The 2018 NFL Draft is in the books. How did your team fare? Complete list of picks, analysis and grades for all 32 teams from the analysts at Field Level Media with more than 30 years of experience covering the draft.
1 (19). Leighton Vander Esch, LB: 6-4, 256; Boise State
2 (50). Connor Williams, OG: 6-5, 296; Texas
3 (81). Michael Gallup, WR: 6-1, 205; Colorado State
4 (116). Dorance Armstrong, DE: 6-4, 257; Kansas
4 (137). Dalton Schultz, TE: 6-5, 244; Stanford
5 (171). Mike White, QB: 6-5, 224; Western Kentucky
6 (193). Chris Covington, OLB: 6-2, 245; Indiana
6 (208). Cedric Wilson, WR: 6-2, 188; Boise State
7 (236). Bo Scarbrough, RB: 6-1, 228; Alabama
Vander Esch is a smooth athlete and can cover with ease despite defensive end size, upgrading the LB corps immediately. Will Dallas rue passing on the top receivers – all available when LVE was selected – and quality safeties in this class? Relatively depleted by the release of WR Dez Bryant and TE Jason Witten’s expected retirement, the Cowboys landed two possible starters in Gallup and Tavon Austin (acquired from the Rams for 2018 sixth-round pick). Dallas stocked its gold-standard offensive line with Williams, a surefire starter at left guard. Schultz is a block-first second tight end, not a Witten replacement.
Best Pick Williams. Considered a fringe first-round prospect with sweet feet and OT background, Williams can start tomorrow at left guard and solidify a front wall already lined with Pro Bowl talent.
Upside Pick Gallup. Scarbrough could be a LeGarrette Blount-type steal. But Gallup, a physical and smooth competitor with WR1 qualities including tackle-busting and magnet hands, stands out for instant opportunity.
NEW YORK GIANTS
1 (2). Saquon Barkley, RB: 6-0, 233, Penn State
2 (34). Will Hernandez, OG: 6-3, 327, UTEP
3 (66). Lorenzo Carter, DE: 6-5, 250, Georgia
3 (69). B.J. Hill, DT: 6-3, 311, N.C. State
4 (108). Kyle Lauletta, QB: 6-3, 222 Richmond
6 (139). R.J. McIntosh, DT: 6-4, 288, Miami (Fla).
First-year GM Dave Gettleman stocked the trenches and found Eli Manning an elite running back. Given Manning is 37 and needs elsewhere, Barkley might not have been the best value on the board at No. 2, but in Gettleman’s mind he was the best player in the draft – and best prospect overall since 1998, when he gave Peyton Manning a 9.0 grade. Hernandez is a hulking guard and combined with Barkley helps establish a new identity for the offense. Of the three D-linemen, Hill’s athleticism and motor will make him the standout rookie but Carter could close fast. McIntosh’s pass-rush base screams potential.
Best Pick Hernandez. Credit Gettleman for wrangling the No. 2 interior offensive lineman – behind Notre Dame’s Quenton Nelson – at the top of the second round. Hernandez finishes blocks and brings a serious mean streak to this maligned unit.
Upside Pick Lauletta. Many evaluators felt the Richmond passer would be a third-round pick following his Senior Bowl performance in January. With Manning locked in for at least another season or two, Lauletta couldn’t be in a better developmental chute.
2 (49). Dallas Goedert, TE: 6-5, 255; South Dakota State
4 (125). Avonte Maddox, CB: 5-9, 184, Pittsburgh
4 (130). Josh Sweat, DE: 6-5, 251; Florida State
6 (206). Matt Pryor, OT: 6-7, 358; TCU
7 (233). Jordan Mailata, OT: 6-7, 346; South Sydney Rabbitohs Rugby
Considering some of the 2018 draft chips the Eagles used to add elsewhere – including their second-rounder to Cleveland in the Carson Wentz deal in 2016 – GM Howie Roseman came away with several bargains even after trading out of the first round. Teams that shied away from Goedert’s small-school resume opened the door for Roseman to gut-punch the Cowboys, dealing one spot ahead of Dallas to land the premier tight end in this draft. The picks mined in the fourth round could be pure gold, particularly Sweat, who adds to the Eagles’ bounty of edge options. One of those, Michael Bennett, was acquired for Philly’s fifth-round pick.
Best Pick Goedert. Another weapon for Wentz and chess piece for formations wizard Doug Pederson. With Alshon Jeffery, Zach Ertz and Goedert, the Eagles might not lose a jump ball all season.
Upside Pick Mailata. At 20, he has never played American football, so the Eagles are no-risk gambling on his incredible size, physical makeup and athletic profile.
1 (13). Da’Ron Payne, DL: 6-2, 311; Alabama
2 (59). Derrius Guice, RB: 5-11, 224; LSU
3 (74). Geron Christian, OT: 6-5, 298, Louisville
4 (109). Troy Apke, S: 6-1, 200; Penn State
5 (163). Tim Settle, DL: 6-3, 329; Virginia Tech
6 (197). Shaun Dion Hamilton, LB: 6-0, 228; Alabama
7 (241). Greg Stroman, DB: 5-11, 182; Virginia Tech
7 (256). Trey Quinn, WR: 5-11, 203; SMU
Without a blue-chip offensive lineman available, the Redskins could have stocked the secondary or gone pass rusher early, but Payne and Guice as a 1-2 punch spell attitude. Washington got stronger up the middle and found value in nearly every pick. Team officials said drafting four Alabama players in the past two years is coincidence, but the championship DNA didn’t hurt. Hamilton stood out to the Redskins when they scouted 2017 first-rounder Reuben Foster and that pick could bear fruit later this season.
Best Pick Guice. Angry running style. Motivated by perceived draft snub. It’s an equation for a standout rookie season from a player some felt rivaled former LSU teammate Leonard Fournette as a pure runner.
