2018 Player Ratings. Part I.

Updated 1/15

Very early short list of 2018 player prospects. This is a very strange Draft. It was suppose to be the year of the QB, but this Draft is quickly becoming the year of the RB. I have five RBs that I would complain if they ended up in the 1st Round. PLus, the Pats are loaded with top picks, and could end up with three picks in the top 64. The top edgerushers from last season have both dropped fo to bad seasons, and Chubb has emerged as the best player in this Draft.

#

Name-HT, WT, 40, Vert, (U)- Unofficial, S- 10 Yard Split,

POS

School

1

*Bradley Chubb- 6-4, 275, #9

DE 

NC State

09/27: He is one of the top three football players I've seen this season. He has been unblockable rushing the quarterback. Edgerusher is a much more important position than RB, or otherwise he might be third on my list. 

08/17: He made the decision to come back and get his degree. "Iím very happy about this decision because I know coming back to NC State is the best thing for me," Chubb said. "I prayed about it and know that Iím supposed to stay. I have personal goals; being first-team All-ACC and All-American, that I havenít accomplished yet. But more importantly I want to help our team accomplish our goals. We have some unfinished business and I canít wait to get back on the field with my Wolfpack brothers and get to work." That is a tough thing for a kid to do, and you have to respect that.

He is such a great athlete that he will line up standing up, and drop into coverage, and cover the TE slanting over the middle. "Nothing could have made our new year happier than the call from Chubb to tell me he wanted to return to NC State," NC State HC Dave Doeren said. "On the field, he is a special player, a game changer and a difference maker. Off the field heís a great leader and a great teammate." He lines up on both sides of the line standing up, but usually with a hand down. 

Terrific inside power to run over the OG on a stunt inside. "People who say 'take the money and run' arenít really in your corner," Chubb said. "My mom and my dad, my brother and my auntie let me make the decision. At the end of the day, you have to make your own decision. Youíre the one that has to live with it." He has some heavy hands that can jolt the TE back a yard with just an initial shove as he moves inside.
Great job using his leg explosion and hands right off the snap. "I try not to think about injuries at all," Chubb said. "It comes with the game. If it happens or doesnít happen, I have trust in my faith." He will line up inside at 3 and 4-Tech. 
He will lined up inside at DT and rush on the ORG sometimes. "Hereís what youíd make if you were drafted this year, in his case he was [rated] as the fifth defensive end," Doeren said. "Hereís what that fifth guy made last year, and here is what the four guys in front of him made. But if you go from the fifth to the first [in 2018], youíll make another $20 million. Thatís a pretty easy business decision if you believe in the team youíre on, and he does. The best part of his decision for me was the defensive line wants to play together for their senior year. Bradley wants to finish what he started." He is mostly an edge rusher.
He can be unstoppable rushing the edge. "My confidence in the guys on this team brought me back" Chubb said. "We push each other to another level. I feel another year with these guys will push me to another level." Great technique, great hands, great bend, and great explosion.
AS A SENIOR (2017): Named one of the top returnees for 2017 by Pro Football Focus. Ranks 12th in school history with 34 career tackles for loss. His 16 career sacks rank 10th on the all-time list.
AS A JUNIOR (2016): Ended the season ranked fourth in the FBS in tackles for loss (22) and second in the ACC. He was the national leader at the end of the regular season. 22 tackles for loss was the second-best mark in school history. Only No. 1 NFL draft pick Mario Williams had more in a season for the Pack. Ranked fourth in the league and 19th nationally in sacks (10.5). That mark tied for third on the Wolfpack single-season list. Named the teamís Defensive MVP for 2016. A third-team All-ACC performer. Had a season high four TFLs in the win at Syracuse. Named the ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week for the Notre Dame win and was a second-team All-ACC performer. Elected a team captain for the season. Chosen to wear Mario Williamsí honored No. 9 jersey. Added 25 lbs in the past year. Named to the preseason watch list for the Bednarik Award.
AS A SOPHOMORE (2015): Started every game at defensive end, he was the second-leading tackler on the squad with 69 stops, ranked second in tackles for loss (12) and in sacks (5.5). Co-recipient of the teamís Carey Brewbaker Award for defensive lineman of the year. Named the ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week for the Boston College game after he led the team in tackles with nine in the win. He also tallied five tackles for loss - tied as the 10th best mark in school history. Team leader for 2015 with three forced fumbles. Moved to defensive end during 2015 spring drills and quickly moved up the depth chart

9.9 

2

*Sam Darnold- 6-4, 225, RS-Soph

QB

USC

08/2017: I would be shocked if Darnell is not the first pick in the Draft by the Jets in the 2018 Draft. He came off the bench in the first three games last season, and got his first start against Utah. He got better and better as the season went on. He had maybe the best game of any college QB last season, when also considering pomp and circumstance, in the Rose ball, "Rose Bowl Offensive Player of the Game against Penn State as he set Rose Bowl records with 5 passing TDs and 473 total yards of offense; he was 33-of-53 passing for 453 yards overall in the game (all were career highs and second most ever in a Rose Bowl), including 10-of-10 for 135 yards in the fourth quarter as he engineered 2 long touchdowns drives in the final 9 minutes to tie the score." He was spectacular in that game.

He kept bringing them back over and over as neither defense could stop either offense. "But he found a way,Ē Helton said about the Rose Bowl. ďMan, does that define the guy. He gets us out of trouble so many times that you donít even see. You take it for granted, absolutely." I saw it, and so did every NFL evaluator. 

He has a lot to like, and a lot to improve on. "The biggest thing for me is the decision making," Helton said. "Not to say heís a gunslinger, but thereís probably three or four times last year that I know he wanted the ball back." 

He was so good at the end of last season that it is easy to forget that he only started . "Heís not a finished product," USC HC Clay Helton said. "But he is special. He is special. And whatever it is, he has it. Thereís no question. 

He has great accuracy, and a knack for putting the ball on the opposite shoulder as the CB. "Heís so creative, I get so nervous sometimes even worrying about mechanics," Helton said. "His core is so strong and he can make every throw on the field. His anticipation, his timing and then the use of his core. Heís not a guy that has to wind up, the ball comes out so quick. He doesnít even have to take a step. Heís unbelievable at it." 
USC Overview: 2017: The poised-beyond-his-years Darnold, known for his quick release, accuracy and mobility, enters his second season as USCís starting quarterback as a leading Heisman Trophy contender as just a sophomore in 2017 after earning national accolades in his 2016 rookie showing.2016: Darnold proved to be among the top quarterbacks in the nation as just a redshirt freshman in 2016. His insertion into the starting lineup in the fourth game of 2016 gave the USC offense a spark as the Trojans won the final 9 games of the season. Overall in 2016 while appearing in all 13 games and starting the last 10, he completed 246-of-366 passes (67.2%) for 3,086 yards with 31 TDs and 9 interceptions, plus 62 carries for 250 yards (4.0 avg) with 2 TDs and 3 tackles.
2016 Overview: He is the only USC quarterback in history to have back-to-back 5 passing TD games (Arizona and California in 2016). He threw multiple TD passes in 9 straight games, the most by a Trojan since Matt Leinartís 15 in 2003-04. He was ninth nationally in passing efficiency (161.1, second in Pac-12), 10th in completion percentage (.672, second in Pac-12) and 13th in passing TDs (31, fourth in Pac-12). He was second in the nation in ESPNís Total Quarterback Rating (86.8), behind only Oklahomaís Baker Mayfield. In his 10 starts, he threw 29 touchdowns and just 8 interceptions. Among freshmen quarterbacks, he was first nationally in passing efficiency (161.1), completion percentage (.672), TD passes (31) and yards per attempt (8.4). His 31 TDs in 2016 is a USC freshman season record. His 250 rushing yards in 2016 are the most in a season by a USC quarterback since Reggie Perryís 254 in 1991. He already is 15th on USCís career passing list with 246 completions (he also is tied for 10th on Troyís season passing chart with those 246 completions). His 3,336 yards of total offense in 2016 is eighth on USCís season list and 20th on USCís career list.

9.7 QB

3

*Josh Rosen- 6-4, 220, #3

QB

UCLA

11/2017: I have questioned his toughness, but he has been at his best in the 4th quarter this season. "I'm up 15 pounds from last season, and have been working out really hard. I've matured so much physically, and I'm a lot stronger," Rosen said. "The thing is, I'm only 20 years old. A lot of people think I'm a lot older. I'm going into my third year, and a lot of guys going into their third year of playing are 21 or 22 years old. I'm still young, my body is still changing. Mentally, I feel much older. You figure sh** out, and don't get your ass kicked as much." As the game goes on, he is putting it on his receivers hands better and better. 

Which was not his MO in his first two seasons. He has to play with a great OC. Pressure up the middle still kills him more than anything else. Throws the ball away better this year with pressure up the middle. He can look to the left side, and then turn back to the right and hit the TE in the Endzone for the big TD, like he did against Stanford.

He has been accused (unfairly) of not loving football, because he has political ideals. "I love the game. I've missed it. I can't wait to play this season," Rosen said. "(UCLA OC) Jedd (Fisch) is fantastic. A really smart guy who sees the game. This is a big year for us. I don't think I'm making any news saying that. It's important for all of us to play to our potential." I am reluctantly changing my mind on Rosen. He has been tough, able to throw the tough pass after he got hit, and clutch this season. Which he just wasn't until this season. 

10/2016: When he sees it he can get the ball to the receiver fast. When he has to move out of the pocket he looses a lot of accuracy. He tries to run with the ball too much in the Redzone. He can turn his head to three receivers, and then go back to the second and throw. He likes to throw over the middle as much as he can.

He has been playing much better in the first month of the season. "Last year was good in one aspect, it reset everything. Missing a bowl game and getting a month off was just a breath of fresh air," Rosen said. "I've been going hard for two years, and it took a toll on my body. That time off gave me the ability to look at things from a biomechanics perspective. Everything is intertwined, and it starts with your posture. Without good posture, your feet flare, your hips crunch, your lower back arches, your shoulders come forward and your head is moving. And those little problems translate to the field and your mechanics." He has to continue that all season, and in the Bowl game.

2016: Starter in first six games of the season Ö Injured in game six at Arizona State, where he threw for career-best 400 yards Ö Missed the balance of the season Ö Has risen to sixth on the all-time school lists for passing yardage (5,583), total offense (5,527) and completions (429) Ö The 400 yards passing at ASU tied for the sixth-best total ever by a UCLA player Ö It was 10th 300-yard passing game of his career, which is tied for second on all-time school list (one behind Cade McNown, 1995-98) Ö Threw for 350 yards and three scores in win over Arizona Ö Passed for 307 yards in win at BYU Ö Named to Davey O'Brien, Walter Camp, Rotary Lombardi and Maxwell Award watch lists Ö Honorable mention Pac-12 Conference Football All-Academic team selection.

9.7 QB

4

*Saquon Barkley- 5-11, 223, #26, (U) 4.33, 38" Vert, 10'10" Broad, 

RB 

Penn State

10/2027: He is the second best prospect I have seen this season. "Everyone wants to talk about him jumping over people, but the guy that he is off the field, he's a really good dude," Penn ST TE Mike Gesicki said. "He takes time of out of his day when people want to talk to him. He's not brushing them off. He's handled all the success that he's had very well." His combination of Combine numbers, skills, and talent is incredible. 

His speed and explosion out of the backfield is as good as I've seen. "When I tried to tackle Saquon (in practice), he broke out of the tackle and scored a touchdown," Penn St FS Marcus Allen said. "I tried to go low on him. When we were hustling back to the huddle, he was like, 'Hey, you knew I could have hurdled you, right?'" Before this season he was tested at Penn ST (and the stats are always exaggerated at the College).

These were the alleged result: 400 Bench, 600-Squat, 4.33 40, 4.00-agility drill, 38" Vert, Broad=10'10". "It just gets you better," Allen said. "Going against the level of competition in practice everyday is really good. Now it helps for other backs that may be as good as Saquon. If you can go against or cover Saquon in practice everyday. It's not rocket science you're going to get better." He ran an off tackle play, where he ran around the DE, and then accelerated impossibly for 10 more yards. 

I would take him with the first pick no problem. "He's a great back. He can do a lot of things, especially in the pass game, which is different for the Big Ten, to be honest," Wisconsin LB T.J. Edwards said. "You have to get a lot of bodies to the ball, because he's going to make people miss and break some tackles. I think he's got a lot of weapons in front of him, which makes it easier for him." He runs over guys, and makes guys miss with speed to the outside.

08/2017: Elite speed for a 220-230 pound Back. "Our coaching staff and our strength staff did a really good job pushing me," Barkley said. "I gained weight this year. I'm at 230 now. I feel faster. I ran a faster 40 than I did last year in the past. That's something I wanted to really add to my game because I feel like, when you do the weight room, it really translates to the football field." Elite shake and COD.
He also lined up in the slot and outside at WR. "I feel that Coach Franklin will agree that I'm capable of being lined up in the slot," Barkley said. "Being able to run routes. I do feel like I'm capable to do a lot with the ball in my hand in space, and I just want to continue to grow in that area." He can do anything he wants on the field. 
Plus, everyone just keeps complimenting his character as well. "I think when your best players are your best teammates and your hardest working guys, it sets the tone for the whole organization," Penn St HC Franklin said. "In a lot of ways, Saquon has been that way since the day he stepped on campus." Too perfect a prospect to be believed.
Career: Is the only player in Penn State history and just the fourth in Big Ten student-athlete to gain 3,000 rushing and 1,000 receiving yards in a career...The lone Nittany Lion with rush and reception of 80-plus yards in a career...Became the seventh player in Penn State history to reach 3,000 yards rushing in a career...Ranks No. 3 on Penn State's career rushing list with 3,329 yards, trailing Curt Warner (3,398; 1979-82) for No. 2...Is just the eighth player in Penn State history with multiple 1,000-yard rushing seasons...Sits No. 4 on the career rushing touchdowns chart (33), one behind Ki-Jana Carter (34; 1992-94) for the No. 3 spot...Ranks tied for No. 8 with 13 career 100-yard games (five in 2015, five in 2016, three in 2017), including three 200-yard efforts (two in 2016, one in 2017)...Owns the career record for receiving yards by a running back with 1,011 yards, passing Tony Hunt's mark of 799 yards (2003-06) vs. Georgia State (9/16/17), doing so with 26 fewer receptions.

