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Top 5 2018 NFL Draft picks likely to land a huge second contract ft. Lamar Jackson

Cleveland Browns v Baltimore Ravens
Cleveland Browns v Baltimore Ravens
Matthew Wear

The 2018 NFL Draft was one of the most publicized in recent memory, as draft analysts compared the various prospects about to enter the league. Five quarterbacks were taken in round one, the second-highest number in NFL history behind the six selected in 1983.

Many high draft picks will likely not land a huge second contract, such as Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen. According to ESPN, 70 percent of players don't land a second contract. Despite this, plenty of players from 2018 will fancy their chances at landing a big payday, and here are five of them.

2018 NFL Draft picks likely to land a second contract

#1 - Derwin James

Pittsburgh Steelers v Los Angeles Chargers
Pittsburgh Steelers v Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Chargers safety Derwin James will likely land a huge second contract. The Chargers exercised James' fifth-year option a year ago, guaranteeing the former first-rounder a base salary of $9.05 million for the 2022 season.

The former FSU star has struggled with injuries throughout his time in the NFL, but when he's been on the field, he's been electric. James was named first-team All-Pro in 2018 and 2021, the two years he's featured regularly in the NFL so far.

#2 - Quenton Nelson

Indianapolis Colts v Jacksonville Jaguars
Indianapolis Colts v Jacksonville Jaguars

Like James, offensive lineman Quenton Nelson had his fifth-year option exercised in 2021. The Indianapolis Colts guard has been one of the very best in the NFL since being drafted fifth overall in 2018 and will most likely get rewarded accordingly with a new deal.

Nelson has been named first-team All-Pro in three of his four league seasons and made the Pro Bowl every season of his career thus far.

4 seasons4 sacks allowed Quenton Nelson is unreal đŸ¤¯ https://t.co/HfpkrrB1ME

2018 NFL Draft picks likely to land a second contract

#3 - Orlando Brown Jr.

Kansas City Chiefs v Arizona Cardinals
Kansas City Chiefs v Arizona Cardinals

Offensive lineman Orlando Brown Jr. will be looking for a big payday with his second contract. Brown was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in 2019 but was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs in 2021 after publicly saying he wanted to play left tackle, a position the Ravens had filled already with Ronnie Stanley. Brown has been voted into the last three Pro Bowls, protecting Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes.

Brown Jr. was franchise-tagged by the Chiefs in March 2022 but will be due a big payout when he eventually signs his second contract.

#4 - Roquan Smith

Cincinnati Bengals v Chicago Bears
Cincinnati Bengals v Chicago Bears

Chicago Bears linebacker Roquan Smith will be due a huge payday when the time eventually comes. Since being drafted, Smith has been one of the best young linebackers in the league, being named second-team All-Pro in both 2020 and 2021 on a below-average Bears team.

Smith will be eyeing similar numbers to the contract recently signed by Colts linebacker Darius Leonard, a five-year, $99.25 million deal. Few Chicago fans will be disappointed to see Smith bring home that bag.

#5 - Lamar Jackson

Los Angeles Rams v Baltimore Ravens
Los Angeles Rams v Baltimore Ravens

Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen are by far the home run quarterback hits of the 2018 draft. With Allen having signed his second NFL contract in 2021, Jackson will likely be the next quarterback to pen a deal from his class. Jackson has been a sensation for the Baltimore Ravens, winning the NFL MVP award in 2019.

Lamar Jackson responded to Chris Simms comments about him not being at VOLUNTARY OTAs...#PMSLive https://t.co/MUuNTzhLQ0

He is arguably the best dual-threat quarterback in league history, and his unique skill set will only enhance the deal the Ravens are likely to strike with the former Louisville man. Jackson has passed for 84 touchdowns and rushed for a further 21, winning 37 of 58 career games.

Edited by Piyush Bisht

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