2016 NFL Draft: Top 64 prospects

By Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange
Ohio State Buckeyes defensive lineman Joey Bosa hopes to break a family tradition that saw his father, and uncle each drafted No. 16 overall in 1987 and 1988. File photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
Ohio State Buckeyes defensive lineman Joey Bosa hopes to break a family tradition that saw his father, and uncle each drafted No. 16 overall in 1987 and 1988. File photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

INDIANAPOLIS -- The NFL Scouting Combine kicked off Wednesday with 323 of the best players eligible for the 81st annual draft going through a series of physical, medical and psychological tests designed to help teams in their evaluations.

Based on their performances in college, these players already are rated by scouts, teams, media and even fans known as draftnicks.


Since 1997, the staff at analyzed players year-round and maintains an ever-evolving ratings list. Founder and publisher Frank Cooney has covered the draft since 1967 when big Bubba Smith was the overall pick and a quarterback named Steve Spurrier was No. 3.

Heading into this week's event, Cooney took a closer look at the top 64 players on's pre-combine ratings. Here is a snapshot of those prospects.

Overall/Pos rank, Pos, School, Ht, Wt, 40, Proj. Rd.


1/1. *Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State, 6-5, 275, 4.82, 1

Family Tradition: Actually, Bosa hopes to break a family tradition that saw his father, John, and uncle, Eric Kumerow, each drafted No. 16 overall in 1987 and 1988, respectively, and each last only three years in the NFL with the Miami Dolphins. Young Bosa is rated a top-five pick in the 2016 draft after collecting 26 sacks and 51 tackles for loss in three seasons with the Buckeyes. However, that includes only 5.0 sacks last season, but he did have 16 tackles for loss and was a unanimous All-America first-team selection and All-Big Ten. His best season was 2014 with 13.5 sacks and 21 tackles for loss.

Frankly: Explosive and agile enough to do back flips at 270 pounds, but that's not a move he can use in the NFL. Still, Bosa can use his determination and discipline to be a constant pest off the edge at the next level.

2/1. *Laremy Tunsil, T, Mississippi, 6-5, 305, 5.23, 1

Best Available Athlete: Tunsil may be just that at the very top of the 2016 draft, but teams are concerned with how available he will be during the season. An extraordinarily gifted left tackle, Tunsil's biggest challenge was staying healthy, and, oh yes, eligible. During three years of college he missed games with a variety of injuries, including a sprained knee, torn right biceps, fractured right fibula and dislocated ankle. Charges were dropped in a domestic dispute with his stepfather, but that led to an NCAA investigation and uncovered improper financial help, for which Tunsil was suspended seven games after being less than forthcoming.


Frankly: Exactly what teams look for in the pass-happy NFL -- a big, reliable blocker to protect the quarterback's blind side, a need that was painfully obvious for Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton in Super Bowl 50. Agile and hostile, Tunsil allowed only two sacks in the 28 college games in which he did manage to play.

3/1. *Jalen Ramsey, FS, Florida State, 6-1, 202, 4.49, 1

On your mark, set: Go get this athlete if you want a playmaker in the secondary. There is some debate whether he will be more helpful as a safety who covers a lot of ground quickly, or a cornerback who has shutdown ability. After becoming the first FSU freshman to start at corner since a guy named Deion Sanders 30 years ago, Ramsey played all over the defensive backfield. Athletic gifts are quantified on the track, where Ramsey won the NCAA Indoor long jump championship at 26-feet, 1.75 inches. He adds to his already ample height (6-1) with the ability to vertical jump 40 inches, which he did in high school.

Frankly: Safety? Cornerback? Slot corner? Boundary corner? Take him now and sort that out later. Ramsey can already do things that can't be coached. He has initial quickness, a high top-end speed and jumping ability to overcome a receiver who seems open. Basically, a quarterback's worst nightmare.


4/1. *Jared Goff, QB, California, 6-4, 210, 4.87, 1

Go to Jared: The last time Cal-Berkeley had a quarterback rated in the first round was 2005 and the cross-bay San Francisco 49ers selected Utah's Alex Smith with the No. 1 pick, leaving Cal's Aaron Rodgers to fall to 24th. Rodgers and 49ers fans have not forgiven the team yet. So, here comes Goff, compared by some to Rodgers, and the 49ers are a mess with no sure answer at quarterback for new head coach Chip Kelly, who has the No. 7 overall pick. Goff played 99 percent in some version of a spread offense and, despite a horrid offensive line (84 sacks), his career included such bloated stats as completing 977 of 1,569 for 12,200 yards, 96 touchdowns and 30 interceptions with a 144 passer rating. Goff started and impressed as a true freshman, improved every season, especially in reading and manipulating defenses, and displayed an uncanny instinct to throw catchable passes all over the field. Kind of like Rodgers.

Frankly: Thanks to terrible pass protection, Goff is already pressure-tested and his well-placed passes tore apart college defenses with surgical precision. He managed to survive and thrive under pressure, but he is a scrawny-looking 210 pounds and fumbled 23 times, so let's check his hand size.


5/1. *Myles Jack, OLB, UCLA, 6-1, 245, 4.56, 1

Don't know Jack: Projecting this intriguing prospect's ability to play in the NFL is tricky. He declared for the draft last October after a season-ending knee injury and surgery in September. He was cleared to run on Jan. 22, but will be limited to the bench press, interviews and the all-important medical exams at the Combine. So scouts are poring over videos of Jack's two sensational seasons on both sides of the ball. His 75 tackles in 2013 are second only to the great Kenny Easley among true freshmen in Bruins history. He also broke up 11 passes, blocked a punt and scored seven touchdowns as a running back. Jack became the only player in Pac-pick-a-number history selected as offensive AND defensive freshman of the year. As a sophomore, he added 88 tackles and ran for three touchdowns on offense. In his two years he was special at linebacker, with a magical combination of athleticism and instinct.

Frankly: Jack is definitely worth a roll of the dice. The question is, how early will some team roll those dice? Odds are good the payoff will be substantial.

6/1. *Laquon Treadwell, WR, Mississippi, 6-2, 210, 4.52, 1


Let's get physical: A three-year starter, Treadwell came back from a broken fibula (Nov. 2014) and showed his ability to out-fight defenders for the football. Even before the injury, Treadwell was not a speed burner, but was impressive enough to be the No. 1 wide receiver recruit in the nation in 2013 and validated that by catching 72 passes for 608 yards and five touchdowns as a freshman. Most impressive is that, after his 2014 injury, Treadwell made 2015 his best season, leading the SEC with 82 receptions for 1,153 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Frankly: A clever receiver whose lack of elite speed spurred him to learn the nuances of the position at a young age. Strong, sure hands and a wide wingspan will make Treadwell a reliable target for some NFL quarterback.

7/2. *Ronnie Stanley, T, Notre Dame, 6-6, 315, 5.17, 1

Timing is everything: Stanley might have been the top offensive lineman in the 2015 draft, but returned to school to try for a National Championship. Some scouts believe weaknesses were revealed in 2015, but still rank him high in the draft. Stanley has experience at right tackle (13 starts in 2013) and left tackle (27 starts the past two seasons) and has the foot quickness and athleticism to suit any offensive scheme. His long arms, strong hands and lateral agility are a great foundation for being a NFL pass protector, but he needs to get tougher to handle powerful bull rushers.


