Throughout the past month or so of NFL Draft preparation, I’ve been giving seven round New England Patriots Mock Drafts, but this time I’m going to be switching up things a bit. With one week left until the first round of the NFL Draft, I’m going to be giving you my Top 35 Player Big Board. This is not a mock draft in anyway, but just my opinion after spending time on each prospect scouting them, and then ranking them 1-35 in terms of how good I think each prospect is. So, here are my top 35 prospects.
#1: DE Jadaveon Clowney, South Carolina
Clowney has proven himself to be the absolute best prospect in this draft, and is one of those once in a generation kind of talents at defensive end. He’s going to be ready to go from the day that he enters the building of whatever team drafts him. With the quarterbacks seriously dropping, you don’t pass up this kind of special talent.
#2: OT Greg Robinson, Auburn
Robinson is an absolute monster of a man, and is primed to become one of the NFL’s premier left tackles, and should be a All-Pro for many years to come. The draft this year is loaded with numerous good potential franchise offensive tackles, and Greg Robinson is leading that group.
#3: OLB Khalil Mack, Buffalo
Clowney might be the overall best defensive player, Khalil Mack might be the best pure pass rusher in the draft. He is a frightening combination of speed and great power. Coming off the edge, or attacking gaps against the run, Mack is a franchise kind of player.
#4: WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson
The wide receiver position might be the most loaded it has ever been, and Sammy Watkins is leading this impressive class. With incredible speed, combined with polished route running, and great hands, Watkins has made himself the prize wide receiver in this draft. Whether he’s running routes over the middle, or going deep, Watkins is the most complete receiver in the draft.
#5: OT Jake Matthews, Texas A&M
The trusted offensive tackle of top quarterback Johnny Manziel, Matthews is a very NFL ready player in terms of his body, and the talent that he played around and against. Strong as an ox, but also with some special kind of athleticism, Matthews is as close as it gets to a future pro-bowl offensive tackle.
#6: DT Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh
Donald is the definitive defensive tackle in this year’s NFL Draft, and if he was just a couple inches taller, and was just bit better built all around, he’d be the special prospect we’re talking about along with Clowney. Regardless of his height, Donald is ready to make a huge impact on the NFL, and is the premier interior pass rusher in this draft.
#7: OT Taylor Lewan, Michigan
One of the tallest players in this NFL Draft, Taylor Lewan is a monster of a man, and has the look of an NFL ready lineman. At 6’7, he’s able to punish and overpower almost anyone, and even the special kind of strong players, he can compete with, and use his long arms to direct around the field. This is our third offensive tackle in the top ten, and they all have the looks of franchise kinds of players at led tackle.
#8: WR Mike Evans, Texas A&M
Evans has the special kind of size that offensive coordinators drool over. The favourite target of Johnny Manziel, Evans can go up and get almost any pass, using his size and incredible athleticism, making him a nightmare on all 50/50 balls. Incredibly physical, Evans is going to make defensive backs work like hell just to slow him down. He might be higher if it wasn’t for his perceiver anger and attitude problems that plagued him at Texas A&M.
#9: CB Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State
Gilbert gets the nod as my best defensive back in the draft, thanks to his ideal overall size, weight and speed, and his awesome playmaking ability. He has some freakishly long arms for a 6’0 cornerback, but this allows him to get his hands on nearly everything that enters his area. Gilbert has great versatility allowing him to be a major weapon in man or zone.