April 15 hasn’t been a very enjoyable day for me for nearly two decades now as that’s the day I must have a very large check to the United States Treasury Department postmarked by. Additionally, my birthday is on April 16 and quite honestly, my own annual mortality thoughts are usually in full gear on April 15. However, this year April 15 fell on a Monday and it just so happened to coincide with the annual release of Gil Brandt‘s Hot 150 list. If you’ve read the sire religiously over the years, you should know by now that I really look forward to the release of that list.
Brandt, who was deservingly voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame earlier this year, is now 86 years of age. Even so, he remains one of the most connected NFL draft analysts still walking this Earth. His career resume speaks for itself and thus when he ranks draft hopefuls annually, that list needs to be respected.
As mentioned, Brandt released his top 150 rankings ahead of the 2019 NFL Draft on Monday and in celebration of that, now is a great time to take my annual quick look back at his 2018 rankings, and specifically how he fared with his top 100. You can see his final top 100 players of 2018 below along with where the player was ultimately selected overall and by which team.
Now for how Brandt fared last year.
Of the 32 players that wound up being drafted in the first round last year, Brandt had all but 6 of them ranked in his top 32. So, how had Brandt done prior to last year with his first 32 ranked players? Below is my research that was included in last year’s recap:
Of the 32 players that wound up being drafted in 2017’s first round, Brandt had all but 6 of them ranked in his top 32. The year prior, Brandt had all but 6 of the 31 total players drafted in the first-round of the 2016 NFL Draft ranked in his top 31. The year prior to that, Brandt had all but 7 of the 32 total players drafted in the first-round of the 2015 NFL Draft ranked in his top 32.
In summation, Brandt usually has, on average, all but 6 of each year’s first-round draft picks included in his top 32 ranked players. When you think about it, that’s damn good and damn consistent.
This next piece of analysis will really amuse or anger fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Maybe even do both.
Brandt’s biggest first-round miss last year wound up being safety Terrell Edmunds, who the Steelers selected 28th overall. Brandt had Edmunds ranked 87th overall in his Hot 150. Additionally and now not one bit surprising at this point, Brandt’s biggest miss the year prior to that was outside linebacker T.J. Watt, who the Steelers selected 30th overall. Go back to 2016 and Brandt’s biggest first round miss wound up being cornerback Artie Burns, who the Steelers selected 25th overall that year. Brandt had Burns ranked 99th overall and it was his biggest miss in his top 100 ranked players that year. When you hear fans say that they believe the Steelers reached in the first round of the last three drafts, Brandt’s rankings would seem to validate that narrative to some degree.
In case you’re curious, Brandt had Steelers outside linebacker Bud Dupree ranked 20th overall just ahead of the 2015 NFL Draft. and ahead of the 2014 NFL Draft, he had Steelers inside linebacker Ryan Shazier ranked 19th overall.
Of Brandt’s top 100 players in 2018, only 20 of them wound up being selected outside the top 100 selections for a 80% success rate. Last year, Brandt had 23 of his top 100 ranked players being selected outside the actual top 100 for a 77% success rate. The year prior to that, 2017, only 21 players that Brandt had ranked in his top 100 wound up being selected outside the top 100 selections, good for a 79% success rate. How’s that for consistency and accuracy when it comes to a top 100 pre-draft ranking list?
When you look at Brandt’s top 150 players for the upcoming 2019 NFL Draft, you’ll notice that he has just two off-the-ball linebackers, Devin White and Devin Bush, ranked in his top 50. Of those two players, perhaps Bush, ranked 14th overall by Brandt, has the best shot at still being on the board come time for the Steelers to make their first-round selection. White, who Brandt has ranked 8th overall, is obviously expected to be long gone by the time the Steelers select at 20th overall, assuming they stay put.
For what it’s worth, Brandt has off-the-ball linebackers Vosean Joseph, Cody Barton, Mack Wilson, Germaine Pratt, and Jahlani Tavai ranked in that specific order in his second 50. I guess I should probably throw some Barton tape on tonight, right?
