Final Top 100 (Version 23 – 25 April 2017)
This is identical to the top 100 in the section above, but I want to save it here as a separate article as I will start a new one in the summer!
As a quick reminder, I would like to mention that this top 100 is my attempt to predict the first 100 players off the board in the 2017 NFL Draft. If you would like to see my predictions for future NFL success, then please click on the rankings link above, or go to the home screen and look at my “Top 10” articles. If you read my QB Top 10, I write about the difference between rankings and top 100 in full.
Also a quick word about my “process”. I’ve watched 315 full games this season, plus countless Draft Breakdown videos. I watched every single FBS school, plus 101 FCS/D2/NAIA/D3 schools. That’s a lot of my time invested and a lot of players, but I can’t imagine life without watching these prospects, so I’m not complaining. I used to think about round ratings when watching tape, but I simplified that last year and stuck with it this season. All I did was put one letter against each name: “Y” = top 100 pick; “P” = probably a top 100 pick; “B” = borderline top 100 pick; “D” = draftable, but on day three and finally “N” = not draftable. Experience helps – as I have got to know what a top 100 player looks like over the years. That gave me a shortlist – I ranked them from tape study only at the end of the season. At this stage, I didn’t have any heights/weights/athletic numbers – so the Combine was a major re-construction of the board. I created a spreadsheet many years ago to help me with Combine numbers, and this helps me identify things that might mean a stock rise or fall – again, experience helps. Then, it’s just a case of making the final decisions, trying to remember lessons of the past and predict new trends. Hopefully, all this work leads to a high score, but we’ll see…
“Thank you, couldn’t have done it without you”, to:
My family for the support;
Robby for the platform;
Draft Breakdown for the huge number of prospect videos posted;
Noonkick.com for the amount of games posted (looks like the site has gone down, so it will be harder without the Fox games next year, unfortunately);
You, dear reader, for taking the time to read my ramblings!
I also want to mention Draft Daddy, as it seems the site will close in the near future. Matt and Chris have long been supporters of my writing and I appreciate that big time. I have been a daily visitor to the site for many years and I will miss it – but thank you for all your work over the years.
In general, I would expect scores in the Huddle Report’s top 100 scoring contest to be down a touch this year. There are prospects in a clump at QB, OG, DT and WR particularly who could go anywhere from 3rd to 5th round, so it’s been a bit more difficult in some ways this year. Certainly, the depth in this Draft class is outstanding and we can expect starters to emerge from day three at a higher rate than many recent Drafts. I am expecting a few who no one predicts to go on day two as well, which are usually due to specific system fits. That’s always the case, but I expect more this year.
After all that rambling, here’s my final top 100 and entry into the Huddle Report’s annual scoring contest. Wish me luck!
- Myles Garrett* – DE – Texas A&M. Elite get off and ability to win consistently with speed and inside shoulder dip. Speed to power shows up more against the run, particularly with the ability to get across the tackle’s face. Can take false steps, but has recovery speed. Really good now, but should improve with added strength and hand use.
- Jamal Adams* – SS – LSU. Lines up in a variety of areas, including in the box, two deep and single high. Instinctive, takes good angles and is a reliable tackler. Looks comfortable in zone coverage and although they did less, man.
- Solomon Thomas** – DT – Stanford. Lacks prototypical size, but makes up for it with the athletic ability to one gap and rush the passer. Should be able to play DE in base and drop inside in the nickel as a rookie. Longer term I like him as a three tech or one gap five at a higher weight.
- Jonathan Allen – DT – Alabama. Plays at various positions, including 4 man DE, but is likely a one gap three or five technique as a pro. Tough to move in the run game and has violent hands. Plug and play from day one.
- Leonard Fournette* – RB – LSU. Has a fantastic size and speed mix, with the ability to run over tacklers. Looks comfortable as a receiver and in pass protection as well. 2016 has been blighted by injury, so needs a clean Combine medical.
- Marshon Lattimore** – CB – Ohio State. Looks a natural at the position – smooth athlete who effortlessly glides to stay with his man. Can press and also break up when in off coverage. Looked a little confused at times in zone against Wisconsin.
- Malik Hooker** – FS – Ohio State. Has good size and will fly downhill when he sees it. Made several highlight plays in over the top coverage, but there were some inconsistencies. Is still raw, but has huge upside. Is out 4-6 months after hernia and labrum surgery, which clouds his draft status.
