2015 NFL Draft Underclassmen



A list of officially declared underclassmen for the 2015 NFL Draft. I also offer my opinion on whether or not each prospect made a wise move by leaving school early. I will not factor financial considerations in my analysis because most players need the money.

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Underclassmen Declaring for the 2015 NFL Draft - Jan. 17:

Javorius Allen, RB, USC
Height: 6-1. Weight: 215.
Projected 40 Time: 4.54.
Projected Round (2015): 2-4.

Buck Allen is a likely second-day pick, so as a running back, he's making a good decision, given how fragile they are.

The Verdict: Good move

B.J. Catalon, RB TCU
Height: 5-9. Weight: 190.
Projected 40 Time: 4.44.
Projected Round (2015): 6-FA.

B.J. Catalon might not get drafted, so I'm not sure what this is about. At best, he's a fifth- or sixth-round pick.

The Verdict: Bad move

Charles Gaines, CB, Louisville
Height: 5-11. Weight: 180.
Projected 40 Time: 4.53.
Projected Round (2015): 2-4.

Charles Gaines is making a decent choice by declaring early. It's not great because he won't be a first-round pick, but I don't think he would be one with another year. He could benefit from another year of school, but he could also hurt his draft stock.

The Verdict: Mixed feelings

Chris Harper, WR, California
Height: 5-11. Weight: 176.
Projected 40 Time: 4.45.
Projected Round (2015): 6-FA.

Yet another underclassman making a dumb decision, Chris Harper will need some luck to get drafted.

The Verdict: Bad move

Matt Jones, RB, Florida
Height: 6-1. Weight: 235.
Projected 40 Time: 4.52.
Projected Round (2015): 3-5.

Matt Jones needs a great Combine to be chosen on the second day of the draft. He'll probably go in the fourth or fifth round, but I can't blame him for declaring early, given his position. He was coming off a knee injury, so if he happened to re-injure himself next year, he'd really see his draft stock plummet.

The Verdict: Mixed feelings

Rakeem Nunez-Roches, DT, Southern Miss
Height: 6-2. Weight: 305.
Projected 40 Time: 5.00.
Projected Round (2015): 7-FA.

I doubt most scouts know how to spell this guy's name; let alone seen film on him.

The Verdict: Bad move

Darius Philon, DE, Arkansas
Height: 6-2. Weight: 272.
Projected 40 Time: 4.88.
Projected Round (2015): 6-FA.

I don't get this. Why do these prospects not have people in their lives to tell them not to make bad decisions like this? Darius Philon should be going back to school.

The Verdict: Bad move

Jeremiah Poutasi, OT, Utah
Height: 6-6. Weight: 322.
Projected 40 Time: 5.23.
Projected Round (2015): 2-4.

Jeremiah Poutasi stands a good chance of being a second-day prospect. This tackle class isn't very deep, so I like this decision more than I would normally.

The Verdict: Good move

Jean Sifrin, TE, UMass
Height: 6-7. Weight: 250.
Projected 40 Time: 4.80.
Projected Round (2015): 7-FA.

Barely a draftable prospect. Let's move on.

The Verdict: Bad move








Underclassmen Declaring for the 2015 NFL Draft - Jan. 15:

Braylon Heard, RB, Kentucky
Height: 5-11. Weight: 198.
Projected 40 Time: 4.48.
Projected Round (2015): 7-FA.

Braylon Heard is set to graduate, but there was still no need for him to declare early. He probably won't get drafted anyway.

The Verdict: Bad move






Underclassmen Declaring for the 2015 NFL Draft - Jan. 14:

Arik Armstead, 3-4DE, Oregon
Height: 6-8. Weight: 290.
Projected 40 Time: 5.21.
Projected Round (2015): 1-3.

Arik Armstead has a chance to be a first-round pick, so it's impossible to hate this decision. He definitely could've used another year of school to help his draft stock, but then again, he could've damaged it with a bad season. I can't blame him for declaring, but I'm not totally in favor of it.

The Verdict: Mixed feelings

George Farmer, RB/WR, USC
Height: 6-1. Weight: 205.
Projected 40 Time: 4.49.
Projected Round (2015): 6-FA.

George Farmer was once a five-star running back recruit, but he switched to receiver at USC. He tore up his knee in 2013 and caught 25 passes a year later. He's not ready for the NFL, and anyone who told him otherwise should not be in his life right now. Farmer has made a truly awful decision, as he runs the risk of being undrafted.

The Verdict: Bad move

Marcus Mariota*, QB, Oregon
Height: 6-4. Weight: 219.
Projected 40 Time: 4.65.
Projected Round (2015): Top-10 Pick.

It would've been a major upset had Marcus Mariota decided to go back to school. Mariota is the favorite to go No. 1 overall to the Buccaneers - as seen here in my 2015 NFL Mock Draft - because unlike Jameis Winston, he's clean off the field. There's a chance Winston will be chosen first, but in that case, Mariota won't fall beyond the second-overall selection, as the Titans, or some other desperate team moving up, will take him off the board. Thus, Mariota's decision was quite easy.

