DE, Texas A&M.
Previously: 1 Avg. 1 per 25
Garrett is a tremendous pass-rushing force who could be lethal defender for limiting quarterbacks in the NFL. In his final collegiate season, he totaled 33 tackles, 15 for a loss, 8.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. The junior battled injuries all year and saw constant double teams, but still was consistently disruptive.
Garrett collected 4.5 sacks with eight tackles, one forced fumble and one pass batted from Texas-San Antonio. The contest against Mississippi State was his first game back after being held out versus New Mexico State, but didn't change his season totals. Against Alabama, Garrett was held without a sack by Cam Robinson, but still recorded some pressures. Garrett got off to slow start in that outing, but he did well in run defense after that, totaling seven tackles with 3.5 for a loss.
Garrett was restricted with an ankle injury against Tennessee. He started the game well, recording a tackle for a loss and a strip-sack, but was quiet as he hobbled through the second half and overtime. Because of the ankle injury, Garrett was held out against South Carolina. He had three tackles with one for a loss and a fumble recovery against Arkansas, but he suffered the aforementioned injury on a cheap shot from Razorbacks left tackle Dan Skipper and couldn't finish the drive.
In Week 1, Garrett notched three tackles, 1.5 for a loss and one sack against UCLA. Garrett had his way with Bruins left tackle Conor McDermott and got his sack by bull rushing through McDermott.
Aside from Fournette, Garrett is the other athletic freak and phenom for the 2017 NFL Draft. Garrett has ridiculous speed and a developed body with natural strength. He has a tremendous first-step out of his stance. After his great get-off, Garrett quickly accelerates to turn the corner. He has the ability to sink his hips and bend around the tackles to get pointed to the quarterback. Garrett also has good balance and natural strength to fight off blockers.
There are times where Garrett also flashes speed to power and can push offensive tackles into the pocket after getting upfield. Aside from his blinding speed and strength, Garrett has instincts to go for forced fumbles and batted passes. He looks like a potential high-impact pass-rusher in the NFL who will annually produce double-digit sack seasons.
During 2014, Garrett broke the NCAA freshman sack record previously set by Jadeveon Clowney with 11.5 sacks. Garrett also had 53 tackles and 14 for a loss that season. In 2015 even with teams sending extra blocking his direction, he continued to overwhelm the opposition. Garrett recorded 59 tackles with 12.5 sacks, 19.5 tackles for a loss, five forced fumbles, two passes batted and an interception on the year. He was utterly unblockable in many games.
Garrett (6-5, 255) is working to improve his run defense as there are plays in the run game that he can get pushed back. If he is to stay in a 4-3 defense, he could use more strength for holding his gap against downhill runs.
Previously: 2 Avg. 2 per 25
Sources told WalterFootball.com it was a foregone conclusion that Fournette would enter the 2017 NFL Draft, and Fournette confirmed that he would leave LSU after the 2016 season. The junior didn't play in his bowl game or against Texas A&M in the regular-season finale. He was reportedly not going to play against Florida either, but a pre-game fight caused him to change his mind. LSU used him sparingly in the contest, just 12 carries for 40 yards. A few weeks earlier, Alabama held him in check as he ran for 35 yards on 17 carries.
Previously, Fournette dominated Ole Miss and showed his 2015 form as he ran for 284 yards on 16 carries with three touchdowns. His scoring runs were 59, 76 and 78 yards. That performance set the single-game record for rushing yards ever at LSU.
The Tigers held Fournette out against Southern Miss and Missouri with an ankle injury. After sitting out the Jacksonville State game and running over Mississippi State, Fournette ran for 101 yards on 16 carries against Auburn, but he re-injured his ankle in the fourth quarter.
The junior ran well in 2016, but his ankle injury looked like it held back some of the speed and explosion he displayed as a sophomore. On the year, the junior averaged 6.5 yards per carry for 843 yards with eight touchdowns. He took 15 receptions for 146 yards as well.
Of all the eligible players for the 2017 NFL Draft, Fournette is the most complete prospect. The 6-foot-1, 230-pounder could be a devastating offensive weapon as soon as his rookie season. He is a rare prospect with great size, strength and speed.
Fournette has the rare ability to run over tacklers and is shockingly fast to break off long runs. He is a threat to score any time he touches the ball from any place on the field. Fournette has tremendous body lean, balance, vision, and surprising elusiveness for such a big physical runner.
For the NFL, Fournette has the potential to be an Adrian Peterson-like player who can carry his team and be a franchise player. The junior could have a huge influence on wins and losses.
Fournette took his game to another level last season. The sophomore averaged 6.5 yards per carry for 1,953 yards with 22 touchdowns, plus caught 19 passes for 253 yards with a touchdown. He was impressive as a freshman, too, averaging 5.5 yards per carry on 187 rushes for 1,034 yards and 10 touchdowns.
S, Ohio State.
Previously: 3 Avg. 5.5 per 21
WalterFootball.com was first to report that Hooker would have labrum and hernia surgery that would keep him out for 4-6 months. This might cause Hooker to slide some in the 2017 NFL Draft, but he is still one of the best prospects. Hooker is a true single-high safety who is a deep center fielder with tremendous speed, ball skills, and size. He could be an Ed Reed-type safety presence in the NFL. The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder has excellent size to go along with speed and instincts. Hooker eats up ground in an instant and also also can hit hard when he gets there. He could end up being one of the top players to come out of the 2017 NFL Draft.
