2015 NFL Draft: Matt Miller's Post-Regular Season Big Board

Matt Miller@nfldraftscoutNFL Draft Lead WriterJanuary 6, 2015

2015 NFL Draft: Matt Miller's Post-Regular Season Big Board

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    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    Draft season is here, with the first stage of the process complete now that the college football regular season is over and the first 20 picks of the NFL draft set. But let's not forget this is a long, arduous process, and it's just getting started.

    The process of evaluating players for the NFL draft begins immediately after the last draft ends. For the 2015 class, I started in mid-May 2014 working on the top returning players. The general idea is to focus on the top seniors, but players like Marcus Mariota (QB, Oregon) and Jameis Winston (QB, FSU) meant also looking at the top underclassmen quarterbacks.

    From mid-May until the games begin in late August, my work focuses purely on those seniors and top-level underclassmen. The process evolves once the college season begins, with more work being done on a team level as the search for NFL-caliber talent becomes more widespread. My goal in-season is to see each team three times and then highlight individually talented players on those teams three times by looking at their individual game film.

    Now, once the season ends, is when the job gets crazy. With underclassmen flooding the draft class, that means going back to review those sophomores and juniors who weren't expected to declare in-season and getting a look at their skill set. And that's where I'm at now—trying to finish evaluations of the top seniors while adding in the declaring underclassmen.

    These rankings will change between now and the last week in April when the 2015 NFL draft is held. That'll happen because of more exposure to the players at the Senior Bowl and Scouting Combine, because of more time to review game film and simply due to more time to think about the players' strengths and weaknesses. But with January here and draft fans hungry for info, here is a look at my updated top 300 players, ranked by position.

Top 50 Overall

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Here are the top 50 players who have already declared or are eligible for the 2015 NFL draft.

    The class isn't particularly strong—especially if compared to 2014 or 2011—but there is good talent here. You'll notice a lot of offensive tackles, wide receivers, running backs and pass-rushers here, and it's a very good year for each position in the first two rounds of the draft. 

    What you'll notice lacking is depth at quarterback. Marcus Mariota seems like a lock to enter the draft as a junior, and he'll be the No. 1 overall player once he makes that decision official. If Jameis Winston opts to return to Florida State for his junior season, the gap between the top two ranked quarterbacks would be 49 spots, as Brett Hundley comes in at No. 50 overall.

    Top 50 Rankings
    RankPlayer Pos. Pos. RankSchoolClassHt.Wt.
    1Marcus Mariota QB1OregonrJr6'4"215
    2Leonard WilliamsDT1USCJr6'5"298
    3 Amari CooperWR1AlabamaJr6'1"202
    4 Jameis WinstonQB2FSUrSo6'4"232
    5Randy GregoryDE1NebraskarJr6'6"245
    6Shane RayDE2MissourirJr6'3"245
    7Landon CollinsSS1AlabamaJr6'0"215
    8Brandon Scherff OT1IowarSr6'5"320
    9 Shaq ThompsonOLB1WashingtonJr6'2"231
    10 DeVante ParkerWR2LouisvilleSr6'3"209
    11Alvin Dupree DE3KentuckyrSr6'4"267
    12Kevin WhiteWR3West VirginiaSr6'3"209
    13Dante FowlerDE4FloridaJr6'2"261
    14 La'el CollinsOT2LSUSr6'5"321
    15Ronnie StanleyOT3Notre DamerSo6'5"315
    16Vic BeasleyOLB2ClemsonrSr6'2"235
    17Todd Gurley RB1GeorgiaJr6'1"232
    18Marcus PetersCB1WashingtonrJr6'0"198
    19 Gerod Holliman FS1LouisvillerSo6'2"213
    20Cedric Ogbuehi OT4Texas A&MrSr6'5"300
    21 Benardrick McKinneyILB1Mississippi StaterJr6'4"249
    22Devin Funchess WR4MichiganJr6'5"230
    23 Trae Waynes CB2Michigan StaterJr6'1"183
    24 Malcom BrownDT2TexasJr6'4"320
    25Danny SheltonDT3WashingtonSr6'2"332
    26Andrus PeatOT5StanfordJr6'7"312
    27 Jalen CollinsCB3LSUrJr6'2"194
    28Eli HaroldDE5VirginiaJr6'4"250
    29 Jaelen StrongWR5Arizona StaterJr6'4"212
    30Sammie Coates WR6AuburnrJr6'2"201
    31 Tevin ColemanRB2IndianaJr6'0"210
    32Kevin JohnsonCB4Wake ForestrSr6'0"175
    33Michael BennettDT4Ohio StateSr6'2"288
    34Duke JohnsonRB3Miami (Fla.)Jr5'9"206
    35 Maxx WilliamsTE1MinnesotarSo6'4"254
    36Eddie GoldmanDT5Florida StateJr6'3"320
    37Eric KendricksILB2UCLArSr6'0"230
    38Jordan PhillipsDT6OklahomarSo6'6"334
    39 Hau'oli Kikaha DE6WashingtonrSr6'3"250
    40 Ereck FlowersOT6Miami (Fla.)Jr6'5"324
    41T.J. Clemmings OT7PittrSr6'5"305
    42Ty Sambrailo OT8Colorado StaterSr6'5"315
    43 Denzel Perryman ILB3Miami (Fla.)Sr5'11"242
    44Melvin GordonRB4WisconsinrJr6'1"207
    45Alex CarterCB5StanfordrJr6'0"202
    46Nate OrchardDE7UtahSr6'4"255
    47 DeForest BucknerDE8OregonJr6'7"290
    48 Ameer Abdullah RB5NebraskaSr5'9"195
    49Nelson Agholor WR7USCJr6'1"190
    50Brett Hundley QB3UCLArJr6'3"227

