NFL Draft Top 5 Prospects by Position – Offense
It's officially draft week! The 2018 NFL Draft is here and we’re starting off KROD’s draft coverage with a look at the top five rated prospects at each position on offense.
This year’s draft class is loaded on the offensive side of the ball as we could see five quarterbacks along with a possible six to seven offensive lineman selected in the first round. The running back class is also very deep and talented with this year’s top overall prospect, Saquon Barkley, leading the pack.
There are two possible first rounders at tight end and a lot of prospects behind them who could be productive pass-catching threats at the next level.
Let’s take a look at my top offensive prospects at each position along with some sleepers to keep your eyes on.
Quarterback - This year’s quarterback class has four potential franchise quarterbacks. Sam Darnold leads the pack as the top talent at the position with Josh Rosen not too far behind. Darnold should go number one overall to the Browns with the mercurial Rosen possibly slipping out of the top ten picks due to injury and makeup concerns. Josh Allen has the highest ceiling of the group but failed to complete more than 60 percent of his passes in college. Allen is followed by Baker Mayfield, who may have the world's largest chip on his shoulder, and Lamar Jackson, who is a dynamic talent a la Michael Vick.
- Sam Darnold, USC
- Josh Rosen, UCLA
- Josh Allen, Wyoming
- Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
- Lamar Jackson, Louisville
Sleeper: Kyle Lauletta, Richmond - Lauletta made a name for himself during Senior Bowl week, finishing as the game’s MVP. If he finds the right situation he could sneak his way into a starting role.
Running Back - Saquon Barkley is the best running back prospect to enter the draft since Adrian Peterson. Unlike Peterson, Barkley is a three-down player and an effective pass protector. He has feet like Barry Sanders but in a 230 pound package. Every back in my top five should be a year one contributor with Sony Michel and Derrius Guice having the talent to be featured backs. Michel has had injury issues and there may be questions about Guice's maturity after his interviews at the combine. Ronald Jones II could be the surprise of this group as he has the talent to be a dual threat out of the backfield.
- Saquon Barkley, Penn State
- Sony Michel, Georgia
- Derrius Guice, LSU
- Ronald Jones II, USC
- Nick Chubb, Georgia
Sleeper: Royce Freeman, Oregon - Freeman performed better than expected at the combine and comes into the NFL as a workhorse. He is the Ducks all-time leading rusher and a better runner than scouts give him credit for.
Wide Receivers - Unlike the other positions on offense, this year’s receiving class looks thin. Calvin Ridley is literally thin, weighing fewer than 190 pounds, but he has great speed and is a solid route runner. Christian Kirk and D.J. Moore look like match-up nightmares in the slot. Moore is not the most refined route runner but just makes plays. Courtland Sutton brings a huge catch radius and will be a 50-50 option in the red-zone but will he be able to separate at the next level is the question.
- Calvin Ridley, Alabama
- Christian Kirk, Texas A&M
- D.J. Moore, Maryland
- Courtland Sutton, SMU
- James Washington, Oklahoma State
Sleeper: Michael Gallup, Colorado State - A great route runner, Gallup does not have elite speed but somehow always makes a splash when the ball gets into his hands. He will eat up zones in the NFL.
Tight End -This is an intriguing tight end class as Dallas Goedert comes in looking like a player who could catch more the 50 passes in year one. Hayden Hurst may be the best overall prospect as he is equally talented as a blocker and receiver. Mike Gesicki could be a huge surprise. The Penn State product is a long strider who excels at getting down field and high pointing the ball. He also has huge hops and is athletically gifted. Keep an eye on Ian Thomas; he's a bit raw but could develop into a solid starter.
- Dallas Goedert, South Dakota State
- Hayden Hurst, South Carolina
- Mike Gesicki, Penn State
- Mark Andrews, Oklahoma
- Ian Thomas, Indiana
Sleeper: Dalton Shultz, Stanford: Shultz is a solid in-line blocker who has good hands and a wide catch radius.
Offensive Tackle - This year’s tackle class has some talent but also question marks. Conner Williams looked like a top ten pick going into last season but then missed most of it to injury. He may end up sliding inside to guard in the NFL. Mike McGlinchey is a great run blocker but has had problems with speed rushers and his best fit may be on the right side. Kolton Miller put on a stellar performance at the combine and reminds me of Nate Solder when he came out of Colorado. Orlando Brown flopped at the combine and wasn’t much better at his pro day but his game film says he could be a starter as right tackle.
- Conner Williams, Texas
- Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame
- Kolton Miller, UCLA
- Tyrell Crosby, Oregon
- Orlando Brown, Oklahoma
Sleeper: Alex Cappa, Humboldt State – Cappa held up well against a higher level of competition at the Senior Bowl. I project him inside at guard in the NFL.
Interior Offensive Line - This year’s interior line class is talented. Quenton Nelson may be the best prospect at guard in more than a decade. He is ferocious, a finisher, and just a badass dude! He could slide out to right tackle but I’d keep him inside and start to add up the pro bowls. He should be selected in the top ten picks. I love Will Hernandez; he’s a road grader who's nasty and should immediately add yards to his team's rushing offense. James Daniels and Isaiah Wynn are versatile players who could play either guard or center. Wynn has also spent time at tackle. Billy Price tore a muscle doing the bench at the combine but should be ready by training camp. He has short arms but should end up a capable starter at center.
- Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame
- Will Hernandez, UTEP
- James Daniels, Iowa
- Isaiah Wynn, Georgia
- Billy Price, Ohio State
Sleeper: Frank Ragnow, C/OG, Arkansas – Don’t be surprised to see Ragnow slip into the late first round. He’s a versatile inside player, who is an alpha leader. He may not physically test out at the level of the other players but he is a solid veteran.