By John Blair | @QBcoachblair
Inside the War Room returns with the latest buzz on the top prospects for the upcoming 2018 NFL Draft. Plus, we unveil the NFL Draft Bible’s All-Underrated Offensive Team and take a look at which players are rising, who’s sliding, along with other names that you need to know, as we approach the college football bowl season!
NFL DRAFT BIBLE ALL-UNDERRATED OFFENSIVE TEAM
QB – Kyle Lauletta, Richmond
An FCS quarterback who is drawing late round interest is Richmond’s Kyle Lauletta due to his NFL caliber arm strength, accuracy, and decision-making skills. Scouts will also love the fact he has been able to produce at a high level in college ranking in the top five in both passing yards and touchdowns. Lauletta will be able to improve his draft stock significantly if he can produce in an all-star game against FBS competition.
RB – Bubba Jenkins, Morningside
The top NAIA prospect in this year’s draft is Morningside running back Bubba Jenkins. This season, Jenkins led the NAIA in rushing yards with 1,751 and tied for first in rushing touchdowns. Jenkins also dominated the Division II level where he started off his career being named a D2 All-American at Southwest Baptist University. While it is doubtful that Jenkins gets drafted, he could make a name for himself as an undrafted free agent.
FB – Jordan Chunn, Troy
Despite playing running back in college look for NFL teams to mainly look at Jordan Chunn as a fullback. The main reason his best position will be at fullback is due to his powerful running style and lack of great speed. He has the size to make the transition as well coming in at 6-1 235 pounds. He has displayed nice versatility as well as an offensive weapon catching 25 passes this year, and he could be a nice outlet receiver at the next level. One area he will have to prove he can do well is run-block.
TE – Adam Breneman, UMass
One of the most productive tight ends in all of college football is UMass’s Adam Breneman. Over the past two seasons, he has caught at least 50 passes in a year including 70 in 2016. Part of the reason Breneman has been so productive is his reliable hands, which are some of the most consistent hands in the class. He is a well-rounded athlete as well who can make plays in both the intermediate and deep passing game. He will need to prove that he can be a more consistent blocker in order to earn a day two draft grade.
WR – Anthony Miller, Memphis
Going into the season Memphis wide receiver Anthony Miller carried an undrafted free agent grade, but with his outstanding senior season will likely be a high day three draft pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. While he may lack great size and speed, he does make plays on a consistent basis and does a terrific job of catching the ball with his hands. Look for Miller to become a solid number three receiver at the next level, who does most of his damage as a slot receiver.
WR – Michael Gallup, Colorado State
Gallup is actually one of the highest rated players to make this list, yet is unknown by many draft fans as he plays in the Mountain West. The reason he is such a highly rated prospect is due to his size (6-1, 200 pounds), strong hands, and ability to gain yards after the catch. If he is able to post a strong NFL Combine, he should hear his name called on the second day of the draft.
OT – Alex Cappa, Humboldt State
The top Division II offensive prospect and quite possibly the best D2 prospect in the draft is Humboldt State offensive tackle, Alex Cappa. The 6-7 305 pound tackle has been named a four-time Great Northwest Athletic Conference Offensive Lineman of the Year and has been named to numerous All-American teams. He has also drawn interest from the Senior Bowl and should be the highest player ever selected from Humboldt State if he performs well at this game.
OG – Brandon Parker, North Carolina A&T
While Brandon Parker plays offensive guard for the Aggies look for most teams to consider him more as an offensive guard. The main reason he projects best at offensive guard is his lack of outstanding mobility. However, he should be a very good guard at the next level due to his impressive strength and overall strong run blocking ability. Most people currently project Parker to be a high day three draft pick.
C – Brian Allen, Michigan State
If you are looking for a tough, smart, and physical lineman look no further than Michigan State’s Brian Allen. This season Allen has already made the Pro Football Focus All-Big Ten team four times and has been named to the All-Big Ten mid-season First Team by The Athletic. Allen will likely fall to the third day of the draft, due to his lack of great testing numbers but should be able to have a long career in the NFL.
OG – Austin Corbett, Nevada
Like Parker, Nevada’s Austin Corbett is a college offensive tackle who projects best to offensive guard. While Corbett may lack the quick feet to play offensive tackle his strength makes him a perfect fit for an offensive guard. Earlier this season he was named Nevada’s strongest player and has deadlifted over 600-pounds.
