DE, Texas A&M.
Previously: 1 Avg. 1 per 34
Garrett was phenomenal at the combine, showing off his great skill set along with his speed and athleticism. It should help his bid to be the first-overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. 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.
There is no doubt that Garrett is a freak athlete. He has ridiculous speed and a developed body with natural strength. The junior has a tremendous first-step out of his stance. After his 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 has good balance and natural strength to fight off blockers. There are times where he 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 isn't just a great athlete; he's a football player who happens to be a great athlete. Garrett can redirect extremely well with superb pursuit skills. He has active hands to fight off blockers, and a motor that doesn't underwhelm.
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.
S, Ohio State.
Previously: 2 Avg. 4.6 per 30
WalterFootball.com was the 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-1, 206-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 doesn't receive 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: 3 Avg. 2.1 per 34
Fournette worked out well at the combine and did well in the receiving drills. His ankle is a concern for some teams, but his weight is not. 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.
Fournette is very fast with a burst to hole and a second gear in the open field to take it the distance. He has rare acceleration and takes away angles from defenders with speed. While Fournette is a fast back, he also is a power back who can run through tackles and bulldoze defenders trying to tackle him. Fournette is very tough to stop in short-yardage and on the goal line. He is a perfect combination of speed and power.
On top of having a great combination of size, power and speed, Fournette is elusive in the open field. He has excellent feet, vision, patience and balance. He uses a combination of all that to spin away from defenders, weave around them, and cut through small openings to pick up more yards. Fournette has a superb ability to run while bending at the knee, which allows him to run behind his pads and helps him to bounce off tacklers. Many backs his size have a tendency to run too upright, but Fournette is very good to bend until he gets in the open field and turns on the afterburners.
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.
Previously: 4 Avg. 3.5 per 34
In this analyst's opinion, Allen was the best player in college football during 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. He then did well at the combine and impressed with his character in the interviews.
In the pass rush, Allen is tremendous. He is a quick defender at the point of attack with the ability to fire his gap. He uses his strength to shed blocks and can close in an instant on the quarterback. Allen has a burst to fire by guards into the backfield and the power to bull rush through linemen. He also has natural strength to manhandle offensive linemen and toss them to the side. Allen will also punish quarterbacks and put them into the turf hard. He displayed excellent versatility during college in terms of rush production from a variety of positions and techniques. He was dangerous as an end or tackle. Allen is very consistent at putting heat on the quarterback.
Allen is very tough as a run defender, too. He fills his gap and is very hard to move at the line of scrimmage. Allen eats up his block and prevents holes from opening up. Regularly, you would see him shed his block to stuff a run near the line of scrimmage or fire into the backfield to disrupt a run off the snap. Allen is a well-balanced defender who is effective at limiting both the rushing offense and passing attack.
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. 9.2 per 34
Adams is a versatile safety who looks 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. He had a solid workout at the combine and is likely to be the first safety drafted, considering the injuries to Malik Hooker.
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.
Previously: 8 Avg. 27.8 per 34
As a receiver, Howard is a real weapon. Naturally, he is just an extremely athletic and fast tight end who can get downfield quickly. Howard often burned man coverage and is very adept at finding the soft spot in zone coverage. He also 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 continued to impress with his excellent skill set at the combine.
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 significantly improved as a blocker and really finished the year on a strong note in the ground game.
RB, Florida State.
Previously: 6 Avg. 5 per 34
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. The off-the-field concerns have continued to mount, which has some projecting him to fall in the 2017 NFL Draft.
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. Cook isn't the biggest of backs, but he has enough toughness to him to break tackles and pick up yards after contact. Cook won't be a power back in the NFL, but he still will break some tackles and will finish his runs well. He also has shown the durability and stamina to handle a big work load.
As a receiver, Cook is an incredible prospect. He runs tremendous routes to get open and has superb hands. He is a threat to make big plays in the passing game whil running routes vertically down the sideline. With his skills as a receiver, Cook could line up in the slot and should be a mismatch weapon who will be very valuable on third downs as an outlet receiver who can move the chains.
Cook also has blocking potential for the NFL, but all college backs have a learning process for handling NFL pass-rushers. He does have some poor ball security at times with weird fumbles that can even happen when he's untouched. For the NFL, Cook looks like he has the ability to be a franchise running back similar to Jamaal Charles, LeSean McCoy, or Marshall Faulk.
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.
