2018 NFL Draft Stock - Pro Days I





This section highlights which players have improved or worsened their 2018 NFL Draft stock as the draft approaches.

By Charlie Campbell.
Send Charlie an e-mail here: draftcampbell@gmail.com
Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell for updates.




2018 NFL Draft Stock Up

Derwin James, S, Florida State
There wasn't a lot of media acclaim for James, but he had an excellent combine performance, showing impressive speed with a 4.47-second time in the 40-yard dash at 6-foot-2, 215 pounds. James also looked good in the field workouts. Some teams picking high in the first round have him as the top-rated safety over Alabama's Minkah Fitzpatrick. James has a better combination of size and speed than Fitzpatrick while also being a very physical defender. According to some league sources, they think that James will be the first safety selected and be a top-10 pick in April.

Equanimeous St. Brown, WR, Notre Dame
In this analyst's opinion, St. Brown is one of the most underrated prospects in the 2018 NFL Draft. At the combine, St. Brown gave further proof that he is a special player when the big receiver clocked a 4.48-second time in the 40-yard dash. That is a very impressive and fast time for a 6-foot-5, 214-pound wide receiver. St. Brown was a good route-runner at Notre Dame and is more developed with his routes than many receivers coming from college spread offenses. St. Brown has mismatch potential with upside. He could be one of the steals of the 2018 NFL Draft.



Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado
The 6-foot, 201-pound Oliver helped himself at the NFL Scouting Combine with a quality 40-yard dash time of 4.50 seconds. That is a solid time for a big cornerback who has height, weight and length. Oliver also did well in the field drills to help himself. Some team sources have been grading and projecting Oliver to the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft, but after his combine performance, he has a shot at being a late first-rounder. There will be a dozen or so second-round talents who end up going in Round 1, and Oliver is a candidate to fit into that group.

Jesse Bates, S, Wake Forest
Bates was another defensive back who impressed team sources at the combine. They named Bates as a player who they thought looked good in the field work and also interviewed well. The 6-foot-1, 200-pounder ran the 40-yard dash in 4.50 seconds, which is a quick time for a safety. He also looked fluid and athletic in the field work. Bates helped himself in Indianapolis and could have secured himself a spot on the second day of the 2018 NFL Draft.



Josh Sweat, DE/OLB, Florida State
Sweat has been known to be a player with excellent athleticism and speed, but he gave impressive proof of those things at the combine when he ran the 40-yard dash in a sparkling 4.53 seconds. That is a solid time for many wide receiver prospects, so it is exceptionally fast for a 6-foot-5, 251-pound edge defender. More important for Sweat than the 40 was his combine medical exam; Sweat has major injury red flags stemming from a knee injury that has never healed completely. Being healthy in pre-draft workouts will definitely help him. The combine performance will provide Sweat a boost with more teams giving consideration to taking a chance on him despite the medical concerns.

Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State
There have been some projections of Vander Esch being a first-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Considering that some second-round talents will be selected in the end of the first round, it could be possible that Vander Esch fits into that group. The 6-foot-4, 256-pound linebacker had a good combine performance. His 4.65-second time in the 40-yard dash was very respectable for a big inside linebacker. Even more impressive than that was Vander Esch's field workout, during which the thick defender was fluid and athletic, showing quickness with surprising flexibility. Vander Esch definitely helped himself with his strong combine performance.



Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia
In reaching out to team sources after the running back workout at the combine, they singled out Chubb for having an impressive performance. The 5-foot-11, 227-pound Chubb ran the 40-yard dash in an impressive 4.52 seconds while also tying Saquon Barkley for the most bench reps of 225 pounds at 29. Chubb did well in the field drills, too, looking quick, fluid, and having nice natural knee bend as a runner. With his strong combine performance, Chubb may have secured a spot for himself in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

Austin Corbett, C/OT, Nevada
Corbett was one of the best looking offensive linemen at the NFL Scouting Combine. He ran a quality 40-yard dash time of 5.15 seconds while looking quick and agile in the field work. The 6-foot-4, 306-pounder played tackle in college, but his body type would project well to center in the NFL. Corbett could have nice flexibility to be a sixth offensive lineman as a backup at guard, center or tackle during his rookie year. As he gets stronger, he could turn into a quality starting center during his NFL career.




2018 NFL Draft Stock Down

Tarvarus McFadden, CB, Florida State
McFadden entered the 2018 NFL Draft despite having an underwhelming junior season with some bad tape. That decision was questionable at the time, as it seemed like a better plan for McFadden to return for his senior year to improve before going pro. With his performance at the NFL Scouting Combine, McFadden gave further proof that returning to school would have been a better move for his football future. He clocked a scarilyy slow 40 time of 4.67 seconds in Indianapolis. For a cornerback, that number is dreadful and is even slow for a safety. McFadden struggles with deep speed, which that 40 time confirms. He could end up slipping to the third day of the 2018 NFL Draft.



Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
Jackson has some very passionate supporters in the scouting community, with some team sources thinking he has big-time star potential in the NFL. On the flip slide, there are a lot out of doubters who have concerns with Jackson's accuracy and footwork being significant points for improvement. Of the top quarterback prospects, Jackson seems to have least amount of buzz and looks like the most likely signal-caller to have a draft-day slide.




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