Quarterbacks

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    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Before the season began, it looked like the 2015 quarterback class could be very strong with names like Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston, Brett Hundley and Bryce Petty all set for big seasons before heading to the NFL. And then the season began.

    Mariota, Winston, Hundley and Petty still come in atop the rankings but are no longer considered a foursome of first-round talent. Now, it's Mariota and Winston (if he declares for this draft) sitting in the top five, but each with holes and question marks. Look at Winston ranked No. 4 overall, then travel way down to No. 50 and you'll see Hundley, a talented athlete but a player still struggling with how to become a pure passer. Then there's Petty at No. 78, a productive passer who will crush the interview portion of the pre-draft process but is limited by his scheme and has questionable NFL arm strength.

    If you were excited about the quarterback class in August, you may feel let down now. Any team needing a quarterback early in Round 1 shouldn't feel great about their options.

    Quarterback Rankings
    RankPlayerSchoolHTWTClass OVR Rank
    1Marcus Mariota Oregon6'4"215rJr1
    2 Jameis WinstonFlorida State6'4"232rSo4
    3Brett Hundley UCLA6'3"227rJr50
    4Bryce PettyBaylor6'3"230rSr78
    5Garrett Grayson Colorado State6'2"220rSr108
    6Shane Carden East Carolina6'2"221Sr129
    7Brandon BridgeSouth Alabama6'5"235rSr162
    8Sean Mannion Oregon State6'5"220rSr204
    9Cody Fajardo Nevada6'2"215rSr212
    10Bo WallaceOle Miss6'4"217Sr233
    11Blake SimsAlabama6'0"208rSr240
    12Bryan BennettSE Louisiana6'2"215rSr242
    13Tyler Heinicke Old Dominion6'1"213Sr261
    14Nick MarshallAuburn6'1"210Sr268

Running Backs

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    John Bazemore/Associated Press

    After two years of the NFL de-valuing the running back position, this might be the year that puts a runner back into the first round.

    Pick your flavor between the powerful, speedy Todd Gurley, the do-it-all-back in Tevin Coleman, the pure speedster in Duke Johnson or the complete-package in Melvin Gordon, and it's easy to make the case for a late-first-round running back.

    But it's not just the top-end of the class that's impressive—this is a deep group with the top nine backs ranked all capable of being Day 1 starters.