9.9 RB

5

*Brice Love-  6', 202, #5, 

RB

Stanford

10/2017: He is the third best player I've seen this season (maybe the first;). "What separates Bryce for me is the yards after contact," Stanford HC David Shaw said. "Whereas youíve got bigger backs around the nation that are physical guys that bounce off and make big plays, nobodyís doing what Bryce has done this year, which is lead the nation in yards after contact. A lot of his big runs. Some of them are well-blocked and everybodyís blocked, and a lot of them aren't. Heís running through an arm tackle. Heís making a guy miss. Heís coming up on a safety, and making a guy miss , and accelerating and going full-speed, like he did against Arizona State, like he did against Utah." Elite speed, with much more power in his legs than you'd think from a high school sprinter.  

McCaffrey was a runningback that ran like a sprinter, while Love is a sprinter who runs like a runningback. "The big thing with it . and Christian had the same thing . just always believe, have that belief," Love said. "I'm not big with numbers and stuff like that but why not come in and have however many yards? The big thing with me and him is just we always wanted to win." Love is better than Christian, who was the 8th pick in the Draft.

He is not just fast, he is faster than McCaffrey, he is faster than everybody. "We all knew he had blazing speed, even his freshman year," WR Arcega-Whiteside said. "We all saw the potential in him. Having guys like Christian in front of him for Bryce to take notes on is a pretty good role model." He is also tough to bring down, because he is built so low and wide, like Barry Sanders (that's right I said Barry Sanders).

"Those are plays that nobody else in America is making. Not just, 'Oh, he got hit and he dragged the guy for five yards.' Heís done that, too, but a lot of his big runs have come when he should be, quote-unquote, tackled," Shaw said. "And not only does he make more yards, he actually scores touchdowns. And those are the plays that change games. Those are the plays that make him, to me, special. And make him unique in college football right now.Ē 

He does a good job getting into position to pick up the blitzer. Great quick adjustments on the second level to make LBs miss. He has a great quick twitch to the outside that freezes LB and DBs on the 2nd and 3rd levels. He can get low and cut the LB blitzing up the middle. Elite speed that makes guys miss outside, just because they cannot close the angle. 

He broke McCaffrey's single game rushing record against UCLA. "He's got so much speed and so much explosion, we all know this was going to happen," coach Shaw said. "How many yards and what people say, you never know. But we knew he was a running back and we knew he was going to get the tough yards. All he needed was carries." After five games he was still averaging an impossible 11.1 YPC. 

 

9.9 RB

6

*Minkah Fitzpatrick- 6-1, 202, #29

CB/FS 

Alabama 

10/2017: He is the most versatile player in this Draft. "The fact that he can play all six positions in the secondary allows you a little flexibility to kind of see who the other guys are," Alabaman DC Jeremy Pruitt said.
He will even line up in the box like an LB and make plays. "It's really unique to have a guy that's as smart as he is, [and] has a good understanding of the game that really can play all those positions," Saban said. "I think the goal is to get the best four guys, the best five guys on the field in the best positions that will give us the best opportunity to have a chance to be successful in the back end. Minkah can play either place [CB or Safety] extremely well. So based on how the other players develop will probably determine to a large degree how they end up playing." What has impressed me the most this season is his play at CB.
I think he is their best Corner, as well as their free Safety. "Coach thinks I am versatile and I think I am pretty versatile, too," Fitzpatrick said. "I can play multiple positions and he trusts me to do that. I am just out there wherever Coach needs me to play at. [Friday] I played all corner yesterday. Then, the day before that, I was playing safety and corner." Plus, he can cover TEs out of the slot like Chung.
He makes plays in Cover One. "He pretty much can do everything in my eyes," Averett said. "Put him at corner, safety, Star, wherever you want to put Minkah he can play. Wherever Saban wants to play him or wherever he wants to experiment with him, he's willing to do that." He is a great blitzer off the edge.
He is the true leader of that defense. "Minkah is a really hard worker," Saban said. "He's a bright guy. He's a smart guy. He's a very instinctive player. When I talk about discipline and eye control, looking at the right things, understanding what the other team is trying to do so you put yourself in the best position to take advantage of it, he probably does that as well as anybody that we have on defense. I think that he ends up making plays because of it." You can see him giving checks and setting up the defense all game long.

2017 (Junior): Regarded as one of the top defensive backs in the nation ... ranks third on the team in tackles with 32 while adding 4.5 tackles for loss (-21 yards) and contributing one sack (-12 yards) ... recorded four pass breakups, a pair of quarterback hurries, one interception, a forced fumble and a blocked field goal to his stats ... tabbed as a First Team Midseason All-American by the Associated Press and Sports Illustrated as well as a Midseason All-American by USA Today, ESPN.com, CBSsports.com and TheAthletic.com ... selected as a First Team Preseason All-American by six different outlets ... named to Watch Lists for the Bednarik, Paul Hornung, Maxwell and Thorpe Awards along with the Lott IMPACT and Nagurski Trophies ... also chosen to the Walter Camp Player of the Year Preseason Watch List ... his off-the-field efforts were also recognized as he was selected as an AFCA Good Works Team nominee and added to the Wuerffel Trophy Watch List ... earned Bednarik, Lott IMPACT and Nagurski Defensive Player of the Week honors for his play at Texas A&M ... also selected as the SEC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance in College Station ... earned special teams player of the week honors from the Alabama coaching staff for his play against Florida State and at Texas A&M and defensive player of the week from the coaches after the Ole Miss and Texas A&M games. Florida State: Wrapped up the night with five tackles, including half a tackle for loss (-1 yard) ... added a field goal block on the final play of the first half to help Alabama maintain its lead at the break ... his efforts earned him special teams player of the week honors from the UA staff. Fresno State: Totaled two tackles in the Tide secondary. Colorado State: Tied for second on the team with six stops against the Rams ... added his first pass breakup of the season by nightís end. Vanderbilt: Made an impact all over the field ... notched two tackles while registering a career-high two quarterback hurries ... also matched his career mark for pass breakups with two ... captained a Tide defense that limited the Commodores to only 78 total yards of offense and just three first downs. Ole Miss: Finished with a career-high eight tackles on the night ... added two tackles for loss (-17 yards), including one sack (-12 yards) ... led a Tide secondary that held the Rebels to only 165 yards passing, well below their season average of 427 yards entering the contest ... earned defensive player of the week honors from the Alabama coaches for his efforts. Texas A&M: Selected as the SEC Defensive Player of the Week and earned Bednarik, Lott IMPACT and Nagurski Defensive Player of the Week honors for his play against the Aggies ... also recognized by the UA coaches as a player of the week on both defense and special teams ... collected five tackles with two for a loss (-3 yards) ... forced one fumble, broke up a pass and picked off his first pass of the season ... the interception came at the Alabama 1-yard line to keep the Aggies off the board late in the game ... helped limit A&M to 308 yards of total offense and just 19 points, well below its season average entering the contest. Arkansas: Totaled four tackles against the Razorbacks ... his play was key in limiting the Hogs to only nine points and just 227 yards of total offense.

9.9

7

*Harold Landry- 6-3, 250, #7

Edgerusher

BC 

09/2017: He is the best returning player from last season. A one man passrusher who has been being held back by his coaches for some unknown reason. He struggled early, and was taken out of the starting lineup, but he kept hitting the QB. 

08/2017: He decided to come back to school for his Senior season, after he lead the NCAA in sacks. "I wanted to make sure that when I go to the NFL that I was actually ready to play," Landry said. "I don't want to be just a 3rd [down rusher]. I want to prove that I'm an every-down player, and I want to make sure when I go to the NFL I can actually contribute to the team and that I'm ready to produce at that level. I don't want to be just another developing player. I want to be ready to go when I get there, and coming back with Coach Pasqualoni and Coach Reid definitely gives me the best chance to be that player." He is a true student athlete.

He will graduate from BC next year. "It was important for me to finish what I started at Boston College," Landry said. "To prove that I have the talent and drive to be a 1st-round draft pick and to earn my degree from one of the nation's premier academic institutions" He also has the bend of Von Miller.

He not was tops in Sacks, he also lead the NCAA in FF with 7. "Our team has a special chemistry and I am so excited to know I will have one more season to play with my teammates," Landry said. "I really believe in what Coach Addazio is building here and look forward to help this team compete for a championship." He was also named an All-American by guys who actually watched the games.
He was one-man passrush for most games in 2016. "We are so excited to have Harold back for his senior season and know that he will be able to leave BC with an outstanding degree," BC HC Steve Addazio. "Harold is a tremendous leader with his senior class that came to BC to help us compete for a championship. We look forward to see him continue to grow and develop as he works himself into a potential first-round draft pick in 2018. The sky is the limit with his potential." He has elite hands and maybe the best first step in this Draft.

He will end up as the best passrusher from a school who had some good ones. "I mean, best-case scenario, [I] leave here with the all-time sack record," Landry said. "But also with that scenario, our team exceeding the success we had last season with going to a Bowl Game. I think this year with our schedule, we have a lot of marquee match-ups that will help us showcase the work we've put in this whole off-season. And I think our schedule just sets up perfectly for us to be able to showcase the talent we have here at BC." If he slips out of the top five, he will be the steal of the Draft.

11/2016: Landry now has forced five fumbles to go along with his 9 Sacks. "He was a really good player," BC HC Steve Addazio said. "Al Washington on our staff recruited Harold, established a physical relationship with Harold. People came back in on Harold, but I thought we had such a strong relationship, Al did, that we were able to maintain that and be able to sign Harold here. He's a fantastic player. He was a really outstanding player in high school, and he's very explosive. He's developing at a high level. I think Coach Pasqualoni has really helped to take his game to the next level right now, and I think just doing a great, great job. Yeah, every once in a while you're able to go in and get involved with a really good athlete and hang on, and that's the beautiful thing about football. You know, there's great players everywhere." He is leading the nation.

He showed it all to start the 3rd quarter against NC ST. He started off lining up outside the OLT. He shot forward low and level, and nobody blocked him. The OLT blocked down on the DT. The coach who chose to not block Harold Landry on any play, in any game this year, should be fired. Because he is basically doing it all alone in the rush. BC doesn't have a whiff of another threat in the rush. He angled forward into the backfield. He saw the handoff to the RB, and altered his course straight down the line behind the OLT. He dipped all the way around the OLT, who was being pushed back by the DT, and dived into the RB a yard deep in the backfield. He fell forward for a yard.

"I think Wagner was the first time he really started looking like his old self," Addazio said. "Harold missed most of training camp and he was delayed getting back. It took time for him to start getting his legs back and his competitive technique back. Now heís starting to get himself into the playing shape that weíd hoped heíd be at."

On the next play, he lined up at 9-Tech outside the ORT. The last play he was a little more smooth and in control as he read the RB. This time he blasted off on 3rd and 4, in two strides he was at the ORT's outside shoulder. He got low and dipped under him. He took a big hit as he tried to rip past, and was tackled to the ground. But as he was being tackled he reached up with one hand and grabbed the back of the QB's shirt, at the bottom. He pulled him backwards as he threw, and pulled him to the ground. The QB completed the pass for 25-yards and the 1st, but the ref called holding on the ORT for Landry.

"Iím naturally a pretty good athlete," Landry said. "But to be a really effective pass rusher you have to work at your craft every day. I think most of those (pass rushing) skills have to be developed. Thatís why Iím out here every day trying to get better."

On 3rd and 14, he lined up at 9-Tech again outside the ORT. He blasted off, and the ORT stepped outside this time instead of kicksliding back, and shoved him back. Landry grabbed his arms and shoved them down. He was way outside now, and the ORG turned back in a panic to double him. He shed the ORT with his hands and dipped under him, and he was even with the QB. He turned with elite agility, leverage, and COD, and burst forward in a straight line past the ORG. He dived on the QB and knocked the ball out for a game changing strip sack. The QB ducked a little and jammed the ball into his gut. Landry grabbed him by the shoulder and spun him around and the ball dropped out on the turf, and the DT who rushed up the middle jumped on it.

"Heís just one of the great college football coaches in history. It was surreal and I was very appreciative of the time he spent with me," Landry tweeted about Mack Brown after Clemson loss. "It has been frustrating. Ultimately, at the end of the day the most important thing is that won-loss column."

That was three straight elite plays, of not just getting into the backfield, but making game changing plays in the backfield. If he is available when the Pats pick, they have to take him to replace Mr. Jones as their Number One Rusher that other teams have to adjust their blocking schemes for. He is not just unstoppable bursting up field. He finds the ball in the backfield and makes plays.

10/2016: He got into the backfield better than anyone else last year, he just wasn't hitting the QB. "I appreciated all the congratulations, but at the end we didn't win and that was the ultimate goal," Landry said. "It [his player of week award in 2015] surprised me. There's a lot of great talent on defense in the ACC. So I appreciate the award and I'm proud of it. I really have to thank our defensive line coach, coach Albert. He really pushes me hard every day in practice because he knows what I'm capable of and he won't let me become complacent." He was named ACC defensive player of the week against FLA ST in 2015 after garnering 4.5 TFLs and 1.5 Sacks.
He is showing that he does have that knack for hitting the quarterback this year, big time! "I think he's really helped us in our pass rush," BC HC Steve Addazio said. "Last year, we did not have a very good four-man pass rush. We had to create a pass rush with blitzes. We still blitz, but we can also create a four-man pass rush with Harold off the edge. He's more physically mature. He's mentally more mature and he's just starting to come into his own. We're starting to feel the benefit of that right now." He has turned his knack for tackling the RB in the backfield, into a knack for hitting the quarterback.
NOTES: Set the Boston College single-season record with 16.5 sacks in 2016 ... third in BC record books with 21.0 career sacks ... 39.0 career tackles-for-loss rank fourth in BC history while 22 in 2016 was second all-time in one season.
2015 (SOPHOMORE): Appeared in all 12 games, making 11 starts, including the final nine games of the 2015 season Ö recorded 60 tackles, including 37 solo stops, to go along with 15.5 tackles for a loss, 4.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery Ö earned All-ACC honorable mention honors from the leagueís coaches Ö a member of the BC defense that was ranked No. 1 nationally in total defense (254.3 yards per game) Ö was tied for 27th nationally with three forced fumbles Ö in the ACC, was tied for fourth in forced fumbles and tied for eighth with 15.5 tackles for a loss Ö recorded his first career sack, part of 1.5 tackles for a loss (12 yards), and forced two fumbles against Maine (Sept. 5) Ö notched a career-high 11 tackles (seven solo) Ė including 4.5 tackles for a loss (27 yards) and 1.5 sacks against No. 9/6 Florida State (Sept. 18), earning ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week honors Ö added five tackles against Northern Illinois (Sept. 26) and six tackles at Duke (Oct. 3) Ö in addition to his five tackles at Louisville (Oct. 24), he also forced a fumble and recovered a fumble with a 34-yard return Ö two of his seven tackles against Virginia Tech (Oct. 31) were for a loss Ö added five tackles (4-1) vs. NC State (Nov. 7) and six tackles at Syracuse (Nov. 28)...Tallied six solo tackles, including four TFLs and two sacks against Florida State (Nov. 11) ... also added his sixth forced fumble of the season at FSU.

