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2017 NFL Draft: Top 8 at Each Position — Post-Senior Bowl

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NCAA Football: Senior Bowl John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The Senior Bowl is over and I came away with a lot of new and reworked opinions. I’m a huge fan of the Senior Bowl and believe it is a great indicator of future success. A lot of players moved up and some moved down.

If you’re wondering how am I qualified to scout and/or rank college players:

  • I am a certified, Level 2 football coach in Canada. I am an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for a high school varsity team and have had many of my position players go onto to prep schools and universities in Canada and in the New England area. I also train and develop quarterbacks in Eastern Canada.
  • I have been to several coaching clinics around the United States (Glazier) and Canada. Clinics were mostly taught by university and college coaches.
  • I have submitted draft reports and scouting reports to BLESTO Scouting Services in the past.
  • I have also done some draft scouting work on Stampede Blue over the past 2 years and I also covered the draft for Pro Football Spot for 3 years.

Here is a link to my NFL Draft quarterback rankings over the past several years. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ydVzXVIjWJlLguGJJ6GiiXhVT_ZHHDPtDSccR6awULQ/edit?usp=sharing

Quarterbacks.

1. DeShone Kizer — Redshirt Sophomore — Notre Dame

2. Brad Kaaya — Junior -- Miami (Fla.)

3. Deshaun Watson — Junior — Clemson

4. Mitch Trubisky — Redshirt Junior — North Carolina

5. Nathan Peterman — Redshirt Senior — Pittsburgh

6. C.J. Beathard — Redshirt Senior — Iowa

7. Josh Dobbs — Redshirt Senior — Tennessee

8. Patrick Mahomes — Junior — Texas Tech

Class Grade: B

This list hasn’t changed much. Dobbs is a new addition, but isn’t anything more than a middle round pick. There is a big drop off after Trubisky and Peterman is no better than an early day 3/late day 2 pick. The top 4 has not changed...yet.

Running Backs

1. Dalvin Cook — Junior — Florida State

2. Leonard Fournette — Junior -- LSU

3. Christian McCaffrey — Junior — Stanford

4. Alvin Kamara — Redshirt Junior — Tennessee

5. Jamaal Williams — Redshirt Senior — BYU

6. Kareem Hunt — Senior — Toledo

7. Jeremy McNichols — Junior — Boise State

8. Marlon Mack — Junior -- USF

Class Grade: A

No running back is going to challenge Cook or Fournette at the top, but I was very impressed with Kareem Hunt and he looks to be a climber in this year’s class. Marlon Mack is a new addition; I watched more of his tape and the more I watched, the more impressed I was with his game.

Wide Receivers

1. Corey Davis — Senior — Western Michigan

2. Mike Williams — Redshirt Junior — Clemson

3. Zay Jones — Senior — East Carolina

4. John Ross — Redshirt Junior — Washington

5. Cooper Kupp — Redshirt Senior — Eastern Washington

6. Juju Smith-Schuster — Junior — USC

7. Amara Darboh — Redshirt Senior — Michigan

8. Dede Westbrook — Senior — Oklahoma

Class Grade: A-

Like Cook and Fournette in the running back rankings, no one is going to challenge Davis or Williams for the top spot in the receivers rankings. However, Zay Jones had a fantastic Senior Bowl and was arguably the best offensive player throughout the week. He looks like an instant starter and impact player in the NFL. Smith-Schuster dropped a bit and he may slide more based on my recent tape study. He’s not a consistent player (shows flashes of brilliance but can’t maintain it) and that scares me.

Tight Ends

1. O.J. Howard — Senior — Alabama

2. David Njoku — Redshirt Sophomore — Miami (Fla.)

3. Evan Engram — Senior — Ole Miss

4. Jordan Leggett — Senior — Clemson

5. Jake Butt — Senior — Michigan

6. Bucky Hodges — Redshirt Junior -- Virginia Tech

7. Jeremy Sprinkle -- Redshirt Senior -- Arkansas

8. Cole Hikutini — Senior — Louisville

Class Grade: A-

The only two things that changed in this ranking is that Leggett leapfrogged Butt and Howard’s lead increased. O.J. Howard is the only player I would argue was better than Zay Jones on offense during the Senior Bowl. He’s a fantastic talent and looked extremely good as a blocker against elite competition. He may end up being a top 10 pick.

Offensive Tackles

1. Ryan Ramczyk — Redshirt Junior — Wisconsin

2. Antonio Garcia — Redshirt Senior — Troy

3. Cam Robinson — Junior — Alabama

4. Taylor Moton — Redshirt Senior — Western Michigan

5. Garett Bolles — Junior — Utah

6. Julien Davenport — Senior — Bucknell

7. Roderick Johnson — Junior — Florida State

8. Adam Bisnowaty — Redshirt Senior — Pittsburgh

Class Grade: C+

This ranking changed a lot. Bisnowaty had a horrendous week and when looking over film from this past season, it becomes painfully obvious that he has a lot of holes in his game. Antonio Garcia wasn’t perfect during the Senior Bowl, but I’m still very intrigued by his game. Taylor Moton is a new addition after having a great week.

