The top 32 prospects in the 2017 NFL Draft

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Gregory Shamus/Getty

We’re nearing the end of the NFL season and already it’s time to start thinking about the 2017 NFL Draft.

We came up with an early consensus list of the 32 best players in the 2017 draft using the big boards of five NFL experts. You’ll notice that the experts are still torn – some players in the top 32 only made the first round in one draft, but were so high in that draft that it averaged them into the first round.

Our experts are Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr. of ESPN, Rob Rang of CBS Sports, Matt Miller of Bleacher Report, and Steve Palazzolo of Pro Football Focus.

As seems to be the case every year, Alabama has the most NFL prospects. This year, Michigan and Clemson are well-represented, too.


1. Leonard Fournette (RB, LSU)

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Samantha Baker/AP

Average Rank: 1.6

Top 32s*: 5 of 5

Highest Rank: 1

One thing to know: Fournette entered the season with so much Heisman hype that it’s been almost impossible for him to live up to it. He won’t win the Heisman this year, but he is still averaging close to 7 yards per carry this season and is as physical a rusher as you’ll find in college.

* Experts with this player in the first round.


2. Myles Garrett (DE, Texas A&M)

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Butch Dill/Getty

Average Rank: 2.6

Top 32s: 5 of 5

Highest Rank: 2

One thing to know: Garrett, who owns the SEC freshman record for sacks, is not the only athlete in his family. His brother, Sean Williams, was a basketball standout at Boston College and played in the NBA from 2007-2010. His older sister, Brea Garrett, is a senior at A&M and holds the NCAA record in the track & field weight throw.


3. Jonathan Allen (DE, Alabama)

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Roger Steinman/AP

Average Rank: 3.6

Top 32s: 5 of 5

Highest Rank: 1

One thing to know: Allen has drawn comparisons to Eagles’ DE Fletcher Cox.


4. Jabrill Peppers (OLB/S, Michigan)

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Gregory Shamus/Getty

Average Rank: 6.6

Top 32s: 5 of 5

Highest Rank: 3

One thing to know: Peppers does just about everything for Michigan. On defense he plays safety and linebacker, on offense he rushes the ball and occasionally throws it as a wildcat quarterback, and he returns punts.


5. Malik McDowell (DT, Michigan St.)

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Joe Robbins/Getty

Average Rank: 8.8

Top 32s: 5 of 5

Highest Rank: 5

One thing to know: McDowell is a projected top-10 pick, but at least one anonymous scout has questioned his “football character” for not playing through fatigue.


6. Jamal Adams (S, LSU)

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Sean Gardner/Getty

Average Rank: 9.6

Top 32s: 5 of 5

Highest Rank: 4

One thing to know: A safety hasn’t been a top-10 pick since 2012, but one NFL exec loves what he sees in Adams.


7. Devonte Fields (LB, Louisville)

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Andy Lyons/Getty

Average Rank: 9.6

Top 32s: 5 of 5

Highest Rank: 8

One thing to know: Fields transferred to Louisville from TCU, and is arguably the best linebacker in the ACC as the Cardinals push for a playoff spot.


8. Reuben Foster (LB, Alabama)

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Kevin C. Cox/Getty

Average Rank: 11.2

Top 32s: 5 of 5

Highest Rank: 3

One thing to know: Foster has a minor hand injury that could keep him out of some of Alabama’s final games, but he should be fine in time for the College Football Playoff (assuming, pretty safely, that ‘Bama makes it).


9. Dalvin Cook (RB, FSU)

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Mike Ehrmann/Getty

Average Rank: 11.4

Top 32s: 5 of 5

Highest Rank: 7

One thing to know: Cook is on the cusp of becoming Florida State’s all-time leading rusher, and one of four running backs in the state of Florida to rush for 4,000 yards in college.


10. Dawuane Smoot (DE, Illinois)

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Bradley Leeb/AP

Average Rank: 12

Top 32s: 5 of 5

Highest Rank: 6

One thing to know: To give you a sense of Smoot’s athleticism, the Illini senior is 6-foot-2, 225 pounds, and ran hurdles in high school.


11. Tim Williams (LB, Alabama)

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David Goldman/AP

Average Rank: 14

Top 32s: 5 of 5

Highest Rank: 8

One thing to know: Williams was arrested in late September and charged with carrying a pistol without a permit. He was subsequently suspended for a half against Kentucky, which he said was a wake-up call.


12. Derek Barnett (DE, Tennessee)

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Scott Halleran/Getty

Average Rank: 20

Top 32s: 4 of 5

Highest Rank: 9

One thing to know: Barnett’s 30 career sacks are the most among active FBS players, and he is closing in on becoming Tennessee’s all-time leader in sacks.


13. Charles Harris (DE, Missouri)

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Jeff Roberson/AP

Average Rank: 20

Top 32s: 3 of 5

Highest Rank: 6

One thing to know: Harris has drawn many comparisons to Ryan Kerrigan.


14. Mike Williams (WR, Clemson)

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Michael Dwyer/AP

Average Rank: 21.8

Top 32s: 5 of 5

Highest Rank: 13

One thing to know: Williams has the perfect NFL blend of size and speed. But the red flag is a broken bone in his next last season. But he has rebounded with nearly 1,000 yards receiving and 6 touchdowns in ten games this season.


15. Jarrad Davis (OLB, Florida)

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John Raoux/AP

Average Rank: 21.2

Top 32s: 5 of 5

Highest Rank: 12

One thing to know: Davis may be undersized at 6-foot-2, but his strength makes him one of the top linebackers in the country.


