CPGM Front Office

Top 5 Draft Prospects by Position 2.0 – 2018

Quenton Nelson & Mike McGlinchey
Top 5 Draft Prospects by Position 2.0 – 2018
CPGM Front Office

Top 5 Draft Prospects by Position 2.0 – 2018


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QUARTERBACKS

Headley

1. Josh Rosen, UCLA
2. Sam Darnold, USC
3. Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
4. Lamar Jackson, Louisville
5. Josh Allen, Wyoming

No change here from my initial Top 5. Rosen is the cleanest of all the quarterbacks who excels from within the pocket with the requisite footwork and technique. Darnold is still developing as a passer as his release and mechanics need improvement, but he plays big in big moments and could be the guy with the “It” factor. Mayfield is a leader and accuracy is a plus but I still question his transition to the next level due to his college system and Big 12 competition. Jackson and Allen are both boom or bust prospects but one thing I know for certain is that Jackson is a play maker that can take over a football game.

Drew

1. Josh Rosen, UCLA
2. Lamar Jackson, Louisville
3. Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
4. Sam Darnold, USC
5. Josh Allen, Wyoming

No change here. I know you either love Lamar or hate Lamar as you can see I love him. Playing QB in the league only gets harder from college to pro so I’m not sure things get better for Allen. All his issues that show up on film only get worse in my estimation. For Allen specifically I think his career prospects depend heavily on the system and supporting cast. As for the top 4 I don’t see that being the case.

RUNNING BACKS

Headley

1. Saquon Barkley, Penn State
2. Nick Chubb, Georgia 
3. Ronald Jones II, USC 
4. Derrius Guice, LSU 
5. John Kelly, Tennessee

The big mover here is Chubb going from number 4 to number 2. You always remember your first love and I got blinded by the new hot thing in my first Top 5 rankings. Other backs that intrigued me – Rashaad Penny needs to improve pass protection but he has the ability to be a complete running back who plays with suddenness. Kerryon Johnson’s feet are impressive as he has that Le’Veon Bell ability to make defenders look silly but durability issues are concerning. Royce Freeman will be a factor at the next level due to his workmanlike mentality in grinding out yards.

Drew

1. Saquon Barkley, Penn State
2. Derrius Guice, LSU
3. John Kelly, Tennessee 
4. Ronald Jones II, USC 
5. Royce Freeman, Oregon 

I have moved Kelly up to 3, Jones and Freeman down. Just like Alvin Kamara was held back at Tennessee, Kelly was no different. With a strong base and excellent balance thru contact I believe he will go higher then most think. Jones is a smaller back with explosive speed but slim frame; I think he will be relegated to the return game and to third down duties initially working him into the starting line up by mid-season. Coming from a zone run scheme Freeman may take some time to adjust if drafted by a team that isn’t and so that may limit him in the beginning but by season’s end I believe he will be well on his way, all-around balanced player.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Headley

1. Calvin Ridley, Alabama
2.
Christian Kirk, Texas A&M
3.
Michael Gallup, Colorado State
4. D.J. Moore,
Maryland 
5. Anthony Miller,
Memphis 

I moved DJ Moore up to 4 and added Anthony Miller in the top 5. James Washington drops outside of my Top 5. I wouldn’t be surprised if Moore ends up being the best receiver in the class as he is very explosive and plays the game with easy speed. Whether it’s in the slot where I believe he will line up in the NFL predominately or outside, Miller does an excellent job setting up his routes with great footwork in and out of his breaks.

Drew

1. Michael Gallup, Colorado State
2. Calvin Ridley, Alabama
3.
Anthony Miller, Memphis
4. D.J. Moore,
Maryland 
5.James Washington,
Oklahoma State 

I have moved Moore up a spot and to be honest I think the top 4 are in a class all their own. The top 2 route runners are at the top. With dangerous and dynamic after the catch to round out the Top 5. Folks aren’t talking about OBJ lite Anthony Miller and the intensity he plays with it. It would’t surprise me if Moore is the top receiver when it is all said done. IF he is capable of creating more separation with his route running look out for him to be one of the best in the league.

