NFL Draft prospects 2025: Big board of top 50 players overall, position rankings for next year

The 2025 NFL Draft better be ready for Prime Time. 

Or, in this case, Coach Prime. That’s because Deion Sanders will have two of the top-five prospects in next year’s draft. Quarterback Shedeur Sanders is the top quarterback prospect, and two-way star Travis Hunter is bound to attract the same kind of attention Deion did as a player ahead of the 1989 NFL Draft. 

The 2025 NFL Draft is scheduled for April 24-26 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay. 

Colorado – that’s right – has two top-five first-round prospects. The Buffaloes have not had multiple first-round picks since 2011. Shedeur Sanders and Hunter are the most-talked about players on Sporting News’ first Top 50 Big Board for next year’s draft. 

Ohio State will be the second conversation piece. The Buckeyes have eight players in our top 50, including five potential first-round picks. It’s the second straight year Ohio State has eight top 50 players, mainly because Denzel Burke, Tyliek Williams, Jack Sawyer and JT Tuimoloau bypassed the 2024 NFL Draft. 

Georgia, Michigan and Notre Dame have four players each on our Top 50. LSU and Texas have three players apiece. 

Here is a look at the top 50 best players projected to be available in the 2025 NFL Draft regardless of position, and how high each might be selected based on team needs, position scarcity and other factors. 

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*- underclassman

NFL Draft prospects 2025: Big board of top 50 players  

1. Shedeur Sanders, QB, Colorado 

Sanders (6-2, 215) is the top quarterback to start this cycle, but it would not be a surprise if teams prefer Quinn Ewers or Carson Beck here. Sanders proved he could play at the FBS level with 3,230 yards, 27 TDs and three interceptions, all with inadequate pass protection and run support. Sanders, however, was at his best in the fourth quarter with a 72.8% completion percentage, 11 TDs and no interceptions. Quarterbacks have been the No. 1 pick in six of the last seven drafts. 

2. Kelvin Banks Jr.,* T, Texas 

Banks (6-4, 324) has started in 27 games at left tackle, and he allowed just one sack in the opener against Rice. He’s among the best returning pass blockers in the FBS. Banks improved as a run blocker as the season progressed, and that massive frame is suited for a long-and-durable NFL career. Banks will have competition from a pair of LSU tackles in the first round, but he is not a player who will slip down the board.  

3. James Pearce Jr.*, EDGE, Tennessee 

Pearce (6-5, 242) had a breakout season with the Volunteers and has pass-rush numbers that are close to UCLA’s Laitau Latu from last season. Pearce had 13 sacks, 11 hits and 28 hurries off the edge for Tennessee, and he is coming off a dominant bowl performance against Iowa. He is a capable box linebacker too, but his job is to get after the quarterback. There is pressure to repeat that production, but he is the top edge rusher to start this draft cycle. 

4. Travis Hunter*, CB/WR, Colorado 

Hunter (6-1, 185) is the most-interesting player on the board. Where does he play at the next level? He had 57 catches for 721 yards and five TDs. He also had three interceptions. Hunter had a rough game in coverage against Stanford, but he followed that with his best game against UCLA. He is the best overall athlete on the board – and that athleticism will make it possible for him to play either position at the next level and contribute as a returner. Deion Sanders was the No. 5 overall pick in 1989. It’s tough to envision Hunter going lower than that. 

5. Quinn Ewers, QB, Texas 

Ewers (6-2, 205) was a first-round pick on our Big Board last year, and we’re banking on him building on last year’s College Football Playoff run with Texas. He improved in the intermediate passing game and showed that live arm in the 349-yard, three-TD effort against Alabama. Ewers’ release and footwork are going to be picked apart heading into the draft, and he needs to gain a little more weight. Trust the five-star pedigree.

MORE: Top 10 quarterbacks for 2025 NFL Draft 

(Getty Images)

6. Carson Beck, QB, Georgia 

Beck (6-4, 215) will be the top quarterback in a lot of mock drafts, and with good reason. He had 3,941 passing yards last season, the most among returning FBS starters. He’s accurate in the middle of the field and never had a completion percentage lower than 65% in any game last season. Can Beck carry an NFL franchise? That will be the question he can help answer with the Bulldogs, especially without favorite targets Brock Bowers and Ladd McConkey.  

