Mel Kiper's Preseason 2017 Big Board

ESPN.com Illustration

It's time to dive into another season of college football and prospect-watching. Since my first 2017 Big Board after the draft, there are several new additions. One common theme, though? S-E-C. College football's most storied conference leads the way with almost half of my top 25. Alabama, last year's national champion, has a huge presence, and several of their biggest names are seniors, a rarity in today's evaluation process. Clemson, last year's runners-up, has a presence, too. Let's get to it.

A reminder: General scouting reports on these players won't change week to week, unless my overall evaluation changes. I'll simply be updating performance notes and providing updates on key matchups to come.

One asterisk denotes a junior, and two asterisks denote redshirt sophomore for the 2016 season.

1. Tim Williams, OLB, Alabama

Outside of quarterback, there is no greater premium position in the modern NFL than a premium pass-rusher, and Williams can be simply unblockable. He had 10.5 sacks even though he played only about 20 percent of defensive snaps. And that's just the challenge: Does he play the run well, and will he be dominant when he stays on the field more? If not, he'll drop.