Three rounds of the NFL Draft are now over, but more quality players still are without a team. Who are some of the best prospects still waiting to find out where their pro career will start?
Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan
Hurst was a borderline first-round prospect and still has not been selected. He did have a heart issue that was found at the NFL Combine, which must be what is holding him back. Doctors in Michigan said that he was cleared to play, but team doctors could have found something different that is making them hesitate to pick him.
Although Hurst is a little undersized for a defensive tackle he is disruptive and has a good motor. He can be an impact player in the NFL if he is healthy. Look for Hurst to be selected early in day three if there aren’t more reports that come out about his heart condition.
Equanimeous St. Brown, WR, Notre Dame
Equanimeous St. Brown (Photo by und.com)
St. Brown is better than a few receivers that have already been selected. He didn’t have consistent quarterback play at Notre Dame last season and fails to run routes well, but the latter is coachable and the former is out of his control.
The Notre Dame product is a good combination of size and speed, which would lead people to believe he should already be selected. He made acrobatic catches and is good after the catch as a receiver. In the right system, and possibly playing with the right quarterback, St. Brown can develop into a star.
Josey Jewell, LB, Iowa
Jewell doesn’t have all the athletic traits that teams want out of a linebacker at the NFL level. He also ran a 4.82 40 yard dash time, which means he will have to react to plays much quicker in order to make plays on the ball, as he doesn’t have the speed to get there. Since he isn’t the biggest linebacker either, he has fallen down draft boards.
His instincts and awareness made him a great college player and will be what he has to rely on in the pros. He has a good motor and plays physically. Despite his physical limitations, a coach would love to have Jewell on their team because he works hard and has a high football IQ.
Tim Settle, DT, Virginia Tech
Tim Settle (Photo by roanoke.com)
The Edmunds brothers are off the board now, but there is another Virginia Tech defender who will get drafted on day three in Tim Settle. He is likely in this position due to a poor combine and the tape shows a player who needs to add more moves to get around blockers. Settle can also be a better hand fighter, which will help him be successful at the NFL level.
Settle is huge and can fit in the middle of a team’s 3-4 defense as the nose tackle. For a player that size, Settle has surprisingly light feet and quickness. He is decently fast at the snap of the ball and should be able to take on multiple NFL blockers. Teams with a 3-4 scheme will want to get him sooner rather than later.
Duke Ejiofor, EDGE, Wake Forest
The best edge rusher left is Duke Ejiofor. He isn’t the most athletic edge rusher but was able to be an impact player in college. He was on the NFL Draft radar dating back to last year and likely thought he would be drafted by now.
What Ejiofor lacks in athleticism he makes up for with great hands that he uses to disrupt an offensive tackle’s blocking technique. He also provides some versatility as he can rush the passer from both the inside and out, which is more important now in the NFL as edge rushers now move inside sometimes on passing downs.
Other notable players still available: Dalton Schultz TE, Trenton Thompson DT, Da’Shawn Hand DE, Anthony Averett CB, Shaquem Griffin LB, Kyle Lauletta QB
You can like The Game Haus on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from great TGH writers!
The two best programs in college football the past two seasons are Alabama and Clemson. They produce great players and play in the biggest games. There are a lot of players from this game that will be stars in the NFL. Here are the top NFL Draft prospects in the 2018 Sugar Bowl:
Alabama Crimson Tide
Minkah Fitzpatrick, S/CB
Fitzpatrick has experience at both corner and safety for Alabama, but will fit in better as a safety in the NFL. He has gotten playing time since his freshman season at Alabama and is now a junior. In his three seasons he has 163 total tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss, five sacks, nine interceptions, 23 passes defended and one forced fumble.
At 6’1″ and 201 pounds, Fitzpatrick has good enough size for the NFL at either position he has played. He likely won’t have to wait long to hear his name called.
