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Breakfast: Top 5 players in the Harris 100

Posted Feb 9, 2018

In advance of next week's Harris 100, check out John Harris' top 5 players NFL prospects.

The Harris 100 is rounding third and ready to slide into home like Jose Altuve with the game-winning run of a World Series game. The 2018 NFL Draft will be dominated by the signal callers with names like Baker Mayfield, Lamar Jackson, Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen being bandied about in the top 15 of the NFL draft. Last year, as you recall, there were three quarterbacks taken in the top 12 of the draft, as Mitchell Trubisky (Bears) and Patrick Mahomes (Chiefs) preceded the Texans’ selection of some guy named Watson.

The Bears, Chiefs and Texans all traded up to get their quarterback of the future, so that could make the top of the 2018 NFL Draft very interesting, given those four names above. Where do they fit into the Harris 100? You’ll find out early next week. How’s that for a tease, huh?

Although I could see two, maybe even three of them going in the top five, I don’t have any of them in my Harris 100 top five. Of course, I rank prospects on how I see them as productive NFL players in the future. You’ll see my overall thoughts on the quarterbacks in this class in due time. Thankfully, we don’t need to talk much about quarterbacks in Houston for the first time in a while. Well, maybe from a backup perspective, but the future is all about Deshaun Watson.

So, which players make up my top five?

Penn State running back Saquon Barkley had a tremendous season as a third-year true junior. He finished fourth in the Heisman balloting, but may have been the winner of the “player who created the most YouTube highlights in one season.” He’s a three-down back in the mold of Ezekiel Elliott (Cowboys).

Not many people may have heard of NC State defensive end Bradley Chubb, but he’s very similar to Mario Williams, minus a few pounds and with a mean streak. At 6-4, 275 lb., he wreaked havoc off the edge for one of the most talented defensive lines in the nation the past four seasons.

Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds was another early entry candidate and for good reason. He’s 6-4, 250 lb., and can play any linebacker position on the field. When he closes on the ball, the ball carrier is finished. Edmunds can rush, drop, play the run, run sideline to sideline and make your offense’s life a living you-know-what.

Drafting a guard doesn’t get a team’s fans all that excited, but if your team drafts Quenton Nelson from Notre Dame, it’s time to dance an Irish jig. He’s a destroyer with some of the most soul-crushing blocks I’ve seen from an interior lineman in quite some time. If the Texans had their first round pick at number four, I’d slot Nelson in that spot for every mock draft from here to eternity. That said, he’s got Pro Bowl written all over him for the next 10 years.

Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick doesn’t really have a set position. Barkley’s a running back. Nelson’s a guard. Those are easy. Fitzpatrick plays in the secondary and can play any position back there. Now, some guys have to because they don’t play any of them well enough to stick at any one position. Fitzpatrick, though, did so for the Tide out of necessity. Nick Saban asked him to play a perimeter cornerback position, safety and star (nickel) for the Crimson Tide and Fitzpatrick excelled at all of them. He’s a football gym rat with the type of work ethic that teams love.

So, those are the top five in the Harris 100, but not in that order. Which one will be the number one player? Tune in and find out next week. See ya then!

Content on HoustonTexans.com does not necessarily represent the views of the Houston Texans front office staff, coaches or executives.

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