[dt_divider style=”thick” /]The Inside The Pylon team has released our 2018 Draft Guide, rating and stacking over 550 prospects to find our group of the top 185 guys. Like parents, scouts aren’t supposed to have “favorites” – but let’s face it, in the course of all that tape work, we enjoy watching some guys more than others. Below are the likely day two players who struck a chord with our team along with brief notes on selected entries. We already posted day one and day two. Number of votes in parentheses; list of scouts and their favorites at the end.
The draft guide contained our top 185 prospects for the coming draft, but since 256 players will be selected, not all of our day three favorites were covered. That’s why we’re hard at work on a post-draft supplement to capture dozens of additional players. People who purchased the guide, don’t fret – you’ll get this supplement for free. If you haven’t ordered the guide yet, do so today and you’ll also get the post-draft supplement when it drops in mid-May. Many of the snippets come from reports that will be featured there.
Richie James, WR, Middle Tennessee State (2)
Joseph Ferraiola was not only the lead scout on James, he was able to interview him for a guide exclusive! James’ tape showed explosive athleticism and an ability to make leaping catches outside his frame, belying his small size. James talked about these “money catches” in the interview, as well as his decision to enter the draft after his redshirt junior season.
Darius Phillips, CB, Western Michigan (2)
Phillips is fun to watch not only on defense but on returns, where he won MAC Special Teams Player of the Year. The former wideout tallied 12 career return TDs (5 kickoff returns, 5 interception returns, a punt return, and a fumble return). He impressed lead scout Josh Clayton with his “very fluid hips” and the speed, quickness, and burst to mirror receivers and make plays on the ball.
Ade Aruna, Edge, Tulane (1)
The Nigerian-born Aruna is relatively new to football, but he was a key player all along the defensive line for the Green Wave. He tested in the tenth percentile according to Kent Lee Platte’s Relative Athletic Scores (RAS of 9.35). Lead scout Nick Falato highlighted how Aruna’s size and athleticism make him enticing for teams looking for pass-rush help late, provided they have the patience to develop his “hand usage, pad level, and pass rush plan.”
Jack Cichy, LB, Wisconsin (1)
Lead scout Tom Mead writes that “when healthy Cichy has shown the ability to be a playmaker.” That caveat is the key: Cichy missed seven games in 2016 with a torn pectoral and the entire 2017 season with an ACL tear. A team willing to take a chance on his health could stand to reap the rewards of a good, scheme-versatile athlete with very good key and diagnose skills.
Justin Jackson, RB, Northwestern (1)
Jackson is undersized but lead scout Drew Jacobs highlighted his “very good vision,” making him a zone scheme fit. His foot quickness and change-of-direction skills helped Jackson become Northwestern’s all-time leading rusher.
Jordan Mailata, OT?, Australian National Rugby League (1)
When we asked for day three favorites, James McClintock suggested Mailata. I thought, “Who?” Mailata has never played American football, but at a shade under 6’8” and 346 pounds, he has intriguing size for an offensive or defensive lineman. He ran a reported 5.12 40, a stunning mark for a player his size. His size, athleticism, and lower body power make him an intriguing project late despite a complete lack of experience.
Damon Webb, S, Ohio State (1)
Lead scout Ryan Dukarm describes Webb as a “diverse, tough, smart and well-rounded free safety prospect.” Webb is new to safety, having converted from cornerback at tOSU and missing much of his sophomore year to suspension, but developed impressively into a “rare tackler in space and traffic.”
Logan Woodside, QB, Toledo (1)
Lead scout Mark Schofield has talked up Woodside for weeks as a late-round option for the New England Patriots (or other teams running the Erhardt-Perkins system) on the Locked On Patriots podcast. Woodside “lacks a power arm” but shows “very good footwork in the pocket” and is able to make “accurate throws in the short area of the field.”
Deon Yelder, TE, Western Kentucky (1)
Like much of this tight end class, Yelder doesn’t offer much as a blocker, but his “rare change of direction,” “explosive leaping ability,” and “excellent ability after the catch” give him unusual upside for a day three receiving TE option, according to lead scout Nicholas Maccarone.
Others Receiving Votes:
Breeland Speaks, Edge, Ole Miss; Josey Jewell, LB, Iowa; Luke Falk, QB, Washington State; Tegray Scales, LB, Indiana; Tyquan Lewis, Edge, Ohio State; Tony Adams, CB, Alabama; Justin Watson, WR, Penn; Parry Nickerson, CB, Tulane; Leon Jacobs, Edge, Wisconsin; Trayvon Henderson, S, Hawaii; Genard Avery, LB, Memphis; Natrell Jamerson, S, Wisconsin; Brandon Facyson, CB, Virginia Tech; Justin Jones, DT, NC State; Duke Ejiofor, Edge, Wake Forest; Kylie Fitts, Edge, Utah; Simmie Cobbs, WR, Indiana; Kalen Ballage, RB, Arizona State; Anthony Sherrils, S, Missouri
Full List (and Chatter):
Dan Hatman – Breeland Speaks
Mike Bey – Josey Jewell
Although some people say Josey might go rd 3. I really liked his instincts and playmaking ability
Allan Uy – Jack Cichy
Michael Kist – Ade Aruna
Jimmy Lunt – Luke Falk
Jeff Feyerer – Tegray Scales
Mark Schofield – Logan Woodside
Kyle Morgan – Tyquan Lewis
Joe Molta – Justin Jackson / Tony Adams / Darius Phillips
Kyle Morgan: Ooh! Darius Phillips. Good one
Dante Fargnoli – Justin Watson
Ryan Dukarm – Damon Webb
Logan Pullen: You Like Damon Webb, too? I think he is going to be a solid 6 – 8 year player in this league.
Kyle Morgan: With Webb, he came on last year after a few years in the system. I think it will take him a similar timeframe to get “up to speed.”
Ryan Dukarm: I’m a huge fan. Probably a year as a backup but I think he’s a year 2/3 starter
Deuce Windham – Parry Nickerson
Tom Mead – Leon Jacobs
Sean Nazar – Trayvon Henderson
Jalun Morris – Brandon Facyson
Kent Lee Platte – Genard Avery
Zach Gold – Natrell Jamerson
James McClintock – Jordan Mailata
Joseph Ferraiola – Richie James
Nicholas Maccarone – Deon Yelder
Logan Pullen – Justin Jones
Nick Falato – Duke Ejiofor
Javier Solis – Kylie Fitts
Derek Benson – Simmie Cobbs
Patrick Riordan – Kalen Ballage / Richie James
Sam Cohen – Isaac Yiadom (I actually think Yiadom could be a D2 pick, but he didn’t make our guide so for this exercise’s purpose I’ll consider him a D3 guy)
Matthew Brown – Anthony Sherrils
Joey Hatzipanagiotis – Darius Phillips