NFL GMs, take notes
Mark Craig lists his top 25 prospects in this year’s NFL draft, which begins Thursday, regardless of draft projection or position:
1. Bradley Chubb, edge rusher, North Carolina State: First defender selected fits a lot of teams’ top need.
2. Quenton Nelson, guard, Notre Dame: Perhaps the safest pick and a certain top-10 selection.
3. Saquon Barkley, running back, Penn State: Has the multidimensional game needed for modern back.
4. Minkah Fitzpatrick, defensive back, Alabama: Big corner who can play anywhere in the secondary.
5. Sam Darnold, quarterback, Southern California: Seems to be the best bet in the crowded quarterback pool.
6. Roquan Smith, linebacker, Georgia: Playmaker built in the classic modern ’backer mold.
7. Denzel Ward, cornerback, Ohio State: There’s fast, and then there’s Ward, who’s faster.
8. Derwin James, safety, Florida State: Versatility could make him a special defensive weapon.
9. Baker Mayfield, quarterback, Oklahoma: Had top-10 production, but is he too undersized for the NFL?
10. Tremaine Edmunds, linebacker, Virginia Tech: Sky’s the limit for this Urlacher-sized ’backer.
11. Josh Rosen, quarterback, UCLA: Has all he needs to grow into a fine starter.
12. Calvin Ridley, wide receiver, Alabama: A lucky team will land him in the lower half of Round 1.
13. Marcus Davenport, edge rusher, Texas-San Antonio: Pass rushers of his caliber always rise to the top.
14. Maurice Hurst, defensive tackle, Michigan: Could be a wrecking ball at the three-technique spot.
15. Josh Allen, quarterback, Wyoming: The highest bust potential, but he belongs on this list.
16. Harold Landry, edge rusher, Boston College: Undersized, but should become an elite pass rusher.
17. James Daniels, center, Iowa: Best center just scratching the surface at age 20.
18. Jaire Alexander, cornerback, Louisville: Not the biggest guy, but has skills and runs a 4.38 40.
19. Isaiah Wynn, guard, Georgia: Second-best guard should be a starter from Day 1.
20. Vita Vea, defensive tackle, Washington: Massive, powerful player who will improve with polish.
21. Mike McGlinchey, offensive tackle, Notre Dame: Could shortage of tackles cause McGlinchey to climb?
22. Taven Bryan, defensive tackle, Florida: Strong like a tackle, smooth like an end.
23. Lamar Jackson, quarterback, Louisville: Special player with athleticism and a big arm.
24. Rashaan Evans, linebacker, Alabama: Another Saban-polished player with position flexibility.
25. Derrius Guice, running back, LSU: Reckless runner with pass-catching skills.