PFF Draft Board 2.0: Top 100 NFL prospects
Joey Bosa and DeForest Buckner remain firmly on top, as Steve Palazzolo and the analysis team compile PFF's second draft board of the season.
PFF Draft Board 2.0: Top 100 NFL prospects
The second iteration of the PFF Draft Board expands the list to 100 players, as our player evaluations continue to evolve leading up to the draft. We have two full years of grading on every player in the FBS, and that will always be the guiding light in our process, but the re-evaluation of each player’s strengths and weaknesses and how those fit into the NFL are vital when piecing together each player’s value.
With positional value taken into consideration, here is the second version of the PFF Draft Board.
- Joey Bosa, Edge, Ohio State
The best player in the draft has been the nation’s top edge against the run while ranking first and second as a pass rusher each of the last two seasons.
- DeForest Buckner, Defensive Interior, Oregon
Similar to Bosa, Buckner was the most productive interior defensive lineman by a wide margin. He’s a playmaker against the run and able to get into the backfield as a pass rusher.
- Jalen Ramsey, CB/S, Florida State
The biggest question about Ramsey is where he plays in the NFL, but his versatility should make him a solid option at either cornerback or safety, He put together two strong years of grades despite playing at free safety, in the slot, and outside cornerback.
- Jared Goff, QB, Cal
The top-graded QB in the nation this season after ranking eighth a year ago, Goff’s combination of pocket presence, toughness under pressure, and downfield accuracy make him the top option.
- Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss
With six strong games under his belt in 2015, we’d like to see a larger sample size of dominant play, but Tunsil is an explosive run blocker and he handled an impressive slate of edge rushers to allow only five pressures on the year.
- Myles Jack, LB, UCLA
Our top coverage linebacker in 2015, Jack played only 207 snaps in 2015 due to injury. He’s versatile enough to move around the formation while holding his own in coverage and he’s powerful when attacking blocks in the run game.
- Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State
There’s some projection to Wentz’s game, but the raw tools are impressive. While his timing isn’t always on point in the passing game, he has the big arm and athleticism to mask that inexperience as he grows.
- Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
The best all-around running back in the draft and perhaps the nation, Elliott boasted the top run grade in the class in 2014 and then led the nation as a blocker in 2015. His ability to run, catch, and block will put him on the field early and often.
- Sheldon Rankins, Defensive Interior, Louisville
With two straight years of dominant play, Rankins can play a number of positions along the defensive front, attacking blockers in the run game while providing a strong pass rush. He has only two negatively-graded games in our two seasons of data.
- Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor
Whether creating separation before the catch or yards after it, Coleman’s athleticism stands out on the field. He has the ability to make plays at all levels of the field.
- Josh Doctson, WR, TCU
Our top-graded WR before going down to injury last season, Doctson routinely makes incredible catches, turning off-target throws into big plays. That downfield ability makes him one of the most exciting playmakers in the draft.
- Shaq Lawson, Edge, Clemson
The second-best all around edge behind Bosa, Lawson is strong on the edge in the run game while posting the number eight pass rushing grade in the class.
- Chris Jones, Defensive Interior, Mississippi State
The power is the first thing that stands out, and it was put to good use as Jones ranked fourth in the nation among interior defensive linemen at +54.2. He can move blockers at the point of attack and push the pocket, and he still has room to grow as a player.
- Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State
A power scheme is ideal for Conklin who moves defenders at the point of attack while holding up well in pass protection. His two-year body of work is right up there with any offensive tackle in the nation on a snap-for-snap basis.
- Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
One of the most consistent pass protecting tackles in the nation, Stanley should carry that to the next level while his run-blocking is sufficient in the right scheme.
- William Jackson III, CB, Houston
The second-best coverage grade in the draft class, Jackson is an aggressive, good-sized corner who will contest a lot of catches and make plays on the defensive side. He has the size and deep speed to develop into a number one corner.
- Cody Whitehair, G, Kansas State
After ranking fourth in the nation among offensive tackles in 2014 and first in 2015, Whitehair is projected to move to guard at the next level, something we saw during Senior Bowl week. He acquitted himself well, and he has the potential to be the next successful tackle to guard convert in the NFL.
