Mobile Franchise Quarterback
The NFL still values a stationary QB with a golden arm, but a fleet-footed one who can extend plays and split coverages on the run is favored.
PROTOTYPE: Andrew Luck, Colts
Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville
He knows you can't always make plays out of structure, but he runs to throw, always keeping his eyes downfield on his WRs.
Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
Sometimes transcendent, occasionally incomprehensible—that's Manziel. But like Russell Wilson, he has a sense of how to stay alive while coverages split.
Blake Bortles, UCF
The best of both worlds: He has ideal size (6'5", 230 pounds), a great arm and sneaky mobility when he needs it.
Today's complex D's rotate personnel more than ever, making the every-down LB who can stuff the run and cover the pass a real standout.
PROTOTYPE: NaVorro Bowman, 49ers
C.J. Mosley, Alabama
Few college LBs are smarter or take better angles all over the field. His ability to smack ballcarriers evokes the great Derrick Brooks.
Khalil Mack, Buffalo
He's primarily a blitzer; that's where he'll make his money. But he can force the issue against the run, and he's a surprise in coverage.
Ryan Shazier, Ohio State
Today's coaches prefer a lighter LB with burning speed—that's Shazier. He's not an intimidator, but he moves with great quickness.
Shutdown Press Cornerback
The dominant boundary cornerback who can erase an opponent's best receiver is perhaps the rarest entity of all.
PROTOTYPE: Richard Sherman, Seahawks
Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State
Aggressive and with sub-4.4 speed, Gilbert has the tools to be a shutdown guy: He makes receivers work to earn their openings.
Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech
The best technician available at his position; it's hard to find his flaws. He's special because he plays off-coverage as well as he presses.
Bradley Roby, Ohio State
He can be too grabby in coverage, but he'll be drafted high because he sticks to receivers like glue, similar to a shorter Sherman.
Free safeties must excel at everything from defending the slot to deep centerfield coverage. One who can contain a WR all the way upfield will thrive in the NFL.
PROTOTYPE: Earl Thomas, Seahawks
Calvin Pryor, Louisville
A fast, violent player whose game is based on explosion over anticipation. He has a knack for jumping routes, as the best covermen do.
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Alabama
Like most Nick Saban--taught pass defenders, he flashes down to help stop the run, but he can also backpedal and stay with any receiver.
Jimmie Ward, Northern Illinois
You can question the strength of his MAC competition but not his raw skills. He covers from outside to the deep middle with aggression and speed.
ANDREW HANCOCK FOR SI (LUCK)
MICHAEL ZAGARIS/SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS/GETTY IMAGES (BOWMAN)
ROBERT BECK/SI (SHERMAN)
SCOTT BOEHM/AP (THOMAS)
DAVID E. KLUTHO/SI (BRIDGEWATER)
ERICH SCHLEGEL FOR SI (MANZIEL)
TOMASSO DEROSA/AP (BORTLES, PRYOR)
KEVIN C. COX/GETTY IMAGES (MOSLEY)
OTTO KITSINGER/AP (MACK)
DAVID DUROCHIK/AP (SHAZIER)
JOHN WILLIAMSON/AP (GILBERT)
VICTOR CALZADA/AP (FULLER)
ROB HOLT/AP (ROBY)
KEVIN LILES/USA TODAY SPORTS (CLINTON-DIX)
MATTHEW HOLST/GETTY IMAGES (WARD)