With the 2018 NFL Draft officially less than two weeks away, boards across the league are being stacked and locked in.
After starting the scouting process in June of 2017 for this year’s class, which included trips to games, the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine, I’ve officially stacked a personal top-100. Below are the rankings, grades and analysis for each group.
1st round grades: (1-18)
In a detailed write up earlier, I broke down the top ten of this class. Outside of them, Landry is a pass rusher very similar to Vic Beasley that can get up field exploding off the snap and dipping with bend into the pocket.
Mike Hughes is a feisty, physical corner with ball skills and excellent man coverage ability. Josh Jackson is a bit more raw (especially in his back pedal), but thrives in off-coverage by reading and reacting to passes.
Courtland Sutton is an Alshon Jeffery clone, but brings a little more juice after the catch. Evans went under-the-radar as a one year starter in a championship defense, but he’s a three down ‘backer that brings a different level of physicality coming downhill.
Isaiah Wynn separated himself from the pack as the second best offensive lineman in this class. From a few league sources I’ve talked to he could be an average left tackle, but an all-pro level guard. Sony Michel exploded with production his Senior season, bringing great burst and elusiveness built to thrive in an outside zone attack.
Frank Ragnow lost the rest of his final college season in October due to injury, but he was playing at an elite level from the center position before that. He’s a powerhouse in the run game but also displays an incredibly strong anchor in pass protection. If he slides outside of the top-50, he will be the steal of this draft in the trenches.
2nd round grades: (19-51)
The shock of this group for many is most likely that Sam Darnold fell to 25th overall, one spot behind Lamar Jackson and outside of the 1st round grading group.
The USC signal caller shows plenty of promise with splash throws, especially when the play breaks down. My fear is his consistency with decision making (he threw 13 interceptions this year and fumbled 8 times). He’s not pro-ready like Josh Rosen and Baker Mayfield are. The point: he’s very talented with a lot of upside, but a much bigger risk than people will lead you to believe.
As for Jackson, I love his electric playmaking ability and arm talent. He might need some time, but he lands an early 2nd round grade on my board with huge upside that I think will pay off.
His former teammate Jaire Alexander would’ve been a 1st round graded player if not for durability concerns, he’s a superb talent at corner.
I was initially wrong about this safety class, claiming it was top heavy with only Minkah Fitzpatrick and Derwin James being the highlights. Justin Reid and Ronnie Harrison are incredibility versatile, with above average length and athleticism. Jessie Bates’ range as a single high safety will be coveted and should allow him to thrive in an NFL secondary.
Carlton Davis and M.J. Stewart are physical press corners that can be a nightmare for receivers trying to get off the line. While both are scheme specific, they shouldn’t escape the second round.
The interior offensive line of this class is deep with day one starters. Will Hernandez and Austin Corbett are powerhouse guards, while Billy Price and James Daniels thrived at center.
Arden Key and Josh Sweat had 1st round grade potential, but dropped to a 2nd for different reasons. Key has had an array of struggles off the field and his athleticism is not what many expected. Sweat suffered a significant knee injury in high school that make his medicals a gigantic question mark. With that being said he’s a first round athlete with pretty solid film.
The receivers in this group are very intriguing in an underwhelming class as a whole. Ridley is a great route runner that will flourish in a number two role. Chark will have improved production at the next level with better quarterback play, he’s a vertical threat with desirable size and speed.
D.J. Moore makes the most happen in this wide receiver class with the ball in his hands and Anthony Miller could be an extremely affective slot option in an NFL offense. His attitude and desire on the field reminds me of Jarvis Landry.
At 45th overall sits the polarizing Josh Allen. He has all of the raw talent in the world, but it hasn’t consistently translated on the field. He’s a developmental quarterback prospect with a mid 2nd round grade, not a 1st round worthy selection.
3rd round grades: (52-84)
Mark Walton’s pass catching ability will get him on the field right away next year. Nick Chubb looks fully healthy after a devastating knee injury in college and could factor in a committee as a between the tackles bruiser early on.
I’ve seen first round grades on Dallas Goedert and Mike Gesicki, but they aren’t that caliber of game changing tight end in my opinion. The latter could excel as a red zone weapon though.
Speaking of tight ends, Ryan Izzo is the best blocker at the position in this group. He’s a 3rd rounder that no one is talking about.
Nathan Shepherd is one of this year’s biggest risers, showing a little bit of everything on the defensive line. His power and explosiveness allow him to blow up the run and get after the quarterback.
If I was betting on one late round two, early round three offensive tackle to mold into an solid NFL starter in this class, it would be Martinas Rankin.
Terrell Edmunds is a freakish athlete at the safety position and often plays 100 miles per hour. He’s raw and too aggressive at times, but a coaching staff will love his traits for their secondary.
4th round grades: (85-100)
Early in the Fall I believed Desmond Harrison had second round talent, but he needs to get his weight up and answer to serious character concerns.
I’m much lower on Rashaad Penny and Kolton Miller than most. Penny was underwhelming to watch against contact and not as explosive as expected. Miller has a chance to go in the first round, but he’s a raw tackle that has no business starting as a rookie next year.
Tarvarius Moore was one of my latest film reviews and I’m glad I got him in. His play speed both coming downhill and in coverage stands out.
Both Mason Rudolph and Kyle Lauletta can develop into reliable back up quarterbacks, but I don’t see starter level for either. DaeSean Hamilton is a gifted route runner that always finds his way open. He’d be my bet in this group to outplay his fourth round grade.
Photo Credit: NFL.com