2018 draft October projection list (not a mock)

October 9th, 2017 | Written by Rob Staton

I don’t want to call this a mock draft because it’s October 9th. There are teams paired with players but really it’s just an exercise to highlight a few names.

A glorified watch-list.

If there’s anyone you think should’ve been included, let me know in the comments section or on Twitter (@robstaton).

A quick note — USC quarterback Sam Darnold is not included. He hasn’t completed a full season as the starter in college. I suspect he will weigh up his options and feel another year starting at USC in 2018 will be the best plan. If he was included, he’d be right up there with Josh Rosen in the top two.

For the draft order I used this website, because it is brilliantly called ‘Tankathon’.

#1 New York Giants — Josh Rosen (QB, UCLA)
Rosen has really looked the part so far this season. Poised in the pocket, accurate, nice variety of throws and highly productive.

#2 Cleveland Browns — Josh Allen (QB, Wyoming)
Allen has the tools — good size, athleticism and a great arm. He needs time, more so than Rosen. Makes too many poor decisions at the moment.

#3 San Francisco 49ers — Saquon Barkley (RB, Penn State)
A highly dynamic playmaker with star quality. Barkley warrants going this early. He’s a complete player with freaky athleticism.

#4 Los Angeles Chargers — Lamar Jackson (QB, Louisville)
Incredible playmaker with a Michael Vick skill-set. Better than some will have you believe. Puts points on the board.

#5 Chicago Bears — Christian Wilkins (DT, Clemson)
All-action player, never stops moving. Capable of playing inside or out and highly athletic. A Sheldon Richardson type player.

#6 Indianapolis Colts — Bradley Chubb (DE, NC State)
Wonderful talent with the perfect blend of speed, mobility, size (6-4, 275lbs) and attitude. Big time player.

#7 Arizona Cardinals — Taven Bryan (DE, Florida)
Bryan is a wrecking ball on the D-line. He’s just as likely to beat you with a violent bull rush as he is to win with speed and quickness. Exceptional.

#8 Cincinnati Bengals — Quenton Nelson (G, Notre Dame)
Nelson brings the physicality every week. Dominating at the LOS, he also moves with ease to pull and reach the second level.

#9 Tennessee Titans — Minkah Fitzpatrick (S, Alabama)
Like James, Fitzpatrick is a match-up option for defenses. He could line up over the slot, start at free safety. Very athletic and tough.

#10 Dallas Cowboys — Derwin James (S, Florida State)
Playmaking safety who provides a match-up option. Instinctive with the size (6-3, 211lbs) to move around.

#11 Oakland Raiders — Trey Adams (T, Washington)
Adams is a very accomplished tackle with the ideal size and frame to make it work at the next level. Could go even higher after testing.

#12 Cleveland Browns (via HOU) — Harold Landry (EDGE, Boston College)
Landry is a bit one-dimensional as a speed rusher but he has exceptional quickness and works well in space.

#13 Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Clelin Ferrell (DE, Clemson)
Shaq Lawson type pass rusher with the size to set the edge and the athleticism to make plays in the backfield.

#14 Miami Dolphins — Vita Vea (DT, Washington)
A nose tackle who teams up with Greg Gaines to shut down the running game. Vea has the necessary athleticism to go very early.

#15 Minnesota Vikings — Billy Price (C/G, Ohio State)
Followed Tony Pauline’s advice and watched Price today. A very active, gritty lineman who locks on and finishes consistently well. Like Quenton Nelson he plays with an edge and moves well.

#16 New Orleans Saints — Mike McGlinchey (T, Notre Dame)
I think he can play left tackle at the next level but teams will be happy to try him on the right side too. He excelled vs Harold Landry.

Two players who deserve a mention

Nick Chubb (RB, Georgia)
Medical testing will likely determine Chubb’s stock in the 2018 draft — but he looks a lot sharper a year on from his rushed return from a knee injury. It’s worth highlighting again just how special an athlete Chubb is. He scored a 143.91 at the 2013 Nike SPARQ combine — topped only by 5-10, 180lbs Speedy Noil. Chubb’s mark included a +40 inch vertical and a 4.47 forty. If he gets close to those numbers at the combine — watch out. So far this year he has 618 yards at 6.8 YPC and eight touchdowns.

Luke Falk (QB, Washington State)
It won’t be a major shock if Falk goes a lot earlier than people are currently projecting. A safe estimate would be round two — but this has been a nice step forward in 2017. He looks healthy, his arm strength is improved and he’s making some really difficult throws look easy. His combination of accurate, catchable passes, size and excellent character will appeal to teams. He carries himself like a franchise quarterback. If a reasonable team like Washington loses Kirk Cousins, is it beyond the realms of possibility they would target someone like Falk as a replacement? They’re not going to get at the names at the top of round one after all.