Offensive Guards/Centers

1. Ethan Pocic (Center) -- Senior — LSU

2. Dan Feeney (Guard) — Redshirt Senior — Indiana

3. Forrest Lamp (Guard) — Redshirt Senior — Western Kentucky

4. Will Holden (Guard) — Redshirt Senior — Vanderbilt

5. Pat Elflein (Center) — Redshirt Senior — Ohio State

6. Dion Dawkins (Guard) — Senior — Temple

7. Tyler Orlosky (Center) — Redshirt Senior — West Virginia

8. Dorian Johnson (Guard) — Senior — Pittsburgh

Class Grade: C+

Ethan Pocic jumped into the first round conversation after his Senior Bowl. Dan Feeney is right up there with him. There’s a decent gap after those two, but Forrest Lamp had a nice week as well.

Edge Defenders

1. Myles Garrett — Junior — Texas A&M

2. Soloman Thomas — Redshirt Sophomore — Stanford

3. Tim Williams — Senior — Alabama

4. Takkarist McKinley — Senior — UCLA

5. Joe Mathis — Senior — Washington

6. Haasan Reddick — Redshirt Senior -- Temple

7. Derek Barnett — Junior — Tennessee

8. Derek Rivers — Senior — Youngstown State

Class Grade: A+

This is as good as it gets. I’ve never seen a edge defender class this good. Ryan Anderson and Jordan Willis weren’t included on the list, but both should be top 2 round picks. Haasan Reddick had a huge Senior Bowl week and showed me a lot. He impressed me the most out of any player during the Senior Bowl. This will be a fun group to scout more in-depth over the next few months.

Interior Defensive Linemen

1. Jonathan Allen — Senior — Alabama

2. Malik McDowell — Junior — Michigan State

3. Carlos Watkins — Redshirt Senior — Clemson

4. Jaleel Johnson — Redshirt Senior — Iowa

5. Dalvin Tomlinson — Redshirt Senior — Alabama

6. Montravius Adams — Senior — Auburn

7. Elijah Qualls — Redshirt Junior — Washington

8. Caleb Brantley — Redshirt Junior — Florida

Class Grade: B-

Jonathan Allen looks like a solid 3-4, 5 technique defensive end. He could play as a 3 technique in a 4-3, but I think he’s at his best at the 5 technique spot. Watkins, Johnson and Tomlinson were fantastic during the Senior Bowl and are all in the 1st round conversation. After the top 5, there’s a decent gap.

Inside Linebackers

1. Reuben Foster — Senior — Alabama

2. Zach Cunningham — Redshirt Junior — Vanderbilt

3. Raekwon McMillan — Junior — Ohio State

4. Alex Anzalone — Redshirt Junior — Florida

5. Vince Biegel — Redshirt Senior — Wisconsin

6. Jarrad Davis — Senior — Florida

7. Anthony Walker Jr. — Redshirt Junior — Northwestern

8. Kendell Beckwith — Senior — LSU

Class Grade: B-

Reuben Foster may be the only first round pick in this class, but he’s arguably the best inside linebacker to come out of the draft in the past few seasons. Cunningham and McMillan will get 1st round consideration, but both look like solid day 2 picks. Anzalone is an intriguing prospect. He played very little at Florida due to injury, but had a great Senior Bowl. He looks like a good 3rd round pick.

Safeties

1. Jamal Adams — Junior — LSU

2. Malik Hooker — Redshirt Sophomore — Ohio State

3. Jabrill Peppers — Redshirt Sophomore — Michigan

4. Desmond King — Senior -- Iowa

5. Budda Baker — Junior — Washington

6. John Johnson — Senior — Boston College

7. Justin Evans — Senior — Texas A&M

8. Obi Melifonwu — Redshirt Senior — Connecticut

Class Grade: B+

Adams and Hooker are studs and deserve to be top 15 picks. Peppers is an odd case, but because of his versatility, I still believe he’s a top 25 pick. Desmond King showed me at the Senior Bowl that he’s going to be a better safety than cornerback in the NFL. After that, John Johnson showed me a lot at the Senior Bowl. He was on my radar all season and I liked his game a lot at BC. After his great week, I moved him into the late round 2 conversation.

Cornerbacks

1. Teez Tabor — Junior — Florida

2. Quincy Wilson — Junior — Florida

3. Sidney Jones — Junior — Washington

4. Marshon Lattimore — Redshirt Sophomore — Ohio State

5. TreDavious White — Senior — LSU

6. Jourdan Lewis — Senior — Michigan

7. Marlon Humphrey — Redshirt Sophomore — Alabama

8. Rasul Douglas — Redshirt Senior — West Virginia

Class Grade: A

This is a great class, but there’s a lot of confusion at the top. The top 5 guys look like first round picks, but I’m still debating their ranking. I’m going with this one for now, but I expect this list to look very different in April. Douglas sneaks into the top 8 after being (arguably) the best cornerback at the Senior Bowl.