The 2018 NFL Draft is in the books, and I just want to give a big thanks to @LoadedBoxDJ and @RyanMiner8 for covering the first two days and leaving me with the ever-exciting day three, which consists of rounds four through seven, as you likely already know.
With that being said, let’s take a look at some of Sunday’s highlights.
The Cleveland Browns took a chance on troubled wide receiver Antonio Callaway out of the University of Florida with the fifth pick in the fourth round.
There’s no denying Callaway’s on-field talent at the position, but his off-field issues were a major red flag and pushed him down – and in some cases off – team’s draft boards. In a relatively weak receiver class Callaway would have been selected much higher with a cleaner off-field resume, but the risk is worth the reward with Callaway as you can’t help but see flashes of Steelers’ wide receiver, Antonio Brown, when you watch his film.
After passing on the likes of Sam Darnold, Josh Allen and Josh Rosen in the first round, the New York Giants selected Kyle Lauletta with the eighth pick in the fourth round.
While Lauletta has drawn some positive praise from NFL Draft analysts, it’s more likely than not that he’ll wind up a career backup. There are analysts who support this pick due to Eli Manning being on the back-nine of his career, but I personally feel the Giants already went down this road last year by selecting Davis Webb.
If the Giants felt the need to address the position of quarterback they should have done it when they had every option besides Baker Mayfield available. Webb and Lauletta can compete for the backup position and may be in line to start one day in New York, but I’d be willing to bet the Giants will look to someone who’s currently in the league or a high-round draft pick when it comes time to replace Manning.
Suffering one of the largest falls in the draft due to a heart condition, Maurice Hurst came off the board with the third pick in the fifth round to the Oakland Raiders.
A likely first or second-round selection if given a clean bill of health, Hurst may end up being the steal of the draft if the health issue never comes to fruition.
It will be an interesting situation to monitor throughout training camp and preseason, but don’t be surprised if Hurst finds his way into significant playing time as a rookie in 2018.
There’s no doubt that Shaquem Griffin being drafted by Seattle with the fourth pick in the fifth round was the feel-good story of the draft. Not only is it cool that he was selected given his condition of only having one hand, but the fact that he joins his brother Shaquill Griffin puts the story over the top.
Griffin’s role and level of productivity is the great unknown, but that’s not important at this point in time. Whether or not Griffin can compete at this level will eventually be important and will ultimately dictate his career in the NFL, but for the time being, we should just be happy for the kid and cheer for this story to continue on for years to come.
Falling to the second pick in the sixth round to the Los Angeles Rams was the former Tennessee Volunteers’ running back, John Kelly.
Kelly, who runs with tremendous power given his 5’10, 215-lb build, rarely goes down on first contact and reminds me of Jarvis Landry with the ball in his hands.
With Todd Gurley coming off a career year it’s unlikely that Kelly will play a major role in 2018; but he steps into a situation where there’s not a significant amount of competition to spell Gurley or even step into a starting role in the event Gurley goes down with an injury. Keep Kelly on your radar as a solid handcuff to Gurley in fantasy football.
A player most commonly known for his performance in the College Football Playoffs, Bo Scarbrough, came off the board to the Dallas Cowboys with the 18th pick in the seventh round.
Scarbrough is another name added to the list of those who will compete for carries behind stud running back, Zeke Elliott. If Scarbrough can impress during training camp and preseason he may find his way onto the Cowboys’ active roster, but his potential is limited with his current skill set.
Auden Tate, ranked as the draft’s No. 4 wide receiver in a pre-draft podcast we did with Jon Valencia of Breaking Football, came off the board to the Cincinnati Bengals with the 35th pick in the seventh round.
As Jon talked about in our podcast, Tate had a less-than-stellar NFL Combine that may have impacted his draft status. Tate is a big-bodied receiver who won’t blow you away with his speed, but excels at contested catches and may find his way onto a Bengals’ roster which isn’t exactly stacked at receiver behind A.J. Green and last year’s first-round selection, John Ross.
Check out the latest episode of the Loaded Box Podcast as we recap the 2018 NFL Draft.