2018 NFL Draft Big Board: Top 100 Prospects
A lot of my family and friends have asked me recently, “Mike, this is your slow season, right?” All I can do is laugh and explain that there is no offseason in the NFL. Once the regular season ended, it was time to grind out some college tape in order to prepare for the NFL Draft. Not just that, but we have the NFL Combine at the start of March, NFL free agency mid-March, and then the actual NFL Draft at the end of April. So, in short, no, this is not the slow season.
After watching countless hours of college game-tape, I’ve assembled my top 100 prospects who are set to enter the NFL Draft. Keep in mind that this is not the order I’m expecting to go in the draft, but rather what I think of them from a talent standpoint. As mentioned above, the NFL Combine will take place soon, where we’ll be able to see some of these players right next to each other, comparing our notes with what we see with our eyes. This list will undoubtedly change as we gather more information, which is why you’ll get a new list every two weeks. But this list should give you a good idea as to who these players are, and which names you should expect to hear in the first few rounds.
- Bradley Chubb (DE – NC State)
Chubb is primarily listed as an outside linebacker, but he played with his hand in the dirt quite often. He’s might have the best instincts of anyone in this draft class and moves extremely well for a guy who is 270-plus pounds. He plays with fluidity that is hard to find, and excels against the run. He’s one of the shorter edge rushers in the draft, which is really the only knock on him.
- Saquon Barkley (RB – Penn State)
When you talk about complete running backs in the NFL like Le’Veon Bell, David Johnson, and Ezekiel Elliott, Barkley is the next guy to join that list. He’s a patient runner who has excellent lateral ability and is expected to run a high 4.3-second 40-yard dash. He’s shown that he can handle a large workload on the ground, but is also ready to contribute to the passing game right away, as a true three-down back. He will take big losses at time due to his patience, but you’ll live with it when he breaks off one of his signature 50-plus yard runs.
- Minkah Fitzpatrick (S – Alabama)
Most consider Fitzpatrick a “can’t-miss” prospect who can play both cornerback and safety, though safety is where he projects in the NFL. He’s got great size (6-2, 216 pounds) and knows the player he is/isn’t. You won’t see him lay out a defender like Jamal Adams, but he’s much better in his play-recognition. He knows how to stay in his zone/lane, even when the offense tries to disguise something else, which takes great discipline. He has the athleticism/size to play anywhere on the field, but I wouldn’t compare him to Jalen Ramsey, as some have done.
- Mike McGlinchey (OT – Notre Dame)
He’s a mammoth of a man, standing at 6-7, 310 pounds, and yet you’ll almost never see him off balance. He’s extremely strong and isn’t just a good pass-blocker, but will sometimes take on multiple defenders while run-blocking. Notre Dame almost never gave him guard help while blocking, a sign of the confidence they had in him to win one-on-one situations. At one of the most important positions on the field, McGlinchey has all the makings of a dominant tackle in the NFL.
- Baker Mayfield (QB – Oklahoma)
If you’ve heard the Mayfield to Johnny Manziel comparison, wipe it out of your head right now. It’s one of the laziest comparisons I’ve heard about a player in quite some time. Mayfield is short, yeah, but that doesn’t stop players like Russell Wilson and Drew Brees from succeeding. If that’s your reason, you need to re-evaluate your process. In fact, I’d say Mayfield’s closest comp is Wilson, and that’s high praise. Both possess excellent escapability and can take off running, but make no mistake about it, they want to throw the ball. Mayfield’s accuracy is second to none and has the arm strength to throw the ball while his feet aren’t set, if needed. He’s a gamer and one you want on your side.
- Josh Rosen (QB – UCLA)
While some will have concerns about Mayfield’s height, Rosen is arguably the “safest” pick at the quarterback position. He’s got everything you look for in a franchise quarterback – height, weight, arm is strong enough, and has great awareness. The knock on Rosen has always been his attitude, as there have been an awful lot of reports about his inability to get along with coaches. If there’s a team who is looking for the safe, lower-upside option at quarterback, Rosen has the looks of what should be a franchise quarterback. My comparison for him would be Matt Ryan.
- Calvin Ridley (WR – Alabama)
If you’re a fan of route-running technicians, you’re going to love Ridley. He’s one of the older wide receivers in this draft (23), but that shouldn’t deter a team with selecting him with a high first-round selection. He can play all over the formation, run every route, and has the intelligence to know when to sit down in a route when a defense is playing zone. The lone issue with Ridley is that he’s very thin (6-1, 188 pounds), which could give him issues with bigger cornerbacks who play a lot of press coverage, though his footwork should help compensate. He plays a lot like Antonio Brown. Don’t let the fact that he played in a run-heavy offense fool you.
- Vita Vea (DT – Washington)
The first time you watch Vea play, it’s a treat. He’s a massive 6-4, 330-plus pounder who consistently fights through double teams on the offensive line, who I’d compare to a slightly bigger version of Haloti Ngata. He’s got solid burst for his size, better than some who weigh 20 pounds less than him. He’s also got a high-motor and doesn’t give up on plays until the whistle blows. He’s going to be a handful for both centers and guards on the next level.
- Da’Ron Payne (DT – Alabama)
One of my favorite players in the draft, Payne is going to be a difference maker in the NFL. He’s an incredibly tough man to move at 320 pounds, but also moves very well for a big man. He’s extremely fluid in his movements and keeps his head up, allowing him to make plays and get his hands up when he cannot break through a double-team. He’s the type of player that made everyone on the Alabama defense look better. He’s a major disruption in the middle of the trenches.
- Quenton Nelson (OG – Notre Dame)
It seems to be a trend where Nelson is moving up draft boards, with some placing him as high as No. 1 overall. While I believe he’s talented, my stance is that his teammate Mike McGlinchey is the superior prospect. While it’s possible that both benefitted from each other, Nelson is a rock-solid pick in his own right. He’s strong and isn’t afraid to pancake a defensive lineman. If anything, Nelson is too aggressive at times, as he doesn’t like to sit still. He moves extremely well for a guy who is 325 pounds, which should only help in the run-game.
- Maurice Hurst (DT – Michigan)
Hurst has a very good motor for a defensive tackle, though he’s undersized compared to others atop the draft class. He’s not overly pushy, but make no mistake, he’s a force to be reckoned with, as you can tell offensive lineman have their hands full with him. He’s another one who will get his hands up quite often, as he keeps his head on a swivel. He’s also tough to move against the run, holding his ground, which is what you want out of your interior lineman, to stop the offensive line from getting that push.
