Roquan Smith, Georgia - Smith is a versatile and athletic defender that has the ability to play in a number of positions. He could start across the board in a 4-3 defense or play either of the inside spots in a 3-4. At Georgia Smith has led a defense that looked consistently dominating, until this past week's game at Auburn. He should be a top 20 selection come April.
Harold Landry, Boston College - Landry came into the year as the best pass rusher in the class and while he has been surpassed by a few players he is still the best playmaking option for 3-4 teams seeking a pass rusher. What will hurt Landry is that he was dominated against Clemson in the highest profile match up of his season. He has the athleticism and speed but he needs to refine his technique in order to beat NFl caliber left tackles. He should still be a top 20 selection.
Kendall Evans, Clemson - Only a three year sophomore Evans has incredible potential and could be the highest rated linebacker by the time the draft is held. He has a complete game but is still more athlete than football player. He could rise into the top 15 but he’s a lock for the top 25, IMO.
Malik Jefferson, - Jefferson is a rare pass coverage specialist at linebacker and he excels when playing in space. He won’t fit what every team is looking for but if someone needs a pass coverage linebacker then Jefferson is as good as they’ll find. He can be a liability against the run and does get dominated by bigger blockers but if a team can protect him then he could be a key piece to making a good defense great. I expect him to be a top 40 selection.
Josey Jewell, Iowa - Jewell won’t time well, isn’t an explosive athlete, and does not look like the type of player that NFL teams will covet but he will absolutely impress coaches and general managers during interviews and his film shows a hard working, high effort, film room mentality. He’ll be a second round pick.
Honorable Mentions: Rashaan Evans, Tim Williams, Cameron Smith. Evans, Williams, and Smith were all five star recruits that have had solid but not spectacular careers at their respective schools. Evans shows a raw athleticism, Williams is a ferocious and intimidating tackler, who frequently delivers big hits, and Smith is a heady player whose dedication to the film room is obvious in his great on field recognition. Each could push for the first round, depending on the off season, but are more than likely second round choices.