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D. Led’s Top 100: Best Player Available


With the draft quickly approaching, the boards around the NFL are set.

There will be some maneuvering. If there is trade, like last season’s blockbuster between the Rams and the Titans for the top pick, that could alter things in the draft, which is set for April 27-29 in Philadelphia.

“You definitely need to stack it as you’re picking first overall,” Rams general manager Les Snead said. “That helps you figure out who might be there at 37.”

The Rams don’t have a first-round pick this season.

“But it is advantageous to start at one and get to your second and third and fourth (rounds) so it helps you map it out and be more efficient,” Snead said.

Former Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson is the top experienced quarterback in the draft. Some NFL personnel men like former North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky better.

“All of these quarterbacks have issues going (into the draft),” ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper said. “”Trubisky is a one-year starter. He needs some time. Watson has accuracy issues. He got settled late in the year, but the accuracy issues are still there. (Texas Tech’s Patrick) Mahomes comes out of a system that hasn’t played well in the transition to the NFL.”

The draft is better for teams, such as San Diego or New Orleans, who can develop a talent behind a veteran quarterback.

“All of those quarterbacks have issues about why they won’t be immediate hole-fillers or immediate standouts at the quarterback position,” Kiper said.

Evaluating quarterbacks has been tough in the NFL.

“To me, when it comes down to a quarterback, it is competitiveness and it is toughness,” said John Elway, Denver’s executive vice president of football operations/general manager. “It’s mental toughness because it is a tough game and it is a tough position.”

The most intriguing athlete in the draft is Michigan’s all-purpose player Jabrill Peppers.

Peppers worked out with the linebackers and the defensive backs at the scouting combine. He also played some running back and option quarterback for the Wolverines. He even returned kicks and punts in college.

“We want to evaluate a player like him, because we did the same thing with Shaq Thompson,” Carolina coach Ron Rivera said. “We had everybody talking to us like, ‘Oh he’s a special teams player,’ to ‘he’s a running back, he’s a safety, he’s a linebacker.’ But we looked at him and thought, ‘where would he best fit us?’ For us it was the linebacker position.”

Peppers believes he’s an NFL safety.

“When you look at Peppers, you look at what he does, wow,” Rivera said. “Here’s a guy that gives you some safety traits. Here’s a guy that can probably come down in the box like a nickel, come down in the box like a linebacker. And if you ever really did need it, you can put him on the offensive side as well.

“He’s got a lot of special-teams value. So you have to really break it down to how does he fit you, and what other special traits he (gives to) the rest of the football team.”

After interviewing several NFL personnel executives, coaches and scouts, here’s our list of the top 100 players in the upcoming draft:

D. LED’S TOP 100: Best Player Available

1. Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M

2. Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson

3. Jonathan Allen, DT, Alabama

4. Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State

5. Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State

6. O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama

7. Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU

8. Tim Williams, LB, Alabama

9. Jamal Adams, S, LSU

10. Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford

11. Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama

12. Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State

13. Mike Williams, WR, Clemson

14. Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee

15. Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina

16. Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama

17. Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan

18. Sidney Jones, CB, Washington*

19. Garett Bolles, OT, Utah

20. Charles Harris, DE, Missouri

21. John Ross, WR, Washington

22. Jabrill Peppers, FS, Michigan

23. Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama

24. Tim Williams, LB, Alabama

25. Takkarist McKinley, DE, UCLA

26. Hassan Reddick, DE, Temple

27. Taco Charlton, LB, Michigan

28. Ryan Ramcyk, OT, Wisconsin

29. Dan Feeney, OG, Indiana

30. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford

31. David Njoku, TE, Miami

32. Caleb Brantley, DT, Florida

33. Kevin King, CB, Washington

34. Forrest Lamp, OL, Western Kentucky

35. T.J. Watt, LB, Wisconsin

36. Carl Lawson, DE, Auburn

37. Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt

38. Evan Engram, TE Mississippi

39. Deshone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame

40. Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU

41. Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech

42. Tarell Basham, DE, Ohio

43. Budda Baker, S, Washington

44. Curtis Samuel, RB, Ohio State

45. Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida

46. Duke Riley, CB, LSU

47. Joe Mixon, RB, Oklahoma

48. Jake Butt, TE, Michigan

49. Antonio Garcia, OT, Troy

50. Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State

51. Teez Tabor, CB, Florida

52. Obi Melifonwu, S, Connecticut

53. Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State

54. Fabian Moreau, CB, UCLA

55. Chad Hansen, WR, California

56. Jordan Willis, DE, Kansas State

57. Jourdan Lewis, CB, Michigan

58. Davis Webb, QB, California

59. Alvin Kamara, RB, Tennessee

60. Chidobe Awuzie, CB, Colorado

61. Roderick Johnson, OT, Florida State

62. Quincy Wilson, S, Florida

63. ArDarius Stewart, WR, Alabama

64. Marcus Williams, S, Utah

65. Cordrea Tankersley, CB, Clemson

66. Josh Jones, S, N.C. State

67. Cooper Kupp, DT, Eastern Washington

68. Gerald Everett, TE, South Alabama

69. Taylor Moton, OT, Western Michigan

70. Ethan Pocic, OL, LSU

71. Larry Oguniobi, DL, Charlotte

72. Chris Wormley, DL, Michigan

73. Adam Sheehan, TE, Ashland

74. Derek Rivers, DE, Youngstown State

75. Dion Dawkins, OG, Temple

76. Tanoh Kpassagnon, DE, Villanova

77. Chris Godwin, WR, Penn State

78. Pat Elflein, C, Ohio State

79. Carlos Henderson, WR, Louisiana Tech

80. Desmond King, S, Iowa

81. Adoree Jackson, CB, USC

82. Marcus Maye, S, Florida

83. Ryan Anderson, LB, Alabama

84. Zay Jones, WR, East Carolina

85. JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, USC

86. Justin Evans, SS, Texas A&M

87. Raekwon McMillan, LB, Ohio State

88. Tedric Thompson, FS, Colorado

89. Daeshon Hall, DE, Texas A&M

90. Dorian Johnson, OG, Pittsburgh

91. Samaje Perine, RB, Oklahoma

92. Dalvin Tomlinson, DT, Alabama

93. Jordan Leggett, TE, Clemson

94. Isaac Asiata, OG, Utah

95. Dawuane Smoot, DE, Illinois

96. Kendell Beckwith, LB, LSU

97. Jaleel Johnson, DT, Iowa

98. Shaquill Griffin, CB, Central Florida

99. DeMarcus Walker, DE, Florida State

100. Joshua Dobbs, QB, Tennessee



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