Frankly: Here is a big man with great feet, long arms and strong hands to battle pass defenders. Take Stanley to be a quarterback protector, toughen him up in the weight room, teach him more technique and soon natural maturation will help him grow into the job.

8/2. DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon, 6-7, 290, 4.87, 1

Excellent comeback: Teammates and pro scouts were surprised when Buckner stayed in school last year when he would have been one of the first pass rushers drafted in 2015. But he now goes into this draft as the top rated senior prospect. While most of Oregon's defense struggled, Buckner showed improved pass-rush ability and collected 10.5 sacks, tops in the Pac-12, 17 tackles for loss and 83 overall tackles. He is learning to control his extraordinary length against blockers, but he already has a knack for blocking passes (10 in college career). He can hold his ground against a run at him or pursue effectively on runs away.

Frankly: No reason to pass on Buckner if defensive end is a need. He has length, strength, speed, desire and Stanford head coach David Shaw paid homage, saying "If you're building a defensive lineman, that's what you would build."


9/1. *A'Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama, 6-4, 312, 5.18, 1

Hello, central casting?: Robinson looks like Tarzan and plays like Godzilla with his powerful upper body, strong arms and legs the size of a 500-year-old Redwood tree, in diameter anyway. Equipped to play inside in any defensive front, but has not yet played to his lofty potential. Can be an effective run-stopper right away in the NFL, but will need to push himself more throughout a play and learn techniques to shed blockers if he wants to put pressure on quarterbacks.

Frankly: Robinson can already hold his own against two blockers and that alone will make him valuable. There are no guarantees how much upside he has, but some team will take him high in the first round to find out.

10/2. Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State, 6-5, 233, 4.79, 1

Big Bison, small pasture: Wentz showed great leadership, grasp of the game and outstanding passing ability while guiding the Bison to their fourth and fifth consecutive FCS National Championships. A strong showing at the Senior Bowl against big-school stars added enough cred to increase debate over who is the top quarterback prospect in this draft, Wentz or Jared Goff. Cal's Goff is ranked No. 4 on this pre-Combine list although senior analysts Rob Rang and Dane Brugler predict in mock drafts that Wentz will be taken first. Wentz' advantages include experience in a pro-style offense and he is more physically substantial than Goff. Sidelined for seven games with a broken wrist, Wentz returned to earn Most Outstanding Player in the FCS championship game, running for two touchdowns and passing for another in a 37-10 win over Jacksonville State.


Frankly: So far, Wentz answers all those questions that stem from him being the product of a FCS school. He answered with an exclamation point at the Senior Bowl, where Rang said Wentz distanced himself from all other quarterbacks in practices, showing "a combination of velocity, accuracy and functional athleticism to justify all of the attention."

11/1. *Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson, 5-10, 195, 4.43, 1

Fills pressing need: Only a redshirt sophomore, Alexander teased scouts immediately with an amazing knack at painting himself onto receivers in press coverage. Oddly, he does not seem as consistent in off coverage, where a lack of refined technique and footwork are exposed and he too often seems conflicted on whether to cover the man or the ball. He is more compact than the long cornerbacks sought by NFL teams and is not always eager to take part in run support, although he shows decent ability as a tackler.

Frankly: Alexander already looks like a natural performing the most difficult task -- press coverage -- where he displays extraordinary quickness and fluid motion. With that as a starting point, Alexander should be able to learn the easier tasks because coaches already say he is a hard worker in the film room.


12/1. *Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State, 6-0, 225, 4.42, 1

Collision course: Elliott may have shown scouts too much in a college career that included carrying or catching the ball more than 600 times. While that showcased his elite talent as a three-down back -- both running and receiving -- it also demonstrated he is all-to-willing to make contact rather than avoid it. With the NFL's increased focus on concussions, that physical type of play might limit his shelf life as a pro. Elliott has quickness and speed to avoid and outrun most tacklers (in track, won four state championships at the Missouri Class 3 state championships in 2012; the 100, 200, 110 high hurdles and 300 hurdles). Elliott complained to media about lack of use in a loss to Michigan State, which created negative feedback for openly questioning his coaches. He will no doubt be grilled about his team attitued during Combine interviews.

Frankly: Putting aside trivial matters such as precise receiver routes and pass-blocking technique, Elliott does everything expected of a running back and does it well. His toughness inside is reminiscent of Frank Gore (49ers, Colts), especially when he pops out the other side of a scrum.


13/3. *Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson, 6-3, 270, 4.67, 1

Breakout season: Lawson entered the 2015 season with more buzz than production, but finally piled up impressive stats in a hurry. He topped all FBS defenders with 24.5 tackles for a loss, including 12.5 sacks. An AFC scout, watching Lawson work against Notre Dame's highly-touted left tackle Ronnie Stanley in October, messaged's Dane Brugler, "this #90 is a difference-maker!" Lawson finished the game with seven tackles, including 3.5 of those stops for loss, beating Stanley with a combination of quickness and power.

Frankly: If normally private and negative scouts are spreading the good word about Lawson, it is not likely that he drops out of the top 15.

14/2. *Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida, 5-11, 199, 4.48, 1

Fancy footwork: After a sensational prep career, it was not surprising that Hargreaves was an immediate sensation as a true freshman, earning All-SEC honors after 11 pass breakups and three interceptions in 2013. As a sophomore, he led the conference with 13 breakups and three more thefts. Hargreaves has dazzling, blink-quick footwork that is effective in both press and off coverage, where he also displays remarkable peripheral vision and instinct.


Frankly: Here is a tremendous competitor with insanely quick feet and the ability to be explosive closing a gap or soaring for the football. His natural talent is so impressive that NFL teams should ignore concerns about Hargreaves' short and slim stature. Just draft him and sic him on opposing receivers.

15/2. *Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor, 6-1, 310, 5.04, 1

Hometown Hunk: Billings was a well-known high-school sensation in Waco before making the short move to Baylor. He set state prep records in the power-lift with 2,010 total pounds that included 805 in the squat, 705 in the dead lift and 500 on the bench. Billings uses that brute strength and the ballast provided by his wide girth to dominate blockers, sometimes just tossing them aside. After becoming a starter as a sophomore, Billings collected 11.5 tackles for loss, two sacks and nine quarterback hits in 2014. Last season, he made 15 TFL, including 5.5 sacks.

Frankly: NFL teams must make this choice -- draft Billings or wish they did when attempting to block him over the next decade.

16/1. Reggie Ragland, ILB, Alabama, 6-1, 259, 4.72, 1

Decisions, decisions: One of Ragland's impressive traits is making quick decisions, which usually ruins somebody's offensive play. Last year, his best decision was to return to Alabama and play through his senior season. His performance on the field boosted him up scouting charts and into the first round of the draft. Ragland is a throwback, in-your-face thumper with excellent read-and-react instincts. A year ago his draft stock was cluttered with concerns about his speed, the lack of which might relegate him to the sideline on passing downs. However, he gave scouts something to ponder with a display of pass-rush plays/blitzes that overwhelmed would-be blockers. He finished the season with 102 total tackles, 17.5 for loss including four sacks, two forced fumbles and one recovery. And he was SEC Defensive Player of the Year.


Frankly: Ragland will be an old-school linebacker in a new era NFL and may need to find the right fit to be a success in the pros. In the right system he can be an immediate force in pulverizing runs.

