Draft Analysis – NFC North

Chicago Bears

After an offseason in which the Bears loaded up on offensive talent, they continued that trend in the draft while also getting numerous defensive players. They selected a trio of explosive linebackers in the draft, starting with inside linebacker Roquan Smith in the first round. Smith was the perfect pick at eighth overall, as he is a leader and explosive playmaker. However, the selection of Joel Iyiegbuniwe was anything but a perfect pick, as the Bears reached to acquire the athletic linebacker. To complement the two inside linebackers, the Bears followed up with edge rusher Kylie Fitts in the sixth round. Fitts is highly injury prone, but he has the talent to become a force opposite Leonard Floyd. The second round provided the Bears with two offensive starters: James Daniels and Anthony Miller. The former is a dominant run blocker who can help solidify the interior of the offensive line, although his pass-blocking woes could prove problematic. The latter is a short but extremely talented wide receiver who is dominant both in the slot and on the outside – he should become the team’s WR2. In addition to the linebackers and offensive players, the Bears also drafted a solid backup in defensive tackle Billy Nicholls. All the players drafted – at the very least – fit the scheme well, while a few provide the team with a needed influx of talent at key positions.

A-

Detroit Lions

After years of relying on the strong arm of Matthew Stafford, the Lions may finally have found some semblance of a run game. In addition to being a dominant force in the run game, first round center and guard Frank Ragnow is an amazing player who can greatly bolster Matthew Stafford’s pass protection. The Lions also traded up in the second round to acquire running back Kerryon Johnson, a versatile power runner who can instantly improve the running game as an every down back. Late round tackle Tyrell Crosby is a good developmental prospect who can help the run game, particularly if he moves to guard. Meanwhile, the Lions also added some versatile high upside players on the defensive side of the ball: Tracy Walker and Da’Shawn Hand. Safety Tracy Walker was a bit of a reach in the third round, but the Lions have been known to draft their targets aggressively. While not quite an asset in the run game, Walker is an extremely talented and instinctual player in coverage, with the ability to get on the field at corner while developing at the safety position. Although he played as a two gap defensive end in college, Hand figures to be more of a defensive tackle for the Lions, as he lacks the edge rushing ability to play on the outside. However, he is a dominant run defender with a good deal of upside rushing from the inside. The first two picks are the strength of the class, while the later picks could develop into key pieces down the line.

B+

Green Bay Packers

The Packers have struggled to develop a stable cornerback rotation over the past few years, something that they tried to address with their first two picks. Cornerback Jaire Alexander struggled with injuries, but can otherwise serve as a consistently impactful lockdown corner opposite Kevin King. In a trade down and subsequent trade up for Alexander, the Packers were also able to acquire the Saints first round draft pick for next year. In the second round, the Packers stopped the slide of fellow cornerback Joshua Jackson. While a high risk upside corner in cover three schemes, Jackson’s talent should be wasted in the man heavy Packers scheme. The Packers continued to confront their defensive woes in the third round, although they surprisingly failed to address their pass rush. Instead, they drafted speedy cover linebacker Oren Burks, a nice compliment to tackle machine Blake Martinez. The Packers also drafted a trio of wide receivers in the later rounds, likely hoping one of them can emerge as a viable option. Two of the chosen wideouts are raw and risky talents with size and speed, while the earliest drafted – J’mon Moore – is a well rounded player who could provide good depth. While the Packers successfully filled their needs, it is highly possible that only Jaire Alexander will be an effective starter.

C

Minnesota Vikings

One of the most well rounded teams in the NFL, the Vikings entered the draft with few major needs. As such, they opted for the best player available strategy in the first round, selecting cornerback Mike Hughes. While Hughes projects as a solid starter rather than a transcendent player, he gives the Vikings depth at both the corner and nickelback positions. The Vikings also drafted for talent in the middle rounds, picking tight end Tyler Conklin in the fourth. A former basketball player, Conklin is big and strong with elite potential as a pass catcher. Additionally, defensive lineman Jalyn Holmes was picked a round later, a decent attempt by the Vikings to add some upside and versatility to their defensive line rotation. Although a solid unit as a whole, the Vikings still felt the need to upgrade the depth on the offensive line, selecting Brian O’Neill and Colby Gossett in the second and sixth rounds, respectively. The former – while highly flawed – is an athletic and talented swing tackle who also has potential at the guard position. Meanwhile, the latter is a solid run-blocking guard prospect with minimal upside. The Viking’s sole major need was addressed in the late fifth round with the selection of kicker Daniel Carlson, a consistent extra point kicker with the ability to hit field goals over fifty yards. The Vikings did a good job of not wasting any picks, as well as getting players who can fit on their roster.

