The 2018 NFL Draft is in the books and there’s a lot of things to discuss. All 32 teams improved over the weekend, but there’s always some, who do more so than others, and several players were selected earlier or later than they should have been. Therefore, I want to point out my biggest winners and losers, steals and reaches of the draft.
Of course, there is a load of college prospects, who didn’t receive any call until the event was concluded, but for this article, let’s focus on those players, who actually were drafted. I couldn’t give an analysis on every single prospect mentioned, but you can find pretty much all of them among my positional rankings, if you’re interested.
Ozzie Newsome and the Baltimore Ravens
This team traded back several times and made a total of 12 picks throughout the weekend, which was more than anybody else in this draft. The Ravens got two starting-calibre tight-ends with South Carolina’s Hayden Hurst being more of an H-back type, natural blocker and receiver, as well as Oklahoma’s Mark Andrews, with a prototype body and as a red-zone threat, who still has room to improve. Of course most importantly, they got their quarterback of the future with the final pick of the first round and with the way they traded back twice to grab Hurst, they had capital to move back up at the end of day one and select the most electrifying dual-threat quarterback since Michael Vick, in Louisville’s Lamar Jackson. GM Ozzie Newsome has always been a tape over testing numbers guy and he took Oklahoma’s big tackle Orlando Brown, who punished defenders in the run game and simply got the job done as a pass protector. As expected, Ozzie went back to his alma mater at Alabama to steal cornerback Anthony Averett, who I had as a top ten corner, and center Bradley Bozeman, who might not do anything flashy, but is a really solid player. We went into the draft thinking Baltimore needed some help at wide receiver, but they didn’t panic with the free agent acquisitions they had already made, and they got New Mexico’s Jaleel Scott, who has a condor-like 81-inch wing span plus good flexibility for his size, as well as UCLA’s Jordan Lasley, who is a smooth speedster and only didn’t hear his names called during day two because of drops. Wagner tackle Greg Senat only has two years of football experience, but he shows some of that basketball footwork on the football field. Texas safety DeShon Elliott recorded six interceptions last season and while I don’t see him as a ball-hawk in deep coverage, I really like his aggressiveness to come downhill against the run and on quick passes. Ozzie put together another masterpiece, rounding up a Hall of Fame career at GM after doing so as a player already.
Fans of Gang Green have been suffering for years now, hoping for the guy, who can take them back to the promised land. Whether it was watching Mark Sanchez run into the behind of a grown man in the same jersey as him, Geno Smith once completing more passes to the opposite team than his own or Ryan Fitzpatrick reverting back to his usual self, after one standout season in the Big Apple. The Jets have finally found their quarterback of the future and I think they got the best one in the draft. While a lot of people thought Baker Mayfield’s flashy character would be what they’ve needed ever since Broadway Joe, the USC quarterback’s calm demeanor and leadership by example might be what actually takes this team back to being contenders, after years of irrelevance. Darnold is the best anticipatory passer in this draft. He can carve defenses up from the pocket as well as producing big plays when things break down and he has to improvise. I thought he should have been the number one pick for the Browns and while there might be some growing pains with him being reckless with the ball, nobody in this class can infuse confidence into his team like Darnold. Good thing for him, the Jets have Josh McCown on their roster, to help out the young kid and teach him the ropes of being an NFL quarterback. I still believe they need to surround him with some more weapons, but this is definitely not the same team anymore, I expected to win no more than two games before the start of last season.
