Draft prospects we're most excited to see in the NFL

Can Leonard Fournette have a similar impact as a rookie running back as Ezekiel Elliott did for the Cowboys? Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Whether you agree with the rules in place that make players ineligible for the NFL Draft until three years after their high school graduation or not, it does afford football fans an opportunity to get familiar with players at the collegiate level. That means by the time they reach the draft process, we know quite a bit about many of the pro prospects.

Welcome to the Yardbarker roundtable, where we can't help but anticipate the new draftees finally taking the field on Sundays (or Mondays or Thursdays). Today, we share some of the players we're most looking forward to watching in the NFL, asking our panelists:

Which player you’re most excited to see in the pros and why?

Mike Tunison: Leonard Fournette. He was an amazing player in college, and I think he'll be a good pro, though it seems like things are setting up to give him headaches. Unscrupulous media people are giving him grief for his Wonderlic score. And he's likely to get picked in the top five, which means people will have hot takes about the rationale behind taking a running back that high.

Shiloh Carder: Ryan Switzer. At North Carolina, Switzer was a two-time All-American as a return specialist. He leaves as the Tar Heels' single-season record holder in terms of catches and yardage.  In a league where slot guys are so dangerous, Switzer should find success with whomever drafts him.  He's a guy you can take a slant or a short route and turn it into a long gain, and his return skills are an added bonus. Put him in the right offense (think: New England) and he could really shine. I've loved his style and swagger.

Clemson Tigers quarterback Deshaun Watson hopes to find similar success in the NFL as he did at Clemson. Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports

David Matthews: I'm very prepared to be wrong about this, but I think Leonard Fournette is going to be Rookie of the Year and possibly have an Ezekiel Elliott-esque impact on some lucky team's offense. 

Sam Greszes: Deshaun Watson. There's a lot of talk about how Mitch Trubisky is the best quarterback in the draft, and I can't wait for Watson to silence the talking heads that think Trubisky is god's gift to quarterbacking even though he's only got one season of experience under his belt. 

Watson, specifically, is a rare talent, and he has a dynamic combination of size, pocket presence and speed. He's like a Marcus Mariota or a Cam Newton in that way. And that's always fun to watch. 

Daniel TranI have an affinity for tight ends, and O.J. Howard might be the best in this draft. Long arms, huge hands and speed to boot — this guy could be torturing defenses for a long time. Add in is smooth route-running and ability to play the ball in the air, and he might be the next great tight end. After being criminally underutilized during his time at Alabama, Howard will now have a chance to show his freaky athleticism consistently.

2017 NFL two-round mock draft, April 26 edition
QUIZ: Name every QB drafted in the 1st round since 2000

Can you name every quarterback taken in the first round of the NFL Draft since 2000?

2000 - NYJ - #18
Chad Pennington
2001 - ATL - #1
Michael Vick
2002 - HOU - #1
David Carr
2002 - DET - #3
Joey Harrington
2002 - WAS - #32
Patrick Ramsey
2003 - CIN - #1
Carson Palmer
2003 - JAC - #7
Byron Leftwich
2003 - BAL - #19
Kyle Boller
2003 - CHI - #22
Rex Grossman
2004 - SD - #1
Eli Manning
2004 - NYG - #4
Philip Rivers
2004 - PIT - #11
Ben Roethlisberger
2004 - BUF - #22
J.P. Losman
2005 - SF - #1
Alex Smith
2005 - GB - #24
Aaron Rodgers
2005 - WAS - #25
Jason Campbell
2006 - TEN - #3
Vince Young
2006 - ARI - #10
Matt Leinart
2006 - DEN - #11
Jay Cutler
2007 - OAK - #1
JaMarcus Russell
2007 - CLE - #22
Brady Quinn
2008 - ATL - #3
Matt Ryan
2008 - BAL - #18
Joe Flacco
2009 - DET - #1
Matthew Stafford
2009 - NYJ - #5
Mark Sanchez
2009 - TB - #17
Josh Freeman
2010 - STL - #1
Sam Bradford
2010 - DEN - #25
Tim Tebow
2011 - CAR - #1
Cam Newton
2011 - TEN - #8
Jake Locker
2011 - JAC - #10
Blaine Gabbert
2011 - MIN - #12
Christian Ponder
2012 - IND - #1
Andrew Luck
2012 - WAS - #2
Robert Griffin III
2012 - MIA - #8
Ryan Tannehill
2012 - CLE - #22
Brandon Weeden
2013 - BUF - #16
EJ Manuel
2014 - JAC - #3
Blake Bortles
2014 - CLE - #22
Johnny Manziel
2014 - MIN - #32
Teddy Bridgewater
2015 - TB - #1
Jameis Winston
2015 - TEN - #2
Marcus Mariota
2016 - LAR - #1
Jared Goff
2016 - PHI - #2
Carson Wentz
2016 - DEN - #26
Paxton Lynch
2017 - CHI - #2
Mitch Trubisky
2017 - KC - #10
Patrick Mahomes
2017 - HOU - #12
Deshaun Watson

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