1. Running Back

  • It’s no surprise that the deepest position in the 2018 NFL Draft is running back. This is the reason why running backs have become devalued, there’s just so many quality athletes at the position that can carve out a specific role. It’s definitely top-heavy with Saquon Barkley and Derrius Guice looking like future top 10 players at the position. Even after those two there’s about four to six more running backs that have 1,000 yards rushing potential. With the new wave “air back” position, a running back that’s as much of a threat catching passes as taking carries, there’s even more bit players this year. Five of the backs are going to have long carries as secondary options that add value pass catching and there’s at least five more that have the potential to grow into that role. Of course, there will always be a day three running back that becomes a playmaker. Tarik Cohen, Jordan Howard, Jay Ajayi, and Devonta Freeman come to mind in the past four drafts. Taking a running back early can payoff quickly, but in the long run might not be worth it.
All-Pro Talent:
  • Saquon Barkley, Penn State
  • Derrius Guice, LSU
Pro Bowl Talent:
  • Ronald Jones, USC
  • Sony Michel, Georgia
  • Nick Chubb, Georgia
NFL Starters:
  • Rashaad Penny, San Diego State
  • Mark Walton, Miami
  • Kerryon Johnson, Auburn
NFL Contributors:
  • Nyheim Hines, North Carolina State
  • Kalen Ballage, Arizona State
  • John Kelly, Tennessee
  • Bo Scarbrough, Alabama
  • Akrum Wadley, Iowa
  • Martez Carter, Grambling State
  • Ito Smith, Southern Miss
  • Royce Freeman, Oregon
Make a Roster:
  • Josh Adams, Notre Dame
  • Justin Crawford, West Virginia
  • Phillip Lindsay, Colorado
  • Chase Edmonds, Fordham
  • Jordan Wilkins, Ole Miss
  • Ryan Nall, Oregon State
  • Roc Thomas, Jacksonville State
  • Justin Jackson, Northwestern
  • Ralph Webb, Vanderbilt
  • Dimitri Flowers, Oklahoma
  • Darrel Williams, LSU
  • Nick Bawden, San Diego State
Super Sleepers:
  • Mike Boone, Cincinnati
  • Trenton Cannon, Virginia State
  • Keith Ford, Texas A&M
  1. Interior Offensive Line

  • This has the chance to be an all-time special class for the interior offensive linemen. Everybody already knows Quenton Nelson is the best guard prospect this decade, and honestly probably of all-time. Isaiah Wynn isn’t a slouch either. He’s got the chance to become a perennial Pro Bowler with his technique and versatility. On top of that there’s four more guys that might go first-round and have Pro Bowl talent. On Day Two of the draft there will be at least five plug and play guys still available. It’s a top heavy group, but having 11 NFL-ready guys is huge. There’s about five more interior guys worth taking to develop and a huge handful of guys that’ll make rosters.
All-Pro Talent:
  • Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame
  • Isaiah Wynn, Georgia
Pro Bowl Talent:
  • Billy Price, Ohio State
  • James Daniels, Iowa
  • Will Hernandez, UTEP
  • Frank Ragnow, Arkansas
NFL Starters:
  • Braden Smith, Auburn
  • Alex Cappa, Humboldt State
  • Austin Corbett, Nevada
  • Wyatt Teller, Virginia Tech
  • Martinas Rankin, Mississippi State
NFL Contributors:
  • Mason Cole, Michigan
  • Maea Teuhema, SE Louisiana
  • Sam Jones, Arizona State
  • Colby Gossett, Appalachian State
  • Scott Quessenberry, UCLA
Make a Roster:
  • Sean Welsh, Iowa
  • Taylor Hearn, Clemson
  • Tyrone Crowder, Clemson
  • Brian Allen, Michigan State
  • Bradley Bozeman, Alabama
  • Skyler Phillips, Idaho State
  • Brandon Fanaika, Stanford
  • Coleman Shelton, Washington
  • Tony Adams, North Carolina State
  • Cole Madison, Washington State
Super Sleepers:
  • Jamil Demby, Maine
  • Austin Golson, Auburn
  • Rod Taylor, Ole Miss
  1. Linebacker

