February 26, 2015

2015 NFL Draft Big Board: Top 50 Prospects

#94, Leonard Williams, DT, Southern California

I've been working on this Board for weeks. Without further ado, here is my latest 2015 NFL Draft Big Board. Obviously, there have been plenty of changes since my first Big Board, and now the board has been expanded to the 50 best 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. Another new addition is "Tiers". Prospects have been grouped into five tiers: Rare, Elite, Blue Chip, Red Chip, and Second round. I'm 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.


Tier 1: The "Rare" Prospects:

Analysis: The "Rare" prospects are in a tier of their own. They're considered rare, because they have the type of talent and/or skill set that players at their positions aren't known to have very often. There may be some risk with some of these players, but they have the highest ceilings, and the best shot at becoming Pro Bowl players.



1. Leonard Williams*, DT, Southern California
Ht: 6-5 Wt: 302 lbs. | Class: Junior



Analysis: Rare prospect who should be a top 5 lock. Possesses great length and athleticism. Has violent hands. Consistently shows good technique. Impact player against the run, with 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 overall prospect in the draft.


Previous Rank: 3 | Position Rank: 1 | NFL Comparison: Ndamukong Suh




2. Todd Gurley II*, RB, Georgia
Ht: 6-1 Wt: 222 lbs. | Class: Junior



Analysis: Before tearing his ACL, Gurley did seem to get nicked up some at Georgia. Take away potential durability concerns, and Gurley is the first running back off the board with no debate. He's a rare talent, and is the best running back prospect since Adrian Peterson IMO.


Previous Rank: 4 | Position Rank: 1 | NFL Comparison: Adrian Peterson




3. Dorial Green-Beckham*, WR, Oklahoma
Ht: 6-5 Wt: 237 lbs. | Class: Junior (RS)



Analysis: As much as I love the first round receiver prospects, Dorial Green-Beckham is in a class of his own when it comes to his talent and on field ability. He can definitely improve as a route runner, but he has elite traits. He's physical, fast, has great athleticism, and can win consistently in contested situations. Best redzone threat this class has to offer.


Previous Rank: 6 | Position Rank: 1 | NFL Comparison: Calvin Johnson



Tier 2: The "Elite" Prospects:

Analysis: The "Elite" prospects grade out as the best players this class has to offer. Just a notch below the "Rare" tier, IMO, these are the "can't miss" prospects. They should be considered in the top 5, but none of them should get out of the top 10 picks.



4. Marcus Mariota*, QB, Oregon
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 222 lbs. | Class: Junior (RS)



Analysis: He isn't as "polished" as Jameis Winston, but IMO he projects as a better long term quarterback. He's shown that he can win from the pocket, and his elite athleticism allows him to win outside of it. I compare him to Russell Wilson, but his ceiling looks like it could be Aaron Rodgers.


Previous Rank: 1 | Position Rank: 1 | NFL Comparison: Russell Wilson




5. Jameis Winston**, QB, Florida State
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 231 lbs. | Class: Sophomore (RS)



Analysis: Winston is a big, strong armed quarterback prospect. His ball placement and anticipation are really good, and he has shown that he can make all the throws. He will force some throws, and did have trouble recognizing underneath coverage this season, but is a gifted quarterback prospect overall.


Previous Rank: 2 | Position Rank: 2 | NFL Comparison: Ben Roethlisberger




6. 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 does at his size. He doesn't just take up space. He does draw double teams, but he also consistently sheds blocks and dominates against the run. His strength and power allow him to get a push up field as a pass rusher. He should look to add more pass rushing moves. He's the prototypical nose tackle in a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme.

Previous Rank: 9 | Position Rank: 2 | NFL Comparison: Haloti Ngata




7. Vic Beasley, EDGE, Clemson
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 246 lbs. | Class: Senior (RS)



Analysis: Beasley answered concerns about his size and strength at the combine. He's so good at converting speed into power, and has a go to spin move, as well as several other pass rushing moves. He's the best pass rusher in this class, and projects best as a SAM linebacker who puts his hand in the dirt in third down situations.


Previous Rank: 25 | Position Rank: 1 (OLB) | NFL Comparison: DeMarcus Ware




8. Melvin Gordon III*, RB, Wisconsin
Ht: 6-1 Wt: 215 lbs. | Class: Junior (RS)



Analysis: His vision, burst, speed, and athleticism, all are very, very good. Gordon is the most talented runner in the draft not named Todd Gurley. He improved as a pass protector this season, and proved his ability as a receiver out of the backfield. He's solidified himself as a first round pick.