The Verdict: No-brainer

Ellis McCarthy, NT, UCLA
Height: 6-5. Weight: 330.
Projected 40 Time: 4.99.
Projected Round (2015): 2-4.

I thought Ellis McCarthy could've jumped up to being a first-round pick in 2016 - which is what I had happening at the end of my 2016 NFL Mock Draft - but he doesn't stand much of a chance of being chosen in the opening frame this year. McCarthy will probably be a second-day pick, so I don't like his decision to declare early.

The Verdict: Bad move

Patrick Miller, OT, Auburn
Height: 6-6. Weight: 289.
Projected 40 Time: 5.15.
Projected Round (2015): FA.

Patrick Miller isn't anywhere close to being a draftable prospect, so perhaps he was drugged when making this decision.

The Verdict: Irrelevant



Underclassmen Declaring for the 2015 NFL Draft - Jan. 13:

Jacoby Glenn, CB, Central Florida
Height: 6-0. Weight: 178.
Projected 40 Time: 4.46.
Projected Round (2015): 1-3.

No scout is going to pay much attention to a redshirt sophomore unless one happens to be playing on a Jadeveon Clowney-type level. No one has really looked into Jacoby Glenn quite yet, so he's a bit of a mystery. He has an outside of shot of being chosen in the first round, but is a likely second-day choice. He should've stayed in school one more year.

The Verdict: Bad move

Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida State
Height: 6-4. Weight: 313.
Projected 40 Time: 5.34.
Projected Round (2015): 1-2.

There's a good chance Eddie Goldman will be chosen in the first round, so you have to like his decision. He's coming off a great 2014 campaign, so he's buying on his draft stock at the right time.

The Verdict: Good move



Underclassmen Declaring for the 2015 NFL Draft - Jan. 12:

Breshad Perriman, WR, Central Florida
Height: 6-3. Weight: 214.
Projected 40 Time: 4.54.
Projected Round (2015): 4-6.

Breshad Perriman asked the draft advisory committee for feedback on his draft status. He was told he would be a day-three pick, yet he declared anyway. Genius. Why would he ask the committee in the first place? This is obviously a poor decision that Perriman will regret.

The Verdict: Bad move



Underclassmen Declaring for the 2015 NFL Draft - Jan. 10:

Chris Hackett, S, TCU
Height: 6-2. Weight: 195.
Projected 40 Time: 4.58.
Projected Round (2015): 2-4.

Chris Hackett won't be chosen in the first round, but I don't hate this decision. The safety class beyond Landon Collins is very weak, so Hackett could convince teams that he's the second- or third-best safety in this class, ultimately leading to a Day 2 selection.

The Verdict: Mixed feelings



Underclassmen Declaring for the 2015 NFL Draft - Jan. 8:

Malcom Brown, DT, Texas
Height: 6-4. Weight: 305.
Projected 40 Time: 5.30.
Projected Round (2015): 1-3.

Malcom Brown is coming off a good season, and he's definitely a potential first-round pick, so he's making the right move. Brown will probably end up going in the second round, but his versatility could help him sneak into the first frame.

The Verdict: Good move

Landon Collins, S, Alabama
Height: 6-0. Weight: 222.
Projected 40 Time: 4.61.
Projected Round (2015): 1.

Landon Collins is unquestionably the top prospect at his position, and there's a decent chance he'll be chosen in the top 10. This was an easy decision.

The Verdict: Good move

Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
Height: 6-1. Weight: 210.
Projected 40 Time: 4.40.
Projected Round (2015): 1.

Amari Cooper will be the first receiver off the board and could go as high as No. 4 to Oakland or No. 6 to the Jets (I have him going to the latter in my 2015 NFL Mock Draft). There was no reason for him to go back to school.

The Verdict: No-brainer

Ronald Darby, CB, Florida State
Height: 5-11. Weight: 195.
Projected 40 Time: 4.45.
Projected Round (2015): 1-3.

Ronald Darby has a good chance of being chosen in the first round, so he has made the right decision to leave school early.

The Verdict: Good move

Benardrick McKinney, ILB/OLB, Mississippi State
Height: 6-5. Weight: 249.
Projected 40 Time: 4.62.
Projected Round (2015): 1-2.

Multiple teams we've spoken to have Benardrick McKinney in the 25-40 range. Thus, there's somewhat of a chance that he'll be chosen at the end of the first round, especially given that so many teams in that area need linebackers. McKinney is doing the right thing by bolting early.

The Verdict: Good move

T.J. Yeldon, RB, Alabama
Height: 6-2. Weight: 221.
Projected 40 Time: 4.42.
Projected Round (2015): 2.

T.J. Yeldon didn't have the best 2014 campaign and saw his stock drop into the second-round range. He would be better served going back to school if running backs weren't so fragile. Instead, he really had no choice but to declare for the NFL Draft.

