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2017 NFL Draft Top Prospects by Position

2017 NFL Draft Top Prospects by Position


It’s almost draft day—April 27—so we decided to come up with a short list of the best prospects available in every position, which includes some notes and key stats for each player to show why their name deserves to be on our list.

You can also check out our very own first-round mock draft predictions afterwards.


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2017 NFL Draft Top Prospects by Position

Quarterbacks

  1. Mitch Trubisky, North Carolina

Trubisky is the consensus best prospect among all other quarterbacks in the draft pool. He’s still lacking experience and a few fundamentals, but his ceiling is really, really high. Trubisky completed 69 percent of his passes for 3,748 yards with 30 TDs and only six picks in 2016.  He is also the second-leading favorite (+700) to go No. 1 in the first round.

  1. Deshaun Watson, Clemson

Watson is priced at +1,800 to be the top overall pick. He has a good arm, carries the necessary intangibles to lead a team—especially in tough situations—and is already a winner. He carried Clemson all the way to the national title in 2016, throwing for 4,593 yards with 41 touchdowns and 17 INTs. Watson also ran for nine scores during that championship run.

  1. DeShone Kizer, Notre Dame

Kizer boasts such an accurate passing ability that resulted into 2,925 yards and 26 touchdowns in 2016. His completion rate was only at 59 percent, but that was partly due to his lack of supporting cast. Kizer is pegged at +5,000 to go No. 1 overall in the upcoming draft.

Running Backs

  1. Leonard Fournette, LSU

Undoubtedly the best running back in this draft class and an intriguing +6,000 bet to be the first overall pick is Fournette. He was held back by an ankle injury in his final college season, but that shouldn’t stop teams from getting him. Fournette is a game-changer, as proven by his dominant 2015 campaign.

  1. Dalvin Cook, Florida State

Cook has some history of off-field issues, but if he puts all of his focus into playing football, then we might be looking at a future NFL star. He averaged 6.0 yards per carry for 1,765 yards and 19 touchdowns last year with the Seminoles.

  1. Christian McCaffrey, Stanford

McCaffrey is all about versatility and explosiveness. Every time he carries the ball, it usually results to a score or a major gain. In 2016, he averaged 6.3 yards per rush for 1,603 yards and 13 scores. In addition, he corralled 37 catches for 310 yards and three touchdowns.

Wide Receivers

  1. Mike Williams, Clemson

Williams doesn’t carry eye-popping speed, but his size and strength allows him to pull out contested receptions or catch low-percentage passes. He loves making the big plays, and his level of confidence is immense. Williams finished with 1,361 yards on 98 catches with 11 TDs in 2016.

  1. Corey Davis, Western Michigan

Davis is long, fast and athletic, and he displayed all of those assets in 2016, where he had 97 receptions for 1,500 yards and 19 scores.

  1. John Ross, Washington

Despite being undersized, Ross can be a future star receiver in the NFL. He’s quick, shifty and plays smart. He hauled in 81 catches for 1,150 yards and 17 touchdowns last year.

Tight Ends

  1. O.J. Howard, Alabama

Howard boasts a dynamic skill set that features a mixture of strength, speed and size. He totaled 40 catches for 595 yards and three scores in 2016, and it’s just a matter of time before those numbers bolt up.

  1. David Njoku, Miami (FL)

Njoku has insane athleticism, which draws comparisons to established players like Vernon Davis and Eric Ebron. Partner that leaping skill with his speed and ability to consistently break free, then you have yourself a near-to-unstoppable pass-catcher in the making.

  1. Evan Engram, Ole Miss

Engram posted 65 receptions for 926 yards and eight touchdowns last season, including signature games against Florida State and Alabama.

Offensive Tackles

  1. Cam Robinson, Alabama

Robinson carries not just the needed physical qualities, but also the intangibles to potentially be one of the nicest future success stories in the NFL. He played a key role for Alabama’s undefeated 2016 campaign that also led into an All-American selection.

  1. Garett Bolles, Utah

Bolles moves very smoothly and has a considerable amount of athleticism. But he still needs to spend more time in the weight room. Bolles was named in the All-Pac-12 first team in 2016.

  1. David Sharpe, Florida

Sharpe is a tremendous run blocker, but the same can’t be said with his pass protection. But once he improves on that, including his fundamentals, he’s going to be a positive factor on a consistent basis.

Guards and Centers

  1. Forrest Lamp, Western Kentucky

Lamp has quick feet and can really jump. He’s a menace on offense, especially in the running attack where he uses his aforementioned qualities to help push the ball.

  1. Dan Feeney, Indiana

Prior to an injury-filled 2016, Feeney has allowed 14 pressures on 900 attempts in his last two seasons. Only a handful of guards can do that.