    Running Back Rankings
    RankPlayerSchoolHTWTClass OVR Rank
    1Todd Gurley Georgia6'1"232Jr17
    2 Tevin ColemanIndiana6'0"210Jr31
    3Duke JohnsonMiami (FL)5'9"206Jr34
    4Melvin GordonWisconsin6'1"207rJr44
    5 Ameer Abdullah Nebraska5'9"195Sr48
    6T.J. Yeldon Alabama6'2"221Jr69
    7David CobbMinnesota5'11"229Sr73
    8Jay Ajayi Boise State6'0"216rJr76
    9Mike DavisSouth Carolina5'9"216Jr90
    10 Javorius AllenUSC6'1"220rJr104
    11Josh RobinsonMiss. State5'9"225Jr126
    12Cameron Artis-PayneAuburn5'10"210Sr128
    13Jeremy Langford Michigan St.6'0"205rSr131
    14David JohnsonNorthern Iowa6'2"229rSr142
    15Malcolm BrownTexas6'0"228Sr144
    16Matt JonesFlorida6'1"235Jr161
    17Dominique BrownLouisville6'2"216rSr203
    18Dee HartColorado St.5'9"187Jr218
    19 Karlos WilliamsFlorida State6'1"225Sr222
    20Trey WilliamsTexas A&M5'8"195Jr231
    21Terrance Magee LSU5'9"218Sr234
    22 Jahwan EdwardsBall State5'10"219Sr235
    23Corey GrantAuburn5'10"205rSr243
    24Marcus MurphyMissouri5'9"195rSr255
    25Malcolm AgnewSouthern Illnois 5'9"207Sr264
    26Michael DyerLouisville5'9"215rSr282
    27 Terris Jones-GrigsbyArizona5'7"198rSr300

Fullbacks

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    Butch Dill/Associated Press

    The fullback position isn't as widely used in the NFL as it was 20 years ago, but those teams that do rely on a fullback will be surprised by the talent available in this class.

    Alabama's Jalston Fowler might be my favorite player to watch film on in the entire class. He's big, powerful, mean and can both run with the ball and block. Yale's Tyler Vargas didn't see a ton of big-league competition, but that's why he looks like a man among boys on film as a runner and receiver. 

    Five draftable fullbacks? That's great news for the NFL.

    Fullback Rankings
    RankPlayerSchoolHTWTClass OVR Rank
    1 Jalston FowlerAlabama6'0"248rSr163
    2Tyler Varga Yale5'11"220Sr187
    3Conner NeighborsLSU5'11"230rSr196
    4 Trayion DurhamKent State6'1"248Sr237
    5Zach Zenner South Dakota St.5'11"220rSr289

Wide Receivers

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    Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

    The 2014 class of rookie wide receivers posted historic production and offer jaw-dropping upside and potential. The 2015 class doesn't quite compare to that group, but this is a very good crop of wide receivers with early impact potential.

    Up first is Amari Cooper. The Alabama wideout is a complete, dynamic wide receiver. And while he wouldn't have been on-par with Sammy Watkins or Mike Evans in terms of ranking or grade, he's up there with Odell Beckham Jr. The same could be said for DeVante Parker and Kevin White—two bigger-bodied receivers with off-the-ground ability. And if you like them big, Devin Funchess and Jaelen Strong are nice options at the end of the first round.

    Speed receivers are featured here, too, with Sammie Coates having burner ability in space. If you prefer possession receivers, you'll love Nelson Agholor, Rashad Greene and Justin Hardy as Day 2 options.

    Wide Receiver Rankings
    RankPlayerSchoolHTWTClassOVR Rank
    1Amari CooperAlabama6'1"202Jr3
    2DeVante ParkerLouisville6'3"209Sr10
    3Kevin WhiteWest Virginia6'3"209Sr12
    4Devin FunchessMichigan6'5"230Jr22
    5Jaelen StrongArizona State6'4"212rJr29
    6Sammie CoatesAuburn6'2"201rJr30
    7Nelson AgholorUSC6'1"190Jr49
    8Devin SmithOhio State6'1"197Sr55
    9Rashad GreeneFlorida State6'0"180Sr62
    10Josh HarperFresno State6'1"185rSr84
    11Justin HardyEast Carolina6'0"188Sr91
    12Ty MontgomeryStanford6'2"215Sr93
    13Vince MayleWashington State6'3"219rSr105
    14Tyler LockettKansas State5'11"175Sr106
    15Stefon DiggsMaryland6'0"195Jr107
    16Antwan GoodleyBaylor5'10"225rSr116
    17Tony LippettMichigan State6'3"190rSr127
    18Dres AndersonUtah6'2"190Sr139
    19Phillip DorsettMiami (FL)5'10"195Sr156
    20Austin HillArizona6'2"210rSr158
    21Jamison CrowderDuke5'9"175Sr170
    22Devante DavisUNLV6'3"210Sr175
    23Kenny BellNebraska6'1"185rSr179
    24Dezmin LewisCentral Arkansas6'4"212rSr186
    25Titus DavisCentral Michigan6'2"190Sr188
    26Levi NorwoodBaylor6'1"195rSr211
    27Rannell HallUCF6'1"200Sr224
    28Kasen WilliamsWashington6'2"221Sr239
    29Matt MillerBoise State6'3"220rSr241
    30Jordan TaylorRice6'5"210rSr247
    31Jaxon ShipleyTexas6'1"193Sr270
    32Cam WorthyEast Carolina6'2"220rSr281
    33Jake KumerowUW-Whitewater6'4"195rSr290
    34Lemar DurantSimon Fraser6'2"231Jr292
    35Deon LongMaryland6'0"195rSr297
    36Nigel KingKansas6'3"210Sr301
    37Shaq RolandSouth Carolina6'1"176Jr350