C+

Draft Analysis – AFC West

Los Angeles Chargers

After being one of the unluckiest teams in the NFL for the past few years, the Chargers finally hit the jackpot with the selection of Derwin James. At one point rumored to be a top five pick, he fell to the seventeenth overall pick where the Chargers made the best pick of the draft. Safety was one of the few needs on an already dominant Chargers team, and James turned it into a strength. Linebacker was another need on the defensive side of the ball, although it is questionable whether there were better players available than second round pick Uchenna Nwosu. Nwosu provides versatility as a third pass rusher and explosive playmaker, but the pick was a bit of a reach considering he is a role player who can’t play on run heavy downs. However, the need at linebacker was filled later in the draft by Kyzir White, a talented safety/linebacker hybrid who should pair with Derwin James to give the defense additional versatility and toughness. He should be able to start immediately at outside linebacker given his ability to play in the slot or inside. The Chargers also attempted to address the need for depth at defensive tackle with Justin Jones, a questionable pick that lacks in upside. With the major needs addressed, the Chargers added depth on offense, drafting center Scott Quessenberry, receiver Dylan Cantrell, and running back Justin Jackson. All three have floors as backups with the upside of pushing for playing time. The addition of starters and depth made an already talented team even better.

B+

Oakland Raiders

In the first glimpse into what the Jon Gruden tenure might look like, the results were not as pretty as the Raiders had hoped. The selection of offensive tackles Kolton Miller and Brandon Parker in the first and third rounds, respectively, were questionable, especially given the fact that the team had more pressing needs on defense. Despite what many analysts think, Kolton Miller was hard to pass up on as a high upside prospect with the ability to play on both sides of the offensive line, although doubling down with Brandon Parker was a bad decision. The need for talent at linebacker and cornerback were not filled adequately in the early rounds, the only exception being backup level cornerback Nick Nelson in the fourth. The Raiders also took numerous swings at high upside defensive linemen, selecting PJ Hall, Maurice Hurst, and pass rusher Arden Key. PJ Hall was a huge reach in the second round, especially considering the vast quantity of more talented defensive linemen and cornerbacks available. Arden Key was considered to be one of the most talented and inconsistent pass rushers in the draft, so drafting him in the third round to pair with Khalil Mack could work out well. Maurice Hurst fell due to a major medical concern, but the fifth round is not too soon to take a chance on a potentially disruptive interior pass rusher. It is yet to be seen how many picks the Raiders hit on, but passing on talented players such as Tremaine Edmunds could come back to haunt them.

D+

Denver Broncos

After being prepared to trade away the fifth overall pick to the Bills, the Broncos decided not to pass up the opportunity to pair Bradley Chubb with Von Miller. Although Chubb was believed by many to be the best player in the draft, quarterback Josh Rosen may have looked like a better pick ten years from now; the Broncos have a number of young pass rushers on the roster, and Case Keenum is most likely not a long-term solution. With Demaryius Thomas and Emanuel Sanders in their early thirties, drafting similar players in Courtland Sutton and Daesean Hamilton was a slick move, even if their talent may be questionable. The Broncos did a good job addressing their other needs with talented players on both sides of the ball. Running back Royce Freeman is an every down player with similarities to Le’veon Bell, and he should win the starting job over Devontae Booker. Troy Fumagalli is a well rounded tight end with excellent hands who can provide the quarterback a safety blanket in the middle of the field. While not a tremendous athlete, Josey Jewell is an instinctual, old school linebacker who should eventually supplant Brandon Marshall. Meanwhile, Isaac Yiadom is a lengthy corner who can step in and fill the gap left by Aquib Talib’s departure. The Broncos may have had a few shaky picks, but the high level of talent added in the draft is undeniable and will eventually make up the nucleus of the team.

