Goudy’s Top 5 Prospects by Position


By: Ryan Goudy

With the draft a day away, I would like to share how my big board breaks down. There are a lot of positions that I view as having a ton of depth. Everyone mentions the quarterback and running back depth in this class, but I think that the deepest position may be safety. That position has something for everyone, whether you need a downhill thumper or a centerfield style athlete. The overall size of the position seems like it is getting bigger and more athletic. Here is how I view this draft class by position.

Quarterbacks

1. Josh Allen, Wyoming

2. Sam Darnold, USC

3. Josh Rosen, UCLA

4. Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma

5. Lamar Jackson, Louisville

Josh Allen earns my top spot. I think he is someone that has already cleaned up his footwork. He most athletic ability of anyone at the position, and probably the most upside of anyone in the draft. While accuracy can be erratic, I think it can all be fixed with improved footwork. Darnold is probably the safest pick at the position. Rosen is the most pro ready. Mayfield is the fiery leader, and probably has the best accuracy of any at the position. Jackson is the dynamic athlete with a big arm.

Running Backs

1. Saquon Barkley, Penn State

2. Derrius Guice, LSU

3. Ronald Jones, USC

4. Nick Chubb, Georgia

5. Sony Michel, Georgia

The best player in the draft is the obvious pick for top running back. Barkley is a dynamic runner, who is special with the ball in his hands. He will come in from day one and be a three down contributor. I doubt that he will be used as such, but he is also the best kickoff returner in the class. Guice is a downhill, smash mouth type of running back. He should be a first round pick as well. Jones, who I am higher than most on, is someone who can be used on all three downs. He is a good receiver and someone that I think will be a better pro than college player. Chubb, in my opinion, was the best RB in the Georgia backfield when healthy. He showed that in the College Football Playoffs. Michel is dynamic. Not that I don’t like him, I just like the others more.

Wide Receivers

1. Courtland Sutton, SMU

2. Calvin Ridley, Alabama

3. DJ Moore, Maryland

4. Christian Kirk, Texas A&M

5. Michael Gallup, Colorado State

Sutton is the type of receiver that the NFL is starting to gear toward. Tall, long, and quick, he is a jump ball player and has enough speed to separate in space. He isn’t as physical as you would think a player of his size would be, but he plays with good burst and footwork. Ridley is the best route runner in the draft, and he will finally have a reliable quarterback throwing him the ball now. Moore is a shifty athlete that is a home run threat every time he touches the ball. Kirk is a big bodied slot receiver, that is also a plus returner. Gallup is my guy in this draft. Big, quick, and raw, he is still refining his skills.

Tight Ends

1. Dallas Goedert, South Dakota State

2. Hayden Hurst, South Carolina

3. Mike Gesicki, Penn State

4. Chris Herndon, Miami

5. Ian Thomas, Indiana

Goedert is the top tight end on my board. He is a complete player, willing to block and an asset in the passing game. His size makes him a mismatch for linebackers and safeties. Hurst is a good complete tight end as well, age making him slightly below Goedert. Gesicki is a receiving threat, and best athlete at the position. Herndon is a good player and a good athlete. Thomas is more of a receiver than a blocker.

Offensive Tackles

1. Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame

2. Connor Williams, Texas

3. Kolton Miller, UCLA

4. Jamarco Jones, Ohio State

5. Brian O’Neill, Pitt

McGlinchey is, at worst, a plug and play right tackle. Down the road, I think he could flip to play left tackle as well. Williams is a good athlete, and can play either side. Miller has more upside than all of them, just very raw. Jones, a good player, should slot in on the right side. O’Neill is very similar to Miller, more athlete than finished product.

Guards

1. Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame

2. Will Hernandez, UTEP

3. Isaiah Wynn, Georgia

4. Austin Corbett, Nevada

5. Braden Smith, Auburn

Nelson is debatably the safest player in the draft. Wherever he goes, he will be the left guard for the foreseeable future. He could be a Pro Bowl caliber player from the jump. Hernandez is a nasty mauler, who excels in the run game. Wynn is a good player that has tackle athleticism, in a guards body. Corbett is very similar to Wynn, a solid player. Smith rounds out the group as a good zone blocker, and a decent athlete.

