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2018 NFL Draft Big Board 1.0

Building off my positional rankings released a couple days ago, I’ve put together my first overall rankings for the 2018 NFL Draft. This is big board version 1.0, which only includes those that were in my positional rankings, and a description is only provided for the top-ten prospects. There will be plenty of updating and additional draft content still to come, especially once everyone officially declares or stays in school.


1. Saquon Barkley | RB | Penn State

Saquon Barkley will deservedly get a ton of praise leading up to the draft, and much of it will come from me. You can stick Barkley in any system and he will do everything at an elite level. I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say he’s the best college football player I’ve ever seen, and his game should translate immediately to the NFL. Besides being a generational talent, the 20-year-old is a great person with legendary work ethic, which only solidifies him as the best prospect in recent memory.


2. Josh Allen | QB | Wyoming

The quarterback class will be intensely debated over the next few months, but while most people are talking about Sam Darnold or Josh Rosen as the best signal-caller in the 2018 crop, I like Josh Allen. The gunslinger out of Wyoming has an absolute cannon for a right arm to make long throws to the outside with ease, and more importantly, he can put touch on his passes at all levels. Arm strength isn’t at the top of the list for a quarterback, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to be able to throw frozen ropes, especially for a guy like Allen that played in a pro-style offense and is also a strong leader, intelligent, and very mobile.


3. Roquan Smith | LB | Georgia

Anyone who watched the College Football Playoff saw Roquan Smith all over the field for the Bulldogs, as he racked up a combined 24 tackles, including several for a loss and at clutch moments. He’s been likened to plenty of great linebackers, but I think he’s most comparable to another former Georgia star in Thomas Davis. Neither is the biggest guy on the field, but they are able to quickly recognize plays and use their speed and underrated strength to make plays.


4. Bradley Chubb | EDGE | NC State

We still have a long way to go in the pre-draft process, but as of now, I think Bradley Chubb is far and away the best pass rusher in this year’s class. Chubb has an unrivaled first step and top-end agility for a defensive player, which allowed him to record 23.0 tackles for loss and 10.0 sacks as a senior despite constant double teams. I would be surprised if he wasn’t a top-five pick.


5. Lamar Jackson | QB | Louisville

Perhaps the most dangerous college football player of all-time, Lamar Jackson can absolutely play quarterback at the next level. He’s basically just as dynamic as Michael Vick, but bigger and much more advanced as a passer coming out of college. And even if his arm isn’t quite as strong as Vick’s was, Jackson still has a cannon. He will be a terror to opposing defenses if a coaching staff can slightly modify their offense to take advantage of his unique, game-breaking skillset.


6. Quenton Nelson | G | Notre Dame

It’s not often that a guard is so well-regarded as a prospect, but Nelson was a breathing bulldozer for the Fighting Irish in 2017. Not only can the New Jersey native drive defensive lineman and linebackers into oblivion, but he is also extraordinary in pass protection thanks to his athleticism and awareness on the interior. Nelson is worth a premium selection in April.


7. Christian Kirk | WR | Texas A&M

Everyone knows how explosive Lamar Jackson and Saquon Barkley are at their respective positions, and Christian Kirk brings that same kind of upside at wide receiver. The Texas A&M star actually saw his yardage decrease in each of his three seasons at College Station, but his NFL outlook has never wavered. Kirk is just as likely to put a double move on a defender to get deep as he is to house a short pass for a touchdown, and his hands match his explosiveness.


8. Jaire Alexander | CB | Louisville

Jaire Alexander missed most of the 2017 season with various injuries, but he remains a top prospect for me as most versatile cornerback in the draft. Louisville’s defense struggled when their star defender was out, as he can shut down opposing receivers, is an above-average tackler, and can turn defense into offense with phenomenal ball skills. Alexander forced three turnovers (two interceptions) in 2016 against Deshaun Watson.


9. Josh Jackson | CB | Iowa

Like last year’s draft class with Mashon Lattimore and Tre’Davious White, the 2018 class has two elite prospects at the cornerback position in Josh Jackson and the aforementioned Jaire Alexander. Jackson led the nation with eight interceptions (including two pick-sixes) as one of the breakout stars of the season, and he showed the anticipation and has the length to frustrate receivers and quarterbacks by jumping routes.


10. Kerryon Johnson | RB | Auburn

People in the media don’t seem to be very high on Kerryon Johnson, but I don’t see how he isn’t a Day 1 pick after what he did this season at Auburn. Johnson displays similar patience to Le’Veon Bell behind the line of scrimmage, and he looks like David Johnson with the ball in his hands as an effortless, long-striding runner that can easily shed arm tackles and make people miss in the open field.


