Finding the perfect NFL comparison for today's CFB stars

Jackson on pace to ascend Kiper's draft board (1:51)

Mel Kiper Jr. shares the adjustments he notices in Lamar Jackson's play that have earned the Louisville QB a spot on Kiper's 2018 Big Board. (1:51)

Player comparisons are a staple of the NFL draft evaluation process, but they're most commonly made based on look, size, style and athleticism. Another way to compare prospects is through production, and Pro Football Focus' college data can glean great insights in order to better cross-compare two players. While traits are a great way to paint a picture of what a player may look like at the next level, the NFL ultimately comes down to production, so knowing where a player will succeed -- and struggle -- is crucial in the evaluation process.

Will a quarterback struggle under pressure, but have success when throwing downfield from a clean pocket? Is a defensive tackle better against the run than he is as a pass-rusher? Does a defensive end have to add a counter to his outside speed rush? These questions can sometimes be answered by watching film, but it's even better when the answers are backed up by numbers. Here are some recent player comparisons for 2018 NFL draft prospects using PFF data to shine light on playing style.