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Who are the Top Players at Each Position in the NFL Draft?

Each position in the draft is different, not only the position itself but also the strength of the players at that position heading into the NFL. Here is a look at what positions have the most talent in the draft, and who the top players are at each position.

Quarterbacks

This is a very weak quarterback class after Winston and Mariota, as there is an extremely large drop off after the two Heisman winners that will go top ten in the draft. Hundley has potential, but then after that the other prospects don’t show much promise going forward.

  1. Jameis Winston, Florida State Seminoles
  2. Marcus Mariota, Oregon Ducks
  3. Brett Hundley, UCLA Bruins
  4. Garrett Grayson, Colorado State Rams
  5. Sean Mannion, Oregon State Beavers

Running Backs

This is the deepest running back that we have seen in several years. Gurley and Gordon both could go in the first round, and the other prospects could be a very useful option at halfback this season for many teams throughout the league.

Todd Gurley dives for the pylon Photo via: ajc.com
Todd Gurley dives for the pylon
Photo via: ajc.com
  1. Todd Gurley, Georgia Bulldogs
  2. Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin Badgers
  3. Tevin Coleman, Indiana Hoosiers
  4. Duke Johnson, Miami (Fl.) Hurricanes
  5. Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska Cornhuskers
  6. Jay Ajayi, Boise State Broncos
  7. TJ Yeldon, Alabama Crimson Tide
  8. Jeremy Langford, Michigan State Spartans
  9. Josh Robinson, Mississippi State Bulldogs
  10. Mike Davis, South Carolina Gamecocks

Wide Receivers

Possibly even a deeper wide receiver class than what went down last season. Every player on this list could go in the first round, and they should be picked early and often with many teams in the league in need of more talent at the receiver position. There is a drop off after the first four players, but all of these young men have the ability to compete at the next level right away like last season’s class.

  1. Amari Cooper, Alabama Crimson Tide
  2. Kevin White, West Virginia Mountaineers
  3. DeVante Parker, Louisville Cardinals
  4. Dorial Green-Beckham, Missouri Tigers
  5. Jaelen Strong, Arizona State Sun Devils
  6. Devin Smith, Ohio State Buckeyes
  7. Devin Funchess, Michigan Wolverines
  8. Phillip Dorsett, Miami (Fl.) Hurricanes
  9. Breshad Perriman, UCF Knights
  10. Sammie Coates, Auburn Tigers

Tight Ends

Not a super intriguing class after Williams. Williams should go somewhere in the first round, but then after that we may not see another one go until the mid-third round.

  1. Maxx Williams, Minnesota Golden Gophers
  2. Nick O’Leary, Florida State Seminoles
  3. Jeff Heuerman, Ohio State Buckeyes
  4. Clive Walford, Miami (Fl.) Hurricanes
  5. Ben Koyack, Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Offensive Tackles

This class doesn’t have the franchise linemen that the past few drafts have had, but a handful of these players will still go in the first round. Peat is the only player looking at going in the top ten, but Clemmings and Flowers are good picks for later teams like the Panthers and Colts.

Andrus Peat charges at a hopeless Utah defender Photo via: www.stanforddaily.com
Andrus Peat charges at a hopeless Utah defender
Photo via: http://www.stanforddaily.com
  1. Andrus Peat, Stanford Cardinal
  2. TJ Clemmings, Pittsburgh Panthers
  3. Ereck Flowers, Miami (Fl.) Hurricanes
  4. Cedric Ogbuehi, Texas A&M Aggies
  5. Ty Sambrailo, Colorado State Rams
  6. DJ Humphries, Florida Gators
  7. Corey Robinson, South Carolina
  8. Daryl Williams, Oklahoma Sooners
  9. Jake Fisher, Oregon Ducks
  10. Tyrus Thompson, Oklahoma Sooners

Offensive Guards/ Centers

Scherff is one of the better players in this draft, and plays similar to Zack Martin of the Cowboys. Collins and Erving could also go in the first round, but the remaining prospects after that are not nearly as talented and lead to a lack of depth in this class.

  1. Brandon Scherff, Iowa Hawkeyes
  2. La’el Collins, LSU Tigers
  3. Cameron Erving, Florida State
  4. Tre Jackson, Florida State Seminoles
  5. AJ Cann, South Carolina Gamecocks
  6. Laken Tomlinson, Duke Blue Devils
  7. Donovan Smith, Penn State Nittany Lions
  8. Antoine Everett, McNessee State
  9. Hroniss Grasu, Oregon Ducks
  10. Jeremiah Poutasi, Utah Utes

Defensive End

By far the strength of this draft comes in the form of the many elite young pass rushers available, about half and half between defensive ends and outside linebackers. Williams is the most talented prospect in the draft, and Ray and Armstead aren’t too big of a drop off behind that, as both could potentially go in the top ten.