- Marcus Davenport (DE – UTSA)
When taking notes on all of the draft prospects while watching film, there was one note that stuck in my head like a song that will remain in your head all day. It was “he might just kill a quarterback.” That was one of my notes on Davenport, who is a ridiculous 6-foot-5 and 259 pounds of pure angst. He plays with the aggression/violence you want on your team, and not on the opposing one. He’s got an excellent combination of size/strength/speed. The competition (or lack thereof) he faced while at the University of Texas San Antonio is the biggest question mark, but his initial punch should translate to the NFL just fine, just as it did at the Senior Bowl. This guy is a monster, in a good way.
- Roquan Smith (ILB – Georgia)
He’s a bit undersized, but he makes up for that with his play. He’s an extremely strong tackler, and has the speed to cover tight ends, as well as slot receivers. You’ll almost never see him miss in a one-on-one situation, which is what you want out of your interior linebackers. He’s also got very good instincts when dropping back into coverage, and never gives up on a play. He’s one of the better all-around defensive players in the draft.
- Sam Darnold (QB – USC)
He’s got just two years of college playing experience, which will likely make his transition to the NFL a bit tougher, but he’s shown traits of what can turn into an above-average NFL starter. His pocket awareness is off the charts, helping him evade pressure and he’s got just enough athleticism to present a threat while on the run. He’ll try to do too much at times, which can get him in trouble, throwing into tight coverage even when he should just tuck the ball and take a sack. Noticed some inconsistencies throughout his game logs, but that’s likely to do with his limited experience. There’s a bit more risk with him than Mayfield and Rosen, but the potential keeps him inside the top-15.
- Connor Williams (OT – Texas)
If Williams was slightly bigger, he’d be at the top of this board. His 6-foot-5, 290-pound stature is going to be considered small at the NFL level, but Williams is talented, without a doubt. He is relentless when he knocks someone down, as he’s not afraid to keep them down on the ground. He keeps his hands inside the defender extremely well, and could see him playing the guard position if a team so chooses. He doesn’t get beat by speed very much at all, though he can be bull-rushed at times due to his size. He stays with his blocks and doesn’t let up until the play is over.
- Holton Hill (CB – Texas)
Let’s be clear about this one – he’s not going this high in the draft. He was suspended during the 2017 season for violating a team policy, though it was never released what it was. But from a clear talent standpoint, Hill has the tools of what looks to be a standout cornerback in the NFL. He’s got tremendous size (6-3, 200), makes a great initial break on the ball, and is a very solid tackler. From the film I’ve seen, Hill helps out more in the run game than potentially any other prospect at his position. After shutting down some big-name wide receivers, most teams simply started avoiding Hill in coverage. He’s also an exceptional athlete who can return punts/kicks, which is just an added bonus. Had he not been suspended, Hill would be in the first-round conversation.
- Denzel Ward (CB – Ohio State)
He’s a player you can fall in love with on tape. Ward is smaller than you’d like (5-10, 191), but everything he does in coverage makes you forget about that. He’s very quick and twitchy with phenomenal footwork, which allows him to play on both the perimeter and the slot. He flips his hips with ease and moves stride-for-stride seemingly effortless with most wide receivers. He’s not a great tackler, which comes from his lack of size, and forces him to wrap-up and just hang on for dear-life. As you’d expect, he offers very little in the run-game.
- Frank Ragnow (C – Arkansas)
In what is likely one of the toughest positions to project in the pros, Ragnow is my top prospect at the center position for right now. When watching him, I see a player who gets his arms extended right away in pass-blocking and has excellent size (6-5, 319) to handle the brunt of the defensive line. He’s the type of guy to block multiple players while leading the charge in the run-game, and should contribute to an offensive line right away.
- James Washington (WR – Oklahoma State)
The first thing you’ll notice about Washington is that he’s built like a running back. He’s got deceptive speed, especially downfield, as he can seemingly gain separation with ease despite his bigger frame. He’s very strong and won’t be bullied off the line of scrimmage, which also comes in handy when he’s asked to run-block. The way he adjusts to the ball in the air is special, and his great hands allow him to consistently make catches in traffic. The only issue is that you’d like to see more burst off the line of scrimmage, but overall, he’s got the makings of a starting NFL wide receiver.
- Josh Jackson (CB – Iowa)
Some view Jackson as the top corner in this draft after he led the nation with eight interceptions in 2017, though I’m hesitant to say that I’m completely sold. He doesn’t seem to ‘own’ opposing wide receivers like top-tier cornerbacks do, as he lacks the initial burst that some wide receivers have off the line of scrimmage, and he can get spun around at times. What he lacks there, though, can be made up for his amazing ball-tracking skills. He’s got what looks to be extremely long arms, helping him high-point the ball in coverage. He keeps his eyes on the quarterback a bit too much, because even though it’ll lead to interceptions at times, it’ll also lead to him getting beat by double moves.
- Rashaan Evans (OLB – Alabama)
Playing for Alabama has its benefits, as some players may look slightly better than they are. Evans has the looks of a solid player, but one who can get overaggressive against the run, taking the easy route that the defense gives him, rather than wait for the play to develop in front of him. He’s got solid speed breaking on the ball and always gives you max effort. He’s also got experience on the edge, which should allow teams to use him in a variety of ways. The issue with him is that I don’t see anything elite about his game, but rather a solid player who does what you ask of him.
- Josh Sweat (DE – Florida State)
Sweat was a fun player to watch film on, as he’s got the aggression you want on your defensive line. He has very long arms and legs, which he uses to leverage defenders and get the push you want. The only issue with him is consistency, as he appears to take plays off from time-to-time. The talent is clearly there, he just needs someone to coach him up on a consistent basis. He’s a straight-up athlete who comes with a massive ceiling. He did dislocate his knee in high school, which is an ongoing concern.
- Mark Andrews (TE – Oklahoma)
Instead of giving you my take on Andrews, which is solid, I’ll give you a quote from his coordinator Mike Stoops, who recruited and coached Rob Gronkowski when he was the head coach at Arizona. “Gronk is probably an inch taller. Maybe a little more length… But their ability to run routes and get open are what’s unique about those guys.” Standing at 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds, Andrews is going to be a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses.
- Will Hernandez (OG – UTEP)
Hernandez is built like a fullback, and even wears the big neck pad that most do, though you won’t confuse him as one. He’s huge, coming in at 6-3 and 340 pounds, you should have no concern about his size coming into the league. He’s consistently getting under opposing players’ skin, as he continues his blocks and holds them until the whistle blows, and sometimes after. He’s got extremely strong hands and holds his ground well, though it’d be nice to see him get a bit more aggressive in his blocking, as he relied on holds more than strength a majority of time. He’s got the size to use his strength.