Upside Pick Settle. Coach Jay Gruden was stunned Settle, compared to Vince Wilfork, was still around in the fifth round. So were we – he was 59th on the final FLM draft board. With Payne and Allen, Settle gives the Redskins three players who can play three different positions up front.
1 (26). Calvin Ridley, WR: 6-1, 189; Alabama
2 (58). Isaiah Oliver, CB: 6-1, 201; Colorado
3 (90). Deadrin Senat, DT: 6-0, 314; South Florida
4 (126). Ito Smith, RB: 5-9, 201; Southern Miss
6 (194). Russell Gage, WR: 6-0, 184; LSU
6 (200). Foye Oluokun, LB; 6-2, 215; Yale
The Falcons were the benefactors of the early run on quarterbacks and teams ahead of them drafting for need. GM Thomas Dimitroff stayed patient, and Ridley fell into their laps at No. 26 as one of the best values in the first round. The Falcons addressed defense with two very solid picks on Day 2. Oliver will compete in nickel packages immediately, while Senat is a thick, squatty presence on the interior of the defense who will occupy double teams and clog rushing lanes.
Best Pick: Ridley. Just when rumors started to surface about Julio Jones potentially being unhappy with his contract, Dimitroff brought in a fellow former Alabama receiver who could prove the perfect complementary threat. Ridley didn’t post big numbers in a run-first offense, but he is quick, runs the full route tree and his quickness will pose a threat alongside Jones and Mohamed Sanu.
Upside Pick: Oliver. Oliver is tall and long with ideal man coverage skills and experience against top receivers in the pass-crazed Big 12. He’ll compete right away behind Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford.
1 (24). D.J. Moore, WR; 6-0, 210, Maryland
2 (55). Donte Jackson, CB: 5-10 1/2, 178, LSU
3 (85). Rashaan Gaulden, S: 6-0 3/4, 197, Tennessee
4 (101). Ian Thomas, TE: 6-3 5/8, 259, Indiana
4 (136). Marquis Haynes, DE: 6-2 3/8, 235, Mississippi
5 (161). Jermaine Carter, ILB: 6-0, 228, Maryland
7 (234). Andre Smith: 6-0, 237: 6-0, 237, North Carolina
7 (242). Kendrick Norton: 6-2, 312, Miami (Fla.)
Moore wasn’t a reach, but he was the first of a string of picks by general manager Marty Hurney that came at least marginally higher than projected. Ultimately, this draft will likely be judged on whether Hurney made the right decision to take Moore ahead of Calvin Ridley, who went two picks later to division-rival Atlanta. From there, Gettleman did check off “need” boxes with Jackson, Gaulden and Haynes.
Best Pick: Jackson. He lacks prototype size, weight and length, but Jackson tied for the top 40 time (4.32) among CBs at the Scouting Combine and could step in as the ideal nickel back for a defense that finished 18th against the pass last season.
Upside Pick: Norton. Ken Norton Jr.’s son was considered a potential mid-round pick. He comes from a strong football family, and sports the ideal size, length and motor to clog lanes as a two-down run stuffer.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
1 (14). Marcus Davenport, DE: 6-6, 264, Texas-San Antonio
3 (91). Tre’quan Smith, WR: 6-2, 210, Central Florida
4 (127). Rick Leonard, OT: 6-7, 311, Florida State
5 (164). Natrell Jamerson, S: 5-11, 201, Wisconsin
6 (189). Kamrin Moore, CB: 5-11, 203, Boston College
6 (201). Boston Scott, RB: 5-7, 197, Louisiana Tech
7 (245). Will Clapp, C: 6-5, 314, LSU
It cost a 2019 first-round pick and more to get Davenport. Yes, he has a higher pass-rush ceiling than Bradley Chubb (No. 5 overall to Denver) and could prove to be an excellent grab at No. 14. Might Davenport have been around several picks later? That includes Leonard, a former defensive end grabbed in the fourth round despite inexperience and inconsistency at the position who wasn’t invited to the Scouting Combine.
Best Pick: Davenport. Former hoops star-turned-wide receiver was 200 pounds when he arrived at UTSA. Davenport steadily improved and is the physical embodiment of what an NFL defensive end looks like. An excellent athlete, Davenport could blossom into a true force when he refines his technique and pass-rush sequence.
Upside Pick: Clapp. Three-year starter in the SEC is an average athlete who needs to increase his strength, but he’s also versatile along the interior and possesses sound fundamentals that will make him a valued reserve if not more.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
1 (12). Vita Vea, DT: 6-4, 347, Washington
2 (38). Ronald Jones, RB: 5-11, 205, Southern Cal
2 (53). M.J. Stewart, CB: 5-11, 200, North Carolina
2 (63). Carlton Davis, CB: 6-1, 206, Auburn
3 (94). Alex Cappa, OG: 6-6, 305, Humboldt State
4 (117). Jordan Whitehead, S: 5-11, 198Pittsburgh
5 (144). Justin Watson, WR: 6-3, 225, Pennsylvania
6 (202). Jack Cichy, ILB: 6-3, 238, Wisconsin
The Bucs made only two selections that were from their original allotted spots. That speaks to GM Jason Licht’s desire to capitalize on a deep draft pool. Tampa Bay maneuvered to secure five of the top 94 picks, including a trio of second-rounders. That began by sliding back five spots in the first round, securing nimble-footed big man Vea and gaining a pair of second-rounders. Licht parlayed that into second-round haul that includes a potential No. 1 back and a pair of cornerbacks to bolster the league’s worst pass defense.
Best Pick: Jones. The Bucs moved on from Doug Martin and needed a go-to backfield presence to pair with Peyton Barber. An explosive athlete who runs with good instincts, Jones is a proven playmaker and will be given every opportunity to win the lead role.
Upside Pick: Cichy. It’s all about health for the former walk-on who is always in the right place at the right time – when he’s on the field.
