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2018 NFL Draft: Predicting top players position by position

By
Dane Brugler, The Sports Xchange
Future prospects are introduced prior to the 2017 NFL Draft at the NFL Draft Theater in Philadelphia, PA on April 27, 2017. Photo by Derik Hamilton/UPI
Future prospects are introduced prior to the 2017 NFL Draft at the NFL Draft Theater in Philadelphia, PA on April 27, 2017. Photo by Derik Hamilton/UPI | License Photo

There are still 360-plus days until the 2018 NFL Draft, but with the 2017 draft complete, scouting services and NFL front offices will start to look toward next year's college prospects.

Below is an early position-by-position preview of the players who have attracted NFL interest.

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*indicates draft-eligible underclassman

Quarterback

1. Sam Darnold, USC* (6-3, 225 pounds, 4.74)

2. Josh Rosen, UCLA* (6-3, 210, 4.97)

3. Lamar Jackson, Louisville* (6-2, 205, 4.47)

4. Josh Allen, Wyoming* (6-5, 230, 4.74)

5. Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State (6-4, 235, 4.77)

Just missed: Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma), Luke Falk (Washington State), Max Browne (Pittsburgh), Matt Linehan (Idaho), Wilton Speight (Michigan), Jarrett Stidham (Auburn)

Running back

1. Saquon Barkley, Penn State* (5-11, 223, 4.49)

2. Derrius Guice, LSU* (5-11, 222, 4.53)

3. Ronald Jones, USC* (6-0, 195, 4.49)

4. Bo Scarbrough, Alabama (6-1, 228, 4.59)

5. Nick Chubb, Georgia (5-10, 220, 4.54)

Just missed: Myles Gaskin (Washington), Rawleigh Williams III (Arkansas), Royce Freeman (Oregon), Ralph Webb (Vanderbilt), Kalen Ballage (Arizona State), Justin Jackson (Northwestern)

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Wide receiver

1. Christian Kirk, Texas A&M* (5-11, 200, 4.39)

2. Courtland Sutton, SMU* (6-3, 215, 4.52)

3. Calvin Ridley, Alabama* (6-1, 188, 4.50)

4. James Washington, Oklahoma State (6-0, 205, 4.49)

5. Deon Cain, Clemson* (6-1, 210, 4.47)

Just missed: Antonio Callaway (Florida), Dante Pettis (Washington), Simmie Cobbs (Indiana), Allen Lazard (Iowa State), Deebo Samuel (South Carolina), Deontay Burnett (USC), D.J. Clark (LSU)

Tight end

1. Mark Andrews, Oklahoma* (6-4, 250, 4.77)

2. Mike Gesicki, Penn State (6-5, 252, 4.85)

3. Troy Fumagalli, Wisconsin (6-5, 248, 4.84)

4. Tyrone Wheatley, Michigan* (6-5, 276, 4.89)

5. Deandre Goolsby, Florida (6-4, 245, 4.76)

Just missed: Dallas Goedert (South Dakota State), Durham Smythe (Notre Dame), Marcus Baugh (Ohio State), Dalton Schultz (Stanford), Ryan Izzo (Florida State), C.J. Conrad (Kentucky)

Offensive tackle

1. Connor Williams, Texas* (6-5, 290, 5.06)

2. Mitch Hyatt, Clemson* (6-5, 295, 5.05)

3. Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame (6-7, 310, 5.22)

4. Orlando Brown, Oklahoma* (6-7, 340, 5.44)

5. Trey Adams, Washington* (6-7, 309, 5.28)

Just missed: Toby Weathersby (LSU), Brock Ruble (Florida State), Martinas Rankin (Mississippi State), Jamarco Jones (Ohio State), Chukwuma Okorafor (Western Michigan), Zachary Crabtree (Oklahoma State)

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Guard/center

1. Billy Price, Ohio State (6-3, 315, 5.19)

2. Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame* (6-5, 325, 5.23)