7. Luther Burden III*, WR, Missouri 

Burden (5-11, 208) might have been the fourth top-10 receiver in the 2024 NFL Draft had the rising junior been eligible. He’s a clean route runner who worked primarily out of the slot position for the Tigers – and he totaled 86 catches for 1,212 yards and nine TDs. Burden also can play wide, and that versatility is going to make the star receiver an attractive fit for any NFL offense. 

8. Will Campbell*, T, LSU 

Campbell (6-6, 325) did not allow a sack last season at left tackle, and he settled in as a dominant pass blocker. Campbell is allowed just two hurries in the Tigers’ last four games, according to PFF.com. He struggled at times against Florida State and Alabama, so there will be a close watch on him when the Tigers play the marquee matchups this season. He’s delivered the five-star hype so far. 

9. Mason Graham*, DT, Michigan 

Graham (6-3, 318) was dominant on the interior for the Wolverines’ national championship team in 2022. He’s a run-stuffer as a gap defender, and he flashed elite pass-rushing skills from the interior with four sacks and 18 hurries. There is depth in this draft at the defensive tackle position, and Graham will be counted on for more given Michigan’s heavy losses to the NFL Draft. He’s the best interior defender on the board. 

10. Tetairoa McMillan*, WR, Arizona 

McMillan (6-5, 250) became the all-around threat for the Wildcats with 90 catches, 1,402 yards and 10 TDs. He closed last season with four straight 100-yard games, and that included an 11-catch, 266-yard effort against Arizona State. McMillan had 12 contested catches on throws of 10 yards or more, and he returns as Noah Fifita’s favorite target. If McMillan can replicate that production, he will be next year’s version of Rome Odunze on draft day. 

2024 NFL DRAFT TOP 10 LISTS: QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | EDGE

11. Walter Nolen*, DT, Ole Miss 

Nolan (6–4, 290) transferred to Ole Miss after two seasons at Texas A&M. He’s a force on the interior, where he totaled 37 tackles, four sacks and 8.5 tackles for loss last season. He’ll be developed another year with Ole Miss defensive coordinator Pete Golding. Nolen had a dominant two-game stretch against Arkansas and Auburn last season, but his production sagged in the second half of the season. The fresh start with the Rebels will help. 

12. Patrick Payton, EDGE, Florida State 

Payton (6-5, 240) could emerge as the top pass rusher in this draft given his late-season rise with the Seminoles last year. He had seven sacks and 32 hurries off the edge, and he had 10 pass breakups. That disruptive play broke through with a combined total of nine tackles, four sacks and eight hurries in the season-ending stretch against Florida, Louisville and Florida State. Payton will command more double teams with Jared Verse gone, but the talent to replicate the production is there. 

Benjamin Morrison

(Getty Images)

13. Benjamin Morrison*, CB, Notre Dame 

Morrison (6-0, 186) could force the conversation with Hunter as the top cornerback in the draft. He has nine interceptions and 14 pass breakups the last two seasons. Morrison also has 4.5 tackles for loss. He was at his best against Ohio State and USC last season, where allowed six catches on 13 targets for 41 yards. Morrison has allowed four TDs in coverage the last two seasons, but his ability to create turnovers will continue as a junior. He will be part of a debate with the next cornerbacks on this list. 

14. Will Johnson*, CB, Michigan 

Johnson (6-2, 202) battled injuries last season, but he is a game-breaking cornerback. The interception against Ohio State last season was a game-changer, and he has seven interceptions the last two seasons. Quarterbacks had a 44.7% completion percentage when targeting Johnson, and he held his own against Marvin Harrison Jr. and Rome Odunze. Michigan’s last three first-round defensive backs were Charles Woodson (1998), Leon Hall (2007) and Jabrill Peppers (2017). Johnson will join that impressive group. 

15. Denzel Burke, CB, Ohio State 

Burke (6-0, 189) is the first Ohio State player off the board. He would have been a first-round pick in this year’s draft after an impressive junior season. Burke averages nine pass breakups the last three seasons, and he is part of a loaded secondary that features Jordan Hancock, Lathan Ransom and safety Caleb Downs. Burke will continue to develop as a lock-down corner at a position group where the Buckeyes have produced several difference-makers at the next level, including Marshon Lattimore (2017), Denzel Ward (2018) and Jeffery Okudah (2020). 