1 (8). Roquan Smith, LB: 6-1, 236, Georgia
2 (39). James Daniels, C: 6-4, 306, Iowa
2 (51). Anthony Miller, WR: 5-11, 201, Kentucky
4 (115). Joel Iyiegbuniwe, LB: 6-1, 229, Western Kentucky
5 (145). Bilal Nichols, DT: 6-4, 306, Delaware
6 (181). Kylie Fitts, DE: 6-4, 263, Utah
7 (224). Javon Wims, WR: 6-3, 215, Georgia
Smith joins Georgia LB Leonard Floyd, another first-rounder, as one of the new foundation stones in the Chicago defense. Smith’s size was knocked in the pre-draft process but his production and rare instincts are unquestioned. Daniels moves to guard – replacing Josh Sitton – to upgrade the front wall protecting Mitchell Trubisky before his troublesome QB sack rate becomes a chronic concern. The shaky decision? Trading a 2019 second-rounder to New England to move up to acquire Miller. Of course, new head coach Matt Nagy made that call knowing Miller’s role in the scheme.
Best Pick: Smith. The next great Bears linebacker just walked into Halas Hall. With defensive coordinator Vic Fangio employing his inside linebackers in dynamic ways, Smith definitely has rookie of the year potential.
Upside Pick: Nichols. GM Ryan Pace dips into the small-school well once more and Nichols’ agility and first step will help him win one-on-ones next to Akiem Hicks.
1 (20). Frank Ragnow, C: 6-5, 312, Arkansas
2 (43). Kerryon Johnson, RB: 5-11, 213, Auburn
3 (82). Tracy Walker, S: 6-1, 206, Louisiana
4 (114). Da’Shawn Hand, DE: 6-4, 297, Alabama
5 (153). Tyrell Crosby, OL: 6-4, 309, Oregon
7 (237). Nick Bawden, FB: 6-2, 245, San Diego State
Arguably the greatest need, help for Ziggy Ansah pressuring the quarterback, was not a priority and Hand is a down lineman. Ragnow, or a similar pivot, could have been had 20 picks later. But the reunited tag team of Matt Patricia and GM Bob Quinn backed up their intention to bring a throwback running back to Motown with three of their first five picks focused on that pronounced weakness. Johnson has power and enough speed, plus 29 touchdowns the past two seasons on a resume written vs. SEC competition. Ragnow never allowed a sack in college and Crosby, a tackle in the Pac-12, didn’t give one up last season.
Best Pick: Crosby. Failing to adequately address blocking contributed to the undoing of the previous regime. Crosby can start at guard immediately.
Upside Pick: Walker. A costly investment Quinn defended because of plus size, athleticism and ball skills but most of all – speed. Walker, the cousin of CB Darius Slay, will be placed in a playmaking role.
GREEN BAY PACKERS
1 (18). Jaire Alexander, CB: 5-10, 196, Louisville
2 (45). Josh Jackson, CB: 6-1, 196, Iowa
3 (88). Oren Burks, OLB: 6-3, 233, Wake Forest
4 (133). J’Mon Moore, WR: 6-2, 207, Missouri
5 (138). Cole Madison, OL: 6-5, 313, Washington State
5 (172). JK Scott, P: 6-5, 207, Alabama
5 (174). Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR: 6-4, 206, South Florida
6 (207). Equanimeous St. Brown, WR: 6-4, 214, Notre Dame
7 (232). James Looney, DE: 6-3, 287, California
7 (239). Hunter Bradley, LS: 6-2, 280, Mississippi State
7 (248). Kendall Donnerson, LB: 6-3, 247, Southeast Missouri State
After safety Minkah Fitzpatrick went to the Dolphins at No. 12, first-time GM Brian Gutekunst didn’t blink when offered a 2019 first-round pick to move out of the No. 14 spot to 27 in a deal with the Saints. He had plenty of capital to jump back to No. 18 and came away with two top-25 cornerbacks. Green Bay allowed an NFL-worst 21 TD passes in 2017. Will the pass rush be there? Signing Muhammad Wilkerson is a plus, but if Clay Matthews doesn’t thrive in Mike Pettine’s defense, this pick sequence will bite back.
Best Pick: Jackson. Alexander is feisty and fast. But Jackson has the shutdown corner body type and ball skills to emerge as a top playmaker.
Upside Pick: St. Brown. The tried and true Packers draft philosophy of going big at a position of need played out at receiver. St. Brown left school early but at almost 6-5 and with a 4.48 in the 40, the tool box is full.
1 (30). Mike Hughes, CB: 5-10, 189, South Florida
2 (62). Brian O’Neill, OT: 6-7, 297, Pittsburgh
4 (102). Jalyn Holmes, DE: 6-5, 280, Ohio State
5 (157). Tyler Conklin, TE: 6-3, 254, Central Michigan
5 (167). Daniel Carlson, K: 6-5, 213, Auburn
6 (213). Colby Gossett, OG: 6-5, 311, Appalachian State
6 (218). Ade Aruna, DE: 6-5, 262, Tulane
7 (225). Devante Downs, LB: 6-3, 245, California
The Vikings drafted like a team expecting to be knocking on the doorstep of the Super Bowl again this season. And after signing Kirk Cousins in free agency, they found more pieces to plug into a juggernaut defense. Hughes’ quickness is exceptional and his path to become a top NFL corner might be a shortcut based on his coverage skills. Both offensive linemen – a No. 1 need – are likely immediate assets. Holmes’ skill set and background say defensive end, but the Vikings view him as a havoc-causing, three-technique tackle.
Best Pick: Hughes. A special athlete with gamebreaking return skills, he can develop under the wing of former first-rounder Xavier Rhodes in the Mike Zimmer Pro Bowl CB pipeline.
Upside Pick: O’Neill. GM Rick Spielman repeated “tremendous upside” after the O’Neill card was turned in, praising his physical and athletic movement skills, especially on the move.
