With the 2017 NFL Draft in the books, it's time to take an early look at 2018 and some of the top prospects on the radar for pro scouts. Although USC quarterback Sam Darnold has just 10 career starts, the sophomore ranks as the No. 1 player in the early rankings. Darnold provided a spark for the Trojans last season and is a big reason why coach Clay Helton's team is a contender for the CFB Playoff. While Darnold is the No. 1 player, he's not the only quarterback in the top 10. Wyoming's Josh Allen and UCLA's Josh Rosen make an appearance in the top seven, with Oklahoma State's Mason Rudolph also in the mix as a top 50 prospect. Defense could be a theme at the top of the board in next year's draft. In the early rankings below, five of the top eight players are defenders, including LSU's Arden Key and Florida State's Derwin James.
Here are Athlon Sports’ top 50 college players to keep an eye on this fall. Make no mistake; this list will change, especially once the action resumes on the field and some of these players receive more snaps and have a chance at a better evaluation.