2015 NFL Draft Top 32 Prospects

Posted by Brad On September – 3 – 2014

"Leonard Williams"

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The 2014 college football season is officially underway and so is NFL’s Future prospect evaluation process. With week one in the books, I’ve logged nearly 60 hours of CFB under my belt already. With this in mind there’s no better time to release our post-preseason 2015 NFL Draft prospect rankings. It’s way too early to say how the 2015 class will stack up to last year’s or any previous year’s but it’s safe to assume this class will be headlined by a crop of underclassmen…isn’t it always. That said, I’ve rated underclassmen that I think have the best chance to declare for the draft (top-50 prospects). 

1. Leonard Williams, DT/DE, USC

There isn’t much not to like with Williams. I liken him to a less powerful, more athletic Ndamukong Suh without the baggage. Williams has played inside and outside at SC and I think his best work came on the outside where he could use lateral speed and long arms to keep tackles off balance in run and pass protection. Williams could be the closest prospect to emerge from the collegiate ranks that resembles J.J. Watt’s game, which is why he’s my No. 1 rated player at these early stages of the process.

2. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon

The similarities with Colin Kaepernick don’t end with their running ability. Mariota is probably the more polished of the two coming out of college as a passer. Not to say there isn’t work to be done with Mariota but teams will struggle to poke too many holes in the package that is Marcus Mariota.

3. Cedric Ogbuehi, OT, Texas A&M

It was fun watching Ogbuehi progress from game one at tackle to the end of the season. Ogbuehi’s technique was noticeably improved as the season progressed. The former guard moves over to LT after spending last season on the right side. If he can prove he can handle speed off the edge on the left side, the future is bright.

4. Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State

Jameis has his fair share of question marks, mostly off-the-field. That said, he has a special set of skills that will push him into the conversation as the top overall pick. Week one had its ups and downs for Winston but I have little doubt that he’ll rebound to full 2013 form.

5. Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia

"Todd Gurley"

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The drought on first round RB’s will be over in 2015. Todd Gurley is a special back that teams may be willing to hedge their bets on early in the draft. Gurley will run you over, has nimble feet, can pass protect, and catches the ball out of the backfield. He’s everything many thought Trent Richardson was going to be and draws favorable comparisons to Marshawn Lynch.

6. Shawn Oakman, DT/DE, Baylor

6-foot-8, 285 pounds. Need I say more. Oakman moves like a much smaller man and has shown he’s able to dominate inside or outside. Oakman’s versatility will make him an intriguing option for all 32 teams. Like Ziggy Ansah in 2013, Oakman is just scratching the surface of an enormous ceiling – scary to think of given his success in limited opportunities.

7. Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa

Many have questioned whether the Iowa LT can hang on the left side at the next level. I’m in the camp that he can. If he can’t, I think he’s a plug and play guard or right tackle. I was a huge Zack Martin fan in 2014 and I think Scherff is a more skilled version of Martin.

8. Marcus Peters, CB, Washington

He’s got size, speed, aggressiveness, solid technique, tackling ability. For my money he’s the top draft-eligible corner in college football. Watching Peters shut down Brandin Cooks was impressive but turn on any UW game and you’ll find much of the same. At 6-foot-0, 198 pounds he has the size NFL teams covet and I would take him over Justin Gilbert every day of the week and twice on Sunday…Gilbert went 8th overall in 2014.

9. Landon Collins, S, Alabama

When Vinnie Sunseri tore his ACL in 2013, Bama fans knew they had a guy in Landon Collins that could more than fill his spot. Collins is an interchangeable piece in the backend with the size, speed, and instincts to be a top 10 player in this draft.

10. Randy Gregory, Edge, Nebraska

Gregory is going to face his share of double teams after dominating Big Ten OL’s last season. If he can duplicate his 2013 production, Gregory is heading for consideration as a top draft pick in 2015. His speed off the edge is special. That’s not to say he’s a finished product. He’s not. Much of this ranking is based on what I believe will be a leap forward in block shedding, strength, and proving he can move in space. If he doesn’t improve in these areas he’s a borderline day one prospect for me. If he does, his ceiling is as a top-five talent.

11. Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, Oregon

If Ifo was a 6-foot + corner he’d easily be a lock as a top ten prospect. How much will teams shy away because of his lack of prototypical size. At 5-foot-9, the Oregon corner will have his detractors. That said, he’s fast, physical, instinctive, and has the production to back up his game.

12. Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford

This ranking is a bit conservative. I think Peat could challenge Ogbeuhi and Scherff for the rights to be called the top tackle when its all said and done. He possesses prototypical LT size and overall he’s almost a lock to be a first-round pick if he comes out early. Peat’s technique still needs a little work – particularly working in space and with balance in the run game.

13. Vic Beasley, Edge, Clemson

If your team is in the market for a pure speed rusher, Beasley is your guy. If Beasley goes to a team that uses him to his strengths, look out. His first step explosiveness is special. That said, he will struggle as a three-down edge player in the NFL due to teams willingness to run right at him. I would liken Beasley to Barkevious Mingo, who was taken 6th overall in 2013.

14. Devin Funchess, TE, Michigan

Is he a WR or a TE? You’re guess is as good as mine. What I do know is he’s a pretty good football player. If Devin Funchess learns to hang onto the football with more consistency, he may be the most dynamic offensive player in the draft, not named Marcus Mariota. Funchess is a freak at 6-foot-5, 235 pounds. Whether it’s as a flex TE or WR, Funchess is worth a look very early in the draft.

15. Michael Bennett, DT, Ohio State

How many sub-290 pound DT’s line up and dominate on the nose? The answer…not many. Bennett has lined up all over the OSU defense and has been an impact player at each position. His combination of strength and burst should have teams salivating at the opportunities to exploit all possibilities.

16. Shaq Thompson, OLB, Washington

17. Dante Fowler, Edge, Florida

18. Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA

19. Shilique Calhoun, DE, Michigan State

20. Cedric Reed, DE, Texas

21. Leonard Floyd, Edge, Georgia

22. Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin

23. Jeremy Cash, S, Duke

24. Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State

25. Mario Edwards Jr., DE, Florida State

26. Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama

27. Noah Spence, Edge, Ohio State

28. Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State

29. Ellis McCarthy, DT, UCLA

30. Carl Davis, DT, Iowa

31. Breshad Perriman, WR, UCF

32. P.J. Williams, CB, Florida State

Best of the rest: Rashad Greene, WR, Florida State Mike Davis, RB, South Carolina Jesse James, TE, Penn State Stefon Diggs, WR, Maryland Sammie Coates, WR, Auburn La’el Collins, OG, LSU Ty Montgomery, WR, Stanford A.J. Cann, OG, South Carolina Nelson Agholor, WR, USC DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville Spencer Drango, OT/OG, Baylor Ronald Darby, CB, Florida State Kurtis Drummond, S, Michigan State Lorenzo Mauldin, Edge, Louisville Denzel Perryman, LB, Miami Bernardrick McKinney, LB, Mississippi State Christian Covington, DT, Rice Hauoli Kikaha, Edge, Washington Danny Shelton, DT, Washington

  • Bex_R

    Well, given that Leonard Williams is my number 1 overall player as well, and likewise have Peters as the top corner, I certainly approve of this list hehe!

    One I can’t agree with at this stage though is Devin Funchess. His issue with drops isn’t just bad, it is majorly concerning. As you said yourself in your article at the end of last year when discussing how you grade players, you wrote “First and foremost, can the guy catch the ball. If he can’t, he can’t play the position”. Obviously he can make some good grabs, and you have to balance that with his ridiculous size/athleticism combo, but I can’t grade him that high without improvement in this area.