- Christian McCaffrey* – RB – Stanford. Can change direction at full speed, so is difficult to tackle in the openfield. Quickness also evident in the passing and return games. Just needs to be consistent with pass protection, but he can do it.
- Haason Reddick – OLB – Temple. Played college DE at 6’1″ 230 – has good pass rush and athletic ability. Demonstrates a high motor and projects as a LEO rusher in a Seahawks system or run and chase weakside LB. Was a former walk-on DB and showed his ability in coverage against Navy with a nice INT.
- Reuben Foster – ILB – Alabama. More athletic than Reggie Ragland, meaning he won’t have to come off the field in the nickel. Flexible athlete with a nice shoulder dip to beat blockers. Not a take on and shed LB. Lost weight for 2016 and looked more explosive. Had rotator cuff surgery recently and was kicked out of the Combine, meaning he has some character questions to answer.
- O.J. Howard – TE – Alabama. Very good square/seal blocker and also in pass protection. Needs to get stronger though as he will release too many blocks. Has good hands and can move, but routes are sloppy and often seems to be coasting, therefore getting no separation. Schemed open more than he gets open on his own. A plus Senior Bowl week and Combine has masked a lot of his tape.
- Mitchell Trubisky* – QB – North Carolina. Put up huge numbers with a strong supporting cast. Has a big arm and plus ability to escape pressure. Footwork needs retooling – rather heavy footed at times in the pocket and some of his throws are all arm. Inexperience shows at times, but has upside.
- Mike Williams* – WR – Clemson. Really smooth athlete, with good size and speed. Has a large catch radius and makes some spectacular catches. Consistently wins in contested situations. Also a good blocker.
- Charles Harris* – DE – Missouri. Hasn’t had a great year, although two of my watches (Georgia and Vanderbilt) he played really well. Flashes a nice get off and speed as a pass rusher, although does need to improve his hand use. Needs the right system, but pass rush talent means he will get a long look.
- Cam Robinson* – OT – Alabama. A true enigma. Won the matchup against Myles Garrett in the A&M game, but other games (e.g. vs Clemson) looked heavy, slow and made mental mistakes. A less athletic version of Michael Oher/Michael Adams. In a thin class, someone will force a need pick in this region, if not before.
- David Njoku** – TE – Miami (Fl.). Clearly a gifted athlete. Seems to catch the ball naturally, but has too many drops, which I’m putting down to lack of concentration. Poor blocker, like many “TEs” in this class. Will make his money from the slot.
- Derek Barnett* – DE – Tennessee. Last year and early in 2016 he was inconsistent, but the light went on and he put in dominant displays. Has the ability to dip his inside shoulder and win with pure speed. Works hard against the run, showing flashes of power. Can also drop in zone when required.
- Marlon Humphrey** – CB – Alabama. Has the required athletic ability for the position – but also a natural feel for the game. Excels in both man and zone coverage. Has really nice hips and a top break up on the ball. Hits like a linebacker.
- Ryan Ramczyk* – OT – Wisconsin. Transfer up from DIII Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Can sit and mirror naturally in pass protection. Gets some plus movement in the running game. Has some technique issues to clean up, can lunge at his man too often, but has high upside. May need off-season surgery, which gives him a medical red flag.
- Forrest Lamp – OG – Western Kentucky. College left tackle, but at 6’3″ and with short arms is a pro interior prospect. Strong with a solid build and some nasty to his game – makes some top blocks in the running game. Lacks natural flexibility, so just a question if shorter players can get under him and jack him back, even inside.
- Garett Bolles* – OT – Utah. Has nice feet and sinks really low in pass protection. Needs to get much stronger, lower body is thin. Needs to get square more consistently in the running game, where added strength will also be essential in the NFL. Had a good Combine workout, but at only 297 lbs.
- Jabrill Peppers** – SS – Michigan. Redshirt sophomore entry. Gifted athlete who can play CB, S or nickel LB – is a plus returner and also saw some snaps on offense – makes plays whatever he does. Man coverage skills (which were on show more in 2015) could see him viewed as an NFL CB – but I think best as a safety who can cover man-to-man. Still has room to grow, ideally in one defined role, but it’s clear he’s special.
- Jarrad Davis – ILB – Florida. Athletic LB who has an excellent closing burst to the ball. Looks comfortable in coverage, although change of direction can be an issue. Slowed by an ankle injury, which he did his best to play through.
