1. Derwin James – Florida State DB: Right now, James is my best player in the nation. He was injured most of last season, but he is back and determined to be the best. He came in as a true freshman in 2015 and was all over the field. He is a team leader, a great hitter and a play maker. He has one season to impress NFL scouts and no doubt declares for the draft after this season is over.
2. Sam Darnold – USC QB: Trojan Quarterback Darnold came out of nowhere last season as a redshirt freshman to take the nation by storm. The media has him crowned the next Heisman Trophy winner for this season and that might happen. The Trojans were 1-2 when Darnold took over the starting job. They lost that game, but then they got on a roll and beat Pac 12 champions Washington and Colorado. Darnold is a cool customer with the arm and the other tools to be a great one. He
should be the top guy picked in next year’s draft.
3. Dexter Lawrence – Clemson DT: True freshman sensation of last season is back for his sophomore season and ready for more. A giant of a man at 6-5, 350 Lawrence is something of a freak in his athletic ability and supposedly he can run a sub 5.0 40 yard dash which I would have to see to believe. But, there’s no doubt he can really run. He’s strong along with that quickness. He will team with Christian Wilkins to form possibly the best Defensive Tackle tandem in the nation. It’s exciting to see if Lawrence can actually improve his game as a sophomore.
4. Tremaine Edmunds – Virginia Tech LB: Big and fast Outside Linebacker that was one of the top tacklers for the tough Hokie defense lead by the almost immortal long time Defensive Coordinator Bud Foster. At 6-5, 235 and with really good speed and athletic ability, Edmunds is one of the best and most intriguing physical talents in the country. Totaling 106 tackles with 18.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 Quarterback sacks, an Interception, 9 Quarterback hurries and 3 passes broken up, this guy is one of the more productive player in the country. He won’t be in the Heisman race, but he has a great shot at the Butkus Award.
5. Saquan Barkley – Penn State RB: Spectacular Running Back that’s 5-11, 225 and supposedly ran a 4.38 40 yard dash in winter workouts. Barkley is a special player and his run in the Rose Bowl was one of the season’s greats. He’s big, fast and elusive. Penn State has had it’s problems in the Offensive Line, but now it’s considered a team strength and Barkley should contend for a Heisman this season.
6. Lamar Jackson – Louisville QB: Obviously last year’s Heisman Trophy winner and he’s back for his junior season and no doubt his last. He slipped in some people’s minds late last season when the Cardinals lost their last 3 games and the leadership was lacking among other things. However, as badly as the season went at the end, he still threw for an amazing 3,543 yards and 30 Touchdowns and ran for an even more amazing 1,571 yards and 21 Touchdowns. He’s got a rocket launcher attached to his shoulder and the quickness of any Running Back. Dear coaches, watch the LSU game film to see how to contain him if you want, otherwise you may be taken to school.
7. Bradley Chubb – North Carolina State DE: Really talented Defensive Lineman that is super tough against the run or the pass. Chubb is a 6-4, 275 beast and leader of the Wolfpack defensive line that was dominating last year and will be so again in 2017. He had an inspiring 21.5 tackles for loss and 10 quarterback sacks. It’s extremely difficult to run at Chubb as well as run away from him.
8. Baker Mayfield – Oklahoma QB: Tough and gritty quarterback with solid arm strength and running ability. He’s not super impressive like Lamar Action Jackson throwing, or running, the football, but he is more than adequate and always seems to get the job done. Mayfield has been around so long that people may have forgotten that he is a former walk-on and a transfer in from Texas Tech. In two seasons so far as the Oklahoma quarterback, Mayfield has nearly 8,000 passing yards. He has one more season to try and lead his team to the promise land which might be hard without Bob Stoops on the job.
9. Harold Landry – Boston College DE: Great pass rusher coming off of the edge and he led the nation in quarterback sacks a year ago with 16.5. Landry also had 22 tackles for loss which ranked 2nd nationally. His amazing stat was the 7 fumbles forced. Landry is listed at 6-3, 250 which is not ideal size for an NFL defensive end, but he runs well enough to adapt to linebacker.
