football Edit

Tuesdays with Gorney: Position rankings released, player comps

Bryce Underwood
Bryce Underwood (Nick Lucero/

The new 2025 Rivals250 has been released and while there will be many changes along the way there are also a lot of elite players in the class who are drawing top college and NFL player comparisons.

Today, we updated the 2025 position rankings. Rivals national recruiting director Adam Gorney makes a comparison for each of the No. 1 players at their respective position below.

NEW 2025 POSITION RANKINGS: Pro-Style QB | Dual-Threat QB | Running Back | All-Purpose Back | Wide Receiver | Tight End | Offensive Tackle | Offensive Guard | Defensive Tackle | Weakside Defensive End | Strongside Defensive End | Inside Linebacker | Outside Linebacker | Cornerback | Safety | Athlete




Monday: New Rivals250 unveiled | Latest recruiting news for 2025 stars | Five-Star Countdown | Position-by-position through the new Rivals250 | Rivals Rankings Podcast | Meet the new five-stars

Tuesday: New position rankings | Gorney's position-by-position comparisons | Friedman's new faces to know

Wednesday: New state rankings released | Top battles in state rankings



The comparison to Anthony Richardson makes sense because Underwood is not only an elite quarterback but he’s also a phenomenal athlete. In that sense, the five-star quarterback will draw comps to the former Florida quarterback who went fourth overall in the 2023 NFL Draft.

What separates Underwood from Richardson, though, is that the 2025 QB is a more accurate passer at the same stage and completes more passes. There are no real questions about whether Underwood is a great athlete who just happens to play quarterback, an issue that is still being bandied about with Richardson.



When Knight throws a football – the lefty release, the smooth operation, the accuracy – it reminds me almost exactly of how it looked coming off the hand of Matt Leinart at USC.

Sure, Leinart worked from under center and not shotgun like Knight. The Lucedale (Miss.) George County standout is a far better athlete than Leinart as Knight uses that as another weapon in his game. But when the two throw the ball with about the same size, it is a very similar look.



Not only is Ezekiel Elliott one of Davison’s idols – and a big reason why Ohio State is one of the front-runners along with Georgia and Texas in his recruitment – but Davison’s game is very similar.

The Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei four-star running back is not super fast but he’s so incredible in a crowd, can’t be touched in a phone booth and then always finds ways to gain extra yards.



His nickname is “Turbo” so the Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy has speed and playmaking ability. While he does play the game like Tyreek Hill, we’re going to use Tony Pollard as the best comparison.

Pollard is a few inches taller but Rogers is used in completely the same way where he could be a dynamic threat running the ball (Pollard led the Dallas Cowboys in rushing last season) or in the pass game where Rogers can come out of the backfield or line up in the slot to make plays.




Justin Jefferson would be a good comparison for Williams but he’s smoother and more effortless so we’re picking Garrett Wilson here. Williams, who held onto the top receiver rankings, is not the biggest receiver but he glides through everything he does, gets open against everybody and has just awesome hands.

To this day, there’s a bitter taste in our mouths for not pulling the trigger and making Wilson a five-star at the end. We’re not going to make the same mistake when it comes to the Saraland, Ala., standout.



The best comparison for Mitchell could be whoever is on Muscle & Fitness magazine this month because the high four-star tight end is a muscular specimen who has probably tapped out from that perspective.

A comp is tough because the Los Alamitos, Calif., tight end by way of Allen, Texas, is more athletic and rangy than most tight ends in the NFL. But David Njoku from the Cleveland Browns is a good one. Both are big, strong, athletic and, while Njoku might have some more length, it’s as close as we can get.



D.J. Humphries was rated as the second-best prospect in the 2012 class, a 6-foot-5, 265-pound offensive tackle who dominated everything yet was not completely filled out physically. The Charlotte (N.C.) Mallard Creek standout was a first-round pick and is still with the Arizona Cardinals.