New York Giants
I truly believe GM Dave Gettleman hit his first draft with New York out of the park. First, he got the best player available in Saquon Barkley. There’s certainly people, who wanted to see the Giants go quarterback at that spot and with Sam Darnold being available, I would have been okay with him as well, but this team clearly is in a win-now mode and the Penn State RB will make everybody on that offense better, while taking pressure of the defense as well. In the second round, NYG found a road-grading guard in UTEP’s Will Hernandez, who doesn’t give up much ground as a pass protector. Third-round selection Lorenzo Carter from Georgia has similar athleticic traits to Jason Pierre-Paul, who they just traded away, and probably fits James Bettcher’s new 3-4 defensive scheme better. I really like N.C. State defensive tackle B.J. Hill as a pocket pusher at 69th overall and I thought he wrecked people at the Senior Bowl. Still, adding a quarterback in the draft seemed to be a priority for the Giants and they got a quality guy in the fourth round. Richmond’s Kyle Lauletta made a similar impact down in the Mobile and got people to really watch his tape. He’s a very efficient passer with the athleticism to make things happen when nothing is there as well. My favorite pick however came in round five, when the G-Men stole Miami defensive tackle R.J. McIntosh. That guy is so slippery on the interior of the D-line, he hustles his ass off and I think he would have easily been a day two pick, had he stayed in school for another year. Not only did this team address some needs with those six selections, I thought they got excellent value for all of them, regardless of position.
First and foremost, the Patriots didn’t draft a quarterback until round seven. There were some rumors swirling around, that Bill Belichick would trade up for one of the top quarterbacks available or select Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson, but now I don’t see LSU’s Danny Etling pressure Brady in any way, if he even makes the team. Moreover, despite having some serious defensive needs, New England decided to help out their 41-year old quarterback by drafting an outstanding offensive lineman in Georgia’s Isaiah Wynn at 23 and then coming back with another Bulldog in running back Sony Michel, who will be a weapon out of the backfield for him. I thought Wynn would have been a top-ten pick, had he been two inches taller, and I even though I think he projects better to guard because of that lack of size, he certainly possesses tackle feet. With the reports I heard around Michel’s knee concerns and it being a bone-to-bone situation, I thought he’s slip a little, but if he checks out healthy, he will be outstanding at the next level. I compared this guy to reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year Alvin Kamara, due to his contact balance and the wiggle, he runs with. I also honestly believe Miami’s Braxton Berrios, who was selected 210th overall, will be Brady’s next beloved slot target. The former Canes receiver wins with toughness and good hands, and he came up big when his team needed him most. I could easily see the 5’9’’ pass-catcher replace Danny Amendola week one and be a factor for the rest of Brady’s career.
Brian Gutekunst and Green Bay Packers
During his 12 years as a general manager in Green Bay, Ted Thompson made several outstanding draft selections. He started with Aaron Rodgers in 2005, which he followed up with guys like Jordy Nelson, Josh Sitton, Clay Matthews, David Bakhtiari and so on. I’m always a big fan of the idea of keeping your draft picks in house in developing your own players, instead of throwing out money for those guys on the free agent market. However, I don’t think any Packers fan can honestly tell me, that any move that guy made during his time as GM with them, really excited them. Brian Gutekunst changed things in his first year in charge. While Thompson was a stick-and-pick guy for the Pack, the new front office chief in Madison traded back 13 spots from 14th overall, to earn another first-round pick next year, before moving back up to 18 and getting their guy. So they basically picked up an additional first round in 2019 plus another fifth-rounder for a third- and sixth-rounder, while still acquiring my number 12 overall prospect and number two cornerback in Louisville’s Jaire Alexander. Then they came back in the second round to grab another ball-hawking corner in Iowa’s Josh Jackson, who led the nation with eight picks last season. I like Vandy linebacker Oren Burks at 88 to be a versatile contributor on passing downs, the big Mizzou receiver J’Mon Moore and Washington State tackle Cole Madison, who projects best to guard, where he pops out of his stance and has experience in a pass-happy offense, which Green Bay runs as well. I thought Notre Dame receiver Equanimeous St. Brown was an enormous steal at 207, with his crazy potential, and Cal’s James Looney could find a home as a rotational piece on their D-line with his talents. One more thing. I’m 100 percent serious here – Alabama punter J.K. Scott will be a weapon for the Packers.
