B/R via Getty Images

The NFL released 32 compensatory picks Monday evening—meaning we now know the full order for the 2015 draft. 

With free agency, trades and now compensatory picks coming into focus, the draft is starting to line up. Of course we can't know yet which teams will be willing to trade picks to move up or down the board, but team needs and player value are becoming much more solid. And with that, it's time for a complete mock draft.

Pick by pick, here's how the 2015 NFL draft looks five weeks out. This is a look not at what I would do as general manager of each team, per se, but what I'm hearing and predicting will happen based on needs, player value and holes expected to be filled between now and April 30.

The first round of the NFL draft is still a long time away, but here's an educated guess at what will happen when Commissioner Roger Goodell walks to the podium in Chicago.

USA Today

If you haven't been able to keep up with the fast-paced NFL offseason, don't worry, you are not alone. But that's why the Scouting Notebook exists—to keep you up to date on everything that's happening in the NFL and how it relates to the draft. That means a new mock draft again this week, but first a ton of news and notes.


—Who are NFL teams eyeing most? I had one team picking in the middle of the first round ask how far, realistically, wide receiver Amari Cooper could fall in the first round. My answer: no later than No. 11 to Minnesota, and even that would be a shock.

—Multiple area scouts remarked to me about Wake Forest's Kevin Johnson, and how he's solidly put himself into the first-round conversation with a great combine and pro day. I did hear from one team, though, that doesn't like Johnson as much because their general manager saw him live during the season and questioned his slight frame. 

—Speaking of Johnson, I'm told by a league source that he has visits lined up with the San Diego Chargers, Atlanta Falcons, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers.

USA Today

The new year is here in the NFL, and with it came a flurry of trades, signings and cuts. How do free-agent signings, salary-cap cuts and trades affect the NFL draft? The entire landscape has changed, and clarity is coming to team needs.


— The Oregon pro day was Thursday, and by what was shown on NFL Network, quarterback Marcus Mariota did not have a good outing. I'm not one to put much emphasis on a pro day (see: Bridgewater, Theodore), but when there are concerns on tape and those same concerns pop up in a workout, it's validation. There's a rule in scouting about not counting something twice, though, and a poor throwing workout from Mariota that echoes issues on film won't hurt his stock in my eyes.

— The San Francisco 49ers have seen a player exodus as of late, leaving them with big needs at many spots. In talking to team sources, I'm told offensive guard and cornerback are the big needs likely to be addressed in the draft.

— One player the 49ers may target at cornerback is Florida State's Ronald Darby. I'm told by multiple scouts that he ranks as the No. 2 cornerback in the draft, behind only Marcus Peters, and could be drafted in the teens.

USA Today

The combine is in the books. Pro days are here, and free agency is just days away. What's happening in the world of the NFL draft? Let's get caught up.


— Who made the most money at the combine? In seven responses to the text I sent out, they all said UConn cornerback Byron Jones. His 12'3" broad jump is the best I've ever seen, but he also scored well in the vertical jump (44 ½"), three-cone drill (6.78 seconds), 20-yard-shuttle (3.94 seconds) and 60-yard shuttle (10.98 seconds). That's the type of performance that opens eyes.

— Missouri edge-rusher Shane Ray had a foot injury that kept him out of the combine (at the command of doctors; he wanted to perform, I'm told), but he'll do everything at his March 19 Missouri pro day. I'm told by sources close to Ray that he could realistically run in the 4.4 range.

— Cornerback Marcus Peters is a top-10 player on my board, but he comes with off-field questions. He'll work out at Washington's pro day (a good sign after being kicked out of school), and scouts in the room for his interviews at the combine told me he did very well. Expect Peters to make many official team visits to further clear up character concerns.


The 2015 Scouting Combine has come and gone, and now more than ever the draft process gets into full swing.

