In just a little over two hours, the 2017 NFL Draft will be underway in Philadelphia. Dreams will come true for hundreds of collegiate football's best prospects. Thousands of fans will be devastated when their favorite team winds up selecting someone they have no interest in at all. It's going to be an action-packed and drama filled three days, friends.
Denver Broncos (@Broncos) April 27, 2017
I'm no professional scout. I'm just an avid fan of the NFL Draft who has been watching and recording my thoughts on prospects for over the last ten years. I've had my share of hits, I've had my share of misses, but at the end of the day, it's all about learning more and digging deeper to find out the most one can about the future stars of the National Football League. Enjoy!
Hart's Top 50 Prospects for the 2017 NFL Draft
- Myles Garrett, DE/OLB — Texas A&M
Rare and special blue-chip talent who can be a transcendent player at the NFL level and if he lives up to his potential, should see himself enshrined in Canton one day for his ability to terrorize opposing quarterbacks.
- Jamal Adams, Safety — LSU
Alpha dog personality on the defensive back end with tremendous physical and leadership abilities and the ability to play several positions.
- Jonathan Allen, DL — Alabama
Three-year starter for the Crimson Tide who flashes All-Pro potential and has the schematic versatility teams covet.
- Solomon Thomas, DE — Stanford
High-caliber defensive end prospect who has the heart, grit and determination to become great. Should thrive and excel in a four-man front that can maximize his capabilities.
- O.J. Howard, TE — Alabama
Premier tight end prospect with very little flaws. Has the ability to become one of the league's most special players at the position if he dedicates himself to the game.
- Dalvin Cook, RB — Florida State
The real deal package at running back who can stay on the field for every down and plays at his best when the stakes are the highest, but teams concerned about his character issues might not be willing to gamble on him.
- Cam Robinson, OT — Alabama
Impressive physical specimen who is SEC battle-tested and has the best shot at becoming a top-tier left tackle out of any prospect in this year's draft class.
- Malik Hooker, S — Ohio State
Extremely raw, but extraordinarily talented free safety with premier play-making range and potential.
- Taco Charlton, DE — Michigan
Gifted player with pinnacle athletic traits who isn't the sum of all his parts. Can become a dominant player if he is coached up well and becomes a consistent player on Sunday's.
- Reuben Foster, ILB - Alabama
Highly-talented MIKE linebacker prospect with three-down ability. Skills aren't my concern with him, but medical history and character issues are.
- Christian McCaffrey, RB — Stanford
Top-tier playmaker with football in his DNA who can contribute as a runner, receiver and returner and immediately pay big dividends for whatever team selects him.
- Marshon Lattimore, CB - Ohio State
This year's top corner who has terrific ball-hawking skills who should become a top-end starter in the league if he can avoid injury issues that hampered him with the Buckeyes.
- Corey Davis, WR — Western Michigan
High-profile receiving target with great measurables and the talent to become a premier receiver at the next level.
- Forrest Lamp, OL — Western Kentucky
Highly-refined offensive line prospect with great technique that is a Day 1 starter and can play 10+ years in this league.
- Leonard Fournette, RB — LSU
Rare physical specimen with the ability to run through and wear down NFL defenses. I'm not convinced he's a three-down player until he improves his pass-catching ability.
- Malik McDowell, DL — Michigan State
Versatile defensive lineman with enormous talent, but scouts question his drive and effort. Reminds me a lot of former Denver Bronco and Baltimore Raven defender Trevor Pryce.
- Derek Barnett, DE — Tennessee
One of the best defensive end prospects to come out of the SEC in recent memory who amassed over 30 sacks in three seasons with the Volunteers.
- Haason Reddick, LB — Temple
Quiite possibly the NFL Draft's fastest riser, but an impressive athlete who could become an interesting defensive chess piece at the next level.
- Mitch Trubisky, QB — North Carolina
One-year wonder at quarterback for the Tar Heels who put on a passing clinic this past season. Has the physical and mental skills to develop into a top-tier player in the league, but will likely take a few years to realize his full potential.
- David Njoku, TE — Miami
Possesses impeccable size and speed with the ability to become a perennial Pro-Bowl player and one of the league's best receiving tight ends.
- Adoree' Jackson, CB — USC
Ballhawking talent with premier return skills who produced an uncanny number of turnovers and touchdowns with the Trojans.
- Chidobe Awuzie, CB — Colorado
Versatile defensive back who can play outside, inside and even the safety position and even excelled as a blitzer with the Buffs.
- Mike Williams, WR — Clemson
Big-bodied wide receiver who will be a mismatch in the red zone, but may lack the acceleration off the line of scrimmage to consistently beat press coverage.
- Jabrill Peppers, DB — Michigan
Jack-of-all-trades defender who could play a variety of roles for any defense. Also offers plus potential as a returner on special teams.
- Evan Engram, TE — Ole Miss
Classified as a tight end, but really a wide receiver who has the ability to be a mismatch and yard after the catch nightmare at the next level.
- Zach Cunningham, LB — Vanderbilt
Highly-athletic linebacker prospect who can play inside or out in any scheme. Best fit would be as an outside linebacker who is able to run-and-chase and make plays sideline-to-sideline.
