You may see a lack of quarterbacks on this board and say, ‘Hey wait, everybody at ESPN and Bleacher Report ranks a bunch of quarterbacks in their top 20.’ You won’t get that here because here you will see the 20 best players. This year the quarterback class is deep, but it is not loaded with John Elways or even Andrew Lucks.
1) Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State – Let’s put it this way, Barkley is a better prospect than Ezekiel Elliot was and that says a lot. Barkley can do it all and he does it with amazing speed and quickness. He returns kicks, he runs the ball and he is a beast catching passes. What may be more impressive is his ability to block.
2) Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame – The best offensive guard to come out in I don’t know how long. He plays with unbelievable leverage and is violent with his hands. He is quick and traps as well as any guard you can find in the NFL now. He will be a Pro Bowler as a rookie.
3) Minkah Fitzpatrick, FS, Alabama – Fitzpatrick is an explosive play-maker with great hips and instincts. He will fit in nicely as a free safety in the NFL. He possesses great closing speed and is fully capable of playing center field in a defense, or matching up man to man.
4) Bradley Chub, DE, N.C. State – Plays a little high at times but with his size he can even slide down and play defensive tackle at times. I think he is more NFL ready than Arden Key from LSU just because he can play in any situation, and can play multiple positions.
5) Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia – Smith is an instinctive every down player who will have an immediate impact on any NFL team that selects him. He plays sideline to sideline and will be a special player in the NFL.
6) Arden Key, DE, LSU – Incredible first step quickness! My only concern with him is that he plays a little high at times and gives up his chest, but a little bit of coaching and he could do amazing things in the NFL.
7) Vita Vea, DT, Washington – Vea is a big, strong, athletic guy who plays with great leverage. He sheds blockers well and is very good playing two-gap on defense. Vea has the ability at nose tackle to not just be strong against the run, but to also be able to collapse the pocket against the pass. At times he could play a little defensive end. He is a much better prospect than Danny Shelton was a few years ago.
9) Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama – Ridley is a superb route runner with the speed to pull away from defenders–he is outstanding at getting separation. At Bama this year the passing game was not very good, mainly because of the quarterback play, but Ridley should be a big game player in the NFL.
10)Taven Bryan, DT, Florida – Bryan has a great initial burst and sheds blockers as well as anybody in the country. The thing that makes him special is his ability to play any position along the defensive line.
11) Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville – People are sleeping on Jackson much the way they did Deshaun Watson last year and I don’t see why. Jackson can make all the throws and his ability to throw the ball from the pocket is underrated, big time. Jackson does need to gain some weight and he has been inconsistent at times, but it would not surprise me if he becomes a very good quarterback before he is done in the NFL.
12) Derwin James, SS, Florida State – James is the hardest hitting defensive player in this draft. He is a sure tackler and physical enough to play eight in the box. His only questions will come when he is asked to play center field, plus his ball skills need to improve. Don’t be surprised if he puts some weight on and becomes a WILL Linebacker in the NFL.
14) Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU – Sutton could be the best receiver in this draft but he is not a big time number one guy like a Julio Jones or Antonio Brown. He is a receiver that will cause serious matchup problems for NFL defenses. He is not a great speed guy and has trouble getting separation, but he is great going up to get 50/50 balls and he is very physical.
15) Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame – McGlinchey held his own against Bradley Chubb this year. McGlinchey’s pass set is solid but he has a tendency to get his feet too wide and he sometimes leans a little. But overall he is a very good player.
16) Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State – Ward is a very good athlete who plays a receiver’s eyes and hands as well as anybody in the country. He has very good ball skills and very quick feet, which all should translate well for Ward.