- Mackenzie Alexander, CB, Clemson
Trapped in a Clemson defensive scheme that hung him out to dry with a lot of soft, off-coverage, Alexander may be a far better pro player than he was in college. Has all the traits of a top, shutdown corner.
- Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida
In 2014 Hargreaves posted the best coverage grade we have seen from this draft class across two seasons of college tape. Didn’t repeat it in 2015 but still shows a lot of impressive tape and ball skills. Only negative is size.
- Leonard Floyd, Edge, Georgia
Floyd could dabble as an outside linebacker in the NFL just as he did last year in college, but his size and athleticism are best used rushing off the edge where his +28.9 pass rushing grade ranked fifth among the edge rushers in the class.
- Jarran Reed, Defensive Interior, Alabama
With our second-best grade against the run in 2015, Reed is rarely moved at the point of attack and he knows how to shed in make plays, as indicated by his nation-leading run stop percentage of 13.4 percent. He can play nose tackle, but also looks the part of a 3-4 defensive end if needed.
- Andrew Billings, Defensive Interior, Baylor
One of the strongest players in the draft, Billings is stout at the point of attack and perhaps the best nose tackle option in the draft. He was also got after the quarterback among the best in the country the past two seasons.
- Shilique Calhoun, Edge, Michigan State
No edge rusher had a better pass rushing grade than Calhoun in 2015, and he was strong in that department in 2014 as well. He’s not nearly as stout against the run, but did show that he can be productive in the run game in 2014.
- Sterling Shepard, WR, Oklahoma
Our top-graded wide receiver in 2015, Shepard combines nifty route running with underrated downfield ball skills. Even though most of his work is done from the slot, he has the quickness to produce and validate his standing at the top of the draft.
- Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
While he doesn’t create the same kind of separation you’d like to see from a top wide receiver prospect, Treadwell is strong, though inconsistent, at the catch point and good with the ball in his hands after the catch.
- Robert Nkemdiche, Defensive Interior, Ole Miss
Perhaps the most disruptive interior pass rusher in the draft, Nkemdiche has some questions about his ideal fit, but he’s gotten after the quarterback the last two seasons and he improved greatly against the run in 2015.
- Jaylon Smith, LB, Notre Dame
Injury aside, Smith’s athleticism stands out and it often shows when in coverage and as a pass rusher. He’s not bad in the run game, though he’s not as strong at the point of attack as other linebackers in the class. If healthy, Smith has a chance to be a three-down playmaker at the next level.
- Reggie Ragland, LB, Alabama
While some of the other linebackers are stronger in certain areas, Ragland is solid across the board. He can work downhill in the running game, and his ability to hold up in coverage and create pressure should make him a third-down chess piece at the next level.
- Leonte Carroo, WR, Rutgers
A good combination of speed and separation skills, Carroo was incredibly productive on only 363 snaps last season averaging 4.11 yards per route to lead all FBS receivers.
- Sheldon Day, Defensive Interior, Notre Dame
Disruption is the name of the game for Day who excels at shooting gaps, though he could stand to finish better. His overall grade ranked second behind only Buckner among interior defensive linemen in 2015.
- Michael Thomas, WR, Ohio State
Production took a hit due to inconsistent quarterback play, but Thomas knows how to get open and he was a big-play threat when targeted.
- Hunter Henry, TE, Arkansas
Few tight ends can work the middle of the field like Henry who has averaged 14.3 yards/reception over the last two years. He’s only dropped two of his 90 catchable targets during that time.
- Jonathan Bullard, DI, Florida
Our top-graded run defender on the interior in 2015, Bullard is excellent at recognizing blocks, disrupting schemes and making plays. He doesn’t have a clean positional home, but has the versatility to play all along the defensive line.
- Noah Spence, Edge, Eastern Kentucky
We have little information about Spence, but the upside was evident at the Senior Bowl when he dominated practice and carried it into the game. Even though he may not do much as a run defender, Spence’s burst off the edge and pass rush potential is the best in the class.
- Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State
A press man corner who made need a compass to find the football, Apple can stick with receivers as well as anyone in the class, though zone-heavy teams may not be interested.
