Injuries are just something that happens in the game of football but this year we’ve seen some high profile NFL Draft prospects go down with season ending injuries. Here is a look at three top level prospects whose 2018 Draft futures may be altered.
Height: 6’6 Weight: 288 Grade: JR School: Texas
Position Ranking: #1 OT Overall Ranking: 6
Heading into the season the new draft eligible Williams was the talk of the Draft Community because of his ideal height and quick lateral agility that allows him to mirror defenders. Continued progress and some added weight and being picked in the top 5 seemed very natural. Heck Williams was even getting some Joe Thomas comparisons. However that all took a hit in the USC game as Williams left with a knee injury. It later came out that Williams tore his meniscus and strained PCL and MCL that is requiring surgery. The good news is that there wasn’t any major ligament damage, but Williams is likely out for the remainder of the 2017 season. While it’s not unprecedented that Williams could still declare for the 2018 Draft, but most people assume he’ll return to Texas for his senior year. If that proves to be true that leaves Clemson’s Mitch Hyatt as the best draft eligible tackle and could open the door for Washington’s Trey Adams and Mississippi State’s Martinas Rankin.
Height: 6’0 Weight: 208 Grade: JR School: South Carolina
Position Ranking: #3 WR Overall Ranking: 35
A big reason for the Gamecocks strong start to the season was the playmaking receiver whose 250 yards and 3 touchdowns have lead the team and given a spark to the offense. Especially the fact that he was averaging over 16 yards per catch. Looking to solidify his place as one of the top receivers, Samuel was well on his way to doing so before leaving the Kentucky game in the third quarter after already putting up 122 yards and a score. While head coach Will Muschamp says it’s a broken leg (fibula), Samuel’s mom has been reported as saying it’s a broken ankle. Regardless Samuel is done for the year and all but likely to return for his senior year. Broken bones heel and they are not normally as bad as a ligament tear, but it will take time for Samuel and you have to hope there isn’t any complications stemming from it.
Height: 6’1 Weight: 233 Grade: SR School: Wisconsin
Position Ranking: #1 LB Overall Ranking: 19
Unlike both Williams and Samuel got injuries during the season, Wisconsin’s Cichy tore his ACL during fall camp and was ruled out for the season before it even started. This happened in addition to last year’s torn pectoral muscle mid way through last year. Cichy was a tackling machine last year averaging nearly 9 tackles a game in his first year as a starter. Blessed with elite instincts Cichy was always around the ball and very rarely ever missed a tackle opportunity. With both TJ Watt and Vince Biegel off to the NFL, even more was expected of Cichy. He was my top ranked LB heading into the season and prospect that in my opinion could have pushed the top 15. Instead he’ll likely come back for his 5th year and hopefully have an injury free year proving to teams that he can be counted on.