The SEC has a ton of the top draft-eligible talent this season, according to ESPN’s Mel Kiper.
SEC players took 12 of the 25 spots on Kiper’s preseason Big Board for the 2017 NFL Draft, including four of the top five slots.
According to Kiper, Alabama LB Tim Williams is the top prospect for the draft going into this season. While he needs to work on his run defense, Kiper pointed to the senior linebacker’s unparalleled skills as a pass rusher as the reason why he took the top spot.
“Outside of quarterback, there is no greater premium position in the modern NFL than a premium pass-rusher, and Williams can be simply unblockable,” Kiper said. “He had 10.5 sacks even though he played only about 20 percent of defensive snaps.”
Another SEC pass rusher, Texas A&M DE Myles Garrett, took the No. 2 spot, followed by LSU RB Leonard Fournette at No. 3. Kiper ranked LSU S Jamal Adams No. 5.
Kiper said Garrett also needs to improve against the run, but his athleticism and size make him a great prospect.
“Garrett has production, with 23.0 sacks in two years, and looks like a top-five lock if he stays healthy,” Kiper said.
Alabama had more players on the list than any other team with six. LSU had two. Texas A&M, Auburn, Florida and Missouri each had one.
Here are all the SEC players to make Kiper’s Big Board:
1. Tim Williams, OLB, Alabama
2. Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
3. Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
5. Jamal Adams, S, LSU
8. Jonathan Allen, DE, Alabama
10. Reuben Foster, ILB, Alabama
12. Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama
13. Charles Harris, DE, Missouri
16. Teez Tabor, CB, Florida
18. O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
21. Carl Lawson, DE, Auburn
24. Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama