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Mike Mayock’s 1st positional rankings for the 2018 NFL draft have Josh Allen ahead of Josh Rosen

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It wasn’t the only surprise on the list.

NCAA Football: Senior Bowl Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports

Just like every other year, everyone’s talking about the quarterbacks in the 2018 NFL draft and who will be the first one off the board. Mike Mayock thinks USC’s Sam Darnold has the talent be the top signal caller this year. But after Darnold, Mayock’s first positional rankings are a bit of a surprise at quarterback.

These top three quarterbacks are pretty close in skill and potential, so it will be interesting to see how these rankings change over time. But for now, Mayock has Wyoming’s Josh Allen ranked at No. 2, with Josh Rosen out of UCLA third on the list.

That’s different from other draft experts. Our Dan Kadar, in his latest mock draft, has Rosen and Baker Mayfield going before Allen. In Todd McShay’s top 32 rankings, he’s got Rosen ahead of Allen right now.

Allen has a solid combination of size and arm strength, which will make him appealing to teams. And Rosen’s injury history — a shoulder that kept him off the field for all but six games in 2016 and a concussion that sidelined him for two games last season — may be part of the reason he’s slipped below Allen in Mayock’s estimation.

Mayfield ranks No. 4, with Lamar Jackson and Mason Rudolph rounding out the list. CBS Sports would beg to differ with Mayock about Rudolph. It has Rudolph ranked as the top quarterback prospect in this year’s draft.

Quarterback

1. Sam Darnold, USC
2. Josh Allen, Wyoming
3. Josh Rosen, UCLA
4. Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
T-5. Lamar Jackson, Louisville
T-5. Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State

Josh Rosen NFL Draft profile

Running back

The quarterback rankings weren’t the only surprise on Mayock’s list. Georgia’s Sony Michel, who put up 1,227 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns despite splitting carries with another top-five running back, Nick Chubb, is ranked No. 4 by Mayock. UCLA’s Ronald Jones II comes in at No. 3, but he’s more of a change-of-pace guy than a feature back.

Saquon Barkley is no shock at No. 1, and the rest of Mayock’s running back rankings shake out the way we expected.

1. Saquon Barkley, Penn State
2. Derrius Guice, LSU
3. Ronald Jones II, USC
4. Sony Michel, Georgia
5. Nick Chubb, Georgia

Here are the rest of Mayock’s rankings at each position.

Wide receiver

This is a crowded field, with Mayock throwing three guys in tied at No. 5. Calvin Ridley is the first wideout off the board in Mocking the Draft’s latest. Kadar has Courtland Sutton going in the first round, but Christian Kirk didn’t make his cut.

1. Calvin Ridley, Alabama
2. Christian Kirk, Texas A&M
3. Courtland Sutton, SMU
4. James Washington, Oklahoma State
T-5. Dante Pettis, Washington
T-5. D.J. Moore, Maryland
T-5. Anthony Miller, Memphis

Tight end

NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah has Hayden Hurst as his top tight end prospect ahead of Dallas Goedert in his top 50 list. But Kadar disagrees. He currently has Goedert coming off the board first.

1. Hayden Hurst, South Carolina
2. Dallas Goedert, South Dakota State
3. Mike Gesecki, Penn State
4. Mark Andrews, Oklahoma
5. Will Dissly, Washington

Tackle

Mike McGlinchey is an unexpected No. 1 here. Kadar and CBS Sports both put Orlando Brown ahead of him.

1. Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame
2. Orlando Brown, Oklahoma
3. Connor Williams, Texas
4. Tyrell Crosby, Oregon
T-5. Martinas Rankin, Mississippi State
T-5. Kolton Miller, UCLA

Interior OL

It’s a solid draft year for teams in need of interior linemen. Kadar thinks Quenton Nelson, Mayock’s top-rated guard, could go in the top five on draft day.

1. Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame
2. Isaiah Wynn, Georgia
3. James Daniels, Iowa
4. Will Hernandez, UTEP
5. Billy Price, Ohio State

Interior DL

Vita Vea is headed to the Raiders at No. 10 in Kadar’s latest projection, and Jeremiah also has him ranked as his top defensive tackle.

1. Vita Vea, Washington
2. Da’Ron Payne, Alabama
3. Maurice Hurst, Michigan
4. Taven Bryan, Florida
5. Harrison Phillips, Stanford

Edge rusher

Kadar, Jeremiah, and Mayock are all on the same page about Bradley Chubb. Kadar sees him as a potential top-five pick, and Jeremiah has the defensive end ranked as his fourth overall prospect.

1. Bradley Chubb, NC State
2. Marcus Davenport, UTSA
3. Arden Key, LSU
4. Harold Landry, Boston College
5. Sam Hubbard, Ohio State

Linebacker

If you watched the College Football Playoff National Championship, you heard Georgia’s Roquan Smith’s name called a few times. But Mayock sees Tremaine Edmunds out of Virginia Tech as the better prospect.

1. Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech
2. Roquan Smith, Georgia
3. Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State
4. Rashaan Evans, Alabama
5. Uchenna Nwosu, USC

Cornerback

Drafting an Ohio State cornerback worked well for the Saints last year. They took Marshon Lattimore 11th overall, and he went on to be named the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year. We’ll see if some team has the same luck with Denzel Ward this year.

1. Denzel Ward, Ohio State
2. Josh Jackson, Iowa
3. Mike Hughes, UCF
4. Isaiah Oliver, Colorado
5. Jaire Alexander, Louisville

Safety

Minkah Fitzpatrick has first-round talent, but his Crimson Tide teammate, Ronnie Harrison, could also be a day one starter in the NFL.

1. Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama
2. Derwin James, Florida State
3. Ronnie Harrison, Alabama
4. Jessie Bates III, Wake Forest
5. Justin Reid, Stanford

There’s a lot of time between now and the draft, and Mayock’s rankings will likely change after the combine and pro day performances. But for now, these are the prospects he sees as the best at their respective positions.


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