The 2018 NFL Draft is officially in the books. After a flurry of history-making picks and eye-raising selections from Thursday to Saturday, 256 players were selected to join one of each of the 32 NFL teams. With that, we give you our full draft recap, with analysis on each team’s day and every selection every team made during the weekend.
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1 (7) Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming, 73.6
1 (16) Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech, 87.1
3 (96) Harrison Phillips, DI, Stanford, 90.3
4 (121) Taron Johnson, CB, Weber State, n/a
5 (154) Siran Neal, S, Jacksonville State, n/a
5 (166) Wyatt Teller, G, Virginia Tech, 86.7
6 (187) Ray-Ray McCloud, WR, Clemson, 68.5
7 (255) Austin Proehl, WR, UNC, 80.3
Day 1: The rumors were heavy that the Bills would move up to take Josh Allen, and they did just that. Allen has a cannon for an arm, combined with the size and athleticism to make spectacular plays outside the pocket, but he comes with big question marks in key areas, namely his accuracy and decision-making. He’s ranked among the nation’s worst in negatively-graded throws over the last two years and he finished 29th out of 38 quarterbacks in the draft class at avoiding turnover-worthy throws last season. The big-time throws are a part of his game as Allen had the highest percentage in the nation in 2016, while ranking seventh in the draft class last year, and the Bills must let him use his arm and playmaking ability down the field while trying to mitigate the accuracy issues and play recognition that has held his game back despite his electric skillset.
Buffalo then made a move to grab Tremaine Edmunds, adding a much-needed athletic presence for the middle of their zone-heavy defense. Edmunds is not as polished as some of the other top linebackers in this class as he’ll often take the wrong gap in the run game, but his movement skills make him a weapon in coverage, whether covering ground in zone or matching up against opposing tight ends. He ranked ninth in the draft class with a run-stop percentage of 12.5 while posting a solid coverage grade of 81.0.
Day 2: The Bills didn’t have a second-round pick, and they add help for their run defense with Harrison Phillips in the third. He is one of the best interior run defenders in the class, leading the way with a run-stop percentage of 13.3 last season to go with a 90.2 grade against the run. However, Phillips has not shown much as a pass-rusher, grading at 82.9 last season and finishing 53rd in the draft class with a pass-rush productivity of only 6.4.
Day 3: Wyatt Teller could be a steal in the fifth round after posting four years of grading in between 86.0 and 89.3. He is a powerful run-blocker and he finished ninth in the draft class with a run-block success percentage of 92.2.
Overall grade: Average
1 (11) Minkah Fitzpatrick, S, Alabama, 84.8
2 (42) Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State, 84.9
3 (73) Jerome Baker, LB, Ohio State, 81.5
4 (123) Durham Smythe, TE, Notre Dame, 74.6
4 (131) Kalen Ballage, RB, Arizona State, 60.7
6 (209) Cornell Armstrong, CB, Southern Miss, 81.4
7 (227) Quentin Poling, LB, Ohio, 83.1
7 (229) Jason Sanders, K, New Mexico, n/a
Day 1: Minkah Fitzpatrick is a fantastic fit for any defense, but perhaps even more crucial for the Dolphins in the AFC East as they look to eventually overtake the Patriots. Fitzpatrick excelled in Alabama’s “star” role where he covered well from the slot, played the run as well as any corner, and showed well as a blitzer. Covering tight ends and slot receivers is as valuable as ever in today’s NFL, and Fitzpatrick is one of the few players in the draft who has already shown that skillset in college. His three-year production was consistent, as he graded between 81.8 and 88.4, doing his best work in 2016 when he picked off six passes and broke up eight more on only 61 targets.
Day 2: Miami continued their theme of winning in between the numbers with the additions of Mike Gesicki and Jerome Baker. Gesicki crushed the NFL combine and he adds a long, athletic option at tight end. He’s not much of a blocker (50.5 run-block grade in 2017 was career-high), but he had the highest contested-catch rate in the nation among tight ends (75.0 percent) and his long frame allows him to make spectacular catches. Baker adds a much-needed athletic linebacker to the mix though he did his best work in 2016 with an 87.7 overall grade that dropped to 80.9 last season. He’s strong in man-coverage looks, but must improve when playing zone.
Day 3: Durham Smythe showed promise as a run-blocker with an 80.2 grade in 2016, but he regressed back to 54.3 last season. Kalen Ballage could become a pass-game weapon as he has good size and athleticism, and his 86.6 receiving grade from 2016 is the number that gives hope that he can become a better pro than college player. He struggled as a runner in college, grading at only 69.2 last season while averaging just 2.8 yards after contact per rush during his career. Quentin Poling graded between 83.0 and 86.8 in all four years of his career and his run-stop percentage of 10.8 ranked 23rd among linebackers in the draft class in 2017.