- Harold Landry (OLB – Boston College)
Landry is a versatile player who can play as a defensive end, as well as an outside linebacker. His size is more of a linebacker, though, so look for him to land in a 3-4 defense. His play-recongnition isn’t on the level as Bradley Chubb (who is listed near the top of this list), but he does offer speed on the edge to get around the tackles. The issue with him is that he may be caught in between a linebacker and an edge rusher, which would likely make him a pass-down specialist.
- Derrius Guice (RB – LSU)
Following in Leonard Fournette‘s shadow is never an easy task, but Guice built a name for himself even while Fournette was with him at LSU. He’s not an easy tackle at 5-11 and 212 pounds, and will usually make the first defender miss in the open field. For a bigger back, he doesn’t just lower his head and dive into the pile, but rather looks for a way to break a long run, whether that be inside or outside the tackles. He uses his body extremely well, knowing when to use the power, as well as knowing when to stay upright. He did have some knee issues in 2017 that they say limited his production, though he had just one game with less than 71 rushing yards. He’s not quite the three-down back that Barkley is, but he’s going to be carrying a big workload for someone.
- Ronald Jones (RB – USC)
Probably my favorite running back to watch on film, Jones is electric and gives you that Jamaal Charles/Alvin Kamara vibe. He’s extremely bouncy and has the quick twitch that can excite you. He’s not going to move a pile with his size, but his jump cuts will break ankles. He likely benefitted from the offense he was in with Sam Darnold, but scoring 31 rushing scores in the final two seasons is quite the accomplishment. Similar to Kamara, he isn’t going to be arm-tackled very often, as he keeps his legs moving. He’s likely best suited for a timeshare, but if he lands in the right offense, look out. The talent is clearly there.
- Michael Gallup (WR – Colorado State)
He’s someone you’re going to see move up a lot of draft boards very soon. Gallup comes with solid size (6-1, 202), has excellent burst off the line of scrimmage, and can get separation at every level. If he had a better quarterback, his numbers would’ve been even more ridiculous over the last two seasons. He started at a community college due to poor SAT scores, but made it to Colorado State for his junior and senior seasons. His game speed is very impressive and I’m curious to see just how much he moves up draft boards after the Combine.
- Sony Michel (RB – Georgia)
Some will have Michel’s teammate Nick Chubb in this spot, but Michel is the true three-down capable back. His first step is killer, and he gets up to speed rather quickly. He’s solid in all phases, including pass-protection. He can be a bit jumpy at times, but he does demonstrate patience with that. He moves laterally extremely well, jump cutting, shifting, and is a natural hands-catcher out of the backfield. We haven’t seen him carry a full workload very often, but he’s never given a reason to doubt he can handle it. Scored a touchdown every 9.9 carries in 2017. He reminds me of LeSean McCoy, though not quite at that level, he’s that type of player.
- Courtland Sutton (WR – Southern Methodist)
I can see the appeal, I really can. He’s 6-4, 218 pounds, has really long arms/legs and looks like a prototypical No. 1 wide receiver. With that being said, Sutton doesn’t have great hands and lacks what I’d consider to be elite route-running skills. Instead, he relies on high-pointing the ball, which he does well, but if his hands aren’t natural, how often does he come down with those balls? He’s not a very willing blocker and seems to get agitated on the field rather easily, something NFL cornerbacks will take advantage of. He was a bit up-and-down in his production, which matches what I saw on the field – inconsistency. There’s upside here, but there’s also plenty of risk.
- Tim Settle (DT – Virginia Tech)
Really enjoy watching Settle, who left school after his sophomore year at Virginia Tech. I’ll say this: 330-pound men are not supposed to be able to move the way he does. He comes with both strength and burst, leaving those who get in his way feeling pain afterwards. When he tackles, you often know it’s him. Due to his burst off the line, he’ll be blowing up some run-plays in the backfield. Despite being very young and inexperienced, Settle might be a steal in a draft that’s very top-heavy with defensive tackles.
- Jaire Alexander (CB – Louisville)
For those of you who follow baseball, Alexander reminds me of A.J. Pierzynski. You are going to hate him if he’s on the opposing team, but you’ll like him if he’s on yours. He plays with an absurd amount of swagger, and though his play doesn’t quite match that level, it’s important for a cornerback to have confidence. Alexander isn’t afraid to jump up to the line of scrimmage acting to press, only to back off in coverage. The issue is that he can get beat deep, and lacks what I’d call makeup speed. He’s solid in most areas, reminds me of a lesser version of Brent Grimes due to his smaller frame (5-11, 188).
- Tremaine Edmunds (OLB – Virginia Tech)
Edmunds is a tough prospect to crack, because he most definitely looks the part and has the burst you love to see out of a guy who is 6-5 and 250 pounds. He has very good length in his arms, is a solid tackler, but appears to be extremely raw when in coverage. It seems he’s not sure of his movements at times, almost hesitates. Rather than pay attention to everything that’s going on around him, he’ll keep his eyes on the quarterback. While that will pay off at times, it’ll hurt him more often than not. But he’s a prospect who is oozing with upside.
- Dallas Goedert (TE – South Dakota State)
There are a lot of people out there who are looking for the next Gronk, but let me remind you that he’s the best of all-time. Some are already dubbing Goedert as “Baby Gronk,” though we’ve heard that one a few times now. Goedert has good size at 6-4 and 250 pounds, but make no mistake about it – he’s not the next Gronk. He actually resembles Gronk when the ball is in his hands, as he almost never gets tackled very cleanly and looks incredibly hard to tackle, but he’s nothing like Gronk before or during the catch. His hands are inconsistent and he looks a bit sluggish off the line. His blocking is solid, though he was lined up out wide more often than he wasn’t. There is clearly a ceiling here with Goedert, but I don’t think he’s a “can’t miss” prospect or anything.
- Arden Key (DE – LSU)
He’s a player I expected more out of when watching, as his length and speed are extraordinary. When you’re 6-foot-6, you shouldn’t be able to move as fast as he does, but he looks a bit awkward because of it. He’s not the most fluid in his movements, almost as if it doesn’t come as natural as you’d like. He isn’t going to beat tackles with anything other than speed, which isn’t ideal for a one-position player, though he may be able to play in a 3-4 defense. He is an excellent tackler and someone who plays until the whistle, but there are warning signs here. He also left his team in 2017 for personal reasons, which is another issue to tackle.
