The 2018 NFL draft is in the books. While it will be months, and in some cases years, before we can really decide which team had the best draft this year (after all, we have to see these prospects play in an NFL game, which won’t happen until at least September), looking at each team’s draft picks helps keep football fans entertained during the offseason.
On that note, let’s take a look to see how each of the 32 teams fared in this year’s draft in an effort to determine, based on draft grades, how your favorite team did.
With the First Pick in the 2018 NFL Draft…
The first pick in each draft is always huge news, and the Cleveland Browns have had that distinction for the last two years. This year, Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield was the No. 1 overall selection and one of Cleveland’s nine available picks (incidentally, they also had the No. 4 overall pick and went with cornerback Denzel Ward from The Ohio State University). The team with the most picks, however, was the Baltimore Ravens, who had 12 overall. Their first was used on tight end Hayden Hurst from South Carolina, and their second pick, No. 32 overall, was used on Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson, who was the fifth QB taken in this year’s first round.
Four NFL teams had 11 picks each – the Colts, Packers, Bengals, and Rams. The Colts were the only one of this bunch to pick fairly high, as they selected Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson with the No. 6 overall pick. The Rams, however, packed all 11 of their picks outside of the first two rounds, with one in the third, two in the fourth and fifth, four in the sixth, and two in the seventh (and remember, just because someone is picked in later rounds doesn’t mean they’ll be a bust – Tom Brady, for example, was drafted in the sixth round).
Most other teams had at least seven to nine draft picks, but there were still a handful who had less picks than there were rounds. The Giants, Jets, Lions, Falcons, Cardinals, and Chiefs all had six, while the defending champion Eagles had five, and the Titans only had four (one of which was a sixth-round quarterback going No. 199 overall – just like Brady back in 2000).
Top Colleges in the Draft
The school that contributed the most players, by a long shot, in this year’s NFL draft was Alabama. With 12 selections, this gave Alabama five more than the next schools on our list, who had seven apiece. The number of Alabama draft picks, in fact, broke a school record and a Southeastern Conference (SEC) record simultaneously. Draft picks from Alabama included safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, drafted by the Dolphins; outside linebacker Rashaan Evans, drafted by the Titans; wide receiver Calvin Ridley, drafted by the Falcons; and safety Ronnie Harrison, drafted by the Jaguars.
Next on the list is The Ohio State University, who saw seven of their former players head to the pros, along with two other schools: NC State and LSU. Penn State, Georgia, Florida State, and Miami all had six players drafted by an NFL team, and UCLA, Washington, Virginia Tech, Florida, and Wisconsin each had five.
There are notable players that come from all of these schools. For example, one of Ohio State’s players, Denzel Ward, went to the Cleveland Browns as the No. 4 overall draft pick, where he’ll play pro football just a little ways away from his hometown in Macedonia, Ohio. Bradley Chubb, defensive end from NC State, was drafted by the Broncos No. 5 overall. And Josh Rosen, quarterback selected by the Cardinals with the 10th overall pick, came from UCLA.
Virginia Tech, one of the schools with five prospects heading to the NFL, was a part of history on the first night of the draft. With the 16th overall pick, the Bills selected Tremaine Edmunds, and with the 28th overall pick, the Steelers selected his brother Terrell Edmunds. This is the first time in NFL draft history that two brothers have been selected in the first round of the same draft.
The Grade Cards
Another facet of the NFL draft commences after it’s all over and everyone wants to judge how each individual team fared. Of course, draft grades are opinions and don’t always play out the way the experts anticipate, but analysts seem to love submitting draft grades for all 32 teams.
We looked through every pick in the 2018 NFL draft and developed an average grade for each team based on each individual player’s value. The New York Giants, for example, have the highest player value average, even though they only had six picks. Running back Saquon Barkley, drafted No. 2 overall by the G-Men, definitely helped up their average, as he was considered to be the best overall player in the draft.
Just behind the Giants, we find the Colts. Three of their 11 picks were courtesy of their trade with the Jets when they moved down three spots in the first round. Quenton Nelson, their No. 6 overall guard selection, got high praise prior to the draft and also helped up the Colts’ overall draft grade.
While there are teams that are at the opposite end of the spectrum (notably, the Philadelphia Eagles are No. 30 here), don’t despair if your team resides near the bottom. Like we said, it takes months, even years, to fully know and appreciate the full potential of every draft pick, and there may be some hidden gems on these rosters that will become household names within the next few years.
Prepare for the 2018 NFL Season
Did your team ace the 2018 NFL draft? Or are they in questionable standing? Either way, make sure you’re all set and ready before training camp takes off and the NFL season begins this fall by checking out Fanatics.