The NFL draft will take place in late April, and any player who has been at least three years removed from high school is eligible.
But what if we had a draft featuring all college football players?
We polled four writers -- Andrea Adelson, David Hale, Adam Rittenberg and Alex Scarborough -- to come up with their best all-22 selections (plus a place-kicker and return specialist) to create the best team of college football players possible. So, yes, Caleb Williams, C.J. Stroud, Will Anderson Jr. and every freshmanare all on the board.
Each roster will include the following: 1 QB, 1 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 FLEX (in a little homage to fantasy football, we're giving our writers a little more freedom in how they want to build their rosters), 2 OG, 2 OT, 1 C, 4 DL/EDGE, 3 LB, 4 DB, 1 K and 1 RS. But how each roster is built will be different. And our writers will explain their selections pick by pick and what they're prioritizing.
The order of picks was randomized, and we went snake-style with the draft order. So while Hale landed the first overall pick, he won't pick again until the eighth overall selection.
At the end, you can vote on who has the best team.
Hale: With the first pick, I am taking Will Anderson, linebacker from the University of Alabama, because he's being really, really good. That's the level of insight you can expect to get from me throughout this process.
Adelson: Wow. Only here can you find that level of analysis.
Rittenberg: Although he didn't win the Heisman last year, I think no one was playing better at the end of the 2021 season. Plus he'll have the best receiving corps in the country at his disposal.
Adelson: How lucky did I get to have the Heisman winner fall to me at No. 3?
Hale: Who's he going to throw to,Tyler Harrell? I don't buy it.
Scarborough: You guys didn't leave me any quarterbacks. I was hoping someone would mess this up. But let me go with defense here.
Rittenberg: I like it.
Hale: When you upstageJordan Davisover the course of a season (at times), I think that warrants a first-round draft pick.
Scarborough: I do this with reluctance, but give me Caleb Williams. I need a quarterback; he'll have a good receiving corps; he has Lincoln Riley.
Hale: This just means that I don't take a quarterback until my last pick now.
Scarborough:Hello, Will Levis.
Rittenberg: The chances of Hale not taking an ACC quarterback now have gone down to like 0.5%.
Hale: I should get the field, every ACC quarterback.
Adelson: I have to decide whether I want a receiver for Bryce Young to throw to, or --
Hale: He doesn't have anyone to throw to at Alabama; why would you want him to throw to someone here?
Scarborough:Jermaine Burton, Tyler Harrell, he's going to have guys.
Adelson: The other person I'm considering is a running back, but I think there's some good running back depth, so I'm going to get Jaxon Smith-Njigba. Arguably the two best players in the country.
Hale: That is arguable. You are right.
Rittenberg: Do I go receiver or do I go D-line? There's very little chance Addison's production drops off despite the transfer, and with C.J. Stroud throwing him the ball here, I anticipate another Biletnikoff Award for him.
Hale: You draft Jordan Addison, I'll lure him to my team with more NIL money during the season.
Hale: I'm building a little something here that I'm excited about.
Hale:He had nearly 1,500 yards in just 10 games. Even Texas can't screw this up. Right? Right? Hello?
Rittenberg: I've got to go defense. I'll probably choose the wrong one and have Andrea and Hale make fun of me, but I'll go with Myles Murphy from Clemson.
Hale:You mean theMyles Murphyfrom North Carolina?
Rittenberg: I anticipate him having a huge final season with theTigers.
Hale: You can never guess it's a final season when it comes to Clemson defensive linemen. He could come back for a fourth or fifth or sixth year.
Rittenberg: Let the ACC bias begin.
Adelson: There is no bias here! He was one of the best running backs last season, ranking No. 4 in the nation with 124.7 yards per game, but on a terrible team. Syracuse has a Heisman campaign for him.
Scarborough: He's had nobody throwing to him, and he catches more touchdowns than anybody. The question is, who do I go with next? Tight end? Offensive line?
Adelson: You took my guy!
Scarborough: Take that! Him and Jalen Carter side by side? Good luck.
Hale: Somebody should draft an offensive lineman to block these guys.
Adelson: I was hoping you forgot about Bresee, but I have to stay on the defensive line here. McDonald was the Co-Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year last year and a first-team FWAA All-American.
