draft2015bigboard


The top prospects available for the 2015 NFL Draft.

By Charlie Campbell.
Send Charlie an e-mail here: [email protected]
Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell for updates.
Updated Feb. 25, 2015

    Top-5 Prospects:

  1. Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State. Previous Rank: 1
    2/25/15: If it weren’t for all the off-the-field concerns, Winston would be the hands-down first pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. He is a better pocket passer and is more accurate than Marcus Mariota. However, the possibility of Winston sabotaging his NFL career with off-the-field run-ins is a concern, and that is the only issue that could prevent him from being the first-overall pick.

    At the Combine, Winston helped alleviate those concerns as he did a great job in the team meetings. Winston was intelligent with his football I.Q. and impressed teams with his leadership and presence. He also addressed the off-the-field issues well. On the field, Winston put on a clinic. He showed great accuracy, touch, changing the speed on his passes and throwing a catchable ball to new receivers. Winston showed that he is worthy of the first-overall pick and is a true franchise quarterback.

    Winston completed 65 percent of his passes in 2014 for 3,907 yards with 25 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. He significantly exceeded his interception total from 2013, but the redshirt junior was still a sparkling 26-1 as a starting quarterback.

    Winston is extraordinary as a phenomenal pocket passer with rare anticipation and can carve up a defense. He has very good field vision and does a superb job of scanning the field and working through his progressions. It is an innate ability that Winston displayed from the very beginning of his tenure as a starter. He hangs tough in the face of the pass rush, steps into throws when he’s going to get hit, and moves well in the pocket while keeping his eyes downfield. Sources noted early on that Winston has a good football I.Q. and will impress teams in pre-draft meetings.

    Winston also has great anticipation and timing. For example, while pressure is in his face, he still throws passes before receivers make their break and the ball hits them between the numbers as soon as they turn around. Those are phenomenal throws for any level of football. Winston also throws some brilliant passes into tight windows to beat good coverage. When plays break down, Winston can make plays with his feet, and if defenses leave him open, he will hurt them on them on the ground.

    Many sources say that Winston is immature, but his off-the-field issues have been overblown.

    9/2/14: Winston took college football by storm in 2013 as the Heisman Trophy winner. The redshirt freshman demonstrated a quality arm with well-developed passing ability. His field vision was amazing for a first-year starter. Winston was very advanced with his ability to scan the field, work through his progressions and make a good decision on where to throw the football.

    The 6-foot-4, 228-pounder completed 67 percent of his passes for 4,057 yards with 40 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. On the ground, he ran for 219 yards with four touchdowns.

    Winston has to show leadership and maturity off the field while dealing with the explosion of his celebrity. Multiple sources from around the league have told WalterFootball.com that Winston has significant off-the-field issues.

  2. Leonard Williams, DT/DE, USC. Previous Rank: 3
    2/25/15: In speaking with NFL teams, they say that Williams wasn’t consistent enough in his production or effort to be ranked as the top player on their boards, but still is worthy of a high first-round pick. I agree with that sentiment. Williams (6-5, 302) did well at the Combine and showed an excellent athletic skill set.

    Before he made the announcement official, WalterFootball.com heard that Williams would enter the 2015 NFL Draft and had already signaled the Raiders that he would like to play for Oakland. Williams racked up 80 tackles, seven sacks, 8.5 tackles for a loss, one interception, three forced fumbles and three passes batted in 2014.

    Williams has the speed to charge by interior offensive linemen and tackles. He also is strong to toss blockers aside and fire into the backfield. Williams is naturally athletic with rare versatility. He could fit as a 3-4 defensive end, or as a tackle or end in a 4-3 defense. In a 4-3, Williams would be best as an end on running downs who slides inside in passing situations.

    Against Nebraska for his final game, Williams was excellent as he totaled nine tackles with a sack. He had five tackles against Notre Dame and didn’t really make a big impact. Williams also didn’t win his reps when he went against Fighting Irish left tackle Ronnie Stanley, a potential high draft pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.

    Williams could stand to improve his motor, and he gets in trouble when he plays too high. Williams will need to work on his pad level for the pros.

    9/2/14: The 6-foot-5, 290-pounder has a big-time skill set. He’s played end and tackle, but will probably end up playing the latter in the NFL. Williams also would be a nice fit as a five-technique defensive end in a 3-4 defense.

    Williams is at his best when he’s allowed to use his quickness to fire into the backfield and cause disruption. Williams can get in trouble when he stands up too high and lets blockers get underneath his pads. That leads them to moving Williams in the ground game.

    Williams played well for USC in 2013. He recorded 74 tackles with 13.5 tackles for a loss, a forced fumble and five sacks. The sophomore generated more pass rush than the numbers indicate. Williams was the Pac-12 Defensive Freshman of the Year in 2012 after a fabulous debut for the Trojans. He totaled 64 tackles with 13.5 tackles for a loss, eight sacks, four passes batted and an interception that season.

  3. Dante Fowler, DE, Florida. Previous Rank: 10
    2/25/15: After an impressive Combine, Fowler is the favorite to be the first edge defender selected. The 6-foot-3, 261-pounder ran fast and had quick feet with athleticism in the field drills. Sources said he also impressed teams in the meeting room. Fowler is bigger and heavier than either of Randy Gregory or Shane Ray, so Fowler could interest 4-3 teams as a defensive end as well as remaining as a 3-4 outside linebacker. That flexibility could give him a real push up draft boards.

    Fowler killed East Carolina’s offensive tackles in bowl season as he recorded three sacks and put quarterback Shane Carden into the turf roughly. Fowler had four tackles with a sack against Florida State to close out the regular season. While he made some bad plays in run defense, he did a nice job of putting heat on the quarterback. Fowler also had good games against Tennessee and Kentucky. He fought his tail off versus LSU, recording 11 tackles with a sack. Fowler also should have drawn some holding and face-mask calls going against LSU left tackle La’el Collins, but the officials were terrible.

    Fowler totaled 60 tackles with 8.5 sacks, 15 tackles for a loss, one pass broken up and a forced fumble in 2014.

