Top 25 College Football teams based on NFL Draft Talent

College football is about to start and we've all seen too many Top 25 lists. However at NFL Draft Geek we do things a different way. Instead of ranking the teams based on how they are going to do in the upcoming season, we've ranked each team based on how much NFL Draft talent is on their rosters.

 

1. Alabama Crimson Tide

It’s no secret that Nick Saban has built a juggernaut in Tuscaloosa with a program that is loaded with talent competing for National Titles on a yearly basis. Not only are they winning titles but the Crimson Tide are continuing to put high caliber players into the NFL on a regular basis. That doesn’t change this year as the Tide has five players ranked within my top 32 prospects. Add that top tier talent along with the amount of depth they have and it’s no surprise that Alabama leads our rankings.

Notable Prospects
RB Bo Scarbrough (#9 RB)
RB Damien Harris (#20 RB)
WR Calvin Ridley (#1 WR)
WR Robert Foster (#9 WR)
C Bradley Bozeman (#9 C)
DT Da’Ron Payne (#3 DL)
DE Da’Shawn Hand (#13 Edge)
MLB Rashaan Evans (#3 LB)
SLB Shaun Dion Hamilton (#13 LB)
CB Tony Brown (#3 CB)
CB Anthony Averett (#15 CB)
SS Minkah Fitzpatrick (#1 S)
S Hootie Jones (#21 S)
FS Ronnie Harrison (#23 S)

 

2. Ohio State Buckeyes

What Urban Meyer has done at Ohio State is nothing short of amazing not only having to replace prospects leaving early on a regular basis, but continuing to develop new stars and contend for the playoffs each year. While Billy Price and Dre’Mont Jones are their two headliners the Buckeyes have half a dozen prospects that could easily go on day two. Let’s also not forget that there could always be another Malik Hooker or Marshaon Lattimore type prospect who we are not talking about at this point who rises to the top of the draft class.

Notable Prospects
QB JT Barrett (#17 QB)
RB Mike Weber (#25 RB)
WR Parris Campbell (#30 WR)
TE Marcus Baugh (#9 TE)
LT Jamarco Jones (#7 OT)
C Billy Price (#2 C)
DT Michael Hill (#18 DL)
DT Dre’Mont Jones (#4 DL)
DE Jayln Holmes (#11 Edge)
DE Sam Hubbard (#19 Edge)
DE Tyquan Lewis (#24 Edge)
MLB Chris Worley (#5 LB)
WLB Jerome Baker (#6 LB)
SLB Dante Booker (#12 LB)
CB Denzel Ward (#9 CB)
SS Damon Webb (#20 S)

 

3. Florida State Seminoles

The Seminoles were a little quiet in the 2017 Draft with only four prospects drafted and only one of them taken in the first three rounds. A young roster was to blame but those highly touted recruits have now become draft eligible. Defense leads the way for the Seminoles as they have top end talent at all three levels of the defense including four prospects who are in the top ten of their respective position group. I wouldn’t be shocked to see all four of them drafted in the first round.

Notable Prospects
QB Deondre Francois
RB Jacques Patrick
WR Auden Tate (#31 WR)
TE Ryan Izzo
DT Derrick Nnadi (#8 DL)
DT Demarcus Christmas (#10 DL)
DE Josh Sweat (#4 Edge)
MLB Ro’Derrick Hoskins
SLB Jacob Pugh
CB Tarvarus McFadden (#1 CB)
FS Derwin James (#2 S)
S Nate Andrews (#12 S)
SS Trey Marshall (#22 S)

 

4. Clemson Tigers

While the Tigers may take a step back without Deshaun Watson the amount of talent on this roster hasn’t changed. The strength of this team will be on defense where the line is loaded with top level prospects. Defensive Tackle Christian Wilkins is one of the best prospects in this class while if Clelin Ferrell picks up where he left off in the playoffs could join him. Offensively there is plenty of talent as the receiver core will be loaded once again and left tackle Mitch Hyatt is entering his third year as the starter at left tackle.

Notable Prospects
WR Deon Cain (#5 WR)
WR Hunter Renfrow (#8 WR)
TE Milan Richard
LT Mitch Hyatt (#2 OT)
RG Tyrone Crowder (#8 OG)
DT Christian Wilkins (#1 DL)
DE Clelin Ferrell (#3 Edge)
MLB Kendall Joseph (#25 LB)
SLB Dorian O’Daniel (#29 LB)
CB Marcus Edmond
CB Ryan Carter
SS Van Smith (#11 S)

 

5. LSU Tigers

There might not be another program in the country that is as talent rich on an annual basis than the Bayou Bengals. This year the Tigers have two elite prospects in Derrius Guice and Arden Key. Guice gives LSU another elite back that can take over games while Key is the top prospect in this class and giving an explosive presence off the edge. Other than those two the Tigers still have talent but there is a drop off. The defensive line will be talented while WR DJ Chark has potential but needs to continue to develop.

