Although the 2015 NFL draft is more than 10 months away, scouting and speculation for who will be the No. 1 overall pick has already begun.
If recent drafts have been any indication, some of the draft’s top picks will be players who haven’t emerged as top prospects yet. Nonetheless, there are already a number of players who are identifiable, assuming they declare for the 2015 draft, as prospects who should be off the board quickly.
Most rankings like this last summer correctly identified South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, who went on to be the Houston Texans’ No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft, as one of the favorites to be the top choice.
Some other preseason favorites, like Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, fell farther than expected. The No. 2 and 3 overall picks—Auburn offensive lineman Greg Robinson and Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles—were completely off the radar to most draft analysts before the 2013 college football season.
There are defensive prospects with enough talent to emerge as the top pick in this year’s draft, but there’s no one like Clowney. The odds are in favor of a quarterback, the position played by 10 of the 14 players picked No. 1 overall since 2001, being the first player off the board again in 2015.