    9/2/14: Fowler is fast and powerful. He has a lot of upside, and it wouldn’t be surprising if he dominates in 2014. Fowler was excellent for the Gators in 2013. He showed his special ability with a sack-fumble against Tennessee left tackle Antonio Richardson. Fowler racked up 50 tackles with 10.5 tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks, one pass batted and three forced fumbles for the season.

    Fowler was a First-Team All-SEC Freshman-Team selection in 2012 even though he was a backup. Fowler recorded 47 tackles with 10.5 tackles for a loss and 3.5 sacks that year.

  4. Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia. Previous Rank: 4
    2/25/15: Sources say that Gurley (6-1, 222) is too talented to fall past the middle of the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft. Sources with other teams say they see Gurley as a late first-round or possible second-round pick.

    It will be interesting to see how far along Gurley is in rehab and if he’ll be able to work out for scouts prior to the 2015 NFL Draft. In this evaluator’s opinion, Gurley is in the running as the most talented player in this draft class. If I had to pick a player or two from this draft class who will have a Hall of Fame career or be among the best at their positions in the NFL, I would go with Gurley and Winston.

    Gurley’s 2014 season ended early in his return to the field against Auburn, which had seen him quickly pick up where he left off. The junior ran for 128 yards on 29 carries with a touchdown. He also returned a kickoff for a touchdown, but it was called back on a penalty. Even though Georgia was up 27-7 with five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Gurley was still in the game running between the tackles and while being tackled, he tore an ACL. That contest against Auburn was the final game of his collegiate career.

    Prior to playing Auburn, Gurley was suspended for four game for signing autographs. Sources with multiple teams told WalterFootball.com that the suspension won’t hurt Gurley’s draft stock. They say that this is more tyrannical NCAA nonsense. League contacts say their character reports on Gurley are strong. They say he’s a good kid who loves football.

    Gurley totaled 163 yards on 25 carries with two touchdowns against Vanderbilt in his penultimate game. He also made two catches for 24 yards. The junior justified the hype throughout 2014. He started off the season with a dominating performance against Clemson. Gurley finished that game with 198 yards on 15 carries with three touchdowns rushing to go along with a 100-yard kick return for a touchdown. He showed it all against Clemson as he ran with speed and power. That trend continued against Troy and South Carolina.

    In 2014, Gurley averaged 7.4 yards for 911 yards with nine touchdowns. He had 12 receptions for 57 yards.

    9/2/14: The 6-foot-1, 232-pound back has surprising speed to go along with size and power. He can run over defenders and is fast to the second level. Gurley was awesome when healthy in 2013. He averaged six yards per carry for 989 yards and 10 touchdowns. The sophomore also had 30 receptions for 344 yards and five touchdowns.

    Gurley was one of the freshman running backs who burst onto the scene in the SEC during 2012. He had a superb debut to lead the Bulldogs’ ground game. Gurley averaged 6.2 yards per carry in 2012 on his way to totaling 1,385 yards with 17 touchdowns. In the SEC Championship, he ran for 122 yards on 22 carries with two touchdowns against Alabama’s tough defense.

    The biggest issue with Gurley is durability. He needs to stay healthy and productive as a junior to make sure that he’s a high first-round pick.

  5. Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama. Previous Rank: 6
    2/25/15: At the Combine, Cooper (6-1, 211) hit his listed numbers and ran fast in the 40 with a time of 4.42 seconds. Kevin White is larger and ran faster, so Cooper is not a lock to be the first receiver selected.

    Cooper is a future No. 1 NFL receiver who clearly has the size/speed combination to present a constant mismatch. The junior had a string of dominant performances in 2014 that showed his great route-running, speed, hands, run-after-the-catch ability and skills to fight for 50-50 balls. Cooper had a number of huge games against the likes of Auburn (13-244-3), Tennessee (9-224-2) and Florida (10-201-3). He amassed 124 receptions for 1,727 yards with 16 touchdowns in 2014.

    Cooper has the speed to get separation with size to outfight defensive backs for the ball. He seems to get overeager at times, and that can lead to some drops, but he is generally reliable. As a prospect, Cooper isn’t as elite as Sammy Watkins or A.J. Green. However, Cooper could be a similar level prospect to Odell Beckham Jr., and that means Cooper is a good bet to turn into a future No. 1 and Pro Bowl-caliber wideout.

    9/2/14: I think Cooper could rise a lot higher over the course of his junior season. He collected 45 receptions for 736 yards and four touchdowns in 2013, but was dealing with a toe injury that really slowed him down. Against Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl, Cooper was healthier and locked excellent. If the junior can stay healthy in 2014 and build on his breakout freshman season, he could be highly sought after prospect.

    Cooper had a great freshman season in 2012 and helped Alabama repeat as the National Champion. The 6-foot-1, 202-pounder carried the Crimson Tide passing attack. He caught 59 passes for 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns for the year. No other Alabama receiver notched 30 receptions or 500 yards through the air. That season, Cooper showed some explosive speed with the physical ability to attack the football.





  6. Top-10 Prospects:

  7. Kevin White, WR, West Virginia. Previous Rank: 11
    2/25/15: White used the Combine to make the case to be the first receiver selected as he checked in at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds and ran a 4.35-second 40-yard dash. That along with his production, illustrates why White looks like a No. 1 receiver in the NFL.

    White was one of the best receivers in college football in 2014. He recorded 109 receptions for 1,447 yards and 10 touchdowns. Playing in college football’s version of the Arena League helped White to put up big numbers. However, he has a unique combination of size and speed. White consistently achieved separation, yet he also made contested catches with the strength to outfight defensive backs for the ball. Sources say that White and Amari Cooper are their top two receivers for the 2015 NFL Draft.

    TCU sent double-coverage White’s direction, and Horned Frogs cornerback Kevin White held West Virginia’s Kevin White to only three receptions for 28 yards. After seven straight 100-yard games, that was White’s second-straight game with fewer than 30 yards.