Notable Prospects
RB Derrius Guice (#2 RB)
WR DJ Chark (#11 WR)
WR Jonathan Giles (#22 WR)
LT KJ Malone
C Will Clapp
DT Greg Gilmore (#17 DL)
DE Frank Herron (#23 DL)
DE Christian LaCouture
OLB Arden Key (#1 Edge)
MLB Donnie Alexander
CB Kevin Toliver (#13 CB)
FS Ed Paris
SS John Battle

 

6. Washington Huskies

Don’t think for a second that last season’s success was a fluke or a one-time event, Chris Peterson is building a monster in Seattle and loading up the roster with elite talent. Washington is loaded in the trenches where LT Trey Adams has first round potential while DT Vita Vea uses his size and agility to be a dominant presence in the middle of the defense. Add in draftable prospects at each position and the Huskies are going to be a force again.

Notable Prospects
QB Jake Browning
RB Lavon Coleman (#16 RB)
RB Myles Gaskins (#18 RB)
WR Dante Pettis (#28 WR)
LT Trey Adams (#5 OT)
C Coleman Shelton (#4 C)
DT Vita Vea (#2 DL)
DT Greg Gaines
OLB Connor O'Brien
ILB Keishawn Bierria (#11 LB)
ILB Azeem Victor (#22 LB)

 

7. USC Trojans

Being the West Coast Superpower, the Trojans are not devoid of talent and tend to attract the top players in California regardless who the coach is. Once again the Trojans are loaded and that starts and ends with quarterback Sam Darnold who turned the Trojans season around winning all 8 games he started. Darnold is the early favorite to go number one overall in the 2018 Draft and is getting early Andrew Luck comparisons. Darnold doesn’t do it alone as both Ronald Jones and Steven Mitchell have shown the ability to make plays. On defense the top two prospects are linebackers Porter Gustin and Cameron Smith. Gustin is a fluid athlete who plays the edge while Smith is a instinctive run and chase middle linebacker.

Notable Prospects
QB Sam Darnold (#2 QB)
RB Ronald Jones (#19 RB)
WR Steven Mitchell (#14 WR)
WR Deontay Burnett
TE Tyler Petite
RG Viane Talamaivao (#7 G)
OLB Porter Gustin (#8 Edge)
ILB Cameron Smith (#4 LB)
OLB Uchenna Nwosu (#31 LB)
CB Iman Marshall (#22 CB)
SS Chris Hawkins (#18 S)

 

8. Auburn Tigers

A young team is finally come of age with plenty of players just becoming draft eligible. The offensive line is talented again as RT Braden Smith is their top rated prospect. Smith excelled as an athletic pulling right guard so it will be interesting to see him move outside. He’ll be blocking for Stidham who has the tools of a top level quarterback. On defense the defensive line continues to be elite with Russell and Cowart controlling the middle. In the backend you’ll see cornerback Carlton Davis use his explosiveness to shadow the opponents top receiver.

Notable Prospects
QB Jarrett Stidham (#8 QB)
RB Kamryn Pettway (#22 RB)
RB Kerryon Johnson (#28 RB)
RT Braden Smith (#2 OG)
C Austin Golson
DT Dontavius Russell (#5 DL)
DT Byron Cowart (#20 DL)
LB Tre’ Williams (#27 LB)
OLB Deshaun Davis
CB Carlton Davis (#7 CB)
SS Tray Matthews (#29 S)

 

9. Florida Gators

It is no secret why the Gators will be one of the favorites to win the SEC East with draft talent at every position (except quarterback). At receiver Antonio Callaway’s explosive speed gives them a weapon while two year starting guard Martez Ivey moves outside to tackle. Traditionally the Gators are loaded on defense and that is no different this year. Defensive End CeCe Jefferson uses quick changes of direction to get after the quarterback while cornerback Duke Dawson should be the next Gator cornerback to make a run at the first round.

