With the 2018 NFL Draft just a few months away, attention is turning to the eligible rookies.
Due to be held between 26-28 April at the home of the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas, the Draft is always a hotly anticipated milestone in the run-up to the new season. And college football certainly hasn’t let the NFL down with plenty of talent ready to transfer to the professional game of gridiron football.
Last year’s number one draft selection, Myles Garrett, has so far yet to live up to the hype having sustained a series of injuries and getting four sacks in just three games for the Cleveland Browns.
However, the Chicago Bears should be pleased with the second overall pick of quarterback Mitchell Trubisky who was instrumental in the team’s wins over Baltimore and the Carolina Panthers. Their other selections of Adam Shaheen, Eddie Jackson and Tarik Cohen have also proved strong with Jackson becoming the first NFL player to complete multiple 75-yard defensive touchdowns in a single game.
Every year, teams can get caught up with the preseason draft selection as the media attention cranks up and expectations for the best college players reaches fever pitch. Some years produce great results while other top overall picks fail to live up to expectations.
In 2012, quarterback Andrew Luck was the first overall pick and was selected by the Indianapolis Colts.He went on to be the best QB of the last five years. His 43-27 career record and strong 2016 performance could yet see him become the best quarterback in the NFL.
Some will remember the media interest around the 1998 draft when Peyton Manning took the number one selection spot. The son of former NFL player, Archie Manning and brother of Eli Manning (two-time champion of the Super Bowl), the expectation was huge. Fortunately, Peyton measured up to the family legacy and retired in 2016 with two Super Bowl titles and as the holder of several career records.
When it comes to rating a rookie, following the games and tracking the stats is key. The latest NFL news and events are available to view on Stakers, and the site offers the chance to get more involved with fixtures via online sports betting. Of course, the official NFL site also provides an excellent schedule of statistics, just not with the odds for the games.
So, who are the college players causing the biggest hype for the 2018 draft?
As ever, the current draft grading is headed up by a quarterback, with all eyes being on Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield. His fiery temperament might put some pro-teams off, however, his current form and go-get- ‘em attitude should be exactly what every NFL team wants in their offense.
The second best QB in this year’s field is UCLA’s Josh Rosen; he is an excellent passer but isn’t the most agile offense. Scouts have also been impressed with USC’s Sam Darnold who might not be setting the field on fire just yet but has all the raw potential to flourish in a professional career.
In the interior line, the prime offensive guard and tackle selections are being challenged for by Quenton Nelson and Connor Williams. They are both strong, fast and fearless with natural ability making them highly desirable in the draft.
Other names to watch include Lamar Jackson and Saquon Barkley.
The speedy and athletic DT, Ed Oliver has made the All-America pick and should be able to find the ball under pressure. He will no doubt prove a solid choice.
The younger brother of Joey Bosa (Los Angeles Chargers), Nick Bosa is a strong defensive end and has the motor to give the offense some trouble. He should fly in a professional career and is attracting deserving attention as we head into the 2018 draft.
Bosa will be competing with Bradley Chubb who is also another effective DE with strong leadership qualities. Just as mobile and powerful, it is Chubb’s on-field presence which might give him the edge as best defense rookie in the draft.
Also causing a lot of excitement is Minkah Fitzpatrick, a gifted defensive back who has speed and agility on his side. His skills in tackling and pure athleticism could make him a prize free safety but he will certainly be a bankable defense.
Other names to watch for the draft in defense include Christian Wilkins, Rashan Gary, Roquan Smith and Derwin James.
As the NFL season draws to a close in February, all eyes will definitely be on the upcoming draft as teams look to gain advantage by getting the right rookies for 2018. You can stay up to date with the selection order, trading and picks through the official NFL website.