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College Football's Top 10 QBs and Their NFL Counterparts

Quarterback is the most important position in football, regardless of level. College football and the NFL collide each year when it comes to evaluating stars at the position because every team is looking for that next franchise playmaker.

This fall, the college game will offer up quite a few impressive quarterback prospects for the next level, from Heisman contenders Deshaun Watson and Baker Mayfield to the physically gifted Patrick Mahomes and Brad Kaaya.

They each have their own strengths and styles as quarterbacks, and that plays right into one of draft season's favorite games—college-to-NFL comparisons. Who do these college quarterbacks remind analysts of at the professional level?

Earlier this month, I compared the top 10 college running backs to NFL starters both past and present. This time, using the help of NFL draft experts and other media members, I'm going to do it again with my personal choices for the top 10 quarterbacks, based on past statistical production in college and potential for the 2016 season.

Keep in mind that these player comparisons don't mean that the college player will become just like the NFL player in the pros. These are comparisons based on similarities in size, athleticism, skill set, style and background—not necessarily expected production at the next level.

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B/R Recruiting CFB 200: Top Dual-Threat QBs of 2017 Class

After thorough study using specific scoring criteria, Bleacher Report National Recruiting Analysts Damon SaylesSanjay Kirpalani and Tyler Donohue have graded the top 200 players in the 247Sports composite rankings and provided in-depth analysis on each young athlete. Bleacher Report will run a position-by-position breakdown series of the best college football recruits in the class of 2016. Here we present the Top Dual-Threat Quarterbacks.

College coaching staffs can solidify offensive schematics for years to come with the ideal playmaker taking snaps and orchestrating an attack. This often requires a quarterback who can do more than simply sling the ball.

Labeled "dual-threat" quarterbacks, premier passers who can also create opportunities with their rushing abilities continue to wreak havoc across the football landscape. Capable of controlling a game through the air or on the ground, these athletes are coveted on the recruiting trail.

Here's a long look at prospects who fall under this category, along with a glimpse at their respective recruiting process. These players were assessed through criteria based on accuracy, arm strength, pocket presence, football IQ, mechanics and mobility. 

 

Player order and star ratings based on 247Sports' composite rankings through July 19. Unless otherwise noted, player stats are courtesy of 247Sports.

Begin Slideshow

B/R Recruiting CFB 200: Top Dual-Threat QBs of 2017 Class

After thorough study using specific scoring criteria, Bleacher Report National Recruiting Analysts Damon SaylesSanjay Kirpalani and Tyler Donohue have graded the top 200 players in the 247Sports composite rankings and provided in-depth analysis on each young athlete. Bleacher Report will run a position-by-position breakdown series of the best college football recruits in the class of 2016. Here we present the Top Dual-Threat Quarterbacks.

College coaching staffs can solidify offensive schematics for years to come with the ideal playmaker taking snaps and orchestrating an attack. This often requires a quarterback who can do more than simply sling the ball.

Labeled "dual-threat" quarterbacks, premier passers who can also create opportunities with their rushing abilities continue to wreak havoc across the football landscape. Capable of controlling a game through the air or on the ground, these athletes are coveted on the recruiting trail.

Here's a long look at prospects who fall under this category, along with a glimpse at their respective recruiting process. These players were assessed through criteria based on accuracy, arm strength, pocket presence, football IQ, mechanics and mobility. 

 

Player order and star ratings based on 247Sports' composite rankings through July 19. Unless otherwise noted, player stats are courtesy of 247Sports.

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SEC Football: Biggest Trap Game for Every Team in 2016

They're lurking, waiting in the shadows, waiting to pounce on unsuspecting prey. 

Trap games.

It's impossible for college head coaches to get their young charges as excited to play Alabama State as  they are to play Alabama, and the work that coaches do during weeks that don't necessitate as much focus from the players are some of the most challenging of each season.

Just over the last two seasons, Toledo has upset Arkansas, Georgia Southern stunned Florida, and The Citadel went into Williams-Brice Stadium and shocked South Carolina. Just last year, Georgia Southern scared the daylights out of Georgia in an overtime loss, Florida Atlantic gave Florida all that it wanted, and Jacksonville State had Auburn on the ropes in Week 2. 

What are the most dangerous trap games for each SEC team in 2016? Our picks based on schedule, talent level and scheme are in this slideshow.

Begin Slideshow

SEC Football: Biggest Trap Game for Every Team in 2016

They're lurking, waiting in the shadows, waiting to pounce on unsuspecting prey. 

Trap games.

It's impossible for college head coaches to get their young charges as excited to play Alabama State as  they are to play Alabama, and the work that coaches do during weeks that don't necessitate as much focus from the players are some of the most challenging of each season.

Just over the last two seasons, Toledo has upset Arkansas, Georgia Southern stunned Florida, and The Citadel went into Williams-Brice Stadium and shocked South Carolina. Just last year, Georgia Southern scared the daylights out of Georgia in an overtime loss, Florida Atlantic gave Florida all that it wanted, and Jacksonville State had Auburn on the ropes in Week 2. 

What are the most dangerous trap games for each SEC team in 2016? Our picks based on schedule, talent level and scheme are in this slideshow.

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Make No Mistake: Jim Harbaugh Is Still College Football's Most Marketable Coach

A week ago, the SEC took center stage in the college football world with its annual media day festivities.

But unlike a year ago, when he was first making waves with his return to college, Jim Harbaugh's name was noticeably absent from the conference's four-day affair.

Yet despite no longer being the primary topic of conversation down South, Harbaugh stayed busy. He didn't even have to wait long for public interest to shift back to him, either. The music video for the rapper Bailey's Harbaugh-inspired "Who's Got It Better Than Us?" thrust the Michigan head coach back into the place he's become most familiar with since returning to Ann Arbor 18 months ago: the spotlight.

Who needs SEC media days when there's an open seat in a maize Lamborghini with your name on it?

Harbaugh's starring role in Bailey's video came just days after he revealed on The Rich Eisen Show (via Michigan Updates24/7) that Michael Jordan—yes, that Michael Jordan—will serve as the Wolverines' honorary captain for their season opener against Hawaii.

A day later, he took to Twitter to share a selfie with his 572,000-plus followers at the most magical place in the world, Disneyland, alongside talk show host and The Sultan of Salaciousness, Jerry Springer:

Such is life in 2016 for Harbaugh, who, when not feuding with SEC coaches over satellite camps, has forced his way into the headlines.

Alabama head coach Nick Saban, meanwhile, refused to sing along to the Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter" during a Tuesday appearance on The Dan LeBatard Showwith Stugotz on ESPN radio but did offer an opinion when asked about Harbaugh's recent starring role.

"Everybody's got to do what they think is best to promote their program," Saban said. "I'm not sure that would be something that fits sort of who I am, what I am, what I do, how we do things. ... I think it probably works well for some other people."

For Harbaugh, it does.

After spending last offseason similarly positioned as college football's top celebrity coach thanks to Twitter exchanges with Judge Judy and selfies with Ciara and Michelle Obama, Harbaugh parlayed a year's worth of positive press—and a 10-3 on-field record—into the nation's fifth-ranked recruiting class in 2016.

Perhaps in the most fitting fashion imaginable, Harbaugh unveiled his most recent recruiting class with a signing-day spectacle unlike any other in college football history. In an event sponsored by The Players' Tribune, celebrities such as Tom Brady, Derek Jeter and Ric Flair flocked to Ann Arbor to help welcome the newest Wolverines, enhancing the Michigan head coach's already apparent star power in the process.

"He's not afraid to show his true personality," 4-star quarterback Brandon Peters said of his new head coach after the event. "He's just showing his love for the game and love for what he's doing. I think that's a great trait to have."

At that point, the Offseason of Harbaugh 2 was just getting started.

After his decision to take Michigan's spring practice to Florida drew the ire of some SEC coaches and commissioner Greg Sankey, Harbaugh fired off Twitter shots directed at Georgia's Kirby Smart, Tennessee's Butch Jones and even Gene Smith. The Ohio State athletic director took what Harbaugh interpreted as a backhanded swipe at his Florida practice, and the Michigan coach responded:

But nothing topped his not-so-subtle subtweet regarding Saban, which came at the height of his successful fight to keep satellite camps alive. It also happened to earn him more free publicity:

Harbaugh was on a roll. From there, he embarked on an unprecedented satellite camp tour, which included nearly 40 stops, including trips not only across the country but to Australia and American Samoa.

If you thought Harbaugh's act would get stale, even as commitments from the camps came few and far between, you haven't been paying attention.

By simply wearing the jersey of a local legend or hometown hero at each stop, Harbaugh managed to not only pander to his audience but stay at the top of the news cycle during the month that typically doubles as the doldrums of the college football offseason.

Three weeks into July and with one week to go until Big Ten media days, Harbaugh's title as college football's most talked-about coach has never been in question. It's not the only way to do it—Saban and Urban Meyer have found their success without seeking attention—but it's Harbaugh's way, and the results speak for themselves.

On the recruiting trail, the Wolverines are eyeing a repeat of this past year's success, with their 2017 class ranked sixth in the nation. With Harbaugh still in the hunt for some of the country's top uncommitted prospects, such as 5-star wideout Donovan Peoples-Jones, Michigan could once again find itself with one of the top classes come signing day.

And that doesn't even factor in the success Harbaugh could find on the field in his second season in charge of his alma mater, with the Wolverines returning several of their top players and expected to fight for a College Football Playoff spot.

"Who's got it better than us?" Harbaugh can be seen shouting throughout the chorus of Bailey's video. "Nobody."

His second offseason in Ann Arbor is nearing its end, and Harbaugh's doing what he's always done: giving us the soundtrack.

         

Ben Axelrod is Bleacher Report's Big Ten lead writer. You can follow him on Twitter @BenAxelrod. Unless noted otherwise, all quotes were obtained firsthand. Recruiting and class ratings courtesy of 247Sports' composite ratings.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Make No Mistake: Jim Harbaugh Is Still College Football's Most Marketable Coach

A week ago, the SEC took center stage in the college football world with its annual media day festivities.

But unlike a year ago, when he was first making waves with his return to the college level, Jim Harbaugh's name was noticeably absent from the conference's four-day affair.

Yet despite no longer being the primary topic of conversation down South, Harbaugh managed to stay busy. He didn't even have to wait long to find himself back in the spotlight, either, with the music video for the rapper Bailey's Harbaugh-inspired "Who's Got It Better Than Us?" thrusting the Michigan head coach back into the place he's become most familiar with since returning to Ann Arbor 18 months ago: the spotlight.

Who needs SEC media days when there's an open seat in a maize Lamborghini with your name on it?