When I was coming up as an evaluator, I was taught by former NFL GM Charley Casserly to never let the combine completely change your board. The idea, he told me, was to let the combine separate players with a similar grade at a position (like Kevin White and Amari Cooper) and to confirm what you saw on film. And if a player like Byron Jones or Chris Conley wows you before you've had a chance to do a film evaluation, you highlight them when you get home and start watching film again.

So that's what I do. As much as is possible, I try to mirror my process after what Casserly, former NFL GM Michael Lombardi and others taught me.

NFL teams are doing the same thing this week—revisiting scouting grades and updating reports with medical, interview and workout notes. The result for them, and me, is a new big board.


The 2015 Scouting Combine did much to validate what was seen on film, and there were also many cases of players putting on a performance that made you go home and recheck the tape. Vic Beasley, Chris Conley and Byron Jones are the three most notable names in that category.

But there's no time to sit back and reflect as the NFL draft train rolls on at 500 mph now until April 30, when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers turn in their draft card with the No. 1 overall pick. 

I left Indianapolis convinced the Buccaneers already know who they will draft with that first pick. Who will it be? Find out in this brand new two-round mock draft.

Getty Images

While you're reading this article, I'm packing my bags for the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, where I'll be covering the event for the fourth year. Combine week is a flurry of interviews, workouts and late-night talks with agents, scouts, coaches and general managers—for both players and media members. 

Before we get into combine week, here's what I'm hearing around the league and a look at an updated Round 1 mock draft pre-combine.


— This is a draft article, but first a very credible rumor that will affect the draft: I'm told the New York Jets plan to roll out the red carpet for Demaryius Thomas if he doesn't receive the franchise tag from the Denver Broncos. 

— After seeing Dorial Green-Beckham in person before the Super Bowl, I started asking NFL scouts what they've heard about his year at Oklahoma. As one Southwest scout assigned to Oklahoma told me, "He's completely turned his life around. Big brother moved in, whipped his ass and took control. He's on the straight-and-narrow since leaving Mizzou."

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The NFL Scouting Combine is just over one week away, and with it, the draft will see a major shakeup. It's time for one last look at my Top 300 big board before Indianapolis.

NFL teams have a system that I've followed in my work, and it goes as follows: In the fall, I watch three games of any player in my database and either flag him as "undraftable" or assign a talent grade. I'll then revisit these players in the winter (after the NFL season ends) and update my notes and grades on the players while also including any juniors who declared for the draft. The next step in the process is to update players after the NFL Scouting Combine.

With the first big update of the year out of the way, here's a look at the Top 300 by position.

AP Images

Here we sit, just 11 days from the NFL Scouting Combine kicking off in Indianapolis and 12 weeks from the first round of the 2015 NFL draft. It's draft season, and every Friday the Scouting Notebook will serve as your one-stop shop for all things draft.



— As I reported earlier this week, West Virginia's Kevin White is now seen as the consensus top wide receiver in the 2015 class among teams I've spoken with.

— Who is the top running back in this class? To me it's Georgia's Todd Gurley, but NFL teams I spoke with this week feel Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon is right there with him and a potential top-15 pick in this class.

— There is a consensus that Minnesota's Maxx Williams is the top tight end in this class, but a surprise name came in via text this week for the No. 2 tight end: Oklahoma's Blake Bell. The former quarterback has impressed teams with his athleticism, footwork and toughness.


Anyone can do a one-round mock draft. Two rounds? That's tougher. Seven rounds? Well, this should be unique. 

Doing a seven-round mock draft in February is a bit crazy, as free agency and the draft process will ultimately change many things. But what's a mock draft if not unrealistically fun while also being informative about team needs and player values as they currently stand?

The thing about a mock draft is that it doesn't work as simply as most think. Say the San Francisco 49ers badly need a wide receiver in the first round. If no wide receiver of value is there at pick No. 15, though, they won't draft a player at that position. So keep that in mind while reading this mock draft—your favorite team's needs must be filled with value, not just connecting the dots between "top-ranked player and top-ranked need" regardless of value.