With the NFL Draft Combine ending over a week ago, lets take a look at some of the top prospects and how the combine may have helped or even hurt their draft stock. The consensus top prospect and projected number 1 overall pick Myles Garrett, defensive end from Texas A&M, showed why he is the best player in the draft. He finished top 5 in all of the drills he completed. He ranked in the top 2 in the bench press and the broad jump, while taking top honors in the vertical with a jump of 41″. I do not see any reason why or how the Cleveland Browns pass on him.
The quarterback position is always a top subject come draft time. With it not being a very deep quarterback class, three of them have a certain chance to be taken in the first round. Mitch Trubisky out of North Carolina is the top ranked quarterback and the #12 overall prospect. he has been described as a raw product that lacks arm strength. After having a strong season for the Tar Heels he saw his stock rise throughout the entire season. Deshaun Watson from Clemson is the #23 overall prospect and the #3 quarterback. Watson had a strong senior season finishing second in the Heisman and defeating Alabama for the National Championship. Scouts believe he is the most NFL-ready and the best runner of all the quarterbacks in the draft. Looking to sneak into the first round is Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer. Kizer is the #18 overall prospect and the #2 quarterback. he is a strong mobile quarterback with a big arm.
Leonard Fournette from LSU is the #2 overall prospect and the #1 running back. Fournette is blessed with power and speed, and has drawn comparisons to Adrian Peterson. Florida State produces another top back, Dalvin Cook. Cook is the #25 overall prospect and the #4 overall running back. He has big play ability, but was also one of the biggest losers of the running backs at the combine. The #2 running back prospect, Joe Mixon from Oklahoma, was not invited to the combine after the video of him punching a female surfaced late in the season. Christian McCaffrey form Stanford is one of the most decorated running backs in college football history. While he is a solid runner and an above average pass catcher out of the backfield, some scouts are concerned about his durability and strength after only a 10 rep performance in the bench press.
The #1 wide receiver and the #8 overall prospect Mike Williams out of Clemson, is a big, strong receiver that can help a team immediately in the red zone. He is the most NFL-ready receiver in the draft. The talk of the combine was about the #22 overall prospect and the #3 receiver from Washington, was John Ross. Ross ran a 4.22 40 yard dash to break the record of 4.24, which was run by Chris Johnson. he labeled the top slot receiver in the draft. The #2 receiver Corey Davis out of Western Michigan, still has some things to prove coming out of a small school.
After Garrett, it is still a deep draft for defensive players. Alabama and Ohio State have a pair of defenders that are all likely to be top 20 picks in the draft. For Alabama, defensive lineman Jonathon Allen and linebacker Reuben Foster, both had strong seasons for the Crimson Tide. Foster is the better pass rusher, but was unable to participate in the combine after being sent home due to an incident with the combine medical staff. Foster is the #3 overall prospect and the #1 linebacker. Allen is the #7 overall prospect and the #2 defensive lineman. He is an all-around good pass rusher and run stopper. Safety Malik Hooker and cornerback Marshawn Lattimore out of Ohio State, are both projected top 10 picks. Hooker, named the best free safety in the draft is the #5 overall prospect and the #2 safety. He also is the top coverage safety in the draft. Lattimore, the #11 overall prospect and #2 cornerback, displays the best zone coverage of any cornerback in the draft.
Other notible top defensive prospects include Jamal Adams from LSU, Sidney Jones from Washington, and Jabrill Peppers form Michigan. Adams the #4 overall prospect and the #1 safety, is the most NFL-ready safety and is the best run stopping safety. Sidney Jones is the #19 overall prospect and the #4 cornerback. Jones had a strong showing at the combine, but tore his achillies on Saturday at his pro day. We have seen players with injuries still get drafted in the first round before, and I think that Jones will be no different. One of the most interesting players in the years draft is Jabrill Peppers out of Michigan. While playing for the Wolverines, Peppers was a standout on special teams while playing both linebacker and safety on defense. He does not have the ideal size to play linebacker in the NFL, but was named the best hybrid player in the draft. It is believed that he will primarily play safety in the league.
All of these players are looking to be taken in the first round of the draft and also hope to have an immediate impact on the teams that decide to take them. All rankings are property of Matt Miller and Bleacher Report. You can find all prospect rankings and breakdowns here.