Harbaugh's starring role in Bailey's video came just days after he revealed on The Rich Eisen Show that Michael Jordan—yes, that Michael Jordan—will serve as the Wolverines' honorary captain for their season opener against Hawaii. A day later, he took to Twitter to share a selfie of himself at the most magical place in the world, Disneyland, alongside talk show host and The Sultan of Salaciousness, Jerry Springer.

Such is life in 2016 for Jim Harbaugh, who when not feuding with the SEC coaches over satellite camps has forced his way into the headlines, be it via music videos or a mere tweet sent to his 568,000-plus followers.

Alabama head coach Nick Saban, meanwhile, refused to sing along to the Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter" during a Tuesday appearance on The Dan LeBatard Showwith Stugotz on ESPN radio but did offer an opinion when asked about Harbaugh's recent starring role.

"Everybody's got to do what they think is best to promote their program," Saban said. "I'm not sure that would be something that fits sort of who I am, what I am, what I do, how we do things. ... I think it probably works well for some other people."

For Harbaugh, it certainly does.

After spending last offseason similarly positioned as college football's top celebrity coach thanks to Twitter exchanges with Judge Judy and selfies with Ciara and the First Lady of the United States, Harbaugh parlayed a year's worth of positive press—and a 10-3 on-field record—into the nation's fifth-ranked recruiting class in 2016.

Perhaps in the most fitting fashion imaginable, Harbaugh unveiled his most recent recruiting class with a signing day spectacle unlike any other in college football history. In an event sponsored by The Players' Tribune, celebrities such as Tom Brady, Derek Jeter and Ric Flair flocked to Ann Arbor to help welcome the newest Wolverines, enhancing the Michigan head coach's already apparent star power in the process.

"He's not afraid to show his true personality," 4-star quarterback Brandon Peters said of his new head coach after the event. "He's just showing his love for the game and love for what he's doing. I think that's a great trait to have."

At that point, the Offseason Of Harbaugh 2 was just getting started.

After his decision to take Michigan's spring practice to Florida drew the ire of some SEC coaches and commissioner Greg Sankey, Harbaugh took to Twitter to fire off shots directed at Georgia's Kirby Smart, Tennessee's Butch Jones and even Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith, who took what Harbaugh interpreted as a backhanded swipe at the practice.

But nothing topped his not-so-subtle subtweet of Saban, which came at the height of his successful fight to keep satellite camps alive, which also happened to earn him some more free publicity.

Harbaugh was on a roll. From there, he embarked on an unprecedented satellite camp tour, which included nearly 40 stops, including trips not only across the country but to Australia and American Samoa.

If you thought Harbaugh's act was going to get stale, even as commitments from the camps came few and far between, you haven't been paying attention.

By simply wearing the jersey of a local legend or hometown hero at each stop, Harbaugh managed to not only pander to his audience but stay at the top of the news cycle during the month that typically doubles as the doldrums of the college football offseason.

Three weeks into July and with one week to go until Big Ten media days, Harbaugh's title as college football's most talked-about coach has never been in question. It's not the only way to do it—Saban and Urban Meyer have found their success without seeking attention—but it's Harbaugh's way, and the results speak for themselves.

On the recruiting trail, the Wolverines are eyeing a repeat of this past year's success, with their 2017 class currently ranked sixth in the nation. With Harbaugh still in the hunt for some of the nation's top uncommitted prospects, such as 5-star wideout Donovan Peoples-Jones, Michigan could very well once again find itself with one of the nation's top classes come signing day.

And that doesn't even factor in the success Harbaugh could find on the field in his second season in charge of his alma mater, with the Wolverines returning several of their top players and expected to fight for a playoff spot.

"Who's got it better than us?" Harbaugh can be seen shouting throughout the chorus of Bailey's video. "Nobody."

His second offseason in Ann Arbor is nearing its end, and Harbaugh's doing what he's always done: giving us the soundtrack.

 

Ben Axelrod is Bleacher Report's Big Ten lead writer. You can follow him on Twitter @BenAxelrod. Unless noted otherwise, all quotes were obtained firsthand. Recruiting and class ratings courtesy of 247Sports' composite ratings.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Florida State Seminoles 2016 College Football Betting Preview, Championship Odds

Florida State experienced an off season last year but remains a perennial national championship contender. The Seminoles have lost just six games over the last four seasons and actually have a shot at going perfect this season.

Somewhat surprisingly, they're also getting a nice price on most national championship betting boards at sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark.

    

2015 Florida State record: 10-3 SU, 8-5 ATS

2016 regular-season wins over/under: 10.0

2016 odds to Win ACC: +225 (bet $100 to win $225)

Odds to win national championship: +1600

   

Last Year in Review

FSU went off as the favorite to win the ACC last season and got to 6-0 but lost at Georgia Tech on a blocked field goal that was returned for a touchdown on the last play of the game. A couple of weeks later, following a change at quarterback, the Seminoles lost at Clemson. Finally, a disinterested Seminoles team got upset by a hot Houston outfit in the Peach Bowl to finish with three defeats, their most in a season since 2011.

Florida State played just three games last year against ranked teams and lost two of them. But all that was last year; FSU has high hopes for this season.

   

This Year in Preview

The Seminoles return 17 starters this season, second most in the ACC, tied for fifth most in all of FBS. All 11 starters are back on offense, if we include senior quarterback Sean Maguire, along with two-time 1,000-yard rusher Dalvin Cook and, of course, the entire offensive line. And six starters are back from a defense that allowed just 18 points per game last season.

