Compiling a big board can be one of the NFL draft's most difficult tasks, but USA TODAY Sports put together our ranking of the top 35 players available in this year's class.

Keep in mind these rankings are an indication of projected long-term value rather than an estimation of where in the draft each player will be selected.

1. Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M: A clear cut above his peers, Garrett stands as the pre-eminent prospect in this draft class with almost ideal athletic tools for the position. He'll need to be more consistent at the NFL level, but finding flaws with him at this point would mostly be nitpicking.

2. Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford: Thomas doesn't have the innate pass rushing prowess that Garrett does at this stage, but he presents plenty to admire as a dominating defensive lineman. With a wide range of moves and impressive lateral quickness, he makes one-on-one assignments extremely difficult for opposing offensive linemen.

3. Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State: Safeties seldom rank this high, but Hooker offers the kind of range that can be transformative for a defense. Beyond his athleticism, Hooker displays outstanding anticipation and ball skills that make him the consummate center fielder.

4. O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama: Underutilized at Alabama, Howard has given every indication that his best is yet to come. He has demonstrated himself as a threat down the seam, though crafty offensive coordinators should be able to utilize him in several different fashions.

5. Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU: A potential offensive centerpiece, he has a rare combination of big-play ability and sheer power. Fournette will have to prove he has the shiftiness to elude tacklers at the NFL level, and operating from the shotgun could prove challenging for him.

6. Jamal Adams, S, LSU: Establishing a proper culture is paramount for any rebuilding team, and Adams brings the kind of leadership that wins over coaches and teammates. A jack of all trades, his sure tackling will be an asset in the run game, though he has faced questions about his ability to stay with receivers further downfield.

7. Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State: With unmatched athleticism and ball skills in this class, Lattimore checks off almost every box as a cornerback. He'll need to prove he can hold up against NFL receivers after just one year as a starter and a history of hamstring issues.

8. Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan: An impressive set of physical skills at times obscures just how savvy of a receiver Davis truly is. He should be able to create consistent separation with crafty route running, and his ability to gain yards after the catch is impressive for a player of his size.

9. Jonathan Allen, DT/DE, Alabama: His size and length might require some creative usage along the offensive line, but Allen is a refined pass rusher who can beat linemen with his strength and flexibility. He should be an early contributor in both the run game and sub packages.

10. Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama: Three-down linebackers are difficult to find, and Foster's range and hitting ability make him an alluring prospect in today's NFL. Teams will have to be confident in their assessment of him after an incident at the NFL scouting combine and a diluted drug test.

11. Mike Williams, WR, Clemson: A jump ball aficionado, Williams should be an immediate threat as a red zone target. His long speed remains somewhat of a question mark, and he'll have to create separation consistently so as not to depend solely on 50-50 throws.

12. Haason Reddick, LB, Temple: Once a walk-on at safety, Reddick now projects as a linebacker after a standout career at defensive end. Few defenders in this class can match his sideline-to-sideline playmaking ability, though he may face an adjustment period at the next level.

13. Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State: Despite being a tick behind former teammate Lattimore in flashiness and fluidity, Conley is far from a consolation prize in the draft. He is a proven commodity and can thrive in press coverage, though he has to improve as a tackler and run defender.

14. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford: His prowess running between the tackles is overlooked, but he'll have to improve at fighting through first contact after posting just eight bench press reps at the NFL scouting combine and generally struggling to push the pile.

15. Forrest Lamp, G, Western Kentucky: In a draft light on offensive linemen, Lamp stands out as a potential stabilizing presence up front. A lack of ideal length likely will result in a move inside, but he could easily follow Dallas Cowboys offensive guard Zack Martin's path to a fruitful career.

16. Takkarist McKinley, OLB/DE, UCLA: A former high school track standout, McKinley has rare closing speed when pursuing a quarterback. If a coaching staff can develop his assortment of moves, he could be a valuable commodity off the edge.

17. Garett Bolles, OT, Utah: Bolles has the impressive footwork of a top-notch left tackle, albeit not the polish. He will be 25 next month but still projects as a longtime starter.

18. John Ross, WR, Washington: The new 40-yard dash king is also college football's foremost deep threat after hauling in 17 touchdowns last season. An extensive injury history is cause for closer examination.