- Christian Kirk (WR – Texas A&M)
With how often NFL offenses are going three-wide nowadays, Kirk is going to make some team very happy with their selection. He’s a possession-style slot receiver who isn’t particularly fast, but is very stable throughout his movements. He isn’t a tackle-breaking machine like Golden Tate, but resembles him in a uniform. He’s got solid hands that will attract a pass-heavy team who lack a presence over the middle of the field. My comparison for him would be Randall Cobb.
- Mason Rudolph QB – Oklahoma State)
You might see Rudolph down here and think I don’t like him, but that’s not really the case. He’s just extremely raw at this point in his development and he was working with two of the better receivers in college football. His accuracy can be a bit hit-or-miss, and he’s not going to fit a ball into the tightest of windows. It may sound weird, but he doesn’t throw the prettiest ball, spiral-wise. He’s the type of quarterback who’ll throw the ball up to a wide receiver if he’s one-on-one, and that wasn’t a bad thing with James Washington and Marcell Ateman at his disposal, but he’ll need to be more careful. He gets tons of zip on the ball when he steps into his throws, but again, it’s something he doesn’t do often enough, as he seems to be leaning back a lot of the time. He can also hold the ball for too long, something that they’ll need to work on at the next level. I’d be shocked if he was taken in the first round, given his inability to start right away.
- Derwin James (S – Florida State)
James is an interesting prospect, because he is a large safety, and one who’ll be able to come down to the box and stuff the run. He’s clearly a strong safety with a strong approach, who takes the optimal angle the majority of the time. He’s somewhat of a liability in coverage and isn’t as fast/athletic as Minkah Fitzpatrick. Knowing that he plays his angles well, his blitzing is also top-notch. Knowing that his ability to stay back and cover is lacking, it’s no guarantee he’ll be a full-time player immediately.
- Billy Price (C – Ohio State)
Price is an above-average prospect heading into the NFL, but he doesn’t come without flaws. He does this weird thing where he’ll look behind him while run-blocking to see where his running back is. This can be fixed, but is something I noted while watching his film. He moves like he wants to be a bully, but he lacks some of the strength I saw with other centers. Overall, though, he should be a contributor almost immediately. He’s really quick for a big man and can likely play both guard and center in the NFL.
- Justin Reid (S – Stanford)
The younger brother of 49ers safety Eric Reid, Justin is built extremely well and is clearly an athlete. He’s a rock-solid tackler, but he’s also able to go up and snag the ball out of mid-air. While watching his tape, he makes splash plays in what seems like every game. He should be able to play both free and strong safety, though he may not have the makeup speed to play cornerback. He has the looks of an all-around solid safety.
- Kolton Miller (OT – UCLA)
A sturdy presence at left tackle for UCLA, Miller is able to keep the play in front of him the majority of time. He doesn’t have the strength that McGlinchey does, but he’s still able to get solid push in the run-game. He can get a bit discombobulated when there are multiple defenders coming his way, not knowing which one to lock onto, though coaching should help that. He’s not an elite prospect at tackle, but he looks like a solid one. He’s a bit thin, which helps him against speedy edge rushers, but it may hurt him against the bigger ones.
- Mike Hughes (CB – UCF)
He opens his hips rather early in coverage, but has solid, fluid movement. He dives at players rather than wrap up and tackle them, needs work in that area, but has excellent play-recognition. Quick movements. He pays attention to the wide receiver, but does a good job of keeping his eyes on where the ball is as well. He can play both zone and man coverage, though he’s best suited for man coverage. He’s not the tallest guy at 5-11, but he doesn’t play like a small cornerback.
- Derrick Nnadi (DT – Florida State)
Nnandi is a plugger, heavy. He’s a hassle to move, but doesn’t display as much strength in his push as you’d like. He’s got tree-trunk thighs, which is likely why he’s able to hold his ground against offensive lineman. You’re better off diving at his legs to block him, rather than trying to shove him back. For a big guy, his play-recognition is solid, and that’s because he keeps his eyes ahead of him, rather than ducking down like some do. Don’t think he’s an elite player, though.
- Royce Freeman (RB – Oregon)
A no nonsense runner who gets downhill in a hurry. He keeps his head up and has really good vision for a bigger back (5-11, 230). He’s not particularly elusive and doesn’t have much laterally, but he really knows how to follow his blocks. While some running backs try to do too much, Freeman doesn’t have that issue. He also doesn’t lose much speed on his cuts, which is important considering his lack of lateral movement. He struggles a bit in pass-protection and doesn’t offer too much in the passing game, meaning he likely won’t start right away. But if he lands on the right team, he’ll have an impact in fantasy leagues as one of the more consistent runners in this draft.
- Lamar Jackson (QB – Louisville)
One of the more controversial players in the draft, Jackson is a straight-up athlete. He moves like Michael Vick did back in the day, but Jackson just doesn’t have the presence of a quarterback in the traditional sense. He stands flat-footed in the pocket, but when he finds his target, he has a lightning-fast release, though his accuracy is consistently mediocre, and below average. Don’t get me wrong, he can be a weapon in the right offense, but you’re going to have to tailor the offense to his strengths, something most coordinators don’t like to do (though the good ones do). Don’t be surprised if he’s experimented with in the NFL.
- Jordan Whitehead (S – Pittsburgh)
A solid player with really good instincts, tackling form, and closing speed, but there’s a catch. He’s extremely small for a starting safety in the NFL, measuring in at 5-10 or 5-11 (depending on where you look) and just 190 pounds. While watching him on the field, he has the looks of a smaller slot receiver. No matter how good his instincts are, it’d be extremely difficult for him to cover tight ends, or get any push against the run. He was also suspended for the start of the 2017 season for violating a team policy, adding another wrinkle. He can likely add value as a punt/kickoff return man on special teams.
- Tyrell Crosby (OT – Oregon)
Crosby is somewhat of a project, because he isn’t quite polished yet, but has a lot of good tools. He has a solid initial push, but doesn’t hold his block long enough. Defenders are able to slide off his blocks because of this, so he needs work on squaring his body up with the defender. He is a very big and strong man, so he can provide a solid push in the run-game. He moves very well for a guy who’s 6-5 and 310 pounds. Definitely a better run-blocker, though he’s not awful against the pass. Curious to see who takes a shot on developing him and refining his game.