    White had impressive game against Baylor a month before as he totaled eight receptions for 132 yards with two touchdowns to help upset the Bears. White also drew multiple pass-interference penalties.

    As a junior, White had 35 receptions for 507 yards with five touchdowns. He took his game to another level in 2014.

  8. Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin. Previous Rank: 5
    2/25/15: In the 2015 NFL Draft, Gordon may slide to the middle of, or even the back half of, the first round because of the devaluing of the running back position. However as a prospect, he is one of the best football players at any position. Gordon (6-1, 215) did well at the Combine, but was a little slower than expected in the 40 at 4.52 seconds. It doesn’t matter much because his game tape proves that Gordon is one of the most explosive running backs to come into the NFL years.

    Gordon ended his season like he started it: by tearing up an SEC defense. Against Auburn, Gordon totaled 251 yards on 34 carries with three touchdowns. He ran hard all game and left it all on the field. Gordon didn’t play like he was trying to protect himself or attempting to avoid injury.

    Halfway through the year, Gordon became the first back in the nation to cross the 1,000-yard mark. He averaged 7.5 yards per carry for 2,587 yards with 29 touchdowns. Gordon caught three passes for 153 yards and three touchdowns, too. His amazing speed had him tied for the FBS record in career average in yards per carry with stellar mark of 8.26 yards per carry after a massive performance versus Bowling Green (13-253).

    Gordon set the NCAA single-game record in mid-November 2014 versus Nebraska with 408 yards on 25 carries with four touchdowns in only three quarters of playing time. It wasn’t a perfect game, as Gordon had a couple of fumbles, but he overwhelmed the Cornhuskers in a manner that no back had in the history of the sport. Unfortunately for Gordon, his record was broken a week later.

    The junior used 2014 to illustrate that he is a play-maker with excellent speed to along with enough size and toughness to be an every-down back. He has excellent cutting ability, vision, patience and balance. Gordon needs development on diagnosing and picking up blitzes, but he was almost consistently dominant in 2014.

    9/2/14: Gordon was one of the most explosive backs in the nation in 2013. The lightning-fast redshirt sophomore brought an explosive element to the Badgers’ backfield that Montee Ball never provided during his great college career. For the year, Gordon averaged 7.8 yards per carry for 1,609 yards on only 206 carries and 12 touchdowns. If James White hadn’t taken carries away, to allow Gordon to reach 300 carries, he could have added on maybe another 1,000 yards.

    Gordon possesses a rare combination of being fast while having quality size. The 6-foot-1, 210-pounder has blazing speed to be a threat to score on any carry.

    The Kenosha, Wisconsin product stood out while backing up Montee Ball and James White in 2012. While Gordon didn’t get a lot of opportunities, he made the most of his limited chances while averaging 10 yards per carry. Gordon ran for 621 yards and three touchdowns on only 62 carries.

  9. Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami. Previous Rank: 7
    2/25/15: The 6-foot-6, 329-pounder has an excellent combination of size, strength, quickness and athleticism. He also has long arms. Flowers put those all on display at the Combine when he led all offensive linemen in the bench press and also ran fast for his size.

    Flowers doesn’t get a lot of publicity, but don’t be surprised if he becomes a hot prospect.

    Flowers was absolutely dominant against South Carolina to conclude his 2014 season. He illustrated his tremendous skill set as he was rock solid in pass protection and moved defenders in the ground game. Flowers showed his superb balance and knee bend while blocking on the edge.

    Flowers played well against Virginia in late November despite having a couple of bad plays against edge rusher Eli Harold. Overall though, Flowers was impressive.

    Flowers played really well in 2014. After missing a few games because of a torn meniscus, he came back in impressive fashion against Florida State. Flowers was excellent and won his blocks throughout the first half. He cleared out a big hole for a nice run by Duke Johnson in the second quarter. Flowers was even better in pass protection.

    Flowers also had an impressive game against Nebraska taking on Randy Gregory. Flowers was a very consistent run-blocker for Duke Johnson and pass-protector.

    In 2013 as a sophomore, Flowers took the left tackle job from Seantrel Henderson. In his true freshman season, Flowers was a backup who started four games.

  10. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon. Previous Rank: 8
    2/25/15: Mariota completed 68 percent of his passes in 2014 for 4,454 yards with 42 touchdowns and four interceptions. On the ground, he totaled 770 yards (5.7 average) with 15 touchdowns.

    There is no doubt that Mariota has great physical tools. He possesses a strong arm, size and excellent mobility. Mariota can make big plays with his feet in terms of taking off and running, or just avoiding sacks to by time. He also throws well on the run. Mariota will have to learn how to work under center for the NFL.

    There is some concern with Mariota as a system quarterback. He has good height and the strong arm to be a pocket passer, but he isn’t consistent yet. Mariota didn’t always scan through the field, and there were times where he looked to run when his first read was covered. Mariota also missed some throws with poor placement and didn’t consistently fire the ball into tight windows as Oregon’s offensive scheme leads to a lot of wide-open receivers.

    That will have to change in the NFL as Mariota will have to get better at pulling the trigger with accurate passes into a small opening. There were plays where he showed nice pocket-passing potential with reading the defense, scanning his options and delivering a good pass. Mariota just needs work and enters the NFL at a similar level to Cam Newton. Mariota was very good at avoiding interceptions, but he displayed a tendency to fumble the ball.

    9/2/14: There is no doubt that Mariota has great physical tools. The 6-foot-4, 211-pound has a strong arm, size and excellent mobility. As a passer, Mariota can do it all, but could use some refinement in his mechanics, footwork, and his pocket passing in general. He has been a dominant point-machine since taking over as Oregon’s starting quarterback.

    In 2013, Mariota completed 64 percent of his passes for 3,665 yards with 31 touchdowns and four interceptions. On the ground, the redshirt sophomore ran for 715 yards with nine touchdowns. While Mariota did a great job of avoiding throwing picks, he had some issues with fumbles. In 2012 as a first-year starter, Mariota completed 69 percent of his passes for 2,677 yards with 32 touchdowns and six interceptions.