TIGHT ENDS

Headley

1. Hayden Hurst, South Carolina
2. Dallas Goedert, South Dakota State
3. Mike Gesicki, Penn State 
4. Tyler Conklin, Central Michigan 
5. Dalton Schultz, Stanford 

Tyler Conklin enters the top 5 due to his 2016 tape before his preseason foot injury in 2017. I love his dual threat ability as an in-line blocker playing with intelligence and technique and I also like him in the passing game as he has great ball skills and hand placement at the top of his routes. Conklin and Schultz replace Troy Fumagalli and Mark Andrews.

Drew

1. Dallas Goedert, South Dakota State
2. Hayden Hurst, South Carolina
3. Mark Andrews, Oklahoma 
4. Mike Gesicki, Penn State
5. Durham Smythe, Notre Dame 

I really do like Smythe and what his ceiling could be. The one thing I know he can do is block. When he got a chance to get into the passing game he was effective and was open when he wasn’t targeted. Gesicki is a scheme dependent player and my assumption is the team that drafts him knows this and will use him accordingly. Dallas Clark anyone? Smythe gets the nod over Troy Fumagalli.

OFFENSIVE TACKLES

Headley

1. Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame 
2. Connor Williams, Texas 
3. Orlando Brown, Oklahoma 
4. Tyrell Crosby, Oregon
5. Brian O’Neill, Pitt

A shake up to the order of the top 3 tackles in the draft. While Connor Williams has the highest upside of the three, his 2017 tape is inconsistent and a move to guard might be a possibility. McGlinchey is the safest player as his technique and run blocking prowess is a plus. Brown is the biggest wild card as many have written him off since his poor combine performance, but on tape this guy gets the job done.

Drew

1. Orlando Brown, Oklahoma
2. Connor Williams, Texas
3. Tyrell Crosby, Oregon 
4. Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame 
5. Brian O’Neill, Pitt

I am fully aware of Brown’s Pro day and combine  numbers and honestly it doesn’t concern me as the film shows me everything I needed to know. The most concerning thing I saw was that Brown on occasion will try to block using one hand which I think he will learn quickly that is going to get someone hurt which may include himself. Crosby was 5 but I love the athleticism and headsy play. I do believe all these prospects are fairly close with very little separating them.

INTERIOR OFFENSIVE LINEMAN

Headley

1. Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame
2. Isaiah Wynn, Georgia
3. Will Hernandez, UTEP 
4. James Daniels, Iowa 
5. Billy Price, Ohio State

A flip flop with Hernandez and Daniels. I was initially intrigued with the upside of Daniels as a zone blocking center that moves easily to the second level but I preach technique over potential for offensive linemen. Hernandez is a grown man that is strong and nasty with underrated feet and technique.

Drew

1. Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame
2. Isaiah Wynn, Georgia
3. Will Hernandez, UTEP
4. James Daniels, Iowa
5. Braden Smith, Auburn

This is the best group of OL in the draft across the board especially the top 4 players. I know on the podcast I went in a little of a different direction but ultimately  no change here, stasis quo. If your team drafts any of these players you are in good hands.

INTERIOR DEFENSIVE LINEMAN

Headley

1. Vita Vea, Washington
2. Da’Ron Payne, Alabama
3. Maurice Hurst, Michigan
4. Harrison Phillips, Stanford
5. Taven Bryan, Florida

Status Quo…I thought for a second to move Payne up but Vea is the more consistent prospect.

Drew

1. Vita Vea, Washington
2. Da’Ron Payne, Alabama
3. Maurice Hurst, Michigan
4. Taven Bryan, Florida
5. Harrison Phillips, Stanford

No change here. Although I could’ve flopped Bryan and Phillips but I’m going to take the ceiling of Bryan over the polished play of Phillips.

EDGE RUSHERS

Headley

1. Bradley Chubb, N.C. State
2. Harold Landry, Boston College 
3. Arden Key, LSU 
4. Duke Ejiofor, Wake Forest 
5. Marcus Davenport, UTSA

I flip flopped Landry and Key but the biggest mover is Ejiofor. When I first put on the tape I was confused why someone built like a defensive tackle was playing the wide 9 position but after a few plays I understood how gifted and skilled Ejiofor was. The way he uses his hands and feet are top notch. My latest draft crush will be a major steal for the team that drafts him. Sam Hubbard drops out of my Top 5.

