The 2018 Draft is going to be a very interesting one. Personally, I only view three players as slam dunk, sure things - Barkley, Moore and Mayfield. While those three will not be the first three off the board, it will be fascinating to see how each owner values the different players this year. There are players like Gallup of Dallas that could be taken in the top five or in the second round and I wouldn't be shocked in the least. Now that we have a week of the preseason in the books, here is my first stab at how the first round of the draft will play out.
RB Saquon Barkley NYG
No surprise here.
RB Ronald Jones TB
The Brothers were dealt their first significant blow of the season when presumed #2 pick Derrius Guice went down with a torn ACL. YFFL just wouldn't officially be under way until Bri's team suffers its first season ending injury. There is a silver lining for Bri this year though - he doesn't have to take Guice and he instead pivots towards Ronald Jones out of USC. Jones' style of play has been most often compared to that of Jamaal Charles and he has the clearest path to 20 weekly touches of any rookie left on the board.
WR DJ Moore CAR
Kevin is really locked in on landing a WR in this draft and he lands a stud at #3. Moore might not be the biggest guy on the field, but he is strong, fast and a good route runner. I expect him to be a top 15 dynasty asset in just a couple of years.
QB Sam Darnold NYJ
Sure, Case Keenum got the job done last year and Andrew Luck is still on the roster, but the Thugs know they need to get another QB in the quarterback room. Luck rehabbed his shoulder instead of having surgery, and that would make me think he could have a major setback at any moment, not to mention the fact that he hasn't been an NFL QB in nearly two years. Darnold has looked the part so far and he plays for Bob's favorite team. These dots are too easy to connect.
WR Michael Gallup DAL
I had Calvin Ridley penciled in here for a few days, but I changed my mind. Mike is all about upside and Gallup won't be playing second fiddle to anyone as the Cowboys look to replace more than 300 targets from a year ago. Gallup could easily have a 900 yard, 8 TD rookie season as the Buddies look to make their move and take control of the AFC West.
RB Kerryon Johnson DET
The Bear have really struggled to find consistent play from their RB spot in recent years and they take a stab at fixing that by grabbing the Lions new RB. Johnson starred in the SEC for the last couple years and if he can manage to stay on the field for Detroit all three downs, it would go a long ways to helping them and the Bear. Side Note: I do have to say that at this point you could probably pull names out of a hat to figure out which RB's will land where.
RB Royce Freeman DEN
The Tangs should probably heavily consider taking Baker Mayfield here, but ultimately whatever computer program Jon has written for YFFL draft analysis tells him to take Freeman. Freeman was a four year starter at Oregon and while highly successful, he does have a ton of mileage already on him. Freeman showed well in his first preseason game and will look to put Booker in his rearview mirror shortly.
8. Big Boys
QB Baker Mayfield CLE
The Big Boys have a great team this year and I really like what Eli Manning should be able to do this year. However, they should really be forward thinking and take Mayfield to be their QB of the future. All the WR's and RB's left are dart throws at best and the Boys have plenty of depth at those positions. Mayfield is extremely accurate and has the competitiveness to succeed and thrive in the NFL for a downtrodden franchise like Cleveland.
RB Rashaad Penny SEA
Penny was a surprise first rounder this past April and was probably at one time a top 4 YFFL pick. Since then, Chris Carson has continued to operate as the lead back in Seattle and it only makes sense to try and pair these players together in hopes of being able to field at least one starting running back all season long. Penny has three down skills and put up over 2200 yards last season in the PAC-12. If the Seahawks ever figure out their O-line this could be a solid pick.
RB Sony Michel NE
With the RB's starting to dry up, Jon grabs the one with the most upside. Michel was the Alvin Kamara of the college football world even before Alvin Kamara was Alvin Kamara. Michel is already on the shelf due to knee surgery but is expected back by Week 1. If Michel went #2 overall it would not be a surprise, but today the Dragons steal him at #10.
11. Merry Men
RB Nick Chubb CLE
There was a time when Nick Chubb was considered the best RB on a Georgia Bulldogs team that included Todd Gurley and Sony Michel; then he tore up his knee and has been steadily working his way back from it the last couple years. Chubb is buried for now on the Cleveland depth chart, but in a year or two he could be the second best player from this draft.
WR Courtland Sutton DEN
The Beans could surprise here and take the first TE of the draft or they could take a WR who could be a WR1 in a couple of years. Bobby watches plenty of local college football games and he knows the kid out of SMU is a game changer. Sutton is big, fast and comes down with everything. If he hadn't landed on a team with two top WRs ahead of him he would likely be a top 5 pick.
RB Derrius Guice WAS
The Mallards are the only team with two first rounders and can afford to roll the dice on Guice. It will be tough taking on another ACL tear considering Hunter Henry tore his a few weeks ago, but with Guice being the last RB of significance it's probably worth the gamble.
QB Lamar Jackson BAL
Aceto knows he can't count on Mitchell Trubisky yet and he doesn't have the ceiling an athlete like Lamar Jackson has. Jackson is the most electric college player to enter the league since Michael Vick and he could be a top 5 player for years to come if he can make the jump to the NFL level.
QB Josh Rosen ARZ
The Eaters know Rivers isn't getting any younger and Tyrod Taylor is never going to get a fair chance to lead a team long term, so they pick up the last QB available that is probably going to last in league at least a few years. Rosen is really smart, accurate and can move around well in the pocket. His only downside is he is a bit on the fragile side. Perhaps spending a couple years in the NFL weight room will improve his durability.
16. White Guys
WR Calvin Ridley ATL
Ridley is a rock solid prospect going to a great situation with Atlanta. The only problem is Julio Jones will cap his upside for the first half of his career. This is a solid pick and adds more depth to the already deep defending champs.
TE George Kittle SF
Jimmy GQ Mania is sweeping the nation and it's no different at the home of Ryan Gibbons as he does whatever he can to get a share of the fun. Kittle had a great rookie year and it would surprise no one if he was able to have a 75-700-6 season.