Other drafts I really liked:
Los Angeles Chargers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Cleveland Browns – Sorry
I don’t want to be to too negative here. The Browns added a potential franchise quarterback and the top cornerback in the draft, which was a serious need for them. I also liked some of the guys in the following rounds, but let’s be honest – I had all of their picks during the first two days ranked lower than where they selected them. I thought Sam Darnold should have clearly been the number one overall pick, because he is the kind of guy, who can make the teammates around him believe that they always have a chance with him at the helm, but if Mayfield was their top guy at the QB position, I’m okay with that. However, at number four I thought they didn’t follow the principles in a premier draft slot. If you are drafting in the top five, you have to come away with a blue-chip player. I’m not going to say one bad word about Ohio State’s Denzel Ward. He was my number eight overall prospect. Yet, with Bradley Chubb still on the board, I thought he should have definitely been the selection. No single secondary member can influence the opponent’s passing game quite like the pass rush, Chubb and Myles Garrett could have provided together. Moving on to round two. I was a big fan of Nevada offensive lineman Austin Corbett in the pre-draft process due to his quick feet and strong punch. However, he is not the guy who will replace Joe Thomas. I think Corbett would benefit from a move inside, similar to what his predecessor Joel Bitonio did, who now is an excellent guard for those exact Browns. Plus, he wasn’t the top guy available. I love Georgia RB Nick Chubb, but I’m not sure if I’d pick him quite this high with the concerns about his knee, and Miami DE Chad Thomas was one of my favorites on tape, but Ohio State’s Sam Hubbard was still on the board as well. I don’t think Cleveland is the right environment for a highly suspect prospect like Florida receiver Antonio Callaway, but I like Memphis linebacker Genard Avery quite a bit. Overall, I just thought the Browns could have done much better with the capital they had.
While I think Baltimore might have had the best overall draft of all 32 teams, I don’t think Flacco’s weekend was quite as quite pleasant as it was for the Ravens’ front-office. It started in an excellent way, when the team selected South Carolina tight-end Hayden Hurst, as “Joe Cool” loves big targets over the middle and has had great relationships with guys like Todd Heap and Dennis Pitta. Unfortunately for him, that all changed when Ozzie traded back up into the final spot of the first round and selected Louisville’s Lamar Jackson. I had the dual-threat QB going to the Ravens in my mock draft, as I thought it would make a lot of sense with Robert Griffin III being signed, the experience of the offensive coaching staff with mobile signal-callers and the potential out in Flacco’s contract in 2019. However, once they traded out of 16th pick and then picked Hurst at 25, I thought either the Steelers or Patriots might get their guy for the future. Yet, it was Baltimore, which decided to probably end the Flacco era a few years early. The front office remade the wide receiver unit this offseason and with the additions at tight-end, they will compete with the 33-year old year for another year or so, but then they will hand the franchise over the dynamic youngster. I think it was time for the Ravens to make a change under center and in their overall philosophy. For a franchise that has lacked any excitement on the offensive side of the ball and has made the playoffs just once in the last five years, the dynamic Heisman trophy winner might be exactly what this fan base has been thirsty for.
Kansas City Chiefs
Okay, I’ll be honest here. This already started for me last year, when the Chiefs gave up their 2018 first-round pick to move up to tenth overall for Texas Tech QB Patrick Mahomes. I didn’t think he was a first round prospect and I certainly wouldn’t have taken him over DeShaun Watson. Regardless of that, I simply didn’t like what they did with the picks they actually did have. I liked Ole Miss defensive lineman Breeland Speaks on tape and I think he flashes a lot of potential, but he certainly wasn’t worth the 46th overall pick. I thought USC’s Rasheem Green and Alabama’s Da’Shawn Hand were better five-tech prospects and they went in the third and fourth round respectively. Cornerback was a huge need for me, looking at Kansas City, and one of my top 20 overall prospects was still available in Colorado’s Isaiah Oliver. After that, the Chiefs came back with another interior defensive linemen. I know a lot of people were high on Florida State’s Derrick Nnadi, but to me is a pure two-down nose tackle in their scheme and there were several guys available, who I had a higher grade on. Most importantly though, Stanford’s Harrison Phillips was still on the board. That guy is every bit of Nnadi in the run game and offers some push on passing downs as well. And they even traded up 11 spots to grab the former Seminole. The selections of Clemson linebacker Dorian O’Daniel and Texas A&M safety Armani Watts were alright, but once again, I thought there were better guys still available at each position. I didn’t study their sixth-round picks very much, but I liked some of the seventh-rounders and even undrafted guys a lot. I just don’t think their football team got a whole lot better, especially comparing their draft class to the ones of the Texans or Rams, who didn’t have any pick on day one either.
