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2018 NFL Draft Big Board 4.0

We are exactly one month away from the 2018 NFL Draft, so it’s a good time to release my second-to-last big board. I have added and will continue to add full scouting reports for as many prospects as I can, so just click the player to go to their full breakdown with strengths, weaknesses, NFL comparisons, and more. If you missed my updated positional rankings, you can check them 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 running back prospect 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. 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.


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. 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.


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. Sam Darnold | QB | USC

The talent was evident with Darnold in two seasons as the starter for USC, as he throws with great anticipation, is very creative when the play breaks down, and 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 and natural ability might be enough to offset his flaws at the top of the draft, though.


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. 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.


13. 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.


14. 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.


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. 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.


17. 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.


18. 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.


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 a few weeks ago. 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 potentially the pass for whatever team drafts him.


21. Lorenzo Carter | EDGE | Georgia

Carter has been a favorite of mine throughout the pre-draft process, and he might not be done rising. At the Combine, 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.


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. 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.


24. 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.


25. 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.


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. 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.


28. 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.


29. 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.


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. Rashaan Evans | LB | Alabama

34. Maurice Hurst | DL | Michigan

35. Chukwuma Okorafor | OT | Western Michigan

36. Malik Jefferson | LB | Texas

37. Courtland Sutton | WR | SMU

38. Mike McGlinchey | OT | Notre Dame

39. Mason Rudolph | QB | Oklahoma State

40. Ogbonnia Okoronkwo | EDGE | Oklahoma

41. Ronald Jones II | RB | USC

42. Taven Bryan | DL | Florida

43. Anthony Miller | WR | Memphis

44. Isaiah Oliver | CB | Colorado

45. Mike Hughes | CB | UCF

46. Nyheim Hines | RB | NC State

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

48. Nathan Shepherd | DL | Fort Hays State

49. Billy Price | C | Ohio State

50. Arden Key | EDGE | LSU

51. Mark Andrews | TE | Oklahoma

52. Marcus Davenport | EDGE | UTSA

53. DeShon Elliott | S | Texas

54. Marcell Ateman | WR | Oklahoma State

55. Kolton Miller | OT | UCLA

56. Frank Ragnow | G | Arkansas

57. Trenton Thompson | DL | Georgia

58. Austin Corbett | G | Nevada

59. Jeff Holland | EDGE | Auburn

60. Darius Leonard | LB | South Carolina State

61. Dorance Armstrong | EDGE | Kansas

62. Harold Landry | EDGE | Boston College

63. Marcus Allen | S | Penn State

64. Ronnie Harrison | S | Alabama

65. Mike White | QB | Western Kentucky

66. Sam Hubbard | EDGE | Ohio State

67. Leighton Vander Esch | LB | Boise State

68. Dallas Goedert | TE | South Dakota State

69. Tim Settle | DL | Virginia Tech

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

71. Shaquem Griffin | LB | UCF

72. Simmie Cobbs | WR | Indiana

73. Levi Wallace | CB | Alabama

74. Quenton Meeks | CB | Stanford

75. D.J. Chark | WR | LSU

76. Brian O’Neill | OT | Pittsburgh

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. Kemoko Turay | EDGE | Rutgers

86. Troy Fumagalli | TE | Wisconsin

87. Kalen Ballage | RB | Arizona State

88. Royce Freeman | RB | Oregon

89. Deon Cain | WR | Clemson

90. Tyrell Crosby | OT | Oregon

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

92. Rashaad Penny | RB | San Diego State

93. Rod Taylor | G | Ole Miss

94. Armani Watts | S | Texas A&M 

95. Braden Smith | G | Auburn

96. Dorian O’Daniel | LB | Clemson

97. Josey Jewell | LB | Iowa

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. Orlando Brown | OT | Oklahoma

