Through 12 weeks of the college football season it has become pretty clear which underclassman are elite NFL prospects. While there are still some uncertainties as to who will declare or not, ten were selected for the list, including another ten honorable mention.
These players were compiled based on not only their impact on the college level, but an equal amount of weight was placed on their NFL potential. There are some big-name and some lesser known players who made the cut, ranging from the all-important quarterback position to the undervalued safety position.
The criteria for each selection is based off of the value of the respective player's position on the next level with respect to how important the passing game is in today's game. While the quarterback position is obviously the most valuable position in football period, tight ends and those who typically guard them (safeties) are two of the most sought after positions come draft time.
Those who catch the ball (receivers) and protect those who throw the ball (offensive linemen) also bring tremendous value as evident by last year's draft class; the No. 1, No. 2, and No. 4 overall picks were all offensive tackles.
The ten honorable mentions are: CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu – Oregon; CB Bradley Roby – Ohio State; DT Louis Nix – Notre Dame; DE Stephon Tuitt – Notre Dame; DE Vic Beasley – Clemson; TE Jace Amaro – Texas Tech; OG David Yankey Stanford; OLB Ryan Shazier – Ohio State; OT Cameron Erving – Florida State; OT Antonio Richardson – Tennessee.