19. Charles Harris, DE, Missouri: The latest in a line of Missouri pass rushers, Harris is a slippery defender on the edge. He can be pushed around in the run game and needs to hold his ground to solidify himself as more than just a specialist on passing downs.

20. Budda Baker, S, Washington: If not for his size (5-10, 195 pounds), Baker might rank with the top two safeties as one of the draft's elite defenders. His distinct aggressiveness in making plays on the ball and operating as a blitzer, as well as his comfort in working as a nickel, separates him as a versatile piece for any defense.

21. Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State: His 48 touchdowns in three years highlight a proclivity for big plays, but a poor overall testing profile at the NFL scouting combine was far from what's expected of a first-round running back. Cook's multiple previous arrests, as well as persistent fumbling issues and history of shoulder issues, raise additional red flags.

22. David Njoku, TE, Miami (Fla.): As the rare tight end who can be a threat on screens as well as down the seam, Njoku has the burst and elite athleticism to take a passing attack from good to great. Inconsistent hands and a tendency to get overpowered as a blocker keep him a notch behind Howard.

23. Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson: With the quarterback class looking like a toss-up, team fit and coaching could determine who enjoys the most successful career. Watson had 30 interceptions in the last two seasons and presents concerns with how he reads the field and handles pressure, but his playmaking credentials are impeccable.

24. Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina: Despite serving as a starter for just one season, Trubisky holds a clear edge on accuracy and footwork relative to his peers in this draft class. Consistency has been a hallmark of his play, but his deep ball and calm under pressure both need to be developed.

25. Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin: The former Division III transfer from Wisconsin-Stevens Point now stands one of the draft's best underdog stories. Ramczyk is well-rounded but could have trouble with speed rushers, and is also coming off a hip surgery.

26. Tre'Davious White, CB, LSU: A four-year run as a starter at LSU left few questions about White's skill set. His natural ease at sticking with receivers in man coverage alleviates some of his shortcomings, including his functional strength.

27. DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame: At his best, the ever-confident Kizer has a strong case to be the most outstanding quarterback of this class. But when lapses in his footwork and ball placement become commonplace, as they did last season, his physical tools can't compensate for other shortcomings.

28. Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee: Barnett became the first player in Southeastern Conference history to have 10 or more sacks in three seasons, but he doesn't fit the bill of a prototypical pass rusher. With sub-optimal length and burst, he likely will have to rely on his superior hand usage and motor to make an impact in the NFL.

29. Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State: One of the draft's ultimate boom-or-bust prospects, McDowell can be a marvel on either the interior or outside when he's locked in and effectively using his length and explosive power. Inconsistent play, however, could keep him from reaching his ceiling.

30. Evan Engram, TE, Mississippi: As the lines blur on what exactly constitutes a tight end at the NFL, Engram stands to benefit as a matchup problem in the passing game. Insufficient blocking aside, he should make a quick contribution as a target who can be moved around to exploit a defense's vulnerabilities.

31. Tyus Bowser, LB, Houston: A former basketball player at Houston, Bowser has shown off both tantalizing athleticism and a lack of refinement. He can be neutralized when first engaged and hasn't developed an array of pass rushing moves, but his burst and agility make him an asset off the edge.

32. Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama: A nearly ideal build helps Robinson looks the part of a left tackle, but there's no hiding his struggles with speed rushers. Still, his strength and potential should earn him an early look from a team willing to start him off on the right side.

33. Sidney Jones, CB, Washington: If not for a torn Achilles suffered at his pro day, Jones would have had a solid case to be in the top 20. The injury might extend his wait on draft day, but he expects to be ready to play by the start of the season.

34. Chidobe Awuzie, CB, Colorado: An experienced and smooth cornerback, Awuzie has the coverage skills to mirror receivers and stay in their hip pocket. Having him work out of the slot may be the best way to mask his average long speed, but he has the versatility to hold his own elsewhere.

35. Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech: Once viewed as an outsider to the draft's top tier of quarterbacks, Mahomes is on track to complete a meteoric rise into the first round. Cleaning up his footwork and restraining his reckless playing style will be essential tasks for his next coaching staff, but it's hard to deny the allure of his physical tools and playmaking ability.

Follow Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz on Twitter @MikeMSchwartz.