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2017 National Signing Day: 10 Recruits who will develop into future NFL first round picks

Leonard Fournette
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Every year on the first Wednesday in Febuary, most high school football players sign a letter of intent with their school of choice. National signing day is to college football as the draft is to the NFL. But instead of drafting ten or so players, college teams sign roughly 25 players. And there are no regulations promoting parity, a handful of top teams hoard the majority of the talent.

Based on their composite rankings, current physical development and college selection, here are the ten 2017 recruits most likely to be drafted in the first round:

Cam Akers, Running Back, Florida State enrollee

Jimbo Fisher pulled off a coup pulling Akers out of Mississippi. Akers is 1a at the position with Najee Harris 1b, but Akers will have a greater immediate opportunity since Harris will be behind Bo Scarborough at Alabama. Akers is a one-cut runner with great speed, balance and power. Player Comparison: Ezekiel Elliott

Donovan Peoples-Jones, Wide Receiver, Michigan enrollee

At 6’3” 200, with 4.4 speed, a 42” vertical and a high football IQ, DPJ is the top rated receiver recruit in the nation. The Detroit product should be a Day 1 starter in Jim Harbaugh’s pro-style offense. Player Comparison: Dez Bryant

Tee Higgins, Wide Receiver, Clemson commit

Another physical freak, Higgins is a long, smooth receiver from Tennessee. The Tigers have become WR U, Higgins should follow in the footsteps of DeAndre Hopkins, Sammy Watkins, Martavis Bryant, Mike Williams and Deon Cain. Player Comparison: A.J. Green

Alex Leatherwood, Offensive Tackle, Alabama enrollee

Massive Pensacola prospects is the consensus top blocker in the recruiting class. He has quick feet for his size and could step in for Cam Robinson on the blindside or replace Jonah Williams at right tackle if the true sophomore switches sides. Player Comparison: Trent Williams

LaBryan Ray, Defensive End, Alabama lean

A late riser, Ray dominated blockers at the Under Armour All-America game. Florida is holding out hope, but he is expected to commit to Alabama. If he does chose the Crimson Tide, he should find himself in their deep front-7 rotation and eventually develop into the next Jonathan Allen. Player Projection: Leonard Williams

Josh Kaindoh, Defensive End, Florida State enrollee

Kaindoh is a Baltimore native with a prototypical frame and wingspan. He plays with great leverage and his training at IMG Academy has helped hone his pass rushing get-off and develop strength. He should be a household name by the end of his sophomore season. Player Comparison: Jason Pierre-Paul

Marvin Wilson, Defensive Tackle, LSU/FSU battle

This recruitment is shaping up to be the marquee signing day battle. It appears to be a tossup between LSU and FSU, with Tigers coach Ed Orgeron’s defensive line specialty possibly providing an advantage. Wilson is the consensus top defensive tackle on the board, he is extremely powerful and displays good athleticism. Player Comparison: Eddie Goldman

Dylan Moses, Ouside Linebacker, Alabama enrollee

Phenomenal athlete was considered the top overall prospect early in the cycle. Moses is a polished linebacker with tremendous speed and work ethic. He should crack the rotation after a little bulking up. Player comparison: Von Miller

Shaun Wade, Cornerback, Ohio State enrollee

Urban Meyer tapped his Florida connections to reel in this elite prospect. Wade has all the tools to become a true shutdown corner and is in line for early playing time after the early departures of Marshon Lattimore and Gareon Conley. Player Comparison: Joe Haden

Jeffrey Okudah, Defensive Back, Ohio State enrollee

Currently a 6’2” 190 pound 17 year old from Texas, Okudah already has a professional build. His quickness and recovery speed will allow him to excel anywhere in the secondary. Player Comparison: Jalen Ramsey