I think the “Fat Rob” train has left Washington and while Chris Thompson had some big games early on for the Redskins last year, he wasn’t a featured back for them either, but rather a passing down and screen specialist. Therefore, I saw Perine as the potential workhorse for this team and he showed signs of being able to handle that role last season, despite running behind a banged up D.C. offensive line. All of that changed Friday night, when the Redskins selected LSU running back Derrius Guice in the second round. The 225-pounder clearly has first round talent. He is one of the angriest runners I’ve seen coming out of college in recent years, which he combines with excellent short-area quickness and I had him as a top 20 prospect. However, reports about his immaturity and him missing appointments, caused him to drop all the way to the 59th overall spot. That means excellent value for Washington, as long as he has his mind set on football, but it also could signal a heavy drop in opportunities for Perine, who is a similar kind of hard-nosed runner, yet isn’t as athletically gifted. I don’t see the selection of Guice as a huge threat for Thompson’s touches, since the LSU back was substituted heavily on passing downs and that seams to be the case in the pros as well – at least to start his career. Yet, Perine and Robert Kelly don’t offer much Guice is not capable of. All three of them run hard, but right now I don’t see either one of the vets surpassing five touches per game as long as the rookie stays healthy and committed.
We all liked the selection of UCF linebacker Shaquem Griffin and we applaud the Seahawks for grabbing him, especially since I thought he should be one of the very first picks on day three, purely based on him tape. Outside of that, I didn’t think Seattle had a very good draft. The one choice I had the biggest problem with was their first-round pick Rashaad Penny – running back from San Diego State. I understand that this team hasn’t had a reliable workhorse in the backfield since Marshawn Lynch decided to retire prematurely, but I didn’t think Penny was the best running back, much less player, available. I had the Seahawks selecting an offensive lineman in my mock draft, because I thought they needed help up front desperately. Texas’ Connor Williams, UTEP’s Will Hernandez and Iowa’s James Daniels were all still available. That means regardless of which position they wanted to upgrade, there were quality options on the board at all of them. Once Derwin James was taken ahead of them, I liked that they moved back, but I was shocked when the actual selection was made. I thought the value of Rasheem Green in the third was fine, but I didn’t think Washington tight-end Will Dissly was worth the 120th spot. There were a couple of quality blockers at the TE position still there for the taking, such as Stanford’s Dalton Schultz and Notre Dame’s Durham Smythe, who I thought both offered more upside in the passing game. I believe Ohio State offensive tackle Jamarco Jones was an excellent selection late in the fifth, but I liked some other safeties better than Oklahoma State’s Tre Flowers, who they grabbed earlier that round. I just don’t think the Seahawks addressed their needs with the right guys, even though the aforementioned tackle might bail them out by developing into a starter.
Derwin James, S, South Florida State at 17 to the Chargers
This guy definitely was the steal of day one for me. I had James as my number six overall prospect. I love his aggressiveness, athleticism and versatility. I think he can be enforcing strong safety in the mold of Kam Chancellor, with the coverage skills to take away big slot receivers and tight-ends. The only reason anybody should have been a little hesitant would be knee concerns. I thought James could go as early as seventh overall, when the Buccaneers still held that pick, and I believe there were several teams, who should have pulled the trigger on the Florida State freak.
