ESPN NFL Draft expert Todd McShay projects that Penn State star Saquon Barkley will be picked sixth overall by the Cleveland Browns in his first mock draft leading up to the 2018 NFL Draft.
The Browns own the Houston Texans’ first-round selection after acquiring it in the trade that saw Houston take DeShaun Watson in the first round of last year’s draft in addition to their own first-round selection, which will undoubtedly be the first of the entire draft.
McShay’s mock draft predicts that Cleveland will take USC QB Sam Darnold with that first overall pick and that the Giants, Colts, 49ers, and Broncos will all pass on Barkley. Although he has Barkley sliding all the way down to No. 6 in this mock draft, McShay thinks that the Coplay, PA native is the second-best player available.
“Barkley is clearly the best running back in college football,” McShay said. “He’s also the best running back to come out of college since Adrian Peterson, and he would do well behind Cleveland’s strong offensive line.”
Although Saquon Barkley will play in the Fiesta Bowl and won’t officially make his NFL decision until the game is finished, all signs indicate that Penn State’s star man will forgo his final year of NCAA eligibility in favor of the NFL draft.
For now, Barkley and the No. 9 Nittany Lions will take on No. 11 Washington in the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, AZ. Kickoff is at 4 p.m. on December 30.