    Intriguing list with a few interesting choices! Just glad we’re back underway for another great year! =)

    • bradc11

      Glad to hear we are on the same page on a couple of these rankings. Funchess is a guy that I’ve spent a lot of time on and around. I think he overcomes some of the concentration issues and emerges into a real weapon this year. This early, I’m projecting quite a bit. If at the mid or end point of this year, he’s still leaving the ball on the ground, he’ll be in my rankings doghouse. When I saw him this spring, he was the most impressive individual I watched…just dominated whoever they stuck on him.

  • Bex_R

    My Top 150 currently:

    1 Leonard Williams DT/DE Southern California
    2 Marcus Mariota QB Oregon
    3 Todd Gurley RB Georgia
    4 Randy Gregory DE Nebraska
    5 Brandon Scherff OT Iowa
    6 Cedric Ogbuehi OT Texas A&M
    7 Dante Fowler Jr. DE/OLB Florida
    8 Marcus Peters CB Washington
    9 Connor Cook QB Michigan State
    10 Andrus Peat OT Stanford
    11 Trae Waynes CB Michigan State
    12 P.J. Williams CB Florida State
    13 Landon Collins SS Alabama
    14 Amari Cooper WR Alabama
    15 Jameis Winston QB Florida State
    16 Shawn Oakman DE Baylor
    17 T.J. Yeldon RB Alabama
    18 Anthony Harris SS Virginia
    19 Vic Beasley OLB Clemson
    20 Daryl Williams OT Oklahoma
    21 Ereck Flowers OT Miami (Fla.)
    22 Michael Bennett DT Ohio State
    23 Leonard Floyd OLB Georgia
    24 Kevin White WR West Virginia
    25 Melvin Gordon RB Wisconsin
    26 La’el Collins OT/OG LSU
    27 Devin Funchess WR/TE Michigan
    28 Ifo Ekpre-Olomu CB Oregon
    29 Mike Davis RB South Carolina
    30 Eric Striker OLB Oklahoma
    31 Mario Edwards Jr. DE Florida State
    32 A.J. Cann OG South Carolina
    33 Sheldon Day DT/DE Notre Dame
    34 Kevin Hogan QB Stanford
    35 Spencer Drango OT Baylor
    36 Josue Matias OG Florida State
    37 Ameer Abdullah RB Nebraska
    38 Cody Prewitt FS Ole Miss
    39 A.J. Johnson ILB/OLB Tennessee
    40 DeVante Parker WR Louisville
    41 Jalen Collins CB LSU
    42 Ty Montgomery WR Stanford
    43 Kevin Johnson CB Wake Forest
    44 Alvin Dupree DE/OLB Kentucky
    45 Bryce Petty QB Baylor
    46 Cameron Erving OT Florida State
    47 Austin Hill WR Arizona
    48 Markus Golden DE/OLB Missouri
    49 Ty Sambrailo OT Colorado State
    50 Denzel Perryman ILB Miami (Fla.)
    51 Eddie Goldman DT Florida State
    52 Gerod Holliman FS Louisville
    53 Sammie Coates WR Auburn
    54 Lorenzo Mauldin OLB/DE Louisville
    55 Danny Shelton DT Washington
    56 Arik Armstead DE Oregon
    57 Brett Hundley QB UCLA
    58 Rashad Greene WR Florida State
    59 Jeremy Cash SS Duke
    60 Benardrick McKinney ILB/OLB Mississippi State
    61 Carl Davis DT Iowa
    62 Donovan Smith OT Penn State
    63 Breshad Perriman WR UCF
    64 Bronson Kaufusi OLB/DE Brigham Young
    65 Jay Ajayi RB Boise State
    66 Nelson Agholor WR Southern California
    67 Karl Joseph FS West Virginia
    68 Adam Shead OG Oklahoma
    69 Ronald Darby CB Florida State