9.9X

8

**Derwin James- 6-3, 211, #3, 

FS/LB

Florida ST

08/2016:  He plays Cover One Safety sometime, which is just incredible for a guy his size. Some think he can play on offense as well. "Yeah, he could do that," Jimbo Fisher said. "He could go out there and run, catch a pass, run a reverse. He could do anything." Including his HC.

He missed most of last season with a knee injury. "It means so much, considering last year," James said. "I didn't get to be out there. It's going to be great." They will open the season against Alabama.

He can come up from Cover One, and get in on a tackle at the LOS, which is incredible. "That means it's possible for you to do that. What he's got to do is take possible and make it probable," Fisher said. "You have to do that by performing and practicing every week, being detail oriented and not worrying about that and just playing the game." He can come out of coverage and devastate the QB when he takes off. He hurts guys when he hits them.

He plays Cover Two, and will come up fast enough to stop the 1st down when a WR catches the ball in front of him. "I havenít done anything yet," James said. "Iíve only played in 11 games. I still feel like I have some improvement. Itís great to have that. But I feel like I havenít reached my full potential yet. So I just have to play." Great tackler when he plays Slot CB, and the WR catches the ball in front of him. " He has played very well so far this season.

He will get over aggressive sometimes. "Youíve seen him," WR Auden Tate said. "Heís a freak of nature. He can do anything" Covers in the slot like a CB. Elite at finding the ball carrier in the open field. He can use his hands to punch off the double team blockers. 

He is vastly inexperienced, do to his injury last year, but does look like a guy who can anything he wants on the field. "I love the ball," James said. " Itís all about the ball. If coach wants to put it in my hands, Iím gonna take care of it." Even play on offense. 
2016: Arguably the nationís top defensive player, suffered a lateral meniscus tear in his left knee against Charleston Southern in Week 2Ömissed the rest of the season following the injury and received a redshirtÖcollected ACC Defensive Back of the Week honors after totaling a team-best eight tackles and his first career interception against No. 11 Ole Miss in the season-opening comeback winÖinterception came on Rebelsí quarterback Chad Kelly Ė one of the nationís top signal-callersÖnamed a preseason All-American by nearly every publicationÖremained a team leader and traveled on nearly every road trip despite the injury.

9.9X

9

*Christian Wilkins- 6-4, 297, #42

DT 

Clemson 

07/2017: Super athlete freak who played mostly DE last season, but dominated when he was able to get snaps inside at DT. "My strength is just as good as it has ever been so Iím even stronger," Wilkins said. "I got stronger this summer. So I can play at it. I just wanted to be at a good healthy weight so I could last really." He is a scary athlete who just got scarier.

As an oversized D-end he incredibly set a Clemson record for DLs with 10 PBU last season, and is now lighter and quicker. "I definitely feel it," Wilkins said. "At the tail end of the season I was at 310 or 315, and now at 297. Iím not as gassed out there. Iím running and Iím feeling good. Iím running like a gazelle, or something out there. So Iím definitely feeling good and seeing the difference." Seriously, that is just scary.

He was great on the edge last season at 315. "Itís been everything I dreamed of, everything I could have hoped for,Ē said Wilkins, a 6-4, 310-pound junior. ďI won a national championship. But I was also challenged off the field. Iíll get a degree in December. I have great teammates challenging me to be my best on the field and off the field as well." Plus, he scored a TD on offense last season. 

He ran for a TD off a fake punt. "Itís about not just filling your [incoming] class, but getting the right guys," Swinney said about Wilkins and Dexter Lawrence. "Guys who fit your culture. Who love football. Guys you donít have to chase into the weight room. Guys who pursue excellence in everything they do." He also blocked a field goal, and now he's lighter and more explosive?

Everyone seems to think he will move inside to DT, but he was a DE-edgerusher last season. "Iím quicker, Iím faster and Iím still strong," Wilkins said after losing 15-18 pounds this off season. "Iím comfortable at 297 right now. It gives me the ability to play wherever and to play a lot of snaps." He is good at setting the edge.

But he will get over aggressive sometimes and charge the QB or RB. "We wouldnít have gotten Christian Wilkins seven years ago," Swinney said. "Now, weíve got some results that we can share: The academic success, the athletic success. We can say, 'That's what we do.'" Now he just has to turn that elite talent into Sacks. 

2017 Outlook: One of the nation's most versatile defensive linemen, having started at end as a sophomore after playing tackle his first season ... one of Clemsonís most popular players ... has 140 tackles, 17.5 for loss and 5.5 sacks in 1,159 career snaps over 30 games (16 starts).

9.8

10

*Josh Allen- 6-5, 233, #17

QB 

Wyoming 

07/2017: I Don't now a lot about this kid, other than he is wildly inconsistent. But NFL guys love him. He can take a big hit, and get up and complete a pass on the next down. He plays on a terribly talented team. He is not a top ten prospect talent wise. But he is a QB in a League desperate for QBs. If he can improve like Carson Wentz did his last season at North Dakota ST, he will go top five. 

He has a great arm. "I watched the draft, and I know that Josh did, too, because he was looking at the guys coming out," Craig Bohl, who coached Wentz at North Dakota, said. "And Josh is an intense competitor and he's got a great deal of confidence and his perspective is that he's going to be better than all of them [drafted in 2017], and there is a case in point to be made in his argument, and with his physical skill set, I would say that." He has the size and athleticism to be a great one.

It is all about upstairs for this kid. "Josh is really a good young man, with a great values system, and he's confident," Bohl said. "But you're talking about a 20-year-old farm kid from Firebaugh, California. It's not like this is L.A. It's out there in the middle of [nowhere]." Does he have it mentally? 

The good news is that he plays under center, and is playing in an offense has the same basic principles that Wentz played in. "I told our SID to get ready, because things are changing," Bohl said. "It's not quite just going to be the Casper Star-Tribune that's talking about us now." He does go under center, but is playing mostly shotgun this season. 

He will turn his back to the defense on play action. "But his production, he does have to improve on a few of those things," Bohl said. "And he loves the University of Wyoming and his parents love the University of Wyoming, and that's why he came back. And it'll be a fun, fun ride this next year with him." He has to turn back to the defense and read the safety.  

They will run the ball in power formations. "We were excited about it when we signed him," Bohl said. "But I could see some other people say, ĎOK, heís from a small town. Heís played one year at a junior college that was kind of off the beaten path. Thereís 20 other guys (like him) out there.í Yeah, I donít think so. I think we got a special player."
He can roll out of the pocket and make accurate, if not great, throws on the move.

He has a great quick release. "He was doing things with a 6-foot-3, 180-pound body that if he ever gets to 220, heís going to be the most dangerous QB on the planet," his high school HC Bill Magnusson said. "And Iím sure they thought I was trying to sell them a car, but Iím not that guy. Iím a Christian guy. I wasnít trying to sell them anything. I was telling them what I actually believed he could do." He has a rocket arm. It is all about the mind, consistency, and accuracy for this kid.

Plus, he plays with a chip on his shoulder. "It was very frustrating having coaches overlook you," Allen said. "And it still fuels me every day that multiple coaches have done that. I come out every game with the same mentality: 'I donít like your team. You didnít recruit me.'" Now, it is all on him. 

He needs a lot of work on his feet. "If youíre a year-round football guy, youíre only competing for three months, and in college, letís face it, youíd better be ready to compete from August to January," Magnusson said. "So as much as blocking or catching or any of those individual skills are habits, so is competition, and if youíre used to competing and giving your best all throughout the year and you get to college and thatís what they expect, youíre ready to go." He gets lazy with his feet sometimes.

When he doesn't move his feet after the snap, his passes are terrible. "We had a great pitching coach at the time, who was my head coach in high school, and he did a great job with him and just making him understand that," said Alex Gutierrez, Firebaugh's baseball coach and quarterbacks coach. "Youíre not a first baseman anymore. Youíre on the mound, and youíre the man. He learned it, he picked it up really fast, and he was our guy in the playoffs." When he doesn't move his feet, and they stay perpendicular to the line, he loses all accuracy and velocity.

Overview: This Season: Josh Allen is one of college footballís top returning quarterbacks. He was named to the Maxwell Award Watch List in the summer of 2017. The Maxwell Award has been presented to the College Player of the Year since 1937. Numerous NFL scouts have rated Allen as a potential first round draft pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. He considered entering last yearís NFL Draft, but decided to return to Wyoming for his junior season. Since the conclusion of the 2016 season, Allen was invited to and attended the Manning Passing Academy in June 2017. He also attended a special program approved by the NCAA for underclassmen at this past yearís NFL Draft Combine in Indianapolis, Ind.
2016: Allen helped lead Wyoming to the 2016 Mountain Division title and a spot in the Mountain West Conference.

As a sophomore: Allen ranked No. 1 in the Mountain West and No. 6 nationally in passing yards per completion (15.33 yards). He also led the MW and was No. 16 in the country in points responsible for (218). Allen threw28 touchdown passes in 2016, placing him No. 1 in the conference and No. 20 in the NCAA. He was second in the MW and 32nd in the nation in passing yards (3,203). Allen was also No. 2 in conference and No. 40 in the nation in total offense (266.1 yards per game). His 3,203 passing yards in 2016 are the fifth best single-season total in Wyoming school history, and his 3,726 yards of total offense in a single season rank No. 3 in school history. His 36 touchdowns responsible for -- passing (28), rushing (7) and receiving (1) -- rank No. 2 in Wyoming history. Allenís 28 passing TDs rank as the third best single season at Wyoming. He had five games of 300+ yards of total offense: 315 vs. Northern Illinois; 327 vs. Boise State; 327 vs. Utah State; 366 at UNLV; and 338 vs. San Diego State in the regular-season meeting between the two schools. His high passing game was a 334-yard effort at UNLV, his high rushing game was 74 yards vs. Air Force and his high total offense game was 366 at UNLV (334 passing and 32 rushing).

9.6 QB

11

*Lamar Jackson- 6-3, 200, #8, Jr

QB

Louisville

10/2017: He has been throwing the ball as well as any QB in the clutch this season. He often stinks in the 1st quarter (which is a concern). He has been the best QB in the 4th quarter this season. I don't like how much he runs, but he might be the best runner with the ball in his hands this season, and that is an impossible thing to say with all the elite RBs in this Draft.
"Lamar had a good spring. We did work him more underneath the center. We wanted to get him comfortable doing that," Louisville HC Petrino said. "In fact, the first week of spring ball we stayed under the center. He can really drop and throw it from under there. He does a good job in the run game. The best thing about Lamar is it was never an issue of taking the snap, so he could always take the snap. It was just getting used to the footwork, getting to the right mesh point to help the running back out, and I think itíll help us be a harder team to defend. I really believe that.".But that is not a compliment for an NFL QB. His elite ability to run is overshadowing his throwing this season. His ability to beat a defense with his arm has improved tremendously this season, and he won the Heisman last year. He is also most clutch QB in the this Draft.†
"But he worked hard on his progression reads. He took a lot of pride out on the practice field, understanding the coverages, what the safeties are doing, and going through his progression," coach Petrino said. "He also worked real hard on his footwork, making sure he gets set, gets his back leg under his hip, and when he does that and stands tall, heís a very, very accurate thrower. Heís a great deep ball thrower, and you know, it was fun to really go back this summer. My little brother came in town, whoís the head coach of the University of Idaho, so we went back and watched all the video from last year, and it was fun to watch the throws that he made and the plays that he played throwing the football that we didnít even watch the running game, so it was an exciting time for us."10/2017: I'm not a fan of duel threat QBs. They just don't win in the NFL, but he is the best I've seen in college since Vick. He still needs a lot of work with accuracy. "He's come a (long way) on that side of the game," Nick Petrino said. "Obviously his athletic skills are top-notch, but on the mental side, he's really improved. It's showing out there." Jackson is the best player in college football right now.
But is he an NFL QB Prospect? "I wasn't on the list last year, either," Jackson said. "I just play football. The way the season ended last year, I felt we let our fans down. We should've won more games. I feel like Iíve matured. I feel like Iím growing on a collegiate level, and hopefully Iíll keep going." He is often a better thrower than given credit.
He is the best QB running with the ball in his hands since Vick. "There was never a problem with him taking snaps. He was always able to do that," Petrino said . "It was more the footwork, the timing, all the little techniques and aspects of it. Now, heís really good at it and we can do anything we want under center." But that tends to be more negative than positive.8/2017: I like the improvements he has made over his two seasons at Louisville in the passing game. "Watson has a chance to be at least as good as Winston,Ē an anonymous ACC coach said. ďWe played he and Lamar Jackson, and Jackson has no shot at playing quarterback in the NFL. None. He canít make the throws and canít read coverages. Heís not going to have a chance. Watson stands tall in the pocket and whips the ball around like Ben Roethlisberger." He is a much better thrower in the 2nd Half than the 1st.If he takes a few steps up in the passing and game and accuracy hitting WRs on the run, he could be a steal as the 4th or 5th QB taken. "Obviously heís an incredible athlete and has good size," an NFL scout said. "He showed what heís capable of doing against Alabama last year. That was his best game of the season. But I just donít see him as the pocket passer like a lot of people prefer in our league." He will never be a pure pocket passer. He has to learn to succeed in the structure of the offense to be successful in the NFL. "I think thereís something to be said for being a quarterback who knows heís a millionaire if he stays healthy," an ACC coach said. "I think that plays a role in a kidís psyche, [that] if he runs and blows out his knee thatís $9 million out of his pocket." Improvisers do not succeed in the NFL.†He has to improve his reads and footwork in the pocket. "We played (Watson) and Lamar Jackson, and Jackson has no shot at playing quarterback in the NFL. None. He canít make the throws and canít read coverages. Heís not going to have a chance." When he looses his feet, he looses his accuracy. But he might have the highest ceiling of any QB in this Draft.LSU- Eight 100-yard rushing games in 2016. He was the MVP of Louisville's Bowl game as a true Freshman. He won the Heisman in 2016. The problem is that the is better when things break down and he has to use his feet. NFL OC's do not like that. They want QBs who can run their systems. He is the most dynamic QB with his feet since Vick. He has improved as a pocket passer. He only completed 57% of his passes from the pocket.
Youngest player to ever win the Heisman. Tied Bridgewater's ACC passing TD record of 31 TDs. He can lose some accuracy when he doesn't move his feet in the pocket. When he catches the snap, 3-steps, and throws in rhythm, he throws an effortless and incredibly accurate deep ball. He always makes his bad passes when he gets lazy with his feet. He needs a lot of work on NFL footwork. He does a good job keeping the ball high and tight, but too often does gets his body and feet in the right position to throw.

