- Some picks will be more in-depth than others. They are based on all the information I have been able to gather along with watching game tape. Some players were simply easier to find information on or a players tape may have been easier to find. Lastly, be warned: I do have some edgy opinions that may not be popular with some fans. I try to remain as unbiased as humanly possible. Enjoy the article and comment below if you feel compelled to do so. Let’s dive in.
1: The Defending Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles: 4th round pick DE Josh Sweat. Mel Kiper had a first-round grade on Josh Sweat who can contribute at both DE and LB for the Eagles as a rookie. He’s one of the better Edge rushers from this year’s draft class. With enviable measurables and elite athleticism (if he is 100 percent healthy. He looked healthy at the combine where he tested very well.)
He should be an instant impact player as a rotational pass rusher early on in his career on the NFL’s best Dline as a rookie. I think he may be the second biggest steal of the draft after LB Shaquem Griffin who I really wanted My Eagles to draft. That said, I’m very happy with this pick. I would have jotted down RB Josh Adams but he somehow someway was not drafted. After running for 1,623 yards and 25 TDs as a senior he’s another steal for The Eagles as an undrafted free agent that really should have been at the least a 5th round draft pick. Adams will make The Eagles roster despite the talent they already have at the position with Jay Ajayi, Darren Sproles, and Cory Clement, and will likely contribute to some extent as a rookie. Bold prediction: DE Josh Sweat has multiple sacks this season and RB Josh Adams rushes for multiple TDs this season.
2: New England Patriots: 7th round pick: QB Danny Etling LSU. He is not Tom Brady by any means but he does have the talent to succeed him when he inevitably retires in a year or two. While he lacks consistent accuracy he has ideal NFL arm strength and can make all the throws at this level. He was good in college and could be good in the NFL. No matter who they start after Brady will certainly be a downgrade no matter what but I like these kids football IQ. Patriots fans had better hope That Tom Brady can play for three years at the level he played this year. I do not think he can. That’s just me. Brady has proved me wrong before. Time will tell.
3: Jacksonville Jaguars: 6th round: LB Leon Jacobs Wisconsin. Jacobs is an older prospect but is strong and uses his hands well. He is Quicker than fast. He is not a star but is a solid tackler that is a special teams ace with starting potential after a year of development.
4: Minnesota Vikings: The 7th round: Devonte Downs LB Cal. Tall, bulky off-ball linebacker. Major hitter inside. If he gets faster, he can be productive against the run. I don’t think he’ll ever be great in coverage but he has starting outside LB potential. Downs is very good against the run.
5: Pittsburgh Steelers: 5th round pick: Marcus Allen FS Penn State. Another box safety for Pittsburgh. A Decent athlete. What helps him the most is the defense that The Steelers deploy which is mainly a zone defense which plays to his strengths. Should translate well to the NFL.
6: Atlanta Falcons: 4th round pick: RB Ito Smith Southern Mississipi. Smith has an amazing jump-cut ability, vision, and is tremendous in the screen game. He may be more of a scat back but he is a playmaker in the mold of a young Darren Sproles yet slightly bigger. It remains to be seen how much playing time Ito will get as a rookie but I’d Imagine That QB Matt Ryan would want to get him involved early and often on screenplays given the hot and cold nature of The Falcons deep passing game that features a suddenly struggling (It seems) WR Julio Jones.
7: New Orleans Saints: 5th round: Natrell Jamerson DB Wisconsin. Jamerson is a versatile athlete who can play all six DB positions. He is athletic enough to play outside CB on either side, either safety position, and slot CB. While he mainly played safety in college I expect him to compete for The Saints Nickle CB job and win to begin the regular season as a rookie. He’s a steal due to his raw athletism, speed, and versatility.
8: L.A. Rams: 5th round pick: Ogbonnia Okoronkwo DE Oklahoma. While I won’t buy the hype of this new look Rams team until I have seen them produce on the field I will admit that they got themselves an absolute steal in this draft. First-round talent. He Wins off the edge with burst, bend and a wide array of pass-rushing moves. Holds up well against the run despite lack of height. This has been an odd draft for RBs, WRs, and TEs. That being said I don’t know how a player of this caliber fell so far in the draft. Okoronkwo and Sweat might very well be the two best pass rushers drafted this year, and they were picked up in the 4th (by The Eagles) and 5th round respectively.
9: Carolina Panthers: 4th Rd pick: TE Ian Thomas. Carolina gets a TE2 for Norv Turner’s offense. Thomas will be a better pro than he was in college. Plus ball skills. Decent blocker, but he needs to bulk up a little bit. He should be a solid pro and also should have been drafted a round earlier in my opinion.
10: Kansas City Chiefs: 6th round pick: Tremon Smith CB Central Arkansas. Smith is not just a depth pick. This kid can really play. Last season alone he had 41 tackles and 5 interceptions while being named a first-team all-southland selection. He will likely start his career in the slot for Big Red’s defense In Kansas City.
