Ramsey voted draft's top player in poll of 19 NFL evaluators

In this time of pre-draft smokescreens, we can be certain of this: some teams drafting early but outside of the top 2 are going to get a great value pick.

With QBs expected to come off the board 1-2 when the 2016 NFL Draft gets underway on Thursday, it's well-established that some highly rated position players will be selected later than initially thought. A poll of NFL evaluators released Tuesday by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel adds more credence to that belief.

The Journal Sentinel conducted a poll of 19 "national-oriented personnel men" this month, asking them to name the draft's best player, regardless of position. Here's how the voting went:

  1. Florida State DB Jalen Ramsey (7 votes)
  1. Ole Miss OT Laremy Tunsil (3.5)
  1. UCLA LB Myles Jack (2.5)

T-4. Ohio State DE Joey Bosa (2)

T-4. Notre Dame LB Jaylon Smith (2)

T-4. North Dakota State QB Carson Wentz (2)

There are a few eye openers here. For one, the dominance of Ramsey in the voting. He's certainly been in the conversation for "best player available" throughout draft season, but the fact that he doubled Tunsil's vote total (many consider Tunsil the draft's top prospect) goes to show why he very well could be the third player drafted on Thursday.

Two of the six players that received votes (Jack and Smith) have been the subject of speculation regarding how far they might fall in the draft due to medical concerns. It's not clear whether the voting was conducted before or after the NFL Scouting Combine medical recheck was conducted earlier this month (both players were called back for the recheck), so we don't know if the results of the recheck affected the voting. Regardless, there was already a belief before the recheck that Smith might not play until 2017, at the earliest. The voting shows just how highly regarded Smith is in NFL circles. There's a belief that he would have been in the running to go No. 1 overall had he not suffered a severe knee injury in the Jan. 1 Fiesta Bowl.

Of course, it's also worth noting that the player widely expected to go No. 1 overall to the Rams -- Jared Goff -- didn't get a vote, while Wentz -- who's expected to go No. 2 to the Eagles -- received 2.

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