OT – Timon Parris, Stony Brook
The third small school offensive player to make this list is Stony Brook offensive tackle Timon Parris, who is also the third small school offensive lineman invited to the Senior Bowl, however, a broken fibula will prevent him from participating. As a prospect, Parris might be the rawest player of the group but he did showcase the athletic ability and overall potential to be considered a late-round draft pick.
- If the rumors are correct that Nebraska quarterback Tanner Lee does actually declare for the draft it would be a big mistake on his part. This would not be a wise decision as he will likely go undrafted and will have a hard time even making an NFL roster. The biggest concern with him is his lack of accuracy as he is completing under 60% of his passes. He also has thrown his share of interceptions having thrown 13 interceptions this season. While he does possess a strong arm and has ideal NFL size he needs to return to Nebraska next season to develop into a more consistent passer.
- Quite possibly the most underachieving team in the NFL this year is the Denver Broncos. The team is currently on a six-game losing streak and have been called soft by their own general manager. The biggest problem with this team is horrible quarterback play as both Brock Osweiler and Trevor Siemian have proven they are nothing close to starting quarterbacks in the NFL. They also have second-year player Paxton Lynch who has struggled to stay healthy and when he has played has looked lost on the field. The team has struggled to run the ball consistently this year as well, due to a struggling offensive line. Two prospects the team would be wise to consider is Notre Dame offensive guard Quenton Nelson in the first round and hope Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield falls to them in the second round.
- Two weeks ago ITWR got an up-close look at Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen when he took on Air Force. While Allen missed a significant part of this game, he did show he has all the tools to play at the next level. The traits that stood out the most include his strong arm and impressive athletic ability for a pocket passer. He also showed that he is still on the raw side, and will need to go the right coach in order to develop his immense talent. While I doubt he falls to the New Orleans Saints pick it would be the ideal fit for him as he would have Sean Payton coaching him.
- Speaking of top-notch quarterbacks two faced off last week when UCLA’s Josh Rosen took on USC’s Sam Darnold. While Darnold’s Trojans won the game, Rosen showed he was the top quarterback in the game. Rosen proved he posses the ability to throw an impressive deep ball, the toughness to hang in the pocket, and the overall qualities of a franchise quarterback. Look for this game to help solidify Rosen as the top quarterback in the draft and the likely number one pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
DRAFT STOCK MARKET
Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
No player has raised his stock as much this year as Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield. Going into the season Mayfield was rated as ITWR’s fifth rated senior quarterback and was widely projected as a late-round draft pick by most people. However, he has since moved into the first round category due to his outstanding play this year led by his precision accuracy and playmaking skills this year. The biggest knock on him is still his 6-1 height, which could cause him to slide into the second round.
Rashaad Penny, RB, San Diego State
The top performance in college football last weekend came from San Diego State running back Rashaad Penny who accounted for 429 yards and four touchdowns. Two of these four touchdowns came on special teams which allowed him to tie the NCAA record with seven kicks returned for touchdowns.
Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa
The defensive player who has raised his stock the most this year is Iowa cornerback Josh Jackson. Last season, Jackson saw limited time as he was behind two cornerbacks currently playing in the NFL in Desmond King and Greg Mabin. In his first year as a starter, he has been dominate including great performances against Ohio State where he recorded three interceptions and against Wisconsin where he returned two picks for touchdowns. If Jackson decided to go pro after this year and runs a strong 40-yard dash time he has a chance of slipping into the late part of the first round.
Malik Zaire, QB, Florida
Florida quarterback Malik Zaire came into the season with high expectations after transferring from Notre Dame. Unfortunately, Zaire definitely didn’t live up to this hype spending most of the year as a backup and in the limited action, he saw this year showing he is not anything close to an NFL quarterback. If Zaire decided to continue his football career it will likely be in the CFL.
Azeem Victor, OLB, Washington
Last week, Washington suspended linebacker Azeem Victor for the second time after he was charged with a DUI. Victor was also suspended for the season opener against Rutgers for undisclosed reasons. In his playing time this year he has not lived up to his 2016 season when he was named First Team All-Pac-12 after recording 67 tackles despite missing the last four games of the season with a serious leg injury. Despite all of these negatives still look for a team to take a flyer on Victor due to his impressive athletic ability.
Our top small school tight end Dallas Goedert of South Dakota State has been invited to the Senior Bowl. … The Baltimore Ravens and Minnesota Vikings have shown an interest in Wagner WR John Williams. Williams has intriguing size at 6-6 210 pounds and is a player who should get into an NFL camp. … Look for South Carolina tight end Hayden Hurst to enter the 2018 NFL Draft, as he took part in the Gamecocks Senior Day. ….