Ranked Defensive 2018 NFL Draft Prospects
The ranked defensive 2018 NFL draft prospects shown below represent the current status of draft prospects. The NFL Draft Board provides the basis of the rankings.
Defensive End, Outside Linebacker, Edge Rusher
The rise of the defensive end/outside linebacker/edge rusher steadies in 2018. Texas A&M pass rusher, Myles Garrett, is locked in as the number one pick of the 2017 NFL Draft. And, edge rushers won’t drop too far in 2018. LSU’s, Arden Key, stands at number three on the NFL Draft Board currently. Ohio State Buckeye, Sam Hubbard, sits just outside of the top ten. Hubbard’s counterpart Tyquan Lewis, and Florida State’s, Josh Sweat, rest in the middle of the first round. While a host of other edge rushers start flooding in on the back end of the first round and the NFL Draft Board.
The cornerback position usually runs second on the defensive side for most popular first round draft choice behind edge rushers. 2018 should fall in line with the trend. Although, a lot of the 2018 prospects come on the back end of the NFL Draft Board. Alabama’s, Minkah Fitzpatrick, stands out as the only 2018 NFL draft prospect with top ten potential.
The defensive 2018 defensive tackle class provides depth. However, the defensive tackle group lacks the star power at the beginning of the year.
After a soft year in 2017, the 2018 linebacker class makes a resurgence, led by Texas Longhorn, Malik Jefferson.
The free safety position comes with plenty of depth in 2018. Derwin James headlines the class after coming off an injury plagued 2016 season. Meanwhile the number two free safety, Jordan Whitehead, is moving from strong safety in 2016 to free safety in 2017.
So far the strong safety position is absent in the 2018 NFL draft. The free safety position provides more depth.
Positions that fail to register on the NFL Draft Board show an N/A under board rank. The strong safety position posts zero first round candidates for the 2018 NFL draft. Expect some tight ends to show up as more 2018 NFL mock drafts get published.