College and pro football are right around the corner. Let’s get ready by counting down the top 50 pro prospects for the 2018 class.
# 40 Sam Hubbard, Edge, Ohio State
Hubbard came to Columbus as a DB (look it up for yourself if you don’t believe me) before being tried all over the defense. Sam eventually grew into and settled in as an edge rusher for Urban Meyer. What is even crazier is that Sam almost went to Notre Dame to play lacrosse before deciding to become a Buckeye to play football. I think he made the correct decision. Hubbard doesn’t have gaudy numbers and will be a part of a rotation that features other NFL prospects at DE this fall. With his 6’5 265 pound body, athleticism, and his high motor, the ceiling is very high for this prospect.
#39 Derrick Nnadi, DL, Florida State
There is a lot of NFL talent that will be featured on FSU’s defense this fall. Nnadi is the kind of interior player that can win playing different roles. He is a strong and powerful man who can be difficult to move off the ball. He also has the ability to penetrate and get into the backfield. Nnadi will try to build off an impressive JR year and match or improve on his 10.5 tackles for loss and his impressive 6 sacks.
#38 Dre’Mont Jones, DL, Ohio State
Jones enters his red-shirt sophomore season with a ton of potential. Dre’Mont had a solid season last year racking up 51 tackles for the Buckeyes. Jones will benefit from playing in a front 7 that is just impossible for offenses to key on one player to double team. Jones will need to continue to add some bulk to enjoy a long career inside on Sundays.
#37 Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
Denzell Ward is my sleeper pick going into the season as he seems to be falling under the radar across the country. Ohio State saw their top 3 defensive backs drafted in the first round last spring and will have to rebuild around Ward. Ward played in specific situations last fall and made the most of time.
#36 Armani Watts, S, Texas A&M
Watts was supposed to team up with former Aggie Justin Evans last fall to form the best safety tandem in college football. Unfortunately for Watts his season was plagued with injuries and he wasn’t able to deliver the season that everyone had hoped for. The good news for Texas A&M fans is that the injuries must have left a sour taste in Armani’s mouth and he decided to return to College Station for another season. When Watts is healthy he is always around the football and is a tackling machine. He will compete with the top safeties in this draft class.
#35 Bo Scarbrough, RB, Alabama
With the way that Bo was rumbling through defenses late in the season I am not convinced Alabama wouldn’t have been celebrating another championship had he not suffered an injury in the National Championship Game against Clemson. Scarbrough is a big back with wheels to break into the second level. Bo doesn’t have a huge sample size so we will need to prove he can stay productive and healthy. Alabama will feature a deep backfield this season but it isn’t out of the question to see Bo put up huge numbers this year and compete for the Heisman and a day 1 selection.
#34 Nick Chubb, RB, Georiga
I am more bullish on Nick Chubb than most and I am not appologizing. Had Chubb been eligible to enter the draft after his freshmen season where he scored 14 touchdowns, ran for 1,547 yards, and posted a 7.1 yards per carry he would have been a top 10 pick. Nick got his sophomore season off to a good start as he seemed to pick up where he left off the year before. Chubb picked up an unfortunate knee injury, however. Chubb had an impressive season last year racking up 1,130 yards and 8 touchdowns and will take advantage of having a full off-season after spending last off-season re-habbing. Chubb will split carries with fellow senior Sony Michel.
#33 Jerome Baker, LB, Ohio State
Baker will line up as a WLB for Ohio State this year. He has the speed that some safeties would be envious of. Baker has a nose for the ball and it showed in his stat line last fall as he posted 83 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 9.5 tackles for loss, and an impressive 2 interceptions. Baker will take advantage of the other NFL talent around him and could supply even better numbers this year.
#32 Quenton Nelson, OG Notre Dame
There was speculation that Nelson’s JR season would be his last at Notre Dame. Irish fans should be estatic that Nelson decided to return and team up with OT Mike Mcglinchey to form the best left side in college football. Nelson is a big man and a solid player without any glaring weaknesses. Nelson excels in pass blocking and last time I checked the NFL is a a passing league.
#31 Da’Shawn Hand, DL, Alabama
Hand was part of a deep and talented rotation last year for the Crimson Tide. Hand hasn’t put up gaudy pass rush numbers in his career but who would when you’re racing the likes of Tim Williams and Jonathan Allen to the backfield. Hand is a very thick and strong man that is going to be a bear to push off the line. Hand will line up in Alabama’s heralded 3-4 at end which will probably be his optimal NFL position as well. Questions about a July DUI arrest will have to be answered.