17/2. *Darron Lee, OLB, Ohio State, 6-1, 235, 4.48, 1

Fleet afoot: A former high-school quarterback, Lee began college as a safety before moving up to linebacker in 2014. He used explosive quickness and great range to put himself in the middle of more than his share of plays. In 2014, Lee made 81 tackles, 16.5 TFL, 7.5 sacks and two interceptions. He was named Defensive MVP in the Sugar Bowl win over Alabama. Last season, Lee totaled 66 tackles, 11 TFL including 4.5 sacks.

Frankly: Lean and sometimes mean, Lee has the ability to get into a lot of plays in the pass-happy NFL, either in coverage or on blitzes. He may need to bulk up to hold up, but can be productive in the right setup.

18/3. *Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Mississippi, 6-3, 296, 4.86, 1

Boom or Bust: Projecting Nkemdiche's production as an NFL player is as difficult as pronouncing his name. Oh, that would be kim-DEECH-ee. His physical size and ability scream "sure thing." But offseason issues and a strange lack of statistics are making NFL teams wary. After falling out of a hotel window in December, he was linked to marijuana possession. When he was suspended for the Sugar Bowl, Nkemdiche opted to get into the 2016 draft. His size, strength and mobility should equal more production than his stats show -- in 2015 he totaled 26 tackles, seven TFL with three sacks. Some scouts question whether he keeps his motor revved all the time. When his RPMs are up, Nkemdiche is a brutish force almost anywhere along the line.


Frankly: In a league that is overworking the clean-up-your-act routine, it will take a measure of belief to select Nkemdiche with a high pick, although his talent calls for that. Interviews at the Combine will be important as NFL execs try to avoid being involved in adding another name to a list that includes Johnny Manziel, Joseph Randle, Josh Gordon and Greg Hardy.

19/3. Taylor Decker, T, Ohio State, 6-7, 315, 5.21, 1

Senior Citizen: It was all downhill for Decker after a rough debut as a starter against Buffalo's Khalil Mack (drafted No. 5 overall, Oakland, 19 sacks in two NFL seasons). Decker enters this draft as the top senior tackle (behind underclassmen Laremy Tunsil and Ronnie Stanley). Decker started 42 games for the Buckeyes, splitting time between left and right tackle, and was part of a senior class that won 50 games at Ohio State. Especially good run blocker for such a tall player and shows great vision, instincts when confronted with end/tackle games or blitzes.

Frankly: Tall and talented, Decker may not be an All-Pro, but he has the physical, mental and emotional makeup to start as a rookie.


20/3. *Jaylon Smith, OLB, Notre Dame, 6-3, 240, 4.67, 1

Bad timing: Smith's draft stock took a hit on New Year's Day when he tore his anterior cruciate ligament and lateral collateral ligament in the Fighting Irish's Fiesta Bowl loss to the Ohio State Buckeyes. He is recovering after surgery and might miss the 2016 season. Before his injury, Smith was an every-down linebacker who held up against running plays and showed great instincts covering receivers. Notre Dame's Brian Kelly called Smith the best linebacker he ever coached. When healthy, Smith is a freakish athlete who makes plays that few in college could duplicate. Notre Dame's top tackler since 2014, quickly separated himself as a top NFL prospect with a display crazy closing speed that usually ended with a violent hit.

Frankly: Before the knee injury this was a no-brainer. Now, some team will need to want Smith enough to spend a high draft pick and possibly let him rehab during 2016. When last seen on the field, Smith had the range, awareness and competitive drive that will make him a success in the NFL.

21/4. Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama, 6-3, 311, 5.14, 1


Man handler: A junior college transfer, Reed considered jumping into the 2015 draft after one decent season with Alabama. But he is now reaping the benefits of much better scouting reports after a 2015 season in which he made 56 tackles, including one sack, two pass breakups, eight quarterback hurries and a fumble recovery in 14 starts. Reed is not a great pass rusher and never will be, but he can create a dogpile even if offenses sic two blockers on him. He is a punishing tackler who makes opponents know he is there, sometimes through the whistle.

Frankly: Reed should find a place in any NFL defensive system. He answered any lingering questions at the Senior Bowl practices, where he sometimes looked like a man among boys while using those huge legs, long arms and strong hands to stop anything within reach.

22/4. *Noah Spence, DE, Eastern Kentucky, 6-3, 254, 4.68, 1

Fessed up: Spence was head coach Urban Meyer's first five-star recruit to commit to the Buckeyes and was the team leader in sacks as a first-year starter in 2013 at Ohio State. He finished the season with 52 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss, including 8.0 sacks over his 12 starts. Spence tested positive for a banned substance at the 2013 Big Ten title game and was suspended for the Orange Bowl and two games in 2014. After first claiming somebody spiked his drinks, Spence owned up to a problem with Ecstasy. He competed a drug rehab program and rebuilt his resume at EKU last year, earning co-Defensive Player of the Year honors in the Ohio Valley Conference. He had 22.5 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks, 63 tackles, 15 quarterback hurries, three forced fumbles and a pair of fumble recoveries.


Frankly: Spence is a fluid athlete with lateral agility and quickness who showed his competitive fire when he became combative during Senior Bowl practices. He can do damage from several positions along the defensive front, although only one position at a time, of course.

23/2. *Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor, 5-10, 190, 4.42, 1

Street tough: If Coleman looks like he is running like his life depends on it, that may be because he grew up learning football on the streets in a tough Dallas neighborhood. With a troubled father, now doing time for drug-related crimes, Coleman benefitted from the influence of former NFL standout and Baylor alum Ray Crockett. Last season, Coleman won the Biletnikoff Award as the nation's top receiver after catching 74 passes for 1,363 yards and led the country with 20 touchdown catches. He underwent surgery in December for a sports hernia and missed the team's Russell Athletic Bowl win over North Carolina. Coleman expects to be fully ready for the Combine.

Frankly: Coleman plays bigger and faster than he measures, which is important to know if he doesn't impress in the Combine's Underwear Olympics. On a football field, he is a big play waiting to happen and an artist chasing down deep passes on an up route.


24/4. *Jack Conklin, T, Michigan State, 6-6, 318, 5.43, 1

Earned his keep: Despite his considerable size and being the son of a former Michigan offensive lineman and current high school head coach, Conklin was lightly recruited. His only scholarship offer coming from Division II Wayne State. He planned to play the 2012 season at Fork Union Military School until MSU head coach Mark Dantonio took another look at Conklin's tape and invited him to walk on with the promise that he could earn a scholarship. After redshirting in 2012, Conklin established himself as the starting left tackle. He started the next 40 games. Conklin missed two games in 2015, but did well enough in his 12 starts to earn First Team All-Big Ten and All-America honors.

Frankly: Although he lacks outstanding athleticism, Conklin is a determined, tough run-blocker who might make a smooth transition to the NFL at right tackle. His draft stock shot up with a good game against Oregon defensive end DeForest Buckner, rated a top-10 pick in this draft.

25/5. Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville, 6-2, 304, 4.92, 1

Due recognition: Lorenzo Mauldin was the top pass-rush threat for Louisville in 2014, but it was Rankins who led the Cardinals in both tackles for loss (13.5) and sacks (8.0) that season, also besting Mauldin with 53 total tackles. Rankins added a pair of interceptions, a surprising number for a 300-pounder, and thrived under defensive coordinator Todd Grantham's multiple front scheme. Last season, Rankins started all 13 games and finished the season with 13 tackles for a loss six sacks) among his 58 tackles, along with a pass breakup, four quarterback hits and a fumble recovery.