  • Like the interior offensive line class, it’s a huge year for linebackers. There will be guys with starting potential available even in the fourth-round. It might be the most athletic group of linebackers ever in one draft. Roquan Smith and Tremaine Edmunds are special and can dominate the league. Rashaan Evans and Leighton Vander Esch can become Pro Bowl players in the right systems. Meanwhile there’s a whole mess of year one and two starting potential linebackers. A lot of them play different roles. Need a smart thumper? Josey Jewell, Genard Avery, and Tegray Scales can fill that hole. Want to be on athleticism and upside? Here’s Malik Jefferson, Fred Warner, and Jerome Baker. A lit bit of both? Uchenna Nwosu and Darius Leonard. After those guys there’s still five guys who can carve out roles on defense and about eight more that can contribute on special teams.
All-Pro Talent:
  • Roquan Smith, Georgia
  • Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech
Pro Bowl Talent:
  • Rashaan Evans, Alabama
  • Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State
NFL Starters:
  • Josey Jewell, Iowa
  • Uchenna Nwosu, USC
  • Genard Avery, Memphis
  • Darius Leonard, South Carolina State
  • Malik Jefferson, Texas
  • Fred Warner, BYU
  • Jerome Baker, Ohio State
  • Tegray Scales, Indiana
NFL Contributors:
  • Jack Cichy, Wisconsin
  • Dorian O’Daniel, Clemson
    Christian Sam, Arizona State
  • Oren Burks, Vanderbilt
  • Shaquem Griffin, UCF
  • Matthew Thomas, Florida State
Make a Roster:
  • Shaun Dion Hamilton, Alabama
  • Joel Iyiegbuniwe, Western Kentucky
  • Tre’ Williams, Auburn
  • Nick DeLuca, North Dakota State
  • Andre Smith, North Carolina
  • Micah Kiser, Virginia
  • Skai Moore, South Carolina
  • Jason Cabinda, Penn State
Super Sleepers:
  • Frank Ginda, San Jose State
  • Myles Pierce, The Citadel
  • Zaire Franklin, Syracuse
  1. Wide Receiver

  • This isn’t the draft teams are going to find true WR1’s in, it’s deep in the middle, but thin at the top. Calvin Ridley is the clear best because of his routes, hands, and YAC, but even he might be better in the slot. Christian Kirk, Courtland Sutton, and D.J. Moore will be top 50 picks, but none of them are even first-round locks. All four are more like high-end WR2’s then franchise top targets. The second day of the draft will be interesting filled with talent that can start in the slot or WR2 spot almost right away. Having 14 wide receivers that can go between the second and fourth-round and make impacts early is wild. After that there’s even a slew of developmental receivers that can be special teams players to add value.
All-Pro Talent:
  • None
Pro Bowl Talent:
  • Calvin Ridley, Alabama
  • Christian Kirk, Texas A&M
  • Courtland Sutton, SMU
  • J. Moore, Maryland
NFL Starters:
  • Equanimeous St. Brown, Notre Dame
  • J. Chark, LSU
  • Dante Pettis, Washington
  • Auden Tate, Florida State
  • Anthony Miller, Memphis
  • Trey Quinn, SMU
  • Keke Coutee, Texas Tech
  • Deon Cain, Clemson
  • Michael Gallup, Colorado State
  • J’Mon Moore, Missouri
  • DaeSean Hamilton, Penn State
  • James Washington, Oklahoma State
  • Darren Carrington II, Utah
  • Byron Pringle, Kansas State
NFL Contributors:
  • Deontay Burnett, USC
  • Antonio Callaway, Florida
  • Tre’Quan Smith, UCF
  • Korey Robertson, Southern Miss
  • Cedrick Wilson, Boise State
  • Simmie Cobbs Jr., Indiana
  • Braxton Berrios, Miami
  • Daurice Fountain, Northern Iowa
Make a Roster:
  • Jaleel Scott, New Mexico State
  • Marcell Ateman, Oklahoma State
  • Richie James Jr., Middle Tennessee State
  • Justin Watson, Penn
  • Jordan Lasley, UCLA
  • Allen Lazard, Iowa State
  • Ray-Ray McCloud, Clemson
  • Jake Wieneke, South Dakota State
Super Sleepers:
  • Thomas Owens, FIU
  • Jaelon Acklin, Western Illinois
  • Davon Grayson, East Carolina
  1. Quarterback

