Top 25 Prospects for the 2025 NFL Draft

It's never too early to plan ahead. Here are college football's 25 best players who seem primed to become first-round picks next year.
Colorado Buffaloes star Travis Hunter makes plays on both sides of the ball.
Colorado Buffaloes star Travis Hunter makes plays on both sides of the ball. / Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Things can change fast.

Last season, it was thought Caleb Williams and Drake Maye would be the clear and definitive Nos. 1 and 2 picks in the 2024 NFL Draft. Not so fast.

This time a year ago, we took a crack at ranking the top 25 prospects with a year remaining until their draft cards would be turned in. Of those 25, a respectable 14 went in the first round

With the caveat of time, injuries and developmental unknowns in mind, here’s a look at who has a shot at the 2025 first round come next spring.

1. Will Campbell, OT, LSU

Listed at 6'6" and 320 pounds, Campbell is an ideal size for a franchise left tackle. And without a top-tier quarterback in the upcoming class, Campbell has a chance to be the No. 1 overall pick. A great combination of size and athleticism, Campbell was a first-team All-SEC selection in 2023 and made second-team all-conference the year prior.

2. Mykel Williams, DL, Georgia

Only 19 years old, Williams has been racking up accolades at the country’s top program over the past two years. Named to the SEC All-Freshman team in 2022, Williams reached the second-team All-SEC squad last year. Over those two campaigns, the 265-pounder notched nine sacks with 13 tackles for loss.

3. James Pearce Jr., Edge, Tennessee

Arguably the best edge rusher in this class, Pearce was a monster last season for the Volunteers. In 2023, Pearce dominated as a true sophomore, totaling 10 sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss. At 6'5" and 245 pounds, Pearce could fill out a bit more, but his multi-dimensional ability makes him a potential top-five pick next April.

4. Will Johnson, CB, Michigan

Michigan Wolverines cornerback Will Johnson
Johnson is back in Ann Arbor after helping lead Michigan to a national championship last season. / Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

Johnson is the best corner prospect to come out of college since Sauce Gardner and Derek Stingley Jr. of the 2022 class. A Detroit native, Johnson has a big frame at 6'2" and 202 pounds. During Michigan’s title run last season, Johnson was named Defensive MVP of the national championship game, while also earning All-American and first-team Big Ten honors.

5. Mason Graham, DL, Michigan

A dominant interior presence, Graham could find his way into the top 10 next season. The 318-pounder was both a first-team All-Big Ten and second-team All-American selection last year. As a two-year starter, Graham has racked up 10 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks. 

6. Kelvin Banks Jr., OT, Texas

Standing 6'4" and 324 pounds, Banks has ideal measurables to handle the left side for an NFL team come 2025. The Texas native made second-team All-Big 12 as a true freshman in ‘22, and then earned first-team honors last season. Last year, Banks and the Longhorns’ offensive line were Joe Moore Award finalists, an award given to the best offensive line in the country.

7. Travis Hunter, CB, Colorado

Hunter is one of the most fascinating prospects in years. At Colorado in 2023, Hunter played both corner and receiver, notching 57 receptions for 721 yards and five touchdowns in nine games. Still, his best position is corner, where he earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors. The conversation about how to use Hunter will be fervent throughout his pre-draft process.

8. Malaki Starks, S, Georgia

A two-year starter with the Bulldogs, Starks is one of the best safety prospects in years. Already with five interceptions and 120 tackles to his name, the 2023 first-team All-American is looking to bolster his credentials for the next level. At 205 pounds, he has the size and range to be an NFL star. Starks was also a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski and Jim Thorpe Awards last season.

9. Benjamin Morrison, CB, Notre Dame

A four-star recruit coming out of Phoenix, Morrison has been a two-year star for the Fighting Irish. At 186 pounds, Morrison is a bit undersized but can add weight for the NFL. Nothing has slowed him so far, totaling 10 pass breakups and three interceptions in 2023, while being a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award. 

10. Carson Beck, QB, Georgia

Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Carson Beck
Beck thrived in his first season as Georgia's starter, and looks primed to be an early selection in next year's draft. / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

After waiting three years to get the starting job with the Bulldogs, Beck showed why he’s a first-round prospect. Under coach Kirby Smart, Beck threw for 3,941 yards and 24 touchdowns against six interceptions. Beck isn’t much of a mobile threat, though, only gaining 116 yards on the ground with four additional scores.

11. Deone Walker, DL, Kentucky

Walker is a classic nosetackle who can get upfield and destroy a play. At 348 pounds, he played 13 games for the Wildcats in 2023 and totaled 7.5 sacks while earning first-team All-SEC honors. Between eating double-teams and still blowing up the backfield, Walker is going to be a buzz-worthy prospect come the ‘25 draft.

12. Luther Burden, WR, Missouri

At 5'11" and 208 pounds, Burden has good size to go with ample accolades. Last year, Burden was named a second-team All-American and first-team All-SEC receiver, amassing 86 catches for 1,212 yards and nine touchdowns. Another similar year with the Tigers and he’ll be in the first-round conversation next winter.

