With the 2017 NFL draft now less than two weeks away, we’ve been working tirelessly trying to piece together our Big Boards. Finally, they’re set.
These aren’t to be confused with “Bills-centric” Big Boards. They’re just how we rank the Top 25 prospects in this draft.
Dan Lavoie’s 2017 NFL Draft Big Board
1. Myles Garrett - With size, athleticism and production on his side, as well as a genuinely good character, he's the most can't-miss prospect in this draft.
2. Malik Hooker - Safeties with elite range and ball skills in the NFL are extremely rare. Hooker only started playing football as a high school junior, but his natural talents and instincts have developed him into a top prospect.
3. Solomon Thomas - Thomas has incredibly violent hands, great timing and placement. An excellent athlete, the only knock would be his short arms.
4. Marshon Lattimore - With excellent man coverage skills and athletic talent, Lattimore may be the best pure cornerback prospect since Patrick Peterson. The only concern is a history of hamstring injuries.
5. Jonathan Allen - A technician who always gives 100 percent effort. He's a DL/ER tweener at 6'3" 286, but has enough strength and speed to convince doubters in either position.
6. Jamal Adams - The complete package at safety, with size, strength and speed, an emotional leader, an intelligent general. He’d be my #1 safety, but I think that Hooker’s combination of size, elite range, and elite ball skills is even rarer. And arguably, more valuable.
7. O.J. Howard - Best straight-up tight end prospect in this draft, and probably the best “sure thing” at the position since Vernon Davis was in the draft. Size, athleticism, blocking ability, and receiving potential.
8. Leonard Fournette - Combines legit long speed with outstanding power in the open field. Can subtly dodge defenders in a small area. His 2016 season was hampered with a nagging ankle injury.
9. Corey Davis - Outstanding production from year one. Size, ball skills, yards after catch. More than most receivers I see, Davis is a receiver with the "IT" factor.
10. DeShone Kizer - Excellent pocket presence. Showed glimpses of ability to anticipate throws. Arm talent is a plus. Needs to improve his accuracy on throws where the timing is off.
11. Reuben Foster - A great athlete, with outstanding instincts in the run game. Misses his fair share of tackles. Was great when tested in coverage, but had a tendency to bite on play action.
12. Mitchell Trubisky - Possesses natural poise, arm precision, pocket navigation skills, and an aggressive attitude as a passer. The upside is clear.
13. Marlon Humphrey - The best run defending cornerback in the draft, and developing into an excellent man coverage corner. Has decent chops in zone coverage too.
14. Christian McCaffery - What a boss. McCaffrey combines speed, agility, acceleration, vision, and above all else, integrated technique, into a Heisman-winning, game-breaking, team-leading superback.
15. Haason Reddick - I was impressed with Reddick’s overall football sense and vision while watching him play. He’s not just an athlete. He looks like a smaller version of Jamie Collins.
16. David Njoku - In Njoku I see the player we all wished Eric Ebron could’ve been. An elite athlete with rare hand-eye coordination, and steadily improving blocking technique.
17. Jabrill Peppers - If you go back and watch his 2015 tape, you see Peppers in a different role: He’s a slot defender, a hybrid “big nickel” type who’s running with tight ends and slot receivers in coverage. His athleticism pops, he’s physical and aggressive with his arms, and while he has challenges locating the ball at the catch point, his coverage upside is clear.
18. Malik McDowell - A fantastic combo of size and athletic ability, he's been dogged by late-season performances where his effort sagged.
19. Gareon Conley - Fast and fluid corner, with very long arms. At his best in zone coverage, where he can play off, watch the quarterback, and bait him into throwing up a dangerous pass
20. Cam Robinson - A mauler in the run game who improved dramatically as a pass-protector in his junior season. Very reminiscent of Cordy Glenn.
21. Carl Lawson - Lawson is a great athlete who could win most one-on-one matchups and cover shallow zones. He missed a season and a half earlier in his career with injuries, but has been healthy the past two years.
22. Garrett Bolles - A plus athlete for the position, with great torso strength and power in his hands. Overaged, will be 25 as a rookie.
23. Tim Williams - Williams combines serpentine fluidity with an excellent burst and well-honed creativity to be a handful for any offensive lineman. On paper, there are more questions. Williams reportedly failed multiple drug tests during his time at Alabama.
24. Patrick Mahomes - The talent inherent is obvious. He can potentially be a game-changer. And he seems to have the requisite drive to get there. The question is if he can realize that potential, or if he’ll be shoehorned into an NFL scheme that limits his abilities.
25. Kevin King - King combines outstanding length with elite athletic abilities. He has the potential of an outstanding cover corner. Someone teach this guy how to tackle, because that may be the only thing holding him back from greatness.
Just missing are Forrest Lamp, Carl Lawson, and George Kittle
Chris Trapasso’s 2017 NFL Draft Big Board
1. Myles Garrett - Checks all the boxes. Size, length, athleticism, pass-rushing moves, major college production. Still 21.
