Our first top 100 board
With the hangover from an intense Super Bowl winding down at last, it’s time to turn our attention back to the draft. Going into the next round of research and film study, not to mention the Scouting Combine at the end of the month, this is where we’re at for our top 100 prospects.
- Myles Garrett, EDGE, Texas A&M – Phenomenal talent at the pass rusher who consistently produced throughout college and should test out as a top athlete as well.
- Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State – A do-it-all running back who’s also an excellent receiver. An ideal fit for the modern game.
- Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU – A superlative power back who can be the centerpiece of an offense. A bit of a throwback in that regard; teams will have differing opinions on which of the two they prefer.
- Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State – Our top coverage guy this draft. Not much experience but has all the tools necessary.
- Jamal Adams, S, LSU – Can do it all.
- Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson – He’s not perfect and he threw more interceptions than you’d like to see, but even if Watson’s physical traits aren’t ideal, it’s the processing speed and the ability to deliver again and again in the big games that matters. I’ll take the guy who gets it done in high-pressure situations over the guy who looks prettiest in a stress-free controlled environment.
- Patrick Mahomes II, QB, Texas Tech – Here’s another guy who’s going to be very polarizing. People will talk about his poor mechanics, and they’ll have a point; however, it’s the fact that Mahomes can consistently deliver accurate throws to all areas of the field despite the poor mechanics, and the fact that he can do it from the pocket or on the run, that put him high on my list. I just can’t pass up the chances that he turns into something resembling Brett Favre, or even Tony Romo with a stronger arm.
- Malik McDowell, DL+, Michigan State – We think he does his best work on the edge, where he has incredible speed and quickness for his size.
- Tim Wililams, EDGE, Alabama – Top-tier edge rushing athleticism and pretty good in the run game, too.
- Solomon Thomas, EDGE, Stanford – Broke out into the national spotlight in his bowl game, but the athleticism was always there. You’d like to see him be more consistent, but he’s also young enough that it’s not a major concern.
- Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama – Not the high ceiling of some of the other players but may have the highest floor of anyone in the draft.
- Teez Tabor, CB, Florida – Aggressive ballhawk who can make big plays.
- O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama – Superlative athlete at the position who can block better than receiver types like him are given credit.
- Mike Williams, WR, Clemson – Would be in the top tier if he could get more separation, but I still love his physicality, high-pointing abilities, and ability to win contested catches.
- Takkarist McKinley, EDGE, UCLA – Young and highly athletic, he has the kind of talent that can develop into a top player there.
- Carl Lawson, EDGE, Auburn – Another athlete and top producer. Concerns about injury history; some have concern he’s closer to his ceiling than some of the other prospects in this draft.
- Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford – The late-1st / early-2nd projections seemed too low for a guy who is a terrific talent at the position (I don’t know about this “Carolina at #8” rumor, though). He’s not a gimmick or a gadget; he can be the featured back to an offense.
- Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama – Don’t agree with the top-5 talk, but he’s a very good player who can start right away.
- Derek Barnett, EDGE, Tennessee – Young and productive. If his athleticism tests as well as it looks on tape, he should be a fine pick, though there are worries about him being a snap jumper.
- Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt – A real playmaker at linebacker (and we can see a legitimate argument for him over Foster).
- Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State – Some inconsistencies in tackling and occasionally takes the wrong angle, but for the most part, a guy with legit range who seems to be in on almost every play.
- DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame – Terrific ceiling but inconsistencies worry me. Still, he is very young and talented, so he’s a great guy to try to develop if you can afford the time.
- Forrest Lamp, OL, Western Kentucky – Our favorite of the lineman we’ve watched so far.
- Sidney Jones, CB, Washington
- Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
- Taylor Moton, OL, Western Michigan – A monster on most of his tape who didn’t perform quite as well when facing a real team in Wisconsin, but he’s 330 pounds yet has the agility to play tackle.
- Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan – I like a lot of his skill set, but I’m a little lower on him than most because I’m not totally sold he has the strength and physicality he’ll need to meet the “Baby Terrell Owens” comparisons, but I think he’s still a good player.
- Charles Harris, EDGE, Missouri – Might be rising on my board. More athletic than I realized after watching some more tape.
- Cordrea Tankersley, CB, Clemson
- Jaleel Johnson, DL, Iowa
- Budda Baker, S, Washington
- John Ross, WR, Washington – Love his speed and willingness to attack the ball; worried about his ability to handle press coverage.
- David Njoku, TE, Miami-FL
- TreDavious White, CB, LSU
- Cam Robinson, OL, Alabama – I don’t follow the top-10 talk, as I think he has a ways to go to refine his game, but I can see the athleticism that can make for a quality NFL tackle.
- Ryan Ramczyk, OL, Wisconsin
- Kareem Hunt, RB, Toledo – Quick and elusive and with incredible balance. Could go higher if he wasn’t a
- Taco Charlton, EDGE, Michigan
- Ryan Anderson, EDGE, Alabama
- Dan Feeney, OL, Indiana
- Evan Engram, TE, Ole Miss
- Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State
- Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida
- Joe Mixon, RB, Oklahoma – How do you evaluate Joe Mixon given his off-field activities? I think the most honest thing we can do is try to evaluate him based on how his future projects. Mixon has first-round talent, and while some teams will be shy about taking him (and may remove him from their board altogether), I believe at least one will conclude that Mixon’s assault of a woman is an isolated incident and that he’s said all the right things since. I think someone will convince themselves of Mixon as a day 2 selection– the draft has many good running backs, but few great ones.
