The 2018 NFL Draft is now finished. Pack your bags and get out of Dallas.
Although Day 3 is usually the least eventful, there were still some very good players on the board when the Carolina Panthers kicked off the fourth round. Here are the 10 best selections from the draft’s final day:
10. Da’Shawn Hand, DE, Detroit Lions, 114th overall
In 2014, the number one high school recruit in the country was not Leonard Fournette. It wasn’t even Myles Garrett. That title belonged to Da’Shawn Hand, who committed to Alabama.
Unfortunately, Hand never lived up to his billing and recorded only nine sacks in his four years in college. However, Hand has the size(6-foot-4, 297 pounds) to be a much better NFL player. His athleticism and strength will help him to become a solid rotational piece for the Lions defensive line and with some coaching, he could be a star in a few seasons.
9. Armani Watts, FS, Kansas City Chiefs, 124th overall
Projected as a Day 2 selection, Watts is a deep safety with good instincts and athleticism. He also showed off good ball skills in college, as evidenced by his ten career interceptions.
His issues stem from being undersized (5-foot-11, 202 pounds) and is not a sure tackler. But Watts’ ability in coverage should earn him significant playing time early in his career, and he could combine with Eric Berry to form a very good safety duo.
8. Josh Sweat, DE, Philadelphia Eagles, 130th overall
Days before the draft, there was buzz that some teams were viewing Sweat as a late first-round prospect. That turned out to be false as Sweat surprisingly lasted until the end of the fourth round. The Eagles, with Chris Long, Brandon Graham, Micheal Bennett and Derek Barnett, were desperate for EDGE help.
Because of all the talent in front of him, Sweat will be a backup who won’t see too much time unless there is an injury to one of the starters. Sweat has had injury problems dating back to high school, but if he can remain healthy, he can be a very good pass rusher. His athleticism is among the best in the class, and his potential is sky-high.
7. Maurice Hurst, DT, Oakland Raiders, 140th overall
Before the NFL Combine, Hurst was projected as a mid-first-round pick. He was a disruptive interior pass rusher at Michigan and was Pro Football Focus’s highest graded defensive player of 2017. His first step is extremely quick and allows him to immediately gain an advantage over the offensive lineman he’s matched up with.
But at the Combine, Hurst was diagnosed with a heart condition, the specifics of which are unknown. But it tanked his stock so much that he lasted until the fifth round. Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie said that Hurst is good to go. While this is encouraging for Hurst’s sake, if his heart wasn’t really a big issue, he would have been drafted long before the fifth. His situation will be one to closely monitor in the coming months, but if he is able to play without any problems, he will be the steal of the draft.
6. Genard Avery, LB, Cleveland Browns, 150th overall
Avery is just 6-foot-1, but at 248 pounds, he has the build to hold up in the NFL. He is a fantastic athlete for the linebacker position, and that helped him to be one of the best-designed pass rushers in college football.
He should challenge Pro Bowler Joe Schobert for the Browns’ MLB position and even if he doesn’t make the starting lineup, should get plenty of playing time, especially on third down.
5. Tyrell Crosby, OL, Detroit Lions, 153rd overall
In a rather weak offensive tackle class, Crosby was talked about as a second-round pick. But his raw technique makes him a risk and the Lions felt comfortable taking it in the fifth round. Crosby is a powerful blocker at 6-foot-5, 309 pounds and did not give up a sack last season. Crosby blocked in Oregon’s spread offense so there will be a learning curve as he adjusts to an NFL system, but if he does, the Lions may have found a future starter.
4. Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, LB, Los Angeles Rams, 160th overall
If there is one weakness that the Rams have on defense, it’s rushing the passer from the edges. Okoronkwo will help with that. He lacks ideal size and athleticism for an outside linebacker, but his production is undeniable; 33 tackles for loss and 17 sacks over the past two seasons. Even if he doesn’t start, Okoronkwo will give Los Angeles another good defender to add to their stacked front seven.
3. Jamarco Jones, OT, Seattle Seahawks, 168th overall
Like Crosby, Jones’ fall down the draft order can’t be easily explained. Jones was one of the country’s best pass blocking tackles and has the frame to add more strength to improve his run blocking. The Seahawks always seem to be in need of o-line help, and Jones will give them a good option on either the left or right side in the future.
2. Deon Cain, WR, Indianapolis Colts, 185th overall
In his three years at Clemson, Cain was consistent. The Colts hope he can bring some of that to their WR corps as a rookie. Cain has good size for an outside receiver(6-foot-2, 202 pounds) and ran a 4.43-second 40-yard dash. Like the next player on this list, Cain just kept getting passed over, with no one seeming to be able to provide a valid reason. If Andrew Luck is healthy, Cain should have a solid rookie season and has the potential to develop into a very good pro.
1. Equanimeous St. Brown, WR, Green Bay Packers, 207th overall
At 6-foot-5, St. Brown has fantastic height for a wide receiver and his 4.48 speed makes him an intriguing prospect. He has fantastic hands, runs good routes and has exceptional body control. His biggest problem is that he struggles immensely against physical press corners, so he needs to add on more weight and strength, which an NFL training regimen should be able to help with.
St. Brown’s college production is not great, but part of that is due to the inconsistent play of this three quarterbacks: Malik Zaire, DeShone Kizer and Brandon Wimbush. Rumors of character and dedication issues began appearing on day two of the draft and may be to blame for his fall from a preseason first-round projection. If St. Brown can show he’s dedicated and the Packers’ offensive staff is able to coach him up, he has the potential to be an elite No. 1 receiver.
For the most part, NFL talent evaluators know what they’re doing, so there have to be reasons why these players were drafted so late. No matter the reason, all of these players have the ability to far outplay their expectations and draft positions, and could soon be household names in the league.