With the 2018 NFL Draft complete, the instant reactions have been rampant the last month. Only time will tell which teams "won" or "lost" the 2018 NFL Draft with the picks they made, but there were several teams who stood out with the haul of players they added to the roster.
Below are 10 of my favorite draft classes from the 2018 NFL Draft.
10 -- Baltimore Ravens
1 (25) - Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina
1 (32) - Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
3 (83) - Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma
3 (86) - Mark Andrews, TE, Oklahoma
4 (118) - Anthony Averett, CB, Alabama
4 (122) - Kenny Young, LB, UCLA
4 (132) - Jaleel Scott, WR, New Mexico State
5 (162) - Jordan Lasley, WR, UCLA
6 (190) - Deshon Elliott, S, Texas
6 (212) - Greg Senat, OT, Wagner
6 (215) - Bradley Bozeman, OC, Alabama
7 (238) - Zach Sieler, DL, Ferris State
In his final draft as a NFL general manager, Ozzie Newsome was active, trading back in the first round for a talented tight end and then back into the top-32 for a quarterback. Hurst is a reliable target and physical blocker. And Jackson has tremendous ability and is the future of the Ravens' organization. A pair of Oklahoma prospects in the third round will boost the offense with Brown fighting for a starting job right away. Averett was excellent value in the fourth round. Scott and Lasley are two inconsistent receivers, but both have loads of talent and could be better pros than college players. With an abundance of picks, Baltimore added quality players in the last few rounds who will add competition in training camp.
9 -- Denver Broncos
1 (5) - Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State
2 (40) - Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
3 (71) - Royce Freeman, RB, Oregon
3 (99) - Isaac Yiadom, CB, Boston College
4 (106) - Josey Jewell, LB, Iowa
4 (113) - DaeSean Hamilton, WR, Penn State
5 (156) - Troy Fumagalli, TE, Wisconsin
6 (183) - Sam Jones, OG/C, Arizona State
6 (217) - Keishawn Bierria, LB, Washington
7 (226) - David Williams, RB, Arkansas
Landing the top pass rusher in the draft is a great start to any draft class and that is what Denver did with Chubb. Sutton has the potential to develop into a future No. 1 wide receiver and could be the heir apparent to Demaryius Thomas. Top-75 was a tad early for Freeman, but he was the top back available at that point. Yiadom is a tough-minded press-man corner. The Broncos nailed the fourth round with a pair of underrated Big Ten prospects. Jewell isn't a top-tier athlete, but he is smart, productive and a three-time captain at Iowa. Although he doesn't have great speed, Hamilton is a crafty route-runner and quarterback's best friend.
8 -- New York Giants
1 (2) - Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
2 (34) - Will Hernandez, OG, UTEP
3 (66) - Lorenzo Carter, DE/LB, Georgia
3 (69) - B.J. Hill, DT, NC State
4 (108) - Kyle Lauletta, QB, Richmond
5 (139) - R.J. McIntosh, DT, Miami (Fla.)
While I didn't agree with the value of running back at No. 2 overall, especially with Sam Darnold available, the Giants are still a vastly improved offensive team with Barkley on the roster. There is a good chance New York regrets passing on Darnold, but Barkley will be a better pro this season and helps give New York a fighting chance at the NFC East. Hernandez in the second round was a steal. Carter is a better athlete than football player right now, but his value in the third round is much easier to stomach than the first-round projections. Like Hernandez, Hill was a steal and drafted a round later than he should have. Lauletta might not have a super high ceiling, but he is a smart, efficient passer who will play in the NFL for a long time, likely as a quality back-up.
7 -- Jacksonville Jaguars
1 (29) - Taven Bryan, DT, Florida
2 (61) - D.J. Chark, WR, LSU
3 (93) - Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama
4 (129) - Will Richardson, OT/G, NC State
6 (203) - Tanner Lee, QB, Nebraska
7 (230) - Leon Jacobs, DE/LB, Wisconsin
7 (247) - Logan Cooke, PT, Mississippi State
With three SEC prospects in the first three rounds, the Jaguars added valuable depth players with a chance to grow into impact starters. Bryan is an upfield penetrator with sky high potential who will work himself into the defensive line rotation as a rookie. Although streaky, Chark has elite top-end speed to stretch out the secondary and give defenses something to worry about. Harrison has limitations in coverage, but he loves to play with violence and has starting potential. Richardson can be more than just a depth piece and Jacobs is the type of raw pass rusher worth taking a chance on, making him a steal at pick No. 230.
6 -- Cleveland Browns
1 (1) - Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
1 (4) - Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
2 (33) - Austin Corbett, OT/G, Nevada
2 (35) - Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia
3 (67) - Chad Thomas, DE, Miami (Fla.)
4 (105) - Antonio Callaway, WR, Florida
5 (150) - Genard Avery, LB, Memphis
6 (175) - Damion Ratley, WR, Texas A&M
6 (188) - Simeon Thomas, CB/S, La.-Lafayette
Regardless if I would have drafted the same two players with the first and fourth picks, the Browns drafted two of the top-10 players on my draft board with Ward (No. 5) and Mayfield (No. 10). Corbett is a well-rounded, reliable player, who projects best at guard, but I'm eager to see what Cleveland's plan is for him. Chubb runs with outstanding balance, body strength and purpose, skillfully marrying his eyes with his feet. Thomas is a steady base end who is dependable vs. the run. Callaway is the ultimate high risk, high reward draft pick - a top-50 talent with plenty of off-field questions. The final two picks (Ratley and Thomas) are perfect examples of "traits" picks with their average tape, but fantastic measureables.