1 (10). Josh Rosen, QB: 6-4, 226, UCLA
2 (47). Christian Kirk, WR: 5-10, 201, Texas A&M
3 (97). Mason Cole, C: 6-4, 305, Michigan
4 (134). Chase Edmonds, RB: 5-9, 205, Fordham
6 (182). Chris Campbell, CB: 6-1, 195, Penn State
7 (254). Korey Cunningham, OT: 6-6, 305, Cincinnati
GM Steve Keim’s 2018 draft will be forever linked to Rosen. The Cardinals didn’t give up a bounty with third- and fifth-round picks to move up to secure their franchise quarterback, but Keim hitched his reputation to the polarizing former UCLA star. Arizona, which finished third in the NFC West last season, added only six draft picks to a roster that needs depth throughout to compete in a tough division.
Best Pick: Rosen. There is merit to his claims that he’ll make the teams that passed on him regret it. Rosen is a pure pocket passer who accurately says he has proven doubters wrong before. He’s going to have to prove he’s more Carson Palmer than Jay Cutler, but the 21-year-old possesses the tools and football IQ to emerge as a storm in the desert.
Upside Pick: Cole. Cole started a program-record 51 games at Michigan, with experience at tackle and center. He lacks the length or size to dominate outside in the NFL, but has the frame and agility to succeed inside.
LOS ANGELES RAMS
3 (89). Joseph Noteboom, OT: 6-5, 309, TCU
4 (111). Brian Allen, C: 6-1, 300, Michigan State
4 (135). John Franklin-Myers, DE: 6-4, 283, Stephen F. Austin
5 (147). Micah Kiser, ILB: 6-0, 238, Virginia
5 (160). Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, DE: 6-2, 253, Oklahoma
6 (176). John Kelly, RB: 5-10, 216, Tennessee
6 (192). Jamil Demby, OG: 6-5, 335, Maine
6 (195). Sebastian Joseph, DT: 6-3, 299, Rutgers
6 (205). Trevon Young, DE: 6-4, 258, Louisville
7 (231). Travin Howard, OLB: 6-1, 213, TCU
7 (244). Justin Lawler, DE: 6-4, 265, SMU
The Rams’ 2018 draft will ultimately be judged on the return Brandin Cooks provides for the first-rounder the team sent to New England for the big-play wide receiver. Thanks to that deal and the Sammy Watkins trade last year, GM Les Snead didn’t make his first selection until No. 89 overall. The Rams did add a whopping 10 picks on the final day of the draft, and even one or two diamonds will make this a productive haul for an ascending team in position to mine for luxury picks to bolster an already stacked roster.
Best Pick: Okoronkwo. “Obo” is a liability in the run game, but as a fifth-round pick he brings great burst and balance as a potential sub-package rusher.
Upside Pick: Young. Young looked like a first-round talent before undergoing two hip-surgeries since Dec. 2015. If he can get back to his pre-injury form, Young is a potential late-round steal who can get after the quarterback.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
1 (9) Mike McGlinchey, OT: 6-8, 309, Notre Dame
2 (44) Dante Pettis, WR: 6-1, 186, Washington
3 (70) Fred Warner, OLB: 6-3, 236: BYU
3 (95) Tarvarius Moore, S: 6-2, 190, Southern Miss
4 (128) Kentavius Street, DE: 6-2, 280, NC State
5 (142) D.J. Reed, CB: 6-0, 188, Kansas State
6 (184) Marcell Harris, S: 6-1, 216, Florida
7 (223) Jullian Taylor, DT: 6-5, 280, Temple
7 (240) Richie James, WR: 5-10, 183, Middle Tennessee
McGlinchey is a steady, polished prospect who lacks the typical elite traits of a ninth overall pick – especially considering some of the talent that was on the board. Pettis garners many split opinions within the scouting community and may prove to be a playmaker on offense and special teams – but again, it seemed unnecessary to trade up to grab him. Warner was a solid pick with the uncertain future of Reuben Foster, but GM John Lynch’s class is filled with reaches.
Best Pick: Warner. Warner is built like a big safety and showed off his athleticism with a 4.64 40 and 38.5-inch vertical among his impressive workout numbers at the Scouting Combine. He attacks the run and can play anywhere along the second level.
Upside Pick: Moore. The quintessential late-riser who brings minimal risk/high upside as a third-round pick. He is a terrific athlete who could blossom into a starter.
1 (27). Rashaad Penny, RB: 5-11, 220, San Diego State
3 (79). Rasheem Green, DE: 6-4, 275, Southern Cal
4 (120). Will Dissly, TE: 6-4, 267, Washington
5 (141). Shaquem Griffin, OLB: 6-0, 227, Central Florida
5 (146). Tre Flowers, S: 6-4, 202, Oklahoma State
5 (149). Michael Dickson, P: 6-3, 205, Texas
5 (168). Jamarco Jones, OT: 6-4, 299, Ohio State
6 (186). Jake Martin, DE: 6-3, 230, Temple
7 (220). Alex McGough, QB: 6-3, 214, Florida International
GM John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll once again eschewed conventional wisdom in the pursuit of the types of players they covet. That began with Penny, who most viewed as a late-second, early-third round prospect. But Seattle sees a legit three-down back. The Seahawks needed a pass-catching TE to replace Jimmy Graham, so they drafted local blocking prospect Will Dissly. That was before adding the feel-good story of linebacker Shaquem Green to play with twin brother Shaquill Griffin and trading up for punter Michael Dickson. Schneider and Carroll desperately need to hit a home run with this crop.
Best Pick: Green. The Hawks made so many headline-grabbing picks, it was easy to lose sight of Carroll dipping back into the USC pipeline for Green, an ascending prospect with great athleticism who could emerge as a real impact player with a year in an NFL weight room.
Upside Pick: Griffin. There is only upside here. At worst, he’s a potential fifth-round special teams demon. At best, he continues to defy the odds and maximize his boundless athleticism to make a real impact on defense.
