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NCAA Football

2014 College Football: Top 10 NFL-Ready Defenders

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2014 College Football: Top 10 NFL-Ready Defenders

leonard williams usc trojans defense DT DL
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Khalil Mack, Justin Gilbert, Anthony Barr, Aaron Donald, Ryan Shazier, Kyle Fuller, Calvin Pryor and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix were all NFL-ready defenders during the 2013 college football season. Therefore, it was no surprise to see them selected in the 1st round of this year's draft. Now that they're getting ready to play at the highest level, let's take a look at the 10 most NFL-ready defenders in college football for the 2014 season.

10. Benardrick McKinney - LB - Mississippi State University

benardrick mckinney mississippi bulldogs defense LB
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

10. Benardrick McKinney - LB - Mississippi State University

benardrick mckinney mississippi bulldogs defense LB
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Standing at 6-foot-5 and weighing 245 pounds, McKinney has elite size for the Middle LB position. He also possesses the speed, with an excellent 4.58 time in the 40, and athleticism for the position with an incredible amount of explosiveness. His length and athleticism allows him to play any LB position and will have NFL scouts considering a move to the defensive end position for him. Regardless of which position he plays, McKinney is NFL-ready.

9. Randy Gregory - DE - University of Nebraska

randy gregory nebraska cornhuskers defense DE DL
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9. Randy Gregory - DE - University of Nebraska

randy gregory nebraska cornhuskers defense DE DL
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Even though he plays as a defensive end, Gregory is a special player who could easily play as an outside LB in a 3-4 defensive scheme. Listed at 6-foot-6 and 245 pounds, he has very quick feet and moves laterally with ease in order to avoid blockers. However, due to his lean and lanky frame, Gregory will need to continue adding bulk and strength to his body. However, that is an easy issue to resolve for this future 1st round selection.

8. Vic Beasley - LB - Clemson University

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8. Vic Beasley - LB - Clemson University

vic beasley clemson tigers defense LB
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The converted running back was a consensus All-American last year, as he finished the season with an incredible 23 tackles for a loss, 13 sacks and four forced fumbles. Listed at 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds, Beasley projects to be an ideal outside LB candidate in the NFL and could have been a first round selection in this year's draft. Therefore, it's clear that he's ready for the league and will enter the 2015 Draft more refined.

7. P.J. Williams - CB - Florida State University

p.j. williams fsu seminoles defense CB DB
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7. P.J. Williams - CB - Florida State University

p.j. williams fsu seminoles defense CB DB
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Ocala, FL native has outstanding instincts to go with his 6-foot, 196-pound frame. He quickly diagnoses and attacks the play in front of him with no hesitation. He doesn't shy away from contact and has also shown great ball-hawking skills, as proven with his INT in the National Championship game against Auburn. Williams actually projects as a hybrid DB and can play CB or safety in the NFL. However, his elite upside remains as a CB.

6. Shilique Calhoun - DE - Michigan State University

shilique calhoun michigan state spartans defense DE DL
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6. Shilique Calhoun - DE - Michigan State University

shilique calhoun michigan state spartans defense DE DL
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Standing at 6-foot-4 and weighing 250 pounds, Calhoun has really good size for the NFL. He was a delivering big play after big play in 2013, but still showed a great sense of discipline within Pat Narduzzi's defensive scheme. He plays good with leverage and shows off his surprising speed especially on pass rushes where he needs to perform a stunt pursuit. Calhoun is easily one of the best defenders in the country and clearly ready for the NFL.

5. Landon Collins - S - University of Alabama

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5. Landon Collins - S - University of Alabama

landon collins alabama crimson tide defense DB S
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Landon Collins is the best safety in the country and could have been a first round selection in the 2014 draft. He has ideal size standing at 6-feet tall and weighing 220 pounds. He can play in the box to deliver bone-shattering hits, he can drop into coverage to cover receivers, he can read a QB to get good jumps on passes, and he can make plays in a multitude of ways. To put it simply, he can do it all and is more than ready for the NFL.

4. Mario Edwards, Jr. - DE - Florida State University

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4. Mario Edwards, Jr. - DE - Florida State University

mario edwards jr. fsu seminoles defense DE DL
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The son of the former Dallas Cowboys CB has become a major force in 2013 and looks ready to be a force in the NFL as well. During the National Championship game, against a top-notch Auburn offensive line, Edwards was very disruptive using a surprising level of quickness and strong hands to record six tackles and a sack. He has also cut his weight down to 277 pounds from 294 to improve his quickness. It's more than obvious that he's NFL-ready.

3. Ifo Ekpre-Olomu - CB - University of Oregon

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3. Ifo Ekpre-Olomu - CB - University of Oregon

ifo ekpre-olomu oregon ducks defense CB DB
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Ekpre-Olomu is a fluid and flexible athlete with good coverage skills and playmaking ability. He brings a nasty streak when it comes to run support and doesn't shy away from making tackles. His prior experience as a high school RB has clearly helped with his willingness to embrace contact, and his 84 tackles from last season prove that theory. Look for Ekpre-Olomu to be the top CB selected in 2015, as he is the most NFL-ready at the position.

2. Dante Fowler, Jr. - DE - University of Florida

dante fowler jr. florida gators defense DE DL
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2. Dante Fowler, Jr. - DE - University of Florida

dante fowler jr. florida gators defense DE DL
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Fowler Jr. plays with an incredibly high motor that creates chaos for the opposition. At 6-foot-3 and 270 pounds, he's been able to maintain his speed while adding bulk. He also has good explosiveness and closing burst, as well as violent hands to help shed blockers. The Gators have played him at every defensive line position, and they even had him play some snaps at outside LB. It's hard to ignore his NFL-readiness.

1. Leonard Williams - DT - University of Southern California

leonard williams usc trojans defense DT DL
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

1. Leonard Williams - DT - University of Southern California

leonard williams usc trojans defense DT DL
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Williams was a violent and disruptive force in the 2013 season. Using his massive 6-foot-5, 300-pound frame, he racked up 73 tackles and six sacks, which are stellar numbers for a defensive tackle. The USC coaches intend to play him at different spots on the line this season and it's clear that he has shown the ability to play both DL positions at the highest level of NCAA competition. He's clearly the most NFL-ready defender in college football.

Roje Smith is a Fantasy Sports writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @RoKnowsDFS, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.