Draft season is upon us and it's time to set the stage for what's sure to be a long pre-draft process. Below I will give my initial top-25 rankings of 2017 NFL Draft prospects with an Washington Redskins slant. The rankings will be based off personal film study. I will also be using the Scot McCloughan's Draft Trends Guide to help give insight on how Washington's general manager could value each player. Also, I do factor how high a player is projected to go in the draft. For example: I won't have a day two guy that I love listed above players that will sure-fire go round one.
Key Scot McCloughan First Round Draft Trends:
- While McCloughan favors SEC and BIG 10 players, his teams have only drafted from those conferences a combined 7 times (22 total picks in round one).
- Has not drafted a player under 5ft 11.
- Only four of his team's 22 total first round picks have been underclassmen. They were all offensive skill positions (QB, TE, WR).
- Drafted only four defensive linemen on those 22 first round picks. Three, if you consider Bruce Irvin a LB.
Top-25 (* denotes senior)
- Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
- Jonathan Allen, DE, Alabama*
- Reuben Foster, ILB, Alabama*
- Malik Hooker, FS, Ohio State
- Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
- Jamal Adams, SS, LSU
- O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama*
- Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan*
- Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
- Sidney Jones, CB, Washington
- Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
- Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
- Tre'Davious White, CB, LSU*
- Haason Reddick, ILB, Temple*
- Tim Williams, EDGE, Alabama*
- Takkarist McKinley, EDGE, UCLA*
- Forrest Lamp, OG, Western Kentucky*
- Cordrea Tankersley, CB, Clemson*
- Jarrad Davis, ILB, Florida*
- Teez Tabor, CB, Florida
- Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
- Alvin Kamara, RB, Tenneesse
- Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
- David Njoku, TE, Miami
- John Ross III, WR, Washington
- I only have three defensive lineman in this initial top-25 ranking. All three are projected top-5 picks.
- This is a cornerback heavy draft. I have six in this ranking and several others could've made the list. That includes CB/FS Desmond King who I think McCloughan will love if available rounds 2-4.
- This is an underclassman heavy draft talent-wise early. However, I managed to fit 11 in this top-25 list. They all have first round talent.
- No QBs worthy of top-25 pick.
Top Five That Fits The "McCloughan First Round Draft Trends":
1. Reuben Foster: The Redskins will have no shot at Jonathan Allen. However, based on his draft trends, I'm certain Reuben Foster will top McCloughan's draft board. He's also a long shot to fall to 17 overall. However, he's a wildcard. There's a chance he could fall because of the premium teams put on corners and pass rushers. Not to mention, you know there's going to be some teams that take a risk on one of these QBs. Foster has everything you want in an alpha-male inside linebacker. He's extremely rangy and is aggressive downhill.
2. O.J. Howard: At 6ft 6, 249 lbs, this is a grown man. I know it would be shocking to see the Redskins go tight end at 17 overall. However, Howard could be an exception. He'd dominate the seam and allow Jordan Reed to work from everywhere else.
3. Tre'Davious White: This guy just made the mark after weighing in at 5ft 11, 191 in Mobile for the Senior Bowl. He is the most natural cover corner in this draft based on my study. I have Sidney Jones higher because of ball skills and athleticism. But White is a natural. There's some concerns about deep speed, but he's a baller.
4. Haason Reddick: The Temple LB opened eyes at the Senior Bowl with a great week of practice that translated to the game. He posted some gorgeous numbers at the weigh-in: 6ft 2, 237 with 32 1/8 inch arms and 10 3/8 inch hands. He has become my second best inside linebacker prospect. He has some freakish traits and is just scratching the surface. 17 overall wouldn't be too rich for him, in my opinion.
5. Tim Williams: He's a bit of a wildcard in this draft. In my opinion, he's the best pure pass rusher in this class. That includes over Mr. Myles Garrett. Issue is, there's some concerns off-the-field to add with his limited playtime at Alabama. Either way, he's a football player who hunts QBs. Let's not forget McCloughan was on a team in Seattle that drafted Bruce Irvin a lot higher than many thought. The Redskins have an emerging pass rusher in Preston Smith, Trent Murphy coming off a great season and Mr. Consistency Ryan Kerrigan. Not to mention, you have Junior Galette returning. However, you can never have enough pass rushers and you can't depend on Galette's return. They need a twitchy speed guy and Williams is that.
You can find Emmanual on Twitter @manny_benton.