Tight Ends

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    John Raoux/Associated Press

    One year after Eric Ebron was a top-10 pick, it's unlikely any tight end goes that high in the 2015 draft. Not even the top-ranked player (Maxx Williams) is guaranteed to be a first-rounder.

    But this is a good tight end class in terms of depth, even if the top-end talent isn't epic. Williams is a stud in the making, but look at Miami's Clive Walford for that basketball player-type tight end with big developmental potential. Ohio State's Jeff Heuerman didn't have great production in college, but he's a complete player with receiving and blocking skills, plus athleticism.

    Nick O'Leary has been a high-level producer in college, but he's more of an H-back at the next level and may be too scheme specific for most teams.

    Tight End Rankings
    RankPlayerSchoolHTWTClass OVR Rank
    1 Maxx WilliamsMinnesota6'4"254rSo35
    2Clive Walford Miami (FL)6'4"258rSr81
    3Jeff Heuerman Ohio State6'5"255Sr85
    4Ben Koyack Notre Dame6'4"261Sr95
    5E.J. Bibbs Iowa State6'3"261Sr123
    6Gerald ChristianLouisville6'3"242rSr146
    7Nick O'Leary Florida State6'3"247Sr151
    8Tyler Kroft Rutgers6'5"240rJr155
    9Wes Saxton South Alabama6'4"235Sr178
    10 MyCole PruittSouthern Illinois6'3"255rSr180
    11C.J. Uzomah Auburn6'4"264Sr193
    12Rory AndersonSouth Carolina6'5"227Sr194
    13Randall Telfer USC6'4"260rSr198
    14Nick BoyleDelaware6'5"270Sr209
    15Blake BellOklahoma6'6"259rSr220
    16Eric TomlinsonUTEP6'7"265rSr260
    17Sam Arneson Wisconsin6'4"254Sr278
    18Jean Sifrin UMass6'7"250Jr287

Offensive Tackles

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    Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

    Offensive tackles have become a trendy Round 1 pick in recent years—an average of 4.5 tackles have gone in the first round the past five years. That trend should continue in 2015, as the tackle class looks very solid yet again.

    The three seniors dominate the first round currently, as they are the only players guaranteed to be in this class. Redshirt sophomore Ronnie Stanley is on the fence as of January 5, and junior Andrus Peat is also still undecided. That leaves Brandon Scherff, La'el Collins and Cedric Ogbuehi as the Big 3, but we could see five first-round grades by late April.

    The second round features starting-caliber tackles, too. Seniors T.J. Clemmings and Ty Sambrailo could rise to late-first status by April, and underclassman Ereck Flowers has that potential too.

