DRAFT TALK: Stu’s Top 5s

DRAFT TALK: Stu’s Top 5s
Reading Time: 5 minutes.

Over the last few weeks , the Draft Talk team (MJ, Bryan, Owain and myself) have brought you their Top 5s at each positional group on the podcast as we head into the NFL Draft. This has brought much debate, agreement, laughter and disagreement, not to mention a few ‘binning’ incidents. To recap, here is my top 5 for each position group, with a little spiel about my favourite player at each group. Enjoy!

Wide Receivers

  1. Ja’Marr Chase – LSU
  2. Jaylen Waddle – Alabama
  3. Rashod Bateman – Minnesota
  4. Devonta Smith – Alabama
  5. Terrace Marshall – LSU
Image: PFF

Rashod Bateman, from Minnesota, is one of my favourite players in heading into the Draft. The Gopher wideout offers a rare mix of route running, toughness and ball skills and should be on everyone’s radar in the first round. Whilst not the purest ‘speed’ guy, he easily separates with a mix of route running and release ability. Pair him with the right Quarterback, and watch him soar

Running Backs

  1. Najee Harris – Alabama
  2. Javonte Williams – North Carolina
  3. Travis Etienne – Clemson
  4. Kenneth Gainwell – Memphis
  5. Chuba Hubbard – Oklahoma
Najee Harris
Image: NinetynineYards

Najee Harris is a battering ram of a running back, who for me, is the number 1 back in the upcoming draft. Balance, vision, body control – Harris has it all. Although he does not have lightening acceleration, he make up for it with short-area quickness and patience when it comes to waiting for blocks. An underrated pass catcher, Harris is a 3 down back who a team can build around.

Edge Rushers

This one has caused me the most flack during our predraft chats, and particularly my omission of Gregory Rousseau, who everyone else was much higher on than me. Have I missed on him? Let me know @stuie17 on twitter….

  1. Keith Paye – Michigan
  2. Azeez Ojulari – Georgia
  3. Jayson Oweh – Penn State
  4. Ronnie Perkins – Oklahoma
  5. Jaelan Phillips – Miami
Image:ESPN

Jaelan Phillips, in my opinion, is the top pass rushing prospect, in a class that lacks a genuine star at the position. A 5 star recruit coming out of High school, 2020 saw Phillips live up to that potential with the Hurricanes. He has all the physical tools needed to excell at the next level. So why do I have him ranked as 5? Injury concerns, plain and simple. He retired from football whilst at UCLA due to concussion concerns. If he is able to stay on the field, someone will be getting a great prospect moving forward

Interior Defensive Linemen

  1. Christian Barrmore – Alabama
  2. Tyler Shelvin – LSU
  3. Alim McNeil – NC State
  4. Levi Onwuzurike – Washington
  5. Daivyon Nixon – Iowa

Levi Onwuzurike, despite sitting out this past year, is still one of the top interior D-lineman prospects. Have caught the eye of myself and Owain at the Senior Bowl, he has the tools to make a splash at the position and may prove a great pick up if he is still on the board come day 2

Interior Linemen

  1. Alijah Vera-Tucker – USC
  2. Wyatt Davis – Georgia
  3. Landon Dickerson – Alabama
  4. Creed Humphrey – Oklahoma
  5. Ben Cleveland – Georgia
Image: OU Daily

My man-crush through the Senior Bowl and into the draft process has been Sooners Centre, Creed Humphrey. An athletic big man, with a wrestling background, Humphrey will be an asset to any NFL team who decide to draft him. Intelligent at the line of scrimmage, efficient in pass blocking sets and in the run game – what’s not to like? Although round 2 is his most likely landing spot, don’t be surprised if he creeps into the later spots in round 1.

Offensive Tackles

  1. Penei Sewell – Oregon
  2. Rashawn Slater – Northwestern
  3. Christian Darrisaw – Virginia Tech
  4. Jalen Mayfield – Michigan
  5. Dillon Radunz – North Dakota

Throughout the draft process, Oregon Ducks Penei Sewell has been atop the majority of tackle gradings, and with good reason. A man mountain, and still only 20 years old, Sewell is likely to be a top 10 pick in the draft. Although a run on quarterbacks is expected at the top of the draft, The Bengals at 5 seems the logical landing spot for him. However, if the pass on him in favour of a pass catcher, then there will be no shortage of suitors looking to have him on board. It’s not often you can describe an offensive tackle ‘fun’ but go and watch Sewell on a screen play, and you’ll soon be converted.

Linebackers

  1. Micah Parsons – Penn State
  2. Jeremiah Owusu-Koromoah – Notre Dame
  3. Zaven Collins – Tulsa
  4. Barron Browning – Ohio State
  5. Jabril Cox – LSU
Image: USA today

A game-wrecking 3 year started from Tulsa, Zaven Collins fairly caught the eye when evaluating this years linebackers. A terrific pass rusher, who is also very fluid in coverage, Collins has all the attributes required to be an every down linebacker in todays NFL. If he continues on his current trajectory, the sky’s the limit for the former Golden Hurricane.

Tight Ends

  1. Kyle Pitts – Florida
  2. Pat Freiermuth – Penn State
  3. Brevin Jordan – Miami
  4. Tommy Tremble – Notre Dame
  5. Hunter Long – Boston College
Image :USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Pitts is borderline ridiculous. Running a 4.44 40 yard dash at his pro day, whilst clocking in at just shy of 6’ 6” and 245lbs is absurd. Add in an 83 inch wingspan, a 33.5’ vertical and 22 bench press, you truly have an athletic freak. However, Pitts does not just test well. Put on his tape, sit back and enjoy. Absolutely dominant at the catch point, excellent after the catch and an underrated blocker – he is one of the most exciting Tight End prospects in years. Bearing in mind the quality and depth at wide receiver in this draft, I would go as far as labelling Pitts the best pass catcher entering the draft.

Quarterbacks

  1. Trevor Lawrence – Clemson
  2. Justin Fields – Ohio State
  3. Trey Lance – North Dakota
  4. Zach Wilson – BYU
  5. Mac Jones – Alabama

Ohio State Buckeyes QB Justin Fields entered the season as the consensus number 2 behind Trevor Lawrence, however he seems to have fallen behind BYU’s Zach Wilson in the pecking order. However, that is not to diminish Fields. A supremely athletic QB, with the ability to make throws all over the field, I would be surprised if he is not the target for the 49ers after their blockbuster trade up to the number 3 spot.

Draft Talk Position Group Podcasts

Have a listen to our Podcasts in which we evaluate all the position groups in our top 5s

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