NFL Draft News & Analysis

2018 NFL Draft grades for every team

Paradise, Nevada, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) runs the ball against the Las Vegas Raiders during the second half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The 2018 NFL draft class has either signed its second contracts, gotten its fifth-year option exercised or didn’t make it through their first contracts altogether.

Either way, it’s time for final grades to hit each respective general manager’s GPA. Here’s each team's 2018 NFL Draft class grade three years later.


AFC East

Buffalo Bills

1 (7): QB Josh Allen, Wyoming
1 (16): LB Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech
3 (96): DI Harrison Phillips, Stanford
4 (121): CB Taron Johnson, Weber State
5 (154): S Siran Neal, Jacksonville State
5 (166): G Wyatt Teller, Virginia Tech
6 (187): WR Ray-Ray McCloud, Clemson
7 (255): WR Austin Proehl, UNC

Best Pick: Josh Allen
Worst Pick: Tremaine Edmunds
Final Grade: A+

Truthfully, the “A+” grade comes down to the Allen selection, as the Bills could have drafted me with their next pick and still earned that grade. That’s the value of an elite signal-caller such as Allen. They didn’t, however, draft me with their next pick, as they took Edmunds, who probably hasn’t lived up to the 16th overall pick billing just yet. He’s more valuable for the plays we never see made, though, as he shuts down passing windows with his absurd wingspan.

The real steal of this class ended up being one of Brandon Beane’s biggest blunders to date. Teller has developed into a top-three right guard in the NFL; yet, Beane gave up on him after only one season in a Bills uniform by trading him to the Browns prior to the 2019 season.


Miami Dolphins

1 (11): S Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama
2 (42): TE Mike Gesicki, Penn State
3 (73): LB Jerome Baker, Ohio State
4 (123): TE Durham Smythe, Notre Dame
4 (131): RB Kalen Ballage, Arizona State
6 (209): CB Cornell Armstrong, Southern Miss
7 (227): LB Quentin Poling, Ohio
7 (229): K Jason Sanders, New Mexico

Best Pick: Minkah Fitzpatrick
Worst Pick: Durham Smythe
Final Grade: B

The good news is that they drafted one of the best safeties in the NFL. Unfortunately, he’s played for the Steelers for the last two and a half seasons. It doesn’t change the evaluation for grading purposes here, but the fact that the 2018 No. 11 overall pick ultimately turned into Austin Jackson is a tough pill to swallow for Dolphins fans.

There’s not too much to write home about after that. The Dolphins theoretically “hit” on their second- and third-round selections by finding competent starters in Gesicki and Baker. However, both play lower value positions, and neither has surpassed a 78.1 overall grade in a single season.


New York Jets

1 (3): QB Sam Darnold, USC
3 (72): DI Nathan Shepherd, Fort Hays State
4 (107): TE Christopher Herndon IV, Miami (Fla.)
6 (179): CB Parry Nickerson, Tulane
6 (180): DI Folorunso Fatukasi, Connecticut
6 (204): RB Trenton Cannon, Virginia State

Best Pick: Folorunso Fatukasi
Worst Pick: Sam Darnold
Final Grade: C-

It wasn’t all for naught in this class, but it was darn close. Darnold never surpassed a 64.7 overall grade in a Jets uniform and then-GM Mike Maccagnan paid an absurd price for the right to select him (No. 6 overall and three second-rounders).

Fatukasi is the only player keeping this draft class from the “F” range, as he blossomed into a superb interior run defender with back-to-back run defense grades over 86.0 in 2019 and 2020.


