We’re now about three weeks away from the draft and every NFL team is finishing up their last several rounds of visits, interviews and tape watching so they can formulate their team specific board. As fans we’re left filling out countless mock drafts to pass the time hoping to envision what players might fall to our favorite team. Fortunately, I’ve done a lot of the work for you. Below are the ten best players at each position.
1. Deshaun Watson, Clemson: Many may not agree but I keep going back to the National Championship game and what Watson was able to do against what is clearly the closest thing to an NFL defense you will in college football.
2. Mitchell Trubisky, UNC: He’s the consensus #1 but his lack of experience leave a lot of question marks. On paper he’s a prototype QB, but can he make an impact in year one?
3. Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech: He could be a star or a disaster. Like Trubisky he has all the measurables and an enormous arm. But it will take work to acclimate him to the pro style.
4. Nathan Peterman, Pitt: He’s one of the safer QB picks in this class to end up being a serviceable NFL player or better.
5. DeShone Kiser, Notre Dame: After what Brian Kelly had to say, his stock takes a dip. A bad look for him and his head coach for that to be floating out there.
6. Brad Kaaya, Miami: His potential is higher than his performance showed but he needs to be brought along in the right system or he could flame out quickly.
7. Joshua Dobbs, Tennessee: Never lived up to his potential in college because of inconsistent play. He’s got tremendous potential, though, and there’s no question he’s a smart player.
8. Davis Webb, Cal: Size wise he’s the biggest prospect in the draft. He played in a fairly scripted offense, though, and will have to show he can handle developing at the next level.
9. Cooper Rush, Central Michigan: Many feel he doesn’t have the arm strength or consistency to cut it… but he brings a ton of experience and moxy.
10. Chad Kelly, Ole Miss: He was already a major disappointment regressing badly in his senior season, but the wrist injury and workout struggles couldn’t come at a worst time. He was once considered the best QB prospect in this draft class.
1. Leonard Fournette, LSU: The Adrian Peterson comparisons may be over the top but he could have a Hall of Fame type career. And those that knock him for his abilities in the pass game aren’t considering that’s mostly on the system he played in, not him.
2. Dalvin Cook, Florida State: Perhaps the most complete and explosive back in the draft. He doesn’t have Fournette’s power but he can do it all.
3. Christian McCaffery, Stanford: He’ll need to be a specialist to avoiding the beating this position takes in the NFL, but he can completely transform an offense with his skillset.
4. Alvin Kamara, Tennessee: Very underrated. Not talked about as much as the first three but could easily have just as excellent of an NFL career. Tough and complete.
5. Joe Mixon, Oklahoma: Arguably deserves to be higher. If you can look past the off the field stuff (which is no easy task), he’s an incredible prospect.
6. Marlon Mack, South Florida: The big play potential with him is off the charts.
7. D’Onta Foreman, Texas: A poor man’s version of Fournette, which still works well in the NFL.
8. Samaje Perine, Oklahoma: One of the better power backs in the draft.
9. Jeremy McNichols, Boise State: Very good in all areas but a little undersized.
10. Donnel Pumphrey, San Diego State: Could be the next Darren Sproles.
1. Mike Williams, Clemson: He could be the next Julio Jones with his size and speed. Prototype superstar receiver.
2. John Ross, Washington: His combine was ridiculous and some think it’s vaulted him into consideration for #1.
3. Corey Davis, Central Michigan: His production in college can be put up against anyone, ever.
4. Curtis Samuel, Ohio State: NFL teams like to have players like this more and more that they can move around to create matchup problems. Whether he’s a slot receiver or a receiving back, put him in the right offense and he will be a star.
5. Dede Westbrook, Oklahoma: A blazer.
6. Juju Smith-Schuster, USC: Physical power receiver that doesn’t have top end speed but doesn’t need it.
7. Carlos Henderson, Louisiana Tech: His big play potential and ability to stretch a defense will get him picked earlier than some expect.
8. Zay Jones, ECU: His numbers speak to his ability. He’s not exceptional in any area but very solid in all.
9. Josh Reynolds, Texas A&M: His blend of size and speed is rare. On paper he’s very appealing.
10. ArDarius Stewart, Alabama: Underserved by the offense he played in, he’ll have a better career in the pros.
1. O. J. Howard, Alabama: Can start day 1 and make a huge impact in all areas.
2. David Njoku, Miami: The only other tight end in this class with a shot at being a 1st round pick. He’s a stud receiver but a decent blocker in his own right too.
3. Adam Shaheen, Ashland: He comes from a small school but his hands, speed and size are all fantastic. He has the skillset to become an elite tight end.
4. Bucky Hodges, Virginia Tech: At 6’7″ he has tremendous size but he also made a lot of big plays for the Hokies. He can make a tremendous impact in the passing game.
5. Evan Engram, Ole Miss: Definitely more of a receiver but his speed makes him dangerous down the seam.
6. Gerald Everett, South Alabama: Similar to Engram as a prospect. Tremendous potential but maybe more question marks and a non factor blocking.
7. Jake Butt, Michigan: He would likely be higher on this list if he wasn’t recovering from an ACL tear. He’s not an exceptional speed receiving tight end but he’s solid in all areas.
8. Eric Saubert, Drake: Potential is off the charts but he’s inconsistent and raw.
9. Jeremy Sprinkle, Arkansas: A very solid and safe pick that should do well in the NFL. Good in all areas, but not elite at anything.
10. Jordan Leggett, Clemson: A big time receiver for Watson with nice size.
1. Cam Robinson, T, Auburn: His enormous size and power will likely make him the first offensive lineman taken in a weak class. He demolishes everything in his way.
2. Garrett Boles, T, Utah: Needs to add weight to his frame but he could easily end up having a better career than Robinson because he’s much more solid technically.
3. Ryan Ramczyk, T, Wisconsin: Arguably the best tackle in the draft if he checks out, but his hip is a concern.
4. Forrest Lamp, G, Western Kentucky: Could play guard or tackle. Most think he’ll be a star.
5. Dorian Johnson, G, Pitt: Jack of all trades, master of none. Solid in all areas. Won’t blow you away but any team would be comfortable with him as an eventual starter.
6. Dan Feeney, G, Indiana: Tough lunch pail type player that some coaches will love.
7. Antonio Garcia, T, Troy: One of the best athletes in the draft on the o-line. Just needs to add weight.
8. Dion Dawkins, G, Temple: Powerful player that might work as a tackle too.
9. Zach Banner, T, USC: At 6’8″, 353lbs he’s an absolute physical monster like has almost never been seen in the NFL before. Will his lack of athleticism and slow lateral movement get in the way of him becoming a star, though?
10. Ethan Pocic, C/G, LSU: Pocic played literally every position at LSU on the offensive line. His versatility and experience make him an attractive pick because he can fill in anywhere when injuries come up.