#CFBTop25 Do-over: Ranking top 25 players at midseason

Editor's note: Heading into the season, CFB 24/7 counted down the top 25 players in college football based on the votes of 7 writers and analysts. As we hit the midseason mark, NFL.com analyst Lance Zierlein unveils a redo of his top-25 list based on what has transpired in the first half.

Yes, much has changed since I compiled a list of college football's top 25 players in the preseason. In fact, 3 of the top 5 on my midseason list didn't make my preseason list. I note my preseason ranking for each player on my midseason list, as well as the player I had ranked in each slot in the preseason.

Note: Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett (No. 15) was omitted from this list on initial publication.

1. Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
Preseason ranking: Unranked
Preseason No. 1: Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
While he still has work to do as a passer, Jackson's leap forward as a playmaker and game-changer has put him into the clear lead for the Heisman. With 28 touchdowns in just five games, Jackson is the top player in college football.

2. Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
Preseason ranking: No. 5
Preseason No. 2: Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
Garrett has four sacks in five games and he's gotten to the quarterback in the Aggies' three biggest games. Despite the additional attention from offensive lines, Garrett is still the premier terror off the edge in college football.

3. Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
Preseason ranking: No. 7
Preseason No. 3: Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
Cook is attacking teams on the ground and through the air this year and opposing defenses don't like it. With size, elusiveness and an ability to step up and shine in some of the Seminoles' biggest contests over the years, Cook deserves to be ranked highly on this list.

4. Jabrill Peppers, LB, Michigan
Preseason ranking: Unranked
Preseason No. 4: Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama
Peppers has become one of the ultimate chess pieces in college football and the Wolverines appears to have a good feel for how to deploy him. Peppers has become a downhill tackler near the line of scrimmage and has an ability to turn games with a single return on special teams.

5. Arden Key, OLB, LSU
Preseason ranking: Unranked
Preseason No. 5: Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
After watching Key dismantle Le'Raven Clark in the Texas Bowl last season, Key was locked onto my radar. Key is on pace to lead the talent-laden SEC in sacks as a true sophomore.

6. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
Preseason ranking: No. 1
Preseason No. 6: Tim Williams, LB, Alabama
McCaffrey was a workhorse last year and was on pace to continue the heavy lifting this year until he was bottled up by Washington and then got banged up against Washington State last weekend. McCaffrey was No. 1 on this list before the season started, but I'm concerned that the heavy workload might be wearing on him a bit.

7. Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
Preseason ranking: No. 2
Preseason No. 7: Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
The ankle injury that has sidelined Fournette has crushed his Heisman chances, but let's be real. Even with time missed, Fournette has the talent that warrants being on a list of the top players in college football. The stats will start piling up once again for Fournette when he returns to the field.

8. Teez Tabor, CB, Florida
Preseason ranking: No. 9
Preseason No. 8: Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt
Tabor has been targeted 17 times with three of those targets becoming interceptions. He has the speed, length and quickness to match up against the best receivers in the country.

9. Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama
Preseason ranking: No. 4
Preseason No. 9: Teez Tabor, CB, Florida
Allen doesn't have the same sack production this year that he had last year, but he's as technically sound as ever. He gives the Tide power on the edge and quickness when he bumps inside.

10. Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
Preseason ranking: No. 3
Preseason No. 10: JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, USC
Watson isn't having the season he had last year and he just hasn't looked as sharp throwing the football. With that said, he's still able to beat teams with both his arm and legs. He has the big-game experience (and success) that no other QB on this list possesses.

11. Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
Preseason ranking: No. 18
Preseason No. 11: Samaje Perine, RB, Oklahoma
A big, hard-hitting prototype on the inside, Foster can be seen flying from sideline to sideline each Saturday. He's also become a quality blitzer thanks to his outstanding closing burst.

12. Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt
Preseason ranking: No. 8
Preseason No. 12: Royce Freeman, RB, Oregon
It feels like it's Cunningham vs. the world when he suits up for the Vanderbilt defense, and that's OK because Cunningham holds his own. After a sensational 2015, Cunningham is back at it again with 25 of his 61 tackles coming within two yards of the line of scrimmage.