5. Atlanta Falcons
1 (26) - Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
2 (58) - Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado
3 (90) - Deadrin Senat, DT, South Florida
4 (126) - Ito Smith, RB, Southern Miss
6 (194) - Russell Gage, WR, LSU
6 (200) - Foye Oluokun, LB/S, Yale
The Falcons have one of the league's most productive passing offenses and that air attack will only be stronger in 2018 with the addition of Ridley, joining Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu. Oliver was a steal outside the top-50 picks and strengthens an already talented cornerback depth chart. One of my favorite players in the draft, Senat will be a valuable part of the defensive tackle rotation with his ability to play the run and penetrate the pocket. Smith looks like the future replacement for Tevin Coleman and Oluokun is a traits prospect worth the late round gamble.
4. Dallas Cowboys
1 (19) - Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State
2 (50) - Connor Williams, OT/G, Texas
3 (81) - Michael Gallup, WR, Colorado State
4 (116) - Dorance Armstrong, DE, Kansas
4 (137) - Dalton Schultz, TE, Stanford
5 (171) - Mike White, QB, Western Kentucky
6 (193) - Chris Covington, LB, Indiana
6 (208) - Cedrick Wilson, WR, Boise State
7 (236) - Bo Scarbrough, RB, Alabama
The new MIKE linebacker for the Cowboys, Vander Esch is an ascending player who is an ideal fit for the Cowboys defense and should start from day one. Williams had a streaky 2017 season, but he was tremendous value at No. 50 and is the exact medicine needed for the Cowboys' offensive line with his tackle/guard versatility. He is probably the starting left guard in the season opener, but can also kick out to tackle if needed. Gallup is part of the new-look Dallas receiving depth chart and could emerge as the team's best wideout at some point during the 2018 season. At only 21 years old, Schultz could take over the starting tight end duties as a rookie if Jason Witten retires. White, who was my No. 6 rated quarterback ahead of Mason Rudolph and Kyle Lauletta, could easily beat out Cooper Rush for the back-up role and strengthens the most important position on the depth chart.
3. Carolina Panthers
1 (24) - D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland
2 (55) - Donte Jackson, CB, LSU
3 (85) - Rashaan Gaulden, CB/S, Tennessee
4 (101) - Ian Thomas, TE, Indiana
4 (136) - Marquis Haynes, DE, Ole Miss
5 (161) - Jermaine Carter, LB, Maryland
7 (234) - Andre Smith, LB, North Carolina
7 (242) - Kendrick Norton, DT, Miami (Fla.)
Moore, who gives off Steve Smith vibes, was my No. 14 rated player and will do immediate damage for the Carolina offense. It is tough for receivers to win rookie of the year honors, but the Maryland product has a chance. While undisciplined in areas, Jackson has elite speed and the athleticism to build upon. Gaulden was one of my favorite players in the draft, projecting best as a nickel defender with his play speed and toughness. Although he likely requires a redshirt season, Thomas goes to an ideal situation where he can learn and develop behind Olsen. He will be viewed as a steal when we look back at this draft in three years. Haynes might only see the field in subpackages, but his pass rush skills will impact the game. Smith is a physical thumper and a good player to groom behind the scenes.
2. New York Jets
1 (3) - Sam Darnold, QB, USC
3 (72) - Nathan Shepherd, DT, Fort Hays State
4 (107) - Chris Herndon, TE, Miami (Fla.)
6 (179) - Parry Nickerson, CB, Tulane
6 (180) - Foley Fatukasi, DT, Connecticut
6 (204) - Trenton Cannon, RB, Virginia State
The Jets traded away their second round picks, but it landed them the best quarterback in the draft. Darnold goes to a situation where he won't be forced onto the field from day one and will learn from veteran Josh McCown. Shepherd is older and comes from the Division-II level, but he wins with power and quickness and will push for starting reps during his rookie season. If not for a late season knee injury, Herndon would have been a top-100 draft pick. Nickerson is undersized, but he has ball production and speed, projecting best in the nickel. Fatukasi earned a spot on my top-100 draft board and the Jets got him at No. 180 overall. Between him and Shepherd, New York landed two of my favorite interior defensive line prospects this year. Cannon was a joy to watch on film with his shifty athleticism that made defenses look silly.
1. Chicago Bears
1 (8) - Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
2 (39) - James Daniels, OG/C, Iowa
2 (51) - Anthony Miller, WR, Memphis
4 (115) - Joel Iyiegbuniwe, LB, Western Kentucky
5 (145) - Bilal Nichols, DT, Delaware
6 (181) - Kylie Fitts, DE, Utah
7 (224) - Javon Wims, WR, Georgia
The Bears earn the top spot this year, mostly for what they did in the first two rounds. Smith is the new face of the Bears defense and his impact will be substantial. Daniels fell out of the first round and into Chicago's laps. He is still very young and needs to grow up quickly (both physically and mentally) once in training camp, but the talent, technique and athleticism are there to push for a starting role at guard or center. Without a third round pick (trade up for Trubisky), the Bears had to use a 2019 second round pick to get back into the round, but it was well worth it for Miller. With Kevin White's inability to stay on the field, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Miller emerge as the No. 2 receiving option at some point during the 2018 season. Iyiegbuniwe is an athletic linebacker who flows and fills. Wims had a breakthrough senior year for the SEC Champion Georgia Bulldogs and still has upside, making him the perfect backend of the roster wideout.
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