Every one knows about the top picks at each position. But what about other players teams can target later in the draft? Here I will lay out my Top-5; starting with the offense.
- Dwayne Haskins, Ohio St.
- Kyler Murray, Oklahoma
- Drew Lock, Missouri
- Will Grier, West Virginia
- Daniel Jones, Duke
Best: Dwayne Haskins, Ohio St.
There is a lot of debate among draftniks about this quarterback class. In my opinion, Dwayne Haskins is the top quarterback in this draft. He has a very strong arm while also still being accurate. He knows when (and how) to use touch effectively on his intermediate and deep throws. Haskins is also ahead of the game in this draft class in regards to reading and manipulating a defense. He isn’t the most mobile, but can move enough in the pocket to get a pass off. I do think he would benefit from sitting behind a veteran to start his career due to only starting 14 games in college, but he also has the skills to start right away depending on where he is drafted.
Safest: Daniel Jones, Duke
Daniel Jones is the type of player who doesn’t stand out in any one area, but does everything well enough. He is a solid leader, with enough arm strength to make all the throws, and adequate accuracy. Jones is the type of quarterback that will likely never be the one to single-handedly win games for his team, but will have a solid career as a game manager type of quarterback.
Boom-or-Bust: Drew Lock, Missouri
It seems like this draft is full of prospects at the quarterback position that you could put in this slot as the Boom-or-Bust prospect. I had to go with Drew Lock though. Lock definitely has all the physical tools to possibly become the best quarterback out of the draft class. But footwork, accuracy, and consistency issues held back him and his team in college. The last two issues are hard to fix in the NFL.
Sleeper: Clayton Thorson, Northwestern
Clayton Thorson was thought to be a possible first or second round pick going into the season. But he never really looked comfortable or got back his full mobility after suffering a knee injury in the season prior. If he can get back to his previous form, Thorson has all the tools to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. His arm strength, accuracy, and athleticism all project favorably to the next level. He will likely be a late round pick after last season, but don’t be surprised if we end up seeing him pop up as a starter somewhere in a few years.
- Josh Jacobs, Alabama
- Miles Sanders, Penn St.
- David Montgomery, Iowa St.
- Devin Singletary, Florida Atlantic
- Rodney Anderson, Oklahoma
Best: Josh Jacobs, Alabama
Josh Jacobs is clearly the best running back in this draft class. He isn’t a home-run hitter or huge big play guy, but he has all the tools to be successful in the NFL. He runs with a mean streak and is very powerful after initiating the contact with defenders. His initial burst is borderline elite as he gets up to speed very quickly, but he lacks the long speed to truly run away from defenders. He also has some elusiveness to make linebackers and safeties miss in the open field. Jacobs’ will never create a multitude of 20+ yard runs, but he will grind out yards and churn out tons of 7-10 yard runs. History suggests his style of play will equate to a long career in the NFL.
Safest: Damien Harris, Alabama
You know exactly what you are getting with Damien Harris. A strong back who doesn’t excel in any particular area, but always gets the job done. He will be a good leader and an asset to a locker room. His role in the NFL likely never will be much more than a rotational back and a spot starter, but he is going to have a long career in that role. His vision and footwork in the hole is where he makes his money and is a better pass catcher than given credit for. Harris will likely never be the most talked about back in this draft, but he could possibly having the longest career out of everybody.
Boom-or-Bust: Devin Singletary, Florida Atlantic
In the right scheme as a rotational and third down back, Devin Singletary can thrive. However, he could also struggle mightily if he doesn’t find that perfect role for him. He is a very small and slight back (5’7″ and 203 pounds) so there is naturally some injury concerns that come with that. He showed good elusiveness and lateral quickness in college, but he surprisingly doesn’t have the long speed (4.66 40-yard dash) that you usually see from successful smaller backs in the NFL. If he can carry his game over to the next level and churn out the big gains like he did in college, he can have a long career. However, the lack of size and pure speed gives the potential for him being a bust as well.
Sleeper: Bruce Anderson, North Dakota St.
Bruce Anderson is a small school back that doesn’t get talked about near enough among this group of running backs. Yes, he played against lesser competition, but he was very good against that competition. He showed NFL level burst, acceleration, and explosiveness. He has the floor as a rotational change-of-pace and third down back with a ceiling of being a solid starter. Every year there seems to be a running back taken in the mid- to late-rounds that ends up making an immediate impact, this year my money is on Anderson being that player.