  • It’s hard to call a quarterback group deep because so few of the players will actually turn into consistent contributors since only one gets on the field. But everybody knows there’s five quarterbacks that should be first-round locks in Rosen, Darnold, Mayfield, Jackson, and Allen. That’s a lot of potential at QBs and all will likely go in the top 15. Even though most franchise passers are found in the first-round there’s a little more oomph in the next tier of quarterbacks. Kyle Lauletta has the ball placement, mobility, and football IQ to be a developmental starter. Mason Rudolph has size, deep accuracy, and apparently some teams even see him as a first-round guy. Kurt Benkert has a rifle of an arm, the ability to throw from off platform, and toughness worth a third or fourth-round pick. After the potential starters the third tier has long-time NFL backup written all over it with Mike White, Luke Falk, and Chase Litton.
All-Pro Talent:
  • Josh Rosen, UCLA
  • Sam Darnold, USC
  • Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
Pro Bowl Talent:
  • Lamar Jackson, Louisville
NFL Starters:
  • Josh Allen, Wyoming
  • Kyle Lauletta, Richmond
  • Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State
  • Kurt Benkert, Virginia
NFL Contributors:
  • Mike White, Western Kentucky
  • Luke Falk, Washington State
  • Chase Litton, Marshall
Make a Roster:
  • Riley Ferguson, Memphis
  • Nic Shimonek, Texas Tech
  • Logan Woodside, Toledo
  • Kyle Allen, Houston
Super Sleepers:
  • Brandon Silvers, Troy
  • Peter Pujals, Holy Cross
  • Matt Linehan, Idaho
  1. Nickel

  • The nickel position is somewhat over looked because people think of it more as the third cornerback spot rather than its own position. Nickels don’t have the sideline to help them meaning they need great footwork, they have to be feisty versus the run, and the more versatile they are, the better. Minkah Fitzpatrick is the best true nickel prospect I’ve ever seen. He can be used in so many ways and has the cleanest game among defensive back prospects. After him Donte Jackson has the twitchy athleticism and ball skills to be a big play machine. Those guys will probably go in the first and second-round, but the third to fifth-round range is stacked. There might be more starting nickels in this draft than any other position group, it’s deep in the middle with a lot of different types of guys. It kind of tones down after that with not a lot of special teams value with players, but it’s a great year to need a plug and play nickel.
All-Pro Talent:
  • Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama
Pro Bowl Talent:
  • Donte Jackson, LSU
NFL Starters:
  • J. Reed, Kansas State
  • Dane Cruikshank, Arizona
  • Jordan Whitehead, Pittsburgh
  • Parry Nickerson, Tulane
  • Darius Phillips, Western Michigan
  • Rashaan Gaulden, Tennessee
  • Tony Brown, Alabama
  • Avonte Maddox, Pittsburgh
  • Duke Dawson, Florida
  • Tremon Smith, Central Arkansas
NFL Contributors:
  • Arrion Springs, Oregon
  • Grant Haley, Penn State
  • Greg Stroman Jr., Virginia Tech
Make a Roster:
  • Van Smith, Clemson
  • Jalen Davis, Utah State
  • Rashard Fant, Indiana
  • Stephen Roberts, Auburn
  • Deatrick Nichols, South Florida
Super Sleepers:
  • Keion Crossen, Western Carolina
  1. Interior Defender