Against Clemson, Hooker made a superb interception to go with seven tackles. He notched seven tackles and an interception returned for a touchdown in the win over Michigan. A couple of weeks earlier versus Nebraska, Hooker recorded three tackles, one interception returned 48 yards for a touchdown and one pass batted. Hooker made a few mistakes against Wisconsin, but also made some great plays. Against Indiana, he had seven tackles and an interception.
While Hooker hasn't received a lot of media attention, he was one of the breakout stars of the 2016 season. Ohio State lost both Vonn Bell and Tyvis Powell to the NFL after the 2015 season, but Hooker was an upgrade for the Buckeyes.
Hooker totaled 74 tackles with 5.5 for a loss, .5 sacks, four passes broken up and seven interceptions with three returned for touchdowns in 2016.
Previously: 4 Avg. 3.4 per 25
In this analyst's opinion, Allen was the best player in college football in 2016. He was quiet by his standards in the National Championship though as Clemson did a good job of containing him. In the playoff win over Washington, Allen notched six tackles with two for a loss, one sack and a fumble recovery. He totaled 69 tackles, 16 for a loss, 10 sacks, two passes batted and one interception on the year. Allen was consistently dominant throughout 2016 as teams were unable to block him.
Allen had five tackles with 1.5 sacks against Florida. Versus Texas A&M, he notched one sack and six tackles, plus returned a fumble for a touchdown. The senior recorded a sack and a bunch of tackles against Kentucky.
A few weeks earlier, Allen recorded four tackles with an interception returned 75 yards for a touchdown against Ole Miss. He came close to a few sacks as well. Against USC, Allen dominated at the point of attack, totaling four tackles, two sacks and two passes batted. He was very disruptive, using his speed and strength to put a lot of pressure on the quarterback.
The 6-foot-3, 294-pounder is dangerous pass-rusher with the versatility to line up as defensive end and tackle. In 2015, Allen recorded 12 sacks with 36 tackles, 14.5 for a loss, two forced fumbles, and four passes batted. He was Alabama's most consistent defensive lineman and rusher in a very talented group.
For the NFL, Allen would fit very well as a speedy three-technique defensive tackle. He is very fast at firing his gap, and his speed poses a real mismatch against guards. Allen has a quick first-step and uses that speed to transition to power. He rushes with good pad level and leverage, so he can get into a guard's chest and toss the lineman to the side to break free on the quarterback. Allen's upper body strength to shed blocks is very impressive, especially for a sub 300-pound defensive lineman. Allen has the speed to beat right tackles and also uses his power to win on the edge.
Previously: 5 Avg. 10.7 per 25
Adams is a versatile safety who looks the most comfortable as a strong safety. He is a well-rounded player who has the speed, athleticism, and instincts to cover in the passing game. Adams could provide a major presence in the middle of an NFL defense.
Adams was one of the most impressive prospects in LSU's grudge match versus Alabama, recording six tackles with one for a loss and an interception for the contest. A few weeks earlier, Adams did a nice job in pass coverage to limit Evan Engram, Ole Miss' best receiving weapon. In that game, Adams had five tackles with .5 tackles for a loss, one pass broken up and some big plays on special teams. Early in the season, he turned in a 13-tackle game against Auburn. Adams recorded 76 tackles in 2016 with four passes broken, one interception and one forced fumble.
The 6-foot-1, 211-pound Adams is a rare safety prospect who is equally as good as a free or strong safety. In pass coverage, he is extremely instinctive. Adams is very good at covering a lot of ground and helping his cornerbacks over the top. He also is a reliable last line of defense.
Adams can cover in zone, man, and has ball skills to help break up passes or create turnovers. In run defense, he is a reliable tackler and he flies around the field. Adams will come downhill and pop running backs in the tackle box or on the perimeter.
As a freshman 2014, Adams recorded 66 tackles with five pass breakups in an impressive debut. He took his game to another level in 2015 and was one of the best safeties in college football. Adams totaled 67 tackles with six passes broken up and four interceptions on the year. He was all over the field for the LSU defense.
RB, Florida State.
Previously: 6 Avg. 4.6 per 25
At the Senior Bowl, sources told WalterFootball.com that there are some off-the-field concerns with Cook in terms of his entourage and the potential trouble of those individuals. Teams hope that Cook can get some distance from friends who could get him in trouble. In 2016, Cook averaged 6.0 yards per carry for 1,765 yards and 19 touchdowns. He also had 33 receptions for 488 yards and a touchdown.
Versus Michigan, Cook ran for 145 yards on 20 carries with a touchdown and three receptions for 62 yards. He announced the next day that he would enter the 2017 NFL Draft. Cook lost two fumbles against Syracuse, but versus Clemson, he was phenomenal with 169 yards and four touchdowns on 19 carries. He did have a fumble and a dropped pass, but was very still impressive against one of the best defenses he saw all season. In Florida State's loss to North Carolina, Cook had 29 carries for 140 yards and three touchdowns. He also made six receptions for 106 yards. Ole Miss held him in check on the ground in Week 1, as he totaled 91 yards on 23 carries. Cook did more damage through the air with seven receptions for 101 yards. He did have a fumble though, as he dropped the ball - untouched - when about to walk into the end zone. Cook has poor ball security with too many fumbles, and he needs to fix that for the NFL.
