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2018 NFL Draft Big Board 3.0

The 2018 NFL Draft is less than two months away, and the NFL Combine helped clear things up as teams continue to evaluate the prospects based on tape, interviews, workouts, and background checks. Keep in mind that I don’t have close to the amount of information that NFL teams do, but this is how my Big Board currently sits. If you want to see how the prospects rank by position, you can check that out here.


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. 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 technique and awareness on the interior. Nelson is worth a premium selection in April.


5. Bradley Chubb | EDGE | NC State

I think Bradley Chubb is far and away the best edge defender in this year’s class. He has a great 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. He is also aggressive coming down the line against the run. I would be surprised if Chubb wasn’t a top-five pick.


6. 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 can flick it. Work needs to be done, but 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.


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. Minkah Fitzpatrick | S | Alabama

Fitzpatrick played everywhere for Nick Saban’s defense, and the legendary head coach is such a fan of his versatile defensive back that teammates have joked that he’s “Coach Saban’s son.” I see him as more of a do-it-all safety than cornerback, but Fitzpatrick should be able to cover elite tight ends and slot receivers while racking up tackles in the box and out in in space.


10. Derwin James | S | Florida State

Kam Chancellor has been a comparison often used for Derwin James, but James is faster, more versatile, and not quite as thumping (I mean that as a compliment to Chancellor). The Florida State standout is solid in man-to-man coverage and can come up from his safety spot to make plays off the edge and up the middle as a blitzer. He could be a game-wrecker at the next level.


11. Denzel Ward | CB | Ohio State

Ward is a sticky cover corner with great quickness and long arms for his size at five-foot-ten. His length and explosiveness also makes him very good in zone coverage, and while he doesn’t have the ball skills that Jaire Alexander or Josh Jackson do in this year’s class with just two career interceptions at Ohio State, Ward is an aggressive and effective tackler.


12. Mike Gesicki | TE | Penn State

A phenomenal performance at the Combine finally puts Gesicki in the first-round conversation for draft analysts that were sleeping on him, as he displayed his top-end athleticism in Indianapolis. Gesicki will be an elite red-zone threat in the NFL as a mismatch nightmare either in the slot or on the perimeter. Hopefully he ends up with a coach that can get the best out of him as a blocker, because he needs to improve there.


13. 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 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. Also, he has good hands that will make him an effective receiver at the next level.


14. Vita Vea | DL | Washington

It’s almost unfair that Vita Vea can move the way he does at six-foot-five, 340 pounds. The star defensive lineman is basically football’s version of “The Mountain” from Game of Thrones with the ability to do things that a monster human being probably shouldn’t be able to do, as Vea dominates against the run with both strength and quickness to plug running lanes or make the play himself. He should be able to thrive at any interior position in any defensive scheme at the next level.


15. Tremaine Edmunds | LB | Virginia Tech

Speed at the linebacker position has become increasingly important in the NFL, and Tremaine Edmunds has plenty of it. Sized like an NBA wing, Edmunds has tremendous range when tracking down ball-carriers. He can also spy the quarterback and rush on either a straight blitz or delayed blitz with excellent closing burst. Also, Edmunds is still just 19-years-old.


16. Josh Jackson | CB | Iowa

Josh 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. At the Combine, Jackson didn’t alleviate any concerns about being tight-hipped, but he still profiles as a shutdown, boundary corner, especially in a cover-3 scheme.


17. Sam Darnold | QB | USC

The talent was evident with Darnold in two seasons as the starter for USC, as he throws with great anticipation and is very creative when the play breaks down, and he certainly has the size and intangibles to be successful. However, he’s thrown for 22 interceptions in 27 starts, and many of them are simply head-scratching, especially for a top quarterback prospect. Darnold also fumbled far too often for the Trojans. My concern is that, similar to Jameis Winston coming out of Florida State, the turnovers come with the talent. The intangibles might be enough to offset his flaws at the top of the draft.


18. Isaiah Wynn | G | Georgia

Wynn was an exceptional left tackle for Georgia all year in 2017, and I would have liked him as a top-50 prospect had he been staying outside for the draft process. With the move inside, though, he is quickly rising. Wynn played guard early in his college career, and he has the ability to dominate in all schemes at the next level with strength, quickness, and the right mental makeup in the trenches.