    

Florida State 2016 Schedule

Florida State opens with Ole Miss in Orlando, later visits South Florida, one of the favorites in the AAC, and ends the season hosting Florida. In ACC play, Florida State visits Louisville and Miami but gets North Carolina and Clemson in Tallahassee. The Seminoles might well be favored in every game they play this year on the college football betting lines.

    

Betting On the Seminoles

On a week-to-week basis, Florida State backers have to pick their spots; the spreads will be more amenable for the neutral-field game with the Rebels and the road dates. Also, barring a stumble, an ACC title should get the Seminoles back to the College Football Playoff, and that brings their long-term futures into play.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Florida State Seminoles 2016 College Football Betting Preview, Championship Odds

Florida State experienced an off season last year but remains a perennial national-championship contender. The Seminoles have lost just six games over the last four seasons and actually have a shot at going perfect this season.

Somewhat surprisingly, they're also getting a nice price on most national-championship betting boards at sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark.

    

2015 Florida State record: 10-3 SU, 8-5 ATS

2016 regular-season wins over/under: 10.0

2016 odds to Win ACC: +225 (bet $100 to win $225)

Odds to win national championship: +1600

   

Last Year in Review

FSU went off as the favorite to win the ACC last season and got to 6-0 but lost at Georgia Tech on a blocked field goal that was returned for a touchdown on the last play of the game. A couple of weeks later, following a change at quarterback, the Seminoles lost at Clemson. Finally, a disinterested Seminoles team got upset by a hot Houston outfit in the Peach Bowl to finish with three defeats, their most in a season since 2011.

Florida State played just three games last year against ranked teams, and lost two of them. But all that was last year; FSU has high hopes for this season.

   

This Year in Preview

The Seminoles return 17 starters this season, second most in the ACC, tied for fifth most in all of FBS. All 11 starters are back on offense, if we include senior quarterback Sean Maguire, along with two-time 1,000-yard rusher Dalvin Cook and, of course, the entire offensive line. And six starters are back from a defense that allowed just 18 points per game last season.

    

Florida State 2016 Schedule

Florida State opens with Ole Miss in Orlando, later visits South Florida, one of the favorites in the AAC, and ends the season hosting Florida. In ACC play Florida State visits Louisville and Miami but gets North Carolina and Clemson in Tallahassee. The Seminoles might well be favored in every game they play this year on the college football betting lines.

    

Betting On the Seminoles

On a week-to-week basis Florida State backers have to pick their spots; the spreads will be more amenable for the neutral field game with the Rebels and the road dates. Also, barring a stumble, an ACC title should get the Seminoles back to the College Football Playoff, and that brings their long-term futures into play.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Why Myles Garrett Is a Better NFL Draft Prospect Than Jadeveon Clowney

One, two, Myles Garrett is coming for you. Three, four, quarterbacks and offensive linemen better shut the blindside door.

The defensive end is a nightmare for any opponent. He forces linemen to hold on for dear life, while quarterbacks are constantly aware of Garrett's presence.

As such, the Texas A&M defender is the best NFL draft prospect entering the 2016 campaign, and it's unlikely his status will change between now and April.

Garrett's overall talent supersedes his draft class, too. Inevitably, he'll invoke comparisons to the last defender selected No. 1 overall, the Houston Texans' Jadeveon Clowney. In reality, the Texas A&M product is a better overall prospect than Clowney at the same point in their respective careers.

The 20-year-old defensive end has been just as productive through his first two seasons, is as athletic as Clowney and is also a safer bet in regard to system flexibility and overall approach.

Two years ago, the draft community considered Clowney a physical marvel and a once-in-a-lifetime prospect. He invoked comparisons to Julius Peppers, Mario Williams and Bruce Smith. His famous hit against Michigan Wolverines running back Vincent Smith played on an endless loop on television.

Even Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin compared Garrett to Clowney during last year's SEC media days.

Those comparisons should be taken as compliments, but they don't accurately portray how talented Garrett is. Game recognizes game, and Garrett's game projects as the best defensive prospect to enter the NFL this decade.

"He's one of the best playmakers in the SEC," LSU running back Leonard Fournette—another potential top-10 pick and arguably the best running back prospect since Adrian Petersontold the Dallas News' Ben Baby at SEC media days. "One-on-one, you have to eat your Wheaties to play against him."

Of course, Ndamukong Suh, Von Miller, Patrick Peterson, J.J. Watt, Aaron Donald and Khalil Mack will be mentioned by those not ready to anoint Garrett as the top defensive prospect since 2010. However, none of them played at the same level as Garrett early in their collegiate careers. They weren't the same players then, nor should they be viewed as such. What each of them eventually developed into as a professional isn't a true or fair comparison for any incoming talent.

As underclassmen, none of them earned freshman All-American honors, nor did they receive first-team All-American nods by their sophomore campaigns. Garrett did.

What makes Garrett a one-of-a-kind prospect is his nearly limitless upside.

A primary reason why he's linked to Clowney is because the Texas native broke the South Carolina product's SEC freshman record with 11.5 sacks in 2014. Garrett walked into America's toughest conference and dominated from day one, and he didn't let up in his second year.

These mega-talented defensive ends produced at a high level during their first two campaigns.

However, Clowney's production took a nosedive during his junior campaign, which brought up questions about his drive and work ethic. Draft analyst Nolan Nawrocki noted the following concerns at NFL.com:

Down-to-down effort lacks consistency. Lacks discipline on and off the field and has had to be managed closely since he arrived on campus. Needs to learn what it means to be a pro. Plays in spurts and is too much a of flash player -- does not consistently dominate like he could. Is still immature and finding his way -- too much of a follower.