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70 Responses to “2018 draft October projection list (not a mock)”

  1. C-Dog says:

    Man, if SF can nab Kirk Cousins as a FA, and the snag Saquan Barkley with their pick, this whole NFC West thing would look to get a whole lot more interesting in 2018.

  2. Preston says:

    Rob, have you seen film on Lorenzo carter? Comes off the edge like he’s on fire.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Saw some of him last year. Something to work with for sure. Will check him out when Georgia are next on the UK Broadcast over here.

    • Volume12 says:

      He’s who the Dolphins thought Dion Jordan was. Late 2nd-early 3rd, but rising quickly.

      Just an unreal physical specimen. Still learning how to use his outta this world like length. Not a coverage guy at all. Speed and burst is special.

      Playing in stack, his #’s won’t jump out at ya, but he’s still producing which is impressive in and of itself.

      Plays like a junkyard dog and his athleticism is the definition of freakish.

      6’5-6’6, 245 lbs. 4.60 40, 40″ vert, SPARQ score of 129.75. Circle his combine day/time.

  3. Derron James says:

    Seattle working out Brandon Albert.

  4. astraeus says:

    A few of my top 15 guys not there:

    CB Tarvarus McFadden
    OT Connor Williams (injured)
    DL Maurice Hurst
    LB Roquan Smith

    I’ll have to look into Taven Bryan.

    • Volume12 says:

      Mo Hurst is incredible. He’s right there with Christian Wilkins. So quick and his motor never stops.

      McFadden has not looked like a 1st rounder all year long.

      ‘Bama’s DB Ronnie Harrison is a fast riser. Can play CB or S just like Fitzpatrick.

  5. brazilianguy says:

    So we have 5 QBs worth of #1 pick talks… Alright. That’s gonna be a fun offseason of a mix of scrutiny and overhyping of young players.

    My day one and two priorities at this point would be, in no order:

    1 – OL. Different needs all across the board with that position group. Problem is: at this point I’d rather see the Seahawks getting help via FA than via Draft. I question deeply the ability of this coaching staff to make draft capital into a functional unit.
    2 – RB. We have only Chris Carson, Thomas Rawls and CJ Prosise locked in club control for 2018. Have I mentioned durability issues?
    3 – CB. We have to let Sherman and Lane go at some point. The later rather quickly.
    4 – LB. Someone to develop under Wagner and Wright, and maybe take over if we have to let one of them go.
    5 – EDGE. Cliff Avril’s got a serious injury, Clark in contract season, we got to find our next EDGE to reload.
    6 – TE. I’m okay with Luke Willson, Vanett and Swoopes in case Graham goes. TE is probably the least impactful position in the Seahawks offensive scheme at this point. OTOH, a next generation Luke Willson (athletic freak, effort guy, occasional playmaker) would be good in day three.

    • RealRhino2 says:

      I don’t know what teams will think of Falk from a pure talent standpoint, but I wonder if his concussion history causes a drop no matter how much they might like him.

      Agree with your review of priorities.

      • East Side Stevie says:

        Have to think we go after OL DL in free agency. I can see us going DE in R1 or a trade down to R2 and still go DE but not OL that early. Re sign Joekel (likely) Have Fant and Rees compete LT 2018. Just Re signed Britt Ifedi 2016 First Round pick. Pocic 2017 Second Round Pick. Where do you expect to play a First Round OL? We cant just keep drafting OL early. We have to let the current guys gel and develop we cant have new guys on the line every single year. Pocic wasn’t taken in R2 and isn’t eve contributing at the moment. Surely you don’t want to risk another Early draft pick being a backup. Now if our line takes a big Injury hit or hits than by all means go OL early. But more than likely we sign a starting Guard during Free Agency.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      Seems like they will want to sign Clark and either drop Avril or get him at a reduced price. I think his career has peaked.

      Running backs, definitely a need. I thought Seahawks found some good late round or UDFA but everyone is having injury issues. Maybe Seahawks need to bite the bullet and look for the next Gurley, but they also need a Left Tackle to solidify the line. I think if they had the LT the guard positions could be crewed by players on rookie contracts.

      I guess I’m with East Side in thinking it is time Seahawks drafted a playmaker in the first round. A really good combo running back / receiver.

  6. Volume12 says:

    Dammit Seattle! Why did u pass on OT Cam Robinson? He’s out here mauling cats every week.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/NFLDrafter/status/917449063687004160/video/1

    • Volume12 says:

      Its almost like he’s good or something.

      • Kenny Sloth says:

        Jag-off perhaps?

        We value intelligence above everything on the OL

        Then toughness which he has in spades

        Then athleticism.

        Ifedi ticks all those boxes. Robinson might have ticked 2.