    70 Shilique Calhoun DE Michigan State
    71 Le’Raven Clark OT Texas Tech
    72 Grady Jarrett DT Clemson
    73 Corey Robinson OT South Carolina
    74 Stefon Diggs WR Maryland
    75 Arie Kouandjio OG Alabama
    76 Tre’ Jackson OG Florida State
    77 Derron Smith S Fresno State
    78 Taylor Decker OT Ohio State
    79 Alonzo Russell WR Toledo
    80 Jake Ryan ILB/OLB Michigan
    81 Karlos Williams RB Florida State
    82 Ellis McCarthy DT UCLA
    83 Kasen Williams WR Washington
    84 Jaelen Strong WR Arizona State
    85 Nick O’Leary TE Florida State
    86 Brandon Shell OT South Carolina
    87 Reese Dismukes C Auburn
    88 Byron Jones CB/S Connecticut
    89 Shane Ray OLB/DE Missouri
    90 JaCorey Shepherd CB Kansas
    91 Tyler Lockett WR Kansas State
    92 Andy Gallik C Boston College
    93 Justin Hardy WR East Carolina
    94 Josh Harper WR Fresno State
    95 Antwan Goodley WR Baylor
    96 Greg Mancz C/OG Toledo
    97 Terrance Smith OLB Florida State
    98 Duke Johnson RB Miami (Fla.)
    99 Frank Clark DE Michigan
    100 Geneo Grissom OLB Oklahoma
    101 Ben Koyack TE Notre Dame
    102 Vince Mayle WR Washington State
    103 Doran Grant CB Ohio State
    104 Jeremy Langford RB Michigan State
    105 Trey Flowers DE Arkansas
    106 Tevin Coleman RB Indiana
    107 Levi Norwood WR Baylor
    108 Xavier Cooper DT Washington State
    109 Robertson Daniel CB Brigham Young
    110 Kevin White CB TCU
    111 Owamagbe Odighizuwa DE UCLA
    112 Tyrus Thompson OT Oklahoma
    113 Jesse James TE Penn State
    114 Lorenzo Doss CB Tulane
    115 Senquez Golson CB Ole Miss
    116 Everett Golson QB Notre Dame
    117 Kyler Fackrell OLB Utah State
    118 Jaquiski Tartt SS Samford
    119 Javorius Allen RB Southern California
    120 Hroniss Grasu C Oregon
    121 Charles Gaines CB Louisville
    122 D’haquille Williams WR Auburn
    123 Ramik Wilson OLB/ILB Georgia
    124 Gabe Wright DT Auburn
    125 J.R. Tavai OLB Southern California
    126 Stephone Anthony ILB Clemson
    127 Ben Heeney ILB Kansas
    128 Cyril Lemon OG North Texas
    129 Henry Anderson DE Stanford
    130 Dres Anderson WR Utah
    131 Laken Tomlinson OG Duke
    132 Julian Wilson CB Oklahoma
    133 Leonte Carroo WR Rutgers
    134 Eli Harold DE/OLB Virginia
    135 Sean Hickey OT Syracuse
    136 Jamison Crowder WR Duke
    137 Kurtis Drummond FS Michigan State
    138 Jonathan Williams RB Arkansas
    139 T.J. Clemmings OT Pittsburgh
    140 Quandre Diggs CB Texas
    141 Juston Burris CB North Carolina State
    142 Corey Grant RB Auburn
    143 Quinshad Davis WR North Carolina
    144 Devante Davis WR UNLV
    145 Chuckie Keeton QB Utah State
    146 Deontay Greenberry WR Houston
    147 Tyler Hunter SS Florida State
    148 Bryce Callahan CB Rice
    149 Ibraheim Campbell SS Northwestern
    150 Corey Crawford DE Clemson

  • Courtney44

    I know one thing…the Redskins must draft one OT from among Ogbuehi, Scherff and Peat. And with their second round pick, the next best available offensive lineman. And with their third round pick…