The Verdict: Good move



Underclassmen Declaring for the 2015 NFL Draft - Jan. 7:

Mario Edwards Jr., DT/DE, Florida State
Height: 6-3. Weight: 300.
Projected 40 Time: 4.85.
Projected Round (2015): 1-3.

Mario Edwards might have a chance to be taken in the first round, but he's probably destined to go on Day 2. I think he should've returned to school and helped out his draft stock, but it's not exactly a dire mistake that he declared a year early.

The Verdict: Mixed feelings

Bradley Pinion, P, Clemson
Height: 6-5. Weight: 230.
Projected 40 Time: 5.15.
Projected Round (2015): 7-FA.

Rich Eisen says punters are people. Stupid people, apparently, because this is the second year in a row that a punter has declared early. Brad Wing did so last year and went undrafted. Bradley Pinion will likely suffer the same fate.

The Verdict: Bad move

Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State
Height: 6-4. Weight: 230.
Projected 40 Time: 4.70.
Projected Round (2015): Top-10 Pick.

There was some speculation that Jameis Winston would return to school, but ultimately, common sense prevailed. Unless Winston really turns teams off in the interviews, he'll be a top-10 pick this April; perhaps he'll even go No. 1 overall to Tampa. Winston has an extensive list of off-the-field issues, so he would've been crazy to return to school and risk more of those. He needed to get out of Florida State before he got into more trouble, so this should've been an easy choice for him.

The Verdict: No-brainer



Underclassmen Declaring for the 2015 NFL Draft - Jan. 6:

Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Oklahoma
Height: 6-6. Weight: 220.
Projected 40 Time: 4.55.
Projected Round (2015): 1-3.

Charlie Campbell reported that Dorial Green-Beckham would be headed to the pros early about a month ago. Green-Beckham might be the most talented receiver in this class, but his character issues could hurt his draft status. Still, he could be chosen in the first round, just based on his ability. I would've liked to have seen him rehab his image in Oklahoma, but I can understand the decision to bolt for the NFL, as another off-the-field incident could've destroyed his stock.

The Verdict: Good move

Max Valles, DE/OLB, Virginia
Height: 6-5. Weight: 240.
Projected 40 Time: 4.84.
Projected Round (2015): 7-FA.

Players who don't have much of a chance of being drafted shouldn't declare early for the NFL Draft. Max Valles apparently didn't get the memo.

The Verdict: Bad move

P.J. Williams, CB, Florida State
Height: 6-0. Weight: 196.
Projected 40 Time: 4.46.
Projected Round (2015): 1.

P.J. Williams will probably be the first cornerback off the board, so declaring early had to be an easy choice for him.

The Verdict: Good move



Underclassmen Declaring for the 2015 NFL Draft - Jan. 5:

Xavier Cooper, DT, Washington State
Height: 6-4. Weight: 298.
Projected 40 Time: 5.04.
Projected Round (2015): 5-7.

As you'll see, Xavier Cooper is one of my prospects to make a stupid decision on Monday. Late-round prospect should not declare early for the NFL Draft.

The Verdict: Bad move

Christian Covington, DT, Rice
Height: 6-3. Weight: 300.
Projected 40 Time: 5.19.
Projected Round (2015): 2-4.

I don't like this decision. Christian Covington is coming off knee surgery and may not be able to work out for teams. He could slip into the third, or maybe even the fourth round as a result. Had he returned to school, he could've emerged as a first-round prospect.

The Verdict: Bad move

D.J. Humphries, OT, Florida
Height: 6-6. Weight: 285.
Projected 40 Time: 5.07.
Projected Round (2015): 3-4.

D.J. Humphries apparently has never heard of buying low and selling high. He's coming off a poor season for someone with his skill set, so he should've returned to school to refine his technique. He should stop listening to anyone who advised him to make this awful decision.

The Verdict: Bad move

Danielle Hunter, DE/OLB, LSU
Height: 6-6. Weight: 240.
Projected 40 Time: 4.77.
Projected Round (2015): 1-2.

I don't mind this choice. Danielle Hunter could be in the first-round mix this April, but will probably go in the second frame. He could've returned to bolster his draft stock and solidify his first-round status, but he may get there will some great workouts.

The Verdict: Mixed feelings

Jesse James, TE, Penn State
Height: 6-7. Weight: 254.
Projected 40 Time: 4.82.
Projected Round (2015): 3-5.

Ugh, why do these fringe Day 2 prospects keep declaring early? It makes no sense. Jesse James should've stayed in school for one more year and then gotten a chance to compete in the Senior Bowl. Coming out a year in advance will hurt him.

The Verdict: Bad move

Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford
Height: 6-7. Weight: 312.
Projected 40 Time: 5.10.
Projected Round (2015): 1.

Andrus Peat might be drafted in the top 10, so this is close to a no-brainer. It apparently wasn't one for Peat, who told people that he was going back to Stanford for one more season. Common sense prevailed, however.

