NFL Draft: Top Offensive Players
Top offensive players available in the NFL draft, which starts with the first round on April 28.
Jared Goff, 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, California
Notable: Set Pac-12 records with 4,719 passing yards and 43 touchdowns last season.
Strengths: Quick release and maintains solid accuracy whether throwing short, intermediate or deep. Will stand and deliver in the face of pressure and moves well within the pocket.
Weaknesses: Toughness is admirable, but he takes too many hits. He fumbled 24 times in three seasons. Some of that is poor recognition of when to get rid of the ball. Played almost exclusively from the shotgun.
Outlook: Could be the No. 1 overall pick.
Carson Wentz, 6-5, 237, North Dakota State
Notable: Led the Bison to FCS national championship in his only two seasons as a starter.
Strengths: Ideal size, strong arm and above average athleticism. Physically, he is everything an NFL team wants a quarterback to be. Played under center a lot in NDSU’s offense. At the combine, Wentz impressed teams with his confident demeanor and understanding of the game.
Weaknesses: He hasn’t faced big-time competition. Can all the tools translate and improve when he does?
Outlook: The Rams are going to take a quarterback at No. 1, Wentz or Goff. Wentz had more upside. Goff seems less risky. The one the Rams pass on is unlikely to slip past the top 10.
Paxton Lynch, 6-7, 244, Memphis
Notable: Passed for 386 yards and three touchdowns, leading Memphis last season to a win over Mississippi — a team with several NFL players on its defense.
Strengths: Can really move for his size. Good arm strength. Cut way down on his interceptions last year, from 19 his first two seasons as a starter to four.
Weaknesses: Needs to improve reading defenses and anticipating throws. Throws can get off-target, especially when on the move, which detracts from his excellent mobility.
Outlook: Lots of upside. Probably not a first-year starter, but still most likely to be the third quarterback selected in the first round.
Ezekiel Elliott, 6-0, 225, Ohio State
Notable: Big Ten offensive player of the year in 2015.
Strengths: Finds and hits holes with exceptional quickness and aggressiveness. Always seems to fall forward. Excellent blocker and solid pass catcher, which should make him a good fit in today’s pass-happy NFL.
Weaknesses: Carried a heavy load the last couple of seasons and his style lent itself to taking some big shots.
Outlook: First running back drafted, maybe top 10.
Derrick Henry, 6-3, 247, Alabama
Notable: 2015 Heisman Trophy winner rushed for SEC-record 2,219 yards and 28 TDs.
Strengths: Huge. Uses a powerful stiff arm and has excellent speed to pull away from defenders when he gets in the clear.
Weaknesses: Not much shift and shimmy to his style, which can lead him to getting cut down by the legs at or behind the line. Hasn’t shown much as a receiver.
Outlook: Would be surprising if he’s not the second back drafted, maybe late first round.
Laquon Treadwell, 6-2, 221, Mississippi
Notable: Returned last year from a horrific leg injury in 2014 and put up big numbers: 82 catches for 1,153 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Strengths: Big and strong and uses his frame well to shield off defenders. Makes a lot of contested catches.
Weaknesses: Doesn’t have great speed — 4.6 in the 40-yard dash at the combine — and can get tangled when pressed at the line of scrimmage.
Outlook: Mid-first-round pick, maybe first receiver off the board.
Will Fuller, 6-0, 182, Notre Dame
Notable: Had 2,354 yards and 29 touchdown catches in last two seasons.
Strengths: Home-run hitter and classic deep threat with 4.4 speed. Can cut near top speed and gets a good release off the line of scrimmage.
Weakness: Inconsistent hands and slight frame could limit the way he is used in the NFL.
Outlook: The speed probably makes him a first-rounder, though he may never be a prototypical No. 1 receiver.
Josh Doctson, 6-2, 202, TCU
Notable: A wrist injury cut short his senior season, but he was still an All-American.
Strengths: Runs sharp routes and gets excellent separation without blazing speed. Wins jump balls and has strong hands.
Weaknesses: Could use more bulk on his frame and strength to deal with physical coverage.
Outlook: Back end of the first round, but could slip into second.
Corey Coleman, 5-11, 194, Baylor
Notable: Biletnikoff Award winner as top wide receiver in nation last season.
