NFL Hot Press



Tuesday Draft Week Rumors

Updated April 24, 2018
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.

The 2018 NFL Draft is just two days away! Here are some rumors that I have heard from sources with the draft just hours away.

  • One of the late-risers as teams held their draft meetings has been Arkansas center Frank Ragnow. After a long run of being one of the most reliable offensive linemen in the the SEC, Ragnow had his senior year cut short by a high ankle sprain. That kept him out of the Senior Bowl, and WalterFootball.com was first to report that he would miss the combine workout. As a result, Ragnow has gone under the radar to a large degree, while other interior offensive line prospects like Isaiah Wynn, Will Hernandez, Billy Price, and James Daniels received more projections of being first- or second-rounders. However, sources say that Ragnow has a shot at being a late first-round or second-round pick.

    In the 20s, a run could start on these interior offensive linemen, which could see them all go off the board by the end of the top-20 picks in the second round. The 6-foot-4, 307-pound Ragnow is viewed as having a good skill set while also being a polished blocker and a technician. Teams feel that he could be a starter at guard or center in the NFL. Ragnow might sneak into Thursday night, and it sounds like the second round is the lowest that he would potentially go.


  • For weeks, I've had San Francisco taking Alabama safety Minkah Fitzpatrick in my mock draft. Sources say that the 49ers have loved Fitzpatrick for months and remains a finalist for the pick. However, the meltdown of 2017 first-round pick Reuben Foster has the 49ers inclined to take Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith, according to sources. The ultra-fast and instinctive linebacker Smith is a great scheme fit in San Francisco. The fast Will - weakside - linebacker could remind 49ers general manager John Lynch of his former teammate and Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Brooks. Entering Thursday night, it sounds like the finalists are headlined by Smith and Fitzpatrick, with the lean being toward Smith. Some sources say Smith, while others say Fitzpatrick will be the 49ers' pick. In my judgment between the two, I think San Francisco is leaning toward Smith.


  • The 2018 NFL Draft is very strong at the wide receiver position on Day 2 and in the mid-rounds. One of the prospects who has had a moderately nice buzz is Colorado State wide receiver Michael Gallup. It helped him to have his opponents tell teams during interviews that Gallup was a challenging receiver to go against. He also ran well at the combine since he has quality size for an NFL receiver. However, some teams in the market for receiver help say that digging into the background on Gallup has been a bit worrisome. The feedback from the Colorado State coaching staff has been underwhelming, which has hurt Gallup as well. There are a lot of similarly graded receivers for the second day extending into the mid-rounds. That kind of feedback could cause a few other receivers to go ahead of Gallup.


  • One of the wild cards in the 2018 NFL Draft is Boston College defensive end Harold Landry. Some teams have graded him as a second-rounder, but in a draft without 32 players who have graded out as first-round picks, some second-round players will go on Thursday night. Landry is definitely in contention to be one of those players in a weak draft for pass-rushers. In speaking to sources with a number of playoff teams, Landry is definitely in contention for their first-round pick. The Patriots, Saints and Steelers all have Landry in the running to be their selection according to sources. The tape of him rushing the passer in 2016 is what is getting him consideration in the back half of the first round.

    Still, sources from teams that like Landry and have him in the running have concerns about him being a bust. "There's a big hole with Landry and just a minimal track record of successful NFL rushers at his size with his athletic profile, but he's got some d*** good tape," said one top evaluator at a playoff team.

    So you can see the dilemma with the 6-foot-2, 252-pound Landry. Teams have worries about his size and ability to defend the run, but his pass-rushing skill is good enough to get someone to look past it. With many playoff teams needing pass-rushing help, Landry probably ends up going late in the first round despite many second-round grades with potential bust concerns.







  • Monday Draft Week Rumors

    Updated April 23, 2018
    By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.

    The 2018 NFL Draft is just three days away! Here are some rumors that I have heard from sources with the draft just hours away.

  • Let's start out the draft-week rumors at the very top of the first round in the 2018 NFL Draft. From what I'm hearing, the Cleveland Browns are going to take Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen with the No. 1-overall pick. Right now, that is the pick I'm hearing will lead off Thursday night at this time. If I hear that changes to USC's Sam Darnold, we will have it in the rumors and our mock drafts, so stay tuned. But entering draft week, I'm hearing Allen will be the No. 1 pick come Thursday night.


  • There are a number of teams picking in the top 20 of the second round that are looking to add talent at running back. Fortunately for those teams there are some excellent running back prospects who should be available in the opening frame of the draft's second night. Two players who may or may not be available are Georgia's Sony Michel and LSU's Derrius Guice. Both of them have a shot at being late first-round picks. Sources say it is 50-50 that Michel goes in Round 1, and the odds are slightly lower for Guice.