Frankly: analyst Dane Brugler noted that Rankins was "nearly unblockable during one-on-one drills at the Senior Bowl due to his quickness off the whistle and powerful arms to drive blockers backward." Brugler was also impressed with the mayhem Rankins causes with his "heavy hands."

26/5. Jonathan Bullard, DE, Florida, 6-3, 283, 4.86, 1-2

Versatile D-Lineman: Broad shouldered and duck footed, Bullard played at every position on the Florida defensive line, but may fit best as a base defensive end in the NFL. He impressed scouts with a willingness to play through pain and maintain a leadership role over the years. In 2013, he battled through injuries to get 33 tackles in 11 games as a sophomore, then improved in 2014 to 52 tackles, 8.5 TFL with 2.5 sacks. Last season, he lived in the opposing backfield with 18 TFL, including 6.5 sacks.

Frankly: Bullard looks like he can add 20 pounds of muscle to better cope with challenges in the NFL. Regardless, he is a reliable, blue-collar, no-nonsense battler who can be effective immediately at the pro level.

27/4. *Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia, 6-3, 232, 4.73, 1-2

The Skinny: Lanky and maybe too lean, Floyd is a speed demon who erases distance in a blur of motion. He parlays that speed, length and excellent athleticism nicely as a pass rusher and in pursuit of ball carriers anywhere on the field. It might be notable that Floyd's progression is going the wrong way, with 6.5 sacks in 2013, 6.0 in 2014 and 3.5 last year.


Frankly: Floyd is very willing, but there may be a question about how able he will be in the NFL. He is no sure thing, but his athletic ability and closing speed are tantalizing. Floyd must bulk up to expect sustained effectiveness against the big boys.

28/6. *Kevin Dodd, DE, Clemson, 6-4, 275, 4.84, 1-2

Commands attention: With Shaq Lawson commanding the focus of offenses at right defensive end, Dodd was able to blossom at left defensive end in his first year as a starter. He finished last season with 23.5 tackles for loss and 12.0 sacks, second on the team behind Lawson. He had at least one sack in each of his last five games. He demanded attention in the National Championship game by scorching Alabama for three sacks and three TFL.

Frankly: Dodd's star is definitely on a radical ascent, possibly best evidenced by an increase in tackles from eight in 2014 to 65 last season. Although his outstanding play in 2015 seemed to arrive out of nowhere, Dodd's progression was interrupted with a knee injury in 2013 and he obviously was healed by 2015.

29/6. *Kenny Clark, DT, UCLA, 6-2, 310, 5.14, 1-2


Man child: There is a reason Clark handles constant double teams with ease and seems more mature than his years. He was called on to do double duty and grow up fast when at nine years old and his father, Kenny Clark Sr., was sent to prison for murder. Clark Jr. became the man of the house and helped his mother raise his three siblings. "It was traumatic," admitted Clark, who stays in touch with his father. So football was just a game, but one he loved and played well. As a freshman, Clark played in all 13 games, starting four, and registered 31 tackles and four tackles for a loss. Clark was primarily a nose tackle the last two years, but can adapt to play any position along the front line. He has plenty of the requisite toughness and calls on his experience as a prep wrestling champion -- with exceptional use of flexibility, ankle flexion, hips, leverage -- to get more out of his size and strength than might be expected. He finished second on the team with 75 tackles last year.

Frankly: Obviously Clark can take on a challenge. Scouting reports from analysts Rob Rang and Dane Brugler say that although overshadowed by flashier athletes throughout much of his career and still developing his pass-rush skills, Clark flashes the violence, agility and motor to contort blockers and drive them backwards. He projects as a three-down interior player.


30/3. *Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis, 6-6, 230, 4.95, 1-2

Towering Talent: Lynch may be one of the more intriguing, little-known prospects in the 2016 draft after three dazzling years as a strong-armed dual threat for the Memphis Tigers. A towering (6-foot-6 inches plus) quarterback with an impressive arm and surprising agility, Lynch started the last three seasons and completed 758 out of 1,205 passes (62.9 percent) for 8,865 yards, 59 touchdowns, 23 interceptions and ran for another 687 yards and 17 touchdowns. He played in a spread attack, which devalues his results for pro scouts, but his footwork and throwing motion look big league. Former Memphis head coach Justin Fuentes, who moved to Virginia Tech after last season, believes Lynch will surprise scouts at the Combine with his football intelligence. Fuentes coached Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton at TCU and reminds that Dalton was able to start as an NFL rookie.

Frankly: A highlight reel of Lynch is very impressive in every regard, evidenced by a 157 passer rating last season. But he did almost all that damage against mediocre, small-college teams. One bright spot was last year's upset of Ole Miss when he completed 39 of 53 for 384 yards and three touchdowns. But he was snuffed by Auburn, hitting only 16 of 37 for 106 yards and an interception.


31/7. *Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma State, 6-3, 275, 4.76, 1-2

Really Big Move: Stepping up to the NFL shouldn't be intimidating for Ogbah, whose big move was from Nigeria when he was nine years old and his family sought a better life in the U.S. He was encouraged to select Oklahoma State by fellow Nigerian native Russell Okung, who, of course, is an alum. After playing every game as a redshirt freshman, Obgah had a breakout season in 2014 and finished his sophomore year with 17.0 tackles for loss, 11.0 sacks and the Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year award. Last season, he had 17.5 tackles for loss among his conference-high 13 sacks and was honored as the Big 12's Defensive Player of the Year. He was stymied in the Sugar Bowl by Ole Miss tackles Laremy Tunsil (ranked a top-five draft prospect) and Fahn Cooper.

Frankly: Scouts believe he has a high ceiling and is just learning the nuances of the game, but analyst Dane Brugler warns that "Ogbah is battling the history of high-round picks from Oklahoma State who have failed to live up to expectations in the NFL."

32/3. *Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State, 6-1, 200, 4.52, 1-2


Ripe for picking: A tenacious defender against both pass and run, Apple's calling card drips with aggression. Apple earned a starting job as a redshirt freshman in 2014 and finished second on the team in passes defended (13) while adding 53 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and three interceptions. He started all 13 games last season and again was second on the team in passes defended (eight), while collecting 33 tackles, 2.0 TRL and an interception. Apple is willing to take on run blockers and amassed over 86 tackles and 7.5 tackles for loss in his two years with the Buckeyes. He plays with the attitude that every pass is meant for him and has active, disruptive hands.

Frankly: Apple already has an NFL defensive back's attitude, playing aggressively on every down but quickly forgetting the bad plays. He is battle-tested in high profile games (interception vs. Oregon's Marcus Mariota in National Championship game) and looks at home in man and zone coverage.

33/7. Vernon Butler, DT, Louisiana Tech, 6-4, 325, 5.06, 1-2

"Big Vern": Butler, a wide-bodied, nose-tackle type, wisely decided to return to school for the 2015 season and may have boosted his projected draft status from a middle rounder to the top two rounds. A backup as a true freshman and sophomore, his snaps increased each game and he became a full-time starter in 2014. As a junior, he recorded a career-best 56 tackles and 13.5 tackles for loss, earning All-Conference USA Honorable Mention honors. But he wowed scouts as a senior last season, making first-team All-Conference USA honors with 48 tackles, 10.0 tackles for loss and a career-best 4.0 sacks.


