We are weeks from college football beginning and it is a bit difficult to contain my excitement. College football is loaded with stars all over the place and there are stacked teams bound to test some of the best prospects in the nation. With the summer inching closer to the 2017 season, here is a team of the best NFL Draft prospects at each position right now.
Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State: 2017 has the potential to be a fantastic quarterback class but a lot of the names in the mix still have some questions to answer. Lamar Jackson is electric but could improve his accuracy, Sam Darnold needs more experience, Josh Allen is incredibly raw and Josh Rosen needs to start elevating his team. As it stands right now, the cleanest prospect in the class looks like Oklahoma State's signal caller. Mason Rudolph is an incredibly accurate passer at every level of the field and does a good job working in the pocket. He is not the most toolsy quarterback, but he does everything at an incredibly proficient level. He could get overtaken in the draft due to other players' upside, but Rudolph is a pro-ready player who should enjoy a very nice year.
Second Team: Lamar Jackson, Louisville
Saquon Barkley, Penn State: It is very hard to find a weakness in Saquon Barkley's game. He spearheads the Nittany Lion offense in the running game and is a very viable option as a receiver. He is well built, fast, agile and powerful but even more impressive is his feel for the game with the ball in his hands. His style is incredibly similar to Ezekiel Elliott at Ohio State and Barkley should enjoy an incredible season and contend for a top ten pick. He is that type of value at running back.
Derrius Guice, LSU: If Saquon Barkley is not the best back in this class, Derrius Guice is. Guice overtook top five pick Leonard Fournette last year when Fournette could not see the field and Guice arguably looked a lot better. Guice is a big, powerful back but has incredible movement ability too. At this point, the biggest question with Guice is his impact in the passing game, but considering LSU plans to run their offense through him this year, he could prove he is just as complete a running back as Saquon Barkley. Their competition for top back will be one of this year's best storylines.
Second Team: Nick Chubb, Georgia and Royce Freeman, Oregon
James Washington, Oklahoma State: James Washington is one of the most explosive receivers in the country. Over the last two seasons, he has averaged about 20 yards per catch and has scored 20 touchdowns on 124 receptions. He is not the biggest or the fastest receiver, but he is incredibly savvy at playing the ball deep and has great vision with the ball in his hands to create yards after the catch. Heading into his senior season, he has great chemistry with Mason Rudolph which should translate to another massive season of making plays down the field.
Courtland Sutton, SMU: While James Washington does not measure like a number one receiver, Courtland Sutton is exactly the type of player you want getting off your team bus first. At six foot, four inches and nearly 220 pounds, Sutton is a massive target in the passing game and he made that size felt in the red zone last season, accounting for nearly half of his team's receiving touchdowns. Sutton is a bully with the ball in the air but he is also a good athlete for his size. SMU is still a relatively lowly team, so seeing how he carries the offense this season will be fascinating.
Richie James, MTSU: Richie James is flying under the radar because of where he is at school, but people should not overlook this dynamo of a football player. He barely scratches five foot, nine inches but he is incredibly explosive with the ball in his hands and can make an impact int eh receiving game, rushing game and as a returner. He has been MTSU's biggest weapon since his freshman year and the offense will continue to run through him this season as he continues to wrack up numbers at a record setting rate.
Second Team: Deon Cain, Clemson, Christian Kirk, Texas A&M and Antonio Callaway, Florida
Mike Gesicki, Penn State: It will be hard to match the 2016 Tight End class, but Mike Gesicki looks like a real weapon to lead the 2017 group. The six foot, six inch pass catcher broke out last season as a major option in the Penn State passing game. He moves incredibly well for a traditional, blocking tight end and can make incredibly catches in traffic. With Chris Godwin off to the NFL, Gesicki could see more targets and bigger numbers in his senior season.
Second Team: Mark Andrews, Oklahoma
Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish have somewhat of an offensive linemen pipeline to the NFL and Mike McGlinchey looks like the next big man bound for a high NFL draft pick. McGlinchey has a massive frame with long arms but is incredibly agile on the perimeter, doing a great job mirroring edge rushers. He lacks top end power and is a bit lighter for his height, but his technique and movement skills are outstanding. With impressive tape at left and right tackle, McGlinchey could have gone incredibly high in a weaker tackle class in the 2016 draft; so it will be interesting to see how he improves an already impressive resume.
Connor Williams, Texas: Starting at tackle as a freshman in a big conference is no easy task but Connor Williams has been a steady presence on the Texas line his whole career there. He is a well built and athletic player and while he is not quite McGlinchey in terms of size, Williams has more impressive strength and plays with a standout mean streak. The two of them will likely contend for the number one tackle spot this season and it will be fun to see how Williams improves on an already awesome resume.
Second Team: Mitch Hyatt, Clemson and Orlando Brown, Oklahoma
Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame: Another big time player on the Notre Dame line, Quenton Nelson is a very gifted pass protector. At 325 pounds, Nelson is incredibly well built and is light on his feet with great technique. Similar to his teammate, Mike McGlinchey, his game is more finesse oriented and he could stand to be a bit more aggressive in the running game and show off his strength. If he can do that, he should cement himself as a top 40 prospect in the class.
Tyrone Crowder, Clemson: Tyrone Crowder is a massive, mean, mauling linemen who plows defenders down in the running game and bullies them in the passing game. He has immense strength and his attitude on the field is impressive but it will come down to being more consistent in technique for Crowder to improve as a player. The tools are certainly there but it is up to him to put it all together.
Second Team: Billy Price, Ohio State and Martez Ivey, Florida
Mason Cole, Michigan: Mason Cole has experience playing tackle and center which certainly adds versatility to his draft stock. The six foot, five inch lineman has good movement skills and strength. He is not a flashy player, having no outstanding traits, but he is just a really solid prospect who is consistent and plays hard. He will be important to Michigan's success this season so there will be some spotlight for him.
Second Team: Frank Ragnow, Arkansas