We are officially in the same month as the 2018 NFL Draft. With that said, it is time to break down the draft position by position and identify values, steals, and overrated players. This series will go through each position and tier each prospect to their respective group. Keep in mind that team fit and coaching are huge indicators that will affect the outcome of each prospect. This is why looking at the tier, rather than the ranking is much more important.
1. D.J. Moore, Maryland
Strengths: Do everything wide receiver who can work with the ball in his hands. Physical with the ball in his hands, as a route runner and with the ball in the air. Has a bigger than anticipated catch radius, strong routes, and consistent hands.
Weakness: His size limits how realistic his ceiling can be. Does not have the deep speed to consistently take the top off.
2. Courtland Sutton, SMU
Strengths: Impressive with the ball in his hands for his size. Has some of the nuances of route running down. Brings a larger catch radius and uses it well.
Weakness: Is not a natural pass catcher. Still raw as a route runner, and does not have the deep speed to consistently take the top off or physicality to be a consistent deep field threat.
Role Comparison: Demaryius Thomas
Skinny: Like Thomas, Sutton has the size. However, the inconsistent hands and route running make him a bigger force with the ball in his hands. The screen has always been a go to play for Thomas, and that should arise as a consistent winner for Sutton as well.
3. James Washington, Oklahoma State
Strengths: Ability to change speeds on the fly is impressive. Helps in selling routes, and in ball tracking. Washington consistently hauls in the ball in stride and is physical is his ability to win with the football in his hands.
Weakness: Does not have a refined route tree. Essentially limited to screens, slants, posts and go routes.
Skinny: Washington is a rare prospect due to his consistent ability to get deep despite being a shorter, thicker wide receiver. His nuance and ability to beat consistently beat defenders faster than him is impressive and can give him a defined role in the NFL.
4. Equanimous St. Brown, Notre Dame
Strengths: Has some of the tougher aspects of football ironed out. For his size St. Brown has impressive footwork and sudden movement. He is quick with the ball in his hands and stretches the field as well.
Weakness: For his size, he is not a physical wide receiver. He does not win in the air often and does not haul in the physical and contested catches. Working on his playing strength will be what can unlock him.
Skinny: St. Brown’s ability to win in tight areas combined with his size makes him a great option as a big slot player. However, if he can gain that physical edge, a top outside threat could be found.
5. Michael Gallup, Colorado St.
Strengths: Plays with understanding and technique. Knows how to beat man and zone. Nuanced route runner who plays physical at the line of scrimmage and with the ball in his hands.
Weakness: Athletic profile lowers upside. Not a deep threat and would be looked at as more of a complementary piece in the NFL.
6. Anthony Miller, Memphis
Strengths: Plays much bigger than his size. Whether that be catch radius or physicality. Bursts out of his stance with hard steps and nuanced route running. Plays with great understanding and will start immediately in the NFL.
Weakness: At age 23, sits about 2 or 3 three years older than all of the tier one players as well as Michael Gallup. Has issues with drops and fumbles.
Skinny: Due to his size he is likely best looked at as a slot player who can start for the next four or five years.
7. Calvin Ridley, Alabama
Strengths: Sudden off of the line of scrimmage. Is able to break off of his routes extremely fast, and create instant separation. Very effective with the ball in his hands.
Weakness: Can struggle with contested catches. Does not play the ball well in the air and does not deal well with physicality. Another 23-year-old player, with even less production than Anthony Miller.
Role Comparison:Nelson Agholor
Skinny: Some could see the Agholor comparison as disrespectful but it is not a direct comparison. It is strictly about usage. Ridley is another option who is plug and play in that slot, yards after the catch receiver next season.
8. Daeshean Hamilton, Penn State
Strengths: Best route runner in the class. Is able to beat press with quick and sudden movement. Strong ball tracking and good size for the slot.
Weakness: His athletic ability limits him to the slot. Does not have a strong catch radius, and does not change gears to separate further down the field.
Skinny: Teams are looking for bigger slot options to win over the middle of the field and he fits the role perfectly.
9. Tre’Quan Smith, UCF
10. Auden Tate, Florida State
11. D.J. Chark, LSU
Skill Set Comparison: Robbie Anderson
12. Cedrick Wilson, Boise State
13. Christian Kirk
Strengths: Quick slot receiver with burst off of the line of scrimmage. Dynamic with the ball in hands with strength and quick in tight spaces. Also returns punts.
Weakness: Not the strongest route runner. Does not have a wide catch radius, needs to be schemed open.
Skinny: Kirk is great with the ball in open space, but needs to be drawn up the space and does not have the makings of a top receiver.
14. Dante Pettis, Washington
Skill Set Comparison: Tyler Lockett
15. Antonio Callaway, Florida
Strengths: Fluid route runner with strong ability to sink his hips sell routes. Catches the ball away from his body with strength. Brings deep speed to take the top off and punt return ability to break open plays in space.
Weakness: Has an off-field history that will take himself off of some teams boards. He has a limited catch radius on the field, but would be ahead of the likes of Tre’Quan Smith if it were not for his off of the field questions.
Skinny: Any team drafting him is going to have to be aware of his off of the field situation. He did not play at all last season. However, if he does turn his life around he is a talent worth betting on.
16. Keke Coutee, Texas Tech
17. Jordan Lasley, UCLA
18. Richie James, Middle Tennessee State
Strengths: Speedy and aggressive with the ball in his hands. Lined up as a wildcat quarterback, caught passes out of the backfield and lined up in the slot.