  1. Tyler Orlosky, West Virginia

Orlosky lacks strength, but he makes up for it through hard work and a good sense of the game. Coaches voted him first-team all-conference in his senior year, and started every game in what was a successful campaign for West Virginia.

Defensive Ends

  1. Myles Garrett, Texas A&M

This is obvious. Garrett is not just top prospect of this position, but in the entire 2017 class as well. He’s the hands-down favorite at -1,800 to go No. 1 overall. He’s a pass-rusher who can take control of any match at will.

  1. Solomon Thomas, Stanford

Thomas played an integral role in Stanford’s defense last year, collecting 62 tackles with 15 for a loss, eight sacks and one forced fumble. He’s still regarded to be undersized for his position, though.

  1. Derek Barnett, Tennessee

Barnett can apply pressure to quarterbacks whenever he wants. He totaled 56 tackles with 19 for a loss, 13 sacks, two forced fumbles, five broken passes and one pick.

Defensive Tackles

  1. Jonathan Allen, Alabama

Allen will be a headache for opposing NFL quarterbacks. His pass-rushing skills are superb, and he can also cause trouble on the run through his speed and strength. He had 62 tackles with 15 for a loss, 9.5 sacks and had one touchdown return in 2016. Allen is truly the best prospect at this position.

  1. Malik McDowell, Michigan State

McDowell produced 34 tackles with seven for a loss and 1.5 sacks last season, but his final college games weren’t that good. Nevertheless, the potential is there and he should be worth the risk as a late first-round pick.

  1. Chris Wormley, Michigan

Wormley’s speed and power can complement any defense. Those assets allow him to create opportunities for his teammates, making him such a force especially on the interior. He finished with 31 tackles with 9.5 TFLs and 2.5 sacks in 2016.

Linebackers

  1. Zach Cunningham, Vanderbilt

Cunningham brings length and athleticism onto the table, including his relatively good size. All of these things make him a play-making machine that’s always looking to attack first. But he lacks strength, especially at the lower body, which tilts his balance.

  1. Reuben Foster, Alabama

Aside from his obvious power, what makes Foster intriguing is his agility and keen instinct. He easily gets to his coverage and can, sometimes, predict what the opposing quarterback’s next move is. Attesting to this are his 10 passes defensed in 2015.

  1. Raekwon McMillan, Ohio State

McMillan is very effective when it comes to the running game, and is a solid tackler. He missed just 13 of his 154 attempts in the previous two seasons. But it remains to be seen if he can thrive as the main anchor on the defense.

Cornerbacks

  1. Marshon Lattimore, Ohio State

Lattimore has everything you could ask for. The only concern for him is his endurance—which is very fixable. He tallied 41 tackles with nine passes broken up and four interceptions last year. He’s also priced at +4,000 to be the No. 1 overall pick.

  1. Marlon Humphrey, Alabama

Humphrey is another rare talent that carries almost every quality of a perfect cornerback. The size, speed, strength; length and agility are all there. It won’t be a surprise if he ends up a fixed starter in just his first season in the NFL.

  1. Kevin King, Washington

King’s biggest assets are his length and size. He showed us that in 2016, during which he garnered 44 tackles, 13 pass deflections and two picks.

Safeties

  1. Jabrill Peppers, Michigan

Whether he plays as a linebacker or safety, Peppers will make an immediate impact. His aggression on the run, brute strength and considerable leaping ability helps him shut down whomever he’s covering.

Peppers had a great 2016 in Michigan, gathering 72 tacklers, 16 for a loss, four sacks and a forced fumble. He was a threat on the attack, too, with 17 rushes for 150 yards and three scores.

  1. Jamal Adams, LSU

Adams has it all. He’s quick, strong and athletic— key qualities needed on defense and ones that should provide nightmares for opposing receivers. What’s more, he has the mentality—that rare killer instinct—to accompany his proven skills.

  1. Malik Hooker, Ohio State

Hooker accumulated 74 tackles with 5.5 for a loss, 0.5 sacks, seven interceptions and a trio of touchdown returns in 2016. The only reason to be skeptic about him is that he is still recovering from undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum and sports hernia.

Kickers

  1. Zane Gonzalez, Arizona State

Gonzalez is your most valuable kicker—if there was such an award—in 2016. He converted 23 of his 25 attempts and certainly proved that he can hit long bombs, going 6-of-9 from 50 yards or more.

  1. Jake Elliott, Memphis

Elliott was 21-of-26 last year, including a pair of 50-yarders. More impressively, he was close to perfect from the 40-yard mark, where he went 10-of-12.

  1. Adam Griffith, Alabama

Griffith went 21-of-28 last season, the longest of which was from 48 yards. And along the 40-yard range, he was 3-of-7. Not bad at all.

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Bief
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