Top offensive players

(AP) – Some of the top offensive players, by position, available in the NFL draft, which takes place April 25-27 in Nashville, Tennessee:


Position outlook: The most interesting player in the draft and a few players likely to be selected earlier than they should because that’s what happens with quarterbacks.

Kyler Murray, 5-foot-10, 205, Oklahoma

Strengths: Explosive athlete with a strong arm, nice touch and solid accuracy.

Weaknesses: Kyler Murray is small. You might have heard.

Fact: Murray’s Allen (Texas) High School team went 43-0 at with three championships in the state’s most competitive division.

Gone by: Certainly seems as if he will be No. 1 selection to Cardinals.

Dwayne Haskins, 6-3, 230, Ohio State

Strengths: Big guy with a big arm who commands his offense.

Weaknesses: Heavy-footed and prone to fall back against pressure. Only 14 career starts.

Fact: Led the nation with 4,831 yards passing and 50 touchdowns last season.

Gone by: Even if the teams currently in the top 10 don’t want Haskins, good bet someone will trade up to grab him.

Drew Lock, 6-4, 228, Missouri

Strengths: Size, arm and athleticism.

Weaknesses: Accuracy and ability to throw with varying speeds are inconsistent.

Fact: Four-year starter at Missouri.

Gone by: Might not be a top-15 player, but good chance he’s a top-15 pick.

Daniel Jones, 6-5, 231, Duke

Strengths: Combo of size and athleticism is top level.

Weaknesses: Decision making was often questionable and release needs to be sped up.

Fact: Three years as a starter under coach David Cutcliffe, aka the guy who coached Peyton and Eli Manning in college.

Gone by: Pretty good chance Jones gets taken in the first round.

Others to watch: Ryan Finley, QB, North Carolina State; Jarrett Stidham, Auburn; Will Grier, West Virginia; Tyree Jackson, Buffalo.



Position outlook: The trend away from first-round running backs has been broken in recent years, but there is no Ezekiel Elliott or Saquon Barkley in this group.

Josh Jacobs, 5-10, 220, Alabama.

Strengths: Bursts through holes and knocks tacklers back. Complete back who can block and catch.

Weaknesses: Will need to be better at avoiding contact at the next level.

Fact: Thanks to Alabama’s wealth of talent, Jacobs left college with only 299 touches from scrimmage.

Gone by: Early second round.

Others to watch: David Montgomery, Iowa State; Damien Harris, Alabama; Darrell Henderson, Memphis; Devin Singletary, Florida Atlantic; Miles Sanders, Penn State.



Position outlook: This draft seems light on those plug-and-play offensive tackles teams covet. Even some of the better tackle prospects such as Alabama’s Jonah Williams and Oklahoma’s Cody Ford have teams considering them at guard. But depth looks good.

Andre Dillard, T, 6-5, 315, Washington State

Strengths: Excellent athleticism and carries his weight comfortably.

Weaknesses: Needs to show more power as a run blocker.

Fact: Former two-star recruit who redshirted as a freshman and became a three-year starter at tackle.

Gone by: Top 20.

Jawaan Taylor, T, 6-5, 312, Florida

Strengths: Able to drive defenders and finish as a run blocker.

Weaknesses: Arrived at Florida overweight and that will need to be managed.

Fact: Started 12 games at right tackle last season for the Gators.

Gone by: Top 20.

Jonah Williams, T, 6-4, 302, Alabama

Strengths: Sound technician and good athlete.

Weaknesses: Shorter than ideal arms and relatively small frame for tackle could necessitate move to guard.

Fact: Three-year starter who moved to left-tackle as a sophomore and was an All-American as a junior.

Gone by: End of the first round.

Cody Ford, T, 6-4, 329, Oklahoma

Strengths: Huge, but with some athleticism that gives him big upside.

Weaknesses: His talent and technique need to be refined. Another tackle possibly headed for guard.

Fact: Started four games at guard in 2017 before taking over at right tackle in 2018.

Gone by: Early second round.

Garrett Bradbury, C, 6-3, 306, North Carolina St.

Strengths: Strong, lean and instinctive.

Weaknesses: Better in pass protection than drive blocking for the run.

Fact: High school tight end who developed into All-America center.

Gone by: Top 40.

Erick McCoy, C, 6-4, 303, Texas A&M

Strengths: Thick build and strong hands.

Weaknesses. Gets a little lost in space trying to block beyond the line of scrimmage.

Fact: Three-year starter after redshirting as a freshman.

