The 2018 NFL Draft is slated for April 26th through the 28th. There are a lot of questions that are going around. What will the Cleveland Browns do with their number one overall selection? Will they pick a quarterback or maybe go with the can't miss running back Saquon Barkley? Also, what will the Browns do with their fourth overall pick? Will the Giants trade away the number two overall pick? Or, will they trade it away to a team like Buffalo who is looking to upgrade at the quarterback position? One thing we all can conclude is that there is a lot of pandemonium and excitement that occurs every day up until the draft. But another big factor that goes into the predictions of the draftees is their stock, whether increasing or decreasing.
We see it happen in sports all of the time. Draftees come in year after year and their rankings change depending on who it is and why they are being moved up and down the draft boards. There are a lot of highly talented prospects in this year's draft, particularly at the quarterback position. But, will the draftees be happy about where they are drafted? Or, will they be a little bit disappointed about the time when their name is finally called? This list takes a look at the possibilities of where certain guys could go, whether that be sooner or later. Let's get right into it, shall we? Let's take a look at 8 NFL draft prospects who will slide in the draft and 8 that could go sooner than you think.
16 Slide: Lamar Jackson
Lamar Jackson certainly put up a lot of good numbers in college. He played for the University of Louisville, which is viewed as a basketball school by a lot of people who closely follow college sports. But, he was able to put up noticeable numbers to get people paying attention to Louisville football. Unfortunately for him, he looks like he could slide in the draft.
Jackson won the Heisman trophy his sophomore year of college when he threw for 30 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He can make plays with his arm and legs. But apparently, there is something missing that makes him a sure fire first round pick. Some have speculated he could go to the Jets at number six. But, some mocks have him sliding past the first round, with some teams asking Jackson to play receiver instead of QB. With so many teams needing a QB, but nobody in this class being a sure thing, perception of Jackson around the league could lead him to slide.
15 Sooner: Derrius Guice
Playing at LSU gives Derrius Guice a distinct advantage. He has played great competition in the SEC with the likes of Alabama, Auburn, and Florida in their conference. He was in the double digits during his sophomore and junior years and looks to make an impact at the NFL level.
Guice's former teammate Leonard Fournette jumped to no.4 overall last year, so anything is possible for Guice, especially if the Browns end up going with Barkley first overall, which would leave Guice as the top RB on the board.
Obviously Barkley will be the first RB taken, and the earlier he goes, the sooner you'll hear Guice's name called on draft night.
14 Slide: Calvin Ridley
Calvin Ridley ended his college career in style, helping win a national championship in a wild game against Georgia. He had 19 receiving touchdowns in his three seasons for the Crimson Tide. He also averaged about 940 yards per season. In a draft that's not especially deep on high end receiver talent, it can really go either way for Ridley. He can go in the top 10 or slip to the mid-to-late first round.
Ridley was expected to be within the top 10 picks, maybe even going to the Bears with the eighth pick. However if the Bears fill their need at wide receiver through free agency or through a trade, Ridley can see himself fall on the board pretty quickly. Ridley performed well at the NFL Combine, but this just may not be the year we see many receivers going early.
13 Sooner: Connor Williams
In a draft that isn't very deep at o-line, we're bound to see teams badly in need of an upgrade in the trenches reach for one, and this can happen with Connor Williams out of the University of Texas. The Longhorns have had a tradition of football dominance and this man is ready to represent the Longhorns well in the NFL.
He has a lot of strength in blocking, particularly in the running game which a lot of coaches like. He could very well go sooner than people expect him to. One team to keep an eye on is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the number seven spot. They are notably looking to upgrade their line and Williams could be a great fit there.
12 Slide: Kolton Miller
Josh Rosen got all of the spotlight for putting up big numbers at UCLA, but he needed a good line in front of him to block. Kolton Miller was part of that line and could make a big difference for a team needing to upgrade their o-line. But he also might slip depending on other teams' needs.
