Mel Kiper, Jr. of ESPN has put out his first rankings of the 2017 NFL Draft class. Clearly a lot will change between now and the time teams pick next spring. These players have a full season of games followed by all-star games, the Combine, workouts, interviews, and medical exams. These things will make the board fluctuate in the months to come.
You have to start somewhere, though. Kiper provides us that starting point if nothing else. Here are his top ranked players at each defensive position at this very early date. These are simply names to keep in mind once we get into the 2016 college football season.
Senior: Jonathan Allen, Alabama
Underclassman: Myles Garrett, Texas A&M
Senior: Carlos Watkins, Clemson
Underclassman: Malik McDowell, Michigan State
Senior: Tim Williams, Alabama
Underclassman: Marquis Haynes, Mississippi
Senior: Reuben Foster, Alabama
Underclassman: Raekwon McMillan, Ohio State
Senior: Jourdan Lewis, Michigan
Underclassman: Jalen Tabor, Florida
Senior: Tony Conner, Mississippi
Underclassman: Jamal Adams, LSU
For Kiper's full early rankings, click here.