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Published: April 5, 2016 at 04:35 p.m.

Top eight most explosive prospects in 2016 NFL Draft

"Explosive" is a term often used to describe football players, but what does that really mean?

Dictionary.com's definition of explode includes a phrase that I believe aptly summarizes the concept: "to burst forth violently."

These prospects each have a rare combination of speed and power. Here's my list of the most explosive players in the 2016 NFL Draft.

8 Photos Total

  • Few defensive back prospects in recent years have come out of college with <a>Ramsey</a>'s combination of aggressive play and pure athleticism.  Sure, he looked like quite the explosive athlete at the combine with a 41-1/2 inch vertical and a crazy-good 11-3 broad jump.  But his tape shows a tenacity and ultra-confident nature that is necessary to succeed in the NFL. Scouts often refer to defensive linemen converting speed to power when rushing the passer, but it seems like <a>Ramsey</a> does that when lining up a receiver on a screen play or down the sideline. Whether his new team lines him up at corner or safety, <a>Ramsey</a> will certainly make an impact. 8

    Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

    1. Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State

    Few defensive back prospects in recent years have come out of college with Ramsey's combination of aggressive play and pure athleticism. Sure, he looked like quite the explosive athlete at the combine with a 41-1/2 inch vertical and a crazy-good 11-3 broad jump. But his tape shows a tenacity and ultra-confident nature that is necessary to succeed in the NFL. Scouts often refer to defensive linemen converting speed to power when rushing the passer, but it seems like Ramsey does that when lining up a receiver on a screen play or down the sideline. Whether his new team lines him up at corner or safety, Ramsey will certainly make an impact.

  • Jack is one of the more versatile and athletic players in the draft. His 40-inch vertical at 243 pounds is pretty ridiculous. But I don't think we've truly seen how explosive of a player he will be attacking plays as either a pass rusher or inside linebacker at the next level. Unless a team picks him to play as a safety, Jack will be able to focus on the game in front of him, meaning he will channel his power into whoever happens to be carrying the ball. His ability to cover space and bring hits reminds me of fellow safety/linebacker hybrid Brian Urlacher when he came out of New Mexico. 7

    Ben Liebenberg/NFL

    2. Myles Jack, LB, UCLA

    Jack is one of the more versatile and athletic players in the draft. His 40-inch vertical at 243 pounds is pretty ridiculous. But I don't think we've truly seen how explosive of a player he will be attacking plays as either a pass rusher or inside linebacker at the next level. Unless a team picks him to play as a safety, Jack will be able to focus on the game in front of him, meaning he will channel his power into whoever happens to be carrying the ball. His ability to cover space and bring hits reminds me of fellow safety/linebacker hybrid Brian Urlacher when he came out of New Mexico.

  • I've seen scouting reports that state Bosa is not explosive. My counterargument would be to ask those who attempted to block him how explosive he really is -- I think they could attest to his explosiveness. No, he's not long and flexible like some edge rushers. His ability to play with leverage despite measuring 6-foot-5 is quite impressive, however, and he also brings pop into the chest of his opponent, freeing himself to chase quarterbacks or make plays vs. the run. His explosiveness-test results (jumps, short shuttles) at the NFL Scouting Combine were among the best in the defensive end class when you take size into account.  I'll take him on my team. 6

    Aaron M. Sprecher/NFL

    3. Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State

    I've seen scouting reports that state Bosa is not explosive. My counterargument would be to ask those who attempted to block him how explosive he really is -- I think they could attest to his explosiveness. No, he's not long and flexible like some edge rushers. His ability to play with leverage despite measuring 6-foot-5 is quite impressive, however, and he also brings pop into the chest of his opponent, freeing himself to chase quarterbacks or make plays vs. the run. His explosiveness-test results (jumps, short shuttles) at the NFL Scouting Combine were among the best in the defensive end class when you take size into account. I'll take him on my team.

  • One could argue that former Notre Dame receiver Will Fuller is the most explosive receiver in the class, if great speed was the most important criteria. But I'll go with Doctson here, as his striding speed is more than enough to threaten NFL defenses deep. And once the ball is in the air, he has the vertical, length, and upper-body strength to win 50-50 balls. As he continues to grow in a pro strength and conditioning program, look for Doctson to be the playmaker everyone projects.  It won't be a surprise if he's the first receiver off the board. 5

    Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    4. Josh Doctson, WR, TCU

    One could argue that former Notre Dame receiver Will Fuller is the most explosive receiver in the class, if great speed was the most important criteria. But I'll go with Doctson here, as his striding speed is more than enough to threaten NFL defenses deep. And once the ball is in the air, he has the vertical, length, and upper-body strength to win 50-50 balls. As he continues to grow in a pro strength and conditioning program, look for Doctson to be the playmaker everyone projects. It won't be a surprise if he's the first receiver off the board.