Projected draft range: 1st round
Calvin Ridley, WR
Calvin Ridley (Photo by saturdaydownsouth.com)
Ridley is one of the best receivers in the draft class, if not the best. He has continued to put up numbers, despite not always having the greatest quarterback play. At Alabama, he has 2,710 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns. His best season was his freshman year with Blake Sims at quarterback.
He is 6’1″ and 190 pounds and will need to add some play strength to beat his man off the line of scrimmage. If he isn’t the first wide receiver drafted, Ridley will be shortly after.
Projected draft range: 1st round
Da’Ron Payne, DT
Payne doesn’t have the production of a lot of other prospects, but is asked to do something completely different for Alabama. He is a freakish athlete who takes on multiple blockers and helps stop the run well. He has 94 total tackles, five tackles for loss and three sacks in his time at Alabama.
At 6’2″ and 308 pounds, Payne has good size for an interior defensive lineman. He plays nose tackle in Alabama’s 3-4, but can also play defensive tackle in the 4-3 system.
Projected draft range: 1st round-2nd round
Other notable Alabama prospects: RB Damien Harris (2nd round-4th round), RB Bo Scarbrough (4th round-6th round), G/C Ross Pierschbacher (3rd round-5th round), C Lester Cotton (5th round-7th round), C Bradley Bozeman (3rd round-5th round), DE Da’Shawn Hand (6th round-undrafted free agent), LB Rashaan Evans (3rd round-4th round), LB Shaun Dion Hamilton (3rd round-5th round), CB Anthony Averett (3rd round-5th round), CB Tony Brown (4th round-6th round), S Ronnie Harrison (1st round-2nd round)
Clelin Ferrell, DE
Clelin Ferrell (Photo by independentmail.com)
Ferrell has been the leading sack-man on the Tigers’ defense this season. That is impressive due to how much talent they have on their roster. In his two years of playing time at Clemson, Ferrell has 106 tackles, 29.5 tackles for loss and 14.5 sacks.
At 6’5″ and 265 pounds which is good size for a defensive end in the NFL. He will have to battle some fellow teammates for positioning in the draft class.
Projected draft range: 1st round-2nd round
Austin Bryant, DE
Bryant is the other half of a great sack tandem of defensive ends. He has 7.5 sacks on the season to make it tough on opposing quarterbacks. In his career, he has 82 total tackles, 21 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks. He has some inconsistency, as some games he will have multiple sacks and some he will have none, but NFL teams can work with that.
He also has solid size at 6’4″ and 265 pounds. The junior could go back to Clemson and work on his consistency, but he already has enough tape to be drafted early in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Projected draft range: 1st round-2nd round
Christian Wilkins, DT
Wilkins is a leader for Clemson and one of the best defensive tackles in the country. The junior was a big part of the National Championship team last year. He has 133 total tackles, 26.5 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks in his career. Wilkins has shown the ability to rush the passer from the interior, which is appealing to NFL teams.
He is 6’4″ and 310 pounds, which makes his best fit as a defensive tackle in a 4-3 scheme. Wilkins will be one of the first interior defensive linemen selected in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Projected draft range: 1st round-2nd round
Other notable Clemson prospects: WR Deon Cain (3rd round-5th round), WR Hunter Renfrow (5th round-7th round), OT Mitch Hyatt (2nd round-4th round), LB Kendall Joseph (3rd round-5th round), CB Mark Fields (2nd round-4th round), S Van Smith (4th round-6th round)
The 2017 NFL draft has just concluded, but it is never too early to look to next year. Draft picks are ordered by Super Bowl Odds.
1. San Francisco 49ers- Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
Brian Hoyer isn’t the long term answer for the 49ers and they reached on C.J. Beathard in the 2017 NFL Draft. Allen may be from a small school, but he has legitimate talent. He has the prototypical size for an NFL quarterback at 6’5″ and 222 pounds. Allen will have to prove himself in his big games against Iowa, Oregon and Boise State in the 2017 season.