More than a decade later, here is Sanders from down the road at Charlotte (N.C.) Providence Day and he’s ranked No. 2 overall, dominates with power and athleticism, and still has a frame to fill out. The comparison is almost uncanny.



Because he’s the best offensive lineman on his Jacksonville (Fla.) Raines team, Thomas plays a lot of left tackle in high school and he could potentially stay at tackle but it’s more likely he moves inside in college.

That reminds us of Brandon Brooks, who had the size to play offensive tackle but also moved inside and dominated there as a Pro Bowl offensive guard. Thomas is only a half-inch shorter than Brooks and has the frame to add some more good weight.



First-round NFL Draft pick Will McDonald played with his hand down a little more at Iowa State than Grady does in high school but the comparison is almost dead-on. Grady is a little leaner but plays with extreme determination, toughness and athleticism to shed blocks and then chase down the ball carrier to put them on the ground.

The Troy (Ala.) Henderson standout also has a similar frame as McDonald so putting on a few more pounds in college will not be a problem at all.



During the Rivals era at defensive end, no one dominated like Jadeveon Clowney and Myles Garrett but those comps – whether it’s from a size perspective or just completely dominant perspective – don’t exactly fit with Griffin. But all-around, former Clemson standout and first-round draft pick Myles Murphy does.

Griffin is all about his business and is on the quieter side. So was Murphy. Both are physical specimens and it’s hard to believe but Griffin is already slightly bigger than Murphy, also a former five-star. And both dominate off the edge.



Jeffery Simmons is from the same state and was equally dominant in high school but more than 30 pounds lighter than Maddox is already as a 2025 prospect. Quinnen Williams, the former No. 3 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, is a better comp as Maddox at 6-foot-4 and 285 pounds uses speed and power to dominate up the middle.

It’s pretty amazing to see a sophomore push around guys like Maddox did last season and it should only continue as the Hattiesburg (Miss.) Oak Grove standout could easily play north of 300 pounds.



This one might be too easy but Owusu-Boateng plays a whole lot like his brother, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. The elder Owusu-Koramoah was probably a little more physical at the same stage but both can do everything from the linebacker position, whether it’s blitzing off the edge, playing in space, playing coverage and coming up to make plays.



There are differences between the two – Walker is taller, Myles Jack was a better running back at the same stage – but there are clearly similarities and how they play the game of football. Walker can be devastating off the edge, he has a playmaker’s mentality with a few pick-sixes last season and he can move around to blitz from anywhere on the field.

He wasn’t his team’s leading rusher last season but he got around 50 carries and scored six touchdowns. Jack probably could have been a college – if not NFL – running back and was better there but that versatility is the same.



It’s difficult to find a great comp for Sanchez because he’s already a legit 6-foot-3 and if he gets any taller, who knows, a move to safety might do him well. But speed, breaking on the ball and anticipation along with confidence is no problem for the Houston (Texas) North Shore elite cornerback. So Sauce Gardner is definitely a good comp.

Sanchez is more filled out than Gardner was in high school but the No. 4 overall pick in the NFL Draft is now up to 200 pounds. Sanchez could follow the same path.



This might be an obscure comparison but Pickett’s game might most resemble former Boise State standout JL Skinner, who was arguably one of the best safeties in college football last season but wasn’t picked until the sixth round.

What’s a little different here – and maybe worrisome in terms of Pickett’s high ranking – is not a question of his ability but NFL value placed on safety size as it seems shorter, stockier safeties are coming off the board earlier.

Still, Pickett and Skinner thrive off their length, ranginess and ability to step in front of passes. In those ways, they have very similar traits.



Although he’s about three inches taller than JuJu Smith-Schuster at the same stage, the two played the game very similarly on both sides of the ball. Sparks is an elite safety who has tremendous length and speed but also plays with a physical level that is unique for a sophomore in high school. He can flip over to receiver and dominate on the outside as well because he has such a special feel for the game.

Smith-Schuster was the same way at Long Beach (Calif.) Poly and while he made a career as an NFL wide receiver, many believe he was an even better safety in high school.