Cook somewhat reminds me of Marshall Faulk with his speed, athleticism and versatility. As a runner, Cook is impossible not to like. He is fast to hit the hole and has serious acceleration to the second level of the defense. When Cook breaks into the open field, he has sheer speed to run away from a lot of defensive backs and is a threat to take the ball to the house on long touchdown runs. Cook also has excellent body lean, pad level, vision to weave through defenders, balance, and patience. He is elusive in the open field and slashes through defenses.
Cook (6-0, 203) also shows some natural receiving skills. He has soft hands and is an athletic route-runner. The junior is very smooth running out of the backfield and is extremely dangerous in space. As a pro, Cook should be a real weapon in the passing game.
As a freshman, Cook ran for 1,008 yards with an average of 5.9 per carry and eight touchdowns. He averaged 7.4 yards per carry in 2015 for 1,691 yards with 19 touchdowns, plus had 24 receptions for 244 yards and a score.
CB, Ohio State.
Previously: 7 Avg. 17.8 per 25
Against Clemson, Lattimore notched three tackles. He racked up seven tackles and gave up a touchdown against Michigan. The week before, Lattimore recorded one interception and three three tackles during Ohio State's drubbing of Maryland. Against Penn State, Lattimore played well with three tackles and two passes broken up. Lattimore had excellent games against Tulsa and Oklahoma early in the season.
Lattimore was excellent in coverage during 2016, and sources from multiple teams tell WalterFootball.com that Lattimore has graded out as a high first-rounder. On the year, he totaled 41 tackles with nine passes broken up and four interceptions.
What helps Lattimore in coverage is that he has both the size to match up against big wideouts and the speed to run with receivers downfield. The 6-foot, 192-pounder has teams excited for his skill set, and many believe that Lattimore will be a future No. 1 cover corner in the NFL.
Previously: 8 Avg. 21.8 per 17
Following a superb junior season, Jones decided to enter the 2017 NFL Draft. He totaled 39 tackles with six passes broken up, three interceptions and two forced fumbles in 2016. Jones played really well for Washington with sound coverage all year. The 6-foot, 180-pounder completely shut down Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley in the Huskies' playoff loss. Jones showed the speed to run with fast receivers and the size to battle big receivers. He has No. 1 corner potential for the NFL.
Jones had an excellent season in 2015 as he was one of the top cornerbacks in the nation. For the season, he totaled 10 passes broken up, four interceptions, 45 tackles and three forced fumbles. Jones also showed coverage skills as a freshman with five pass breakups and two picks.
Previously: 9 Avg. 7.5 per 25
Humphrey is a big cover corner who is very adept at running with receivers and preventing separation. However, Humphrey struggles with preventing receptions over him. His issues are correctable, and some team sources are rating Humphrey as the top cornerback for the 2017 NFL Draft.
Humphrey did a reasonable job of covering Clemson's Mike Williams in the National Championship. It wasn't a shutdown night, as Williams made a couple receptions over Humphrey, but Williams does that to everyone because of his size and leaping ability. Humphrey allowed a touchdown against Washington after biting on a fake, but other than that play, he was very good against the Huskies with tight coverage on John Ross and a pass broken up.
In the 2016 season opener, Humphrey had an excellent game against USC as he shut down wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, who was held to one catch for nine yards. Humphrey also snagged an interception, returning it 18 yards for a touchdown, and picked up a tackle for a loss. He totaled 33 tackles with two tackles for a loss, two interceptions and five pass breakups on the year.
Sources at multiple teams think that Humphrey has high first-round potential. After redshirting in 2014, Humphrey had an excellent debut to help Alabama win last season's National Championship. He earned a starting job across from Cyrus Jones and was the Crimson Tide's top corner. In 2015, Humphrey totaled 45 tackles with three interceptions and eight passes broken up. The 6-foot-1, 198-pounder is an Alabama legacy as the son of Bobby Humphrey. Marlon Humphrey could be poised for a huge 2016 season.
Previously: 10 Avg. 15.3 per 25
Brantley announced that he will enter the 2017 NFL Draft. He didn't play his entire bowl game, but he was excellent when on the field against Iowa, recording a sack and three tackles.
Brantley was superb and impressive against LSU. He had a forced fumble near the end zone and a big tackle for a loss near the end zone that prevented more points. Brantley also caused major havoc in the backfield. He had five tackles with three for a loss and the forced fumble.
Versus Arkansas, Brantley played really well with three tackles, one sack and a ton of disruption. Previously, Brantley dominated the Georgia Bulldogs' offensive line. He caused tons of havoc behind the line of scrimmage and led the way for the Gators to shut down the Georgia ground game. Brantley had one tackle against Missouri.