Previous Rank: 23 | Position Rank: 2 | NFL Comparison: DeMarco Murray



Tier 3: The "Blue Chip" Prospects:

Analysis: The "Blue Chip" prospects are potential franchise players. While I don't consider these prospects rare or elite, they aren't that far behind. These prospects are all considered true first round talents, and will vie for spots in the top 10.



9. Kevin White, WR, West Virginia
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 215 lbs. | Class: Senior



Analysis: I had no questions about his speed before the combine. White is very dangerous after the catch because of both his speed and his strength. He runs excellent routes and creates good separation. The best part about his game is that he has proven that he can win in contested situations, arguably better than anyone in this class. His drop rate is very low as well.


Previous Rank: 15 | Position Rank: 2 | NFL Comparison: Larry Fitzgerald




10. DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 209 lbs. | Class: Senior



Analysis: Parker is the prototypical height-weight-speed wide receiver. He has such an impressive catch radius, which allows him to make some spectacular catches. He consistently wins at the catch point, and can turn a short gain into a big play at any time. Dangerous YAC ability. Though not as polished as A.J. Green was coming out of college, they have similar skill sets.


Previous Rank: 7 | Position Rank: 3 | NFL Comparison: A.J. Green




11. Amari Cooper*, WR, Alabama
Ht: 6-1 Wt: 211 lbs. | Class: Junior



Analysis: Cooper is the most polished and well-rounded receiver in the draft. He can work from the slot, win on the outside, and can separate with speed or great route running. Drops are an issue, and he doesn't have as much athletic upside as some of his counterparts, but, he's well worth a top 10 pick. He could still be the first receiver off the board.


Previous Rank: 14 | Position Rank: 4 | NFL Comparison: Reggie Wayne




12. Dante Fowler Jr.*, EDGE, 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. He can win in a variety of ways and from a number of positions. He could be the first pass rusher drafted.


Previous Rank: 11 | Position Rank: 1 (DE) | NFL Comparison: Terrell Suggs




13. Owamagbe Odighizuwa, EDGE, UCLA
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 267 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. Medical concerns are still present, but, "Diggy" should be a first round pick if he checks out.


Previous Rank: 12 | Position Rank: 2 (DE) | NFL Comparison: James Harrison




14. D.J. Humphries*, OT, Florida
Ht: 6-5 Wt: 307 lbs. | Class: Junior



Analysis: I watched some cutups of Humphries, and quickly warmed up to him. He's the best left tackle prospect in this year's draft. While he doesn't have great length, he's able to control his opponents, and was surprisingly dominate at times as a run blocker at 280 lbs. He's a smooth pass protector, and will likely hear his name called in round one if teams aren't concerned about prior injuries.


Previous Rank: NR | Position Rank: 1 | NFL Comparison: D'Brickashaw Ferguson




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



Analysis: The opinions on Ray vary. I'm not completely sold on him as an elite prospect anymore, but he does have some awesome pass rushing traits. His speed and athleticism coming off the edge are top notch, not to mention he has a good get off. He also has a good amount of pass rushing moves. His pro day will be very important.


Previous Rank: 5 | Position Rank: 2 (OLB) | NFL Comparison: Cameron Wake




16. Randy Gregory*, EDGE, Nebraska
Ht: 6-5 Wt: 235 lbs. | Class: Junior (RS)



Analysis: Gregory has the prototypical frame, length, and athleticism for a 4-3 defensive end, but can he keep on weight? He needs to get stronger, but he has shown than he can set the edge as a run defender, and looks like a natural 3-4 outside linebacker. He projects as a better pro than college player.


Previous Rank: 10 | Position Rank: 3 (OLB) | NFL Comparison: Aldon Smith




17. La'el Collins, OG, Louisiana State
Ht: 6-5 Wt: 305 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. He'll likely get a shot at left tackle, but could be even better on the right side. He projects as a potential All-Pro guard at the next level.


Previous Rank: 8 | Position Rank: 1 | NFL Comparison: Anthony Davis




18. Brandon Scherff, OG, Iowa
Ht: 6-5 Wt: 319 lbs. | Class: Senior (RS)



Analysis: Scheff has average length and athleticism for a left tackle, but he should be a very good starting tackle in the NFL. He's a slightly better run blocker than pass blocker, which is one reason why I believe he kicks inside to guard at the next level.


