2017 NFL Draft Big Board: Matt Miller's Early Rankings

Matt Miller@nfldraftscoutNFL Draft Lead WriterSeptember 14, 2016

2017 NFL Draft Big Board: Matt Miller's Early Rankings

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    Notre Dame's DeShone Kizer has the makings of a future NFL stud.
    Notre Dame's DeShone Kizer has the makings of a future NFL stud.Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    It's a good year to need a running back, pass-rusher or defensive back in the 2017 NFL draft. And if your team can't get one early, don't panic: The depth is impressive. 

    Judge this draft class against the previous classes—especially 2016—and it looks like a good year for most positions. The money spot, of course, is at quarterback, and there are three with a first-round grade. DeShone Kizer, Deshaun Watson and Brad Kaaya each offer unique traits, and all look like future NFL starters. After that, there is at least potential.

    The running back class is loaded from top to bottom. Everyone knows about Leonard Fournette, but Dalvin Cook, Nick Chubb and Christian McCaffrey also carry a Round 1 grade at this point in the season. There are also another four backs with a second-round grade.

    The weakness of the class is at offensive line. There's not a top-10 tackle—at least not with questions surrounding Cam Robinson—and while there are good players at guard and center, there isn't a Ryan Kelly-level center showing himself yet.

    On defense, you can find franchise-caliber players at every position group. We'll spend months talking about Myles Garrett, Jonathan Allen and Reuben Foster—and for good reason. But it's the depth in the secondary that stands out. There are 10 legitimate NFL cornerbacks who could go in the first 50 picks. At safety, there are two blue-chip stars in Jamal Adams and Jabrill Peppers, with another first-rounder in Justin Evans. It's a good year to have needs or a lot of draft picks.

    Which players should NFL teams be eyeing for the 2017 draft at this early juncture? Find out with my list of the top 50 overall players and then my top 10 players at each position.

Top 50 Overall Players

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    Leonard Fournette
    Leonard FournetteDylan Buell/Getty Images

    Here are the top 50 players overall for the 2017 NFL draft.

    2017 Top 50 Players
    RankPlayerSchoolPos.
    1Leonard FournetteLSURB
    2DeShone KizerNotre DameQB
    3Myles GarrettTexas A&MEDGE
    4Jamal AdamsLSUS
    5Deshaun WatsonClemsonQB
    6Jonathan AllenAlabamaDL
    7Carl LawsonAuburnEDGE
    8Christian McCaffreyStanfordRB
    9Jabrill PeppersMichiganS
    10Reuben FosterAlabamaLB
    11Dalvin CookFlorida StateRB
    12Raekwon McMillanOhio StateLB
    13Dawuane SmootIllinoisEDGE
    14Tim WilliamsAlabamaEDGE
    15Brad KaayaMiami (Fla.)QB
    16Malik McDowellMichigan StateDL
    17DeMarcus WalkerFlorida StateEDGE 
    18Jalen TaborFloridaCB
    19Justin EvansTexas A&MS
    20Cam RobinsonAlabamaT
    21Mike WilliamsClemsonWR
    22Derek BarnettTennesseeEDGE
    23Marlon HumphreyAlabamaCB
    24Nick ChubbGeorgiaRB
    25Jourdan LewisMichiganCB
    26Jordan ThomasOklahomaCB
    27Desmond KingIowaCB
    28Charles HarrisMissouriEDGE
    29O.J. HowardAlabamaTE
    30Jarrad DavisFloridaLB
    31Jake ButtMichiganTE
    32Jehu ChessonMichiganWR
    33Mike McGlincheyNotre DameT
    34Adoree' JacksonUSCCB
    35Isaiah FordVirginia TechWR
    36Evan EngramOle MissTE
    37JuJu Smith-Schuster USCWR
    38Jarron JonesNotre DameDL
    39Lowell LotuleleiUtahDL
    40Devonte FieldsLouisvilleEDGE
    41Jalen Reeves-MaybinTennesseeLB
    42Royce FreemanOregonRB
    43Jordan LeggettClemsonTE
    44Carlos WatkinsClemsonDL
    45Pat ElfleinOhio StateG
    46Sidney JonesWashingtonCB
    47Cordrea TankersleyClemsonCB
    48Tre'Davious WhiteLSUCB
    49Cameron SuttonTennesseeCB
    50Budda BakerWashingtonS