1 (7). Josh Allen, QB: 6-5, 237, Wyoming
1 (16). Tremaine Edmunds, ILB: 6-4, 253, Virginia Tech
3 (96). Harrison Phillips, DT: 6-3, 307, Stanford
4 (121). Taron Johnson, CB: 5-11, 192, Weber St.
5 (154). Siran Neal, S: 6-0, 206, Jacksonville St.
5 (166). Wyatt Teller, OG: 6-5, 301, Virginia Tech
6 (187). Ray-Ray McCloud, WR: 5-10, 190, Clemson
7 (255). Austin Proehl, WR: 5-10, 185, North Carolina
Allen landed in the ideal NFL city for several reasons. He has the requisite big arm to succeed in Buffalo come winter, he doesn’t have to play Day 1 while developing behind AJ McCarron and he has time to earn the respect of teammates without being under the intense microscope of a big market. Meanwhile, Buffalo moved up for a potential franchise quarterback for a pair of second-rounders while bartering more draft assets to land Edmunds at No. 16. Adding Phillips — a Kyle Williams clone and potential replacement — toward the end of Day 2 was just icing on the cake.
Best Pick: Edmunds is a top-10 talent who slid to the middle of the first round due to the run on QBs. He is the youngest player in the draft, but is an athlete with great burst, range and fluidity.
Upside Pick: Phillips is a former wrestler with long arms who is scheme-versatile and diagnosis plays quickly.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
1 (23). Isaiah Wynn, OT: 6-3, 303, Georgia
1 (31). Sony Michel, RB: 5-10, 214, Georgia
2 (56). Duke Dawson, CB: 5-10, 197, Florida
5 (143). Ja’Whaun Bentley, LB: 6-2, 252, Purdue
6 (178). Christian Sam, LB: 6-1, 244, Arizona State
6 (210). Braxton Berrios, WR: 5-9, 184, Miami (Fla.)
7 (219). Danny Etling, QB: 6-2, 212, LSU
7 (243). Keion Crossen, CB: 5-9, 178, Western Carolina
7 (250). Ryan Izzo, TE: 6-4, 256, Florida State
Trader Bill Belichick was at his finest, spending picks acquired for Jimmy Garoppolo and Brandin Cooks and flipping others for future draft capital, including a 2019 second-rounder from Chicago. Left tackle was a major need after Nate Solder bolted in free agency, and Wynn, a guard in college, has the arm length and technical savvy to step right in on Tom Brady’s blindside. He’ll be two spots down from former UGA teammate David Andrews at center opening holes for Michel. Dawson and Crossen, who ran 4.33 in the 40, are nickel cornerbacks until they master Belichick’s diverse defense.
Best Pick: Michel. First time Belichick spent a first-rounder on a running back since Laurence Maroney. Michel’s burst to the hole is elite, and he can avoid or absorb contact.
Upside Pick: Berrios. A punt returner first, Berrios can gradually step into a niche slot receiver role and climb the ladder late-round picks Wes Welker, Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola (undrafted) did in this offense.
NEW YORK JETS
1 (3). Sam Darnold, QB: 6-3, 211, Southern Cal
3 (72). Nathan Shepherd, DT: 6-4, 315, Fort Hays State
4 (107). Chris Herndon, TE: 6-4, 253, Miami (Fla.)
6 (179). Parry Nickerson, CB: 5-10, 182, Tulane
6 (180). Folorunso Fatukasi, DL: 6-4, 318, Connecticut
6 (204). Trenton Cannon, RB: 5-10, 185, Virginia State
At long last and after many second-round swings and misses, the Jets endorsed the get-what-you-pay-for approach and lucked into Darnold after the Browns surprisingly went with Baker Mayfield at No. 1. GM Mike Maccagnan won’t regret parting with a bounty of second-round picks if Darnold, 20, is starting and successful by next season. Shepherd performed like a first-round pick at the Senior Bowl and will be a 3-4 defensive end. Speed and athleticism were the focus late, particularly with Nickerson (4.32 40) and Cannon, a return specialist who had 20 total touchdowns from scrimmage.
Best Pick: Darnold. The obvious answer after mulling Mayfield and more, few expected USC’s prized passer to be available at No. 3. Turnovers – 22 including nine fumbles in 2017 – are the only real knock. He won 20 games in two seasons as starter.
Upside Pick: Shepherd. The Canadian-born five-technique had to quit football to enter the workforce but refused to let the dream die. Bet on him filling Muhammad Wilkerson’s DE spot.
1 (11). Minkah Fitzpatrick, S: 6-0, 204, Alabama
2 (42). Mike Gesicki, TE: 6-6, 247, Penn State
3 (73). Jerome Baker, OLB: 6-1, 229, Ohio State
4 (123). Durham Smythe, TE: 6-5, 253, Notre Dame
4 (131). Kalen Ballage, RB: 6-2, 228, Arizona State
6 (209). Cornell Armstrong, DB: 5-11, 180, Southern Miss
7 (227). Quentin Poling, LB: 6-0, 235, Ohio
7 (229). Jason Sanders, K: 5-11, 190, New Mexico
The Dolphins exited the draft with arguably the most versatile ballhawk in Fitzpatrick and the most explosive receiving tight end prospect in Gesicki. They closed off Day 2 with Baker, a 21-year-old undersized “Will” linebacker with tremendous athleticism and range in the run game. After adding Smythe and Ballage in the fourth round, they went deep prospecting for the remainder of the draft. They clearly believe QB Ryan Tannehill will return healthy. If Fitzpatrick and Gesicki live up to their potential, this should prove to be a strong haul.
Best Pick: Fitzpatrick was considered the top defender in this class by many experts. Not only is he a ballhawk with excellent instincts, Fitzpatrick works like a walk-on and will elevate the entire defense around him.
Upside Pick: Ballage has a nose for the end zone and can provide a short-yardage presence as a rookie. With a year under his belt of watching how Frank Gore plies his trade, Ballage could emerge as a great complement to Kenyan Drake.