Previous Rank: 19 | Position Rank: 2 | NFL Comparison: Zack Martin




19. Eric Kendricks, ILB, UCLA
Ht: 6-0 Wt: 232 lbs. | Class: Senior



Analysis: Kendricks has great instincts, range, and closing ability for an off the line of scrimmage linebacker. He takes on blocks well and can shed them and make plays against the run, but what sets him apart is his excellent coverage skills. He's a day one starter.


Previous Rank: 16 | Position Rank: 1 | NFL Comparison: Sean Lee




20. Landon Collins*, SS, Alabama
Ht: 6-0 Wt: 228 lbs. | Class: Junior



Analysis: Collins is easily the top safety prospect in the draft. He's 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. He brings impressive athleticism and ball skills to the table as well. While he can still improve overall in coverage, he's going to come off the board in the top half of round one.


Previous Rank: 13 | Position Rank: 1 | NFL Comparison: Kam Chancellor



Tier 4: The "Red Chip" Prospects:

Analysis: The "Red Chip" prospects are players who may not be franchise players, but could be the missing piece to a legitimate playoff contender. These players should all come off the board in the first round.



21. Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State
Ht: 6-0 Wt: 186 lbs. | Class: Junior (RS)



Analysis: Waynes may have solidified himself as the number one corner in the draft after an impressive combine. He's a tall, long armed corner who can be physical at the line of scrimmage. He's got great ball skills and is willing to come up in run support. It wouldn't be a shock to see him drafted in the top 10.


Previous Rank: NR | Position Rank: 1 | NFL Comparison: Antonio Cromartie




22. Andrus Peat*, OT, Stanford
Ht: 6-7 Wt: 313 lbs. | Class: Junior



Analysis: Peat entered the season as a potential top 5 pick, but 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. He 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: 18 | Position Rank: 2 | NFL Comparison: Trent Williams




23. T.J. Clemmings, OT, Pittsburgh
Ht: 6-5 Wt: 309 lbs. | Class: Senior (RS)



Analysis: A former defensive lineman, Clemmings is 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, but will likely begin his career on the right side. He gets to the second level easily and can dominate when he gets his hands on you. On tape, he's a very impressive run blocker, who can hold up in pass pro.


Previous Rank: 17 | Position Rank: 3 | NFL Comparison: Tyron Smith




24. Alvin Dupree, EDGE, Kentucky
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 269 lbs. | Class: Senior (RS)



Analysis: His combine performance may have pushed him into the top 10 conversation. Dupree was asked to do several things besides rushing the passer at Kentucky. He's a versatile player who can stand up in a 3-4 scheme, but is the prototypical 4-3 defensive end with size, speed, and athleticism. His motor needs to improve, and he needs to add more pass rushing moves to his repertoire.


Previous Rank: 21 | Position Rank: 3 (DE) | NFL Comparison: Jevon Kearse




25. Shaq Thompson*, OLB, Washington
Ht: 6-0 Wt: 228 lbs. | Class: Junior



Analysis: Thompson will be given the "undersized" label, but he fits the mold of today's WILL linebacker. He's instinctive, athletic, and displays excellent cover skills. He can also take on, and get off blocks, and is solid against the run. He's a true play maker. His best position might be safety or even running back. This could either help or hurt his stock depending on which angle you look at it from.


Previous Rank: 20 | Position Rank: 4 | NFL Comparison: Lavonte David




26. Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, FS, Oregon
Ht: 5-9 Wt: 192 lbs. | Class: Senior



Analysis: IEO was supposedly up and down this season before suffering a season ending injury before the College Football Playoffs. Because of his size and concerns about his speed, he may be limited to the slot, but, I believe his position at the next level is safety, where his ball skills and closing speed will be on full display.


Previous Rank: NR | Position Rank: 1 | NFL Comparison: Alterraun Verner




27. Jake Fisher, OT, Oregon
Ht: 6-6 Wt: 306 lbs. | Class: Senior



Analysis: Fisher isn't getting the love he deserves in a pretty strong group of offensive tackles. He's a better athlete than given credit for, and his one of the better pass protectors in this class IMO. He's got more functional strength than I initially though, and could be a late first round pick.


Previous Rank: NR | Position Rank: 4 | NFL Comparison: Jordan Gross




28. Malcolm Brown*, DT, Texas
Ht: 6-2 Wt: 319 lbs. | Class: Junior



Analysis: With an excellent blend of size, strength, and quickness, Brown looks like the ideal 3-technique defensive tackle. He uses his hands well, and is able to get off of blockers and make splash plays in the backfield. He can be an impact defender against the run as well. His versatility also helps his stock, as he may be able to play in a variety of schemes..


