CFB 24/7  

 

Charles Davis' top 50 prospects for 2016 NFL Draft

Print

Here is my initial list of the top-50 prospects in the 2016 NFL Draft. The all-star games have concluded, but the NFL Scouting Combine and pro days approach, along with plenty of tape watching. It will be interesting to see how this list evolves before the draft begins in Chicago in late April.

RANK

1

Laremy Tunsil - OT, Ole Miss

A tremendous athlete and talent who's skills were shown off with a TD catch in the Sugar Bowl. Has it all -- frame, hands, footwork.

RANK

2

Joey Bosa - DE, Ohio State

Played like a college senior as a true freshman for the Buckeyes, and kept improving throughout his career. Natural strength, good quickness, and relentless.

RANK

3

Jalen Ramsey - DB, Florida State

An argument can be made that he should rank as the top player, and expectations are that he will blow away the NFL Scouting Combine. What's his best NFL position, CB or S?

RANK

4

Vernon Hargreaves - CB, Florida

Has been a star since he set foot on campus. He is a lockdown corner who has the skills to play inside in nickel or sub packages.

RANK

5

Jaylon Smith - LB, Notre Dame

This might seem high, as he's coming off of a serious knee injury suffered in the Fiesta Bowl, but his tape, big plays, and motor jump off the screen.

RANK

6

Ezekiel Elliott - RB, Ohio State

Always wants the ball, and when he gets it, he produces. Can run with power, burst, and can catch the ball. Leading the "RB Renaissance."

RANK

7

Myles Jack - LB, UCLA

Another gifted, big-play LB with a knee injury (see Jaylon Smith). Jack's recovery is said to be going well, and he is an explosive, passionate player who thumps.

RANK

8

Ronnie Stanley - OT, Notre Dame

Terrific feet and agility. He will solve some team's LT questions when his name is called.

RANK

9

DeForest Buckner - DT, Oregon

Long-levered, similar to his Oregon teammate, Arik Armstead (a first-round pick of the 49es in 2015). He plays with excellent leverage and strength.

RANK

10

Jared Goff - QB, Cal

Many will focus on his slight build. I focus on his ability to process quickly and deliver the ball accurately.

RANK

11

Jarran Reed - DT, Alabama

The premium run-stuffing DT in the draft. He has the ability to develop into a good inside pass rusher

RANK

12

Reggie Ragland - LB, Alabama

Can do just about anything asked -- hit, drop into coverage, rush the passer. Big, physical presence.

RANK

13

Leonard Floyd - LB, Georgia

Versatile, and an excellent speed/edge rusher.

RANK

14

Carson Wentz - QB, North Dakota State

He had a very impressive Senior Bowl week. His game tape is impressive, as well. Looks the part, and carries himself that way, too. Athletic.

RANK

15

A'Shawn Robinson - DT, Alabama

When he plays hard, he's an absolute terror inside.

RANK

16

Shaq Lawson - DE, Clemson

Consistent, and plays hard on every down. Showed real toughness making it back for the national title game after suffering a knee injury in the semifinals. Strong on the edge.

RANK

17

Eli Apple - CB, Ohio State

Good cover skills, willing to tackle, and competes.

RANK

18

Noah Spence - DE/OLB, Eastern Kentucky

Really made people take notice with his pass-rush skills at the Senior Bowl. Best fit is likely as a 3-4 OLB who takes off after the QB.

RANK

19

Laquon Treadwell - WR, Ole Miss

Made a big-time return from a very tough injury in 2016. His 40-yard dash time will be heavily scrutinized at his pro day.

RANK

20

Taylor Decker - OT, Ohio State

I like his toughness, grit, and positioning. Can play either OT position, and recent Buckeye linemen have acquitted themselves well in the NFL.

RANK

21

Mackensie Alexander - CB, Clemson

Has what you are seeking in a corner in agility, toughness, and passion for the game. Zero career interceptions is a stat that will be scrutinized.

RANK

22

Darron Lee - LB, Ohio State

A favorite of mine since I saw him play live in the Big Ten Title game vs. Wisconsin in 2014. Can run, tackle, and cover.

RANK

23

Kendall Fuller - CB, Virginia Tech

Another evaluation tempered by injury, but before he was hurt, he showed ability similar to his brother Kyle's. Kyle is a starting CB with the Chicago Bears.

RANK

24

Robert Nkemdiche - DT, Ole Miss

The numbers won't tell the full story, but he has the athletic ability to take over games. Must answer some questions about some off-field issues that got him suspended from the Sugar Bowl.