The same concerns don't exist with Garrett.

The narrative around Clowney at the time centered on whether he should play or sit out his junior year. At the time, many considered the defensive end the No. 1 overall prospect and believed only a major injury could hurt his draft status. In the end, the Texans selected Clowney with the first pick in the 2014 NFL draft, but those questions about his attitude and approach during his last year on campus haunted him.

Garrett denounced the idea of sitting out a year to protect his draft status.

"I've heard it, but I'm against it," he said during media days, per NFL.com's Chase Goodbread. "I want to be one of the best that's ever come through A&M, and that would just be betraying the people I've played with and the people who have come before me, who have worked their butt off."

As a junior, Clowney disappointed with only 11.5 tackles for loss and three sacks in 11 games. Garrett can't allow the same to happen, or similar questions will arise.

Physically, the two are nearly identical in size, with an edge in athleticism toward Garrett—if his reported workout numbers are to be believed.

At the 2014 combine in Indianapolis, NFL scouts measured Clowney at 6'5" and 266 pounds. Texas A&M lists the junior at 6'5" and 262 pounds.

A side-by-side comparison of their workout numbers is illuminating:

These numbers can change when a player enters the combine pressure cooker, but it's clear Garrett is on par with—if not a better overall athlete than—the freakish Clowney. This shouldn't come as a surprise.

The NFL loves good bloodlines, and the Garrett family is unbelievably talented. His mother earned All-American status in the 60-meter hurdles during her time at Hampton University. His older brother, Sean Williams, is a former NBA first-round pick by the then-New Jersey Nets. And their sister, Brea, became a 2014 NCAA indoor champion in the weight throw for Texas A&M's track and field squad.

When looking at Garrett as an athlete and person and his production to date, he's a better all-around prospect than Clowney.

But there are great collegiate players who don't translate to the next level. This shouldn't be a problem for Texas A&M's latest top prospect.

             

Complete Package

Garrett doesn't go medieval on opposing quarterbacks and offensive linemen; he brings a prehistoric pedigree. In order to best describe his game, the Jurassic Park fanatic mentioned a specific dinosaur.

"Deinonychus," Garrett told Maria Taylor during the SEC Network's Summer Football Tour (via Gridiron Now's Dan Mathews). "It's a type of raptor. It's fast, vicious, it's going for the killer blow and it's got quick feet. I think I've got all of those traits."

The defensive end's description adds imagery and clarity to how he plays the position. Everyone can imagine the raptors from the original Jurassic Park film coiling up and pouncing on their intended prey. Their raw speed, power, viciousness and cunning overwhelmed audiences in 1993.

This is how Garrett attacks opposing quarterback. His quick-twitch ability is a sight to behold. Sometimes an offensive tackle can't even get out of his stance before the defensive end is past him—as everyone saw in last year's season opener against the Arizona State Sun Devils:

An argument can be made that Garrett jumped the snap. Sometimes it becomes difficult to differentiate between a defensive lineman who's legitimately quick out of the blocks and those who become accustomed to anticipating snap counts.

Music City Miracles' Terry Lambert provided another example when Texas A&M faced the Nevada Wolf Pack:

This play was Nevada's first offensive snap of the game. Garrett blew by the tackle with an ease that simply can't be described.

For any natural pass-rusher, an electric first step is vital to his success. It sets up the rest of his repertoire. Sometimes concerns arise if the pass-rusher doesn't display anything more than a speed rush. Can he convert his speed into power?

For example, one knock on Miller concerned his ability to hold up at the point of attack. No one questioned the two-time All-American's ability to pressure the quarterback. However, would he hold up against NFL linemen? He proved himself more than capable.

Garrett is actually 15-20 pounds heavier than the former No. 2 overall pick. His ability to translate speed to power is apparent in both stopping the run and rushing the passer.

Another example from the Arizona State contest shows how Garrett explodes into blocks and easily handles a single blocker, per PFF College:

This play highlights another strength of Garrett's game: scheme versatility. As seen in the clip, Garrett is lined up to the inside of the offensive tackle instead of his traditional position at the end of the line of scrimmage.

Texas A&M's coaching staff often lines its All-American up as a 3-technique in sub-packages to take advantage of his quickness along the defensive interior. Garrett is more than a handful outside, but he can be even more difficult to stop for guards, who don't have the same foot quickness as offensive tackles.

The NFL is all about creating favorable matchups, and Texas A&M does what it can to exploit the mismatches Garrett creates.

For example, any offensive scheme that asks a tight end to handle Garrett is destined to fail, as Inside the Pylon's Jon Ledyard noted:

His versatility extends beyond what he can do moving forward against inferior blockers.

Garrett will line up in a two-point stance and display a level of recognition to break off his pass rush when quarterbacks take a three-step drop. He then sinks into the passing lane and attempts to make a play on the pass. Last season, the defensive end intercepted a pass and deflected two more.

His change of direction is also ludicrous. Below are a series of screen captures that provide a perfect example during last year's contest against the Mississippi State Bulldogs:

Not only was Garrett capable of recognizing the play, opening his hips to shift directions and chase down the running back for little to no gain, but he forced a fumble upon arrival. This is an exceptional play for any defensive lineman and highlights Garrett's all-around game.

To effectively play defensive end or outside linebacker at the next level, though, there are necessary traits outside of raw strength, speed and agility.

Flexibility and core strength also play big roles—particularly when a pass-rusher is running the proverbial ring on his way to the quarterback.