- James Daniels (C – Iowa)
Daniels is someone who you’d definitely like to see add weight, as most centers come in around 310-320 pounds, but he’s 295, and it shows. He’s very athletic, though, which allows him to get where he needs to go, especially when run-blocking. He does get some push despite his smaller frame, but everything goes up a notch in the NFL. Gets his arms out in pass-blocking rather quickly, just worried about the push of the bigger interior lineman. The skills and traits are there, but can he get bigger?
- Lorenzo Carter (OLB/DE – Georgia)
He’s one of the prospects who I see moving up the board as the draft nears. He’s built like a defensive end at 6-6 and 242 pounds, and that may be how he’s perceived on the pro level, as he didn’t drop back into coverage all that often. He’s an athlete who’s extremely fluid in his movements and has solid play-recognition. While watching his film, he was seemingly always in the backfield, even if it wasn’t him making the play. He’s a solid tackler and never gives up on a play. It’s difficult to find reasons not to like him.
- Braden Smith (OG – Auburn)
A versatile player who played both tackle and guard for Auburn, Smith uses leverage very well in his blocking. He kind of has to, considering he’s undersized at just 300 pounds. I know what you’re thinking… Undersized? At 300 pounds? Well, he’s 6-5 and should likely be in the 320-340 territory. He’s not as strong as Quenton Nelson, but he knows how to shift weight. He’s got a lot of fight in him, which is what you want on the offensive line. There were times where he was pushed back in pass-blocking, but not horribly. Add some weight and he moves up the board.
- Hayden Hurst (TE – South Carolina)
I was shocked to learn that Hurst is 6-5 and 250 pounds, because he looks much smaller on tape. Maybe it’s because of they way they used him, which was out of the backfield on handoffs at certain times, and he didn’t look bad while doing it. He’s a top-notch athlete who appears to be extremely fast for a tight end. He lined up in the slot a lot more than in-line, utilizing his strengths in the passing game. He was also a minor league pitcher for the Pirates, highlighting the whole ‘athlete’ thing. I’d love to see a creative coordinator get ahold of this versatile player.
- D.J. Moore (WR – Maryland)
It’s easy to see why some like Moore, as he’s a natural hands catcher, really good in the open field, and he’s not the easiest guy to bring down at 5-11 and 215 pounds. He’s had some lackluster quarterback play, but he’s also played some lackluster competition. He played a majority of his snaps on the perimeter, though I’d love to see him play a bit more slot in the NFL, as he’s not afraid to go over the middle and is sure-handed. There’s some inconsistencies to his game, as he runs some routes harder than others, and some aren’t as sharp as you’d like. Overall, though, a solid player.
- Isaiah Wynn (OG – Georgia)
Moved really well for a left tackle, but it’s because he was so undersized at just 6-2 and 282 pounds. The move to guard will likely benefit him greatly. When he gets his hands on a rusher, it’s tough for them to break off his block. Didn’t plow over defenders in the ground game, but seems to have enough aggression to do it. Moving to guard, they’ll likely ask him to gain weight, which will help create holes in the run game, though you don’t want to take away from his strengths (athleticism). Seeing he’ll play a new position, there’s always risk, but going to an “easier” position presents less risk.
- Anthony Miller (WR – Memphis)
There may be a team who moves Miller up their board because he’s what they need, and that is a good-sized slot receiver. He played both in the slot and on the perimeter for Memphis, but it’s hard to see him playing perimeter in the NFL. He’s a little undersized at 5-11 and 190 pounds, but he just doesn’t appear to have the strength, speed, or twitch needed to get open against the league’s better cornerbacks. His hands are questionable at times, but soon after dropping one, he’ll make a ridiculous one-handed catch that most couldn’t make. He posted gaudy numbers in a pass-heavy offense, racking up at least 95 receptions and 1,400 yards in each of his last two seasons, including 32 touchdowns.
- Mike Gesicki (TE – Penn State)
Gesicki is a tight end that will catch your attention with his solid size and massive catch radius. He was asked to block a lot at Penn State, though he’s not the greatest at it, and can get shoved back by linebackers. He’s not as fluid as Oklahoma’s Mark Andrews, but he has a subtleness to his routes that allow him to get wide open at times, only for his quarterback to miss him at times. He’s someone who may take some time to develop (most tight ends do), but his ceiling is extremely high. He’s a player I can’t wait to watch at the Combine alongside the other tight ends.
- John Kelly (RB – Tennessee)
One of the running backs who seems to have the biggest divide on the fantasy community, as some have said he’s similar to Alvin Kamara, while others have gone with a Duke Johnson comparison. For me, it’s Johnson, and outside of the fact that they both played for Tennessee, I don’t see the Kamara comparison. Kelly is just 5-9, but is carrying around 205 pounds, which is why he doesn’t have that sudden burst that most smaller running backs do, but he also breaks tackles a lot more than they do. He’s a phenomenal receiver who uses a slight jump when the ball is en route, similar to the way Christian McCaffrey does, which gives him full clarity while bringing the ball in. He’s likely best suited as a timeshare running back who can also mix-in on first and second down.
- Dorian O’Daniel (OLB – Clemson)
Plays with great anticipation, especially while blitzing the quarterback. Would line up in coverage to take on tight ends and running backs, but always keeps his eyes on the play in front of him. A solid tackler. Isn’t going to generate pressure on a blitz if he’s accounted for, too small for that. He’s got solid enough speed where there aren’t any concerns there. His smaller frame is the only concern here, as he’s just 6-1 and 225 pounds.
- Sam Hubbard (DE/OLB – Ohio State)
A hustler who will play until the whistle blows. He goes inside a lot more than most edge rushers do, whether it be by design or play-recognition. Because of that, he can get lost in the shuffle, not knowing who has the ball. Will often take the longest route to the ball carrier, simply because it’s the easiest route to him, which isn’t a good thing. He did this multiple times on the goal-line while reviewing his film.
- Auden Tate (WR – Florida State)
Tate is a wide receiver who I noticed has extremely good body control. He lacks initial burst off the line, though, and will need to make contested catches more often than not because of this. He’s got good subtle movements as the ball is coming at him, not putting the defender on alert that a pass is coming his way and using his body to shield the defender. If not for his separation struggles, he’d be higher on my list. He’s big enough (6-5, 225) to be a solid blocker in the run game as well. He’s someone I expect to move up this list with a solid Combine outing.
- Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (DE/OLB – Oklahoma)
He played a lot as a defensive end, though he’s built like he’s a big running back at 6-1 and 245 pounds. He’s majorly oversized and won’t be able to stand up to left tackles in the NFL, which is why he’s best suited to play as an OLB in a 3-4 defense in the NFL. The fact that he has experience on edge isn’t a bad thing, and he can be a moveable chess piece for a team. He isn’t one to take the easiest route to the ball carrier, but rather one who’ll stand his ground, trying to work his way through blocks. His movements are fluid and he seems to have solid play-recognition, but size is a concern.