19. Nick Chubb | RB | Georgia

Chubb was one of the big winners of the Combine in my opinion, as his 4.52 40-yard dash was outstanding for his size, and his 38.5-inch vertical jump was equally impressive. The tape showed he has the ability to get outside and surprise defenders by quickly accelerating to turn upfield, and the athletic testing backed that up. Chubb has come a long way from a devastating leg injury in 2015 that many thought would end his career.


20. Da’Ron Payne | DL | Alabama

It was obvious Payne was a unique athlete when he showed his skills as a pass-catcher for Alabama, but I was impressed by the slimmed-down version we saw of him in Indy. Like Vita Vea, Payne is basically as versatile as it gets for a defensive lineman, and he will be a force against the run and pass for whatever team drafts him.


21. Baker Mayfield | QB | Oklahoma

For me, the interview process would be key when evaluating Baker Mayfield because I think the character concerns—both on and off the field—are real. On the field, Mayfield is extremely accurate and confident both in and out of the pocket. He also has a strong arm for his size and was able to put the ball on the money at Oklahoma. That said, he didn’t have to make many tight-window throws in college, and he might not be as dynamic out of the pocket against NFL defenders. I still have him as a mid-first-round prospect, but Mayfield is far from a sure thing.


22. Calvin Ridley | WR | Alabama

Ridley is the most polished wideout in this year’s class, and he’s similar to Minkah Fitzpatrick on the defensive side of that ball in that he will be able to do it all—take the top off the defense, make contested catches over the middle, pickup key first downs, and play either the X, Z, or slot. Despite a lack of big numbers at Alabama, Ridley is a smooth, all-around receiver who should become an instant contributor in the league. Teams should just know he is more of an on-the-ground receiver than a high-flyer.


23. Connor Williams | OT | Texas

Connor Williams battled injuries in 2017 before declaring for the NFL Draft, but he showed enough in his sophomore season to be worth a first-round selection in April. Williams is a really good athlete for an offensive lineman, but he also has the power and size to be a franchise left tackle. He looked to separate some from his peers at the Combine.


24. Lorenzo Carter | EDGE | Georgia

Carter has been a favorite of mine throughout the pre-draft process, and he might not be done rising. Over the weekend, the former Georgia star ran a 4.50 at a rangy six-foot-six, 250 pounds, which is faster than former teammate and 2016 ninth-overall pick Leonard Floyd. Carter can do some of the same things that Floyd can, including drop back in coverage, which will only boost his value as a disruptive edge.


25. James Daniels | C | Iowa

Daniels has elite movement skills that could put him in high demand in today’s NFL as an athletic anchor to the offensive line. It also helps that he is battle-tested from playing in the Big Ten for a tough Iowa team, and he could even kick out a spot to guard for teams that already have a pivot in place. Daniels is probably a lock to be the first center off the board following Billy Price’s injury.


26. Sony Michel | RB | Georgia

Michel’s stock really jumped after an impressive College Football Playoff run where he was able to display his balance, quickness, vision, and speed for the Bulldogs. The senior averaged a career-high 7.9 yards per carry and scored 16 times on the ground as he split time with Nick Chubb, and despite only nine receptions in 2017, he has shown the ability to be an effective pass-catcher over his four years. If Michel can be a solid pass protector at the next level, he won’t need to leave the field.


27. Hayden Hurst | TE | South Carolina

Hurst turns 25-years-old in August, but the former minor league baseball player might be the most polished, all-around tight end in this year’s class. I’ve compared him to Greg Olsen, as I think he should develop into a crafty route runner that is also an above-average athlete and capable blocker.


28. Derrius Guice | RB | LSU

Perhaps the most aggressive ball-carrier in this year’s draft, Derrius Guice could be considered early on Day 1 if a team falls in love with his physical running style. Guice has good balance at all levels and isn’t afraid to initiate contact with would-be tacklers. He isn’t the pass-catcher that others are in this class, but Guice is a tone-setter for not only the offense, but the entire team.


