The 2018 NFL Draft Prospect series breaks down draft-eligible players, highlighting their college production as well as their NFL potential. Daily fantasy players should know about NFL rookies before they’ve played a down of professional football because they are among the most misvalued assets in all of DFS. People who know NFL rookies have a significant DFS edge. The draft will be held at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX, from April 26-28.
This piece is on Richmond quarterback Kyle Lauletta.
For more on all the other passers in the class, see our 2018 NFL draft quarterback rankings.
Updated as of Mar. 5.
Redshirt Senior | 6’3″ and 222 Pounds | Projection: Rounds 4-6
Combine numbers: 40-yard: 4.81 sec | bench reps: DNP | 3-cone: 6.95 sec | 20-yard shuttle: 4.07 sec | vertical: 31 in | broad: 113 in
A small-school prospect who looked good during Senior Bowl practices and then was named Most Valuable Player of the game thanks to his 198 yards and three touchdowns on 8-of-12 passing, Lauletta is someone to watch throughout the buildup to the draft. A multi-year starter, Lauletta was the only quarterback outside of the Football Bowl Subdivision at the 2018 combine. With ample opportunities to showcase his talents in front of scouts and decision makers, Lauletta is in a prime position to see his draft stock climb over the coming months.
Although he received little attention from the major conferences as a high school recruit — Virginia Tech was the only Power Five school to express interest in him, and the Hokies didn’t make a scholarship offer — Lauletta has transformed himself into an all-around pro-style passer with few weaknesses to his game. After one year as a backup and a second year as a redshirt, Lauletta started for the Spiders for three seasons, completing 63.4 percent of his career passes for 10,244 yards, 72 touchdowns, and a respectable 8.7 adjusted yards per attempt. He’s not much of a runner, but he has decent maneuverability inside the pocket with 0.9 yards per carry (including sacks), and he’s generally regarded as an intelligent player.
Although he falls shorts of any comparisons to Jimmy Garoppolo as a small-school prospect — Jimmy GPP entered the NFL as an astoundingly productive four-year starter and the FCS Quarterback of the Year — Lauletta does have some Garoppolo-esque leadership qualities that teams will like: He’s reportedly a good student, and he also co-founded a program that donates sports equipment to the Boys and Girls Club of Philadelphia, where he played high school football. On top of that, he comes from an athletic and military family: His grandfather was a two-sport star at Delaware in the 1950s, and his father and uncle both played football at the Naval Academy in the 1980s. As long as his medical records check out — he tore his ACL in the 2016 season finale — he’s likely to stick in the NFL for at least a few years as a high-character good-teammate type of guy.
Photo Credit: Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports