2015 NFL Draft Big Board Following First Week of CFB Season

Garrett BakerSenior Analyst ISeptember 4, 2014

ATHENS, GA - AUGUST 30:  Todd Gurley #3 of the Georgia Bulldogs carries the ball for a fourth-quarter touchdown against the Clemson Tigers at Sanford Stadium on August 30, 2014 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

Week 1 of the 2014 college football season has come and gone, and we have gotten a look at some of the best talent in the country, which gives us a bit of a jumping off point for the 2015 NFL Draft.

Obviously, it's not much to go off of, and they won't impact the rankings heavily. But there were some great performances to go along with some pretty disappointing ones as well. 

I did my "way-too-early" 2015 big board way back in May right after the 2014 draft, and you'll notice that the top of the list looks relatively the same, but there is a lot of shuffling on the back end.

Remember, this is not a mock draft in any way; it is merely my own ranking of the best draft-eligible college prospects in 2015. 

*Indicates underclassmen

1. *Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon

Marcus Mariota's blend of speed and arm ability is exceedingly rare. He reminds me a bit of a taller Mike Vick with the way he can outrun defensive backs and also throw bombs down the field. 

2. *Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford

Andrus Peat is a Goliath at 6'7", and he anchors another exceptional Stanford offensive line this year. His spot as the top offensive lineman in this class, however, is not at all set in stone. He's still a bit raw, and there are lots of talented players behind him.

3. *Randy Gregory, DE, Nebraska

A bit of a boom-or-bust guy right now, Randy Gregory is a former junior college transfer who led the Big Ten in sacks last year. He suffered a minor knee injury in Week 1 and will likely miss this week's game against McNeese State, per Steven M. Sipple of the Lincoln Journal Star (h/t Jerry Hinnen of CBSSports.com).

4. *Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State

Jameis Winston might be the biggest name in college football, but he isn't necessarily the best player. Don't get me wrong—I think he's a tremendous player. His raw natural talent is exceptional, but he has to harness it and put some of his off-the-field issues aside.

5. Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa

Brandon Scherff is quietly one of the best players in the country heading into 2014. I think he's an early sleeper candidate to be the first non-quarterback selected in this draft.

6. Vic Beasley, DE/OLB, Clemson

Vic Beasley is just an absolute monster on the outside. I don't know whether he'll play at outside linebacker or defensive end in the NFL, but he looked sharp against Georgia and is a difference-maker that any defense wants to have.

7. *Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama

In that original Big Board I have linked to up top, I said it was difficult for me to separate Amari Cooper with Nelson Agholor, and that still holds true. But after seeing Cooper dominate in Week 1 with 130 yards, I switched the places of these two while moving them both up.

8. *Nelson Agholor, WR, Southern California

Agholor had only 55 receiving yards in Week 1, but he caught two touchdowns, which is good for his projections. He isn't a physically imposing player, but showing a nose for the end zone is always good.

9. Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, Oregon

I certainly have nothing against Ifo Ekpre-Olomu despite his dropping from No. 6 in my original ranks to No. 9 here. Beasley, Cooper, and Agholor just all impressed me, but Ekpre-Olomu is still by far the best cornerback in the country with his range and versatility.

10. *Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia

The biggest riser after Week 1. I don't think I'm jumping the gun much at all here. In fact, I might even be late, but I'll say it now: Todd Gurley has the highest ceiling of any non-quarterback in this draft, and he could be a legitimate NFL superstar. The only thing him holding him back is the anti-running back movement in the league right now.

11. Cameron Erving, OT, Florida State

A former defensive tackle, Cameron Erving will still have to prove in 2014 that he's polished up his game enough to be worthy of a high pick. But from an athletic standpoint? He's top-10 material; no question about it.

12. Cedric Ogbuehi, OT, Texas A&M

A&M is looking like an offensive tackle factory right now, and Cedric Ogbuehi will look to follow in Luke Joeckel's and Jake Matthews' footsteps. He has all the ability to be the first tackle selected come May.

13. *Shilique Calhoun, DE, Michigan State

Consider me sold on Shilique Calhoun's upside. A former basketball star and latecomer to football, I'm confident he will take college football by storm in 2014.

14. *Leonard Williams, DE, Southern California

Leonard Williams is an animal on the defensive line, and he will have a major test against Stanford's great offensive line Saturday. He looks more and more like a 3-4 DE to me.

15. *Landon Collins, S, Alabama

Through no fault of his own did Landon Collins fall a few spots here, although Alabama's defense as a whole didn't look that great against West Virginia. He's a pretty good bet to be the first safety taken next May if he declares.

16. *Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA

I don't like over-reacting too much to one game, but Brett Hundley did not look good at all against Virginia. He's got a lot of competition at the quarterback position in this class, and he needs to step it up quickly.

17. Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor

Baylor's opener against SMU doesn't really mean much, but the gap is definitely small between Bryce Petty and Hundley. I think Petty is the safer bet at this point, but Hundley has more upside.

18. Rashad Greene, WR, Florida State

There is nothing sexy about Rashad Greene; he isn't big, he isn't a speedster and he doesn't make many highlight-reel plays. But he's a heck of a pass-catcher and has been really consistent for Winston. Greene dominated Oklahoma State last Saturday with 11 catches, 203 yards and a touchdown.

19. *T.J. Yeldon, RB, Alabama

I may have heaped a lot of praise on Gurley earlier, but don't think I'm sleeping on T.J. Yeldon at all. His 126 rushing yards against West Virginia is the biggest reason the Crimson Tide didn't blow that game.

20. *Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona

The Philadelphia native isn't a big name right now. But he's got a whole lot of potential, and people should start taking notice. He started 2014 off with a bang, notching 10 catches for 146 yards.

21. Denzel Perryman, ILB, Miami

22. *Hroniss Grasu, OC, Oregon

23. La'el Collins, OT/G, LSU

24. *Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State

25. *Stefon Diggs, WR, Maryland

26. *Sammie Coates, WR, Auburn

27. *Devin Funchess, TE, Michigan

28. *Mario Edwards, Jr., DE, Florida State

29. *Shawn Oakman, DE, Baylor

30. *Shaq Thompson, OLB, Washington 


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