2018 NFL Draft Big Board, version 1.0: The Top 75 Players

By | February 22, 2018
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I’ve said it many, many times: the dirty truth of “NFL Draft Season” is that amateurs focus on mock drafts, but the real draftniks focus on Big Board rankings.

Mock Drafts are just a (random & wild) prediction of what you think a team will do. You, me, or the homeless guy who told Jimmy Haslam that the Cleveland Browns should take Johnny Manziel in the 2014 NFL Draft have about the same amount of credibility and probable accuracy regarding what will happen on draft day. Projecting right now what any team is going to do in late April, after weeks of analysis, over-analysis, and then paralysis by analysis, is complete and utter horseshit.

Conversely, the Big Board is where you stake your claim in regards to saying one player is definitively better than another. So, just because I projected Sam Darnold to be picked with the top overall selection in my last mock draft doesn’t mean I think he’s the top overall player in the draft. But as you’ll see on the Big Board below, the fact that I have Saquon Barkley from Penn State means that yes, all things being equal, I think Barkley is the most talented — or “best” — player in the draft. Yet, that does NOT mean is that I think the Browns are going to take Barkley with the #1 overall pick.

So with all of that being said, and with all of this likely to change — somewhat dramatically — about two weeks from now, at the conclusion of the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine, here’s my preliminary head-to-head rankings of the top 75 players in the 2018 NFL Draft.

RankPlayerPositionSchool
1Saquon BarkleyRBPenn State
2Quenton NelsonOLNotre Dame
3Minkah FitzpatrickDBAlabama
4Bradley ChubbDENorth Carolina State
5Sam DarnoldQBUSC
6Roquan SmithILBGeorgia
7Tremaine EdmundsOLBVirginia Tech
8Derwin JamesSafetyFlorida State
9Denzel WardCBOhio State
10Josh JacksonCBIowa
11Vita VeaDTWashington
12Baker MayfieldQBOklahoma
13Josh RosenQBUCLA
14Da'Ron PayneDTAlabama
15Mike HughesCBCentral Florida
16Rashaan EvansILBAlabama
17Marcus DavenportDEUT San Antonio
18James DanielsOLIowa
19Isaiah WynnOLGeorgia
20Ronald Jones IIRBUSC
21Sony MichelRBGeorgia
22Calvin RidleyWRAlabama
23Dallas GoedertTESouth Dakota State
24Will HernandezOLUTEP
25Harold LandryDEBoston College
26Maurice HurstDTMichigan
27Derrius GuiceRBLSU
28Connor WilliamsOTTexas
29Orlando BrownOTOklahoma
30Mike McGlincheyOTNotre Dame
31Billy PriceOLOhio State
32Ronnie HarrisonSafetyAlabama
33Harrison PhillipsDTStanford
34Courtland SuttonWRSMU
35Arden KeyDELSU
36Isaiah OliverCBColorado
37Carlton DavisCBAuburn
38Jaire AlexanderCBLouisville
39Lamar JacksonQBLouisville
40Josh AllenQBWyoming
41Brian O'NeillOTPittsburgh
42Christian KirkWRTexas A&M
43Kolton MillerOTUCLA
44Sam HubbardDEOhio State
45Ogbonnia OkoronkwoOLBOklahoma
46Taven BryanDTFlorida
47Kerryon JohnsonRBAuburn
48D.J. MooreWRMaryland
49Malik JeffersonLBTexas
50Mark AndrewsTEOklahoma
51James WashingtonWROklahoma State
52Rasheem GreenDTUSC
53Donte JacksonCBLSU
54Auden TateWRFlorida State
55Chukwuma OkoraforOTWestern Michigan
56Derrick NnadiDTFlorida State
57Martinas RankinOTMississippi State
58Tyrell CrosbyOTOregon
59Rashaad PennyRBSan Diego State
60Leighton Vander EschLBBoise State
61Nick ChubbRBGeorgia
62Mason RudolphQBOklahoma State
63Braden SmithOLAuburn
64Hayden HurstTESouth Carolina
65Tarvarus McFaddenCBFlorida State
66D.J. CharkWRLSU
67Josh SweatDEFlorida State
68Dorance ArmstrongDEKansas
69Geron ChristianOTLouisville
70Anthony MillerWRMemphis
71Marcus AllenSafetyPenn State
72Dante PettisWRWashington
73Deadrin SenatDTSouth Florida
74Kyzir WhiteSafetyWest Virginia
75Deon CainWRClemson

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