NFL Insiders predict: Rookie awards, midround fantasy stars, more


Our panel of ESPN NFL Insiders is making its predictions for the 2018 NFL draft class.
First up: Baker Mayfield was the first overall pick. But will he be regarded as the best in four years?
Our Insiders make their picks, plus dig into these topics:
Teams that will have the most impactful rookie classes
  • Who will win Offensive Rookie of the Year

  • Who will win Defensive Rookie of the Year

  • Fantasy studs drafted after Round 1


  • It's the summer of 2022. Which pick from the 2018 draft will we judge as the best?

    Matt Bowen, NFL writer: Minkah Fitzpatrick, S, Miami Dolphins. Fitzpatrick has the versatile traits to impact the game like Tyrann Mathieu. He's that "monsterback" in the secondary who can cover, blitz, tackle and make plays on the ball. Miami found a defensive leader here.
    Mike Clay, NFL writer: Sam Darnold, QB, New York Jets. When we look back at this draft, I think we'll focus a lot of attention on the Giants' controversial decision to select a running back over a potential heir to Eli Manning at No. 2 overall. That move, of course, allowed Darnold to fall to the other New York team and supply the Jets with a potential franchise quarterback.
    Dan Graziano, national NFL writer: Josh Rosen, QB, Arizona Cardinals. I thought he was the best of the quarterback prospects, and he was the fourth one taken. The chip on his shoulder is no secret, as his "nine mistakes" clip has been aired ad nauseam since the words came out of his mouth. I think Arizona got a steal.
    KC Joyner, NFL writer: Baker Mayfield, QB, Cleveland Browns. The talent is in place for Cleveland to make an immediate jump to at least five to six wins this season. Mayfield's swagger should jump-start a much-needed culture change that vaults the franchise from that five-to-six-win total to a winning record. If that happens, it will be difficult to argue that any other player brought his club further along than Mayfield.
    Mina Kimes, senior writer: Derwin James, S, Los Angeles Chargers. I still can't believe that James, an athletic freak who tackles like a mixed martial artist, fell to the Chargers at No. 17. He's a perfect fit for Gus Bradley's defense, which is increasingly looking like one of the top five units in the NFL.
    Mike Sando, senior NFL writer: Quenton Nelson, G, Indianapolis Colts. There shouldn't be a safer pick in the draft. We know he's going to start from day one and play every snap when healthy.

    Kevin Seifert, national NFL writer: Josh Rosen, QB, Arizona Cardinals. Barring injury, Rosen will put to use the skills that are inherent to all great quarterbacks: accuracy, instinct and quick processing of defensive intent. Questions about his attitude and outside interests clouded what should have been the primary assets for draft evaluators to consider.
    Field Yates, NFL Insider: Nyheim Hines, RB, Indianapolis Colts. At the moment, Hines could be penciled in as the starting running back in Indianapolis after Frank Gore signed with the Dolphins this offseason. There's a chance that Indy relies on a committee approach that also includes Mack and Wilkins, but I'll go with the electric and explosive Hines (who ran a 4.38-second 40 at the combine) as a rookie whom we'll see make an immediate impact.