Kolton Miller has a big frame at 6'8 and has gotten comparisons to Nate Solder. One team that is interesting to look at is the Cincinnati Bengals at 12. If they want to improve their line, they could take Miller. Otherwise, he could slip even into the second round. The Notre Dame duo of Quenton Nelson and Mike McGlinchey will likely be the first linemen taken, and Miller could easily slide if Nelson and McGlinchey are still on the board in the mid-first round.
11 Sooner: Minkah Fitzpatrick
This next defensive back could see himself as a guy that gets drafted sooner than expected. He helped the Alabama defense hold the highly powered Georgia offense to 10 points in the third and fourth quarters along with the overtime period as well. He also helped Alabama win a national championship two years earlier against the Clemson Tigers. Now, he is off to the draft and looks to go early in the first round. His name is Minkah Fitzpatrick.
Minkah Fitzpatrick had nine interceptions in his three years for the Crimson Tide. He also made a fair amount of tackles, 171 in three years to be exact. Some mocks have Fitzpatrick going as high as fourth overall to the Cleveland Browns, but many have him slipping out of the top 5, even though he's arguably the most complete player in this draft. It wouldn't be a big surprise to see the Browns elect to use their fourth overall pick on him assuming they go QB at no.1, or if the Colts take him third overall.
10 Slide: Vita Vea
Vita Vea played in the Pac-12 conference for three years. He played a lot for the University of Washington, but didn't seem to make a lot of impact. He had an average career at best. He had 99 career tackles, only 15 total tackles for a loss and 9.5 sacks. Vea might see himself continuously slide in the draft.
Vea is one of the best defensive linemen in this draft. The problem is that the position isn't a dire necessity for a lot of teams in the first half of the first round. The best he is looking at right now is possibly going 13th overall to the Washington Redskins. But that could be unlikely and the next team that has a dire need to upgrade their defensive line is the Dallas Cowboys at 19. Vea may be one of the best linemen in this draft, but his stock may continue to slide as time goes on.
9 Sooner: Mike McGlinchey
This next NFL prospect had the pleasure of going to school and playing at the University of Notre Dame. They aren't the national championship teams of the past, but they are certainly no pushover. Mike McGlinchey constantly drew praise for his NFL like agility from the tackle spot and helped lead a formidable running game for the Fighting Irish. He has good size and very good hands according to a lot of scouts. It's not a deep year for offensive linemen, particularly at the tackle spot and that should benefit McGlinchey who, as of now, is possibly the best lineman in this draft. He shouldn't be ruled out at no.5 for the Denver Broncos, if in fact the Broncos end up addressing their QB position in free agency before the draft.
8 Slide: Tremaine Edmunds
Tremaine Edmunds is a linebacker out of Virginia Tech that has a lot of potential at the NFL level. His sophomore and junior years showed the type of player he truly was. He had 4.5 sacks his sophomore year and 5.5 sacks his junior year while combining for 30.5 tackles for loss in those two seasons.
He has the ability to play either linebacker position and fit into a lot of teams' defensive schemes. One interesting team is the Chicago Bears at number eight. But, he could get passed up by the Bears because they also have a dire need for a receiver. If the Bears go the receiver route, Edmunds will continue to fall to the middle of the first round and maybe even worse. Edmunds had a great combine, but if the Bears pass on him at no.8, it could be a long draft night for Edmunds.
7 Sooner: Rashaan Evans
Rashaan Evans could be going sooner rather than later plays for surprise...Alabama! The Crimson Tide do a great job of producing high quality talent for the NFL. That is no different with this middle linebacker. He had 15 career sacks in his time with Alabama and had two national championships to show for it.
Right now, Mel Kiper has Evans being taken 19th overall by the Dallas Cowboys. But we believe that he will go sooner. The Ravens and the Chargers are picking at 16th and 17th, respectively. They both have a need for middle linebackers. The Bengals and Redskins have the 12th and 13th picks and also have a need at linebacker. With all of these teams needing linebackers, it seems likely that Evans moves up the board come draft day in April.