1 (25). Hayden Hurst, TE: 6-5, 250, South Carolina
1 (32). Lamar Jackson, QB: 6-2, 216, Louisville
3 (83). Orlando Brown, OT: 6-8, 345, Oklahoma
3 (86). Mark Andrews, TE: 6-5, 256, Oklahoma
4 (118). Anthony Averett, CB: 5-11, 183, Alabama
4 (122). Kenny Young, LB: 6-1, 236, UCLA
4 (132). Jaleel Scott, WR: 6-5, 218, New Mexico State
5 (162). Jordan Lasley, WR: 6-1, 203, UCLA
6 (190). DeShon Elliot, S: 6-1, 210, Texas
6 (212). Greg Senat, OT: 6-6, 302, Wagner
6 (215). Bradley Bozeman, C: 6-5, 317, Alabama
7 (238). Zach Sieler, DE: 6-6, 290, Ferris State
A regular on the draft grades honor roll, GM Ozzie Newsome delivered a masterpiece finale, moving up and down the board to land value and upside. He added two different types of weapons at tight end and wide receiver, a Day 1 starter at right tackle and useful depth on defense. Oh, and he landed the most electric quarterback since Michael Vick. What more could you want?
Best pick: Brown. Beyond the sentiment of bringing Orlando “Zeus” Brown’s son to his father’s old team, this was also a great marriage of value and need. Despite his historically poor workout numbers, Brown’s tape is terrific, and Baltimore has a gaping hole at right tackle.
Upside pick: Jackson. He needs serious mechanical work but reads defenses well and executed many pro concepts at Louisville. Now he has time to develop behind Joe Flacco, who turns 34 in January. Jackson’s generational athleticism makes for a sky-high ceiling if it all comes together.
1 (21). Billy Price, C/G: 6-4, 305, Ohio State
2 (54). Jessie Bates III, S: 6-1, 200, Wake Forest
3 (77). Sam Hubbard, DE: 6-5, 270, Ohio State
3 (78). Malik Jefferson, LB: 6-2, 236, Texas
4 (112). Mark Walton RB: 5-10, 202, Miami (Fla.)
5 (151). Davontae Harris, CB: 5-11, 205, Illinois State
5 (158). Andrew Brown, DL: 6-3, 296, Virginia
5 (170). Darius Phillips, CB: 5-10, 193, Western Michigan
7 (249). Logan Woodside, QB: 6-1, 213, Toledo
7 (252). Rod Taylor, OG: 6-3, 320, Ole Miss
7 (253). Auden Tate, WR: 6-5, 228, Florida State
It wasn’t flashy, but steady, a burgeoning Bengals’ draft tradition. Assuming health, Price will start in 2018 while Bates should play plenty in Teryl Austin’s three-safety packages. Hubbard, Jefferson and Brown are impressive athletes, and Walton could have gone much higher if not for a season-ending ankle injury. Really solid class.
Best pick: Price. Cincinnati’s line was an absolute disaster in 2017 in the run game and pass protection. Price could be an immediate upgrade on the departed Russell Bodine, opening up holes for Joe Mixon and giving Andy Dalton a pocket to step into.
Upside pick: Jefferson. He lacks instincts and is a tad stiff laterally, but Jefferson is an incredible athlete (4.52 40-yard dash). A see-ball, get-ball type, he’ll rack up tackles when kept clean versus the run, and he has the measureables to develop into a terrific cover man with time.
1 (1). Baker Mayfield, QB: 6-1, 215, Oklahoma
1 (4). Denzel Ward, CB: 5-11, 183, Ohio State
2 (33). Austin Corbett, OL: 6-4, 306, Nevada
2 (35). Nick Chubb, RB: 5-11, 227 Georgia
3 (67). Chad Thomas, DE: 6-5, 281, Miami (Fla.)
4 (105). Antonio Callaway, WR: 5-11, 200, Florida
5 (150). Genard Avery, LB: 6-1, 248, Oklahoma
6 (175). Damion Ratley, WR: 6-2, 193, Texas A&M
6 (188). Simeon Thomas, CB: 6-3, 190, Louisiana-Lafayette
John Dorsey can’t thank Sashi Brown enough for assembling this war chest of picks. There are a few value questions (Ward over Bradley Chubb, for example), but Dorsey boosted Cleveland’s talent pool immensely. Don’t forget, Tyrod Taylor (acquired for No. 65), Jarvis Landry (No. 123, 2019 seventh) and Damarious Randall (pick swaps in Rounds 4 and 5) also factor here.
Best pick: Mayfield. We know things go wrong for quarterbacks in Cleveland, but Mayfield could be a star if surrounded by the right pieces. The most efficient QB in FBS history proved at Oklahoma he can execute a creative offense and provide off-schedule playmaking when necessary.
Upside pick: Callaway. Dorsey rolled the dice on Tyreek Hill in Kansas City, and Callaway is a similar gamble. He had a series of major off-field issues at Florida, but there might not be a more gifted wideout in the entire draft.
1 (28). Terrell Edmunds, S: 6-1, 217, Virginia Tech
2 (60). James Washington, WR: 5-11, 213, Oklahoma State
3 (76). Mason Rudolph, QB: 6-5, 235, Oklahoma State
3 (92). Chukwuma Okorafor, OT: 6-6, 320, Western Michigan
5 (148). Marcus Allen, S: 6-2, 215, Penn State
5 (165). Jaylen Samuels, FB: 6-0, 225, N.C. State
7 (246). Joshua Frazier, DT: 6-3, 321, Alabama
Washington should help replace Martavis Bryant (traded for a third-rounder), while his college QB, Rudolph, is a great candidate to be Ben Roethlisberger’s potential heir. Edmunds was viewed as a mid-round prospect, and the team never addressed its gaping hole at inside linebacker.
Best pick: Washington. Pittsburgh shipped off Bryant but quickly brought in another explosive playmaker to reinforce its high-flying offense. Washington brings tremendous big-play ability, having averaged 19.8 yards per reception and caught 39 touchdowns in college.
