Potential Day 1 Prospects
Derrick Brown, DT, Jr.
Brown is big and athletic. I feel comfortable calling him a lock to be drafted somewhere within the first 2 rounds unless something unforeseen happens and I really think his ceiling lies in the top half of round 1. If you watch Auburn to see Stidham play, please pay attention to #5 on defense. He is a better prospect.
Jarrett Stidham, QB, Jr.
I was really interested to see if Stidham would be a surprise declaration for the 2018 NFL Draft. Obviously, he wasn’t and that might have been a wise decision. Stidham has a good arm and the build of an NFL quarterback. He was dealing with a shoulder issue last year so it’ll be exciting to see if he can take another step to solidify his status as a Day 1 choice this season. Washington and Alabama bookend the regular season so I’ll be paying attention to his performances against those elite defenses along with Georgia.
Potential Day 2 Prospects
Kam Martin, RB, Jr.
Martin doesn’t have the bulk to be a three-down contributor at the next level, but he’ll have his chance to shine this year after the departures of Kerryon Johnson and Kam Pettway. I think he will definitely be in the 3rd round conversation as a complementary piece who will also help as a receiver.
Darius Slayton, WR, Jr.
Slayton has impressive size. He is at least 6’1 and plays somewhere around 190 lbs. He also averaged close to 20 YPC as a freshman and 22.2 YPC last season. His frame and playmaking ability are going to excite NFL decision makers on Day 2 of the draft.
Marlon Davidson, Edge, Jr.
Davidson was a gigantic recruit and he is in prime position to break out in 2018. He will need to show that he can be more of a pass rusher than what he displayed as an underclassman, but there’s no reason to believe he can’t accomplish that. I’m guessing he will land in the 2nd or 3rd round of the 2019 or 2020 draft.
Nick Coe, DL, So.
Coe redshirted as a freshman so he is technically eligible for the 2019 draft. However, I think there’s almost no chance he will declare this early. He has impressive size at 6’5 270 lbs and lines up as an edge rusher while also shifting inside at times. Coe has certain Day 2 potential, but he more appropriately belongs in my ‘future prospects’ group unless injuries force him into a bigger role than anticipated in 2018.
Javaris Davis, CB, Jr.
Davis has a future as a sub package corner at the next level. He is a tad small which will likely prevent him from playing on the outside. He’s been good so far at Auburn and I think he has a chance to be the best defensive back this season. Davis is going to be hyped up right before the combine. He is capable of an eye-popping workout and that would likely land him within the top 100.
Nate Craig-Myers, WR, Jr.
Craig-Myers was a very highly regarded recruit, but he needs to show a lot more on the field if he hopes to be drafted. He has the size and athleticism to really launch himself onto the national radar this season. To this point, he hasn’t done much. However, he still has plenty of time to become the red zone threat everyone thought he could be as he starts his Junior year. I’ve got him on the Day 2 watchlist with the caveat that he could fall all the way out of the draft if he underperforms.
Potential Day 3 Prospects
Dontavius Russell, DT, Sr.
Russell came on strong down the stretch last season. If he can carry that momentum forward, he will have a strong chance to get drafted in April. Others may be higher on him than me. I just don’t think it’s a coincidence that his quality of play increased when Derrick Brown started to emerge.
Deshaun Davis, ILB, Sr.
Davis looks like he will be the typical star college inside backer who falls to the final day of the draft because he’s a tad short and not super athletic. My early prediction is that we’ll be seeing him in the East-West Shrine Game in January.
Andrew Williams, DL, Sr.
Williams isn’t a starter and he still has a chance to get drafted. That shows you how good Auburn’s defensive line looks in 2018. He could draw interest late or as a priority free agent from 3-4 teams looking for a defensive end.
Ryan Davis, WR, Sr.
Davis is definitely talented, but if he gets drafted it will be very late. He’s just too small to play anywhere except in the slot and he only averaged 9.7 YPC last season. I think he is a likely priority free agent, but he is on the watch list to start the year.
Prince Tega Wanogho, OT, Jr.
My early prediction for Wanogho is that he plays two more seasons and ends up participating in either the NFLPA or Shrine Game. I don’t know if he is very good, but he has a left tackle body at 6’7 300 lbs and has certainly flashed athleticism. He has time to show more. For now, I see him as a possible late Day 3 selection or priority free agent that offensive line coaches will want to try to mold into a pro player.
JaTarvious “Boobee” Whitlow, RB, Fr.
The redshirt freshman was the talk of the offseason. I mentioned that Kam Martin is a complementary back so there is a decent chance Whitlow, who is much bigger, bursts onto the scene this year. It feels wrong to compare a freshman with no experience to Le’Veon Bell, but that’s kind of the type of player it sounds like the converted dual-threat high school QB could become if everything breaks his way. Whitlow is definitely a player I will be watching closely this season.
T.D. Moultry, Edge, So.
Markaviest “Big Kat” Bryant, Edge, So.
I’m lumping these two edge rushers together for now because neither has received significant playing time yet and the earliest they can declare is 2020. However, both of these guys are currently on my radar as potential late 1st-2nd round prospects. They should both get a huge bump in playing time this year due to the departure of Jeff Holland. Moultry may get pushed down a bit once his predraft process comes along because he may only be an outside backer in the 3-4 for NFL purposes. I’m not sure he has the height to play defensive end. Nevertheless, that’s a conversation for March of 2020 or 2021.
K.J. Britt, ILB, So.
Britt is primed to take over for Deshaun Davis after this year. He may prove to be a better pro prospect than his predecessor.
Anders Carlson, K, Fr.
Daniel Carlson was the top kicker in the 2018 draft and his brother looks like he may be even better. I’ve heard that he kicked a 62-yarder in practice and he will take over now that his brother has moved on to the NFL. There’s a chance Carlson is a rare Day 2 selection in 2020 or 2021 if he can carry the positive momentum into Saturday afternoons.
Chandler Wooten, LB, So.
Wooten may still be a year away from making an impact as the team’s starting weakside linebacker. He has Day 2 NFL potential if he lives up to the hype.
Joey Gatewood, QB, Fr.
All eyes will be on Stidham for at least the next year at the quarterback position. After he leaves, it may be difficult to take our eyes off of Gatewood. He is in the neighborhood of 6’5 240 lbs.