Top 10 mock draft:
1. Tampa Bay: Randy Gregory, DE/OLB Nebraska. Let’s assume that Tampa wants a Vet QB(or more of a vet QB) than Winston or Mariota. And Chip Kelly’s offer for this pick under whelms them. It’s logical that they take the best player available here who is Gregory.
2. Philadelphia(projected trade with Tennessee, Tennessee gets Nick Foles and Philly’s 1st rounders in 2015 and 2016 and a 2nd rounder in 2016): Marcus Mariota, QB Oregon. You should believe the rumors that Kelly wants Mariota and he’s willing to pay top dollar for him. Tennessee gets extra firsts and a better option than Zach Mettenberger at quarterback.
With Philly’s 1st rounder, Tennessee takes Vic Beasley, OLB Clemson. They need a pass rusher(among many other things). Beasley might be too small, but he’s worth the gamble here.
3. Jacksonville: Leonard Williams, DL Southern Cal. They really want Gregory badly. They really will be happy with Williams.
4. Oakland: Amari Cooper, WR Alabama. This makes no sense, but with Danny Shelton’s bad senior bowl, hard to see him as a top 10 pick.
5. Cleveland(projected trade with Washington, Washington gets pick #12, #19 and the teams swap third round picks): Jameis Winston, QB Florida State. His character is certainly a concern, but Winston was a very productive college QB who played in a pro system.
With Cleveland’s first rounders, the Redskins take
#12: Brandon Scherff, OL Iowa. The Skins will try to get one of Mike Iupati or Anthony Davis. Scherff would play where they still have a hole.
#19: Markus Golden, DE/34 OLB Missouri. Not as good as Shane Ray, but he shows up in big games against good opponents.
6. New York Jets: Ereck Flowers, OT Miami. They need a QB badly, but none of the rest are worth this pick. No matter who the QB is, they need to solidify the right side of their offensive line.
7. Chicago: Shane Ray, DE/OLB Missouri. With Fangio in the fold, the odds are that they’ll move Jared Allen to a 4-3 team(New England?) and draft another edge rusher to go with Houston. Ray will be a good one.
8. Atlanta: Lorenzo Mauldin, OLB Louisville. His pass/rush versatility gives him the edge over Dante Fowler Jr here. Mauldin might even go higher if he has a good combine.
9. New York Giants: Andrus Peat, OT Stanford. This off-season the Giants need to fix their defense and their LT spot. Peat does one and fits Reese’s need to take the best player available.
10. St. Louis: Kevin White, WR WVU. DeVante Parker might be the more polished pro prospect, but on that turf White will be deadly.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of prospects for the 2015 NFL draft. This is more a look into the draft and which prospects are making a name for themselves organized into several categories. The names will move up and down the categories and perhaps even off the lists if the prospects sully their draft stock.
The Blue Chip Prospects. There are as close to “can’t miss” as you get.
Leonard Williams, DL Southern Cal
Ereck Flowers, OT Miami.
Brandon Scherff, OL Iowa.
Shane Ray, DE/OLB Missouri.
Kevin White, WR WVU.
Randy Gregory, DE/OLB Nebraska.
Andrus Peat, OT Stanford.
Green Chip Prospects. These are prospects who have roughly the same level of talent as the blue chip ones, but have a red flag or question mark about them.
Todd Gurley RB UGA.
Amari Cooper, WR Alabama.
Benardrick McKinney LB, Mississippi State.
Eric Kendricks, LB UCLA.
Shaq Thompson, LB Washington.
Vic Beasley, OLB Clemson.
DeVante Parker, WR Louisville.
Arik Armstead, DL Oregon.
Danny Shelton, DT Washington.
Red Chip Prospects. Talented prospects but with multiple red flags or serious questions about their ability to transition to the NFL.
Marcus Mariota, QB Oregon.
Jameis Winston, QB Florida State.
Landon Collins, S Alabama.
Cedric Ogbuehi, OL Texas A&M.
Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB Oregon.
Marcus Peters, DB Washington.
Duke Johnson, Rb Miami.
Solid First round prospects. These are guys who don’t have blue chip levels of talent, but are clearly talented enough to merit strong consideration in the top 25 picks.
Trae Waynes, CB Michigan State. Teams really like Waynes and think he could slot in well as a physical outside CB who can switch between man and zone.
Dante Fowler, Jr, DL Florida. Mr. Versatility. He can play DT, DE(43), DE(34) and 34 OLB.
Markus Golden, DE/OLB Missouri. Not as good as Shane Ray, but if you get him in the 20-40 range maybe better value than Ray.
La’El Collins, OL LSU. He showed up at the Senior bowl looking like he spent two weeks wrestling bears. He might not be quick enough to be a LT, but Collins has the skills to be a quality offensive lineman.
Jalen Mills, DB LSU. A FS/slot CB tweener, a smart team will draft him, use him properly and get a borderline pro bowler.
Mario Edwards Jr, DL FSU. Scouts are split on him. He shows up sometimes and looks like a top 5 pick. He disappears a lot and looks like a 4th round pick. No one can find any pattern in this.
