1) Sam Darnold USC
2) Lamar Jackson Louisville
3) Josh Rosen UCLA
4) Josh Allen Wyoming
5) Baker Mayfield Oklahoma
- In my opinion the top two quarterbacks are not even close. Yes, on the field right now Rosen is a better quarterback, but I see Darnold turning into the better pro easily. Darnold is a better leader, more humble, better with the media, bigger in stature, and has no injury concerns about him. Plus, there is a lot of upside to Darnold since he has only been a quarterback a short time since he was a linebacker in high school. Unlike Rosen who was a quarterback throughout his life and often in camps growing up most likely. Darnold also has that "it" factor that I love and can be a game changer for a locker room. If Darnold is not the first pick to the Browns then you will know why they are always the worst team in the league.
I am all in on Lamar Jackson after being totally off of him a year ago after his break out year. Not only does he look more comfortable each game in the pocket, but he also put up better numbers this season than what he put up in his Heisman winning season. People will draw back to RGIII due to his size, but he is a more conscious runner who will live to fight another day unlike Griffin who always took big hits for no reason. If he continues to develop in the pocket and find more touch on his passes he could be next season's Deshaun Watson. If you read above you can tell I am not a huge fan of Josh Rosen. To me he is too much like Ryan Leaf with his aloof attitude and the look of a kid who really does not love the game. He has a similar disposition to Jay Cutler and many worry about his leadership skills. I worry most about his health and size that already caused him to miss many games. Unless, if drops in the perfect scenario I can see him turning into a big bust.
The last two guys are only here since everyone else seems to love them. Josh Allen to me is too much of a project to warrant a high first round pick. Sure he has the size, arm, and mobility teams will want to mold. However, he has terrible accuracy, he gets happy feet in the pocket, and often looks down the rush. That might be from his poor teammates and coaching he got in Wyoming. However, other quarterbacks from smaller schools like Drew Brees at Purdue, Big Ben at Miami (OH), and Jay Cutler at Vanderbilt play very good lifting the program with less than stellar talent around him. Comparisons to Carson Wentz is also ridiculous since even though he played at North Dakota St who people thing is a small program actually has better players than a lot of BCS teams have and he had great coaching. Wentz was much more prepared for the pro game than Allen who needs time to develop or he will turn into a bust if he is thrown to the wolves too quick.
Baker Mayfield meanwhile is getting a lot of love due to his fire and passion. However, you need more than that to be a good pro quarterback and I just do not see it. He is small, has a mediocre arm, and is not as athletic as people are saying. Mayfield's quarterback skills are nowhere as good as Brees nor is he as athletic as Russell Wilson who many want to compare him to. In my opinion, he is closer to Case Keenum if anything and even now that might be too high praise with how good Keenum has played. Someone will draft him in the first round, but I cannot see him turning out to be anything great. Maybe a low end Dak Prescott who many people are now wondering if he can stick in the pros.
1) Saquon Barkley Penn St
2) Sony Michel Georgia
3) Kerryon Johnson Auburn
4) Nick Chubb Georgia
5) Derrius Guice LSU
- Obviously, the number one prospect on many big boards outside of quarterback is Barkley. He is a great all around back who should go in the top-5 picks in the draft. I like him better than Leonard Fournette who is one dimensional while Barkley brings great speed, pass catching ability, and could even play in the return game. Also, I can see him being a better pro than Ezekiel Elliott who has a lot of off field issues he will need to dodge while Barkley is known as a great kid on and off the field. Overall, he is an easy pick for a team who is looking for a consistent 100 yard threat a game. My second favorite back is a bit of a shocker with Sony Michel going ahead of his teammate Nick Chubb. Michel looks a lot like Alvin Kamara in my opinion with his elite speed, elusiveness, and pass catching ability. His size may be in question, but he is the better blocker for Georgia in the backfield even at his size. I could see him being a dynamic player at the next level.
