Leighton Vander Esch||Dallas Cowboys|
|(20) Frank Ragnow||Detroit Lions|
|(21) Billy Price||Cincinnati Bengals||Acquired from Buffalo|
|(22) Rashaan Evans||Tennessee Titans||Acquired from Baltimore|
|(23) Isaiah Wynn||New England Patriots|
|(24) DJ Moore||Carolina Panthers|
|(25) Hayden Hurst||Baltimore Ravens||Acquired from Tennessee|
|(26) Calvin Ridley||Atlanta Falcons|
|(27) Rashaad Penny||Seattle Seahawks||Acquired from Green Bay|
|(28) Terrell Edmunds||Pittsburgh Steelers|
|(29) Taven Bryan||Jacksonville Jaguars|
|(30) Mike Hughes||Minnesota Vikings|
|(31) Sony Michel||New England Patriots|
|(32) Lamar Jackson||Baltimore Ravens||Acquired from Philadelphia|
The next two days of the NFL Draft are exclusively live on Sky Sports with day two underway from midnight on Saturday on Sky Sports Action and Sky Sports Mix.
Check out our NFL Draft support programming with Neil Reynolds, Jeff Reinebold, Solomon Wilcots, the Around the NFL guys and MMQB's Peter King who will give us their informed opinion on what to expect and what happens in Dallas next week.