2018 NFL Draft Positional Rankings: Defense

*All rankings final and based upon at least three watched games as well as combine and pro days.

EDGE

  1. Bradley Chubb, NC State
  2. Harold Landry, Boston College
  3. Marcus Davenport, UTSA
  4. Sam Hubbard, Ohio State
  5. Josh Sweat, Florida State

Interior D-Line

  1. Maurice Hurst, Michigan
  2. Vita Vea, Washington
  3. Da’Ron Payne, Alabama
  4. Taven Bryan, Florida
  5. Harrison Phillips, Stanford

Linebacker

  1. Roquan Smith, Georgia
  2. Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech
  3. Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State
  4. Rashaan Evans, Alabama
  5. Micah Kiser, Virginia

Cornerback

  1. Denzel Ward, Ohio State
  2. Jaire Alexander, Louisville
  3. Josh Jackson, Iowa
  4. Mike Hughes, UCF
  5. Carlton Davis, Auburn

Safety

  1. Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama
  2. Derwin James, Florida State
  3. Ronnie Harrison, Alabama
  4. Jessie Bates II, Wake Forest
  5. Justin Reid, Stanford

2018 NFL Draft Positional Rankings: Offense

*All rankings final and based upon at least three watched games as well as combine and pro days.

Quarterback

  1. Baker Mayfield,Oklahoma
  2. Sam Darnold, USC
  3. Josh Rosen, UCLA
  4. Lamar Jackson, Louisville
  5. Josh Allen

Running Back

  1. Saquon Barkley, Penn State
  2. Derrius Guice, LSU
  3. Ronald Jones II, USC
  4. Nick Chubb, Gerogia
  5. Sony Michel, Georgia

Wide Receiver

  1. DJ Moore, Maryland
  2. Courtland Sutton, SMU
  3. Calvin Ridley, Alabama
  4. Christian Kirk, Texas A&M
  5. Anthony Miller, Memphis

Tight End

  1. Mike Gesicki, Penn State
  2. Dallas Goedert, South Dakota State
  3. Hayden Hurst, South Carolina
  4. Mark Andrews, Oklahoma
  5. Troy Fumagali, Wisconsin

Tackle

  1. Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame
  2. Connor Williams, Texas
  3. Tyrell Crosby, Oregon
  4. Kolton Miller, UCLA
  5. Orlando Brown, Oklahoma

Interior O-Line

  1. Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame
  2. James Daniels, Iowa
  3. Isaiah Wynn, Georgia
  4. Will Hernandez, UTEP
  5. Billy Price, Ohio State

