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2017 NFL Draft: Top 50 Big Board — Pre-Combine

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The combine is this week, so it’s time to unveil my first big board of the draft season. One important reminder: THIS WILL CHANGE!

*Positional rankings are listed in the brackets next to the player’s position*

1. Myles Garrett – Edge Defender (1) – Texas A&M

2. Reuben Foster – Inside Linebacker (1) – Alabama

3. Jonathan Allen – Interior Defensive Lineman (1) – Alabama

4. Jamal Adams – Safety (1) – LSU

5. Soloman Thomas – Edge Defender (2) – Stanford

6. Mike Williams – Wide Receiver (1) – Clemson

7. Corey Davis – Wide Receiver (2) – Western Michigan

8. Dalvin Cook – Running Back (1) – Florida State

9. Ryan Ramczyk – Offensive Tackle (1) – Wisconsin

10. O.J. Howard – Tight End (1) – Alabama

11. Malik Hooker – Safety (2) – Ohio State

12. Tim Williams – Edge Defender (3) – Alabama

13. Teez Tabor – Cornerback (1) – Florida

14. Malik McDowell – Interior Defensive Lineman (2) – Michigan State

15. Quincy Wilson – Cornerback (2) – Florida

16. Takkarist McKinley – Edge Defender (4) – UCLA

17. Sidney Jones – Cornerback (3) – Washington

18. Marshon Lattimore – Cornerback (4) – Ohio State

19. Jabrill Peppers – Safety (3) – Michigan

20. Taylor Moton – Offensive Tackle (2) – Western Michigan

21. Leonard Fournette – Running Back (2) – LSU

22. Cam Robinson – Offensive Tackle (3) – Alabama

23. Zay Jones – Wide Receiver (3) – East Carolina

24. David Njoku – Tight End (2) – Miami (Fla.)

25. Budda Baker – Safety (4) – Washington

26. Joe Mathis – Edge Defender (5) – Washington

27. TreDavious White – Cornerback (5) – LSU

28. Ethan Pocic – Center (1) – LSU

29. Charles Harris – Edge Defender (6) – Missouri

30. DeShone Kizer – Quarterback (1) – Notre Dame

31. Dan Feeney – Guard (1) – Indiana

32. Taco Charlton – Edge Defender (7) – Michigan

33. Brad Kaaya – Quarterback (2) – Miami

34. Christian McCaffrey – Running Back (3) – Stanford

35. Carl Lawson – Edge Defender (8) – Auburn

36. Alvin Kamara – Running Back (4) – Tennessee

37. Zach Cunningham – Inside Linebacker (2) – Vanderbilt

38. John Ross – Wide Receiver (4) – Washington

39. Forrest Lamp – Offensive Guard (2) – Western Kentucky

40. Carlos Watkins – Interior Defensive Lineman (3) – Clemson

41. Haason Reddick – Edge Defender (9) – Temple

42. Jamaal Williams – Running Back (5) – BYU

43. Evan Engram – Tight End (3) – Ole Miss

44. Dalvin Tomlinson – Interior Defensive Lineman (4) – Alabama

45. Jaleel Johnson – Interior Defensive Lineman (5) – Iowa

46. Jordan Leggett – Tight End (4) – Clemson

47. Desmond King – Safety/Cornerback (5) – Iowa

48. Raekwon McMillan – Inside Linebacker (3) – Ohio State

49. Antonio Garcia – Offensive Tackle (4) – Troy

50. Derek Barnett – Edge Defender (10) – Tennessee

General Notes

  • This draft is loaded with defensive talent (as many of you already know), but I didn’t realize how loaded it was until I was making this big board. 10 of my top 15 players are defensive players.
  • I’m not very fond of this year’s quarterback class. Watson just missed the top 50 cut and Kizer is slowly sliding down my big board. They are the group I’m going to spend the most time watching over the course of the next two months, so expect some more changes there.
  • The gap between Leonard Fournette and the 3rd, 4th and 5th best running backs is not as big as most people think.
  • The Mike Williams vs Corey Davis debate is going to be an interesting one over the next 2 months. Right now I have Williams over Davis because of his explosiveness, but that can change.
  • This may not be a popular opinion, but if Ryan Ramczyk is there when the Colts are picking and one of the top 5 defensive guys are gone, I would not be upset if they chose Ramczyk.
  • There are a lot of good cornerback prospects in the 1st round. There are currently 5 legitimate first round cornerback prospects on my big board. Tabor is leading the way right now, but it’s pretty tight in the top 4.

Guys I’m lower on than most:

- Leonard Fournette — Not a player who dishes out a lot of contact, but rather, absorbs a lot of it.

- Derek Barnett — Not an explosive player (or as explosive as the others) off the edge and isn’t very flexible.

- Taco Charlton — The more I watch of him, the lower I move him down on my big board. He looks the part, but his game doesn’t translate too well to the NFL level. He also benefited from a great defensive line at Michigan.

Guys I’m higher on than most:

- Brad Kaaya — He’s probably my favourite quarterback in this year’s class. Three years of experience as a starter, pro style offense with under-center snaps (unlike any of the spread guys), can sit in the pocket and go through his progressions; may be the most pro-ready quarterback in this year’s class.

- Jaleel Johnson — He’s an explosive player who was not easy to handle one-on-one. Could be an immediate impact player at the next level.

- Zay Jones — I was a fan of him during the season, but I became a super-fan after his impressive Senior Bowl week. I’m not big on comparisons, but he reminds me of Deandre Hopkins and could have a similar start to his career (complimentary #2 receiver who becomes a great #1 guy).

- Jamaal Williams — Making a defender miss in open space is one of the most important characteristics a running back. can possess. Williams has that and he looks like he’s going to be a very good player in the NFL.