Top 10 Quarterbacks

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    Deshaun Watson
    Deshaun WatsonTyler Smith/Getty Images

    Most NFL-Ready: Brad Kaaya, Miami (Florida)

    Best Arm: DeShone Kizer, Notre Dame

    Best Runner: Deshaun Watson, Clemson

    Best Potential: DeShone Kizer, Notre Dame

    Biggest Question Mark: Chad Kelly, Ole Miss

    Biggest Sleeper: Mitch Leidner, Minnesota

    2017 Quarterback Rankings
    RankPlayerSchool
    1DeShone KizerNotre Dame
    2Deshaun Watson Clemson
    3Brad KaayaMiami (Fla.)
    4Chad KellyOle Miss
    5C.J. BeathardIowa
    6Davis WebbCalifornia
    7Seth RussellBaylor
    8Baker MayfieldOklahoma
    9Josh DobbsTennessee
    10Mitch LeidnerMinnesota

Top 10 Running Backs

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    Nick Chubb
    Nick ChubbScott Cunningham/Getty Images

    Most NFL-Ready: Leonard Fournette, LSU

    Best Third-Down Back: Christian McCaffrey, Stanford

    Best Speed: Dalvin Cook, Florida State

    Best Power: Leonard Fournette, LSU

    Best Potential: Leonard Fournette, LSU

    Biggest Question Mark: Royce Freeman, Oregon (scheme)

    Biggest Sleeper: Wayne Gallman, Clemson

    2017 Running Back Rankings
    RankPlayerSchool
    1Leonard Fournette LSU
    2Christian McCaffrey Stanford
    3Dalvin CookFlorida State
    4Nick ChubbGeorgia
    5Royce FreemanOregon
    6Jalen HurdTennessee 
    7Samaje PerineOklahoma
    8Wayne GallmanClemson
    9Matthew DayesNC State
    10James ConnerPittsburgh

Top 10 Wide Receivers

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    Mike Williams
    Mike WilliamsKevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Most NFL-Ready: Mike Williams, Clemson

    Best Boundary Receiver: Mike Williams, Clemson

    Best Slot Receiver: Travis Rudolph, Florida State

    Best Hands: Mike Williams, Clemson

    Best Route-Runner: Corey Davis, Western Michigan

    Best Potential: Mike Williams, Clemson

    Biggest Question Mark: JuJu Smith-Schuster, USC

    Biggest Sleeper: Cooper Kupp, Eastern Washington

      

    2017 Wide Receiver Rankings
    Rank  PlayerSchool
    1Mike WilliamsClemson
    2Jehu ChessonMichigan
    3Isaiah FordVirginia Tech
    4JuJu Smith-Schuster USC
    5Travis RudolphFlorida State
    6Malachi DupreLSU
    7Corey DavisWestern Michigan
    8Artavis ScottClemson
    9Cooper KuppEastern Wash.
    10Zay JonesEast Carolina

Top 10 Tight Ends

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    Jake Butt
    Jake ButtDave Reginek/Getty Images

    Most NFL-Ready: O.J. Howard, Alabama

    Best Slot Tight End: Jordan Leggett, Clemson

    Best Hands: O.J. Howard, Alabama

    Best Route-Runner: O.J. Howard, Alabama

    Best Blocker: Jake Butt, Michigan

    Best Power: Jake Butt, Michigan

    Biggest Question Mark: Pharaoh Brown, Oregon

    Biggest Sleeper: George Kittle, Iowa

    2017 Tight End Rankings
    Rank  PlayerSchool
    1O.J. HowardAlabama
    2Jake ButtMichigan
    3Evan EngramOle Miss
    4Jordan LeggettClemson
    5Bucky HodgesVirginia Tech
    6Gerald EverettSouth Alabama
    7Jonnu SmithFIU
    8Blake JarwinOklahoma St.
    9Pharaoh BrownOregon
    10George KittleIowa