    Offensive Tackle Rankings
    RankPlayerSchoolHTWTClass OVR Rank
    1Brandon Scherff Iowa6'5"320rSr8
    2 La'el CollinsLSU6'5"321Sr14
    3Ronnie StanleyNotre Dame6'5"315rSo15
    4Cedric Ogbuehi Texas A&M6'5"300rSr20
    5Andrus PeatStanford6'7312Jr26
    6 Ereck FlowersMiami (FL)6'5"324Jr40
    7T.J. Clemmings Pittsburgh6'5"305rSr41
    8Ty Sambrailo Colorado State6'5"315rSr42
    9Jake FisherOregon6'6"299Sr52
    10Tyrus ThompsonOklahoma6'5"336rSr59
    11Daryl WilliamsOklahoma6'6"329rSr80
    12Jeremiah Poutasi Utah6'5"344Jr89
    13Corey RobinsonSouth Carolina6'7"344rSr103
    14Sean HickeySyracuse6'5"300rSr121
    15Robert MyersTennessee St.6'5"310rSr168
    16Rob Havenstein Wisconsin6'8"327rSr171
    17Eric Lefeld Cincinnati6'6"310rSr214
    18D.J. Humphries Flroida6'5"290Jr219
    19Donovan SmithPenn State6'5"335Jr226
    20 Jamon BrownLouisville6'5"350Sr251
    21Brett Boyko UNLV6'7"310Sr262
    22Trenton BrownFlorida6'8"350Sr275
    23 Tayo Fabuluje TCU6'7"358rSr276

Offensive Guards

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    John Raoux/Associated Press

    Don't get your hopes up for a quick fix at offensive guard in Round 1 this year. Or Round 2. There's no Zack Martin or Joel Bitonio in this class, but remember that Brandon Linder was drafted in Round 3 and became a top starter in his rookie season.

    A.J. Cann is a dang good run-blocker with the athleticism to improve in the pass game to get to that high level. He's talented enough to start as a rookie. The same could be said for Josue Matias, Arie Kouandjio and Tre' Jackson—all are experienced, talented guards with starter upside.

    Offensive Guard Rankings
    RankPlayerSchoolHTWTClass OVR Rank
    1A.J. Cann South Carolina6'3"318rSr71
    2Josue MatiasFlorida State6'6"325Sr98
    3Arie Kouandjio Alabama6'5"315rSr114
    4 Tre' JacksonFlorida State6'4"330Sr117
    5Jarvis HarrisonTexas A&M6'3"325rSr120
    6 Laken TomlinsonDuke6'3"320rSr134
    7Ali Marpet Hobart6'4"310Sr143
    8John MillerLouisville6'2"321Sr157
    9Miles Dieffenbach Penn State6'3"303rSr182
    10Jamil DouglasArizona State6'4"300rSr189
    11 Aundry WalkerUSC6'6"318Sr192
    12Adam Shead Oklahoma6'4"339rSr201
    13Christian LombardNotre Dame6'5"315rSr202
    14Ben Beckwith Mississippi St.6'3"308rSr252
    15Jon Feliciano Miami (FL)6'4"316rSr256
    16Leon BrownAlabama6'6"320Sr259
    17Tyler MooreFlorida6'5"324Jr280

Centers

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    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    Making the transition from college center to pro center isn't easy, but it can be done well. Look at Travis Frederick or Corey Linsley as recent examples of rookies who have had a major impact on their new teams. 

    There are three players in the 2015 class who qualify as potential impact centers. Cam Erving, a former tackle, Reese Dismukes and Hroniss Grasu. Each has the athleticism and intelligence to make the jump from college to the NFL without slowing down.

    A sleeper prospect here is Greg Mancz. He's been impressive on film but is flying under the radar a bit currently.

    Center Rankings
    RankPlayerSchoolHTWTClass OVR Rank
    1Cameron Erving Florida State6'5"308rSr74
    2Reese Dismukes Auburn6'3"296Sr87
    3 Hroniss Grasu Oregon6'3"297rSr96
    4Andy Gallik Boston College6'2"299rSr111
    5Greg Mancz Toledo6'5"300rSr197
    6Jake SmithLouisville6'3"312rSr230
    7Brandon Vitabile Northwestern6'3"300rSr258

Defensive Ends

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    Eric Francis/Getty Images

    I've taken the liberty of naming the 2015 NFL draft the "Year of the Pass-Rusher," and if you see how many players are ranked below, you'll understand why.

    With 32 players ranked in the top 300, the defensive end (and some 3-4 outside linebackers) class is loaded. That includes four in the top 15 and eight in the top 50 overall. And there would have been more if not for Eric Striker, Leonard Floyd and others returning to school. 

    The existing class features elite athletes with versatile skill sets. The top seven players all played defensive end in college but have the tools to stand up and play linebacker in a rushing scheme in the NFL. Randy Gregory looks like Aldon Smith's little brother, Shane Ray has some Cameron Wake to his game, and Alvin Dupree is a physically jacked stud who few tackles can compete with on a strength and power basis.