Overall grade: Good
1 (3) Sam Darnold, QB, USC, 83.6
3 (72) Nathan Shepherd, DI, Fort Hays State, n/a
4 (107) Christopher Herndon IV, TE, Miami (Fla.), 81.8
6 (179) Parry Nickerson, CB, Tulane, 85.1
6 (180) Folorunso Fatukasi, Edge, Connecticut, 83.2
6 (204) Trenton Cannon, RB, Virginia State, n/a
Day 1: The Jets should be ecstatic that Darnold was still on the board at No. 3 overall. Our No. 2 player on the PFF Draft Board, Darnold has shown exceptional high-end play, throwing with the accuracy and anticipation desired from an NFL quarterback. He has two strong years of grading under his belt, and while last year was not as good as anticipated, Darnold was still the No. 3-graded quarterback in the nation outside of his four poor games. He must cut back on the bad decisions and fumbles that marred that four-game stretch, as he finished with the fifth-highest percentage of turnover-worthy plays in the draft class last season, but it’s the big-time throws that make him a potentially special prospect as he ranked second. Darnold has shown well in crunch time, whether at the end of the half or with the game on the line, and his ability to make plays both inside and outside the pocket will lead to memorable moments for Jets fans.
Day 2: With only a third-round selection on Day 2, the Jets add athletic defensive lineman Nathan Shepherd to the mix, a small-school player who looked strong during his limited reps at the Senior Bowl. He has outstanding size and athleticism, and he could develop into a good all-around player given his measurables.
Day 3: Christopher Herndon showed strong big-play ability last season, forcing nine missed tackles on only 40 receptions and averaging 9.3 yards after the catch per reception. Parry Nickerson could become a steal in the sixth round as he has three outstanding years of production to go with 4.32 speed. He allowed a passer rating of only 41.7 in 2017 and 32.5 when targeted in 2016. Folorunso Fatukasi is an outstanding run defender, grading between 82.8 and 86.1 in all four years at UConn, though he provided little as a pass-rusher, including a 3.1 pass-rush productivity last year that ranked 131st in the draft class.
Overall grade: Elite
1 (23) Isaiah Wynn, OT, Georgia, 88.1
1 (31) Sony Michel, RB, Georgia, 83.3
2 (56) Duke Dawson, CB, Florida, 81.1
5 (143) Ja’Whaun Bentley, LB, Purdue, 91.2
6 (178) Christian Sam, LB, Arizona State, 69.7
6 (210) Braxton Berrios, WR, Miami (Fla.), 80.6
7 (219) Danny Etling, QB, LSU, 78.2
7 (243) Keion Crossen, CB, Western Carolina, n/a
7 (250) Ryan Izzo, TE, Florida State, 73.8
Day 1: The Patriots kicked off the night with Isaiah Wynn who played left tackle exceptionally well at Georgia last season and may stick at tackle for the Patriots despite being undersized and looking more like a guard. He allowed only five pressures on 330 attempts in pass protection and he finished with the No. 3 grade in the nation as a run blocker at 91.0. Wynn has three years of strong grading, both at guard and tackle, and he adds positional flexibility to the New England offensive line. They went back to Georgia to take Wynn’s teammate, Sony Michel, who adds a quick-cutting back with receiving potential to the offense. He ranked sixth in the draft class with an elusive rating of 95.1 last season, and despite seeing only 80 targets in the passing game in his career, Michel’s quickness should be a nice fit for New England’s scheme.
Day 2: The Patriots spent most of Day 2 trading down, but they did make one selection as they traded back up to get Duke Dawson. He allowed a passer rating of only 41.0 when lined up in the slot last year, eighth-best in the nation, after allowing a rating of only 64.6 (38th) in 2016. Given the value of slot defenders in today’s NFL, Dawson fills an important need for the Patriots’ defense.
Day 3: Ja’Whaun Bentley is a downhill thumper who posted the nation’s top grade against the run at 95.0 while ranking fourth in the draft class with a run-stop percentage of 13.3. He has work to do in coverage, and may be limited to early downs at the next level. Braxton Berrios ranked eighth among receivers in the draft class with 680 yards gained from the slot. Danny Etling posted a career-high 78.9 overall grade in 2017.
Overall grade: Above average
1 (21) Billy Price, C, Ohio State, 83.8
2 (54) Jessie Bates III, S, Wake Forest, 78.3
3 (77) Sam Hubbard, Edge, Ohio State, 80.8
3 (78) Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas, 87.5
4 (112) Mark Walton, RB, Miami (Fla.), 86.1
5 (151) Davontae Harris, CB, Illinois State, n/a
5 (158) Andrew Brown, DI, Virginia, 77.1
5 (170) Darius Phillips, CB, Western Michigan, 84.2
7 (249) Logan Woodside, QB, Toledo, 84.1
7 (252) Rod Taylor, OT, Ole Miss, 83.1
7 (253) Auden Tate, WR, Florida State, 82.3
Day 1: The Bengals were rumored to have been targeting a center in the first round, and with our top center, Frank Ragnow, coming off the board right before their pick, they stuck with the need pick with Billy Price. He has experience playing multiple positions at Ohio State, capping his career with two solid years of grading (84.7 in 2016, 83.2 in 2017). Price is aggressive both as a run-blocker and in pass protection, a trait that works both for and against him. He ranked sixth in the draft class with a run-block success percentage of 92.0, but only 27th in pass-blocking efficiency at 97.6.