As for as cornerbacks go this year, Brandt has Deandre Baker (26th), Greedy Williams (27th) and Byron Murphy (30th) all grouped tightly together. Rock Ya-Sin is the next cornerback on Brandt’s list at No. 38. Julian Love and Justin Layne are next as far as cornerbacks go and they’re followed on Brandt’s list by Joejuan Williams, David Long, Sean Bunting, Jamel Dean, Trayvon Mullen and Lonnie Johnson in the top 100.
Last, but not least, let me point to everyone that Brandt has Clemson edge rusher Clelin Ferrell ranked 18th overall. Should White and Bush both be gone by the time the Steelers pick 20th overall in the first-round, Ferrell, assuming he’s still on the board at that time, could very well wind up being this year’s selection. I wrote about that very possibility earlier on Thursday.
In closing, I think everyone should now see once again why I really look forward to Brandt’s Hot 150 list every year at this time and especially his top 100 ranked players.
As part of you giving some feedback on Brandt’s 2019 rankings, let me know in the comments below which players he has in his top 100 to ultimately be selected outside of the first three rounds of this year’s draft. That should make for a fun exercise.
|GB RANK||PLAYER||ACTUAL Pick #||TM||MISS|
|1||Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State||2||NYG||-1|
|2||Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA||10||ARI||-8|
|3||Sam Darnold, QB, USC||3||NYJ||0|
|4||Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma||1||CLE||3|
|5||Bradley Chubb, DE, N.C. State||5||DEN||0|
|6||Tremaine Edmunds, ILB, Virginia Tech||16||BUF||-10|
|7||Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming||7||BUF||0|
|8||Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame||6||IND||2|
|9||Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State||4||CLE||5|
|10||Minkah Fitzpatrick, S, Alabama||11||MIA||-1|
|11||Vita Vea, DT, Washington||12||TAM||-1|
|12||Marcus Davenport, DE, Texas-San Antonio||14||NOR||-2|
|13||Roquan Smith, OLB, Georgia||8||CHI||5|
|14||Derwin James, S, Florida State||17||LAC||-3|
|15||Will Hernandez, OG, Texas-El Paso||34||NYG||-19|
|16||Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville||18||GNB||-2|
|17||Leighton Vander Esch, ILB, Boise State||19||DAL||-2|
|18||Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama||26||ATL||-8|
|19||D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland||24||CAR||-5|
|20||Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama||13||WAS||7|
|21||Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville||32||BAL||-11|
|22||Connor Williams, G, Texas||50||DAL||-28|
|23||James Daniels, C, Iowa||39||CHI||-16|
|24||Sony Michel, RB, Georgia||31||NWE||-7|
|25||Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame||9||SFO||16|
|26||Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa||45||GNB||-19|
|27||Taven Bryan, DT, Florida||29||JAX||-2|
|28||Rashaan Evans, OLB, Alabama||22||TEN||6|
|29||Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA||15||OAK||14|
|30||Derrius Guice, RB, LSU||59||WAS||-29|
|31||Mike Hughes, CB, Central Florida||30||MIN||1|
|32||Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State||49||PHI||-17|
|33||Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU||40||DEN||-7|
|34||Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia||35||CLE||-1|
|35||Isaiah Wynn, G, Georgia||23||NWE||12|
|36||Harold Landry, Edge, Boston College||41||TEN||-5|