- Kevin King – CB – Washington. 6’3″ CB who has experience in man and zone. Gets the inside position in man and will get his head turned around for the ball. Ran fast at the Combine, plus had a very good shuttle time, so is a complete athlete.
- Evan Engram – TE – Mississippi. Has a nice release off the line. Catches the ball smoothly away from his body. Lack of size limits him as a blocker and will cap his Draft stock with some teams, although his outstanding 40 yard dash at the Combine makes up for it.
- Obi Melifonwu – SS – Connecticut. Has good size – shows the ability to get downhill under control and make tackles. Some man experience, some with LB under in bracket – also some two deep zone experience. Plus Senior Bowl week.
- Jordan Willis – DE – Kansas State. Productive pass rusher with good edge speed, but also hand use. Uses his quickness to penetrate and cause problems against the run. Works hard to set the edge, but not always successful getting off blocks.
- Patrick Mahomes II* – QB – Texas Tech. Has a plus arm, just a little flick of the wrist and the ball gets there in a hurry. Mobile QB, but takes too much punishment. Footwork and therefore lack of accuracy are the key concerns, as are late/poor decisions. Has raw tools and the ability to create from chaos.
- Corey Davis – WR – Western Michigan. Has a good size and speed combination – dangerous after the catch. Has a large catch radius and makes some spectacular catches. Just needs a little improvement in his routes, but has the raw speed and quickness to separate in the college ranks. Lack of a pre-Draft workout due to minor ankle surgery may see him drop.
- Deshaun Watson* – QB – Clemson. Pretty good with his eyes – but lower body doesn’t always tie up. Base can be a bit wide and throws flat footed. Plus athlete, but shorter than ideal and a slight frame. Accuracy is the key concern. Not a starting NFL progression QB right now – there’s not been an improvement along those lines in 2016, which is a major concern.
- Chidobe Awuzie – CB – Colorado. Plays a mix of zone and man. Has a good break up in off; doesn’t press when up at the line, but turns and runs with his man smoothly. Keeps his eyes on the QB – so makes plays on the ball. Will tackle and is a good leader. Had an awful Bowl game, but was battling turf-toe.
- Taco Charlton – DE – Michigan. Missed the start of the season with injury, but has improved each time I have watched him. Has a frame that can add a little more weight and shows speed off the edge. Battles away against the run and makes plays. Below average combine workout slowed his rise up the board.
- Adoree’ Jackson* – CB – USC. Athletic CB/WR/returner who lacks a natural feel for routes at CB. Not a physical CB, which may help with the 5 yard contact rule in the NFL. Can help as a returner from day one while he learns. There’s a chance he may be viewed as a WR, we’ll see…
- John Ross* – WR – Washington. Not the biggest receiver – but has great speed and quickness. Gets up to full speed quickly and can change directions without slowing. Also a plus kick returner. Has some Brandin Cooks about his game. Had microfracture surgery in 2014 – so his knee may only have a limited amount of time before experiencing troubles – this drops his stock considerably. Also has a shoulder issue.
- Zach Cunningham* – OLB – Vanderbilt. Athletic modern day LB with long arms. Looks bigger and stronger in 2016, showing he can get off blocks. Makes some plays using his plus athletic ability, but struggles to find the ball and will take false steps. Looks comfortable in coverage – a good matchup for his defense.
- Dalvin Cook* – RB – Florida State. Comes out of his breaks at full speed, has make you miss and home run ability. Keeps his legs driving on contact and will break tackles. Gives effort in pass pro, but doesn’t always win. Can be a little bit of a cradler as a receiver, but has been productive. Reportedly a character red flag and has also had three shoulder surgeries.
- Chris Wormley – DT – Michigan. Plays DE at 6’4″ 303 lbs, but projects best inside. Has the ability to stack his man, drop his hips and get off blocks. His ability as a pass rusher – even outside, which should see him go on day two.
- Tre’Davious White – CB – LSU. Looks taller than his listed 5’11” with long arms. Looks comfortable up at the line turning and running with his man – but lacks that extra gear and can therefore get “grabby” down the field. At times has his hands down by his hips at the line – needs to use his long arms to his advantage – getting stronger would also help.
