We’ve talked about it a decent amount on the BSN Broncos Draft Podcast, you see there’s a funny thing about the NFL draft in particular; the further we get from the college season the less the tape seems to matter and the more we get caught up in other stuff.
It’s the part of the draft season that yours truly refers to as the “silly season” because sometimes it’s just smarter to stay put and not let all the fluff from now until April affect your rankings of players too drastically.
With that in mind, it’s time to update our Big Board with risers from the all-star games and our most recent film analysis, while also previewing the Combine coming up this weekend.
Haason Reddick, OLB, Temple
No one’s made a bigger move than Reddick from our last big board update – going from the late 92nd to 40th – after a spectacular Senior Bowl in which he proved himself to be so much more than just an undersized speed rusher. In drills, he impressed showing off surprising sideline-to-sideline athleticism and some nice skills in coverage sticking with tight ends and running backs.
Watching more film of Reddick and you see some of the same when he wasn’t used as an outside pass rusher in Temple’s defense. In a league that’s looking for versatility and athleticism in its linebackers more than ever, Reddick fits the mold and has vaulted into the conversation as a top-five player at the position.
Obi Melifonwu, S, Uconn
One of the few new entries on our board Melifonwu has blown up as of late receiving buzz even before he played in any all-star game practices thanks to his incredible size for a safety at 6-foot-4 for 219-pounds. On tape, he shows good range laterally and while he’s not the most explosive safety in a deep group he rarely concedes the big play – a crucial factor in your last line of defense.
He’s rumored to test very well in Indy and could see his stock rise even further.
Derek Rivers, EDGE, Youngstown State
Another new addition to our top 100, Rivers was a top player in the FCS with former Nebraska coach Bo Pelini coaching him. The upgrade in competition didn’t bother him at the Senior Bowl and on tape he shows a relentless motor combined with a great burst off the ball.
He might not be the most complete defensive end prospect but he has a very coveted skill as a speed rusher and could go as high as the second round if the athletic tests match the tape.
Who’s in need of a big performance in Indy
Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
Barnett’s been incredibly productive at Tennessee especially as a pass rusher but also against the run and even showed himself to be serviceable in coverage. On paper, he’s got everything you want.
But athletically he has a boxy build and will need to prove to evaluators that he’s a good athlete for the position and not just a snap jumper. A poor showing that enforces doubts on him could really hinder his stock.
Ryan Anderson, OLB, Alabama
Anderson was a do-it-all player for Alabama, rushing the passer while also being a factor in other areas. But his success might have been partially due to playing on the Tides fantastic defense, at the Senior Bowl – with admittedly little rest – he got exposed. When watching his tape in-depth he doesn’t have any great NFL skill. He needs the combine to change that narrative and get him back in the late first round conversation.
Raekwon McMillan, ILB, Ohio Sate
McMillan’s sick of hearing it. People say he can’t cover and that he’s only a two-down backer, now’s the time to prove them wrong showing the skills in drills the athletic test to warrant using him on third down covering NFL targets.
Bucky Hodges, TE, Virginia Tech
Hodges is a big tight end by name only because he’s really a mammoth wideout. Because of this, he’ll have to test as such or he could fall behind other raw talents in this class.
Desmond King, CB, Iowa
King struggled at the Senior Bowl as he regularly got burned when he had to turn and run after the best wideouts in Mobile. A great collegiate player who’s been ultra-productive even as a returner, King is best suited facing the ball as a zone cornerback. If he runs extremely slow teams could move him to safety and his stock might drop even further.
JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, USC
A collegiate star, JuJu wasn’t as productive in his final season in Los Angeles as he would have hoped but the talent’s still there. His 2015 tape is much better than 2016 and the big question will be if he can create separation. A fast 40 will go a long way in pushing him back up boards.
Demarcus Walker, DE, Florida State
Similar to Barnett, Walker’s a big time pass rusher who’s skills don’t necessarily translate to the NFL. Ideally, he’s best suited on the inside where he’s at his best rushing the passer but he struggles against the run both inside and in space on the outside. Quelling questions about his strength, length, and athleticism would go a long way in restoring his stock.
Under the radar stars who should rise post-Combine
ArDarius Stewart, WR, Alabama
Stewart remains fairly under the radar but his skills at Alabama were clear to see for those paying attention. He has size and speed and in a receiver class that’s up for grabs after the top two spots, he could be a big winner in Indy and get picked very high.
The receiver group, in general, is extremely deep with little separation and several speedsters could take advantage of that. Guys like Oklahoma’s Dede Westbrook is one who comes to mind as well as K.D. Cannon, Malachi Dupre, Isaiah Ford, Josh Reynolds who’ll be some of the biggest names to watch. With blazing times these players could jump all the way up to the top two rounds.
Alvin Kamara, RB, Tennessee
Kamara’s an interesting case because he hasn’t really played much and his production pales in comparison to many other top backs in the class. Yet, he still has many fans of his upside and athletic skill with some even mocking him in the first round. Lots will be riding on his combine workouts for that to come true.