OAB 365 Final 2018 NFL Mock Draft

  1. Cleveland Browns- QB Sam Darnold, USC- Dorsey loves raw talent and Darnold has a ton of it. He can make all the throws and do so from any platform, but will he be able to develop into the franchise QB the Browns have so desperately needed?
  2. New York Giants– DE Bradley Chubb, NC State- Saquon Barkley is an option here but running back is no longer a premium position in the NFL. Passers, those who protect them, and those that get to them are the premier spots on a roster. Chubb is the best at getting to the QB in this draft.
  3. New York Jets– QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma- In my opinion Baker is the best QB in this draft. He can make all the throws, is insanely accurate, and knows how to lead a team.
  4. *TRADE* Buffalo Bills– QB Josh Rosen, UCLA- With Chubb off the board Dorsey trades the fourth pick to Buffalo for picks 12,22, and 53 this year and the Bills number one pick in 2019. The Bills then fill their QB position with the most polished passer in the draft in Rosen.
  5. Denver Broncos– CB Denzel Ward, Ohio State- After dealing Aqib Talib to the Rams this offseason, John Elway grabs a young and talented replacement to keep the Broncos defense strong.
  6. Indianapolis Colts– LB Roquan Smith, Georgia- The Colts need talent all over their roster and with Andrew Luck (hopefully) as the leader of their offense, the grab Smith to be their defensive stud. He is a heat seeking missile.
  7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- RB Saquon Barkley, Penn State- Tampa gets Jameis some help in the backfield with the player many feel is the best in this draft.
  8. Chicago Bears– OG Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame- The Bears got their franchise QB in 2017 and will focus on protecting him with the most can’t miss prospect of 2018 in Nelson. Nelson is a monster who will likely visit the Pro Bowl on a regular basis.
  9. San Francisco 49ers– S Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama- With their franchise QB locked up, the Niners begin this draft by building their defense up. Fitzpatrick is a safety who can cover and blitz and will be a big player in the back end of the San Fran D.
  10. Oakland Raiders– LB Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech- The Raiders are in the market for more talent at LB and Edmunds has a ton of it. He is an instant upgrade for their defense and can make an immediate impact for Gruden and the boys.
  11. Miami Dolphins– S Derwin James, Florida State- James can play at all three levels of a defense. He can cover tight ends, blitz, tackle, and do anything a coordinator asks. He will be a versatile star in South Beach
  12. Cleveland Browns- EDGE Harold Landry, Boston College- After trading down the Browns get their hands on the second best edge rushing prospect in this draft in Landry. The mix of Landry, Emmanuel Ogbah, and last years number one overall pick Myles Garrett should give AFC North QB’s nightmares for years to come.
  13. Washington Redskins- DT Vita Vea, Washington- The Redskins need help on the defensive line and were terrible against the run last year. Vea should be able to come in and help them against some tough running backs in the NFC East.
  14. *TRADE* New England Patriots- OT Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame- The Patriots trade up to get a new book end tackle to help the ageless Tom Brady stay upright and the Packers add a second round pick while dropping to 23.
  15. Arizona Cardinals– QB Josh Allen, Wyoming- With Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon on the roster, there is little hope for the future of the position. Allen is big, athletic, and has a cannon on his arm. He is inaccurate but given the proper amount of time to master an offense, he may be able to hide that.
  16. Baltimore Ravens– QB Lamar Jackson, Louisville- Joe Flacco is a shell of his Super Bowl self and Jackson is an athletic freak who played in a system with a lot of pro style concepts at Louisville. If Baltimore can build the offense around him, he could be a star.
  17. Los Angeles Chargers– DL Da’Ron Payne, Alabama- Payne adds another monster o the Chargers already very talented defensive line and will help stop the run.
  18. Seattle Seahawks- WR DJ Moore, Maryland- Moore is an instant upgrade to the Seahawks WR core. He is big, fast, and strong and in time will make a great duo with Russ Wilson.
  19. Dallas Cowboys– WR Courtland Sutton, WR SMU- The redshirt junior is a deep threat and a redzone specialist who can fill the void of the departed Dez Bryant. He will need to get quicker off the ball and focus on separation but he could be a steal
  20. Detroit Lions- EDGE Marcus Davenport, UTSA- The Lions need to get stronger on the defensive line and grabbing a guy who can come off the edge like Davenport who can start instantly across from Ziggy Ansah.
  21. Cincinnati Bengals– C James Daniels, Iowa- The Bengals need to get stronger on the interior line and drafting a player of Daniels caliber is a great step in the right direction. It may not be a flashy pick but it is the right call here for Cincy.
  22. Cleveland BrownsCB Jaire Alexander, Louisville- Alexander is an instant starter in this draft and gives the Browns the number one CB they’ve been missing since Joe Haden’s healthier days.
  23. Green Bay Packers-CB Josh Jackson, Iowa- The Packers trade back and still upgrade their secondary with one of the best prospects in this draft. Jackson should be able to fill the massive void in the Green Bay secondary from day one.
  24. Carolina Panthers– TE Mike Gesicki, Penn State- Gesicki is a freak. He can split wide or play on the line and give Cam another option in the passing game.
  25. Tennessee Titans– WR Calvin Ridley, Alabama- After Corey Davis and Rishard Matthews the Titans wide outs are sketchy at best. Ridley can step in immediately as a deep threat and make a difference.
  26. Atlanta Falcons– DL Maurice Hurts, Michigan- Hurst is a monster on the defensive line who can get to the QB and will be a welcome addition on the Falcons roster.
  27. New Orleans Saints– TE Dallas Goedert, South Dakota State- Benjamin Watson isn’t getting younger and Goedert is an all around good tight end who is smooth and athletic and has very good hands. He can help instantly and also fill a void for the future.
  28. Pittsburgh Steelers– LB Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State- Vander Esch is big, strong, and athletic and can help fill the Ryan Shazier sized void for the Steelers instantly.
  29. Jacksonville Jaguars– LB Rashaan Evans, Alabama- Paul Posluszny retired this offseason, leaving a void in the vaunted Jags defense. Evans lives in the backfield and is extremely instinctive and should be able to start immediately.
  30. Minnesota Vikings– C Billy Price, Ohio State- Price is talented enough to come in and start at guard and fill an immediate void for the Vikings. He can play all three interior line spots.
  31. New England Patriots– QB Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State- After getting their left tackle earlier in the first round, the Pats grab the heir apparent to Tom Brady with Rudolph. He doesn’t have the strongest arm but is more than accurate enough to step in and learn from the future first ballot hall of famer and become the future of the Patriots for years to come.
  32. Philadelphia Eagles– RB Derrius Guice, LSU- An instinctive wrecking ball of a ball of a back to add to an already talented backfield for the world champs. Guice may be the best RB in this draft when all is said and done.

