During the process of selecting the Scout All True Freshman team, we began to wonder: Could this all-star team, just a year out of high school, beat the starters at next month's Senior Bowl?
The seniors would obviously have a strength and experience advantage, to be sure, but the most elite players leave college before they’re Senior Bowl eligible. Plus, preternatural talents like Greg Little, Jonah Williams, Ed Oliver and Dexter Lawrence proved this year that they wouldn't give much ground in the trenches.
The Freshmen may not win the mythical Men Against Boys Bowl, but there’s enough talent here to cover the spread.
QB — Jalen Hurts, Alabama — The first true freshman to start at Alabama since 1984 merely went 13-0 under the microscope, and he made it look easy. Texas' Shane Buechele is a close runner-up here.
RB — Justice Hill, Oklahoma State — Shattered Thurman Thomas' frosh rushing record with 1,042 yards.
RB — Benny Snell, Kentucky — A tough kid to bring down, Snell broke all major freshman rushing records for the Wildcats, including rushing yards (1,057) and rushing TDs (13).
OL — Michael Jordan, Ohio State — Guard started every game for the Buckeyes, who generated the most rushing yards and gave up the second-fewest sacks in the Big Ten.
OL — Jawaan Taylor, Florida — Florida's offense struggled, but Taylor played brilliantly in 11 starts at right tackle.
OL — Greg Little Ole Miss — Scout’s No. 2 overall player in 2015 lived up to his billing this year in Oxford, playing in all 12 games and starting the last five.
OL — Nate Herbig, Stanford — The Hawaii product, nicknamed Big Island, sparked the Cardinal rushing attack after he won the starting guard job in Week 7.
OL — Jonah Williams, Alabama — Didn’t take long to show his mettle. Williams graded out at 83 percent in opener against USC and continued to play at a high level.
TE — Isaac Nauta, Georgia — The sure-thing, Scout five-star/No. 1 tight end is off to an impressive start in college (27 catches, 353 yards as a part-time starter).
WR — Ahmmon Richards, Miami — A Scout four-star, Richards broke Michael Irvin's team record for receiving yards (866).
DL — Dexter Lawrence, Clemson — Clemson was blessed to reload up front with the powerful Lawrence, who was Scout's No. 3 player last year.
DL — Marlon Davidson, Auburn — Davidson is a warrior who posted six TFLs, including 2.5 sacks, and 6 QB hurries this season.
DL — Ed Oliver, Houston — Scout’s True Freshman of the Year, Oliver had an All-America-caliber season. His ridiculous 19.5 TFLs says it all.
DL — Nick Bosa, Ohio State — Bosa totaled 5 sacks and was a handful for blockers most of the season. And he’s just getting started.
LB — Troy Dye, Oregon — Forced to make a lot of tackles, Dye delivered. He finished second in the Pac-12 in tackles per game and seventh in sacks per game.
LB — Cam Brown, Penn State — His redshirt yanked in an emergency, Brown responded with 10 tackles vs. Michigan, 9 vs. Minnesota and blocked a punt against Ohio St.
DB — Taylor Rapp, Washington — Played so well, as the nickel, that he managed to stand out even on Washington's talent-laden defense.
DB — Jalen Thompson, Washington State — Worry-free young DB in a pass-happy league helped lead a renaissance on D for the Cougs.
DB — Antoine Winfield, Minnesota — Winfield provided playmaking and sure tackling at safety.
DB — Jaylon Jones, Mississippi — Pro Football Focus rated Jones the nation’s No. 1 true freshman cornerback. Scout rated Jones as a four-star in 2015.
PK — Ricky Aguayo, Florida State — Four of his 17 field goals were 44 yards or longer.
P — Tom Sheldon, North Carolina — Oldest freshman on this list at 27, this Aussie posted a 40.2 net, and UNC allowed just 6 return yards.