    One NFL general manager told WalterFootball.com that Mariota is vastly overrated. Sources from other teams don’t agree with that assessment, so Mariota and Winston will have different teams preferring one or the other.

  11. Danny Shelton, DT, Washington. Previous Rank: 9
    2/25/15: Shelton (6-2, 339) was explosive and physical on the field at the Combine. He is a powerful force at the line of scrimmage. Shelton was previously one of the stars of the Senior Bowl as he had a superb week of practice. Shelton also interviewed well with teams. He has a rare combination of power, quickness and natural strength.

    Shelton was one of the nation’s leaders in sacks for a defensive tackle in 2014 with nine. He totaled 87 tackles and 16.5 tackles for a loss, too. The 6-foot-2, 343-pounder is a big, disruptive tackle who has a surprising burst.

    Shelton recorded 12 tackles with three tackles for a loss and two sacks to open 2014. He was unblockable for Hawaii’s offensive linemen. Incredibly, Shelton took his game to another level against Eastern Washington as he had four sacks, 4.5 tackles for a loss and eight solo tackles. Shelton was a man on fire and astoundingly productive.

    In 2013, Shelton turned in 59 tackles with 3.5 tackles for a loss and two sacks. He had an excellent bowl game against BYU with seven tackles and a lot of disruption at the point of attack. Shelton recorded 45 tackles, .5 sacks and four tackles for a loss in 2012.





  12. Top-15 Prospects:

  13. Randy Gregory, DE, Nebraska. Previous Rank: 2
    2/25/15: At the Combine, Gregory ran well with a 40 time of 4.64 seconds. However, he’s smaller (6-5, 235) than his previously listed numbers. He needs to get bigger and stronger for going against NFL offensive tackles. I’ve dropped him on my board because I have concerns about his size, durability and fit in the NFL.

    Gregory has great speed and athleticism on the edge. He has the speed to rush the passer and also has developed a set of pass-rushing moves. Gregory can deploy a spin move and is smart on when he uses a bull rush. Gregory looks like a future double-digit sacker as he is very consistent at getting heat on the quarterback. Gregory could stand to add more weight and strength for going against NFL offensive tackles.

    In 2014, Gregory totaled 56 tackles with 8.5 tackles for a loss, seven sacks, one forced fumble, three passes broken up and one interception while basically missing three games. It was disappointing that Gregory (ankle, concussion) didn’t play to close out the regular season as he would have taken on Iowa left tackle Brandon Scherff. Nebraska was destroyed by Melvin Gordon, and Gregory started the game well before getting tired out. The junior left the 2014 season opener against Florida Atlantic after the first defensive series because of a knee injury. He had his knee scoped a few days later, and Bo Pelini said the MRI showed that it was an old non-contact injury. Gregory was held out against McNeese State and returned to the field against Fresno State with three tackles.

    9/2/14: Gregory was a beast for Nebraska in 2013 – his first year on campus. The sophomore had just 10 starts, yet racked up 66 tackles with 19 tackles for a loss, 10.5 sacks, one pass batted and an interception. His freshman season saw Gregory dominate the junior college ranks.

    The 6-foot-6, 245-pounder should get even bigger over time. Gregory is very fast in pursuit with natural athleticism to move well in space and around blockers.

    It will be interesting to see how Gregory handles the double-teams that will come his direction in 2014.

  14. Shane Ray, DE/OLB, Missouri. Previous Rank: 12
    2/25/15: Ray did not work out at the Combine due to a toe injury. The 6-foot-3, 245-pounder is extremely fast with a lightning first-step. He has the agility and hand skills to fight off blockers to turn the corner. Ray is an excellent pursuit defender, too. He needs to get stronger in run defense and at holding his ground when runs come straight at him. Ray fits better as a 3-4 outside linebacker; he’s going to need some transition time after playing defensive end in college. Ray is too small to play end in the NFL.

    In his collegiate finale against Minnesota, Ray totaled four tackles, 1.5 for a loss, .5 sacks and one forced fumble. He was one of the top pass-rushers in college football in 2014, and with Markus Golden on the other side from him, Missouri didn’t miss Michael Sam and Kony Ealy. Ray was one of the nation’s leaders with 14.5 sacks. He also had 65 tackles, 22 tackles for a loss and three forced fumbles.

    Ray recorded .5 sacks and two tackles against Alabama before being ejected for targeting. It was dumb late hit on Ray’s part, and he should know better.

    Ray contributed to Missouri’s fierce pass rush during the 2013 season. While he didn’t have as big of an impact as Kony Ealy, Michael Sam or Markus Golden, Ray made some plays for the Tigers in their rotation. He totaled 39 tackles with nine tackles for a loss, 4.5 sacks and two forced fumbles for the year.

  15. DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville. Previous Rank: 14
    2/25/15: Parker also had a good Combine and showed more speed than many thought. He raced the 40 in 4.45 seconds and looked good in the field drills. The 6-foot-3, 209-pounder looks to be worthy of a top-25 pick. He could be a potential No. 1 receiver for the next level.

    Parker has quickness and is a good route-runner with reliable hands. He has impressive body control, leaping ability and run-after-the-catch skills. Parker is a red-zone weapon for sure.

    Despite missing seven games with a broken foot suffered in training camp, Parker was superb for Louisville in 2014 and didn’t have a drop off in production despite losing Teddy Bridgewater to the NFL. Parker notched 43 receptions for 855 yards and five touchdowns in 2014.

    Parker recorded 55 receptions for 885 yards with 12 touchdowns as a junior. He notched 40 catches for 744 yards with 10 scores in 2012. In his freshman season, Parker had 18 for 291 and six touchdowns.

  16. Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford. Previous Rank: 13
    2/25/15: Peat (6-7, 313) performed well at the Combine. He has a very strong lower body and is full of potential, but he must get more consistent.

    Peat was impressive against Maryland to finish the season, and the Terrapins have some fast edge rushers who gave Iowa left tackle Brandon Scherff a lot of problems, so it speaks well of Peat that he was able to impress against Maryland. Taking on UCLA and a tough defensive end in Owa Odighizuwa, Peat played well overall, and Odighizuwa had some wins in the ground game as well. Peat did have an issue with two hands-to-the-face penalties that canceled out big gains for the Cardinal’s offense. Otherwise, Peat won his blocks.

