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Garrett, then Fournette: Longtime NFL personnel man Gil Brandt ranks SEC stars 1-2 in draft

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The top prospect in the draft? For most, that’s Texas A&M’s Myles Garrett. But a longtime talent analyst thinks LSU’s Leonard Fournette is right behind him.

Former longtime NFL executive Gil Brandt ranks Fournette second among all 2017 NFL draft prospects in a listing of his top 150 players, released on NFL.com. Interestingly, in the consensus 2014 recruiting rankings, Fournette was No. 1 and Garrett No. 2.

Brandt, who directed scouting for the Dallas Cowboys from 1960-88 during the franchise’s long and successful Tom Landry era, sees a lot to like in Fournette.

Describing Fournette as “very explosive,” Brandt says he “looks like a linebacker when you meet him in person.”

Like most analysts, Brandt considers Garrett the top prospect overall. He ranks Alabama’s Cam Robinson as the top offensive tackle, North Carolina’s Mitch Trubisky as the top quarterback (one spot above Clemson’s Deshaun Watson), Washington’s John Ross as the top wide receiver, Ohio State’s Marshon Lattimore as the top cornerback and LSU’s Jamal Adams as the top safety. Of those players, all aere in the top 10 except Robinson, who is No. 15. That is in line with basically every other analyst, as this is considered a relatively weak draft for offensive linemen.

Unlike a mock draft, though, Brandt doesn’t link prospects to specific teams, instead ranking them from first to 150th and listing several key points for scouts. Among his more notable comments on selected SEC prospects:

Garrett (ranked first): “Can be a game-changer, but needs to learn pass-rush moves.”

Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster (ranked 14th): “No one plays harder, but style of play has led to injuries; he’s currently rehabbing from shoulder surgery. Can he stay healthy at 230 pounds?”

Robinson (ranked 15th): “Should play long time in the NFL at a high level.”

Tennessee defensive end Derek Barnett (ranked 16th): “Plays with energy and outstanding effort. Highly motivated.”

Ole Miss tight end Evan Engram (ranked 34th): “Will be a matchup nightmare for opponents.”

Alabama cornerback Marlon Humphrey (ranked 43rd): “Has size, speed and intelligence needed for position. Has trouble finding the ball, which might not be correctable.”

Alabama leads with nine prospects in Brandt’s top 150, followed by Michigan with eight. Florida and LSU both have seven. In all, SEC players hold 42 of the 150 spots in the rankings, or 28 percent.

A full list of SEC players in Brandt’s rankings:

Alabama
7. DL Jonathan Allen
13. TE O.J. Howard
14. LB Reuben Foster
15. OT Cam Robinson
43. CB Marlon Humphrey
47. LB Tim Williams
49. LB Ryan Anderson
70. WR ArDarius Stewart
71. DT Dalvin Tomlinson

Arkansas
86. TE Jeremy Sprinkle
150. DE Deatrich Wise

Auburn
76. DE Carl Lawson
122. DT Montravius Adams

Florida
20. LB Jarrad Davis
27. CB Quincy Wilson
44. S Marcus Maye
65. CB Jalen Tabor
92. LB Alex Anzalone
99. OT David Sharpe
100. DT Caleb Brantley

Georgia
None

Kentucky
None

LSU
2. RB Leonard Fournette
5. S Jamal Adams
30. CB Tre’Davious White
54. C Ethan Pocic
58. DT Davon Godchaux
77. LB Duke Riley
114. LB Kendell Beckwith

Mississippi State
None

Missouri
17. DE Charles Harris

Ole Miss
34. TE Evan Engram
135. DE Fadol Brown

South Carolina
None

Tennessee
16. DE Derek Barnett
75. WR Josh Malone
78. RB Alvin Kamara
82. QB Joshua Dobbs
84. CB Cam Sutton

Texas A&M
1. DE Myles Garrett
53. S Justin Evans
57. S Daeshon Hall
88. WR Josh Reynolds
102. TE Ricky Seals-Jones
137. T Avery Gennesy

Vanderbilt
46. LB Zach Cunningham

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