As part of a new weekly staple, with the NFL draft just two weeks away, we decided to take a look at all of the most recent mock drafts to get a better idea of what the consensus says about Saquon Barkley and the top Nittany Lions.
Some of the mock drafts were published as early as Friday morning, and many come from some of the biggest or most dependable sports sites. All were created no earlier than Monday.
Take a look at what they say about Penn State’s best — Barkley, Mike Gesicki, DaeSean Hamilton and Marcus Allen:
RB Saquon Barkley
No. 1 overall to Cleveland Browns (NFL.com’s Maurice Jones-Drew): As a former running back himself, Jones-Drew may be a little biased. But, he writes, “(Barkley) is the best player in the draft. Period.” And he’ll play at a high level now, as opposed to later like a quarterback.
No. 2 overall to New York Giants (Cleveland.com): USC QB Sam Darnold is No. 1 overall, with Barkley coming right after him. Writes Dan Labbe, “This would make life easier for the Browns at No. 4, too.” As it stands, he now has N.C. State DE Bradley Chubb falling to the Browns at No. 4.
No. 2 overall to New York Giants (Draft Tek): If Darnold is available, Draft Tek believes the Giants will pick him. But if he’s not? Analyst Kevin McWalters writes, “If taken by Cleveland at first overall, the Giants will stay the course and select the (best player available) unless blown away by an offer they cannot refuse.”
No. 2 overall to New York Giants (SEC Country): Right after Darnold is taken, analyst Connor Riley has Barkley to the Giants. He writes, “If the Giants want to stick with Eli Manning, Barkley will help extend his career.”
No. 4 overall to Cleveland Browns (Yahoo! Sports): Former NFL player Tank Williams has three QBs selected before Barkley. He writes, “There’s no way the Browns pass up on Barkley twice.”
No. 4 overall to Cleveland Browns (ESPN.com’s Todd McShay): This mock draft was done as if McShay was the GM of each NFL team. McShay writes, “ Some might think a running back at No. 4 is rich, but Barkley is the best player in the draft and gives Cleveland a dynamic set of backfield weapons with Duke Johnson and Carlos Hyde.”
No. 4 overall to Cleveland Browns (ESPN.com’s Mel Kiper): This mock draft was done as if Kiper was the GM of each NFL team. Kiper writes that it’d be tough to pass on Chubb if he’s still available, but Barkley will make whatever QB Cleveland takes at No. 1 even better.
No. 4 overall to Cleveland Browns (NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks): He has Wyoming QB Josh Allen going No. 1 overall, followed by Chubb and Darnold before Barkley gets his turn. “Barkley is too god to pass up as a difference maker at the position,” he writes.
No. 4 overall to Cleveland Browns (247 Sports): Three quarterbacks and then Barkley. Writes Josh Edwards,” He’s a generational type of talent with high character.”
No. 4 overall to Cleveland Browns (Land of Ten): After picking up Darnold, analyst Wayne Staats has the Browns selecting “the do-it-all star from Penn State.”
No. 4 overall to Cleveland Browns (Walter Football): In a familiar pattern, Walter Football has three quarterbacks going ahead of Barkley, whom he compares to Marshall Faulk. He writes, “He’ll be more than just some running back, as he’ll be a big factor in the passing attack as well.”
No. 5 overall to Denver Broncos (Rotoworld): Four quarterbacks and then Barkley. Josh Norris writes, “I wouldn’t be surprised to see a team select Quenton Nelson over Barkley, as second contracts dictate the NFL valuing guards over running backs. But I could also see the Broncos concluding that if a quarterback is not the pick, that Barkley is another way to immediately elevate the offense.”
No. 5 overall to Denver Broncos (Sporting News): SN’s Vinnie Iyer has the Browns going with Alabama DB Minkah Fitzpatrick at No. 4, before Barkley falls to the Broncos. He writes, “The Broncos will think about quarterback, for sure, but Barkley would fill their more pressing offensive skill need and would be the best player available.”
No. 5 overall to Denver Broncos (SB Nation): This mock draft is a little different, as the goal was to “select players for teams that we have not mocked to them previously.” Does that make this pick absolutely pointless? Well, yes. But we wanted to include all the mock drafts we could find — even if we didn’t agree with them.
No. 6 overall to Indianapolis Colts (CBS Sports’ R.J. White): The CBS analyst has four quarterbacks and Chubb being taken ahead of the Penn State back. Chances are, though, the Colts will want either a QB or Chubb. White writes, “Considering his is a worst-case scenario for the team, landing Barkley has to feel pretty good.”
No. 6 overall to Indianapolis Colts (Patriots.com): Contributor Don Banks, who also writes for The Athletic, has four quarterbacks and Nelson being taken ahead of Barkley. “Andrew Luck’s comeback attempt won’t be hurt by handing the ball off to Barkley 20 times per game,” he writes.
