The 2018 NFL Draft saw seven former Tigers selected over the course of the three-day event. Here’s a brief overview of each LSU alum to be selected, and how their careers are projected to play out at the professional level.
CB Donte Jackson, Carolina Panthers (Round 2, No. 55)
The Panthers got a whole lot faster after after adding the quickest man in college football to their team. Donte Jackson had the fastest 40-yard dash at the combine, clocking in at a light 4.32 seconds. Jackson’s confidence, aggression and versatility in a defensive backfield make him a guy that could be successful on any team. Expect to see him pass up Kevon Seymour at cornerback with ease.
RB Derrius Guice, Washington Redskins (Round 2, No. 59)
Derrius Guice is easily one of college football’s best talents, and also one of the most notable slides of this year’s draft. The first-round talent will undoubtedly continue to “run angry” with this newfound chip on his shoulder. Guice will make an immediate impact on the Redskins’ offense, and is expected to be the best player the team has had at the position in over a decade.
WR DJ Chark, Jacksonville Jaguars (Round 2, No. 61)
The Jaguars gained an instant deep threat by taking DJ Chark in the second round. Chark will be one of the most prepared receivers in the league, as he’ll be going up against some of the NFL’s best defensive backs in the league every day at practice. Behind names like Donte Moncrief and Jaelen Strong, the rookie will likely be no plug-and-play starter in Jacksonville. But his speed and physicality will keep him the mix early on to assist former teammate Leonard Fournette in the run game as a Jaguar.
EDGE Arden Key, Oakland Raiders (Round 3, No. 87)
There may be no better match in a team for Arden Key than the Raiders. Off-the-field concerns aside, Key could very well have the highest ceiling in Oakland’s 2018 draft class. He’ll also have one of the best possible mentors in Khalil Mack, whom he’ll be playing opposite of. Granted the edge rusher lives up to the hype, the Raiders will have one of the strongest pass rushing squads between Key, Mack and Bruce Irvin.
WR Russell Gage, Atlanta Falcons (Round 6, No. 194)
The Falcons’ special teams unit was anything but flashy last year, which is probably why they traded up to select Russell Gage this year. The converted defensive back has only two seasons of experience at receiver, but has proven very solid on the return, as well as on punt and kick coverage. His ability to be an effective tackler should also ensure him a spot as a special teams ace.
QB Danny Etling, New England Patriots (Round 7, No. 219)
Where many saw an average college quarterback, Bill Belichick and the Patriots saw the next student of Tom Brady. Folks, Danny Etling is a good quarterback. A purely developmental prospect, Etling may not boast the most impressive numbers, but he’s got a good foundation with tremendous work ethic on top of it. Listed at 6’3, 222 pounds by NFL.com, Etling is a decent size with an NFL arm. He’ll need to improve his pocket presence and his decision-making in high pressure situations to cement himself a place on this highly competitive roster, though.
C Will Clapp, New Orleans Saints (Round 7, No. 245)
Interior lineman Will Clapp won’t be going too far from Baton Rouge to open his NFL career. The Saints have been on the lookout for an eventual successor to current center Max Unger, and it seems Sean Payton thinks Clapp could be a good fit for the project. According to Payton, the Saints are intrigued by his history at guard, but plan to have him learn at center for the meantime.
Not every former Tiger that entered the draft heard their name called last week. But eight of them still found an NFL home regardless. Those UDFA’s and their current teams are listed below.
Undrafted Free Agent Signings:
NT Greg Gilmore, Pittsburgh Steelers
DT Frank Herron, New England Patriots
DT Christian LaCouture, Baltimore Ravens
OT KJ Malone, Houston Texans
FB John David Moore, Kansas City Chiefs
RB Darrel Williams, Kansas City Chiefs
CB Kevin Toliver II, Chicago Bears
OT Toby Weathersby, Philadelphia Eagles
MBB Brian Bridgewater, Tampa Bay Buccaneers