- Jabrill Peppers, S/LB, Michigan – I have some of the same questions about Peppers that I did about Shaq Thompson; namely, that he’s a player without a position and not as athletic as advertised. Peppers is a playmaker, but questions remain about where he will fit at the next level.
- Haason Reddick, LB/ED, Temple
- Taywan Taylor, WR, Western Kentucky
- Zay Jones, WR, East Carolina
- Dawuane Smoot, EDGE, Illinois
- Montravius Adams, DL, Auburn
- Garett Bolles, OL, Utah – Bolles’ age concerns me; it’s much easier to look good against college kids as a 24-year-old than as a 21-year-old.
- Caleb Brantley, DL, Florida
- Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina – As I’ve mentioned before, I’m very worried about Trubisky’s age and the fact that he didn’t start until age 22. He puts together some great stretches on film, but those two factors make me think his talent is more maxed out than the other prospects.
- Brad Kaaya, QB, Miami-FL – I think Kaaya’s ceiling is lower than Trubisky’s (if my concerns about the latter’s age and experience end up being unfounded) but his floor is higher. Kaaya is a three-year starter with decent numbers and good physical tools. He may even belong higher than other picks.
- Carlos Watkins, DL, Clemson
- Ethan Pocic, C, LSU
- Josh Reynolds, WR, Texas A&M – A&M’s entire receiving corps in this draft seem like players who will be better pros than they were college players. Reynolds was impressively productive in a tough conference and has WR1 traits if he can unlock them.
- Cooper Kupp, WR, Eastern Washington
- JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, USC
- Jourdan Lewis, CB, Michigan
- Adoree’ Jackson, CB, USC
- Pat Elflein, OL, Ohio State
- Roderick Johnson, OL, Florida State – A bit on the lumbering side, but still has a decent enough pass set that if he can add some strength to his frame, he should succeed in the NFL.
- Amara Darboh, WR, Michigan
- Jordan Leggett, TE, Clemson
- Alvin Kamara, RB, Tennessee
- Wayne Gallman, RB, Clemson – A sneakily effective part of the Clemson attack, decisive and quick, with pass-protection skills that will get him on the field sooner rather than later at the next level.
- Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida
- Lorenzo Jerome, S, St. Francis (PA) – Was making plays everywhere on film at St. Francis, continued that at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, and did it again at the Senior Bowl. He’s the real deal.
- Marquez White, CB, Florida State
- Daeshon Hall, EDGE, Texas A&M
- James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh – It’s hard to evaluate how teams might medically red-flag Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. When Conner’s on the field though, he’s a brutally effective running back, with a burst unexpected for his size and power.
- Jalen Robinette, WR, Air Force – 6’3″ and a smooth athlete for his size, with terrific ability to attack the ball. Some concerns about competition level and consistently, but the talent to be something like a poor man’s Michael Thomas is there.
- Isaiah Ford, WR, Virginia Tech – He’s a terrific athlete and it shows on the field, not just in testing. Unfortunately, his hands are rather suspect. He might be a top-15 pick if he was more reliable in that area.
- Dalvin Tomlinson, DL, Alabama
- Cameron Sutton, CB, Tennessee
- Obi Melifonwu, S, Connecticut
- Rasul Douglas, CB, West Virginia
- Dion Dawkins, OL, Temple
- Curtis Samuel, WR+, Ohio State
- Duke Riley, LB, LSU
- D’Onta Foreman, RB, Texas
- Raekwon McMillan, LB, Ohio State
- Antonio Garcia, OL, Troy
- Tanoh Kpassagnon, EDGE, Connecticut – He’s very raw, but impressively athletic for his 280 pounds. (His testing will really matter to see if it’s as legit as it looks on film.) He could have the kind of large-edge athleticism of a Cameron Jordan, if a team can unlock his potential.
- Dorian Johnson, G, Pittsburgh
- Justin Evans, S, Texas A&M
- Travis Rudolph, WR, Florida State
- Derek Rivers, EDGE, Appalachian State
- Conor McDermott, OL, UCLA
- Elijah Qualls, DL, Washington
- Nathan Peterman, QB, Pittsburgh
- Marcus Williams, S, Utah
- Joe Mathis, EDGE, Washington
- Joshua Dobbs, QB, Tennessee
- Bucky Hodges, TE, Virginia Tech
- ArDarius Stewart, WR, Alabama
- Alex Anzalone, LB, Florida
- Jamaal Williams, RB, BYU
- Desmond King, CB/S, Iowa
- Chad Hansen, WR, California – Still need to evaluate him. Early highlights make him look like a Day 2 pick.
- Davon Godchaux, DT, LSU
- Corn Elder, CB, Miami-FL
- Eddie Jackson, S, Alabama
- Dede Westbrook, WR, Oklahoma