NFL Hot Press: Scout Reviews the 2018 Offensive Prospect Rankings

Scout Reviews the 2018 Offensive Prospect Rankings

Updated May 31, 2017
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.

Early Look at the 2018 Skill Position Prospects

During the spring months leading up to the NFL Draft, a few team’s area scouts are already working hard on the draft class of the next year even though it is more than a year away. The reason for that is their work is shared with National Football Scouting that provides early watch lists and ratings for prospects heading into fall camp. Those select area scouts are on the road for college spring ball to help set up the scouting community to start on the next draft class in training camp.

Previously, caught up with one of these scouts to get some insight into the 2018 quarterbacks and top defensive prospects. Here we reached out to find out which skill position players impressed as potential first-round talents. Here’s what the scout had to say:

“Running Backs: Saquon Barkley, Penn State. Derrius Guice, LSU. A healthy Nick Chubb, Georgia.

Tight Ends: Mark Andrews, Oklahoma. Mavin Saunders, Florida State. Saunders is a ridiculous talent, but not productive yet.

Wide Receivers: Christian Kirk, Texas A&M. Calvin Ridley, Alabama. Equanimeous St. Brown, Notre Dame.

“St. Brown is 6-foot-4, to 6-foot-5, 215 pounds or so, and [a] super-polished route runner with tremendous speed, athletic ability, body control [and] hands. I think he could be more gifted and talented than all three of the receivers that went in the top 10 this year. He doesn’t get the volume in their offense like those three did.

“I like [SMU wide receiver Courtland] Sutton’s skill set and upside. He doesn’t separate early on routes versus more explosive cornerbacks. He specializes in red zone and winning contested downfield. He can win underneath with size and catch radius, but he’s not automatic there. I like him though. I think he’ll finish with a first-round round grade because it is tough to find that combination of size, strength, and play speed. Every scheme has a role for a size target, and it just depends on how high they value it. He’ll be a first-rounder for teams looking exclusively for his skill set.

“I’ve also heard buzz on Ohio State’s [wide receiver] Parris Campbell and [running back] Mike Weber.

“The tight ends will be a developing position. [Chris] Herndon IV from Miami was actually a better combination player than David Njoku. Similar height, weight [and] speed, but Herndon is a better blocker and probably slower.”