2018 NFL Draft Big Board

The 2018 NFL Draft generally gets attention for the quarterbacks that are available and the teams in need of a franchise signal-caller. While Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold and company are an impressive class, the draft is loaded with talented players. As the college football season wraps, more clarity will come as players will make their decision on whether to stay in school or declare for the draft. (breakdown continues below rankings)

  1. Bradley Chubb – EDGE – NC State
  2. Quenton Nelson – OL – Notre Dame
  3. Minkah Fitzpatrick – DB – Alabama
  4. Saquon Barkley – RB – Penn State
  5. Roquan Smith – LB – Georgia
  6. Orlando Brown – OL – Oklahoma
  7. Derwin James – DB – Florida State
  8. Connor Williams – OL – Texas
  9. Harold Landry – EDGE – Boston College
  10. Josh Rosen – QB – UCLA
  11. Derrius Guice – RB – LSU
  12. Courtland Sutton – WR – SMU
  13. Jaire Alexander – DB – Louisville
  14. Maurice Hurst – DL – Michigan
  15. Lamar Jackson – QB – Louisville
  16. Chukwuma Okorafor – OL – Central Michigan
  17. Arden Key – EDGE – LSU
  18. Denzel Ward – DB – Ohio State
  19. Ogbonnia Okoronkwo – EDGE – Oklahoma
  20. Marcus Allen – DB – Penn State
  21. Sam Darnold – QB – USC
  22. Christian Wilkins – DL – Clemson
  23. Rashaan Evans – LB – Alabama
  24. Mark Andrews – TE – Oklahoma
  25. Vita Vea – DL – Washington
  26. Mike McGlinchey – OL – Notre Dame
  27. Malik Jefferson – LB – Texas
  28. Baker Mayfield – QB – Oklahoma
  29. Calvin Ridley – WR – Alabama
  30. Bryce Love – RB – Stanford
  31. Josh Allen – QB – Wyoming
  32. Clelin Farrell – EDGE – Clemson
  33. Da’Ron Payne – DL – Alabama
  34. James Washington – WR – Oklahoma State
  35. Josh Jackson – DB – Iowa
  36. Anthony Miller – WR – Memphis
  37. Ronald Jones II – RB – USC
  38. Mason Rudolph – QB – Oklahoma State
  39. Ronnie Harrison – DB – Alabama
  40. Deon Cain – WR – Clemson
  41. Mason Cole – OL – Michigan
  42. Nick Chubb – RB – Georgia
  43. Taven Bryan – DL – Florida
  44. Billy Price – OL – Ohio State
  45. Frank Ragnow – OL – Arkansas
  46. Sam Hubbard – EDGE – Ohio State
  47. Tarvarus McFadden – DB – Florida State
  48. Rashaad Penny – RB – San Diego State
  49. Christian Kirk – WR – Texas A&M
  50. Da’Shawn Hand – DL – Alabama

For now, the first big board of 2018 includes one quarterback in the top-10 and six in the top-50. Josh Rosen leads the class at the 10 spot, edging out the number 15 prospect in Lamar Jackson. While Jackson is not a completed prospect, his playmaking ability and strides forward during his 2017 campaign make him extremely enticing towards NFL teams. Sam Darnold checks in at 21, even after a less than perfect 2017 season. Reigning Heisman winner Baker Mayfield sees his name at 28 with Josh Allen just behind him 31 and Mason Rudolph rounding out the quarterback class in the top-50 at 38.

Running back also features heavily with six prospects – including two in the top-11. Sequin Barkley tops the class as the number 4 prospect. The versatile playmaker slowed late in 2017, but his ability and toughness is undeniable. Not far behind is Derrius Guice at 11. He did not have the season many thought he would in 2017, but Guice’s combination of size, speed, agility and power make him a complete prospect. Bryce Love, Nick Chubb and Rashaan Penny close the top-50 at 30, 42 and 48 – each bringing big-play ability.

