It’s said that one can’t accurately judge an NFL Draft class until three years after the fact.
The 2018 NFL Draft was recent enough that fans can still recall hype around those players, and it’s far enough in the past that those players drafted have had a substantial opportunity to prove themselves.
When thinking about a re-draft, the first thing you do is look at the best overall players. From there, you think about a team’s needs then and their needs now. Lastly, remember—just like the original draft—re-drafts aren’t an exact science. They’re meant to have some context and be thought provoking, but also fun.
To refresh your memory, here is a link to BSL’s 2018 Draft discussion. Additionally, you can find some BSL articles here, here, here, and here, leading up to or after the ’18 Draft. Lastly, here’s a link to every pick that was made that year.
It’s clear that the best player in that draft class was none other than Lamar Jackson. There were many other studs taken, so placing them in the best spots wasn’t an easy task. Here we go.
(You can discuss this on the BSL Board here.)
2018 Round 1 re-draft
- Cleveland: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
- N.Y. Giants: Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
- N.Y. Jets: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
- Cleveland: Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama
- Denver: Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame
- Indianapolis: Darius Leonard, LB, South Carolina State
- Buffalo (via Tampa Bay): Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
- Chicago: Derwin James, S, Florida State
- San Francisco: Isaiah Wynn, OL, Georgia
- Arizona (via Las Vegas): Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia
- Miami: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
- Tampa Bay (via Buffalo): Vita Vea, DT, Washington
- Washington: Sam Darnold, QB, Southern California
- New Orleans: Fred Warner, LB, BYU
- Las Vegas: Alex Cappa, OT, Humboldt State
- Buffalo (via Baltimore): Mark Andrews, TE, Oklahoma
- L.A. Chargers: Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville
- Green Bay: Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
- Dallas: Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama
- Detroit: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
- Cincinnati: Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
- Tennessee (via Baltimore and Buffalo): Bradley Chubb, EDGE, N.C. State
- New England: Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State
- Carolina: D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland
- Baltimore (via Tennessee): DeShon Elliott, S, Texas
- Atlanta: Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State
- Seattle (via Green Bay and New Orleans): Sony Michel, RB, Georgia
- Pittsburgh: Orlando Brown, Jr., OT, Oklahoma
- Jacksonville: Tre’Quan Smith, WR, Central Florida
- Minnesota: Terrell Edmunds, S, Virginia Tech
- New England: Connor Williams, OL, Texas
- Baltimore (via Philadelphia): Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
Even in re-drafts, the best players aren’t always selected sequentially. Remember too that 1st round picks have a 5th year option available to teams, per the CBA. Therefore, teams may “reach” for cornerstone positions like quarterback, offensive tackle, and edge rusher on the chance that player pans out and they have his right for five years instead of the usual four.
The standout picks to me were Jackson to the Browns, James to the Bears and Brown, Jr. to the Steelers.
Think for a minute what the safety tandem of Eddie Jackson and Derwin James would be like to watch. Even Aaron Rodgers would have his hands full.
What about Jackson as the Browns quarterback, after decades of them searching for their franchise leader? They had the chance to pick him (twice) but didn’t. Thank goodness!
Orlando Brown, Jr. and his nasty disposition holding down the Steelers offensive line—the archrival of his hometown team? Wow. That would be interesting to say the least.
Something else that’s interesting to do is do a mock draft for your favorite team using only the players drafted in that year.
Here’s my take on players drafted in 2018 that would fit in well with the Ravens in 2021.
Round 1, Pick 25: DeShon Elliott, S, Texas (original pick: 190th by the Ravens)
Elliott’s athleticism and competitive fire is the perfect catalyst for the Ravens defensive backfield. He’s a burgeoning leader and has fought through some tough injuries to perform well, while still having room to improve. A very good investment for Eric DeCosta and Co.
