I published my latest NFL mock draft Thursday, but mocks only tell you who might go where. They don't say much about who these players could become down the line, and that's where comparisons are useful. "Myles Garrett is the next ..." "Mitchell Trubisky looks a lot like ..."
You get the picture, and we've got 30 of them -- one for each of my top prospects, ranked by talent and not team need.
Texas A&M DE Myles Garrett: Jadeveon Clowney, Texans
When he’s healthy, he’s unblockable. Much like Clowney, you can stand him up or have him put a hand on the ground, and he’ll be able to play inside a bit as well. The total package.
Alabama TE O.J. Howard: Rob Gronkowski, Patriots
He’s going to do everything for you at the tight end position. A top flight wide receiver and an equally strong blocker.
Kim KlementKim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Alabama DE Jonathan Allen: Fletcher Cox, Eagles
Can play inside or outside and will wreak havoc wherever he goes.
John David MercerJohn David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
Ohio State CB Marshon Lattimore: Casey Hayward, Chargers
A shadow on receivers, smooth and athletic.
Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire
Stanford DE Solomon Thomas: Michael Bennett, Seahawks
You can play him anywhere on the defensive line, and he will have an impact against both the pass and run — even if the stats don’t reflect it. Great burst off the line of scrimmage for a big man. Uses his smarts to outwit linemen and schemes.
Kirby LeeKirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Alabama LB Reuben Foster: Bobby Wagner, Seahawks
Incredible sideline-to-sideline ability. Explosive hitter. Uses both physical traits to overcome some not-so-great decision-making every now and again.
Jason GetzJason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
North Carolina QB Mitchell Trubisky: Matt Stafford, Lions
A gamer who can make every throw (though doesn’t always). Stafford might be an uneven comparison because Trubisky had excellent 40-yard dash, 3-cone drill, and 20-yard shuttle results at the Combine.
Clemson WR Mike Williams: Alshon Jeffery, Eagles
He’s not going to do much separating, but if you throw him the ball, he’ll bring it down.
Sean Meyers/Icon Sportswire
Western Michigan WR Corey Davis: Keenan Allen, Chargers
He’s not the biggest, or fastest, but he runs efficient routes and has a little extra something that few receivers possess.
Versatile enough to play middle linebacker but really is best as a stealth blitzer in a zone scheme. Surely you remember when Matthews used to do stuff like that.
Getty ImagesGetty Images
Wisconsin OT Ryan Ramczyk: Andrew Whitworth, Rams
Athletic, well-rounded, smart — he has a chance to be so good you forget about him.
USA TODAY SportsJeff Hanisch
Washington WR John Ross: Desean Jackson, Buccaneers
Stupid fast and wildly effective as a receiver.
LSU S Jamal Adams: Reshad Jones, Dolphins
Can play at the line of scrimmage or as a center fielder. Adams might be grabbing comps to Eric Weddle or Landon Collins, but both players are surer tacklers.
Derick E. HingleDerick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
LSU RB Leonard Fournette: Adrian Peterson (free agent)
Fournette might be an incredible between-the-tackles runner, but how many teams need a back who can’t be on the field on third down?
Western Kentucky G Forrest Lamp: Brandon Scherff, Redskins
Can play inside or outside and isn’t going to take off any snaps. Tough dude.
Ohio State S Malik Hooker: Reggie Nelson, Raiders
He’s not going to help much against the run (if he helps at all) but he does project as an elite ballhawk — particularly in a Cover 3 system. The comparison could have been Earl Thomas, but that’s too strong for a player with one year of experience — Nelson will have to do for now.
Kevin JairajKevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey: Le'Veon Bell, Steelers
There’s a lot of Marshall Faulk in McCaffrey, whose ability as a receiver separates him from the pack. You can use him out wide just as well as you can keep him in the backfield. He’s a patient and crafty runner, but he’s not for every team.
Jennifer BuchananJennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports
Florida State RB Dalvin Cook: Tevin Coleman, Falcons
One cut and go, and pretty good in the passing game too. Cook would thrive as part of a 1-2 punch.
Clemson QB Deshaun Watson: Dak Prescott, Cowboys
He’s not as big and strong as Prescott as a runner, but in a West Coast system Watson and his undeniable leadership skills will thrive.
Kim KlementKim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Utah OT Garett Bolles: Lane Johnson, Eagles
Has great athleticism that, if molded correctly, could turn him into a dominant player.
Russell IsabellaRuss Isabella-USA TODAY Sports
Tennessee DE Derek Barnett: Brandon Graham, Eagles
He’s not a physical freak. In many ways, you wonder how he’s going to get to the quarterback. But he does thanks to crafty moves and a relentless motor.
Joe RobbinsGetty Images
Michigan DE Taco Charlton: Carlos Dunlap, Bengals
The motor might not always be there, but when it is, he’s a rare force off the edge in the passing game. His running game help can be suspect at times.
Michigan LB/S Jabrill Peppers: Harrison Smith, Vikings
A straight-line attacking, run-stopping linebacker masquerading as a strong safety who can get back and cover some ground on third down.
Matthew HolstGetty Images
Notre Dame QB DeShone Kizer: Joe Flacco, Ravens
Kizer has a cannon arm and is a pocket passer who can give his team something with his feet. He has questionable decision-making skills but is an undeniable talent.
Alabama OL Cam Robinson: Donald Penn, Raiders
A colossus whose athletic limitations are overwhelmed by sheer strength.
UCLA DE Takkarist McKinley: Brian Orakpo, Titans
McKinley is not going to help against the run. You know what he will do? Get to the quarterback — a lot.
Mark J. RebilasMark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Ohio State CB Gareon Conley: Logan Ryan, Titans
Conley is a big larger than Ryan, but their skills are similar — Ryan is a strong (at times lockdown) man-to-man corner who is a liability in the run game.
Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Missouri DE/LB Charles Harris: Melvin Ingram, Chargers
Preposterously athletic, often prolific, not exactly helpful against the run and blessed with tremendous swim moves (and better as a 4-3 DE than a 3-4 OLB).
Michigan State DT Malik McDowell: Cameron Jordan, Saints
Built like a power forward, McDowell has no scheme limitation across the line, and if he can commit himself to the professional game he has a chance to be a dominant force.
Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY SportsMatthew OHaren
Miami TE David Njoku: Jimmy Graham, Seahawks
Njoku will get some Jordan Reed comparisons as a tight end who is a liability while blocking. That’s unfair. Njoku will never be an elite blocker, but he can hold his own. He is also a mismatch against everyone and anyone the defense throws his way.