Top 10 NFL prospects by position

Marcus Mariota, Leonard Williams and Amari Cooper are all atop their respective position groups. USA TODAY Sports

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Defense: DE | DT | OLB | ILB | CB | S

Draft season seems to be officially upon us, with only a few weeks of bowls and declarations to come. For the updated top 10 at each position below, remember that there are players I do expect to return to college, and others who are undecided. But I won't officially move qualifying players out until the declaration deadline for juniors and redshirt sophomores in January.

Remember: I'm listing prospects under projected NFL positions, and that can be a little tough with some of the more versatile players, even before you get into schemes. A college tackle could be listed at guard, a college defensive end listed at linebacker, and so on. Also: I'd give the edge to a senior over a junior in a close call at the back end of a top 10, due to the certainty the senior will be in the draft.

* Denotes junior
** Denotes third-year sophomore



1. *Marcus Mariota, Oregon
2. **Jameis Winston, Florida St.
3. *Brett Hundley, UCLA
4. *Connor Cook, Michigan St.
5. Bryce Petty, Baylor

6. Garrett Grayson, Colorado St.
7. *Cody Kessler, USC
8. Sean Mannion, Oregon St.
9. Bryan Bennett, Southeastern Louisiana
10. Shane Carden, East Carolina

I've assumed Cook would be returning to Michigan State for a while, and he's now said that's his plan. Still, he remains where he is until the deadline passes. I'd like to see Hundley in a setting like the Senior Bowl, as I think his talent will shine there, but kids get lots of opinions regarding what is best for them as this process unfolds. Nobody has had a quietly better year than Kessler, but I expect him to be back at USC, which is huge for Steve Sarkisian. He'll be deep at QB, that's for sure.

Running backs