Strengths: Great acceleration off the line makes him a top-notch deep threat. Elusive after the catch, too.
Weaknesses: At his best on the perimeter. Needs to show more consistency in the middle of the field as a pass catcher and route runner.
Outlook: Could sneak into the bottom of the first round.
Hunter Henry, 6-5, 250, Arkansas
Notable: John Mackey Award winner as nation’s best tight end last season.
Strengths: Strong run blocker and reliable receiver. Plus, enough speed to get deep.
Weaknesses: Routes could use some polish.
Outlook: If a tight end gets drafted in the first round, this is the guy.
Laremy Tunsil, OT, 6-5, 310, Mississippi
Notable: Missed most of last season due to an NCAA infraction, but played at top form when he did.
Strengths: Quick feet and hands help him neutralize speed rushers. Reads and anticipates rush moves. Moves well and can wipe out linebackers on the second level.
Weaknesses: Point of attack power run blocking needs some work. Maybe a little bulk would help?
Outlook: Was a possible first overall pick when Tennessee was drafting No. 1. Now, top five.
Ronnie Stanley, OT, 6-6, 312, Notre Dame
Notable: Three-year starter, the last two as left tackle.
Strengths: Uses his long arms to keep rushers at bay and sets his feet quickly. Plays with some nastiness.
Weaknesses: Great technique, but doesn’t overpower defenders.
Outlook: Outside chance Stanley gets selected over Tunsil, more likely soon after.
Jack Conklin, OT, 6-6, 308, Michigan State
Notable: Former walk-on who developed into an All-America left tackle.
Strengths: Tough and strong. All you need to know about Conklin: more than held his own against Oregon (DeForest Buckner), Ohio State (Joey Bosa) and Alabama (A’Shawn Robinson, Jarran Reed, et al).
Weaknesses: Not a top-tier athlete and could have some issues with speed rushers.
Outlook: After Tunsil and Stanley, Conklin is likely next off the board.
Taylor Decker, OT, 6-7, 310, Ohio State
Notable: Four-year starter and All-American last season.
Strengths: Tough and powerful. Drives opponents off the line.
Weaknesses: Could use better footwork, especially in pass protection. Maybe more of a right tackle than left?
Outlook: With a strong class of offensive tackles, could go mid-first or mid-second round.
LeRaven Clark, OT, 6-5, 316, Texas Tech
Notable: Four-year starter, the last three at left tackle.
Strengths: Quick feet and powerful and sturdy base.
Weaknesses: Hand work can be spotty, which is a problem against skilled pass rushers.
Outlook: Late first-round possibility.
Ryan Kelly, C, 6-4, 311, Alabama
Notable: Rimington Trophy winner as nation’s best center.
Strengths: Take-control player, excellent drive blocker and one tough dude.
Weaknesses: Head-to-head matchups against athletic players could cause some issues. Not much to dislike.
Outlook: If a center gets drafted in the first round, this is the guy.
Germain Ifedi, OT, 6-6, 324, Texas A&M
Notable: Three-year starter who began his career at guard.
Strengths: Massive and versatile. Once he locks up a defender, the defender usually is blocked.
Weaknesses: Despite size, run blocking could use some work. Doesn’t drive holes open.
Outlook: Late first-round possibility.
Jason Spriggs, OT, 6-6, 301, Indiana
Notable: Four-year starter.
Strengths: Long and athletic.
Weaknesses: Doesn’t play with great power and needs to add some mass.
Outlook: Might have more upside than Decker or even Conklin, which could get him into the bottom of the first round.
Cody Whitehair, OG, 6-4, 301, Kansas State
Notable: Has played guard and tackle at very high level. Projects to guard in pros.
Strengths: Versatility, work ethic and effort are top notch.
Weaknesses: Probably only an emergency tackle in the NFL and needs to improve blasting off the line in the running game.
Outlook: If a guard gets drafted in the first round, this is the guy.
Roberto Aguayo, 6-0, 207, Florida State
Notable: Was 69 for 78 on field-goal attempts in three seasons as a Seminole.
Strengths: Strong leg and stands up to stress.
Weaknesses: Accuracy fell off as a senior and his kickoffs still need some work.
Outlook: If a kicker gets drafted in the first round, this is the guy.
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