Round Two

33. Cleveland Browns- OT Connor Williams, Texas

34. New York Giants- RB Ronald Jones II, USC

35. Cleveland Browns- DL Taven Bryan, Florida

 

2018 NFL Draft RB Rankings

*Rankings are based on watching at least three full games on each running back during the last two seasons

1. Saquon Barkley, Penn St. 6’0 233 

Barkley was the biggest winner at the underwear Olympics known as the NFL Scouting Combine. His size, speed, and athleticism are all top-notch. His tape is also top notch in most areas.

While there may be no such thing as a perfect prospect, Barkley looks as close as they come. He is a big, strong, shifty back, with great lateral explosion. As good as he is in the run game, he is just as good out of the backfield in the passing game.

I like Barkley, and I do think he is worthy of a top 10 pick, but he does have some downside that is rarely mentioned. He forces the issue when bottled up and tries to make big plays rather than take what is given to him, causing a lot of negative gains and a lot of his frustration shows during games. He also is more shifty than he is strong in the tackle. He plays like a smaller back. Was that part of his need to dominate at Penn St. in order to give them a great chance every week or is that part of his downfall as an NFL player? We will find out in 2018

Pro Comparison: David Johnson

2. Derrius Guice, LSU 5’10” 212

Guice is a monster when healthy. He struggled with injuries in 2017, but in 2016 he showed an amazing blend of power, speed, balance, and vision. In my opinion, he is every bit as good as Barkley.

As patient a runner in college as you’ll see, Guice has a great ability to let his blocks set up before hitting the hole. At times he does need to be more decisive in hitting hole as he can be a little too patient. He is also very underrated as a pass catcher because he was not asked to do that much at LSU.

Guice does not get all of the recognition that Barkley does but do not be surprised to see him find success sooner in the NFL than his draftmate.

Pro Comparison:  Edgerrin James

3. Ronald Jones II, USC 5’11” 200

Jones is a slasher. He hits holes and goes. He also fights for yards like someone who is bigger and heavier than he is.

He has a narrow frame that could cause him issues at the next level, but he has shown the ability to take a beating and keep on going, as he took on a big load during his career at USC. Jones is a more than capable pass catcher and is also a very willing pass blocker, two things that will help him at the next level.

If Jones can stay healthy and learn to trust his instincts and vision he can be a solid pro for a long time.

Pro Comparison: Kenyan Drake

4. Nick Chubb, Georgia 5’11” 229

Chubb is a solid one-cut runner who stays low and shows great balance. He has a quick feet and very good vision that allows him to get to the edge of the defense and to also hit the hole when working inside.

The biggest downside with Chubb is his lack of top end speed that is due in part to his 2015 knee injury. After struggling in 2016, Chubb showed he was much healthier in 2017 as he ran for more than 1300 yards.

Chubb may end up being a two down back in the NFL, but if 2017 was any indication about where he is headed, he could also be a steal in a deep running back class.