Upside pick: Edmunds. Living up to the first-round billing will be a huge challenge. He isn’t as highly touted as younger brother Tremaine (16th overall to Buffalo), but Terrell is just as athletic. He tested in the 85th percentile or better among safeties in every NFL Scouting Combine measureable except for height, demonstrating the potential for him to be a matchup coverage weapon against tight ends down the line.
3 (68). Justin Reid, S: 6-1, 207, Stanford
3 (80). Martinas Rankin, OT: 6-4, 308, Mississippi State
3 (98). Jordan Akins, TE: 6-3, 249, Central Florida
4 (103). Keke Coutee, WR: 5-10, 181, Texas Tech
6 (177). Duke Ejiofor, LB: 6-3, 267, Wake Forest
6 (211). Jordan Thomas, TE: 6-6, 265, Mississippi State
6 (214). Peter Kambalayi, OLB: 6-3, 252, Stanford
7 (222). Jermaine Kelly, CB: 6-1, 191, San Jose State
The Texans’ first-rounder helped acquire Deshaun Watson in 2017, boosting the grade, but their second-rounder was used to unload Brock Osweiler’s onerous contract, which hurts. GM Brian Gaine still managed to effectively marry value and need despite limited resources. Reid and Rankin could start early, while Akins, Coutee and Ejiofor should rotate in from Day 1.
Best pick: Ejiofor. Pass-rush ability is exceedingly hard to find late in the draft, but Ejiofor — who slid after undergoing labrum surgery in February — certainly has it. The Houston native is a work in progress against the run, but he could be a double-digit sack guy at the next level.
Upside pick: Reid. A player some thought could sneak into Round 1, Reid dazzled at the combine (4.40 40-yard dash, 10-foot-8 broad jump). With his combination of size and movement skills, he could be a star in a Texans scheme that asks a lot of its safeties.
1 (6). Quenton Nelson, OG: 6-5, 325, Notre Dame
2 (36). Darius Leonard, LB: 6-2, 234, South Carolina State
2 (37). Braden Smith, OG: 6-6, 315, Auburn
2 (52). Kemoko Turay, DE: 6-5, 253, Rutgers
2 (64). Tyquan Lewis, DE: 6-3, 269, Ohio State
4 (104). Nyheim Hines, RB: 5-8, 198, N.C. State
5 (159). Daurice Fountain, WR: 6-2, 209, Northern Iowa
6 (185). Deon Cain, WR: 6-2, 202, Clemson
7 (221). Matthew Adams, LB: 6-0, 240, Houston
7 (235). Zaire Franklin, LB: 6-0, 239, Syracuse
GM Chris Ballard extracted a trio of second-rounders (including one in 2019) from the Jets to move back three spots in the first round and put his wealth of picks to work, nabbing two bodyguards for Andrew Luck, a three-down linebacker and a pair of complementary ends before bringing in some explosive weapons on Day 3. Terrific job all around.
Best pick: Leonard. This could easily be Nelson. Leonard was an uber productive small-school phenom, thriving in all phases in college, at the Senior Bowl and has ideal athleticism for a modern day stand-up linebacker. He should be even better once he can bulk up in an NFL weight room.
Upside pick: Turay. He’s raw and doesn’t yet have the mass or strength to hold up against the run. But with a rare blend of size, speed (4.65 40-yard dash) and athleticism, Turay could develop into a threatening edge-bender down the road.
1 (29). Taven Bryan, DT: 6-5, 291, Florida
2 (61). D.J. Chark, WR: 6-3, 199, LSU
3 (93). Ronnie Harrison, S: 6-2, 207, Alabama
4 (129). Will Richardson, OT: 6-6, 306, N.C. State
6 (203). Tanner Lee, QB: 6-4, 218, Nebraska
7 (230). Leon Jacobs, LB: 6-1, 246, Wisconsin
7 (247). Logan Cook, P: 6-5, 237, Mississippi State
Jacksonville doesn’t have many holes, but Bryan’s addition was mildly surprising, perhaps portending the eventual departure of expensive DTs Malik Jackson and Marcell Dareus. Harrison was a steal – a top-40 phone call was realistic — while Chark’s blazing speed and Richardson’s power could help the offense immediately. Lee likely won’t challenge Blake Bortles anytime soon. Overall, a solid, if top-heavy, class.
Best pick: Harrison. As if the secondary needed bolstering, the Jaguars added the ferocious and physical Harrison, who many thought could sneak into Round 1. An ideal box safety, he is both an excellent fit in Jacksonville’s Cover-3 defense and a great value.
Upside pick: Bryan. A one-year starter at Florida, Bryan is rough around the edges, but there aren’t many humans with his combination of size, suddenness and athleticism. If his instincts and technique develop, Jacksonville’s D-line would become even more terrifying.
1 (22). Rashaan Evans, LB: 6-2, 232, Alabama
2 (41). Harold Landry, LB: 6-2, 252, Boston College
5 (152). Dane Cruikshank, DB: 6-1, 209, Arizona
6 (199). Luke Falk, QB: 6-4, 215, Washington State
GM Jon Robinson nabbed a pair of first-round talents early and a super athletic defensive back in Round 5, but all three moves came after trading up, leaving the Titans with just one other pick. Tennessee’s roster is in much better shape than in the past, but O-line depth and another offensive weapon could have helped. Even with early impacts likely from Evans and Landry, opportunity cost hurts the grade.
Best pick: Landry. Injuries helped lead to a down 2017 season (5.0 sacks), but Landry might have been a top-10 pick if he declared after his 16.5-sack campaign in 2016. With Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan entering contract years, this is a great marriage of value and need, as Landry might be the best pure pass-rusher in the class.