While Florida's defense let a big lead slip away, Brantley was superb against Tennessee. Early on, he had a stuff in front of the end zone to help lead a goal-line stand for Florida. In the second quarter on a first-and-goal situation, Brantley swam over the right guard and exploded into the running back to make a tackle for a loss. Then in the third quarter, Brantley hit Josh Dobbs' arm as he threw, and that led to an interception for the Gators. Brantley also blew up a run in the backfield during the same quarter to create a tackle for a loss for a teammate. Brantley almost had a sack on the next play. He caused a ton of disruption throughout the contest. Brantley blew up run plays in the backfield and applied pressure on the quarterback. Against Tennessee, he totaled three tackles with a tackle for a loss. That was a tape that will help him to grade out as a first-round pick.
Brantley totaled 31 tackles with 9.5 for a loss, 2.5 sacks and one forced fumble in 2016. He was very disruptive with his quickness at the point of attack.
The 6-foot-2, 314-pound Brantley flashed a lot of disruption at the point of attack as a redshirt sophomore in 2015. He totaled 29 tackles with 6.5 tackles for a loss and three sacks. While that isn't a huge sack total, it is a quality number for an interior defender, and Brantley showed the potential to be a three-down defender in the NFL.
Sources say that entering this season, they see Brantley as a potential first-round talent. Many expect him to forego his senior year and enter the 2017 NFL Draft. There were some rumblings that he was considering bolting for the NFL after last season when he was draft eligible.
Brantley could stand to get more consistent with his production and show continued development in 2016. Teams already see him as a potential first-rounder, so if he builds on his redshirt sophomore season, he could be in demand as a Thursday night selection.
Previously: 11 Avg. 12.4 per 25
Some team sources love Jackson and his ability to be a cover corner who prevents separation. He has an occasional lapse, but in terms of running with receivers to keep them from getting open, Jackson is superb. He had a mixed bowl game against Penn State, including an interception on a tipped pass and a nice gain on a screen pass. Jackson also stumbled in coverage, however, and gave up a touchdown. Additonally, he suffered an ankle injury and didn't finish the game.
Jackson gave up a touchdown pass against Notre Dame, but also returned a kickoff and a punt for touchdowns, plus caught a 52-yard touchdown pass. Jackson was beaten for two touchdowns against UCLA, but also made some nice plays. He had two interceptions and a pass broken up against Washington, but did allow a 70-yard touchdown to John Ross after falling down in coverage. Both of Jackson's picks were superb plays though, with the last one coming late in the fourth quarter to clinch the win over Washington. Against Arizona, he recorded four tackles.
Taking on Arizona State, Jackson notched five tackles with a pass broken up. Versus Utah, he returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown. Jackson recorded six tackles and an interception against Stanford. In Week 2, he returned a punt 77 yards for a touchdown.
Jackson had an awesome game against Alabama as he shut down star wide receiver Calvin Ridley. He held Ridley to only two receptions for nine yards on the night. Aside from shutting down one of the best wideouts in college football, Jackson showed his speed twice in the game by chasing down a running back downfield and making touchdown-saving tackles on long runs. Jackson also had a 40-yard kick return. While it was a rough night for USC, Jackson gave the NFL proof that he is a serious cover-corner prospect for the 2017 NFL Draft.
The junior totaled 55 tackles with 11 passes broken up and five interceptions on the season. He also produced some big plays on offense and in the return game.
There is no doubt that the 5-foot-11, 186-pounder is a great athlete. He played in all three phases last year, catching passes, playing corner and returning both kicks and punts. On defense, Jackson notched 35 tackles with eight passes broken up and one interception at corner. As a wide receiver, he had 27 receptions for 414 yards and two touchdowns.
Jackson projects more as a cornerback than a receiver for the next level. In coverage, he is a fast athlete who is able to run with receivers. However, Jackson is prone to some lapses and needs to become a more disciplined defender. He really struggled with Notre Dame's Will Fuller, a first-round pick of the Texans in the 2016 NFL Draft. Jackson needs to improve his coverage as a junior.
Previously: 12 Avg. 11.9 per 25
In the win over Nebraska, Barnett collected six tackles, one for a loss, two passes batted and a sack. He had six tackles, a sack and forced fumble against Missouri. While Tennessee lost to South Carolina a few weeks earlier, Barnett played well with three sacks and four tackles. He had a good start versus Alabama left tackle Cam Robinson, beating him for a strip-sack, and later, Barnett caught a deflection for an interception. After a hot start, he slowed down and Robinson had some wins against him, especially in the ground game.
Barnett also got off to a strong start against Texas A&M with a sack and a hit that helped produce an interception, but he was quiet in the second half and in overtime. Barnett came alive in the second half against Georgia to help Tennessee pull off another comeback win. He totaled 2.5 tackles for a loss, five tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble. Barnett put together a superb game against Florida the week before as he dominated in the second half to help the Volunteers pull off their huge comeback. He totaled five tackles, three for a loss, two sacks and one pass batted.
On the year, Barnett amassed 56 tackles with 19 for a loss, 13 sacks, two forced fumbles, five passes broken up and one interception. Sources say that they think Barnett is very similar to Shaq Lawson. Both are smooth rushers with good body lean and hand usage. Like Lawson, Barnett could be a top-20 pick in his draft class.
Barnett set records with a tremendous freshman season in 2014, totaling 10 sacks, with 20.5 tackles for a loss and 72 tackles. As a sophomore, his play was consistent throughout the season. He totaled 69 tackles with 12.5 for a loss and 10 sacks on the year. Aside from the sacks, Barnett put a lot of pressure on the quarterback.
