DeForest Buckner Tops Latest 2016 NFL Draft Big Board

The 2016 NFL draft class features its fair share of supremely talented elite prospects. However, among that special blue-chip group of big names are plenty of questions that need to be answered.

When scanning the list of top players available in the 2016 class, it won’t take long before you find some sort of red flag that jumps out.

Ohio State DE Joey Bosa and Ole Miss OT Laremy Tunsil—two tremendously talented juniors who have long been projected to be top-10 picks in this year’s draft—will both have to answer questions from scouts and personnel evaluators about the behavior that led to them being suspended this past season.

Ole Miss DT Robert Nkemdiche—another widely projected top-10 pick—also has behavioral concerns stemming from an incident back in December when he fell out of the window of his hotel room and was subsequently cited with marijuana possession.

There are also substantial injury concerns surrounding two of the top defensive prospects in the class: UCLA LB Myles Jack, who tore his meniscus back in September, and Notre Dame LB Jaylon Smith, who tore his ACL and LCL in the Fiesta Bowl against Ohio State.

One player who scouts don’t have to be concerned about, however, is the top senior prospect in the 2016 class: Oregon DE DeForest Buckner.

Buckner is coming off a dominant final campaign in Eugene. The 6’7”, 300-pound disruptive defensive force stated a strong case for why he deserves consideration to be the top overall pick in the 2016 draft, as he totaled 10.5 sacks and 83 tackles, including 17 tackles for loss. It was a performance that earned him numerous honors and accolades, including Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year and First-Team All-American honors.

It looks like Buckner, who has all the physical qualities to develop into an elite difference-making defender at the pro level, is as good of a candidate as any to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft. Nevertheless, he’s going to face some stiff competition from worthy challengers such as Bosa, Tunsil, Nkemdiche and others in the coming months.

With draft weekend still over three months away, there’s still a lot that needs to be sorted out, and there plenty more key stops on the road such as the Senior Bowl, the NFL Combine and numerous important pro days before that destination is reached.

At the very least, now that the deadline for eligible underclassmen to declare has passed, we can at least begin to put the pieces in place and begin analyzing, evaluating the value and projecting the pro potential of the many intriguing prospects in this year’s class.

Here’s a look at the updated big board and prospect power rankings for the 2016 NFL draft.

The Top 10 Overall Prospects

1 – DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon


2 – Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State



3 – Jalen Ramsey, S, Florida State


4 – Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss


5 – Myles Jack, LB, UCLA


6 – Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss


7 – Jaylon Smith, LB, Notre Dame


8 – Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida


9 – A’Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama


10 – Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State


The “Super 64” Overall Prospects

1 – DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon
2 – Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State
3 – Jalen Ramsey, S, Florida State
4 – Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss
5 – Myles Jack, LB, UCLA
6 – Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss
7 – Jaylon Smith, LB, Notre Dame
8 – Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida
9 – A’Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama
10 – Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
11 – Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma State
12 – Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
13 – Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson
14 – Jared Goff, QB, California
15 – Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor
16 – Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State
17 – Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama
18 – Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
19 – Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama
20 – Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson
21 – Reggie Ragland, LB, Alabama
22 – Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
23 – Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State
24 – Kendall Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
25 – Josh Doctson, WR, TCU
26 – Leonard Floyd, LB, Georgia
27 – Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State
28 – Darron Lee, LB, Ohio State
29 – Germain Ifedi, OT, Texas A&M
30 – Noah Spence, DE, Eastern Kentucky
31 – Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State
32 – Kevin Dodd, DE, Clemson
33 – Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor
34 – Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville
35 – Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State
36 – Michael Thomas, WR, Ohio State
37 – Su’a Cravens, LB, USC
38 – William Jackson III, CB, Houston
39 – Jordan Jenkins, LB, Georgia
40 – Devontae Booker, RB, Utah
41 – Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame
42 – Spencer Drango, OT, Baylor
43 – Ryan Kelly, OC, Alabama
44 – Shilique Calhoun, DE, Michigan State
45 – Kyler Fackrell, LB, Utah State
46 – Vernon Butler, DT, Louisiana Tech
47 – Shon Coleman, OT, Auburn
48 – Carl Nassib, DE, Penn State
49 – Shawn Oakman, DE, Baylor
50 – Hunter Henry, TE, Arkansas
51 – Cody Whitehair, OG, Kansas State
52 – Tyler Boyd, WR, Pittsburgh
53 – Kenny Clark, DT, UCLA
54 – Vonn Bell, S, Ohio State
55 – Jonathan Bullard, DE, Florida
56 – Cardale Jones, QB, Ohio State
57 – Pharoh Cooper, WR, South Carolina
58 – Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana
59 – Zack Sanchez, CB, Oklahoma
60 – Christian Hackenberg, QB, Penn State
61 – Roberto Aguayo, K, Florida State
62 – Austin Johnson, DT, Penn State
63 – Maliek Collins, DT, Nebraska
64 – Darian Thompson, S, Boise State