Frankly: He seems better every day. analysts were impressed by Butler at the Senior Bowl, where he was even bigger than previously believed and asserted his 6-foot-4 length and 324 pounds in a way that made him "almost unblockable at times. ... showing an exciting combination of initial quickness, balance and a refined swim move."

34/1. *Hunter Henry, TE, Arkansas, 6-5, 253, 4.79, 1-2

Mr. Perfection: With excellent size, athleticism and extraordinary ball skills, Henry needs only to improve his in-line blocking to be a well-rounded tight end. Last season he won the John Mackey Award as best tight end in the nation. He caught 51 passes for 739 yards and three touchdowns. More impressive, he didn't drop a single pass all season as his reliable receiving skills were reminiscent of NFL star Jason Witten. Henry might need more brawn in the NFL, but already uses his frame well to shield defenders from the ball and looks natural tracking passes arriving over either shoulder.

Frankly: No drops and 51 catches? Seriously? Pass-happy NFL teams in need of a tight end should follow his lead -- don't miss this catch.


35/1. Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama, 6-4, 297, 5.23, 1-2

Center of attention: In 2013, Kelly stepped into the significant shoes left by Barrett Jones, winner of the Rimington Award as college football's best center. This year, Kelly enters the draft with a Rimington Trophy of his own and rated the top senior center prospect on the list. Believe it or not, 297 pounds is considered small for a center, but Kelly was a model of consistency at this very difficult position. He is aware enough to diagnose what is needed against changing defensive fronts, is quick and decisive with his key first step and uses his long arms and strong hands well to control defenders.

Frankly: Never mind the scales, some players are as big as they play and Kelly is exactly what coaches want in the middle of their offensive line.

36/3. *Michael Thomas, WR, Ohio State, 6-3, 210, 4.54, 1-2

Two timeouts: Thomas has an outstanding combination of height, weight and speed -- aka triangle numbers -- but it was not easy for him to get into this position as a potentially high draft pick. Out of high school he attended Fork Union Military Academy in 2011, a heralded interim stop for prep stars to improve academically before transitioning to college (12 first-round picks). Thomas and roommate Cardale Jones dreamed about being stars at Ohio State. Indeed, in 2014 they were key factors in OSU's undefeated National Championship season. However, in 2013, Thomas needed another break to address academics and grasp the OSU offense. Now Thomas is among the premier receivers in this draft. In 2014, he led the Buckeyes with 54 catches for 799 yards and nine touchdowns. Last year, he caught 56 for 781 and nine scores.


Frankly: There are few questions about his physicality. Teams may be curious how and why a California prep star, and nephew of Keyshawn Johnson, received no attention from SoCal colleges, then needed two years off along the way to catch up. Regardless of physical ability, the step up to the NFL is not an easy one.

37/1. Cody Whitehair, G, Kansas State, 6-4, 300, 5.08, 1-2

Battle-tested: An impressive 50-game starter in college, Whitehair split time as a guard and a tackle. Although he has decent length, his arms are shorter than desirable for blocking on the edge as a tackle, so he is expected to play guard in the NFL. Whitehair told that he preferred playing guard, but believes his ability to play tackle adds value. "Either way I am comfortable," he said. Whitehair received All-Big 12 honors in each of his four seasons, including a selection to the first team last season.

Frankly: Whitehair is not an elite athlete, but his high level of consistent efficiency is impressive. His tough-minded work ethic should help some team both on the line and in the locker room.

38/8. *Austin Johnson, DT, Penn State, 6-4, 323, 5.27, 1-2


Reporting for duty: Already planning for life after football, Johnson earned his journalism degree, but first things first. A big boy in every regard -- tall and broad -- Johnson uses a high rev motor and persistent pursuit to create gaudy stats. His three-year totals for the Nittany Lions include 154 tackles, 8.5 sacks, 24.0 TFLs, four fumble recoveries and five pass breakups. He is more of a run-stuffer than a pass rusher. Surprising athleticism for a man his size puts Johnson in the middle of more than his share of plays.

Frankly: Johnson wants to join a media broadcast crew even during his NFL career, but he may need wide angle cameras if he selects TV. Meantime, Johnson should be raising havoc along some NFL team's defensive line for a while.

39/5. Shon Coleman, T, Auburn, 6-6, 313, 5.18, 1-2

Real Survivor: With all the personal challenges he went through, football was the easy part. Coleman arrived at Auburn in 2010 as a top recruit with a chance to earn a starting job as a true freshman. But his life drastically changed that spring when he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and spent two seasons focused on beating the disease - requiring 30 months of chemo treatments. After he was declared cancer-free, Coleman redshirted in 2012 and worked to get back into football shape. He spent the 2013 season as the backup to future first-round pick Greg Robinson. With Robinson off to the NFL, Coleman took over the left tackle job in 2014 and started 25 games the past two seasons, steadily progressing into one of the SEC's top blockers.


Frankly: This wide-hipped, broad-shouldered beast can nullify pass rushers with nimble feet, an agile body and long arms. Not the great pure athlete that Robinson was, but pretty damned impressive.

40/4. Josh Doctson, WR, TCU, 6-2, 195, 4.49, 1-2

Must Catch On: Out of high school, Doctson went to Wyoming before moving to TCU where, in three years, he set school receiving records for a career (2,785 yards) and a game (267 yards). He showed ample ability piling up those yards, especially hands that can pluck the ball cleanly. However, his college experience was all in a spread formation and he did not learn the full pass-route tree required in the pros. Mitigating that further, Doctson got away with running sloppy routes in college. Coaches say he is a dependable, hard worker who wants to learn.

Frankly: Doctson is too thin and has no experience to help early as a returner, so he must quickly learn all the routes and run them with reliability. He has a decent ceiling and maybe too much pride to hit the floor, so he is worth the gamble in the first two rounds.

41/2. *Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama, 6-2, 242, 4.54, 2


Bama Beatdown: Projecting an Alabama running back future in the NFL could be dangerous to one's credibility. Four Alabama running backs were drafted in the first two rounds since 2011 -- Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson, Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon. Their lack of superstar success in the NFL caused scouts to ding Alabama running backs as damaged goods. Now we have Henry, a powerfully built brute who runs with evil intent. He won the Heisman Trophy, as well as the Doak Walker, Maxwell and Walter Camp Awards. But here is what NFL scouts are looking at: the number 2,024. That's how many times he carried or caught a football in the last seven seasons, the final three at Alabama. He totaled 16,062 yards and 198 touchdowns, with 619 touches 3,876 yards and 45 scores for the Crimson Tide. Impressive? Yes. A concern? You betchya. He is big and fast, but so is everybody in the NFL. Henry's decent quickness, good speed and so-so elusiveness are not necessarily a predictor of success in pro football.

Frankly: After expecting more out of Ingram, Richardson, et al, we are adjusting expectations here, prioritizing what is now the key question: How much more does Henry have in his tank, his heart, or both?


42/6. Jason Spriggs, T, Indiana, 6-6, 301, 5.07, 2

Blocker needs ballast: Here is another pass blocker who succeeded in a spread offense in college, but even there seemed to need more strength to cope with tougher defenders. A former prep tight end, Spriggs was a four-year starter at left tackle for the Hoosiers. He held his own against the Big Ten's top pass rushers, such as Joey Bosa and Shilique Calhoun. Spriggs was named second-team All-Big Ten in 2015 after allowing only two sacks in 431 called pass attempts.

Frankly: Spriggs has the length, but needs more strength to step up successfully into the NFL. He demonstrated some improvement in that area during Senior Bowl practices.