NFL linemen will be far better prepared to handle Garrett. As such, the abilities to dip a shoulder, fight against pressure and display proper body lean and ankle flexion will become vitally important.

Against the Alabama Crimson Tide, Garrett faced one of college football's best left tackles in Cam Robinson and displayed all of these necessary qualities, courtesy of PFF College:

It's easy to praise Garrett. He's the total package and effective in multiple phases. The defensive end also makes an impact on special teams. He's already blocked both a punt and a kick.

NFL organizations certainly won't be looking for the pass-rusher to play much on special teams, but his ability to affect another phase speaks to his overall talent.

The really scary part is that Garrett has plenty of room to grow.

            

Continued Improvement

Technique constantly evolves, and a true professional never stops honing his craft until the day he retires. Garrett can stand to dramatically improve in the nuances of the position.

Consistency and hand usage are two areas of concentration. Sumlin mentioned these when asked where Garrett needs to improve by Sports Illustrated's Pete Thamel:

His technique has improved. That's been a real focus with his pass-rush moves, and utilizing his speed has been his biggest strength. But now, converting and creating some speed-to-power-type moves, instead of being an edge rusher or a slasher inside, which is where he got the majority of his pressures and sacks last year. Now being able to hold the point better against the run, and then people have been attacking him the last few games with basically read—reading him, they're not blocking him. So putting him in those conflicts and having him do some things maybe a little bit differently instead of just "When the ball is snapped, run as fast as I can to the quarterback"—which he does very well.

Earlier examples showed that Garrett converted his speed into power. The potential is evident.

Being able to consistently do these things is difficult, though. Good NFL linemen have counters for every move. In order to be a great pass-rusher, the defender's tool box must include more than just raw physical ability. It comes down to expanding one's game, preparation and understanding how to set up moves. Even an ultra-talented pass-rusher can't rely too heavily on one move, because he becomes predictable. It's all about taking those natural abilities and getting the most out of them.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, certain prospects enter the league with polished technique that allows them to dominate at a lower level despite a lack of overall athleticism. The then-St. Louis Rams once spent the second overall pick on Chris Long even though he displayed a limited ceiling.

This is what makes Garrett so tempting. He isn't just a dominant force in college; he's far from actually reaching his full potential.

Whatever team eventually selects the Texas A&M defender can expect him to reach his potential because of his demeanor.

              

Character Counts

Character is more important than ever.

With players like Josh Gordon, Dion Jordan, Martavis Bryant and Johnny Manziel all serving or expected to serve league-mandated suspensions, organizations have placed a heavier emphasis on football character.

Garrett is certainly a character, but in a good way.

"I looked down on the plane, he had some flip-flops on and a Marvel comic book hat," Sumlin said, per the Times-Picayune's Jim Kleinpeter. "So that's what we needed to see out of our toughest guy on defense? He's just a different guy. He's a great young man."

Garrett isn't a typical modern athlete. He shies away from social media. Instead, he prefers to write poetry or read during his downtime. For the most part, he eschews questions about becoming the No. 1 overall pick in 2017 or '18, per Gridiron Now's Kevin Connell:

I just tell them that's in the future. All I can do is handle what's around me at this time right now. That's making sure I have a good season. Keep on working hard during the summer with fall camp coming up. With fall camp coming up, I have to make sure I'm working on my technique so I'm prepared for the first game, and I can make a big impact.

Does he want to be the No. 1 overall pick? "Of course [I do]," he told ESPN.com's Alex Scarborough. "Who doesn't?"

However, the spotlight doesn't appeal to the nation's top returning junior. Yes, he's set lofty goals with the intention of securing 20 sacks this season, but it's part of his drive and certainly not an egotistical statement.

"I'm just like any other guy," Garrett said, per Connell. "I put on my pads and tie my shoes just like anyone else. I just go out there and play my best to the best of my ability. That's it."

Garrett even spent part of his offseason in Haiti with 28 other Texas A&M athletes. The group participated in manual labor to help those in need.

"They taught us how they are so happy with so very little," he said of the experience, per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

This is exactly the type of young man an NFL organization gets giddy about when looking for a new face of the franchise. Teams already imagine what they'll have if given an opportunity to draft him.

"I spoke to one personnel executive who compared him to Julius Peppers," NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah wrote. "I wouldn't put him in that class just yet, but he's still very young, and his best football is ahead of him."

Apparently, Peppers is a far better comparison for Garrett, since it's the same one Clowney received. And why not? The North Carolina product was a tremendous athlete coming out of college and has since been named to the Pro Bowl nine times and earned six All-Pro honors (three first-team nods).

More importantly, Peppers has quietly gone about his business for most of his 14-year career—and still does.

            

Best of the Best

The 2017 NFL draft class should be absolutely loaded with talented pass-rushers. Auburn's Carl Lawson, Tennessee's Derek Barnett and Alabama's Jonathan Allen and Tim Williams will warrant strong consideration as potential early first-round selections.

But Garrett currently stands as the only choice among defensive prospects worthy of the top overall pick due to his elite physical tools, well-rounded skills, overall game and potential to become the face of a franchise.

Sure, there are possible pitfalls. The Texas A&M defender could suffer an injury, his play could take a step back or he could even decide to remain in school for his senior campaign.

Until then, Garrett is the favorite to become the No. 1 overall pick in April, and NFL teams should be more excited about his potential than when Clowney entered the league.

Whichever franchises are unlucky enough to miss out on Garrett, they'll eventually see him in their nightmares.

