Right off the bat, rankings of players and mocks for the upcoming NFL Draft are about opinions, and they are, by their very nature, going to cause debate/controversy. So, when our draft guru brothers from Fanrag Sports, NDT Scouting, put out a “Top 300” player ranking list Tuesday, we knew it would a. be interesting reading and b. start arguments everywhere for various reasons.
First, here’s the ranking from NDT’s Jonah Tuls based on his hundreds of hours of evaluation of players. As he states, he is ranking them as best player available regardless of position:
Here it is. After 10 months of work, all of my content is accumulated into my official Top 300 Big Board for the 2018 NFL Draft with analysis and an NFL comparison for each prospect: https://t.co/qyUm3PE0vU
— Jonah Tuls (@JonahTulsNFL) April 10, 2018
First, the obvious, Tuls doesn’t rank a quarterback #1. In fact, he didn’t have a QB in his top five, and not until, he put Sam Darnold of USC in the seven slot.
Interestingly, he put the #1 overall grade ranking on Notre Dame OL Quenton Nelson. We wrote a couple of days ago that Nelson is looking strongly like a top ten pick, even if offensive guards are traditionally not taken in the top 10 of the draft.
Tuls writes of Nelson: “He is Zack Martin-esque with his power and fluidity in both the run game and in pass protection. Rarely do you ever see him get beat, and if I had to pick one prospect to bet my career on, it would be Nelson…”
Again, it’s Tuls’ opinion and it’s going to create debate.
Further, in addition to not ranking a QB until #7, he went with Baker Mayfiled (13th) for his second best quarterback grade. Tuls rationale’?
“…he truly became a first-round talent this season with his improvement as a pocket passer for the Sooners. Whether it was his eye manipulation, ball placement, or footwork, Mayfield improved leaps and bounds as a pocket passer in the details this season”
And, finally on the QB subject, in what will be a guarantee to have fans/other analysts go bonkers at him, Tuls gave Wyoming QB Josh Allen a shockingly low #92 ranking. Tuls’ (while conceding Allen will be drafted in the top 10) still gave the explanation:
“His arm strength, size and intangibles are jaw-dropping for scouts and coaches around the league, but quarterback traits such as ball placement, pocket awareness and decision making are sorely lacking.”
Moving on. We at F.F.I. were curious to see that Tuls has FSU’s safety Derwin James, as his eighth best pure prospect. And, another guy we wrote about this past weekend, Taven Bryan, DL of the Gators, is his 10th ranked player overall.
Tuls listed Louisville QB Lamar Jackson at 20, and UCF DB Mike Hughes, who likely will go in the first round, at #37 on his list.
Again, he has very studied and informed list, and throughout it, he qualifies with saying that certain players will be taken much higher than where he graded them. His 300 will remain his 300.
Let the debate rage on.
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