Tag Archives: Footballtalk

Top 10 interior offensive linemen in the 2018 NFL Draft:

Time to go into the trenches! After talking about skill-positions over the last two weeks, I want to shift my focus on the offensive and defensive lines. In this edition of my positional rankings, we are taking a look at the top interior O-linemen available in the draft.

There is one standout prospect, who I believe is one of the top three overall players available. Behind him, I think there are three more potential first-round picks and even after those, there are up to four guards or centers, who I think are worthy of a second round selection. To me, this class of interior OL is the best we’ve seen in a couple of years now.

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Top 10 cornerbacks in the 2018 NFL Draft:

Switching back to the defensive side of the ball, we go from the wide receivers to the guys lining up across from them – the cornerbacks. This list includes outside corners as well as the ones, who I believe will fit better as nickel defenders. With those positions especially, teams will rank them very differently depending on their defensive schemes and needs.

There are five prospects at this position, who will probably end up with first-round grades from me. The odd thing about them is that four of them have very limited starting experience. I like a bunch of players after those headliners and I believe teams might be able to find some diamonds in the rough in the later rounds of this draft.

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Top 10 wide receivers in the 2018 NFL Draft:

After talking about the top running backs and linebackers last week, I want to shift my focus towards the perimeter players. In this episode of positional rankings, we start with the offensive side of the ball – the wide receivers to be more exact. This group of pass-catchers is very diverse and offers a multitude of different bodies, which will lead to major variations in team’s rankings, depending on what they are looking for.

To be honest, I only see one guy in this draft class, who I think could develop into an elite WR1. However, there are a bunch of excellent second and third options available. I believe you can steal some eventual starters on day three. In the end, there might be 15 or 16 receivers, who crack my top 100 draft board.

Once again, my rankings are purely based on what I’ve seen on tape and in pre-draft events. However, with this positional group, there was one name with just too many red flags to judge him based on his pure talent and you will find his name at the very end.

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Top 10 linebackers in the 2018 NFL Draft:

Continuing my series on the top ten prospects at each position, I want to take a look at this year’s class of linebackers. To make this clear – I differentiate between interior defensive linemen, edge rushers and off-the-ball linebackers. So this list won’t include guys like Arden Key or Harold Landry, who most would call 3-4 outside linebacker, because they primarily will still play on the line, despite maybe not putting their hand in the dirt a lot. So these upcoming prospects can be anywhere from true 4-3 middle linebackers to outside guys in a scheme with three down-linemen, if I think they will have a large role off the ball as well.

This linebacker class has a quadruple of headliners and then a bunch of guys, who I have rated very closely together. Of course, these lists deviate strongly depending from team to team, depending on their defensive scheme and what their coaches value. The trend that is clear with these guys though, is the fact, that the NFL is looking for more and more athletic guys at the position.

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Top 10 running backs in the 2018 NFL Draft:

Over the next six weeks, I will break down my top ten (plus) prospects at each position heading into the draft in late April. These rankings are solely based on what I’ve seen on tape and in pre-draft events. Neither do I have exclusive medical reports of these players, nor did I have the chance to sit down with each and everyone of them. Today I’m starting with the running backs.

Much like last year, this RB class has a lot of talent at the top and depth throughout the top 20 or so. While there is a clear number one guy for me, from two until fifteen, there will be a multitude of opinions and my rankings may vary heavily from the mainstream media, once we get past the top spots. Here it is:

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NFL Combine standouts 2018:

With the combine wrapped up in Indianapolis, I wanted to take a look at who impressed the scouts with their numbers and on-field workouts. While the tape is clearly the main material for evaluating these prospects, putting them into positions, that might reveal their weaknesses, can go a long way in telling you what someone can’t do. On the other hand, with a great showing at this event, players can force scouts to go back to their film, because of how well they performed and showed something, the evaluators didn’t expect them to be able to do. Either way, here are my standout performers over the weekend:

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Biggest question marks for some of the draft prospects:

Every year, there’s some NFL prospects with major question marks going into the pre-draft season. While a large portion of the film work already done, they have a chance to impress scouts at the combine and their respective pro days, forcing those guys to go back to the tape and re-evaluate what they’ve seen from these young men. Of course, you can’t analyze quarterbacks going through their progressions or safeties reading route-patterns in shorts, but there are some details to keep your eyes on. I picked out ten (or rather eleven) players, who are looking to hear their names called early on in late April and will have to prove some of their doubters wrong, to fulfill that dream.

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Analyzing Jimmy Garoppolo as the 49ers’ new franchise quarterback:

With the NFL season all wrapped and the draft as well as free agency still some time away from this point, I wanted to take a look at the newest quarterback, who got paid. Jimmy Garoppolo was traded to San Francisco for a second-round pick in the middle of the 2017 season and completely turned the franchise around, helping a 1-10 team win their next five games. That resulted in the front office making him the highest-paid player in NFL history, by giving him a five-year, 137.5 million dollar contract. After just seven career starts, it is fair to question if he is worth all that money. Therefore, I watched every snap of his time with the 49ers to offer an analysis on the young QB. I looked at his two games with New England as well, but decided to leave those out for now, since I’m judging him based on the system he will be a part of going forward, with Kyle Shahan signing a six-year contract himself, just a year ago. Let’s dive into the tape:

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How the Eagles coaches outdueled the Patriots in Super Bowl LII:

This was a unique matchup. While New England went into the AFC playoffs as the number one seed and favorite to win it all, Philadelphia took on the underdog role throughout the NFC race, with the opposing team favored in both games at Lincoln Financial field. Despite earning the top seed in their respective conference as well, not many people believed that backup Nick Foles would be able to match MVP and five-time champion Tom Brady in the big game. All the analysts talked about how Philly’s defensive line would have to harass Brady throughout the game, to keep the score low and give them a chance to win the game. Yet, 74 points and, an all-time NFL record for any game, 1151 total offensive yards later, it was the Eagles hoisting the Lombardi trophy with Foles being named Super Bowl MVP. How was this possible?

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