16. Emery Jones*, T, LSU 

Jones (6-6, 322) will be the second LSU tackle to get drafted in the first round. The right tackle allowed just two sacks and one quarterback hit last season, and he continued to improve against the run. Jones has started in 24 games, and he is going to impress at the NFL Scouting Combine in 2025. Will he have the versatility to play both tackle spots? That could push him into the top 10. 

17. Harold Perkins*, LB, LSU 

Perkins (6-1, 220) is one of the tougher evaluations in this year’s draft. He has 13 sacks the last two seasons, but Brian Kelly plans on moving Perkins to an inside linebacker spot. He has 13 tackles for loss each of the last two seasons and could be more disruptive in that role, and he was solid in coverage last season. He split between defensive line and linebacker in 2023. Perkins still has enough talent to be a first-round pick – but he will need to prove it that new spot. 

18. Tyler Booker*, G, Alabama 

Booker (6-5, 335) is Alabama’s next first-round interior offensive lineman. He started at left guard last season but has played right guard during his time with the Crimson Tide. Booker struggled in the Rose Bowl loss to Michigan, which was the blemish on an otherwise outstanding sophomore season. Alabama hasn’t had a first-round guard since Chance Warmack in 2013. Booker will end that drought. 

Malaki Starks

(Getty Images)

19. Malaki Starks*, S, Georgia 

Starks (6-1, 205) has been a playmaker from Day 1 at Georgia. He averaged 60 tackles the last two seasons, and he has totaled 15 interceptions with 14 pass breakups. Starks missed just three tackles last season and was steady in preventing yards after the catch. There are not many elite safeties in next year’s draft, and Starks has a chance to move up this board as a result. 

20. Colston Loveland*, TE, Michigan 

Loveland (6-5, 245) was the classic Jim Harbaugh tight end in Ann Arbor. He was an active blocker and clean pass-catcher with 45 catches for 649 yards and four TDs who split time between in-line and the slot position. According to PFF, Loveland had seven catches on seven targets for 206 yards and three TDs on passes of 20 yards or more. Will he keep that same connection without J.J. McCarthy? Either way, that ability to make plays in the deep middle of the field will translate at the next level. 

21. Howard Cross III, DT, Notre Dame 

Cross (6-1, 284) played mostly at defensive tackle last season, but could he slide into a 3-4 defensive end role at the next level? He had three sacks and 31 hurries from the interior, and that came with 66 total tackles. Cross’ quickness off the ball is his best trait on the interior, especially in passing situations. He was the best player on Notre Dame’s defensive line last season, and another year should improve that stock. 

22. Emeka Egbuka, WR, Ohio State 

Egbuka (6-1, 206) battled injuries last season, and his production slipped to 41 catches for 514 yards and four TDs. He slides into a WR1 role with Marvin Harrison Jr. off to the NFL, and he could easily revert to the production from 2022, when he had 1,151 yards and 10 TDs. Egbuka has a 69.3% catch percentage the last two years, and he is an excellent route runner in space. Is he a true No. 1 at the next level? That is the question that needs answering. 

23. Tyleik Williams, DT, Ohio State 

Williams (6-2, 290) had 55 total tackles and two sacks for the Buckeyes from the interior last season and was the most consistent player on the defensive line. He had a first-round pedigree for this year’s draft, and he’s a low-risk pick given the ability to be that disruptive in the middle. Of all the Ohio State defensive players that will be drafted next season, Williams feels like the safest pick. 

24. Jay Higgins, LB, Iowa 

Higgins (6-2, 233) ranked third in the FBS with 171 total tackles in 2023. He’s a classic in-the-box linebacker. According to PFF, he had the third-lowest missed tackle rate at 5.1% last season. He also had three pass breakups and an interception in coverage. He’s another classic Hawkeyes linebacker who will be every bit as productive as 2023 first-round pick Jack Campbell. 