5. Sony Michel, Georgia 5’11” 220 

Michel is a north-south runner. He is what he is. He is a guy who will hit the hole and go, not going to be someone you see dance around in the backfield.

The lightning to Nick Chubb’s thunder in the Georgia backfield is a strong zone runner and has flashes of great burst as many of his touchdowns this past season went for 15 yards or more. Michel also possesses great lower body strength which when mixed with his desire to block, makes him an above average blocker in the backfield.

At times Michel misses the hole if it does not open immediately for him and does not look like the most agile runner on tape.

Pro Comparison: Isaiah Crowell

Others:

6. Rashaad Penny, San Diego State

7. Mark Walton, Miami

8. John Kelly, Tennessee

9. Jordan Wilkins, Mississippi

10. Josh Adams, Notre Dame

2018 NFL Draft QB Rankings

*Rankings are made based on watching three full games on each quarterback from the past two seasons

1. Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma 6’0 215

Mayfield is one of the most decorated quarterbacks in NCAA history. All this coming after being a walk on at Texas Tech who would later transfer to Oklahoma where he became a legend, a Heisman winner, a Davey O’Brien award winner, a Maxwell Award winner, and a Big 12 champion. In case you missed that, Mayfield is a winner.

His lack of size held him back from getting serious college looks, but the size of his heart, will, and leadership were overlooked, and NFL teams cannot afford to make the same mistake college coaches did. Often compared to Johnny Manziel by those who don’t take the time to watch him, Mayfield is a firey competitor who is much more Philip Rivers than Johnny Football.

Adding to his leadership, heart, and will, Mayfield is the most accurate quarterback in this draft. His ball placement, as well as above average arm strength, mixed with his leadership characteristics are what truly sets him apart for me and is the reason he has maintained the number one spot in my QB rankings.

Pro Comparison: Philip Rivers

2. Josh Rosen, UCLA 6’4″ 226

Much like Baker, Rosen is often misunderstood. He has been mentioned as uncoachable due to an issue with Trent Dilfer at the Elite 11 camp and others have questioned his love of the game of football. While not the leader of men that Mayfield is, the off the field questions with Rosen seem strange to me. He is his own man and expects perfection from him self. He is much more Peyton Manning in that aspect than an uncoachable football hater.

Rosen demonstrates great footwork and excellent touch and accuracy with the football. The biggest issue with Rosen is that he does tend to force things at times when the pocket breaks down as he tries to do to much with the football. This causes poor throws and bad decisions. If he can learn to trust those around him, Rosen has all of the skills to be the best quarterback in this draft.

Pro Comparison: Matt Ryan

3. Sam Darnold, USC, 6’4 220

Darnold is possibly the cleanest prospect in this quarterback class. No off the field worries. Outside of his turnovers, he looks great on tape. But for me, he is not yet as polished a passer as Rosen or Mayfield.

Darnold has great size, accuracy, ball placement, and is very athletic. The only downside to Darnold is the rate in which he turns the ball over. He had 13 interceptions and nine fumbles in 2017 and has 20 interceptions in his last 20 college games. Part of the reason for his turnovers may be his elongated delivery which at times may allow defenders to make a break on the ball and cause the interceptions.

In a few years, Darnold may be the best quarterback in this class. His ability to anticipate throws and see guys open is the one thing that he is far better at than anyone else in this class. A season on the bench would do him wonders, but like Rosen and Mayfield I believe he is good enough to take the field immediately.

Pro Comparison: Tony Romo

4. Lamar Jackson, Louisville, 6’3 200

Lamar Jackson is the most elite playmaker in this draft. He ran for more yards than Saquon Barkley and won the Heisman in 2016. He is a home run threat with his arm and his legs.

Jackson throws the ball with ease and elite velocity. However, it does not always go where he wants it to. His accuracy is average at best. The biggest downside with Jackson is that his god given abilities are so good that he some times relies on them rather than staying true to technique, thus allowing the ball to sail and for him to bail on plays rather than take what the defense is giving him.

If a team is willing to build an offense around him and work on his technique, Jackson can be a superstar in the NFL.