9.6 (QB)

12

Quenton Nelson- 6-5, 329, #56

OLG 

Fighting Irish

10/2017: Plays very well with his arms extended and some lean in pass pro. Does a good job using his hands and positon to keep bigger DTs from getting up field. Great two handed burst right off the snap to stone the DT right away. He is an odd prospect. He does not short set in pass pro. He moves forward with his arms to absorb the initial burst. He gets knocked back a little a lot, but reanchors beautifully. Great job powering into the DE, popping him up and sealing him helplessly on the edge. It doesn't take long to see why he is so highly thought of.

09/2017: He burst forward in pass pro against Georgia (not on a play action), and powered the DT to his knees late in the 3rd. I have never seen anything like it. On the next play they didn't line up anyone in front of him. He consistently does not let the rush get more than three yards up field. Great balance when arms extended and leaning a little for power.

NELSON'S HONORS & AWARDS: Notre Dame captain (2017). AP Second Team All-American (2016). Sports Illustrated Second Team All-American (2016). Notre Dame Offensive Lineman of the Year (2016).
JUNIOR SEASON (2016): Started all 12 games at left tackle. Helped running back Josh Adams run for over 100 yards four times (Nevada, Syracuse, Virginia Tech and USC), including a career-best 180 yards at rival USC (Nov. 26). Part of the offensive line that paved the way for 417.6 total yards per game
.

9.9 

OG

13

*Jamarco Jones- OLT, 6-5, 310, #74 

OLT

Ohio ST

12/2017: He just stones big 5-techs on the edge. He will actually give a head fake to the DE, when he wants to get outside and seal the OLB. Good zone blocker. He can get beat to the outside, off a short Bull, and club, and burst outside (but that was once). He can jam an inside rusher into a outside blitzer, and impossibly stop both. He looks like an NFL OLT to me. He the best moving backwards in this Draft.
He can move forward on the play action, and freeze the DE at the line. Effortless sliding backwards. Great job blocking down on the DT, and collapsing the line. He is the best OLT in this Draft. I like the way Rankins moves backwards, and I think Jones is the only OLT who is better moving backwards. 

It can be tough, because they run so much misdirection and trickeration, and have him moving forward too much for me. Smooth feet in kickslide, but he does keep his hands low and outside a little too much. It annoys me how much they have him block down on the DT, but he can knock him right off his feet with just his hands. Great power run blocker.
Ohio State Overview: Jamarco Jones is a leader along the offensive line, a true senior who is positioned to start for the second consecutive year ... he is a 36-game veteran, a 13-game starter with over 1,000 offensive plays from scrimmage and an anchor at the left tackle spot for the Buckeyes ... a three-time Varsity O letterwinner and is majoring in family resource management.
Notable: Jones is the next in line at a marquee position for the Buckeyes as the last three fulltime offensive tackles -- Mike Adams, Jack Mewhort and Taylor Decker -- were drafted into the NFL and a fourth -- Alex Boone -- is entering his eighth year in the league ... Jones spent two seasons as Decker's back-up before Decker was taken in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft, No. 16 overall, by the Detroit Lions.

9.7 

OLT

14

Connor Williams- 6-6, 320, #55 

OLT

Texas

10/2017He elected not to have surgery on his knee, and now is expect to return in a week or two. 

09/2017When he looses leverage he can get beat to the QB. When he gets his hands on the DT he stones him quickly. He blocks down on the DT a little too much. He can punch the speed rusher off his feet in his kickslide. I love the way he catches the smaller rusher and clamps onto his shirt so he the rusher can't even retreat and runaway. He can take a series or two to warm up, but once he does he is elite sliding backwards. Love his focus on the rusher. Likes to stay squared to the rusher, and then jabs both hands inside into the rushers shirt, and he is done. Nice job sealing the D-end inside and outside on runs to his side. 

08/2017: He gets a little high and grabby sometimes. Nice explosion off the snap to knock the DE backwards right away. He is so smooth slowing the speed rusher moving backwards. This guy has a chance to be a great one in the NFL. He can get knocked back by a power DT inside, but recovers nicely and reanchors quickly off initial contact. Great at blocking down through the DT, and continuing into the LB. Very smooth kickslide outside against speed. Keeps his hands out in front of him, but they can get a little low sometimes. He can weave inside and outside a little in kick slide as the rusher jukes inside and out. 

Overview: A third-year offensive lineman who has played in and started 26 games in his career ... named to the 2017 watch lists for the Maxwell Award, Outland Trophy and The Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award ... also a preseason All-American by the Associated Press, Sporting News, College Football News and Athlon Sports in 2017 ... also named to the preseason All-Big 12 Team by the media and Athlon Sports ... was a consensus first team All-American in 2016 ... just the fourth sophomore in UT history to receive first-team All-America honors (Hub Bechtol, 1944; Russell Erxleben, 1976 and Earl Thomas, 2009 were the others) from one of the NCAAís five teams that are used to recognize consensus All-Americans ... earned first team All-Big 12 honors by the Associated Press and Big 12 coaches in 2016 ... named an Outland Trophy semifinalist in 2016 ... was an honorable mention All-Big 12 selection in 2015 Ö two-time member of the Big 12 Commissionerís Honor Roll Ö named to the Academic All-Big 12 Rookie Team (2015-16) ... was an early enrollee in spring 2015 Ö an all-state performer in high school rated the No. 38 OT nationally and No. 61 overall (No. 8 OT) in Texas by Scout.
JUNIOR (2017): Started the season opener at left tackle against Maryland and helped guide the offense to 473 total yards, including 375 through the air ... protected true freshman QB Sam EhlingerHear how to pronounce Sam Ehlinger in his first career start as the offense did not allow a sack in a 56-0 win ... guided the Longhorns' to 623 total yards (15th school history) and 406 on the ground ... started at left tackle against No. 4/4 USC, but sustained a knee (MCI) injury in the second quarter and missed the remainder of the game.

9.7 

OLT

15

Mike McGlinchey- 6-7, 310, #68

OLT

ND

08/2017: If you have an NFL QB, the next thing you need is a legit NFL OLT. He should be the first Senior taken in the Draft.  

09/2016: A current NFL player explains why his former collegiate teammate is destined for success as a pro. Hereís Ravens offensive lineman Ronnie Stanley hyping former Notre Dame line mate Mike McGlinchey. ďI played alongside him for two years. I remember my first impression of Mike: This kid needs to calm down. Heís a guy thatís pretty loud and out-there with his personality. But he brings it all to the field and channels it in a good way. Heís a high-energy player who gets his teammates hyped up. Heís someone you want on your side of the ball. His best attributes are his size, heís a big kid and that helps a lot, but heís also athletic. I know he played basketball, which probably helps with his athleticism. He understands football and studies the game. I definitely know he has what it takes to play offensive line in this league.Ē

It looks like he is planning on staying in school. "I have 19 games left here and that's what I fully intend to take on," McGlinchey said. "I have a lot left to learn. I'm not ready to go anywhere. I have the best in the business coaching me [offensive line coach Harry Hiestand] each and every day, and it's to my benefit to stay here and learn from and there's nothing that I can do to want to change that. I have no intention of wanting to change that. I've played a lot of football so far, but I have a lot left to accomplish and I'm not going to put myself in position to go somewhere when I'm not full ready to. I'm fully confident that I will be ready at some point, but I don't think it will be after this season." That is a lot easier to say now than when he is projected as a 1st Round pick in February.

10/2016: He can stone the rusher at the Line when he is setting the edge on play action, and not allow the DE to move once he sees it is a pass. Very strong dude. Nice burst off the snap backwards in pass pro. Snaps his feet back nicely. He stays in balance well, but keeps his hands down too much. Very quick feet shuffling back. He can absorb speed to power, and get his torso bent back a little, and hold on.  
Nice feet moving backwards, but doesn't always kickslide. "Iím worlds ahead of where I was as a player personally," McGlinchey said. "Mentally, itís just one of those things that you have to keep doing. You have to keep your head down and keep working and listening to the message and not the tone. Everybody takes their lumps every now and again. Itís about how you learn from those lumps that really make you a great person and a great player." Nice job picking up the blitzing LB. He can get low, and wash him out of the play. 

He can double the OLB with the TE and put him on skates going outside, and then catch the Safety blitzing and take him out. "He's a really good football player," Brian Kelly said. "He's got the size. He's got the length. He's got the demeanor. He's got the toughness. He's got all of the intangibles you want." Very impressive combo blocker. I want to see him move backwards more, but they don't have him kickslide all the time. When he blocks down on the DT, he can collapse the line with pure power.
He switched from ORT in 2015 to OLT in 2016. "Itís a lot easier to learn something after youíve already done it on the opposite side," McGlinchey said. "Last year I was coming in still trying to figure out how to actually play football and be a good offensive lineman and all that kind of stuff. Iím not saying Iíve fully figured that out, but Iím a long way away from where I was last year. Moving to the left side, itís all the same stuff just my body mechanics." If he can keep his hands high and tight and kickslide more he will be a 1st Round pick.
JUNIOR SEASON (2015): Started all 13 games at right tackle on an offensive line which was a finalist for the inaugural Joe Moore Award...part of an offensive line that helped the Irish average 5.63 rushing yards per carry (eighth-best in the FBS) -- a modern (post WWII) school record...Notre Dame ranked 27th nationally in total offense, averaging 466.4 yards per game, its third-best mark since setting a school record in 1970 by averaging 510.5 yards per game...Notre Dame was one of 11 programs nationally to average 205 yards rushing and 250 yards passing per game in 2015 (Irish had not accomplished this feat since 1970)...Notre Dame averaged 207.6 rushing yards per game (28th in the FBS), the best rushing output since 2000, including six games with 200+ yards (Texas, Virginia, Georgia Tech, UMass, USC and Stanford)...paved the way for first-year RB C.J. Prosise, who rushed for 1,032 yards (second-fewest carries needed to reach 1,000 yards) and recorded the 18th 1,000-yard rushing season in school history, and freshman RB Josh Adams, who set a freshman single-season school record with 835 yards rushing...blocked for an Irish rushing attack that recorded 457 yards vs. UMass (Sept. 26) -- the best single-game rushing total by Notre Dame in 23 years, and 299 yards at Stanford (Nov. 28) -- the most by an opponent in David Shaw's five seasons (35 carries for an 8.5 per-carry average against nation's No. 22 rush defense)...helped the Irish register a pair of 90+ yard TD rushes (Adams 98 vs. Wake Forest, Prosise 91 vs. Georgia Tech)...Notre Dame had just two rushes of at least 90 yards in the first 126 seasons of Irish football...the 98-yard TD run by Adams vs. Wake Forest was the longest play from scrimmage in Notre Dame history and longest rush by a freshman in NCAA history...blocked for 10 individual 100-yard rushing games -- the most by the Irish since 1983 (11)...three different Notre Dame players recorded 100-yard rushing games.

9.7

OLT

16

*Josh Jackson- 6-1, 185, #15

CB 

Iowa

12/2017: I changed my mind on him because he focused more on the WR than the QB. Rarely looked back at the QB. So I questioned him ball skills. Then he went on to lead the NCAAs in INTs (7) and PBUs (23)! Much like Desmond King. However, he had 3 INTs in the upset win against Ohio State, which also says something about his ability in big games. And had two against Wisconsin, both Pick Sixes! Which also says something about his clutch play in big games. 

So he had five INTs in the two biggest games for Iowa this years, and only 2 in all the rest. "He works really hard off the field," Akrum Wadley said. "He's a big film guy. If you combine that with his athleticism and his talent, he's a different type of dude out there. It's definitely paying off for him, and the sky's the limit for Josh Jackson. He's an animal." But leading the NCAAs in INTs and PBUs is still a great accomplishment. 

He is also still deciding if he wants to stay in school for his senior year, like King. "Itís about 50-50. Iíve thought both ways and both perspectives," Jackson said. "Iíll probably make an announcement after the bowl game and what I want to do, either come back or go. Iíve talked to coach (Ferentz) a little bit about it. But Iíll make an announcement after the bowl game." Staying in school hurt King in the Draft.

I really like his mental makeup. "I really wanted to be a leader on this team, and just be accountable," Jackson said. "I just try to come to work with the mindset to get better." But it does sound like he leaning towards staying in school.

10/2017: Jackson is a phenomenal talent. I love the way he moves on the field. He turns and sprints less than any CB in this Draft. He tends to focus on the WR a little too much, and will often spot the ball late. However, he has a great knack for attacking the WR's arms and hands right as the ball arrives. He played WR in high school, and his first two seasons at Iowa. Completed the transition form WR to elite CB this season.

