Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Top Five per Position 1.0

With the championship awarded in college football (Congrats to Clemson) and the NFL Playoffs underway, the unofficial start of “Draft Season” has begun. Each week this blog will give you all the latest info on the NFL Offseason and the draft process right up to the actual NFL Draft,April 27th-29th in Philadelphia, PA. Also check out my weekly podcast on all things draft at www.draftnarrative.com
Below is my very early opinion on the top 5 players at each position. As the process unfolds these are likely to change dramatically.


1.       DeShone Kizer, Notre Dame
2.       Mitch Trubisky, UNC
3.       Pat Mahomes III, Texas Tech
4.       Deshawn Watson, Clemson
5.       Nathan Peterman, Pitt

Analysis: Overall a very week crop of QBs that will very likely to be overdrafted. Kizer has the most tools but hasn’t found his stride. Trubisky is a smart kid with a solid arm but awful footwork. Mahomes will face the same scrutiny all spread QBs face (see Jared Goff). Watson has the “it” factor but then so did Vince Young. Peterman is a bit of a dark horse that could surprise many through the process.

Running Backs

1.       Leonard Fournette, LSU
2.       Dalvin Cook, FSU
3.       Christian McCaffrey, Stanford
4.       Samaje Perine, OU
5.       D’Onta Foreman, UT

Analysis: This is perhaps one of the better drafts I have seen for runners. I gave the slight edge to Fournette over Cook only on size but both should be explosive 1st rounders. McCaffrey is a jack-of-all-trades that will need a creative OC to unlock his potential. Perine has been extremely solid at OU and will likely be a better pro. Foreman has great size and speed but fumbling issues concern me.

Wide Receivers

1.       Mike Williams, Clemson
2.       Corey Davis, W Mich
3.       John Ross, Wash
4.       JuJu Smith-Schuster, USC
5.       Curtis Samuel, Ohio St

Analysis: This WR class lacks true Top 5 talent but has quality depth. Williams proved he is a true #1 WR vs Alabama. Corey Davis could be the next Antonio Brown. Ross can take the top off the defense. Smith-Schuster needs to show an ability to beat quality CBs to get a 1st round grade. Samuel, a RB at Ohio St, will likely find his best use at WR in the NFL

Tight Ends

1.       OJ Howard, Alabama
2.       David Njoku, Miami
3.       Jake Butt, Michigan
4.       Bucky Hodges, VT
5.       Jordan Leggett, Clemson

Analysis: The Tight End class in 2017 is very strong. Howard is an explosive weapon, as seen in the Championship Game. Njoku emerged this year to carry the mantle of UofM TE tradition. Jake Butt is perhaps the best all-around TE in the class but suffered a torn ACL in a bowl game. Hodges is a physical freak. Leggett proved to be invaluable to Watson at Clemson.

Offensive Tackles

1.       Cam Robinson, Alabama
2.       Garrett Boles, Utah
3.       Ryan Ramczyk, Wisconsin
4.       Adam Bisnowaty, Pitt
5.       Chad Wheeler, USC

Analysis: Though is high demand around the NFL, this OT class is pretty thin overall. Robinson is a road grader but might be better served at RT. Boles emerged from the JUCO ranks as a real find for Utah, but is older and had little overall experience. Ramczyk is likely the best LT in this class, but rumors of a bad hip might have him miss some time as a rookie. Bisnowaty really progressed in his time at Pitt. Wheeler was very solid for USC all year.

Offensive Guards

1.       Dan Feeney, Indiana
2.       Dorian Johnson, Pitt
3.       Tyrone Crowder, Clemson
4.       Taylor Moton, W Mich
5.       Nico Siragusa, SD State

Analysis: Quality OG class with Feeney probably deserving a 1st round selection. Moton, though a tackle at Western Michigan, is probably a guard at the next level but could be a real steal.


1.       Ethan Pocic, LSU
2.       Pat Elflein, Ohio St
3.       Tyler Orlosky, WVA
4.       Jon Toth, Kentucky
5.       Kyle Fuller, Baylor

Analysis: Center always seem to be undervalued by NFL teams. Pocic has a chance to be special, while Elflein could be a 10 year starter type.

Edge Rushers

1.       Myles Garrett, TX A&M
2.       Derek Barnett, Tenn
3.       Soloman Thomas, Stanford
4.       Taco Charlton, Michigan
5.       Tim Williams, Alabama

Analysis: The first round could see as many as 8 or 9 edge rushers types taken. Garrett is the best player in this draft and the next Von Miller. Barnett eclipsed Reggie White’s sack record at Tennessee (enough said). Soloman Thomas terrorized the Pac 12 and in the bowl game. Charlton is a solid strongside DE and run stuffer. Tim Williams brings speed and position flex.

Defensive Tackles

1.       Jonathan Allen, Alabama
2.       Malik McDowell, MSU
3.       Carlos Watkins, Clemson
4.       Caleb Brantley, Florida
5.       Chris Wormley, Michigan

Analysis: After Allen, this class of DTs really lacks star power. McDowell and Brantley are plus pass rushers. Watkins and Wormley clog the middle very well.


1.       Reuban Foster, Alabama
2.       Zach Cunningham, Vandy
3.       Jabril Peppers, Michigan
4.       Jarrad Davis, Florida
5.       Raekwon McMillan, Ohio State

Analysis: This LB class should produce 3-4 first round choices and is stronger than previous years. Foster is a beast and a future star ILB. Cunningham has all the traits of a MLB that runs a defense. Peppers, though a safety in college, is probably best suited as a hybrid LB in the mold of Carolina’s Thomas Davis. Jarrad Davis has exceptional speed as an OLB in a 4-3. McMillan is a thumper in the middle.


1.       Quincy Wilson, Florida
2.       Gareon Conley, Ohio State
3.       Marlon Humphrey, Alabama
4.       Sidney Jones, Wash
5.       Teez Tabor, Florida

Analysis: The CBs this year are an enigma that I will be heavily scouting through the process. If Lattimore from Ohio State declares, he shoots to #1 on this list. Wilson is rock solid for Florida though not flashy like Tabor. Conley is similar to Wilson, though smaller. Humphrey has the size, speed and pedigree but I am leery of Bama CBs. Sidney Jones is speedy but needs better footwork.


1.       Jamal Adams, LSU
2.       Malik Hooker, Ohio St
3.       Desmond King, Iowa
4.       Budda Baker, Wash
5.       Marcus Maye, Florida

Analysis: Safety class is lean but with some superstars at the top. Adams is a hybrid that can do anything you ask of him. Hooker is the best pure safety in the class and wise beyond his years. King, though a CB at Iowa, might be best at Safety where he can use his wits and knack for the ball in flight. Baker is explosive in both good and bad ways at times. Maye plays the pass and run equally well.

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