Browns get QB, Giants select RB Saquon Barkley to open NFL draft
The Cleveland Browns used the first overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft to select Oklahoma Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Baker Mayfield.
The more that 20,000 on hand inside of at AT&T Stadium, the first draft at an NFL stadium, erupted in cheers as commissioner Roger Goodell announced the Browns' decision.
Cleveland threw a curveball with its No. 4 selection, taking Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward.
A shakeup in the draft order occurred after the Colts' drafted sixth. Tampa Bay traded the No. 7 pick to Buffalo - which drafted Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen - for the Bills' first-round pick, No. 12, and two second-round selections (the 53rd and 56th picks overall). The Bills also got the Buccaneers' seventh-round pick.
With the No. 2 pick, the New York Giants selected Saquon Barkley of Penn State. Barkley, considered by many analysts as the top player in the draft, will join an offensive unit that includes Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr., Evan Engram and Sterling Shepard.
There was some speculation the Giants might take a quarterback at No. 2, but the new front office and coaching staff is firmly in Manning's corner.
At No. 3, the Jets went quarterback, choosing Southern Cal's Sam Darnold, who before only a few days ago appeared to be a lock as the top overall choice.
Darnold, 20, was the first quarterback drafted this high by the Jets since Joe Namath went first overall in 1965. They selected USC quarterback Mark Sanchez fifth overall in 2009 and Richard Todd No. 6 overall in 1976.
Darnold, who left the Trojans after his redshirt junior season, will go to a team desperately in need of a quarterback as a building block. The Jets went 5-11 last season. Thought to be a Heisman Trophy candidate entering the season, Darnold's performance suffered in 2017 while playing behind an inexperienced line and with young wide receivers.
Another trade put the Arizona Cardinals at No. 10, in position to select UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen. The Cardinals made a trade with the Oakland Raiders to move up six spots.
Ward, who most draft analysts had going no higher than No. 9, is considered a true cover corner with great quickness and speed. The 5-foot-11, 183-pounder ran a 4.32 40 at the NFL Scouting Combine.
NC State defensive end Bradley Chubb, viewed as an option for the Giants and Browns, gives the Broncos a potent pass rusher with pair with Von Miller. Chubb, 6-4, 275, had 10 sacks and 44 tackles for loss.
At No. 6, the Colts selected Notre Dame offensive guard Quenton Nelson and after Allen went to Buffalo, the Chicago Bears selected Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith with the eighth pick. Nelson's college teammate, offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey, went No. 9 to the San Francisco 49ers.