Barnett (6-3, 268) is a danger off the edge. The best traits that he illustrates are an ability to sink his hips and dip under tackles to get leverage in chasing down the quarterback. Barnett bends extremely well and has enough lower body strength to stay up with tackles pressing down on him.
Barnett's hands are very good for a college player as well. He shows a nice ability to use his hands and feet at the same time. Tackles try to get a hold of him, but Barnett has strong hands to slap them away and get free of blocks. Once Barnett is free, he has a real burst to close and is adept at getting the quarterback on the ground.
In the ground game, Barnett is a solid defender. He has room for improvement but isn't a liability. Barnett could wear down in the NFL and should continue to work on his strength be a run stopper as a professional. Most importantly for the NFL, Barnett should work on building up a repertoire of pass-rushing moves.
Previously: 15 Avg. 20.8 per 8
Weeks ago, WalterFootball.com was first to report that Thomas would be entering the 2017 NFL Draft. Some team sources say they have graded Thomas as a high second-round pick and really like him. Going in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, however, became a possibility that should improve after his bowl game tape gets broken down. On the year, he totaled 62 tackles with 15 for a loss, eight sacks and one forced fumble.
Thomas has good speed off the edge with strength and physicality. The 6-foot-3, 273-pounder might fit best in a 3-4 defense as an outside linebacker. In a 4-3 defense, he could play end, but he is lacking length as a base end. Some team sources graded Thomas out as a high second-round pick for the 2017 NFL Draft. The reason for that is Thomas has a bit of a tweener body type. Other teams think he could go in Round 1 and Thomas has been getting a lot of media hype. Teams really like Thomas off the field as well as he is an impressive kid with good character, intelligence, and work ethic.
Previously: 14 Avg. 17.3 per 25
McCaffrey announced he would sit out the Stanford bowl game in order to prepare for the 2017 NFL Draft. NFL sources said that didn't really sit well with them because everything they heard from around the Cardinal program was that McCaffrey was a great teammate, a hard worker, a leader, and a player who pushed his teammates to be better. Thus, sitting out a game was a bit out of character. By the time of the 2017 NFL Draft though, it probably won't hurt McCaffrey.
WalterFootball.com was first to report that McCaffrey planned on entering the 2017 NFL Draft. Taking on Rice in his final college game, McCaffrey had 30 carries for 204 yards with a touchdown. He rumbled for 284 yards on 31 carries with three scores against California. Versus Washington State, he ran for 35 yards on eight carries. McCaffrey dominated USC the week before with 165 yards on 30 carries and one touchdown on the ground. Through the air, he had four catches for 73 yards with a touchdown. Against Kansas State, McCaffrey ran for 126 yards on 22 carries with two scores. He had seven receptions for 40 yards, plus a 28-yard kick return and a 16-yard punt return as well. McCaffrey put together a 95-yard punt return for a touchdown in that contest, but it was called back by a questionable penalty.
In 2016, McCaffrey averaged 6.3 yards per carry for 1,603 yards and 13 touchdowns. He notched 37 receptions for 310 yards and three touchdowns through the air as well.
In my opinion, McCaffrey (6-0, 200) should have won last season's Heisman Trophy because he carried Stanford in 2015. McCaffrey has a tremendous burst to break into the open field. He also has great vision and cutting ability. In 2015, McCaffrey averaged six yards per carry for 2,019 yards with eight touchdowns. As a receiver, he had 45 catches for 645 yards and five scores.
What really sets McCaffrey apart as a runner is his acceleration and explosiveness. He is a home-run hitter and a threat to rip off a huge gain every time he touches the ball. McCaffrey has a nice first-step, and he darts through the hole to get into the second level of the defense. In the open field, he has a second gear to pull away from defenders and also is very elusive. He uses his feet, vision, and agility to weave around defenders. McCaffrey isn't a power runner who just runs over tacklers, but he does finish his runs well and can pick up some yards after contact.
Previously: 17 Avg. 24.3 per 14
The 6-foot-4, 245-pound Njoku is a freak athlete who has size, athleticism, and excellent speed. The junior had 43 receptions for 698 yards with eight touchdowns in 2016 despite Miami not using him as much as it should. Sources said that the coaching staff loved tight end Chris Herndon as a worker and teammate, so they tried to reward him by splitting tight end targets with Njoku. The underachieving play of Brad Kaaya also hurt Njoku's production with the quarterback's propensity to watch the pass rush and take sacks. Njoku could be a real mismatch weapon in the NFL and will need to develop his route-running, but he could be a devastating receiver.
DL, Michigan State.
Previously: 16 Avg. 11.4 per 25
McDowell decided to skip his senior year and enter the 2017 NFL Draft. Teams really love McDowell's skill set, but they have concerns about his work ethic off the field and his motor on the field. They loved his tape from early in 2016, but were disappointed by his final games as he seemed to be checked out or protecting himself. McDowell is fast, long, and explosive at the line of scrimmage. He has edge-rush potential as a five-technique defensive end in a 3-4 defense, and that is a tough commodity to find. McDowell would be a perfect fit for that position.