Connor Williams, OT, Texas at 50 to the Cowboys
My opinion on Williams might differ a lot from the mainstream media, but to me he was the top offensive tackle heading into the draft. I know some teams had concerns about his length and a potential move to the interior, but I think all of the other tackle prospects had serious flaws themselves. Williams’ wasn’t the same type of player he was two years ago, but when I put on his 2016 tape, I see the most consistent and well-rounded tackle by far in this draft. I understand why you would select Notre Dame’s Mike McGlinchey ahead of him, because he doesn’t have the kind of injury history as Williams does, but nobody else should have gone ahead of him.
Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado at 58 to the Falcons
Let me tell you one thing – the Falcons might look at Oliver in two or three years and think to themselves that they got the best cornerback from the 2018 draft. I had the Colorado DB as my number three guy at the position, but that is mainly due to his lack of starting experience. Oliver had spent just one year as a full-time starter, with guys like Chidobe Awuzie and Ahkello Witherspoon ahead of him on the depth chart, but nobody in this class combines length, speed, competitiveness and overall athleticism quite like this kid. I can definitely see him shut down some of the elite receivers at the next level.
Harrison Phillips, DL, Stanford at 97 to the Bills
I know Phillips doesn’t have the measurements or looks of a premiere athlete, but believe me – he is a darn good football player. The Stanford D-lineman was a monster over his last two season with the Cardinal, highlighted by 98 tackles, 17 for loss and 7.5 sacks in 2017. Those are no typical defensive tackle numbers. Phillips can stack and shed as well as anybody in this draft class, plus he holds his ground against double-teams. He might not be the most dynamic pass rusher, but he can put some offensive linemen on skates and compress the pocket that way. Even though he slipped, I think he ended up in the perfect place for him, with Kyle Williams handing him over the cards as their 1-technique.
Kyzir White, S, West Virginia at 119 to the Chargers
This is the second safety the Chargers absolutely stole in this draft. White was one of my favorite players to watch on tape. He is a long, aggressive player, who was used in kind of a linebacker/safety hybrid role for the Mountaineers. He might not the most fluid athlete in space, but he can cover slot receivers one-on-one and is a forceful blitzer off the edge. White might not fit any scheme, but there are several teams, who could find a role for him. I’m not quite sure how the Chargers will put both him and Derwin James on the field at the same type, because they have similar skill sets, but this was definitely a value pick.
Tyrell Crosby, OT, Oregon at 153 to the Lions
Not everybody is familiar with this name, but to make myself clear – I had Crosby as my number six tackle available in the draft. I had UCLA’s Kolton Miller two spots behind him and that guy was drafted 15th overall. Crosby has an edge to him as a run blocker and even though he gets too high into his pass sets, he does a good job re-placing his hands and staying in front of his rusher. In 362 snaps as a pass protector last season, the big Oregon tackle didn’t give up a single sack. The Lions have one of the best duo of back-ends with Taylor Decker and Rick Wagner. If it was any other team, Crosby would be competing for a starting spot in my opinion.
Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Edge, Oklahoma at 160 to the Rams
I have no idea how this guy slipped that far. The guy nicknamed “Obo” was a nightmare for offensive tackles in college, due to his unique rushing approach and motor. The Sooner edge defender is a hunter out there on the football field and he embarrasses some of the guys, who try to block him. I understand Okoronkwo is undersized at 6’1’’ and might not be an every-down starter with some limitations in the run game, but in this pass-happy NFL he will definitely have a role. He already knows how to set up his blocker and strings moves together. I had him as a fringe prospect between the second and third round.
Tim Settle, DL, Virginia Tech at 163 to the Redskins
I honestly thought Settle might go as high as the second round. A mountain of man like this with the kind of rare short-area quickness he possesses, should be very intriguing to scouts, but for some reason they decided to pass on him until round five. I was surprised to see him come out this year already, but if Settle loses some of that excess weight and learns to play the game more from the shoulders up, he could be even more disruptive. The former Hokie big man could develop into a menace on the interior of the defensive line.
