January 17, 2015

2015 NFL Draft Big Board: Top 32 Prospects

#8, Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon

Here is my first 2015 Big Board of the year, because, better late than never right? The top 32 draft eligible prospects along with quick analysis for each player as well as an NFL comparison, which is a combination of their style, skill set, and what I believe their ceiling could be. Comparisons are fluid, and analysis will be more detailed leading up to the draft. Hoping to expand these big boards every couple of weeks and add more prospects. My next updated mock draft should come in the next couple of days.

You can take a look at my 2015 NFL Prospect Rankings by Position here. You can also view my 2016 NFL Prospect Rankings here.

1. Marcus Mariota*, QB, Oregon
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 219 lbs. | Class: Junior (RS)

Analysis: Often compared to Colin Kaepernick and RG3, but is a more polished passer than both. Smooth athlete and runner. Above average arm, good field vision, can win from the pocket. Not an Andrew Luck type of prospect, but he doesn't have to be. Future franchise quarterback. High upside.

Previous Rank: N/A | NFL Comparison: Russell Wilson

2. Jameis Winston**, QB, Florida State
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 230 lbs. | Class: Sophomore (RS)

Analysis: Big, strong armed quarterback prospect. Can make all the throws. Plus ball placement and anticipation. Throws a really nice deep ball. Above average mobility, and can extend plays. Will force some throws, and had trouble recognizing underneath coverage this season. Gifted passer. Top 5 talent with all the tools to be a franchise quarterback.

Previous Rank: N/A | NFL Comparison: Ben Roethlisberger

3. Leonard Williams*, DT, Southern California
Ht: 6-5 Wt: 300 lbs. | Class: Junior

Analysis: Tall defensive tackle with great length and athleticism. Has violent hands. Consistently shows good technique. Impact player against the run, high upside as a pass rusher. Versatile defensive lineman who can potentially play any and every position on the defensive line in any scheme. Best defensive prospect in the draft.

Previous Rank: N/A | NFL Comparison: Gerald McCoy

4. Todd Gurley II*, RB, Georgia
Ht: 6-1 Wt: 226 lbs. | Class: Junior

Analysis: Elite running back prospect. Patient back with excellent vision, agility, speed, and power. Violent runner. Overall, complete back and the prototypical NFL feature back. ACL injury could push him out of the first round. Will go no later than the second round.

Previous Rank: N/A | NFL Comparison: Adrian Peterson

5. Shane Ray*, OLB, Missouri
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 245 lbs. | Class: Junior (RS)

Analysis: Much better pass rusher than a Randy Gregory at this stage. He's so athletic and fast for an edge rusher. Has a variety of pass rushing moves and should easily make the transition to outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. Terror of the edge.

Previous Rank: N/A | NFL Comparison: Cameron Wake

6. Dorial Green-Beckham*, WR, Oklahoma
Ht: 6-6 Wt: 225 lbs. | Class: Junior (RS)

Analysis: Off the field issues and no 2014 tape will scare some teams off. Top 10 talent on the field. His size can't be coached. He isn't just a big body. He can run, and wins across the middle. Just throw the ball up and he'll find a way to come down with it. Best red-zone threat this class has to offer. In the Calvin Johnson mold.

Previous Rank: N/A | NFL Comparison: Calvin Johnson

7. DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 208 lbs. | Class: Senior

Analysis: Some teams will prefer Parker over Amari Cooper due to the traits he possesses. Ideal height-weight-speed guy with impressive athleticism. Improved route runner. Impressive catch radius, and is arguably the best in the class at winning at the catch point. After the catch, he impresses as well.

Previous Rank: N/A | NFL Comparison: A.J. Green

8. La'el Collins, OG, Louisiana State
Ht: 6-5 Wt: 321 lbs. | Class: Senior

Analysis: When he gets his hands on you, it's over. Collins is a powerful man, and the most dominant run blocker in the draft. Has improved as a pass protector, and is probably the most complete offensive lineman in this class. Length, quick feet, and ability to hold up on an island. Will likely get a shot at tackle, but projects as a dominant guard at the next level.

Previous Rank: N/A | NFL Comparison: Anthony Davis

9. Danny Shelton, DT, Washington
Ht: 6-2 Wt: 339 lbs. | Class: Senior

Analysis: At almost 340 pounds, there aren't too many men who can move as well as Danny Shelton at that size. He doesn't just take up space. He draws double teams, and can consistently shed blocks and dominate against the run, and can get a push up field as a pass rusher. Disruptive + productive = first round pick.

Previous Rank: N/A | NFL Comparison: Haloti Ngata

10. Randy Gregory*, DE, Nebraska
Ht: 6-6 Wt: 240 lbs. | Class: Junior (RS)

Analysis: Complete defensive end when it comes to traits. Prototypical frame and length for a 4-3 defensive end. Very good athlete. Will be a better pro than college player. Needs to get stronger, but has shown than he can set the edge as a run defender, and he's got the goods as a pass rusher.