Michigan State held McDowell out for the last weeks of the 2016 season because of an ankle injury. In the early portion against rival Michigan, McDowell was quiet, but he came alive in the fourth quarter with a few tackles for a loss. McDowell notched one sack and three tackles against Maryland. Against Notre Dame, he had four tackles but harassed the quarterback a lot.
In 2016, McDowell totaled 34 tackles with seven for a loss and 1.5 sacks.
Last year, the Michigan State front seven was superb and McDowell enjoyed a breakout season. At times, he was the Spartans' most disruptive defensive lineman. He totaled 41 tackles with 13 for a loss, 4.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and a pick-six on the year. McDowell finished the year in excellent fashion.
McDowell is at his best when uses his quickness to get upfield. With his speed, he can fire his gap and get penetration into the backfield. His height can make him a little stiff though, and he isn't great at bending to redirect, but that is typical with players of his stature. With McDowell being tall, playing with good pad level and leverage is important. When he stays low, he has a powerful bull rush.
There are a few things that McDowell could improve upon as a junior. He definitely could stand to get better at using his hands to shed blocks. Doing more to get off blocks is definitely necessary for McDowell to have success against NFL offensive linemen.
Previously: 18 Avg. 20.2 per 25
In the playoff against Alabama, Williams made eight receptions for 94 yards and a touchdown. He was phenomenal against South Carolina with six receptions for 100 yards and three touchdowns. A week earlier versus Pittsburgh, Williams notched 15 receptions for 202 yards with a touchdown. Versus N.C. State, Williams recorded 12 receptions for 146 yards. He played really well for Clemson to open the season, carrying his team's passing offense in a tight win over Auburn. Williams totaled nine receptions for 174 yards in that outing and was unstoppable on the sideline back-shoulder plays. If it weren't for a fumble and a dropped touchdown, that would have been a major stock-up performance for him. On the year, he totaled 98 receptions for 1,361 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Williams looked poised for a massive 2015 season, but things went horribly wrong in that season's opener. Against Wofford, Williams ran into the goal post after making a leaping touchdown reception. He suffered a small fracture in his neck, but didn't need surgery after wearing a brace. Still, Williams missed the 2015 season, but has been practicing to return this fall.
In 2014, Williams took over Watkins as the feature receiver in the Clemson offense. He caught 57 passes for 1,030 yards and six touchdowns as a sophomore.
There is a lot to like about Williams. He has a special combination of size and speed, so he is able to stretch the field vertically yet make tough catches downfield. Williams has good length and shows the concentration to snatch contested passes over defensive backs. His size and length makes him tough to cover even when cornerbacks prevent him from getting separation. Williams can make some tremendous adjustments to the ball and uses his big frame to get in position to make receptions. Williams has some speed to get open and generate separation out of his breaks, but he may not have elite burner speed for the NFL.
Previously: 19 Avg. 14.4 per 25
Robinson had a decent game against Clemson to finish his collegiate career. Alabama cruised over Washington, and Robinson was solid, hitting some huge blocks to spring runs. He played well against Mississippi State in the previous contest. Robinson had a solid, but unimpressive, game against LSU after putting together a bounce-back performance against Texas A&M. Robinson kept Aggies defensive end Myles Garrett from getting any sacks and did well in run blocking against him. It was much better than the previous week when Tennessee defensive end Derek Barnett beat Robinson for a strip-sack and some other pressures. Robinson played better after a slow start, but the outing against the Volunteers was a bad tape for his draft grade.
Robinson played very well against Arkansas and played a key part in limiting edge rusher Deatrich Wise Jr. to just two tackles and zero sacks on the day. Robinson had a good game overall against Ole Miss as he does well with the rushing attack. He didn't give up a sack, logging pretty play and ugly play going against Rebels edge rusher Marquis Haynes.
Robinson played well against USC. In the ground game, he was dominant as he generated a serious push at the point of attack. It was a quiet night for Robinson in the passing game, and that's a good thing. He didn't allow pressures on his quarterback and showed improvement in his technique. Robinson looked better at bending at the knee and in his kick slide.
Sources say Robinson dropped some weight from 2015, and that is one reason why he looked quicker and more athletic in 2016.
Robinson took over starting at left tackle as a freshman in 2014 and has been a tough blocker for Alabama eve since. He is a powerful run blocker who is very skilled at opening holes at the point of attack. The 6-foot-6, 326-pounder is ready to run block in the NFL. He displays the ability to pass protect, but still needs work on that aspect of the game.
Right now, Robinson is not a shutdown left tackle. In many games, you see him allow some pressures on the quarterback and plays in the backfield. Those issues stem from inconsistencies in his technique. Robinson definitely needs to improve his hand placement and kick slide, plus get more consistent with his bending while not reaching for defenders.
Previously: 23 Avg. 14.8 per 25
Tabor made a couple of tackles and a pass broken up against Iowa in the Outback Bowl, but the Gators pulled their starters early and played a lot of their backups. Tabor didn't impress in the SEC Championship game, recording four tackles. He had three passes broken up against Florida State, but also a terrible dropped interception and gave up some completions downfield. Tabor made a huge pass breakup and a touchdown-saving tackle late in the fourth quarter against LSU, but he also gave up a few receptions he shouldn't have.