Notable Prospects
RB Jordan Scarlett (#27 RB)
WR Antonio Callaway (#13 WR)
TE DeAndre Goolsby (#13 TE)
LT Martez Ivey (#10 OG)
C Cameron Dillard
DE CeCe Jefferson (#7 Edge)
CB Duke Dawson (#5 CB)
FS Nick Washington (#19 S)

 

10. Georgia Bulldogs

The story of the Georgia team lies in what they do best, run the ball and play good defense. As tradition goes, the Bulldogs have a loaded backfield as Nick Chubb is a top five back and should be a top 50 pick, while Sony Michel would start on many teams and will hear his named called in Philadelphia. On defense there is plenty of mid to late round talent but the Bulldogs really lack that on elite prospect. The name to keep an eye on is Trenton Thompson who is an active defensive tackle who works his way into opponent’s backfields.

Notable Prospects
RB Nick Chubb (#4 RB)
RB Sony Michel (#13 RB)
WR Terry Godwin
TE Jeb Blazevich (#12 TE)
LT Isaiah Wynn
LG Dyshon Sims
DT Trenton Thompson (#19 DL)
DE Jonathan Ledbetter
WLB David Bellamy (#23 Edge)
SLB Lorenzo Carter (#15 Edge)
ILB Roquan Smith (#23 LB)
ILB Reggie Carter
CB Malkom Parrish
FS Dominick Sanders (#15 S)

 

11. Oklahoma Sooners

Never short of elite talent the Sooners bring a talented roster once again. Tight End Mark Andrews leads the list providing a mismatch out of the slot controlling the middle of the field. On offense he’s joined by QB Baker Mayfield who has quality arm talent but he’s a better college player than prospect. Orlando Brown is a massive man but needs to show better movement skills if he wants to be considered an early round pick. All that said, the secondary is where the talent is where Jordan Thomas has the skill set to be a top level press corner while Steven Parker is a rangy coverage safety.

Notable Prospects
QB Baker Mayfield (#18 QB)
WR Michiah Quick
TE Mark Andrews (#1 TE)
LT Orlando Brown (#11 OT)
C Erick Wren (#11 C)
OLB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (#18 LB)
ILB Emmanuel Beal (#20 LB)
CB Jordan Thomas (#4 CB)
SS Steven Parker (#4 S)

 

12. Iowa Hawkeyes

It would not be the Hawkeyes if they didn’t have a talented offensive line and Iowa has that with RG Sean Welsh who could be the best guard in the draft while Boettger can be a mid-round pick. They’ll create holes for their two talented backs in the shifty Wadley and the more downhill Butler. Defensively the Hawkeyes will have talent but the player to watch is MLB Josey Jewell who uses elite instincts to make up for lesser athletic athletic skills.

Notable Prospects
RB Akrum Wadley (#5 RB)
RB James Butler (#26 RB)
WR Matt VandeBerg
LT Ike Boettger (#12 OT)
RG Sean Welsh (#3 OG)
DT Nathan Bazata (#12 DL)
MLB Josey Jewell (#2 LB)
SLB Ben Niemann (#21 LB)
SS Miles Taylor (#28 S)

 

13. North Carolina State Wolfpack

The Wolfpack have gotten a lot of buzz this summer and it’s well deserved as they have a roster of under the radar prospects. This team is led by their defensive line that could have three prospects drafted in the first three rounds with the athletic Chubb on one side while Street is more of a power rusher. On offense do it all Jaylen Samuels is a weapon both running and catching the ball.

Notable Prospects
QB Ryan Finley
HB Jaylen Samuels (#1 ATH)
RG Tony Adams
DT BJ Hill (#15 DL)
DE Bradley Chubb (#6 Edge)
DE Kentavius Street (#11 Edge)

 

14. Stanford Cardinal

For a prestigious academic school, Stanford has really turned into a football factory routinely putting out not only several draft picks each year but at least one elite level prospect. Right now the elite level prospect isn’t known but nobody really knew Solomon Thomas at this point last year. Offensively Bryce Love isn’t Christian McCaffrey but as he showed against North Carolina last year and Rice this past weekend he can carry the load and be a dynamic rusher. Defensively they have talent at all three levels with Kalambayi giving an explosive presence off the edge and Quenton Meeks giving a physical presence at corner.

