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NFL Draft 2016: ESPN's Todd McShay Releases Player Rankings


With the college football season all but finished, many a mock draft is flying around projecting where the nation's best players will wind up at the next level.

But mock drafts typically only project the first round, especially when they are released this early, and they are dependent on a team's needs, whereas rankings simply look at who is the best prospect available.

For example, Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa may be the best player in this year's draft class, and he has a combination of skill, versatility, and work ethic that could fit on any NFL roster. But the team with the first selection, the Tennessee Titans, may pick the top offensive lineman in the class, Ole Miss left tackle Laremy Tunsil, to fill a more important need.

Here is a look at some of Todd McShay's highest ranked players and where they are projected to be drafted. Click here for McShay's full positional rankings and here for his top 32.

1.     Ezekiel Elliott, running back, Ohio State

RB rank: 1

Top 32: 15

NFL Draft: Late first round. While NFL teams are devaluing feature backs, Elliott's versatile skill set still makes him valuable enough to be a first rounder.

2.     Robert Nkemdiche, defensive tackle, Ole Miss Rebels

DL rank: 2

Top 32: 5

NFL Draft: Mid first round.

3.     Jaylon Smith, outside linebacker, Notre Dame

LB rank: 3

Top 32: 20

NFL Draft: Mid-to-late first round. His torn ACL/MCL complicates his stock, but he is probably too good a linebacker when healthy to fall out of the first round.

4.     Jalen Ramsey, cornerback, Florida State/Vernon Hargreaves III, cornerback, Florida

DB rank: 1, 2

Top 32 rank: 2, 3

NFL Draft: Early first round. These two are not only among the most highly touted defensive backs in the draft, but two of the best defensive players in the draft.

5.     Christian Hackenberg, quarterback, Penn State

QB rank: 5

Top 32: NR

NFL Draft: Middle rounds. Hackenberg was McShay's projected first overall selection before the season began, but his stock took a major hit when his perceived weaknesses appeared to go beyond his supporting cast.

(Mock drafts courtesy of Fox Sports, CBS Sports, Bleacher Report, SB Nation)

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