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2018 NFL Draft top 50 big board

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Misone has his top 50 prospects for the 2018 NFL Draft.

Oklahoma v Oklahoma State Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

It’s that time once again...

With underclassmen still declaring daily for the 2018 NFL Draft, the scouts of the NFL are kicking it into overdrive as there’s only three months remaining to find the top talents available for their teams. There are sleepers everywhere, and as usual there’s game changing, ready to play right now, players at the center of attention.

This year’s draft is strongest at the following positions:

  1. Pass Rusher
  2. Defensive back
  3. Quarterback

Running back undoubtedly has to be fourth on this list. Two of the Los Angeles Rams’ biggest position needs are the top two positions in this draft. However, the Rams will struggle to find help on the offensive line (particularly at left tackle) after round one. There are some legit franchise tackles in the top 32 picks, but the fall off after round one is drastic. The Rams may not find Current LT Andrew Whitworth’s successor until next year, likely giving him less time to sit and learn.

The three weakest position groups this year:

  1. Tight end
  2. Offensive guard
  3. Linebacker

So without, further ado, the 2018 Draft Big Board...

***THIS IS NOT A MOCK DRAFT AND IS NOT AN INDICATION OF WHERE THE PLAYER WILL BE PICKED. ALL RANKINGS ARE BASED SOLEY ON THE TAPE THAT I HAVE PERSONALLY STUDIED THUS FAR AND MAY BE TWEAKED FOR SOME AS WE DRAW CLOSER TO THE DRAFT***

2018 Top 50

Rank PLAYER POSITION YEAR SCHOOL
Rank PLAYER POSITION YEAR SCHOOL
1 Josh Rosen QB JR UCLA
2 Derwin James S/CB/LB/Ret SO Florida St.
3 Bradley Chubb DE SR NC State
4 Baker Mayfield QB SR Oklahoma
5 Lamar Jackson QB JR Louisville
6 Saquon Barkley RB JR Penn St.
7 Orlando Brown OT JR Oklahoma
8 Minkah Fitzpatrick DB JR Alabama
9 Connor Williams OT SO Texas
10 Quentin Nelson OG SR Notre Dame
11 Anthony Miller WR SR Memphis
12 Calvin Ridley WR JR Alabama
13 Roquan Smith LB SR Georgia
14 James Washington WR SR Oklahoma St
15 Courtland Sutton WR SR SMU
16 Ogbonnia Okonokwo DE SR Oklahoma
17 Josh Jackson CB JR Iowa
18 Kolton Miller OT JR UCLA
19 Josh Allen QB SR Wyoming
20 Denzel Ward CB JR Ohio St.
21 T.J. Edwards LB JR Wisconsin
22 Mason Rudolph QB SR Oklahoma St
23 Mike McGlinchey OT SR Notre Dame
24 Mark Andrews TE JR Oklahoma
25 Jaire Alexander CB JR Louisville
26 Maurice Hurst DT SR Michigan
27 Lorenzo Carter DE SR Georgia
28 Arden Key DE JR LSU
29 Derrius Guice RB JR LSU
30 Frank Ragnon C SR Arkansas
31 Michael Gallup WR SR Colorado St
32 Sam Hubbard DE/OLB JR Ohio St.
33 Sony Michel RB SR Georgia
34 Nick Chubb RB SR Georgia
35 Sam Darnold QB JR USC
36 Ron Jones RB JR USC
37 Taven Bryan DT JR Florida
38 Damien Harris RB SR Alabama
39 Harold Landry OLB SR Boston College
40 Marcel Ateman WR SR Oklahoma St
41 Harrison Phillips DT SR Stanford
42 Will Hernandez OG SR Texas El-Paso
43 Glenn Harris DB SR Wayne St.
44 Da'Sean Downey DE SR Massachusetts
45 Braden Smith OG SR Auburn
46 Bruce Love RB JR Stanford
47 Tremaine Edmunds LB JR Virginia Tech
48 Kalen Ballage RB SR Arizona St.
49 Marcel Frazier DE/OLB SR Mizzou
50 Justin Jackson RB SR Northwestern

A few key points:

  • The quarterback position is loaded. However, the question of how they stack up against the last five draft classes remains a question. Basing it solely off what we knew of these last five classes strictly with them coming out and not what we have seen in the NFL, only Josh Rosen would likely still be a top ten pick. However, Baker Mayfield might be one of the top three most intriguing QB prospects of the last five years.
  • This is a draft that lacks that handful of players that were able to rack up double digit sacks. That’s not an indication of a draft that’s starved of pass rushers. In fact, this draft is fairly deep at defensive end and rush OLB. This draft has more balanced edge players than I have seen in any of the last five years. Defensive edge players in this draft excel in both rushing the passer and defending the run.
  • The defensive secondary is loaded with ballhawks and athletes. The versatility of this group is stunning. Players are capable of playing all over, which raises their value greatly as it allows them to travel and follow receivers all over the field. Some can even play safety. The premier secondary player – really the best defensive player regardless of position, and arguably the best player overall – in this year’s draft is none other than Florida St. athlete Derwin James. Two things keep him from being number one on this version of my big board: one is Rosen is really really good with the value of his position playing a role as he’s really good at the most important position, and James did not have the amount of turnovers you’d expect the best player in the country to have.
  • The offensive line group has a lot to prove over the next few months leading up to the draft. Once you get out of the top 40 players overall, the drop off in talent on the line is daunting. Anyone picking a lineman in the middle of round two until round four could be reaching on the player. It will be interesting to see how these players perform in the all-star games later this month. Stocks can grow significantly.
  • From a skill position point of view this is a really deep draft. Also, I believe there are a lot of pro ready players that can step in and make a difference right now. The receiver position appears to be underrated, but this years group is really good. This is one of the more reliable groups I have seen. Consistency and great routes is what they hang their hats on.

It’s going to be fun to dig into these players more over the next couple of months…