Early 2018 NFL Draft Prospect Top 50 Rankings

USC QB Sam Darnold ranks as the No. 1 prospect for 2018.

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.


Early 2018 NFL Draft Prospect Top 50 Rankings


Rank Name Position School Year
1 Sam Darnold QB USC So.
2 Arden Key DE/OLB LSU Jr.
3 Derwin James S Florida State So.
4 Minkah Fitzpatrick CB Alabama Jr.
5 Josh Allen QB Wyoming Jr.
6 Christian Wilkins DT Clemson Jr.
7 Josh Rosen QB UCLA Jr.
8 Sam Hubbard DE Ohio State Jr.
9 Mike McGlinchey OT Notre Dame Sr.
10 Connor Williams OT Texas Jr.
11 Orlando Brown OT Oklahoma  Jr.
12 Tarvarus McFadden CB Florida State Jr.
13 Tyquan Lewis DE Ohio State Sr.
14 Saquon Barkley RB Penn State Jr.
15 Harold Landry DE/OLB Boston College Sr.
16 Bradley Chubb DE NC State Sr.
17 Christian Kirk WR Texas A&M Jr.
18 Da’Ron Payne DT Alabama Jr.
19 Vita Vea DL Washington Jr.
20 Derrius Guice RB LSU Jr.
21 Mitch Hyatt OT Clemson Jr.
22 Trey Adams OT Washington Jr.
23 Maurice Hurst DL Michigan Sr.
24 Jaire Alexander CB Louisville Jr.
25 Cameron Smith ILB USC Jr.
26 Lowell Lotulelei DL Utah Sr.
27 Quenton Nelson G Notre Dame Sr.
28 Ronnie Harrison S Alabama Jr.
29 Mason Rudolph QB Oklahoma State Sr.
30 Jordan Whitehead S Pittsburgh Jr.
31 Martez Ivey OG Florida Jr.
32 Courtland Sutton WR SMU Jr.
33 Calvin Ridley WR Alabama Jr.
34 Adonis Alexander CB Virginia Tech Jr.
35 Marquis Haynes DE Ole Miss Sr.
36 Quin Blanding S Virginia Sr.
37 Trenton Thompson DT Georgia Jr.
38 Malik Jefferson OLB Texas Jr.
39 Clelin Ferrell DE Clemson So.
40 Da’Shawn Hand DE Alabama Sr.
41 Geron Christian OT Louisville Jr.
42 Martinas Rankin OT Mississippi State Sr.
43 Lamar Jackson QB Louisville Jr.
44 Antonio Callaway WR Florida Jr.
45 James Washington WR Oklahoma State Sr.
46 Derrick Nnadi DL Florida State Sr.
47 Deon Cain WR Clemson Jr.
48 Josh Sweat DE Florida State Jr.
49 Billy Price OG Ohio State Jr.
50 Azeem Victor LB Washington Sr.
  Other Names to Watch in 2017  
  Brian Allen C Michigan State Sr.
  Mark Andrews TE Oklahoma Jr.
  Jake Browning QB Washington Jr.
  Nick Chubb RB Georgia Sr.
  Mason Cole OL Michigan Sr.
  Byron Cowart DE Auburn Jr.
  Tyrell Crosby OT Oregon Sr.
  Duke Dawson CB Florida Sr.
  Tremaine Edmunds LB Virginia Tech Jr.
  T.J. Edwards ILB Wisconsin Jr.
  Luke Falk QB Washington State Sr.
  Troy Fumagalli TE Wisconsin Sr.
  Royce Freeman RB Oregon Sr.
  Mike Gesicki TE Penn State Sr.
  Porter Gustin DE USC Jr.
  Shaun Dion Hamilton ILB Alabama Sr.
  Donte Jackson CB LSU Jr.
  Cece Jefferson DE Florida Jr.
  Ronald Jones RB USC Jr.
  Micah Kiser LB Virginia  Sr.
  Iman Marshall CB USC Sr.
  Baker Mayfield QB Oklahoma Sr.
  Quenton Meeks CB Stanford Jr.
  Cody O'Connell OG Washington State Sr.
  Brock Ruble OT Florida State Jr.
  Bo Scarbrough RB Alabama Jr.
  Dalton Schultz TE Stanford Jr.
  Braden Smith OL Auburn Sr.
  Jarrett Stidham QB Auburn So.
  Greg Stroman CB Virginia Tech Sr.
  Jordan Thomas CB Oklahoma Sr.
  Jerry Tillery DE/DT Notre Dame Jr.
  Denzel Ward CB Ohio State Jr.
  Toby Weathersby OT LSU Jr.
  Rawleigh Williams RB Arkansas Jr.
  Andrew Wingard S Wyoming Jr.
Event Date: 
Sunday, April 30, 2017 - 22:43

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