Over the course of two back-to-back practices on Wednesday afternoon, we saw a number of players stand out and establish themselves as premier players in the upcoming 2018 NFL Draft:
Baker Mayfield QB Oklahoma - As was the case on Tuesday, Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield stood out as one of the clear "winners" from the group of quarterbacks in attendance. Mayfield continued to show the type of quick feet, accuracy, and enough velocity to get scouts excited. Although his physical limitations are going to make scouting departments hesitate and argue over whether to take him, Mayfield continued to flash the big time skill set that won him the Heisman Trophy, and most certainly has the scouting community buzzing coming out of Mobile.
Will Hernandez OG UTEP - Yesterday we also discussed the massive guard from El Paso in Will Hernandez. A road-grading mauler of an offensive guard, Hernandez flashed the type of functional strength Wednesday that you would expect from a player of his size, and he did plenty to show scouts that he is one of the top guard prospects in the draft. Expect Hernandez to be a Top 50 pick when all is said and done in April.
Justin Jones/B.J. Hill - If you asked scouts who had the best defensive line in college football in 2017, you'd be hard pressed to find a better one than N.C. State (sorry Clemson). This week in Mobile we saw why the Wolfpack were such a difficult team to play against this season, as both Justin Jones and B.J. Hill dominated up front, and based on their performances this week, both should be drafted early in April. Jones fits the bill as a typical 305-310 lb three-technique defensive tackle capable of shooting the gap, collapsing the pocket, and flashes the quick feet and flexibility to win 1-on-1's. Hill is more of a plugger up front who, at 330 lbs, fits the mold of a one-technique space-eater who flashed his raw strength in consistently collapsing the pocket against the opposing Centers this week. When you add in future Top 10 pick Bradley Chubb and end Kentavius Street, who is also expected to be drafted, you see that N.C. State had arguably the top defensive line in 2017.
Ian Thomas TE Indiana - After dropping a couple of passes on Tuesday, Indiana's Ian Thomas had a great workout on Wednesday. Shining in 1-on-1's against linebackers in coverage, Thomas showed the speed, route running, and smooth ability to break at the stem of the route to create separation. While he fits the mold of a hybrid H-Back/receiver, Thomas is a talented athlete with little wasted movement as a route runner, and has a chance to be a very nice receiving threat for a team in the NFL.
Isaiah Wynn OG Georgia - Among the standouts this week up front has been Georgia's Isaiah Wynn. A tackle who will inevitably be moved to guard in the NFL, Wynn has already started the transition to his new position and stood out for his ability to stand up to rushers in 1-on-1's Wednesday. A squatty lineman with good lower body strength, Wynn's experience at left tackle for Georgia is valuable, and his potential of kicking inside and do
Dorian O'Daniel LB Clemson - An athletic and rangy linebacker from Clemson, Dorian O'Daniel is a player who flashed a complete package of skills at the position this week. Owning the speed and feet to matchup in coverage with running backs and tight ends, O'Daniel flashed explosive qualities in both aspects of the game this week and certainly helped himself as we head towards February.
Kalen Ballage RB Arizona State/Akrum Wadley RB Iowa - On multiple occasions Wednesday the duo of Kalen Ballage of Arizona State and Akrum Wadley from Iowa both looked terrific as receivers out of the backfield, showing the type of speed and quickness to create separation from linebackers at the second level. These are two players I will be going back to and watching more film on as the spring progresses.