A-

Kansas City Chiefs

A year after trading up for Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs decided to focus on improving their much maligned defense. Defensive end Breeland Speaks was a bit of a reach in the second round, especially due to his inconsistent recklessness and lack of starting experience. However, he is an explosive player who has the disruptive playmaking ability to potentially become a dominant defensive end. Derrick Nnadi was a good pick in the third round, as he should be a capable starter at nose tackle. Fellow third round pick Dorian O’Daniel was less of a plug and play pick, as he is much more of a special teams player than a full-time starter. He lacks the size to hold up as an inside linebacker, but is not capable of rushing the passer effectively as an outside linebacker. The Chiefs also added a key secondary piece in the fourth round in Armani Watts, a huge playmaking safety. Although his lack of tackling skills are a major red flag, his ability to make plays in the box or in the slot makes him a huge asset for a Chiefs secondary that has a dearth of talent outside of Eric Berry. The Chiefs did a good job in addressing their needs on defense, adding a good combination of solid and high upside players.

C

Draft Analysis – AFC East

New York Jets

While all the hype surrounding the New York Jets draft class was due to Sam Darnold, they were able to land a number of other very good players as well. Sam Darnold was a perfect pick at third overall, particularly when considering the seemingly risky trade that was made to get there. Due to the trade-up to acquire Sam Darnold, the Jets next pick came in the third round, with the selection Nathan Shepherd. Although the Jets were not in need of a defensive tackle, Shepherd was a steal who will be a dominant interior presence for the Jets in the coming years. Shepherd was followed in the fourth round by tight end Chris Herndon, a talented player who fell due to injuries but could easily emerge as the starter. The draft class concluded with a trio of sixth round picks in Parry Nickerson, Folorunso Fatukasi, and Trenton Cannon. Parry Nickerson was an excellent pick, filling the need at cornerback with a player who can start and play at a high level. However, Fatukasi served as an attempt to imitate the defensive line depth of the Eagles, as the NFL is a league in which hallmarks of successful teams are copied even if it is out of context. Meanwhile, Cannon will only serve to provide unnecessary depth to the running back position, one that should have been addressed in the early rounds or not at all.

B

Buffalo Bills

In their draft room, the Bills knocked both their first round picks out of the park, giving up little to trade up and select quarterback Josh Allen and linebacker Tremaine Edmunds. In reality, they missed badly on Josh Allen, as Josh Rosen was not only a significantly better prospect but also a better fit. While Rosen could have started immediately, there is not enough quarterback talent on the Bills roster to allow Allen to sit, a necessity for such a developmental quarterback. Edmunds is a high upside pick who could struggle early, but the presence of Sean McDermott could help him emerge as a star. They continued to improve on the defensive side of the ball with two very good picks at cornerback in Taron Johnson and Siran Neal, both of whom can tackle well. Johnson is an explosive cover corner in the slot who will compete for playing time early. Neal is a versatile playmaker who has the size and hitting ability to play safety or be physical in the slot. Additionally, defensive tackle Harrison Phillips was taken in the third round, an adequate replacement in the middle for Kyle Williams. However, they failed to address important offensive needs until late in the draft, and the players selected are likely to have minimal roles as backups. Although some quality players were added on defense, the pick of Josh Allen and the failure to seriously address the holes in the offense were a problem.

C-

Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins made their best and safest pick in the first round, selecting hybrid safety Minkah Fitzpatrick. A versatile playmaker in the secondary, Fitzpatrick will be able to help at safety opposite Reshad Jones and at slot cornerback, both positions of need. Additionally, the Dolphins attempted to shore up a longtime hole at tight end, taking both Mike Gesicki and Durham Smythe. While Smythe will only have a minor role as a blocking tight end, Gesicki is a consummate mismatch on the outside, perfect for the modern NFL. However, his complete lack on blocking talent could make him more of a receiver than a true tight end. The Dolphins further attempted to add playmakers to the offense by picking Kalen Ballage in the fourth round. Similar in some ways to current starter Kenyan Drake, Ballage is a taller runner with outstanding athletic abilities. Although he lacks experience to be an immediate contributor, he could carve out a sizable role for himself due to his athleticism. The Dolphins also tried to fix another major defensive need by drafting linebacker Jerome Baker, someone without the talent to be more than a backup. Especially after losing Ndamukong Suh, adding a player to the front seven was a necessity that the Dolphins failed to accomplish.

