NFL DRAFT GRADES
The 2018 NFL Draft is complete and there is nothing like giving out draft grades that will either excite or anger fans. There are some teams that have drastically improved , while there were other teams that made some head scratching moves that either leave their franchises stuck in neutral or set them back. Here are the 2018 Draft grades brought to you by Cover The Spread 365.
The Arizona Cardinals had an outstanding draft. This team will have rookies that will come in and will make an immediate impact. The redbirds selected UCLA Quarterback Josh Rosen with the 10th pick in the first round. Rosen, who is regarded as one of the most NFL-ready prospects will start day one. Second round pick Christian Kirk from Texas A&M is all-purpose threat that will scare opposing defensive coordinators. Center Mason Cole, third round pick from Michigan will be a long-term starter for this team.
The Atlanta Falcons lacked explosive plays last season, so they went out and selected Alabama Wide Receiver Calvin Ridley with the 26th pick in the first round. Ridley, who is a very good route runner and has excellent speed will be a big threat in this offense. Isaiah Oliver, second round pick from Colorado will fit perfectly in this defense, he is built like Richard Sherman. Third round pick Deadrin Senat is a big body that should clog up the middle.
General Manager Ozzie Newsome went out with a bang. The Baltimore Ravens hit nothing but home runs during the 2018 draft. First round picks Quarterback Lamar Jackson and Tight End Hayden Hurst will be longtime stalwarts with this team. Third round picks Mark Andrews and Orlando Brown I see both them as future Pro Bowlers. Brown is the son of former Ravens Offensive Tackle Orlando “Zeus” Brown. Fourth round pick Antony Averett will be starter for this team in the fall.
Quarterback Josh Allen is a boom or bust player. The seventh pick in this draft had issues with accuracy in college. Linebacker Tremaine Edmonds, Defensive Lineman Harrison Phillips and Cornerback Taron Johnson will be solid contributors on defense. The Bills should have done a better job of addressing their needs on offense. The Bills lost three Offensive Lineman this off -season and could use someone to stretch the field.
The Carolina Panthers did a good job addressing three positions they needed Wide Receiver, Cornerback and Tight End. With their first-round pick, the Panthers snatched Maryland Wide Receiver D.J. Moore. Moore will be the deep threat this team has been lacking. Cornerbacks Donte Jackson and Rashaan Gaulden will add depth to position that was a huge issue last season. Tight End Ian Thomas could be the replacement once Greg Olsen retires.
Georgia Linebacker Roquan Smith will be the next great Chicago Bear middle linebacker. Offensive Lineman James Daniels will be a starter day one. Wide Receiver Anthony Miller will be a huge weapon in the totally revamped passing game. Bilal Nichols and Kylie Fitts will be solid contributors to a defense that was not that bad last season.
Center Billy Price is a really good player who should start right away. Jessie Bates is a thumper who has a long-term future. Sam Hubbard will be a nightmare, I see him as a double-digit sack player for many years to come.
It looks like the Cleveland Browns finally got it right, I think. Quarterback Baker Mayfield has the tools and the chip on his shoulder to be a special player in the NFL. Cornerback Denzel Ward will be a shutdown corner. Austin Corbett, Chad Thomas, Nick Chubb and Antonio Callaway will be starters for this team. What a draft haul!
If Dak Prescott was watching the draft, he had no reason to get excited. The Cowboys selected Leighton Vander Esch in the first round despite a neck injury and one-year production. The Boys followed up their first-round pick with a second-round pick Connor Williams who has injury issues as well. Their third-round pick Wide Receiver Michael Gallup reminds me of Dez Bryant. On the bright side, Tight End Dalton Schultz and Running back Bo Scarborough will be good players for this team.
The Denver Broncos will be a Super Bowl contender in 2018. The Broncos had the best draft of any team. Defensive Lineman Bradley Chubb will the next great player in the orange crush defense. Courtland Sutton and Royce Freeman will be starters for a Broncos offense that was awful last season.
The Lions got one of the biggest steals in this draft, fifth round pick Tyrell Crosby will be a starter immediately. First round pick Frank Ragnow will add depth along the offensive line. Running back Kerryon Johnson may finally be the answer to the Lion’s running game woes.
There is no question the Green Bay Packers went into this draft looking to fix their awful defense. Cornerbacks Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson will start for the cheese heads. Linebacker Oren Brucks will be a very good player for this team. Wide Receivers J’Mon Moore and Equanimeous St Brown are new toys that Quarterback Aaron Rogers will have at his dispense.