Rittenberg: Secondary isn't that exciting. I'm going to go outside linebacker here and take Andre Carter from Army.Yes, Army. He's one of the top NFL draft prospects outside the Power 5 and will anchor my linebacker group.
Hale: You know who would go well with Will Anderson off the edge? Trenton Simpson. Twelve TFLs, six sacks and, while he didn't pass rush nearly as often as Anderson, Simpson's 33.3% pressure rate was nearly twice as good.
Rittenberg: ACC bias ...
Hale: Patterson has never allowed a sack, and since it's Notre Dame, this is only five-twelfths of ACC bias.
Rittenberg: Sticking with Notre Dame, I'll pick a tight end who I think is the best in the country, Michael Mayer.He has taken on more of the receiving load because Notre Dame's wideouts are just average, but that won't be the case on my team.
Hale: I almost went with him just to lock down tight ends so nobody else had one.
Hale: You're just building out your fantasy team here with your wide receivers and running backs.
Adelson: My whole goal was an all-star cast at the skill positions. Henderson is the cherry on top here. He is in line to improve his numbers from last year -- 1,579 all-purpose yards and 19 touchdowns.
Rittenberg: Are you going to put him at running back or flex?
Scarborough: He is a true flex.
Hale: He is so good, and I genuinely think he has a good chance to win the Heisman this year.
Hale: He's going to catch balls out of the backfield, and they don't have an established receiving group. He is a really good runner. It's unlikely that the Heisman repeats, and we're talking about Alabama here. Somebody from Alabama is going to be in the mix.
Scarborough: He'sJameson Williams, except he's a running back. He's going to have that type of impact.
Adelson: I'm also going to go offensive line to help my all-stars. Skoronski gives me three players in the top 10 of Mel Kiper Jr.'s latest Big Board.
Rittenberg:Ahhh, that was my pick.
Rittenberg: We have a Pac-12 player here somewhere, but I'm going to go with Noah Sewell from Oregon. I love his game. He's a sound tackler and a playmaker whom offenses need to track on every play.
Hale: Locking down my secondary here with two All-America-caliber players. Ringo has first-round potential, which is true of essentially everyone who's played for Georgia's defense in the past 12 months.
Rittenberg: I'm going to protect C.J. Stroud's blind side with his actual tackle from Ohio State.
Adelson: I'm going back to defense and more ACC bias. I talked to their defensive line coach, who was raving about the gains he made in the offseason with his strength and quickness. Pitt always has some talent up front, and he's the best one.
Hale: I might need to take a defensive lineman at some point. This isn't going well.
Scarborough: I'll stick with the run of defensive players. Give me one of the most impressive people I've ever been around, Nolan Smith.
Adelson: Kiper has him rated the No. 4 safety for the 2023 draft headed into the season.
Rittenberg: He's a sack master extraordinaire. Anudike-Uzomah finished in the top three nationally in both sacks per game and forced fumbles per game. A disruptor.
Hale: You've been taking a lot of guys from me lately. He was going to be my next pick.
Hale: So I'm going to audible and stay at the same position. I'm loading up on the Irish here. I don't know how I feel about that.
Hale: I've got to start building out my receiving corps. Give me the ACC; give me Josh Downs. He's going to light it up with Drake Maye at quarterback.
Rittenberg: I think you guys should be proud that I haven't taken a running back yet, but I'm going to wait a little bit longer.
Hale: You're running an air raid.
Rittenberg: I'm going to go into the SEC and start building my secondary with Cam Smith, shutdown cornerback from South Carolina.He'll be a handful for any No. 1 wide receiver.
Adelson:I need a tackling machine in my linebacker group, and Pool fits the bill. He led the Hogs with 125 tackles last year, the second straight season he had 100+ tackles in a season.
Scarborough: You're telling me that the best center is in Minnesota; I'm going there all day.
Scarborough: Because you, Rittenberg, stole Cam Smith from me, give me Eli Ricks. I'm hoping he is as good this year as he was his freshman year at LSU.
Adelson:I'm going to fill out my cornerback room with Riley Moss, who was the Tatum-Woodson Big Ten Defensive Back of the Year in 2021.
