Cream of the Crop

Could the 2017 NFL draft class be one of the best ever?

by Director of Scouting Justin Day | @JDayErrday |

In a draft unlike any other I have ever analyzed, here are my current top 10 prospects for the 2017 NFL Draft. This is not the draft order, just the top 10 players available.

  1. Dalvin Cook RB, Florida St.

Kicking off this list is the all-time leader for rushing touchdowns at Florida State and a back who topped 1,000+ yards in all three seasons in Tallahassee. Yeah, Dalvin Cook is super talented. Other than not walking at the ideal size and some fumbling issues, this is an elite prospect with an amazing ceiling. Ezekiel Elliott proved the days of taking running back in the first round is far from dead & DC can bring similar production to a team next year.

Pro Comparison: Shaun Alexander

  1. Mike Williams WR, Clemson

Mike Williams, to his credit, used the weight room in college to fill out his long frame and he uses it very well to win those 50/50 balls and corner end zone catches. It will be very important to see how well he runs in the 40 yard dash as that may bring him even higher not only on my board but others as well. He is following some huge footsteps as Clemson has put DeAndre Hopkins and Sammy Watkins in the NFL as of late. I think he may have the goods to continue that impressive trend.

Pro Comparison: Davante Adams

  1. O.J. Howard TE, Alabama

I’m not sure if there’s anyone with more untapped potential in this draft than Alabama’s OJ Howard. He’s every bit of 6 feet 6 inches tall and weighs over 240 pounds, but shows the ability to get in and out of routes quickly and also has reliable hands. The only thing I want to see get better is his ability to get those yards after catch and secure those tough first downs like a guy Jason Witten has done his entire career. To be honest, he has a Jason Witten type ceiling, as crazy as that sounds.

Pro Comparison: Julius Thomas

  1. Jonathan Allen DT, Alabama

One word to describe Jonathan Allen? Versatility. He’s hard to peg in terms of position because he can play inside but he has the quickness to get outside and set an edge. I like him more inside though because even though he isn’t the prototypical size for a defensive tackle, he makes up for it with grit and toughness. There were questions about him being an every down player coming into this season but he shut those naysayers up and did nothing but up his stock coming into the draft.

Pro Comparison: Derek Wolfe

  1. Malik Hooker S, Ohio St.

When we talk about a true center field safety, I’m not sure they mold them any better than Malik Hooker. He’s one of the best at getting a cue on a quarterback and taking the ball away, with easily the best hands in the secondary of the 2017 NFL Draft. He isn’t the best tackler but he does clean up some messes with his make up speed. He can be over aggressive at times but that can be tamed. I’m a HUGE fan of this kid.

Pro Comparison: Ed Reed

  1. Marshon Lattimore CB, Ohio St.

Another Buckeye here at number 5 and this is one player who really flew up my board after seeing him player several times this year. He’s a true one on one cover corner who plays extremely quick and gets great hip to hip coverage and can sniff out routes better than anyone in this class. More than anything he plays with swagger and that’s super important for a corner. If he can clean up the holding penalties, he’ll be special.

Pro Comparison: Janoris Jenkins

  1. Myles Garrett DE, Texas A&M

Okay relax, don’t hate me, I really like the upside of Myles Garrett. He’s super talented and I’m going to explain why but there are just three other players who I like more. Before I get there, let’s talk about the freak Myles Garrett. He’s got multiple moves to set an edge and get in the backfield. He’s got the best first step and he’s the most flexible edge rusher in the class. He’s also as sure a tackler as someone could be. He does take some plays off and that scares me and reminds me of another super talented pass rusher which leads me to..

NFL Comparison: Jadeveon Clowney

  1. Jamal Adams S, LSU

This guy was my number two prospect for the majority of the season and it was nothing he did that made him fall back, just another player really helping his stock. Jamal Adams is a special player and he is the prototypical safety. He can play center field, he can get to the line of scrimmage and blitz the QB, he can tackle backs in the backfield, and he has good enough hands to make teams turn the ball over. To top it off he’s a sure tackler and a true competitor. He’s a future captain for whatever team selects him.

NFL Comparison: Earl Thomas

  1. Corey Davis WR, Western Michigan

Corey Davis is the best route runner in this draft, he has the best hands in this draft, and he’s going to be one of the quickest in the class as well. When we talk about game changers, Corey Davis is the epitome of a game changer. From one had catches to jaw dropping speed this kid can do it all. 52 career touchdowns in only 50 starts and not to mention ideal size and a natural leader. I’m all in on Corey Davis and you should be too.

NFL Comparison: Terrell Owens

  1. Leonard Fournette RB, LSU

At the risk of being called an LSU homer, I’m sticking to my guns as this is the only spot to never budge the entire year and for good reason. Leonard Fournette is the best running back I have ever seen in the college game and I can only imagine what he’s going to do in the NFL. Like I said earlier Zeke showed the running back going round 1 wasn’t dead and let me tell you Leonard Fournette is a much better prospect than Zeke. He possess top level speed while also being able to barrel over any linebacker who dare get in his way. He’s also a much better pass catcher than Zeke is at the moment and has some of the best eyes I have ever seen. Moral of the story, he’s as good as it gets.

Pro Comparison: Bo Jackson

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