  • The ranking of this position group is all about how you seed the top tier interior guys. Some people think Vita Vea, Taven Bryan, and Da’Ron Payne are top 20 players. I only see Vea as worthy of a top 20 selection. Bryan is a freak athlete that needs a ton of coaching. Payne only flashed disruptive 3-tech traits in basically two games of his career- I see him more as a space eating 1-tech. Maurice Hurst helps bolster the group because he has all of the traits to be a gap shooting 3-tech, but even he has questions due to lack of size. There’s about 10 interior guys that can become NFL starters and three of them (Ford, Settle, and Hall) need specific situations. There are a couple third day guys that’ll bring value as run down defenders, but a lot of this group has bigger names than they do games.
All-Pro Talent:
  • None
Pro Bowl Talent:
  • Vita Vea, Washington
  • Maurice Hurst, Michigan
  • Taven Bryan, Florida
NFL Starters:
  • Harrison Phillips, Stanford
  • Da’Ron Payne, Alabama
  • Nathan Shepherd, Fort Hays State
  • J. Hill, North Carolina State
  • Poona Ford, Texas
  • Tim Settle, Virginia Tech
  • J. Hall, Sam Houston State
NFL Contributors:
  • Andrew Brown, Virginia
  • Da’Shawn Hand, Alabama
    Derrick Nnadi, Florida State
  • Justin Jones, North Carolina State
  • Deadrin Senat, South Florida
  • J. McIntosh, Miami
  • Foley Fatukasi, UCONN
  • Rasheem Green, USC
Make a Roster:
  • Bilal Nichols, Delaware
  • Trenton Thompson, Georgia
  • James Looney, California
  • Breeland Speaks, Ole Miss
  • Steven Richardson, Minnesota
  • Khalil McKenzie, Tennessee
  • Kendrick Norton, Miami
Super Sleepers:
  • Jullian Taylor, Temple
  • Zaycoven Henderson, Texas A&M
  • Sebastian Joseph, Rutgers
  1. Cornerback

  • A lot has been made about the top end of this cornerback class, and rightfully so. Four to six guys could go in the first-round. The issue with the class is there’s a massive drop off after those top six guys. It seems like only the top six corners are worthy of being selected in the top 80 picks and after that it’s a bunch of late Day Two and early Day Three guys. The saving grace is the potential some of the day three corners have flashed. MJ Stewart, Kameron Kelly, Anthony Averett, and Isaac Yiadom all could become NFL starters if put in the right roles. Even after the fourth-round corners it’s a big fall to a bunch of sixth to seventh-round small school guys, off-field issue guys, and lack of athleticism guys.
All-Pro Talent:
  • Denzel Ward, Ohio State
  • Jaire Alexander, Louisville
Pro Bowl Talent:
  • Josh Jackson, Iowa
  • Mike Hughes, UCF
  • Carlton Davis, Auburn
NFL Starters:
  • Isaiah Oliver, Colorado
  • Tarvarus McFadden, Florida State
  • Quenton Meeks, Stanford
  • Holton Hill, Texas
  • Nick Nelson, Wisconsin
NFL Contributors:
  • Kameron Kelly, San Diego State
  • Kevin Toliver, LSU
  • Anthony Averett, Alabama
  • Isaac Yiadom, Boston College
  • J. Stewart, North Carolina
Make a Roster:
  • JaMarcus King, South Carolina
  • Jordan Thomas, Oklahoma
  • Levi Wallace, Alabama
  • Dee Delaney, Miami
  • Brandon Facyson, Virginia Tech
  • C. Jackson, Maryland
  • Christian Campbell, Penn State
  • Michael Joseph, Dubuque
  • Chandon Sullivan, Georgia State
Super Sleepers:
  • Jamar Summers, UCONN
  • Chris Jones, Nebraska
  • Andre Chachere, San Jose State
  1. Safety