And here are the individual prospects power rankings for every major position…

*Note: Asterisks denote underclassmen who have declared their eligibility.

The Top 10 Quarterbacks

1 – Jared Goff, Cal* (14)

  1. Carson Wentz, North Dakota State (16)
  2. Paxton Lynch, Memphis* (22)
  3. Connor Cook, Michigan State (35)
  4. Cardale Jones, Ohio State* (56)
  5. Christian Hackenberg, Penn State* (60)
  6. Jacoby Brissett, NC State
  7. Jeff Driskel, Louisiana Tech
  8. Kevin Hogan, Stanford
  9. Dak Prescott, Mississippi State


Honorable Mention

  • Brandon Allen, Arkansas
  • Brandon Doughty, Western Kentucky
  • Chuckie Keeton, Utah State
  • Cody Kessler, USC
  • Jacob Coker, Alabama
  • Jake Rudock, Michigan
  • Marquise Williams, North Carolina
  • Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
  • Travis Wilson, Utah
  • Trevone Boykin, TCU
  • Vernon Adams, Oregon

The Top 10 Running Backs

1 – Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State* (10)

  1. Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama* (17)
  2. Devontae Booker, Utah (40)
  3. Kenneth Dixon, Louisiana Tech
  4. Alex Collins, Arkansas*
  5. Jordan Howard, Indiana*
  6. C.J. Prosise, Notre Dame*
  7. Paul Perkins, UCLA*
  8. Kenyan Drake, Alabama
  9. Tyler Ervin, San Jose State

Honorable Mention

  • Aaron Green, TCU
  • Byron Marshall, Oregon
  • Devon Johnson, Marshall
  • D.J. Foster, Arizona State
  • Dwayne Washington, Washington*
  • Jonathan Williams, Arkansas
  • Josh Ferguson, Illinois
  • Keenan Reynolds, Navy
  • Kelvin Taylor, Florida*
  • Storm Barrs-Woods, Oregon State
  • Wendell Smallwood, West Virginia*

The Top 10 Wide Receivers

1 – Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss* (18)

  1. Josh Doctson, TCU (25)
  2. Corey Coleman, Baylor* (33)
  3. Michael Thomas, Ohio State* (36)
  4. Will Fuller, Notre Dame* (41)
  5. Tyler Boyd, Pittsburgh* (52)
  6. Pharoh Cooper, South Carolina* (57)
  7. Leonte Carroo, Rutgers
  8. Sterling Shepard, Oklahoma
  9. Braxton Miller, Ohio State

Honorable Mention

  • Aaron Burbridge, Michigan State
  • Bralon Addison, Oregon*
  • De’Runnya Wilson, Mississippi State*
  • Demarcus Robinson, Florida*
  • Devon Cajuste, Stanford
  • Hunter Sharp, Utah State
  • Jalin Marshall, Ohio State*
  • Jordan Payton, UCLA
  • Kenny Lawler, Cal*
  • Rashard Higgins, Colorado State*
  • Tajae Sharpe, UMass