Previously: 7 Avg. 20.9 per 13
Entering the 2016 season, Charlton flashed for Michigan but was mainly a backup and also was used inside at tackle. In 2016 though, he racked up 9.5 sacks, 43 tackles and 13 tackles for a loss as the bookend defensive end with the stout Chris Wormley. The 6-foot-6, 277-pounder Charlton is athletic with versatile size and length to be a base end in a 4-3 defense or a standup linebacker in a 3-4. Charlton is fast, explosive, and has serious upside to develop in the NFL. Teams feel he could go as a top-10 pick and should go top half of the first round.
Previously: 14 Avg. 16.4 per 34
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. Harris had a good performance at the combine, and team sources feel he is deserving of going off the board as soon as the middle of the first round in the 2017 NFL Draft.
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. 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. Harris totaled eight tackles and two sacks against South Carolina. He recorded 61 tackles, 12 tackles for a loss, nine sacks, two passes batted and two forced fumbles on the season.
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: 9 Avg. 7.7 per 34
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 performed well at the combine with a fast 40 of 4.41 seconds and an impressive showing in the field drills.
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.
CB, Ohio State.
Previously: 10 Avg. 15.4 per 34
At the combine, Lattimore blazed a fast 40 time of 4.36 seconds. He could be the first cornerback selected from the 2017 NFL Draft's talented class of corners. 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. He 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.
CB, Ohio State.
Previously: 12 Avg. 28.1 per 18
Shortly before the 2017 NFL Draft, Conley was accused of rape. Some team sources thought that it was a bogus charge, but others felt disappointed in Conley for showing a lack of judgement and awareness to put himself in this position weeks before the draft. It is isn't clear how it will shake out, but it isn't out of the realm of possibility that Conley has a free fall like Laremy Tunsil last year or La'el Collins in 2015.
Conley went under the radar to a degree because teammate Marshon Lattimore is in the running to be the first cornerback drafted. Conley, however, is a superb player in his own right. He is a smooth cover corner who is well developed. Conley is fast enough to run with speed receivers and has the size to take on big wideouts. The 6-foot, 195-pounder has height and length, while his blazing-fast 40 times illustrate his speed.
As a junior, Conley had 26 tackles with eight passes broken up and four interceptions. He had 49 tackles with two interceptions and five passes broken up the year before. Conley is a smooth corner who should be a safe pick to develop into a quality NFL starter.
Previously: 13 Avg. 18.6 per 34
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: 15 Avg. 13.1 per 34
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 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. Jackson was one of the most impressive cornerbacks at the combine with a fast 40 and a superb showing in the field drills.
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: 18 Avg. 29.2 per 34
Davis is a rare linebacker with a great skill set. He is very fast with sideline-to-sideline speed that allows him to cover a ton of ground. His explosiveness as a runner and as a hitter with some real shock surprises offensive linemen and ball-carriers. Davis also is a team leader who loves football. He is the epitome of the field general to call the plays, make the checks, and be a motivator in the huddle. Players who have played against Davis have told WalterFootball.com that he is the real deal and a terrific player.
In the ground game, Davis is all over the field as a run defender. Routinely, one saw plays where Davis was phenomenal at quickly reading the play and darting into the backfield to blow the play up. Not only does he explode into the backfield, he can fly to the sideline, and willingly throws his body around at the line of scrimmage.
Davis shows skills for the passing game and is a dangerous blitzer. In the short to intermediate zone, he does well picking up with receivers and also has shown some ball skills. As a professional, Davis could be an asset as a linebacker weapon to neutralize receiving-threat tight ends and running backs in man-to-man coverage. Davis should be a true three-down defender in the NFL.
In 2015, Davis totaled 94 tackles with 11 tackles for a loss, four passes broken up, an interception and 3.5 sacks. The senior was hurt in 2016 and tried to play through a leg injury. He was never the same player he was in 2015. Davis played nine games during 2016 while hobbling in some contests and not finishing some of them. He totaled 60 tackles, two sacks and four passes broken up on the season.
While there were future first-round picks in the secondary with Keanu Neal and Vernon Hargreaves III, Davis was the player who may have been the biggest breakout star of the 2015 season. NFL sources raved about him late in the season as Davis was all over the field for the Gators. When other players like Hargreaves seemed to take their foot off the pedal late in the season, Davis was playing like a man on fire. In 2015, he totaled 94 tackles with 11 tackles for a loss, four passes broken up, an interception and 3.5 sacks.
Davis (6-2, 230) is a fast, physical defender. The key to the linebacker position is instincts, and Davis definitely has them. He reads plays quickly and follows his keys to get in position to be around the ball. In the ground game, Davis is all over the field as a run defender. Routinely, he explodes into the backfield or gets to the sideline. In the passing game, Davis shows skills and he is a dangerous blitzer. In the short to intermediate zone, Davis does well at picking up receivers and also has shown some ball skills. Davis could be even better now that he has some experience.