C

New England Patriots

The New England Patriots did an excellent job addressing their needs in the draft, as well utilizing a flurry of trades to acquire players and picks for next year. After the Titans jumped ahead of the Patriots to snag Rashaan Evans in the first round, the Patriots picked offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn. While many believe that Wynn will likely move from tackle to guard due to his size, he possesses the athleticism, power, and pass blocking to be effective at either tackle or guard. Wynn was a perfect pick for the Patriots, giving them a versatile and talented lineman that can impact the game from any offensive line position. The Patriots also drafted Wynn’s Georgia running back Sony Michel, a move that further demonstrates that the Patriots are hoping to run the ball more. However, a first round pick is a high price to pay, especially when considering the success that the Patriots have had with castaway running backs. As Michel lacks the talent to be better than the scheme he is in, the pick was a waste. After the collapse of the defense in the Super Bowl, the Patriots spent the following rounds trying to improve the defense with the selections of linebackers Ja’Whaun Bentley and Christian Sam. Both players fit the Patriots’ style, as they are more sound foot soldiers than flashy players. Additionally, cornerback Duke Dawson was picked in the second round, an amazing pick that many with disagree with. Dawson fell due to his small stature and natural fit in the slot, but he is a formidable tackler outstanding in man coverage all over the field. Another such player was the late round slot receiver Braxton Berrios, a typical Patriots receiver who should be able to fill in the void left by Danny Amendola. In classic Belichick fashion, the Patriots drafted to fit their style, while still acquiring underrated studs such as Isaiah Wynn and Duke Dawson.

B-

Draft Analysis – AFC South

Indianapolis Colts

Although many people expected the Colts to trade down a second time, they stuck with their pick and selected one of the best players in the draft in Quenton Nelson. They later solidified the offensive line with Braden Smith, a great pick that turned the offensive line from a weakness to a strength. While many think he would be better suited in the NFL as a guard, he displays the talent to be a high-caliber tackle. The rest of the second round was defensive oriented, picking Darius Leonard, Kemoko Turay, and Tyquan Lewis. Leonard should be an immediate starter and playmaker at linebacker, while Turay and Lewis are more unknowns. Lewis has interior versatility and Turay has upside off the edge, but both players could easily be busts. Daurice Fountain was a nice pickup late at receiver, but Deon Cain was an even better pick who could emerge as a number one receiver. Nyheim Hines was also a good pick as a versatile third down back, and Jordan Wilkins is high talent sleeper to emerge as the starting running back. Additionally, the defense was in dire need of more starting caliber players, although the whole roster was in need of talent.

B+

Tennessee Titans

The Titans only had four draft picks the whole draft, but they made the most of them by targeting great players. Although they had to trade up for both Rashaan Evans and Harold Landry, both were excellent decisions. The Titans likely stole Evans from the Patriots, while Landry lasted much longer than expected. Evans will be an anchor in the middle of the defense while also providing the ability to play in coverage and rush the passer. Landry should also be able to rack up sacks in a scheme that will allow him to focus purely on rushing the passer. Dane Cruikshank and Luke Falk on day three were both luxury picks for a roster loaded with talent. Cruikshank has the raw size, speed, and football intelligence to succeed, and can sit behind the Titans safeties to develop. Falk was a potential day two pick who slid all the way to the fifth round, and he has the ability to be a high level starter if Mariota gets hurt. Questions about his arm talent caused him to slide, but he will be a high level backup at worst for good value.

A

Jacksonville Jaguars

Outside of a questionable quarterback situation, the Jaguars had only a few needs that they needed to resolve going into the draft. They knocked their first pick out of the park, taking the best player available and a perfect fit. The Eagles showed that a team can never have too many playmakers on the defensive line, and Taven Bryan is a game-wrecker. However, Lamar Jackson was still available, regardless of the Jaguar’s commitment to Blake Bortles. Their next pick was much more shaky, as DJ Chark was a feeble attempt to fix a need, even though he is a good fit in the offense. The Jaguars were in dire need of a possession or jump ball receiver, not another deep threat such as Chark. Projected by some to go as high as the first round, Ronnie Harrison was a good value pick who can be an important piece as an eventual starter. Will Richardson had some off the field issues in college, but showed great potential at both the right tackle and guard positions. The Jaguars got a number of good players, although none of them were in the major positions of need.

C+

Houston Texans

Trading up to acquire Deshaun Watson seems to have been a great move, but it still left the Texans making their first selection in the third round. Justin Reid fell much farther than expected, although his lack of explosive talent prevented the pick from being a steal. There were better players available at positions of need and at safety, and Reid will likely be relegated to backup duties due to a combination of established starters and his lack of talent. However, the creative usage of Tyrann Mathieu could allow him to get playing time. The Texans also had a trio of solid picks on the offensive side of the ball, selecting Martinas Rankin, Jordan Akins, and Keke Coutee in the middle rounds. Rankins should help stabilize the offensive line, as he is a versatile lineman with the ability to be a starter or high end backup. Akins fills a need at tight end, but there were a number of better tight end prospects available. Coutee is an elusive playmaker in the slot, something the Texans have been looking for since the Braxton Miller experiment failed. Meanwhile, snagging Duke Ejiofor in the sixth round was an absolute steal, and he can help give the Texans a dominant rotation of pass rushers that can rival that of the Eagles.

