Early 2016 NFL Draft Big Board

Matt Miller@nfldraftscoutNFL Draft Lead WriterMay 8, 2015

Early 2016 NFL Draft Big Board

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    Rogelio V. Solis/Associated Press

    One year ago at this time we were talking about Marcus Mariota (my preseason No. 1 overall player), the question mark of Jameis Winston's off-field issues and the huge potential of Brett Hundley at UCLA. We knew that Mariota and Winston were special, but a post-draft 2015 big board was missing names like Kevin White (WR, West Virginia), Maxx Williams (TE, Minnesota), Ereck Flowers (T, Miami), Bud Dupree (EDGE, Kentucky) and Marcus Peters (CB, Washington).

    A big board this early isn't about accuracy or where players will be drafted; it's about how good they are right now and how high their potential is. For example, Hundley last year showed high potential but regressed in his final season before becoming a fifth-round pick. But this board can be your summer watch list and a basic guide for where players are ranked heading into the season.

    A lot can change. A lot will change. But that's just football.

    Ready for 2016? You should be. Early indications are this will be a loaded class.

Top 50 Overall

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    Jay LaPrete/Associated Press

    Here are the top 50 players overall for the 2016 NFL draft.

    2016 Top 50 Rankings
    RankPlayerSchoolPos
    1Robert NkemdicheOle MissEDGE
    2Christian HackenbergPenn StateQB
    3Joey BosaOhio StateEDGE
    4Ronnie StanleyNotre DameT
    5DeForest BucknerOregonDL
    6Ezekiel ElliottOhio StateRB
    7Laremy TunsilOle MissT
    8Jaylon SmithNotre DameLB
    9Jalen RamseyFlorida StateS
    10Laquon TreadwellOle MissWR
    11Vernon HargreavesFloridaCB
    12Cardale JonesOhio StateQB
    13Connor CookMichigan StateQB
    14Jack ConklinMichigan StateT
    15Derrick HenryAlabamaRB
    16Emmanuel OgbahOklahoma StateEDGE
    17Kendall FullerVirginia TechCB
    18Sheldon DayNotre DameDL
    19Su'a CravensUSCS
    20Shawn OakmanBaylorDL
    21A'Shawn RobinsonAlabamaDL
    22Corey RobinsonNotre DameWR
    23Tyler BoydPittWR
    24Shilique CalhounMichigan StateEDGE
    25Reggie RaglandAlabamaLB
    26James ConnerPittRB
    27Cam SuttonTennesseeCB
    28KeiVarae RussellNotre DameCB
    29Leonard FloydGeorgiaEDGE
    30Darron LeeOhio StateEDGE
    31Duke WilliamsAuburnWR
    32Myles JackUCLALB
    33Adolphus WashingtonOhio StateDL
    34Scooby WrightArizonaLB
    35Taylor DeckerOhio StateT
    36Noah SpenceEastern KentuckyEDGE
    37Eric StrikerOklahomaEDGE
    38Wayne LyonsStanfordCB
    39Charles TapperOklahomaDL
    40O.J. HowardAlabamaTE
    41Jared GoffCaliforniaQB
    42Jalen MillsLSUFS
    43Devontae BookerUtahRB
    44Spencer DrangoBaylorT
    45Karl JosephWest VirginiaSS
    46Reggie NorthrupFlorida StateLB
    47Vadal AlexanderLSUG
    48Terrance SmithFlorida StateEDGE
    49Byron MarshallOregonRB
    50Tyler JohnstoneOregonT

Quarterbacks

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    Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    Most NFL-Ready: Christian Hackenberg

    Best Arm: Cardale Jones

    Best Runner: Dak Prescott

    Best Potential: Cardale Jones

    Biggest Question Mark: J.T. Barrett

    Biggest Sleeper: Jeremy Johnson

    2016 Quarterback Rankings
    RankPlayerSchoolHeightWeight
    1Christian HackenbergPenn State6'4"234
    2Cardale JonesOhio State6'5"250
    3Connor CookMichigan State6'4"220
    4Jared GoffCalifornia6'4"210
    5Cody KesslerUSC6'1"210
    6Gunner KielCincinnati6'4"208
    7J.T. BarrettOhio State6'1"225
    8Dak PrescottMiss. State6'1"230
    9Trevone BoykinTCU6'1"208
    10Jeremy JohnsonAuburn6'5"241

Running Backs

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    Eric Gay/Associated Press

    Most NFL-Ready: Ezekiel Elliott

    Best Third-Down Back: Byron Marshall

    Best Speed: Byron Marshall

    Best Power: Derrick Henry

    Best Potential: Ezekiel Elliott

    Biggest Question Mark: Corey Clement

    Biggest Sleeper: Corey Clement

    2016 Running Back Rankings
    RankPlayerSchoolHeightWeight
    1Ezekiel ElliottOhio State6'0"225
    2Derrick HenryAlabama6'2"241
    3James ConnerPitt6'2"250
    4Devontae BookerUtah5'11"209
    5Byron MarshallOregon5'9"201
    6Jonathan WilliamsArkansas5'11"223
    7Tra CarsonTexas A&M5'11"230
    8Corey ClementWisconsin5'11"210
    9D.J. FosterArizona State5'11"205
    10Brandon WildsSouth Carolina6'1"222