- Zay Jones – WR – East Carolina. Wiry WR who has long arms and a large catch radius. Catches the ball smoothly with no wasted motion after the catch. Shows advanced ability to position his body to shield DBs from the ball. Better blocker than some of the TE/HBs in this class. Plus Combine numbers concluded a strong post-season.
- Takkarist McKinley – OLB – UCLA. Quite a lean frame – athletic and has a nice closing burst. Looks good when attacking the outside half of the OT – less so when square on, not strong enough to shed. Should be fine as a pro 3-4 OLB – even in space. Needs shoulder surgery after the Combine, which gives him a medical red flag.
- Malik McDowell* – DT – Michigan State. At 6’6″ is going to appeal to a lot of teams who like length on the D-Line. Has the potential to add bulk to his frame. Moves very well outside of the tackle box – clearly an athletic prospect. Showed against Indiana wonderful two gap play. Needs to use his hands better in one gap mode. Still not quite put it all together, as much bad tape as there was good in 2016 – and rumblings about poor Combine interviews. Has some boom or bust about him.
- T.J. Watt* – OLB – Wisconsin. Has the bloodlines, but doesn’t stand out on tape. Has length, but needs to get bigger and stronger. Doesn’t look like a “plus” athlete on tape – but tested well at the Combine.
- Marcus Williams* – FS – Utah. Generally plays single high or occasionally Cover-2. Takes good angles to the ball and is a solid tackler. Lack of man coverage experience will limit his stock with some teams.
- JuJu Smith-Schuster* – WR – USC. Has good speed – closes the cushion quickly against off coverage and gets on top of man early against press. Has good size and long arms to give him a wide catch radius. Needs to polish some of his routes, has to gear down a little too much at times. Has too many drops. Lack of production a concern at the start of the year, but improved with the change in QB.
- Tyus Bowser – OLB – Houston. Plus Senior Bowl week boosts his stock. Showed flashes in college, but never seemed to quite take over a game. Has ability as a pass rusher.
- Dion Dawkins – OG – Temple. Struggled at times as a college left tackle as he’s not a top athlete and is too upright, so his first step is poor. Gets walked back into his QB as he doesn’t anchor. Played inside at the Senior Bowl and earned good reviews.
- Curtis Samuel* – WR – Ohio State. Offensive weapon – either RB or WR – plus as a punt returner. Get him the ball in space and watch him create – fun to watch!
- Marcus Maye – FS – Florida. Has good range in centre field and looks comfortable in zone reading the game in front of him – looks to have a good understanding of routes and concepts. Improved as a tackler in 2016, but needs to show up more, made difficult as he was quite deep much of the time. Broke his arm against South Carolina, but a plus Pro Day confirmed he’s a day two level prospect.
- Dan Feeney – OG – Indiana. Shoots his hands out quickly in pass protection and tends to win quickly, but feet look heavy and may struggle against NFL quickness. Aggressive in the running game, but can turn into a waist bender and spend too much time on the ground. Missed 4 games after suffering a concussion. Played right tackle at times and really struggled (see Utah game particularly).
- Josh Jones* – FS – North Carolina State. Has a nice skill set, experience in two deep, single high, in the box and some man. Good size, but looks slow twitch – and question awareness. Combine workout numbers were excellent, giving his stock a huge boost.
- Taylor Moton – OT – Western Michigan. Big college right tackle who may be a pro guard for some, but is a powerful prospect. When he locks onto his man, it’s all over. Gets plus movement in the running game. Kept T.J. Watt quiet in the Cotton Bowl.
- Budda Baker* – FS – Washington. Lack of size and poor vertical jump limits him to a degree. Has experience covering receivers man to man with mixed results, but struggles against bigger bodies (see TD in the Stanford game). Tackles well and indeed plays bigger than his 5’9″ 195 lbs.
- Sidney Jones IV* – CB – Washington. Thin framed CB who won’t fit a press-heavy system – but comfortable in man or zone. Has very good instincts and a nice break up on the ball. Not the most physical tackler, but has a knack for forcing fumbles. Torn achilles tendon at his pro day clouds his stock.
- Duke Riley – OLB – LSU. Looks comfortable in coverage, including in matchup zones. Attacks against the run, but doesn’t always find the ball. Had a good week at the Senior Bowl.