    If your team isn't drafting in the top 15 or planning to use a first-rounder on a pass-rusher, don't worry, the depth here is very good too. In Round 2, players like Nate Orchard, Hau'oli Kikaha and DeForest Buckner are all future starters.

    Defensive End Rankings
    RankPlayerSchoolHTWTClass OVR Rank
    1Randy GregoryNebraska6'6"245rJr5
    2Shane RayMissouri6'3"245rJr6
    3Alvin Dupree Kentucky6'4"267rSr11
    4Dante Fowler Jr.Florida6'2"261Jr13
    5Eli HaroldVirginia6'4"250Jr28
    6 Hauoli Kikaha Washington6'3"250rSr39
    7Nate OrchardUtah6'4"255Sr46
    8 DeForest BucknerOregon6'7"290Jr47
    9Danielle HunterLSU6'6"240Jr51
    10Lorenzo Mauldin Louisville6'4"243Sr53
    11 Shilique CalhounMichigan State6'4"257rJr56
    12Mario EdwardsFlorida State6'3"294Jr60
    13Markus GoldenMissouri6'3"260rSr66
    14 Arik Armstead Oregon6'7"296Jr75
    15Trey FlowersArkansas6'4"267Sr79
    16Preston SmithMississippi St.6'5"270Sr82
    17 Owamagbe Odighizuwa UCLA6'3"270rSr88
    18Henry AndersonStanford6'6"295rSr102
    19Cedric ReedTexas6'6"271Sr122
    20Deion BarnesPenn State6'4"255Jr149
    21 Za'Darius SmithKentucky6'5"264Sr150
    22Corey CrawfordClemson6'5"270rSr153
    23 Devonte FieldsTCU6'4"250rSo159
    24Xavier CooperWashington St.6'4"299Jr165
    25 Jermauria Rasco LSU6'3"247Sr195
    26C.J. Olaniyan Penn St.6'3"252rSr213
    27Anthony Chickillo Miami (FL)6'4"282Sr225
    28Shaquille Riddick West Virginia6'5"242Sr238
    29Martin Ifedi Memphis6'3"265rSr244
    30James RouseMarshall6'5"270rSr288
    31Zach Wagenmann Montana6'4"250rSr291
    32 Ishaq WilliamsNotre Dame6'4"271Sr293

Defensive Tackles

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    It's still early in the draft process, but if you had to bet on anyone taking Marcus Mariota's spot atop the draft class, Leonard Williams would be that guy.

    The big USC defensive lineman plays a lot of end for the Trojans, but he projects best moving inside to a 3-technique position as a pass-rushing tackle in the pros. And he can be a good one. I don't compare Williams to Ndamukong Suh's ability coming out of Nebraska, but he's on par with other top-tier tackles I've seen in the last decade.

    Four other players have Round 1 talent—Malcom Brown, Danny Shelton, Michael Bennett and Eddie Goldman—but how they come off the board will depend on the schemes and needs after free agency. Brown is a complete player, Shelton is a classic nose tackle, Bennett is a one-gap penetrator and Goldman can do it all when he's on his game.

    If his injury history checks out, Jordan Phillips might be the No. 2 guy off the board in the group. The huge Oklahoma tackle had a back injury, but he was dominant in 2014.

    Defensive Tackle Rankings
    RankPlayerSchoolHTWTClass OVR Rank
    1Leonard WilliamsUSC6'5"298Jr2
    2 Malcom BrownTexas6'4"320Jr24
    3Danny SheltonWashington6'2"332Sr25
    4Michael BennettOhio State6'2"288Sr33
    5Eddie GoldmanFlorida State6'3"320Jr36
    6Jordan PhillipsOklahoma6'6"334rSo38
    7Carl DavisIowa6'5"315rSr92
    8Christian Covington Rice6'3"295rJr97
    9Gabe WrightAuburn6'2"284Sr113
    10 Tyeler Davison Fresno State6'2"309rSr119
    11Grady JarrettClemson6'1"295Sr125
    12Travis Raciti San Jose St.6'5"290rSr136
    13Louis Trinca-PasatIowa6'2"290rSr138
    14Joey Mbu Houston6'3"312Sr147
    15 Chucky HunterTCU6'1"305Sr152
    16Warren HerringWisconsin6'2"294rSr183
    17Brandon IvoryAlabama6'3"308rSr185
    18James Castleman Oklahoma State6'2"300Sr190
    19Kaleb Eulls Mississippi St.6'3"295rSr217
    20Darius Kilgo Maryland6'2"310rSr246
    21Desmond Hollin Florida St.6'3"285Sr248
    22Olsen PierreMiami (FL)6'5"300Sr263
    23Thomas TealNorth Carolina St.6'1"308rSr265
    24Cameron BotticelliMinnesota6'5"282rSr286