- Emmanuel Ogbah, Edge, Oklahoma State
A one-dimensional player in 2015, Ogbah boasted the No. 3 pass rush grade among all edge rushers, though he settled in around average against the run. The potential is there to improve in that department but it may limit his usage early on.
- Rashard Higgins, WR, Colorado State
Higgins posted a huge grade (+32.0) in 2014, and while that dropped to +22.7 this year, there’s still a lot to like about the Colorado State playmaker. He dropped just three of the 78 catchable passes thrown his way in 2015 and he may be the best route runner in the draft class.
- Austin Johnson, Defensive Interior, Penn State
Boasting the No. 3 run-stopping grade in the nation in 2015, Johnson beats blockers with quick hands to disrupt the backfield and that bodes well for his upside as a pass rusher. His skills were on display with a strong week at the Senior Bowl.
- Vernon Butler, Defensive Interior, Louisiana Tech
Butler has put together two straight years of strong work against the run while improving his pass rush grade to 15th in the class on the strength of a bull rush that made up 40 percent of his pressures.
- Su’a Cravens, S/LB, USC
A safety/linebacker hybrid, Cravens attacks blocks in the running game and makes plays in the passing game. The NFL will find a spot for him as the difference between linebackers and strong safeties shrinks every year.
- Scooby Wright III, LB, Arizona
Few linebackers possess Wright’s instincts and block-shedding ability, and he looks like a plus run defender in the NFL if he’s healthy. The question for Wright is his athleticism in space, but we’ve seen other linebackers stay productive with similar concerns.
- Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama
Kelly posted good, not great, grades over the last two years, but he projects as a starting NFL center on the strength of a powerful run-blocking base that should work in any scheme. The NFL offensive line coaches we’ve spoken too all love his game.
- Adolphus Washington, Defensive Interior, Ohio State
Another strong all-around player, Washington is stout at the point of attack, but strong and quick enough to blow up plays as well. His +32.0 pass rush grade ranked third in the nation and he was strong in the run game.
- Karl Joseph, S, West Virginia
Before going down to injury after only 240 snaps in 2015, Joseph had the fifth-highest grade in the country as he showed off his playmaking skills while playing multiple coverages in West Virginia’s defense. He’s a versatile safety that is just as comfortable playing in the box as he is in deep center field.
- A’Shawn Robinson, Defensive Interior, Alabama
Rarely moved in the run game, Robinson played well within Alabama’s scheme and he projects as a similar, run-stopping 3-4 defensive end at the next level. The question is whether or not he can provide enough pass rush to warrant a high pick after two pedestrian seasons in that department.
- Michael Thomas, WR, Southern Miss
Playing bigger than his 6-foot-1 frame, Thomas caught a higher percentage of contested catches than the other top receivers in the class while ranking ninth in the nation with 2.98 yards/route.
- Jerell Adams, TE, South Carolina
Adams is a strong run blocker on the edge, while showing some wiggle at the top of routes, both on tape and during Senior Bowl practice. He’s the best all-around tight end in the draft.
- Devin Lucien, WR, Arizona State
A player that doesn’t seem to be getting the credit he deserves at this stage, he had the fifth highest receiving grade in games against Power-5 opponents in this draft class. He wasn’t quite dominant in college, but did everything well and showcased a safe pair of hands, dropping just three of the 69 catchable passes thrown his way.
- Joshua Perry, LB, Ohio State
There’s little flash to Perry’s game, but he does everything well whether fitting against the run, dropping into coverage or tackling. He’s missed only nine tackles on over 200 attempts the last two years.
- Kenny Clark, Defensive Interior, UCLA
Another strong interior defensive lineman, Clark is excellent at feeling and defeating all types of blocks — a big reason he was the No. 2 interior defensive lineman against the run in 2014. He took a slight step back in that area in 2015, but added more pass rush to his game.
- Jeremy Cash, S/LB, Duke
Similar to Cravens, Cash attacks blockers with a vengeance, whether playing the run where he led all safeties with a +20.4 grade or as a pass rusher where he also led at +13.9. He’s yet another safety/linebacker hybrid who will start as a box player while learning a true safety role on the side.