Rittenberg: I'm probably picking him a little earlier than I'd be picking, but I don't want to lose him. For my flex, I'm going back to Manhattan, Kansas. I always viewed Vaughn as a flex as opposed to a pure running back. He makes a ton of big-chunk plays.
Scarborough: You're taking all my picks.
Hale: I'm going to bolster my O-line, and whether we're talking about the Pac-12 or Camp Crystal Lake, guys named Vorhees are always a terror.
Hale: Hopefully he can stay on the field for a full year this year.
Rittenberg: I probably should go O-line, but I'm going to fill out what is clearly the best linebacker group of these teams. Iowa coaches think Campbell will go down as one of the team's most talented linebackers.
Hale: You don't have an NC State linebacker, therefore you cannot have the best linebacker group.
Adelson: Don't give away future secrets, Hale.
Rittenberg: All these guards early, I'm surprised.
Adelson: I have an All-Star team at my skill positions. I need them to stay healthy and upright. Chandler is the best offensive lineman at Louisville since Mekhi Becton.
Scarborough: Maybe we're working off the draft lists too much because I don't think Dallas Turner has been taken. I think he's going to have double-digit sacks.
Scarborough: Sorry, Adam.
Adelson:I need to focus on the linebackers. To'oTo'o is a preseason first-team All-SEC choice after he led the Tide with 113 tackles last season, including 8.5 for loss.
Rittenberg: Opposite Paris Johnson, I'll select the 6-foot-8 Blake Freeland. He has great size and length, and BYU has had a nice run of producing NFL prospects on the line.
Hale:Since I've yet to pick a QB, I might as well stock up on the O-line in hopes of luring some good free agents.
Hale:Will Quinn Ewers be able to get him the ball?Nabbing two players from Texas was not part of my original blueprint for roster management.
Rittenberg: I've shown great discipline by not taking a Utah player yet, but opposite Cam Smith at corner, I will go with Clark Phillips III.Utah famously beat out Ohio State for Phillips, who could become a national awards candidate this fall.
Adelson: I'm going back to skill with Cedric Tillman because I think Tennessee is going to throw for a lot of yards this year.
Adelson: You can have Drake Thomas, I'll take ...
Hale: Don't do it.
Adelson:Wilson is coming off an injury but was the best linebacker in their talented group before he got hurt.
Rittenberg: I know Andrea still needs a center, so I want to make sure I get someone good. The ACC's loss is Michigan's gain. Oluwatimi will anchor a Wolverines line that once again projects as a team strength.
Adelson: My offensive line is a disaster.
Adelson: Oh, I have no safeties, either.
Hale: I'm going to stay at the same school and pick one of the fastest guys in the country.
Rittenberg: I need a safety, and I'm going to go with a good, young one from Clemson.Mukuba earned ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year honors and made several freshman All-America teams.
Adelson: I also need a safety and will stay in the ACC with the only Florida State player to make the preseason All-ACC team.
Scarborough:I think it's almost too much SEC for me.
Rittenberg: Wow, he picked an Auburn Tiger.
Scarborough: It's a pure potential pick, but he's so talented.
Hale: Andrea, you're killing me -- that's who I was going to take.
Hale: I want to take Tanner Ingle just to spite you now.
Rittenberg:I need size and skill for my interior defensive line, and Roy brings both. He's much more than a space-eater against the run, as he has consistently reached the backfield to rack up tackles for loss.
Hale: I'm going to round out my offensive line here with these two picks. I did a story about what happened to football in the Northeast, where I interviewed UMass coach Don Brown, and he was listing off all the good Northeast players he's gotten from Michigan. And that's part of why I'm picking Zak Zinter.
Rittenberg:I was going to go with Christian Mahoganyfrom Boston College, but he's out for the year.Torrence was outstanding for Billy Napier at Louisiana and follows his coach to Gainesville, where he'll help anchor the Gators' line.
Adelson:To continue to address my offensive line, I am going with a veteran on the Clemson offensive line who is one of the best tackles in the ACC.
Scarborough: I'm going to stick with offensive line here and pick two.