Versus South Carolina, Tabor had an underwhelming performance. Missouri was an easy opponent for him as he had two tackles along with an interception returned for a touchdown. Tabor recorded an interception and one tackle versus Vanderbilt. Against Tennessee, he made an impressive interception in off-man coverage, but he also gave up a few completions downfield. Tabor fell down in coverage at one point, and that allowed a 67-yard touchdown to the Volunteers. Tabor played well against Kentucky in his first action of the year, recording an interception and two tackles. He had one tackle and a pass broken up against North Texas.
In 2016, Tabor totaled 33 tackles with four interceptions and six passes broken up. The junior has excellent instincts with ball skills and could be a good fit as a big nickel in the NFL. However, his tackling is very inconsistent, he gambles too much, and can struggle with fast receivers over the top. Some teams think Tabor might be a good fit as a coverage safety.
While Vernon Hargreaves III received more attention, one could make the argument that Tabor was the Gators' best cornerback at times during the 2015 season. At the end of the season, Hargreaves even said that Tabor was playing at a higher level. Tabor had 40 tackles, 14 passes broken up and four interceptions - two of them being pick-sixes - in 2015. He hurt his draft stock with a suspension to open the 2016 season.
There is a lot to like about Tabor for NFL. He is very good at running the route and preventing separation from wide receivers in the short to intermediate part of the field. Tabor also has quick feet, length, and is put together well. He uses his quickness and athleticism to stay with wideouts in and out of their breaks. That puts him in good position to drive on the ball, and he breaks on the ball extremely aggressively. Tabor plays fast, physical, and really challenges receivers. He is a good tackler, but showed some hesitance when taking on power backs like Derrick Henry. Against the run, Tabor isn't a liability, but he isn't an asset.
Previously: 25 Avg. 33.8 per 25
As a receiver, Howard is a real weapon. Naturally, he is just extremely athletic and a fast tight end to get downfield quickly. He often burns man coverage and is very adept at finding the soft spot in zone coverage. Howard has a big frame to box out safeties and leaping ability with body control to make catches over defenders. Linebackers have little chance of covering Howard in man coverage; only elite NFL linebackers with great speed could cover Howard. He should be a tremendous middle-seam tight end who produces big plays for his offense.
Howard turned himself into a quality route-runner and has generally reliable hands, minus an occasional drop. He is a receiving weapon in the red zone, but also is dangerous with some run-after-the-catch skills. Howard has a burst to rip off yards and is tough to bring down in the open field for defensive backs. Defenders are caught by surprise as the big tight end runs away from many down the field. In 2016, Howard totaled 45 receptions for 595 yards with three touchdowns. Along with his route-running, the senior really improved as a blocker in 2016. He was making some nice edge blocks to free his backs and he hit some huge blocks.
Previously: 21 Avg. 19.7 per 6
Ramczyk had a strong 2016 season blocking for the Badgers in his debut as their starting left tackle. He was rock solid in pass protection and very good at opening holes in the ground game. The NFL advisory board gave Ramczyk a first-round grade. He needed hip surgery for a torn labrum this offseason, however, and while that complicated his decision and will limit his participation in the combine, Ramczyk declared for the 2017 NFL Draft.
In 2013 and 2014, Ramczyk was the starting left tackle at UW-Stevens Point, where he earned a lot of accolades before sitting out the 2015 season with a redshirt after transferring to Wisconsin. Ramczyk was one of the better left tackles in college football in 2016.
Ramczyk has a lot of good qualities that could lead to him being a starting left tackle in the NFL. He is quick out his stance, fast to hit blocks in the second level, and is able to get in position for blocks in space. In pass protection, he can play the type writer with his feet and shuffle with rushers. Ramczyk gets depth in his drop as well. Sometimes though, he can be slow to react and adjust to counter pass-rush moves. Ramczyk also needs to add more strength. He can get bull rushed and pushed back by rushers. His frame doesn't look maxed out, however, and he should get stronger in a NFL strength and conditioning program.
Previously: 22 Avg. 22.4 per 17
The 6-foot-4, 230-pounder is a quick, instinctive linebacker who is a reliable tackler. He is a versatile player with the skill set to be a three-down starter in the NFL. Cunningham is very good at taking on and shedding blocks before making tackles. He has the length, quickness and athleticism to be effective in pass coverage. There has been buzz about Cunningham in scouting circles, and teams are giving him late first-round/early second-round grades.
In 2016, Cunningham totaled 125 tackles with 16.5 for a loss, three pass breakups and two forced fumbles. Cunningham had six tackles against N.C. State. To help lead an upset of Tennessee, he collected 10 tackles and a pass broken up. Against Ole Miss, Cunningham had six tackles with impressive pass coverage on Evan Engram. Cunningham also recovered a critical forced fumble.
In 2015, Cunningham totaled 103 tackles with 16.5 tackles for a loss, 4.5 sacks, three passes batted and four forced fumbles on the year. He was only a redshirt sophomore that season and has upside to develop.
QB, Notre Dame.
