The 2018 NFL Draft is tonight! Every year there are a handful of guys that emerge from this point to have a impact on the league. Last year, Alvin Kamara and Kareem Hunt were just a couple of the names to become popular over the course of their rookie season.
This years draft is way more star studded than the last, with the anticipation building up to this point being unlike any draft we’ve seen in a long time. With top tier players coming in at all the major positions, let’s note who’s most likely to make an immediate impact on the NFL.
Saquon Barkley – Penn State Runningback, age 21
Saquon Barkley just might be the most talented player coming out of this draft. Barkley ran for 31 touchdowns in his senior year of high school and was state 100-meter champion. Saquon is a compact and muscular back, but remains very fast and elusive due to great ball carrier vision. Saquon Barkely is highly likely to be an instant starter for whichever team that picks him.
Sam Darnold – USC Quarterback, age 20
Sam Darnold is entering the draft after only 2 years of college football. Darnold has high arm strength and accuracy, as well as good mobility and awareness — but with the drawback of a terrible throwing windup. In Darnold’s first year, he earned his way to a starting role by throwing 31 touchdowns and only nine interceptions in 13 games. Sam Darnold could very well be a starter should he land on the correct team.
Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma Quarterback, age 23
“Mayfield finished his career as one of the most decorated quarterbacks in college football history” (NFL.com) Runner-up for the Heisman trophy multiple years in a row, Mayfield completed a fantastic senior year finally taking home the award. Statistically, Mayfield’s numbers surpass all quarterbacks in virtually every important category – but the one drawback for most people is his size. Lacking height and thought to have extracurricular issues, Mayfield isn’t completely trusted by all insiders, but has the potential to transcend and be immediately great.
Josh Allen, Wyoming Quarterback, age 21
It’s said Josh Allen is the biggest “boom or bust” quarterback of this years draft class. With the physical intangibles of the greats, Josh Allen should fit right into the league — but, Josh Allen was relatively less successful while performing for a more under the radar school. Allen is a great thrower and can hit any spot on the field – fast – but will he correctly adapt to the major league?
Josh Rosen, UCLA Quarterback, age 21
Josh Allen, Josh Rosen, its so confusing, I know. Lets make it simple. Josh Rosen SHOULD be an instant starter. He was the first freshman to ever start for his school opening week, ever. Also, Rosen has top-tier footwork due to his upbringing as a tennis prodigy. Rosen is also both notably more injury prone and interception prone. So, although he has the potential to be an immediate franchise quarterback, he does come with some risk.
Lamar Jackson, Louisville Quarterback, age 21
Expected to be drafted after all of the previously mentioned quarterbacks, Lamar Jackson is actually more exciting of a prospect than all of them. With a potential to be an immediate starter, it’s thought that whatever team picks him will have to adapt to HIS style, rather the other way around. Lamar Jackson was a heisman contender in college, but isn’t exactly the typical NFL quarterback and has many experts doubting his upside. I think Lamar Jackson has a chance at getting more recognition this year than most NFL rookies will.
Minkah Fitzpatrick Alabama Saftey, age 21
Playing defensive back for seven years, this is my favorite position to watch. Last year we had an amazing emergence from rookie Marcus Lattimore, and now Minkah Fitzpatrick is a name looking to shutdown defenses this upcoming year. Minkah is highly versatile and extremely competitive. Said to be a “chess piece player”, expect a lot of debate at what position to Fitzpatrick will start at.
DJ Moore, Maryland Receiver, age 21
Having a large rise in stock post-combine, DJ Moore is a super exciting prospect to watch, with cheetah like breakaway speed while remaining sturdy and possessive of the ball. Look for DJ Moore to be one of the top impacting receivers of this years draft class.
Roquan Smith, Georgia Linebacker, age 21
Roquan Smith has the potential to be an assassin in any NFL defensive backfield. He’s versatile as a tackler and in coverage, so expect to see him making plays all over the field this year.
Bradley Chubb, NC State Defensive End, age 21
The Chubb family is all over football. His father and older brother have played in the league, and his cousin, Nick Chubb, is another interesting prospect that will be entering the draft this year. Bradley Chubb is the best defensive end in this years draft, and possesses excellent physical traits with an upside of becoming a superstar player. I could see Chubb being a pro bowler within his first two years in the league.
The Cleveland Browns have the 1st and the 4th pick in the 1st round of the draft. The New York Jets and Giants go 2nd and 3rd, while the Denver Broncos draft 5th.
A majority of the teams within the top 10 picks of this years draft have the opportunity to get a pro-bowl level player to help turn their franchise around.
Nobody knows who’s going where right now — so tune into FOX or ESPN at 8pm EST and stay tuned with EMCEE for future NFL and sports updates.