Producer Woods’ Collegiate Big Board
With the 2017 college football season well underway, NFL scouts are already on the lookout for the next potential star. The 2017 draft class has been rumored to be one of the best quarterback classes in the past decade and there is no reason to believe it's not.
Throughout the NCAAF season, I will break down the rankings of the latest NFL draft prospects as we progress through the college football season. With that said, here is September's college 'Big Board'.
1.) Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
I have been on the Josh Allen bandwagon for nearly three years now, since I heard of him playing for his high school team in Firebaugh, CA. Allen has elite arm talent already. Combine that with his exceptional accuracy and ability to move in and out of the pocket, puts him on a course to be one of the top 2 selections in next year's draft. He may not have gotten off to a great start against Iowa, but you have to take into factor that their team lost 45+ touchdowns from last year's offense.
2.) Sam Darnold, QB, USC
After an up-and-down opener against Central Michigan, Sam Darnold showed us why he is exactly what NFL teams are looking for in a future franchise quarterback. One of the Heisman favorites, Darnold is one of the most accurate passers in the upcoming draft class. His one downside, has to be his lengthy delivery, but that is something Darnold could easily improve before the combine.
3.) Derwin James, DB, Florida State
Much like his predecessor Jalen Ramsey, Derwin James is constantly around the ball. And he can really tackle. Primarily a safety, James can do it all. In his freshman year he recorded 91 tackles combined with 9.5 tackles for loss. His over sized frame makes him a unique talent the likes of which we haven't seen. Should James resemble his freshman numbers, he could easily climb up this board and many NFL teams boards as well.
4.) Saquan Barkley, RB, Penn State
With 2,572 yards in his first two season's at Penn State, don't expect Saquan Barkley to slow down at all this season. Barkley is the most complete runningback in college football. The ability to be patient and wait for holes to open combined with his being able to catch the ball out of the backfield makes Barkley an elite pro prospect.
5.) Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
Although he's fallen off a bit since his prolific freshmen season, Josh Rosen is still an elite talent at the quarterback position. Rosen's arm alone makes him one of the top quarterback's in this class. Add precise accuracy and ability to make smart decisions and you have a quarterback worthy of a top 5 pick. The one thing holding Rosen back, his character.
6.) Arden Key, LB, LSU
Perhaps the most complete linebacker in the country is LSU's Arden Key. Key has all the physical attributes to be a stud at the next level. A large frame, elite quickness, and strength to throw around offensive linemen like rag doll's. His one weakness, the injury bug. Should Key stay healthy the remainder of the season, I don't see any way he won't be one of the top defensive target's in next year's draft.
7.) Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
If you thought it would be hard for LSU to replace Leonard Fournette, think again. Derrius Guice is just another version of his former teammate. Like Fournette, Guice can deliver a punch to his would-be tacklers. His physicality translates well to the next level.
8.) Christian Wilkins, DL, Clemson
The best interior defensive lineman in this crop of players, Christian Wilkins can do it all. He can stop the run, rush the passer, and break through an offensive line with ease. He could develop into an Ndamukong Suh type interior defensive linemen without a doubt.
9.) Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
Calvin Ridley has it all to be a game changer at the next level. Good size, strength, elite quickness, and the ability to take nearly any play for a home run, makes Ridley the best pass catcher and play maker in the draft. Like many Alabama receivers before him, Ridley is exceptional in the open field. Given space, he can turn any play into a big gain.
10.) Harold Landry, OLB, Boston College
Harold Landry is perhaps the purest pass-rusher in college football. With 16.5 sacks last season, Landry looks to lead the nation once more. However, Landry's best attribute, his versatility. He is a type of defensive linemen that can play anywhere along the line of scrimmage as well as moving outside as a pass-rushing linebacker. That versatility alone makes him a highly coveted player for any team needing someone to put pressure on the quarterback.
11.) Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
What else can be said about Louisville's Lamar Jackson. The most intriguing prospect in this crop of players, Jackson has already transformed his game from last season. More pass attempts within the pocket, and completing passes with accuracy looked to be his main goal going into this season, and he has answered the bell.
12.) Minkah Fitzpatrick, CB, Alabama
The first cornerback on the list is Alabama's stud, Minkah Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick is the definition of a ball-hawking defensive back. Eight interceptions in his first two season's, Fitzpatrick has incredible awareness when the ball is in the air and can turn any 50/50 ball into a turnover. Expect Fitzpatrick to move up this list throughout the season as head coach Nick Saban looks to use him more than just on the edge of his defense.
13.) Vita Vea, DT, Washington
Although he isn't a complete player just yet, the ceiling for Vita Vea is immensely high. An elite run stopper, Vea needs to develop his game a bit and work on his pass-rushing. But his footwork is great for a defensive tackle. He comes out of college resembling Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Star Lotulelei.
14.) Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma
Orlando Brown is fun to watch if you love great offensive line play. Brown's footwork is exceptional. He is great at keeping his defender in front of him and staying square with who he is blocking. Any offense looking to add a complete offensive tackle, will have Brown at the top of their board's come draft night.