Round 1, Pick 32: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame (original pick: 9th by the 49ers)
Going back to the Notre Dame well for offensive lineman looks to be a wise move for the Ravens, pairing one Fighting Irish tackle with another. Adding McGlinchey to man the right side while All-Pro Ronnie Stanley holds down the left side is a point of hope for Ravens fans (and their quarterback) when looking to the future.
Round 3, Pick 83: Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State (original pick: 42nd by the Dolphins)
The Ravens love versatile tight ends, and Gesicki is just that. He’s a tough, dynamic playmaker, and would fit right into this Ravens offense.
Round 3, Pick 86: Anthony Averett, CB, Alabama (original pick: 118th by the Ravens)
A current Raven, Averett has proven his worth this season, as he’s been tested by the best receivers on the opposing team. Averett represents even more value to Baltimore given how many injuries this secondary has had to navigate.
Round 4, Pick 118: Nyheim Hines, RB, N.C. State (original pick: 104th by the Colts)
Hines is a good back that is stuck behind a great back in Jonathan Taylor. At this point in the draft, Hines would be an excellent pick for the Ravens. Like Gus Edwards, he would continue to keep the offense moving forward if called upon, whether for a drive or a few games.
Round 4, Pick 122: Tre Flowers, CB, Oklahoma State (original pick: 146th by the Seahawks)
Flowers brings size and ball skills to the Ravens secondary, which they’ve clearly sought to revamp in this draft. As the 3rd defensive back taken this year, Flowers brings the potential to replace Jimmy Smith and duplicate the production they hope to get out of current cornerback Chris Westry.
Round 4, Pick 132 (via Philadelphia): Mason Cole, C, Michigan (original pick: 97th by the Cardinals)
Cole bolster’s Baltimore’s offensive line and allows DeCosta to use his draft capital elsewhere for the duration of the draft.
Round 5, Pick 162 (via Tennessee): Dalton Schultz, TE, Stanford (original pick: 137th by the Cowboys)
In 2018, the Ravens selected Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews, so selecting two tight ends in this scenario (Gesicki and Schultz) is surely a possibility. Schultz has averaged 11 yards per reception and has scored seven receiving touchdowns since the beginning of 2020.
Round 6, Pick 190: Boston Scott, RB, Louisiana Tech (original pick: 201st by the Saints)
Though this isn’t a need, the Ravens have 11 draft picks in 2018, so they’re bound to double up at one or two positions. In his brief career, Scott has averaged one rushing touchdown every 21 carries. Getting that return at pick No. 190 may be too hard to pass up.
Round 6, Pick 212: Sebastian Joseph, DT, Rutgers (original pick: 195th by the Rams)
Joseph is a reserve defensive lineman that will compete for a starting role. This season, he’s made 3.0 sacks in seven games, and in those games has played just under 70 percent of the Rams’ defensive snaps. He could be that prototypical player who can’t quite crack Baltimore’s starting lineup but is able to garner a starting position elsewhere.
Perhaps DeCosta knows that players he can’t start are capable of starting for another team and drafts them anyway foreseeing favorable trade compensation somewhere down the line.
Round 7, Pick 238: Zach Sieler, DE, Ferris State (original pick: 238th by the Ravens)
Seiler was Baltimore’s actual selection at Pick 238, and he goes to the purple and black here as well. All defensive line prospects should have their eye on the Ravens as Baltimore continually produces outstanding defensive linemen, regardless of where they were selected.
In eight starts for the Dolphins since 2020, Sieler has made 75 tackles and has registered 11 quarterback hits and 3.5 sacks. He ensures little drop off when the Ravens go to their 2nd unit.
Born in Baltimore, Mike had long been drawn to sports of all kinds. Growing up watching Cal Ripken play ever day gave him a great example for which to attack every endeavor he undertakes.
When the Ravens came to town, though, that’s when Mike found his passion. Since that time, he’s tried to gain every bit of knowledge he could. Now as a high school coach, Mike is able to take his film study and appreciation of the game to a new level.
To engage with Mike on social media, follow him on Twitter @MikeFastNFL.