3. Martez Ivey, Florida* (6-5, 305, 5.04)

4. Mason Cole, Michigan (6-5, 305, 5.06)

5. Braden Smith, Auburn (6-5, 300, 5.08)

Just missed: Cody O'Connell (Washington State), Tyrone Crowder (Clemson), Hunter Bivin (Notre Dame), Beau Benzschawel (Wisconsin), Will Clapp (LSU), Maea Teuhema (LSU), Ross Pierschbacher (Alabama), Frank Ragnow (Arkansas), Michael Deiter (Wisconsin), Alec Eberle (Florida State), Scott Quessenberry, UCLA

Edge rusher

1. Arden Key, LSU* (6-5, 232, 4.74)

2. Sam Hubbard, Ohio State* (6-4, 265, 4.76)

3. Clelin Ferrell, Clemson* (6-5, 255, 4.78)

4. Bradley Chubb, NC State (6-3, 273, 4.86)

5. Harold Landry, Boston College (6-2, 250, 4.72)

Just missed: Duke Ejiofor (Wake Forest), Josh Sweat (Florida State), Marquis Haynes (Ole Miss), Porter Gustin (USC), Dorance Armstrong (Kansas), Tyquan Lewis (Ohio State), Da'Shawn Hand (Alabama), Dante Booker (Ohio State), Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (Oklahoma)

Defensive tackle

1. Christian Wilkins, Clemson* (6-3, 310, 5.04)

2. Vita Vea, Washington* (6-4, 332, 5.19)

3. Da'Ron Payne, Alabama (6-2, 319, 5.38)

4. Lowell Lotulelei, Utah (6-2, 310, 5.08)

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5. Maurice Hurst, Michigan (6-2, 282, 4.93)

Just missed: Michael Hill (Ohio State), Christian LaCouture (LSU), Derrick Nnadi (Florida State), Kahlil McKenzie (Tennessee), Folorunso Fatukasi (Connecticut), Greg Gaines (Washington), David Moa (Boise State)

Linebacker

1. Malik Jefferson, Texas* (6-2, 238, 4.57)

2. Cameron Smith, USC* (6-1, 245, 4.74)

3. Micah Kiser, Virginia (6-1, 240, 4.76)

4. Jerome Baker, Ohio State* (6-1, 215, 4.59)

5. Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech* (6-4, 236, 4.82)

Just missed: Christian Miller (Alabama), Shaun Dion Hamilton (Alabama), Azeem Victor (Washington), Jack Cichy (Wisconsin), Josey Jewell (Iowa), Skai Moore (South Carolina), Matthew Thomas (Florida State)

Cornerback

1. Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama* (6-0, 203, 4.52)

2. Tarvarus McFadden, Florida State* (6-1, 201, 4.49)

3. Jaire Alexander, Louisville* (5-11, 188, 4.43)

4. Anthony Averett, Alabama (6-0, 183, 4.49)

5. Denzel Ward, Ohio State* (5-11, 184, 4.50)

Just missed: Iman Marshall (USC), Quenton Meeks (Stanford), Kevin Toliver (LSU), Tony Brown (Alabama), Brandon Facyson (Virginia Tech), Duke Dawson (Florida), Juan Thornhill (Virginia), Jordan Thomas (Oklahoma), Ed Paris (LSU)

Safety

1. Derwin James, Florida State* (6-2, 213, 4.52)

2. Ronnie Harrison, Alabama* (6-2, 216, 4.57)

3. Quin Blanding, Virginia (6-1, 205, 4.58)

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4. Armani Watts, Texas A&M (5-11, 200, 4.49)

5. Chase Hansen, Utah* (6-2, 212, 4.67)

Just missed: Jordan Whitehead (Pittsburgh), Godwin Igwebuike (Northwestern), Marcus Allen (Penn State), Chris Hawkins (USC), Damon Webb (Ohio State), Nick Washington (Florida), Drue Tranquill (Notre Dame), Terrell Edmunds (Virginia Tech), Andrew Wingard (Wyoming)

Dane Brugler is a Senior Analyst for www.NFLDraftScout.com, a property of The Sports Xchange distributed in partnership with CBSSports.com.

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