    Peat’s game against Washington was similar to his performance against USC. Overall it was solid, but he had a few plays where Washington outside linebacker Hau’Oli Kikaha gave him problems. Generally, Peat won his blocks. In the second quarter, Kikaha beat Peat and the left guard by using his speed to split them, but Peat got away with a hold by grabbing Kikaha’s jersey from behind and holding him back from the quarterback. Then, Peat was injured when big defensive tackle Danny Shelton fell on his leg in a pile. After that, Kikaha beat Peat around the edge to get a near sack of Kevin Hogan. Peat held his own, but didn’t look as good as he did earlier in the game before the injury.

    Peat had a good game against USC in Week 2. He did well in his plays against Leonard Williams and was generally rock solid. However, Peat had a mental mistake on Stanford’s last play that led to a sack-fumble for the Trojans to clinch their win. Peat moved to the inside and let the most dangerous rushers come untouched to record a strip-sack of Kevin Hogan. Peat also had a holding penalty, but otherwise he had an impressive game against USC. Aside from those two mistakes, Peat was very good.

    9/2/14: The Cardinal moved David Yankey inside to guard for 2013 because the coaches believed they had a star left tackle in Peat. Judging by Stanford’s 2013 season, that belief looks like the correct one as Peat was rock solid at protecting quarterback Kevin Hogan. Peat also had success in the ground game.

    Peat is strong enough to be a downhill run-blocker and also is agile enough to block in a zone scheme. The 6-foot-7, 310-pounder has plus size, length and athleticism. Peat could be even better in 2014 now that he has a year of experience.

  17. Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa. Previous Rank: 15
    2/25/15: Scherff (6-5, 319) had a quality Combine performance. He did well on the field and impressed teams in the meeting room.

    Overall, Scherff was solid against Tennessee in Iowa’s bowl game. Volunteers freshman defensive end Derek Barnett beat Scherff on a few plays, but didn’t record a sack against Scherff. In the NFL, Scherff would probably be better as a right tackle or guard.

    Iowa lost to Nebraska to end the regular season, but Scherff played well, though he unfortunately didn’t get tested by Randy Gregory. Scherff had an ugly performance against Maryland in pass protection. All game, he allowed pressure on the quarterback. Scherff was beaten for one sack, but easily could have allowed another handful. He struggled with speed rushes and also was run over in some bull rushes. It was a bad tape that indicates Scherff should maybe move to right tackle in the NFL.

    Iowa topped Indiana by 16 points. Scherff and the Hawkeyes previously cruised over Purdue. A week earlier versus Pittsburgh, he had a good game opening holes for his running backs and protecting his quarterback. Scherff’s high level of play while probably being less than 100 percent coming off his recent knee surgery was very impressive.

    Scherff injured his knee in Week 2 against Northern Iowa and had a minor surgical procedure a few days after the game. He was expected to miss a few games, but Scherff didn’t miss one as he played in Iowa’s loss to Iowa State.

    9/2/14: Scherff was one of the top tackles in the Big Ten in 2013. Iowa has produced a lot of good NFL prospects on the offensive line, and Scherff is the latest Hawkeye to be an early-round prospect. He didn’t go up against a lot of great pass-rushers last year, but he played really well against Ohio State and its talented young linemen.

    The 6-foot-5, 320-pound Scherff could fit as a power-man or zone blocker. He has the feet and agility to move well as a pass-protector. Scherff is very good in the ground game, too. Scherff is extremely strong and can be a road grader as a run-blocker. Returning school to possibly improve as a senior gives him a much better shot at moving up as a first-round pick.





  18. Top-20 Prospects:

  19. Vic Beasley, DE/OLB, Clemson. Previous Rank: 16
    2/25/15: The star of the Combine on Sunday was Beasley. He raced a fast 40 time after impressing on the bench press a day earlier. Beasley (6-3, 246) officially ran an official 40 time of 4.53 seconds. That blistering time was especially impressive considering Beasley just added about 10-15 pounds of weight that was apparently muscle as he excelled in the bench press.

    Beasley totaled 12 sacks, 33 tackles, 21.5 tackles for a loss, two passes batted and three forced fumbles in 2014. He was very consistent in the early going, recording at least one sack in six straight games.

    Beasley notched five tackles, two sacks, another tackle for a loss and a forced fumble versus South Carolina in the regular-season finale. He overwhelmed left tackle Corey Robinson and guard A.J. Cann. Beasley totaled three tackles, a pass batted and two sacks against Florida State. After a quiet first quarter, he ate up left tackle Cameron Erving. Overall, that tape will help Beasley in his bid to be a first-round pick.

    Beasley had some struggles in run defense versus Georgia and had Todd Gurley break out of his grasp in the backfield on a few plays. Beasley did record a sack with three tackles, two of them being for a loss in that outing. It mainly gave NFL evaluators further evidence that he has to move to outside linebacker and isn’t large enough to get any consideration as a defensive end.

    9/2/14: Beasley is a very fast edge rusher who would be ranked higher if he were larger. The 6-foot-2 junior weighs in the 230s. He is strong for his weight, but he is still very undersized for the NFL, which could lead to a bit of a draft-day slide.

    There is no doubt that Beasley won’t be able to stay at defensive end at the next level. He could play in a 3-4 defense and be moved around. His best fit may come as an outside linebacker in a 4-3 and play in a similar style to Broncos linebacker Von Miller.

    Beasley was a tremendous pass-rusher for Clemson in 2013 with 13 sacks. He also picked up 23 tackles for a loss, 41 tackles, six passes batted, four forced fumbles and a fumble recovery for a touchdown. After dominating the early part of 2013, Beasley was clamped down by Florida State as the Seminoles blew out Clemson. However, Beasley was superb going against South Carolina’s Corey Robinson to end the regular season and had his way with Ohio State and tackle Jack Mewhort in the Orange Bowl. In 2012, Beasley totaled 14 tackles with eight sacks and a forced fumble.

