We Ranked The 15 Best Offensive Skill Players In The College Football Playoff, You're Welcome

Unless you're a hardcore college football viewer, it can be difficult to understand how awesome the players you're watching on the field truly are. You can go to Pro Football Focus for player grades, you can go to Boylesports Mobile to understand a player's projected performance or you can peruse Yardbarker's 2017 NFL Mock Draft. Even with a flood of information, parsing through it all can be an equal pain in the backside.

Don't worry, the TSFJ family has your back, as we've sorted through all the madness and come up with the *definitive ranking of the best offensive skill players that will take the field in the College Football Playoff. To be clear, the players selected are the best quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers and tight ends you'll see on New Years' Eve. Think we should do a defensive players ranking? Let us know in the comments section. Here we go.

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#15. Deon Cain, Clemson WR

This is Deon Cain (per ESPN), the second best wide receiver on the Tigers, talking about what he's responsible for in the Clemson offense.

I’ve got plenty of speed and I like using it on those deep balls. That’s my role right now, and I’m just playing my role. Every time I see it in the air, I know I’ve got to come down with it.

This is the same guy who missed the 2015 College Football Playoff due to a suspension, and now he's blowing the top off of defenses with regularity. Have fun with him, Ohio State.

#14. Dante Pettis, Washington WR

Sixteen years ago, when the Washington Huskies had a legitimate case for taking their talents to the national title, they had a playmaking wide receiver who dazzled with big plays in big moments. That receiver was Reggie Williams. This year, they have Dante Pettis (along with the #4 player on this list) who is lighting the world on fire with 14 touchdowns on just 50 catches. However, watch out for him on the return game as he's lethal there too... just ask Utah.

#13. Bo Scarbrough, Alabama RB

He's not even the starting running back on his own team, but he's absolutely the most interesting. From his incredible story on being the first major student-athlete to emerge from the acclaimed IMG Academy, to having the audacity to high-five a Volunteer fan after running wind sprints on Tennessee's defense... he is a sight to behold and cherish.

#12. Noah Brown, Ohio State WR


#11. Jordan Leggett, Clemson TE

Jordan Leggett is a throwback tight end. He is able to block and catch unlike many tight ends of today. He has soft hands like Keith Jackson, his body type likens to Ben Coates, and he can evade defenders like Shannon Sharpe. Just like last year's CFP, he will be relied on heavily in order for Clemson to win the National Championship.

#10. J.T. Barrett, Ohio State QB

There was a brief moment during the season where J.T. Barrett was the leading candidate to bring home the Heisman Trophy. However, Ohio State had to navigate one of the toughest schedules in college football this season, and Barrett struggled as a result. Barrett's still the real deal, but falls short compared to the other three QBs in the CFP.

#9. Curtis Samuel, Ohio State RB

Curtis Samuel is Ohio State's BMF. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Despite having an All-American junior season, Curtis Samuel is a stranger to some. The do-it-all hybrid back is only player in FBS with over 700 yards rushing and receiving. His dual capabilities poses a threat and if he's unleashed, the Buckeyes could be on their way to a second national championship in three years.

#8. Calvin Ridley, Alabama WR

Just how good is Ridley? We know he's following in a long line of great Alabama wideouts like Julio Jones and Amari Cooper, but his style of play isn't quite the same as those two. More big plays with pure speed versus being physically imposing. However, those flashes of speed blazed during last year's College Football Playoff, and if Ridley does it again Alabama will be going back-to-back.

#7. Wayne Gallman, Clemson RB

When you watch Gallman run, it looks like he was built to run through walls. He gets to top speed really fast, and runs upright in a way that reminds us of past greats like Eric Dickerson and Arian Foster. Some scouts will look at this as a negative, we'll look at as a beautiful way to glide by tacklers right into the endzone.

#6. Myles Gaskin, Washington RB

In a star-studded field of playmakers, no running back ranks higher than Gaskin. Mr. 100 Myles and Runnin' is bringing back memories of past Washington tailbacks like Napoleon Kaufman and Corey Dillon. Gaskin still has a year left before he can declare for the NFL Draft, so consider this your warmup for arguably the best back in college football next season.

#5. John Ross, Washington WR

Speed Kills. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Here's a NFL Draft player comparison for Ross, which will remind many Pac-12 fans of another burner wideout who lit opposing defenses on fire:

Ross is the fireplug sparking Washington's high-octane offense (and special teams). A DeSean Jackson clone with blinding straight-line speed, agility and versatility as both a receiver and returner, he is only a clean medical grade away from becoming the first receiver from Washington to earn a first-round pick since Reggie Williams in 2004.

Oh, and he's unofficially clocked a 4.35 40-yard dash time. Good luck with that, 'Bama.

#4. Jalen Hurts, Alabama QB

Freshman quarterbacks aren't supposed to be given the keys to the Death Star, but when Nick Saban decided to hand the the reins over to a true freshman, we should've know that the destroying of worlds would continue without nary a speed bump. The dude turned 18 just before school started in Tuscaloosa. Life is not fair.

#3. Jake Browning, Washington QB

The Huskies quarterback hasn't had his national coming out party yet, but the future top-five pick has a real opportunity to have one against the Crimson Tide. If Washington is going to pull off a monumental upset, it will be because of the play of their outstanding young signal-caller.

#2. Mike Williams, Clemson WR

Here's who NFL.com analyst Lance Zierlein projects Williams to compare to on the pro level:

(Plaxico) Burress was 6-5, 231 and ran in the high 4.5-seconds range (40-yard dash) coming out of college. However, what Burress lacked in speed, he made up for with his ability to pluck the ball out of the air. Burress was mostly a two-level wide receiver and that should end up being the case with Williams as well. Additional play strength was a need for both guys, as prospects, but their ability to become scary red-zone factors is yet another similarity between the two wideouts.

Oh yeah, and Burress caught a game-winning Super Bowl TD from Eli Manning. Maybe Williams will catch a game winner for...

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#1. Deshaun Watson, Clemson QB

Do you know who the last two-time runner-up for the Heisman Trophy was? That would be Andrew Luck. Watson's headed for a similar path as Luck in the NFL Draft as a possible No. 1 overall pick, but Clemson's favorite signal caller will get a second swing at the ultimate prize that Luck never did. A national championship would be a decent consolation prize for Heisman, right?

*This list was curated and ranked with the assistance of TSFJ contributors Ron Hampston, Kyle Madson and Josh Naso. Did we get the ranking right? Tell the contributors how wrong we were and let us know how you'd rank the list! 

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