Upside pick: Cruikshank. He played safety at Arizona State, but Cruikshank has the movement skills (4.41 40-yard dash, 38.5-inch vertical,10-foot-1 broad jump) to play almost anywhere in the secondary. He already has big-play upside, having intercepted both USC’s Sam Darnold and UCLA’s Josh Rosen in 2017.
1 (5). Bradley Chubb, DE: 6-4, 269, N.C. State
2 (40). Courtland Sutton, WR: 6-3, 218, SMU
3 (71). Royce Freeman, RB: 6-0, 229, Oregon
3 (99). Isaac Yiadom, CB: 6-1, 190, Boston College
4 (106). Josey Jewell, LB: 6-1, 234, Iowa
5 (113). DaeSean Hamilton, WR: 6-1, 203, Penn State
5 (156). Troy Fumagalli, TE: 6-5, 247, Wisconsin
6 (183). Sam Jones, G: 6-5, 290, Arizona State
6 (217). Keishawn Bierria, LB: 6-0, 230, Washington
7 (226). David Williams, RB: 6-0, 226, Arkansas
Case Keenum detractors can debate passing on a QB at No. 5, but John Elway maximized his picks. After the draft’s best defender fell in his lap, he added a wealth of sorely needed offensive talent along with depth at cornerback and linebacker. Su’a Cravens (fifth-rounder) and Jared Veldheer (sixth) were also acquired with 2018 draft picks.
Best pick: Chubb. While not quite a perfect fit in a 3-4, Chubb has experience in all sorts of front-seven alignments out of two- and three-point stances. He should immediately be an upgrade against the run, and as we all know, you can’t have too many pass-rushers.
Upside pick: Sutton. Expected by some to go in Round 1, Sutton has great speed (4.54 40-yard dash) and agility (6.57 3-cone drill) for his size, along with a knack for spectacular catches. If he learns to use his tools to separate better, he could be DeAndre Hopkins-like.
Kansas City Chiefs
2 (46). Breeland Speaks, DE: 6-3, 283, Ole Miss
3 (75). Derrick Nnadi, DT: 6-1, 317, Florida State
3 (100). Dorian O’Daniel, LB: 6-1, 223, Clemson
4 (124). Armani Watts, S: 5-11, 202, Texas A&M
6 (196). Tremon Smith, CB: 5-11, 183, Central Arkansas
6 (198). Khalil McKenzie, DT-OG: 6-3, 314, Tennessee
Without a first-rounder after trading up for Patrick Mahomes in 2017, GM Brett Veach was aggressive, sending away five picks while recouping three (third-, fifth- and sixth-rounders) in four different trades (three up, one down). The front seven got much-needed help, but waiting to address cornerback hurts the grade some. Mahomes’ future could make it all worthwhile.
Best pick: Nnadi. The Chiefs were gashed against the run last year, especially out of nickel and dime sets, and had to fix the problem. Big and thickly built, Nnadi has the sturdiness to soothe that problem, even if he won’t provide much pass-rush pop.
Upside pick: Speaks. He aligned all over the Rebels’ D-line, but per head coach Andy Reid, the Chiefs specifically targeted Speaks as a 3-4 outside linebacker after seeing similarities to Tamba Hali. The transition could take time, but his size and movement skills make for a high ceiling.
Los Angeles Chargers
1 (17). Derwin James, S: 6-2, 215, Florida State
2 (48). Uchenna Nwosu, LB: 6-2, 251, USC
3 (84). Justin Jones, DT: 6-3, 309, N.C. State
4 (119). Kyzir White, S: 6-2, 218, West Virginia
5 (155). Scott Quessenberry, C: 6-4, 315, UCLA
6 (191). Dylan Cantrell, WR: 6-3, 226, Texas Tech
7 (251). Justin Jackson, RB: 6-0, 193, Northwestern
GM Tom Telesco got terrific bargains on Swiss Army-knife playmakers in the first two rounds before addressing a shaky run defense in Round 3. Including White, the Chargers added four major defensive contributors while also finding depth up front with Quessenberry. They could have taken a flier on an heir to Philip Rivers, but this is a great class.
Best pick: Nwosu. This could easily be James, but Nwosu was also a great value at 48. He’s not an elite pure pass rusher, but the instinctive linebacker has a knack for swatting passes and is also very comfortable off the ball and in coverage.
Upside pick: James. Expected by many to go in the top-10, James fell in L.A.’s lap at 17. He’s one of the best athletes in the draft — some have called him a more athletic Kam Chancellor — and could be an absolute star in Gus Bradley’s Cover-3 defense.
1 (15). Kolton Miller, OT: 6-9, 309, UCLA
2 (57). P.J. Hall, DT: 6-0, 295, Sam Houston State
3 (65). Brandon Parker, OT: 6-8, 305, North Carolina A&T
3 (87). Arden Key, DE: 6-5, 238, LSU
4 (110). Nick Nelson, CB: 5-11, 200, Wisconsin
5 (140). Maurice Hurst, DT: 6-1, 292, Michigan
5 (173). Johnny Townsend, P: 6-1, 209, Florida
6 (216). Azeem Victor, LB: 6-2, 240, Washington
7 (228). Marcell Ateman, WR: 6-5, 216, Oklahoma State
Jon Gruden and Vegas’ future team looked comfortable gambling. The first six picks are terrific athletes, but all but Hurst remain raw. Nelson (knee) and Hurst (heart) have medical issues; Key and Martavis Bryant (acquired for No. 79) bring character concerns. It all feels like too much risk, and Oakland’s leaky defense still needs more help at linebacker and cornerback.
Best pick: Hurst. This is an easy one. It’s not a stretch to say Hurst is the best player Oakland took in the whole draft. Nobody knows how the heart irregularity, found during a physical at the combine, will affect Hurst’s future, but his slide gave the Raiders great value and a much-needed interior rusher.
Upside pick: Parker. Like Miller, Parker is long and a terrific athlete for the position but needs time to develop. If Tom Cable can polish this small-school gem properly, he could be a future star protecting Derek Carr.
–Field Level Media