Finishing up on my top five positional rankings for this upcoming NCAA football season, we switch over to the defensive side of the ball. Once again, these lists are about where those guys stack up as college players – not as eventual draft prospects. So the criteria I base them on is the tape I watched on them the last couple of seasons and the jump I project them to make this year. With that being said, I can’t help but look ahead to some degree, since I could easily see eight defensive players drafted in the top ten next April and most of them should be on the D-line.
After revealing my most intriguing storylines heading into the 2018 college football season, I wanted to release my top five positional rankings, like I did a year ago as well. To make the criteria clear – this list is about the actual college players, as a combination of what they showed me last season and what I expect them to be in 2018. So this is not a look forward to these young men as draft prospects in 2019. Therefore, you might find some names that won’t be discussed a lot from next February to April. With that being said, I want to start with the offensive side of the ball and I will get back to defense next week.
The position fans have the hardest time comparing players to each other and ranking them accordingly is cornerback. When people reach outside linebacker nominees in the Pro Bowl voting they look who has the most sacks and with defensive backs the number of interceptions is often the deciding factor. It’s just not that easy. To grade cornerbacks you have to watch the tape and understand their responsibility in the respective schemes. On film you can see if their coverage was that good the opposing quarterback didn’t want to throw their way, what position they were in prior to the pass, how they competed when the ball was in the air and which plays they were responsible for giving up. After watching multiple games of the best corners in the league, I decided to rank the top ten at the position up to this point of the season. This is an evaluation over a span of ten weeks, not who I think are the best in general. So some guys who have proven over time they are worthy of a spot didn’t make the cut, because they haven’t played at the level they are capable of. Here’s my list:
There have been some amazing rookie performances so far this season and it’s time to revisit the draft. Some of those young guys have exceeded expectations, while others have yet to play up to their potential or simply haven’t seen the field much as of now. You can never really tell how good your investment will be after just a couple of weeks, but I wanted to list my top 20 rookies at this point. Here they are:
With the landscape of quarterbacks in the NFL pretty unclear right now, I tried to do my best in ranking all 32 starters as of how I think of them right now, going into week six. I made up my own categories to list these guys among, but I didn’t define the difference between each of them. It’s more about which profile they fit and at which stage of their career I believe they are.