10. Terrell Edmunds – Virginia Tech DB: Hokie coach Justin Fuente just raves about this guy saying he never tires. Although not as big as his brother Tremaine, Edmunds was all over the field last season and was one of the team’s top tacklers. He also came up with 4 interceptions and he was a game changer for the Hokies. He also packs a wallop from his safety position.
11. Rashan Gary – Michigan DE: This pick is more on potential and what I believe Gary will be
since he did not start last season as a true freshman. Reportedly, or supposedly, Gary ran a 4.57 40 yard dash at about 290 pounds in the winter workouts. That’s simply incredible. Gary was the top recruit in the entire nation in the 2016 class and he did play as a true freshman, but Michigan was loaded last season along the defensive line with superb talent. Gary is a guy you will want to watch this season.
12. Derrius Guice – LSU RB: Guice is almost shockingly good as a Running Back and the thought is now that the Tigers won’t drop off any at all after losing Leonard Fournette. Guice just runs angry and refuses to let people tackle him. His performance against the Texas A%M Aggies was unbelievable while he replaced an injured Fournette. With a new offensive coordinator in Matt Canada aboard, there should be more opportunities to impress for Guice.
13. Ed Oliver – Houston DT: Clemson’s Lawrence and Houston’s Oliver were the best true freshmen Defensive Tackles the game has ever seen. The level of quickness possessed by Oliver is almost unbelievable as he chased quarterbacks and running backs all over the field in 2016. Oliver alone makes the Cougar defense something to be feared and respected.
14. Bo Scarbrough – Alabama RB: Coming on strong late in the year, Scarbough looked like a reincarnation of Derrick Henry complete with the hair hanging out the back of his helmet. Scarbrough was not Alabama’s leading rusher a year ago and he’s still not listed as a starter, but he is big, strong and fast and is hard to contain and especially late in the game when the defense is tired.
15. Quinton Flowers – South Florida QB: Flowers is probably the best running and passing Quarterback in the nation behind Lamar Jackson. Flowers has a nice arm, but it’s his feet that often get him out of trouble. He passed for about 2,500 yards and he ran for about 1,500 yards a year ago and the 2017 season has already gotten under way for the Bulls with Flowers coming through again.
16. Mason Rudolph – Oklahoma State QB: Prototypical NFL sized Quarterback that returned for his senior season. The 6-5, 235 Rudolph is back for his final year and he’s already started 2 and a half seasons for the Cowboys. Last year, he threw for just over 4,000 yards in leading his to a 10-3 record and making coach Mullet look good.
17. Josh Allen – Wyoming QB: Allen is another great Quarterback this year that probably goes behind only Sam Darnold in the 2018 NFL Draft. Allen is 6-5, 225 with a really strong arm and he is very athletic and can gain yardage with his feet. Playing in a non power 5 conference only hurts him as far as his college football standings and not in his abilities to go to the next level. He did throw too many picks a year ago with 15 which will have to improve.
Christian Wilkins – Clemson DT:
Mike Gesicki – Penn State TE:
Juwan Johnson – Penn State WR:
Jake Browning – Washington QB:
Jalen Hurts – Alabama QB
Connor Williams – Texas OT:
JT Barrett – Ohio State QB:
Bryce Love – Stanford RB:
Denzel Ward – Ohio State CB:
Orlando Brown – Oklahoma OT:
Courtland Sutton – SMU WR:
Deon Cain – Clemson WR:
Ahmmon Richards – Miami WR:
James Washington – Oklahoma State WR:
Maurice Hurst – Michigan DT:
Justin Jackson – Northwestern RB:
Nick Bosa – Ohio State DE:
Mike McGlinchey – Notre Dame OT:
Adam Breneman – UMass TE:
16. Josh Allen – Wyoming QB:
Ryan Nall – Oregon State RB:
Vita Vea – Washington DT:
Da’Ron Payne – Alabama DT:
Minkah Fitzpatrick – Alabama DB:
Nick Chubb – Georgia RB: