This new section highlights which players have improved or worsened their 2018 NFL Draft stock as the draft approaches.
By Charlie Campbell.
Send Charlie an e-mail here: [email protected]
Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell for updates.
2018 NFL Draft Stock Up
Justin Reid, S, Stanford
The 6-foot-1, 204-pound Reid has played really well in 2017, impressing NFL scouts. Sources that are tough graders said they thought Reid has first-round potential for the 2018 NFL Draft. They say that Reid doesn’t have Earl Thomas-like range as a free safety or Kam Chancellor-like size as a strong safety, but he does everything well. He is a good free or strong safety with the ability to run and tackle. They say that Reid is a polished, clean, good all-around safety similar to HaHa Clinton-Dix coming out of Alabama.
In 2017, Reid has 66 tackles with three passes broken up and five interceptions. He had 57 tackles with seven breakups as a sophomore. Justin Reid is the younger brother of 49ers safety Eric Reid, a first-round pick out of LSU in 2013.
Bradley Chubb, DE, N.C. State
Chubb dominated once again last Saturday, this time against Boston College. In the first quarter, the Eagles rolled the pocket away from Chubb, but he still chased down the quarterback from the backside to get a strip-sack from behind. While Boston College recovered the loose ball, this coverage sack still forced a punt. Chubb had another pressure that helped force an interception. Late in the second quarter, Chubb fought off a chip, used power to knock the right tackle off balance, and then sped to the inside to get a strip-sack that was recovered by N.C. State. In the third quarter, Chubb used his speed to run around the right tackle, strong hands to fight off a block, and then agility to turn to the quarterback and notch another sack. Chubb later helped a blitzing cornerback to get a fourth-quarter sack. Against Boston College, Chubb was an animal who led his team to a close win.
This outing versus Boston College was further proof of Chubb being at least a top-10 pick, if not a top-five pick, in the 2018 NFL Draft. Chubb possesses an overwhelming combination of speed, strength, size and athleticism. He is a dynamic pass-rusher with the speed to burn tackles and the strength to go through them. He also is tough against the run and plays with a steady motor. On the field and on the sideline, Chubb exhibits passion and a love for the game. This tape will help him to be one of the first players selected next April.
Billy Price, C, Ohio State
Price proved why he is the top center for the 2018 NFL Draft as he put on clinic versus Michigan State. Early in the first quarter, Price got movement at the point of attack to open a huge hole for running back Mike Weber to take off on a 43-yard touchdown run. Shortly later, Price pushed a defensive tackle back a few yards on the goal line to generate space that was turned into a short touchdown run for the Buckeyes. Price later showed his quickness and athleticism by firing to the second level to hit a block on an inside linebacker to spring Weber for a gain of about 15 yards.
Price was very good in in pass protection, too. Some centers can struggle with one-on-ones and need to be helping a guard, but Price can generally take out a defender on his own. Price has a strong base to anchor against bull rushers with the upper body strength to sustain blocks. He also is agile enough to handle speed on the inside.
Sources have said that they could see Price being a late first-rounder in the 2018 NFL Draft. They say he is a better prospect than either Josh Garnett or Laken Tomlinson, who both were late first-round picks. Price has ideal size, good strength, quickness and athleticism to be a starting center at the next level. The tape against Michigan State will help Price’s chances of being a Thursday night selection during the 2018 NFL Draft.
Zach Allen, DE, Boston College
Zach Allen hasn’t received the hype of teammate Harold Landry, but Allen is the better pro prospect and could easily be picked before Landry. The 6-foot-5, 285-pound Allen is a tough run defender who is strong to hold his ground at the point of attack. He anchors well and is difficult to move. As a pass-rusher, Allen has an impressive first-step and burst out of his stance for a heavy defensive end. He has strength to get pressure on the bull rush and speed to close. Allen could still use more pass-rushing moves for the NFL. With his size and strength, it would be nice to see him add a club or rip move.
Allen has totaled 78 tackles with 10 tackles for a loss, four sacks, three passes broken up and an interception in 2017. In the NFL, he will be an asset as a run defender playing end in either a 4-3 or a 3-4 defense. Allen looks like a potential first-rounder for the 2018 NFL Draft.
Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
Ridley has played extremely well this year even though his numbers aren’t huge. That lack of production is entirely because quarterback Jalen Hurts struggles as a passer and the Crimson Tide run the ball a lot. Ridley showed his special skill to help Alabama avoid an upset to Mississippi State despite Hurts, once again, struggling to get the ball to Ridley.