        

Brent Sobleski covers the NFL for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @brentsobleski.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Tennessee Football: 7 Players Sure to Surprise at Fall Camp

When fall camp begins on Aug. 1, Tennessee football head coach Butch Jones is going to be looking for a few gaps to be filled, but there are enough quality players that the Volunteers should feel good about the program's depth.

That doesn't mean opportunities to make an impression will be scarce. 

At this time last season, nobody expected punter Trevor Daniel or nickelback Malik Foreman to play significant roles on the 2015 Vols, but both wound up being integral parts to a team that wound up finishing 9-4 and taking an important leap.

Who are the surprise candidates on this year's Vols? There are more than a few options.

From open positions in the two-deep across the defensive line to important voids that must be plugged in the wide receiving corps, UT needs to find some pivotal playmakers beyond the top level of stars who they know can be relied upon.

After all, players such as Joshua Dobbs, Jalen Hurd, Jalen Reeves-Maybin and Cameron Sutton can't make all the plays themselves.

"We still only have 11 seniors on our football team, but we do have experience because a lot of these youngsters were forced to play early as true freshmen," Jones said on ESPN's Car Wash on Monday (via SEC Country's Jesse Simonton). "As we know, there's no substitute for experience, especially in the Southeastern Conference."

This is the year where all of Jones' recruiting successes need to show they're capable of taking Tennessee to an elite level in the nation's top conference. All those recruiting stars look good on paper, but if they don't show up with games on the line, none of that matters.

With fall camp a little more than two weeks away, let's take a look at some Vols who are sure to surprise once the pads go on.

Begin Slideshow

Tennessee Football: 7 Players Sure to Surprise at Fall Camp

When fall camp begins on Aug. 1, Tennessee football head coach Butch Jones is going to be looking for a few gaps to be filled, but there are enough quality players that the Volunteers should feel good about the program's depth.

That doesn't mean opportunities to make an impression will be scarce. 

At this time last season, nobody expected punter Trevor Daniel or nickelback Malik Foreman to play significant roles on the 2015 Vols, but both wound up being integral parts to a team that wound up finishing 9-4 and taking an important leap.

Who are the surprise candidates on this year's Vols? There are more than a few options.

From open positions in the two-deep across the defensive line to important voids that must be plugged in the wide receiving corps, UT needs to find some pivotal playmakers beyond the top level of stars who they know can be relied upon.

After all, players such as Joshua Dobbs, Jalen Hurd, Jalen Reeves-Maybin and Cameron Sutton can't make all the plays themselves.

"We still only have 11 seniors on our football team, but we do have experience because a lot of these youngsters were forced to play early as true freshmen," Jones said on ESPN's Car Wash on Monday (via SEC Country's Jesse Simonton). "As we know, there's no substitute for experience, especially in the Southeastern Conference."

This is the year where all of Jones' recruiting successes need to show they're capable of taking Tennessee to an elite level in the nation's top conference. All those recruiting stars look good on paper, but if they don't show up with games on the line, none of that matters.

With fall camp a little more than two weeks away, let's take a look at some Vols who are sure to surprise once the pads go on.

Begin Slideshow

Isaiah Langley Suspended for Season Opener vs. Alabama: Details and Reaction

USC sophomore cornerback Isaiah Langley has been suspended for the Trojans' first game of the season against the Alabama Crimson Tide on September 3.

Zach Helfand of the Los Angeles Times reported the news of Langley's ban on Tuesday, which USC head coach Clay Helton confirmed.

The suspension stems from Langley's May 6 arrest on UCLA's campus in which he was charged with resisting arrest, intoxication and trespassing. Helton said, per Helfand, that Langley was punished in May for violating team rules as well.      

UCLA police spokeswoman Nancy Greenstein told Helfand that Langley was at a fraternity party when he had his run-in with the law and lied about his age.

"When he was asked to leave, he refused," said Greenstein. “Police were called, and he was arrested for misdemeanor trespassing."

Helfand also added that Langley doesn't face charges, citing Los Angeles city attorney's office spokesman Frank Mateljan as the source of that information.

Langley had been making strides in spring practices, and Helton even seemed encouraged by the young defensive back's progress.

“We saw it as a freshman, how talented he was, which is why he contributed to us last year," Helton said, per the Orange County Register's Janis Carr. "He's put on almost 10 pounds of muscle. He doesn't have that freshman body any more, and he has a ton of confidence. He's a kid we're going to need in this defense."

Per CFBStats.com, Langley appeared in 11 games last season, registering 12 total tackles and one pass defensed. He is a former 4-star recruit who was the 10th-rated CB from the class of 2015, according to 247Sports' composite rankings.

Although the brief one-game absence won't likely hinder Langley's development as an individual, USC will be down a key defender as it prepares to take on the reigning national champion Crimson Tide.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Isaiah Langley Suspended for Season Opener vs. Alabama: Details and Reaction

USC sophomore cornerback Isaiah Langley has been suspended for the Trojans' first game of the season against the Alabama Crimson Tide on September 3.

Zach Helfand of the Los Angeles Times reported the news of Langley's ban on Tuesday, which USC head coach Clay Helton confirmed.

The suspension stems from Langley's May 6 arrest on UCLA's campus in which he was charged with resisting arrest, intoxication and trespassing. Helton said, per Helfand, that Langley was punished in May for violating team rules as well.      

UCLA police spokeswoman Nancy Greenstein told Helfand that Langley was at a fraternity party when he had his run-in with the law and lied about his age.