Outside Linebackers

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    The spread of the 3-4 defense and the prevalence of nickel packages becoming base packages in the NFL means linebackers must be more athletic than ever before. Gone are the days of 6'4", 260-pound one-directional players. Now NFL teams will take a 225-pound athlete and let him do what he does best—run and react.

    With that in mind, the '15 class could be a fun one. Shaq Thompson has played running back, linebacker and safety, so you know he's bringing athleticism to the field. Vic Beasley is an undersized pass-rusher in the Barkevious Mingo mold, but he'll be a stand-up player in the pros. Paul Dawson and Kwon Alexander might be under the radar right now, but both can flat-out run and are terrors in space. And if you want edge-rushers, Zach Hodges and Lynden Trail are small school guys with that skill set.

    Outside Linebacker Rankings
    RankPlayerSchoolHTWTClass OVR Rank
    1 Shaq ThompsonWashington6'2"231Jr9
    2Vic BeasleyClemson6'2"235rSr16
    3Paul DawsonTCU6'2"230Sr57
    4 Kwon AlexanderLSU6'2"227Jr72
    5Zach HodgesHarvard6'3"235Sr86
    6 Lynden TrailNorfolk St.6'6"260rSr109
    7Jordan HicksTexas6'2"244rSr110
    8 Geneo Grissom Oklahoma6'4"252rSr118
    9Tony WashingtonOregon6'3"250rSr118
    10Noah SpenceOhio State6'3"252Jr160
    11 Martrell Spaight Arkansas6'1"231Sr172
    12 Xzavier DicksonAlabama6'3"268Sr173
    13J.R. Tavai USC6'2"250Sr184
    14Derrick Malone Jr.Oregon6'2"220rSr206
    15James Vaughters Stanford6'2"254Sr208
    16Junior Sylvestre Toledo6'0"222Sr232
    17Aaron DavisColorado State6'0"220Sr245
    18Davis TullChattanooga6'2"242rSr271
    19 Dyshawn DavisSyracuse6'2"221Sr273
    20Maurice FallsEast Carolina6'3"247rSr296
    21Michael Orakpo Texas State6'1"226rSr298

Inside Linebackers

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Every NFL fan wants the next Luke Kuechly or C.J. Mosley, but unfortunately, the 2015 class doesn't look to offer that level of skill set. But don't be too discouraged, as the top three linebackers here are all rookie starter material.

    Benardrick McKinney could play any linebacker spot in a 4-3 defense and offers unreal athleticism combined with instincts and production at the "Mike" spot. Eric Kendricks and Denzel Perryman won't meet ideal height metrics, but they both can fly to the ball and have taken over games during their careers. Perryman might be the hardest hitter in the entire draft, too.

    My sleeper here? Hayes Pullard. And yes, it's weird that a sleeper could come from USC, but he's being overlooked right now. 

    Inside Linebacker Rankings
    RankPlayerSchoolHTWTClass OVR Rank
    1 Benardrick McKinneyMississippi St.6'4"249rJr21
    2Eric KendricksUCLA6'0"230rSr37
    3 Denzel Perryman Miami (FL)5'11"242Sr43
    4 Stephone AnthonyClemson6'2"245Sr101
    5 Ramik WilsonGeorgia6'2"237Sr137
    6Ben Heeney Kansas6'0"230Sr166
    7A.J. JohnsonTennessee6'2"242Sr169
    8Mike HullPenn St.6'0"232rSr174
    9Hayes Pullard USC6'1"235rSr176
    10Bryce Hager Baylor6'1"235rSr205
    11Trey DePriest Alabama6'1"250Sr221
    12AJ Tarpley Stanford6'2"238rSr227
    13 Amarlo HerreraGeorgia6'1"232Sr267
    14Taiwan JonesMichigan St.6'3"252Sr285

Cornerbacks

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    It can't be said lightly, so here it is: There isn't a top-10 or top-15 cornerback in the 2015 draft class. Not yet, at least. 