- Cyrus Jones, CB, Alabama
Like several of the corners in this list, doesn’t have the ideal size profile many NFL teams are looking for, but he’s feisty and extremely strong against the run and short passing game. Tough to shake in man and has a good feel for zone coverage, but has occasional lapses which have resulted in giving up 10 TDs over two seasons
- Hassan Ridgeway, Defensive Interior, Texas
Often lost in the deep class of interior defensive linemen, Ridgeway has put together two strong years of grading with a +48.6 overall mark on only 1044 snaps. He’s scheme-versatile and he can get after the quarterback better than most interior rushers in the class.
- Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame
He might be a one-trick pony, but it’s a fairly important trick in today’s NFL. He ran a 4.32 40-yard dash at the scouting combine, and was third in the nation with 708 yards on passes traveling 20 yards or more in the air. He did drop 10 of the 72 catchable passes thrown his way though — something he’ll have to improve upon.
- Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana
Perhaps more of an athlete than a great football player at this point, Spriggs graded well in 2015 (+16.7), but his strong NFL combine has teams looking at him as a first-round project. He needs to tie up a few technique issues and show more of that athleticism on the field to warrant more than a Day 2 pick.
- Kenneth Dixon, RB, Louisiana Tech
One of the most exciting running backs in the draft, Dixon is a clever runner, capable of cutting on a dime and making overaggressive defenses pay with big plays. He’s also very good in the passing game, particularly when split out wide.
- Joe Schobert, OLB, Wisconsin
One of the nation’s most productive players the last two seasons, Schobert may be viewed as a traditional linebacker at the next level, but he should be given a chance to rush the passer where he led the nation in pass-rush productivity each of the last two seasons.
- Malcolm Mitchell, WR, Georgia
A solid receiver across the board, Mitchell will get overshadowed by flashier receivers, but he creates separation on the post and dig routes as well as a receiver in the class and he’s dropped only four passes on 93 catchable targets the last two years.
- Paul Perkins, RB, UCLA
The only running back in the draft class to force more missed tackles was Alabama’s Derrick Henry (76 to 73), but it took Henry and extra 160 carries to do so. Perkins posted the top run grade and elusive rating (114.7) in the class.
- Pharoh Cooper, WR, South Carolina
A threat to score with the ball in his hands, Cooper can be used in a variety ways that get the ball to him in space and he can use his excellent acceleration as a vertical slot receiver in the Doug Baldwin mold.
- Carl Nassib, Edge, Penn State
It’s not always pretty, but Nassib was rarely blocked in 2015 and that trend continued at a dominant Senior Bowl week. He sets a hard edge in the run game and keeps blockers off balance with power and good hands.
- Joshua Garnett, G, Stanford
Our top run-blocking guard in 2015, Garnett is a scheme-specific power guard that is best fit for a man-blocking scheme similar to Stanford’s. He struggled at times in pass pro and posted his worst games against his best competition (Buckner and Day).
- Nick Martin, C, Notre Dame
Similar to Kelly, Martin has a strong all-around game and projects to be a future starter with scheme diversity. His +22.7 overall grade ranked fifth in the nation.
- Tyler Boyd, WR, Pittsburgh
At +18.2, just three players in this draft class had a higher receiving grade than Boyd. His grades over the past two years were almost identical, with the Pittsburgh playmaker coming in at +22.2 last year and +22.9 this year. He dropped five passes in each of the past two seasons, but did see 16 more catchable passes thrown his way this year, so his drop rate improved from 6.02 to 5.05.
- Joe Thuney, T/G, NC State
One of the nation’s top guards in 2014, Thuney made a smooth transition to left tackle in 2015 finishing fourth in the draft class at +35.6 overall. He surrendered only seven pressures on 507 attempts in pass protection and at the very least he’ll bring versatility to an offensive line as a capable guard or tackle.
- Tyler Higbee, TE, Western Kentucky
Just two tight ends in this draft class had a higher receiving grade than WKU’s Higbee, with the Hilltopper making the most of the 48 passes thrown his way, dropping just two passes on his way to a 38-catch, 562-yard and eight-touchdown season. His run blocking grade was tied for 22nd in the class, but was still positive at +4.9.