43/5. *Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame, 6-0, 184, 4.42, 2

See-ya speed: Fuller is at his best in those moments after getting off the line and catching the ball. He can toy with defenders and create separation or shift gears and take the top off a defense. He has good, not great, hands and does a decent job high-pointing the ball. What his game lacks is strength and technique to ward off press coverage or get a clean release. He also lacks the tenacity to break tackles after the catch. His answer to all that is just to burn defenses deep with an overdrive that surprises safeties. In three years at Notre Dame, Fuller totaled 144 catches, 2,512 yards and 30 touchdowns.


Frankly: Fuller will be an oft-used threat, at least, for those teams that want to stretch the field vertically so as to prod the openings underneath -- or throw to him deep. Either way, Fuller keeps defenses on edge.

44/4. Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State, 6-4, 220, 4.93, 2

The Senior Cook: By sticking around for his senior season, Cook improved his on-field image. His arm strength was still only a little above average and he still lost effectiveness once rousted from the pocket. But he seemed more comfortable going through his reads in 2015, although his stats still dipped a bit. Despite plenty of nit-picking, Cook has the physical credentials to start in the NFL. But it takes more than physical skills to be the face of a franchise. Cook had a conspicuous, awkward moment with Archie Griffin while accepting the MVP Award after MSU's Big Ten title game. That was met with harsh public backlash on social media and is well noted by scouts. After redshirting in 2011 and getting little playing time in 2012, Cook took over as the starter in 2013 and finished his career completing 673 of 1,170 passes for 9,194 yards, 71 touchdowns and 22 interceptions. Due to a shoulder injury, Cook was unable to play in MSU's upset victory over Ohio State, the Spartans' most impressive win last year.


Frankly: Cook can spin the ball, but his game breaks down under pressure and he often does not reset his feet after being moved from that initial setup spot. Some teams will need to decide if his particular personality is a fit for their franchise.

45/4. *Kendall Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech, 6-0, 197, 4.48, 2

Oh, Brother!: Kendall is the fourth Fuller sibling to star at Virginia Tech, and destined to be the fourth drafted into the NFL. He was a three-year starter but was sidelined after only three games last season with a torn meniscus. Add that to a wrist injury the previous year and scouts who once raved about him as a first-round cinch are now concerned about his durability. Like his older brothers -- Vincent, Corey and Kyle -- Kendall is a ball hawk. At V-Tech, he played receivers inside out and had a knack at squeezing them to the sidelines. After stealing six interceptions and freshman All-America honors in 2013, he grabbed only two while playing most of the season with a broken wrist in 2014.

Frankly: K. Fuller isn't as fluid as most top corners, but is instinctive in all aspects of cornerback play, from supporting the run to sorting out pick plays. His wrist and knee surgeries need to be checked, otherwise Fuller should become a starting NFL cornerback.


46/6. Braxton Miller, WR, Ohio State, 6-1, 204, 4.36, 2

Work in Progress: One of the most dynamic college football players as a quarterback from 2011 to 2013, Miller was sidelined in 2014 by a shoulder injury. When it was obvious he would not regain his job in 2015, Miller moved to wide receiver and declared he would succeed because he was "the best athlete in college football." Some might not argue. Meantime, Miller, who passed for more than 2,000 yards and rushed for more than 1,000 yards in both 2012 and 2013, moved to a hybrid H-back position last year and struggled. He caught 26 passes for 341 yards and three touchdowns. He rushed 42 times for 260 yards and three TDs. Now, NFL scouts aren't quite sure what to do with Miller, a two-time Big Ten Conference MVP who is in search of a position and a pro team.

Frankly: There are few things Miller cannot do at any skilled offensive position, but his natural ability needs to be harnessed for consistent productivity. He also must stay healthy. Some team will call his name in this draft and a celebrated Miller Experiment will begin in the NFL.


47/2. Darian Thompson, FS, Boise State, 6-2, 215, 4.56, 2

Thief for hire: A big, aggressive, opportunistic safety, opposing offenses must take Thompson's presence into consideration when game-planning. He was named to All-America teams each of the last two seasons after picking off seven passes in 2014 and another five last season (he played in all 12 last season as well as the Senior Bowl). He leaves Boise State with a Mountain West Conference career record 19 interceptions, breaking the record of 18 set by three-time All-Pro Eric Weddle (Chargers). Thompson's aggressiveness shows up as a hard hitter in space. Although sometimes a bit out of control when attacking a ball carrier, his career includes 242 tackles, including 8.5 for loss last year.

Frankly: Thompson has rare instincts as a pass thief and is a no-nonsense, tough tackler. He should be doing plenty of both for whichever team that drafts him.

48/1. *Vonn Bell, SS, Ohio State, 5-11, 205, 4.52, 2

Urban relocation: Recruited heavily by Alabama and SEC schools as a Georgia prep star, Bell chose OSU because he was impressed by head coach Urban Meyer. Fearless and focused, Bell overcomes a lack of elite size and speed by knowing where to be and what to do without getting distracted. He uses a combination of athleticism and well-honed techniques to be reliable in man coverage, which was often at OSU. Although OSU often deployed him single deep as a center-fielders, his range may be iffy for that assignment in the NFL. Still, in OSU's 2014 National Champions season, he snagged six interceptions and finished his college career with nine.


Frankly: Bell has a lot of highlight video from OSU, but it is not a given he will star in the NFL. He plays bigger than he measures and sometimes faster than he clocks. But instincts and a can-do approach have been enough thus far.

49/2. Vadal Alexander, G, LSU, 6-5, 336, 5.39, 2

In and out: A four-year starter, Alexander handled himself well at both tackle and guard. As a freshman, he started nine games at right tackle, then moved inside for two seasons. Alexander celebrated his return to tackle last season by earning first-team All-SEC honors, playing more than 700 snaps and collecting 100 pancake blocks. Most NFL teams are looking at this big hunk to play guard as a pro. It is noteworthy that he managed to shed 30 pounds since he showed up as a freshman. Alexander is a mauler in the running game, but his pass-blocking skills are not up to NFL standards, hence his projection inside.

Frankly: Even at his, ah, smaller size there is enough of Alexander to make a dent in NFL defenses. His lack of great athleticism shows up when working against counter moves and Alexander must work on that to earn the trust of his quarterback.


50/5. Joshua Perry, LB, Ohio State, 6-4, 253, 4.67, 2

Lost in the crowd: Perry was the unsung hero in Ohio State's 2014 National Championship season. He led the team with 124 tackles that season, distancing himself from the runner-up by 32. Perry has remarkable read-and-react instincts and is relentless to a fault. His single-minded, torpedo-like approach sometimes runs him out of the play. Otherwise, he has textbook techniques in taking on the correct side of a blocker or knowing exactly where to shoot a gap.

Frankly: Perry is a great team player who will light up opponents on the field and ignite teammates in the locker room. He will be a favorite for some NFL team in 2016, even if all he does is blow up opponents on special teams.

51/7. *Germain Ifedi, G/T, Texas AM, 6-5, 325, 5.34, 2

Still premature: After almost declaring for the 2015 draft, Ifedi returned to college with the intention of improving his stock by playing left tackle after two seasons at right guard and right tackle. However, he was unable to take over that prized left tackle spot previously held by first-round draftees Luke Joeckel and Jake Matthews and remained at right tackle where he showed small improvement in technique and discipline. Regardless, most NFL teams project him as a guard who may be able to help at tackle in an emergency.