- Budda Baker, S — Washington
Undersized defensive back who plays twice as big as he is and will be a steal and top-tier cover defender in the NFL for a very long time.
- John Ross, WR — Washington
Speed kills and Ross has a lot of it. He also has major durability concerns which may impact his overall stock, but his play-making prowess and ability to stretch defenses can't be ignored.
- Takkarist McKinnley, OLB — UCLA
Intriguing edge prospect who had a breakout senior season that is known for his ability to rush the passer and relentless motor.
- Jarrad Davis, LB — Florida
Plus athlete with elite play-making range. Injury concerns may drop him on some boards, but he flashes first-round talent when he is on the field.
- Charles Harris, OLB — Missouri
Solid pass rusher who can play in a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme, but needs to improve his ability to anchor against the run.
- Joe Mixon, RB — Oklahoma
Arguably the most talented offensive prospect eligible in this year's draft, but character concerns after hitting a woman may send his draft stock down the toilet. Some team is going to get a steal talent wise, but will have to play the public relations game soundly after selecting him.
- Tre'Davious White — LSU
Versatile corner who can play inside and out and offers the gift of a return on special teams.
- Gareon Conley, CB — Ohio State
Yet another athletic man coverage cornerback to come out of Ohio State with great ball skills and the ability to become a high-end starter for a team in desperate need of help in their secondary.
- Dorian Johnson, OG — Pittsburgh
Thick-bodied left guard who absolutely dominated college football and is a plug-and-play starter in the NFL.
- Pat Elflein, OL — Ohio State
Versatile interior lineman and leader of the Buckeye's offensive line who can contribute immediately as a rookie at center or guard.
- Ryan Ramcyzk, OT — Wisconsin
One-year wonder at offensive tackle for the Badgers who boasts solid skills and big-time upside. Medical and interview concerns drop him a bit down the board.
- DeShaun Watson, QB — Clemson
Highly-decorated and winning collegiate quarterback who passes the ultimate pressure tests. Isn't without faults, but has the leadership and grit to be a franchise QB.
- Zay Jones, WR — Eastern Carolina
NCAA record holder who always wants the ball in his hands. Can play any wide receiver position and is poised to make an immediate impact upon entering the league.
- Chris Godwin, WR — Penn State
Two-year starter who has speed to burn and the ability to beat defenses deep.
- Patrick Mahomes II, QB — Texas Tech
Gifted collegiate passer who put up ridiculous numbers and boasts a gunslinger's mentality some teams will absolutely fall in love with.
- Jordan Willis, OLB/DE — Kansas State
Lengthy hybrid player who has a knack for getting after the quarterback and disrupting plays in the backfield.
- Chris Wormley, DL — Michigan
Lunch-pail defensive lineman with the ability to play in a 4-3 or 3-4 scheme who also offers top-notch special teams abilities in regard to blocked kicks.
- Justin Evans, S — Texas A&M
Undersized safety prospect who has a knack for delivering the big hits and coming up with interceptions in the defensive secondary.
- Curtis Samuel, WR/RB — Ohio State
Speedy athlete who can play a versatile role for team's across the league. Should be a highly-coveted option for the Broncos in the second round.
- Dan Feeney, OG — Indiana
Smart and efficient tactician on the interior of the Hoosiers' offensive line who looks to be a ten-year starter at right guard.
- Juju Smith-Schuster, WR — USC
High-profile wide receiver who caught twenty touchdowns and had over 2,300 yards receiving the last two years of his career with the Trojans.
- Dion Dawkins, OL — Temple
Gigantic offensive line prospect who is likely better suited for the interior of the line as opposed to tackle in the pros.
- T.J. Watt, OLB — Wisconsin
One-year starter who has the ability to be a dynamic edge threat at the NFL level after a year of coaching and development.
- Taylor Moton, OL — Western Michigan
High-character offensive lineman who should have no problem being a high-end starter at right tackle or right guard for many years to come.
#LSU S Jamal Adams had ZERO penalties in 2016. Impressive stat that is overlooked.— Jared Tokarz (@NFLDraftInsider) April 20, 2017
Should be an amazing day for Temple’s Haason Reddick. Great story. One scout told me: "He’s the most complete defensive player in the draft"— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) April 27, 2017
Chidobe Awuzie in 2013: two-star DB on one of college football's worst defenses.— SB✯Nation CFB (@SBNationCFB) April 18, 2017
In 2017: potential NFL 1st-rounder https://t.co/rCb1eHt1ZR
A bit of a surprise, but I’m hearing #OleMiss TE Evan Engram is making a push to sneak into the 1st round. Could see three TEs in round 1.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 27, 2017
Dorian Johnson on the ACE block, washes 2i down, gets defender's hips turned to sideline, secures level 1 before working to LB. Pretty pic.twitter.com/vNcVgDPHmO— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) April 8, 2017
Zay Jones breaking the bejeezus out of Marcus Maye's ankles from the slot pic.twitter.com/rH8V5lTjzy— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) April 23, 2017
And in case you were wondering — no I'm not a fan of Garett Bolles. Which is why he is absent from my list of Top 50 prospects eligible for this year's NFL Draft. And yes, I'll be upset if the Broncos end up selecting him — and will be crushed if we move up and waste draft capital to acquire him.