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.
#10 Harold Landry, Edge, Boston College
There doesn’t seem to be as much love for Harold Landry as an NFL prospect as there probably should be. All he did last year was record a NCAA high 16.5 sacks last season playing in the ACC. He is listed at 6’3 and will play around 250 pounds making him a candidate to play as a 34 edge linebacker or to continue playing DE as he will at Boston College. Landry is a complete player that can play in any situation. He makes the entire Boston College defense better and he will be a nice piece for an NFL franchise as well. He may have a tough time matching the crazy sack numbers he put up last year but with another productive season you will start seeing more top 10 projections like this one.
#9 Minkah Fitzpatrick, S, Alabama
If you ask 5 different people what position Minkah Fitzpatrick best projects to on Sundays you might get 5 different answers. They will all tell you, however, that he can be a star. Minkah lined up primarily at CB opposite Marlon Humphrey last season until starting FS Eddie Jackson went down with a season ending injury. Nick Saban asks a lot of the position in terms of sorting coverages. Alabama hardly seemed to miss a beat with Fitzpatrick filling in. Fitzpatrick has the size, speed, and technique to match up with the nation’s top WRs when lined up at CB. He was often asked to drop in from the safety spot to cover the slot as well so he has experience playing both inside and outside. When he is lined up at safety Fitzpatrick shows his understanding for the game and has excellent field awareness. He is absolutely a ball hawk that covers a lot of real estate. He has intercepted 6 passes over his first 2 seasons in Tuscaloosa scoring on 4 of them. Unlike a lot of converted cover corners Minkah is not a liability against the run.
#8 Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
I have read a lot of reports suggesting that Guice may end up being a better NFL prospect than his predecessor Leonard Fournette. I’m going to disagree-for now at least. With that said, I get it. Guice is an electric running back who can break a game open with every touch. He is at his best when he is in the open field. He has a combination of speed, elusiveness, agility, and vision that is very rare. Derrius runs with quality balance and has some surprising pop or power through contact. Like Fournette, Guice has better hands as a receiver than he is probably given credit for. The statistics speak for themselves. In 2016 ran for almost 1,400 yards and ran for 15 touchdowns spelling and filling in for the injured Fournette. It is not a split backfield this year and Guice will have a great opportunity to show the world that he is up for challenge.
#7 Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
I’m not certain that had Josh Allen declared for the 2017 NFL Draft that he wouldn’t have been the first QB off the board. If he was picked last year that high it would have been more based on potential than polish. Josh has size comparable to Cam Newton and has above average mobility in and out of the pocket. There is absolutely no throw the young man is not capable of throwing as he has a cannon of an arm. Consistency is where Allen has his greatest opportunity to improve. His completion percentage was very pedestrian for a top prospect like Allen. Allen is still maturing as a QB and will have to limit his unforced errors and improve his accuracy and decision making. Josh will never be able to answer concerns of playing against a lower level of competition in the Mountain West but that hasn’t stopped teams from drafting a QB high (see Carson Wentz).Even after another year of school Allen might not be a complete prospect but he will be one with a ceiling that is higher than an above average NFL starter.
#6 Christian Wilkins, DL, Clemson
While Christian Wilkins may not be the top DT on Clemson, as super-sophomore Dexter Lawrence makes excellent competition, he is easily my top-ranked preseason draft eligible DT in college football. Clemson seems to be constantly providing the NFL with first-round talent on the defensive line. Wilkins does it all. He has excellent size and athleticism. His sack numbers are not where you would expect them to be with how consistent he finds himself in the backfield. While he might not take the QB down as often as you would hope, he is a playmaker on the Clemson defense. He tallied 13 tackles for loss last season and added 9 batted balls. He sniffs out the ball carrier very well and has averaged 70 tackles per season which would be solid even for a LB.