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Zach Hicks’ First Top 100 Big Board

How much will you hate my rankings?

CFP National Championship Presented by AT&T - Ohio State v Alabama Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

It is finally that time of year again where all of you will hate my rankings because I don’t have certain players high enough, and whatnot. I have watched approximately 140 players in this draft class so far. While this big board is not final whatsoever, this is how I see these prospects at this moment. Obviously, there is still a lot of time left until the NFL Draft and things are subject to change after Pro Day numbers come out and after my final film sessions of each player.

A quick disclaimer on how I grade players; I am a very strict grader. It doesn’t mean I hate every single player. So, if I have a player who is a consensus round one guy for everybody else and he is a second round grade for me, it doesn’t mean I dislike that player. It just means that I have some concerns that I can’t overlook. Just because a player has a second-round grade, doesn’t mean I wouldn’t take them early in the draft. Grades are vastly different from value and positional weights. My big boards are purely on how I look at a player’s production and immediate impact in the league.

So without further ado, here is my Top 100 big board for this class, with a brief description of each player in the top 20. Any comments or concerns, please leave them below in the comments section. I will likely do some sort of live broadcast on YouTube to discuss these rankings more in detail sometime this week or early next week.

First Round Grades (Tier 1: High potential and immediate impact):

1.) Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

Duh. We knew this ranking for the past three years. High-level quarterback with great mobility, velocity, and everything else you want in a QB prospect.

2.) Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

Maybe higher than most but Waddle has easy speed and acceleration that can beat almost any defensive back in the country. If he recovers fully from his ankle injury, he is a superstar in the making.

3.) Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon

Elite offensive tackle prospect who dominated the Pac-12 at just 18 years old. Has some minor things to improve on but looks to be a longtime OT starter in this league.

4.) Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

There are some concerns with his processing (partly due to his offense at Ohio State) however, he does so many things right as a QB. Great velocity, anticipation, eye manipulation, mobility... he’s going to be really good with the right team.

5.) Rashawn Slater, OG/OT, Northwestern

Freak athlete who is probably the best in the class at getting to the second level. His short arms may have some teams list him as a guard, where I think he could be an All-Pro player, but he will succeed at either spot in my opinion.

6.) Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, SAF, Notre Dame

Elite athlete with positional versatility to play in the box or out at nickel corner... or even deep at safety. I think his best fit in the league is more as a slot/safety type but a defensive coordinator is going to have fun with this freaky athlete.

7.) Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida

Special tight end prospect who excels in space. Great route runner with the ability to climb the ladder and make highlight reel plays. He’s like Jordan Reed but healthy.

8.) Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU

A physical receiver who dominated college football in 2019. He allows contact a bit too easily into his chest but he is dominant at the catch point and will climb the latter to make big plays. Should be a productive player from day one.

9.) Alijah Vera-Tucker, OG/OT, USC

Similar to Slater, AVT will likely get moved inside due to his shorter arms. However, I think he has the traits to succeed at either spot. Smart player with great strength and a really good athlete. Easy Top 10 player in my book.

10.) DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

The Heisman Trophy winner in 2020, Smith is a pure technician with great burst and goes up and attacks the ball in the air. His frame is a bit concerning but I’m very confident in him being a legit producer in the NFL.

11.) Kwity Paye, DE, Michigan

Big-bodied defensive end who has all the traits you want on the edge.. even bend! He does allow tackles inside his chest plate a bit too easy and needs to develop more of a plan of attack but his potential is among the highest in the class.

Fringe First-Early Second (Tier 2: High potential players with some current question marks):

12.) Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

A high-level player who flies downhill and can dominate against both the pass and run game. There are some off-field concerns (allegedly involved in the hazing incident in 2019) but he is still the top linebacker in the class for me.

13.) Trey Lance, QB, NDSU

The traits are off the chart with Lance. Huge arm, great mobility, and apparently a genius on the whiteboard. The only issue is that he needs more development in terms of mechanics (especially in his lower half) and could use some work in a pro-style offense. Arguably the most high-end potential in the class.

14.) Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina

My CB1 in this class is a blast to watch on film. Physical corner with that dog mentality that everybody wants. He also tracks the ball very well and could excel in zone coverage at the next level. He won’t be for everybody and does grab a bit, but I’m a huge fan.

15.) Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

Another quarterback with high-level traits who could be a star in this league. I have legit concerns with his size/frame (no way he is that 6’3” on BYU’s website), his injury history, and his struggles against good defenses but with a good offensive coordinator, he could be special.

16.) Kelvin Joseph, CB, Kentucky

Probably the best cornerback film in this entire draft class. A special athlete who was left on an island at Kentucky and performed at a high level (and was productive with four interceptions). The off-field history is a complete mess though as he reportedly butts heads with coaches, wanted to sit out games late in the season, and was arrested in December. High risk but so much potential.

17.) Jaelan Phillips, DE, Miami

Phillips likely has the best film in the class at defensive end. Nuanced pass rusher who understands how to attack and breakdown offensive tackles. He has an extensive injury history (that caused him to retire temporarily in 2018) but the talent is there.