29. Will Hernandez | G | UTEP

Teams that miss out on Quenton Nelson could have a big, bad backup plan in mind with Will Hernandez. The bully guard was able to beat people up for UTEP over the past four years, and he’s also a solid athlete at nearly 350 pounds. Hernandez is also said to be extremely committed to the game, and you can’t have enough of those guys in a locker room.


30. Josh Rosen | QB | UCLA

Rosen is a talented thrower who gets the most out of his arm with great mechanics and an on-time delivery, but he doesn’t have close to the arm strength and velocity that Sam Bradford has, which is a comparison some people have made based on his pure ability to sling it. Also, besides the apparent leadership and character concerns, Rosen’s durability is an issue, and he could really struggle if things aren’t perfect around him (i.e. he when needs to carry the offense).


31. James Washington | WR | Oklahoma State

A unique deep threat that was as productive and dangerous as any college wideout over the past three years, James Washington is actually built more like a running back than a receiver. Still, he has an NFL skillset, including the ability to get deep and track the ball when it’s in the air. Despite being a sub-six-footer, Washington plays bigger than his size and is able to shield off defenders to make plays.


32. D.J. Moore | WR | Maryland

Moore seems to be rising from mid-round prospect to arguably the top receiver in the draft, and his performance at the Combine only boosted his stock. He is a great competitor and big-time threat with the ball in his hands, but I think his basic skills as a receiver are clearly behind Christian Kirk and Calvin Ridley. However, he has room to grow and can play inside or outside in the league.


