NFL Draft: Who has played their way into the first round so far?
The NFL Draft isn’t until April, of course, but the midseason (or close to it) is a good time to take a look at the top 32 prospects. These aren’t surefire first rounders; these are just the best values overall.
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1. OT Evan Neal, Alabama — He’s the most athletic offensive lineman I’ve ever scouted out of college.
2. DE Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon — The best edge rusher in the country, and it’s not even close.
3. DT Jordan Davis, Georgia — I have him higher than most and think he’s the next Vita Vea.
4. CB Derek Stingley Jr., LSU — Despite injuries his stock hasn’t fallen because he’s big, long and super athletic.
5. DE Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan — He’s a nasty player with a nonstop motor who is excellent against the run as well.
6. S Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame — A freaky athlete with rare range as a safety.
7. DT DeMarvin Leal, Texas A&M — He can play in any scheme and takes up a ton of blockers.
8. WR Drake London, USC — He’s a huge target with downfield speed, a la Mike Evans.
9. OT Ikem Ekwonu, NC State — His stock is rising as he continues to be consistently dominant each week.
10. LB Christian Harris, Alabama — A big linebacker with speed, he’s a faster Reuben Foster with fewer off-field issues.
11. DE George Karlaftis, Purdue — A pure pass rusher who uses strength and power and an array of moves.
12. QB Matt Corral, Ole Miss — He’s cut down on turnovers, has an elite arm and he can run.
13. LB Drake Jackson, USC — A hybrid who can stand up or put his hand in the dirt when needed; he’s played both DE and LB.
14. CB Ahmad Gardner, Cincinnati — To me, he’s a great island corner with size and he plays the ball in the air so well.
15. WR Chris Olave, Ohio State — One of many receivers with a high value, he’s arguably the best route runner in the group.
16. WR Treylon Burks, Arkansas — A big target who wins 50/50 battles and high points the ball as well as anyone.
17. CB Andrew Booth, Clemson — He has good size at corner, has become a better tackler and shuts down his side.
18. QB Malik Willis, Liberty — He’s a high-risk, high-reward guy with the ability to run and an NFL arm.
19. WR Jahan Dotson, Penn State — He reminds me of Stefon Diggs with his sneaky power and great routes.
20. C Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa — The best center in the country should be a 12-year NFL stalwart.
21. G Kenyon Green, Texas A&M — He’s made to play inside and his run blocking is elite.
22. WR Garrett Wilson, Ohio State — He’s more angular and athletic than Olave but not as consistent. But he has the second-highest ceiling at WR after London.
23. LB Adam Anderson, Georgia — Georgia produces excellent hybrids and he’s next in line.
24. CB Kaiir Elam, Florida — A big and athletic cornerback, he’s still a high-risk, high-reward player, but he's worth the chance.
25. OT Jaxson Kirkland, Washington — Not many college fans know about the 6-foot-7, 310-pounder, but the NFL sure does.
26. DE Kingsley Enagbare, South Carolina — He can play down or stand up, and he arrives at the football with power.
27. QB Sam Howell, North Carolina — His stock has fallen a little bit but he’s still a first-round value, to me, with his field vision.
28. TE Jalen Wydermyer, Texas A&M — The most athletic tight end available probably won’t last beyond the first round.
29. OT Charles Cross, Mississippi State — Cross quietly has every team looking for a franchise left tackle interested.
30. QB Kenny Pickett, Pitt — I love how much Pickett has developed and he’s reminding me a bit of Joe Burrow light.
31. S Jaquan Brisker, Penn State — He’s a hitter, can play the ball and has that rare sense of where to be.
32. WR David Bell, Purdue — Another receiver? There’s no way I could leave the rangy Bell off here. He could be the best of the bunch down the line.