The Verdict: Good move

Shane Ray, DE/OLB, Missouri
Height: 6-3. Weight: 245.
Projected 40 Time: 4.84.
Projected Round (2015): 1.

Shane Ray is a top-eight prospect who could easily be chosen in the top five. This had to be an easy decision for him.

The Verdict: No-brainer

James Sample, S, Louisville
Height: 6-2. Weight: 190.
Projected 40 Time: 4.60.
Projected Round (2015): 5-7.

A late-round prospect, James Sample isn't on anyone's radar. There's no question he should've stayed in school.

The Verdict: Bad move

Shaq Thompson, OLB, Washington
Height: 6-1. Weight: 228.
Projected 40 Time: 4.60.
Projected Round (2015): 1-2.

I don't think Shaq Thompson could've improved his stock much more by going back to school. He's a fringe first-round prospect, but that's all he'd ever be as a non-pass-rushing linebacker.

The Verdict: Good move



Underclassmen Declaring for the 2015 NFL Draft - Jan. 3:

Nelson Agholor, WR, USC
Height: 6-1. Weight: 190.
Projected 40 Time: 4.50.
Projected Round (2015): 2-3.

Nelson Agholor is probably going to be a second-day pick, so I'd understand his decision if his quarterback were graduating. Cody Kessler still has one more year, however, so Agholor could've gone back to school one more year and improved his stock. I don't think he's making a terrible choice, but it's probably the wrong one.

The Verdict: Mixed feelings

Stefon Diggs, WR, Maryland
Height: 6-0. Weight: 190.
Projected 40 Time: 4.39.
Projected Round (2015): 3-4.

Stefon Diggs' quarterback is graduating, so I can see why he would make the jump to the pros. Unfortunately, he could fall into the third day of the draft if he doesn't have a strong showing at the Combine.

The Verdict: Mixed feelings

Dee Hart, RB/KR, Colorado State
Height: 5-9. Weight: 187.
Projected 40 Time: 4.46.
Projected Round (2015): 6-FA.

I'm all for running backs declaring early - but not when they're fringe third-day prospects. Dee Hart will need a strong Pro Day to get drafted, so he's making a bad decision.

The Verdict: Bad move

Nigel King, WR, Kansas
Height: 6-2. Weight: 190.
Projected 40 Time: 4.53.
Projected Round (2015): 7-FA.

Nigel King will need a prayer to get drafted, so it's hard to understand his decision-making process.

The Verdict: Bad move

Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota
Height: 6-4. Weight: 250.
Projected 40 Time: 4.63.
Projected Round (2015): 1-2.

Maxx Williams is entering a draft class that features a weak group of tight ends. It's likely he'll be the first one taken from the position, and he could sneak into the opening round. He's making a good choice.

The Verdict: Good move



Underclassmen Declaring for the 2015 NFL Draft - Jan. 2:

Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State
Height: 6-1. Weight: 182.
Projected 40 Time: 4.43.
Projected Round (2014): 1-2.

Trae Waynes is probably going to be a first-round pick - I currently have him going 20th to the Eagles in my 2015 NFL Mock Draft - so this is a good decision on his part.

The Verdict: Good move



Underclassmen Declaring for the 2015 NFL Draft - Jan. 1:

Trey Williams, RB, Texas A&M
Height: 5-8. Weight: 195.
Projected 40 Time: 4.41.
Projected Round (2015): 6-FA.

Yet another underclassman making a poor decision, Trey Williams should stop listening to those currently giving him advice. Williams might not get drafted.

The Verdict: Bad move



Underclassmen Declaring for the 2015 NFL Draft - Dec. 31:

Kwon Alexander, OLB, LSU
Height: 6-2. Weight: 227.
Projected 40 Time: 4.63.
Projected Round (2015): 6-FA.

No idea what Kwon Alexander is thinking. He might not even be drafted. At just 20 years old, he should've stayed at LSU.

The Verdict: Bad move

Deion Barnes, 3-4OLB, Penn State
Height: 6-4. Weight: 255.
Projected 40 Time: 4.7.
Projected Round (2015): 3-5.

I have no idea what Deion Barnes is thinking. He's a mid-round prospect who will need an excellent Combine performance to even get Day 2 consideration. If he bombs in Indianapolis, he could be picked in the late rounds. Derp.

The Verdict: Bad move

Alex Carter, CB, Stanford
Height: 6-0. Weight: 200.
Projected 40 Time: 4.47.
Projected Round (2015): 1-3.

Alex Carter has a very small shot to go in the first round, but will probably be chosen on Day 2. I can see why he's declaring, but another year at Stanford could've helped him cement a first-round status.

The Verdict: Mixed feelings

Deontay Greenberry, WR, Houston
Height: 6-3. Weight: 200.
Projected 40 Time: 4.55.
Projected Round (2015): 3-5.

