football

Explica's 2018 NFL Draft roundup: here's what you need to know

With all the selections of the draft made, from No. 1 (Baker Mayfield) to No. 256 (Trey Quinn), Explica takes a look at which teams graded out best.


Kahron Spearman


With all the selections of the 2018 NFL draft made, from No. 1 (Baker Mayfield to Cleveland) to the sliders (Lamar Jackson and Maurice Hurst) to No. 256 aka 'Mr. Irrevelant' (Trey Quinn to Washington), we take a look at which teams graded out best.

 

(It should be duly noted that these are early grades. It will be interesting how they look in two-three seasons in the books for each team.)

Other players didnt run the 40 too, it wasnt just me, but they came out with the wide receiver thing, and I was like, I gotta let this guy know Im a QB. Thats all it was. It wasnt really me saying no it wasnt me trying to be cocky or anything like that. It was me trying to prove a point, Im a QB. Thats all.

Lamar Jackson
Quarterback, Baltimore Ravens

THE BEST

New York Jets:

Top three picks: 1 (3) Sam Darnold, QB, USC; 3 (72) Nathan Shepherd, DL, Fort Hays State; 4 (107) Christopher Herndon IV, TE, Miami

 

The Jets got Darnold to fall into their lap at No. 3, when he was the consensus No. 1 QB a definitive win in their view. He'll have the chance to sit and be Josh McCown's understudy. Herndon, should he fix the issues with drops, could be an ideal target for Darnold in time and be a legit starter.

 

Dallas Cowboys:

Top three picks: 1 (19) Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State; 2 (50) Connor Williams, T/G, Texas; 3 (81) Michael Gallup, WR, Colorado State

 

Smart, rangy, and athletic, Vander Esch will earn playing time early and could start immediately, alongside Jaylon Smith and Sean Lee. Williams is the boon, as a first-round graded tackle/guard in the middle of the second. Gallup simply catches everything.

 

Honorable mention: Green Bay Packers (Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson will get opportunities early and often at cornerback.)

THE WORST

Minnesota Vikings:

Top three picks: 1 (30) Mike Hughes, CB, UCF, 2 (62) Brian ONeill, OL, Pittsburgh, 4 (102) Jalyn Holmes, DL, Ohio State

 

Hughes' selection is problematic for two reasons: he's got off-field issues, and part of his value is in his special teams' talent. The off the field could correct themselves, but the NFL as a whole is cracking down bad behavior. Also, the league will likely do away with kickoffs, so the value play with Hughes will be short-lived unless he turns into a lockdown corner. Just a lot of "ifs" for a first-rounder.

 

New Orleans Saints:

Top three picks: 1 (14) Marcus Davenport, edge, UTSA; 3 (91) TreQuan Smith, WR, UCF; 4 (127) Rick Leonard, OT, Florida State

 

Sheesh. 

They gave up a first-rounder for next year to move up and grab a definitive project in Davenport, which suggests they believe in his raw talent/intelligence and in their ability to develop him quickly. If you look at his tape, he appears to be a ferocious pass rusher who can, one day, dominate physically.

 

Dishonorable mention: Kansas City Chiefs (Second-rounder Breeland Speaks, DL, Ole Miss lacks a pass rushing dimension that's going to relegate him to first and second downs.)

SOU  RCES