105. Uchenna Nwosu | LB | USC

106. Chad Thomas | EDGE | Miami (FL)

107. Jerome Baker | LB | Ohio State

108. Dante Pettis | WR | Washington

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

110. Kyle Lauletta | QB | Richmond

111. Duke Ejiofor | EDGE | Wake Forest

112. Ethan Wolf | TE | Tennessee

113. Dakota Allen | LB | Texas Tech

114. Deadrin Senat | DL | South Florida

115. Jason Cabinda | LB | Penn State

116. Chris Worley | LB | Ohio State

117. Joseph Noteboom | OT | TCU

118. Duke Dawson | CB | Florida

119. Chris Herndon | TE | Miami (FL)

120. Kentavius Street | EDGE | NC State

121. Will Dissly | TE | Washington

122. Nick Nelson | CB | Wisconsin

123. Chandon Sullivan | CB | Georgia State

124. Oren Burks | LB | Vanderbilt

125. Tarvarus McFadden | CB | Florida State

126. Jamarco Jones | OT | Ohio State

127. Genard Avery | LB | Memphis

128. Troy Apke | S | Penn State

129. Jessie Bates III | S | Wake Forest

130. Lavon Coleman | RB | Washington

131. Justin Reid | S | Stanford

132. Kyle Hicks | RB | TCU

133. Mason Cole | C | Michigan

134. Auden Tate | WR | Florida States

135. Jordan Lasley | WR | UCLA

136. Jaylen Samuels | TE | NC State

137. Leon Jacobs | EDGE | Wisconsin

138. Holton Hill | CB | Texas

139. Michael Gallup | WR | Colorado

140. Christian Sam | LB | Arizona State

141. Josh Sweat | EDGE | Florida State

142. Derrick Nnadi | DL | Florida State

143. Desmond Harrison | OT | West Georgia

144. M.J. Stewart | CB | North Carolina

145. Christian Campbell | CB | Penn State

146. Martinas Rankin | OT | Mississippi State

147. Dre’Mont Jones | DL | Ohio State

148. Jordan Whitehead | S | Pittsburgh

149. Martez Ivey | G | Florida

150. Dalton Schultz | TE | Stanford

151. Tray Matthews | S | Auburn

152. Godwin Igwebuike | S | Northwestern

153. Tre’Quan Smith | WR | UCF

154. Kevin Tolliver | CB | LSU

155. DeAndre Goolsby | TE | Florida

156. Dontavius Russell | DL | Auburn

157. Josh Adams | RB | Notre Dame

158. Da’Shawn Hand | DL | Alabama

159. Chase Edmonds | RB | Fordham

160. Javon Wims | WR | Georgia

161. Brendan Mahon | G | Penn State

162. Justin Jones | DL | NC State

163. Scott Quessenberry | G | UCLA

164. Foley Fatukasi | DL | Connecticut

165. Mike McCray | LB | Michigan

166. Cedrick Wilson | WR | Boise State

167. Darrel Williams | RB | LSU

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

169. Greg Senat | OT | Wagner

170. Quin Blanding | S | Virginia

171. Brandon Facyson | CB | Virginia Tech

172. Davin Bellamy | EDGE | Georgia

173. Keke Coutee | WR | Texas Tech

174. J’Mon Moore | WR | Missouri

175. Kendrick Norton | DL | Miami (FL)

176. Tyquan Lewis | EDGE | Ohio State

177. Dylan Cantrell | WR | Texas Tech

178. Grant Haley | CB | Penn State

179. Rashaan Gaulden | CB | Tennessee

180. Ade Aruna | EDGE | Tulane

181. Bo Scarbrough | RB | Alabama

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

183. Trey Quinn | WR | SMU

184. Jack Cichy | LB | Wisconsin

185. Ryan Nall | RB | Oregon State

186. Tegrau Scales | LB | Indiana

187. Kyzir White | S | West Virginia

188. Greg Stroman | CB | Virginia Tech

189. Parry Nickerson | CB | Tulane

190. Skai Moore | LB | South Carolina

191. Ray-Ray McCloud | WR | Clemson