Gone by: Top 40.

Dalton Risner, T, 6-5, 312, Kansas State

Strengths: Strong and consistent.

Weaknesses: Quickness and agility are so-so.

Fact: Started at center as a redshirt freshman before settling in at right tackle.

Gone by: Middle of the second round.

Greg Little, T, 6-5, 310, Mississippi

Strengths: Athleticism and size work well in pass blocking.

Weaknesses: Power in the running game needs work.

Fact: Played with Kyler Murray at Allen (Texas) High School and was one of the top recruits in the country in 2016.

Gone by: Late second round, but raw materials could push him up much higher.

Others to watch: Chris Lindstrom, G, Boston College; Kaleb McGary, T, Washington; Tytus Howard, T, Alabama State; Elgton Jenkins, C, Mississippi State.


Outlook: The best prospects all have at least one question mark to keep them out of the first 10 or 12 picks, but enough talent to put them in the first round.

D.K. Metcalf, 6-3, 228, Mississippi

Strengths: A physical specimen with blazing speed.

Weaknesses: Route running and hands are inconsistent.

Fact: Father is former NFL and Ole Miss offensive lineman Terrence Metcalf.

Gone by: Top 25.

Marquise Brown, 5-9, 166, Oklahoma

Strengths: Explosive speed and elusiveness.

Weaknesses: Skinny and short.

Fact: Nicknamed “Hollywood” for his Florida hometown and star qualities.

Gone by: The size (not great)/speed (great) combo gives him a wide-range of possibilities from pick 15 to 45.

A.J. Brown, 6-0, 225, Mississippi

Strengths: Good size, effective route runner out of the slot and plays tough.

Weaknesses: Can he play outside effectively?

Fact: Drafted in the 19th round by the San Diego Padres in 2016.

Gone by: Middle of the second round.

Parris Campbell, 6-0, 205, Ohio State

Strengths: Breakaway speed.

Weaknesses: Needs refinement because he was used in non-traditional ways in college.

Fact: Filled a role in Urban Meyer’s offense similar to Percy Harvin at Florida.

Gone by: End of the second, but the game-breaking ability could tempt a team much sooner.

Others to watch: N’Keal Harry, Arizona State; Deebo Samuel, South Carolina; Riley Ridley, Georgia; Hakeem Butler, Iowa State.



Outlook: Three possible first-rounders and then a bunch of players who do a few things well that will likely land them in the middle rounds.

T.J. Hockenson, 6-5, 251, Iowa

Strengths: Best combination of athleticism, receiving skills and blocking in the class.

Weaknesses: Needs to fill out and become a more reliable blocker to reach star status.

Fact: John Mackey Award winner as nation’s best tight end last year.

Gone by: Top 20.

Noah Fant, 6-4, 249, Iowa

Strengths: Speed and athleticism aplenty.

Weaknesses: Might be more of a slot receiver, motion-type tight end.

Fact: Fant was the hyped Iowa tight end going into last season, but Hockenson’s emergence probably held down some of his production. Fant had 39 catches for 519 yards and seven touchdowns.

Gone by: Early second round.

Irv Smith Jr., 6-2, 242, Alabama

Strengths: Speed and route-running to be a downfield threat.

Weaknesses: Needs to catch better in traffic.

Fact: Father, Irv Smith Sr., was a first-round draft pick by New Orleans out of Notre Dame in 1993.

Gone by: Middle of the second.

Others to watch: Josh Oliver, San Jose State; Kahale Warring, San Diego State; Jace Sternberger, Texas A&M; Dawson Knox, Mississippi.



Outlook: Punters are more likely to break into the draft than kickers these days.

Mitch Wishnowsky, P, 6-2, 218, Utah

Strengths: Like a lot of former Australian rules football players, the placement of his punts is precise.

Weaknesses: Lacks booming leg strength.

Fact: Handled kickoffs as a junior, but not last season.

Gone by: End of the sixth round.

Jake Bailey, P, 6-1, 200, Stanford

Strengths: Big leg has no problem with distance.

Weaknesses: Placement needs work on shorter punts.

Fact: Handled kickoffs and piled up touchbacks (102) in his final two seasons.

Gone by: End of the draft.

Others to watch: Matt Gay, K, Utah; Cole Tracy, K, LSU; Jack Fox, P, Rice; Tyler Newsome, P, Notre Dame.

Top defensive players

(AP) – Some of the top defensive prospects, by position, available in the NFL draft:


Position outlook: This draft is stacked with defensive linemen of all types. The edge rushers and ends could dominate the first 10 picks.