New England Patriots

1 (23): OT Isaiah Wynn, Georgia
1 (31): RB Sony Michel, Georgia
2 (56): CB Duke Dawson, Florida
5 (143): LB Ja’Whaun Bentley, Purdue
6 (178): LB Christian Sam, Arizona State
6 (210): WR Braxton Berrios, Miami (Fla.)
7 (219): QB Danny Etling, LSU
7 (243): CB Keion Crossen, Western Carolina
7 (250): TE Ryan Izzo, Florida State

Best Pick: Isaiah Wynn
Worst Pick: Duke Dawson
Final Grade: B-

The Patriots had a good deal of draft capital back in 2018, which has to factor into this grade. So while they came away with a Pro Bowl left tackle in Wynn, they also received little-to-no contributions from pick Nos. 31 and 56 over the past four years. Dawson was especially a whiff, as he saw a grand total of 412 snaps in his NFL career — none of which came with the Patriots.


AFC North

Cincinnati Bengals

1 (21): C Billy Price, Ohio State
2 (54): S Jessie Bates III, Wake Forest
3 (77): EDGE Sam Hubbard, Ohio State
3 (78): LB Malik Jefferson, Texas
4 (112): RB Mark Walton, Miami (Fla.)
5 (151): CB Davontae Harris, Illinois State
5 (158): DI Andrew Brown, Virginia
5 (170): CB Darius Phillips, Western Michigan
7 (249): QB Logan Woodside, Toledo
7 (252): OT Rod Taylor, Ole Miss
7 (253): WR Auden Tate, Florida State

Best Pick: Jessie Bates
Worst Pick: Billy Price
Final Grade: B+

If the Bengals simply didn't pick Price pick while the rest of their picks were bumped up a draft slot, this would look a lot better for the Bengals. To come away from a draft class with an elite safety and starting-caliber edge defender in Rounds 2 and 3 is still a sizable win for a franchise.


Cleveland Browns

1 (1): QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
1 (4): CB Denzel Ward, Ohio State
2 (33): IOL Austin Corbett, Nevada
2 (35): RB Nick Chubb, Georgia
3 (67): EDGE Chad Thomas, Miami (Fla.)
4 (105): WR Antonio Callaway, Florida
5 (150): LB Genard Avery, Memphis
6 (175): WR Damion Ratley, Texas A&M
6 (188): CB Simeon Thomas, Louisiana

Best Pick: Denzel Ward
Worst Pick: Austin Corbett
Final Grade: B+

This was what was supposed to be the franchise-defining draft that Sashi Brown laid the groundwork for, as the Browns had a ton of draft capital. The hits are obvious in Ward and Chubb; however, the misses are a little murkier.

Mayfield has had high-end flashes that justified taking him No. 1 overall, but he failed to create any manner of consistency. His yearly grades tell that story well, as he went from an 83.2 grade as a rookie to 74.8 in Year 2, 85.7 in Year 3, and 63.6 in Year 4. Corbett never quite justified his draft slot at the back-end of the second round, but ultimately, he developed into the kind of guard worthy of a sizable second contract after his play with the Rams.


Baltimore Ravens

1 (25): TE Hayden Hurst, South Carolina
1 (32): QB Lamar Jackson, Louisville
3 (83): OT Orlando Brown, Oklahoma
3 (86): TE Mark Andrews, Oklahoma
4 (118): CB Anthony Averett, Alabama
4 (122): LB Kenny Young, UCLA
4 (132): WR Jaleel Scott, New Mexico State
5 (162): WR Jordan Lasley, UCLA
6 (190): S DeShon Elliott, Texas
6 (212): OT Greg Senat, Wagner
6 (215): C Bradley Bozeman, Alabama
7 (238): EDGE Zach Sieler, Ferris State

Best Pick: Lamar Jackson
Worst Pick: Hayden Hurst
Final Grade: A+

When a team drafts an MVP with the 32nd overall pick, chances are that it had an A+ draft. When it gets two more Pro-Bowlers in the third round, chances are that team had an all-time draft. The Ravens' 2018 draft class is certainly among the five best over the past decade. 

Even the Hurst selection looks far better when you realize the Ravens were able to recoup a second-rounder that they turned into J.K. Dobbins. This draft really set the stage for the Ravens offense we’ve seen the past few years.