Wide Receivers

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    Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

    Most NFL-Ready: Laquon Treadwell

    Best Boundary Receiver: Laquon Treadwell

    Best Slot Receiver: Tyler Boyd

    Best Hands: Laquon Treadwell

    Best Route-Runner: Tyler Boyd

    Best Potential: Corey Robinson

    Biggest Question Mark: Laquon Treadwell

    Biggest Sleeper: Chris Brown

      

    2016 Wide Receiver Rankings
    Rank  PlayerSchoolHeightWeight
    1Laquon TreadwellOle Miss6'2"229
    2Corey RobinsonNotre Dame6'5"205
    3Tyler BoydPitt6'2"185
    4Duke WilliamsAuburn6'2"216
    5Ricky Seals-Jones Texas A&M6'5"225
    6Chris BrownNotre Dame6'2"195
    7Travin DuralLSU6'2"192
    8Pharoh CooperSouth Carolina 5'11"201
    9Michael ThomasOhio State6'3"203
    10Mike WilliamsClemson6'3"205

Tight Ends

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    Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

    Most NFL-Ready: O.J. Howard

    Best Slot Tight End: Kyle Carter

    Best Hands: O.J. Howard

    Best Route-Runner: O.J. Howard

    Best Blocker: Dillon Gordon

    Best Power: Dillon Gordon

    Biggest Question Mark: Kyle Carter

    Biggest Sleeper: Nick Vannett

    2016 Tight End Rankings
    Rank  PlayerSchoolHeightWeight
    1O.J. HowardAlabama6'6"242
    2Kyle CarterPenn State6'3"241
    3Austin HooperStanford6'4"254
    4Hunter HenryArkansas6'5"250
    5Dillon GordonLSU6'4"295
    6Jay RomeGeorgia6'6"250
    7Nick VannettOhio State 6'6"260
    8Darion Griswold Arkansas State6'5"264
    9Jake McGeeFlorida6'6"255
    10Jeremy LigginsOle Miss6'3"296

Tackles

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Most NFL-Ready: Ronnie Stanley

    Best Run-Blocker: Jack Conklin

    Best Pass-Blocker: Ronnie Stanley

    Best Potential: Germain Ifedi

    Biggest Question Mark: Spencer Drango

    Biggest Sleeper: Tyler Johnstone

    Lowest Risk: Ronnie Stanley

    2016 Offensive Tackle Rankings
    Rank  PlayerSchoolHeightWeight
    1Ronnie StanleyNotre Dame6'6"318
    2Laremy TunsilOle Miss6'5"305
    3Jack ConklinMichigan State 6'6"317
    4Jerald HawkinsLSU6'6"309
    5Taylor DeckerOhio State6'7"315
    6Spencer Drango Baylor6'5"315
    7Tyler JohnstoneOregon6'6"295
    8Le'Raven ClarkTexas Tech6'5"320
    9Germain IfediTexas A&M6'5"320
    10Tyler MarzWisconsin6'5"321

Guards

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    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    Most NFL-Ready: Vadal Alexander

    Best Run-Blocker: Vadal Alexander

    Best Pass-Blocker: Jordan Simmons

    Biggest Upside: Landon Turner

    Biggest Question Mark: Aaron Morris

    Biggest Sleeper: Jordan Rigsbee

    2016 Guard Rankings
    Rank  PlayerSchoolHeightWeight
    1Vadal AlexanderLSU6'6"320
    2Pat ElfleinOhio State6'3"300
    3Jordan Simmons USC6'4"350
    4Cody WhitehairKansas State6'4"309
    5Landon TurnerNorth Carolina6'4"320
    6Justin BellOle Miss6'2"352
    7Aaron MorrisOle Miss6'5"345
    8Christian Westerman Arizona State6'4"305
    9Jordan RigsbeeCalifornia6'4"315
    10John GruenschlaegerKentucky6'11"364

Centers

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    Tom Pennington/Getty Images

    Most NFL-Ready: Max Tuerk

    Best Run-Blocker: Mike Matthews

    Best Pass-Blocker: Max Tuerk

    Best Upside: Isaac Seumalo

    Biggest Question Mark: Isaac Seumalo

    Biggest Sleeper: Hunter Long

    2016 Center Rankings
    Rank  PlayerSchoolHeightWeight
    1Max TuerkUSC6'6"285
    2Isaac SeumaloOregon State6'4"298
    3Mike MatthewsTexas A&M6'2"285
    4Mitch SmothersArkansas6'3"315
    5Jack AllenMichigan State6'2"300
    6Jake BrendelUCLA6'4"285
    7Hunter LongGeorgia6'3"302
    8Ryan KellyAlabama6'4"296
    9Mack CrowderTennessee6'3"295
    10Ben StillOle Miss6'3"298

Edge Defenders

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    Jay LaPrete/Associated Press