He can play the ball in the air when he sees it. "He's one of those guys that can just do it," Iowa LB Bower said. "He's extremely gifted and talented. And then he works his butt off. And obviously, over time, that's going to accumulate and eventually it's just going to click. And it just clicked." Great quick twitch athlete, who is a one year wonder.

9.8 

 

17

*Denzel Ward- 5-10, 191, #12

CB

Ohio ST

09/2017Closes quick when the WR breaks off the pattern and the QB hits him in stride. Nice job recovering when he bites on a double move. Plays with great position in finesse press. He uses his feet and eyes to lock onto the WR, and rarely uses his hands. Great twitch in his hips. Good tackler who is not afraid to lower his head into the ball carrier. Amazing snap in his hips when he turns and bails. Plays some zone, and understands position and when to flow inside or outside a little. Plays Off man very well, but can get confused in crossing patterns.  

08/2017Great moving backwards. Great feet. Plays with his eyes facing the QB and facing the WR better than anyone in this Draft. He is a little small. Great quick feet in pedal. Plays with his eyes locked onto the WR, and mirrors him with quick twitch intensity. He is so good at turning to the WR, after he makes his break, and than looking back at the QB. Closes to the sideline with an elite burst. I don't think any CB in this Draft  mirrors a WR better in straight Man than Ward. He can lower his shoulder on the TE and destroy him as the ball arrives to knock it out. 

Overview: Denzel Ward is by many attributes: game experience, intelligence, skill, athletic ability Ė the next Ohio State cornerback with high NFL Draft pick potential Ö "Heís a gifted player," cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs said this spring Ö The true junior has played in 25 consecutive games for the Buckeyes going back to the second game of his true freshman season in 2015 and heís also been timed as the fastest Buckeye Ö He enters the season a leader of the unit and with 30 career tackles and nine passes defended Ö He is majoring in sport industry.
2016 Season: (Sophomore): Ward was part of a cornerback rotation that featured two first-round draft picks at the end of the season Ö he played in all 13 games and tied for the team lead with Marshon Lattimore with nine pass break-ups Ö was also in on 23 tackles Ö he had prolific numbers of plays on defense in Ohio Stateís biggest games: 56 vs. Oklahoma, 50 vs. Penn State, 38 vs. Michigan and 62 vs. Clemson.

Notable: Coming into the 2017 Season, Ward has not started a game yet for the Buckeyes, but he has enough starter-like stats that he could be considered the Buckeyes third starter at cornerback last season: he lined up on defense for 468 plays in 2016 as part of a three-man cornerback rotation that also featured two, 2017 first-round NFL Draft picks: Marshon Lattimore (No. 11 to New Orleans) and Gareon Conley (No. 24 to Oakland).

9.8 

18

*Courtland Sutton- 6-4, 215, #16 

WR 

SMU

10/2016: He plays in that wacky spread offense that makes me suspicious. "It was time. In big games you ask your playmakers to step up and make plays. And he did that. There's no doubt about that," SMU HC Chad Morris said after the UNT game. "He showed why he's an All-American," Morris added. "He showed why he's one of the best receivers in college football." He had four TDs in that game.

The only thing I know is that he might be the most physically talented WR in this Draft. "A lot of guys who are 6-4, 220 play 6-foot, 180,"  Stepp said. "Courtland plays like he's 6-5, 230." It is all about the mental for him. 

He really looks the part. "Big time receivers, that's what theyíre supposed to look like," SMU's "WR coach Justin Stepp said. "We can teach a receiver footwork and technique and how to improve their hands and ball skills. We can't teach them to be that big." He came to SMU as a Safety.
He has fantastic production this season. "I know youíre coming out. We get that," Morris said he told Sutton. "Fine tune your skill set. I explained that the difference between getting picked late in the 1st round and late in the 2nd round was about $8.8 million." He looks like he is NFL ready. 
He has great hands for going up and snagging the ball away over and behind him. "Heís similar to DeAndre Hopkins with his ability to contort his body in awkward positions and make the catch,"  Morris said. "Heís got great ball skills, but heís bigger. He knows heís the best wide receiver in the country. That's his mindset. And watch him without the ball, see how hard he blocks." Show a great ability to use his size, and go up and snag the ball through contact. 
Sneaky speed going down the field. "He's a relationship guy,Ē Stepp said. ďIf you're coaching him, he wants to be close to you.Ē ďWe've put in way too much work here to leave and let somebody else reap the benefits of the 33 months of hell we've gone through." 1,246-yards and 10 TDs on 76 catches last year. But how much of that was the system? That is the question all evaluators will be asking.
Junior (2017): HONORS: A preseason Heisman Trophy candidate... Named to the Biletnikoff Preseason Watch List... Named a preseason first-team All-American, All-AAC offensive and Top 30 AAC (No. 3) Player by College Football News... A second-team preseason All-American, All-AAC first team and Group of 5 wild card player by Athlon Sports... Selected No. 18 on SI College Football's Freaks List and No. 28 on its Top 100 Players of 2017 preseason list... Selected as the No. 11 player on Dave Campbell's Texas Football 50 Most Import College Football Players in Texas preseason list... No. 1 on College Football 24/7 Top Wide Receivers to Watch in 2017 list... Named College Sports Madness preseason third-team All-America and first-team All-AAC.
Sophomore (2016): Played and started in all 12 games at wide receiverÖBecame the first SMU receiver to garner first-team all-conference honors since current Dallas Cowboy Cole Beasley in 2011ÖLed the team in receptions (76), receiving yards (1,246) and receiving touchdowns (10)ÖRanked in the top-20 in the nation in receiving yards per game (103.8 Ė 12th), receiving yards (1,246 Ė 19th) and receptions per game (6.3 Ė 20th)ÖBecame just the ninth Mustang to register 1,000 yards in a season, finishing with 1,246, which ranks third at SMUÖRanked ninth in school history with 2,135 receiving yards and sixth at SMU with 19 receiving touchdownsÖCurrently holds both the freshman and sophomore single-season receiving yards record.

9.8 

Small School

19

*Calvin Ridley- 6-1, 190, #3

WR

Alabama 

09/2017: He looked like he got his speed back, and turned it into production against FLA ST. "Calvin has really kind of showed some elite talent of guys over the years," Kiffin said. "We've been able to be around, a couple of Biletnikoff winners and a bunch of All-Americans. He's shown that talent." Very interesting blend of size and speed. 

He draws penalties with just his speed running by guys. "You'll have a hard time finding a better route runner than him in [NCAA];," a scout said. "He's as instinctive as they come. He gets compared to Amari but he doesn't have [his] size or strength. But as far as being wired to separate and create space, he's as good as you'll find. He's got that South Florida edge to him, too, that you can't teach." He ran right past McFadden against FLA ST. He forced him to grab him and almost tackled him, because he ran by him like he was toast. 

Nice hands. He can leap back to the side and extend his hands and grabbed the pass. "If the defense was pounding on us for too long, Kiffin would get pissed," Alabama WR Barrineau said. "Tony Brown or someone else on defense would talk some trash to him, like, 'Kiffin, you can't even get a first down on us.' Whenever Lane had had enough, he'd grab Calvin and send in a go route. And Calvin would burn them deep almost every time. That was his best way to make the defense stop talking so much." He can run short patterns as well. He will look a little nervous catching it in the box, but he will grab it and hold on.

He is pure speed and toughness, and he has been catching everything this season. "He's beyond dangerous," USC HC Helton said. "He reminds me so much of Marqise Lee when Marqise was here. Because of his ability, not just to make the deep ball plays, but also his ability to catch short and run long. He's so dangerous with yards after the catch. He's got that unique quality of being able to do both." He was said to run a 4.43 Forty this summer, in full pads. 

08/2016: Saban is looking for a return to form from 2015, when he had 89 receptions for 1,045, and 7 TDs. With a freshman QB, who was dynamite with his feet, in charge of the offense his statistics dropped. He only garnered 769-yards and 7 TDs on 72 receptions.

2017 (Junior): One of the nationís most explosive wideouts ... second in UA history for receptions with 205 and ranks fourth in receiving yards with 2,398 while tying for fourth in career touchdowns catches (16) ... leads the Tide with 44 catches for 584 yards to average 13.3 yards per catch with two touchdown receptions ... the 44 receptions is tied for third in the SEC while his 584 yards is good for fifth in the conference ... collected a team-high nine explosive receptions of 20-plus yards and leads all wideouts with 30 catches that have gone for a first down or a touchdown ... has caught at least one pass in all 39 games of his Alabama career to rank third in the FBS ... selected as a Preseason First Team All-American by Phil Steele and Sports Illustrated while earning Second Team recognition from four outlets ... tabbed to the Biletnikoff and Maxwell Award Preseason Watch Lists while also earning recognition on the Walter Camp Player of the Year Watch List ... earned offensive player of the week honors from the UA coaching staff for his play against Florida State, Colorado State and Arkansas. Florida State: Paced the Tide wideouts, tallying seven receptions for 82 total yards and one score ... the TD strike came on a 53-yard bomb from Jalen Hurts for UAís first touchdown of the night ... selected as an offensive player of the week by the Alabama coaching staff for his game against the ĎNoles. Fresno State: Led the Tide receivers with five catches for 45 yards ... hauled in a long of 16 yards with two of his receptions going for a first down ... also added one rush for a gain of 13 yards, his first running play of the 2017 season. Colorado State: Caught three passes for a team-high 92 yards and one score ... connected with Hurts for a 78-yard touchdown strike on the Crimson Tideís second offensive drive of the day ... earned offensive player of the week honors from the Tide staff for his output against the Rams. Vanderbilt: The Tideís leading receiver once again, finishing with five catches for 43 yards and a long of 12 ... all five of his receptions went for a first down on the afternoon ... also rushed one time for four yards on a reverse. Ole Miss: Led the Tide wideouts with four catches for 60 yards against the Rebels ... had a long reception of 22 yards ... all four of his catches went for a first down. Texas A&M: Recorded a team-leading five catches for 68 yards against the Aggies ... had a long reception of 30 yards ... four of his five receptions went for a first down to help move the Alabama offense down the field against a stout A&M defense. Arkansas: Paced the Crimson Tide receivers once again, totaling 51 yards on four catches ... had a long reception of 27 yards with three of his four catches securing a first down for UA ... selected as one of the offensive players of the week by the Tide coaching staff. Tennessee: Led the Tide wideouts once again, recording a season-high eight receptions for 82 yards ... had a long reception of 26 yards against the Vols. LSU: The Tideís leading receiver once again, recording three receptions for 61 yards with a long of 24 yards ... all three of his catches went for a first down against the Tigers.

9.7 

Speed

20

James Washington- 6', 205, #28

WR

OK ST 

11/2017: They will line him up in the slot. Terrific speed right off the snap. "If he stays healthy," OK HC Gundy said. "He's a Hall Of Fame NFL player."

09/2016: Just watched him for the first time this season. He was absolutely incredible against Pitt. So this probably an overreaction. But I don't care, because he has been underestimated his whole life. "My senior year, no one really recruited me, so I went to a lot of camps and spent a lot of money, just to try and get picked up," Washington said. "I wanted to get picked up anywhere, because I love the game of football. If I could go somewhere and play, that would be great with me. I went wherever I could and competed however I could, just trying to make something happen." Elite athlete, who played in the State quarterfinals in doubles tennis.

He is a freak athlete who played basketball in high school, and was named MVP of his district. "He didn't have a whole lot of football video on there," his OK ST WR coach Kasey Dunn said. "He had a lot of basketball. It was kind of split. The video is grainy. It's small-town stuff. The cameraman is shaking and going all over the place." He also has a black belt in Taekwondo.

He has speed to burn. "You can't dispute running 21.4 [in the 200-meter State championships]," Dunn said about his speed and athleticism. "You can't dispute jumping 23 feet. I mean, the guy won the triple jump. Then he plays tennis and basketball. In these videos, he's 360-jamming the basketball. Now how often do you see a 6-foot guy do that? If we're going to miss on a kid, we're going to miss on a guy that's a great character kid with unbelievable athleticism." As a senior in high school he won 100-meter dash.

He's built like an RB. "Just a great kid," Dunn said. "And I'll tell you, his parents are awesome. It's like you're recruiting John Wayne's son. It's awesome." He can catch the bomb through all kinds of contact. 

He can hold onto the 50-yard bomb while a flag flies for pass interference, because the CB was tackling him before the ball arrived. "Coach always said, 'For anyone, for any of the receivers if you get one-on-one, you've got to take advantage of it. It'll be a 50-50 ball and you've got to go up and make a play,'" Washington said. "That's something we're taught here. It's a great feeling to go up and make a play like that." Incredible catching the ball 50-yards downfield. 

This kid can catch the ball off the CB's helmet, and I saw him do it twice in one game. "I think he's been consistent. That's all you can ask for from your playmakers is to be consistent and to have production," Rudolph said. "I think he kind of knew coming in that there was going to be a target on his back for how well he performed last year. He's responded well. He's done a great job. Any game plan a defense has to take him away, he's never let it get to him. He always finds a way to get the ball in his hands." He glides down field like he is on skates.

Great hands. "He was still open quite a bit Saturday," OK ST OC Mike Yurcich said. "He did a pretty good job of getting open. He's a pretty determined guy. You've got to do a good job on him. Even if you double cover him, you've got to do a good job on him." The QB puts it up and he grabs it.

OUTLOOK: A second-team All-Big 12 selection by both the coaches and the media last year (the two first-team picks were both finalists for the Biletnikoff Award presented to the nationís top receiver and have since departed), a strong case can be made for Washington as the Big 12ís top receiver heading into 2016 ... He is the conferenceís only returning 1,000-yard receiver and led all returning Big 12 wideouts in yards per game and touchdowns last season.
SOPHOMORE SEASON (2015): A second-team All-Big 12 selection, behind only a pair of Biletnikoff Award finalists in Corey Coleman from Baylor and Josh Doctson from TCU ... Midseason addition to the watch list for the Biletnikoff Award, given to the nationís top receiver ... Recipient of OSUís Thurman Thomas Award, given by the coaches to the teamís outstanding offensive players ... Led the nation with four 70-plus yard receptions and ranked 10th nationally with 20.5 yards per catch ... His 10 receiving touchdowns were good for 17th in the nation ... With 1,087 receiving yards, he became one of only four underclassmen ever at OSU to post a 1,000-yard receiving season, joining Rashaun Woods (2001), Dez Bryant (2008) and Justin Blackmon (2010) ... Reached 100 yards receiving five times and led the team with 17 explosive plays from scrimmage (20+ yard gains) ... Second on the team with 53 receptions ... Went for 100 receiving yards or more in four of his last six regular season games. All five of his 100-yard games came against Big 12 opposition ... Scored touchdowns on four consecutive touches with gains of 75, 73, 48, and 50 yard in wins over Texas Tech and TCU ... Named Big 12 offensive player of the week after recording a career-high 200 receiving yards, including two 70-plus yard touchdown plays in the fourth quarter, in OSUís win over Texas Tech in Lubbock ... His 50.0 yards per reception that day set a school record (min. 3 receptions) ... Named Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award National Player of the Week after catching five passes for 184 yards and three touchdowns in OSUís win over TCU ... OSUís co-offensive player of the game vs. Kansas ... OSUís offensive player of the game vs. Texas Tech.