Centers

1. Billy Price, Ohio State

2. James Daniels, Iowa

3. Frank Ragnow, Georgia

4. Mason Cole, Michigan

5.Scott Questsberry, UCLA

The question really for these top three players is where to play them. They are all athletic enough to play guard and center. They are all excellent players and should be starters from day one. I have Price slightly ahead of all of them, but they are all very good. Cole and Quessenberry can also play guard, but both are better off at center.

Edge Rushers

1. Bradley Chubb, NC State

2. Marcus Davenport, UTSA

3. Harold Landry, Boston College

4. Arden Key, LSU

5.Sam Hubbard, Ohio State

Not often is a pass rusher underrated, but Chubb is. He is a great pass rusher. In a league that is built on getting to the QB, Chubb will do exactly that. He will challenge Barkley as first non-quarterback selected. Davenport is a freak, and still growing into his body. Landry is the complete package when it comes to someone who can get to the QB. Key would be a top 15 pick if it wasn’t for all the different off-field concerns. Hubbard is, in my opinion, only a 4–3 end, but one of the better ones in the draft.

Defensive Tackles

1. Vita Vea, Washington

2. Maurice Hurst, Michigan

3. Da’Ron Payne, Alabama

4. Taven Bryan, Florida

5. Harrison Phillips, Stanford

It’s not often that a defensive tackle has a blocked punt as an accomplishment, but Vita Vea does. He is a freak athletically for his size. He can rush the passer from the inside, and also can eat up double teams in the run game. Hurst is a good pass rusher, more of a 4–3 tackle than a true nose. Payne is still growing as a player but flashed his athleticism catching a touchdown in the College Football Playoffs. Bryan is a raw player, but wins with relentless effort. Phillips is a block eater and a run stuffer.

Linebackers

1. Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech

2. Roquan Smith, Georgia

3. Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State

4. Rashaan Evans, Alabama

5. Malik Jefferson, Texas

Edmunds is 19, and still growing into his body. He is an exciting player with what seems like untapped potential. A natural athlete, it’s hard to not project what he could become. Smith is a more finished product now. With sideline to sideline speed, Smith is a plug and play middle linebacker. Vander Esch is possibly biggest athlete of all three, with a toughness to him that makes him valuable. Evans is a thumper that slides nicely right into the middle of a defense. Jefferson is someone that flows, a solid athlete, but not a finished product yet.

Cornerbacks

1. Denzel Ward, Ohio State

2. Josh Jackson, Iowa

3. Mike Hughes, UCF

4. Jaire Alexander, Louisville

5. Isaiah Oliver, Colorado

Ward is a beast. Even though he is short, he has long arms and can fly. He is a lockdown man corner, with also some nickel experience last year. Jackson is a good corner for a zone scheme. He has great length, but not a ton of explosion, playing more on instincts. Hughes is a man corner the entire way. He is valuable as a punt returner as well, and an athlete. If his off the field problems are behind him, Hughes could be a steal. Hughes, Alexander, and Oliver are all outstanding players. Very little separates them.

Safeties

1. Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama

2. Derwin James, Florida State

3. Justin Reid, Stanford

4. Ronnie Harrison, Alabama

5A. Jessie Bates, Wake Forest

5B. Kyzir White, West Virginia

The deepest position in the draft. All 6 of these guys could go early in the 2nd round, but depth will allow some of them to slide. Fitzpatrick does not have a true position but is a baller. The Swiss army knife safety played every for Alabama. He doesn’t have the same presence as James does, but he is special. Speaking of James, he is a freak athletically. The end of the year he was able to truly show the player he can be. He is a fiery leader, much like Jamal Adams was last year. Reid is a well-rounded player, with a family pedigree. The last three are a pick your style of safety. Harrison moves well and is a downhill thumper. Bates is more of the centerfield style safety, using his baseball background to excel. White also has the bloodlines and is a big physical hitter.White can probably slide into the box and play some nickel and dime linebacker.

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