The NFL Draft begins this coming Thursday night, and this year I sifted through enough video to compile an 85-man draft board. These are players I’ve seen play a minimum of three games each, and I have given consideration to each prospect’s college production, size, and athletic profile. If the player was injured, and did not work out prior to the draft, he did not make the cut (sorry, Billy Price). As for others who do not appear in these rankings, I either did not see enough of them to establish a firm grade, graded them as a “free agent,” or felt they were lacking a baseline level of production, athleticism, or both. I will be happy to try to answer any specific questions in the comments section, or on twitter (@afc2nfc).
Rd = Round Grade
Pos = Projected NFL Position
Age* = Age as of 12/31/18
HT = Height (6025 = 6’2 5/8”)
WT = Weight
Hand = Hand Size (938 = 9 3/8”)
Arm = Arm Length (3418 = 34 1/8”)
Bench = # of reps at 225 lbs
40 yard = 40-yard dash time in seconds
VJ = Vertical Jump in inches
BJ = Broad Jump in inches
3C = 3-cone time in seconds
SS = 20-yard (short) shuttle time in seconds
Blue = Top of the Line
Green = Above Average
Yellow = Average
Orange = Below Average
Red = Concerning
Nelson is the focal point of two of the most replayed highlights of the draft season: hustling to his right to erase a safety blitz against Georgia, and choke slamming an LSU defender in Notre Dame’s bowl game. No doubt he’s an excellent player, with the strength and nasty streak I love to see on the O-line. My issue is with draft analysts who’ve made him out to be some rare specimen - even going so far as to call him the best prospect in a draft - when UTEP’s Will Hernandez practically checks all the same boxes. I will at least concede that Nelson is the draft’s best offensive lineman, and worthy of a first round pick.
Key Stat: 36 starts at left guard
Notre Dame has produced the top guard and top tackle in the class, and while I wasn’t a huge fan of McGlinchey’s initially, I grew to appreciate his consistency as a pass protector. As far as I can tell, McGlinchey plays with good technique, bending at the knees, keeping his hands up, and mirroring his opponents inside and outside. I still worry about his quickness against a speed rusher, but I don’t think he has any competition for his standing at the top of this tackle class. McGlinchey has experience at right and left tackle.
Key Stat: 14 starts at right tackle, 25 at left tackle
O’Neill is a former tight end, and still runs like one, blazing a 4.82 40 at the combine a couple of months ago. He’s also still pretty slim for a lineman, checking in under 300 pounds. He’s going to want to bulk up a little. But I love O’Neill’s athleticism, and while he can get a little loose with his pass blocking technique, he is still usually long and/or quick enough to make up for it. Like McGlinchey, O’Neill has experience at both tackle spots, starting 13 games on the left side and 24 on the right.
Key Stat: Three carries for 39 yards and two touchdowns in his career
As noted earlier, I don’t think there’s a ton of separation between Hernandez and Nelson as prospects. The biggest physical difference is that Hernandez is about 2 1/2” shorter. The UTEP guard is strong and nasty, and is surprisingly light on his feet for a guy who weighs nearly 330 pounds. I don’t think he’s seen the caliber of pass rushers that Nelson has seen, but Hernandez looks athletic and keeps his head on a swivel on passing downs. My chief complaint is that he has a hop step out of his stance that becomes more glaring when he pulls, and I hope he can correct that because it makes him a tick late.
Key Stat: 49 starts at left guard
Rankins played left tackle for two seasons at Mississippi State after coming in from the junior college ranks, but I’m projecting him to move inside, where I think his strengths will translate better. He’s a pretty strong run blocker, though he needs to work on staying with it to the whistle, and he plays with discipline against the pass rush. I just don’t think he has the feet to stay at left tackle at the pro level.
Key Stat: 19 starts at left tackle in two seasons
Another college tackle who projects inside, Corbett isn’t at the level of former Nevada lineman Joel Bitonio, but rates above average in most athletic tests. Corbett fires off the ball, drives his legs in the run game, and plays with a nasty streak. He moves well laterally and shows good awareness. But I’ve seen Corbett get his feet tangled up in pass protection, and I think he keeps his hands a little low. He also needs to get stronger. I think Corbett has starting ability, but is probably a year away from cracking a good lineup.
Key Stat: 36 starts at left tackle, 12 at right tackle
Miller is easily the most athletic offensive lineman in the class, and his movement skills show up on tape, but he’s wildly inconsistent with his bend and feet, and even looks downright frazzled at times. I keep seeing Miller in the first round of mocks, but by my estimation he’s going to need a lot of work before he can be trusted as an NFL starter. Like most of the tackles on this list, Miller has started games on both sides of the line.
Key Stat: 23 career starts
After a strong performance at the combine, I’m now seeing Noteboom getting Day Two buzz, and while that’s too rich for my blood, I do see the appeal. He’s got a long, lean build and moves well. He’s not a head hunter in the run game, but he handles his business. I’ve seen him get knocked back on his heels quite a bit, so I don’t know if that’s more of a lower-body strength or technique thing, but it’s something he’s going to need to steady. I think Noteboom is a depth guy, but apparently some NFL people view him as a starter.
Key Stat: 40 career starts
Golditch was among the 82 victims of Aurora, CO theater-shooter James Holmes on July 20, 2012, and incredibly recovered from a gunshot wound to the neck in time to play his senior season of high school football. At Colorado State, Golditch has played both tackle spots and guard. He’s on the small side, but very athletic, aggressive and strong in the run game. Golditch wasn’t able to work out fully at his pro day after injuring his finger, but should be healthy for any rookie minicamp. He’s one of my favorite sleepers in the draft.