Deontay Greenberry only has a slight chance of being chosen on the second day of the draft. This is yet another bad example of poor decision-making.

The Verdict: Bad move

Jordan Phillips, NT, Oklahoma
Height: 6-6. Weight: 334.
Projected 40 Time: 5.21.
Projected Round (2015): 2-3.

This class is lacking in nose tackles, so Jordan Phillips' decision to bolt for the NFL could pay off. Then again, another year at Oklahoma could've helped, so while I don't hate this choice, I'm not a big fan of it either.

The Verdict: Mixed feelings

Josh Robinson, RB, Mississippi State
Height: 5-9. Weight: 215.
Projected 40 Time: 4.53.
Projected Round (2015): 3-4.

Unlike the Deontay Greenberry move, this decision actually makes some sense. Josh Robinson is a running back, so returning to school could've cost him. Then again, he could've used another year to improve his draft stock.

The Verdict: Mixed feelings



Underclassmen Declaring for the 2015 NFL Draft - Dec. 30:

Randy Gregory, DE/OLB, Nebraska
Height: 6-6. Weight: 240.
Projected 40 Time: 4.79.
Projected Round (2015): 1.

It'll be a big surprise if Randy Gregory falls out of the top five. He would've made a huge mistake if he didn't declare for the 2015 NFL Draft. He could go as high as No. 2 to the Titans.

The Verdict: No-brainer

Tyler Kroft, TE, Rutgers
Height: 6-6. Weight: 240.
Projected 40 Time: 4.75.
Projected Round (2015): 3-4.

Tyler Kroft has a chance to be chosen on the second day of the draft, so this decision is a strange one. Kroft is still just 22, so it's not like he was an "old" redshirt junior. I know he's set to graduate in the spring, but he probably should've remained in school for one more year.

The Verdict: Bad move



Underclassmen Declaring for the 2015 NFL Draft - Dec. 29:

Tevin Coleman, RB, Indiana
Height: 6-1. Weight: 210.
Projected 40 Time: 4.60.
Projected Round (2015): 1-2.

Tevin Coleman, a terrific three-down back, is talented enough to be considered at the end of the first round. He'll probably be chosen atop the second frame, but regardless, he's making a wise decision because running backs are so fragile and have such a short lifespan in the NFL.

The Verdict: Good move

Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami
Height: 6-6. Weight: 324.
Projected 40 Time: 5.33.
Projected Round (2015): 1.

Ereck Flowers has a good chance of being chosen in the top 20, and he could even sneak into the top 10 if a tackle-hungry team likes him enough. His stock is at an all-time high right now, so he would've been foolish to return to school.

The Verdict: Good move

Donovan Smith, OT, Penn State
Height: 6-5. Weight: 335.
Projected 40 Time: 5.46.
Projected Round (2015): 3-4.

Donovan Smith is just a mid-round prospect, so I'm not sure why he decided to declare. Smith will only be 22 in June, so it's not like he's an "old" redshirt junior. He had 31 starts in his collegiate career, but he could've used another season to show scouts more positive film.

The Verdict: Bad move

Leonard Williams, DE/DT, USC
Height: 6-5. Weight: 300.
Projected 40 Time: 4.91.
Projected Round (2015): 1.

Leonard Williams is almost certainly going to be a top-five pick, and he might go as high as No. 2 if the Titans don't like the remaining quarterback on the board. This was an easy choice for him.

The Verdict: No-brainer



Underclassmen Declaring for the 2015 NFL Draft - Dec. 27:

Duke Johnson, RB, Miami
Height: 5-9. Weight: 200.
Projected 40 Time: 4.49.
Projected Round (2015): 1-3.

Duke Johnson almost had to declare after having a potential injury scare in his bowl game against South Carolina. Johnson is almost certain to be drafted in the second day of the draft, so as a running back, he's making a wise decision.

The Verdict: Good move



Underclassmen Declaring for the 2015 NFL Draft - Dec. 26:

Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia
Height: 6-1. Weight: 226.
Projected 40 Time: 4.49.
Projected Round (2015): 1.

What was Todd Gurley going to do, return to school where he could risk getting hurt again? This pretty much was a no-brainer. Gurley was a top-10 prospect prior to suffering a knee injury, but he's still projected to go in the first round. Another injury may have changed that.

The Verdict: Good move



Underclassmen Declaring for the 2015 NFL Draft - Dec. 24:

Mike Davis, RB, South Carolina
Height: 5-9. Weight: 223.
Projected 40 Time: 4.55.
Projected Round (2015): 1-2.

Mike Davis has a shot to go in the first round, but will probably be chosen in the second frame. Regardless, he's making a great decision because running backs are so injury-prone. It would've been too much of a risk for him to go back for another year.

The Verdict: Good move



Underclassmen Declaring for the 2015 NFL Draft - Dec. 23:

Shaq Roland, WR, South Carolina
Height: 6-1. Weight: 176.
Projected 40 Time: 4.48.
Projected Round (2015): FA.