9.8

Offense

21

*Roquan Smith- 6-2, 198, #4

CB

FLA ST

12/2017: Great job guessing the count, and charging at the line a split second before the snap and sacking the QB. TMIWTMIL "And then just my teammates, them taking on blocks, and just then my coaches' preparation just setting me up to be in the right place at the right time and just seeing ball, hit ball, or give ball," Smith said. "It's pretty much give all the credit to them because those guys did a lot of what made me be able to do what I was actually doing throughout the game." I love the way he smashes into RBs on outside runs. 

He reads the RB through the play action. "Itís just a tremendous honor to even be a finalist for such an award like this," Smith said. "The Butkus Award is pretty nice. Itís set up in my room right now. Just being a finalist for these types of awards is surreal. Iím grateful and thankful for the opportunity to be in here." He finds the ball all over the field, even when it is a fumble and he literally finds the ball. 

He has such great eyes and awareness on the field, and is a great leader. "Unbelievable player; a guy whoís always around the ball," Baker Mayfield said. "His stats show that, but then you watch the film and you really see how much of an impact he makes on the field. Teams have tried to game plan to make sure heís not a factor, but he always makes sure he is the factor." He never seems to miss a tackle.

And when he does, he recovers and then makes the tackle. "I think that Roquan is a phenomenal player," Kirby Smart said. "I think if you polled the SEC coaches, they would say he was probably that way. I havenít had to game-plan against him or scheme against him, but he is certainly worthy when it comes to attitude, effort, leadership, all those qualities." Nice job taking on the OG, and then dipping under him to get to the RB. 

Not a lot of guys his size can do that. "Heís almost like a quarterback who just seems to be in command of an offense, heís in command of a defense," Kirk Herbstreit said. "Heís kind of a mouthpiece. Heís the guy who connects the coaching staff to the players on the field." He will take a false step or two off of play action, but recovers back with some suddenness in his hips.

Career Highs:
* 13 tackles (3x) vs. Georgia Tech & TCU in 2016; vs. Auburn2 in 2017
* 2 TFL vs. UNC, 2016; vs. Auburn in 2017
* 1 forced fumble (3x) vs. last vs. Florida in 2017
* 2 rec. fumbles vs. Auburn2 in 2017

2017: Has started in all 13 games to date and leads the team in total stops with 113, tackles for loss (10.5), QB sacks (5.5) and QB pressures (17)...named one of four permanent team captains, as well as Defensive MVP, at the team's post-season awards gala...named Butkus Award winner as the nation's top linebacker...also a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and Chuck Bednarik Award, both of which go to the country's top overall defensive player...MVP of the SEC Championship Game after he had a career high-matching 13 tackles, one QB sack, another stop for lost yardage, and a pair of fumble recoveries...had team-high nine stops vs. Georgia Tech that included three tackles for lost yardage, one of which was a QB sack...named to the Associated Press and Sporting News' midseason All-America teams...led the team with 11 tackles (six solo) with one QB hurry against Tennessee...led team with nine tackles, including a 10-yard QB sack, vs. South Carolina...also had team-best seven stops at Vanderbilt...had eight tackles (3 solo) against Mississippi State with one QB hurry...tallied a team-high six tackles (four solo) with one pass breakup vs. Samford...had seven tackles (five solo), one TFL and two quarterback hurries against Notre Dame...led the team against Appalachian State with six tackles (three solo)...named to the Bednarik Award Watch List...named a member of the Preseason First-Team All-SEC and Coaches Preseason First-Team All-SEC...recipient of the Tommy Lyons Football Scholarship.

9.8

LB

22

*Arden Key- 6-6, 255-265, #49

Edgerusher

LSU

09/2017: He is the second best passrusher returning from last season, but he also took a strange little vacation this offseason  for some unknown reason. NFL teams will be investigating that rigorously. He returned to the team, and has not been the player he was last season.

08/2017: There is some trouble in paradise, Key took off from the program past season for "Personal reasons". "I expect him to be back in summer school in June,:" LSU HC Ed Orgeron said. "Doing very well. Still has things heís working on." It made a lot of people at LSU very nervous. 

He has also gained over 25-pounds of muscle since January, and has had some personal problems since. "It was something he wanted to do, he needed to do," Orgeron said. "Heís up to 255 right now. Looks good." There is usually a reason fro that combination of happenings. 

So you have to tag him with some Character Concerns until it is all cleared up. "Arden's been around, so I've seen Arden," LSU DC Dave Aranda said. "Arden's looking good. We get back together next week with a full staff. I anticipate at that time that we'll hear about Arden's direction and where he's going and whether he'll be with us or not. I'm very hopeful that he will be. I think we have a defense with Arden and a defense without Arden. There's two very separate entities there. I'm pulling for the one with." His disappearing act caused a lot of worries. 

But he finally returned in June. "Arden had shoulder surgery and everything went as planned," Orgeron said. "We are looking forward to having Arden rejoin the team." With no further explanation. Yikes.

Miss-He is so good that I have to concentrate on not watching him, because he is not eligible. Elite passrusher. He might be the best edgerusher in the FBS right now. I'm not sure, with Garrett and Smoot on the field. But I do know he is the most likely going to be the best edgerusher next year, and in the 2018 Draft..
Louisville- He needs to get bigger and play a little lower. They will line up him up off the line sometimes, and he can read the run and go and get the RB at the line. Likes blast off , and he used that great initial burst to get a Safety against Louisville.
Auburn-He can line up on the strong side and chase the QB to the opposite side of the field and sack him. This kid has a chance to be special. He had two sacks against Auburn and was unbelievable running up field and sacking the QB. Great length and speed for destroying O-tackles and hitting the quarterback. 
Alabama-He can hold up to the double team by two TE, and not give up an inch on the edge to allow his team mates to make the tackle. Plays stronger than his thin frame and weight would indicate. Reminds me a lot of Jason Taylor.
Overview: Made the transition to linebacker under defensive coordinator Dave Aranda ... Flourished with 56 total tackles and 14.5 tackles for loss ... Rangy, explosive athlete with a quick first step ... Set the single-season sacks record with 12 during his sophomore season ... Earned selection to the Bednarik, Maxwell, Butkus and Walter Camp award preseason watch lists.
SOPHOMORE SEASON (2016): School record holder with 12 single-season sacks... Led the squad with 14.5 tackles for loss ... Finished sixth on the team with 56 total tackles ... Also tied for fifth on the team in solo tackles with 24 ... Recorded two sacks for 16 yards in the Citrus Bowl to take the record ... Also logged six tackles against the Cardinals ... Captured LSU's first safety since 2012 in the Citrus Bowl after sacking Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson, the first in a bowl for the Tigers since the 1974 Orange Bowl against Penn State ... Named first team All-SEC by the media and second team All-SEC by the coaches ... Logged a sack in nine of the 11 contests that he played ... Matched his career high in both tackles and tackles for loss against Florida where he compiled eight tackles and two tackles for loss ... Logged one sack at Arkansas ... Recovered his first fumble of the season, which was forced by Frank Herron, for his second career recovery and also compiled five tackles against Alabama ... Moved into the top-10 in single season sacks after dropping Ole Miss' Chad Kelly for a loss of four yards ... Registered five tackles, two quarterback hits and his first pass breakup of the season against Southern Miss ... Earned a sack against Missouri and also recorded three tackles ... Had a monster of a game at Auburn where he finished the evening with six tackles, three quarterback hurries, 1.5 sacks and forced his second fumble of the season, which was picked up by Davon Godchaux ... Picked up a huge sack and forced a fumble that was recovered by Godchaux on 4th and 8 with 1:41 left in the fourth quarter against Mississippi State as the Tigers were clinging to the 23-20 lead ... Totaled his third-consecutive game with a sack and tied his career high with two sacks against Mississippi State .... Recorded a sack against Jacksonville State ... Tallied six tackles and registered a career-high two sacks against Wisconsin.

9.8X

 CC

23

**Vita Vea- RS-Soph, 6-4, 332, #50

NT/DT

Washington

11/2016: He is not likely to come out, but I had to talk about the Washington D-line somehow. "Heís a guy that I think is a special talent," former HC Choate said about Vea. "And is going to be a really good player for the Dawgs," They might be the only team that can stop Alabama. 

He is such a huge powerhouse right in the middle of their D-line. "[I'm] 6-5 and about 300 pounds," Vea said. "Two or three years ago I reported at 360. Coach  Socha and his staff theyíre really good over there in getting right, keeping us in shape and keeping us healthy and ready to go." He has dedicated himself to getting into proper football shape, and it is showing up all over the field. 

He and Qualls hold the line against the run, so they can use more assets in pass defense. "I feel pretty good.," Vea said "With Elijah [Qualls] and Greg [Gaines] just picking up the defense, and being able to help everyone. So if one of us has a question, we donít have to go and ask coach. We can go ask one of the D-linemen, and be more efficient and save time in practice." He does not look like he needs to ask any questions anymore. 
He has adjusted to his new DC, Ikaika Malloe's, scheme. "At first, it was hard because we didnít know what we were getting into," Vea said. "But then like after a while, we got comfortable with coach Malloe and this staff, and learning new techniques, and continuing to sharpen our old techniques." He was dominate against Cal.
2016: Made three tackles, including a nine-yard sack, in the win over Rutgers ... terrific game against Idaho, with three tackles, including one-and-a-half sacks ... named the team's defensive player of the week for the Idaho game ... six tackles, including one for a loss, in the win over Portland State ... had four tackles in the win at Arizona ... had three tackles, an 11-yard sack and a forced fumble in the win over No. 7 Stanford ... had a pair of solo tackles in Washington's 70-21 win at Oregon ... two tackles in a starting role vs. Oregon State ... three tackles and a pass break-up in the Husky win at Utah, earning the team's defensive player of the week award ... three tackles in Washington's win at Cal.
2015: Played in all 13 games as a redshirt freshman ... saw his first college action in the season opener at Boise State ... had two solo stops vs. the Broncos ... made one tackle (for a loss) in the win over Sacramento State ... also played against Utah State and Cal ... had one stop in Washington's win at USC ... one stop vs. Oregon and at Stanford ... two tackles in the Husky victory over Arizona ... three tackles, including one for a loss, vs. Utah ... three stops at Arizona State ... one tackle in the win at Oregon State ... had a tackle and forced a fumble in the Apple Cup win over Washington State ... had a seven-yard sack in the Heart of Dallas Bowl win over Southern Miss.

9.8 

NT

24

Orlando Brown Jr- 6-8, 360, #78

OT

Oklahoma

11/2017I know that BB is a huge fan of his Dad. "The thing he always preached was, 'be better than me,'" Orlando Brown Jr. said. "Be better than I was. In all aspects of life." The Pats should be looking for an OT in this Draft, because Fleming and Solder's time with the Pats might be done. 

The question of whether he can play OLT in the NFL could cause him to drop to the Pats. "Iím around him all the time," Brown said about former NFL OL Jammal Brown. "Every day weíre watching film or working on something in the weight room or whatever it may be. Heís very hard on me. Heís really hard on me about fundamentals and all things that we preach. We learn every day." I just don't see how they pass on him here. 

He is simply huge. "He understands the overall concept to what weíre trying to do," former OU OL Jammal Brown said. "It comes down to not only being a football player, but having fashion, knowing how to talk to women, having good character. Things like that can go a long way." Not the niftiest moving backwards sometimes, but excels at moving his feet. 

10/2017When he steps into a DE on play action, he is stuck. He will over extend sometimes, and bend at the waist, and that is when he gets beat outside (though I have only seen him beat by outside speed twice). When his technique is sound, he doesn't get beat. He will over protect outside, and take giant step outside, which opens up a inside rush for a quick OLB. But he has a great punch to counter that as well.

09/2017: I think he can play OLT in the NFL, but that thought does scare me a little. He just doesn't give up lanes to outside rushers. He will line up a little further outside against a speed OLB he knows is rushing. So that gives me a little pause. He is so big that it is hard to picture him playing OLT. But he has the feet, great long spider arms, and smarts. 

Great hands that hold the rusher in place when he gets a great grip on their shirt. "If you've got that dog, people play you differently," Brown said. "People don't want to run down the middle of me. People know, hey man, if this dude gets his hands on you, he's going to finish you, and you don't want to be in that position. That moment right there, I learned." Great strength, and plays to his size.
2017: Has started all nine games at left tackle.
2016: Named second-team All-American by AP and FWAA ... voted 2016 Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year by league's coaches (first sophomore to win the award since it was introduced in 2006 and the second Sooner to win [Jon Cooper in 2008]) ... named first-team All-Big 12 by league's coaches and AP ... started all 13 games at left tackle ... played 659 snaps and surrendered just one sack.
2015: Named a Freshman All-American by Sporting News ... selected to All-Big 12 Second Team by ESPN.com ... Third Team All-Big 12 honoree by Phil Steele ... tabbed All-Big 12 Honorable Mention by leagueís coaches ... started all 13 games at left tackle ... made Sooners debut with start at left tackle in season opener against Akron (9/5), becoming one of 10 freshmen in OU history to start a game at offensive tackle.
2014: Redshirted.

