It’s never too soon to start thinking about what you want to do with your life, and with that in mind, here are the top five prospects to watch in the 2018 NFL Draft.1.
WR Cooper Kupp, Utah State, 6-foot-2, 206 poundsKupp is the first receiver off the board.
He is a big, physical wide receiver who has the physical ability to make plays on the ball, as he did in Utah State’s 2016 season.
He has a great feel for the game and his ability to move in the pocket makes him difficult to tackle.
He’s also a dynamic athlete who uses his speed and burst to break up throws and catch balls at the top of the screen.
Kupp is a strong-armed prospect who has great hands, but can be used in slot coverage.
Kup has the size to compete with bigger receivers, but he has shown improvement in route-running.
His strength and power will be an asset to him, but there is room for more development.2.
DE Malik McDowell, Alabama, 6.2, 272 poundsMcDowell’s size is a concern.
He can play a hybrid defensive end or end, but I think he will most likely play a more defensive end.
He might end up playing a 4-3, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see him play more as a 3-4 defensive end as he is a bit undersized.
He needs to add more muscle to his frame to be a consistent player, but McDowell is very athletic and could get there if he continues to work on his body.3.
OT/C Will Clapp, Alabama State, 5-11, 290 poundsClapp is a very good player who has a lot of talent and has a chance to be an outstanding player.
He could be a player you look at at the NFL Draft as a top-10 pick, but his production could fall off a bit due to the injury issues he is currently dealing with.
He doesn’t have the explosiveness that he had as a junior, but will be a very valuable player to the Crimson Tide’s run defense.
He’ll be a great fit in Alabama’s 3-3 scheme and he’ll be an athletic player who can take on blockers, too.4.
OT Chris Clark, Arizona State, 4-11½, 325 poundsClark’s athleticism is impressive.
He had the second-highest snap rate among offensive linemen in the Pac-12 Conference last season.
If he can add weight to his build, he could become a very disruptive offensive lineman.
He will have to improve his balance, but that’s something that can be worked on.5.
LB Josh Sweat, Miami (Ohio), 5-10½, 235 poundsSweat has tremendous athleticism and size.
He may be undersized, but if he can improve his footwork, he can be a dominant player.
Sweat had his best season in 2016, when he recorded 13.5 sacks, 10 forced fumbles and three interceptions.
He also added 20 tackles for loss and two fumble recoveries.
If his body develops, he will be one of the top pass rushers in the draft.6.
CB Josh Jones, North Carolina State, (6-0½, 205)Jones has all the tools to be the NFL’s best cornerback.
He should have a good game tape, and if he gets healthy, he has the potential to be elite.
He plays with good strength and is very good in coverage.7.
WR Calvin Ridley, LSU, 6’1½, 198 poundsRidley is a special player who should be an elite wide receiver in the NFL.
He was an All-SEC performer in 2016 and should be a top wide receiver.
He showed great poise in coverage last season and is an explosive athlete who can run routes.
He lacks speed, but Ridley has the speed to be disruptive in the open field and make plays down the field.8.
OT Jonathan McLaughlin, Ohio State, 7-4½, 330 poundsMcLaughlin has the tools and speed to play tackle in the pros, but with the NFL scouting combine behind him, McLaughlin could be the best tackle in this class.
He does have some issues in coverage, but is very consistent and can make plays.9.
DE Sam Hubbard, Michigan State, 3-8½, 265 poundsHubbard is a versatile player who is very versatile.
He runs very well and has the ability to cover receivers and tight ends.
He shows good quickness and quickness in coverage and has excellent speed and power to make catches.10.
OT Jordan Phillips, Florida State, 8-5½, 305 poundsPhillips has some of the best technique in the country, and his athleticism and power allow him to be more of a power blocker.
He gives the Seminoles a solid pass-blocking presence and will be able to handle most offensive linemen.11. TE Jordan