  20. Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State. Previous Rank: 17
    2/25/15: The 6-foot-1, 186-pounder surprised many with a fast 40 time of 4.31 seconds at the Combine. He looked good turning and running with fluid hips in the field drills. Waynes did his job to nail down the status as the top cornerback for the 2015 NFL Draft.

    Waynes looks capable of being a No. 1 cornerback for the NFL. He is reliable not to allow separation in coverage and has illustrated the ability to be a press-man corner. Waynes is fast and physical. He recorded eight passes broken up, three interceptions, and 46 tackles in 2014. Waynes was generally excellent in press-man coverage this season. He can play man or zone.

    Waynes could be the first cornerback off the board in the 2015 NFL Draft. His bowl game against Baylor wasn’t a flawless performance, but he was solid for the Spartans with six tackles and a pass broken up. Waynes had a dropped interception that was an easy catch and would have gone for a pick-six. He notched four tackles, one interception and one pass broken up against Penn State to close out the regular season.

    Versus Michigan, Waynes notched five tackles with a pass breakup. He played well against Wolverines receiver Devin Funchess, although an idiotic official flagged Waynes falsely on one contested pass. Waynes had two interceptions against Nebraska with good coverage. He was called for two pass interference penalties, but only one was legitimate.

    While Darqueze Dennard received all the headlines in 2013, Waynes also had an excellent season for Michigan State. The sophomore was an honorable mention All-Big Ten pick by the coaches and media. He totaled 50 tackles with five deflections and three interceptions. Waynes ended the year on a high note with good games against Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship and Stanford in the Rose Bowl.


  21. Erik Kendricks, OLB, UCLA. Previous Rank: 22
    2/25/15: The 6-foot, 232-pound Kendricks had some questioning his speed and athleticism with many saying he wasn’t as athletic as his brother Mychal Kendricks, a linebacker for the Eagles. Erik Kendricks ripped off a 4.61-second 40 time at the Combine. In the field drills, Kendricks did well overall. He stumbled once, but looked quick and agile. Kendricks confirmed he has legitimate speed to be a sideline-to-sideline linebacker. He also showed the size to get consideration as a 3-4 inside linebacker.

    Kendricks recorded 149 tackles, 11.5 tackles for a loss, four sacks, two passes broken up, three interceptions and one forced fumble in 2014. He is a sideline-to-sideline run-defender who covers a ton of ground. The senior also is an asset in pass coverage as he guards some receivers well in man coverage and does very well in zone. Kendricks should be a three-down starter in the NFL. He backed out on the Senior Bowl, and how he handled it rubbed some the wrong way.

    Kendricks played well in 2013 with 105 tackles, four tackles for a loss and an interception. He was third in the Pac-12 in tackles. Kendricks was a backup until a breakout 2012 season in which he led the Pac-12 in tackles. He had 149 tackles with six tackles for a loss, two sacks, four passes broken up, two forced fumbles and one blocked kick that season.

  22. Landon Collins, S, Alabama. Previous Rank: 20
    2/25/15: Collins had a strong Combine to lock down his spot as the top-rated player at his position. Collins was quick and athletic for a strong safety. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.58 seconds and moved well in the field drills. Collins flipped his hips and opened up well for a heavy safety. The 6-foot, 228-pounder did drop some passes, but overall, he had an effective showing in Indianapolis.

    Collins totaled 103 tackles with seven passes broken up and three interceptions in 2014. For the NFL, he is perfect to be the eighth man in the box and play zone coverage in the middle of the field. Collins has good instincts to go along with quickness, physicality and intelligence. He is not a free safety who can play the deep centerfield or isolate in man coverage on slot receivers or tight ends.

    Collins had a mixed Iron Bowl as he was beaten for some pass receptions, including a long one to Sammie Coates. That performance just served to confirm that Collins is a strong safety for the NFL. He recorded nine tackles and a pass broken up against Auburn. Against Ole Miss, Collins was picked on and burned for two touchdowns, but it should have been even worse as he was all but beaten for another long touchdown by a tight end who ended up dropping the pass. Collins had a lot of trouble in pass coverage, and the Ole Miss tape will cause NFL teams to question whether Collins has the coverage skills to run with receiving tight ends and backs out of the backfield.

    9/2/14: During conversations with NFL sources late in the 2013 season, they labelled Collins as the best performer on Alabama’s defense, including C.J. Mosley and HaHa Clinton-Dix.

    The Crimson Tide has been a talent factory for defensive backs for the NFL, and Collins is the program’s 2015 model. He had 70 tackles with four tackles for a loss, six passes broken up, one interception and two forced fumbles in 2013. Collins did have some struggles against Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl. With Clinton-Dix and Vinnie Sunseri in the NFL, Collins should lead the Alabama defense in 2014. He has good instincts to go along with quality size.

  23. Denzel Perryman, ILB, Miami. Previous Rank: 18
    2/25/15: Perryman is a tough run-defender who has NFL-quality physicality and is very instinctive. He is a leader and fiery player with a big presence. Perryman could quickly be a three-down starter in the NFL. He didn’t have a fast 40 at the Combine (4.78 seconds), but that was expected by scouts and general managers.

    Perryman notched eight tackles with one for a loss and a pass broken up versus South Carolina. Earlier, he totaled 15 tackles with 13 solo stops, a tackle for a loss and a forced fumble against Virginia. The senior covered tight ends in man and functioned well in zone. Perryman totaled 110 tackles with 9.5 for a loss, three forced fumbles, two sacks, five passes broken up and one interception in 2014.

    Perryman picked up five tackles, a forced fumble, an interception and a pass broken up against Duke. He broke out in 2013 and started 2014 where he left off. Perryman was around the ball all night and was a physical force against Louisville in the 2014 season opener. He helped a teammate with a strip sack and recorded a sack by himself later. Perryman also fired through the line to record tackles for a loss on multiple third-and-1 situations. Against Louisville, he totaled 12 tackles with three tackles for a loss and a sack. That was a good tape for Perryman, and he looks ready to be a starting middle linebacker in the NFL.

