As most fans know, the 2018 NFL draft is once again full of top candidate players. This year, there’s been a number of elite players who declared for the draft – like Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Lamar Jackson and of course, Baker Mayfield who is expected to make a big impact early on in his career.

Oh, and let’s not forget about some of the non-quarterback players, like Penn State’s Saquon Barkley and University of Texas Connor Williams who could also be selected in the top 10. Perhaps the most important question, however, is “which team will select these players to join their roster and help them get to the Super Bowl?”

Although teams haven’t revealed who they’ll pick yet in the upcoming draft, one thing is certain. They’ll have more than enough talent to choose from. What does this mean? It means that the general managers for every team – even the Patriots – will have to make great decisions. This is just one of four things general managers – like Bill Belichick, and John Elway – need to do in order to strengthen their roster according to Adelphi University.

It also means while deciding which top players to select, general managers, along with other coaching staff members, will have to stress the importance of a strong coach-athlete relationship to get rookies to their full potential – and fast. There’s a lot at stake here for these young players.

The Rundown

This is the first-round order of the 2018 NFL draft. Keep in mind this order only lists the top positions needed for the top 10 teams in the NFL draft selection. The order of the is simply based on the team’s record in the previous year, along with their strength of their schedule, and any tiebreakers

Note: In the case of the Oakland Raiders and the San Francisco 49ers, a coin flip will determine which team picks ninth and 10th since they both have the same record.

Cleveland Browns: Number one overall draft pick

Record: 0-16

Top Needs: QB, RB, CB

The 411: Since the Browns have five draft picks within the first round, they’ll be looking for standout talent to help them throughout the 2018 NFL season. This means that finding a stable quarterback is on their agenda.

New York Giants: Number two overall draft pick

Record: 3-13

Top Needs: OT, QB, RB

The 411: Although many fans weren’t happy with Eli Manning sitting on the benches, the fact of the matter is, the team needs to find Manning’s (eventual) successor. Finding a stable running back shouldn’t be hard in this draft. However, finding a quarterback should be the team’s top priority.

Indianapolis Colts: Number three overall draft picks

Record: 4-12

Top Needs: ILB, OL, Edge Pass Rusher

The 411: In short, the Colts simply don’t have the talent they need on their defensive front. The offensive line could also use an upgrade in certain areas.

Cleveland Browns (Houston Texans):

Texans Record: 4-12

Top Needs: QB, RB, CB

The 411: This is a pick the Browns acquired last year, when the Texans traded up for their college superstar quarterback Deshaun Watson.

Denver Broncos:

Record: 5-11

Top Needs: OG, QB, OT

The 411: Aside from their left guard position needing an upgrade, perhaps the biggest problem Denver needs to focus on is their quarterback situation. So don’t be surprised if you see them grab a quarterback early on in the draft.

New York Jets:

Record: 5-11

Top Needs: QB, RB, OT

The 411: Upgrading the entire offense has to be this team’s top priority – in every position. They’ll have to start with the quarterback position and work their way up the pyramid.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

Record: 5-11

Top Needs: DE, RB, CB

The 411: Throughout the 2017 season, the Buccaneers struggled with their pass rushing off the edge – and this might be their top priority in the 2018 draft. To make matters worse, Doug Martin has off the field issues, concussions, and countless hamstring injuries which have led to his present-day leg pain that gets in the way of his running ability.

Chicago Bears:

Record: 5-11

Top Needs: WR, OL, CB

The 411: With so much money already invested in Mitchell Trubisky, why not give him a top-notch receiver to up the ante? The Bears could also be looking to replace their RT Bobby Massie and add depth to their roster for other available positions.

(Tied with the Raiders) San Francisco 49ers:

Record: 6-10

Top Needs: WR, OL, CB

The 411: Fortunately, for the 49ers they’ve addressed their quarterback situation by acquiring Jimmy Garoppolo. However, finding a young wide receiver to go along with that recent quarterback upgrade is vital if they want to build around their young quarterback. The cornerback position should also be high on the team’s priority list as well to improve their chances of being a dominant team defensively.

(Tied with the 49ers) Oakland Raider:

Record: 6-10

Top Needs: CB, ILB, OT

The 411: With so much attention on Khalil Mack – and his monster-like abilities – when teams can’t run, they go to the sky. That said, if they want their defense to be a force to be reckoned with, the Raiders have to make the cornerback position their top priority. The inside linebacker spot is also a point of interest the Raiders might address in the upcoming draft.

 

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Avery T. Phillips is a freelance human being with too much to say. She loves nature, and enjoys watching people connect with each other through the world of sports. Comment or tweet her @a_taylorian with any questions or suggestions