9.6

OLT

25

*DaíRon Payne- 6-2, 308, #94

DT/NT

Alabama 

12/2017: He was great in the Champ Game against Clemson. "I told him in practice that if we throw that ball to you, he better catch it," Bo Scarbrough said. "And he caught it. He made sure he caught it with both hands on the ball." He was one of the main reasons they won that game. 

He consistently blew up their run game. "You all are shocked, but we're not shocked at all. We have some athletic big man. We're used to it," Da'Shawn Hand said. "He got two feet in there. I said, 'Man, he learned that from Calvin Johnson.' He's been watching some Lions tape or something." He got to the QB Bryant when he tried to scramble out of the pocket. 

He was so good that he actually caught an INT. "When he made the interception, there was no doubt we were going to throw him the ball on the goal line," Saban said. "He played well for us all year long. He's a great athlete for a big guy. He got a chance to make some plays today." He was also stuffing the run all all over the line. 

He also caught a wacky TD pass. "I caught one in high school. I'm blessed and just thankful for the opportunity," Payne said. "I had been talking to Coach lots about it. He said, 'Just keep on working, and you might get it.' And I tried my best to go out and practice and work hard, and they finally gave it to me." He might be as freak athlete as Hand is.

He was one of the main defensive reasons they won that game. "He told me heís ready for a breakout. [He's a] big, physical beast. Kind of a vintage SEC defensive lineman," Marcus Spears, a former 1st Round DL, said. "Super athletic, super strong. One of those big old bruisers that weíre used to seeing over there. Surprisingly more athletic than I thought he would be." His athleticism shocked me in that game as well.
He was also in there as their run stuffing NT, and that is what he did best. "When I was growing up I always looked at Marcell, guys like Nick Fairley, Ndamukong Suh and do what they did," Payne said. "When you watch film on them you sort of pick up their habits. And try and imitate what they did." He is also a weight room machine, who is said to bench 550, and can squat over 600-pounds. 
2017 (Junior): Regarded as one of the top defensive line prospects in the nation ... a bruising run-stopper along the Tide front ... totaled 47 tackles, 39 of which have come against the run ... tallied one sack (-7 yards) while adding a team-high eight quarterback hurries, three pass breakups, an interception and one fumble recovery ... also enters on offense near the goal line in the Tideís jumbo package and has caught one pass for a score ... selected as the Defensive MVP of the Allstate Sugar Bowl ... garnered Second Team All-America accolades from the AFCA ... selected as a First Team All-SEC honoree by the Associated Press while also earning second-team recognition from the coaches ... collected midseason All-America honors from the Associated Press and Sports Illustrated ... selected as a Second Team Preseason All-American by CBS Sports and Phil Steele ... tabbed to the Nagurski and Outland Trophy Preseason Watch Lists along with the Bednarik Award Watch List ... named one of the UA coaching staffís defensive players of the week for his play against Colorado State and LSU. Florida State: Tied for third on the team with five stops against the Seminoles. 

9.6

OLT

26

*Maurice Hurst Jr.- 6-2, 282, #73

DL

Michigan

10/2017He is a little short, but doesn't get moved out. "He has a very unique skill set in the fact that he has a very good, like a very great get off," Glasgow said. "He plays low. Heís kind of a shorter guy, heís stocky. Heís gotten stronger over time, which was my one knock on him when I played with him was he wasnít super [strong]. Itís not even about being super strong, but once you got your hands on him he wouldnít be able to do it. But heís quick off the ball. I think that he has a lot of ability, and I think that heís a very good player. Whatever team drafts him will be happy." He is threatening to not play in Michigan's Bowl game. 

08/2016: He is one year starter at 3-Tech and Nose Tackle. "One of the main factors was to improve my game this season. I sat down with my family and we collectively decided that this was the best decision for me to make," Hurst said. "Iím looking to improve my draft stock this season. I get to come back here with such a great group of guys. I know what this team is capable of. In my time here, I havenít had the opportunity to beat Ohio State or win a Big Ten Championship so those are some things I want to achieve this season in my final year at Michigan. I really want to help make that happen this year." He is short, but has long arms. 

He could be a Nose Tackle in the NFL. "First off, I have to play my key and take control of my gap," Hurst said. "Secondly, I just need to make plays. Iím not someone that likes to sit back and read whatís going on. I like to get up and go. Iím an aggressive player. I pride myself off being someone thatís able to make plays. Iím someone thatís able to make a difference in the game at any moment." But I think he needs to be in a one-gap scheme as a 3-Tech.

At Michigan
ē Three-year letterman
ē Consensus first team All-Big Ten honoree by the coaches and media (2017)
ē First team All-Big Ten selection by the Associated Press (2017)
ē Has appeared in 45 games along the defensive line with 16 starts at defensive tackle
ē Contributed 132 tackles, 33.0 tackles for loss, 13.0 sacks, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, two pass breakups, and one blocked field goal
ē Four-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree (2014-15-16-17)
ē Earned U-M Athletic Academic Achievement honors all three eligible seasons (2014, '15, '16)
ē Named to the watch list for the 2015 and 2017 Chuck Bednarik Awards.

9.8 

Size

27

Chukwuma Okorafor- 6-6, 330, #77

OLT

W. Michigan

11/2017: He is a big man. Huge. "You can never be satisfied with the way you are right now. There is always more to do on the field, and I am trying to make myself a better player," Okorafor said. "All we think about is giving our best on a daily basis. We pretty much just focus on the process, meeting the challenges every day, and doing our best game in and game out." He looks a little sloppy, but is light on his feet. 

Likes to forklift the DE on plays away, and just hold on. "He's got size, he's got speed, he's got intelligence, he's big and physical. He's got all the physical intangibles that the NFL guys are looking for," co-OC Jake Moreland said. "He's a guy we're going to count on. He's played a lot of snaps for the Broncos. And we're planning on him being key to what we want to get done this year." Nice strong hands that are very tough to chop off shirts. 

Terrific job moving his feet to seal the DE outside on play action, and then just hold him in place with his grip. "I think the offense will be kind of the same with a little more twists and turns, just different names for plays, more simple names to kind of allow us to play fast," Okorafor said. "I feel since Coach Lester played here, it also gives him more of an edge too." No trouble sliding back in pass pro. 

2016 Junior: Started all 14 games at left tackle. Moved to left tackle after playing right tackle last year and again at right tackle in 2014. Was part of a Bronco offensive line that was ranked No. 4 in the country by Pro Football Focus. The team finished 24th in the country this season in rushing offense and allowed just 16 sacks on the year, the 13th fewest total in the country. Opened holes for team to run for over 300 yards three times. Paved the way for Jarvion Franklin to rush for a WMU program-record 281 yards on the ground at Akron (10/15).
2015 Sophomore: Started all 13 games at right tackle. Helped pave the way for 401 yards rushing against Ohio (10/17) in the second half. Blocked for the MAC Freshman of the Year and Popeyes Bahamas Bowl MVP Jamauri Bogan who finished with 1,051 rushing yards and 16 TDs on the season. As a team, the Broncos were second in the MAC and 29th in the country with 204.6 yards per game on the ground.

9.7

Small School

28

*Sam Hubbard- 6-5, 265, #6

DE/OLB

Ohio ST

12/2017: He did not have as good a season in 2017 as he did in 2016. "The main thing about Sam is he always worked hard," Lewis said. "He was always attention-detailed. We could tell him something, and he could do it to the best of his abilities. He was just very coachable. That's where he excelled." But he still showed that knack for hitting the quarterback. 

He is so slick grabbing the blocker arms and shoving them off as he breaks inside. "I don't think I actually felt like a defensive end until I got in the game and played against Virginia Tech  [2016]," Hubbard said. "I was just always wondering what an actual game as a defensive end would be like. I'd only seen practice reps. After I saw game reps, I realized I did belong." He is such a great stunter inside. 

He heads up field and looks the ORT in the eye, and then he has a great lateral burst like an elite RB, and he swings inside underneath the DT and turns up field into the RB. "These past four years at Ohio State have been everything I ever dreamed about and so much more," Hubbard said. "Now, as a graduate of The Ohio State University, I believe I am ready to chase another life-long dream of mine, playing in the National Football League." I just love the way he moves on the field. He had two sacks in the Bowl game against USC.

Ohio State Overview: Sam Hubbard is a fourth-year junior who is emerging into a force on the Ohio State defensive line ... already a veteran of 26 games played and 14 starts at defensive end ... he ranks second on the team in both career tackles-for-loss (16.0 for 86 yards) and quarterback sacks (10.0) ... also has a full line of statistics, including 74 career tackles, an interception, three pass break-ups, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble ... pursuing his degree in finance ... spent a week at Goldman Sachs in New York City in 2016 and spent time with JPMorgan Chase this past spring.

10/2016: He can turn the corner, flush the QB, and then chase him to the opposite side and trip him up. He can shove off the ORT, find the ball on the play action, and then dive inside and grab the RB's foot. "I haven't even been at this position for a full year," Hubbard said. "I'm going to keep taking all the coaching knowledge. And the more experience I get [the better I'll be]. It's only up from here." Now he is starting in place of Joey Bosa on the Ohio State D-line. 

He came to Ohio State as a Safety/Dodgeball-Player and has put on 60-pounds of muscle. "Last year I had a great foundation, and I just want to keep improving," Hubbard said. "I'm never going to be comfortable or satisfied, so Iím going to keep working." He is still growing.

As the story goes, he was not a great football player when Urban Meyer showed up at his high school to recruit, but he was a great dodgeball player. "Who is that big freak running around on the gym floor?" Meyer said about visiting Hubbard's high school. "He was an average football player, but a great dodgeball player." And what might interest Belichick (and thus Pats Fans), he was also a great Lacrosse player in high school.

He played LB and TE at Ohio state, but put on 60-pounds of muscle in two years. "Knowing his family, his dad is a big man," his high school HC Rodenberg said. "Just looking at it, I knew he wasn't gonna play safety even though he was playing it for us. I remember talking to Kerry Coombs, Ohio State wasn't sure what he was gonna play. I told Sam, 'You're gonna be a defensive end, and you're gonna be a 1sy round defensive end.'" It looks like is going to be right. 

He is the most unknown star waiting to happen in this Draft. "Sam Hubbard is gonna be a problem in the Big Ten," a scout said. He is quiet for awhile, and then boom, he is hitting the quarterback.

He actually got in a game last season against Northern Illinois, and shared a sack with Bosa. "We just gave each other a big hug, a big smile," Hubbard said. "We had been working together, lifting partners working out, and finally got to make some plays together. That felt great." Which is another reason he has been compared to Bosa.

He is probably going to stay in school, like Bosa did as a junior. "Joey wasnít necessarily a vocal guy, but you saw the way he practiced. If you want to play at a high level, youíve got to do the things he does," his teammate Tyquan Lewis said. "He led by example and it trickles its way down." However, he is too good not to have on this list, and he would not get past the Pats at 32 if he did.

2016 Season: Hubbard started every game for the Buckeyes and was second on the team among defensive lineman with 46 tackles ... also contributed 8.0 tackles-for-loss, including 3.5 sacks, and two pass break-ups ... set career high with six tackles against Penn State and Michigan ... had five stops in wins over Wisconsin and Nebraska.

2015 Season (Freshman): Hubbard was named a freshman All-American by USA Today Ö he earned the start in the season opener against Virginia Tech and was a key back-up in the final 12 games for the 12-1 Buckeyes Ö he was in on 414 plays as a freshman with 333 on defense plus an additional 81 on special teams Ö recorded 28 tackles, including eight tackles-for-losses totaling 44 yards plus 6.5 quarterback sacks Ö he also recorded an interception (vs. Maryland), a pass break-up, three quarterback pressures, a forced fumble and had two fumble recoveries Ö was in on a career-high four tackles three times: vs. Virginia Tech, Western Michigan and Notre Dame Ö also had a career-high 55 snaps in the win over Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl.  

9.6

29

*Derrius Guice- 5-11, 212, (U) 4.51, #5

RB 

LSU

08/2017: He has vey quick feet and flashes elite lateral bursts. "I love the way he runs the ball," LSU HC Ed Orgeron said. "He runs it the way Warren Sapp plays defensive tackle. He runs it with a lot of energy. He brings a lot of energy to our team. Thereís nothing too hard for Derrius. He comes to work every day. Heís a good student. Heís a good role model. Heís a great practice player, and he loves the game." Dynamic feet for hopping and bopping all over behind his blockers. 

He is just a freak. "His body responds to lifting weights differently than anybody else Iíve ever seen," his high school coach Fertitta said. "For most guys to make an improvement in the weight room, 20 pounds on squat for an example, that might be a six-month goal. Derrius? If he just decided, 'Iím going to squat 20 more pounds than I ever have,' heíd do it. Heíd gain weight and strength faster than anybody Iíve ever seen. Heís blessed to have the genetics." Returns kick-offs. Great slasher. 

He rushed for over 1,000-yards and 14 TDs as a backup to Fournette. Great at slicing through small cracks at the line. Elite jump cuts to make guys miss. He is great running through contact. He is one of the top RBs at getting yards after contact. He runs angry. Louisville- He returned a kick in the Bowl Game. He always seems to keep his feet moving. He had 12 TDs in the five games that Fournette did not play in because of injury. He does not get caught from behind. He can pull away from DBs 50-yards downs field. Great returner on Kick offs. 

He has a lot of experience on 3rd down. "He can probably catch balls a little bit better than Leonard can," his teammate DL LaCouture said. "If I had to pick, Iíd think Guice is [tougher to take down]. Heís elusive. I know when he first came in, I missed a tackle on him. Heís a guy that wonít stop running." He has been hurt this season, and has looked terrible.
But as he has gotten healthier he has gotten faster. "My running style is all over the place," Guice said. "I feel like [I'm] stronger and wilder [and when] you run, you can get extra yards. When you run soft, high, slow, mellow, you most likely arenít going to get that forward momentum going." He runs with great power. 

He was clearly better out of the backfield than Fournette last season. "To be honest, itís still not even about the coaches, itís still about us having that dog and fight in us mentality," Guice said. "A coach canít really make a player feel the way he feels about the game, the player has to find that within his teammates or himself. Coaches can only do so much." He averaged an astonishing 8.5 YPC as a true freshman two years ago.