- Cordrea Tankersley – CB – Clemson. Plays a fair bit of press coverage, but gives up the inside way too easily and struggles against bigger bodies. Flashes of good cover skills, but seems to struggle with double moves and then gets grabby – also gets his head around late at times. Better in zone, with good instincts and a nice break on the ball. Fast 40 time at the Combine should see a top 100 placing, although the rest of his workout was poor.
- Alvin Kamara* – RB – Tennessee. A plus receiver out of the backfield and also solid in pass protection. A slippery runner who presses the hole and shows flashes of elite explosion out of his cuts. Not sure he can create from nothing, more of a one cut and go back. Ball security is a concern. Has a history of knee injuries and a character red flag after being dismissed by Alabama.
- Derek Rivers – DE – Youngstown State. Has the ability to take over games, but didn’t always do so even at a lower level of play. Has good speed and dip off the edge, but needs to develop a counter when that doesn’t work. Plus Combine workout boosts stock considerably.
- Larry Ogunjobi – DT – Charlotte. One gap, one technique prospect who flashes an elite get off. Needs to get stronger in the upper body; battles with his hands, but struggles more when his initial get off doesn’t get him penetration. Rotates heavily and gets tired/plays high on long drives.
- Fabian Moreau – CB – UCLA. Missed most of 2015 with injury, but had a good 2016. Doesn’t back down from bigger receivers and has good speed – although doesn’t quite play to his timed Combine speed. Plus Shrine Game week and Combine pushed him up boards, but injury at his pro day pushes him back down.
- Daeshon Hall – DE – Texas A&M. Plays a little high, which means he can be controlled. Has good speed – most effective rushing from a wide 9 and using that athletic ability. Makes plays chasing down from the backside. Long arms (35 5/8″!) help his stock.
- Ahkello Witherspoon – CB – Colorado. Tall corner with good speed, but is very thin and struggles in contested situations. Not the most physical versus the run and will miss some tackles. Only played one year of high school football, so upside is considerable.
- Ryan Anderson – OLB – Alabama. Took full advantage of increased playing time in 2016. Holds up well against the run and is also a good pass rusher. Reads the game well. Limited Combine workout, and red flags were raised – so need to check his pro day numbers.
- Tarell Basham – DE – Ohio. Pure speed rusher who can make flash plays, but also can get washed up the field too easily. Needs to develop a wider array of moves and a counter when his speed rush doesn’t work. Plus Senior Bowl week gives his stock a massive boost.
- Adam Shaheen* – TE – Ashland. A traditional TE who has the size to be a good blocker and the athletic ability to win in the passing game. Flashes some drive blocking skill, although can get too high. Height/weight/speed triangle numbers at the Combine will ensure a top 100 placement.
- Antonio Garcia – OT – Troy. Athletic left tackle, but lacks bulk to anchor. Hand placement in pass protection is outside too much. Ducks his head into contact too much in the running game. Has significant upside in a zone system – but struggled at times at the Senior Bowl.
- Dalvin Tomlinson – DT – Alabama. Has strength and is an effective two gap prospect – makes some impressive plays with pure power. Doesn’t offer as much as a pass rusher, which may hurt his stock.
- Quincy Wilson** – CB – Florida. Tall CB with long arms, but isn’t as physical as some teams would like. Looks best on balls in front of him. His long arms help him in coverage, but he looks slow on tape – and his 40 time at the Combine wasn’t great (mid 4.5’s).
- DeMarcus Walker – DE – Florida State. Bigger prospect, but still won with his speed rush in college. Naturally flexible athlete who dips his inside shoulder superbly. Asked to two gap a lot, stance means he’s often bolt upright right off the snap. Needs to get stronger as a two gap player – but can be a one gap 4-3 base end and drop inside in the nickel, where his quickness gives interior O-Lineman fits. His Pro Day numbers were solid enough to believe he’s a day two pick.
- Raekwon McMillan* – ILB – Ohio State. Looks comfortable in zone coverage, able to get depth quickly and feel receivers in his zone. Lacks top explosion and doesn’t look to be a quick twitch athlete, but tested better than expected at the Combine. Disciplined and clearly the QB of the defense.
- Cooper Kupp – WR – Eastern Washington. Route running stands out right away, has elite quickness, explodes out of his cuts and has zero wasted motion. Lacks a “5th gear” speed wise, confirmed with a slow 40 time at the Combine, although his cone and shuttle times were “plus”.
