Arthur Arkush's 5 least favorite NFL draft classes

Strong finishes for Raiders and Washington don't undo some questionable early decisions

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It's not quite the three years that are needed to fairly assess a draft, but less than three hours from its completion, here are Arthur Arkush's five favorite 2018 classes (in alphabetical order):

Detroit Lions

1.20 Arkansas C Frank Ragnow 2.11 Auburn RB Kerryon Johnson 3.18 Louisiana-Lafayette S Tracy Walker 4.14 Alabama DT Da'Shawn Hand 5.16 Oregon OT Tyrell Crosby 7.16 San Diego St. RB Nick Bawden

Bob Quinn cares not for style but substance, and doubling up at OL and RB sends a clear message that this offense is eschewing finesse for a more power-based approach. Tyrell Crosby might turn out to be one of the draft's bigger steals, but they had to trade up Johnson, albeit an underrated back who'll carry the mail often with an edge, and Hand is a talented wildcard. Pass rush remains a big concern, and where does the lesser-known Walker fit in an already talented secondary? Quinn has invested a lot in the offensive line without the desired returns; even as a fast riser, Ragnow is a bit rich there for my liking.

Indianapolis Colts

1.06 Notre Dame OG Quenton Nelson

2.04 South Carolina St. LB Darius Leonard

2.05 Auburn OG Braden Smith

2.20 Rutgers EDGE Kemoko Turay

2.32 Ohio State EDGE Tyquan Lewis

4.34 North Carolina St. RB Nyheim Hines

5.22 Northern Iowa WR Daurice Fountain

5.32 Mississippi RB Jordan Wilkins

6.11 Clemson WR Deon Cain

7.3 Houston LB Matt Adams

7.17 Syracuse LB Zaire Franklin

I'm picking nits, but click on the links and see how many of their guys are rated as highly by Greg Gabriel as where they were drafted. I count four consecutive reaches after nailing the Nelson pick. Chris Ballard's plan — focus in the trenches — is sound; I just didn't love the execution, particularly trading up for Lewis and leaving Lorenzo Carter on the board. But Nelson is the best player in the draft, and Hines and Leonard bring peak playmaking potential to the table. Plus, I'm cool with the wideout picks, both filling the bill as big-bodied complements to T.Y. Hilton. I have highly doubt Andrew Luck doesn't love this.

Oakland Raiders

1.15 UCLA OT Kolton Miller

2.25 Sam Houston St. NT P.J. Hall

3.1 North Carolina St. OT Brandon Parker

3.23 LSU Arden Key

4.10 Wisconsin CB Nick Nelson

5.3 Michigan DT Maurice Hurst

5.36 Florida P Johnny Townsend

6.42 Washington ILB Azeem Victor

7.10 Oklahoma State WR Marcell Ateman

A decade removed from his last draft, Jon Gruden's first one back started poorly and ended with a bang — which makes sense. But I can't get behind Miller at 15, nor the compensation they settled for in moving back, and then reaching for Parker was foolish. But if value picks on Key, Nelson and Hurst hit, suddenly a broken and neglected 'D' has some real fixes. I get the Hall pick after the promising Vanderdoes' unfortunate Dec. ACL tear. I don't get how they'll be able to afford re-upping Martavis Bryant and Amari Cooper, likely making Bryant one-year rental on a team not ready to compete.

New Orleans Saints

1.14 UTSA edge Marcus Davenport

3.27 UCF WR Tre'Quan Smith

4.27 Florida State OT Rick Leonard

5.27 Wisconsin S Natrell Jamerson

6.15 Boston College CB Kamrin Moore

6.27 Louisiana Tech RB Boston Scott

7.27 LSU C Will Clapp

Spending a 2019 first for a guy who might not help much before then, with Drew Brees perhaps in his last season, is hard to reconcile... and I think Davenport has special written all over him. That they turn around and secure really nice value and a potential deep threat for Brees in Smith is a nice mea culpa, I guess. But I was left guessing on the rest of the draft until Round 7 since New Orleans was determined to find a class of deep sleepers. And although I can't fault them for sticking to BAP — it's how they landed Ryan Ramczyk — doubling up at tackle and running back atter last year's home run haul is tough, too.


1.13 Alabama DT Da'Ron Payne

2.27 LSU RB Derrius Guice

3.10 Louisville OT Geron Christian

4.9 Penn State S Troy Apke

5.26 Virginia Tech DT Tim Settle

6.23 Alabama LB Shaun Dion Hamilton

7.23 Virginia Tech CB Greg Stroman

7.38 SMU WR Trey Quinn

Conflicted here. LOVE the Guice addition in that spot, despite not knowing the circumstances of his unbelievable slide, and Settle is an outstanding value. But Payne isn't close to the prospect Jonathan Allen was when Allen was selected five spots later a year ago, and while Christian is a riser with real upside, Washington is currently set on the flanks with Trent Williams, Morgan Moses and Ty Nsehke. I really like Quinn as a reliable target for Alex Smith, another lavish offseason addition whom we can't overlook in this discussion. Like Oakland, Washington gained steam after a tough start, but I struggle to look past that painful first impression.

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