192. Tony Brown | CB | Alabama

193. Brian Allen | C | Michigan State

194. Wyatt Teller | G | Virginia Tech

195. Breeland Speaks | DL | Ole Miss

196. Azeem Victor | LB | Washington

197. Cole Madison | G | Washington State

198. Coleman Shelton | C | Washington

199. Dee Delaney | CB | Miami (FL)

200. Akrum Wadley | RB | Iowa

201. Antonio Callaway | WR | Florida

202. Andre Smith | LB | North Carolina

203. Fred Warner | LB | BYU

204. John Kelly | RB | Tennessee

205. Will Clapp | G | LSU

206. Zaycoven Henderson | DL | Texas A&M

207. Dane Cruikshank | S | Arizona

208. John Atkins | DL | Georgia

209. Kameron Kelly | CB | San Diego State

210. Justin Jackson | RB | Northwestern

211. Kenny Young | LB | UCLA

212. Kahlil McKenzie | DL | Tennessee

213. Jalyn Holmes | DL | Ohio State

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

215. Bradley Bozeman | G | Alabama

216. Justin Watson | WR | Penn

217. Ross Pierschbacher | G | Alabama

218. Sean Welsh | G | Iowa

219. Poona Ford | DL | Texas

220. Hercules Mata’afa | LB | Washington State

221. J.C. Jackson | CB | Maryland

222. Kyle Allen | QB | Houston

223. Roc Thomas | RB | Jacksonville State

224. Ike Boettger | OT | Iowa

225. Darius Jackson | EDGE | Jacksonville State

226. Justin Lawler | EDGE | SMU

227. Garret Dooley | EDGE | Wisconsin

228. Jaleel Scott | WR | New Mexico State

229. Taylor Hearn | G | Clemson

230. Isaac Yiadom | CB | Boston College

231. Stephen Roberts | S | Auburn

232. Peter Kalambayi | EDGE | Stanford

233. Matt DeLuca | LB | North Dakota State

234. Allen Lazard | WR | Iowa State

235. Byron Pringle | WR | Kansas State

236. Braxton Berrios | WR | Miami (FL)

237. Adam Breneman | TE | Massachusetts

238. Michael Joseph | CB | Dubuque

239. Jordan Thomas | CB | Oklahoma

240. Caleb Wilson | TE | UCLA

241. Robert Foster | WR | Alabama

242. Toby Weathersby | OT | LSU

243. David Bright | OT | Stanford

244. Trey Walker | S | Louisiana-Lafayette

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

246. Tre Flowers | S | Oklahoma State

247. Sean Chandler | S | Temple

248. Darius Phillips | CB | Western Michigan

249. Ryan Izzo | TE | Florida State

250. Nick Gates | OT | Nebraska

251. Damon Webb | S | Ohio State

252. Jacob Pugh | LB | Florida State

252. Olasunkanmi Adeniyi | EDGE | Toledo

253. James Hearns | EDGE| Louisville

254. Will Richardson | G | NC State

255. Durham Smythe | TE | Notre Dame

256. Kurt Benkurt | QB | Virginia

257. Andrew Brown | DL | Virginia

258. Jarvion Franklin | RB | Western Michigan

259. Cam Phillips | WR | Virginia Tech

260. Kamryn Pettway | RB | Auburn

261. Bilal Nichols | DL | Delaware

262. Jordan Thomas | TE | Mississippi State

263. Jester Weah | WR | Pittsburgh

264. K.J. Malone | OT | LSU

265. Taron Johnson | CB | Weber State

266. Tyrone Crowder | G | Clemson

267. Matt Dickerson | DL | UCLA

268. Anthony Winbush | EDGE | Ball State

269. Taylor Stallworth | DL | South Carolina

270. Riley Ferguson | QB | Memphis

271. Matthew Thomas | LB | Florida State

272. Chase Litton | QB | Marshall

273. Justin Crawford | RB | West Virginia

274. Chris Warren | RB | Texas

275. Dimitri Flowers | RB | Oklahoma


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