The Top 10 Tight Ends

1 – Hunter Henry, Arkansas* (50)

  1. Austin Hooper, Stanford*
  2. Glenn Gronkowski, Kansas State*
  3. Nick Vannett, Ohio State
  4. Henry Krieger-Coble, Iowa
  5. Jerell Adams, South Carolina
  6. Jake McGee, Florida
  7. Bryce Williams, East Carolina
  8. David Grinnage, NC State*
  9. Tyler Higbee, Western Kentucky

Honorable Mention

  • Ben McCord, Central Michigan
  • Braxton Deaver, Duke
  • Darion Griswold, Arkansas State
  • David Morgan II, UTSA
  • Jake Duzey, Iowa
  • Jay Rome, Georgia
  • Kivon Cartwright, Colorado State
  • Kyle Carter, Penn State
  • Ryan Malleck, Virginia Tech
  • Sean Price, South Florida
  • Steven Scheu, Vanderbilt

The Top 10 Offensive Tackles

1 – Laremy Tunsil, Ole Miss* (6)

  1. Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame* (12)
  2. Jack Conklin, Michigan State* (23)
  3. Taylor Decker, Ohio State (27)
  4. Germain Ifedi, Texas A&M* (29)
  5. Spencer Drango, Baylor (42)
  6. Shon Coleman, Auburn* (47)
  7. Jason Spriggs, Indiana (58)
  8. Willie Beavers, Western Michigan
  9. Jerald Hawkins, LSU*

Honorable Mention

  • Avery Young, Auburn*
  • Brandon Shell, South Carolina
  • Caleb Benenoch, UCLA*
  • Cole Toner, Harvard
  • Joe Dahl, Washington State
  • Joe Haeg, North Dakota State
  • John Theus, Georgia
  • Kyle Murphy, Stanford
  • Le’Raven Clark, Texas Tech
  • Stephane Nembot, Colorado
  • Tyler Marz, Wisconsin

The Top 10 Interior Linemen

1 – Ryan Kelly, Alabama (43)

  1. Cody Whitehair, Kansas State (51)
  2. Vadal Alexander, LSU
  3. Denver Kirkland, Arkansas*
  4. Joshua Garnett, Stanford
  5. Connor McGovern, Missouri
  6. Sebastian Tretola, Arkansas
  7. Landon Turner, North Carolina
  8. Jack Allen, Michigan State
  9. Christian Westerman, Arizona State

Honorable Mention

  • Aaron Morris, Ole Miss
  • Alex Redmond, UCLA*
  • Austin Blythe, Iowa
  • Evan Boehm, Missouri
  • Isaac Seumalo, Oregon State*
  • Max Tuerk, USC
  • Nick Martin, Notre Dame
  • Rees Odhiambo, Boise State
  • Lene Maiava, Arizona
  • Jake Brendel, UCLA
  • Parker Ehinger, Cincinnati

The Top 10 Defensive Tackles

1 – Robert Nkemdiche, Ole Miss* (6)

  1. A’Shawn Robinson, Alabama* (9)
  2. Andrew Billings, Baylor* (15)
  3. Jarran Reed, Alabama (19)
  4. Sheldon Rankins, Louisville (34)
  5. Vernon Butler, Louisiana Tech (46)
  6. Kenny Clark, UCLA* (53)
  7. Austin Johnson, Penn State* (62)
  8. Maliek Collins, Nebraska* (63)
  9. Chris Jones, Mississippi State*

Honorable Mention

  • Adolphus Washington, Ohio State
  • Anthony Zettel, Penn State
  • Darius Latham, Indiana*
  • Hassan Ridgeway, Texas*
  • Luther Maddy, Virginia Tech
  • Melvin Lewis, Kentucky
  • Matt Ioannidis, Temple
  • Nile Lawrence-Stample, Florida State
  • Quinton Jefferson, Maryland*
  • Sheldon Day, Notre Dame
  • Vincent Valentine, Nebraska*

The Top 10 Defensive Ends

1 – DeForest Buckner, Oregon (1)