They are running a new offense this season, which should accentuate his great abilities in the passing game. "I like it. I donít want to get too detailed about it, but I like it," Guice said. "Itís going to be a great fit for us this year. Itís a lot of fun, weíre doing a lot of different things with the offense. A lot of players are moving from position to position, weíre moving a lot around the field. [new OC Matt Canada] is pumped up like Coach O is. He get a little scream in his voice every now and again." It will be hard to take him in the 1st Round if he isn't significantly better in the 2nd half of the season.

He is the kind of kid you have to route for because of the tragedy that has shaped his life. His dad was murdered when he was young. He has had a truly amazing career at LSU, especially when you consider that he was been primarily a back up for his first two years there.
SOPHOMORE SEASON (2016): Played in 12 games, starting six times ... Led the SEC in rushing yards (1,387) and ranked second in the league in rushing yards per game (115.6) ... Led all SEC running backs in rushing touchdowns with 15, which ranked No. 2 overall in the SEC behind Mississippi State QB Nick Fitzgerald ... Averaged a whopping 7.6 yards per carry, also No. 1 in the SEC and No. 5 nationally ... Capped season by being named MVP of the Citrus Bowl where he led the Tigers to a 29-9 win over Louisville ... Rushed for 138 yards and one TD in the Citrus Bowl win ... Added three receptions for 11 yards, including a 1-yard TD reception in the win over Louisville ... Scored on a 70-yard run vs. Louisville ... Rushed for 100 or more six times, including a school-record 285 yards and 4 TDs on 37 carries in road win over Texas A&M ... The 285 rushing yards vs. Texas A&M broke the previous mark of 284 set by Leonard Fournette against Ole Miss on Oct. 22 ... Against the Aggies, rushed for TDs of 45, 45, 6 and 1 yards in the 54-39 LSU victory ... Had 252 yards and 2 TDs on 21 carries in road win over Arkansas ... Set the LSU record for longest rush in school history with 96-yard TD in the win over the Razorbacks ... The 96-yard TD run ties for sixth in SEC history and represents the longest in a conference game since 1997 (John Avery of Ole Miss, 97 yards vs. Arkansas) ... Earned SEC Player of the Week Honors three times as a sophomore Ė vs. Missouri, at Arkansas and at Texas A&M ... Named Walter Camp Player of the Week after his record-setting game at Texas A&M ... Became the 46th and fastest player in school history to reach 1,000 career rushing yard mark, needing only 113 attempts, when he reached the milestone against Southern Miss on Oct. 15 in what was the 18th game of his career ... Was a part of the first LSU tandem to have a 300-yard passing/200-yard rushing game at Texas A&M as Danny Etling passed for 324 yards and Guice had 285 rushing yards ... Had 155 yards and one TD in home opener against Jacksonville State ... Came up big with 163 yards and three TDs in win over Missouri in Ed Orgeron's head coaching debut at LSU ... Followed that with 162 yards and two scores against Southern Miss ... Had a 52-yard run at Auburn and finished with 62 rushing yards in that contest ... Rushed for 57 yards and a TD in win over Ole Miss and had 83 yards and a score vs. Florida ... Scored at least one TD in eight games and had multiple TDs in six games ... Of the 15 rushing TDs, eight came from at least 20 yards and five were 40 yards or longer ...

9.8

RB

30

Rashaan Evans- 6-3, 234, #32

LB

Alabama 

12/2017: There are a lot of off the ball LBs in this Draft, but I just like this kid a ton. I think he is the best blitzer of the bunch. He is also a speed guy that teams need in coverage more and more now. Great moving laterally to stay in front of the RB in traffic. He is a three down linebacker. He is fierce against the run, and has that knack for finding the ball right in the middle of the line. 

He has played in a lot of different situations and different positions to get on the field. "Hopefully, he'll be able to go out there during these weeks and really get confident in what he's doing and go out there and do a great job for us," Saban said. "Physically, he can run. He's a good blitzer. He's a good tackler. So hopefully knowledge and experience is something that we can gain through this extra practice, and it'll be helpful to him so that he can play well." He has put all that experience together this season to make himself a star.

He is known for his leadership and hard work off the field. "He's embracing it well," 49er LB Foster said about Evans playing OLB last year. "Getting in extra film, working hard, effort. The toughness is already there. I ought to know, I play with him. It's comfortable. I like it. The chemistry is there though, I promise you." He has played all the LB positions at Alabama.

He is known for his leadership on and off the field. "Both guys have made a significant contribution and played a lot of football around here. We think both of them are really, really good players," Saban said about Evans and Hand. "I think both of them have responded well as starters this spring and are starting to show some leadership. Iíve been really pleased with those guys. So, hopefully theyíll continue to improve and grow and theyíll become the kind of people who can impact other folks on our defense, so that not only do they play great football, but they help others do the same." He improved the defense from multiple positions.

I like the way he moves on the field, and how he moves in space. "All it does is build character," Evans said. "You become unselfish. You become more about the team and when you have that type of mindset, your individual success is going to come anyway when youíre thinking about the team. Those things I have learned here overall under Coach Saban, I feel like those are the most important things you can take here and to the next level." He has shown to be mentally tough in his career at Alabama.

He has played in a lot of big games, and will be playing in the Playoffs again. "I would say really donít make the stage bigger than what it is," Evans said. "Play with my eyes. Being able to trust my instincts and things like that. The fact that I had success playing on the [Playoff] stage that I did, I feel like just playing in a regular game would be a lot easier now." He has shown he can come through in the clutch, on the biggest stage.

2017 (Senior): Versatile athlete who can play in the middle or come off the edge for the Tide ... collected 57 tackles, good for third on the team, and leads the Tide with 10.5 tackles for loss (-49 yards) good enough for tied for 14th in the SEC despite playing in 10 games ... contributed seven quarterback hurries to tie for the team lead ... totaled five sacks (-38 yards) to rank second on the team ... added two pass breakups, a forced fumble and one fumble recovery ...honored as a First Team All-American by the AFCA ... earned First Team All-SEC from the Associated Press and was named to the All-SEC second team by the conference coaches ... chosen as one of 15 semifinalists for the Butkus Award ... tabbed to the Nagurski Trophy Preseason Watch Lists ... selected as a Second Team Preseason All-American by Phil Steele ... earned defensive player of the week recognition from the Alabama coaches for his play against Arkansas and LSU. Florida State: Made the start against the Seminoles, but saw limited playing time after suffering a groin injury before halftime ... finished with five tackles, including half a stop for a loss, and one pass breakup ... injured himself on a blocked field goal that he returned 29 yards to close out the first half. Vanderbilt: Returned from a groin injury to make the start against the Commodores ... totaled one tackle in limited playing time, entering for the Tideís base package ... helped UA limit VU to only 78 yards of offense. Ole Miss: Recorded three tackles against the Rebels while adding one quarterback hurry ... played a key role in limiting the high-powered Rebel offense to 253 total yards, well below their season average entering the game. Texas A&M: Collected a season-high tying five tackles ... recovered a fumble for the Tide at midfield to stall the A&M drive ... helped limit the Aggies to only 308 yards of total offense, 140 yards below their season average. Arkansas: Put together a career night against the Razorbacks ... totaled six tackles, including a career-high 3.5 for a loss (-22 yards), while contributing two sacks (-20 yards) to tie his previous career mark ... matched his career-high total with a pair of quarterback hurries and forced his first fumble of the season ... earned defensive player of the week recognition from the Tide coaches for his efforts against the Hogs. Tennessee: Matched his season-high mark for tackles with six stops against the Volunteers ... added two tackles for loss (-8 yards), including a sack (-7 yards) and pressured the quarterback twice ... his play on defense was key in helping the Tide hold the Vols to no offensive touchdowns and only 108 yards of total offense. LSU: Set a new season-high for tackles with 10 stops to pace the Tide against the Tigers ... added one sack (-1 yard), his fourth over the last three games... captained the UA defense following the loss of Shaun Dion Hamilton ... earned defensive player of the week recognition from the Alabama coaches for his performance. Mississippi State: Had another monster game, tying for second on the team in tackles with nine ... added a team-high 2.5 tackles for loss (-14 yards) and contributed to the Tideís lone sack of the night (-10 yards) ... also collected one quarterback pressure against the Bulldogs. Mercer: Made three tackles against the Bears with a pass breakup ... helped the Tide defense limit MU to only 161 yards of total offense on the day. Auburn: Ranked second of the Tide defense with nine tackles, including one for loss (-4 yards) ... added a quarterback pressure to his game totals in the Iron Bowl.
2016 (Junior): Made the move to the inside during the fall after spending the previous two seasons on the outside ... totaled 53 tackles with four sacks (-16 yards), 4.5 tackles for loss (-17 yards), a forced fumble and a fumble recovery ... added six quarterback hurries and two pass breakups to his season totals ... named one of the UA coachesí special teams players of the week for his performance at Arkansas.  

9.7

LB 

31

Da'Shawn Hand- 6-4, 282, #9

DL

Alabama  

10/2017:.He was practicing with the LB in coverage do to injury. Hand is a freakish player. They have to play him out of position on the edge, and he was getting some passrush. He can get up field fast. Nice job slanting inside and turning up field to the QB. He will play on both ends of the line. He is a 290-pound 5-Tech, who plays edgerusher and has played some LB, and shown that he can cover as well. 

11/2016: He looks like he could play some base end to me. But someone is going to take him as a 5-Tech. It amazes how fast he gets up field. Great hands and can really beat up on blockers. He is built like an inside guy, but has had to play outside and consistently gets pressure on the passer. Great blend of power and speed. A bit of a tweener, but I think it is in a good way. He can line up outside and stuff the run, and then inside on 3rd and longs and help the rush. 

2016 (Junior): One of the keys to the Crimson Tideís vaunted defensive front ... totaled 21 tackles on the season with 3.5 for loss (-11 yards) and two sacks (-7 yards) ... added five quarterback hurries and one forced fumble ... selected to the Lombardi Award Preseason Watch List, given annually to the nationís top lineman. USC: Saw time as one of the first reserves to enter the contest with the Trojans but did not record any stats. Western Kentucky: Provided a threat off the edge against the Hilltoppers but did not produce any stats. Ole Miss: Helped provide depth on a hot day that required rotation along the defensive front ... recorded his first two tackles of the season, both coming on rush plays. Kent State: Registered one tackle and his first quarterback hurry of the season ... helped limit the Golden Flashes to only 166 yards of total offense. Kentucky: Finished with a season-high four tackles, including one tackle for loss (-4 yards) in a reserve role ... played a key role in pressuring the Wildcat quarterback into 13-of-22 passing and only 89 yards through the air. Arkansas: Totaled one tackle against the Hogs, recording his first sack of the season and forcing an Arkansas fumble in the process ... the fumble was scooped up by Tim Williams and returned 23 yards for an Alabama touchdown, the Tideís first of two non-offensive scores on the night. Tennessee: Tied his season-high mark with four tackles against the Volunteers. Texas A&M: Took advantage of his time on the line, registering one sack (-3 yards) and a career-high two quarterback hurries against the Aggies. LSU: Came off the bench to help provide pressure off the edge but did not record any stats. Mississippi State: Recorded three stops against the Bulldogs while adding one quarterback pressure. Chattanooga: Saw time against the Mocs but did not record any stats. Auburn: Helped in a rotational role against the Tigers but did not record any stats ... helped limit the high-powered Auburn offense to 182 total yards. Florida: Registered three tackles against the Gators, including half a tackle for loss ... added one quarterback hurry ... helped pressure the UF quarterback into throwing three interceptions by dayís end. Washington: Totaled one tackle against the Huskies while applying pressure on the UW quarterback in his rotational role. Clemson: Collected one tackle on the night from his defensive end position.

9.7

32

Martinas Rankin- 6-5, 307, #55

OLT 

Miss ST

12/2016: He is a JuCo kid who took a little while to adjust last season. "Heís more comfortable and now he can really relax because itís not a competition," WR Donald Gray said. "Thereís been a lot of improvement. The energy that heís bringing now is a lot different than what it was last year. His intensity is higher and he always sets the standard." He is terrific pulling to either side.

He moved over to OC in the spring and learned to snap the ball when the OC got injured.. "Wherever they put me at Iíll be happy," Rankin said. "I just want to be on the field and making plays for the team. It doesnít matter to me whether itís center, tackle, guard or tight end. If they want me to line up at receiver, Iíll do that too." He certainly has the versatility to move inside.

But he really showed at the end of the season that he has the feet to play OLT in the NFL. "Itís not something I focus on," Rankin said. "Thatís a long way away. I just want to finish strong and have a great and successful senior season. I see that out there a little bit but itís not something I try to focus on. I try to focus on grinding and working hard and being a great leader for my team." Smooth in pass pro. 

When he gets his hands on a rusher he moves his feet too well to let him go. Gets outside to seal the OLB easily. When he is playing well he makes it look easy. He does get beat inside by long armed rushers sometimes. Nice job hand fighting on the edge against top rushers. When he gets his hands in the speed rushers shirt, he is done like a smoking pop tart. I think his is the best OLT prospect moving backwards.

He won the Kent Hull award. "If there is a young man that exemplifies what Kent Hull was known for both on the field and off the field, Martinas is all that and more," Miss ST OL coach John Hevesy said. "Since the day he arrived in Starkville, he has developed into an outstanding player and a better teammate. Martinas has as bright of a future as anyone I have been around whether it be at the next level on the field or in the business world." Nice kickslide verse speed. 

He just stones 5-Techs. "It was going to be how he adapted to playing every day, his decision-making within the pass game," Mullen said. "And I think from Game 1 to the final game of the season, you saw a great deal of improvement with him doing those things and understanding the system." He slides back with some interesting quicks. 
CAREER: Standout offensive lineman considered one of the best in the country Ö Can play all positions but saw all of his action in 2016 at tackle Ö Served as MSUís No. 1 center during spring practices and could be in the mix there this fall Ö Several mock NFL Drafts list him as a first round pick for 2018 Ö Has the tools necessary to succeed at the next level and is a smart player Ö Signed with Mississippi State in December 2014 and enrolled for the spring 2015 semester Ö Came to MSU as the nationís top junior college offensive lineman and redshirted in the fall of 2015 but has since adjusted to SEC football Ö Started 13 games with 10 starts Ö Two-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll.

9.6 

OLT

Day Two

 

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