Pro Comparison: Michael Vick

5. Josh Allen, Wyoming 6’5″ 235

Wow. Allen’s arm is incredible. He can sling the ball with ease. He is also the prototypical size you want in an NFL quarterback. He also has above average athleticism which allows him to make plays when the pocket breaks down.

Allen is the biggest boom or bust prospect in this draft. He could grow to be an amazing NFL passer or he could fizzle out in a few years. His arm strength is off the charts, he can throw far, he can throw hard, but it does not always go where he needs it to. He has an issue of not resetting his base and relies solely on his rocket arm which causes the ball to sail and fly all around the field. He has never had an accuracy percentage above 56%.

Very few quarterbacks become more accurate once reaching the NFL, Matt Stafford is the last one that comes to mind. While Allen could eventually become like Stafford or Ben Roethlisberger, a team is going to need to be patient with him.

Pro Comparison: DeShone Kizer

Others:

6. Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State

7. Mike White, Western Kentucky

8. Luke Falk, Washington State

9. Kyle Lauletta, Richmond

10. Kurt Benkert, Virgina

Pre Free Agency 2018 NFL Mock Draft

  1. Cleveland Browns- QB Josh Rosen, UCLA
  2. New York Giants-RB Saquon Barkley, Penn State
  3. Indianapolis Colts- DE Bradley Chubb, NC St.
  4. Cleveland Browns- DB Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama
  5. Denver Broncos- QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
  6. New York Jets- QB Sam Darnold, USC
  7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- CB Denzel Ward, Ohio State
  8. Chicago Bears- OG Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame
  9. San Francisco 49ers- LB Roquan Smith, Georgia
  10. Oakland Raiders- LB Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech
  11. Miami Dolphins- S Derwin James, Florida State
  12. Cincinnati Bengals- OT Connor Williams, Texas
  13. Washington Redskins- RB Derrius Guice, LSU
  14. Green Bay Packers- TE Mike Gesicki, Penn State
  15. Arizona Cardinals- QB Josh Allen, Wyoming
  16. Baltimore Ravens- WR Calvin Ridley, Alabama
  17. Los Angeles Chargers- DL Da’Ron Payne, Alabama
  18. Seattle Seahawks- OT Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame
  19. Dallas Cowboys- WR Courtland Sutton, WR SMU
  20. Detroit Lions- EDGE Harold Landry, Boston College
  21. Buffalo Bills- OT Kolton Miller, UCLA
  22. Buffalo Bills-QB Lamar Jackson, Louisville
  23. Los Angeles Rams-EDGE Marcus Davenport, UTSA
  24. Carolina Panthers- S Ronnie Harrison, Alabama
  25. Tennessee Titans- DT Taven Bryan, Florida
  26. Atlanta Falcons- CB Josh Jackson, Iowa
  27. New Orleans Saints- DE Arden Key, LSU
  28. Pittsburgh Steelers- LB Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State
  29. Jacksonville Jaguars- TE Dallas Goedert, South Dakota State
  30. Minnesota Vikings- DL Maurice Hurst, Michigan
  31. New England Patriots- QB Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State
  32. Philadelphia Eagles- EDGE Sam Hubbard, Ohio State

“Sons of bitches” or Not, We All Need to Unite as Americans

When I go to a sporting event, or any other place for that matter, and the national anthem of the United States plays, I place my hand over my heart and face the flag.

It’s just what I’ve always done and what I’ve come to believe is the proper thing to do when the national anthem is played. Now, as a father, I’ve taught my young children to do the same and I hope that in the future they also teach their children to do the same.

My children and I watch sporting events together, both in person and on television. Recently, during many of those games on TV or in person we have seen athletes make the decision to kneel during the playing of our national anthem. Though my kids are young they’ve noticed the players kneeling. My daughter, who is only eight years old, asked me last week, “why is the guy on the TV kneeling during the Star-Spangled Banner? Does that make you mad?”.

My response to her was simple, he’s kneeling because that’s what he feels is right just as we hold our hands over our hearts and face the flag because that is what we feel is right. I continued to tell her that I wasn’t mad, it’s his right as an American to do as he pleases with his freedom of speech and if she ever felt the same way she could also do that. But I hope that she does not have to.