Drew

1. Bradley Chubb, N.C. State
2. Harold Landry, Boston College 
3. Chad Thomas, Miami 
4. Marcus Davenport, UTSA 
5. Sam Hubbard, Ohio State

As you can see I am super high on Chad Thomas who I believe to have his best football ahead of him with a high motor to boot. I moved Landry up one spot after looking at his 2016 tape which is the player I think most teams think they are getting if and when he gets drafted. Davenport has so much potential and if some one can help him put it all together they will have one hell of a player on there hands at a premium position. I simply don’t trust Arden Key therefore he is outside of my Top 5.

LINEBACKERS

Headley

1. Roquan Smith, Georgia
2. Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech
3. Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State 
4. Shaquem Griffin, UCF 
5. Rashaan Evans, Alabama 

Shaquem Griffin’s tape is one of the best I’ve watched of all the prospects. Yes he is undersized for the linebacker position but he plays with such outstanding movement ability with no wasted motion and teleports to the ball carrier ala Roquan Smith that he needs to be mentioned with the Top 5 in the class. The team that drafts Griffin on day 2 or 3 will get a steal that can play weak side linebacker or rush off the edge on passing downs. Malik Jefferson and Darius Leonard are on the outs.

Drew

1. Roquan Smith, Georgia
2. Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech
3. Shaquem Griffin, UCF 
4. Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State 
5. Rashaan Evans, Alabama 

I wanna apologize for not having Shaquem Griffin in my Top 5 orginally. I’m sorry. He plays at a level most do not; every play, every second, with no wasted movement. False steps don’t exist in his game. I’m interested to know where Vander Esch will go due to his size and speed. I too am out on Jefferson.

CORNERBACKS

Headley

1. Jaire Alexander, Louisville
2. Josh Jackson, Iowa
3. Denzel Ward, Ohio State
4. Mike Hughes, UCF
5. Donte Jackson, LSU 

The unfortunate meniscus injury to Nick Nelson in a private team workout drops him out of my Top 5. He was my sleeper corner due to his fluid hips and ability to play both the run and pass but a knee injury will further hurt his ability to cover deep down the field initially. I slid Donte Jackson up as he is the next best corner that comes from that LSU defensive back lineage. He is a man to man corner that gives you flexibility in the return game.

Drew

1. Jaire Alexander, Louisville
2. Mike Hughes, UCF
3. Denzel Ward, Ohio State
4. Donte Jackson, LSU
5. Josh Jackson, Iowa

I know most are high on Denzel Ward and I am too just not as high due to his lack of size and strength at the LOS. Alexander being about the same size doesn’t show the lack of strength like Ward at the LOS just some injury concerns. Hughes and Donte Jackson I believe to have the highest of ceilings between all the corners in the draft. I have two concerns with Josh Jackson: (1) Can he play the run? (2) Can he play man to man consistently? Can’t completely fault a player for something he wasn’t asked to do.

SAFETIES

Headley

1. Derwin James, Florida State 
2. Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama 
3. Marcus Allen, Penn State 
4. Justin Reid, Stanford 
5. Kyzir White, West Virginia

A lot of shakeup inside my Top 5 here but the biggest one is moving James in front of Fitzpatrick. Initially, I gave the edge to Minkah as he is the better cover guy that is heading into a passing league but James is the better all-around player and has no question marks on what he will do in the league. James is an alpha dog downhill safety that will change the mentality of a defense. I worry that a team might misuse Minkah as an up high safety.  If a team has a plan for Minkah to play closer to the line of scrimmage then he can be just as impactful as James. Reid replaces Ronnie Harrison.

Drew

1. Derwin James, Florida State
2. Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama
3. Jordan Whitehead, Pitt 
4. Ronnie Harrison, Alabama 
5. Armani Watts, Texas A&M 

The battle between the top to just comes down to what flavor you like vanilla or chocolate.  One is better in the box then the other and one is better in space then the other. I’ve heard very little about Armani Watts and his play making ability. Always around the ball whether it be in the air or on the ground. Improved from 2016 to 2017. Watts and Whitehead replace Marcus Allen and Kyzir White for me.

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