11: Tennesee Titans: 5th round pick Dane Cruikshank S Arizona. While I don’t expect Dane to become a great safety I believe he adds pretty good depth but it is on special teams where he excels. Make no mistake finding a potential special teams ace (as long as The NFL doesn’t make a stupid ass decision and remove the kickoff from the game) is a great value in this round or on day three at all for that matter.
12: Buffalo Bills: 4th round pick: Taron Johnson CB Weber State. Johnson will be a slot cornerback in the NFL despite playing mostly on the perimeter due to his lack of size, but he has excellent quickness and decent long speed. He should be able to make the switch fairly easily given his athletism and all-round effort. The bills drafted a guy in Taron Johnson that does not quit on plays and always gives a maximum effort. his game reminds me a bit of that of CB Jalen Mills. If he can play like Mills as a rookie in Buffalo he will be a steal.
13: Dallas Cowboys: 5th round: QB Mike White Kentucky. White has impressive arm talent and gets the ball out quickly. He was projected to be drafted in the third round by most. His College production was more impressive than that of his new teammate QB Dak Prescott. If Dak struggles like he did last year there will be a major QB controversy in Jerry world due to the lack of patience of The Cowboys estranged and eccentric owner. QB Mike White is a rookie, but I think he has far more upside than Dak Prescott. That is simply my honest opinion. He looks better on tape.
14: San Fransico 49ers: 4th round pick: DE Kentravious Street. While he’ll redshirt as a rookie due to an injury if/when he comes back healthy he could be one of the few true steals of this draft class. He was a very productive pass rusher in college with elite athletic traits. He may be the best edge rusher in this years draft class and if he can return to form next year than this pick is almost a criminal steal.
15: Washington Redskins: 5th round pick: DT Tim Settle Virginia Tech. Settle is yet another player that should have been drafted higher. He’s Super-quick and a one-gap DT in a nose tackle’s body. Settle is Very disruptive. Nice added bulk for Washington against the pass. His one weakness is against the run, but this is a passing league. Anyone who watched this year’s Super Bowl knows that.
16: Seatle Seahawks: 5th round pick LB Shaquem Griffin. Forget the fact that he only has one hand. He doesn’t play like it. He had nearly 20 sacks in the last two years for UCF and should have been drafted at least a round higher. Heck, he could have gone in the third round. He’s a playmaker. He’s not just the best story of the 2018 NFL Draft he may also be the best pass rushing coverage LB taken in the entirety of the draft. Bold prediction: He becomes a better pro in the NFL than his twin brother who also plays for The Seahawks CB Shaquille Griffin. It will happen. The Seahawks are certainly rebuilding, but watching the Griffing brothers play on the same defense should be fun to watch for all.
17: Baltimore Ravens: 4th round pick: Jaleel Scott WR New Mexico State. Tall, lanky. Somewhat stiff. Ability to make acrobatic catches and high-point when coverage is tight. He’s more of an athlete than a well-rounded WR but he is a weapon with the ball in his hands. Look for Baltimore to get him out in space.
18: Green Bay Packers: 5th round pick: JK Scott P Alabama. I said it. Using a 5th rounder on Scott even though he’s a punter is not a reach. He is the best punter to enter the NFL Draft in a decade. He is the most pro-ready punter I’ve ever watched tape on. I know that Mel Kiper loves this pick.
19: Cleveland Browns: 5th round pick: Genard Avery LB Memphis. Avery is a super active, super-quick versatile LB. He Flashes speed and block-shedding versus runs on tape. Avery has a great Bend and good overall hand use on the edge. The only knock on him is he’s Just slightly undersized.
20: Houston Texans: 4th round pick: WR Keke Coutee Texas Tech. He’s an excellent downfield threat for QB Deshaun Watson. Keke is Good after the catch. He lacks ideal size and strength and Could struggle to beat press coverage. That being said the kid has some wheels and is a crisp route runner. Think WR Torrey Smith in his prime with The Ravens. This kid has that type of upside.
21: Indianapolis Colts: 4th round pick: Nyheim Hines RB NC State. Hines is a fun to watch, gadget RB with game-breaking speed. He reminds me of Darren Sproles and Theo Redick to a degree. If he is more like those two players and less like Donnel Pumphrey he should have a good career as a scat back.
22: Denver Broncos: 4th round pick: LB Josey Jewell Iowa. LB was actually a big need for Denver. Josey Jewell plays faster than his timed speed because of his quick play-recognition. He is a Tackling machine. The more tape I watched the more impressed I became. He is not an elite athlete but he makes up for it with excellent effort.
23: New York Jets: 4th round pick TE Christopher Herndon Miami. He may not be in the same class as TEs Mike Gesiski or Dallas Goedert but he’s in that second tier. He most likely won’t be a star but he should become a solid starter at the position for The Jets. Herndon is a long strider which makes him deceptively good after the catch.
24: New York Giants: 4th round pick: QB Kyle Lauletta Richmond. Quick-strike QB with quality accuracy on short/intermediate throws. He is an aggressive gunslinger with decent athletism. He was a necessary draft pick.