- Vonn Bell, S, Ohio State
With a good showing at the combine and pro day, Bell’s athleticism shows whether he’s on or off the field. He’s able to step up and make plays in the run game while playing in split-safety looks in coverage.
- Kalan Reed, CB, Southern Miss
Incredibly smooth mover at cornerback, fits the size profile most teams are looking for. Can play in any scheme and make plays on the ball. Had excellent tape this year and our third-highest coverage grade in the draft class.
- Maliek Collins, Defensive Interior, Nebraska
Yet another productive interior defensive lineman, Collins is a disruptor who can shoot gaps and blow up plays. He ranked 10th in the draft class against the run at +28.4 and 11th as a pass rusher at +21.1.
- Kyler Fackrell, Edge, Utah State
Fackrell emerged as one of the nation’s top players in 2015, finishing ninth overall among edge defenders at +39.0. He dabbled in more of a traditional linebacker role at the Senior Bowl, but his best bet is as a 3-4 outside linebacker where he can rush the passer, play the edge in the run game and drop occasionally into coverage.
- Alex Collins, RB, Arkansas
Running in Arkansas’ pro-style offense, Collins posted the eighth-highest grade in the class as he showed the quickness and vision to maximize his offensive line’s blocking, but lacked the open-field ability to create a high percentage of big plays.
- Keyarris Garrett, WR, Tulsa
He racked up 725 yards on passes travelling 20 yards or more downfield, including seven touchdowns, and dropped just three of the 99 catchable passes thrown his way in 2015. A big target at 6-feet-4, Garrett can make plays downfield.
- Christian Westerman, G, Arizona State
One of the best pass-protecting guards in the class, Westerman combines good movement skills with surprising power, and while some of his peers are locked into a power blocking scheme, he is more diverse if not a zone blocking
- Darius Latham, Defensive Interior, Indiana
Size and productivity make Latham an interesting prospect as he got after the quarterback better than most (+23.8) while playing well against the run (+15.8).
- Jordan Howard, RB, Indiana
Two years of strong play at UAB and Indiana, Howard has shown scheme diversity while posting the fifth-best run grade in the draft class last season.
- Kevin Dodd, Edge, Clemson
A solid run defender on the edge, Dodd went on a tear late in the season as a pass rusher. Although he finished 25th in the class in that department, so he looks like more of a solid, every-down defensive end than an explosive game changer off the edge.
- Bronson Kaufusi, Defensive Interior, BYU
Kaufusi’s best fit may be as a 3-4 defensive end where his size and length will give him a chance to develop into a strong run defender with above average pass rushing potential.
- Isaac Seumalo, G, Oregon State
Quietely one of the nation’s best guards, Seumalo rarely loses in the run game and mitigates the damage when he does. He surrendered only four pressures on 407 attempts in pass protection last year.
- Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
The size and arm strength are impressive, as is Lynch’s three-year development at Memphis, but he’s just a notch below the other quarterbacks in this class. His accuracy at the intermediate level is concerning, particularly outside the numbers where his accuracy percentage is among the worst in the nation.
- Kamalei Correa, Edge, Boise State
As far as transitions to 3-4 outside linebacker go, Correa should make a smooth one after notching eight sacks, 12 QB hits, and 16 hurries on only 250 pass rushes last season.
- Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State
We don’t see the same dominant offensive tackle potential in Decker as he’s a powerful fun blocker, but there was too much inconsistency in pass protection over the last two seasons.
- Spencer Drango, G, Baylor
One of our top-graded tackles the last two years, Drango looks like a smooth guard conversion as many of the blocks he was asked to make at Baylor will translate nicely. He can collapse the backside of zone plays and he has experience pulling in the run game.
- Nick VanHoose, CB, Northwestern
Has a strange, wooden way of moving that looks very awkward at times, but it doesn’t prevent him from making plays, and a lot of them. Allowed fewer than 44 percent of passes thrown his way to be caught this past season and had the highest coverage grade in the nation.