Adelson:I need another defensive end or linebacker. I'll take Nick Herbig as an outside rusher. He led the Badgers with nine sacks, and ranked seventh in the Big Ten with 14.5 tackles for loss.
Rittenberg:Ika is another big body with experience who fills a key role in my defensive line. The LSU transfer earned Big 12 Newcomer of the Year honors last year, when he had four sacks and six tackles for loss.
Hale:Ask me who led the country in lowest completion percentage versus FBS opponents last year. That would be Josh DeBerry. And let me ask you this: Who led the country last year in QBR against as a cornerback? That would be Josh DeBerry.
Rittenberg: He's a breakout candidate for me. He's playing in Sonny Dykes' offense in the Big 12, which should help him increase his production. And no, colleague Dave Wilson isn't channeling this pick.
Adelson:I have two of the highest-rated safeties among Kiper's top 10 at the position -- he ranks No. 5.
Adelson: Oh good, you didn't take my return specialist, which is where I was going next.
Rittenberg: We have three K-State players. That's pretty sweet.
Rittenberg: A USF player?
Adelson:He had more kickoff-return touchdowns last year (3) than Jameson Williams (2).
Rittenberg: I need to find a second safety, and I'm going to go in the Mountain West to grab him.He's very much on the NFL radar after a productive 2021 season and should continue to thrive under coach Andy Avalos this fall.
Hale: He's from Italy, so I can get double-digit sacks this season and a nice cacio e pepe.
Hale: I'll go with my return man, and I should get to use him at receiver, too.
Rittenberg: That's a good pick.
Hale: This draft has really opened my eyes to the idea that K-State and Utah have some really fine players.Daniels has started 29 games, working at both guard and tackle, and will lead one of the better lines west of the Mississippi.
Adelson: You guys have already picked everything I have left except for one position, so I'm going kicker, baby! Go Blue.
Scarborough: Caleb Williams has to throw the ball somewhere else.
Hale:Not the former No. 1 overall pick from NC State?
Scarborough: I'll take him, too.
Scarborough: I'm going to go way off the board with a freshman. I think he'sthat good, and Brian Kelly loves him.
Adelson: I'm going to go with the team that always has awesome tight ends. You can always count on an Iowa tight end.
Hale:In the past five years, only eight players have had four picks, nine TFLs and 80 tackles in a season. Pace is one of them.
Hale: I'm taking my kicker before I take my quarterbackonly because I think it's funny. He made more field goals (26) last year than anybody else in the country.
Adelson: I'm surprised you didn't take Chris Rodriguez Jr. out of Kentucky.
Rittenberg: Evans is one of the most intriguing players in the country.
Adelson:It's most definitely an outrage he's not on the Rimington Award watch list for outstanding center.
Scarborough: If there is a Carlson kicking at Auburn, I'm taking him. And Auburn's offense might not put up a lot of points.
Adelson:He was a first-team all-conference player a year ago. Plus, he just looks the part.
Hale: Part of me thought I should takeGrayson McCallfor our team identity, but I'm going to channel my inner Andrea here. This is going to be a run-oriented offense with Cunningham.I think he's as difficult to defend as any other quarterback in the country.
WR Josh Downs
TE Brock Bowers
FLEX Devon Achane
OG Zak Zinter
OT Dawand Jones
EDGE Will Anderson Jr.
DT Tyler Davis
DT/DE Isaiah Foskey
EDGE Habakkuk Baldonado
LB BJ Ojulari
LB Deshawn Pace
DB Josh DeBerry
RS Jayden Reed
QB C.J. Stroud
RB Zach Evans
FLEX Deuce Vaughn
OT Paris Johnson Jr.
EDGE Myles Murphy
DT Jaquelin Roy
DT/DE Siaki Ika
EDGE Felix Anudike-Uzomah
LB Noah Sewell
RS Bryan Massey
QB Bryce Young
RB Sean Tucker
TE Sam LaPorta
FLEX TreVeyon Henderson
OG T.J. Bass
EDGE Nick Herbig
DT/DE Will McDonald IV
EDGE Zach Harrison
LB Bumper Pool
DB Riley Moss
DB Brian Branch
RS Brian Battie
TE Arik Gilbert
FLEX Jahmyr Gibbs
EDGE Brenton Cox Jr.