33. Chukwuma Okorafor | OT | Western Michigan

34. Maurice Hurst | DL | Michigan

35. Malik Jefferson | LB | Texas

36. Mike McGlinchey | OT | Notre Dame

37. Rashaan Evans | LB | Alabama

38. Courtland Sutton | WR | SMU

39. Mason Rudolph | QB | Oklahoma State

40. Ronald Jones II | RB | USC

41. Ogbonnia Okoronkwo | EDGE | Oklahoma

42. Taven Bryan | DL | Florida

43. Anthony Miller | WR | Memphis

44. Isaiah Oliver | CB | Colorado

45. Nyheim Hines | RB | NC State

46. Mark Andrews | TE | Oklahoma

47. Arden Key | EDGE | LSU

48. Marcus Davenport | EDGE | UTSA

49. Mike Hughes | CB | UCF

50. Billy Price | C | Ohio State

51. DeShon Elliott | S | Texas

52. Marcell Ateman | WR | Oklahoma State

53. Kolton Miller | OT | UCLA

54. Trenton Thompson | DL | Georgia

55. Braden Smith | G | Auburn

56. Austin Corbett | G | Nevada

57. B.J. Hill | DL | NC State

58. Jeff Holland | EDGE | Auburn

59. Dorance Armstrong | EDGE | Kansas

60. Darius Leonard | LB | South Carolina State

61. Harold Landry | EDGE | Boston College

62. Marcus Allen | S | Penn State

63. Ronnie Harrison | S | Alabama

64. Mike White | QB | Western Kentucky

65. Sam Hubbard | EDGE | Ohio State

66. Leighton Vander Esch | LB | Boise State

67. Tim Settle | DL | Virginia Tech

68. R.J. McIntosh | DL | Miami (FL)

69. Shaquem Griffin | LB | UCF

70. Nathan Shepard | DL | Fort Hays State

71. Levi Wallace | CB | Alabama

72. Simmie Cobbs | WR | Indiana

72. Quenton Meeks | CB | Stanford

74. D.J. Chark | WR | LSU

75. Brian O’Neill | OT | Pittsburgh

76. Dallas Goedert | TE | South Dakota State

77. Donte Jackson | CB | LSU

78. Ian Thomas | TE | Indiana

79. Marquis Haynes | EDGE | Ole Miss

80. Harrison Phillips | DL | Stanford

81. DaeSean Hamilton | WR | Penn State

82. Carlton Davis | CB | Auburn

83. Terrell Edmunds | S | Virginia Tech

84. Luke Falk | QB | Washington State

85. Kalen Ballage | RB | Arizona State

86. Kemoko Turay | EDGE | Rutgers

87. Troy Fumagalli | TE | Wisconsin

88. Royce Freeman | RB | Oregon

89. Dorian O’Daniel | LB | Clemson

90. Deon Cain | WR | Clemson

91. Tyrell Crosby | OT | Oregon

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

93. Rod Taylor | G | Ole Miss

94. Armani Watts | S | Texas A&M

95. Frank Ragnow | G | Arkansas

96. Josey Jewell | LB | Iowa

97. Rashaad Penny | RB | San Diego State

98. Rasheem Green | EDGE | USC

99. Anthony Averett | CB | Alabama

100. Equanimeous St. Brown | WR | Notre Dame

101. Deontay Burnett | WR | USC

102. Mark Walton | RB | Miami (FL)

103. Geron Christian | OT | Louisville

104. Uchenna Nwosu | LB | USC

105. Chad Thomas | EDGE | Miami (FL)

106. Jerome Baker | LB | Ohio State

107. Dante Pettis | WR | Washington

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

109. Kyle Lauletta | QB | Richmond

110. Duke Ejiofor | EDGE | Wake Forest

111. Ethan Wolf | TE | Tennessee

112. Dakota Allen | LB | Texas Tech

112. Deadrin Senat | DL | South Florida

113. Jason Cabinda | LB | Penn State

114. Chris Worley | LB | Ohio State

115. Joseph Noteboom | OT | TCU

116. Duke Dawson | CB | Florida

117. Chris Herndon | TE | Miami (FL)

118. Kentavius Street | EDGE | NC State

119. Will Dissly | TE | Washington

120. Oren Burks | LB | Vanderbilt

121. Tarvarus McFadden | CB | Florida State

122. Jamarco Jones | OT | Ohio State

123. Troy Apke | S | Penn State

124. Jessie Bates III | S | Wake Forest

125. Lavon Coleman | RB | Washington

126. Justin Reid | S | Stanford

127. Kyle Hicks | RB | TCU

128. Orlando Brown | OT | Oklahoma

129. Mason Cole | C | Michigan

130. Auden Tate | WR | Florida States

131. Jordan Lasley | WR | UCLA

132. Jaylen Samuels | TE | NC State

133. Leon Jacobs | EDGE | Wisconsin

134. Holton Hill | CB | Texas

135. Michael Gallup | WR | Colorado

136. Christian Sam | LB | Arizona State

137. Josh Sweat | EDGE | Florida State

138. Derrick Nnadi | DL | Florida State

139 M.J. Stewart | CB | North Carolina

140. Christian Campbell | CB | Penn State

141. Chandon Sullivan | CB | Georgia State

142. Dre’Mont Jones | DL | Ohio State

143. Desmond Harrison | OT | West Georgia

144. Jordan Whitehead | S | Pittsburgh

145. Martinas Rankin | OT | Mississippi State

