Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson become top picks in 2018 NFL re-draft

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) meets Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) . Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) meets Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) . Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports /

The 2018 NFL Draft would look much different if teams had the chance to do it over. Here’s why Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson would be the first picks in a re-draft.

As is the case with every NFL Draft, things never quite work out the way that teams anticipate. Swinging and missing on players early in the draft is impossible to avoid at times and other fortunate franchises benefit as a result.

When it came time for Bleacher Report to conduct their 2018 NFL re-draft, there were numerous shakeups with only a few players landing back with the teams that drafted them in the first place.

Perhaps the biggest shifts were at the quarterback position. The 2018 NFL Draft saw five quarterbacks go in the first round. However, the two signal-callers off the board first did not turn out to be the best of the group.

Baker Mayfield was the number one overall pick by the Cleveland Browns in 2018. While he hasn’t been a bust, his career has been a rollercoaster ride with too many ups and downs for their liking. As a result of his performance this past season, the Browns aggressively pursued Deshaun Watson and were able to land the Pro Bowl quarterback via a blockbuster trade with the Texans.

The third overall pick in 2018, Sam Darnold, has been far worse over the first four seasons of his NFL career. After really struggling with the New York Jets, many NFL analysts thought he would redeem himself as a member of the Panthers. Sadly, this was not the case, and Darnold has been among the worst starting quarterbacks in the NFL since entering the league.

Josh Rosen was the 11th overall pick back in the 2018 NFL Draft, and he would likely be a late-round draft choice if teams were able to redo the draft. Rosen fell out of favor after just one season with the Cardinals.

The 2018 NFL Draft still had two great quarterbacks

Re-drafting the 2018 NFL Draft would be all that teams like the Cleveland Browns and New York Giants could hope for, as they couldn’t miss this time around. Though the Browns now have their franchise QB in Deshaun Watson, he isn’t without his legal issues and it cost a king’s ransom to acquire him.

With the first overall pick in the 2018 re-draft, Gary Davenport of Bleacher Report has the Browns going with Josh Allen. The Buffalo Bills were incredibly fortunate to get Allen four years ago and he has quickly asserted himself as one of the best in the business. While the scenario would have been different, things could have gone much better for the Browns during this span had Allen been at the helm.

With the second overall pick, the New York Giants select Lamar Jackson in the re-draft. This is the only right choice with Allen gone first. The Giants would have to build a game plan that favors the skill set of their new quarterback, but no player has a higher win percentage than Jackson since he came into the league. I don’t think that’s just a coincidence.

Despite five quarterbacks being drafted the first time around, the 2018 re-draft sees just three quarterbacks being selected. Baker Mayfield falls from the first overall pick down to pick 12. Darnold and Rosen (unsurprisingly) fall out of the first round altogether.

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It’s crazy to think about how different some of these teams would look right now had they made a different decision at the quarterback position. The Giants’ front office must be kicking themselves still for passing on both Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson for Saquon Barkley in 2018.