        • Volume12 says:

          Could be.

          Seattle’s scouts do a great job of finding dudes. Its a real testament. They know what they want and having mental and athletic profiles let’s them sift through the weeds, but they struggle with identifying O-lineman. Its their weakness.

          For TC who likes bad a**es and nasty, Cam Robinson is that and then some. Ifedi is coming along nicely though.

          He’s a franchise LT that has helped Fournette in a big, big way. He’s the forgotten man in Fournette’s rookie campaign here.

          • Volume12 says:

            There’s a ton and I mean a ton of similarities between Ifedi and Robinson Both have unique personalities, both have a unique background/upbringing, and both have a similar skill set.

            They want to be the baddest dude on the field. They both are inconsistent, but you can see the flashes of elite potential. And Ifedi is so quick outta his stance and into his pass sets. Robinson is the same, just with his run sets.

            Maybe that was why PC liked him and TC maybe didn’t? Too much of the same?

            And while getting a franchise LT in round 2 is incredible value these days, an UDFA cornerstone at LT in Fant is even more rare.

    • FuzzyLOgic says:

      How about that Chiefs RB instead of Pocic?

      • Volume12 says:

        I don’t think Pocic was a bad pick.

        Don’t know of he’ll ever get developed, but he’s a guy that can back up 3-4 different spots. That’s important. It slows them to only dress a certain amount of O-lineman while letting other players at different positions get the chance to compete and develop.

  7. cha says:

    How about Fournette waving at the Steeler safety “come and get me!” before smacking him at the end of a run? That’s a bad man.

    • Volume12 says:

      He really is.

      Him and Cook were so so good. And still are. Good HB class last year and this one is even better.

    • Ishmael says:

      Baddest move of the year so far. You’d lose your mind if that guy was on your team.

    • mishima says:

      I dig this quote from Myles Jack: “It’s a true team sport. If we do something, the offense feeds off it. If they do something – get a big play, get physical or disrespect their defense – we’re definitely going to get hyped. It’s big.”

      Something the Seahawks’ offense has been missing since Lynch left. You got to have some D on O and some O on D.

  8. Volume12 says:

    Who the hell is this RT!?

    This stance is unique and funky as they come, but post snap? That’s technical brilliance. That’s NFL level stuff. 👀

    https://mobile.twitter.com/AaronTaylorCFB/status/917476109519937541/video/1

  9. Volume12 says:

    Kenny, your a Ducks fan. Watching some Royce Freeman, and this LT just jumps off the tape. Tyrell Crosby. Looks like an NFL LG. He as good as he looks on limited viewing? Dudes nasty!

  10. CharlieTheUnicorn says:

    #9 Tennessee Titans — Minkah Fitzpatrick (S, Alabama)

    I’m thinking the Colts almost NEED to draft this guy. Their secondary and defense in general has been somewhat suspect. I could see DL as well, but an exceptional safety would be hard for them to ignore.

    (also, where is the RB love in the first 15 picks? as of the last few drafts, one was picked in top 10.)

  11. C-Dog says:

    Reports are coming out that Seattle is interested in acquiring Duane Brown, have been for some time, and might be using Brandon Albert to drive down the asking price.

    Well, this could end up being an interesting bye week.

  12. Pran says:

    Joeckel will be out for few weeks… Will glownski take LG? Bring a LT and slide odi inside?

  13. Ishmael says:

    Watching this Vikings – Bears game is giving me a lot of respect for just how hard the Seahawks D play for four quarters. Both teams played tough for the first half, but getting towards the end of the third now and they’re getting tired and sloppy.

  14. Ishmael says:

    Trubisky doesn’t look great. Like… He’s okay. Looks a bit like Mariota, only with a much lower ceiling.

    • DC says:

      First NFL start? I’m routing for him going forward as we SEA/CHI have a mutual worst enemy.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      Way too early to say what his ceiling is. Plus it is dependent on the offense that the Bears can put together. And they have rarely been labeled an offensive team.

  15. John_s says:

    I would not be surprised if Falk gets drafted by the Saints or the Cards

  16. Mac says:

    I want the kicker from WSU Erik Powell, I was at Autzen Stadium for WSU vs the Ducks. I could hear people behind me saying “Don’t worry, he won’t make this” on a 52 yard field goal. He also had a 47 yard FG and against USC did an awesome job. Would make a good UDFA or 7th round selection. I really like Falk’s game, he reminds me a lot of Kirk Cousins.

    There are a LOT of QB needy teams:
    The obvious:
    Jets
    49ers
    Browns
    Jaguars
    The teams w/o future qb:
    Steelers
    Cardinals
    Bills
    Giants
    Saints

    I hope for an early rush on qbs, to push talent back further.

  17. Drew says:

    Is it just me or has Ifedi been looking much better the past 2 weeks?

