Every football program understands you can never have too many playmakers. Their value in determining the game's outcome is unquestioned. True playmakers can swing the momentum of a game with just a single play.
In this slideshow I dive deep in an effort to determine this draft class' best defensive playmakers using a variety of methods.
First, I created a formula that weighted position-specific stats based on the importance of each stat category. Those stat categories are then added together throughout the prospect's entire college career in order to create a total production grade.
That position-specific production grade was then used as a foundation for creating a rough version of the list, which came down to about 50 different defensive prospects. Essentially, that list was limited exclusively to prospects that had a grade of 7.5 or better.
The list was then narrowed down even further by eliminating players who had poor "measurables" or "tape study" grades. The few exceptions here were in cases of extremely high production grades being met with "measurables" or "tape study" grades that just missed the cutoff.
In order to narrow the field even more, I divided the prospect's career production grade by number of games played. This created a production score relative to the amount of games played. Any prospect whose production grade was inflated by more career games was then eliminated.
This process led to my top 25 defensive playmakers, who were then ranked in order by the prospects that had the best chance of continuing their playmaking ways into their NFL careers. This was done by using their tape grade and measurables as a foundation, while allowing my intuition to serve as the underwriter for ranking each prospect's playmaking potential in the NFL.
These players may not be the most complete prospects in this class. They may not even be the best athletes, or the ones with the most potential. But every guy on this list has enough of all those things to help him be one of the best playmakers in this draft.