Ridley got open in the first quarter on a crossing route in zone coverage. He was hit with an easy reception about 20 yards downfield before bolting downfield for a 64-yard gain. Shortly later, Ridley got open down the deep sideline to make a 61-yard reception. Both catches set up short touchdown runs. Late in the fourth quarter, he caused a pass interference penalty and had a gain of about 20 yards on a dig route inside of zone coverage. He then hit a slant and exploded down the field for a chunk gain to put Alabama in Mississippi State territory. That also set up the game-winning touchdown. Against Mississippi State, Ridley totaled 171 yards on five receptions.
Ridley has 49 receptions for 755 yards with two touchdowns so far in 2017. The Mississippi State tape will help his draft grade.
Ridley is a superb route runner and dangerous after the catch. He is very fast and has reliable hands, but for the NFL, he needs to add weight. Ridley is almost a carbon copy of Amari Cooper.
Jaleel Scott, WR, New Mexico State
Every year, there are a few small-school prospects who stand out well enough to earn an invitation to the Senior Bowl. Scott is one of those prospects for the 2018 NFL Draft as he will be participating in the elite scouting event in Mobile, Alabama. As a senior, Scott has 52 catches for 786 yards with eight touchdowns. While those numbers aren’t eye-popping, his measureables are, because he checks in at 6-foot-6, 215 pounds. Scott, with his mismatch size, could send a real jolt into his draft stock if he is able to show some quickness at the Senior Bowl.
Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA
Davenport is another small-school prospect who has earned a Senior Bowl invitation. The 6-foot-7, 255-pound has length and athleticism to play on the edge in the NFL. This season, Davenports has 45 tackles with 14.5 tackles for a loss, 7.5 sacks, four passes batted and three forced fumbles. He totaled 6.5 sacks as a junior after racking up four as a sophomore. Edge defenders with length are always in demand, so if Davenport plays well at the Senior Bowl, his stock could really rise.
Jeff Holland, LB, Auburn
Holland has turned himself into a NFL prospect this year as he has been a dangerous edge rusher. Holland continued to impress against Georgia as he had a lot of pressure. In the first quarter, Holland used his speed and a rip move on the right tackle to get a sack that got his defense off the field.
In 2017, Holland has 34 tackles with 12 tackles for a loss, nine sacks, one pass batted and four forced fumbles. The 6-foot-2, 249-pounder has some size issues for the NFL, but he definitely has some juice off the edge with speed to chase down quarterbacks. Holland would fit best as a 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL.
2018 NFL Draft Stock Down
Kelly Bryant, QB, Clemson
Bryant is eligible for the 2018 NFL Draft, but his game against Florida State illustrated that he should go back to school. Bryant had some issues throwing the ball with some passes off the mark. He also had two fumbles inside the Florida State five-yard line while running with the ball. In the fourth quarter, Bryant fumbled the ball away again on a rushing attempt. It was critical, setting up the Seminoles inside Clemson territory down by only three points with under seven minutes remaining. Bryant was lucky that his defense bailed him out with an interception and Clemson ran in a few touchdowns to avoid an upset. Bryant was 20-of-30 for 151 yards against Florida State, and he needs to improve his accuracy and pocket passing before going pro. He should definitely return to school for next year.
Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
McGlinchey had a rough game against Miami. In the second quarter, he was beaten by sophomore defensive end Joe Jackson with speed around the corner to flush quarterback Brandon Wimbush out of the pocket. Not long after halftime, McGlinchey was juked by a smaller linebacker blitzing off the edge, and that allowed pressure toward the inside that flushed Wimbush out of the pocket. A few plays later, Jackson beat McGlinchey for a sack. Jackson used speed to get upfield, and then when Wimbush climbed the pocket, Jackson was able to chase him down for a sack. In the fourth quarter, Miami ran a stunt and McGlinchey was late to react to a defensive tackle coming in. That let the defender get a strip-sack that was recovered by Miami.
McGlinchey also had plenty of plays with good blocks as well, but this contest made him look more like a pick for the middle or back half of the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft rather than a top-10 talent.
NFL Power Rankings - Feb. 22
2024 NFL Mock Draft - Feb. 21
Fantasy Football Rankings - Feb. 19
NFL Picks - Feb. 12