I know, I know, we’ve only had one week of college football thus far. That doesn’t mean one shouldn’t look at who could have their names called fairly early this coming April. Here are five players who may get drafted on opening night:
Arden Key, Edge Rusher, LSU
Edge rusher is a premium position in the NFL, and Key has a chance to be the top overall selection in April’s draft. At 6’6”, 238 lbs, he is a monster attacking the QB downhill with the physical profile to have success in the NFL. His dedication will be questioned after he stepped away from the team this past offseason, but no one doubts the talent this young man possesses.
Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
I wrote last week about Guice’s potential to win the Heisman Trophy; he also happens to be the second-best running back prospect for the upcoming draft (behind Penn State’s Saqoun Barkley). The 5’11”, 212-pounder runs well between the tackles and has the ability to break away in open space. He showed last season he can more than handle his own as a workhorse back, and that figures to be very attractive to NFL teams.
Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
Alabama’s 6’1”, 190 lb go-to wideout has elite speed, and that showed on his 53-yard touchdown catch week 1 vs. FSU. He’s far from a finished product, but Ridley is a solid route-runner who will stretch defenses in the NFL and, at the very least, be a solid number two option. Ridley reminds me a lot of Denver Broncos’ wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders.
Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama
Another Alabama superstar, Fitzpatrick could be either a solid corner or an above average safety at the next level. The 6’1”, 202 lb defender is one of the leaders on what should be one of the best defenses in the country, and that should draw the attention of many scouts. Fitzpatrick will have plenty of opportunities to make good on his ball-hawking reputation.
Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M
The 5’11”, 200 lb Kirk has a chance to be one of the only receivers taken in front of Ridley. Like his Crimson Tide counterpart, the Aggie star possesses great speed that allows him to easily create separation from defenders in one-on-one situations. In what seems to be a fairly average receiver class, Kirk could be one of the true standouts who makes a name for himself in the NFL.
All measurements courtesy ESPN.
Cover photo courtesy gridironnow.com.