146. Nick Nelson | CB | Wisconsin

147. Martez Ivey | G | Florida

148. Dalton Schultz | TE | Stanford

149. Tray Matthews | S | Auburn

150. Godwin Igwebuike | S | Northwestern

151. Kevin Tolliver | CB | LSU

152. DeAndre Goolsby | TE | Florida

153. Dontavius Russell | DL | Auburn

154. Josh Adams | RB | Notre Dame

155. Javon Wims | WR | Georgia

156. Brendan Mahon | G | Penn State

157. Scott Quessenberry | G | UCLA

158. Foley Fatukasi | DL | Connecticut

159. Da’Shawn Hand | DL | Alabama

160. Mike McCray | LB | Michigan

161. Cedrick Wilson | WR | Boise State

162. Darrel Williams | RB | LSU

163. Brandon Parker | OT | North Carolina A&T

164. Kendrick Norton | DL | Miami (FL)

165. Justin Jones | DL | NC State

166. Genard Avery | LB | Memphis

167. Greg Senat | OT | Wagner

168. Quin Blanding | S | Virginia

169. Brandon Facyson | CB | Virginia Tech

170. Davin Bellamy | EDGE | Georgia

171. Keke Coutee | WR | Texas Tech

172. J’Mon Moore | WR | Missouri

173. Tyquan Lewis | EDGE | Ohio State

174. Dylan Cantrell | WR | Texas Tech

175. Grant Haley | CB | Penn State

176. Rashaan Gaulden | CB | Tennessee

177. Ade Aruna | EDGE | Tulane

178. A.J. Cappa | OT | Humboldt State

179. Trey Quinn | WR | SMU

180. Jack Cichy | LB | Wisconsin

181. Ryan Nall | RB | Oregon State

182. Chase Edmonds | RB | Fordham

183. Tegrau Scales | LB | Indiana

184. Kyzir White | S | West Virginia

185. Greg Stroman | CB | Virginia Tech

186. Parry Nickerson | CB | Tulane

187. Skai Moore | LB | South Carolina

188. Ray-Ray McCloud | WR | Clemson

189. Tony Brown | CB | Alabama

190. Brian Allen | C | Michigan State

191. Wyatt Teller | G | Virginia Tech

192. Breeland Speaks | DL | Ole Miss

193. Azeem Victor | LB | Washington

194. Cole Madison | G | Washington State

195. Coleman Shelton | C | Washington

196. Dee Delaney | CB | Miami (FL)

197. Akrum Wadley | RB | Iowa

198. Antonio Callaway | WR | Florida

199. Andre Smith | LB | North Carolina

200. Fred Warner | LB | BYU

201. John Kelly | RB | Tennessee

202. Will Clapp | G | LSU

203. Zaycoven Henderson | DL | Texas A&M

204. Dane Cruikshank | S | Arizona

205. Kahlil McKenzie | DL | Tennessee

206. Kameron Kelly | CB | San Diego State

207. Justin Jackson | RB | Northwestern

208. Kenny Young | LB | UCLA

209. Bo Scarbrough | RB | Alabama

210. Jalyn Holmes | DL | Ohio State

211. John Atkins | DL | Georgia

212. Ja’Von Rolland-Jones | EDGE | Arkansas State

213. Bradley Bozeman | G | Alabama

214. Justin Watson | WR | Penn

215. Ross Pierschbacher | G | Alabama

216. Sean Welsh | G | Iowa

217. Poona Ford | DL | Texas

218. Hercules Mata’afa | LB | Washington State

219. J.C. Jackson | CB | Maryland

220. Kyle Allen | QB | Houston

221. Roc Thomas | RB | Jacksonville State

222. Ike Boettger | OT | Iowa

223. Darius Jackson | EDGE | Jacksonville State

224. Justin Lawler | EDGE | SMU

225. Garret Dooley | EDGE | Wisconsin

226. Jaleel Scott | WR | New Mexico State

227. Taylor Hearn | G | Clemson

228. Isaac Yiadom | CB | Boston College

229. Stephen Roberts | S | Auburn

230. Peter Kalambayi | EDGE | Stanford

231. Matt DeLuca | LB | North Dakota State

232. Kamryn Pettway | RB | Auburn

233. Allen Lazard | WR | Iowa State

234. Byron Pringle | WR | Kansas State

235. Braxton Berrios | WR | Miami (FL)

236. Adam Breneman | TE | Massachusetts

237. Michael Joseph | CB | Dubuque

238. Jordan Thomas | CB | Oklahoma

239. Caleb Wilson | TE | UCLA

240. Robert Foster | WR | Alabama

241. Toby Weathersby | OT | LSU

242. David Bright | OT | Stanford

243. Trey Walker | S | Louisiana-Lafayette

244. K.C. McDermott | G | Miami (FL)

245. Tre Flowers | S | Oklahoma State

246. Sean Chandler | S | Temple

247. Darius Phillips | CB | Western Michigan

248. Ryan Izzo | TE | Florida State

249. Nick Gates | OT | Nebraska

250. Damon Webb | S | Ohio State

251. Olasunkanmi Adeniyi | EDGE | Toledo

252. James Hearns | EDGE| Louisville

251. Will Richardson | G | NC State

252. Durham Smythe | TE | Notre Dame

253. Andrew Brown | DL | Virginia

254. Cam Phillips | WR | Virginia Tech

255. Jester Weah | WR | Pittsburgh

256. Bilal Nichols | DL | Delaware


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