Shaq Roland was suspended for some games this season and then proceeded to quit the team. He won't be drafted.

The Verdict: Irrelevant



Underclassmen Declaring for the 2015 NFL Draft - Dec. 22:

Jalen Collins, CB, LSU
Height: 6-2. Weight: 195.
Projected 40 Time: 4.48.
Projected Round (2015): 1-3.

Jalen Collins is a likely second-round pick, so I like this move. There's a chance his stock could've dropped had he returned to school, and I'm not sure he could've improved it very much.

The Verdict: Good move

Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State
Height: 6-3. Weight: 212.
Projected 40 Time: 4.52.
Projected Round (2015): 1-2.

Any prospect projected to go in the first round should probably declare. Jaelen Strong's range seems to be 20-40, and given that his quarterback is graduating, he is definitely making the correct decision.

The Verdict: Good move



Underclassmen Declaring for the 2015 NFL Draft - Dec. 21:

Jay Ajayi, RB, Boise State
Height: 6-0. Weight: 216.
Projected 40 Time: 4.57.
Projected Round (2015): 2-3.

Jay Ajayi is a probable second-day pick, so he's definitely making the right decision. Running backs are always at major risk for injury, so Ajayi would've made a big mistake by returning to school.

The Verdict: Good move



Underclassmen Declaring for the 2015 NFL Draft - Dec. 20 or earlier:

Sammie Coates, WR, Auburn
Height: 6-2. Weight: 201.
Projected 40 Time: 4.53.
Projected Round (2015): 1-2.

Sammie Coates is very talented, but raw, so he could use another year at Auburn. However, he's a possible first-round pick, and if he would've stayed, he would have lost quarterback Nick Marshall to graduation, so it would've been too risky to remain in school. I like Coates' decision to declare early.

The Verdict: Good move

Lorenzo Doss, CB, Tulane
Height: 5-11. Weight: 187.
Projected 40 Time: 4.57.
Projected Round (2015): 3-5.

Lorenzo Doss is just 20 years old, so you have to wonder why he's making this move. His draft status will be highly dependant on what he does in pre-draft workouts because scouts haven't done much work on him. As a probable mid-round prospect, Doss should have remained in school. Tulane has a great campus, so why would he want to leave?

The Verdict: Bad move

Durell Eskridge, S, Syracuse
Height: 6-3. Weight: 203.
Projected 40 Time: 4.61.
Projected Round (2015): 2-4.

Durell Eskridge is a potential second-round pick, so this isn't a bad move, especially in a class that features a very weak safety group beyond Landon Collins. I wouldn't say this is a great decision, by any means, but I can see how it makes sense.

The Verdict: Mixed feelings

Dante Fowler Jr., DE, Florida
Height: 6-3. Weight: 270.
Projected 40 Time: 4.79.
Projected Round (2015): 1.

This had to have been an easy choice. On top of the fact that Dante Fowler is a probable top-15 pick, the Gators are making a coaching change. There was no reason for Fowler to return to school.

The Verdict: No-brainer

Devin Funchess, WR/TE, Michigan
Height: 6-5. Weight: 230.
Projected 40 Time: 4.64.
Projected Round (2015): 1-3.

Michigan is another school making a switch on the sidelines, so it's understandable that Devin Funchess would want to declare. Funchess should've gotten out of Ann Arbor anyway, as Brady Hoke hurt his draft stock by turning him into a receiver. Hopefully, NFL teams remember how effective Funchess was as a tight end during the draft process.

The Verdict: Good move

Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin
Height: 6-1. Weight: 215.
Projected 40 Time: 4.50.
Projected Round (2015): 1.

Any running back projected to go in the first round absolutely has to declare - no questions asked.

The Verdict: No-brainer

Eli Harold, DE/OLB, Virginia
Height: 6-4. Weight: 250.
Projected 40 Time: 4.85.
Projected Round (2015): 1-2.

Eli Harold was a surprise declaration, but he has the potential to be a first-round pick. That's why I don't mind this choice. I'm not in love with it though, given that Harold will be going up against a class loaded with talented pass-rushers. Harold might have been better off waiting a year, but he could have hurt his stock as well with a down 2015 campaign.

The Verdict: Mixed feelings

Gerod Holliman, S, Louisville
Height: 6-2. Weight: 213.
Projected 40 Time: 4.63.
Projected Round (2015): 1-3.

Gerod Holliman is not guaranteed to go in the first round, but he has a shot at going that high. That's why I like this move. The 2015 safety class is very underwhelming outside of Landon Collins, so someone will be able to emerge as the No. 2 player at the position and perhaps sneak into the end of the first round.

The Verdict: Good move

Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA
Height: 6-3. Weight: 227.
Projected 40 Time: 4.69.
Projected Round (2015): 2-4.