Notable Prospects
QB Keller Christ
RB Bryce Love (#8 RB)
WR Trenton Irwin
TE Dalton Schultz (#6 TE)
RT Casey Tucker (#14 OT)
LT David Bright
RG Brandon Fanaika
NT Harrison Phillips
OLB Peter Kalambayi (#9 Edge)
ILB Kevin Palma (#28 LB)
CB Quenton Meeks (#10 CB)

 

15. Wisconsin Badgers

Wisconsin took a huge hit when ILB Jack Cichy tore his ACL as he was the top linebacker in the draft and a top 20 prospect. That being said there is still plenty of talent on the defense as TJ Edwards is an athletic run and chase linebacker and Chris Orr comes back from injury. Safety D’Cota Dixon is a player to keep an eye on as he plays all over the secondary and has a little bit of Troy Polamalu in him. Offensively they’ll continue to have a talented offensive line, but it’s TE Troy Fumagalli who is the star giving QB Bart Houston a big weapon who can create separation at the stem.

Notable Prospects
WR Jazz Peavy (#22 WR)
TE Troy Fumagalli (#4 TE)
RG Beau Benzschawel (#11 G)
C Michael Deiter (#7 C)
DE Chikwe Obasih (#28 DL)
DE Conor Sheehy
ILB TJ Edwards (#9 LB)
CB Derrick Tindal (#17 CB)
S D’Cota Dixon (#8 S)

 

16. Miami Hurricanes

Much like USC, it doesn’t matter who the coach is at Miami as they’re always going to be attracting top level talent because of their location. But the top talent on this team is a direct reflection to the Hurricane coaches. At Georgia Mark Richt always had talented running backs and with Mark Walton they have a smooth runner whose able to use his lateral quickness to maneuver through traffic. Defensively the line is their strength as tackle Kendrick Norton and end Chad Thomas are two powerful players who are developing under famed coach Craig Kuligowski who put lineman into the NFL at Missouri on a regular basis.

Notable Prospects
RB Mark Walton (#6 RB)
TE Christopher Herndon (#8 TE)
RG KC McDermott
DT Kendrick Norton (#9 DL)
DT RJ McIntosh
DE Chad Thomas (#20 Edge)

 

17. Penn State Nittany Lions

When talking Penn State draft prospects, it starts and ends with RB Saquon Barkley who is one of the best prospects in this class. Barkley can do it all for the Nittany Lions running with power, speed and elusiveness. Outside of Barkley there isn’t a ton of elite level prospects but still plenty of draftable talent. TE Mike Gesicki isn’t a dynamic athlete but plays well with the ball in the air. Safety Marcus Allen flows well and does a good job of reacting forward whether it is in coverage or against the run.

Notable Prospects
QB Trace McSorley (#16 QB)
RB Saquon Barkley (#1 RB)
WR DaeSean Hamilton
TE Mike Gesicki (#11 TE)
RT Andrew Nelson
LT Brendan Mahon
ILB Jason Cabinda (#32 LB)
FS Marcus Allen (#12 S)

 

18. Louisville Cardinals

While he’s a dynamic athlete and college quarterback, the reigning Heisman winner still has work to go as an NFL Draft prospect. Jackson will continue to dominant college football but how he develops as a passer will be interesting to watch as the season progresses. On defense Jaire Alexander is the player that stands out as he has quick fluid movements to stick with receivers in and out of breaks.

Notable Prospects
QB Lamar Jackson (#6 QB)
RB Jeremy Smith
WR Reggie Bonnafon
WR Jaylen Smith
LT Geron Christian
OLB James Hearns (#21 Edge)
CB Jaire Alexander (#2 CB)

 

19. Michigan Wolverines

No team got hit harder by the 2017 NFL Draft than the Wolverines who had 11 prospects drafted with another four being priority free agents. This leaves Michigan with a roster loaded with plenty of unproven prospects or players who are not quite draft eligible. The strength of the Wolverines will be in the trenches. On offense we’ll see Mason Cole move back outside to tackle after spending a year inside at center. On defense Michigan has two tackles in Hurst and Mone that should control the middle of the defense clogging up lanes and freeing up teammates in their aggressive scheme. Hurst does have some upside as a penetrator using burst and quickness to shoot up gaps.

Notable Prospects
QB Wilton Speight (#20 QB)
FB Khalid Hill
TE Ian Bunting
LT Mason Cole (#5 C)
DT Maurice Hurst (#11 DL)
DT Bryan Mone (#13 DL)
MLB Mike McCray (#19 LB)

 

20. TCU Horned Frogs

After having only two draftable prospects for the 2017 draft it was a down year for the Horned Frogs all around. This year should be different as the Horned Frogs have plenty of seniors on their roster that could be middle round picks. On offense TCU has some under the radar names in LT Joseph Noteboom and C Austin Schlottmann. Noteboom is light on his feet and strong hands to lock down defenders. On Defense TCU has two space defenders in Travin Howard and Nick Orr who have the speed to chase down the ball and cover receivers and tight ends.