Pittsburgh Steelers

1 (28): S Terrell Edmunds, Virginia Tech
2 (60): WR James Washington, Oklahoma State
3 (76): QB Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State
3 (92): OT Chukwuma Okorafor, Western Michigan
5 (148): S Marcus Allen, Penn State
5 (165): RB/TE Jaylen Samuels, N.C. State
7 (246): DI Joshua Frazier, Alabama

Best Pick: Chukwuma Okorafor
Worst Pick: Terrell Edmunds
Final Grade: D+

When a team's best draft pick is an offensive tackle who’s never earned a grade higher than 62.2 overall, it’s a tough class. Edmunds was easily the biggest surprise of that year’s first-round and so far, the media evaluators have been proven right, as Edmunds only commanded a one-year, $2.4 million deal in free agency this offseason.


AFC South

Indianapolis Colts

1 (6): G Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame
2 (36): LB Darius Leonard, South Carolina State
2 (37): G Braden Smith, Auburn
2 (52): EDGE Kemoko Turay, Rutgers
2 (64): EDGE Tyquan Lewis, Ohio State
4 (104): RB Nyheim Hines, NC State
5 (159): WR Daurice Fountain, Northern Iowa
5 (169): RB Jordan Wilkins, Ole Miss
6 (185): WR Deon Cain, Clemson
7 (221): LB Matthew Adams, Houston
7 (235): LB Zaire Franklin, Syracuse

Best Pick: Darius Leonard
Worst Pick: Kemoko Turay
Final Grade: A+

It's tough to beat what the Colts did with their first three picks in the 2018 NFL Draft, as Nelson and Leonard have been All-Pros at their respective positions while Smith has been a top-five right tackle in the league. Smith may be the most impressive pick all things considered, as he was exclusively a guard at Auburn before blossoming at tackle in the NFL.


Jacksonville Jaguars

1 (29): DI Taven Bryan, Florida
2 (61): WR D.J. Chark, LSU
3 (93): S Ronnie Harrison, Alabama
4 (129): OT Will Richardson, N.C. State
6 (203): QB Tanner Lee, Nebraska
7 (230): EDGE Leon Jacobs, Wisconsin
7 (247): P Logan Cooke, Mississippi State

Best Pick: D.J. Chark
Worst Pick: Taven Bryan
Final Grade: C

This draft class' impact has all but ceased as of now. Richardson is the only one left on the roster, and that’s on a one-year, $2 million backup deal. Bryan was a stark no-show with only 60 career pressures in a Jags uniform before moving on to the Browns this offseason.

Chark was the only redeeming player in this draft class, but even he struggled to stay on the field and make an impact, as he averaged only 510 yards a season for the Jaguars.


Houston Texans

3 (68): S Justin Reid, Stanford
3 (80): IOL Martinas Rankin, Mississippi State
3 (98): TE Jordan Akins, UCF
4 (103): WR Keke Coutee, Texas Tech
6 (177): EDGE Duke Ejiofor, Wake Forest
6 (211): TE Jordan Thomas, Mississippi State
6 (214): EDGE Peter Kalambayi, Stanford
7 (222): CB Jermaine Kelly, San Jose State

Best Pick: Justin Reid
Worst Pick: Martinas Rankin
Final Grade: C+

Considering the Texans didn’t even draft until No. 68 overall, coming away with a quality starter such as Reid has to be seen as a victory. That was, unfortunately, the only win from this draft class, as he’s the only one from the class who was ever able to consistently lock down a starting job with any team.


Tennessee Titans

1 (22): LB Rashaan Evans, Alabama
2 (41): EDGE Harold Landry, Boston College
5 (152): DB Dane Cruikshank, Arizona
6 (199): QB Luke Falk, Washington State

Best Pick: Harold Landry
Worst Pick: Rashaan Evans
Final Grade: B-

It wasn’t quite the franchise changer that we saw from general manager Jon Robinson in 2019, but 2018 was still solid given the Titans' limited draft capital. Evans was a non-factor in a Titans uniform and one of the bigger busts of the first round in 2018 as evidenced by his one-year, $1.75 million free-agent deal with the Falcons.

