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2018 NFL Draft

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Complete NFL Draft coverage from the fantasy experts at Football's Future.  Mock drafts, rankings, profiles, in-depth analysis and much more.   

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CWood21

Every week is another week to evaluate potential draft prospects, and see whose stock is rising and whose stock is falling.  Obviously, none of these guys are going to live or die by one week, so it's more important to look at how they progress over the course of the season than any one game under the microscope.

Stock Up

Saquon Barkley [RB; Penn State]
I wasn't planning on putting anyone whose stock was pretty much cemented in the 1st round into these, but it's hard to ignore the productive day by Saquon Barkely.  He showed just about every facet of his game as he led his team with 28 rushing attempts and 12 receptions in Penn State's win over Iowa.  He showed his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, ability to run the ball into the teeth of the defense, and shown the ability to turn the corner.  From what I saw, he wasn't asked much in terms of pass protection but that's usually the last thing that RBs especially star RBs get in terms of the development curve.  Barring injury, he is quickly solidifying himself as a potential top 10 pick in next year's draft.

Deontay Burnett [WR; USC]
While the numbers might not be overly impressive, he continues to produce incredibly well and shows a good amount of polish for being a younger receiver.  He's not blessed with incredible physical tools at just 6'0", 170 but he gets the most out of his tools and is explosive after the catch.  He might not be more than a slot receiver at the next level given his small frame, but teams are going to get the ball in his hands and let him make plays.  He definitely plays bigger than he is listed.  I think he could put on some more weight onto his frame would help his draft stock, especially if he doesn't lose his explosiveness.

Bradley Chubb [EDGE; NC State]
Another guy who had an absolute big day against Florida State as he finished with 7 tackles, 2 sacks, and 3 TFL as he lived in the Seminoles' backfield.  In previous years, I had some concerns with his ability in terms of run defense but he showed solid fundamentals against Florida State and did a pretty good job of setting the edge.  Add on his ability to turn the corner and Chubb is seeing his stock moving in the right direction.  He made his presence felt with repeated hits on James Blackman.  IF Chubb can continue to put up big numbers over the rest of the season, he's going to parlay it into a high draft pick.

Stock Down

Josh Allen [QB; Wyoming]
After going 9-24 for 64 passing yards and an interception against Oregon, he backed that up with 9-19 with 92 passing yards and a passing TD showing against Hawaii that has the 115th worst passing defense according to QBR.  Let's not sugar coat this, his receivers are miserable and I counted at least four catchable balls that were dropped on him in the first half alone.  That being said, he's still got his fair share of issues.  He still struggles to make what should be relatively easy throws, and he struggles with the consistency in his footwork.  That being said, someone is going to gamble on him based on the physical tools, but there's too many question marks to invest anything significant into him.  I might be willing to gamble a late Day 2 pick on him, but he's a 4th-5th rounder at best for me right now.

Mason Rudolph [QB; Oklahoma State]
Oh what a week's difference makes in the eyes of evaluators.  After getting significant praise for his play against Pitt, he struggled significantly against TCU and their 4-2-5 defense.  After posting big numbers in his previous games, he struggled to the tune of 22-41 for 398 passing yards, 2 passing TD, and 2 interceptions.  Of those 398 receiving yards, 86 of them came via the first TD pass of the day for Rudolph.  One of the things that stood out to me in this game was his lack of feel for pressure.  He had the fumble early in the 2nd quarter, but he also had pressure that would have been a sack had the defender not slipped.  His intermediate accuracy tends to be very hit or miss, and the offense he plays in really doesn't do him any favors in terms of evaluation.  I'm not sure his decision making or accuracy are on par with an NFL-starting QB, and at this point probably isn't worth more than a mid-round pick at the earliest.  Honestly, I view him as Mike Glennon with a bit less arm strength, but a bit more accuracy.

Arden Key [EDGE; LSU]
After going into the offseason with top 10 hype, the stock of Key has dropped significantly.  After sitting out through offseason practice to focus on his personal life and missing the first two games of the season, Arden has been virtually non-existent which includes his team's win against Mississippi State.  At this point, his stock is trending in the wrong direction and moving away from a potential first round pick as he starts the year with just 0.5 sacks over his first two games.  He'll need to turn the corner if he wants to regain that stock he had after last season.

It'll be interesting to see how the rest of the season goes, and talent evaluators will certainly be keeping a close eye on them.

CWood21

Anyone who tells you that there is a full proof way to evaluate QBs to find your franchise QBs from your busts is talking crazy.  At the end of the day, there's no full proof way to evaluate QBs especially when the most important aspect (what is between the ears) isn't something that we as arm-chair GMs are privy to.  Many years ago, Bill Parcells had a list of "rules" he used when evaluating QBs, and it showed some promise.

* He must be a senior
* He must be a college graduate
* He must be a 3 year starter
* He must win at least 23 games

All of these points of emphasis for Parcells are based on merit, although some might be viewed as archaic.  The college senior rule is probably the most outdated, especially when most legitimate QB prospects often declare after their junior year.  If you implemented this rule in this most previous draft class, your top QB would likely have been one of Davis Webb, Nathan Peterman, or Josh Dobbs.  Not exactly a group that inspires confidence.  Since the 2011 draft, only one senior QB has been drafted in the first round which was E.J. Manuel.  If you eliminate any underclassmen QB, you're eliminating a large portion of QBs who are entering the draft.  This is likely something that would likely be scrapped given the changes the NFL has gone where underclassmen declaring is almost expected especially if they have the buzz behind them.  The second rule, the college graduate rule, likely ties into the previous rule.  Again, you can probably lump this into the first rule, but given the change in climate where it is expected that underclassmen QB will declare if their stock is sufficiently high.

To a lesser extent, the 3rd rule also ties into the first two.  While the expectation in early years was that a QB stayed in school throughout their entire career, it is no longer expected for college QBs to be a 3 year starter unless they're a starting QB as a freshman.  At this point, two years is expected to be timeline that you will see an QB prospect as a starting QB.  With a shorter than expected time frame for your QB prospects to be in college, you have less games to evaluate them in.

And the final rule is tied into that 3rd rule.  In a best case scenario, in two seasons you'll get a chance to watch the QB play in 30 games which gives you ample time to evaluate the QB.  That's 12 regular season games, a championship game, and potentially a bowl games to evaluate them in.  If they don't make the conference championship game, you still get 24 games assuming he can stay healthy over his two seasons as a starting QB.  In that scenario, you're looking at an a winning percentage of 77%, which is quite high.  Without the added playoff wins, you're looking at a winning percentage of 88% which is even higher and probably more unrealistic.  Odds are the number is probably closer to 75%, maybe even a bit lower.

All in all, Bill Parcells had a set of rules that he believed to be his rules.  But like all rules, there are exceptions to them.  These rules help mitigate those risks.  Parcells is probably less willing to gamble at that position, but probably also more likely to avoid busts.

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