Top 50+ Draft Big Board: Nelson Edges Barkley for Top Spot

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INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 02: Notre Dame offensive lineman Quenton Nelson in action during the 2018 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 2, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 02: Notre Dame offensive lineman Quenton Nelson in action during the 2018 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 2, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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Every good mock draft needs a big board to work off of. This year, I decided to put in the work, watch the film, and create my own.

The following rankings are based on scouting reports, film, and athletic testing numbers, and have been cultivated over the course of several months. In fact, this is the fifth iteration of this big board. My mock draft, posted yesterday, primarily relies on the rankings in this big board.The rankings are also based on the projected median outcome. Essentially, a player’s upside, downside, and chances of reaching those extremes are considered. I tend to lean towards players who have high floors and a high likelihood of success (eg, Quenton Nelson), but that doesn’t mean I don’t consider high-risk, high-reward players (eg, Arden Key).

Moreover, positional scarcity or importance has no bearing on these rankings. While QBs and edge rushers will naturally go higher in the draft than centers and off-ball linebackers, that doesn’t mean they’ll be better than other NFL players at their position. That’s why a prospect like Sam Darnold is ranked 17th on this board, even though he will likely go in the top five tonight. Conversely, Roquan Smith won’t go in the top five, but he still finishes at 3rd on the big board because he has an extremely high floor with a similarly high ceiling.

N.B.: These rankings are a consensus ranking between me and WashU student Jacob Weinstein. This big board is the average of his big board and mine. To quote Matthew McConaughey in Gold: “50-50. All the way. No matter what.”

Big Board

1. Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame, OG
2. Saquon Barkley, Penn St., RB
3. Roquan Smith, Georgia, LB
4. Derwin James, Florida St., S
5. Bradley Chubb, NC State, Edge
6. Denzel Ward, Ohio St., CB
7. Josh Rosen, UCLA, QB
8. Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama, S
9. Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech, LB
10. Maurice Hurst, Michigan, DT
11. Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame, OT
12. Jaire Alexander, Louisville, CB
13. Josh Jackson, Iowa, CB
14. Frank Ragnow, Arkansas, C
15. Harold Landry, BC, Edge
16. Lamar Jackson, Louisville, QB
17. Sam Darnold, USC, QB
18. Isaiah Wynn, Georgia, OT
19. Vita Vea, Washington, DT
20. Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma, QB
21. Calvin Ridley, Alabama, WR
22. Derrius Guice, LSU, RB
23. Da’Ron Payne, Alabama, DT
24. Christian Kirk, Texas A&M, WR
25. Rashaan Evans, Alabama, LB
26. Courtland Sutton, SMU, WR
27. Justin Reid, Stanford, S
28. Mike Hughes, UCF, CB
29. Will Hernandez, UTEP, OG
30. Marcus Davenport, UTSA, Edge
31. James Daniels, Iowa, C
32. Isaiah Oliver, Colorado, CB
33. Sony Michel, Georgia, RB
34. Connor Williams, Texas, OT/OG
35. Billy Price, Ohio St., C
36. Taven Bryan, Florida, DT
37. Josh Allen, Wyoming, QB
38. Nick Chubb, Georgia, RB
39. Malik Jefferson, Texas, LB
40. Leighton Vander Esch, Boise St., LB
41. Josh Sweat, Florida St., Edge
42. EQ St. Brown, Notre Dame, WR
43. Kolton Miller, UCLA, OT
44. DJ Moore, Maryland, WR
45. Ronnie Harrison, Alabama, S
46. Carlton Davis, Auburn, CB
47. Michael Gallup, Colorado St., WR
48. Anthony Miller, Memphis, WR
49. Ronald Jones II, USC, RB
50. Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Oklahoma, Edge
51. Dallas Goedert, South Dakota St., TE
52. Mike Gesicki, Penn St., TE
53. Jessie Bates III, Wake Forest, S
54. Arden Key, LSU, Edge
55. Donte Jackson, LSU, CB

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