Notable Prospects
QB Kenny Hill
RB Kyle Hicks (#15 RB)
WR Taj Williams (#20 WR)
WR KaVontae Turpin
LT Joseph Noteboom (#8 OT)
C Austin Schlottmann (#8 C)
SLB Travin Howard (#17 LB)
SS Nick Orr (#9 S)
FS Markell Simmons

 

21. South Carolina Gamecocks

The Gamecocks are one of the teams on here that have some quality NFL Draft talent but that won’t necessary translate to wins and losses. On offense it may be difficult to find a better WR/TE tandem than Samuel and Hurst. Samuel is quick in and out of breaks on the outside while Hurst uses his speed to push the seam and use his body control and soft hands to control the middle of the field. On defense South Carolina could use a healthy Skai Moore is a typical new age linebacker who excels in space. In the secondary Jamarcus King has good size at 6’1 and uses his burst and length well in both press and off coverage.

Notable Prospects
RB David Williams
WR Deebo Samuel (#3 WR)
TE Hayden Hurst (#2 TE)
RT Zack Bailey
C Alan Knott
SLB Skai Moore (#8 LB)
CB Jamarcus King (#8 CB)
NCB Chris Lammons (#20 CB)

 

22. Virginia Tech Hokies

Virginia Tech’s rise last season was no secret as their juniors class is loaded with talent. Some of those juniors left but there is still plenty to watch this upcoming season. Offensively their top prospect is guard Wyatt Teller who plays with good leverage which allows him to create pressure to go along with his movement skills. On defense the Hokies are loaded with back seven talent. LB Tremaine Edmunds has size and power to be a thumper while Greg Stroman is a quick physical corner who looks like a poor man’s Vernon Hargreaves.

Notable Prospects
WR Cam Phillips (#15 WR)
LG Wyatt Teller (#5 G)
ILB Tremaine Edmunds (#15 LB)
CB Greg Stroman (#13 CB)
CB Brandon Faycson (#15 CB)
FS Terrell Edmunds (#26 S)

 

23. Texas A&M Aggies

In past years the Aggies were always one of the most talented, but they seem to be taking a slight step back. Their offense spreads teams out so much which allows Christian Kirk to uses his quickness in and out of breaks to leave defensive backs in the dust while RB Keith Ford is able to find plenty of running lanes. On defense the player to watch is Daylon Mack who was once a heralded recruit and must show he’s can dominant the middle of the line of scrimmage.

Notable Prospects
RB Keith Ford (#10 RB)
WR Christian Kirk (#2 WR)
DT Daylon Mack (#14 DL)
DT Zaycoven Henderson
DE Qualen Cunningham
CB Priest Willis
FS Amari Watts (#10 S)
SS Donovan Wilson

 

24. UCLA Bruins

You don’t talk about UCLA and not mention QB Josh Rosen who many were talking about before he even took a snap at UCLA. Talent isn’t a question as Rosen is physical gifted, but he has to prove he’s back after an ACL injury. Playing in his third system in three years won’t make it easy. However, Rosen’s biggest concern is whether he is a good teammate and can lead a team. While Rosen gets all the attention his center is deserving of some too. Quessenberry has good movement skills and uses leverage to create strength in both the run and pass game.

Notable Prospects
QB Josh Rosen (#1 QB)
WR Eldridge Massington (#33 WR)
C Scott Quessenberry (#3 C)
DE Jacob Tuioti-Mariner
MLB Kenny Young (#33 LB)
S Jaleel Wadood (#3 S)

 

25. Oklahoma State Cowboys

Oklahoma State isn’t one of the favorites to win the Big 12 because they don’t have elite talent. Lead by their offense the Cowboys have a tandem of QB Mason Rudolph and WR James Washington that have been making big plays for the past couple of years. The duo is at their best working downfield utilizing Washington’s speed and ball tracking abilities. But if Rudolph wants to be one of the top quarterbacks in this class he needs to improve his accuracy on short and intermediate routes and when he isn’t on rhythm. While Washington needs to show he’s more than just a deep threat and runs underneath the ball.

Notable Prospects
QB Mason Rudolph (#7 QB)
WR James Washington (#10 WR)
WR Marcell Ateman (#26 WR)
RT Zachary Crabtree (#15 OT)
LT Aaron Cochran
MLB Chad Whitener

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*