- Nick Chubb (RB – Georgia)
A bigger running back (5-10, 220) who plays like it, and isn’t easy to bring down. Chubb was once considered a lock for a top-10 pick in the draft, but suffered a devastating knee injury back in 2015, scaling back expectations. He’s come a long way and is going to contribute to a team in the NFL, though it’ll likely be limited to two-down work. He’s a power back who has decent lateral ability for a guy his size, but he’s likely not fast enough to hit the edge in the NFL. Once he gets moving, though, you are going to have a hard time tackling him. After catching just 13 passes in his final three years at school, he’s not going to jump into an NFL offense and be the three-down workhorse right away.
- Dante Pettis (WR – Washington)
Pettis is going to be a role player on some team, though he’s not likely to be much more than that. He’s got solid hands, catches the ball away from his body, and has decent speed, but the issue lies in his route running. He doesn’t sell his routes very well, which means there’s always a defender in the vicinity. With that happening on the college level, it’s easy to see why he’s not considered a top prospect. Still, he’ll latch on given his hands and ability to contribute on special teams as a punt returner.
- Keke Coutee (WR – Texas Tech)
Coutee may be a smaller wide receiver at 5-11 and 180 pounds, but he’s no slouch. He’s quick, like you’d expect, but has what I’d call “speed on demand.” He’s extremely slippery and could be a huge weapon in the right offense. He played inside the slot at Texas Tech, catching passes from Patrick Mahomes, and then Nic Shimonek. Oddly enough, Coutee’s stats went up with Shimonek under center in 2017. He seems like a natural football player who you shouldn’t quickly write-off because of his size.
- Chad Thomas (DE – Miami)
If Thomas doesn’t move up draft lists, he’s going to be one of the better mid-round picks of the draft for some team. At 6-5 and 277 pounds, Thomas moves very well and has speed to get to the edge, but also power to line up on the interior of the defensive line (which Miami did at times). He also does a great job of getting his hands up when he recognizes the ball is about to come out. Smaller edge rushers have a hard time doing that because it’s so hard for them to get to the quarterback, that their head is in other places. Thomas has the size and intangibles to make an impact in the NFL.
- Kerryon Johnson (RB – Auburn)
While watching Johnson, I’m reminded of Matt Forte. I’m not going to put those types of expectations on him, but I’ll often try to figure out whose game a player should strive to be like. Johnson may actually be a better runner than Forte, though I won’t say he’s on the level of Forte as a receiver out of the backfield. Johnson is the type of player who simply does everything well, including his pass protection. The issue is that he may not be elite at anything, which is why he’s not being projected to go in the first couple rounds.
- Josh Allen (QB – Wyoming)
There’s a lot of controversy surrounding Allen, and for good reason. When you watch some of the tools he’s been blessed with, it’s easy to fall in love with his upside; but here’s the problem – we’ve been here before. One of the only traits that directly translates to the NFL game without question is accuracy. You either have it or you don’t. Allen doesn’t. There are other parts of his game you can rave about, but if he can’t hit wide receivers in stride on a semi-consistent basis, he’ll be frustrating.
- M.J. Stewart CB – North Carolina)
Not the ball-hawk that some of the cornerbacks in this class are, but Stewart is solid all-around. He has size (6-0, 200), but also the speed necessary to cover the slot for North Carolina. He plays with an edge that you want to see, though he can sometimes pay too much attention to the wide receiver than the ball. You’d ideally pay attention to each of them, but Stewart will need to be coached-up in that area. His closing speed is extremely solid and is a good enough tackler. He can also be used to return punts.
- Carlton Davis (CB – Auburn)
Davis is someone who comes with ideal size for a cornerback at 6-1 and 195 pounds. He’s not the fastest cornerback, though, as he can get beat deep. Solid instincts against the run and is a solid tackler. Not afraid to get physical and put his hands on a receiver. Uses the sideline to his advantage quite a bit. Seems to get a bit lost in zone coverage, think he’ll be better in man coverage.
- Kemoko Turay (OLB – Rutgers)
Turay comes built with a think lower body, but he still has decent speed for a guy his size (6-5, 252). He’s got the strength to get push up front, but shows patience against the run, willing to hold down his zone, rather than get overanxious. Some may give him a knock because he wasn’t aggressive enough, but it seems like he did what was asked of him. He can be considered as an edge defender who has the ability to drop into coverage, but OLB is a great spot for him. There aren’t many glaring weaknesses in his game, solid player overall.
- Desmond Harrison (OT – West Georgia)
Potentially one of the highest upside players who can be found later in the draft. Harrison is ruthless on the field, looking to punish the defender and put him on the ground. There’s no other way to put it – he’s straight up mean in his approach, which is what is often coveted on the offensive line. He’s got some serious off-the-field question marks, but if he can answer for most of them and impress at the Combine, his stock will (and should) rise. His weight needs to come up, though, as he weighed in at just 279 pounds at the Senior Bowl.
- Orlando Brown (OT – Oklahoma)
He’s a massive man at 6-7 and 340 pounds. He’s got very long arms, which everyone covets in their left tackle. The issue is that his awareness isn’t great. Pro teams will bring exotic blitzes to the table, which is something that Brown can struggle with. Once he gets his hands on you, it’s highly unlikely you’re going anywhere, which is why he does so well in the run-game. There are some promising traits combined with his size, but awareness is something that can rarely be taught.
- Simmie Cobbs Jr. (WR – Indiana)
Such a frustrating prospect to watch, because the talent is there with Cobbs. He’s 6-4 and 220 pounds, which is ideal for your perimeter wide receiver, but Cobbs flat-out looks lazy at times, especially when he knows the ball isn’t coming his way. I kid you not, he ran faster celebrating his touchdown than on some of his routes. Why is it frustrating? Because he knows how to use his hands to extend away from the defender and high-points the ball extremely well. He’s got solid hands, too. He’s not a YAC guy from what I’ve seen and can be thrown off his route by more physical cornerbacks. He’s someone who comes with tons of risk, but also has upside. Reminds me a little bit of Alshon Jeffery.