No. 6 overall to Indianapolis Colts (Draft Wire): Analyst Luke Easterling believes the Colts would prefer Chubb or Nelson, but both prospects are bound to be gone by then. So, Easterling writes, “With the top prospects at their biggest positions of need off the board, the Colts still get fantastic value here, replacing future Hall of Famer Frank Gore with arguably the best overall player in this year’s draft.”
No. 7 overall to Tampa Bay Buccaneers (CBS Sports’ Sean Wagner-McGough): This mock draft projects the Buffalo Bills trading with the Broncos to snag Baker Mayfield at No. 5. As a result, the Colts snag Quenton Nelson at No. 6 and then Barkley falls to the Bucs. Writes analyst Sean Wagner-McGough, “The Buccaneers don’t have a starting-caliber running back on the roster. Barkley is one of the best running back prospects ever. This one’s a no-brainer.”
TE Mike Gesicki
No. 26 overall to Atlanta Falcons (NJ.com): The fact is the Falcons need a No. 3 receiving option behind Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu. And Gesicki is certainly a player who fits that bill.
No. 29 overall to Jacksonville Jaguars (Draft Wire): With the signing of Donte Moncrief, the receiver room is full enough to go after a playmaking tight end.
No. 42 overall to Miami Dolphins (Draft Tek): Blocking may not be Gesicki’s forte, but the Dolphins need playmakers. And, analyst Travis Wingfield writes, “Adam Gase prefers using Y-iso mismatches, created by 11-personnel, as much as any play-caller in the league.”
No. 42 overall to Miami Dolphins (CBS Sports’ R.J. White): Again, it certainly seems like a good fit. Writes White, “The Dolphins met with Gesicki at the Senior Bowl, and he’d be an excellent passing-game weapon after blowing the doors off the combine.”
No. 50 overall to Dallas Cowboys (ESPN.com’s Todd McShay): This mock draft was done as if McShay was the GM of each NFL team. He writes, “Gesicki isn’t nearly the run-blocker (Jason) Witten is, but Gesicki is a big target with outstanding ball skills.”
No. 50 overall to Dallas Cowboys (ESPN.com’s Mel Kiper): Yes, both McShay and Kiper both have Gesicki going to the Cowboys in the second round. Kiper writes that Gesicki still needs to become a better blocker to truly be the replacement for Witten. But, “as a receiver, though, the 6-5, 247-pound Gesicki is a nightmare matchup for linebackers and safeties.”
No. 55 overall to Carolina Panthers (Walter Football): Current TE Greg Olsen is close to retirement, Walter Football notes, so Gesicki would be his obvious replacement — kind of like the Chargers previously taking Hunter Henry to replace Antonio Gates.
No. 61 overall to Jacksonville Jaguars (247 Sports): The fact is the Jaguars need a playmaker in the passing game, whether that’s an upgrade at receiver or — better yet, since the depth at receiver is pretty good — at tight end.
WR DaeSean Hamilton
No. 77 overall (third round) to Cincinnati Bengals (ESPN.com’s Mel Kiper): This mock draft was done as if Kiper was the GM of each NFL team. He writes, “Hamilton was a late addition to the Senior Bowl roster, but he was one of the best receivers there.”
No. 77 overall (third round) to Cincinnati Bengals (CBS Sports’ R.J. White): The Bengals are more in need of a tight end instead of a receiver. But, White writes, “Even if John Ross develops into a starter, the Bengals are going to need more depth at the position.”
No. 81 overall (third round) to Dallas Cowboys (ESPN.com’s Todd McShay): This mock draft was done as if McShay was the GM of each NFL team. McShay writes, “He’s an above-average route runner and gives Dak Prescott another playmaker on the outside.”
No. 90 overall (third round) to Atlanta Falcons (Draft Wire): The Falcons need a defensive tackle. But, outside of that, they could sure use another threat in the passing game. Gesicki is one option earlier; Hamilton is another option later.
No. 107 overall (fourth round) to New York Jets (Walter Football): The Jets definitely have a need at the position. Writes Walter Football, “The Jets needed a receiver entering the offseason, but now they should find two in the wake of Robby Anderson’s legal troubles.”
No. 107 overall (fourth round) to New York Jets (Draft Tek): The need for receiver is obvious. Hamilton could compete for some early playing time if he lands in a situation like this.
S Marcus Allen
No. 61 overall to Jacksonville Jaguars (Draft Wire): The Jags’ biggest needs are on the offensive side of the ball, but Allen’s versatility gives him some added value.
No. 92 overall (third round) to Pittsburgh Steelers (Walter Football): Throughout the offseason, the Steelers have been a favorite destination by mock draft creators for Allen. Walter Football writes, “The Steelers signed Morgan Burnett, but they could use a mid-round pick to find a long-term solution at the position.”
No. 153 overall (fifth round) to Detroit Lions (Draft Tek): Defensive back is not one of the Lions’ top-5 needs, but Allen is hard to pass up this late.