Landry, though, was a steal in the second and should continue to be a crucial piece of the Titans' defense after inking a five-year, $87.5 million deal earlier this spring. He was a PFF favorite at the time as the 12th-ranked player on our board, and he has racked up 203 pressures in four seasons.


AFC West

Denver Broncos

1 (5): EDGE Bradley Chubb, N.C. State
2 (40): WR Courtland Sutton, SMU
3 (71): RB Royce Freeman, Oregon
3 (99): CB Isaac Yiadom, Boston College
4 (106): LB Josey Jewell, Iowa
4 (113): WR DaeSean Hamilton, Penn State
5 (156): TE Troy Fumagalli, Wisconsin
6 (183): G Sam Jones, Arizona State
6 (217): LB Keishawn Bierria, Washington
7 (226): RB David Williams, Arkansas

Best Pick: Cortland Sutton
Worst Pick: Royce Freeman
Final Grade: B+

Chubb has been worth the fifth-overall pick when healthy but, unfortunately, has had two of his four seasons limited to fewer than 300 snaps due to injury. The same can be said for Sutton, who tore his ACL in 2020 and didn’t have quite the same juice when he returned last year. Without those injury woes, this draft would have been looking more like a solid “A.”


Los Angeles Chargers

1 (17): S Derwin James, Florida State
2 (48): EDGE Uchenna Nwosu, USC
3 (84): DI Justin Jones, N.C. State
4 (119): S Kyzir White, West Virginia
5 (155): C Scott Quessenberry, UCLA
6 (191): WR Dylan Cantrell, Texas Tech
7 (251): RB Justin Jackson, Northwestern

Best Pick: Derwin James
Worst Pick: Justin Jones
Final Grade: B+

Giving this draft a “B+” when one player has made an impact might be generous, but that’s how big a steal James has been when on the field, as the Chargers' do-it-all safety has earned a 90.1 overall grade for his career.

Nwosu is, at least, worth a mention as a reliable rotational edge rusher. He never made a massive impact with the Chargers yet still commanded a two-year, $19 million deal in free agency.


Kansas City Chiefs

2 (46): EDGE Breeland Speaks, Ole Miss
3 (75): DI Derrick Nnadi, Florida State
3 (100): LB Dorian O’Daniel, Clemson
4 (124): S Armani Watts, Texas A&M
6 (196): CB Tremon Smith, Central Arkansas
6 (198): DI Kahlil McKenzie, Tennessee

Best Pick: Derrick Nnadi
Worst Pick: Breeland Speaks
Final Grade: C-

This was the post-Patrick Mahomes draft when the Chiefs had limited draft capital due to the trade-up for the talented QB. When the best pick is a two-down defensive tackle who has averaged fewer than 500 snaps a season despite staying healthy, it’s a rough draft.


Las Vegas Raiders

1 (15): OT Kolton Miller, UCLA
2 (57): DI P.J. Hall, Sam Houston State
3 (65): OT Brandon Parker, North Carolina A&T
3 (87): EDGE Arden Key, LSU
4 (110): CB Nick Nelson, Wisconsin
5 (140): DI Maurice Hurst, Michigan
5 (173): P Johnny Townsend, Florida
6 (216): LB Azeem Victor, Washington
7 (228): WR Marcell Ateman, Oklahoma State

Best Pick: Kolton Miller
Worst Pick: P.J. Hall
Final Grade: B-

The 2018 draft introduced us to the Raiders' absurd draft strategies in the Jon Gruden era. Hall and Parker came straight out of left field when picked, and neither has looked better in the NFL.

Miller was a similar head-scratcher at the time; yet, he’ll go down as the lone Gruden “reach” who worked out. He’s improved considerably every single season, improving from a 49.6 grade as a rookie to 65.0 in Year 2, 73.0 in Year 3, and 84.0 in Year 4.


