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PostSubject: ESPN Insider: Todd McShay updated top 32 prospects ranking for 2018 NFL draft    ESPN Insider: Todd McShay updated top 32 prospects ranking for 2018 NFL draft  EmptySun Oct 15, 2017 8:41 pm

October 4



Todd McShay updated top 32 prospects ranking for 2018 NFL draft - Pass-rushers dominate prospect class

by Todd McShay on (original: http://www.espn.com/nfl/draft2018/insider/story/_/id/20907167/todd-mcshay-updated-top-32-prospects-ranking-2018-nfl-draft-pass-rushers-dominate-prospect-class)

With at least four games under most teams' belts, let's take a look at how the top 32 prospects in the nation are performing. This board isn't that different from the previous version two weeks ago, but a new quarterback joins, along with a rise for the best running back in college football.

Here are my top prospects for the 2018 NFL draft right now:

Note: Underclassmen are marked with an asterisk.
1. Sam Darnold, QB, USC*

Grade: 95 | Previous rank: 1

Darnold has made some questionable decisions throwing the football this season (at least one interception in each game so far), but it hasn't changed my evaluation of him. His delivery still needs to be cleaned up, but his accuracy is phenomenal. He is the most complete quarterback in college football and a potential franchise signal-caller.

2. Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State*

Grade: 94 | Previous rank: 4

Barkley hasn't played against terrific competition, but he has continued to look like the best running back in the nation this season. With good balance and terrific lateral agility, he can run away from the defense when he gets to the second level. He simply did it all against Iowa in Week 4, willing Penn State to a 21-19 win to help keep the team undefeated.

3. Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming*

Grade: 94 | Previous rank: 2

Outside of scouting circles, Allen was a relative unknown coming into the season. He didn't have a Division I scholarship out of high school. His two September appearances in the national spotlight (at Iowa, versus Oregon) didn't go well, but it's not all on his shoulders. He has an elite arm and frame (listed at 6-foot-5, 233 pounds) and can make every throw. Darnold has been better this season, but the USC quarterback also has much more talent surrounding him.
4. Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA*

Grade: 93 | Previous rank: 7

Rosen had a terrific 2015 season, becoming the first player to start at UCLA as a true freshman and throwing for 3,668 yards with 23 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. A shoulder injury cut his season short in 2016. He has been good so far this season, especially in the fourth quarter (seven TDs, two INTs). Rosen still needs to improve his decision-making under pressure, but he has shown tremendous poise with so much of the offense reliant on him (besides a blowout against Hawaii, he has attempted at least 45 passes in every game).
5. Derwin James, S, Florida State*

Grade: 93 | Previous rank: 5

James has had minimal opportunities to display his skills this season, but I have been generally impressed with what I've seen. He's one of the most versatile players we've ever evaluated. A third-year sophomore, James tore the lateral meniscus in his left knee in the second game of 2016 and received a medical redshirt.
6. Minkah Fitzpatrick, S, Alabama*

Grade: 93 | Previous rank: 6

Fitzpatrick played 14 of 15 games as a true freshman in 2015, started all 15 in 2016 (collecting a team-high six interceptions) and has started all five in 2017. He has an intriguing skill set, and I need to see more of him against good competition. He has been all over the field, notching 2.5 tackles for loss, a sack and three passes broken up.
7. Arden Key, DE, LSU*

Grade: 93 | Previous rank: 3

The more I watch Key play, the more he reminds me of Miami Dolphins great Jason Taylor. Key missed spring practice for personal reasons and has only a half-sack through three games. I look for his production to increase as he gets healthier.
8. Harold Landry, OLB, Boston College

Grade: 92 | Previous rank: 8

Landry led the nation with 16.5 sacks and seven forced fumbles last season. I still have concerns about his size (listed at 6-foot-3, 250 pounds), but he should be an every-down player in the NFL, and teams will value his versatility. He has only 2.0 sacks through five games in 2017 but also has broken up two passes along with five TFL.
9. Connor Williams, OT, Texas*

Grade: 92 | Previous rank: 9

A true junior who started all 23 games in which he appeared coming into this season, Williams is a scheme-versatile blocker. Unfortunately, he suffered a sprained MCL and PCL in his left knee, along with a meniscus tear, against USC on Saturday. There is no timetable for his return.
10. Mo Hurst, DT, Michigan

Grade: 91 | Previous rank: 10

Hurst is a quick and powerful one-gap penetrator who is highly disruptive against the run. He has a powerful upper body and disengages quickly. His production hasn't been there yet this season (2.0 TFL), but he is still causing issues for opposing defenses.
11. Christian Wilkins, DE, Clemson*

Grade: 91 | Previous rank: 13

A disruptive run defender with the foot speed and quick hands to slip blocks rapidly, Wilkins is a high-motor guy who does a great job of getting his hands up in passing windows. He had 140 tackles (17.5 for losses) and 5.5 sacks the past two seasons, and he already has 2.5 sacks in 2017. His stock has risen considerably from our preseason evaluation.