    9/2/14: Perryman (6-0, 243) is a quick and physical linebacker who has three-down starting potential. He totaled 108 tackles with five tackles for a loss, one sack and three passes broken up in 2013. The junior stepped up and played well against Florida State (11 tackles), Virginia Tech (15 tackles) and Florida (14 tackles). Perryman notched 64 tackles with six tackles for a loss, two passes broken up, one forced fumble and an interception returned 41 yards for a touchdown in 2012.

    Perryman has excellent instincts with sideline-to-sideline speed. He has shown the potential to be good in pass coverage with the ability to cover a lot of ground and pick up receivers. That will be the big test for him in 2014.





  24. Top-25 Prospects:

  25. Cedric Ogbuehi, OT, Texas A&M. Previous Rank: 21
    2/25/15: Even with a torn ACL, I think Ogbuehi is going to become a good starter at left tackle in the NFL for a decade. His athleticism and quickness is off the charts for the position. Looking back at the 2015 NFL Draft years from now, Ogbuehi (6-5, 306) could be a steal as a first-round talent who ends up going in the second or third round. He was unable to work out at the Combine.

    It is clear that Ogbuehi is extremely quick and athletic. He has fast feet and is a natural knee-bender. His amazing feet and agility make him a potential natural left tackle for the NFL. Oghuehi is just missing strength, which hurt him repeatedly in 2014 with his inability to sustain blocks after his athleticism got him in the right position. If Ogbuehi can add strength, he could be an impact starter at the next level.

    Ogbuehi played well at left tackle against LSU in the regular-season finale aside from one play where a blitzing linebacker beat him for a sack. The game before, Ogbuehi fought hard against Missouri defensive end Markus Golden. Golden beat him for one sack and came close to another, but Ogbuehi also had a lot fantastic plays for the Aggies.

    Texas A&M upset Auburn, and Ogbuehi played much better than he had in the previous weeks. Granted, the Aggies had moved Ogbuehi back to right tackle for that outing, but he was solid in his pass protection and run blocking. Ogbuehi was massively improved compared to the previous performances at left tackle.

    The outing against Alabama was the third-straight game in which Ogbuehi played poorly. He gave up two sacks and multiple other pressures and hits on his quarterback to the Crimson Tide. With that peformance and the two preceding it, Ogbuehi allowed six sacks. He needs to get stronger and show an improved ability to sustain blocks. Ogbuehi also reached too much at defenders who were able to get around him with speed.

    Versus Ole Miss, Ogbuehi was beaten for one sack and gave up a critical hit on Kenny Hill that helped result in a 75-yard pick six. Against Mississippi State, Ogbuehi had a disappointing game as he allowed three sacks. Two of them were coverage sacks, but on the first of the three, Ogbuehi was beaten by some speed and strength from linebacker Bernardrick McKinney.

    Ogbuehi had an excellent start to the season against South Carolina. He was rock solid in pass protection and got movement in the ground game. Until October rolled around, Ogbuehi looked natural in his switch to left tackle.

    9/2/14: Ogbuehi could have been a late first-round pick if he had entered the 2014 NFL Draft. Starting at right tackle in 2013, Ogbuehi played well as he was a good run-blocker and a dependable pass-protector for Johnny Manziel. Ogbuehi showed nice athleticism and strength to sustain blocks.

    Ogbuehi (6-5, 300) had an excellent 2012 season blocking for Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel. With Luke Joeckel and Jake Matthews at the tackle positions, Ogbuehi started inside at guard. He excelled in pass and run blocking.

    It wouldn’t hurt Ogbuehi to add some size for the NFL. However, his body type could be similar to two recent top-20 offensive tackles: Zack Martin and Justin Pugh.

  26. Bernardrick McKinney, ILB, Mississippi State. Previous Rank: 19
    2/25/15: McKinney is an intriguing, versatile athlete who has a lot of upside. The 6-foot-4, 246-pounder ran well at the Combine with a 40 time of 4.66 seconds. He has the potential to add weight and play 3-4 outside linebacker, along with inside and outside linebacker. Sources have told WalterFootball.com that they view McKinney as a three-down middle linebacker candidate for the NFL.

    McKinney recorded 71 tackles, eight tackles for a loss, three sacks, three passes broken up and a forced fumble in 2014. He had a solid performance against Alabama and recorded a sack versus Texas A&M tackle Cedric Ogbuehi off the edge. McKinney was a big-time presence in the Bulldogs’ defense and has shown the ability to be a three-down starter who can drop into pass coverage or rush the quarterback.

    After redshirting in 2011, McKinney made a splash in 2012 and was named a First-Team Freshman All-American by numerous media outlets. He recorded 102 tackles with 4.5 tackles for a loss, one sack and four passes broken up. The sophomore had 70 tackles, seven tackles for a loss and 3.5 sacks in 2013.



  27. Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest. Previous Rank: 23
    2/25/15: NFL sources have indicated that Johnson is grading out as a possible late first-round or second-round pick. Some teams have him in Round 2 just because of concerns about his weight and strength. The 6-foot, 188-pounder is a good cover corner who needs to add weight for the NFL. He has the length and athleticism to cover big receivers along the sideline. If Johnson can add weight in the lead up to the 2015 NFL Draft, that could help him to be a Thursday night pick. Johnson had a quality time of 4.52 seconds in the 40 at the Combine.

    Johnson collected 43 tackles with six passes broken up and one interception in 2014. While those numbers aren’t huge, teams avoided the senior and threw elsewhere. Johnson was very reliable over the past three years. He totaled 58 tackles with three interceptions and 12 passes broken up in 2013. Johnson had almost identical numbers as a sophomore except for three more passes broken up.


  28. Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State. Previous Rank: 25
    2/25/15: Strong ran really well at the Combine to help his draft stock. What this observer and NFL scouts want to see with Strong is the speed to separate from NFL-caliber defensive backs. He showed that he has that potential with a 4.44-second time in the 40. Strong (6-2, 217) helped himself in Indianapolis.

