When Tennessee Vols defensive back Rashaan Gaulden announced he was skipping his senior season to enter the 2018 NFL Draft, it came as a surprise to many.
The initial feeling was that Gaulden could’ve improved his draft stock by playing in Jeremy Pruitt’s defense in 2018.
But with just over two months to go until the draft, it looks like Gaulden made the right decision.
According to NFL Draft analyst Dane Brugler, the “hype train” for Gaulden is about to take off. Brugler said he has Gaulden among his top 50 players in this year’s draft.
I’m surprised the hype train for #Tennessee DB Rashaan Gaulden hasn’t taken off yet…but it’s coming. Top-50 prospect on my board.
— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) February 12, 2018
Gaulden is an extremely versatile player that was used primarily as a nickel back in the Vols’ base 4-2-5 defense last season. He was the best blitzer on the team and he was generally right in the middle of every big defensive play.
I think Gaulden projects well in the NFL as a “moneybacker”, a hybrid safety that plays close to the line of scrimmage at times.
The Seattle Seahawks would be a great landing spot for Gaulden, as the heir to Kam Chancellor.
Chancellor, who will be 30 when the 2018 season gets underway, is under contract with Seattle for three more years. But it’s unclear how a neck injury that he sustained last season will affect him moving forward.
Regardless of where Gaulden ends up being drafted, one thing is certain — a NFL team is going to get a really good player that has yet to reach his full potential.
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