"When he was asked to leave, he refused," said Greenstein. “Police were called, and he was arrested for misdemeanor trespassing."

Helfand also added that Langley doesn't face charges, citing Los Angeles city attorney's office spokesman Frank Mateljan as the source of that information.

Langley had been making strides in spring practices, and Helton even seemed encouraged by the young defensive back's progress.

“We saw it as a freshman, how talented he was, which is why he contributed to us last year," Helton said, per the Orange County Register's Janis Carr. "He's put on almost 10 pounds of muscle. He doesn't have that freshman body any more, and he has a ton of confidence. He's a kid we're going to need in this defense."

Per CFBStats.com, Langley appeared in 11 games last season, registering 12 total tackles and one pass defensed. He is a former 4-star recruit who was the 10th-rated CB from the class of 2015, according to 247Sports' composite rankings.

Although the brief one-game absence won't likely hinder Langley's development as an individual, USC will be down a key defender as it prepares to take on the reigning national champion Crimson Tide.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Isaiah Langley Suspended for Season Opener vs. Alabama: Details and Reaction

USC sophomore cornerback Isaiah Langley has been suspended for the Trojans' first game of the season against the Alabama Crimson Tide on September 3...

Read the full article on Bleacher Report...

The 25 Strongest College Football Positional Units Heading into 2016 Season

College football teams—and their fans—love taking pride in dominating a respective position. Several teams claim to be "Defensive Back U." Others are known for their seemingly never-ending supply of speedy skill players. Some dominate the trenches year in and year out.

Between recruiting at an elite level at these positions each season and returning a lot of proven talent, a lot of programs across the country can lay claim to a top-notch position group for the 2016 campaign. But which are the best of the best?

As the offseason starts to pick up speed toward fall camp, let's take a look at the 25 strongest ones heading into the 2016 season. These selections are based on amount of returning starters, overall production from 2015 and talented depth in the form of experienced backups and blue-chip newcomers.

A few teams can boast multiple top-25 units for the upcoming fall, which are listed in alphabetical order on the following slides. These programs are the strongest of the strong in what is a talent-laden landscape of college football for 2016.

Begin Slideshow

The 25 Strongest College Football Positional Units Heading into 2016 Season

College football teams—and their fans—love taking pride in dominating a respective position. Several teams claim to be "Defensive Back U." Others are known for their seemingly never-ending supply of speedy skill players. Some dominate the trenches year in and year out.

Between recruiting at an elite level at these positions each season and returning a lot of proven talent, a lot of programs across the country can lay claim to a top-notch position group for the 2016 campaign. But which are the best of the best?

As the offseason starts to pick up speed toward fall camp, let's take a look at the 25 strongest ones heading into the 2016 season. These selections are based on amount of returning starters, overall production from 2015 and talented depth in the form of experienced backups and blue-chip newcomers.

A few teams can boast multiple top-25 units for the upcoming fall, which are listed in alphabetical order on the following slides. These programs are the strongest of the strong in what is a talent-laden landscape of college football for 2016.

Begin Slideshow

Winners and Losers from 2016 Big 12 Media Days

Two days of Big 12 coaches and players previewing the 2016 season are in the books, and now it's time to look back on what stood out the most in Dallas. It was a mix of good and bad, hitting the extreme in both directions.

The league has had several spotlights on it this offseason, including from a logistical standpoint in terms of adding a championship game in 2017 and taking another look at expansion, but also in an unfavorable light because of Baylor's sexual assault scandal. Those were some of the biggest topics discussed at Big 12 media days, along with the usual issues related to departed stars and incoming prospects.

We've picked out some winners and losers from the past two days that help summarize what came up most during the Big 12's contribution to "talking season."

Begin Slideshow

Winners and Losers from 2016 Big 12 Media Days

Two days of Big 12 coaches and players previewing the 2016 season are in the books, and now it's time to look back on what stood out the most in Dallas. It was a mix of good and bad, hitting the extreme in both directions.

The league has had several spotlights on it this offseason, including from a logistical standpoint in terms of adding a championship game in 2017 and taking another look at expansion, but also in an unfavorable light due to Baylor's sexual assault scandal. Those were some of the biggest topics discussed at Big 12 media days, along with the usual issues related to departed stars and incoming prospects.

We've picked out some winners and losers from the past two days that help summarize what came up most during the Big 12's contribution to "talking season."

Begin Slideshow

Lou Holtz Comments on Immigration at Republican National Convention

After announcing he was supporting Donald Trump's presidential campaign, College Football Hall of Famer Lou Holtz offered some controversial remarks about immigration at the Republican National Convention on Tuesday.

Per Betsy Woodruff of the Daily Beast, Holtz said, "I don't want to celebrate your holidays; I sure as hell don't want to cheer for your soccer team," regarding immigrants. 

Woodruff also noted Holtz said he doesn't "want to speak their language." 

Zach Barnett of College Football Talk suggested some irony in the fact that Holtz was the head football coach at a school whose nickname was the Fighting Irish and whose full name—the University of Notre Dame du Lac—is French. 

It's unclear exactly how closely Holtz has followed Trump's presidential campaign, but in his official endorsement, the 79-year-old said "the main reason I'm endorsing him: I've played his golf course [and] I've stayed in his hotel," per Matt Bonesteel of the Washington Post.

Holtz has been an active member of the Republican Party for years and has appeared on various Fox News and Fox Business shows. He worked as a college football analyst at ESPN starting in 2005 before leaving the network in 2015. 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

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