Previous Rank: N/A | NFL Comparison: Aldon Smith

11. Dante Fowler Jr.*, DE, Florida
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 261 lbs. | Class: Junior

Analysis: There may not be a more versatile prospect in the class. Fowler has put together some excellent tape this season. Most pass rushers are inconsistent, but Fowler consistently makes plays and is solid against the run. Can win in a variety of ways and from a number of positions.

Previous Rank: N/A | NFL Comparison: Terrell Suggs

12. Owamagbe Odighizuwa, DE, UCLA
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 270 lbs. | Class: Senior (RS)

Analysis: Turn on the USC tape. Odighizuwa obliterated a future NFL tackle in Zach Banner. He's got the ideal build and length for a 4-3 defensive end, and can get good leverage, tossing aside opponents and constantly wreaking havoc in opposing backfields. Could be viewed as a run stopping end with pass rushing upside. This year's Ziggy Ansah.

Previous Rank: N/A | NFL Comparison: Ezekiel Ansah

13. Landon Collins*, SS, Alabama
Ht: 6-0 Wt: 222 lbs. | Class: Junior

Analysis: Easily the top safety prospect in the draft. Big, physical, and can run. He's the prototypical strong safety, and will not disappoint when it comes to stopping the run. He's essentially an extra linebacker. Also has impressive athleticism and ball skills. Can still improve overall in coverage, but the tools are there.

Previous Rank: N/A | NFL Comparison: Kam Chancellor

14. Amari Cooper*, WR, Alabama
Ht: 6-1 Wt: 210 lbs. | Class: Junior

Analysis: Very polished and well-rounded receiver. Has a good build for the receiver position. Can work from the slot, but should win on the outside. Can separate with speed or great route running. Just get the ball in his hands and watch him make plays.

Previous Rank: N/A | NFL Comparison: Antonio Brown

15. Kevin White, WR, West Virginia
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 210 lbs. | Class: Senior

Analysis: Could emerge as the top receiver in this class. Similar player to Amari Cooper. Faster than given credit for, and very dangerous after the catch. Runs excellent routes and creates good separation. Has proven he can win in contested situations, and win at the catch point. Low drop rate.

Previous Rank: N/A | NFL Comparison: DeAndre Hopkins

16. Eric Kendricks, ILB, UCLA
Ht: 6-1 Wt: 230 lbs. | Class: Senior

Analysis: Maybe a bit undersized as an inside linebacker. Makes up for it with instincts, range, and closing ability. He takes on blocks well and can shed them and make plays against the run, but he stands out as a very good coverage linebacker. Is a surprisingly good athlete.

Previous Rank: N/A | NFL Comparison: Sean Lee

17. T.J. Clemmings, OT, Pittsburgh
Ht: 6-6 Wt: 315 lbs. | Class: Senior (RS)

Analysis: Former defensive lineman. Still a bit raw with just two years of experience at offensive tackle. Projects well as a left tackle due to impressive athleticism and quick feet. Gets to the second level easily and can dominate when he gets his hands on you. Very impressive run blocker, and can hold his own in pass protection.

Previous Rank: N/A | NFL Comparison: Tyron Smith

18. Andrus Peat*, OT, Stanford
Ht: 6-7 Wt: 312 lbs. | Class: Junior

Analysis: Entered the season as a potential top 5 pick. His pass blocking has to catch up with his impressive run blocking. He wins with his size and athleticism, but has lapses due to poor technique. Needs to be coached up, but possesses the ideal traits NFL scouts and GMs will covet in a first round left tackle prospect.

Previous Rank: N/A | NFL Comparison: Trent Williams

19. Brandon Scherff, OG, Iowa
Ht: 6-5 Wt: 320 lbs. | Class: Senior (RS)

Analysis: Should be able to stick at tackle, but potentially short arms could force him to move inside, where he could be an all-pro--ala Zack Martin. He's a very impressive run blocker, and has underrated athleticism.

Previous Rank: N/A | NFL Comparison: Andrew Whitworth

20. Shaq Thompson*, OLB, Washington
Ht: 6-1 Wt: 228 lbs. | Class: Junior

Analysis: Will be given the "undersized" label, but fits the mold of today's weakside linebacker. Instinctive, athletic. Displays excellent cover skills. Will take on, and get off blocks, and is solid against the run. Play maker. Could get looks at safety and even running back.