NFC East

Dallas Cowboys

1 (19): LB Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State
2 (50): T/G Connor Williams, Texas
3 (81): WR Michael Gallup, Colorado State
4 (116): EDGE Dorance Armstrong Jr., Kansas
4 (137): TE Dalton Schultz, Stanford
5 (171): QB Mike White, WKU
6 (193): LB Chris Covington, Indiana
6 (208): WR Cedrick Wilson, Boise State
7 (236): RB Bo Scarbrough, Alabama

Best Pick: Michael Gallup
Worst Pick: Leighton Vander Esch
Final Grade: B

Grading this one is a little murky because of the man at the top. Vander Esch looked like a budding star at linebacker after posting an 84.4 overall grade in his rookie season; however, injuries have piled up ever since, causing him to look like a shell of that player. So did the Cowboys really misevaluate the talent?

The real stars of this class come on the offensive side of the ball, where the Cowboys found two talented pass-catchers after the second round. Gallup has a 1,000-yard season under his belt while Schultz took a little longer to develop but was worth the wait, as his 808 receiving yards ranked as the sixth-most among tight ends last season.


Philadelphia Eagles

2 (49): TE Dallas Goedert, South Dakota State
4 (125): CB Avonte Maddox, Pittsburgh
4 (130): EDGE Josh Sweat, Florida State
6 (206): OT Matt Pryor, TCU
7 (233): OT Jordan Mailata, South Sydney, Australia

Best Pick: Jordan Mailata
Worst Pick: Avonte Maddox
Final Grade: A+

The Eagles were able to do more with less in the 2018 NFL Draft. No class had a better hit rate than this one, as the worst pick has still been a competent starter.

Mailata is the crown jewel in the class as the quintessential athletic flier. He had never played American football prior to getting drafted, but in 2021, he was the third-highest graded tackle in the NFL.


New York Giants

1 (2): RB Saquon Barkley, Penn State
2 (34): G Will Hernandez, UTEP
3 (66): EDGE Lorenzo Carter, Georgia
3 (69): DI B.J. Hill, N.C. State
4 (108): QB Kyle Lauletta, Richmond
5 (139): DI RJ McIntosh, Miami (Fla.)

Best Pick: B.J. Hill
Worst Pick: Saquon Barkley
Final Grade: C

Giving the Giants a “D+” grade might even be kind considering the draft capital the team came into this draft with. They had the second pick in every round along with an extra early third-rounder at their disposal' however, the only remnant on their roster is a hobbled running back.

The fact is that Hill was a good pick despite their ill-advised trade last year to flip him for Billy Price. He’s earned an above-average grade in every single season of his career.


Washington Commanders

1 (13): DI Da’Ron Payne, Alabama
2 (59): RB Derrius Guice, LSU
3 (74): OT Geron Christian, Louisville
4 (109): S Troy Apke, Penn State
5 (163): DI Tim Settle, Virginia Tech
6 (197): LB Shaun Dion Hamilton, Alabama
7 (241): CB Greg Stroman, Virginia Tech
7 (256): WR Trey Quinn, SMU

Best Pick: Da’Ron Payne
Worst Pick: Derrius Guice
Final Grade: B-

There's not much to write home about here. Guice tore his ACL before ever playing a regular-season snap and then was waived prior to his third season following domestic violence charges.

Payne has been the only viable starter of the bunch and even he has been a disappointment compared to his 13th overall draft slot, as he’s never earned a grade higher than 68.2 for a single season.


NFC North

Chicago Bears

1 (8): LB Roquan Smith, Georgia
2 (39): C James Daniels, Iowa
2 (51): WR Anthony Miller, Memphis
4 (115): LB Joel Iyiegbuniwe, WKU
5 (145): DI Bilal Nichols, Delaware
6 (181): EDGE Kylie Fitts, Utah
7 (224): WR Javon Wims, Georgia

Best Pick: Roquan Smith
Worst Pick: Anthony Miller
Final Grade: B-

Smith may not be on a Hall of Famer anytime soon, but he’s a defensive cornerstone who is well worth his draft selection. Daniels was a solid guard who never graded lower than 65.0 in a single season. One has to wonder how he would have fared if he could have stayed at his collegiate position (center).

