# 30 Marcus Allen, S, Penn State
If you are watching Penn State on defense this fall and can’t find the ball just look for #2. Allen has the size, experience, and production that will be attractive for a team looking for a plug and play safety to add to their defensive backfield. Allen doesn’t have off the charts athleticism but looks to be a solid starter at the next level.
#29 James Washington WR, Oklahoma State
James Washington could be a sleeper Heisman candidate going into the season. He has now posted back to back 1,000 yard recieving seasons and has scored 26 touchdown receptions in his career. Washington is a lethal deep threat that also has good size. While his numbers may be inflated because he has had one of college football’s premier QBs and plays in a pass-happy system Washington is a WR that will play on Sundays.
#28 Cameron Smith, LB, USC
USC will mix up their defensive front to keep offenses guessing. Whether they line up in a 34, 43, or a 52 Cameron Smith will be on the field. Smith has the size, toughness, and coverage ability to play the strong side. He has the sideline to sideline speed, tackling ability, and instincts to line up inside as well. Cameron tallied 83 tackles last year and racked up 7 tackles behind the line of scrimmage showing his ability to attack the ball.
#27 Jaire Alexander,CB, Louisville
Alexander broke out in his frist year as a full-time starter for the Cardinals. He is a playmaker with a nose for the football. Jaire plays bigger than the size listed in your program. He is the type of corner that can play in your hip pocket and keep the football off his side of the field. Alexander is an excellent return man as well.
#26 Vita Vea, DL, Washington
The Huskies lost a lot of talent on the defensive side of the ball to the NFL last spring. Vea returns to anchor the defensive line. Vea is a very big man that moves very well for his size. I expect to see Vea moved around the line to take advantage of mismatches this fall as he has the girth to line up over the center, the quickness to be a factor over the guard, and the length to disrupt passes while rushing from the edge. Vita contributed a respective 5 sacks last year. Expect bigger numbers this year.
#25 Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State
I have seen some mock drafts projecting Rudolph to go very early in the first round including a couple examples where he lands in the top 5. While I am not there, personally on my analysis, I can understand why others might be. The statistical production for Rudolph is pretty incredible. His size, efficiency, and accuracy also jump off the tape as well. Rudolph will enjoy throwing to another first round prospect in WR James Washington. This combination will certainly drive defensive coordinators nuts. Rudolph does not have elite arm strength and doesn’t have the mobility to fit into every offense.
#24 Josh Sweat, DE, Florida State
On more than one occasion I would tune into a FSU game last fall to scout some of the talent on Florida State’s defense and ended up noticing Sweat the most. He has elite length at 6’5 and uses it well. He was part of a rotation last year but I expect Sweat to become a more feared pass rusher this year as he will be featured on the defense. He will be lining up against some NFL talent at OT this season so he will have plenty of opportunity to prove himself.
#23 Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M
Christian Kirk is one of the more difficult players for me to place going into the season. He doesn’t have elite size and isn’t a guy that is going to win a lot of jump balls. When Kirk has the ball in his hands, however, big things happen. Kirk is a speed WR capable of taking the top off the defense opening the field up for the offense. Kirk is also the kind of WR that you want to get the ball to in shorter routes as he has the elite agility and breakaway speed. The Aggies graduated a lot of quality options at WR last year that kept some attention off of Kirk. Not only will Kirk have to prove that he can be as productive while getting more attention from opponents but he will also need to do so with questions at the QB position at College Station.
#22 Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma
When you have the lenght and girth that Orlando Brown possesses you could get by with little athleticism. Brown, at 6’8 and 360 pounds, actually happens to move very well for a man his size. Brown is not a complete prospect as his technique and leverage will need development. Brown isn’t a stranger to the penalty flag either which is something that he will need to show immediate improvements on. Brown will lead the Sooner offensive line who returns all 5 starters this year. Orlando has a chance to be a special player at either LT or RT in the NFL.
#21 Martinas Rankin, OT, Mississippi State
Projecting Rankin this high is assuming that he will be able to put together a full and consistent season this fall. After going through some growing pains and adjusting to the SEC competition early in the year, Rankin came on strong to finish his JR campaign. Martinas certainly has the look and build of someone that can protect the blindside. He has excellent length at 6’5 and has quick feet. Rankin took some reps out of need at C this off-season showing his versatility.