The NFL Draft is rapidly approaching as teams have already finalized their draft boards. In my opinion there are only five home runs picks in this years draft class, neither of them a quarterback. General Manager’s often lose their jobs over draft mistakes so the importance of striking gold in the draft is important.
1. Leonard Williams (USC) DE
Williams is the best player in this draft make no mistake about it. The massive USC defensive lineman is the closest thing to Ndamukong Suh, a man who just cashed in a 100 million dollar contract. The athleticism Williams shows as a big man is unfathomable. His ability to penetrate gaps and push the pocket will makes Leonard an elite prospect. You simply do not see his level of pursuit very often from a defensive tackle. If I were the G.M. of the Tampa Bay Bucs Leonard Williams would be my selection, not Jameis Winston.
2. Amari Cooper (Alabama) WR
Amari Cooper is hands down the best receiver in this draft class. Cooper’s steady four year production from Alabama is unheralded from any other wide out. The most important trait Amari posses is his excellent route running. The NFL Scouting Combine’s 3 cone drill shows off a players foot speed as a translation to get in and out of break’s. Cooper ranked amongst the best without being a true speed threat showing off his phenomenal footwork. Any G.M. considering West Virginia’s Kevin White instead would truly be making a giant mistake. White’s one hit wonder status simply cannot be compared to Amari Cooper’s production in the SEC.
3. Todd Gurley (Georgia) HB
Todd Gurley is the best runningback to come out of a draft since Adrian Peterson and Marshawn Lynch in 2007. The only thing concerning teams is his injury history. Gurley suffered a torn ACL during week 11 of the college football season against Auburn. The good news for Gurley is he may have been a Raider or Jet if the injury had never occurred. Having overcome this injury Gurley should now be drafted to a better situation. The Chargers, Cardinals, Ravens, and Cowboys are some of the possibilities. Gurley looked like the best college football player on the planet before the injury and is absolutely worth a first round pick.
4. A.J. Cann (South Carolina) G
Taking an offensive lineman is not always the sexiest pick but the importance can not be understated. Cann is the best offensive lineman in this draft and is very underrated. Players like La’el Collins, Andrus Peat, and even Iowa’s Brandon Scherff do not deserve to be rated ahead of Cann. Kelechi Osemele is a player that comes to mind when comparing players. Oseleme is a big mauling guard for the Baltimore Ravens fitting the mold of what I believe Cann will become in the pros. Any team selecting A.J. Cann in round two will be drafting an all pro guard for the next decade.
5. Eric Kendricks (UCLA) MLB
This years line-backing draft class is considered week by most standards but Kendricks stands out above the rest. Kendricks is a spitting image of his brother Mychal Kendricks from the Philadelphia Eagles. Kendricks instincts makes him the best inside linebacker but his pass coverage is what really separates him from the pack. His three interceptions showed his ability to drop back in coverage. One of his picks came against rival USC where quarterback Cody Kessler only threw 5 interceptions on the season. Kendricks will be selected late in round one or early in round 2. Nevertheless the team that selects Kendricks will get a leader on the defense for years to come.