Miller is the only premium pick who sticks out like a sore thumb, as he managed only 1,564 yards in three seasons before being traded to the Texans.


Detroit Lions

1 (20): C Frank Ragnow, Arkansas
2 (43): RB Kerryon Johnson, Auburn
3 (82): S Tracy Walker, Louisiana
4 (114): DI Da’Shawn Hand, Alabama
5 (153): OT Tyrell Crosby, Oregon
7 (237): FB Nick Bawden, San Diego State

Best Pick: Frank Ragnow
Worst Pick: Kerryon Johnson
Final Grade: B-

Ex-general manager Bob Quinn loved low-value positions early in drafts, and 2018 may have been his opus in that regard, as it took him until the fifth round to address a single premium position (quarterback, receiver, tackle, edge, corner). Even though Ragnow turned into one of the best centers in the NFL, the rest of this draft has been a non-factor.


Green Bay Packers

1 (18): CB Jaire Alexander, Louisville
2 (45): CB Josh Jackson, Iowa
3 (88): LB Oren Burks, Vanderbilt
4 (133): WR J’Mon Moore, Missouri
5 (138): OT Cole Madison, Washington State
5 (172): P J.K. Scott, Alabama
5 (174): WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling, USF
6 (207): WR Equanimeous St. Brown, Notre Dame
7 (232): DI James Looney, California
7 (239): LS Hunter Bradley, Mississippi State
7 (248): LB Kendall Donnerson, SE Missouri State

Best Pick: Jaire Alexander
Worst Pick: Josh Jackson
Final Grade: B+

Not only did the Packers turn their 2018 first-round selection into one of the top five cornerbacks in the NFL, but they also netted a 2019 first-rounder out that turned into Darnell Savage. General manager Brian Gutekunst would go five more picks before he found another starter, though, in Valdes-Scantling, keeping this draft from a higher grade. MVS developed into a nice big-play threat who averaged over 1.4 yards per route over the past two seasons.


Minnesota Vikings

1 (30): CB Mike Hughes, UCF
2 (62): OT Brian O’Neill, Pittsburgh
4 (102): DI Jalyn Holmes, Ohio State
5 (157): TE Tyler Conklin, Central Michigan
5 (167): K Daniel Carlson, Auburn
6 (213): G Colby Gossett, App. State
6 (218): DI Ade Aruna, Tulane
7 (225): LB Devante Downs, California

Best Pick: Brian O’Neill
Worst Pick: Mike Hughes
Final Grade: B

One has to wonder if the Vikings gave up on Hughes too soon. After three lackluster seasons in purple, Hughes was traded to the Chiefs, where he earned a 78.8 coverage grade last season. However, that doesn’t help this grade.

The real saving grace for this class is O’Neill, who has turned into a top-10 right tackle in the NFL as a second-rounder. He’s now earned 70.0-plus overall grades for three straight seasons.


NFC South

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

1 (12): DI Vita Vea, Washington
2 (38): RB Ronald Jones II, USC
2 (53): CB M.J. Stewart, UNC
2 (63): CB Carlton Davis, Auburn
3 (94): OT Alex Cappa, Humboldt State
4 (117): S Jordan Whitehead, Pittsburgh
5 (144): WR Justin Watson, Penn
6 (202): LB Jack Cichy, Wisconsin

Best Pick: Carlton Davis
Worst Pick: Ronald Jones
Final Grade: A

The Bucs' Super Bowl run was a tremendous example of why we say teams should continue to invest in their secondary. No one is always going to get the evaluation part correct — as evidenced by the Bucs' second-rounders back in 2018 — but when a team hits, the payoff can be massive.

Davis was a key piece to their championship team while the man picked in front of him wasn’t even on the roster anymore. If they stopped drafting after taking Stewart, however, they may not have a Lombardi trophy.