Adam Shaheen, TE, Ashland
This is a loaded tight end class with lots of great receiving options who seem tailor made for the athletic tests in Indianapolis. Few players are hotter right now than Shaheen who’s enormous size at the position (6-foot-6 by 277-pounds) has people intrigued. He also led all Division II tight ends in receiving touchdowns with 16 and is a great blocker as his size would suggest. Showing off above average athletic skills for a 277-pounder could vault him into our top 100 and beyond.
Antonio Garcia, OT, Troy
Garcia and Garett Bolles are two guys who’ve shown some very impressive athletic skills for the tackle position on tape. If they can blow up the Combine confirming that athleticism both could see their stocks rise significantly.
Keep an eye on Texas A&M right tackle Jermaine Eluemunor who’s not on many people’s radar but could soon be as he’s shown some nicely as a run blocker with some balanced feet in pass pro to boot.
Fabian Moreau, CB, UCLA
Moreau has been another big riser since the All-star circuit and his rise could continue if reports of a 4.39 40-yard dash are proven correct. In an already loaded class, the physical cover cornerback could push his name into the top 50 conversation.
Updated Top-100 Big Board:
1. Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
2. Jonathan Allen, DE, Alabama
3. Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
4. Malik Hooker, FS, Ohio State
5. Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
6. Reuben Foster, ILB, Alabama
7. Jamal Adams, SS, LSU
8. Solomon Thomas, DL, Stanford
9. Sidney Jones, CB, Washington
10. Takkarist McKinley, EDGE, UCLA
11. Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
12. Jabrill Peppers, DB, Michigan
13. Jalen Tabor, CB, Florida
14. Tim Williams, OLB/EDGE, Alabama
15. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
16. Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt
17. Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
18. Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
19. Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
20. Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
21. Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
22. O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
23. David Njoku, TE, Miami
24. Budda Baker, FS, Washington
25. Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida
26. DeShaun Watson, QB, Clemson
27. Carl Lawson, DE, Auburn
28. Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State
29. Ryan Ramczyk, LT, Wisconsin
30. D’Onta Foreman, RB, Texas
31. Joe Mixon, RB, Oklahoma
32. Curtis Samuels, WR/RB, Ohio State
33. Evan Engram, TE, Ole Miss
34. Jarrad Davis, OLB, Florida
35. Charles Harris, EDGE, Missouri
36. Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU
37. JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, USC
38. John Ross, WR, Washington
39. Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State
40. Haason Reddick, OLB, Temple
41. Mitch Trubisky, QB, UNC
42. Jourdan Lewis, CB, Michigan
43. Jarron Jones, DT, Notre Dame
44. DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame
45. Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama
46. Garett Bolles, OT, Utah
47. Dede Westbrook, WR, Oklahoma
48. ArDarius Stewart, WR, Alabama
49. Eddie Jackson, FS, Alabama
50. Montravius Adams, DT, Auburn
51. Caleb Brantley, DT, Florida
52. Kevin King, DB, Washington
53. Obi Melifonwu, S, Uconn
54. Cordrea Tankersley, CB, Clemson
55. Damontae Kazee, CB, San Diego State
56. Cooper Kupp, WR, Eastern Washington
57. Adoree Jackson, CB/WR/PR, USC
58. Tedric Thompson, FS, Colorado
59. Chidobe Awuzie, DB, Colorado
60. Jaleel Johnson, DT, Iowa
61. Wayne Gallman, RB, Clemson
62. Chris Wormley, DT, Michigan
63. Raekwon McMillan, ILB, Ohio Sate
64. Forrest Lamp, OG, Western Kentucky
65. Antonio Garcia, OT, Troy
66. Taylor Moton, RT, Western Michigan
67. Derek Rivers, EDGE, Youngstown State
68. T.J. Watt, EDGE, Wisconsin
69. Ryan Anderson, OLB, Alabama
70. Bucky Hodges, TE, Virginia Tech
71. Jake Butt, TE, Michigan
72. Desmond King, CB, Iowa
73. Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech
74. Ahkello Witherspoon, CB, Colorado
75. Tarell Basham, DE, Ohio
76. Marlon Mack, RB, South Florida
77. Rasul Douglas, CB, West Virginia
78. Jamaal Williams, RB, BYU
79. Dan Feeney, OG, Indiana
80. Devin Tomlinson, NT, Alabama
81. Marcus Maye, FS, Florida
82. Gerald Everett, TE, South Alabama
83. Ethan Pocic, OC, LSU
84. Brian Hill, RB, Wyoming
85. Justin Evans, FS, Texas A&M
86. Elijah Qualls, DT, Washington
87. Marcus Williams, S, Utah
88. Devonte Fields, OLB/EDGE, Louisville
89. Dawuane Smoot, EDGE, Illinois
90. Fabian Moreau, CB, UCLA
91. Steven Taylor, OLB, Houston
92. Taywan Taylor, WR, Western Kentucky
93. Corn Elder, CB, Miami
94. Cameron Sutton, CB, Tennessee
95. Anthony Walker, LB, Northwestern
96. Zay Jones, WR, East Carolina
97. Jordan Leggett, TE, Clemson
98. Alvin Kamara, RB, Tennessee
99. Eddie Vanderdoes, DT, UCLA
100. Daeshon Hall, DE, Texas A&M