- Davis Webb – QB – California. Has good size and a big arm, plus is not a statue in the pocket. Has a long throwing motion and also double clutches a lot. Chest on in the pocket and therefore can’t step into throws, so ball placement is inconsistent.
- Montravius Adams – DT – Auburn. Big DT who is hard to move in the running game. Flashes ability to penetrate, but must become more consistent. Question ability as a pass rusher. Tested very well at the Combine, particularly with the 40 (4.87/1.72 10 yard split at 304 lbs!).
- Gerald Everett – TE – South Alabama. Seems to come alive after the catch, but coasts too much as a route runner. Gives poor effort as a blocker. Weight has fluctuated in the post-season process, but was still able to show explosive traits at his Combine workout.
- Nathan Peterman – QB – Pittsburgh. Tidy QB on shorter throws, good ball handler and can move defenders with his eyes. Can move, but a little too quick to take off at times. Arm and ball placement on intermediate and long throws is a major question. A little like Kirk Cousins coming out of Michigan State.
- Ethan Pocic – C – LSU. Tall center who needs to get much stronger. Does show the ability to re-anchor in pass protection, but height is a negative inside. Skilled as a zone blocker, but not a people mover, so only some NFL teams will have interest.
- Chris Godwin* – WR – Penn State. Not the biggest, but has good quickness to beat press coverage. Had a stand out Rose Bowl game, although had some games where he struggled to make an impact. If you grade the flashes, he’s a round higher.
- Roderick Johnson* – OT – Florida State. Better as a run blocker right now – has zone blocking schme skill and can move people, driving his feet on contact. Struggles in pass protection against speed rushers and to re-direct – looks cumbersome and far from natural. Needs time but does have the size and arm length (36″) the NFL covets.
- Carlos Watkins – DT – Clemson. Flashes as a one gap penetrator, but struggles more when that doesn’t work. Also flashes as a pass rusher, but plays too high at times, but still managed double digit sacks in 2016. When he’s fresher, he wins, so would fit a rotation.
- Dorian Johnson – OG – Pittsburgh. Asked to move more in a zone system in 2016 and it didn’t suit him. Had poor Combine cone and shuttle numbers, but “plus” broad and vertical jumps, so with added bulk/strength will fit a man scheme.
- Joshua Dobbs – QB – Tennessee. Looked better around chaos in 2015, but developed a better feel as a progression pocket passer in 2016. Reportedly “plus” off the field. My number two ranked QB, so I have to put him in!
- Julie’n Davenport – OT – Bucknell. Tall college left tackle with long arms (36.5″!). Sits in his stance nicely in pass protection and shoots his hands out quickly. Makes some nice blocks in the running game, moving people with ease. Not a top foot athlete in pass protection, but looks good in a straight line climbing to second level, so it may just be technique.
- Isaac Asiata – OG – Utah. Big guard who shows some nasty. Has a nice initial punch and base in pass protection. Aggression can work against him, gets off balance and spends too much time on the ground. Performed well in key Combine tests for the position, which gives him a day two shot.
- Pat Elflein – C – Ohio State. Displays excellent hand placement and usage to help him win. Not a top athlete, but good enough. Lacks natural flexibility, so at times is a bit too high and gets thrown off blocks. Tough guy who is likely to stick for many years.
- Tanoh Kpassagnon – DE – Villanova. Intriguing small schooler who flashes speed and dip around the edge – but is far from consistent. Can play the five technique, but looks far better when attacking the edge. Al Davis would have loved him!
- Justin Evans – FS – Texas A&M. Comes downhill like a heat seeking missile. Has a natural feel for the game and the position. Will gamble in coverage, but tends to win more than he loses. His experience in man coverage is a major plus.
- Samaje Perine* – RB – Oklahoma. Flashes of burst and ability as a one cut and go runner. Can run low and break tackles, but isn’t consistent in doing so. Looks tight in the hips with limited “wiggle”. Solid receiver, but pass protection needs improvement – can be more physical.
- Carlos Henderson* – WR – Louisiana Tech. Has a good vertical leap and large catch radius. Can catch with hands away from body, but too many body catches. Routes need work – doesn’t separate at times. Kick return ability adds a round to his stock.
- Desmond King – CB – Iowa. Very skilled college corner, who is better in off or zone coverage. Has a good feel for the position and does a nice job playing the ball. Lacks top end speed, which limits his stock – also gets a bit “handsy” down the field, so will have to adjust to NFL rules. Ran in the mid 4.5s at his pro day, which is fast enough for some – but some teams may view him as a safety.
