Myles Garrett had been mentioned as a possible top-overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft since he dominated at Texas A&M as a true freshman in 2014. There hasn't been similar chatter for another defensive lineman in 2018, and there won't be in the next 11 months.
Nonetheless, there are a couple elite defensive line prospects that could flirt with No. 1 status depending on their 2017 seasons and those of other top prospects, namely quarterbacks such as Sam Darnold, Josh Allen and Mason Rudolph.
Three ACC players sit in the top five of our early 2018 NFL Draft rankings for defensive linemen, including one who didn't get nearly enough national attention last year.
5. Vita Vea – Washington
The only true interior defensive lineman in our top five, Vita Vea is a big, big man. The 6-foot-5, 332-pounder is an elite run-stuffing defensive tackle who can provide an occasional sack or hurry.
It's unlikely an NFL team will invest in a run-defending big body in the first half of the first round but if Viea ramps up the quarterback pressure in 2016, look out.
4. Bradley Chubb – North Carolina State
Bradley Chubb has slowly risen from three-star recruit to one of the nation's premier pass-rushers.
After just four tackles as a freshman in 2014, the 6-foot-4, 275-pound defensive end exploded in 2015 and has 31.5 tackles for loss, 15 sacks and five forced fumbles the last two seasons. Chubb is a candidate to keep climbing draft boards and enter top-five territory.
3. Arden Key – LSU
We don't know what "personal reasons" led Arden Key to temporarily step away from football after the 2016 season and it's pointless and insensitive to speculate. That being said, he'll be asked repeatedly about the leave of absence before the 2018 draft and will need a good explanation to convince teams he's worthy of a top-five pick.
Though — like most edge rushers — there are consistency issues and he'll go full quarters without any impact. But Key did have 11 sacks in 11 games last year and uses his frame (6-foot-6, 237 pounds) and slipperiness to perfection.
2. Harold Landry – Boston College
Harold Landry led the FBS with 16.5 sacks last season — and hardly anyone noticed.
He's not as big as other edge rushers in the class (6-foot-3, 250 pounds) but is one of the better run defenders at his position. Landry also had 22 tackles for loss (38 since 2015), seven forced fumbles (11 total since 2015) and four passes defended.
Depending how the top-ranked quarterbacks develop, there's an outside chance Landry could be a top-three pick.
1. Christian Wilkins – Clemson
After playing mostly defensive tackle as a freshman in 2015, Christian Wilkins moved outside last year and was dominant.
He's 6-foot-4 and 310 pounds but has the quickness and versatility of an edge-rushing defensive end, evident by his 13 tackles for loss and NINE passes defended in 2016. Like Landry, depending on how the quarterback class shakes out, Wilkins has top-three potential.