  • If some of the nickel backs were penciled in as safeties that would bolster this class. On the other hand, if Justin Reid, who played more nickel than safety, was in the nickel position, this group would fall even further. It’s a weird having a potentially generational safety at the top with Derwin James, a versatile stud with Justin Reid then a large gap to Ronnie Harrison and another gap to the next tier. Kyzir White might be a linebacker. Jessie Bates is a solid all-around player, but has no elite traits. Tarvarius Moore and Terrell Edmunds are all about betting on athletic upside. Armani Watts needs to be in a single high role. DeShon Elliott lacks athleticism. I love Jeremy Reaves, but the NFL didn’t even invite him to the combine. After all those guys it’s a lot of special teams type players with some upside in Trayvon Henderson and Godwin Igwebuike.
All-Pro Talent:
  • Derwin James, Florida State
  • Justin Reid, Stanford
Pro Bowl Talent:
  • Ronnie Harrison, Alabama
NFL Starters:
  • Kyzir White, West Virginia
  • Jessie Bates, Wake Forest
  • Tarvarius Moore, Southern Miss
  • Terrell Edmunds, Virginia Tech
  • Armani Watts, Texas A&M
  • Jeremy Reaves, South Alabama
  • DeShon Elliott, Texas
NFL Contributors:
  • Marcus Allen, Penn State
  • Cole Reyes, North Dakota
  • Siran Neal, Jacksonville State
  • Troy Apke, Penn State
  • Quin Blanding, Virginia
  • Trayvon Henderson, Hawaii
  • Godwin Igwebuike, Northwestern
Make a Roster:
  • Tracey Walker, ULL
  • Tre Flowers, Oklahoma State
  • Foye Oluokun, Yale
  • Davontae Harris, Illinois State
  • Tray Matthews, Auburn
Super Sleepers:
  • Marcell Harris, Florida
  • Josh Kalu, Nebraska
  • Trey Marshall, Florida State
  1. Edge Defender

  • Even though the edge class has a top five talent with Bradley Chubb and speed rushing stud in Harold Landry the class is a bit of a mystery. Lorenzo Carter and Josh Sweat are freaky long athletes, but both so raw. Marcus Davenport has top 20 talk, but his tape is more like a late first-round player’s. After those guys it’s a drop due to lack of athleticism, but has high floor players like Sam Hubbard, Hercules Mata’afa, and Duke Ejiofor. There’s also size question player like Okoronkwo and Jeff Holland. The wildcards are Kemoko Turay, who is injury-prone, but awesome and Arden Key who has so many off-field questions. Day Three could have some solid depth players that can be strong run defenders or situational pass rushers.
All-Pro Talent:
  • Bradley Chubb, Georgia
  • Harold Landry, Boston College
Pro Bowl Talent:
  • Lorenzo Carter, Georgia
  • Josh Sweat, Florida State
  • Marcus Davenport, UTSA
NFL Starters:
  • Sam Hubbard, Ohio State
  • Kemoko Turay, Rutgers
  • Arden Key, LSU
  • Obo Okoronkwo, Oklahoma
  • Hercules Mata’afa, Washington State
  • Duke Ejiofor, Wake Forest
  • Dorance Armstrong Jr., Kansas
  • Jeff Holland, Auburn
NFL Contributors:
  • Chad Thomas, Miami
  • Marquis Haynes, Ole Miss
  • Justin Lawler, SMU
  • Kylie Fitts, Utah
  • Tyquan Lewis, Ohio State
  • Leon Jacobs, Wisconsin
  • Kentavius Street, North Carolina State
  • Jalyn Holmes, Ohio State
Make a Roster:
  • Darius Jackson, Jacksonville State
  • Joe Ostman, Central Michigan
  • Davin Bellamy, Georgia
  • JoJo Wicker, Arizona State
  • Ola Adeniyi, Toledo
  • Ade Aruna, Tulane
  • Garret Dooley, Wisconsin
Super Sleepers:
  • Ja’Von Rolland-Jones
  • Peter Klambayi, Stanford
  1. Tight End

