A new season of NCAA college football is upon us. Close to 200 of the 2017 juniors and seniors will enter the 2018 NFL Draft next spring. In this feature, we take a closer look at the most draftable player from each of the Associated Press’ pre-season top 25 teams that you may just have on your fantasy team in 2018. Prerequisites for players on this list:
• Featured players limited to those found on standard fantasy teams, including quarterbacks, running backs/full backs, wide receivers, tight ends, and kickers.
• All players must be eligible for the 2018 NFL Draft – seniors, juniors, and redshirt-sophomores only

Preseason AP Top 25
1) Alabama – WR Calvin Ridley
Forecasted 2018 NFL Draft position: First round
The Crimson Tide are full of athletes, any one of them would be a great choice here. Calvin Ridley is a special breed of receiver. In his freshman year, Ridley took over as WR1 after Amari Cooper graduated.

Ridley caught 89 balls for 1,045-yards and 7 TD’s as a freshman and followed it up with a 72/769/7 stat line last year. Ridley’s size, speed and reliability will make him a first-round pick in the 2018 NFL entry draft. RB Bo Scarborough should also be drafted in the top three rounds.

2) Ohio State – WR Parris Campbell
Forecasted 2018 NFL Draft position: Top two rounds
Campbell converted from a high school running back to an outside receiver at Ohio State. Campbell was a standout during spring camp and is set for a breakout performance in his junior year. Campbell has the raw skill to be a standout receiver in the NFL.

3) Florida State – QB Deondre Francois
Forecasted 2018 NFL Draft position: Round three or four
Francois has a powerful arm, athletic skill set, and huge potential. Francois should have noticeable improvement in consistency and efficiency as a red-shirt sophomore. Francois could lead the Seminoles to an ACC Championship in 2017.

4) USC – QB Sam Darnold
Forecasted 2018 NFL Draft position: First QB off the board – Potential #1 overall
Sam Darnold may just be the most hyped player entering the 2018 NFL entry draft. This field general has a huge arm and sniper-like accuracy. As a red-shirt freshman, Darnold led the Trojans to nine wins and should surpass that record in 2018 en-route to a possible PAC-12 Championship.

5) Clemson – WR Deon Cain
Forecasted 2018 NFL Draft position: Round two or three
Deon Cain was the second best vertical threat for the Tigers in 2016 and will be the number one receiver with the departure of Mike Williams. Even with a new QB in 2017, Cain is due for a huge season.

6) Penn State – RB Saquon Barkley
Forecasted 2018 NFL Draft position: Top RB off the board – Top 20 pick
Junior RB Saquon Barkley is a true bell-cow back with three-down capability. Barkley racked up nearly 1,900 all-purpose yards and 22 TDs in 2016. This Heisman candidate may be the best back entering the 2018 draft.

7) Oklahoma – TE Mark Andrews
Forecasted 2018 NFL Draft position: Round two or three
Andrews is one of the top tight ends entering the draft with good size, speed, and athleticism. Andrews is always a threat in the end zone. QB Baker Mayfield will also be a mid-round pick.

8) Washington – WR Dante Pettis
Forecasted 2018 NFL Draft position: Round three or four
Pettis was a dangerous scoring threat in 2016, serving as second receiving option behind John Ross. With Ross gone to the NFL, Pettis will be the number one option for the Huskies and should be drafted in the mid-rounds of the 2018 NFL entry draft.

9) Wisconsin – TE Troy Fumagalli
Forecasted 2018 NFL Draft position: Round three or four
This junior has good size and speed.

10) Oklahoma State – WR James Washington
Forecasted 2018 NFL Draft position: Top two rounds
Washington currently leads all active FBS receivers with 26 TDs. The Cowboys will have a potent offense in 2017 with all of its starters returning. This senior WR should rack up his third consecutive 1,000+ yards/double digit TDs season. QB Mason Rudolph should also be drafted in the mid rounds.

11) Michigan – FB Khalid Hill
Forecasted 2018 NFL Draft position: Late rounds
The Wolverines have a very young offense – most of whom are not eligible for the 2018 draft. However, Hill may be the second best full back and should be a late round pick in the draft next season.

12) Auburn – QB Jarrett Stidham
Forecasted 2018 NFL Draft position: Round two or three
Stidham is the first true NFL quarterback prospect to play for Auburn since Cam Newton. Stidham impressed with his strength, athleticism, and accuracy at Baylor. Stidham bailed on the Bears in the aftermath of the Art Briles scandal. Stidham instantly improves the Tigers.

13) LSU – RB Derrius Guice
Forecasted 2018 NFL Draft position: First round
With Leonard Fournette missing chunks of time due to injury, Guice excelled with a breakout sophomore season, earning 7.6-yards per touch. Guice now owns the Tigers backfield and should have another outstanding season as the Tigers’ workhorse back.

14) Stanford – TE Dalton Schultz
Forecasted 2018 NFL Draft position: Late rounds
Schultz is a solid blocking tight end and should be a late round 2018 pick.

15) Georgia – RB Nick Chubb
Forecasted 2018 NFL Draft position: Top three rounds
Chubb is now two years removed from his devastating knee injury in 2015. Prior to his injury, Chubb had an outstanding freshman year, splitting carries with Todd Gurley in 2014. If his knee is fully recovered, Chubb will be a one-man wrecking ball and should dominate the ground game.

