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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

2018 NFL draft preview: Top 10 prospects entering this year’s draft

The NFL draft is a time where many young men’s dreams come true. They are finally given an opportunity to play in the highest level of football in the world after years of dedication and hard work.

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The stage where the NFL commissioner announces each team's pick. Photo Courtesy: Chris Trotman, Getty Images

Top 10 prospects for the draft:

It seems undisputed by sports analysts that the number one pick in the draft will be Saquon Barkley, a running back from Penn State. Barkley is extremely fast and elusive, something that every running back needs to be. The New York Giants have let their interest in him be known.

Next up is Sam Darnold, a quarterback from USC. He has the build and throwing ability to be in the NFL but seriously struggles with a fast release. On the positive side, the pros outweigh the cons and Darnold seems to be the most complete quarterback in the draft. The New York Giants are interested in making him a replacement for Eli Manning.

Coming in third is Denzel Ward, a cornerback from Ohio State. Although he is smaller in frame than many others in his position, Ward makes up with talent and experience. He can maintain tight coverage, but has trouble disengaging from larger blocking receivers. The Green Bay Packers definitely have their eye on Ward.

Calvin Ridley, a wide receiver from Alabama, has quite a lot of potential. He is insanely and consistently fast while having the ability to separate from a cornerback like no other. Ridley seems to have trouble standing his ground and is easily pushed off route when impeded by contact. Ridley has the potential to become one of the more dangerous receivers in the league. The Carolina Panthers, Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers are all considering him for their teams.

Jaylen Samuels is a fullback from North Carolina State. Samuels is somewhat of an outlier. He is too small to be a tight end but shows that he is true all-purpose player, which could be a problem in determining what position he will play due to him not excelling in any specific position. With some training, Samuels has the potential to be a team’s secret weapon. The Cincinnati Bengals have had their eye on Samuels.

A tight end coming from South Dakota State, Dallas Goedert has the size, speed and talent to succeed in the NFL. He hasn’t really been able to show what he can do blocking against larger pro players, but shows a lot of potential. He could work more on route running and agility but shows overall a strong rookie player. The New York Jets are looking to take Goedert under their wing this upcoming season.

Mike McGlinchey, an offensive tackle from Notre Dame, was destined to play football. The first cousin to NFL quarterback Matt Ryan, McGlinchey has grown up in the world of football. McGlinchey needs to add more strength and mass in order to compete with NFL power but shows a strong and quick mentality. He has the potential to do big things in the NFL, which the Cincinnati Bengals are sincerely hoping for.

A center coming from Ohio State, Billy Price has shown tremendous explosiveness and strength. He knows just how to gain control of and block anyone in his way but suffers from impatience as a blocker. The Washington Redskins are looking to make him a part of their team this season.

Bradley Chubb is a defensive end from North Carolina State. Chubb certainly has the body build of a defensive end, but struggles with keeping an eye on the ball when blocking. His playing style is something that can be easily translated going pro. This is a positive thing for the Cleveland Browns who are looking to up their defense.

Minkah Fitzpatrick is the epitome of what the NFL wants in a safety. Coming from Alabama, Fitzpatrick is versatile and can play all over the field. He is able to get to his top chase speed very quickly and is a dangerous blitzer. He loves and lives the game of football. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are seriously considering Fitzpatrick.

The NFL 2018 draft is set to start at 8 p.m. ET on April 26.

Courtney Chapman can be reached at [email protected] or @courtneychaps on Twitter.

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