- Marcell Ateman (WR – Oklahoma State)
When looking at Ateman on the field, he’s got a similar build to Mike Evans, though he doesn’t have the fluidity that Evans has to his game. He lacks initial burst, though his long speed is solid. He takes a while to get out of his breaks, seemingly always has a defender in the vicinity. What he does well is come back to the ball to help out his quarterback and extends his arms the way he should. He’s going to be exclusively a perimeter wide receiver, but doesn’t offer you a possession-type receiver, but rather one who can win jump ball situations. It would be wise to pair him with another wide receiver who can stretch the field.
- Isaiah Oliver (CB – Colorado)
Oliver has extremely good size for a perimeter cornerback in the NFL, but lacks the aggression you’d ideally have. There are times where he sits back and waits for the ball carrier to come to him, rather than beat him to his spot. And no, this is not a patience thing. His instincts also aren’t on the level of a top-tier cornerback. With his size, he should be able to help against the run, but allows himself to be taken out of the play too easily. There are some solid traits in coverage, but for the most part, people are going to fall in love with his size.
- Armani Watts (S – Texas A&M)
When looking for a safety that has no problem laying the big hits, Watts leaves little to be desired. In fact, he’s almost too aggressive in his approach, though it’s good to know he’s got that gene. He also needs to wrap up better in his tackling, as he often relies on his “blow” to send the ball carrier to the ground. There’s talent with him, but it needs to be refined. He’s going to have to shore up his tackling before being trusted at strong safety. He suffered a knee injury that cut his 2017 short, though I don’t think he starts in the NFL right away, regardless.
- Ronnie Harrison (S – Alabama)
Playing alongside Minkah Fitzpatrick will make anyone look better, as he covers so much ground. In fact, playing alongside everyone at Alabama is going to make you look better, as their defense was among the best in the nation. He doesn’t offer that killer instinct you want out of a strong safety, and he’s also not great in coverage. As for his interceptions, almost all of them were thrown directly to him, or were tipped balls. It’s good to know that he’s in the area of the play, but he was all too often a half-step behind the play. He’ll likely be drafted higher than where I’ve got him.
- Kyzir White (S – West Virginia)
White’s a safety who can play cornerback, similar to Alabama’s Fitzpatrick, though White isn’t as good in coverage. He’s got great size (6-3, 215), is a great tackler, and plays extremely well against the run. His coverage could use some work, which is why strong safety is where he’ll begin, though he’s a versatile player. While tracking a ball carrier, he won’t simply go to where the runner is, but rather move with good anticipation across the field while keeping his head up to where he is going. He also never gives up on a play.
- Ian Thomas (TE – Indiana)
Thomas is built more like a traditional tight end, in that he’s a bit thicker than the guys like Mark Andrews and Dallas Goedert, who are more like big wide receivers. He’s also not as fast as those guys, but he is one of the best blockers. He can take care of linebackers with ease, which should keep him on the field in the pros. He is a bit slow out of his breaks, but looks better once he gets going. Whichever team drafts him will likely not take him as a receiver-first, like some of the others in this tight end class. He’s a good all-around prospect at the position, though nothing truly elite.
- Cody O’Connell (OG – Washington State)
O’Connell is built like a tackle (6-7, 351), but plays inside at guard. He often tries to do too much, like pick up multiple guys on a blitz, rather than focusing on one of them. The effort isn’t in question with him. The worst part of his game is what really should be his strength, and that is run-blocking. He doesn’t seem to possess the aggressor role that you want out of your guards – you know, the one that has teams thinking about Quenton Nelson as a top-five pick. He’s a better pass-blocker, but unless he can get more physical, he will struggle to stay on the field.
- Coleman Shelton (C – Washington)
He’s got the right mindset of a center in the NFL, but might not be strong (or big) enough yet. He’s just under 300 pounds, though I’d assume he puts weight on very soon. He can hold his ground up the middle against the pass-rush, but struggles to get much of a push in the run-game. If he were to add some weight onto his 6-4 frame and hit the weight room, there’s potential here.
- Malik Jefferson (ILB – Texas)
There are times when you know a player is giving 100 percent, and times where you know they could’ve done more. While watching Jefferson, there were too many plays where he could’ve done more. He’s got excellent size (6-3, 238) and speed, but will often sit back and let the play come to him. He did seem to play a lot of zone, which can sometimes make a player appear stationary, but even against the run, he fails to be the aggressor the majority of time. He’s a solid tackler when involved in the play, but the bottom line is that he should be better than he is.
- Dorance Armstrong (DE – Kansas)
What Armstrong lacks in the size department (241 pounds), he makes up with speed. At the same time, he isn’t able to push tackles back on their heels, but rather relies on going around them. The angles he takes in his tackling are solid, as is his play recognition. Knowing he’s built more like a linebacker (and sometimes played there), some teams may struggle to define his role. He may be used as a movable piece on defense, because you’d like to find a way to maximize his speed without sacrificing strength on the defensive line.
- Christian Sam (ILB – Arizona State)
A linebacker who plays with attitude, Sam doesn’t leave anything behind. He’s a solid athlete and one who knows how to wrap up his tackles. He plays with the aggression that you want on your defense, though he’s not the fastest player in coverage. Still, his play-recognition stands out, especially against the run where he doesn’t get overaggressive and whiff on the ball carrier. He’s a solid pick on day two.
- Micah Kiser (ILB – Virginia)
A high-effort player who is always moving, staying on his toes, though he does run out of steam after his initial burst of energy. He diagnoses plays pretty well, almost always picking the right hole to plug up against the run. He’s not the strongest or the fastest guy at his position and lacks some of the “punisher” mentality that some inside linebackers have, but he’s fundamentally sound.
- Jordan Lasley (WR – UCLA)
Lasley looks smaller than the 6-foot-1 he’s listed at, maybe because of the way that UCLA moved him all over the place. He was put in motion quite a bit, was used on screens, almost the way you’d use a utility player. He runs solid routes and gets up to speed quickly, though everything may look a bit better when he had what was a top-two quarterback throwing him the ball (Josh Rosen). He did make solid adjustments while the ball is in the air, and he’s not an easy tackle, either. He’s a sneaky wide receiver who could find his way up draft boards if he does well at the NFL Combine.
- Leighton Vander Esch (ILB – Boise State)
An inside linebacker who does what’s asked of him, but not too much more. He’ll wind up playing in the NFL because he’s solid in almost all phases, but lacks elite traits that you’d ideally have out of your middle linebacker. Often a pile tackler rather than one who makes standout plays on his own. He’s got a good understanding of coverage, but not very fast from sideline-to-sideline.