Nick Bosa, 6-foot-4, 266 pounds, Ohio State

Strengths: Quick off the edge and relentless, just like his brother, Chargers star Joey Bosa.

Weaknesses: Maybe some durability concerns because last year’s season-ending injury cut short the one season in which Bosa would have gotten a large volume of snaps.

Fact: Bosa had 29 tackles for loss, including 17 1-2 sacks in 30 games with the Buckeyes.

Gone by: Top three, just like his brother.

Josh Allen, 6-5, 262, Kentucky

Strengths: Size, speed, athleticism are all ideal. Even some room to add a few pounds if necessary.

Weaknesses: Some technique could use polishing, but not much to complain about.

Fact: Won Bednarik Award and Nagurski Trophy as top defensive player in college football last season.

Gone by: Maybe he lasts to No. 5?

Rashan Gary, 6-4, 277, Michigan

Strengths: Top-flight athlete with good power, long arms and sturdy against the run.

Weaknesses: Pass-rush production was spotty. Had 10 1-2 sacks in three seasons, though was often used to tie up blockers.

Fact: Consensus No. 1 overall recruit coming out of high school in 2016.

Gone by: If he slips out of the top 10, it won’t be far.

Montez Sweat, 6-6, 260, Mississippi State

Strengths: Among freaky athletes, Sweat might be the freakiest with his 4.4 speed.

Weaknesses: A little top heavy means he needs to upgrade against the run.

Fact: Two-time first-team all-Southeastern Conference and second-team All-American last season.

Gone by: Pick No. 15.

Clellin Ferrell, 6-4, 264, Clemson

Strengths: Solid in most areas and good at getting off blocks to finish plays.

Weaknesses: Sort of the opposite of Gary; not quite the athlete but plenty of production.

Fact: All-American last season with 21 sacks in his final two years.

Gone by: Middle-to-late first-round.

Brian Burns, 6-5, 249, Florida State

Strengths: Super quick and agile.

Weaknesses: Light, with thin frame. Could be more of a third-down pass rusher than every-down player.

Fact: Seven forced fumbles and three blocked kicks in his three-year career.

Gone by: Early second round.

Jaylon Ferguson, 6-5, 271, Louisiana Tech

Strengths: Size, strength and effort could make him an ideal 4-3 end.

Weaknesses: Not an explosive athlete. Low upside.

Fact: Set NCAA record with 45 career sacks.

Gone by: Middle of the second.

Zach Allen, 6-4, 281, Boston College

Strengths: Powerful and instinctive. Steadily improved each season.

Weaknesses: Skills might be better suited for tackle in some defenses, but has end size.

Fact: Former Connecticut high school player of the year.

Gone by: Late second.

Others to watch: L.J. Collier, TCU; Chase Winovich, Michigan; Jachai Polite, Florida; D’Andre Walker, Georgia; Oshane Ximines, Old Dominion; Jalen Jelks, Oregon; Austin Bryant, Clemson; Anthony Nelson, Iowa.



Position outlook: Maybe even deeper than the edge guys.

Quinnen Williams, 6-6, 303, Alabama

Strengths: Nearly unblockable last season with a combination of quickness, power and strong hands.

Weaknesses: Could nitpick about his weight as he might be more comfortable playing in the 290s. That’s about it.

Fact: One-year starter who made a case as the best player in college football in 2018.

Gone by: Pick four.

Ed Oliver, 6-2, 287, Houston

Strengths: Lateral quickness, burst and ability to finish plays like a linebacker.

Weaknesses: Short and was allowed to roam and slant in college.

Fact: Knee problem cut junior season short, but won Outland Trophy as nation’s top lineman as sophomore.

Gone by: Scheme-fit makes Oliver difficult to project, but also hard to see him sliding out of top half of first round.

Christian Wilkins, 6-3, 315, Clemson

Strengths: Team leader, with position versatility and good athleticism.

Weaknesses: Length and point-of-attack strength are less-than-ideal.

Fact: First Clemson scholarship football player to earn a degree in 2 1-2 years.

Gone by: Top 20.

Dexter Lawrence, 6-4, 342, Clemson

Strengths: Massive, but pretty light on his feet.

Weaknesses: Limited pass-rush potential, could slow him in pass-happy NFL.

Fact: Suspended for last season’s College Football Playoff for failing an NCAA test for performance-enhancing drugs. Has said he had no idea why he failed the test.