Top 10 Offensive Tackles

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    Cam Robinson
    Cam RobinsonMark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Most NFL-Ready: Cam Robinson, Alabama

    Best Run-Blocker: Cam Robinson, Alabama

    Best Pass-Blocker: Cam Robinson, Alabama

    Best Potential: Cam Robinson, Alabama

    Biggest Question Mark: Zach Banner, USC

    Biggest Sleeper: Julie'n Davenport, Bucknell

     

    2017 Offensive Tackle Rankings
    Rank  PlayerSchool
    1Cam RobinsonAlabama
    2Mike McGlincheyNotre Dame
    3Roderick JohnsonFlorida State
    4Dion DawkinsTemple
    5Julie'n DavenportBucknell
    6Zach BannerUSC
    7Avery GennesyTexas A&M
    8Chad WheelerUSC
    9Clint Van HornMarshall
    10Sean HarlowOregon State

Top 10 Offensive Guards

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    Pat Elflein
    Pat ElfleinMark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Most NFL-Ready: Pat Elflein, Ohio State

    Best Run-Blocker: Pat Elflein, Ohio State

    Best Pass-Blocker: Pat Elflein, Ohio State

    Best Potential: Pat Elflein, Ohio State

    Biggest Question Mark: Kent Perkins, Texas

    Biggest Sleeper: Kyle Kalis, Michigan

     

    2017 Offensive Guard Rankings
    Rank  PlayerSchool
    1Pat ElfleinOhio State
    2Dan FeeneyIndiana
    3Quenton Nelson Notre Dame
    4Dorian JohnsonPittsburgh
    5Billy PriceOhio State
    6Nico SiragusaSDSU
    7Greg PykeGeorgia
    8Johnny CaspersStanford
    9Chase RoullierWyoming
    10Isaac AsiataUtah

Top 10 Centers

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    Mason Cole
    Mason ColeAssociated Press

    Most NFL-Ready: Ethan Pocic, LSU

    Best Run-Blocker: Mason Cole, Michigan

    Best Pass-Blocker: Tyler Orlosky, West Virginia

    Best Potential: Ethan Pocic, LSU

    Biggest Question Mark: Cameron Dillard, Florida

    Biggest Sleeper: Lucas Crowley, North Carolina

     

    2017 Center Rankings
    Rank  PlayerSchool
    1Ethan PocicLSU
    2Mason ColeMichigan
    3Tyler OrloskyWest Virginia
    4Kyle FullerBaylor
    5Jon TothKentucky
    6Cameron DillardFlorida
    7Cameron Tom Southern Miss
    8Deyshawn BondCincinnati
    9Lucas CrowleyNorth Carolina
    10Alex KelleyColorado

Top 10 Defensive Linemen

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    Jonathan Allen
    Jonathan AllenMarvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

    Most NFL-Ready: Jonathan Allen, Alabama

    Best Run-Stopper: Chris Wormley, Michigan

    Best Nose Tackle: Lowell Lotulelei, Utah

    Best 3-4 Defensive End: Jonathan Allen, Alabama

    Best 3-Technique: Jonathan Allen, Alabama

    Best Pass-Rusher: Jonathan Allen, Alabama

    Best Potential: Malik McDowell, Michigan State

    Biggest Question Mark: Eddie Vanderdoes, UCLA (injury)

    Biggest Sleeper: Jake Replogle, Purdue

    2017 Defensive Lineman Rankings
    RankPlayerSchool
    1Jonathan AllenAlabama
    2Malik McDowellMichigan State
    3Jarron JonesNotre Dame
    4Lowell LotuleleiUtah
    5Carlos WatkinsClemson
    6Eddie Vanderdoes UCLA
    7Taco CharltonMichigan
    8Chris WormleyMichigan
    9Isaac RochellNotre Dame
    10Jake ReploglePurdue

Top 10 EDGE Defenders

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    Myles Garrett
    Myles GarrettTroy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

