Sam Darnold

2018 NFL draft class: Which players are heading for a big contract?

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The stars from the 2017 NFL draft class have started to get their pay days, now the 2018 draft class can start to look towards their big contract extensions.

With players like defensive end Myles Garrett and running back Christian McCaffrey getting record setting extensions this will reset the market for the upcoming draft classes.

There are a lot of players from the 2018 draft class who will be looking to get a hefty deal.

Here are a few players from that class that will be looking for an extension.

Baker Mayfield

The Cleveland Browns quarterback is an interesting one. The first pick in the 2018 NFL draft has not had it easy.


Through his first two seasons Mayfield has shown that he has the talent when it comes to throwing the football. However, his decision making has been a problem along with his discipline.

In his first season, Mayfield played 13 games and managed 3,725 yards, 27 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. A good rookie season to most people.

His second season then saw a decline. Even though Mayfield threw for more yards (3,827) he threw fewer touchdowns (22) and more interceptions (21) while playing the full 16 games.

With Mayfield it looks like he will have to wait a bit longer to get that extension due to his slow start.


Saquon Barkley

The opposite can be said for Saquon Barkley. Being selected with the second pick in the 2018 draft by the New York Giants brought a lot of pressure.

Over the course of his first two seasons Barkley has rushed for 2,310 yards and 17 touchdowns. He has also been useful in the receiving game as well, racking up 143 receptions for 1,159 yards while catching six touchdowns.

While rushing and receiving over 1,000 yards in his rookie year Barkley won rookie of the year and was selected to the pro bowl in 2018.

The New York Giants should enter negotiations as soon as they can to keep Barkley in New York.

Sam Darnold

The New York Jets have not had much luck at the quarterback position in recent memory. With quarterbacks like Mark Sanchez showing promise but then turning out to be a bust.

The selection of Sam Darnold third overall in the 2018 draft gave Jets fans hope of a promising future.

Darnold has the talent to be a top quarterback in the NFL, that is if he can consistently stay on the field. In his first two seasons he played 13 games in each, missing a total of six games.

Even though he has missed games, Darnold has showed signs of improvement with a rebuilding Jets team.

He went from 2,865 to 3,024 passing yards, 17 to 19 touchdowns and 15 to 13 interceptions from year one to year two. Even though these are minor improvements they are still positive.

The Jets should look to negotiate a long-term deal with Darnold so they can continue the rebuild and put a better team around him.

Minkah Fitzpatrick

The first safety taken in the 2018 draft has already had an interesting start to his time in the NFL. Fitzpatrick started his career in Miami and now playing in Pittsburgh.

The Miami Dolphins traded Fitzpatrick to the Pittsburgh Steelers in September of 2019 after he had just played two games that season.

While on a new team Fitzpatrick thrived getting five interceptions in his debut season in Pittsburgh while he only managed two in Miami.

Also going from not being in the NFL top 100 in 2019 all the way up to number 35 in 2020 shows just how much he flourished in Pittsburgh.

However, the safety market is a bit of a strange one. They are not usually paid as much as most positions. With Fitzpatrick having the season he did in Pittsburgh they will want to keep him around, but that depends on the price Fitzpatrick asks for.

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