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NFL Draft: Top prospects weigh in on who they think should go No. 1

With the 2018 NF Draft set to get started Thursday, it seems everyone has an opinion about who should be drafted by which team and in which slot. No pick is as buzzworthy as the first, however, and while there are only a couple of realistic options to come off the board at No. 1, that doesn’t stop everyone from taking a guess.

This is why Rivals.com polled dozens of sought-after high school prospects, many of whom will one day hear their names called at the event, about who they would pick if they were making the selection. The answers, which are wide-ranging, are listed below.

MORE: Rivals' Mock Draft, Version 3.0 | Baker Mayfield profile | Josh Allen profile

CLASS OF 2019 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position | Team

THIBODEAUX'S PICK: Saquon Barkley

THE EXPLANATION: “He tested off the charts and has the heart of a lion.”

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STEELE'S PICK: Saquon Barkley

THE EXPLANATION: “He’s a playmaker. The Browns need that to go along with some of the explosive dudes they have at receiver.”

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HUNTER'S PICK: Bradley Chubb

THE EXPLANATION: “Because of his love for the game and his passion.”

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FORD'S PICK: Saquon Barkley

THE EXPLANATION: “I believe Saquon Barkley should be the first pick because of his ridiculous speed and his ability to make people miss numerous amounts of ways.”

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HENDERSON'S PICK: Baker Mayfield

THE EXPLANATION: “He’s simply the biggest playmaker in the draft.”

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PAPPOE'S PICK: Saquon Barkley

THE EXPLANATION: “Saquon, no doubt. He’s the biggest game-changer in the draft.”

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BOGLE'S PICK: Saquon Barkley

THE EXPLANATION: “Barkley most definitely. He’s proven himself numerous times, even on the biggest stage. It’s why he’s the best at what he does. Also, I think he’ll be around for long in the league.”

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SANGUINETTI'S PICK: Josh Rosen/Saquon Barkley

THE EXPLANATION: “The Browns need both.”

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WASHINGTON'S PICK: Saquon Barkley

THE EXPLANATION: “His numbers at the combine were great, and the impact he gave Penn State last season. Also, his actions off the field.”

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LUCAS'S PICK: Sam Darnold

THE EXPLANATION: “It’ll be Sam Darnold, but I wish it was Antonio Callaway.”

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GRAY'S PICK: Derwin James

THE EXPLANATION: “He can play multiple positions on the field and can be a game changer at all those positions. To me, he’s the most versatile player in the draft.”

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DOLLARS'S PICK: Saquon Barkley

THE EXPLANATION: “The Browns have the No. 1 pick and they need a running back. Plus, he’s a freak player.”

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CARROLL'S PICK: Quenton Nelson/Mike McGlinchey

THE EXPLANATION: “Nelson or McGlinchey should be taken No. 1, as they are the top two offensive linemen in the draft and I would love to see an offensive lineman taken first.”

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FLOYD'S PICK: Saquon Barkley

THE EXPLANATION: “He has the greatest skill and intangibles in the draft.”

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HENNINGHAM'S PICK: Josh Rosen

THE EXPLANATION: “I feel like Josh Rosen is the perfect fit for the Browns. They really need a quarterback, and Rosen is the man for that. He’s probably the best quarterback going in the draft right now.”

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WINGO'S PICK: Saquon Barkley

THE EXPLANATION: “Saquon Barkley. The guy is a dog in the weight room and loves to work and get better. He always takes constructive criticism and strives to be the best.”

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NORRIS'S PICK: Saquon Barkley

THE EXPLANATION: “I think that Saquon Barkley should get picked first because he killed it at the collegiate level, his testing results are great and he has a, NFL RB frame. He should do big things in the NFL for years to come.”

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HOWARD'S PICK: Lamar Jackson/Antonio Callaway

THE EXPLANATION: “I think Lamar Jackson or Antonio Calloway. It’s because they have confidence and make plays. They’re willing to risk it all. No matter what the score is, they are willing to make something happen. When you watch them play, it’s like a one-man show. They love the game and that it means something to them. It’s not over until the time stop.”

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SCALZO'S PICK: Baker Mayfield

THE EXPLANATION: "He has the heart and drive to lead teams to championships. He may be cocky, but usually the best players in the league are. I can totally see him turning a mediocre team into a championship- caliber team."

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WEASE'S PICK: Saquon Barkley

THE EXPLANATION: “I’m taking Saquon for sure. Bro is a freak.”

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WHITTINGTON'S PICK: Saquon Barkley

THE EXPLANATION: “He’s definitely the safest pick in the draft.”

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MORRIS'S PICK: Saquon Barkley

THE EXPLANATION: “Saquon Barkley should be the No. 1 pick because the Browns haven’t had good luck drafting quarterbacks, and (after) getting a playmaking-quarterback like Tyrod Taylor, they need another explosive playmaker like Barkley.”

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BROWN'S PICK: Sam Darnold

THE EXPLANATION “I think Sam Darnold, because we know the Browns really need a quarterback. He’s the best one out there, and they will draft Saquon fourth.”

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RATTLER'S PICK: Baker Mayfield

THE EXPLANATION: “He’s the best quarterback in the draft. He’s a straight-up baller.”

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PITTMAN'S PICK: Saquon Barkley

THE EXPLANATION: “The Browns need a running back, and Saquon is just a freak of nature and an extremely hard worker.”

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CRIDDELL'S PICK: Baker Mayfield/Lamar Jackson

THE EXPLANATION: “Most teams need a quarterback the most and those two guys can lead big-time programs and can both make plays that most quarterbacks can't.”

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HENRY'S PICK: Saquon Barkley

THE EXPLANATION: “He is probably the most complete running back that I’ve ever seen, but he is also just a great human being overall from what I’ve heard.”

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GUNNELL'S PICK: Saquon Barkley

THE EXPLANATION: “He’s a game-changing player.”

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TO'OTO'O'S PICK: Vita Vea

THE EXPLANATION: “I honestly think it should be Vita Vea. Dude is a dog and can be a big difference in any team’s defense.”