C

Draft Analysis – NFC North

Cleveland Browns

Surprising many in the NFL world by with their first-round selections of Baker Mayfield and Denzel Ward, the Browns trusted themselves and made the perfect picks. While many believed that those picks should have been Sam Darnold and Bradley Chubb, Mayfield and Ward were better fits. Mayfield has the swagger and talent to turn around the franchise and Ward is a hometown player who fills a big need. The early day two pick of Austin Corbett and Nick Chubb were questionable based on need, but Chubb is a talented player who fits the gritty locker room that Dorsey is trying to build. Corbett, however, was a pick that fails to deal with Joe Thomas’ retirement and was a big reach with Will Hernandez still on the board. The Browns took major gambles in the third and fourth rounds, drafting Chad Thomas and Antonio Callaway, respectively. These picks should pay off, as Thomas has tremendous upside and Callaway could have been the first wideout off the board if not for his numerous run-ins with the law. Of course, much of the quality of this Browns draft class will depend on the success of Baker Mayfield, but they picked up enough high caliber players for it to be considered a success.

B+

Pittsburgh Steelers

Terrell Edmunds in the first round was an unexpected reach, even though he has some upside due to his versatility. James Washington was a similarly bad pick, as he lacks the talent to perform at the level that will be expected of him. However, they were able to snag Mason Rudolph as the heir behind Roethlisberger, a steal in the third round. There is the upside that Washington and Rudolph could eventually become the deep threats they were in college. Additionally, third round tackle Chuks Okorafor is a talented but raw player who they have the depth to develop. After a rough start to the draft, the Steelers were able to snag some solid late round prospects, with Jaylen Samuels and Marcus Allen in the fifth round. Samuels should be an immediate contributor as a versatile chess piece in their offense, while Allen is a physical box safety that can be an interior enforcer. This was a pretty average draft, as the few blown picks in the early rounds were countered by some good ones on days two and three.

C-

Cincinnati Bengals

An absolutely outstanding all-around draft for the Bengals, they acquired a starter or impact player with nearly every pick. The had big needs at both the interior offensive line and safety, both of which were filled with the first two picks. Billy Price was arguably the best center in the draft before his combine pectoral injury, and Jesse Bates was one of the best pure ballhawking free safeties in the draft. The Bengals followed those picks up with back-to-back studs in the third round, as Sam Hubbard was a borderline first rounder with amazing talent and athleticism. Meanwhile, Malik Jefferson is an athletic hitter similar to the suspended Vontaze Burfict – minus the issues. They later doubled down at the cornerback position in the fifth round, drafting Devontae Harris and Darius Phillips. The former is an aggressive player with the size, ball production, and tackling skills that teams cover; the later is an elusive former reciever with great ball skills and cover talent. In addition to strengthening the defense, the Bengals also added a trio of good role players on the offensive side of the ball. Logan Woodside should serve as an AJ McCarron type backup, while Auden Tate is a slow but effective redzone threat. However, the best pick of the three was runner Mark Walton, an every down back who only slid because of his size and injury history.

A+

Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens went about the draft with an interesting attempt to draft both the best player available, somewhat ignoring their big needs and focusing on the smaller ones. Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews were solid picks, as they supply Joe Flacco with safety blankets that can also stabilize the run game. Trading back into the first round for Lamar Jackson was a good move, although shaping an offense around him will take change and time. Taking the raw Orlando Brown in the third round was a risky pick, but his status as a legacy could be of help in his development. The drafting of two late round receivers in Jordan Lasley and Jahleel Scott seemed a bit forced, as it was a need that should have been filled earlier. Meanwhile, the Ravens continued a trend of drafting Alabama defenders, with cornerback Anthony Averett going in the fourth round. While a good pick, his superior partner in Levi Wallace was still available. Similarly to the Steelers, the Ravens had their best pick late, taking DeShon Elliott off the board in the sixth round. He should be able to fill right in as a Pro Bowl caliber free safety when Eric Weddle retires. Lamar Jackson is the wildcard in this scenario, but for now, it is merely a draft class with a few solid role players.