Vea is the other headliner, as he’s been arguably the best nose tackle in the NFL over the past couple of seasons. He’s racked up 99 pressures in his previous two fully healthy seasons.


Atlanta Falcons

1 (26): WR Calvin Ridley, Alabama
2 (58): CB Isaiah Oliver, Colorado
3 (90): DI Deadrin Senat, USF
4 (126): RB Ito Smith, Southern Miss
6 (194): WR Russell Gage, LSU
6 (200): LB Foye Oluokun, Yale

Best Pick: Calvin Ridley
Worst Pick: Isaiah Oliver
Final Grade: B

Ridley has been as solid a No. 2 receiver as you’ll see in the NFL since he was drafted before he left the team last season. He racked up 1,374 yards and nine scores in his last full season (2020).

The Falcons then had themselves a special run in the sixth round, selecting two players who got paid this offseason as free agents. Gage was effective as the Falcons' de facto No. 1 receiver toward the end of last season, and he received a three-year, $30 million deal from the Bucs. Oluokun beat that after racking up nearly 200 tackles last year with a three-year, $45 million deal from the Jags.


New Orleans Saints

1 (14): EDGE Marcus Davenport, UTSA
3 (91): WR Tre’Quan Smith, UCF
4 (127): OT Rick Leonard, Florida State
5 (164): S Natrell Jamerson, Wisconsin
6 (189): S Kamrin Moore, Boston College
6 (201): RB Boston Scott, Louisiana Tech
7 (245): C Will Clapp, LSU

Best Pick: Marcus Davenport
Worst Pick: Rick Leonard
Final Grade: B-

On the heels of one of the greatest draft classes in NFL history in 2017, general manager Mickey Loomis hoped to corral the same magic in 2018. He made a massive trade-up for a developmental project in Davenport, who only started to become a real impact player this past season. The rest of the class won’t be in line for serious playing time anywhere next season.


Carolina Panthers

1 (24): WR D.J. Moore, Maryland
2 (55): CB Donte Jackson, LSU
3 (85): CB Rashaan Gaulden, Tennessee
4 (101): TE Ian Thomas, Stanford
4 (136): EDGE Marquis Haynes, Ole Miss
5 (161): LB Jermaine Carter, Maryland
7 (234): LB Andre Smith, N.C. State,
7 (242): DI Kendrick Norton, Miami (Fla.)

Best Pick: D.J. Moore
Worst Pick: Rashaan Gaulden
Final Grade: A-

The Panthers started the 2018 NFL Draft strong with two good picks at premium positions. Moore has the fourth-most broken tackles after the catch of any wide receiver in the league despite a less than stellar quarterback situation. Jackson has only allowed 821 yards over the past two seasons and inked a three-year, $35 million deal to stay with Carolina.


NFC West

San Francisco 49ers

1 (9): OT Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame
2 (44): WR Dante Pettis, Washington
3 (70): LB Fred Warner, BYU
3 (95): S Tarvarius Moore, Southern Miss
4 (128): EDGE Kentavius Street, N.C. State
5 (142): CB D.J. Reed, Kansas State
6 (184): S Marcell Harris, Florida
7 (223): DI Jullian Taylor, Temple
7 (240): WR Richie James, MTSU

Best Pick: Fred Warner
Worst Pick: Dante Pettis
Final Grade: A-

We may never know exactly what went on behind the scenes with Pettis and the 49ers, but he fell out of favor swiftly after showing some promise as a rookie. He managed only 379 snaps over the next season and a half before being cut outright mid-season in 2020.

Pettis was sandwiched between one solid pick and one absolute home run. McGlinchey has been solid as far as tackles go but probably hasn’t lived up to his billing as a top-10 pick. That’s especially true in pass protection, where he allowed 37 pressures his last full season in 2020.

Warner, on the other hand, has been nothing short of the best linebacker in football over the past two seasons. That was especially evident in the playoffs, when he earned an 86.3 overall grade last year.