13. Tetairoa McMillan, WR, Arizona 

In two years with the Wildcats, McMillan has established himself as one of the nation’s best wideouts. After totaling 39 catches for 702 yards as a freshman, McMillan rang up 90 receptions for 1,402 yards and 10 touchdowns, becoming a second-team All-American. At 6'5", his size and production will have teams salivating. 

14. Harold Perkins, LB, LSU

Perkins is one of the more well-rounded defenders in the country. In two years with LSU, Perkins totaled at least 70 tackles and 5.5 sacks each season. The big question is one of size, as the New Orleans native is only 6'1" and 220 pounds. If Perkins can put on a bit of weight, he has a chance to be special at the next level.

15. Abdul Carter, Edge, Penn State

Carter’s production has been excellent throughout two campaigns with the Nittany Lions. The latest in a long line of edge rushers from Penn State—including Micah Parsons, Adisa Isaac and Chop Robinson—Carter has 11 sacks to this point. In 2023, he was named first-team All-Big Ten.

16. Nic Scourton, Edge, Texas A&M

Scourton is now playing for the Aggies after two years with the Purdue Boilermakers. Last season in the Big Ten, Scourton created havoc, totaling 15 tackles for loss and 10 sacks. Now in the SEC and playing in a new defense, we’ll see how impacted he is. It’s a risky move for a player many believe will be a top-20 pick next spring.

17. Shedeur Sanders, QB, Colorado

Colorado Buffaloes quarterback Shedeur Sanders
Sanders put up big numbers in his first season at Colorado, and will now have to adapt to the Big 12. / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Sanders, the son of Hall of Fame cornerback Deion Sanders, is an intriguing prospect. In his only year as a starting quarterback at Colorado, Sanders threw for 3,230 yards and 27 touchdowns against three interceptions. The two years prior with Jackson State, Sanders threw for 70 touchdowns as well. At 215 pounds, he has so-so size for the position.

18. Emery Jones Jr., OT, LSU 

Another LSU offensive lineman makes the list. Jones is a specimen at 6'6" and 322 pounds, and in two years has already started in 24 games. While his teammate Campbell is seen as the more premium prospect by many, Jones was named LSU’s Offensive Lineman of the Year by the coaching staff in 2023.

19. Emeka Egbuka, WR, Ohio State

Egbuka was high on our list last season, with the expectation being he would declare early for the draft. Instead, after posting 74 catches for 1,151 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2022, his production slipped to 41 receptions for 515 yards and four scores, while only playing in 10 games. Now, with Marvin Harrison Jr. having turned pro, Egbuka has a chance to be the top target.

20. Colston Loveland, TE, Michigan

Going into the 2024 season, Loveland is seen as the clear top tight end in this class. At Michigan, he’s started 17 games across two seasons and was named first-team All-Big Ten last year by the coaches. At 6'5" and 245 pounds, he has ideal size. With another productive year for the Wolverines followed up by solid testing numbers, he has a shot to go in the ‘25 first round.

21. Patrick Payton, Edge, Florida State

Payton is entering his fourth year with the Seminoles, and third as a starter. After playing alongside Jared Verse and Braden Fiske, Payton is now the main focal point for opponents up front. We’ll see if it impacts him, after posting 14.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks last season. The former four-star recruit certainly has the size, playing at 6'5" and 254 pounds.

22. Tacario Davis, CB, Arizona 

Davis helped spearhead a stellar 2023 season for the Wildcats, helping lead Arizona to a 10–3 record.
Davis helped spearhead a stellar 2023 season for the Wildcats, helping lead Arizona to a 10–3 record. / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

In what projects as a strong class for corners, Davis is another to watch. With the Wildcats, Davis started 11 games last season and earned second-team All-Pac 12 honors, totaling 15 passes defensed and an interception. At 6'4", Davis has the athleticism and length general managers covet as well.

23. Jack Sawyer, Edge, Ohio State

Entering his fourth season with the Buckeyes, Sawyer has only improved with each year. In 2023, Sawyer posted career bests with 10 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks, helping Ohio State contend for another national title. At 6'5" and 260 pounds, the Ohio native has all the measurables and traits to be a star at the NFL level.

24. J.T. Tuimoloau, Edge, Ohio State

Many thought Tuimoloau would come out last year prior to the 2023 campaign, but he’s staying for a fourth go-round in Columbus. After making first-team All-Big Ten in ‘22, Tuimoloau is hoping to have his best year to solidify his draft stock as one of this class’ best edge defenders.

25. Quinn Ewers, QB, Texas

While much of the college world is waiting to see what Ewers’ backup, Arch Manning, can do, there’s plenty to be excited about for Texas this season. After throwing for 3,479 yards and 22 touchdowns against eight interceptions in 2023, Ewers made second-team All-Big 12. To solidify his first-round status, he may need to see a jump in production, albeit a small one.

Matt Verderame


Matt Verderame is an NFL staff writer for Sports Illustrated. He hosts The Matt Verderame Show on Patreon; previously wrote for FanSided and Awful Announcing; and is a member of the Pro Football Writers Association. A proud father of two girls and lover of all Italian food, Matt is an eternal defender of Rudy, the greatest football movie of all time.