C

Offensive Line

Grading System:

A – Top Tier

B – Starter

C – Backup

D- Practice Squad

Recent Prospect Grade Comparison: Joe Thomas, A+

1. Quenton Nelson – One of the best pure guard prospects to come out in recent years, Nelson is a technically sound player with all of the desired traits for a top tier player. He is a big player with an extremely sturdy build, an ideal body type for the premiere run blocker that he is. He is a dominant blocker from the snap to the whistle, firing up into opponents off the bat and finishing blocks with constantly moving feet. He also has very strong hands and arms, enabling him to get a firm grip on the defender and drive them wherever he wants. As a result, he is an absolute people mover, showing the ability to both seal holes and drive opponents back. He has extremely fluid movement skills for a player of his size, allowing him to find holes when pulling and move his hips when blocking. He is very quick getting to the second level in the run game. Additionally, he has a very balanced base and good bend, making him a good player in pass protection regardless of the few whiffs that he has. He is also very good at adapting to the defense in both the run and pass games, showing a knack for picking up the right blitzer and blocking the correct second level defender. An outstanding run blocker, Nelson has talent to consistently pave holes for the running back while remaining an asset in the passing game.

A+/A

2. Will Hernandez – Although a shorter guard from a less renowned school, Hernandez has dominated upped echelon competition. He is an absolute monster as a run blocker, combining vast strength, aggression, and technique. He is very strong and thick, and can easily box out and block defenders by shifting his hips. He is very good at sealing holes, as it is extremely rare that he is driven back. He fires out at the start of the snap, consistently dominating entire snaps and bullying his opponent from start to finish.  He also shows outstanding hand placement inside the shoulder pads, gaining immense advantages by controlling the defender. The dominance and ease with which he blocks in the run game can’t be understated, as he is a one man hole maker on nearly every snap. He also has enough speed to pull effectively. Additionally, his balance is impeccable, showing the stout base to hold up in pass protection against either bigger or faster competition. He has good football intelligence, knowing how to chip block and then move to the next level. However, he is not necessarily an excellent athlete, as he lacks top tier agility. As such, he can whiff blocks at times due to his inability to change directions very quickly. However, these instances are not often enough to dampen his talent.

A

3. Isaiah Wynn – The most versatile lineman in the draft, Wynn projects as a guard but could easily start at tackle or center. He is undersized for a tackle, but has the technique and strength to either play there or move inside. His footwork is outstanding, using very few wasted movements and putting himself in advantageous positions. This helps him to keep the edge rush out wide and gain advantages that compensate for his small stature. It is also a major reason why he rarely bites on pass rusher moves, allowing him to keep his balance. He makes minimal mental or technical mistakes, a testament to his ability to read the blitz and not get overwhelmed. He does a good job getting his hands on the defender and keeping his hands inside, although at times he does this to mask his lack of explosive hands. He exhibits decent speed when pulling, but is excellent at using his hips to effectively maneuver into position. As such, he is good at sealing blocks and countering pass rush moves. He is a good run blocker, using his good footwork and positioning to drive the defender back and create holes. However, he’s not particularly talented at moving to the second level as he is more of an angle blocker. Due to his size, he can sometimes get pushed back off the snap if the defensive player is significantly stronger and more explosive than he is. Wynn is technically sound and extremely versatile, making him a key piece for any offensive line.

A-

4. Frank Ragnow – A versatile blocker who can play both guard and center very well, Ragnow has the talent to be a good starter at both positions. He has a big, strong build and decent athleticism, a big aid in his ability to play multiple positions effectively. He has an extremely sturdy base, and is great at keeping his body centered over his hips. He also possesses strong arms, allowing him to keep defenders at bay and effectively limit their push into the pocket. This also helps him when he puts his head down to drive back the defender, giving him the upper hand and often forcing the defender on their heels. Because of this, he is very calm and controlled when blocking, showing very little signs of panic. Additionally, he is a patient blocker, a major contributor to his talent for dealing with stunts and cluttered boxes easily. He has very clean footwork, as well as fluid lateral movement that is an asset in pass protection. He is also very good at working the angles in the run game, clearing holes quickly and creating open running lanes. The one flaw in his game are his occasional mental lapses, where he will miss a pass block. otherwise, Ragnow is an athletic and complete prospect who is very good in both the run and pass games.