For the NFL, Davis could continue to improve his ability to get off blocks and hone his pass-coverage skills. He also can be overly aggressive at times and over-run a play.
Previously: 16 Avg. 20.9 per 23
The 6-foot-4, 245-pound Njoku is a freak athlete who has size, athleticism, and excellent speed. The junior totaled 43 receptions for 698 yards with eight touchdowns in 2016 despite Miami not using him as much as it should have. 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.
Previously: 17 Avg. 16.9 per 34
McCaffrey was phenomenal at the combine. He put up a fast 40 time (4.48 seconds) and appeared to be perhaps the best route-runner in the receiving drills, even when considering the wide receiver prospects.
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. It probably won't hurt McCaffrey in the 2017 NFL Draft though.
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: 21 Avg. 16 per 34
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 interviewed well with teams at the combine.
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: 19 Avg. 17.4 per 17
Months 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 after his bowl game. 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 Thomas could go in Round 1, and he 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: 20 Avg. 24.7 per 18
Ross (5-11, 188) was a 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, although he also could line up outside some. Ross showed his special talent when he set the fastest combine 40 time of 4.22 seconds, breaking Chris Johnson's record.
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.
Previously: 11 Avg. 11.9 per 34
In 2016, 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 can fight his way through blocks and close on the quarterback. The best traits that Barnett 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 player entering the NFL. In the ground game, Barnett is a solid defender. He has room for improvement, although he isn't a complete liability. Barnett could wear down in the NFL and should continue to work on his strength be a run stopper as a professional.
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: 22 Avg. 39.4 per 13
After some rough years and a late start in football, Bolles matured and dedicated himself to staying out of trouble. Bolles went the junior college route before transferring to Utah and becoming a First-Team All-Pac-12 selection for the Utes in 2016. Bolles surprised many when he decided to skip his senior year and enter the 2017 NFL Draft. Bolles has starting left tackle potential in the NFL and is very similar to Lane Johnson.
The best strengths for Bolles come in pass protection as he is very reliable at protecting his quarterback. Bolles 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, is very athletic, has quick feet, agility, and an impressive ability to bend at the knee. In pass protection, he can play the type writer with his feet and shuffle with speed rushers. Bolles gets depth in his drop as well. He reacts quickly to stunts and shows good awareness to help his teammates when he doesn't have a man to block. Bolles also needs to add more strength in his lower body to get an improved base to hold up against strong five-techniques. His frame doesn't look maxed out, however, and he should get stronger in a NFL strength and conditioning program.
In the ground game, Bolles is an effective blocker but lacks power and strength. He does have a mean streak, which is a rare sight in the uptempo spread offenses that are dominating college football. Bolles is good at sustaining his blocks and keeping his defenders from making tackles. He is quick to the second level, can hit blocks in space, and is agile in the open field. Bolles isn't a blocker who blasts defenders off the ball, but he is effective at manipulating them and turning them to open up holes for his back. Bolles has the frame to add strength in a strength and conditioning program and could definitely become a solid run blocker.
Previously: 23 Avg. 21.1 per 26
Unfortunately, tragedy struck during Jones' pro day as he tore his Achilles during the final drill. That will likely drop him a few rounds in the 2017 NFL Draft and could cause him to miss his rookie year. I'm keeping Jones high in my big board because I still believe he is one of the best prospects from the 2017 NFL Draft. If he stays healthy, two or three years from now, he will be considered a steal.
Jones had a quality showing at the combine with a good 40-yard dash (4.47 seconds) and a good showing in the field drills. The junior 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: 24 Avg. 22.5 per 26
The 6-foot-3, 234-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 flashed the ability to take on and shed blocks before making tackles, but needs to get more consistent at that and not run around blocks as much. Cunningham has the length, quickness and athleticism to be effective in pass coverage. There has been buzz about him 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.
Previously: 25 Avg. 22.5 per 15
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. Team sources said Ramczyk is a good kid, but they question his love of football after quitting the sport following high school and said he seemed to only to return to playing because he should out of the opportunities it afforded him.
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.
T.J. Watt, OLB, Wisconsin.
Previously: 26 Avg. 28.3 per 16
Gerald Everett, TE, South Alabama.
Previously: 30 Avg. 31 per 14
Jalen Tabor, CB, Florida.
Previously: 27 Avg. 16.9 per 34
Reuben Foster, ILB, Alabama.
Previously: 28 Avg. 30.8 per 23
Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan.
Previously: 29 Avg. 32.9 per 34