Devin Funchess, TE Michigan. Maybe the next split out TE who thrives in the NFL.He needs to go somewhere with a good QB though or its a waste.
Melvin Gordon, RB Wisconsin. If teams valued RBs like they used to, he’d be a top six pick. They don’t though, and he’s a second day pick.
Jalen Strong, WR ASU. Another guy who people are split on. Some think he’s better than Amauri Cooper or Kevin White. Some see Jon Baldwin 2.0.
Cam Erving, OL FSU. He was a potential 2nd day pick at LT, then moved to Center and might be a first round pick.
Lorenzo Mauldin, OLB Louisville (moving up). Everyone knew his pass rush tools from the 2014 season but at the senior bowl he’s shown that he can be a three down LB.
25-60 prospects. Prospects with talent but you feel better about your favorite team drafting them in the second round.
Alvin Dupree, DE/OLB Kentucky. He didn’t have as good a statistical season in 2014 as he did in 2013, but the scouts see a guy who developed his pass rush skills better.
Quinten Rollins, DB Miami(OH). He has an NFL body and NFL production, but the question is if he was a product of playing lesser competition.
Clive Walford, TE Miami (moving up). He absolutely smoked the Senior bowl practices and did well as a blocker in the game. He’s probably a top 35 pick now.
Donovan Smith, OL Penn State. Another guy who solidified his draft stock with his senior bowl. He might be a right tackle in the NFL, but he could be a good one.
Maxx Williams, TE Minnesota. He didn’t post great stats in a run first offense, but he has all the tools you’d want in an NFL in-line TE.
Brett Hundley, QB UCLA. He’s rising by everyone else’s fall. None of the Senior bowl QBs looked good and Hundley became the leader among the second tier QBs by not attending.
Malcolm Brown, DT Texas. He’s probably a best fit as a 1 gap in a tampa-2 defense, but teams are interested in him. If he shows some power and strength at the combine, he could be a top 25 pick.
Sammie Coates, WR Auburn (moving down). He might still be a first rounder on sheer physical ability but he did nothing to disprove the book on him: that he looks like Tarzan and plays like Jane.
Anthony Harris, S Virginia. He has a Jimmie Ward vibe about him, but no one is going to reach for him after Jimmie Ward.
Nate Orchard, DE Utah (moving up). He flashed power and technique at the Senior bowl, that gets him up here for now.
Larry Warfords. Talented players who have dropped to the 3rd round for whatever reason (usually because they play a secondary position like Strong Safety or Offensive guard).
Max Garcia OL, Florida (moving up). He showed at the Senior bowl what a lot of teams thought about him: that’s he’s a smart, technically sound interior offensive lineman. He just flashed some athletic ability also.
Laken Tomlinson, OG Duke (moving up). Like Garcia, he reinforced what people thought about him. Namely that he could be a good run blocking guard in the league.
Gerod Holliman, DB Louisville (moving down). Scouts are now almost unanimous that Holliman should have stayed in school to work on his pass coverage.
Cody Prewitt, DB Ole Miss (moving down). The tape is hurting Prewitt also. During the season he looked like a better version of Landon Collins. Some teams see him as a special teamer only now.
Tyler Lockett, WR Kansas State (moving up). Were there any Cbs that Lockett didn’t make look bad at the Senior bowl and practices? He’s shooting up.
Kevin White, CB TCU (moving up). White was one of the stars of the senior bowl practices and teams are comparing him to his former teammate Jason Verrett.
Grady Jarrett, DT Clemson (moving up). He has all the skills to be great, but he plays too much like he’s in a phonebooth for some scouts’ liking. Forget Vic Beasley, Jarrett was the real star of the Clemson defense.
Mike Davis, RB South Carolina (moving down). Davis left school supposedly because he was rated as a first to third round pick. He really left because his starting spot wasn’t guaranteed and the scouts now see why Spurrier was going to bench him: he’s lazy at times.
Reese Dismukes, OC Auburn. Tough, vet center who called the blocking schemes for a spread offense. What’s not to like?
AJ Cann, OG South Carolina. Great run blocker, some questions about his ability to deal with a quick DT pass rushing him.
Tyler Sambrailo, OL CSU. McElwain knows good offensive linemen and Sambrailo looks like a good second tier option for teams. Good with his hands and feet.
Nick Boyle, TE Delaware (moving up). He’s rising from “unknown” to potential 3rd or 4th round pick thanks to a great senior bowl week.
Ronald Darby, DB FSU. He’s a very physical outside CB. Before you say “Sherman” he’s not another Richard Sherman. He could be a good CB to throw at physical WRs. Sherman can cover everyone.
Denzel Perryman, LB Miami. With good running times, he could rise into the first round. Teams really like him: he’s smart, a leader and does all the little things well.
Hroniss Grasu, OL Oregon. Multi-year starter who thrived in with more and more responsibility.