Weakness: Better with the ball in his hands than making catches down the field. Size limits his catch radius and ability to beat bigger cornerbacks off of the line of scrimmage.
Skinny: James is dynamic with the ball in his hands, but the question is how consistently you can get the ball in his hands. As a gadget player he is a threat to defensive coordinators. However, his upside is not a number one receiver.
19. Deon Cain, Clemson
20. J’Mon Moore, Missouri
Strengths: Great size. Plays with a big catch radius and great fluidity with the ball in the air. Great athleticism and leaping ability allow for big plays down the field. Has feet to move after the catch.
Weakness: Drops are going to cost him any chances he may get. Route tree is somewhat limited to comeback routes at this point.
Skinny: Moore is raw but posses high upside due to his ability to create splash plays down the field. If he can expand his route tree and work on the concentration drops, he could become an impact player.
21. Trey Quinn, SMU
Strengths: Hand size shows with an ability to catch the ball away from his body and make one-handed catches. Pure slot receiver with shiftiness to get open in space and large catch radius.
Weakness: Will not provide much outside of the slot. Will not win down the field or with the ball in the air. Only had one year of any real production.
Skinny: To paint a picture of what Trey Quinn is, you will hear at least once that Quinn is going to be a good fit for the New England Patriots.
Strengths: Big slot target who wins with finesse route running and a wide catch radius. Can win after the catch and in the air.
Weakness: Kicked out of Oregon and forced to transfer to Utah. Has a slender frame that struggles against press. Ball security after the catch can be an issue.
23. Korey Robertson, Southern Miss
Strengths: Wins with balance. Shows good body fluidity and ball tracking to make plays down the field. Wins with yards after the catch.
Weakness: Struggles to get off of the line against press. Does not possess over the top speed down the field and cannot get consistent separation.
Skinny: Robertson is a play maker down the field despite strong speed and leaping abilities. His nuance can translate, but he may not have the upside of more than a splash
24. Allen Lazard, Iowa State
Strengths: Attacks over the middle of the field with the size of a tight end. Size, length and reach make him a great red zone threat with accuracy erasing catching radius.
Weakness: Slow in and out of his breaks. Does his best work in the middle of the field from the slot.
Skill set comparison: Kenny Golladay
Skinny: Lazard will fill the big slot role as a seam stretcher who can make acrobatic catches down the field due to his size.
25. Javon Wims, Georgia
Strengths: Jump ball wide receiver who wins in tracking the ball and going up to get it in the air. Former basketball player with the ability to box out, and create a catching lane
Weakness: Does not have quick feet to get out of breaks fast. Not a burner down the field.
Skinny: Wims is a bit older and does not have the speed or foot quickness to consistently win in the NFL. As a depth option and goal line threat, Wims can be a player.
26. Marcel Ateman, Oklahoma State
27. Simmie Cobbs, Indiana
28. Deontay Burnett, USC
Strengths:Consistent hands. Quick feet and ability to get separation in the short passing game and down the field.
Weakness: Catch radius is limited by size and athleticism. Does not offer much physicality or an ability to win at contested catches.
Skill Set Comparison: Harry Douglas
29. Jaleel Scott, New Mexico State
Strengths: Plays with a wide catch radius. Wins with the ball in the air. Can move in and out of the slot.
Weakness: Thin framed. Not quick off of the ball. Heavier feet in tight spaces than you would like.
30. Jake Wieneke, South Dakota State
Strengths: Big slot option who can win with the ball in the air. Goal line target with great height and ability to hang in the air to track the ball.
Weakness: Not quick off of the ball. Limited athlete who will not have the speed or strength to beat press on the outside. Must be utilized as a mismatch option in the slot against smaller cornerbacks.
31. Jester Weah, Pitt
Strengths: Former basketball player who wins the ball in the air. Knows how to highpoint and position his body to box defenders out.
Weakness: Does not have the foot speed to get off of the ball. Typically limited to being a vertical option with limited lateral agility. Needs a runway to get speed down the field. Limited deep speed.
Skinny: Weah can be used to stretch the field and make plays near the goal line. Asking him to consistently beat press or to use the whole field is going to be taking him out of a comfort zone.
32. Cam Phillips, Virginia Tech
Strengths: Shifty route runner who can get off of the ball. Understanding and body fluidity to turn his body upfield as he brings in passes in stride.
Weakness: Does not win with physicality or in the air. Limited possession receiver without a strong athletic profile or upside.
Role Comparison: Ryan Grant
33. Byron Pringle, Kansas State
Strengths: Polished route runner with smooth ability to get in and out of his breaks. Pringle was able to dominate his competition in the air.
Weakness: Pringle will be a 25-year-old rookie. At that age, when he has a four-year difference on his competition, he should be dominating in that regard. His athletic profile leaves little upside, and off-field question marks about his path to Kansas State leave less to be desired.
Skinny: Pringle has a defined floor and can get on the NFL field right away. However, there is no room to grow as a player and he is what he is coming out.
34. Ray Ray McCloud, Clemson
Skinny: McCloud can make things happen with the ball in his hands. Special teams, reverses, and even lining him up in the backfield is in play.
35. Braxton Berrios, Miami
Skinny: Slot option with limited quickness and a small catch radius.
36. Quadre Henderson, Pitt
Skinny: Could make a team as a return man option. Likely not going to crack a top four of any teams wide receiver depth chart.