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Rankings

Norris: QB, T, EDGE Rankings

by Josh Norris
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:09 pm ET

These rankings of draft-eligible prospects are based on both preseason and inseason work and are subject to change.

 

Feel free to share your own rankings in the comments below.


Quarterbacks

 

1. Marcus Mariota, Oregon - Obviously athletic with the ball in his hands, but does not receive the credit he should for be patient, poised and winning in the pocket.


2. Jameis Winston, FSU - I focus on things I can see, and therefore possibly understand. Winston’s eye level is innate, and although he could improve seeing the field as a whole, his progression reading and poise are advanced for a college quarterback.


3. Everett Golson, Notre Dame - If I’m being honest to my process and evaluation, Golson belongs higher on the list than Cook and Hundley based on success against pressure and pocket movement. Golson uses his movement skills to find workable space and has improved his velocity and placement after learning to throw with the laces. Ball security is a bigger issue than interceptions.


4. Connor Cook, Michigan State - Has to improve how he manages the pocket. Has to. But on a team that will keep him clean on most snaps in the pocket, Cook will have success. That is an unrealistic scenario to ask for.


5. Brett Hundley, UCLA - Improvements have been displayed some weeks, namely using his athleticism as a passer along with a runner. In others, he reverts to his poor old form of dropping his eyes and becoming a running back after beating the first defender... or once fixating on the rush. Two steps forward, two steps back.


6. Cody Kessler, USC

7. Dak Prescott, Miss State

8. Brandon Bridge, South Alabama

9. Bryce Petty, Baylor

10. Jacoby Brissett, NC State



Offensive Tackles


1. Cedric Ogbuehi, Texas A&M - There are two sides of the Ogbuehi evaluation: some see him as the top tackle, others think he is overrated. I love Ogbuehi’s combination of length, mirroring skills, and ability to anchor. He has functional strength despite being jolted on first contact occasionally.


2. Brandon Scherff, Iowa - A powerful athlete for the position. I would expect Scherff to lose occasionally thanks to overextension/balance issues, but that comes with the territory for an aggressive and assertive blocker. He can maul.


3. La’El Collins, LSU - Sensing a theme here? Collins might be the most powerful blocker in this entire draft. He will lose his balance, but thanks to length, strength and size Collins can win from these positions. Not all of them, however, so expect a few bad snaps.


4. Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame - Has length and a big frame, but struggles to mirror laterally on counter moves. That can be an issue when blocking for a quarterback like Everett Golson, who resets the pocket and takes his time working through progressions.


5. Andrus Peat, Stanford - The difference in strength Peat plays with is an interesting case study. As a run blocker, he is aggressive and assertive, moving opponents and displaying athleticism at the second level. In pass protection he plays with pillow hands and consistently gets jolted while lacking the same first punch. 

 

6. Jake Fisher, Oregon

7. Daryl Williams, Oklahoma

8. Ty Sambrailo, Colorado State

9. Sean Hickey, Syracuse

10. Spencer Drango, Baylor & Cameron Erving, FSU

Edge Rushers


1, Randy Gregory, Nebraska - Looks even better last year. Has burst (when he wants to use it), bend, lateral agility, closing speed and aggression on contact. His fluidity is ridiculous and even cut blocks can’t stop Gregory.


2. Shawn Oakman, Baylor - Speed to power is his game. Despite a massive frame, Oakman has a ridiculous first step and beats many tackles with it alone. When tackles compensate and get further back, power is added to jolt and drive.


3. Vic Beasley, Clemson - The forgotten man this year by media evaluators has been the focal point of coaches. To start the season, teams were working away from his side and giving extra attention to the athletic edge rusher. One solution: He faces cut blocks from running backs after beating his initial opponent.


4. Hau’oli Kikaha, Washington - I don’t factor in his previous injuries since that type of information is not available for each prospect. Kikaha, in a slightly different role this year, is good at use his hands to control his opponent and/or shed to work inside or outside once disrupting the pocket.


5. Dante Fowler, Florida - A real technician, Fowler is Chandler Jones with a piano dropped on his head. Fowler’s movement skills have been a pleasant surprise, but the variety of moves he uses it what allows him to win.


6. Shane Ray, Missouri

7. Shilique Calhoun, Michigan State

8. Eli Harold, Virginia

9. Owamagbe Odighizuwa, UCLA

10. Nate Orchard, Utah



Last set of rankings


Running Backs


1. Todd Gurley, Georgia - He’s a complete back with vision, footwork, acceleration, long speed and an ability to beat first contact. He’s shown patience as a receiver on screens. Gurley is a foundation back, which are still extremely important in the NFL.


2. Melvin Gordon III, Wisconsin - Has extreme speed and acceleration to make the most of cracks at the line of scrimmage and second level. We are starting to see more pass protection and receiving opportunities.


3. Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska - A very well-rounded and compact back. I could see teams that want a singular runner (rather than a committee approach) talking themselves into taking Abdullah over Gordon III.


4. Mike Davis, South Carolina - Davis is still talented and will contribute in the NFL, but I’ve been more impressed with Abdullah after watching both.


5. TJ Yeldon, Alabama - Yeldon has had fumble issues in the past, but he’s really impressive. Yeldon is showing more acceleration this year and always seems to fall forward for an extra yard or two.


6. Duke Johnson, Miami

7. David Cobb, Minnesota

8. Tevin Coleman, Indiana

9. David Johnson, Northern Iowa

10. Jay Ajayi, Boise State



Wide Receivers

 

1. Dorial Green-Beckham, Oklahoma - Is bigger than corners and knows it, out leaps them when high pointing after cutting in front to gain positioning. Fights for yards after catch when catching screen passes. Can eat up cushion quickly thanks to burst and long strides off the line.


2. DeVante Parker, Louisville - Body control to make contested catches off the ground is obvious. High points extremely well. Creates that sliver of space to win against tight coverage. Aggressively works back towards his QB on comebacks.


3. Devin Funchess, Michigan - Seems to be improving on contested catches. A similar receive prospect to Kelvin Benjamin in how he wins downfield, might be even better on short routes and after the catch.


4. Kevin White, West Virginia - Blossoming this season. Very good at what he does: working back along the sideline and winning in contested situations.


5. Amari Cooper, Alabama - I continue to receive flack for saying Cooper is an “on the ground” receiver. Perhaps he will show more contested catch situations for me to change my mind. He looks far more fluid and explosive this season compared to 2013.


6. Rashad Greene, FSU

7. Nelson Agholor, USC

8. Jaelen Strong, Arizona State

9. Sammie Coates, Auburn

10. Ty Montgomery, Stanford


Josh Norris

Josh Norris is an NFL Draft Analyst for NBC Sports Edge and contributed to the Rams scouting department during training camp of 2010 and the 2011 NFL Draft. He can be found on Twitter .