Previous Rank: 24 | Position Rank: 3 | NFL Comparison: Terrance Knighton




29. Arik Armstead*, DE, Oregon
Ht: 6-7 Wt: 292 lbs. | Class: Junior



Analysis: You're mostly banking on upside with Armstead, but his blend of size, power, and athleticism are what could make him a first round pick. He's a high upside player who does need to improve his technique and consistency, but he flashes dominance, and looked pretty good against Ohio State in the National Championship game.


Previous Rank: 29 | Position Rank: 4 | NFL Comparison: Calais Campbell




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



Analysis: Williams didn't test extremely well at the combine, but should still be the first tight end off the board. He's a complete tight end. He's a very good inline blocker, and a smooth route runner. He has an impressive catch radius and sure hands, and should be able to work from the slot at the next level.


Previous Rank: 26 | Position Rank: 1 | NFL Comparison: Jason Witten



Tier 5: The "Second Round" Prospects:

Analysis: Several of these prospects currently carry second round grades, but they still project as quality starters at the next level. In fact, some of these players are on the first round bubble, and talent wise, could make big jumps in the rankings when it's all said and done.



31. Tevin Coleman*, RB, Indiana
Ht: 5-11 Wt: 206 lbs. | Class: Junior



Analysis: Coleman's Pro Day could be big for him, as he was unable to workout at the combine. He's a complete runner. He's got good size, speed, balance, and vision. Speaking of speed, he has the speed to take any run the distance. His pass catching and pass protecting ability make him a complete three down back. He does need to show more patience, however.


Previous Rank: 22 | Position Rank: 3 | NFL Comparison: Darren McFadden




32. Marcus Peters*, CB, Washington
Ht: 6-0 Wt: 197 lbs. | Class: Junior (RS)



Analysis: Peters was kicked off of the Washington football team, but character concerns seem to be going away. On the field, he offers above average size, speed, and ball skills, and will willingly defend the run. He could sneak into the back end of round one.


Previous Rank: 27 | Position Rank: 2 | NFL Comparison: Aqib Talib



33. Cameron Erving, (6-6, 313 lbs.), C, Florida State



Analysis: Erving kicked inside to center earlier this past season, and instantly became the top center prospect in the draft. He still offers the traits and upside for a team to give him a shot at tackle, and he may even be able to play guard. That kind of versatility strengthens his case to be a first rounder.

Previous Rank: NR | Position Rank: 1 | NFL Comparison: Eric Wood



34. Quinten Rollins, (5-11, 197 lbs.), CB, Miami (OH)



Analysis: Rollins is still raw due to inexperience, but he's got so much talent. He's physical, and displays excellent ball skills on the field. He should be able to stick at corner, but I believe he should move to safety in the NFL. A first round selection isn't out of the question.

Previous Rank: NR | Position Rank: 2 | NFL Comparison: Eric Weddle



35. Eddie Goldman*, (6-4, 336 lbs.), DT, Florida State



Analysis: Eddie Goldman should be a force against the run from day one. What could prevent him from being a first round pick are his pass rushing ability and his consistency. However, he does flash dominance. Nose tackle in any scheme.

Previous Rank: 30 | Position Rank: 4 | NFL Comparison: Randy Starks



36. Phillip Dorsett, (5-10, 185 lbs.), WR, Miami



Analysis: Speed, speed, and speed. Dorsett is the best deep threat this class has to offer. Because of his size, he projects well to the slot. He's in the mold of an Antonio Brown or T.Y. Hilton.

Previous Rank: NR | Position Rank: 5 | NFL Comparison: T.Y. Hilton



37. Mike Davis*, (5-9, 217 lbs.), RB, South Carolina



Analysis: Davis doesn't get the love he deserves. His 2014 season wasn't as productive as his 2013 season, but Davis has good burst, vision, and power for a running back. I was impressed at just how agile he was in the open field. Unfortunately, he may get lost in the shuffle of stud Day 2 running backs.

Previous Rank: NR | Position Rank: 4 | NFL Comparison: Maurice Jones-Drew



38. Duke Johnson*, (5-9, 207 lbs.), RB, Miami



Analysis: Though I was a bit thrown off by his 4.54 40 time, Johnson displays more than enough speed on tape. Besides, LeSean McCoy was a 4.5 guy. What makes Johnson special is his shiftiness and explosiveness as a runner. Durability concerns do hurt his stock, however.