Frankly: Ifedi has a lot going for him, beginning with a huge, well-built body with broad shoulders and quick feet. However, even after 37 games as a three-year starter, he still needs to improve reliability as a pass blocker on the outside.

52/2. *Austin Hooper, TE, Stanford, 6-3, 248, 4.76, 2

Tight end parade: Hooper follows Zach Ertz, Levine Toilolo, Coby Fleener and Jim Dray as Stanford's tight-end contribution to the NFL. Like the others, Hooper is viewed primarily as a receiving tight end with marginal skills as an in-line blocker, which fits well into the current pass-happy era in the NFL. Hooper enters the draft as a third-year sophomore who caught 74 passes for 937 yards and eight touchdowns in two years with the Cardinal. Although he has a lean, athletic body that could handle an additional 15 pounds of muscle, there is no guarantee that would suddenly turn him into a good NFL blocker. But he is willing. Showing the smarts expected at Stanford, Hooper opted to enter the draft shortly after learning that Ertz signed a multi-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles for $40 million.

Frankly: Neither quick nor fast among elite athletes, Hooper parlays his strength, athleticism and soft hands to be a versatile offensive weapon. It would be a plus -- although it can't be a promise -- if he is able to improve in-line blocking with a few more pounds.


53/8. Shilique Calhoun, DE, Michigan State, 6-5, 252, 4.78, 2

No Slam Dunk: A former prep basketball star with excellent feet, agility and quickness, Calhoun totaled 128 quarterback pressures and 26.5 sacks in three years as a starter. In 2014, he was the Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the year, but wisely eschewed a chance to jump into the draft and remained in college to improve his scouting reports. Calhoun relies on deceptive straight line speed, but if he cannot gain an advantage on the edge that way, he doesn't have the natural strength to out-tough a blocker.

Frankly: Calhoun has some of the necessary tools to succeed as a pass-rusher in the NFL, but seems to lack a mean streak or pure strength that would make him more of a pest for offensive tackles.

54/2. Jeremy Cash, SS, Duke, 6-1, 212, 4.56, 2

Cash talks: As an example of his impatient nature, Cash bypassed his final semester at heralded Plantation High School in Florida to begin his college football career at Ohio State. He was a Buckeye for only five games in 2011, then transferred to Duke. After sitting out 2012 per NCAA transfer rules, Cash collected more than 100 tackles in each of the next three seasons. An energetic, violent, acutely focused defender, Cash's career stats include 335 tackles, eight sacks, 38 TFL, 14 passes defensed and five interceptions. Last season, he was named ACC Defensive Player of the Year. He missed Duke's Pinstripe Bowl to have wrist surgery and begin rehabbing to get ready for the NFL Draft. Cash is at his best close to the line of scrimmage, where he becomes an extra linebacker in terms of his ability to seek and destroy. Still, scouts say he has instincts and ability to drop back and be disruptive as a pass defender.


Frankly: Cash is money in today's NFL. He is one of those DB/LB hybrids whose abilities can be broadly amortized against NFL offenses that spread the field and still run the ball. Medics must check the wrist that underwent surgery in December.

55/2. Kentrell Brothers, ILB, Missouri, 6-1, 249, 4.86, 2

Sum production: Brothers' production seems to far exceed the sum of his parts. He has short legs and arms, tight hips, below average speed and marginal overall athleticism. Still, he blew up offenses with enough regularity to rack up 357 career tackles. That includes 152 tackles last year, outpacing the nearest SEC linebacker by 42. Brothers relies on film study, anticipation and instinct to overcome his physical shortcomings. Brothers will be limited to a 3-4 ILB or 4-3 MLB.

Frankly: Concussion rules be damned, Brothers immediately will be mayhem looking for someplace to happen on special teams. It is a testimony to hard work and diligence that Brothers led the nation in tackles per game last year at 12.7. That, plus two interceptions, earns him our semi-regular, somewhat annual honor as Jack "Hacksaw" Reynolds Linebacker of the Year.

56/5. Jalen Mills, FS/CB, LSU, 6-0, 194, 4.53, 2


A leg up: Despite a fractured left fibula and torn ligaments in his ankle last August, Mills came back to play in six games, start in five and collect 30 tackles and three passes defensed. His return, eight weeks after surgery, was particularly impressive for Mills because he is not considered a tough guy based on his arm tackles and less than inspiring efforts on run support. Mills is a good pass defender with quick feet, agility and an excellent burst of speed when needed. Off-field character is an issue following a May 2014 incident when he was charged with striking a woman in the face. Second-degree battery charges were dropped to misdemeanor, simple battery and he enrolled in a one-year intervention program instead of standing trial (the charge has since been expunged from his record).

Frankly: Mills will need to prove he can clean up is act on and off the field to be a survivor in today's NFL. Looks best in slot coverage. He has some similarities to last year' surprise first-round pick, Damarious Randall (Green Bay) in that he can play either safety or drop down to nickel.

57/9. Adolphus Washington, DT, Ohio State, 6-4, 297, 4.96, 2


Waiting on Washington: After struggling through an injury-filled sophomore season, Washington improved every year, but still has not reached his potential. Washington finished 2014 with 48 tackles, 10.5 TFL, 4.5 sacks. Last year, he collected 49 tackles, seven TFL and four sacks. But he missed the Fiesta Bowl due to a suspension after being arrested Dec. 10 for soliciting an undercover vice officer. Washington is large but limber enough to get into position and make tackles. Still, he is a work in progress in terms of recognition and sometimes is late to the party, vice squad notwithstanding.

Frankly: Washington has strength versus the run and is still honing his pass-rush skills. He should mature into a versatile pro who can be used all along the defensive line and create problems as an interior pass rusher.

58/7. *Tyler Boyd, WR, Pittsburgh, 6-2, 200, 4.47, 2

Versatile entertainer: Boyd lived up to his hype as a local high school star with three outstanding seasons at Pitt, despite doing it with three different quarterbacks. He leaves Pitt with school career records for catches (254) and receiving yards (3,361). He also averaged 24.4 on kickoff returns, 8.8 yards on punt returns, 8.3 yards rushing and even showed a surprisingly strong arm as a quarterback (3-for-4, 96 yards). Last year, as a true junior, he led the team in receiving for the third time with a career-best 91 catches for 926 yards and six scores. It was his only season under 1,000 yards receiving. Boyd broke Larry Fitzgerald's school freshman record with 85 catches (also an ACC Freshman record) for 1,174 yards. Boyd has a quick release off the line, especially dangerous from the slot, and is already a savvy route runner.


Frankly: There is a lot to like here. Boyd was competitive and entertaining in college, where he lined up anywhere he could cause damage with his marvelous athletic ability.

59/6. *Su'a Cravens, OLB, Southern California, 6-1, 225, 4.58, 2

Little Big Man: Cravens arrived at USC as a well-known player after three years as a Max-Prep All American and USA Today's High School Defensive Player of the Year as a senior. He graduated high school a year early to enroll at USC, which first lined him up at strong safety. Cravens' football instincts, athleticism and awareness are reminiscent of former USC and Pittsburgh Steelers star Troy Polamalu. The Trojans eventually moved Cravens closer to the line as a hybrid DB/LB, where his football IQ and heavy hands raise havoc and cause turnovers. Cravens can demolish up a run, sack the quarterback, cover a receiver and pretty much whatever else he wants. Last season, he led USC with 86 tackles, 15 TFL, including 5.5 sacks, and made two interceptions. He was so impressive that written reports from our analyst listed his strengths twice and no weaknesses. Oversight?