6 Slide: Denzel Ward
The Ohio State Buckeyes won a national championship back in 2014. Unfortunately for this NFL prospect, he was just one year too late enjoying the glory of winning the whole thing. The Buckeyes arguably could have been the four seed in the college football playoffs, but unfortunately they were just short of bidding for a national championship. Denzel Ward may be gone from Ohio State now, but he has a whole lot to prove at the NFL level.
Ward had a good career for the Buckeyes. He had 67 total tackles and two interceptions throughout his time with Ohio State. He is projected to go ninth overall to the San Francisco 49ers. His size could be questionable to some teams wanting a guy that can cover these big wide receivers. If San Francisco takes that into consideration, Ward could very easily slip to the middle of the first round or even later.
5 Sooner: Joshua Jackson
Joshua Jackson looks like he could be going sooner than many have him pegged. He had an interesting career as he started off as a wide receiver and ended up playing defensive back his last two years. He can be an asset on offense or on defense, depending on what a team needs him to do. He could very well be going sooner than Mel Kiper Jr. and other draft experts think.
Jackson right now is projected to go 23rd overall to the Los Angeles Rams. This wouldn't be a bad fit for Jackson considering the Rams are a team that look to be on the rise and who have an experienced defensive coordinator in Wade Phillips. He could potentially go higher though. A good majority of teams are looking to upgrade their secondary and Jackson could be that missing piece in the middle of the first round. Look for Jackson to move up the draft board in April.
4 Slide: Josh Allen
Josh Allen sliding might come as a surprise to a lot of people that read this. Allen didn't get much attention during his college career due to playing with the Wyoming Cowboys in the Midwest Conference. He had a big sophomore season with 28 touchdowns, but also threw 15 interceptions. His junior year he only had 16 touchdown passes, but threw for fewer interceptions with only six. Allen is an intriguing prospect to keep an eye on.
He has the likes of Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold, and Baker Mayfield to compete with. Because of Allen's strong arm and having the body type that all NFL coaches love at quarterback, his less-than-stellar production has been overlooked, but with so much talent at QB in this draft, there's going to be at least one QB who slides a lot more than many expect, and we think that'll be Allen.
3 Sooner: Marcus Davenport
Marcus Davenport has a big frame to work with at 6'7 and 255 pounds. He played in Conference USA which isn't exactly like playing in the SEC or Pac-12. But, he made steady improvements in his tackles for a loss and sacks every single year since his freshman year.
He was looked at to be a late first round pick. Now, he is looking like he could get some looks in the middle of the first round. One team to keep an eye on in regards to Davenport is the Green Bay Packers. He would have a guy in Clay Matthews to mentor and help him develop. It seems like Davenport will go sooner than we all think come draft day.
2 Slide: Maurice Hurst
The Michigan Wolverines were looking to be on the up-rise to national championship contenders under the leadership of Jim Harbaugh. Hurst played defensive tackle for the first three years of his career before making the switch his senior year to being a defensive lineman. A lot of teams need help on defense early on in the first round, but Hurst seems to be slipping more and more.
Maurice Hurst had a huge junior and senior year playing for the Wolverines. He was in the double digits with tackles for losses along with increasing totals in sacks every season. However, he's been sliding in various mock drafts and it was recently revealed he's been dealing with a heart condition, which can scare off teams from taking him early.
1 Sooner: Baker Mayfield
Another NFL prospect that looks like he will go sooner than expected is Baker Mayfield out of Oklahoma. He had a lot going for him, particularly this season when he won the Heisman trophy. He was playing well and also very confident, borderline cocky, about how well he was doing. His name is Baker Mayfield and he looks to bring his arm and confidence to the NFL.
Baker Mayfield is one of the top five quarterbacks in this draft. In previous mock drafts, Mayfield was looked at as a mid first round pick. Now, Mayfield could be looking at a number six overall selection by the New York Jets. Mayfield is too talented to drop too far in the draft, so look for him to be picked up sooner than expected by a team desperately needing a quarterback.
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