2. O.J. Howard - Amazing blocking ability is actually outweighed by his springy athletic talents, size, and receiver-like smoothness as a runner in space.
3. Solomon Thomas - Best arsenal of pass-rushing moves in this draft class. Fine athlete. Some low-motor plays each game “dropped” him to No. 3. Can play anywhere on the defensive line. Best inside.
4. Jonathan Allen - He and Thomas are so similar as prospects. Refined pass-rushing moves. Significant burst upfield. Impressive production. Will shoulders be an recurring issue in the NFL?
5. Reuben Foster - Missile. Flies around the field on every snap. Quick play-recognition skills. Three-down linebacker who’ll instantly make a defensive better, tougher, and more athletic. Maturity concerns?
6. Malik Hooker - In his prime Jairus Byrd / Earl Thomas type of range to the sideline from center field. Reads quarterbacks well and quick to react. Great size. Enormous hands. Plus ball skills. Can make big hit vs. run or on crossing routes but some whiffs occur.
7. Mike Williams - Box out, power-forward wide receiver with polished, high-pointing ability. 6’4”, 215. Deceptive wiggle in space. Awesome body control. Wins on sideline and over the middle.
8. Corey Davis - Yards-after-the-catch stud. Good size and athleticism. Incredibly productive all four years in college. Flashes high-pointing ability. Quality routes. Well-rounded wideout.
9. Obi Melifonwu - Most athletic player in this draft class. Enormous at 6’4” and 224 pounds. Thuds vs. run and has the speed and length to disrupt passes down the field. Good range as free safety.
10. Tre'Davious White - Squeaky clean corner who excelled at LSU for four seasons. Well-versed in man and zone coverage. Broke up 34 passes in college. Handles himself decently well vs. run. Not very limited as an athlete.
11. Haason Reddick - Athleticism of a safety or linebacker but played defensive end at Temple and got better every year. Actually more impactful as an off-ball linebacker. Relentless motor. Super-charged speed across the field. Somewhat undersized but a career overachiever.
12. Zach Cunningham - Do-it-all, three-down linebacker. Sheds blocks. Covers well. Engulfs runners due to 6’3” frame with nearly 35” arms. Delivers a big pop on contact. Could be a tick faster and clean up a few missed tackles.
13. Marcus Williams - Best range at safety in this class behind Hooker. Not 21 years old until September. Had 10 picks in last two years (five each season). Explosive athlete with 43.5” vert and twitchy agility. Not a thudder but rarely misses tackles. Occasional bad angle on outside runs.
14. Evan Engram - Wide receiver in tight end’s body. Thrives after the catch because of speed, elusiveness, and deceptive strength. Showed high-pointing ability. Needs work as a blocker.
15. Gareon Conley - Three years of experience at Ohio State. Nice size at 6’0”, 195. Long, 33” arms. Bouncy athlete with sub 4.50 speed. Plays the ball in the air like a receiver. Some run-stopping mishaps. Can play in man or zone with ease.
16. Forrest Lamp - Brick wall who’s as good of a pass protector as he is blocking for the run. Can play any offensive line spot. Quick feet, powerful punch.
17. Joe Mixon - Off-field concerns are serious. On the field, the most electric combination of speed, vision, burst, lateral agility, and receiving ability of any running back in this class.
18. Jamal Adams - Always in the right spot on defense. Directs teammates. Springy athlete. Not many game-changing plays. Will throw his weight around vs. run. Can play any secondary spot.
19. Marshon Lattimore - Man-to-man cornerback with sound mirroring skills and speed down the field. Good size. Plus athlete. Hamstring issues popped up often in college.
20. Chidobe Awuzie - Four-year play-maker for Colorado. Smaller frame. Experienced route-reader. Smooth athlete. Blitzes extremely well. Willing tackler. Fine in zone or man, even from the slot.
21. Dalvin Cook - Handled huge workout at Florida State. Effortlessly makes defenders miss at second level. Solid receiver. Burst at third level of the defense allows him to hit home runs. Poor combine is worrisome. Off-field issues?
22. Christian McCaffrey - Vision is elite. As is elusiveness. Comfortable as a receiver. Can run inside the tackles with a good deal of success. Aced the combine.
23. Cordrea Tankersley - Press man cornerback. Tall and long athlete. Keen awareness with ball in the air. Plenty of experience against top competition. Not the best combine.
24. Deshaun Watson - Proved himself against premier defenses in college. Can make every throw. Anticipatory throws are in his arsenal. Will look off safeties. Decisive in pocket. Flashes superb downfield accuracy, but there were some misses there. Good running ability. Had some communication issues in final season. Comes from limited offense.
25. Mitchell Trubisky - Nice pocket drifting. Rhythm passer underneath and at intermediate levels. Similar to Watson downfield and as a runner. Only 13 career starts.