16) Louisville – QB Lamar Jackson
Forecasted 2018 NFL Draft position: Top three rounds
Junior QB Lamar Jackson lit the college world on fire in 2016, en-route to claiming the Heisman Trophy. Jackson has massive upside with speed, agility, game instinct, and leadership. Many scouts question his ability to play quarterback at the pro level. Jackson may need to learn a new position in the NFL.

17) Florida – WR Antonio Callaway
Forecasted 2018 NFL Draft position: Top three rounds
Junior WR Antonio Callaway has massive upside and was a huge play-maker in 2016 – even with inconsistency at quarterback, Callaway was a top receiver in the SEC. Callaway has been known for his off-field concerns, which may lead to a drop in his draft position next spring.

18) Miami – K Michael Badgley
Forecasted 2018 NFL Draft position: Undrafted free agent
Badgley has been ready at the call of his name. This senior kicker has an accurate and powerful leg, leading him to two consecutive All-ACC team nods.

19) South Florida – QB Quinton Flowers
Forecasted 2018 NFL Draft position: Late rounds
The senior quarterback has played well for this non-power five conference team. Flowers’ small size will impact his draft stock. Flowers may need to switch positions to find success in the NFL.

20) Kansas State – K Matthew McCrane
Forecasted 2018 NFL Draft position: Undrafted free agent
McCrane has the accuracy and leg strength desired by the NFL, but the senior will need more opportunities to prove himself in game action.

21) Virginia Tech – RB Travon McMillian
Forecasted 2018 NFL Draft position: Undrafted free agent
McMillian performed well in his 2015 freshman season, rushing for over 1,000-yards. Under a new regime, McMillian’s stats line was held to only 671-yards in 2016. McMillian’s draft stock will be impacted by how the coaching staff chooses to utilize his skill set in 2017. McMillian will likely forego the 2018 draft and play his 2018 season out with the Hokies to build his draft stock.

22) West Virginia – RB Justin Crawford
Forecasted 2018 NFL Draft position: Undrafted free agent
Senior RB Justin Crawford is a well-rounded back and has been named to the 2017 Maxwell Award watch list and should improve on his 2016 stat line of 1184-yards and 4 TDs.

23) Texas – RB Chris Warren III
Forecasted 2018 NFL Draft position: Undrafted free agent
Chris Warren is primed for a breakout season in his 2017 junior season. No longer splitting time with D’Onta Foreman, Warren will still need to prove his knee is fully recovered. Warren has NFL bloodlines as his All-Pro father played for the Seahawks, Cowboys, and Eagles. Warren has been compared to Jerome Bettis.

Warning: video is NSFW due to lyrics

24) Washington State – QB Luke Falk
Forecasted 2018 NFL Draft position: Round two to four
Falk completed 70-percent of his passes for 4,468-yards with 38 touchdowns in his 2016 junior year. Falk has the opportunity to improve those numbers as he chose to return to the Cougars for his senior year. Falk needs to improve his progressions, rather than locking on to his preferred receiver. The Cougars work out of the shotgun formation which may drop his draft value as he would need to learn to work under center in the pros.

25) Tennessee – WR Jauan Jennings
Forecasted 2018 NFL Draft position: Middle rounds
Jennings caught 40 balls for 580-yards and 7 TDs in his 2016 sophomore season. Jennings can be much more productive if given a more consistent QB than Josh Dobbs was.

Bonus Predictions

Here are five other top prospects who play for teams not on the 2017 preseason AP Poll.

Texas A&M – WR Christian Kirk
Forecasted 2018 NFL Draft position: First WR off the board. First Round
Junior WR Christian Kirk is an explosive play maker some have tagged as ‘Baby Beckham’ in reference to Odell Beckham Jr. Kirk is going to be fun to watch for years to come.

Notre Dame – WR Equanimeous St. Brown
Forecasted 2018 NFL Draft position: First Round
Scouts are enamored with St. Brown. ESB is a super-polished route runner with tremendous speed, athletic ability, body control, and hands. Scouts have said ESB could be more gifted and talented than Corey Davis, Mike Williams, and John Ross.

Iowa – RB Akrum Wadley
Forecasted 2018 NFL Draft position: Round two or three
Senior Akrum Wadley is a talented bell-cow back. During his junior year, Wadley totalled nearly 1,400 all-purpose yards and 13 TDs.

Wyoming – QB Josh Allen
Forecasted 2018 NFL Draft position: Top three rounds
Allen completed 56-percent of his passes for 3,203-yards with 28 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in 2016. Allen is a polarizing player with some saying he is a top of the draft prospect, comparing him to Ben Roethlisberger, while others insist his game requires a lot of work.

UCLA – QB Josh Rosen
Forecasted 2018 NFL Draft position: Top three rounds
Rosen completed 59-percent of his passes for 1,915-yards with 10 touchdowns and five interceptions over his six games of 2016, before being sidelined by shoulder surgery. Many have questioned Rosen’s leadership capability. There seems to be strained relationships throughout the UCLA locker room.

Future Faces of the NFL – A Way Too Early 2018 NFL Draft Preview
Tagged on:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Leave a Reply