Top 100 Big Board
|1||S. Barkley||RB||Penn St.|
|2||B. Chubb||EDGE||NC St.|
|32||R. Jones II||RB||USC|
|38||C. Kirk||WR||Texas A&M|
|41||M. Allen||S||Penn St.|
|45||R. Penny||RB||SD St.|
|50||M. Rudolph||QB||Ok St.|
|51||J. Samuels||FB/RB||NC St.|
|52||D. Amstrong Jr.||EDGE||Kansas|
|57||J. Washington||WR||Ok St.|
|60||M. Gesicki||TE||Penn St.|
|63||L. Vander Esch||LB||Boise St.|
|72||E. St. Brown||WR||ND|
|78||H. Mata’afa||EDGE||Wash St.|
|82||K. Robertson||WR||S. Miss|
|83||M. Gallup||WR||Colorado St.|
|91||L. Falk||QB||Wash St.|
|95||M. Rankin||OT||Miss. St.|
|97||S. Jones||OG||Arizona St.|
Lamar Jackson’s size is the topic of a lot of controversy in recent weeks, with hall of fame GM Bill Polian even going as far as calling him a wide receiver on the pro level. I am of course not on the level of Polian, but I vehemently disagree. People talk about Jackson’s size as a reason to worry about his NFL career, at 6’3” 212 lbs, but take a look at some other quarterback comparisons:
Josh Rosen 6’4” 218
Derek Carr 6’4” 218
Jared Goff 6’4” 205
Alex Smith 6’4” 216
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Jackson hasn’t even entered an NFL weight program, which could easily bring his weight to 220 pounds. Even if he doesn’t gain another pound, he will be fine, and with a limited injury history, his size should not be called into question. As teams and media realize the Heisman Trophy winner’s arm talent and growth as a passer, he will likely shoot up draft boards.
I have Arden Key ranked at 26th, not for his ceiling, but for his off-field issues. The LSU Tiger had shoulder surgery during his offseason absence and was banged up for most of the year. Teams will question his passion for the game, as teams are very wary of early retirees that have become more common in the NFL in recent years. With all of this said, Key could shoot up draft boards with a great combine and great interviews. Don’t be surprised if Key finds his way in the top 15 picks come April, also don’t be surprised if he falls to late day two as well.
Tremaine Edmunds is a player who is shooting up draft boards, with his athletic prowess and pass rushing ability, teams will covet the Virginia Tech Hokie as a 3-4 OLB, and a 4-3 OLB as well.
Early talks of Will Hernandez is how large the UTEP guard is, and at 6’2.5 340 pounds, he is an intimidating figure.
#UTEP OG Will Hernandez is easy to spot. Just look for the defensive lineman violently moving backwards.
— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) January 23, 2018
Hernandez looks to hold his weight at 340 pounds very well, as he is already one of the drafts premier run blockers. Hernandez is manhandling his competition at the Senior Bowl, showing how talented he really is. His performance in Mobile is shooting him up on draft boards, and he will likely end up a late first rounder or earlier second rounder by the end of the draft process.
Talking about the offensive line in this draft, the NFL has had a dearth of talent at that position coming out of college for the past several years. This has helped drive the value of lineman in the NFL, interior lineman garnering close to $14 million a year in free agency. However, this draft seems to have plenty of talent on the OL, even though we may not see a player taken in the top ten picks at that position. Teams will be able to get great value later in the draft at a time where the league could sorely use it.
UTSA Marcus Davenport was going in the opposite direction of Hernandez at the Senior Bowl. Early in the week, the high ceiling player showed that he may need more refinement at the NFL level, and talks about his falling draft position dominated the headlines. However, Davenport had a very strong Senior Bowl game that help dispel some of those notions. It still seems like Davenport is an inconsistent project type player who could use some work on the NFL level, but his may be too upside is too much to pass up.
Another riser at the Senior Bowl is wide receiver James Washington, as he is proving he can succeed outside of the pass friendly system at Oklahoma State. Washington is putting his route running ability on display and shows great hands on contested throws, making him a very quarterback friendly player down at Mobile.
Nick Chubb’s stock has started to fall lately, as some worry about the speed of the UGA product. In the Bulldogs’ CFP loss to Alabama, Chubb looked slow when going around the tackles, which may worry NFL teams. A strong combine and workouts could go a long way to change that, but as right now, the favorite UGA back in this draft is Sony Michel, not Chubb.
Jaylen Samuels is an intriguing draft prospect. Listed as a fullback out of NC State, Samuels is more of a “jack-of-all-trades’ in the backfield, playing some H-back and tight end as well. He finished his senior year with 76 receptions, 597 yards, four receiving touchdowns to go with 403 rushing yards (5.2 YPC) and 12 rushing touchdowns. Look for Samuels to go on day two, as teams realize that he can be a great weapon on the NFL level. Samuels is listed as a running back for the senior bowl, and it will be interesting to see how he performs.
Oklahoma pass rusher Ogbonnia Okoronkwo has flashed some potential down at the Senior Bowl with an incredible first step and speed, but struggles to disengage from blockers. Okoronkwo is also a bit undersized, which puts him in that often overused “tweener,” category, but his talent is undeniable and likely will cause a team to take a chance with him earlier than projected.
In the first rankings, here’s how the conferences are represented:
Big 10: 15
Pac 12: 14
Big 12: 10
Mountain West: 5
(All from Notre Dame)
Conference USA: 3
Middle America: 1
Missouri Valley: 1
Gulf South Conference: 1
I will be posting my top ten positional rankings with more detailed descriptions and round grades in the coming weeks so stay tuned!
Article by: Maxx Hotton
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