Draft

Is Florida State’s Derwin James the best player in college football? NFL analyst says maybe

Derwin James
Logan Bowles/USA TODAY Sports

Quarterback? Nope. Running back? Uh-uh. Defensive end? Not this year. One top analyst says a safety – yes, a safety – may be college football’s top player.

NFL.com draft analyst Bucky Brooks wrote that Florida State safety Derwin James could be the best player at any position in the college game.

Brooks considers James a blend of two recent SEC defensive stars, former LSU safety Jamal Adams and former Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster. Adams was selected sixth overall by the New York Jets in last month’s NFL draft, while Foster went to the San Francisco 49ers at No. 31.

For Brooks, James combines the “versatility and leadership skills” of Adams with the “violence/physicality” of Foster – a solid mix for any player.

Traditionally, safeties rarely go early in the first round, but the recent impact of top safeties like 2015 second-rounder Landon Collins – and Adams, if he lives up to his billing with the Jets – may be about to change that.

James missed all but two games last season with a knee injury.

RELATED: Derwin James ranks high on our list of the best non-SEC players SEC teams will see this season

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