- Darian Thompson, S, Boise State
Thompson works downhill in both the pass and run game very well, but his geometric skills are lacking at times as his open field angles need some work. He also disappointed with a slow 40 time at the combine as many teams were hoping to see a rangy free safety prospect.
- Nick Kwiatkowski, LB, West Virginia
Kwiatkowski ranked fourth in the draft class as a run defender at +21.7 and fifth in coverage a +9.0 as his all-around strong play should make him a dependable starter at the next level.
- Xavien Howard, CB, Baylor
His coverage numbers are excellent, but the tape shows they’re misleading. Beaten plenty this season without giving up completions. Has the measurables, and his good is excellent, but he is a work in progress.
- Anthony Zettel, Defensive Interior, Penn State
There was a drop-off in Zettel’s game in 2015 after he was one of the nation’s best interior defensive linemen in 2014 with a strong performance against the run and rushing the passer.
- Darron Lee, LB, Ohio State
Lee’s speed is evident on tape, but to this point, it’s been used effectively as a pass rusher while lacking consistency against the run and in coverage. He played over the slot quite a bit at Ohio State but coverage was a mix of big plays and mishaps over the last two years.
- Daniel Braverman, WR, Western Michigan
He might be a slot only receiver at the next level, but he’s very good in that role regardless. No player in this draft class averaged more yards per route run from the slot than Braverman’s 3.27.
- Joe Dahl, OT, Washington State
The NFL is going to be split on what exactly Joe Dahl is. His Senior Bowl performance suggested pretty conclusively that he is not a guard, but many will be reluctant to play him at tackle given his body type and measurables profile. A move to center has also been mooted. At tackle, however, he is a natural pass protector who struggles to anchor against the bull rush.
- Jordan Payton, WR, UCLA
Payton had the seventh highest receiving grade in this draft class at +22.2, seeing a big jump from +8.6 in 2014. He showcased a safe pair of hands at UCLA, dropping just six of the 154 catchable passes thrown his way between 2014 and 2015.
- Le’Raven Clark, OT, Texas Tech
The size and length are there for Clark, but as we saw at Senior Bowl week, he has a lot of work to do to learn how to effectively use his tools. His pass rush grade of +6.7 ranked ninth in the draft class.
- Matt Skura, C, Duke
Skura always seems to be in good position to make the necessary block, a big part of his earning PFF All-American status. He can develop into a future starter at the next level.
- Matt Ioannidis, Defensive Interior, Temple
Consistently disruptive on the inside of a good Temple defense, Ioannidis played in multiple technique spots on the defensive front and was pretty effective at every one. Perhaps best suited to 3-tech at the next level, he’s an intriguing player with proven production.
- Braxton Miller, WR, Ohio State
There’s a lot of projection with Miller, who has seen just 30 catchable passes thrown his way in his short time at wide receiver. He excels in space though, forcing eight missed tackles on 28 receptions in 2015.
- Ronald Blair, Defensive Interior, Appalachian State
Blair has been extremely productive against inferior competition the last two years, playing stout against the run and posting the number six pass rush grade in the draft class in 2015 at +24.9.
- Tavon Young, CB, Temple
Size is a concern for Young as is the fact that he really did not grade well this season. A year ago his coverage grade was far better, but this season he struggled and may ultimately be best suited to covering the slot, rather than trying to match up with far bigger players on the outside.
- Dean Lowry, Defensive Interior, Northwestern
While Lowry moved around in Northwestern’s scheme, he’s likely best fit to play on the interior due to his size and athleticism. His +37.0 overall grade ranked 10th in the nation when compared to other edge defenders (his primary position in 2015).
- Kendall Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
Everybody knows about the family bloodlines, but right now Kendall Fuller looks like a zone cornerback who may struggle in different schemes. Breaks on the ball well but has been beaten for an average of almost 15 yards over the past two seasons of coverage.
- Will Anthony, Edge, Navy
A clear standout on a pretty good Navy defense, Anthony took a huge step forward this season and was one of the most actively disruptive defensive linemen in the country. Playing primarily on the interior for Navy, he would be an edge defender at the next level, and actually had superior production when he played there for the Midshipmen.