16. Caleb Brantley (DT, Florida)

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Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP

Average Rank: 21.2

Top 32s: 3 of 5

Highest Rank: 8

One thing to know: Brantley is a run stopper with great hands, but might not have the explosiveness to land in the first round.


17. Cam Robinson (OT, Alabama)

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LM Otero/AP

Average Rank: 23.4

Top 32s: 4 of 5

Highest Rank: 18

One thing to know: Robinson’s future with the Crimson Tide looked, at least for a moment, to be in doubt after he was arrested over the summer and charged with a felony possession of a weapon. Charges were dropped, though, and now Robinson has emerged as one of the top offensive linemen in the country.


18. Teez Tabor (CB, Florida)

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Sam Greenwood/Getty

Average Rank: 23.8

Top 32s: 4 of 5

Highest Rank: 17

One thing to know: Tabor legally changed his name from Jalen to Teez before the start of the season.


19. Charles Walker (DT, Oklahoma)

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Nati Harnik/AP

Average Rank: 24

Top 32s: 3 of 5

Highest Rank: 11

One thing to know: Walker suffered his second concussion in ten months earlier this season and hasn’t played since. He has now announced that he is leaving the team to prepare for the NFL Draft.


20. Christian McCaffrey (RB, Stanford)

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Thearon W. Henderson/Getty

Average Rank: 25

Top 32s: 3 of 5

Highest Rank: 5

One thing to know: McCaffrey rushed for over 2,000 yards last season and is finding the back of the end zone more often this year. He has 1,115 yards rushing and 9 TDs this season as the Cardinal running back.


21. JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR, USC)

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Thearon W. Henderson/Getty

Average Rank: 25.6

Top 32s: 3 of 5

Highest Rank: 13

One thing to know: Smith-Schuster averaged 16.3 yards per catch as a sophomore last season, and although he has cooled off a bit this year (under greater scrutiny from defenses) he remains a top WR in this year’s draft class.


22. Mike McGlinchey (OT, Notre Dame)

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Michael Conroy/AP

Average Rank: 25.8

Top 32s: 2 of 5

Highest Rank: 10

One thing to know: McGlinchey is 6-foot-7, 310-pound redshirt junior and is a sure-fire NFL prospect, but hasn’t announced whether or not he’ll declare for the pros or return for a fifth and final season. An underwhelming season for the Irish may just suggest the latter.


23. Carl Lawson (DE, Auburn)

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Brynn Anderson/AP

Average Rank: 26

Top 32s: 2 of 5

Highest Rank: 4

One thing to know: Lawson has 9 sacks this season and is just 2.5 away from besting Nick Fairley’s Auburn record for most sacks in a single season. With three games left, that certainly seems possible.


24. OJ Howard (TE, Alabama)

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Kevin C. Cox/Getty

Average Rank: 26.2

Top 32s: 2 of 5

Highest Rank: 7

One thing to know: Mackey is one of eight semifinalists for the Mackey Award, given each year to college’s best tight end. The senior has caught 29 passes for 352 yards to average 12.1 yards per catch for the Crimson Tide. He’s also an excellent blocking tight end.


25. Quenton Nelson (G, Notre Dame)

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Joe Robbins/Getty

Average Rank: 26.4

Top 32s: 4 of 5

Highest Rank: 3

One thing to know: The 6-foot-6, 325-pound junior from New Jersey was a preseason All-American.


26. Marcus Maye (S, Florida)

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Alan Diaz/AP

Average Rank: 27.4

Top 32s: 2 of 5

Highest Rank: 5

One thing to know: Maye will miss the remainder of Florida’s season with a broken left arm, but is still a likely first-round pick.


27. Cordrea Tankersley (CB, Clemson)

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Streeter Lecka/Getty

Average Rank: 27.6

Top 32s: 3 of 15

Highest Rank: 19

One thing to know: Tankersley was the only starting member of Clemson’s secondary to return this season.


28. Jake Butt (TE, Michigan)

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Leon Halip/Getty

Average Rank: 28.2

Top 32s: 2 of 5

Highest Rank: 9

One thing to know: Butt is Michigan’s all-time leader in receiving yards by a tight end.


29. Raekwon McMillan (LB, Ohio St.)

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Jay LaPrete/AP

Average Rank: 28.6

Top 32s: 2 of 5

Highest Rank: 6

One thing to know: McMillan logged over 100 tackles last season, and leads the Buckeyes once more in that category this year.


30. Tre’Davious White (CB, LSU)

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Morry Gash/AP

Average Rank: 29.2

Top 32s: 2 of 5

Highest Rank: 10

One thing to know: White also returns punts, but botched one this season against Arkansas.


31. Chris Wormley (DE, Michigan)

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Paul Sancya/AP

Average Rank: 29.4

Top 32s: 1 of 5

Highest Rank: 7

One thing to know: Michigan has the top-ranked defense in the country, and Wormley (6-foot-6, 298) is an anchor.


32. Isaac Rochell (DE, Notre Dame)

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Michael Conroy/AP

Average Rank: 29.6

Top 32s: 3 of 5

Highest Rank: 24

One thing to know: Everything you need to know about Rochell can be seen in this Vine, where he bulldozes Andrus Peat, an All-American from Stanford drafted high in the first round.


Now check out how much money these college kids can potentially make in the NFL.

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Bill Kostroun/AP

The 25 highest-paid players in NFL history