  1. Joey Bosa, Ohio State* (2)
  2. Emmanuel Ogbah, Oklahoma State* (11)
  3. Shaq Lawson, Clemson* (20)
  4. Noah Spence, Eastern Kentucky* (30)
  5. Kevin Dodd, Clemson* (32)
  6. Shilique Calhoun, Michigan State (44)
  7. Carl Nassib, Penn State (48)
  8. Shawn Oakman, Baylor (49)
  9. Jonathan Bullard, Florida (55)

Honorable Mention

  • Bronson Kaufusi, BYU
  • Charles Tapper, Oklahoma
  • Dadi Nicolas, Virginia Tech
  • Delvon Simmons, USC
  • James Cowser, Southern Utah
  • Jason Fanaika, Utah
  • Jihad Ward, Illinois
  • Kamalei Correa, Boise State*
  • Ronald Blair, Appalachian State
  • Terrell Lathan, TCU
  • Yannick Ngakoue, Maryland*

The Top 10 Linebackers

1 – Myles Jack, UCLA* (5)

  1. Jaylon Smith, Notre Dame* (7)
  2. Reggie Ragland, Alabama (21)
  3. Leonard Floyd, Georgia* (26)
  4. Darron Lee, Ohio State* (28)
  5. Su’a Cravens, USC* (37)
  6. Jordan Jenkins, Georgia (39)
  7. Kyler Fackrell, Utah State (45)
  8. Scooby Wright, Arizona*
  9. Deion Jones, LSU

Honorable Mention

  • Antonio Morrison, Florida
  • Blake Martinez, Stanford
  • Dominique Alexander, Oklahoma*
  • Eric Striker, Oklahoma
  • Jared Norris, Utah
  • Joe Schobert, Wisconsin
  • Josh Perry, Ohio State
  • Kendell Beckwith, LSU
  • Kentrell Brothers, Missouri
  • Travis Blanks, Clemson*
  • Tyler Matakevich, Temple

The Top 10 Cornerbacks

1 – Vernon Hargreaves III, Florida* (8)

  1. Mackensie Alexander, Clemson* (13)
  2. Kendall Fuller, Virginia Tech* (24)
  3. Eli Apple, Ohio State* (31)
  4. William Jackson III, Houston (38)
  5. Zack Sanchez, Oklahoma* (59)
  6. Rashard Robinson, LSU*
  7. Harlan Miller, Southeastern Louisiana
  8. KeiVarae Russell, Notre Dame*
  9. Maurice Canady, Virginia

Honorable Mention

  • Artie Burns, Miami*
  • Briean Boddy-Calhoun, Minnesota
  • Cyrus Jones, Alabama
  • Daryl Worley, West Virginia*
  • Deiondre’ Hall, Northern Iowa
  • Eric Murray, Minnesota
  • James Bradberry, Samford
  • Kevin Peterson, Oklahoma State
  • Sean Davis, Maryland
  • Will Redmond, Mississippi State
  • Xavien Howard, Baylor*

The Top 10 Safeties

1 – Jalen Ramsey, Florida State* (3)

  1. Vonn Bell, Ohio State* (54)
  2. Darian Thompson, Boise State (64)
  3. Jayron Kearse, Clemson*
  4. Karl Joseph, West Virginia
  5. Jeremy Cash, Duke
  6. Keanu Neal, Florida*
  7. Miles Killebrew, Southern Utah
  8. Kevin Byard, Middle Tennessee State
  9. Jalen Mills, LSU

Honorable Mention

  • DeAndre Houston-Carson, William & Mary
  • Deon Bush, Miami
  • Elijah Shumate, Notre Dame
  • Jamal Golden, Georgia Tech
  • Jordan Lucas, Penn State
  • Jordan Simone, Arizona State
  • KJ Dillon, West Virginia
  • Michael Caputo, Wisconsin
  • R.J. Williamson, Michigan State
  • T.J. Green, Clemson*
  • Tyvis Powell, Ohio State*

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