- Amara Darboh – WR – Michigan. Put together a good season and became the #1 Michigan receiver. Runs very sharp routes, has good speed and makes some tough catches.
- Trey Hendrickson – DE – Florida Atlantic. High motor off the edge and a variety of pass rush moves, so is far from a one trick pony. Can fly up the field and run past draws and the like. Had a good Shrine Game week and Combine.
- Jaleel Johnson – DT – Iowa. Plays the one technique – hard to move, although gets high when tired. Flashes as a pass rusher (e.g. two sacks in two plays vs Wisconsin and 7.5 on the season), so higher if you grade the flashes. Just might have enough about him to push for day two, although relatively weak Combine numbers don’t help.
- Nico Siragusa – OG – San Diego State. Big guard – but not naturally flexible. Looked slow on tape, but his overall Combine workout was “plus”, likely due to weight loss. Will duck head into contact – although there are some nice blocks. Key Combine indicators at the position mean he has strong top 100 potential.
- Shaquill Griffin – CB – Central Florida. Ran fast at the Combine, and with his height and arm length will appeal to teams who love those triangle numbers at the position. Tape isn’t as good for me, doesn’t play to his timed speed – seems to be a bit flat footed and slow twitch – but speed is a huge thing at this position in terms of stock.
The “Wild Cards” – medical/off the field question marks who could go anywhere:
- Carl Lawson* – DE – Auburn. Flashes explosision off the edge, but gets tired and is less effective. Has the ability to win against the best OTs – but needs greater consistency. Leaves a lot of plays on the field – needs to break down better when tackling. Durability a concern – missed 2014 with an ACL tear and part of 2015 with a hip injury.
- Jake Butt – TE – Michigan. A nice big target for a QB. Tall and comfortable catching away from his body, so has a large catching radius. Release from the line can be slow and needs to be better. Willing as a blocker, including in pass protection. Tore his ACL in the Bowl game, which drops his stock, but is reported to be ahead of rehab schedule.
- DeShone Kizer** – QB – Notre Dame. Has a nice feel in the pocket for the rush, can side-step while keeping his eyes downfield. His deep ball is a strength, but accuracy is inconsistent. Has bouncy feet in the pocket, and will often throw chest on. Can get through progressions, but will stare down his first read and make some forced throws. A bigger version of RGIII. There are concerns he may not be able to take tough coaching, so may need the right situation.
- Jalen “Teez” Tabor* – CB – Florida. Long CB – but struggles in press coverage, punch is slow and lacks pop. Looks best in zone breaking up on plays in front of him – but lacks a feel for routes behind him. Wasn’t a full-time starter in 2015, so still learning the nuances of the position. Also a good special teams player. 40 time at the Combine was poor, and slower still at his Pro Day. Has been suspended, so has a red-flag.
- Tim Williams – DE – Alabama. The NFL wants pass rushers and Williams is just that. Has an elite first step and can also cause problems with his inside move. Still growing against the run, but positive signs against LSU – as well as a nice play in zone coverage. Had multiple failed drug tests and a suspension, so will need background checks.
- Jourdan Lewis – CB – Michigan. Struggles in press coverage and lack of natural ability to find the ball means he has room for improvement. Might be best in a “click and close” system. Lack of size and a poor 40 time will be an issue for many teams. Facing a domestic violence misdemeanour charge from an incident in March.
- Joe Mixon** – RB – Oklahoma. Electric back with a nice burst and long speed. Can cut sharply to make people miss. Routes are excellent – to the point he lines up at WR some – also has good hands. Late first/high second round prospect on tape – could go anywhere or not at all because of off the field issue – most reports now suggest he’ll go on day two.
Last updated: 25 April 2017
I rarely go off topic, but I’m allowing myself to do so just this once. I’ve struggled with anxiety most of my life. Sometimes it’s been tough. In the last two and a half years, my little dog Bella helped me big time. Always happy to see me when I came home and always very affectionate, despite having a myriad of health problems herself. In December, she underwent surgery to fix a liver shunt. Post-operation she had a seizure and never recovered. She didn’t even reach her third birthday. I miss her terribly and will always hold a special place in my heart for my friend Bella. So, this year, another important thing in my life – this top 100 – is dedicated to her.