The Houston Texans came into this draft without and first and a second round pick. The only impact player that I see in this draft is Offensive Tackle Martinas Rankin. Rankin will be a stalwart on this Texan’s offensive line.
There no question the Indianapolis Colts had to get better along the offensive line and defensive line. Quinton Nelson, first round pick from Notre Dame will be a starter for a very long time. Darius Leonard from South Carolina State will be Pro Bowl player for this team. Out of their 10 draft picks, eight of these players will be starters.
The Jacksonville Jaguars had a good draft. Taven Bryan will add depth to the NFL’S Best defensive line. Wide Receiver D.J. Clark will start. This past off season, the Jaguars lost Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson to free agency.
The Chiefs were very defensive in this draft. Every pick in the 2018 draft went toward to fixing their defense that was hard to watch last year. Breeland Speaks and Derrick Nnadi will be starters day one. Dorian O’Daniel and Armani Watts will be solid players in their rookie seasons.
Florida State Safety Derwin James was a steal a pick 17. James will be an impact player immediately. Uchenna Nwosu could have a huge rookie year. Justin Jackson will be a good chance a pace running back to compliment Melvin Gordon.
Minkah Fitzpatrick will be a stud and I can’t believe he fell to the 11th pick. Mike Gesicki and Jerome Baker will be starters for this team. My question is what is the long-term answer at quarterback?
Most of the players they drafted will be solid contributors for this team; however I don’t see them making a huge impact in their rookie seasons. Mike Hughes will add depth to the already deep cornerback position. Brian 0’Neal and Colby Gossett could set action this season only if an injury occurs.
New England Head Coach Bill Belichick once again pulled in a great draft haul. First round picks Isiah Wynn and Sony Michel will be starters week one. Linebackers Ja’Whaun Bentley and Christian Sam will make an impact in their rookie season. Wide Receivers Braxton Berrios will have some splash plays.
The Saints made a risky move trading for Marcus Davenport. I view Davenport as a project. Wide Receiver Tre Quan Smith will have an impact in this explosive offense.
Penn State Running back Saquon Barkley is a game changing running back who will be nightmare to defend. Offensive Guard Will Hernandez will be a starter on the Giants revamped offensive line. Defensive Lineman B.J. Hill and RJ McIntosh will be rotational players.
The New York Jets have found their quarterback of the future in Sam Darnold. Nathan Shephard will be rotational player along the defensive line. Not much to brag about besides that.
Oakland Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden has been off from coaching from quite some time and his draft picks show it. Tackles Kotton Miller and Brandon Parker are projects. Defensive Lineman P.J. Hall is an unknown, while third round pick Arden Key has first round talent but has a lot of red flags. Maurice Hurst fell in the draft because of a heart condition. Maybe Chucky is seeing something I’m not seeing.
The Super Bowl Champions did nothing but add more depth to the deepest team in the NFL. Dallas Goedert, the Tight End from South Dakota State reminds me of Zack Ertz. Avonte Maddox and Josh Sweat will be in the rotation sometime this season.
Terrell Edmonds was a reach; however the Steelers need anyone that can play defense. The offense tandem of Mason Rudolph and James Washington will be taking there show from Stillwater to the Steel City. Marcus Allen could see some time at cornerback.
The 49ers first round pick Mike McGlinchey is a going to be a good left tackle; however, he is a better run blocker than pass blocker right now. Wide Receiver Dante Pettis will be a big factor in this offense. Safety Tarvarious Moore will be a starter for this team.
I love first round pick Rashaad Penny, he could be Marshawn Lynch 2.0. The Seattle did not pick an offensive lineman until the fifth round. They picked a punter before they picked an offensive lineman. Looks like Russell Wilson will be running for his life again.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had a great draft and should be a factor in the NFC South. Vita Vea reminds me a lot of Haloti Ngata. Second round pick Ronald Jones will be a starter and will take a lot of pressure of Quarterback Jamesis Winston. Cornerbacks M.J. Stewart and Carlton Davis will help a secondary last season that could not cover anyone.
The Titans had the fewest picks in the draft and they made the most of it. First round pick Rashaan Evans is a thumper who should make an impact in his rookie season. Second round pick Harold Laundry is good insurance since Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan are free agents after this season.
Tim Settle and Da’Ron Payne will have a chance to make a great impact in their rookie season. The Redskins run defense was one of the NFL’S worst last year.Derrius Guice will be a very good in between the tackles runner. Trey Quinn, the last pick in the NFL draft will have be a starter on this team.