Updated April 24, 2018
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.
The 2018 NFL Draft is just two days away! Here are some rumors that I have heard from sources with the draft just hours away.
One of the late-risers as teams held their draft meetings has been Arkansas center Frank Ragnow. After a long run of being one of the most reliable offensive linemen in the the SEC, Ragnow had his senior year cut short by a high ankle sprain. That kept him out of the Senior Bowl, and WalterFootball.com was first to report that he would miss the combine workout. As a result, Ragnow has gone under the radar to a large degree, while other interior offensive line prospects like Isaiah Wynn, Will Hernandez, Billy Price, and James Daniels received more projections of being first- or second-rounders. However, sources say that Ragnow has a shot at being a late first-round or second-round pick.
In the 20s, a run could start on these interior offensive linemen, which could see them all go off the board by the end of the top-20 picks in the second round. The 6-foot-4, 307-pound Ragnow is viewed as having a good skill set while also being a polished blocker and a technician. Teams feel that he could be a starter at guard or center in the NFL. Ragnow might sneak into Thursday night, and it sounds like the second round is the lowest that he would potentially go.
For weeks, I've had San Francisco taking Alabama safety Minkah Fitzpatrick in my mock draft. Sources say that the 49ers have loved Fitzpatrick for months and remains a finalist for the pick. However, the meltdown of 2017 first-round pick Reuben Foster has the 49ers inclined to take Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith, according to sources. The ultra-fast and instinctive linebacker Smith is a great scheme fit in San Francisco. The fast Will - weakside - linebacker could remind 49ers general manager John Lynch of his former teammate and Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Brooks. Entering Thursday night, it sounds like the finalists are headlined by Smith and Fitzpatrick, with the lean being toward Smith. Some sources say Smith, while others say Fitzpatrick will be the 49ers' pick. In my judgment between the two, I think San Francisco is leaning toward Smith.
The 2018 NFL Draft is very strong at the wide receiver position on Day 2 and in the mid-rounds. One of the prospects who has had a moderately nice buzz is Colorado State wide receiver Michael Gallup. It helped him to have his opponents tell teams during interviews that Gallup was a challenging receiver to go against. He also ran well at the combine since he has quality size for an NFL receiver. However, some teams in the market for receiver help say that digging into the background on Gallup has been a bit worrisome. The feedback from the Colorado State coaching staff has been underwhelming, which has hurt Gallup as well. There are a lot of similarly graded receivers for the second day extending into the mid-rounds. That kind of feedback could cause a few other receivers to go ahead of Gallup.
One of the wild cards in the 2018 NFL Draft is Boston College defensive end Harold Landry. Some teams have graded him as a second-rounder, but in a draft without 32 players who have graded out as first-round picks, some second-round players will go on Thursday night. Landry is definitely in contention to be one of those players in a weak draft for pass-rushers. In speaking to sources with a number of playoff teams, Landry is definitely in contention for their first-round pick. The Patriots, Saints and Steelers all have Landry in the running to be their selection according to sources. The tape of him rushing the passer in 2016 is what is getting him consideration in the back half of the first round.
Still, sources from teams that like Landry and have him in the running have concerns about him being a bust. "There's a big hole with Landry and just a minimal track record of successful NFL rushers at his size with his athletic profile, but he's got some d*** good tape," said one top evaluator at a playoff team.
So you can see the dilemma with the 6-foot-2, 252-pound Landry. Teams have worries about his size and ability to defend the run, but his pass-rushing skill is good enough to get someone to look past it. With many playoff teams needing pass-rushing help, Landry probably ends up going late in the first round despite many second-round grades with potential bust concerns.