|37||Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M||47||ARI||-10|
|38||Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina||25||BAL||13|
|39||Donte Jackson, CB, LSU||55||CAR||-16|
|40||Frank Ragnow, C, Arkansas||20||DET||20|
|41||Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State||42||MIA||-1|
|42||Tyrell Crosby, G, Oregon||153||DET||-111|
|43||Carlton Davis, CB, Auburn||63||TAM||-20|
|44||Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado||58||ATL||-14|
|45||Ronald Jones, RB, USC||38||TAM||7|
|46||D.J. Chark, WR, LSU||61||JAX||-15|
|47||Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma||83||BAL||-36|
|48||Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama||93||JAX||-45|
|49||Justin Reid, S, Stanford||68||HOU||-19|
|50||Nathan Shepherd, DT, Fort Hays State||72||NYJ||-22|
|51||Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan||140||OAK||-89|
|52||Jessie Bates, S, Wake Forest||54||CIN||-2|
|53||Kerryon Johnson, RB, Auburn||43||DET||10|
|54||Rashaad Penny, RB, San Diego State||27||SEA||27|
|55||Mark Andrews, TE, Oklahoma||86||BAL||-31|
|56||Harrison Phillips, DT, Stanford||96||BUF||-40|
|57||Anthony Miller, WR, Memphis||51||CHI||6|
|58||Brian O’Neill, OT, Pittsburgh||62||MIN||-4|
|59||Martinas Rankin, C, Mississippi State||80||HOU||-21|
|60||Dante Pettis, WR, Washington||44||SFO||16|
|61||Billy Price, C, Ohio State||21||CIN||40|
|62||Austin Corbett, G, Nevada||33||CLE||29|
|63||Sam Hubbard, DE, Ohio State||77||CIN||-14|
|64||Braden Smith, G, Auburn||37||IND||27|
|65||Fred Warner, OLB, BYU||70||SFO||-5|
|66||Lorenzo Carter, Edge, Georgia||66||NYG||0|
|67||Rasheem Green, DE, USC||79||SEA||-12|
|68||Malik Jefferson, OLB, Texas||78||CIN||-10|
|69||Josh Sweat, Edge, Florida State||130||PHI||-61|
|70||Kemoko Turay, Edge, Rutgers||52||IND||18|
|71||Anthony Averett, CB, Alabama||118||BAL||-47|
|72||Joseph Noteboom, OT, TCU||89||LAR||-17|
|73||Rashaan Gaulden, S, Tennessee||85||CAR||-12|
|74||Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State||76||PIT||-2|
|75||James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State||60||PIT||15|
|76||Cole Madison, G, Washington State||138||GNB||-62|
|77||Josey Jewell, ILB, Iowa||106||DEN||-29|
|78||Arden Key, Edge, LSU||87||OAK||-9|
|79||Ian Thomas, TE, Indiana||101||CAR||-22|
|80||Equanimeous St. Brown, WR, Notre Dame||207||GNB||-127|
|81||Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Edge, Oklahoma||160||LAR||-79|
|82||Michael Dickson, P, Texas||149||SEA||-67|
|83||Daniel Carlson, K, Auburn||167||MIN||-84|
|84||Chuks Okorafor, OT, Western Michigan||92||PIT||-8|
|85||Michael Gallup, WR, Colorado State||81||DAL||4|
|86||Marcus Allen, S, Penn State||148||PIT||-62|
|87||Terrell Edmunds, S, Virginia Tech||28||PIT||59|
|88||Mike White, QB, Western Kentucky||171||DAL||-83|
|89||Kyle Lauletta, QB, Richmond||108||NYG||-19|
|90||Deadrin Senat, DT, South Florida||90||ATL||0|
|91||Da’shawn Hand, DE, Alabama||114||DET||-23|
|92||Shaquem Griffin, OLB, Central Florida||141||SEA||-49|
|93||Tremon Smith, CB, Central Arkansas||196||KAN||-103|
|94||B.J. Hill, DT, N.C. State||69||NYG||25|
|95||Nyheim Hines, RB, N.C. State||104||IND||-9|
|96||Deon Cain, WR, Clemson||185||IND||-89|
|97||Royce Freeman, RB, Oregon||71||DEN||26|
|98||Tarvarius Moore, S, Southern Mississippi||95||SFO||3|
|99||Dane Cruikshank, S, Arizona||152||TEN||-53|
|100||Darius Leonard, OLB, South Carolina State||36||IND||64|