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Way-Too-Early 2018 NFL Draft Projections

Where the “experts” project Rudolph and Washington to be drafted

NCAA Football: Oklahoma State at Texas Christian Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The 2017 NFL Draft has barely begun to fade from memory, yet already “experts” are making their predictions for next year’s draft.

The season hasn’t started so there’s no way to know the actual draft order (except Cleveland. They’ll go No. 1), and who knows what college players will live up to the hype.

All that said, I think most Oklahoma State fans expect to hear Mason Rudolph and James Washington’s names called early in the draft next year. Apparently so do a lot of other people. We gathered up all the early projections to see where everyone thinks the two Cowboy stars will land.

Mason Rudolph

Oklahoma State v Oklahoma Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images

No. 9 - Washington Redskins (Dan Kadar - SBNation)

Kirk Cousins might finally find his way out of Washington, and the team will need a replacement.

Rudolph would be a solid pick for Washington. It will of course all depend on what happens with Kirk Cousins.

No. 11 - Washington Redskins (Eric Galko - SportingNews)

Rudolph would have been a fringe first-rounder had he declared in 2017. The Oklahoma State passer has a strong arm and tremendous touch vertically. He may be Kirk Cousins’ replacement in Washington.

Again, a solid pick. I would rather he go elsewhere, but there are worse run franchises than Washington (cough.. cough.. Cleveland.. cough).

No. 16 - Washington Redskins (Will Brinson - CBS Sports)

A mobile enough quarterback with a big arm, Rudolph will get questioned for playing against Big 12 defenses, allowing him to throw to a lot of open receivers. But the Redskins might be in a bad spot when it comes to the quarterback position and might be willing to dabble here.

People REALLY love Rudolph to Washington. So do Oklahoma State fans (see what I did there?)

No. 11 Washington Redskins - (Luke Easterling - DraftWire)

If Washington’s picking this high, Kirk Cousins isn’t likely to be getting a long-term, bank-breaking extension. If that happens, they’ll need to find a young passer who can take them to the next level.

Seriously, did everyone just copy each other?

No. 49 - San Diego Los Angeles Carson Chargers (Dieter Kurtenbach - Fox Sports)

First, going to the San Diego Los Angeles Chargers to eventually replace Philip Rivers would be perfect for Rudolph. The problem I have here is that Kurtenbach has Rudolph going in the second round behind such prominent quarterbacks as Riley Ferguson (Memphis) and Jarrett Stidham (Auburn). I just don’t see it.

18. Arizona Cardinals (Joe Marino - Fanrag)

Carson Palmer is nearing the end of his career, so it’s time for the Cardinals to find his replacement. Rudolph is a big-armed passer who excels at working the football down the field. He is a great fit for coach Bruce Arians’ offense.

In my mind, this pick absolutely makes the most sense. He would likely only spend one season behind Carson Palmer (or less) before taking the reins of a talented and well coached team.

12. Arizona Cardinals (Jason McIntyre - TheBigLead)

One of the quiet upsets of the 2017 draft was the Cardinals not taking a QB. If this is Carson Palmer’s final year, what’s the future look like?

Again, I love this pick. Rudolph would do well in Bruce Arians’ offense.

No. 22 (Barton Simmons - 247Sports)

He'll be the trigger man on one of the nation's most potent and high-flying offenses and he's got the size and arm talent to attract NFL scouts. 247Sports Composite Rating: No. 270 in the class of 2014.

247Sports just ranked the top prospects of 2018 without assigning teams. At No. 22 Rudolph would still be in the first round, though I would expect him to go higher than 22nd because the teams that would be looking for quarterback will finish with worse records... unless it’s Arizona.

James Washington

NCAA Football: Alamo Bowl-Oklahoma State vs Colorado Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

No. 27 - Oakland Raiders (Eric Galko - Sporting News)

Mason Rudolph’s top target at Oklahoma State, Washington is a special vertical threat who finishes catches downfield no matter the coverage. He can accelerate similar to Will Fuller.

Man, Washington in Oakland would just make that team even more terrifying offensively. For Washington, this would be great. As a Chiefs fan... please no!

No. 34 - Cleveland Browns (Dieter Kurtenbach - Fox Sports)

Please Cleveland, leave our players alone.

No. 24 - Carolina Panthers (Will Brinson - CBS Sports)

The Kelvin Benjamin weight rumors are very concerning right now in Charlotte, and it could ultimately lead the Panthers to try and find some additional help at the wideout position.

I don’t love Cam Newton as a quarterback, mostly because I don’t think he cares that much. This would be a disappointing spot for Washington to land, in my opinion.

No. 24 - Kansas City Chiefs (Brad Weiss - Fansided)

Kansas City had only six picks in the draft, and while they did select wide receiver Jehu Chesson from Michigan in the fourth round, he is not a long-term answer as a WR1. With their first pick in 2018, the Chiefs should look to bring in a guy that Mahomes can throw to for the next ten seasons, and that player is James Washington out of Oklahoma State. Washington has gone for over 1,000 yards the last two seasons, including eclipsing the 1,300-yard barrier in 2016.

If Mahomes really is the future in Kansas City (which I don’t think he is) he will need someone of Washington’s talent on the field. After seeing what Washington did this season in person, I’m sure Mahomes would love to have him to throw to.

No. 18 (Barton Simmons - 247Sports)

One of the most underrated players in America, Washington averaged nearly 20 yards per reception last year. He can stretch the defense vertically and run after the catch. With Mason Rudolph dishing him the rock, Washington — the top receiver on my list — is going to produce, again. 247Sports Composite Rating: No. 885 in the class of 2014.

Again, 247Sports just ranked the top prospects for the year without making team projections. It is interesting to see Washington ranked higher than Rudolph, though if we’re ranking purely on athleticism and talent, and not where a player is being drafted, I can see it.

So let me hear from you Cowboy fans, where do you think Rudolph and Washington get drafted next year? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.