Joe Haden is aging and the Browns did a great job of addressing the rest of their defense in the 2017 NFL Draft. Fitzpatrick has started since his freshman season and is a very versatile defensive back.
3. Los Angeles Rams- Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
If Jared Goff is going to be the long term quarterback, he needs more weapons. Ridley is a good option with 1,814 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns in two years at Alabama. He can be a good outside receiver for the Rams, which is not something they currently have.
4. New York Jets- Sam Darnold, QB, USC
Darnold needs to improve his mechanics and have a strong second season as USC’s starting quarterback. If he does so, he will be a first rounder with no doubts. The Jets need to get a franchise signal caller and so far, this looks like a good quarterback class coming in.
5. Chicago Bears- Derwin James, S, Florida State
Derwin James (Photo by: si.com)
Quintin Demps has had just one good season as a pro and that shouldn’t be expected to continue. James is an elite athlete at defensive back and will likely go in the top ten in the 2018 NFL Draft if he can stay healthy.
6. Jacksonville Jaguars- Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
The USC-UCLA game will feature two great quarterbacks. Rosen has been a phenom since his freshman year at UCLA, but last year got his throwing shoulder hurt and even had some nerve damage. He needs to stay healthy and if he is able to, is capable of being the first quarterback selected. If the Jaguars are picking this high, Blake Bortles is out as the starting quarterback.
7. Buffalo Bills- Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson
Wilkins is overlooked because of how many talented players were on Clemson last season, but with a lot of them gone, it is his time to shine. The Bills need to address the defensive line early in this draft. Two first round picks gives them some versatility in this draft.
8. Los Angeles Chargers- Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
The Chargers doubled up on guards in the 2017 NFL Draft, but the tackles could be improved to protect the aging Phillip Rivers. McGlinchey would have gone first round in 2017, but elected to go back to school for one more year.
9. Detroit Lions- Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M
Kirk might end up being the best receiver in this class, but will likely see his stock slide if he doesn’t produce this season with a new quarterback. He is a little shorter than most teams like at 5’11”, but can play on the outside and be a difference maker. The Lions need to upgrade their receiving corps to give Matthew Stafford some more weapons.
10. New Orleans Saints- Arden Key, DE/OLB, LSU
One thing that the Saints didn’t address in the 2017 NFL Draft was a pass rusher who could play opposite Cameron Jordan. Key is a great speed rusher, who elected to go back to school for another season. The Saints would love if they fell to them so they could get after Cam Newton, Jameis Winston and Matt Ryan more often.
11. Washington Redskins- Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State
Mason Rudolph (Photo by: ncaa.com)
The Washington front office doesn’t have a good relationship with Kirk Cousins. He will likely leave after the season due to being franchise tagged the last two seasons. Rudolph is another quarterback who has great size at 6’5″ and 235 pounds. He only threw four interceptions last season, which shows how well he protects the ball.
12. Miami Dolphins- Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame
Interior offensive linemen usually don’t go this high, but Nelson would’ve been a first rounder in the 2017 draft had he come out. The Dolphins were able to address a lot of their needs this offseason, but they still need to get a guard because they are moving Laremy Tunsil out to tackle.
Cincinnati addressed all of their skill positions in the first two rounds of the 2017 NFL Draft, but their offensive line is not good. Williams has a lot of experience at Texas and should upgrade the offensive line instantly.
14. Philadelphia Eagles- Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
Barkley helped lead Penn State to a Big Ten Championship last year and was their best offensive player. He does a little bit of everything well and will be one of the first running backs off of the board. The Eagles drafted Donnell Pumphrey, but he isn’t an every down back in the NFL.
15. Tennessee Titans- Harold Landry, DE, Boston College
The Titans don’t have too many needs, but can improve the pass rush. He was a monster for the Boston College defense last year, finishing with 16.5 sacks. There were only two games were he didn’t register a sack, which bodes well for his NFL future.