18.) Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech

A superb athlete that practically runs routes for receivers in coverage. He has great length, ball skills, and athleticism to be a top-tier corner in the league. He needs to refine his technique a bit and become more physical but another player with just sky-high potential.

19.) Azeez Ojulari, DE, Geogia

A technically savvy player who stood out on the biggest stage. A nuanced player who brings a good variety of moves and is only scratching the surface of what he can become. I do think he is a bit stiff and I don’t love his length but he should be a good day one starter for a team.

20.) Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama

Physical, long corner who attacks receivers on every snap. Excellent in press man coverage and zone where his technique and instincts can take over. He won’t fit every team, especially one that expects him to be a lock-down number one guy, but he is my type of corner with how he plays.

Second Round Grades (Tier 3: Good floor mixed with the potential to be really good):

21.) Sam Cosmi, OT, Texas

22.) Landon Dickerson, IOL, Alabama

23.) Ronnie Perkins, DE, Oklahoma

24.) Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech

25.) Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State

26.) Dillon Radunz, OT, North Dakota State

27.) Terrace Marshall Jr, WR, LSU

28.) Najee Harris, RB Alabama

29.) Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama

30.) Gregory Rousseau, DE, Miami

31.) Trevon Moehrig, SAF, TCU

32.) Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota

33.) Wyatt Davis, IOL, Ohio State

34.) Ifeatu Melifonwu, CB, Syracuse

35.) Joseph Ossai, DE, Texas

36.) Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue

37.) Jalen Mayfield, OT, Michigan

38.) Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama

39.) Jabril Cox, LB, LSU

40.) Jordan Smith, DE, UAB

41.) Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida

42.) Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson

43.) Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern

44.) Baron Browning, LB, Ohio State

45.) Brevin Jordan, TE, Miami

Third Round Grades (Tier 4: Great potential but they need development):

46.) Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa

47.) Javonte Williams, RB, North Carolina

48.) Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State

49.) Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame

50.) Levi Onwuzurike, DT, Washington

51.) Ar’Darius Washington, SAF, TCU

52.) Jayson Oweh, DE, Penn State

53.) Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, USC

54.) Tylan Wallace, WR, Oklahoma State

55.) JaCoby Stevens, LB/SAF/ATH, LSU

56.) Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss

57.) Payton Turner, DE, Houston

58.) Amari Rodgers, WR, Clemson

59.) Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky

60.) Mac Jones, QB, Alabama

61.) Creed Humphrey, IOL, Oklahoma

62.) Daviyon Nixon, DT, Iowa

63.) Tommy Togiai, DT, Ohio State

64.) Jermar Jefferson, RB, Oregon State

65.) Dyami Brown, WR, North Carolina

66.) Josh Meyers, IOL, Ohio State

67.) Tyree Gillespie, SAF, Missouri

68.) Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama

69.) Tommy Tremble, TE, Notre Dame

70.) Elerson Smith, DE, Northern Iowa

71.) Quincy Roche, DE, Miami

72.) Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri

73.) Nico Collins, WR, Michigan

74.) Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia

75.) Patrick Jones, DE, Pittsburgh

76.) Shaun Wade, CB, Ohio State

77.) D’Ante Smith, OT, ECU

78.) Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia

79.) Ihmir Smith-Marsette, WR, Iowa

80.) Trill Williams, CB, Syracuse

81.) James Hudson, OT, Cincinatti

Early Day 3 (Tier 5: I’m intrigued but they need some work)

82.) Dazz Newsome, WR, North Carolina

83.) David Moore, IOL, Grambling

84.) Kyle Trask, QB, Florida

85.) Alim McNeil, DT, North Carolina State

86.) Marquez Stevenson, WR, Houston

87.) Cameron McGrone, LB, Michigan

88.) Marlon Tuipulotu, DT, USC

89.) D’Wayne Eskridge, WR, Western Michigan

90.) Aaron Banks, IOL, Notre Dame

91.) Michael Carter, RB, North Carolina

92.) Tyler Shelvin, DT, LSU

93.) Joe Tryon, DE, Washington

94.) Monty Rice, LB, Georgia

95.) Israel Mukuamu, CB, South Carolina

96.) Jevon Holland, SAF, Oregon

97.) Hamsah Nasirildeen, SAF, Florida State

98.) Victor Dimukeje, DE, Duke

99.) Elijah Molden, CB, Washington

100.) Jackson Carmen, OT, Clemson

Final Thoughts

I, again, would like to reiterate that these rankings are far from final and I still need to get Pro Day numbers, finalize film grades, and watch some older film to really get to understand these players fully. There are also a few players that I just haven’t seen altogether yet that could propel themselves up into the next top 100 list I post.

I will likely go live at some point to discuss this class a bit but I do love the late round two to early round three range for players in this class. If the Colts could trade back in the first round and snag more picks in that range, that would be the best case scenario for this team.