Seven pass catchers make the cut, including six wide receivers and one tight end. Cortland Sutton tops the class as the number 12 prospect, combining size (6-4) and speed with terrific hands and a relentless motor. Calvin Ridley checks in at 29, bringing the ability to take the top off a defense and be extremely dangerous in the open field on shorter routes. James Washington (34), Anthony Miller (36) and Christian Kirk (49) all bring extreme athleticism and playmaking ability. Deon Cain (40) rounds out the receivers as a big target with tons of upside. The lone tight end in the class is Mark Andrews at the 24 spot, commingling size, hands, power and run blocking ability. He brings a complete game and can create mismatches on linebackers and safeties.

Nine offensive linemen make the board, with four offensive tackles, one guard, one center and two multi-position players. Quentin Nelson tops the class as the number 2 overall prospect. Nelson is simply a complete guard. He shows good pass blocking fundamentals and is an absolute road grater in the run game. Tackle is where it gets interesting, with Orlando Brown at 6, Connor Williams at 8, Chukwuma Okorafor at 16 and Mike McGlinchey at 26 all likely to be starting in the NFL next year – the order of these players will be hotly debated throughout the process. Mason Cole (41) and Billy Price (44) could both play multiple positions at the next level, and it will depend on where a team wants them to play to see how high they will go. Finally, Frank Ragnow is at number 45 as the only true center – dominating the position and showing the traits of a long-time NFL starter with his size and power.

There is no shortage of defense in the top-50, with defenders book-ending the list. Bradley Chubb tops the list as the top overall prospect and top EDGE prospect. He has size, speed, burst and can make plays in both the run and pass game. He likely will not make it past the top five selections. Five other EDGE players make the top-50, including Harold Landry at 9. His name is not as well known after he battled injuries during 2017, but as the process continues he will become a much more popular name. Arden Key (17) and Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (19) both find their way into the top-20 with Key looking like more of a project with elite athleticism and Okoronkwo sowing terrific strength and burst off the edge. Clean Farrell (32) and Sam Hubbard (46) round out the EDGE class, both showing flashes of brilliance, but needing some refining before they are true impact players.

The defensive line is a diverse group that is led by Maurice Hurst at 14. He is a player that is stout against the run, and can push the pocket from the middle with tremendous play strength. Not far behind is another disruptive rusher in the middle with Christian Wilkins at number 22. The first true run stuffer hits the big board at 25 with Vita Vea – he is a force in the middle that commands double teams just to inch him off his spot. A trio of SEC defenders round out the list with Da’Ron Payne at 33, Taven Bryan at 43 and Da’Shawn Hand at 50.

Three off-ball linebackers make the cut, all falling inside the top-30. Roquan Smith is the clear-cut top linebacker, checking in at the number 5 overall spot. He combines speed, field vision and violent tackles with coverage skills – making him a three-down linebacker that should be off the board in the top-10. Rashaan Evans and Malik Jefferson come in at 23 and 27, both showing great play in the run game but needing a little polish in the pass game.

Seven defensive backs make the top-50 – the most well represented group. Minkah Fitzpatrick tops the group at the 3rd overall spot on the board, and could be a corner or a safety. His position will be debated, but he would likely make the biggest impact as a safety that comes off the board early. Not far behind is Derwin James at 7 – a true safety who has great range. A pair of cornerbacks check in at 13 and 18 with Jaire Alexander and Denzel Ward. Both play aggressive man coverage and will be a hot commodity for NFL teams. Marcus Allen (20), Ronnie Harrison (39) and Travarus McFadden (47) close out the defensive back group.

The overall breakdown is eight offensive linemen and defensive backs, six EDGE, defensive linemen, quarterbacks, wide receivers and running backs, three linebackers and a tight end making the cut for the top-50. Disagree with Matt? Let him know your take on Twitter @Matt_LaPan.