2018 NFL Draft: Sleepers and Busts

2018 NFL Draft: Sleepers and Busts

Ultimate NYG

2018 NFL Draft: Sleepers and Busts

Wonder’s track record on Busts is what sets our NFL Draft analyst apart. Buyer beware! Highly rated (and likely highly drafted) picks noted here which we project as busts include WR Calvin Ridley, T Mike McGlinchey, LB Vander Esch, QB Lamar Jackson, S Justin Reid, and T Orlando Brown. The definition of a bust is a player who is drafted in Round 1 or Round 2 and fails to get past a serviceable starter for any significant period of time. Teams invest major draft resources and considerable time on these players, so the GM who picked them does not want to give up easily on that investment. Round 2 picks typically get 3 years to prove it. Round 1 picks typically get 4 years to prove it. Simply stated, we believe the BUSTS below will not deliver off of that large investment. If any of these players fall to the 3rd round (or later), it means that the GMs agree with the risks, making the “bust” classification go away.

For the Sleepers, Wonder is looking for a smart lottery ticket… a player who needs time on your roster to develop but who becomes compelling in later rounds for value.


  1. BUST: Lamar Jackson. In order for him to be good, you have to run an anti-NFL playbook. That is worse than what you did for RGIII. He does not have a big enough body. He is going to get hurt and it will be a problem long term. I also do not like the way the ball comes out of his hand.
  2. SLEEPER: Mike White. Does not have mobility, slow to the NFL game. But he has the body and he has the arm. Take him late in the draft R5-R7. Maybe he can work on his game long enough to develop him in 3 years. Finding an NFL arm is not easy. So you can take a late pick chance on a guy who throws the ball well.

Running Back

  1.  SLEEPER: Royce Freeman. R3-R4. Efficient. Not overpowering for a guy 230 lbs. ALways gets the job done. Hard to articulate. He does everything well, average plus, which as a package means he is better than the sum of his parts if you get him in R4-R5.

Wide Receiver

  1. BUST: Calvin Ridley. I have him rated 49th overall but it would not shock me if he totally bombed out too. He is certainly not a R1 pick. He will be overdrafted. He belongs at the end of R2, and there is still a possibility he does nothing.
  2. SLEEPER: Courtland Sutton. He is rated in the Top 70-90 players so not exactly a sleeper. Can go up and get the ball. He has a high ceiling. He can be one of the best WRs out of the 2018 Draft.
  3. SLEEPER: D.J. Moore. Interesting. I think if he gets a chance in the NFL with the right team, he can become a solid starter. Fast, experienced, locates and gets the ball. Round 3 would be a steal. Gone in Round 2? A little too rich. Round 1? Way too much to pay because too much risk too.

Offensive Tackle

  1. BUST: Mike McGlinchey. We have him rated 50th overall. But there is still bust potential here as well. McGlinchey could be out of the NFL in 4 years. No way in hell is he worth in a R1 pick. He may get pushed around. He can be beaten by speed guys. Not R1 talent. His hands and feet are okay. Just a guy.
  2. BUST: Orlando Brown (pictured). My biggest bust of the entire 2018 Draft. Comparison to other busts like Andre Smith and Cyrus Kouandjio. Any team that drafts him must put it in their contract that Brown must pay for his own food. Fat and slow. He occupied space in college and got away with it. In the NFL they will run right by him.


  1. SLEEPER: Alex Cappa. From the huge football institution of Humboldt State. He is listed at Tackle but will have to be moved to Guard for this Sleeper pick. But he will fight for your team, he will take on the world, and he will win inside that phone booth. If I can get him in something like R5-R6 and I have Scarnechia as my OL coach, he will be the New England G in 2020 for the following 10 years. So he needs 2-3 years to develop but it will be worth it. Tough and nasty. Non-crazy Incognito.


  1. BUST. Frank Ragnow. He is being pushed to be something he is not. The Draft stinks this year for 2018 Offensive Line. Daniels is the only Center who has certainty in being viable. Many have Ragnow as their top rated Center on the Board. MISTAKE! He has been banged up already in college. So he is just going to get banged up in the NFL. He is a R4 or R5 pick. He does not flash. Good guy, and his teammates like him. Captain at Arkansas. I did not see his play as worthy and then he had nothing special measurably at the Combine. In today’s NFL, they are pulling the Center on a lot of plays. I do not see Ragnow pulling. Too many reasons for me to not like him. Will be overdrafted significantly.
  2. BUST. Billy Price. Does not dominate players of equal or credible ability. Pads his look by dominating inferior competition, and that does not last for long in the NFL when everyone is good. Short arms. Doesn’t pull well. Just another OLman they are trying to elevate in a year that lacks top (R1-R2) talent at the position.

Defensive End

  1. BUST. Tyquan Lewis. Doesn’t have the speed or the combination of speed and power to be a very good DE in the NFL. He can be competent and okay. In the NFL I’d rather know I have a player or not so that if he does not work out, he is gone and I can open up a spot on my roster for someone else. I am afraid Lewis may stick around as a mediocre player just taking up space on my roster.
  2. BUST: Josh Sweat. 250 lbs, used to have speed. But tore up his knee, so I don’t like guys who relied on speed who now have a knee issue. I just project him as someone who will be swallowed up in the NFL. He won’t be big enough, and if he can’t beat you with a speed move, that’s it.

Defensive Tackle

  1. SLEEPER: Tim Settle. I really liked his Combine. Needs to get his weight under control. Raw, but I see a lot of potential. Young guy, redshirted sophmore. I want to see good feet with the big guys… his footwork and handwork were good. Take him in the later rounds. See if he can become a starter by Year 3.


  1. BUST: Vander Esch. I think he gets swallowed up too easily. The expression that scouts use is “getting caught up in the wash.” I see him getting swept around. I want my MLB to shoot the gap and blow up a play. I am afraid he can’t use his power to control the blocker and get the other hand on the RB. I don’t see him being able to do that. His stats may look good for a lot of tackles but they will all be after the RB has gained 4-5 yards. Considering he is projected in Round 1 or Round 2, that means he will be overdrafted for that kind of investment and he could also bust. I want my LBer to make plays at the line of scrimmage. R1 or R2 needs to deliver impact. I do not see it from him.


  1. SLEEPER: Kevin Toliver. Hard to evaluate LSU defensive backs. Is it my guy that is good or that the front 7 is doing the damage. Lean, but I like his arms, big hands. Certainly can become a Cover 2 corner. If you give him a couple of years and he fills out, he can learn coverages. So look at him in R6.


  1. BUST: Justin Reid. Will be overdrafted. Can fill out a roster, start here or there, but this is not a guy who you want to draft in R1 or R2. Was on a good Defensive team but he is not a VG free safety. Has speed. I do not like the way he tackles. Better at roaming than covering. In today’s NFL, the FS is asked to lock in and cover a player. Does not have strong enough coverage skills. In college he could get away with hiding and coming out to pick off an unwitting QB, but in the Pros that is not enough.


Try ESPN+ for Free!

ESPN+ Free Trial!

More Sports

More Ultimate NYG