25. Jack Sawyer, DE, Ohio State 

Sawyer (6-4, 265) returned for one more year along with teammate JT Tuimoloau, and either one could emerge as a first-round pick this season. Sawyer closed last season with five sacks in Ohio State’s last three games, including a three-sack performance in the Cotton Bowl. The potential for a 10-sack season is there, and that would vault Sawyer into the first round. 

26. Josh Conerly Jr., T, Oregon

27. Landon Jackson, DE, Arkansas

28. Evan Stewart*, WR, Oregon

29. Quinshon Judkins*, RB, Ohio State

30. Kenneth Grant, DT, Michigan

31. Princely Umanmielen, DE/EDGE, Ole Miss

32. Isaiah Bond*, WR, Texas

33. Cam Ward, QB, Miami, Fla.

34. JT Tuimoloau, DE/EDGE, Ohio State

35. TreVeyon Henderson, RB, Ohio State

36. Josh Simmons, T, Ohio State

37. Barrett Carter, LB, Clemson

38. Danny Stutsman, LB, Oklahoma

39. Malachi Moore, S, Alabama

40. Rylie Mills, DT, Notre Dame

41. Tate Ratledge, G, Georgia

42. Jason Henderson, LB, Old Dominion

43. Dontay Corleone, DT, Cincinnati

44. Tory Horton, WR, Colorado State

45. Omarion Hampton*, RB, North Carolina

46. Blake Miller*, T, Clemson

47. Clay Webb, G, Jacksonville State

48. Xavier Watts, S, Notre Dame

49. Ollie Gordon III*, RB, Oklahoma State

50. Mykel Williams*, DE, Georgia

NFL Draft prospect ranking by position 

Quarterback 

1. Shedeur Sanders, Colorado (1)
2. Quinn Ewers, Texas (5)
3. Carson Beck, Georgia (6)
4. Cam Ward, Miami, Fla. (33) 

Running back

1. Quinshon Judkins, Ohio State (29)
2. TreVeyon Henderson, Ohio State (35)
3. Omarion Hampton, North Carolina (45)
4. Ollie Gordon, Oklahoma State (49) 

Wide receiver 

1. Luther Burden, Missouri (7)
2. Tetairoa McMillan, Arizona (10)
3. Emeka Egbuka, Ohio State (22)
4. Evan Stewart, Oregon (28)
5. Isaiah Bond, Texas (32)
6. Tory Horton, Colorado State (44) 

Tight end 

1. Colston Loveland, Michigan (20)

Tackles

1. Kelvin Banks Jr., Texas (2)
2. Will Campbell, LSU (8)
3. Emery Jones, LSU (16)
4. Josh Conerly Jr., Oregon (26)
5. Josh Simmons, Ohio State (36)
6. Blake Miller, Clemson (46) 

Guards

1. Tyler Booker, Alabama (18)
2. Tate Ratledge, Georgia (41)
3. Clay Webb, Jacksonville State (47)

Defensive end/Edge rushers 

1. James Pearce Jr., Tennessee (3)
2. Patrick Payton, Florida State (12)
3. Jack Sawyer, Ohio State (25)
4. Landon Jackson, Arkansas (26)
5. Princely Umanmielen, Ole Miss (31)
6. JT Tuimoloau, Ohio State (34)
7. Mykel Williams, Georgia (50) 

Defensive tackles 

1. Mason Graham, Michigan (9)
2. Walter Nolen, Ole Miss (11)
3. Howard Cross III, Notre Dame (21)
4. Tyleik Williams, Ohio State (23)
4. Kenneth Grant, Michigan (30)
5. Rylie Mills, Notre Dame (40)
6. Dontay Corleone, Cincinnati (43) 

Linebackers 

1. Harold Perkins, LSU (17)
2. Jay Higgins, Iowa (24)
3. Barrett Carter, Clemson (37)
4. Danny Stutsman, Oklahoma (38)
5. Jason Henderson, Old Dominion (42) 

Cornerbacks

1. Travis Hunter, Colorado (4)
2. Benjamin Morrison, Notre Dame (13)
3. Will Johnson, Michigan (14)
4. Denzel Burke, Ohio State (15) 

Safety 

1. Malaki Starks, Georgia (19)
2. Malachi Moore, Alabama (39)
3. Xavier Watts, Notre Dame (48) 

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