I do not for one minute believe that Eli Manning will last the entire season on a team that is still rebuilding despite a very good draft haul. Kyle will start midway through the season in my opinion. Eli was worse statistically than Joe Flacco last year. I honestly expect both The Giants and The Cowboys to face serious QB controversies this season. Their starters at the midway point of the season will be QB Mike White for Dallas and obviously QB Kyle Lauletta for New York.
25: Detroit Lions: 4th round pick: Da’Shawn Hand DE Alabama. Hand is one of the better pure edge rushers in this years draft class. He’s not great against the run but I’m sure Lions Head Coach Matt Patricia can help him out there. When it comes to flat out pinning your ears back and getting after the QB Hand was one of the best in generating pressure in the country at his position. I think he will rotate in as a rookie and puss for a starting job in his second NFL season. He has one of the highest ceilings of any player in this draft.
26: Chicago Bears: 4th round pick: Joel Iyiegbuniwe LB Western Kentucky. I hate Kentucky but that’s beside the point. Joel is a quick-footed athlete who offers more speed at the LB spot for The Bears. He can play as a Hybrid safety/LB if need be. It’s always good to have that type of versatility in today’s pass-happy NFL. He needs to get stronger and better at defeating blocks, but he is an athletic player who should be able to fix that deficiency. I think he will start at either SS or OLB for The bears this year.
27: Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 4th round pick: Jordan Whitehead S Pittsburgh. The former ACC rookie of the year and defensive rookie of the year via the Atlantic Coast sports media association has landed in the perfect spot for his skill set. I mentioned his outstanding freshman season. His faced injuries his sophomore season an junior seasons before declaring for the draft. He would have been wise to have stayed for his senior season in order to improve his draft stock, however landing with The Bucs really plays to his strengths. He’s not a very good zone corner and luckily for him, The Bucs usually prefer to play man. All 3 of his college interceptions came in man coverage. While not an interception machine he is always around the football and recorded 22 pass breakups in college. If he had been drafted by Seatle he likely wouldn’t have made their team because they play a lot of zone. You get where I’m going with this. He’ll play on a team that plays his kind of defense. He can be a dangerous CB1 in Tampa. It’s all about the right fit in the NFL. He should thrive in Tampa’s defense due to how similar it is to the defense he played his best football in college.
28: Miami Dolphins: 4th round pick: TE Durham Smythe. He’s well-versed as a blocker and Shined when given the opportunity to catch passes at Senior Bowl. He’s still Limited out wide. That being said getting a great blocking TE in the 4th is still a great value pick, and perhaps he can improve as a pass catcher over the years.
29: Cincinnati Bengals: 4th round pick: RB Mark Walton Miami. I was surprised to see Walton get passed the third round. He is a power back with good burst and speed. He will break through arm tackles for The Bengals and can be a feature back like he was in college where his production speaks for itself. This may be the strangest draft for RBs I’ve ever seen. Walton is a very talented back that Bengals fans will love in a hurry.
30: L.A. Chargers: 4th round pick LB/S Kyzir White WVU. Kyzir White is a hard-hitting bad ass who prefers to play both LB and Safety as opposed to just one position. He’s extremely competitive. His athletism, discipline and football IQ are off the charts. Several experts had him going in the second or third round but luckily for The Chargers, he was available in the 4th which is still surprising to me. He reminds me of Malcolm Jenkins with how he flies to the football, his athletism, and overall aggressiveness. Bold but not so bold prediction: He will start at SS as a rookie for The Chargers.
31: Oakland Raiders: 4th round pick Nick Nelson CB. I’ll be honest when I first heard the pick I didn’t know who Nick Nelson was. After doing a little research and watching a good amount of tape on Nelson I came away very impressed with his game and his style of physical play. I’m not one to question Jon Gruden. While he has yet to record an interception. This young man might be one of the better cover corners in this years DB class as he rarely allowed anything thrown his way to be caught. He had an insane 34 pass breakups in college. He has the potential to be a shutdown corner but he needs to invest in a jugs machine (He dropped a few INTs) so he can come down with some interceptions in the NFL.
32: Arizona Cardinals: 4th round pick: Chase Edmonds RB Fordham. Chase Edmonds could possibly be the next Alvin Kamara if he can stay healthy. In his first three years at Fordham, he nearly ran for 2,000 yards per season. He sat out a few games with an injury this year but still finished with a respectable 577 yards rushing and 5 TDs. His best season was his sophomore season where he ran for 1,990 yards and 23 TDs. He ran for over 50 TDs at Fordham and added another 7 TDs through the air.
He is the most productive RB in this years draft class. The former injury may have scared some teams off, but Arizona was wise to take the gamble as he was healthy at the combine and tested well. Mel Kiper must have called him a steal about 35 times. If he can be half the player that he was in college then getting him here late in the 4th round is an absolute steal. Great pick by The Cardinals who desperately need a feature back.
-At first, ( short random tangent) I was hoping my Philadelphia Eagles would have traded Mychal Kendricks for a third-round draft choice and take Edmonds with it but now I am pleased as punch that we have resigned Darren Sproles who is a similar type player and signed RB Josh Adams who might have an even better career than Edmonds. All three backs are great players in my opinion.
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