Brett Hundley could use another year at UCLA. It'll take a bizarre set of circumstances for him to enter the first round. He has a lot of mechanical flaws that need to be worked on, so he probably should have went back for another season. Had he improved, he could have challenged to be the first quarterback taken in the 2016 NFL Draft. Hundley is only 21, so there was no need for him to jump to the pros so soon.

The Verdict: Bad move

Karl Joseph, S, West Virginia
Height: 5-10. Weight: 200.
Projected 40 Time: 4.58.
Projected Round (2015): 2-3.

Karl Joseph is just a second-day prospect, so going back to school makes sense for him.

The Verdict: Good move

Tyler Moore, OT/G, Florida
Height: 6-5. Weight: 320.
Projected 40 Time: 5.31.
Projected Round (2015): 7-FA.

Tyler Moore probably won't be drafted, so he's just done with football and moving on from a program making a coaching change.

The Verdict: Irrelevant

Marcus Peters, CB, Washington
Height: 6-0. Weight: 190.
Projected 40 Time: 4.55.
Projected Round (2015): 2-4.

Marcus Peters is a top-10 talent, and some even call him the best cornerback prospect since Champ Bailey, but has major character issues. How major? He tried to strangle one of his football coaches and got kicked off the team! Some team could take a chance on him with a second-round pick, just because of his immense talent, so there was no reason for Peters not to declare.

The Verdict: Good move

Noah Spence, DE, Ohio State
Height: 6-3. Weight: 252.
Projected 40 Time: 4.72.
Projected Round (2015): 5-FA.

Noah Spence was dismissed from Ohio State because of drugs. He tested positive multiple times. He has a chance to be drafted, but he probably should have gone to a 1-AA school and shown that he can stay clean off the field.

The Verdict: Bad move





2015 NFL Draft Underclassmen Rumors:


  • Buck Allen, RB, USC: Allen is expected to declare for the draft - Rand Getlin, Yahoo!

  • Arik Armstead, DE/DT, Oregon: Armstead is "heavily leaning" toward leaving school for the pros - Rand Getlin, Yahoo!

  • Devontae Booker, RB, Utah: Booker's coaches expect him to declare for the draft - Tony Pauline.

  • Malcom Brown, DE/DT, Texas: Brown is leaning toward declaring for the NFL Draft - Tony Pauline.

  • Shilique Calhoun, DE, Michigan State: Calhoun received a second-round grade from the advisory committee and doesn't know if he'll declare early - Tony Pauline.

  • Tevin Coleman, RB, Indiana: Coleman has already met with agents and is likely to declare for the draft - Tony Pauline.

  • Landon Collins, S, Alabama - Collins is expected to go pro. "Three years in, three years out," his mother said.

  • Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida State - Goldman is "leaning heavily" toward declaring - Rand Getlin, Yahoo! Sports.

  • Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Oklahoma - Green-Beckham is likely to declare - Charlie Campbell.

  • Danielle Hunter, DE/OLB, LSU: Hunter is "70/30" on staying versus declaring for the draft - Rand Getlin, Yahoo!

  • Benardrick McKinney, ILB, Mississippi State: McKinney is likely to declare for the draft - Head coach Dan Mullen.

  • Jalen Mills, CB, LSU: Mills has told his teammates that he's going to the pros - The Advocate.

  • Rakeem Nunez-Roches, DT, Southern Miss: "Source tell me it looks very much as though Rakeem Nunez-Roches/DT/Southern Miss will enter the draft." - Tony Pauline.

  • Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford: Peat is "on the fence" about bolting for the NFL - Rand Getlin, Yahoo!

  • Darius Philon, DT, Arkansas: Philbon is leaning toward declaring for the NFL Draft - Tony Pauline.

  • Jeremiah Poutasi, OT, Utah: Poutasi is expected to declare for the NFL Draft - Tony Pauline.

  • Reggie Ragland, LB, Alabama: Ragland told the media that he's thinking about entering the 2015 NFL Draft.

  • Sterling Shepard, WR, Oklahoma - Sterling Shepard is likely to declare for the draft - Charlie Campbell.

  • Jean Sifrin, TE, UMass - Sifrin, 27, is expected to enter the draft - Matt Vautour, UMazz Gazette.

  • Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State: Waynes has met with agents and is planning to leave for the NFL - Rand Getlin, Yahoo!

  • Leonard Williams, DE/DT, USC: Williams will enter the draft and has told the Raiders he wants to play for them - Charlie Campbell.

  • Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota: Williams will declare for the draft, barring injury in the Citrus Bowl - Darren Wolfson, 1500 ESPN.





    Major Prospects Going Back to School:


    Cardale Jones, QB, Ohio State
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 250.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.70.
    Projected Round (2015): 2-3.

    This is a tough one. Cardale Jones would've been a second-round prospect (third round at the very worst), despite what Todd McShay opined recently. Jones just has way too much potential and upside for teams to pass up on with a second-day selection. However, Jones had just three starts, so he isn't ready for the NFL, and I think he would agree with that, based on the decision he made. The problem is that he risks really hurting his draft stock with a poor 2015 campaign. If he starts next year and struggles, he'll be pushed into that Round 4-5 range. Then again, if he continues to thrive, he'll be a sure-fire first-rounder, and he'll even be in contention for the top choice in the 2016 NFL Draft.