Previous Rank: N/A | NFL Comparison: Lavonte David

21. Alvin Dupree, DE, Kentucky
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 264 lbs. | Class: Senior (RS)

Analysis: Was asked to do several things besides rushing the passer at Kentucky. Versatile player. Can stand up in a 3-4 scheme, but is the prototypical 4-3 defensive end with size, length, and athleticism. Still adding moves to his pass rush repertoire, but looks like a complete defensive end at this stage.

Previous Rank: N/A | NFL Comparison: Demarcus Ware

22. Tevin Coleman*, RB, Indiana
Ht: 6-1 Wt: 210 lbs. | Class: Junior

Analysis: Complete runner. Shows good patience, but will explode through the hole. Has the speed to take any run the distance. Underrated runner physically. Complete three down back.

Previous Rank: N/A | NFL Comparison: DeMarco Murray

23. Melvin Gordon III*, RB, Wisconsin
Ht: 6-1 Wt: 207 lbs. | Class: Junior (RS)

Analysis: Vision, burst, speed, athleticism, all are pluses. Most talented runner in the draft not named Todd Gurley. Improved as a pass protector this season, and proved his ability as a receiver out of the backfield.

Previous Rank: N/A | NFL Comparison: Jamaal Charles

24. Malcolm Brown*, DT, Texas
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 320 lbs. | Class: Junior

Analysis: Excellent blend of size, strength, and quickness. Uses his hands pretty well to get off of blockers and make splash plays in the backfield. Can be an impact defender against the run. Versatility will only help his stock.

Previous Rank: N/A | NFL Comparison: Terrance Knighton

25. Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson
Ht: 6-2 Wt: 235 lbs. | Class: Senior (RS)

Analysis: May be the best pure pass rusher in this class. Converts speed into power as well as anyone. Has an excellent spin move and a good amount of pass rush moves. Must get stronger and become a better run defender. Likely limited to outside linebacker in a 4-3 scheme.

Previous Rank: N/A | NFL Comparison: Bruce Irvin

26. Maxx Williams**, TE, Minnesota
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 250 lbs. | Class: Sophomore (RS)

Analysis: Complete tight end. Excellent inline blocker. Big, athletic tight end. Smooth route runner. Has an impressive catch radius and sure hands. Should be able to work from the slot at the next level. Potential top 15 pick.

Previous Rank: N/A | NFL Comparison: Jason Witten

27. Marcus Peters*, CB, Washington
Ht: 6-0 Wt: 198 lbs. | Class: Junior (RS)

Analysis: Most consistent top cornerback prospect in the draft. Was kicked off of the Washington football team. Will have to answer questions about character. On the field, he offers above average size, speed, and ball skills, and will willingly defend the run.

Previous Rank: N/A | NFL Comparison: Aqib Talib

28. T.J. Yeldon*, RB, Alabama
Ht: 6-2 Wt: 218 lbs. | Class: Junior

Analysis: Tall, lean running back with a smooth running style. Can accelerate through the hole displaying above average speed, and is very agile in the open field. Has a tendency to fall forward. Needs to run behind his pads a little better and finish with power more. Three down back that offers pass catching ability and solid blocking.

Previous Rank: N/A | NFL Comparison: Darren McFadden

29. Arik Armstead*, DE, Oregon
Ht: 6-8 Wt: 290 lbs. | Class: Junior

Analysis: Not quite as highly regarded as (former) teammate DeForest Buckner, but has all the makings of a first round pick. Excellent blend of size, power, and athleticism. High upside player who needs to improve his technique and consistency. Flashes of dominance.

Previous Rank: N/A | NFL Comparison: Calais Campbell

30. Eddie Goldman*, DT, Florida State
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 320 lbs. | Class: Junior

Analysis: Flashes the potential to be a dominant player. Prototypical size, strength, and athleticism for an interior defensive lineman. Needs to be more consistent, but he's a force against the run and has pass rushing upside. Scheme versatile?

Previous Rank: N/A | NFL Comparison: Michael Brockers

31. Devin Funchess*, TE, Michigan State
Ht: 6-5 Wt: 230 lbs. | Class: Junior

Analysis: May not be best suited as an inline tight end, but Funchess has the potential to be a consistent match up nightmare, whether he lines up in the slot or the outside. He's got an impressive catch radius and plus athleticism. He flashed at Michigan, but struggled with drops and consistency as a whole. First round upside.

Previous Rank: N/A | NFL Comparison: Jermaine Gresham

32. Jordan Phillips**, DT, Oklahoma
Ht: 6-6 Wt: 334 lbs. | Class: Sophomore (RS)

Analysis: I'm a fan of big bodied defensive tackles who move well for their size. Phillips doesn't just eat up space. He can penetrate and put the occasional pressure on a quarterback in addition to being a force against the run. With improved technique, he'll be a future Pro Bowler.

Previous Rank: N/A | NFL Comparison: Dontari Poe