On the eve of the NFL Draft, players and fans are anxious to wait and see who will join their team. As the Demon Deacon football program continues to show improvement under Dave Clawson’s tenure, players are getting drafted more often and higher as the talent continues to improve in Winston-Salem.
Although Marquel Lee broke the Demon Deacons NFL Draft drought last year, 2018 could be an impactful year for Clawson as he continues to recruit for the future, showing that Wake Forest can produce high level NFL talent.
Day 1 and 2 Potential Picks
With the relatively new NFL Draft format, the first round begins on Thursday with rounds two and three on Friday. The draft concludes on Saturday for rounds 4-7.
Of the draft eligible players for the Deacs, Jessie Bates III has some potential to be a late first round selection. A rangy, “centerfield” type safety, Bates has potential to be a selection for teams like the Carolina Panthers and Pittsburgh Steelers, who are both looking for a single high safety savant.
Rodrigue: Jessie Bates is the only true "centerfielder" safety in this draft. He could make an immediate impact if Carolina would take him.— David Glenn Show (@DavidGlennShow) April 23, 2018
Don’t be surprised to see these 5 crack round 1! https://t.co/eXGLJJj27t— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) April 22, 2018
As one of the fastest risers in the draft, Bates could sneak in the first round but is a certain lock to be selected by the end of Day 2.
Another player to look out for is Duke Ejiofor. A projected 3-4 outside linebacker or 4-3 defensive end, Ejiofor recovered from shoulder surgery and is likely also going to hear his name by the end of Day 2. Teams like the Patriots and Rams are looking to bolster their linebacker corp and Ejiofor can be a great fit.
Prototypical #Patriots: Sam Hubbard, Duke Ejiofor look like Bill Belichick's type on the edge, via @PhilAPerry https://t.co/jpe5ozu906— NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSBoston) April 23, 2018
(If you want to read a great scouting report from the SB Nation Los Angeles Rams site, please click here)
Day 3 Potential Picks and/or Priority Free Agents
Players such as Cam Serigne, John Wolford, and Jaboree Williams will have a chance to make it to a camp via draft selection in the later rounds or possibly as priority free agents. Of the three players, Serigne will have the best chance to get drafted as he has four years of quality tape and the pro game suits him well as offensive coordinators continue to use bigger skill position players in the pass game.
Wolford is a four-year warrior and while he has limited physical tools compared to the likes of Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Josh Allen, etc., some teams may give him a shot to impress in camp and he could perhaps find a spot in the CFL or make a practice squad.
Jaboree Williams is the interesting wildcard. A natural leader for Coach Clawson, Williams showed the necessary athleticism to potentially get a look as a priority free agent.