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12. Derrius Guice, RB, LSU*

Grade: 91 | Previous rank: 11

Guice has topped 100 yards rushing in only two of LSU's five games and is averaging just 4.8 yards per carry. He isn't Leonard Fournette, but he has great quickness and the ability to stick his foot in the ground and get upfield. He sat out the game against Troy because of a knee injury.
13. Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama

Grade: 91 | Previous rank: 12

Ridley doesn't get a chance to showcase his full potential in Alabama's run-heavy offense, but he has averaged 13.4 yards per catch this season. He also has scored two TDs. A player with outstanding foot quickness and a nightmare in the open field, Ridley has good acceleration.
14. Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State

Grade: 90 | Previous rank: 29

A two-year starter and 2016 team captain, Chubb ended the '16 season ranked fourth in the nation with 22 tackles for loss. He isn't an elite pass-rusher, but he has a good first step and bends well for his size. He is another player who has been very productive, with 11.0 TFL and 5.5 sacks already.
15. Sam Hubbard, DE, Ohio State*

Grade: 89 | Previous rank: 15

A former safety and linebacker who switched to end before the 2015 season, Hubbard has a quick first step with the speed to threaten the edge. He is a disruptive presence, and his versatility and work ethic are why he is a potential first-round pick. He already has 2.0 sacks in 2017.
16. Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame

Grade: 89 | Previous rank: 16

In 2016, McGlinchey moved from right tackle to the left side vacated by Baltimore's first-round pick Ronnie Stanley. An above-average zone blocker, McGlinchey plays angles well and gives good effort. He has first-round potential, but I need to see it on a more consistent basis this season.
17. Derrick Nnadi, DT, Florida State

Grade: 88 | Previous rank: 17

A two-year starter, Nnadi is coming off his most productive season (49 tackles, 10.5 TFL, six sacks). He is an outstanding run defender and consistently displays a low center of gravity to occupy multiple blockers.
18. Vita Vea, DT, Washington*

Grade: 88 | Previous rank: 18

Listed at 6-foot-4, 346 pounds, the former high school running back is a space-eater in the middle of Washington's defense. I'll be curious to see how many snaps the Huskies give him as the season progresses.
19. Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M*

Grade: 88 | Previous rank: 19

Kirk hasn't been running an NFL route tree at Texas A&M, but he's a solid all-around player and dangerous punt returner. He already has four touchdowns this season and was sensational in a 50-43 win over Arkansas.
20. Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame*

Grade: 88 | Previous rank: 20

Nelson is a road-grader with the size (listed at 6-5, 325 pounds), strength, polish and toughness to start immediately in the NFL.
21. Tarvarus McFadden, CB, Florida State

Grade: 87 | Previous rank: 21

McFadden still needs to fill out his frame a bit (listed at 6-foot-2, 198 pounds), but he's at his best in press coverage. He has the length to disrupt receivers and the top-end speed to run with most of them.
22. Malik Jefferson, OLB, Texas

Grade: 87 | Previous rank: 22

Jefferson is an athletically gifted player with a high ceiling who had 8.0 sacks and 15.5 TFL in his first two seasons. Listed at 6-foot-3, 240 pounds, he isn't a true edge rusher, which makes his sack numbers more impressive. I'd like to see more physicality from him this season.
23. Josh Sweat, DE, Florida State*

Grade: 86 | Previous rank: 23

Sweat amassed 82 tackles (16 TFL) and nine sacks while starting in 19 of the 25 games he appeared in coming into this season.
24. Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama*

Grade: 86 | Previous rank: 24

Harrison is player who really grew on me during film study. He has some tightness when playing man-to-man, and his ball skills need to improve, but he has the potential to be a starting free safety in the NFL. He already has been productive this season, with 3.0 TFL, 2.0 sacks and two interceptions.
25. M.J. Stewart, CB, North Carolina*

Grade: 85 | Previous rank: 25

An instinctive cover corner, Stewart has average size (listed at 5-foot-10, 195 pounds), but he plays fast and has good recovery speed.
26. Trevon Young, DE, Louisville

Grade: 85 | Previous rank: 26

Young is still a bit of a mystery after redshirting in 2016 as a result of a fractured hip. He is just OK as a run defender, but he has outstanding speed and athleticism as a pass-rusher. He has 1.5 sacks and 5.0 TFL so far and should continue to produce as he gets healthier.
27. Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma*

Grade: 85 | Previous rank: 28

The son of the late Orlando "Zeus" Brown, the younger Brown is a better fit at right tackle in the pros, though he has played exclusively at left tackle in a run-heavy Oklahoma scheme. He is part of an offensive line that was extremely impressive in Week 2 against Ohio State's stout defensive front.
28. Billy Price, OG, Ohio State

Grade: 85 | Previous rank: 27

An experienced three-year starter at guard heading into his senior year, he's a plug-and-play NFL starter who should be steady in the league. He's playing center for the Buckeyes in 2017.
29. Bo Scarbrough, RB, Alabama*

Grade: 85 | Previous rank: 14

A big-time high school recruit, Scarbrough came on strong the final three games of 2016 before suffering a broken leg in the title game against Clemson. He runs behind his pads, and his body control and balance are outstanding. With only 50 carries so far in 2017, Alabama is easing him into action as he comes back from injury.
30. Tremaine Edmunds, OLB, Virginia Tech*

Grade: 84 | Previous rank: 30

I've been impressed with Edmunds so far this season. He is a versatile linebacker with a great frame and speed for his size (6-foot-5, 236 pounds). He has been flying around the field, with 42 tackles, 1.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. Edmunds had 18.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks in 2016.
31. Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU*

Grade: 84 | Previous rank: 31

My fifth-ranked wide receiver coming into the season, Sutton is a smooth route runner who has the ability to make the first defender miss. His production has dipped a bit this season, but he had a big game against UConn with two TDs.
32. Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State

Grade: 84 | Previous rank: NR

Rudolph improved upon a good 2015 campaign with a better 2016, throwing for more than 4,000 yards with 28 touchdowns and only four interceptions. He has the frame (listed at 6-foot-4, 233 pounds) and mental makeup that you look for, but his below-average arm strength is a concern. With 16 passing TDs to only four INTs, along with five rushing TDs, he has had an impressive start to the season.
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ESPN Insider: Todd McShay updated top 32 prospects ranking for 2018 NFL draft

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