10 NFL Draft Prospects who could Rise into the First Round

Austin Vershel

10.) The Obvious Candidates

We know that there are some guys hovering around the 20-40 range that would not surprise us such as the Alabama tackles, several running backs and several late first round talents.

9.) Jessie Bates, S, Wake Forest

Teams that are interested in Jessie Bates will not be available to get him in the latter parts of the second round. He is almost assuredly a lock to be a top 50 selection. If two safteys go in the top 15, like Adams and Hooker last year and Fitzpatrick and James this year, the teams picking in the back end of the first half may still need a safety and be forced to reach for Bates.

8.) Dorance Armstrong, EDGE, Kansas

Pass rush is the second most important aspect of a football team, and Dorance Armstrong fits the modern role of outside linebacker and situational passrusher who can also set the edge. With Arden Key falling on draft boards, look for a team like the Panthers to be interested in Armstrong.

7.) Equanimeous St. Brown, WR, Notre Dame

A size - speed specimen, Brown had the best athletic performance at the combine and looked natural catching the football. With Ridley dropping and Kirk more of a inside reciever, Brown could overtake one of their draft spots.

6.) Josh Sweat, EDGE, Florida State

Sweat had a historic performance at the combine, and will definintly rise because of it. Sweat can play linebacker easily with his speed and also could set the edge on all downs. Sweat is a modern day prospect coaches salivate over.

5.) Lorenzo Carter, EDGE, Georgia

See above, but with way better college production.

4.) Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma

I do not know if this is likely, but I cant see Brian O Neil being drafted over a player with a proven pedigree like Orlando Brown. Look for Brown to shock the world following his shocking combine.

3.) Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State

On the other hand, Gesicki dominated the combine to the tune of the 2nd best RAS of all time for the position behind only Vernon Davis. Gesicki looks to be the real deal and could be a luxury pick for one of the many teams lacking a tight end.

2.) Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State

The world is seeing the James Washington is not good, and Marcell Atemans hype died down before it began. Rudolph was able to elevate his teammates and throws a high velocity ball. Teams at the end of the first round need a quarterback deeply, and Rudolph likely wont be there for their second round picks.

1.) Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville

With 4 of the top 5 quarterbacks basically assured to be top 10 picks, QB needy teams past the 10th pick like the Cardinals, Steelers, Saints, Patriots, etc and onto the early second round picks who missed out on a qb like the Bills and Broncos, all will likely have to reach to get their guy. Otherwise, they would assuredly lose them to one of the lower picks in the second round from teams who missed out on a QB. Lamar Jackson in a union with Steve Wilks in Arizona makes sense to me, as Wilks worked with a kind of similar qb in Carolina. As the state of QB play in the NFL stands, I can imagine a universe where a team drafts Jackson as their QB of the future in the first round.