In the NFL draft, analysts tend to not talk about a host of talented players despite their worthiness of a first-round selection.
Some of the players on this list aren't even eligible for the draft, but I'm not concerned about that—the point of this list is to tab players who I'd draft in the first round despite the fact that it won't happen.
Players on this list, for whatever reason (eligibility, size, style of play), aren't considered elite NFL prospects, but I can assure you that they would be legitimate first-rounders.
Here are five players I'd draft in the first round this year.
Despite the fact that Mathieu is a sophomore, I'd draft this talented cornerback in the first round right now.
LSU's defense has been lock-down this season, and after seeing the Alabama game, I really have no doubt in my mind at how NFL-ready Mathieu is.
Patrick Peterson has been turning heads this season as a defensive player and special teamer—there is no reason to think that Mathieu wouldn't be able to do the same at the highest level.
'The Honey Badger's success has allowed players like Morris Claiborne to step up and get the hype that Mathieu really deserves.
Mathieu makes this defense the best in the nation and don't sleep on the fact that he should be a Top 5 pick when he comes out.
When Knile Davis went down for the season, many thought that it would be a wasted season for the Razorbacks until players like Jarius Wright stepped up and performed.
Wright may not have the size of a Justin Blackmon or an Alshon Jeffery, but this talented SEC-er has real speed, game-breaking speed. Wright already has elite NFL speed.
Arkansas is 8-1 in a very tough SEC and just came off a big win over South Carolina, and Wright had a big game with 103 yards and two touchdowns.
Wright has made Tyler Wilson's transition easier and could do the same for any quarterback in the NFL, veteran or rookie.
I'd take Wright's production (48 catches this year for 812 yards and nine touchdowns) and game-breaking speed in the first round of this year's draft, despite his smaller frame.
Robert Griffin III is one of the most talked-about players in college football at this juncture, but for some reason isn't being looked at as a first-round prospect.
After seeing how Cam Newton struggles to win NFL games despite his undefeated season last year in college, I'm not putting an hones on the fact that Griffin is just 5-3.
The Baylor quarterback has been effective and efficient, throwing 26 touchdowns and just four interceptions, along with a very good completion percentage of 74 percent.
In fact, the signal-caller has proven his worth against pro-caliber players, throwing 82-117 (70 percent) and nine touchdowns to just three interceptions against AP-ranked teams this year.
Griffin is strong, quick, good-size (only 6'2" but 220 lbs.), and he can throw the football...well. I'd take a chance on this collegiate player as my franchise quarterback.
Like Tyrann Mathieu, Lattimore isn't eligible and I don't care—I'd draft this running back over anyone in this year's class (yes, Trent Richardson, that means you).
Also, I know Lattimore blew out his knee and could be an injury risk going forward—I still don't care.
This South Carolina runner is averaged five yards a carry this year and racked up 10 touchdowns.
As a sophomore, he has NFL-style running ability and has experience running into the teeth of NFL-like defenses (playing in the SEC) and breaking off big gains.
It hasn't been a banner year for Lattimore's team, but this running back would be an immediate contributor and a first-round pick for my team if I was an NFL GM and he was in this year's class.
Sensing I'd get the most heat for this one, I saved LaMichael James for the last slide.
I know about all of the knocks on James and why he shouldn't be a first-round pick, but what NFL team wouldn't want to add a gamebreaking rusher who runs in the 4.2's?
James is shifty, agile and has handled the pressure of the national spotlight well, helping lead his team to the BCS National Championship Game last year and continuing to impress this season.
Averaging eight yards a carry and using his agility to rip off big gains, this running back is a first-round talent who I'd use a high pick on.