Day 2: Jessie Bates is one of few safeties who can hang with receivers in 1-on-1 situations, and he’s made a few spectacular plays when matched up in “quarters” looks. He’s also willing to mix it up in the run game, though he must do a better job of preventing big plays after missing 16 tackles on only 81 attempts last season. Sam Hubbard had a solid career at Ohio State, grading at 83.0 in 2016 and 80.8 last season. He’s done his best work in the run game as his best pass-rush grade of 79.0 came in 2016. Malik Jefferson started to live up to his five-star pedigree last year after struggling in his first two seasons. He ranked 14th in the draft class with a run-stop percentage of 12.1 percent, though he must cut back on the missed tackles after missing 36 on only 250 career attempts.
Day 3: Mark Walton has a number of spectacular cuts on tape, showing the quickness and speed to be a weapon as both a runner and as a receiver. He posted an excellent 86.1 overall grade last season before going down due to an ankle injury. Andrew Brown posted average grades throughout his career showing through in his 7.6 pass-rush productivity that ranked 28th in the class and his run-stop percentage of 5.6 that ranked 77th. Darius Phillips posted three solid years of grading at corner, picking off 12 passes and breaking up 26 on 206 targets. Logan Woodside is an intriguing backup option as he ranked 11th in big-time throw percentage in the draft class, but only 22nd at avoiding turnover-worthy plays. He posted grades of 86.3 in 2016 and 84.3 in 2017. Auden Tate can do damage in the red zone with his long frame and he ranked sixth in the nation with a 66.7 percent catch rate in contested situations last season.
Overall grade: Average
1 (1) Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma, 94.8
1 (4) Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State, 91.4
2 (33) Austin Corbett, G/C, Nevada, 84.0
2 (35) Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia, 87.6
3 (67) Chad Thomas, Edge, Miami (Fla.), 83.9
4 (105) Antonio Callaway, WR, Florida, 77.7* (in 2016)
5 (150) Genard Avery, LB, Memphis, 82.4
6 (175) Damion Ratley, WR, Texas A&M, 77.1
6 (188) Simeon Thomas, CB, Louisiana, 79.0
Day 1: Mayfield was PFF’s pick to be the No. 1 overall pick for the Browns since last October and they made it a reality despite many rumors to the contrary. Mayfield has the two highest single-season grades we’ve given a quarterback in our four years of grading and he can make every necessary throw with zip and accuracy. No matter which way the numbers are sliced, Mayfield generally led the way, including the best PFF grade from a clean pocket (the most consistent measure of year-to-year success) and also the best grade when facing pressure. He also came out on top in our new advanced accuracy numbers that emphasized actual ball location on every throw, and his was nine percent better than the next-best quarterback on tight-window throws. After much speculation, the Browns selected the No. 1 player on the PFF draft board with the first pick of the draft.
As for Denzel Ward, he fills a massive need in the secondary and his straight-line speed and lateral agility make him a perfect candidate to match up with the best route runners in the NFL. Ward allowed a completion percentage of only 35.0 percent in his career when targeted, picking off two passes and breaking up 19 more on only 100 targets. He may struggle at the catch point at times against bigger receivers, but he knows how to play through the receiver’s hands to break up passes and he’s had his fair share of success when matched up against bigger bodies in college.
Day 2: The Browns added a versatile offensive lineman in Austin Corbett who played left tackle at Nevada, though he could play guard or center where he showed well at the Senior Bowl. He has three years of grading in the mid-80.0s and his 98.0 pass-blocking efficiency ranked 13th in the draft class among tackles last season. Nick Chubb is one of the best runners in the class, and he looked back to form last year after two years of battling injuries and recovering. He maximizes what his run-blocking gives him and he averaged 3.7 yards after contact per rush during his four-year career at Georgia. Chad Thomas continued to improve throughout his career at Miami, and he did his best work in the run game where he graded at 84.5 last season while his pass-rush productivity of 9.9 ranked 39th in the draft class.
Day 3: On the field, Antonio Callaway is a big-play threat as his impressive game speed makes him a weapon on the deep ball, taking short passes for big gains, and as a punt returner. He averaged 7.3 yards after the catch per reception in his career, but fell in the draft due to off-field concerns, including being suspended for the entire 2017 season. Genard Avery did plenty of damage on the edge at Memphis, notching nine sacks, 14 QB hits and 34 hurries last season, and he brings versatility to the Cleveland defense.
Overall grade: Good
Source: Pro Football Focus