    • C-Dog says:

      I think putting the experience of Aboushi next to him has really helped him settle in. He was really good against the Rams.

      • Cysco says:

        It’s just like the coaching staff claims. They bring guys in and have to train them up from essentially nothing. We saw this exact same thing with Britt. For two years we were all yelling about how bad Britt was and that the team wasted the pick and needed to cut/replace him. It took Britt two years to learn how to play OL in this system.

        I’m convinced that it was less about moving Britt to Center and more that he got the experience and strength to play how the staff wants him to. If Britt had stayed at guard instead of moving to center I think he would have been equally successful.

        I fully expect Ifedi to continue to improve this year and by next season, he’ll be a cornerstone piece of the line. That’s a big part of why it was so tragic for Fant to go down. Could you imagine going into next season with Fant and Ifedi entering their third seasons and Britt playing at a all pro level?

        • RWIII says:

          Ifedi: You have to remember last year. Not only did Ifedi have to learn a completely new system. When you consider an NFL playbook. Its like going from English to Chinese. Ifedi also had to learn a new position. Then you consider the fact that these guys are at a playing at a much higher level. Then the competition he was going against when he played at Texas A& M. That is asking a ton. So if Ifedi can solidify RT that would be HUGE!

  18. red says:

    Caught the replay of Georgia vs Vanderbilt, Sony Michel looks great think he could be great fit for seattle runs the read option well finishes runs does not have a ton of wear and tear. If Seahawks trade back into the second I think he can work.

  19. AlaskaHawk says:

    Here is an interesting paragraph from Yahoo that highlights the importance of a good line for running backs.
    I think we can all agree that Elliot is an excellent running back, but look how things have changed for him:

    The Cowboys were an efficient offensive machine last season with Elliott leading the way. He hasn’t been the same back this season. He had 1,631 rushing yards, 15 rushing touchdowns and averaged 5.1 yards per carry last season. He’s on pace for 1,258 rushing yards, six rushing touchdowns with a 3.7-yard average this season (and let’s not forget that it’s possible Elliott could get handed a loss in court, maybe this week, and have to sit out six games). That’s a massive drop, but it’s not all Elliott’s fault. The line isn’t the same. Doug Free was a really good, underrated right tackle. He retired this offseason. Guard Ronald Leary was good enough that the Denver Broncos gave him $9 million per year in free agency. We probably didn’t put those losses in proper context. The strength of the Cowboys was Elliott and the offensive line last season. It’s not as strong this season.

    • Del Tre says:

      I had been calling for them to go 8-8 regardless of the line, the defense is just that bad, Aaron Rodgers had 7 possessions and passed for a TD on 4 of them, they losts almost all 4 members of their secondary

      • AlaskaHawk says:

        Sounds like Jerry Jones the Owner is ready to show the players who is boss!!! Its always fun when the owner tells the players how to behave and threatens to sit them if they don’t.

  20. AlaskaHawk says:

    Rob- Like your call on Luke Falk. I was doing some research on him and he seems like the real deal. Now this is coming from a PAC fan who really hasn’t followed Washington State much because they usually suck. Not this year! The Nov. 25 Apple Cup game between Wash and Wash ST. is shaping up to be a very interesting game.

    Here are some stats I found:
    Through the first six games of this season, Falk has thrown for 2,000 yards with 19 touchdowns and only two interceptions. He is completing 71.8 percent of his passes. He has thrown for 12,893 yards with 108 touchdowns for his college career, setting school records for career TD passes, passing yardage and total offense. (over 5 years?)

    Falk also already holds Pac-12 records for pass completions and total plays and is the NCAA active leader in passing yards and touchdowns. He is closing on Pac-12 career touchdown leader Matt Barkley of USC, who threw for 116.

    At 6-4 he is the right size and has the right talent to be an NFL quarterback.

  21. Coleslaw says:

    Saw a video on Twitter of Melvin Gordon and Ronald Jones RB USC side by side. They’re pretty similar, I think Jones run harder though. He’s obviously got a lot of power and speed, and is really good at breaking tackles and extending plays with power or speed or a move. Now I’ve only seen like 4 plays of him, but if he plays like that consistently, Hawks need to have an eye on him.

  22. Jim Kelly says:

    Whenever I see “Greg Gaines” I will forever think of number 56 for the Seahawks.

    Weird question for you Rob; Do you remember Blair Brown out of Ohio? I didn’t think his size and skillset fit the Hawks, but I wondered what you thought of him pre-draft and now. I only ask because he’s a friend’s stepson, and Blair heard a rumor that the Seahawks were interested in him. Since he looks to start getting more playing time with the Jags, I just wanted to hear your thoughts on him.

    Thanks.

    Go Hawks.

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