Previously: 13 Avg. 11.5 per 24
Kizer decided to enter the 2017 NFL Draft, which was a good decision as he is likely to be a top-20 selection. Since Notre Dame was not eligible for a bowl game, the outing against USC was Kizer's final collegiate game. He made some great passes and some poor decisions against the Trojans, completing 17-of-32 for 220 yards with two touchdowns, one interception and one rushing touchdown. Kizer was superb in the first half against Virginia Tech before struggling in the final two quarters. He completed 16-of-33 passes for 235 yards with two touchdowns. After a rough showing against Stanford, he played better against Miami and Army.
The horrible rain conditions from Hurricane Matthew produced a game against N.C. State with 10 fumbles, dropped passes and terrible snaps from start to finish. Kizer was 9-of-26 for 54 yards with an interception in that contest. It is hard to hold that game against him as the conditions were abysmal. He may never play a game in worse conditions for the rest of his life. Still, some cold-weather teams like Cleveland or Chicago might be soured some seeing how the wet conditions had such a big impact on Kizer. That tape will be a negative toward Kizer's draft grade, and consistency was a problem for Kizer in 2016. He also didn't play well late in some games.
Kizer made a lot of accurate throws into tight windows during the 2016 season while showing field vision to read the field. He hung tough and threw in the face of the rush and didn't allow his vision to be distorted by the pass rush. The 6-foot-4, 230-pounder has a strong arm with a fastball that he can fire by defenders to beat good coverage, plus has the mobility to make plays with his feet.
Kizer started 2016 with a tremendous game against Texas and gave evidence to NFL teams that he could be a future starting quarterback. He lofted in some beautiful passes between defenders. Kizer showed excellent decision-making versus Texas while maintaining his poise under pass rush. He protected the football and made extraordinary passes into small openings. Against the Longhorns, Kizer completed 15-of-24 passes for 215 yards with five touchdown passes. He ran for 77 yards on 13 carries with a touchdown as well.
In 2016, Kizer completed 59 percent of his passes for 2,925 yards with 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He also ran for seven touchdowns. Kizer has the skill set to be one of the top quarterback prospects for the 2017 NFL Draft.
Previously: 24 Avg. 15.3 per 25
Harris is a speed-rushing threat with athleticism and functional strength on the edge. He could have the flexibility to fit in a 4-3 as a defensive end or a 3-4 as an outside linebacker. The latter could be his best fit in the NFL.
To open 2016, Harris put together underwhelming performances against West Virginia and Eastern Michigan with a total of five tackles in those games. However, he exploded versus Georgia with three sacks and seven tackles. Harris recorded 61 tackles, 12 tackles for a loss, nine sacks, two passes batted and two forced fumbles on the season. Taking on Arkansas, Harris made three tackles with a number of pressures on the quarterback and a sack. Against Vanderbilt, he notched 2.5 sacks with nine tackles, 3.5 tackles for a loss and one forced fumble. He totaled eight tackles and two sacks against South Carolina.
In 2015, Harris enjoyed a breakout season totaling 56 tackles, 18.5 tackles for a loss, seven sacks and two forced fumbles. His sack total doesn't fully reflect his pass-rushing production and potential.
For the NFL, Harris is a dangerous edge rusher. What he does the best is get after the quarterback. Harris is a fast edge rusher with a fantastic first-step. He quickly achieves penetration into the backfield and shows a nice ability to finish off plays. Harris is a fast edge rusher who can burn tackles with pure speed around the corner. Not only is his speed dangerous, but he shows some good moves with an excellent spin move back to the inside. Harris has some speed-to-power skills with the ability to fight offensive tackles. Harris also has some functional strength for the pass rush and shows quality read-and-react skills.
Harris needs to improve his run defense and is undersized for a defensive end. Where he struggles is when runs come straight at him and he has to hold his gap. Being undersized means Harris can get pushed back and washed out of his gap, so that is the big area of improvement for him as a redshirt junior and after he enters the NFL.
Previously: 29 Avg. 28.6 per 9
Ross (5-11, 190) was very productive wideout for Washington in 2016 with 81 receptions for 1,150 yards and 17 touchdowns. As a sophomore (17-371-4) and freshman (16-208-1), Ross contributed somewhat, but the junior took on a bigger role in 2016. For the NFL, he will have to fit as a speedy, shifty slot receiver as he is very undersized. If Ross can add some weight, he could be a Brandin Cooks-type receiver. Otherwise, Ross might be more similar to Sterling Shepard or Tavon Austin.
Ross has good hands, good route-running and is fast. He could be a mismatch weapon as a slot receiver who also stretches teams vertically. Sources from multiple teams have said that Ross graded out as a late first-round pick and they expect him to go in the 20s.
T.J. Watt, OLB, Wisconsin.
Previously: 26 Avg. 31.1 per 7
Reuben Foster, ILB, Alabama.
Previously: 27 Avg. 32.7 per 14
Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan.
Previously: 28 Avg. 34.4 per 25
Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida.
Previously: 20 Avg. 15.5 per 13
Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan.
Previously: 30 Avg. 42 per 4
Alvin Kamara, RB, Tennessee.
Previously: 31 Avg. 32.5 per 17
Gerald Everett, TE, South Alabama.
Previously: 32 Avg. 31.6 per 5
Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina.
Previously: 33 Avg. 36.8 per 8
Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan.
Previously: 34 Avg. 32.1 per 25
Pat Mahomes II, QB, Texas Tech.
Previously: 35 Avg. 37.5 per 6