Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now



NFL Rookies to Watch in 2018 0

Posted on August 09, 2018 by Dean Hybl

2018-Browns-draftThere were 256 players chosen in the 2018 NFL Draft, but only a handful will have a major impact on the upcoming NFL season. The challenge, of course, it to anticipate which rookies will have an impact on the sportsbooks come the regular season.

Here is a look at a number of high-profile draft picks that should have a chance to make an immediate impact in 2018:

Baker Mayfield & Denzel Ward – Cleveland Browns: While most of the attention regarding the 2018 draft for the Cleveland Browns was centered around choosing Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield with the first pick, it is likely that fourth overall pick Denzel Ward will have a larger impact during their rookie season.

From just down the road at Ohio State, Ward had his best of three collegiate seasons in 2017. If he can develop into an elite shut-down cornerback, it would certainly benefit a Cleveland defense that allowed 410 points, including 28 touchdown passes, in 2017.

Mayfield looks likely to start the season on the bench as the backup to veteran Tyrod Taylor, but with a great receiving corps, if he gets a chance to play, Mayfield seems to have a pretty good set of weapons at his disposal.

Saquon Barkley – New York Giants: There was a time when drafting a running back with a top five picks was a regular occurrence. However, over the last couple decades the conventional wisdom by many has been that star running backs can be found much later in the draft and therefore using a high pick on a running back is not a value pick.

However, in the last two years, Ezekiel Elliott (fourth pick in 2016) and Leonard Fournette (fourth pick in 2017) were immediate impact stars and helped propel their teams to playoff seasons. The Giants are hoping the same will happen for them in 2018 as they used the second overall pick on Saquon Barkley.

Considered by many to be the best player in the draft, Barkley could prove to be a once-in-a-generation superstar, or he could be over-shadowed this year by someone picked on the second or third day. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Hall of Famer Tony Oliva
      July 17, 2022 | 2:15 pm
      Tony Oliva

      After waiting for 45 years after his retirement, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is finally taking his rightful place as a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      Before injuries cut short his Hall of Fame worthy career, Tony Oliva was one of the best hitters in baseball and combined with Hall of Famers Rod Carew and Harmen Killebrew to make the Minnesota Twins a perennial American League contender during the late 1960s.

      Discovered on the baseball fields of Cuba by a Minnesota Twin scout, Oliva came to the United States in 1961 and within three years the American League Rookie of the Year. There have been many great MLB players from Cuba, including a new generation of stars today, but it is hard to argue that there has been a better player from the island in MLB than Oliva.

      Read more »

    • RSSArchive for Vintage Athlete of the Month »
  • Follow Us Online

  • Current Poll

    Will the New York Yankees Win the 2022 World Series

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...
  • Post Categories



↑ Top