DT Jalen Carter
DT/DE Bryan Bresee
EDGE Dallas Turner
LB Nolan Smith
LB Drake Thomas
LB Derick Hall
DB Eli Ricks
8 - Alabama
6 - Clemson, Georgia, Ohio State
4 - LSU, Notre Dame, USC
3 - Iowa, Kansas State, Michigan, Texas A&M
2 - Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Boise State, BYU, Cincinnati, Florida, Louisville, NC State, Oregon, Pitt, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin
1 - Army, Boston College, Florida State, Iowa State, Michigan State, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Northwestern, Ole Miss, Penn State, SMU, South Carolina, South Florida, Syracuse, TCU, Tennessee, Washington
Hale: Much like every fantasy draft I've ever been in, I hate my team. I'm filled with regret.
Adelson: I love my team. I have the best collection of quarterback and skill players, and that was my goal.
Hale: And if this was just a fantasy league, by all means. You need to be good at the line of scrimmage.
Adelson: I have great defensive linemen.
Rittenberg:I would take issue with Andrea's claim. I think my quarterback-receiver-tight end combination, with the potential of Zach Evans, is outstanding. And I'm thrilled with my linebacker group with three potential All-Americans. There are certain positions that aren't as strong this year, I think the secondary isn't as strong overall, but at skill and linebacker, I'm pretty proud of that.
Scarborough:I have a potential Heisman winner in Jahmyr Gibbs -- I'm surprised he slipped -- and I have a good defensive line to build around Jalen Carter and Bryan Bresee. Plus, Dallas Turner is going to steal all of Will Anderson Jr.'s sacks, so I win.
Hale: I still don't like my team, but I have some matchup problems. You are going to have to do some scheming to stop Malik Cunningham. I have Brock Bowers, Devon Achane, all speed; I have Bijan Robinson;Josh Downs is as good of a slot receiver as there is in the country. I like my matchups. We're going to have to be well-coached, andclearly they have the best coach in me.
Hale: I would have loved to have gotten after the quarterback, and besides Anderson, I'm not sure how well I managed to execute that in the draft.
Rittenberg: I like my defensive ends more than my tackles, although both Jaquelin Roy and Siaki Ika could be OK. I don't think safety is a big strength across the country. I don't know if there are a lot of elite safeties out there.
Adelson: That's why I left safety toward the end. I probably should have picked linebackers a bit higher. I'm a little concerned about my linebacker group and my offensive line.
Adelson: I wanted Bresee, and Alex took him right before me.
Hale: My No. 1 guy I wanted was Gibbs, and Alex took him too.
Adelson: Basically, we hate Alex, is what we're saying.
Rittenberg: I really wanted Peter Skoronski, unsurprisingly. Gibbs was a really good pick. As the last person to pick a running back, that was probably a mistake on my part.
Scarborough: I wanted Cam Smith, but you took him from me.
Scarborough: He could be a bust, but Zach Evans, in that offense.
Hale: If we were taking more running backs, I would haveWill Shipleyon my roster. He is going to be a really good player for Clemson and was worthy of a pick.
Rittenberg:I think two running backs who are going to be really good are Tavion Thomas and Travis Dye. I think Dye's going to have a really good year at USC.Collin Oliverfrom Oklahoma State would have been a really good pick. In hindsight, I probably should have found a way to get him on my team.
Scarborough: Walter Nolen at Texas A&M.
Adelson: Florida State has a couple of freshman corners who are going to play a lot.
Hale: Travis Hunter, definitely. We should have required at least one FCS selection here.
Adelson: I had a bunch of Iowa players.
Rittenberg: BYU, Cincinnati.
Scarborough: Not a single Nebraska player.
Rittenberg: I don't think we had a single Oklahoma State player on here, and OSU was in the top 10 last year.
Adelson: No Miami players.
Rittenberg:You could have picked Tyler Van Dyke, Hale.
Hale: Quarterback was a challenge because there are a lot of arguments you could make. I thought about Grayson McCall, I thought about Van Dyke, those are the two I was closest with. But I like the versatility and dual-threat nature of Malik Cunningham.