A-

5. Billy Price – While he can also play guard, Price is mainly a gritty and well rounded center who can perform in both the run and pass games. He is extremely quick and athletic, and was frequently pulled as a lead blocker even after snapping from the center position. Although he doesn’t chop his feet very much, he has very strong legs and a wide stance that give him a good base. He is not much of a driver, largely due to his tendency to lean forward too much as he gets impatient. If he can correct this, it will go a long way toward improving his run blocking, which is already decent because of his athletic traits. He excels at using his hands, exhibiting good placement and strong, heavy hands to firmly counter defenders. When defenders overcommit to gaining the lower position, he is outstanding at trapping them from above, pancaking them, or sealing them in. Additionally, he has fluid hips that allow him to mirror pass rushers and keep them at an angle where he can hand punch them. He also has great lateral agility, helping him to contain pass rushers and reach block in the run game. However, he doesn’t do a good job reading and picking up blitzes, regardless of his agility and movement skills. As an extremely athletic center with balanced blocking talent, Price is an above average starter.

B+

6. Kolton Miller – At 6’9″, Miller has the best combination of length and athleticism at the tackle position in this draft. Due to his size, he plays higher than one would like, contributing to his strong but sometimes unstable base. Additionally, he exhibits a false step off the snap in pass protection, causing him to be pushed into the pocket at the start of the snap. He is also slow to turn his hips at times, an inconsistency that tends to be tied to the general inconsistency in his play. While his athleticism can generally help him cope, it should – and probably can – be fixed at the next level. Otherwise, he has clean footwork and balance even though the false step isn’t ideal. Additionally, he has powerful and active hands, giving him a good punch on defenders and allowing him to control them often. He has very fluid lateral movement and running, which helps him chase down players to block them. This helps him mainly in the run game, where he is very quick in getting to his second level blocks. His combination of size and speed make him an intimidating run blocker, as he can seal and drive very well. He can also pull from the tackle position due to his athleticism. His athletic ability gives him high upside, particularly as he is one of the few pure left tackles in the draft class.  Most of his problems stem from his somewhat shaky technique, something that can be coached up and refined at least enough to cause decent improvement.

B+

7. Mike McGlinchey – A tall player with good length, McGlinchey has the build of stereotypical tackle. He has an upright stance and a wide base, as well as good knee bend that gives him good balance in pass protection. He has a great sense of positioning, keeping the pocket wide and using good footwork to give his quarterback space to maneuver. However, his size causes him to be slow when moving laterally, making him very susceptible to speed rushes off the edge or interior blitzes. He could also use more strength to avoid getting pushed back and to help him drive defenders. He is a very good hand fighter, countering pass rushing moves or block sheds with heavy handed punches. While this can sometimes cause him to overextend in the run game, he is typically a good run blocker. His active hands give him a major advantage when he is engaged with defenders, as they allow him to take over the battle and stall the defender. Thus, blocking pass rushers in space is harder for him. Additionally, he can effectively seal holes by turning his hips well. This is also true when he pulls to get the edge, something he is good at considering his straight line speed is better than his lateral agility. McGlinchey is also known to have good leadership ability. While an inconsistent prospect, his high floor and character increase his grade.

B+/B

8. Connor Williams – Although he a tackle at Texas, Williams short arms cause him to project as a guard in the NFL. He is primarily a run blocker, as he can be inconsistent in pass protection. He is extremely effective as a run blocker, showing the ability to be a people mover in addition to sealing blocks fully. He has active hands in pass protection and strong hands in the run game, allowing him to stick to blocks throughout the play. His balance is suspect, as he finds himself on the ground too much, typically due to overextending in the run game. However, his mass is centered and he has good bend in the pass game, although he could use some more strength to avoid getting pushed back. He is very smooth in pass protection, with good footwork. He is an aggressive finisher, driving opponents to the ground or taking them out of the play in order to reach his second level block. His feet are slow and he lacks quickness, making him slow when pulling and impacting his lateral agility. His greatest asset is his advantageousness, as he routinely knocks over defenders who turn their bodies slightly or experience a misstep. Although a high end prospect last year, inconsistencies and a lack of great athleticism caused his value to drop.