11. Baker Mayfield | QB | Oklahoma

12. Calvin Ridley | WR | Alabama

13. Vita Vea | DL | Washington

14. Tremaine Edmunds | LB | Virginia Tech

15. Orlando Brown | OT | Oklahoma

16. Derwin James | S | Florida State

17. Minkah Fitzpatrick | S | Alabama

18. Sam Darnold | QB | USC

19. Denzel Ward | CB | Ohio State

20. Sony Michel | RB | Georgia

21. Mike Gesicki | TE | Penn State

22. Mike McGlinchey | OT | Notre Dame

23. Chukwuma Okorafor | OT | Western Michigan

24. Hayden Hurst | TE | South Carolina

25. Ronald Jones II | RB | USC

26. Billy Price | C | Ohio State

27. Nick Chubb | RB | Georgia

28. Josh Rosen | QB | UCLA

29. Mason Rudolph | QB | Oklahoma State

30. Derrius Guice | RB | LSU

31. Da’Ron Payne | DT | Alabama

32. James Washington | WR | Oklahoma State

33. Malik Jefferson | LB | Texas

34. Ogbonnia Okoronwko | EDGE | Oklahoma

35. Courtland Sutton | WR | SMU

36. Connor Williams | OT | Texas

37. Mike Hughes | CB | UCF

38. Anthony Miller | WR | Memphis

39. Arden Key | EDGE | LSU

40. DeShon Elliott | S | Texas

41. Maurice Hurst | DL | Michigan

42. Mark Andrews | TE | Oklahoma

43. Nyheim Hines | RB | NC State

44. Marcell Ateman | WR | Oklahoma State

45. Kolton Miller | OT | UCLA

46. Marcus Davenport | EDGE | UTSA

47. Trenton Thompson | DL | Georgia

48. Dorian O’Daniel | LB | Clemson

49. Isaiah Oliver | CB | Colorado

50. Levi Wallace | CB | Alabama

51. Isaiah Wynn | OT | Georgia

52. Brian O’Neill | OT | Pittsburgh

53. Harold Landry | EDGE | Boston College

54. Rashaan Evans | LB | Alabama

55. Marcus Allen | S | Penn State

56. Simmie Cobbs | WR | Indiana

57. Dallas Goedert | TE | South Dakota State

58. Terrell Edmunds | S | Virginia Tech

59. Taven Bryan | DL | Florida

60. Quenton Meeks | CB | Stanford

61. D.J. Moore | WR | Maryland

62. Frank Ragnow | G | Arkansas

63. Carlton Davis | CB | Auburn

64. Ronnie Harrison | S | Alabama

65. D.J. Reed | CB | Kansas State

66. Jeff Holland | EDGE | Auburn

67. Lorenzo Carter | EDGE | Georiga

68. Braden Smith | G | Auburn

69. Troy Fumagalli | TE | Wisconsin

70. Mark Walton | RB | Miami (FL)

71. Will Hernandez | G | UTEP

72. Harrison Phillips | DL | Stanford

73. Josey Jewell | LB | Iowa

74. Martez Ivey | G | Florida

75. Scott Quessenberry | G | UCLA

76. Tarvarus McFadden | CB | Florida State

77. Deon Cain | WR | Clemson

78. Ethan Wolf | TE | Tennessee

79. Tyrell Crosby | OT | Oregon

80. Chris Herndon | TE | Miami (FL)

81. Justin Reid | S | Stanford

82. Sam Hubbard | EDGE | Ohio State

83. Will Clapp | G | LSU

84. Shaquem Griffin | EDGE | UCF

85. Kyle Hicks | RB | TCU

86. Micah Kizer | LB | Virginia

87. Leighton Vander Esch | LB | Boise State

88. Luke Falk | QB | Washington State

89. J.T. Barrett | QB | Ohio State

90. Dakota Allen | LB | Texas Tech

91. Joseph Noteboom | OT | TCU

92. Ross Pierschbacher | G | Alabama

93. Armani Watts | S | Texas A&M

94. Jordan Whitehead | S | Pittsburgh

95. Derrick Nnadi | DL | Florida State

96. D.J. Chark | WR | LSU

97. Derrick Nnadi | DL | Florida State

98. Tray Matthews | S | Auburn

99. Jerome Baker | LB | Ohio State

100. Jamarco Jones | OT | Ohio State


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