Marcell Ateman at 228 to the Raiders
This year’s wide receiver class was kind of murky after about the top eight guys. I thought Ateman would be right there after those prospects and somewhere close to the top 100 players available. The former Robin to James Washington’s batman is a huge target at 6’5’’. Ateman uses his size to outbox defenders as well as swallow them up as a blocker. Despite winning a lot with size and running a limited route-tree for the Cowboys, I like how that guy is playing with his nose over his toes. I thought he’d go in the fourth of fifth round the latest, but he made it all the way to the back-end of the draft.
Justin Jackson, RB, Northwestern at 251 to the Chargers
I love this kid. Jackson to me has been the most disrespected player in the entire draft process. I know he’s only 200 pounds and doesn’t have breakaway speed, but man is he a complete runner. The Wildcat’s all-time leading rusher has such a tremendous combination of toughness, vision, acceleration through his cuts and team-first approach. With the lack of coverage, I already knew that he would fall pretty far, but he barely got drafted and I just think that’s a disgrace when you look at the kind of production he put up.
Minkah Fitzpatrick (S, Alabama) at 11 to the Dolphins
Tremaine Edmunds (LB, Virginia Tech) at 16 to the Bills
Calvin Ridley (WR, Alabama) at 26 to the Falcons
Harold Landry (Edge, Boston College) at 41 to the Titans
Derrius Guice (RB, LSU) at 59 to the Redskins
James Washington (WR, Oklahoma State) at 60 to the Steelers
Justin Reid (S, Stanford) at 68 to the Texans
Sam Hubbard (Edge, Ohio State) at 77 to the Bengals
Michael Gallup (WR, Colorado State) at 81 to the Cowboys
Orlando Brown (OT, Oklahoma) at 83 to the Ravens
Arden Key (Edge, LSU) at 87 to the Raiders
Chukwuma Okorafor (OT, Western Michigan) to the Steelers at 92
Ian Thomas (TE, Indiana) at 101 to the Panthers
Anthony Averett (CB, Alabama) at 118 to the Ravens
Josh Sweat (Edge, Florida State) at 130 to the Eagles
R.J. McIntosh (DL, Miami) at 139 to the Giants
Maurice Hurst (DL, Michigan) at 140 to the Raiders
Marcus Allen (S, Penn State) at 148 to the Steelers
Troy Fumagalli (TE, Wisconsin) at 156 to the Broncos
Wyatt Teller (OG, Virginia Tech) at 166 to the Bills
Jamarco Jones (OT, Ohio State) at 168 to the Seahawks
Mike White (QB, Western Kentucky) at 171 to the Cowboys
John Kelly (RB, Tennessee) at 176 to the Rams
Duke Ejiofor (Edge, Wake Forest) at 177 to the Texans
Deion Cain (WR, Clemson) at 185 to the Colts
Deshon Elliott (S, Texas) at 190 to the Ravens
Luke Falk (QB, Washington State) at 199 to the Titans
Jake Cichy (LB, Wisconsin) at 202 to the Buccaneers
Equanimeous St. Brown (WR, Notre Dame) at 207 to the Packers
Greg Stroman at (CB, Virginia Tech) 241 to the Redskins
Will Clapp (OG, LSU) at 245 to the Saints
Auden Tate (WR, Florida State) at 253 to the Bengals
Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA at 15 to the Raiders
I mentioned Miller’s name earlier, when I talked about Oregon’s Tyrell Crosby as a steal. I had the UCLA tackle as my number 90 overall prospect and eight-best player available at the position. It’s not that I don’t like Miller at all. He certainly has some exceptionally quick feet and great length, but there are just way too many inconsistencies to his game and his technique is full of flaws right now. He will certainly still develop, but there is no way he is worth the 15th overall selection. At least they traded back a little for him. I would have put Oakland in the loser category, had they not made two huge potential steals with LSU edge rusher Arden Key and Michigan defensive tackle Maurice Hurst.
Rashaad Penny, RB, San Diego State at 27 to the Seahawks
At least I had heard rumors surrounding Miller probably hearing his name called on day one, but this selection absolutely shocked me. Don’t get me wrong – I really liked watching Penny on tape. He is a North-and-South runner with a nice burst, but he was far from being the second-best back available, much less the 27th-best overall player. The Seahawks needed offensive line help desperately and, like I said earlier, there were some quality options still on the board. I get that you fall in love with some guys in the process and I have problem, reaching a little for them, but no way does this justify taking the San Diego State ball-carrier here.