Arizona Cardinals

1 (10): QB Josh Rosen, UCLA
2 (47): WR Christian Kirk, Texas A&M
3 (97): C Mason Cole, Michigan
4 (134): RB Chase Edmonds, Fordham
6 (182): CB Christian Campbell, Penn State
7 (254): OT Korey Cunningham, Cincinnati

Best Pick: Chase Edmonds
Worst Pick: Josh Rosen
Final Grade: C+

We don’t need to beat the Rosen pick into the ground, but it was the quickest a team has given up on a top-10 pick in recent draft history. Even the Kirk pick wasn’t exactly a home run despite the massive contract he received from the Jags in free agency. As the Cardinals' No. 2 receiver the past three years, he managed only 771 yards a season and broke seven total tackles after the catch. Edmonds may have been their best pick but was criminally underutilized, as he averaged 4.9 yards per carry the past three seasons.


Los Angeles Rams

3 (89): OT Joseph Noteboom, TCU
4 (111): C Brian Allen, Michigan State
4 (135): DI John Franklin-Myers, Stephen F. Austin
5 (147): LB Micah Kiser, Virginia
5 (160): EDGE Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Oklahoma
6 (176): RB John Kelly, Tennessee
6 (192): G Jamil Demby, Maine
6 (195): DI Sebastian Joseph, Rutgers
6 (205): EDGE Trevon Young, Louisville
7 (231): LB Travin Howard, TCU
7 (244): EDGE Justin Lawler, SMU

Best Pick: Joseph Noteboom
Worst Pick: Micah Kiser
Final Grade: A

This is how most of the Rams drafts have looked over the past half-decade. A bunch of picks, but none near the top of the draft. The fact that they didn’t have a top-75 pick yet still selected impact players, such as Noteboom, Allen, and Joseph-Day, is why they’ve had so much success with their draft strategy.

Arguably the best pick in their entire class, however, has to be one of Les Snead’s biggest regrets. Franklin-Myers has been an every-down problem for the Jets defense over the past two years with 104 pressures over that span after he didn’t make the Rams' final roster cuts in 2019.


Seattle Seahawks

1 (27): RB Rashaad Penny, San Diego St.
3 (79): EDGE Rasheem Green, USC
4 (120): TE Will Dissly, Washington
5 (141): EDGE Shaquem Griffin, UCF
5 (146): S Tre Flowers, Oklahoma State
5 (149): P Michael Dickson,Texas
5 (168): OT Jamarco Jones, Ohio State
6 (186): EDGE Jacob Martin, Temple
7 (220): QB Alex McGough, FIU

Best Pick: Oof
Worst Pick: Rashaad Penny
Final Grade: D-

The Seahawks have the lowest graded draft in 2018, as they didn’t manage a single quality starter. Penny has been legitimately good when called upon with a 5.6-yard career average, but he’s shown exactly why we push back on drafting running backs that highly, as he’s been oft-injured and was quickly passed up by Chris Carson on the depth chart.

You've got the first pick with your finances. Western Southern Financial Group.
Sponsor

NFL Draft Featured Tools

  • Live picks, grades and reaction to the 2022 NFL Draft.

  • 250+ three-page scouting profiles - advanced stats, 3-year grades, player comps, combine data and Senior Bowl grades - for the 2022 draft class.

    Available with

    Edge
  • PFF's Big Board for the 2023 NFL Draft offers three-year player grades, combine measurables, position rankings, and in-depth player analysis for all of the top draft prospects.

    Available with

    Edge
  • Our exclusive database, featuring the most in-depth collection of NCAA player performance data.

    Available with

    CFB Prem Stats+
Pro Subscriptions

Unlock NFL Player Grades, Fantasy & NFL Draft

$9.99 / mo
$39.99 / yr

Unlock Premium Stats, PFF Greenline & DFS

$34.99 / mo
$199.99 / yr
College Subscriptions

Unlock College Player Grades and Preview Magazine

$7.99 / mo
$27.99 / yr

Unlock NCAA Premium Stats & PFF Greenline NCAA

$29.99 / mo
$119.99 / yr