Which teams did the best and worst jobs hauling in talent in the 2018 NFL Draft? Welcome to the ranking of all 32 team drafts.
2018 NFL Draft Team Rankings
NFL Drafts are like kids, tweets and vacation photos – everyone loves their own, even if they’re amazing, or if they’re bad, ugly and boring.
But in terms of value, talent, opportunities, who can play, and who’s a risk, who did the best and worst jobs with what they had to work with?
Remember, the goal here is to find decent starters for your team for the next few years. Historically, and statistically, anything more than that is just dumb luck.
Also remember that – no matter what anyone else tries to sell you – just assume none of the picks after the third round are anything but filler. The odds of finding a guy who’ll be a good, consistent 3-to-5 year starter for your team after the first 100 picks are shockingly slim.
Hopefully all of these drafts work out. Hopefully all 32 teams win the Super Bowl next year. But, of course, neither of those can or will happen. So trying to figure out what just happened, welcome to the rankings of the NFL Drafts for all 32 teams, from the college football perspective …
32. Philadelphia Eagles
They drafted like a Super Bowl-winning team that has better things to do. TE Dallas Goedert with their first pick in the draft – coming midway through the second round – was outstanding considering his upside. But that’s about it. Florida State’s Josh Sweat could be a steal in the fourth if his knee is fine, but Australian rugby player Jordan Mailata in the seventh? At 6-8 and 345 pounds why not? That’s the seventh round pick you make if you’re the Super Bowl champs.
31. Minnesota Vikings
There were plenty of attempts at need-filling, but the calls had better be right. This was a corner-heavy top 50, and the Vikings invested in UCF’s Mike Hughes in the first round. Pitt’s Brian O’Neill is an athletic offensive tackle, and he has to work out or else this draft is a problem – there aren’t enough strong picks the rest of the way. Auburn PK Daniel Carlson late in the fifth was a good call.
30. Carolina Panthers
Maryland WR D.J. Moore ahead of Alabama’s Calvin Ridley? That’ll be the defining draft moment for the Panthers. Going heavy on bulk corner picks was interesting, but it was a call at a position, taking LSU’s Donte Jackson in the second round just ahead of Florida’s Duke Dawson and Colorado’s Isaiah Oliver. Carolina will really, really like Indiana TE Ian Thomas – a fantastic value pick early in the fourth.
29. Dallas Cowboys
It’s an interesting draft, but unless Boise State LB Leighton Vander Esch is the next Clay Matthews, there isn’t a whole lot there. Texas OG Connor Williams in the second round was a good value pick, and Colorado State WR Michael Gallup in the third makes sense, but are they get-over-the-hump difference-makers?
28. New Orleans Saints
Getting UTSA DE Marcus Davenport is a big, big call. The Saints made a big move up to get him, passing on Virginia Tech LB Tremaine Edmunds and FSU S Derwin James to get their pass rusher. UCF WR Tre’Quan Smith in the third round has a chance considering the offense, but it’s asking a lot for any of the five picks from the fourth round on make the club.
27. New England Patriots
It’s Bill Belichick and it’s New England, so let’s just assume any medical concerns about Georgia OG Isaiah Wynn’s shoulder are unfounded. Grabbing fellow Bulldog Sony Michel in the first round was intriguing for a team that – outside of Minnesota’s Laurence Maroney – doesn’t invest in running backs. But considering the needs at corner, there are a whole lot of eggs put in second round Florida pick Duke Dawson’s basket.
26. Cleveland Browns
Oh Cleveland … seriously, who takes a player with no elite NFL physical measurables No. 1 overall? Baker Mayfield was an all-time great college passer, and his accuracy is phenomenal, but … the Browns could’ve picked Saquon Barkley at the one, and had Mayfield, Josh Rosen, or Sam Darnold there at the four, and then look out.
Ohio State CB Denzel Ward will be great, but over NC State DE Bradley Chubb and Notre Dame OG Quenton Nelson? Nine corners went in the first two rounds – there were plenty there for the taking later on. Georgia RB Nick Chubb went too early going 35th overall.
25. New York Jets
Sam Darnold has a whole lot of early concerns with his ball security, throwing motion, and footwork, but taking him at the three seems like a bargain considering what Cleveland did at the one with Baker Mayfield. Miami TE Chris Herndon in the fourth is a nice idea, and Tulane CB Parry Nickerson in the sixth might be a steal, but there’s a strong chance Darnold is the only starter in the Jets’ draft.
24. Detroit Lions
We get it, Detroit. You need a running game. Arkansas C Frank Ragnow is now the leader and tone-setter for your offense – he’s a killer – and Auburn RB Kerryon Johnson was fine. The problem? You took a center in the first round and a back who isn’t built to take a pounding in the second. Getting Alabama DE Da’Shawn Hand in the fourth and Oregon OT Tyrell Crosby in the fifth were strong value picks.
23. Jacksonville Jaguars
Ehhhhhhhhh, no. Florida DT Taven Bryan might be the next great disruptive force on the inside, but if he couldn’t get it done in college, why will he be better in the NFL? Alabama S Ronnie Harrison in the third was seriously amazing – add him to THAT secondary, yeeeeeeesh – but late-second round pick LSU WR D.J. Chark needs to be special.
22. Atlanta Falcons
Considering the Julio Jones drama, getting the best receiver in the draft in Calvin Ridley with the 26th pick was wonderful. There wasn’t any help for the O line, but Colorado CB Isaiah Oliver was a terrific get, and USF DT Deadrin Smith – while early for the third round – should work out in the rotation.
21. Cincinnati Bengals
Ohio State’s Billy Price was a need get at center – there’s your leader and tone-setter for the offense for the next several years. There’s a lot to like with Wake Forest S Jessie Bates late in the second, and Ohio State DE Sam Hubbard and Texas LB Malik Jefferson were decent value fliers in the third – even if their names are bigger than their games.