Who will go first overall in the 2018 NFL Draft? It’s never too early to evaluate the talent that could join a list including many of the game’s legends.
Popular sportsbook rating site, Mytopsportsbooks.com Lamar Jackson (4/1), Saquon Barkley (9/2), and Josh Rosen (6/1) as the current top three draft prospects.
“Jackson has his flaws, certainly, but we believe a team like the Browns will be wooed by his sky-high ceiling.” according to Perry Port. “He has all the physical attributes to be the next Michael Vick, yet is taller than Vick and has more potential to develop as a pocket passer.”
Although fans’ perception is that Jackson has slipped in 2017, he has actually performed even better than during his Heisman Trophy campaign a season ago. Jackson has increased his yards per carry from 6.0 to 6.8, cut his interceptions to six and, most important for NFL scouts, boosted his completion percentage from 56.2 to 59.8.
Penn State’s Barkley was rated by most scouts as the top rushing prospect coming into the season and he has not disappointed. An extraordinary athlete, he has already run a 4.33 40-yard-dash at the end of February – off the charts for a running back.
With a team-high 46 catches, Barkley has also proven receiving ability from the backfield that NFL franchises covet. Barkley would be a particularly likely top choice if the one-win 49ers, who have already traded for a potential franchise quarterback in former New England Patriot Jimmy Garoppolo, finish with the number-one selection.
A team looking for a classic pocket passer may be inclined to select UCLA’s Rosen with the top choice. At 6-4, 218 pounds, Rosen has the prototypical size, arm strength and deep passing ability so many great, franchise quarterbacks before him did.
Although the Bruins have underachieved in 2017, many NFL scouts will attribute UCLA’s struggles to the worst rushing defense in the Power Five conferences and the program’s general stagnation under head coach Jim Mora, who was fired Sunday.
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