The 2018 NFL Draft was held at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, on April 26-28. The Draft was headlined by a deep quarterback class, and the No. 1 overall pick was owned by a team that desperately needed a quarterback. The Cleveland Browns had the No. 1 pick and were coming off an 0-16 season.
Two Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks were near the top of the draft board. Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield won college football’s highest award in 2017, and Louisville’s Lamar Jackson won in 2016. The quarterbacks from crosstown Pac-12 rivals USC and UCLA were also in competition for the top pick; USC’s Sam Darnold and UCLA’s Josh Rosen. Wyoming’s Josh Allen was the little-known QB with a big arm from a smaller college (similar to Steve McNair many years ago), and Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph was the experienced gunslinger with impressive stats.
The Browns used the top pick on Mayfield. Four other quarterbacks were taken in the first round – Darnold 3rd, Allen 7th, Rosen 10th, and Jackson 32nd – while Rudolph went in the third round.
171. Dallas Cowboys – Mike White (Western Kentucky)
199. Tennessee Titans – Luke Falk (Washington State)
203. Jacksonville Jaguars – Tanner Lee (Nebraska)
219. New England Patriots – Danny Etling (LSU)
220. Seattle Seahawks – Alex McGough (Florida International)
249. Cincinnati Bengals – Logan Woodside (Toledo)
Who was the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft?
The Cleveland Browns chose Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield with the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Going into the draft, the class of quarterbacks was heavily debated, with no clear choice for the best player in the bunch. Mayfield, Wyoming’s Josh Allen, USC’s Sam Darnold, Louisville’s Lamar Jackson, UCLA’s Josh Rosen, and Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph were each vying for the top spot, and each had unique talents that could put them ahead of the rest.
Mayfield, who began his college career at Texas Tech before transferring to Oklahoma, was college football’s reigning Heisman Trophy winner. In his senior season, he threw for 4,627 yards and 43 touchdowns with just six interceptions.
After the Browns drafted Mayfield, the team signed him to a four-year, $32.6 million rookie contract.
The New York Jets took USC quarterback Sam Darnold with the third pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Darnold was the second quarterback chosen, after No. 1 pick Baker Mayfield.
Darnold was originally recruited to USC to play linebacker. The Trojans’ coaching staff thought better of it and put the talented athlete at quarterback, and Darnold would go on to lead USC to a Rose Bowl victory as a redshirt freshman.
As a sophomore, Darnold threw for 4,143 yards and 26 touchdowns, but his completion percentage was down and his interceptions were up from the previous season.
The Jets signed Darnold to a four-year, $30.2 million rookie contract.
How many picks were in the 2018 NFL Draft?
There were 256 picks in the 2018 NFL Draft. Quarterbacks were the story of the draft. Starting with No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield, four QBs were taken in the draft’s first 10 picks:
Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Josh Allen and Josh Rosen. There were two Heisman-winning quarterbacks taken in the draft; 2017 winner Baker Mayfield and 2016 winner Lamar Jackson.
The 256th and final pick of the draft was SMU wide receiver Trey Quinn, who went to the Washington Redskins (now the Washington Football Team).