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2018 Draft Grades - First Round (Picks 11-20)
By Keith Van Wagner
Special to gzl-football.com

Here’s another opportunity for the guy who hasn’t led his team to the Playoffs in many seasons to embarrass himself by judging everyone else’s picks. Part one of the series of articles saw me grade the Top 10. But the Top 10 are pretty easy, right? Here’s where things start to get interesting (hopefully).

1.11 – OT Andrus Peat, Cowboys. Peat is an OK pick here – on the 4 mocks that featured him, the Stanford product went 9th, 10th, 14th, and 18th. On my board I had him ranked higher than 3 players taken in the Top 10. Still, Peat feels like a consolation prize here as Dallas traded up to 1.11 to get Scherff, Royer or Martin. That being said, Peat has no weaknesses in his game and is above average in most attributes, with the exception of STR, which at 93 isn’t anything to sneeze at. A solid pick, but a bit of a reach here. If the team had any balls it might have snagged Winston. GRADE: B

1.12 – WR Amari Cooper, Raiders. The Raiders luck out with this pick, as Amari Cooper is the real deal. Interestingly, Cooper is only one of 2 players who was projected to be a Top 10 pick in each of the 8 mock drafts. Most had him going 2nd overall. Cooper has the best combination of size (6’1”, 210 lbs) and speed (95 SPD) in the draft. Cooper’s not the best in anything, but the whole is more than the sum of his parts. Even better, he’s got some of the best awareness of any wideout in the class. Matched with newly acquired Ryan Broyles, and vets Mike Williams and DHB, the Raiders have plenty of targets for their QB. GRADE: A+
1.13 – S Gregory Hollimon, 49ers. Oops! There seemed to be some communication issues coming out of Niners front office. The missed pick of San Francisco likely cost them big time, as there were loads of talented CBs still available, a position of need that had been identified for them. Instead the Niners introduce Hollimon and add him to a relatively talented stable of Safeties. Hollimon can play either Free or Strong Safety, though likely is better suited as a Free Safety. The pick isn’t a total loss as it turns out Hollimon is pretty good. He’s one of the fastest Safeties in the draft, has great acceleration and is a tremendous tackler and has a great vertical. But probably better suited for that 1.30 or 2.7 pick. GRADE: C-

1.14 – OT Odell Beckham, Jr., Rams. I was pretty much derided (and perhaps rightfully so) for projected Beckham to go number 1 overall in my first mock. But don’t you know that if he were an inch taller, that’s not a crazy statement. Beckham’s attributes are off the charts, including his 98 JMP. He is polished as well, and has great hands. The Rams have a pretty crowded stable of pass catchers, but Beckham is too good to pass up. GRADE: A+

1.15 – CB Kyle Fuller, Broncos. The truth is, it wasn’t the best year for CBs. Not to say there weren’t some talented ones in the draft, but it seems lately size is the most coveted attribute and there were only 6 CBs with 6’1” or better size available. Fuller is a solid pick here, even though he is “only” 5’11”. He’s got the best combination of agility and acceleration in the draft class, and that 94 SPD isn’t anything to dismiss. His 93 JMP skills will also help in terms of his perceived lack of size. The only real knock on Fuller is his poor tackling skills, but other than that Fuller looks like a solid pickup. GRADE: B+

1.16 – LE Collin Kilpatrick, Chargers. No way to sugar coat this – I’m not a big fan of this pick. I had Kilpatrick projected to go early to mid 2nd round. I understand reaching on a player if there’s a big need and there aren’t any other players of quality around, but guys like Randy Gregory, Ben Powell and Shaun Oakman look like better prospects. Kilpatrick is a solid player in a weak DE class and is likely to be a good contributor. But he’s not significantly better than a guy like Bruno Smith, taken in the mid third round to warrant a pick this early. GRADE: C-

1.17 – LB Anthony Barr, Jets. Barr is a good pickup for New York and will immediately improve their defense. I had him ranked 17th overall on my board so it looks like the Jets got the right value for their pick, especially as many had him going in the Top 10. Barr is big (6’5”, 255 lbs) and fast (85 SPD) and has stud written all over him. I think what I like most about Barr is his versatility. He comes in as an OLB, but also has the tackling skills and awareness to be a force in the middle. But he’d also would make a pretty good 4-3 Defensive End, especially with 10 lbs added. In fact, I like him as an End more than I do Kilpatrick taken by the Chargers. GRADE: A

1.18 – DE Randy Gregory, Texans. Gregory was a guy that few could agree on in terms of where he’d go. Some mocks had him going as early as 6th overall, some as late as 1.21. Either way, he was the best Defensive End on my board and someone I expected to be gone by the Top 10. The big knock on Gregory is his lack of strength, but the league has seen many DEs succeed with less. He’ll likely need to add some weight, so in that sense he is something of a project. However, it’s hard to argue with his combination of 85 SPD/84 AGI/86 ACC. He has the potential to be a 10 sack a year guy. GRADE: A

1.19 – QB Jameis Winston, Bucs. Few players in the draft got as much ink as Winston, and few were as polarizing. But no matter what you think of him as a real player, you can’t deny the incredible gift that the Bucs got at 1.19. I know I was tempted to take this QB at 1.11, but decided I had bigger needs. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay gets a franchise QB at a fraction of the cost. For many it was a coin flip as to whether Winston or Foles was the better prospect, but I have to give the edge to Winston. He’s got an elite arm and is the most accurate passer in the class. Well done (again), AF. GRADE: A+

1.20 – QB Nick Foles, Vikings. Fuck you, Minnesota! Though I felt like I needed to take a HB, by this point in the draft I’d grown a pair and tried to trade up to 1.20 and get Foles. Getting a player this impactful, this good, this late in the draft isn’t fair. GRADE: A+
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