We want to know which schools have the best collection of talent in the NFL at five different positions -- QB, RB, WR, TE and DB. Using rosters from Week 1 of the NFL season as the criteria, College Football 24/7 analysts ranked the top three schools at each position, with points assigned to each school accordingly -- three points for each first-place ranking, two for each second-place ranking and one for each third-place ranking. The points were totaled, resulting in final rankings. We conclude the series today with a look at who deserves the title of Defensive Back U.
Defensive Back U
3. Alabama (7 points)
DBs on 53-man Week 1 rosters: 7; Dre Kirkpatrick (Bengals), Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (Packers), Kareem Jackson (Texans), Cyrus Jones (Patriots), Roman Harper (Saints), Landon Collins (Giants), Rashad Johnson (Titans). Note: Dee Milliner (Jets) is on injured reserve.
In the pipeline: CB Marlon Humphrey, S Eddie Jackson, CB Minkah Fitzpatrick.
2. Florida State (12 points)
DBs on 53-man Week 1 rosters: 8; Ronald Darby (Bills), Antonio Cromartie (Colts), Patrick Robinson (Colts), Jalen Ramsey (Jaguars), Lamarcus Joyner (Rams), P.J. Williams (Saints), Terrence Brooks (Eagles), Xavier Rhodes (Vikings).
In the pipeline: S Derwin James, CB Tarvarus McFadden, CB Marquez White, S Trey Marshall.
1. LSU (17 points)
DBs on 53-man Week 1 rosters: 9; Tyrann Mathieu (Cardinals), Patrick Peterson (Cardinals), Morris Claiborne (Cowboys), Delvin Breaux (Saints), Jalen Mills (Eagles), Ron Brooks (Eagles), Tharold Simon (Seahawks), Eric Reid (49ers), Rashard Robinson (49ers). Note: Jalen Collins (Falcons) is serving suspension.
In the pipeline: CB Tre'Davious White, S Jamal Adams, CB Donte Jackson.
Also receiving votes: Kansas (1 point).
Daniel Jeremiah: 1) LSU 2) Ohio State 3) FSU
Bucky Brooks: 1) LSU 2) FSU 3) Alabama
LSU parted ways with Les Miles, but there's no disputing his ability to recruit and develop elite defensive backs. The Tigers have a pair of All-Pros with Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu playing at the top of their games, yet it's the steady play of Eric Reid, Morris Claiborne and a host of others that make LSU the easy choice as DBU.
Charles Davis: 1) LSU 2) Alabama 3) Kansas
LSU has Patrick Peterson, who's been first team All-Pro three times in his first five years (once as a kick returner), and Tyrann Mathieu was a strong candidate for Defensive Player of the Year last season before his knee injury. Alabama has plenty of quality starters in the league at both CB, and SURPRISE, Kansas. Rock, Chalk, Jayhawk has strong Pro Bowlers and Super Bowl champs in Chris Harris, Jr. (undrafted) and Aqib Talib, and Bradley McDonald and Darrell Stuckey are quality safeties. Hard to leave out Florida State, Clemson, Florida, Ohio State, Texas, and Virginia Tech (the Fuller family alone could be a top 3).
Gil Brandt: 1) Alabama 2) FSU 3) Florida
All three schools have the great athletes needed to play the position. The players have the speed and quickness needed to play corner and the size and strength to play safety.
Lance Zierlein: 1) LSU 2) FSU 3) Ohio State
The combination of Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu puts LSU in the front seat. Add the rest of the names and it locks them in as DB U. Florida State is right there behind them with a combination of young talent like Ronald Darby and Jalen Ramsey to go with veterans like Antonio Cromartie and Xavier Rhodes. Ohio State's list has a mixture of cornerbacks and safeties, but it could jump up or down this list depending on how Eli Apple and Vonn Bell play.
Chase Goodbread: 1) LSU 2) FSU 3) Florida
The Tigers had nine defensive backs on Week 1 rosters to lead all schools, and some outstanding talents dot that list: Tyrann Mathieu, Patrick Peterson, Eric Reid, Delvin Breaux. FSU and Florida have eight and seven, respectively, including seasoned vets like Joe Haden (Florida) and Antonio Cromartie (FSU), and promising rookies Vernon Hargreaves (Florida) and Jalen Ramsey (FSU).
Chad Reuter: 1) FSU 2) LSU 3) Alabama
If you want an elite defensive back prospect, you're likely looking at these three schools. Since the time Deion Sanders roamed the field at Tallahassee, FSU has been a pipeline for talented defensive backs (Ronald Darby, Antonio Cromartie, Jalen Ramsey, etc.) LSU's group of Patrick Peterson, Tyrann Mathieu, and Eric Reid is great, and if others had matched their potential, LSU would top the list. Nick Saban, a former defensive back coach at the college and pro levels, has recruited many excellent secondary stars to Alabama (Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Landon Collins, Rashad Johnson, etc.) and will continue to do so.