- Rashaad Penny (RB – San Diego State)
A capable running back who has a very workmanlike approach to his game. There’s nothing too flashy about him, but it seems he could fill a heavy role if it was asked of him. He proved that by totaling at least 20 carries in all but three games in 2017, but lacks what you want as a pass protector and receiver. He seems like someone you’d ideally have as a No. 2 on your depth chart in case the starter went down with an injury.
- Taven Bryan (DT – Florida)
Instead of being built like a traditional interior lineman, Bryan is built more as an in-betweener of a lineman and defensive end at 6-4, 295 pounds. He’s not going to be a plugger up the middle like Derrick Nnadi or Vita Vea and may get bullied by bigger offensive lineman. In order to compensate for his smaller stature, he often puts his head down to bull-rush, and ultimately loses track of where the ball is on the play. He’s a better pass rusher than he is run stuffer, but there’s concern here.
- Harrison Phillips (DT – Stanford)
Similar to Taven Bryan, Phillips is quite small for an interior lineman. He’s 6-4, but is just 285 pounds, which means he’s extremely lean for someone of his height. He’s stronger than you’d think and can hold his ground the majority of time, but as a tackle, you would like him to get push, and sometimes on mulitple offensive lineman. He does a good job of keeping his head up and tracking the play, but his lack of size is likely too much to overcome at the NFL level.
- Brian O’Neill (OT – Pittsburgh)
An up-and-comer at the position, O’Neill used to be a tight end who has just one year of experience at left tackle. Because of that, some team will likely take a shot on his upside, as he showed major improvement throughout the year. Knowing that he used to play tight end, he’s got great athleticism. He’s kind of lanky because he’s still building on his frame. He’s not ready to contribute at a high level from the start, but there’s more upside with him than most tackles in this range.
- Christian Wilkins (DT – Clemson)
I’d be somewhat shocked if he weighed in over 310 pounds, like some have him listed at. He’s very athletic, but not as strong as you’d like for a tackle. Can be taken out of the play almost too easily at times, and his play recognition leaves something to be desired. He’s quicker than most guys who weigh over 300 pounds, so depending on what a defense wants to use him for, I suppose there he could help on a situational basis. Moves more like a defensive end than a tackle, relies on quickness. There’s some good traits here, just too undersized for me to love him as a tackle.
- Marquis Haynes (DE/OLB – Ole Miss)
Haynes played edge for Ole Miss, but he’ll be more of an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense at the next level. He’s just 6-3 and 222 pounds, meaning there are running backs bigger than him. He can be manhandled against the run, but has speed to get to the edge while pass-rushing. He’s fast, but that’s to be expected with his size. He’s likely to be a situational pass-rusher in the NFL.
- Marcus Allen (S – Penn State)
It’s easy to “want” to like Allen, as he’s all over the field, flying from one spot to the next. He’s got excellent size and speed, but is really lacking in his play recognition, specifically when he’s sitting back in zone coverage, allowing pass-catchers to get over the top of him. He’ll often take the easiest route to the ball carrier against the run, but there’s a reason it’s the easy route – the running back won’t be there by the time Allen gets there. There are some solid physical traits with him, but the mental portion needs to improve.
- Equanimeous St. Brown (WR – Notre Dame)
Standing at 6-5 and 203 pounds, St. Brown is someone who is very athletic for his size. He’s got extremely long arms and is a decent route runner, but played in a struggling Notre Dame passing offense, hurting his overall reputation. Going back to 2016, he posted 961 yards and nine touchdowns with then quarterback DeShone Kizer, showing what he’s able to do with what turned out to be a below average NFL quarterback. He’s not going to run across the middle anytime soon, as he’s extremely lanky. He uses his long arms to extend away from the defender (easy to spot pass interference), rather than just go over them. This is a part of his game that needs refinement.
- Troy Fumagalli (TE – Wisconsin)
He’s not going to be compared to Dallas Goedert or anything, because he’s not that type of player. Fumagalli is a blocking tight end who can do some things in the passing game. He’s able to take on edge defenders and linebackers while blocking, something that’s often underrated with tight ends nowadays. Fumagalli is a hustler, who’ll even block when someone else catches the ball, looking for defenders to push aside. He’s more of a traditional tight end, so he won’t be drafted to contribute in the passing game right away, though having a guy who is 6-foot-6 never hurts your quarterback. He’s flashed at times as a receiver, but seems to make most of his catches with little to no separation. I’m interested to see more out of him at the Combine.
- Martinas Rankin (OT – Mississippi State)
Rankin is someone I thought should make the move to the interior of the offensive line. He doesn’t have very long arms and isn’t the biggest guy at 6-5 and 302 pounds. He’s quick and shows some athleticism, which is why the move to guard would likely benefit him. He’s not a dominant force by any means, but could be a usable piece on a team that already has a solid foundation.
- Breeland Speaks (OLB/DE – Ole Miss)
A big guy at 6-3 and 285 pounds, but you have to wonder where Speaks plays. He seems too big to play the linebacker position, but not big enough to move to the interior of the defensive line. He’s likely a 4-3 defensive end in the NFL, and one who is not going to be bullied by offensive lineman. He’s got a good motor and doesn’t give up on plays. The only issue is that he’s somewhat of an in-between size where he may not have the strength for a bull rush, but too big to have the speed to get to the edge. Look for his role to be more clearly defined in the coming weeks.
- Jalyn Holmes (DE – Ohio State)
Holmes plays tall, a little upright, but still manages to generate a push. He’s got decent speed as well, and is a movable piece on your defense, as Ohio State even lined him up as a defensive tackle at times. He holds his zone pretty well and has good instincts when he’s not asked to rush the passer, so he could be considered as a DE/OLB for a 3-4 team. The only question mark is whether or not he can do it while not surrounded by a ton of playmakers, as Ohio State’s defense was.
- Chukwuma Okorafor (OT – Western Michigan)
You’d think at 6-5 and 33 pounds, Okorafor would be a bully on the offensive line, but that’s not really the case. He’s not an immovable object and doesn’t adjust well to multiple rushers. Some teams will fall in love with his size, but he simply doesn’t have the aggression/drive you need to survive at the NFL level. Still, he’ll be selected early because of the importance of the position.
- Rasheem Green (DE – USC)
One of the toughest players for me to judge, because Green will do things at times that make me feel like he’s a top-10 player at his position, only to make me feel dumb for the next 10 plays. There are glimpses of a player here, but so many inconsistencies in his results. He appears to give it his all on every play, so maybe it’s more on the offensive lineman he happens to be working against, because there are times where he looks great against the run, but then others where he’s easily shoved aside, despite his 275-pound body.