  • Yes, Hargrave spent his career beating offensive linemen who weren't able to earn major college football scholarships. But even against better players, his quickness off the ball and pure power inside made stopping him a difficult task. Hargrave isn't as tall or long as some teams desire inside, but frankly, the low center of gravity is a plus when trying to send your opponent backwards. Some defensive line coach will pound the table for his team to select the All-American due to his enormous lower body, which provides both explosiveness and stoutness. 4

    Perry Knotts/NFL

    5. Javon Hargrave, DT, South Carolina State

    Yes, Hargrave spent his career beating offensive linemen who weren't able to earn major college football scholarships. But even against better players, his quickness off the ball and pure power inside made stopping him a difficult task. Hargrave isn't as tall or long as some teams desire inside, but frankly, the low center of gravity is a plus when trying to send your opponent backwards. Some defensive line coach will pound the table for his team to select the All-American due to his enormous lower body, which provides both explosiveness and stoutness.

  • If you're looking at straight-line speed as your only measurement of explosiveness, then Tyler Ervin from San Jose State might be the more appropriate choice among running backs for this list.  But consider this -- Henry ran only 13-hundredths of a second slower in his 40-yard dash than Ervin despite outweighing him by 55 pounds. Henry's vertical (37 inches) and broad jump (10-10) were in line with Ervin's (39, 10-10) as well. On the field, Henry's ability to break big runs once in space was a sight to see, as was his ability to go through arm tackles at the line of scrimmage. With the right surrounding cast, Henry's going to be a playmaker. 3

    Ric Tapia/NFL

    6. Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama

    If you're looking at straight-line speed as your only measurement of explosiveness, then Tyler Ervin from San Jose State might be the more appropriate choice among running backs for this list. But consider this -- Henry ran only 13-hundredths of a second slower in his 40-yard dash than Ervin despite outweighing him by 55 pounds. Henry's vertical (37 inches) and broad jump (10-10) were in line with Ervin's (39, 10-10) as well. On the field, Henry's ability to break big runs once in space was a sight to see, as was his ability to go through arm tackles at the line of scrimmage. With the right surrounding cast, Henry's going to be a playmaker.

  • There were several safeties I considered for this list, including Jeremy Cash of Duke, Sean Davis of Maryland, Karl Joseph of West Virginia and Miles Killebrew of Southern Utah.  But Neal's downhill ability is really fun to watch -- unless you're on the other end of one of his tackles, of course. The 6-0, 211-pound former Gator is an enforcer whether he's playing deep over the middle or filling holes in the box. 2

    Kim Klement/USA TODAY

    7. Keanu Neal, S, Florida

    There were several safeties I considered for this list, including Jeremy Cash of Duke, Sean Davis of Maryland, Karl Joseph of West Virginia and Miles Killebrew of Southern Utah. But Neal's downhill ability is really fun to watch -- unless you're on the other end of one of his tackles, of course. The 6-0, 211-pound former Gator is an enforcer whether he's playing deep over the middle or filling holes in the box.

  • Among interior offensive linemen in this class, Garnett presents the best combination of brute strength, intelligence and agility. In power situations, he can get low enough to leverage his man (or simply take him to the ground). When getting out in front of screens or outside runs, Garnett uses his short-area quickness and huge frame to pummel linebackers and defensive backs who think they'll make the tackle. So yes, offensive linemen are often explosive, even if it gets lost in the shuffle a bit as they're not carrying the ball. 1

    Young Kwak/Associated Press

    8. Joshua Garnett, OG, Stanford

    Among interior offensive linemen in this class, Garnett presents the best combination of brute strength, intelligence and agility. In power situations, he can get low enough to leverage his man (or simply take him to the ground). When getting out in front of screens or outside runs, Garnett uses his short-area quickness and huge frame to pummel linebackers and defensive backs who think they'll make the tackle. So yes, offensive linemen are often explosive, even if it gets lost in the shuffle a bit as they're not carrying the ball.