Previous Rank: NR | Position Rank: 5 | NFL Comparison: LeSean McCoy



39. Eric Rowe, (6-1, 204 lbs.), CB, Utah



Analysis: A big, long corner with 4.4 speed, Eric Rowe has the traits teams will be looking for in a starting corner. He carries a solid second round grade as of now, but I would not be surprised if he goes much higher, especially with his ability to play safety in addition to corner.

Previous Rank: NR | Position Rank: 3 | NFL Comparison: Quentin Jammer



40. Jaelen Strong*, (6-2, 217 lbs.), WR, Arizona State



Analysis: He doesn't always play big, and isn't much of a threat after the catch. However, with his size, speed, and impressive hands, Strong could become a very reliable number one receiver, and a true redzone threat.

Previous Rank: NR | Position Rank: 6 | NFL Comparison: Dwayne Bowe



41. Jordan Phillips**, (6-5, 329 lbs.), DT, Oklahoma



Analysis: 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 and consistency, he'll be a future Pro Bowler.

Previous Rank: 32 | Position Rank: 5 | NFL Comparison: Dontari Poe



42. Eli Harold*, (6-3, 247 lbs.), EDGE, Virginia



Analysis: Another impressive edge rusher in a loaded class, Harold could get some first round looks as well. However, he needs to get stronger and improve against the run. 3-4 teams will covet him more than 4-3 teams.

Previous Rank: NR | Position Rank: 5 (OLB) | NFL Comparison: Olivier Vernon



43. Nate Orchard, (6-3, 250 lbs.), EDGE, Utah



Analysis: Orchard isn't a great athlete, but he's able to generate plenty of power when rushing the passer, and it's hard to ignore his production. He's not going to be a prospect for everyone, but he has some tools to work with.

Previous Rank: NR | Position Rank: 5 (DE) | NFL Comparison: Trent Cole



44. Lorenzo Mauldin, (6-4, 259 lbs.), EDGE, Louisville



Analysis: Maudlin looks like a natural linebacker in space, but has the size and length to get plenty of looks from 4-3 teams. A team looking for a pass rusher could grab him toward the end of round one, but Mauldin is a solid Day 2 pick at this point.

Previous Rank: NR | Position Rank: 6 (DE) | NFL Comparison: Cliff Avril



45. Nelson Agholor*, (6-0, 198 lbs.), WR, Southern California



Analysis: Even if he's limited to the slot, Agholor should make a living there due to his speed, and impressive after the catch ability. He's not too far behind former teammates Robert Woods and Marqise Lee.

Previous Rank: NR | Position Rank: 7 | NFL Comparison: Lee Evans



46. A.J. Cann, (6-4, 313 lbs.), OG, South Carolina



Analysis: Many view Cann as the top guard prospect in this draft. In fact, some believe he has a shot at being a first round pick. He projects as a solid starting guard who could make a couple of Pro Bowls in his career.

Previous Rank: NR | Position Rank: 3 | NFL Comparison: Ben Grubbs



47. Michael Bennett, (6-2, 293 lbs.), DT, Ohio State



Analysis: Bennett does need to get stronger, and may begin his career as a rotational player, but his quickness allows him to put constant pressure on the quarterback. He's a 3-technique defensive tackle only, but is probably the best interior pass rusher in this class not named Leonard Williams.

Previous Rank: NR | Position Rank: 6 | NFL Comparison: Mike Daniels



48. Devin Funchess*, (6-4, 232 lbs.), TE, Michigan



Analysis: Running a 4.7 at the combine brought up more concerns for Funchess. He needs to be more aggressive and physical, but his first round talent and upside could force a team to draft him earlier than he needs to be drafted. I view Funchess as a tight end.

Previous Rank: 31 | Position Rank: 2 | NFL Comparison: Jermaine Gresham



49. Clive Walford, (6-4, 251 lbs.), TE, Miami



Analysis: He's not a first round prospect, but Clive Walford should be a good value on the second day. He's one of the more talented tight end prospects this class has to offer, and is a real threat to the consensus number one tight end Maxx Williams.

Previous Rank: NR | Position Rank: 3 | NFL Comparison: Dwayne Allen



50. Ereck Flowers*, (6-6, 329 lbs.), OT, Miami



Analysis: He's all over the place with his movement, but Flowers offers a very good combination of size, length, and athleticism for a tackle prospect. I'm not sure he plays on the left side in the NFL, but he does project as a potentially dominant right tackle.

Previous Rank: NR | Position Rank: 5 | NFL Comparison: Marcus Gilbert