Frankly: So, what position will Cravens play? Just list him as a football player, give him a uniform, sic him on the opposing offense and enjoy. Cravens comes from a gene pool that includes cousin Jordan Cameron and distant relatives Manti Te'o and David Fulcher.


60/3. *Alex Collins, RB, Arkansas, 5-11, 218, 4.52, 2

Triple Thousand: Despite sharing running back duties with Jonathan Williams his first two years, Collins leaves Arkansas after gaining more than 1,000 yards in each of his three seasons. He joins Herschel Walker and Darren McFadden as the only SEC runners to do so. Collins' career total of 3,703 yards rushing (36 touchdowns) includes 1,577 yards last season, his first as the lone starter because Williams was out with a broken leg. Collins is not as big as some runners or as fast as others, but he is as tough and determined as any of them. He is a no-nonsense, North-South runner who reaches top speed faster than some defenders can adjust. Collins is a decent receiver and adequate blocker, but needs to improve both for the NFL.

Frankly: Leaving Arkansas as a junior may give Collins additional time to play for pay before his aggressive style takes its toll. Only issues for NFL teams to consider are ball security (17 fumbles, nine lost) and some off-field accountability.

61/8. *Pharoh Cooper, WR, South Carolina, 5-11, 208, 4.52, 2


Marching to different drummer: Usually, Cooper shows the focus and discipline one might expect of somebody raised in a military family, as his father and grandfather were Marines and his brother followed suit. But when Cooper has a football in his hands all bets are off. He will put on a show of dazzling moves never to be confused with the deliberate march of a Marine unit. Cooper is a magician, with dazzling footwork that makes tacklers disappear, because that is what he must do to succeed in football. He is not big and tough nor does he have elite speed. So he resorts to whatever crafty deception that works. Cooper's results over three years include 138 receptions for 2,163 yards (18 touchdowns), 71 carries for 513 yards (four touchdowns), 36 punt returns for 170 yards, 16 kickoff returns for 359 yards and nine completions (16 pass attempts as wildcat quarterback) for 118 yards and four touchdowns.

Frankly: Cooper is one of those electrifying players who puts fans on the edge of their seat, and defenders on their heels, whenever he touches the ball. Quickness, agility, lateral moves and artful change of pace are used instead of size, strength or real goodbye speed. Whatever works.


62/8. LeRaven Clark, T, Texas Tech, 6-6, 312, 5.16, 2

Check System Error: Clark is a massive athlete who was a three-year starter, mostly at left tackle, in a pass-happy college system. What more could an NFL team want? Well, it would be nice if those three years weren't all in head coach Kliff Kingsbury's version of the Air Raid offense introduced by former Tech head coach Mike Leach (now at Washington State). Clark was taught to retreat at the snap from a two-point stance. The first time he put his hand on the ground was at the Senior Bowl. NFL teams must project whether Clark can function in the more restricted confines of pro football line play.

Frankly: Scouts may desire a prospect already more schooled in the pro game, but Clark arrives with ample raw material. Along with that massive body, he has extremely long arms (36 1/4 inches), huge hands (10 7/8 inches) and quick feet. Never mind what Dr. Ruth said; sometimes bigger is better.

63/6. William Jackson III, CB, Houston, 6-1, 195, 4.52, 2

WJIII: Jackson transferred from Trinity Valley Junior College in 2013 and started at the end of that year. In his first full season (2014), Jackson caught the attention of NFL scouts with his disruptive style of play. He has excellent coverage instincts, although officials think he is a little grabby. His long arms and ball reaction are particularly impressive when the ball arrives. Jackson III paints himself on receivers underneath, squeezes sideline up routes against and is a persistent pest. He improved steadily and collected five of his eight college interceptions last year.


Frankly: If WJIII really isn't a first-round prospect, then this draft must be very deep in talent. His tenacity is just what NFL teams want, as long as he avoids yellow hankies. He just may be drafted higher than this and his next stop probably will be in the mug of some uncomfortable NFL receiver.

64/4. Devontae Booker, RB, Utah, 5-11, 212, 4.56, 2

Roll of the dice: Although Booker had impressive streaks at Utah, he comes with plenty of reason for concern. First and foremost is the knee surgery that ended his season and college career last November. Then there was that long road he took to Utah that will make him a 24-year-old rookie. And the good news? Booker was productive every time he got a chance, starting at Sacramento's Grant High School (2,844 yards and 45 touchdowns in an incredible senior year), then at American River Junior College (1,472 yards rushing, 15 touchdowns) and, after sitting out 2013 to catch up academically at Utah, he lit up the Pac-12 in 2014 with 1,512 yards and 10 touchdowns. Booker's running style is as subtle as a quick punch in the nose, and often just as effective. But he doesn't have speed to run away and needs work on pass blocking and receiving.


Frankly: Even if his knee fully recovers in this era of medical miracles, Booker is still no sure thing. He was prolific every season he played thus far, but the team that takes Booker must overlook age and injury and realize his brutal style of running usually comes with a short shelf life.

Others in the top 100:

65/2. Nick Martin, C, Notre Dame, 6-4, 296, 5.26, 2-3

66/1. *Roberto Aguayo, K, Florida State, 6-0, 204, 4.96, 2-3

67/3. Landon Turner, G, North Carolina, 6-3, 325, 5.32, 2-3

68/9. Carl Nassib, DE, Penn State, 6-7, 273, 4.74, 2-3

69/7. *Artie Burns, CB, Miami (FL), 6-0, 193, 4.53, 2-3

70/7. Kyler Fackrell, OLB, Utah State, 6-5, 244, 4.74, 2-3

71/5. *Christian Hackenberg, QB, Penn State, 6-4, 236, 4.80, 2-3

72/9. *Rashard Higgins, WR, Colorado State, 6-2, 188, 4.53, 2-3

73/4. Joshua Garnett, G, Stanford, 6-5, 317, 5.38, 2-3

74/10. *Chris Jones, DT, Mississippi State, 6-5, 308, 5.12, 2-3

75/5. Kenneth Dixon, RB, Louisiana Tech, 5-10, 215, 4.54, 2-3

76/10. Sterling Shepard, WR, Oklahoma, 5-10, 193, 4.50, 2-3

77/8. Will Redmond, CB, Mississippi State, 5-11, 186, 4.45, 2-3

78/9. *Jerald Hawkins, T, LSU, 6-6, 305, 5.05, 2-3

79/10. Bronson Kaufusi, DE, BYU, 6-7, 281, 4.89, 2-3


80/3. Miles Killebrew, SS, Southern Utah, 6-2, 219, 4.49, 2-3

81/5. Christian Westerman, G, Arizona State, 6-3, 296, 5.14, 2-3

82/3. *Dominique Alexander, ILB, Oklahoma, 6-0, 224, 4.64, 2-3

83/6. *Jordan Howard, RB, Indiana, 6-1, 225, 4.57, 2-3

84/8. Deion Jones, OLB, LSU, 6-1, 219, 4.53, 3

85/6. Sebastian Tretola, G, Arkansas, 6-4, 317, 5.37, 3

86/11. Leonte Carroo, WR, Rutgers, 6-0, 217, 4.49, 3


Latest Headlines