  1. Leonard Williams, USC Trojans
  2. Shane Ray, Missouri Tigers
  3. Arik Armstead, Oregon Ducks
  4. Owamagbe Odighizuwa, UCLA Bruins
  5. Bud Dupree, Kentucky Wildcats
  6. Michael Bennett, Ohio State Buckeyes
  7. Preston Smith, Mississippi State Bulldogs
  8. Trey Flowers, Arkansas Razorbacks
  9. Mario Edwards Jr., Florida State Seminoles
  10. Danielle Hunter, LSU Tigers

Defensive Tackle

Most of the talent at this position comes as nose tackles, and not pass rushing defensive tackles. Shelton is by far the most talented of these prospects, and resembles somewhat of a combination between Haloti Ngata and Vince Wilfork, in his size and penetration balance. Brown and Phillips are both good options for teams like the Lions and Chargers in the middle of the first round.

Danny Shelton sets his sights on a extremely unfortunate quarterback Photo via: boltblitz.com
Danny Shelton sets his sights on a extremely unfortunate quarterback
Photo via: boltblitz.com
  1. Danny Shelton, Washington Huskies
  2. Malcom Brown, Texas Longhorns
  3. Jordan Phillips, Oklahoma Sooners
  4. Eddie Goldman, Florida State Seminoles
  5. Carl Davis, Iowa Hawkeyes
  6. Gabe Wright, Auburn Tigers
  7. Xavier Cooper, Washington State Cougars
  8. Grady Jarrett, Clemson Tigers
  9. Marcus Hardison, Arizona State Sun Devils
  10. Xavier Williams, Northern Iowa

Inside Line Backers

Doesn’t have the Mosely, Te’o, Keuchley prospect that we have seen the past few years but several players will have the ability to make their name known, possibly even in their rookie season. Perryman is a tremendous reader of defenses and a great leader, and will almost certainly be the first inside linebacker taken.

  1. Denzel Perryman, Miami (Fl.) Hurricanes
  2. Paul Dawson, TCU Horned Frogs
  3. Eric Kendricks, UCLA Bruins
  4. Benardrick McKinney, Mississippi State Bulldogs
  5. Taiwan Jones, Michigan State Spartans
  6. Stephone Anthony, Clemson Tigers
  7. Trey DePriest, Alabama Crimson Tide
  8. Ben Heeney, Kansas Jayhawks
  9. Ramik Wilson, Georgia Bulldogs
  10. Bryce Hager, Baylor Bears

Outside Line Backers

Going back to what was said earlier, this is the strength of the draft. Fowler, Gregory, and Beasley all could be tremendous in their rookie season, and Thompson, Harold, and Kikaha add depth to this elite class of pass rushers.

Dante Fowler Jr. goes in for the sack Photo via: www.thevandalnation.com
Dante Fowler Jr. goes in for the sack
Photo via: http://www.thevandalnation.com
  1. Dante Fowler Jr., Florida Gators
  2. Randy Gregory, Nebraska Cornhuskers
  3. Vic Beasley, Clemson Tigers
  4. Shaq Thompson, Washington Huskies
  5. Eli Harold, Virginia Cavaliers
  6. Hau’oli Kikaha, Washington Huskies
  7. Markus Golden, Missouri Tigers
  8. Geneo Grissom, Oklahoma Sooners
  9. Kwon Alexander, LSU Tigers
  10. Lorenzo Mauldin, Louisville Cardinals

Corner Backs

Doesn’t have the top ten cornerback prospects that the previous drafts have had, however up to four of these players could go somewhere in the late to mid first round. Johnson, Peters, and Waynes are by far the top three prospects, and all have their reasons to be number one on this list, yet Johnson is number one due to his combination of discipline and talent.

  1. Kevin Johnson, Wake Forest Demon Deacons
  2. Marcus Peters, Washington Huskies
  3. Trae Waynes, Michigan State Spartans
  4. Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Oregon Ducks
  5. Jalen Collins, LSU Tigers
  6. PJ Williams, Florida State Seminoles
  7. Byron Jones, UConn Huskies
  8. Quinten Rollins, Miami (Ohio) Red Hawks
  9. Ronald Darby, Florida State Seminoles
  10. Doran Grant, Ohio State Buckeyes

Safeties

This is definitely the weakest of the positions in the draft, as Collins is most likely the only player to go in the first round. A severe lack of depth and talent make this the worst safety class the league has seen in a while.

  1. Landon Collins, Alabama Crimson Tide
  2. Gerod Holliman, Louisville Cardinals
  3. Anthony Harris, Virginia Cavaliers
  4. James Sample, Louisville Cardinals
  5. Cody Prewitt, Ole Miss Rebels
  6. Damarious Randall, Arizona State Sun Devils
  7. Kurtis Drummond, Michigan State Spartans
  8. Derron Smith, Fresno State Bulldogs
  9. Clayton Geathers, UCF Knights
  10. Durrell Eskridge, Syracuse Orangemen

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