Jake Fisher, OT Oregon. He was largely seen as a bust until he thrived this season for the Ducks. Will that be enough to get him into Day 2? Perhaps.
Nick O’Leary, TE/HBack FSU. When the Noles needed a clutch catch, they went to him first (and Benjamin in the Title game). He’s probably too small to be an in-line TE, but if you’re getting Chris Cooley, that’s worth a late second round pick.
Arie Kouandjio, OL Alabama (moving up). His draft stock was so-so until he destroyed Danny Shelton in the Senior Bowl. Now teams have taken notice and see a potential road grader at RG.
Tre Jackson, OG Florida State (moving up). Another guy helped by a good senior bowl. Jackson looks like a balanced guard who teams could rely on.
Stefon Diggs, WR/RB UMD. Just on sheer potential is he still here. Teams love his measurables but don’t understand why he didn’t do as much(even accounting for his injury).
PJ Williams, CB FSU (moving down). Scouts like Darby more than him, but some team will see him as a quality slot Cb.
Owamgabe Odighizuwa, DE UCLA (moving down). His game is all about strength and overpowering the opposing offensive linemen and he showed that this isn’t NFL ready when he was pushed around like a rag doll at the Senior Bowl. Expect his drop to continue.
Tyrus Thompson, OT Oklahoma. A fluid pass blocker but doesn’t have the sheer potential that guys like Trent Williams had before him. Beasley destroyed him in their bowl game.
Daryl Williams, OT Oklahoma. Like Thompson, he’s very fluid but more natural on the right side. Right sided tackles need to show power to get noticed, so that’s his goal for the combine.
D.J. Humphries, OT Florida. Smart, tough starter at left tackle. However, he never was an overwhelmingly great player on the field. Was that because of poor coaching, poor QB play or lack of talent?
Rob Havenstein, OT Wisconsin. Phil Loadholt 2.0?
Nick Martin, OC Notre Dame. Zach’s little brother wasn’t the Notre Dame offensive linemen scouts were hoping would be in the draft, but he’s a quality OC prospect.
Jordan Phillips, DT Oklahoma. His combo of size and quickness might get him into the late 1st round, but why? He never became the truly dominating player he could have been and the scouts will want to know why.
Cameron Artis-Payne, RB Auburn (moving up). A great senior bowl has his stock on the rise. CAP looks like another Tre Mason, and the Rams loved that pick.
Alex Carter, CB Stanford. A smart defensive player who rarely makes big mistakes. Carter doesn’t have the physical tools to be a top pick, but he could be someone’s nickel back for years.
David Cobb, RB Minnesota. He was seen as a 3rd down back until he killed it at the Senior bowl practices. Now scouts are doing more research into him and thinking that he could be a prime back.
Hauoli Kikaha, LB Washington. Usually a great DLman(Danny Shelton) opens up things for a outside rusher(Kikaha) in a 34 defense. A growing number of scouts believe that at U-Dub, it was the other way around. Kikaha opened up things for Shelton.
Ameer Abdullah, RB Nebraska: He did well in the Senior bowl, but teams still only see a limited contributor in the pros.
Lottery tickets. High talent but high risk if they’re still around here. They also could be a player with one good tool(like Martavis Bryant and Pittsburgh) that could get them playing time.
Dorial Green-Beckham, WR Oklahoma
David Andrews, OC Georgia (moving down)
Sean Mannion, QB Oregon State (moving down)
Garrett Grayson, QB Colorado State (moving down)
Corey Robinson, OT South Carolina (moving down)
Michael Bennett, DL Ohio State
Eddie Goldman, DL FSU (moving down)
Trey Flowers, DE Arkansas
Tony Lippett, WR/CB Michigan State
Devin Smith, WR Ohio State
David Parry, DL Stanford
Mark Glowinski, OL WVU
Devin Gardner, WR Michigan
Carl Davis, DL Iowa (moving up)
Jeremy Langford, RB Michigan State (moving down)
Amarlo Herrera, LB UGA
Blake Bell, TE Oklahoma
Tevin Coleman, Rb Indiana
DeForest Buckner, DL Oregon
TJ Yeldon, RB Alabama
Arie Kouandjio, OL Alabama
Rashad Greene, WR FSU
Justin Hardy, WR ECU
Ramik Wilson, LB UGA
Tj Clemmings, OT Pittsburgh
Geneo Grissom, OLB Oklahoma
Danielle Hunter, DE LSU (moving down)
Henry Anderson, DE Stanford
Matt Jones, RB Florida
JT Surratt, DL South Carolina
Karlos Williams, RB FSU
Jay Ajayi, RB Boise State
Michael Dyer, RB Louisville
Jarvis Harrison, OG Texas A&M
Jalen Collins, CB LSU
Brison Williams, S, South Carolina
D'Joun Smith, CB Florida Atlantic
Ty Montgomery, WR Stanford
Josue Matias, OG Florida State (moving down)
Off the list:
Bryce Petty, QB Baylor. He struggled badly at the Senior bowl practices. Some teams have reportedly taken him completely off their draft boards.