  • Honestly, this tight end class is bad. It’s got the big three, then maybe three more eventual NFL starters, then a bunch of role players. Hurst, Goedert, and Gesicki all flash Pro Bowl talent, but it’s inconsistent and probably only one of them ends up a first-round pick, and even then that’s a reach. Thomas would be the guy to bet on after that, but he had an inconsistent career at Indiana. Andrews needs to be taught how to play in-line and Fumagalli is slow as molasses. Conklin is interesting he’s a great pass catcher, but struggles athletically. Smythe, and Schultz have some upside with their blocking and flashes of pass catching. If you need a blocking tight end Will Dissly, and Ryan Izzo can get the job done. Samuels and Herndon are move tight ends with upside.
All-Pro Talent:
  • None
Pro Bowl Talent:
  • Hayden Hurst, South Carolina
  • Dallas Goedert, South Dakota State
  • Mike Gesicki, Penn State
NFL Starters:
  • Ian Thomas, Indiana
  • Mark Andrews, Oklahoma
  • Troy Fumagalli, Wisconsin
NFL Contributors:
  • Tyler Conklin, Central Michigan
  • Jaylen Samuels, North Carolina State
  • Durham Smythe, Notre Dame
  • Christopher Herndon, Miami
  • Dalton Schultz, Stanford
Make a Roster:
  • Jordan Thomas, Mississippi State
  • Will Dissly, Washington
  • Ryan Izzo, Florida State
Super Sleepers:
  • Jordan Akins, UCF
  1. Offensive Tackle

  • There’s a good chance I like this offensive tackle class more than most NFL Draft media scouts and it’s still my weakest position group. My love for Connor Williams is extreme and I believe he’s worthy of a top 10 pick and has franchise left tackle tape. After him the second tackle is clearly Mike McGlinchey who is going to be a top 20 NFL tackle for a long time. Then it’s a massive drop to Kolton Miller, who is only worth a second-round pick if you’re in love with his athletic upside. He’s a mess technically. Chukes Okorafor and Tyrell Crosby are two guys that are going to be right tackles or guards and be plug and play. Brian O’Neill and Desmond Harrison are back of the third-round top of the fourth-round tackles with plenty of athletic upside, I’d take them there over Miller in the first. Will Richardson, Jamarco Jones, and Orlando Brown Jr. have some intriguing traits as right tackles with the ability to kick inside and be guards as a backup plan. After all of them there’s Geron Christian, Brandon Parker, and Joseph Noteboom who could become swing tackles, but that’s about it when it comes to draftable players at tackle.
All-Pro Talent:
  • Connor Williams, Texas
Pro Bowl Talent:
  • Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame
NFL Starters:
  • Kolton Miller, UCLA
  • Chukes Okorafor, Western Michigan
  • Tyrell Crosby, Oregon
  • Brian O’Neill, Pittsburgh
  • Desmond Harrison, West Georgia
  • Will Richardson, North Carolina State
  • Jamarco Jones, Ohio State
  • Orlando Brown Jr., Oklahoma
NFL Contributors:
  • Geron Christian, Louisville
  • Brandon Parker, North Carolina A&T
  • Joseph Noteboom, TCU
Make a Roster:
  • Toby Weathersby, LSU
  • Timon Paris, Stony Brook
  • Brett Toth, Army
  • Ike Boettger, Iowa
Super Sleepers:
  • Greg Senat, Wagner College
  • Korey Cunningham, Cincinnati
  • Jaryd Jones-Smith, Pittsburgh

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Author Details
I’m Canadian as can be, other than the fact that I don’t care about hockey. I love football. The NFL is my life. I consider myself a football guy and I’d rather watch tape than anything else. I’m the Armchair NFL Draft analyst here. You can read my Armchair Scout columns and call me out for my draft misses. I’m also part of two podcasts at Armchair. Our NFL Draft podcast, 7 Rounds in Heaven, and the main NFL pod, Resting the Starters. I cheer for the Steelers, Raptors, Blue Jays, Oregon, and I guess the Leafs.
I’m Canadian as can be, other than the fact that I don’t care about hockey. I love football. The NFL is my life. I consider myself a football guy and I’d rather watch tape than anything else. I’m the Armchair NFL Draft analyst here. You can read my Armchair Scout columns and call me out for my draft misses. I’m also part of two podcasts at Armchair. Our NFL Draft podcast, 7 Rounds in Heaven, and the main NFL pod, Resting the Starters. I cheer for the Steelers, Raptors, Blue Jays, Oregon, and I guess the Leafs.


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