Trying to predict how the 2018 NFL Draft would play out was easy until the start of free agency. With so many players switching teams, some were able to fill voids with discounted veterans that they may have drafted for. Now, with the trade between the Colts and Jets this past weekend, Saquon Barkley’s stock has taken a dip. The sad part is, he’s done nothing wrong. According to Mike Tanier of Bleacher Report, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or Indianapolis Colts may be the victors here.
The offseason talk has been Barkey going No. 1 to the Cleveland Browns, but their signing of Carlos Hyde may have put a slight halt on that. However, how can a team like the Browns not take Barkley? The Browns are in rebuild mode, but even with the addition of Tyrod Taylor as their starting quarterback for 2018, the Browns, according to Tanier, will still select a quarterback first overall.
If that happens, then the Giants will have their shot at Barkey, but Tanier gives Barkley a 25 percent chance of heading to New York. With Eli Manning still holding ground, the Browns may look to draft his replacement even with Davis Webb waiting in the wings. Then we move on to the trade that may have shaken everything up.
With the trade between the Colts and Jets, it’s now thought that the Jets moved up just to select either a quarterback or Bradley Chubb. If that holds true as Tanier thinks it will, that’s three teams who will pass on Barkley. Tanier gives Barkley a 0 percent chance of being drafted by the Jets. Next comes the No. 4 pick, which also happens to be owned by the Browns.
Can the Browns really pass on Barkley twice if given the chance? Well, according to Tanier, they surely will. But that may all depend on if the Giants or Jets leave Chubb on the board. The Browns have two backs on their roster with Hyde and Duke Johnson who can produce but possibly pairing Chubb with Myles Garrett may be too good to pass up. There are also talks of the Browns trading this pick or looking to shore up their secondary. Tanier gives Barkey a 30 percent chance of heading to the Browns.
With the fifth pick in the draft, the Denver Broncos will have a chance to select who many consider the best talent in the draft. However, Tanier believes that John Elway will look at Case Keenum and may rethink his decision to pay $18 million to what some consider a one-year wonder. If that holds true then the Broncos will select a quarterback. Tanier gives Barkley a 10 percent chance of heading to the Broncos.
Can you believe that Barkley has slipped this far when he was the clear No. 1 choice just a week ago? This is where things will get interesting for sure.
The Colts will have the first crack at Barkley, and after letting go of Frank Gore, this might be Barkley’s best chance to land on an NFL team early. However, the Colts also need a pass rusher and may elect to take one here and look for a running back in the second round since they robbed the Jets of theirs. Barkley with the Colts is a good of a fit as they come with the Colts ready to welcome back quarterback Andrew Luck.
If the Colts somehow get Chubb, then the Buccaneers have no choice but to steal Barkley with the No. 7 pick. The Buccaneers biggest weakness this season, besides Jameis Winton’s meltdowns and poor throws, were the productions from their running backs. With Doug Martin gone and the Buccaneers not too sold on their other backs, Barkley would be the perfect and only choice here.
How did it come to this? How did Barkley possibly fall this far down? Thanks to the Carlos Hyde signing and Browns’ bad secondary, Eli Manning’s age, Jets bad luck with quarterbacks, Broncos and Keenum, and the Colts needing an edge rusher, the Buccaneers will win the lottery with Barkley.