    Michel and Guice could be off the board in the first five picks of the second round, but in speaking to some of the teams that are hoping to land a running back, they feel that there are other prospects who could be worthy of going in that range. Georgia's Nick Chubb and San Diego State's Rashaad Penny are both said to be worthy of high second-rounders according to sources at multiple teams. USC's Ronald Jones is as well, depending on the team. Between Michel, Guice, Jones, Chubb and Penny, there is likely to be a run on halfbacks in picks No. 30-50.


  • Two of those teams that are in the running back market are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Washington Redskins. In speaking to sources at both of those teams, they like Chubb and Penny. If they miss out on Michel and Guice they still have good options available in those two. Chubb and Penny are options for each team's second-rounder. Jones is also in play for Washington.


  • In speaking with sources, they say to expect the Titans to take a safe pick in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Tennessee general manager Jon Robinson has preferred to go the safe route rather than going for a high-upside player who might carry more risk. Titans sources say the team had Jalen Ramsey as the top player in the 2016 NFL Draft and the scouting staff wanted him badly. Robinson went the safe route with Jack Conklin being the target while trading down with the Los Angeles Rams. Last year, Robinson followed the same pattern of taking of what the team thought was a safe player in wide receiver Corey Davis even though there were staffers who wanted cornerback Marshon Lattimore and safety Jamal Adams more than Davis. They say one can expect more of the same this year from Robinson.

    Of the first-round candidates, they say some of the top candidates for Tennessee include Ohio State defensive end Sam Hubbard, Boston College defensive end Harold Landry and Alabama linebacker Rashaan Evans. Of that trio, Hubbard might be the safest pick. Landry has size and run-defense issues that caused some teams to give him a second-round grade. Hubbard is big, strong, athletic and quick, plus would give new head coach Mike Vrabel a young pass-rusher to build around.


  • Over the final few weeks, teams have their draft meetings in which the scouting staffs and coaching staffs discuss the prospects while setting their draft boards. The off-the-field background checks and medical evaluations are also completed. Here is a list of players provided by teams who could slide because of either character concerns or medical redflags that have come up in the team meetings.


  • Character Concerns
  • Florida wide receiver Antonio Callaway
  • West Georgia offensive tackle Desmond Harrison
  • Texas cornerback Holton Hill
  • Maryland cornerback J.C. Jackson
  • South Carolina linebacker Skai Moore
  • N.C. State offensive tackle Will Richardson
  • LSU cornerback Kevin Toliver
  • Pittsburgh safety Jordan Whitehead


  • Medical Concerns
  • Michigan defensive tackle Maurice Hurst
  • Florida State defensive end Josh Sweat
  • N.C. State defensive end Kentavius Street
  • Boise State linebacker Leighton Vander Esch (see below)





  • One NFL Team Has Medically Flunked Vander Esch; Others Have Second-Day Grades

    Updated April 18, 2018
    By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.

    One of the late-rising prospects during the leadup to the 2018 NFL Draft has been Boise State linebacker Leighton Vander Esch. He put together some excellent workouts for teams, showing speed and athleticism in his 6-foot-4, 256-pound frame. Injuries limited Vander Esch to six games in 2016, but he exploded as a junior with 141 tackles with 8.5 tackles for a loss, four sacks, four passes broken up and three interceptions. That injury history, however, has still comeback to bite Vander Esch, as WalterFootball.com has learned that one team has removed him from their draft board after flunking him medically.

    Sources from four teams said they felt Vander Esch belongs on the second day of the 2018 NFL Draft and would go there. Two other team sources thought Vander Esch could go late in the first round. One team that flunked him medically said they had a third-round grade on Vander Esch before the medical report ruled him out.

    "To me, he's a third-round talent, but probably will go higher," said an AFC general manager. "He has gotten a lot of hype, but he plays soft. He's too much like Paul Posluszny for me. He's a good player and will have a lot of tackles, but most of them will come four yards downfield. He's not an impact-at-the-line guy like a Ray Lewis, Luke Kuechly, Jon Beason or Brian Urlacher."

    Helping Vander Esch to go in the first round are teams not having 32 first-round grades. It varies by team, but in the final dozen picks of the first round, there will be players with second-round grades getting selected because there are not enough true first-rounders. Vander Esch could be one of those players, but medical concerns also might cause him to slide to Day 2 of the 2018 NFL Draft.




    Teams Split on Isaiah Wynn in First Round

    Updated April 9, 2018
    By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.

    Over the past two years, the NFL draft has been weak at the offensive tackle position. The college ranks have not produced a good edge-protector draft class recently, and there are plenty of teams in the NFL with weak offensive lines that are desperate for upgrades to their blocking talent. That demand could end up helping some of the 2018 NFL Draft prospects, including Georgia left tackle/guard Isaiah Wynn. In speaking to team sources across the league, Wynn has not graded out as a first-rounder, but a number of teams still think he has a shot at going on Thursday night.

    I surveyed six teams and came away with evenly split results. Three teams thought Wynn would go in the second round, and three thought that he would sneak into the last dozen or so picks of Round 1. There was one quote that summarized Wynn and the draft well.