Terrell Edmunds, S, Virginia Tech at 28 to the Steelers
And here we have the third head-scratching decision from round one. This one might have been the most stunning one for me. When I did my safety rankings, I had Edmunds just inside my top 20 guys at the position. And the Steelers took him 28th overall. First, I thought they might have confused Terrell with his brother Tremaine, who I had as my number one linebacker and was drafted 16th overall by the Bills. Then I was immediately wondering, if Pittsburgh was looking for a big safety, to move to the second level and be kind of a Deone Bucannon-type player next to Vince Williams, but even then, I thought there were much better options like that still on the board. I mean what can Edmunds do, that Alabama’s Ronnie Harrison can’t? This better work out for them.
Breeland Speaks, DL, Ole Miss at 46 to the Chiefs
When I listed Kansas City as one of my losers of the draft, I already talked a little about how I thought the Chiefs reached for the big Ole Miss defensive lineman. As I mentioned above, I like Speaks for his raw physical talent and the potential connected to it, but no way in hell should those guys have gone with him as a top 50 pick. Not only did the Chiefs have far more severe needs, such as cornerback or outside linebacker, but Speaks wasn’t even the top five-technique available at that point. I like him along with the other feisty D-lineman they have in Chris Jones, but this was not the time to get him.
Royce Freeman, RB, Oregon at 71 to the Broncos
I know a ton of people are pretty high on Freeman, but I just don’t see it. He’s a physical runner with a unique running style and he does a lot of things pretty well, but he doesn’t possess any elite traits and he doesn’t make the unaccounted defender miss consistently enough. The Oregon back ran through a bunch of guys in the Pac-12, but those NFL linebackers are a different breed. I respect the production he put up for the Ducks, but he has a lot of tread on his tires and I thought the offensive line, he ran behind, was highly underrated. I just can’t justify this selection with guys like Arizona State’s Kalen Ballage, Miami’s Mark Walton and excellent players at other positions still available.
Troy Apke, S, Penn State at 109 to the Redskins
Let’s be real here. The Redskins drafted Apke mainly based on his 4.34 in the 40 at the combine and they probably liked what they saw in the on-field drills in Indy as well, when he was in shorts. Had they put up the tape and looked at his statistics however, they would have seen inconsistent tackling and just one interception and pass deflection each during his collegiate career. Apke displays a lot of range and is an easy mover in space, but he didn’t show nearly enough on film that would indicate a very early selection on day three. He was more of a sixth-rounder to me.
Rick Leonard, OT, Florida State at 127 to the Saints
For everybody, who felt bad about not knowing this guy, I only watched one of his tapes myself and I did about 400 hours of film work since the end of the college football season. Leonard converted from defensive end a year ago and played just one season on the offensive side of the ball for the Seminoles. My quick scouting report looked a little like this: solid athlete with good quickness for the position, but way too inconsistent base and overall technique. I don’t mind taking a flyer on a raw prospect in the later rounds, but this was an early day three pick and I thought Leonard might go undrafted.
Josh Allen (QB, Wyoming) at 7 to the Bills
Billy Price (C, Ohio State) at 21 to the Bengals
Braden Smith (OG, Auburn) at 37 to the Colts
Dante Pettis (WR, Washington) at 44 to the 49ers
P.J. Hall (DL, Sam Houston State) at 57 to the Raiders
Geron Christian (OT, Louisville) at 74 to the Redskins
Derrick Nnadi (DL, Florida State) at 75 to the Chiefs
Isaac Yiadom (DB, Boston College) at 99 to the Broncos
Will Dissly (TE, Washington) at 120 to the Seahawks
Johnny Townsend (P, Florida) at 173 to the Raiders
Find positional draft rankings and the according big board from Halil’s Real Footballtalk, at https://halilsrealfootballtalk.com/