ESPN’s Mel Kiper is one of the most respected names when it comes to the NFL Draft and projecting where college players will end up getting drafted. Every year he creates a big board and a mock draft in anticipation of the big April event. This year’s draft will have plenty of talent strewn about, but Kiper’s big board has a curious top five.
Even after watching all of this past season, Kiper is listing his top five in this order:
- Myles Garrett – Texas A&M DE
- Jonathan Allen – Alabama DE
- Leonard Fournette – LSU RB
- Reuben Foster – Alabama ILB
- Dalvin Cook – Florida State RB
While these are his top five players, this does not represent the order in which he believes they’ll be taken in a real draft. However, there are certainly some question marks here as Cook is a great running back, but a lot of mock drafts have him falling to the middle of the first round — not exactly a spot for top-five talent. Leonard Fournette is also a great back, but this draft has plenty of good to great college running backs in it and so the position might be a little devalued this draft.
Myles Garrett as the top talent and pick in this draft is a near-unanimous decision so that’s the most logical part of this big board. Jonathan Allen as a top five talent also makes sense as he is also a near-unanimous choice in several mock drafts to go top five.
People seem to disagree on Cook and Fournette though as there is no real consensus who goes first out of the two, but most drafts have them going after the tenth pick. Both had injury concerns with Fournette’s ankles this year and Cook’s shoulder at times throughout his three-year career. But both are the clear elite running backs in this class and will likely get taken close to each other in the draft.
Reuben Foster seems to be a bit of a mystery inclusion on the list as he is a great linebacker and possibly the best in college football this season, but he has also been mocked to go anywhere from the ninth pick to the 20th. It should be intriguing to see how Kiper lines up his mock draft in the coming months and how those guys will fit into it.
The biggest exclusion from the list was a quarterback though as there is a huge disagreement on who the top QB is for this class. Some people believe it’s Deshaun Watson, others think it is DeShone Kizer and some even believe it’s UNC’s Mitch Trubisky.