13. Sidney Jones, CB, Washington
Preseason ranking: Unranked
Preseason No. 13: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
It appears as though nobody wants it with Sidney Jones because he's been targeted just 11 times even though UW's competition has been living in catch-up mode this year. He's added muscle and is one of the most proficient press corners in the game.

14. Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
Preseason ranking: No. 10
Preseason No. 14: Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State
It's not easy to find a player who's been more consistently productive than Barnett over the last couple of years. Barnett has consistently pressured the quarterback to the tune of 5 sacks this season.

15. J.T. Barrett, QB, Ohio State
Preseason ranking: Unranked
Preseason No. 15: Jalen Reeves-Maybin, LB, Tennessee
Anderson is part of a talented rotation up front for Alabama and yet he's still managed 4.5 sacks while forcing two fumbles and recovering one. The Tide's Tim Williams gets more attention, but Anderson is the better player.

16. Ryan Anderson, DE, Alabama
Preseason ranking: Unranked
Preseason No. 16: Desmond King, CB, Iowa
Anderson is part of a talented rotation up front for Alabama and yet he's still managed 4.5 sacks while forcing two fumbles and recovering one. The Tide's Tim Williams gets more attention, but Anderson is the better player.

17. Cordrea Tankersley, CB, Clemson
Preseason ranking: Unranked
Preseason No. 17: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
If you plan on attacking Tankersley, I wish you the best of luck. Tankersley has allowed 35 yards over 17 targets this season. His attacking mentality as a tackler is just as impressive.

18. Desmond King, CB, Iowa
Preseason ranking: No. 18
Preseason No. 18: Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
Punt returner, kick returner and lockdown cornerback -- King rarely leaves the field, which is bad news for receivers looking for a free lunch. King's not generous with the catches allowed.

19. Jake Browning, QB, Washington
Preseason ranking: Unranked
Preseason No. 19: Anthony Walker, LB, Northwestern
Does Browning have the same prolific passing yardage that other quarterbacks have? No, but he hasn't needed it, as he's been as efficient as any quarterback in the game. Browning is throwing a touchdown pass every 6.2 attempts and he's in the hunt for the Heisman.

20. John Ross, WR, Washington
Preseason ranking: Unranked
Preseason No. 20: Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
When it comes to high-impact production, there might not be a player on this list who can top Ross other than Lamar Jackson. Ross has 30 catches with 9 going for touchdowns. Add a kick return and rushing touchdown to the mix, and he has 11 total TDs in just 39 total touches.

21. DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame
Preseason ranking: Unranked
Preseason No. 21: Jourdan Lewis, CB, Michigan
While Kizer has cooled down a bit after his red-hot start against Texas in Week 1, he's still affecting games with both his deep throws and his rushing ability. Kizer's star was tarnished just slightly due to a poor performance in absolutely terrible weather this past weekend.

22. Minkah Fitzpatrick, CB, Alabama
Preseason ranking: Unranked
Preseason No. 22: Dan Feeney, G, Indiana
Fitzpatrick has continued what he started as a freshman, showing outstanding instincts, intelligence and consistency for the Tide. Keep in mind that 3 of Fitzpatrick's 5 interceptions over the last 2 seasons have gone for touchdowns.

23. Jourdan Lewis, CB, Michigan
Preseason ranking: No. 21
Preseason No. 23: Dan Feeney, G, Indiana
Lewis would be higher on this list if not for the three games he missed at the beginning of the season due to injury. Lewis has allowed a catch just 12.5 percent of the times he's been targeted, allowing 11 yards while defending 5 passes (including an incredible one-handed snare against Wisconsin).

24. Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
Preseason ranking: No. 24
Preseason No. 24: Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
Even though every defense he faces understands that it has to stop Davis, he's still continuing to do his thing. While he's unlikely to see the same number of targets, catches or yardage from last year, his 8 touchdowns over the last 5 games have helped his team remain undefeated.

25. Jamal Adams, S, LSU
Preseason ranking: Unranked
Preseason No. 25: Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida
There is some NFL talent surrounding Adams on the LSU defense, but he appears to be the alpha with his aggressive, attacking demeanor. Scouts are all lined up in praise of Adams and when you watch him play, you understand why.

Follow Lance Zierlein on Twitter @LanceZierlein.

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