15.) Connor Williams, OT, Texas
Before a knee injury sustained this past weekend in their loss to USC, Williams was the definition of a prototypical left tackle in the NFL. With the injury likely keeping him out the rest of the season, Williams will likely fall on this list in due time. However, his skill-set will not keep him out of the first round in the upcoming NFL Draft. Great footwork and technique make Williams the type of plug-and-play tackle that teams are looking for.
16.) Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State
Bradley Chubb is the 2017-18 version of Philadelphia Eagles draft pick Derek Barnett. A pass rusher who can quickly get off the edge and flush the pocket, but don't underestimate his ability to stop the run. Chubb's quickness allows him to get to those shifty elusive running backs both inside and outside the tackles.
17.) Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
Courtland Sutton is one of the largest of the top wide receiver prospects in this draft. His one knock, consistency. Already this season he has a 4 touchdown game and a game of 0 yards. But when Sutton is on, he can take over a game; much like Corey Davis who was drafted by the Tennessee Titans this past year.
18.) Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
Returning to Notre Dame after their terrible 4-8 season, Mike McGlinchey is keeping up the name of Irish complete offensive linemen. McGlinchey is a big bodied tackle at 310lbs, but even at that weight his movement is great. he will likely be a right tackle when drafted, but could end up on either side.
19.) Kevin Toliver, CB, LSU
Kevin Toliver is a long and rangy corner. At 6'3" he is one of the tallest corner's coming out of college football. His sophomore season at LSU was a major disappointment due to injuries and inconsistent play. But after finally getting healthy, Toliver is showing off the skills that scouts saw from him in high school. Solid in coverage, Toliver has a knack for making the smart play and have above average ball skills that will show in the next level.
20.) Ronald Jones II, RB, USC
If you love watching shifty and elusive running backs, Ronald Jones II is your man. Jones has everything to fit in on any team at the next level. He can run inside and outside the tackles as well as move around a formation and catch the ball out of the backfield. A complete back. Jones is very reminiscent of Broncos running back Jamaal Charles.
21.) Sam Hubbard, DE, Ohio State
The unheralded member of the incredible Ohio State defensive front is Sam Hubbard. Hubbard's versatility is perhaps his best attribute. He could easily fit in a 4-3 defense as an edge rusher, but he could also play standing up on the edge as well in a 3-4 system. Hubbard has a great set of moves to get to the quarterback and at 6'5" can be a nuisance when getting his arms up, batting down passes.
22.) Tarvarus McFadden, CB, Florida State
Tarvarus McFadden is an intriguing player on the defensive side of the ball. He can offer great size at corner with his 6'2" frame, but his ball-skills can take his game to the next level. Should he slightly improve his coverage skills, we could be looking at one of the next shut-down corners in the NFL.
23.) Tremaine Edmunds, OLB, Virginia Tech
Edmunds is a complete defender. A linebacker that can play every down. He can rush the passer and drop back in coverage if needed. His best attribute is stopping the run; which he has an elite ability and knack for getting to the ball-carrier.
24.) Trey Adams, OT, Washington
Trey Adams is a guy with tremendous size that translates well to the next level. A player with great mechanics that can keep defender's in front of him. His one area where he needs to improve is consistency. He can look heavy footed at times; leaving him susceptible to quick edge rushers.
25.) Da'Shawn Hand, DE, Alabama
Hand could be an elite 3rd down pass rusher at the next level. His ability to get constant pressure in the pocket could make him extremely coveted by teams lacking 3rd down quarterback pressure.
26.) Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama
Part of Alabama's incredibly skilled secondary, Harrison is an immediate plug and start prospect in the NFL. His ball-skills are great, but his coverage ability is what makes him stand out.
27.) Cameron Smith, LB, USC
Smith is just another solid linebacker to come out of USC. Solid all across the board, Smith is a hard hitting linebacker that can play all over the field. He needs a little time to work on stopping the run, but could make up for it with his ability to drop back in coverage.
28.) Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M
Kirk is one of the shorter wide receivers in this upcoming draft, but could become a major factor for a team looking for a boost on the offensive, and special teams, side of the ball. Could develop into one of the top slot receivers in the NFL.
29.) Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State
The leading Heisman candidate at the moment with his sensational start to the season, Mason Rudolph has the character of a top overall pick. Rudolph, when protected, can be an elite passer. Rudolph's size and arm strength are consistently good, but his decision making makes him in a class of his own. Until being intercepted this past weekend, Rudolph had the longest streak in the FBS without being picked-off.
30.) Luke Falk, QB, Washington State
Luke Falk could be the hidden gem of the quarterbacks in the upcoming NFL draft. Falk checks all the boxes as far as his skill-set goes, and the fact that he is already comfortable in a pro-style offense means that he will be able to adjust to the playbook and NFL style of play rather quickly.