Kerryon Johnson is also a back who many do not think of when they look at this running back class, but I like him a lot more than Chubb or others who are more publicized. Johnson has a better all around game flashing good hands, speed, power, and has a lot of grit playing banged up in the last few games of the year. I think his versatile running style will do great at the next level. Nick Chubb is a highly profiled back who gets a lot of love from the media for his bone jarring hits and ability to run away from defenders at his size. No doubt he will be a good bell cow back in that regard, but his hands and blocking are big drawback for me. He often differed to the better third down back Michel and to me was out shined by his teammate in general. If he came to the NFL maybe 10 years ago Chubb would be a lock first rounder, but I think he is just in the wrong era. Guice is a back who can be forgotten about due to his bad year within a terrible offense. However, last year filling in for Fournette he often looked like the better back. He has more speed, elusiveness, and explosive ability than Fournette in my opinion. However, a lot like Chubb I need to see how good his hands are before I am all in on him.
1) Calvin Ridley Alabama
2) Courtland Sutton SMU
3) Auden Tate Florida St
4) Christian Kirk Texas A&M
5) Simmie Cobbs Jr Indiana
- Let me start out by saying this is an incredibley weak receiver class with no real stand out stud like Julio Jones or even Mike Williams from last year available. However, that said teams always overdraft receiver and reach for them with how passing crazed this league has gotten. The top receiver easily is Calvin Ridley who has good all around talent. He runs with good speed, is able to run crisp routes, and has very reliable hands. In fact, if he had a better quarterback he would have sealed out that championship game early with Jalen Hurts missing him. The issue is he is a tad thin where he probably could get pushed around a bit in the pros. He could still flirt with being a top 10 pick. Close behind him is Courtland Sutton who reminds me a lot of Brandon Marshall. They both have bigger bodies as a receiver and possess the ability to block out defenders. Sutton however, is nowhere near as fast as Marshall was, but he runs with faster than expected long strides. He also runs solid routes and should be a red zone threat right away.
The next group are second round caliber receivers who could sneak into the first round if teams decide that this class is so shallow at receiver that they need to take them while they can. Auden Tate is another tall red zone threat type of receiver with a lot of upside. I personally think he should have returned to school, but with the coaching change I understand why he is going pro. He does possess a special ability to high point the ball and beat out receivers with his length. A big question mark will be his speed for the next level. Next is a guy who I think should be a first rounder, but scouts are soured on in Christian Kirk. He still possesses the explosive ability to make any catch into a home run. His routes need work after being left with a poor quarterback situation for awhile, but I can see him turning into the next OBJ or Antonio Brown at his size and speed. Lastly, I like Simmie Cobbs Jr from Indiana and sort of reminds me of Courtland Sutton just a tad more raw. However, like a lot of these bigger receivers the 40 time is going to be a big key to their success in the draft.
1) Mark Andrews Oklahoma
2) Hayden Hurst South Carolina
3) Troy Fumagalli Wisconsin
4) Dalton Schultz Stanford
5) Dallas Goedert South Dakota St
- This much like the receiver class is a big disappointment. However, they could rise since this receiver class is so poor so some teams may decide drafting a top tight end could be as good if not better than some of the receivers. You can flip a coin between the top 3 tight ends on who you think is the best. They all have similar pass catching skill sets and size. I like Andrews a little bit more since he has more experience out in routes and has a tad more athleticism to him. He reminds me a lot of Hunter Henry where he has solid size to be a mismatch weapon down the seams. Hayden Hurst has maybe a tad more upside than Andrews due to him being a former minor league baseball player so being new to tight end he still has some edges to round out. However, being a former minor leaguer it also makes him a bit older coming into the league at 25. Maybe that is a good thing since he has not had as much wear and tear on him. Most likely that will be a detractor to most scouts and GMs.