    Most NFL-Ready: Joey Bosa

    Best Run-Stopper: Joey Bosa

    Best 4-3 Defensive End: Robert Nkemdiche

    Best 3-4 Outside Linebacker: Emmanuel Ogbah

    Best Pass-Rusher: Robert Nkemdiche

    Best Potential: Robert Nkemdiche

    Biggest Question Mark: Noah Spence

    Biggest Sleeper: Darron Lee

    2016 Edge Defender Rankings
    Rank  PlayerSchool
    1Robert Nkemdiche Ole Miss
    2Joey BosaOhio State
    3Emmanuel OgbahOklahoma State 
    4Shilique Calhoun Michigan State 
    5Leonard FloydGeorgia
    6Jordan JenkinsGeorgia
    7Darron LeeOhio State 
    8Jonathan BullardFlorida
    9Daeshon HallTexas A&M
    10Noah SpenceEastern Kentucky

Defensive Linemen

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    TROY WAYRYNEN/Associated Press

    Most NFL-Ready: DeForest Buckner

    Best Run-Stopper: Sheldon Day

    Best Nose Tackle: Sheldon Day

    Best 3-4 Defensive End: DeForest Buckner

    Best 3-Technique: DeForest Buckner

    Best Pass-Rusher: DeForest Buckner

    Best Potential: Shawn Oakman

    Biggest Question Mark: Charles Tapper

    Biggest Sleeper: DeForest Buckner

    Lowest Risk: Sheldon Day

    2016 Defensive Linemen Rankings
    RankPlayerSchoolHeightWeight
    1DeForest BucknerOregon6'7"287
    2Sheldon DayNotre Dame6'2"290
    3Shawn OakmanBaylor6'9"280
    4A'Shawn RobinsonAlabama6'3"320
    5Adolphus Washington Ohio State6'4"288
    6Charles TapperOklahoma6'4"283
    7Francis KallonGeorgia Tech6'4"296
    8Isaac RochellNotre Dame6'4"287
    9Anthony ZettelPenn State6'4"274
    10Adam GotsisGeorgia Tech 6'4"288

Linebackers

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    Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

    Most NFL-Ready: Jaylon Smith

    Best Weak-Side Linebacker: Jaylon Smith

    Best Strong-Side Linebacker: Jaylon Smith

    Best Inside Linebacker: Reggie Ragland

    Best Run-Stopper: Scooby Wright

    Best Pass-Rusher: Jaylon Smith

    Best Pass Coverage: Jaylon Smith

    Best Potential: Jaylon Smith

    Biggest Question Mark: Myles Jack

    Biggest Sleeper: Cassanova McKinzy

    2016 Linebacker Rankings
    RankPlayerSchoolHeightWeight
    1Jaylon SmithNotre Dame6'3"230
    2Reggie RaglandAlabama6'2"254
    3Myles JackUCLA6'1"230
    4Scooby WrightArizona6'1"246
    5Reggie CarterGeorgia6'1"229
    6Cassanova McKinzyAuburn6'2"249
    7Reggie NorthrupFlorida State6'1"220
    8Kris FrostAuburn6'2"234
    9Rodney HardrickOregon6'1"245
    10Kentrell BrothersMissouri6'0"240

Cornerbacks

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    Butch Dill/Associated Press

    Most NFL-Ready: Vernon Hargreaves

    Best Slot Cornerback: Justin Coleman

    Best Man Coverage: Vernon Hargreaves

    Best Zone Coverage: Kendall Fuller

    Best Potential: Vernon Hargreaves

    Biggest Question Mark: KeiVarae Russell

    Biggest Sleeper: Greg Allen

     

    2016 Cornerback Rankings
    Rank  PlayerSchoolHeightWeight
    1Vernon Hargreaves Florida5'11"194
    2Kendall FullerVirginia Tech5'11"195
    3Cam SuttonTennessee6'1"189
    4KeiVarae RussellNotre Dame5'11"190
    5Wayne LyonsStanford6'1"196
    6Zack SanchezOklahoma5'11"180
    7Eddie JacksonAlabama6'0"188
    8Fabian MoreauUCLA6'0"200
    9Taveze CalhounMiss. State6'0"185
    10Greg AllenKansas5'11"210

Safeties

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    Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

    Most NFL-Ready: Jalen Ramsey

    Best Coverage: Jalen Ramsey

    Best Strong Safety: Su'a Cravens

    Best Free Safety: Jalen Ramsey

    Best Run-Stopper: Su'a Cravens

    Best Potential: Jalen Ramsey

    Biggest Question Mark: Jalen Mills

    Biggest Sleeper: Isaiah Johnson

     

    2016 Safety Rankings
    Rank  PlayerSchoolHeightWeight
    1Jalen RamseyFlorida State6'1"204
    2Su'a CravensUSC6'1"225
    3Jalen MillsLSU6'0"194
    4Tony ConnerOle Miss6'0"217
    5Karl JosephWest Virginia 5'11"196
    6Jeremy CashDuke6'1"210
    7Kodi WhitfieldStanford6'2"198
    8Deon BushMiami (Fla.)6'1"198
    9Michael Caputo Wisconsin6'1"206
    10Isaiah JohnsonKansas6'1"210