RANK

25

Sheldon Rankins - DT, Louisville

In a packed group of DTs at the Senior Bowl, clearly carved a niche for himself. His game tape didn't always show what was seen in Mobile, but he caught a lot of eyes.

RANK

26

Germain Ifedi - OL, Texas A&M

The latest Aggie OL prospect to emerge, he's a guy that might have some versatility and ability to play OT or OG.

RANK

27

Austin Johnson - DT, Penn State

There were times at the Senior Bowl where he confirmed his game tape with his ability to explode off the snap and get into the backfield in a hurry.

RANK

28

Jack Conklin - OT, Michigan State

The former walk-on will battle, fight and scrap until the echo of the whistle, and he has better movement skills than you might think.

RANK

29

Kenny Clark - DT, UCLA

Big, imposing force inside. His ability forced teams to use extra blockers on him, and that allowed his teammates to roam and hit.

RANK

30

Kevin Dodd - DE, Clemson

You'll hear "One-year wonder," when you hear his name, but what a year it was. Not much experience in high school. His best football should be ahead of him.

RANK

31

Derrick Henry - RB, Alabama

A monster in size and production. Runs with better burst and speed than anticipated. Does not make many people miss, although on the college level, he was doling out the punishment.

RANK

32

Corey Coleman - WR, Baylor

He was a big play waiting to happen for Baylor. Can run, and his athleticism, strength and ball skills were featured.

RANK

33

Will Fuller - WR, Notre Dame

Made big plays in key situations all year, and is fast, fast, fast.

RANK

34

Andrew Billings - DT, Baylor

One of the strongest players in this year's draft, he uses good leverage to wreak havoc in the middle of the line. Not as heralded as his Baylor teammate, Shawn Oakman, but had superior production.

RANK

35

Von Bell - S, Ohio State

Good range, coverage ability, and tackles. Sees the field well, and plays with good intelligence.

RANK

36

Josh Doctson - WR, TCU

When I first saw him play two seasons ago, I thought he was a "jump-ball" type of WR, but I've seen him develop into a good all-around player with excellent ball skills.

RANK

37

Vernon Butler - DT, Louisiana Tech

Another player that emerged on the national scene at the Senior Bowl in Mobile. The stage was not too big for him, and he was slippery to block inside.

RANK

38

Kamalei Correa - LB, Boise State

Got a tip on him, and after watching him on tape, I owe my tipster. High motor, high production, excellent in run-and-chase situations.

RANK

39

Adolphus Washington - DT, Ohio State

I might have him rated higher than others, but his play over the last 6 games in 2014 just won't leave my mind. Best at DT, but has ability to play DE in a 3-4.

RANK

40

Jonathan Bullard - DT, Florida

Quick, with a burst. Guards struggle to block him in passing situations. Heart and soul of a strong Gators' D in 2015.

RANK

41

Paxton Lynch - QB, Memphis

A tall, lengthy, good-looking athlete who kept getting better, and helped win some big games. He is really intriguing to watch, and I like his arm strength and ability to hoof it.

RANK

42

Connor Cook - QB, Michigan State

Showed me some toughness when he tried to play through a shoulder injury (passing arm), and returned to QB his team to a Big Ten title, and CFB Playoff berth.

RANK

43

Michael Thomas - WR, Ohio State

Physical receiver who can catch it, and break tackles to gain additional yardage. Plays like a basketball player at times, boxing out defenders to catch the ball.

RANK

44

Darian Thompson - S, Boise State

Aggressive, physical, ballhawk that at times gambles a bit, but it often pays off for him (19 career picks).

RANK

45

Harlan Miller - CB, Southeastern Louisiana

I was told not to "buy the hype" on him, but I really liked what I saw from him at the Senior Bowl. He took every challenge and competed well all week.

RANK

46

Yannick Ngakoue - DE, Maryland

Got better as the season rolled on, and was overshadowed by more highly touted teammates, but was the Terps' best defensive player. Broke school's single-season sack record.

RANK

47

Xavien Howard - CB, Baylor

Physical. Will play and hold up in the running game. Has good quickness and ball skills. I like his upside.

RANK

48

Cody Whitehair - OG, Kansas State

A very productive performer at K-State at LT. I think he will kick inside to guard, and could be a plug-and-play performer.

RANK

49

Karl Joseph - S, West Virginia

Coming off of a knee injury suffered in the 2015 season. He's a quick, aggressive, confident hitter who was asked to cover in man at WVU.

RANK

50

Tyler Boyd - WR, Pittsburgh

Very competitive and productive. Broke records that Larry Fitzgerald set for the Pittsburgh. A football player.

Print

Headlines

The previous element was an advertisement.

NFL Shop