I think Fumagalli is the safest tight end to take from this class just because Wisconsin tends to produce nice players for the next level who can get the job done. He is also the more accomplished blocker among the top three guys. I would not be shocked if he was the first tight end taken at all to be honest. Dalton Schultz is another well rounded tight end to come out of Stanford who can block and move around in the formation. He has drawn comparisons to Jason Witten due to his do it all talent. His pass catching needs work after being mostly used as a blocker for Stanford. I can see him being somewhere in the middle of Austin Hooper and Levine Toilolo. Lastly, we got the intriguing small school tight end Dallas Goedert who has a lot of ability to be an off the formation tight end out wide ability. If he has a good Senior Bowl he could be the hot name to rise.
1) Mike McGlinchey Notre Dame
2) Orlando Brown Oklahoma
3) Desmond Harrison West Georgia
4) Connor Williams Texas
5) Isaiah Wynn Georgia
- This offensive tackle class is not that great either, but lets be honest most seasons it's not great. Mike McGlinchey is the best tackle in this class with good technique, footwork, and strength to man either side of the line. Some thing he should move back to the right side however, due to his limited athleticism and raw strength being better used on that side. Orlando Brown is a taller blocker who has good athleticism, and technique to man either side of the line as well. However, instead of a lack of athleticism Brown's issue is how tall he is where it could be difficult for him to battle smaller pass rushers who can get under his pads. I think he should at least be given a shot at left tackle for a lot of teams with bad lines.
The second tier are guys who I think are mostly second round talent, but could sneak into the first round due to need on the line. Desmond Harrison is a small school guy who actually started his career at Texas before getting kicked off campus for a drug charge. So, it's not like he transferred due to his talent eroding. If he can prove he is clean and performs well at the Senior Bowl against higher competition he could sneak into the first round. I like his all around talent, length, and athleticism to go along with his natural fit as a left tackle. He could be a good sleeper pick. Meanwhile, an over hyped guy like Connor Williams is another guy who should end up being a first rounder. If I were drafting I would have him as a third rounder. One he has no base in his lower body and is regularly pushed back. Then there is his health issues and then the fact he has not really proven anything on the field. He does have athletic upside, but he reminds me a lot Erik Flowers who everyone projected to be great due to his athleticism. Lastly, I put Isaiah Wynn here due to his athleticism and excellent technique to possibly stay out at left tackle or right tackle. The issue is his shorter arms that may have teams move him inside.
1) Quenton Nelson Notre Dame
2) Billy Price Ohio St
3) Isaiah Wynn Georgia
4) Will Hernandez UTEP
5) Frank Ragnow Arkansas
- Unlike the tackle class this guard and center class is actually filled with really good talent. Quenton Nelson is by far the best blocker in the draft and is probably going to end up getting drafted in the top 10 by a smart organization. He reminds me a lot of Zach Martin who was a Pro Bowler from day one and Nelson has the ability to do the same. Whoever drafts him is getting a pillar for their offensive line and could change the culture for the whole line. Meanwhile, a less talked about, but equally talented player is Billy Price for the Buckeyes. He is a nasty interior blocker who has a great base to keep him anchored and balanced against bigger defenders. Along with that he has great hand technique and solid athletic ability to pull. He could be a late first rounder and a good one at that.
Again, Isaiah Wynn I think is going to be a solid versatile blocker who can move around on the line and provide valuable depth. Most likely his permanent position will be either guard spots, but he could develop into a solid tackle as well. Will Hernandez is another nasty blocker who has great balance and technique to be a top blocker eventually. He should gain a lot of draft stock traction if he plays well at the Senior Bowl and could sneak into the first round. Much like Billy Price scouts like Hernandez more than they liked Laken Tomlinson and Josh Garnett who both landed int he first round. A player who I like, but will most likely be a third round selection is Frank Ragnow who can be a solid center or guard. He has been an iron man for the Razorbacks playing every game since he first started until this past season where an ankle injury stopped his 26 game start streak. Not only that he did not allow a single sack throughout his career. I would not be shocked if he is one of the best blockers from this class.