Skip to main content

Top 25 CFB teams with most NFL talent in 2016: Teams 21-25

Here's a look at the 25 college football programs with the most NFL-caliber talent heading into the 2016 season.

Here are the teams ranked Nos. 21-25.

Check out the top 10 players from Oklahoma State to play in the NFL.

21. Oklahoma State

Players to watch: WR Marcell Ateman, LB Jordan Burton, TE Blake Jarwin, CB Ashton Lampkin, S Derrick Moncrief, QB Mason Rudolph, RB Barry J. Sanders, S Jordan Sterns, OT Victor Salako, DT Vincent Taylor, WR James Washington, LB Chad Whitener, OG Michael Wilson

The outlook: Everything was looking good for Oklahoma State last fall until three straight losses (Baylor, Oklahoma, Ole Miss) sent everyone home on a down note. Never fear, Cowboys fans, as the team has a chance to compete for the Big 12 title again this season due to a strong contingent of talent. NFL scouts will definitely be interested to see if Rudolph continues to improve. That should be possible with big-play receivers like Washington and Ateman, and a solid tight end in Jarwin, available to him. Mike Gundy hasn't ignored his defense in recruiting, either, bringing in an up-and-coming star in Taylor and other solid players like Sterns and Whitener.

Newcomer in the spotlight: DE Tralund Webber -- The Cowboys had a mediocre high school recruiting class in 2016, but Webber, a junior college transfer, projects as a starter in 2016. They'll need to get pressure on the quarterback somehow with Emmanuel Ogbah and Jimmy Bean off to the pros.

22. Oregon

Players to watch: WR Devon Allen, TE Evan Baylis, TE Pharaoh Brown, WR Darren Carrington, OT Terrell Crosby, RB Royce Freeman, RB Taj Griffin, DT Canton Kaumatule, WR Charles Nelson, CB Tyree Robinson, CB Arrion Springs, WR Dwayne Stanford

The outlook: Oregon tied for the 10th-most players drafted over the past five years, so it's clear the NFL respects its athletes. It's no surprise almost all of the players listed above play on offense, as the team's up-tempo offense has been its calling card since Chip Kelly was in charge. Freeman is the best of the bunch, combining speed and power that could make him an NFL starter. The front seven is replacing six starters for this year, so players like Kamuatule will receive their chance to show fans, scouts and media members their wares. Robinson and Springs are continuing the Ducks' tradition of excellent cover men patrolling the secondary.

Newcomer in the spotlight: QB Dakota Prukop -- The Ducks could be turning to an FCS transfer to lead their explosive offense for the second straight year. Prukop, like Vernon Adams before him, starred in the Big Sky Conference previously and is now on his way to take on the Pac-12. If Adams had not gotten hurt in the season opener last year, the Ducks might have won the Pac-12. Prukop's athleticism and arm should flourish in Oregon's system.

23. Arkansas

Players to watch: QB Austin Allen, CB Jared Collins, LB Brooks Ellis, LB Dre Greenlaw, WR Keon Hatcher, WR Drew Morgan, OG Frank Ragnow, WR Dominique Reed, OT Dan Skipper, TE Jeremy Sprinkle, CB Henre' Toliver, DE Deatrich Wise

The outlook: Arkansas might struggle to finish better than third in the toughest division in the country, the SEC West. But this is a team with a lot of impressive talent. The hope around Fayetteville is that Allen will be a hometown hero, like his brother Brandon Allen, who is now in the NFL. He certainly has the targets to succeed, with Morgan and Reed heading up a talented group of receivers. Sprinkle should do well as the safety valve for Allen, now that he'll be given the chance with Hunter Henry also moving on to the next level. And, as usual, Arkansas has a slew of future pros on defense. Wise is a strong edge rusher, Ellis a consistent linebacker who could play Mike or Sam in the NFL, and the Collins/Toliver combination at cornerback is underrated.

Newcomer in the spotlight: DE McTelvin Agim -- The departure of Trey Flowers left a hole in the defensive end spot across from Wise. Agim's a quick, powerful player with a good first step to challenge SEC tackles. Greenlaw and Ellis will also reap benefits from his holding of the edge in the run game. Keeping Agim in his home state was a nice grab for Bret Bielema's staff.

24. Washington

Players to watch: OT Trey Adams, S Budda Baker, LB Keishawn Bierria, QB Jake Browning, TE Darrell Daniels, RB Myles Gaskin, CB Sidney Jones, CB Kevin King, LB Joe Mathis, DT Elijah Qualls, WR John Ross, C Coleman Shelton, LB Azeem Victor

The outlook: Huskies fans are excited that former Boise State coach Chris Petersen has their team on the rise. The offense looks potent with Browning throwing to Daniels and Ross, and Gaskin rushing behind Shelton and Adams. Baker, King, and Jones are as good a secondary trio as there is in the country -- all three will be on the minds of NFL scouts. Mathis moves into Travis Feeney's spot as the team's top defensive playmaker.

Newcomer in the spotlight: DE Benning Potoa'e -- The Washington state USA Today High School Defensive Player of the Year in 2014 had 19 sacks as a senior. UW needs the redshirt freshman to have that sort of production with Mathis playing the Buck linebacker spot. Potoa'e (poe-toe-AH-ee) is the brother of a former Huskie (Sione), so fans will also have high hopes for the newcomer.

25. Georgia

Players to watch: DE/OLB Lorenzo Carter, OT Tyler Catalina, RB Nick Chubb, C/OG Brandon Kublanow, S Quincy Mauger, RB Sony Michel, OG Greg Pyke, S Dominick Sanders

The outlook: This isn't the most talented Georgia team I've seen, but the Bulldogs still have a number of future pros on their squad. First-year coach Kirby Smart is working the recruiting trail to make his defense as strong as the ones he led for Nick Saban at Alabama. If Carter can reach his potential under Smart's tutelage, watch out. Mauger and Sanders make a nice 1-2 punch at safety; but the team's best duo is responsible for running the ball down the field. Chubb is one of the best backs in college football when healthy, and Michel did a nice job stepping up in his place last season. Getting Catalina as a graduate transfer from Rhode Island shored up the left-tackle spot, helping Pyke and Kublanow make space for Chubb and Michel.

Newcomer in the spotlight: QB Jacob Eason -- Last year, Greyson Lambert was the newcomer to watch as a transfer from Virginia, but there's a new sheriff in town. The Bulldogs' faithful might get a chance to see the top-ranked quarterback prospect in the country do his thing in 2016 if Smart likes what he sees in fall camp.

Follow Chad Reuter on Twitter _@chadreuter_.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content