    Strong totaled 82 receptions for 1,165 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2014. He also missed a game with a concussion. Strong proved to be a great red-zone threat as he scored in eight games this year. Strong held his own going against Washington cornerback Marcus Peters. Strong beat Peters for a 16-yard touchdown on a slant and a 23-yard reception along the sideline. Peters had his share of wins as well. Strong finished with three receptions for 55 yards. A week earlier versus Stanford, he had another quality outing with eight receptions for 75 yards and a touchdown.

    In back-to-back games, Strong was a force against the teams from Los Angeles. After hurting UCLA (12-146), he came up with a huge game to push Arizona State to a last-second victory over USC. Strong got that latter game started with a short touchdown catch and followed it up by getting open on a post route for a 77-yard touchdown. On the final play of the game, Strong did a great job of tracking a Hail Mary pass and cutting in front of the defenders to haul in the 46-yard touchdown as time expired on USC. He dragged down 10 balls for 202 yards with three touchdowns.

    9/2/14: Strong was a beast for Arizona State in 2013 – his first season of playing time. He had six 100-yard games that was highlighted by a 12-reception, 168-yard performance against Stanford and its quality cornerbacks. For the year, Strong amassed 75 receptions for 1,122 yards with seven scores while playing injured. There were a few games that he was gutting it out in, but he clearly wasn’t the same player.

    The 6-foot-4, 205-pounder has quickness to go with his excellent size. The question will be if he has enough speed and separation ability for the NFL.

  29. Malcom Brown, DT, Texas. Previous Rank: 26
    2/25/15: Brown (6-2, 319) is an interesting prospect as he has the speed quickness to serve as a three-technique with enough size and strength to also play nose tackle in a 4-3 defense. Brown is at his best when he is firing a gap to cause havoc in the backfield.

    Brown had a good 2014 season. He used his speed to be a dangerous pass-rusher and showed some power to shed blocks. Brown overwhelmed offensive linemen in many games. He had 6.5 sacks, 71 tackles, 13 for a loss, one pass batted and two forced fumbles for the year. Brown was tough to block with a good motor. He had stated that if he received a first- or second-round grade from the NFL Draft Advisory Board that he would enter the 2015 NFL Draft, and Brown ended up declaring.

    8/23/14: In 2013, Brown recorded 58 tackles with nine tackles for a loss, one sack and five passes batted. He had a number of impressive games, including performances against Oklahoma State, Iowa State and TCU. Texas is expecting Brown to step up his performance as a junior, and having Charlie Strong’s staff could help Brown to develop.

    Brown has a good athletic skill set with some size and speed. He was rated as the second-best defensive tackle in the nation coming out of high school by ESPN. Brown served as a backup while a freshman in 2012, but he still registered 17 tackles with two tackles for a loss. Brown could easily rise up the rankings over his junior and senior year.




  30. Round 1-2 Prospects:

  31. Phillip Dorsett, WR, Miami
  32. Alvin Dupree, DE, Kentucky
  33. Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida State
  34. Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota
  35. Ronald Darby, CB, Florida State
  36. Eli Harold, DE/OLB, Virginia
  37. Jalen Collins, CB, LSU
  38. Arik Armstead, DL, Oregon
  39. Nate Orchard, DE, Utah
  40. Tevin Coleman, RB, Indiana
  41. Duke Johnson, RB, Miami
  42. Cameron Erving, OT, Florida State
  43. D.J. Humphries, OT, Florida
  44. Alex Carter, CB, Stanford
  45. Devin Smith, WR, Ohio State
  46. T.J. Yeldon, RB, Alabama
  47. Sammie Coates, WR, Auburn
  48. P.J. Williams, CB, Florida State
  49. La’el Collins, OT, LSU
  50. Markus Golden, OLB, Missouri


  51. Round 2-4 Prospects:

  52. Michael Bennett, DT, Ohio State
  53. Preston Smith, DE, Mississippi State
  54. D’Joun Smith, CB, Florida Atlantic
  55. Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska
  56. Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, Oregon
  57. Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Oklahoma
  58. Hau’Oli Kikaha, OLB, Washington
  59. Nelson Agholar, WR, USC
  60. Marcus Peters, CB, Washington
  61. Hroniss Grasu, C, Oregon
  62. Garrett Grayson, QB, Colorado State
  63. Devin Funchess, WR, Michigan
  64. Mike Davis, RB, South Carolina
  65. Shaq Thompson, OLB, Washington
  66. Josue Matias, G, Florida State
  67. Arie Kouandjio, G, Alabama
  68. Kevin White, CB, TCU
  69. Laken Tomlinson, G, Duke
  70. Kurtis Drummond, S, Michigan State
  71. Ty Montgomery, WR, Stanford
  72. Clive Walford, TE, Miami
  73. Nick O’Leary, TE, Florida State
  74. Lorenzo Mauldin, OLB, Louisville
  75. Jaquiski Tartt, S, Samford
  76. Jermaine Whitehead, S, Auburn
  77. Cedric Reed, DE, Texas
  78. Stefon Diggs, WR, Maryland
  79. Tre Jackson, G, Florida State
  80. DaVaris Daniels, WR, Notre Dame
  81. Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA
  82. Sean Mannion, QB, Oregon State
  83. Antwan Goodley, WR, Baylor
  84. Darius Philon, DT, Arkansas
  85. Quandre Diggs, CB, Texas
  86. Corey Robinson, OT, South Carolina
  87. Hendry Anderson, DE, Stanford
  88. Rashad Greene, WR, Florida State
  89. Quinshad Davis, WR, North Carolina
  90. Quinten Rollins, CB, Miami of Ohio
  91. Kaleb Eulls, DT, Mississippi State
  92. Dres Anderson, WR, Utah
  93. Tyler Lockett, WR, Kansas State
  94. A.J. Cann, G, South Carolina
  95. David Cobb, RB, Minnesota
  96. Josh Shaw, CB/S, USC
  97. Cody Prewitt, S, Ole Miss
  98. Ray Drew, DE, Georgia
  99. Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor





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