    By the way, my 2016 NFL Mock Draft will be updated this weekend, and Jones will be in it.

    The Verdict: Mixed feelings

    Dak Prescott, QB, Mississippi State
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 235.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.79.
    Projected Round (2015): 2-4.

    Dak Prescott had some draft hype going during the college season, but he's a second-round prospect at best, and it was even more likely that he'd slip into the early portion of Day 3. He's just not viewed as starting material, despite his success this past season. Perhaps the draft advisory committee told him this, which would explain his decision. It's a good choice, as he could use another year at Mississippi State.

    The Verdict: Good move

    Shilique Calhoun, DE, Michigan State
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 256.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.70.
    Projected Round (2015): 1-2.

    Shilique Calhoun didn't have his best season, and he consequently received a second-round projection from the draft advisory committee. With that in mind, I think Calhoun is making a good decision by returning to school. He would otherwise be entering a class full of talented pass-rushers and could be pushed well into the second day. Calhoun can now rebound with a strong 2015 campaign and reemerge as a strong first-round prospect.

    The Verdict: Good move

    Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 218.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.85.
    Projected Round (2015): 1-2.

    Crazy. Connor Cook wasn't going first or second overall this April, but with some good workouts, he could've convinced the Jets to select him at No. 5. The Bears also would've been interested a few selections later. He probably would've been chosen in the first round. Instead, he'll be going back to school, where he'll be under way more scrutiny next year. Some quarterbacks who return for their senior year are unharmed, but more often than not, they see their stock take a hit because scouts are able to dissect more tape.

    The Verdict: Bad move

    Spencer Drango, OT, Baylor
    Height: 6-6. Weight: 310.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.39.
    Projected Round (2015): 2-3.

    Spencer Drango was a second-day prospect for 2015, so there was no reason for him to bolt school early. He'll have a shot at the first round in the 2016 NFL Draft.

    The Verdict: Good move

    Leonard Floyd, DE/OLB, Georgia
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 230.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.60.
    Projected Round (2015): 1-2.

    This is exactly like Eli Harold's decision, except Leonard Floyd did the opposite. Floyd is a first-round talent who would have been declaring into a class featuring loads of skilled pass-rushers. There's a chance he could hurt his stock by returning to school, but it's also possible that he could move into the top-10 next year.

    The Verdict: Mixed feelings

    Jordan Jenkins, 3-4OLB, Georgia
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 252.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.62.
    Projected Round (2015): 3-4.

    Jordan Jenkins will probably be chosen on the second day of the draft, so I support his decision to return to school, especially considering how loaded this class is for pass-rushers.

    The Verdict: Good move

    Malcolm Mitchell, WR, Georgia
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 192.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.52.
    Projected Round (2015): 3-5.

    Malcolm Mitchell's quarterback is graduating, so there was some speculation that he could declare. I wouldn't blame him if he did, but I wouldn't have been in love with the decision.

    The Verdict: Mixed feelings

    Shawn Oakman, DE/DT, Baylor
    Height: 6-9. Weight: 280.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.84.
    Projected Round (2015): 2-3.

    One publication wrote that it was surprised that Shawn Oakman went back to school. It shouldn't have been, as Charlie Campbell reported that the consensus was that Oakman was a second-day prospect, and that one general manager had him in the fourth round. Oakman is raw, so he needs more playing time at Baylor if he wants to be selected in the first round.

    The Verdict: Good move

    Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 315.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.40.
    Projected Round (2015): 1.

    I have no idea what Ronnie Stanley is thinking. He could've been a top-five pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, and he almost certainly would've gone in the first 10 selections. By going back to school, he risks injury and a down 2015 campaign. What a terrible decision.

    The Verdict: Bad move

    Eric Striker, OLB, Oklahoma
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 221.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.58.
    Projected Round (2015): 3-4.

    Eric Striker initially planned on declaring, but changed his mind. He's making a good decision, as he's just a fringe second-day prospect.

    The Verdict: Good move

    John Theus, OT, Georgia
    Height: 6-6. Weight: 313.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.20.
    Projected Round (2015): 3-4.

    John Theus had a chance of going at the end of the second day, but he probably would've been chosen early on Saturday. He made the right move by going back to school.

    The Verdict: Good move

    D'haquille "Duke" Williams*, WR, Auburn
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 216.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.42.
    Projected Round (2015): 1-2.

    Duke Williams had a chance to be a first-rounder this spring. Barring a collapse in 2015, he'll definitely be chosen in the first frame, so I can see why he stayed in school. However, he's taking a risk. A bad season could really hurt his stock.

    The Verdict: Mixed feelings

    LOADING COMMENTS...



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