Gone by: Top 40 pick.

Jeffery Simmons, 6-4, 301, Mississippi State

Strengths: Big, perfectly proportioned athlete who consistently produces.

Weaknesses: Tore a ligament in his left knee in pre-draft workouts.

Fact: Was involved in a fight with a woman, whom he punched several times, while still in high school. Pleaded no contest to simple assault charge.

Gone by: Simmons seemed to have stayed out of trouble in college and would have been a sure first-rounder before the knee injury. Now? The potential could still make him a late first-rounder for a good team to stash.

Jerry Tillery, 6-6, 295, Notre Dame

Strengths: Long, quick and agile pass rusher.

Weaknesses: Plays tall and inconsistent against the run.

Fact: Was suspended for bowl game as a freshman and was caught on camera kicking a USC player as a sophomore, but seemed to mature as an upperclassman.

Gone by: Middle of the second round.

Others to watch: Dre’Mont Jones, Ohio State; Trysten Hill, UCF; Khalen Saunders, Western Illinois; Daylon Mack, Texas A&M; Gerald Willis, Miami.



Position outlook: Linebackers have to be able to really run to be drafted in the first round these days and there are two of them in this year’s class that fit the type.

Devin White, 6-0, 237, LSU

Strengths: Covers lots of ground and crushes ball carriers when he arrives.

Weaknesses: Can get out of position. More fast than instinctual.

Fact: Butkus Award winner as nation’s best linebacker in 2018.

Gone by: Top 10.

Devin Bush, 5-11, 234, Michigan

Strengths: Fast and reliable in pass coverage.

Weaknesses: Undersized, with a frame that might be maxed out, unlike Devin White.

Fact: Led Michigan in tackles the last two seasons.

Gone by: Top 15.

Others to watch: Mack Wilson, Alabama; Germaine Pratt, North Carolina State; David Long, West Virginia; Te’Von Coney, Notre Dame; Cameron Smith, Southern California.



Position outlook: NFL teams draft cornerbacks in bulk. This year’s class is light on early first-rounders, but look for a run in the late first and early second rounds.

x-Greedy Williams, 6-2, 185, LSU.

Strengths: Long, tall and smooth.

Weaknesses: Gangly and light. Needs to be more physical in coverage and supporting run.

Fact: Led SEC in interceptions as a redshirt freshman with six.

Gone by: Early second round.

Deandre Baker, 5-11, 193, Georgia

Strengths: Steady, tough and disruptive.

Weaknesses: On the small side and left some potential turnovers on the field.

Fact: Jim Thorpe Award winner as nation’s best defensive back last year.

Gone by: Late first round.

Byron Murphy, 5-11, 190, Washington

Strengths: Disciplined, instinctive and productive.

Weaknesses: Neither size nor speed stands out.

Fact: Only played 20 college games because of injuries.

Gone by: By the tape, early second round. By the measurable, early fourth.

Rock Ya-Sin, 6-0, 192, Temple

Strengths: Chiseled and strong with good speed.

Weaknesses: Choppy with his footwork and grabby with his hands.

Fact: Transferred from FCS Presbyterian College to Temple after the 2017 season.

Gone by: Middle of second round.

Others to watch: Julian Love, Notre Dame; Justin Layne, Michigan State; Trayvon Mullen, Clemson; Joejuan Williams, Vanderbilt.



Position outlook: Safeties are becoming more valuable to NFL teams, but this year’s group might not produce a first-rounder.

Johnathan Abram, 5-11, 205, Mississippi State

Strengths: Tough against the run.

Weaknesses: Could be limited to playing close to the line of scrimmage.

Fact: Mississippi high school product who signed with Georgia originally but transferred to the Bulldogs after a stop in junior college.

Gone by: Early second round.

Nasir Adderley, 6-0, 206, Delaware

Strengths: Rangy, fast and dangerous as a kick returner.

Weaknesses: Up-and-down production in FCS.

Fact: Cousin of Pro Football Hall of Famer Herb Adderley, who played for Packers and Cowboys.

Gone by: Middle of the second, but the type of athlete that could tempt a team in middle of the first round.

Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, 5-11, 210, Florida

Strengths: Hard-hitter with good range.

Weaknesses: Messy in coverage.

Fact: Outback Bowl MVP as a freshman against Iowa, with two interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown.

Gone by: Middle of the second.

Others to watch: Deionte Thompson, Alabama; Darnell Savage, Maryland; Juan Thornhill, Virginia; Taylor Rapp, Washington.