Even though I believe that everyone should stand for the playing of our national anthem, as a tribute to those who gave their lives for this country and allow us to be here demonstrating our freedom of speech, it would be hypocritical of me to tell someone else what to do when they’re only doing what they feel is right.

When Colin Kaepernick first began kneeling for the national anthem, my immediate reaction was that he should stand and respect the flag and those that died protecting it, thus allowing him the opportunity to play a game and make millions of dollars. However, after listening to him and hearing what he wanted to accomplish by protesting silently, I began to understand exactly what he felt. He wasn’t kneeling because of his own injustice or because he was ungrateful for the millions of dollars he has made or the opportunities he has been given, but more so to bring into the light, the darkness that those without such a stage were dealing with.

What started as Colin Kaepernick doing what he felt was right, has turned into a fairly large following of mostly NFL players kneeling during the national anthem to protest social injustices in this country.

Until tonight, I never felt Like it was something I should write about. As I stated earlier in this piece, I don’t necessarily agree with kneeling, but I understand it. However, comments by President Trump about firing the “sons of bitches” who kneel during the national anthem, while at a rally of his in Alabama struck a chord with me and made me think maybe it’s time I use my freedom of speech and let these thoughts pour out of my head.

There is one thing that bothers me immensely more than someone kneeling for the national anthem ever could and that is hypocrisy.

President Trump’s comments tonight should allow him to be a first ballot member in the hypocrisy Hall of Fame. This is a Man who talks about freedom of speech and how great of a country United States is all while trying to silence anyone who disagrees with him.

Enough is enough.

If you truly want to make America great again, then we need to stop dividing this country and once again become the United States of America by acknowledging that everyone has their basic freedoms such as the freedom of speech that are constitution has given us And because of that has a right to do or say what they feel is necessary. Trump has his right to call anyone sons of bitches, just as those who feel social injustices have the right to kneel during the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner.

The biggest difference is that the comments of the leader of the free world come across as angry, spiteful, and hateful. This is a man who called neo-Nazis in Charlottesville “very fine people” before coming out days later stating that there was blame on “both sides” and yet called those who stage peaceful and quiet protests “Sons of bitches” that deserve to be fired.

What bothers me the most about it, is that maybe these men are trying to make America great again, trying to make the flag stand for everything that it should, a united, peaceful country, where those of all colors and cultures are given the freedom to live as they please. Isn’t that the idea that this country was founded on?

Even more confusing, is why these comments are needed by the president as we are country trying to heal from multiple hurricanes that affected Florida, Texas, and Puerto Rico. Millions of people need help, food, shelter, and especially in Puerto Rico face months without electricity.

The more bothersome fact is that these comments are not even the most recent batch of ridiculous blabber coming from President Trump when it comes to something other than politics or fixing this country.

Last week, the White House and Trump came out saying that ESPN host Jemele Hill should be fired for a tweet where she called the President a “white supremacist”. While I do not necessarily agree with that statement, when you hold a rally, in Alabama, and get a rise out of calling out black men as “sons of bitches”, the needle starts to sway a little more towards Hill being closer to right than wrong.

jemele

Stop focusing on getting a rise out of people at your rallies and begin to focus on fixing the things that truly matter. The actions of this administration are getting harder and harder to understand or defend.

Whether we are white or black, Asian or Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, or whatever race or nationality we are, the divisiveness needs to stop and we need to realize that there are good and bad people of every race and culture.

Can that happen while Trump is in office? For the sake of my children, I hope so, but I am beginning to lose faith in that.

If this country truly wants to be great again we need to come together not as a race or a culture but as a country and as Americans. Just because you don’t believe in something and you may find it wrong, doesn’t mean that it is wrong. We can have a difference of opinion’s, but if we are going to truly believe that we have the freedom of speech to do or say what we please then we need to stop being hypocrites and allow everyone else those same thoughts and ideals.

This Sunday, when the NFL is set to play its slate of games, here is to hope that ALL players stand or kneel united as one group of “sons of bitches” and as Americans.

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