B

9. James Daniels – An outstanding interior run blocker with issues in the pass game, Daniels is more of a technique player than a great athlete. His technique in the run game is outstanding, blocking and moving with low set hips. He has good pad level when he drives and has very choppy feet, a dominant skill set when combined with his explosiveness off the snap. He is also quick to his blocks on the first and second second levels. Because of his lack of athleticism, he doesn’t move his hips well and can get shed to the side by defenders. In pass protection, he has numerous problems with getting beat physically and technically. He doesn’t set his base quick enough in pass protection, allowing defenders to knock him off balance and gain an advantage from the snap. Additionally, his lack of hip movement and athleticism helps defenders beat him with either strength or quickness. While he uses his hands well to spar with the defender, he is not strong enough to win consistently or dominate defenders. He also has a problem with delayed snap, causing false start penalties. He can make adjustments in the run game, showing a good football intelligence not seen in the pass game. A dominant run defender, Daniels is a going to need a team that can deal with his pass protection problems.

B-

 

 

2 Round Mock Draft – 2018 1.0

Round 1

1. Cleveland Browns – Sam Darnold

 

2. New York Giants – Saquon Barkley

 

3. New York Jets – Baker Mayfield

 

4. Trade: Buffalo Bills (via Cleveland) – Josh Allen

 

5. Trade: Arizona Cardinals (via Denver) – Josh Rosen

 

6. Indianapolis Colts – Bradley Chubb

 

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Derwin James

 

8. Chicago Bears – Quenton Nelson

 

9. Trade: Cleveland Browns (via San Francisco) – Denzel Ward

 

10. Oakland Raiders – Roquan Smith

 

11. Miami Dolphins – Tremaine Edmunds

 

12. Trade: San Francisco 49ers (via Cleveland) – Minkah Fitzpatrick

 

13. Washington Redskins – Vita Vea

 

14. Green Bay Packers – Marcus Davenport

 

15. Trade: Denver Broncos (via Arizona) – Mike McGlinchey

 

16. Baltimore Ravens – DJ Moore

 

17. Los Angeles Chargers – Da’Ron Payne

 

18. Seattle Seahawks – Will Hernandez

 

19. Dallas Cowboys – Courtland Sutton

 

20. Detroit Lions – Taven Bryan

 

21. Cincinnati Bengals – Frank Ragnow

 

22. Cleveland Browns (via Buffalo) – Kolton Miller

 

23. New England Patriots – Rashaan Evans

 

24. Carolina Panthers – Jaire Alexander

 

25. Tennessee Titans – Harold Landry

 

26. Atlanta Falcons – Calvin Ridley

 

27. New Orleans Saints – Dallas Goedert

 

28. Pittsburgh Steelers – Lamar Jackson

 

29. Jacksonville Jaguars – Hayden Hurst

 

30. Minnesota Vikings – Isaiah Wynn

 

31. New England Patriots – Connor Williams

 

32. Philadelphia Eagles – Leighton Vander Esch

 

Round 2

33. Cleveland Browns – Harrison Phillips

 

34. New York Giants – Darius Leonard

 

35. San Francisco 49ers (via Browns) – Joshua Jackson

 

36. Indianapolis Colts – Sony Michel

 

37. Indianapolis Colts – Sam Hubbard

 

38. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Derrius Guice

 

39. Chicago Bears – Lorenzo Carter

 

40. Denver Broncos – Malik Jefferson

 

41. Oakland Raiders – Isaiah Oliver

 

42. Miami Dolphins – Maurice Hurst

 

43. New England Patriots – Mike Hughes

 

44. Washington Redskins – Nick Chubb

 

45. Green Bay Packers – Anthony Miller

 

46. Cincinnati Bengals – Justin Reid

 

47. Denver Broncos (via Arizona) – Mike Gesicki

 

48. Los Angeles Chargers – Mason Rudolph

 

49. Indianapolis Colts – Dante Pettis

 

50. Dallas Cowboys – Jessie Bates

 

51. Detroit Lions – Kerryon Johnson

 

52. Baltimore Ravens – Orlando Brown

 

53. Buffalo Bills – James Daniels

 

54. Kansas City Chiefs – Carlton Davis

 

55. Carolina Panthers – Arden Key

 

56. Buffalo Bills – James Washington

 

57. Tennessee Titans – Micah Kiser

 

58. Atlanta Falcons – Derrick Nnadi

 

59. San Francisco 49ers – Michael Gallup

 

60. Pittsburgh Steelers – Ronnie Harrison

 

61. Jacksonville Jaguars – Donte Jackson

 

62. Minnesota Vikings – Duke Ejiofor

 

63. New England Patriots – Kyle Lauletta

 

64. Cleveland Browns – DeShon Elliott