    "I think there's a good chance he does [go in the first]," said a NFC general manager. "He improved a lot as the season went on this year. He isn't a first-round talent, but similar to Josh Garnett or Laken Tomlinson. Even though they shouldn't have, they went in the first [round], and Wynn is better than those guys."

    The three teams that didn't think Wynn would go in the first round were adamant. They felt that Wynn definitely was a second-day pick. Another factor helping Wynn, however, is that teams do not have 32 players grading out as first-round picks. Thus, some second-day talents will go on Thursday night. Wynn is clearly in that bubble group of potential late first-rounders or early second-round picks according to my results. Teams were very divided on his first-round chances.




    Huge Grade Variety on R.J. McIntosh

    Updated April 2, 2018
    By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.

    Every year in the NFL Draft, there are some players who have a huge discrepancy in where they are projected. That's because beauty is in the eye of the beholder along with the variety between schemes and team needs coming into draft grades. One player who has a huge variety in his draft grades for the 2018 NFL Draft is Miami defensive tackle R.J. McIntosh. Some teams have him graded as a second-day pick, while others project him to deep into the third day of the draft.

    One AFC team that was really high on McIntosh had him with a second-round grade. They labeled McIntosh and Florida's Taven Bryan as the only impactful three-technique tackles in the 2018 NFL Draft. On the flip side, another AFC team said they had a fifth-round grade on McIntosh and thought that was being generous. A NFC national scout said their team had him as a fourth-/fifth-rounder. In speaking to a NFC general manager, he said their team had McIntosh graded in the third round. A national scout for another AFC team said they had McIntosh as a third-rounder as well.

    There are some wild cards who could go higher or much lower than expected from every draft class. Given the huge variety in grades, McIntosh could be one of those players for the 2018 NFL Draft.




    NFL Hot Press Month of April 2018
    NFL Hot Press Month of March 2018
    NFL Hot Press Month of Feb. 2018
    NFL Hot Press Month of Jan. 2018
    NFL Hot Press Month of Dec. 2017
    NFL Hot Press Month of Nov. 2017
    NFL Hot Press Month of Oct. 2017
    NFL Hot Press Month of Sept. 2017
    NFL Hot Press Month of Aug. 2017
    NFL Hot Press Month of July 2017
    NFL Hot Press Month of June 2017
    NFL Hot Press Month of May 2017
    NFL Hot Press Month of April 2017
    NFL Hot Press Month of March 2017
    NFL Hot Press Month of Feb. 2017
    NFL Hot Press Month of Jan. 2017
    NFL Hot Press Month of Dec. 2016
    NFL Hot Press Month of Nov. 2016
    NFL Hot Press Month of Oct. 2016
    NFL Hot Press Month of Sept. 2016
    NFL Hot Press Month of Aug. 2016
    NFL Hot Press Month of July 2016
    NFL Hot Press Month of June 2016
    NFL Hot Press Month of April 2016
    NFL Hot Press Month of March 2016
    NFL Hot Press Month of Feb. 2016
    NFL Hot Press Month of Jan. 2016
    NFL Hot Press Month of Dec. 2015
    NFL Hot Press Month of Nov. 2015
    NFL Hot Press Month of Oct. 2015
    NFL Hot Press Month of Sept. 2015
    NFL Hot Press Month of Aug. 2015
    NFL Hot Press Month of July 2015
    NFL Hot Press Month of June 2015
    NFL Hot Press Month of May 2015
    NFL Hot Press Month of April 2015
    NFL Hot Press Month of March 2015
    NFL Hot Press Month of Feb. 2015
    NFL Hot Press Month of Jan. 2015
    NFL Hot Press Month of Dec. 2014
    NFL Hot Press Month of Nov. 2014
    NFL Hot Press Month of Oct. 2014
    NFL Hot Press Month of Sept. 2014
    NFL Hot Press Month of Aug. 2014
    NFL Hot Press Month of July 2014
    NFL Hot Press Month of June 2014

    Click here for older NFL Draft Rumors




    Comment...


    LOADING COMMENTS...





    2018 NFL Mock Draft - April 23


    2019 NFL Mock Draft - April 6


    NFL Picks - Feb. 4


    2020 NFL Mock Draft - Jan. 22


    NFL Power Rankings - Jan. 15


    Fantasy Football Rankings - Sept. 6


    2018 NBA Mock Draft - Aug. 23


     

    © 1999-2018 Walter Cherepinsky : all rights reserved
    Privacy Policy
    2 5 9 df
    Google

    WalterFootball.com is part of the NESN digital network.



     



     
     
     




     
    WalterFootball.com Now on Twitter:

    WalterFootball.com Twitter

    Subscribe to the WalterFootball.com RSS Feed:

    Walterfootball.com RSS Feed
     
     
     




     
     
    Support Walt's Other Site:

    Sales Tips and Sales Advice - Tons of sales tips, sales techniques and sales advice, including a Sales Mock Draft: The 32 Worst Things You Can Do in Sales.
     

































     

































     
     
     
     
     
     


















     


    ;