    Most NFL-Ready: Myles Garrett, Texas A&M

    Best Run-Stopper: Devonte Fields, Louisville

    Best 4-3 Defensive End: Myles Garrett, Texas A&M

    Best 3-4 Outside Linebacker: Myles Garrett, Texas A&M

    Best Pass-Rusher: Myles Garrett, Texas A&M

    Best Potential: Myles Garrett, Texas A&M

    Biggest Question Mark: Devonte Fields, Louisville

    Biggest Sleeper: Ryan Anderson, Alabama

    2017 Edge Defender Rankings
    Rank  PlayerSchool
    1Myles GarrettTexas A&M 
    2Carl LawsonAuburn
    3Dawuane Smoot Illinois
    4Tim WilliamsAlabama
    5DeMarcus Walker Florida State
    6Derek BarnettTennessee
    7Charles HarrisMissouri
    8Devonte FieldsLouisville
    9Deatrich Wise Jr.Arkansas
    10Ryan AndersonAlabama

Top 10 Linebackers

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    Reuben Foster
    Reuben FosterNorm Hall/Getty Images

    Most NFL-Ready: Reuben Foster, Alabama

    Best Weak-Side Linebacker: Jarrad Davis, Florida

    Best Strong-Side Linebacker: Raekwon McMillan, Ohio State

    Best Inside Linebacker: Reuben Foster, Alabama

    Best Run-Stopper: Reuben Foster, Alabama

    Best Pass-Rusher: Vince Biegel, Wisconsin

    Best Pass Coverage: Jarrad Davis, Florida

    Best Potential: Raekwon McMillan, Ohio State

    Biggest Question Mark: Skai Moore, South Carolina

    Biggest Sleeper: Nyeem Wartman-White, Penn State

    2017 Linebacker Rankings
    RankPlayerSchool
    1Reuben FosterAlabama
    2Raekwon McMillanOhio State
    3Jarrad DavisFlorida
    4Jalen Reeves-Maybin Tennessee
    5Kendell BeckwithLSU
    6Nyeem Wartman-White Penn State
    7Skai MooreSouth Carolina
    8Vince BiegelWisconsin
    9Harvey LangiBYU
    10Keith KelseyLouisville

Top 10 Cornerbacks

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    Jalen Tabor
    Jalen TaborRob Foldy/Getty Images

    Most NFL-Ready: Jalen Tabor, Florida

    Best Slot Cornerback: Desmond King, Iowa

    Best Man Coverage: Jalen Tabor, Florida

    Best Zone Coverage: Desmond King, Iowa

    Best Potential: Jalen Tabor, Florida

    Biggest Question Mark: Jalen Tabor, Florida

    Biggest Sleeper: Sidney Jones, Washington

     

    2017 Cornerback Rankings
    Rank  PlayerSchool
    1Jalen TaborFlorida
    2Marlon Humphrey Alabama
    3Jourdan LewisMichigan
    4Jordan ThomasOklahoma
    5Desmond KingIowa
    6Adoree' JacksonUSC
    7Sidney JonesWashington
    8Cordrea TankersleyClemson
    9Tre'Davious WhiteLSU
    10Cameron SuttonTennessee

Top 10 Safeties

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    Jamal Adams
    Jamal AdamsDylan Buell/Getty Images

    Most NFL-Ready: Jamal Adams, LSU

    Best Coverage: Jabrill Peppers, Michigan

    Best Strong Safety: Jamal Adams, LSU

    Best Free Safety: Justin Evans, Texas A&M

    Best Hybrid Defender: Jabrill Peppers, Michigan

    Best Run-Stopper: Jamal Adams, LSU

    Best Potential: Jabrill Peppers, Michigan

    Biggest Question Mark: Marcus Maye, Florida

    Biggest Sleeper: Budda Baker, Washington

     

    2017 Safety Rankings
    Rank  PlayerSchool
    1Jamal AdamsLSU
    2Jabrill PeppersMichigan
    3Justin EvansTexas A&M
    4Budda BakerWashington
    5Malik HookerOhio State
    6Armani WattsTexas A&M
    7Quin BlandingVirginia
    8Eddie JacksonAlabama
    9Xavier WoodsLa. Tech
    10Marcus MayeFlorida
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