Prospect rankings are always in flux at this early point in the evaluation process. The 2018 NFL draft class contains perhaps more uncertainty than usual. There seems to be eight to ten consensus blue chip players and a tremendous amount of variation further down the board.
NFL analyst and former Ravens scout Daniel Jeremiah unveiled his first top 50 list of the season. An accomplished personnel man with connections around the league, his rankings should bring some clarity to the projections.
Notably, Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds is Jeremiah’s third best prospect in the class, well ahead of undersized Georgia product Roquan Smith, who checks in at 19th. Quarterbacks Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen all earned placement within the top-14, while Lamar Jackson is pegged as the 43rd best player in the class.
At running back, Saquon Barkley is ranked #1 overall, USC’s Ronald Jones is listed as the 12th best prospect, followed by Derrius Guice at #15, Sony Michel at #28, Nick Chubb at #49 and Kerryon Johnson at #50. Jeremiah believes tight ends Hayden Hurst and Dallas Goedert are worthy of selection in the top half of the second round. Mark Andrews and Mike Gesicki, two big playmaking tight ends, are not included in his top 50.
Wide receivers are an interesting position group this year. Jeremiah views Calvin Ridley and Christian Kirk as late first round options. Courtland Sutton and Dante Pettis are ranked in the mid 40s.
The offensive tackle crop appears to be much better than last year. Connor Williams is projected 17th, Orlando Brown 31st and Mike McGlinchey 35th. Tyrell Crosby and Brian O’Neill add depth to the class, both are deemed worthy of selection in the middle of the second round.
After building up the defense in 2017, the 2018 draft class aligns reasonably well with the Ravens most pressing current positional needs. They should have multiple quality options at wide receiver, tight end and offensive tackle to chose from in the first, second and third rounds. With aggressive draft day maneuvering, Baltimore’s front office could feasibly fill all three positions with exciting prospects in late April.