16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Mitch Hyatt, OT, Clemson
Donovan Smith hasn’t gotten his career off to a great start, meaning if he struggles again he will be replaced. Protecting Winston’s blindside has to be the number one priority for the Bucs.
17. Baltimore Ravens- Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
The Ravens haven’t had an effective running back in years. Guice showed flashes of what he could do when Leonard Fournette sat out with injury last season. He should have a breakout year for LSU.
The Panthers continue to not address the offensive line well. They need to clear some holes for McCaffrey and protect Cam Newton. Brown is a big prospect, who is another good tackle prospect in this draft class.
19. Arizona Cardinals- Luke Falk, QB, Washington State
Luke Falk (Photo by: seattletimes.com)
This year’s quarterback class is going to be loaded, if everything happens the way most think it will. That paired with the fact that there are a lot of aging quarterbacks and as usual teams that are bad and need new ones, A lot might go in the first found in the 2018 NFL Draft. Falk is a system quarterback, but Patrick Mahommes overcame that to be the second quarterback selected in the 2017 NFL Draft. He will need to have an impressive senior season where he shows he can read defenses to maintain his spot in the first round.
20. Minnesota Vikings- Lowell Lotulelei, DT, Utah
The Shariff Floyd injury complicates things for the Vikings. Lotulelei is a big physical defensive tackle that can really plug up the running lanes.
21. Indianapolis Colts- Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas
Jefferson has all the potential in the world and it should all come together for him this season for Texas. The Colts have started to revamp their defense, but it still needs a lot more work.
Sutton was a fringe first rounder had he come out this year and will likely be one of the best wide receivers coming out next season. With Sammy Watkins possibly leaving in free agency, Sutton can be paired with current rookie Zay Jones.
23. New York Giants- Martinas Rankin, OT, Mississippi State
The Giants didn’t draft a tackle and now will need to get one next year. Fortunately for them, as it now stands, there are a lot of good tackles in this draft class.
If Jesse James doesn’t step up, the Steelers will need a new tight end. Fumagali made some incredible grabs in the Cotton Bowl and with a good season, will move himself into first round consideration.
25. Denver Broncos- Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia
Jamal Charles was just signed, but that isn’t a long term solution. Chubb could be the selection if the Broncos lose faith in Devontae Booker. He has some injuries, but when healthy Chubb is a great running back.
26. Oakland Raiders- Da’Shawn Hand, DL, Alabama
Hand has been burried on the depth chart at Alabama, but will get his chance this season. The Raiders have a terrible defensive line and need to start addressing it.
27. Cleveland Browns (via Hou)- Jordan Whitehead, S, Pittsburgh
Whitehead can play a variety of positions in the secondary and can fit in next to Jabrill Peppers. The Browns’ luxury of a lot of picks, gives them a lot of options.
28. Atlanta Falcons- Da’Ron Payne, DL, Alabama
The Falcons need to get some players on the interior of the defensive line. Payne, like Hand, will get his chance to shine this season.
29. Seattle Seahawks- Martez Ivey, OL, Florida
Ivey could play guard or center for the Seahawks, but they need offensive line help so badly, it doesn’t matter. Protecting Russell Wilson hasn’t been a concern in the past for Seattle (even though it should have been), but it should be going into the future.
30. Green Bay Packers- Tarvarus McFadden, CB, Florida State
McFadden is a lengthy corner that can help the Packers stop the pass. They addressed the secondary this offseason, but if it doesn’t improve, they will target more secondary help.
31. Dallas Cowboys- Sam Hubbard, DE, Ohio State
Hubbard got to start in Joey Bosa’s place when Bosa was suspended, but made a name for himself. After a few more years of good play, he could go in round one. Dallas picked Taco Charlton in the first round in the 2017 NFL Draft, but could still use pass rushing help.
32. New England Patriots- Tyquan Lewis, DE, Ohio State
The Patriots have a glaring need at pass rusher and Lewis might be their guy. He has a lot of experience at Ohio State and New England can turn him into a star.