    Sure, that could change between now and late April, but the on-film talent levels shown don't represent a top-tier group. The draft's best cornerback—Marcus Peters—was dismissed from the team and will have to answer questions about his character to keep his Round 1 status. After Peters, take your pick between Trae Waynes, Jalen Collins, Kevin Johnson, Alex Carter and Ronald Darby as the top corner. Each could lay claim to that ranking depending on what you (and what NFL teams) want from the position.

    A few sleepers to track: Quinten Rollins, Senquez Golson and JaCorey Shepherd.

    Cornerback Rankings
    RankPlayerSchoolHTWTClass OVR Rank
    1Marcus PetersWashington6'0"198rJr18
    2 Trae Waynes Michigan State6'1"183rJr23
    3 Jalen CollinsLSU6'2"194rJr27
    4Kevin JohnsonWake Forest6'0"175rSr32
    5Alex CarterStanford6'0"202rJr45
    6Ronald DarbyFlorida State5'11"195Jr54
    7 Quinten RollinsMiami (OH)6'0"203rSr58
    8P.J. WilliamsFlorida State6'0"196Jr61
    9Charles GainesLouisville5'11"175rJr63
    10Lorenzo DossTulane5'11"187Jr65
    11 Senquez Golson Ole Miss5'9"176Sr67
    12 D'Joun SmithFlorida Atlanta5'11"190Sr83
    13 Quandre Diggs Texas5'10"204Sr100
    14 Ifo Ekpre-OlomuOregon5'9"195Sr112
    15 JaCorey ShepherdKansas5'11"195Sr112
    16Steven NelsonOregon State5'11"195Sr130
    17Eric RoweUtah6'1"201Sr133
    18 Doran GrantOhio State5'11"193Sr140
    19Kevin WhiteTCU5'10"175rSr141
    20Cam ThomasWestern Kentucky6'1"190rSr148
    21Josh ShawUSC6'1"200rSr154
    22Cody RiggsNotre Dame5'9"190rSr164
    23 Deshazor EverettTexas A&M5'11"188Sr177
    24 Ladarius GunterMiami (FL)6'2"198rSr199
    25 Imoan ClaiborneNorthwestern State5'10"187rSr200
    26Byron JonesConnecticut6'1"196rSr215
    27Damian Swann Georgia5'11"180Sr223
    28Curtis RileyFresno State6'0"190Sr229
    29Justin ColemanTennessee5'10"190Sr236
    30Jonathon Mincy Auburn5'10"196rSr249
    31Julian WilsonOklahoma6'2"201rSr253
    32 De'Ante SaundersTennessee St.5'10"196Sr257
    33Bryce CallahanRice5'10"180rSr277
    34Tye SmithTowson6'0"170Sr279
    35 SaQwan EdwardsNew Mexico6'1"189rSr284
    36Merrill NoelWake Forest5'10"180rSr294

Free Safeties

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    The best free safety in college football pulled down 14 interceptions in 2014, tying the NCAA record for single-season interceptions. Now he's headed to the NFL. 

    Gerod Holliman won't be a player everyone likes, but his ability to play in coverage and attack the football in the air makes him a Round 1 talent to me. He's not a big hitter, but he'll make his money by getting the ball into his hands. 

    The rest of the safety class is good but not overwhelmingly so. Derron Smith, Durell Eskridge, Jalen Mills, Cody Prewitt and Kurtis Drummond could all be Day 2 guys and play early in their careers, but each also has a hole in their game that make them less than Round 1 talents.

    Free Safety Rankings
    RankPlayerSchoolHTWTClass OVR Rank
    1 Gerod Holliman Louisville6'2"213rSo19
    2Derron SmithFresno State5'11"197rSr64
    3 Durell Eskridge Syracuse6'3"203rJr68
    4 Jalen MillsLSU6'0"194Jr70
    5Cody Prewitt Ole Miss6'2"217Sr77
    6Kurtis Drummond Michigan State6'1"200rSr99
    7 Damarious RandallArizona State5'11"190rSr181
    8Jermaine WhiteheadAuburn5'11"193Sr216
    9Justin CoxMississippi St.6'2"190Sr250
    10 Dechane DuranteNorthern Illinois6'2"193rSr272
    11 Detrick BonnerVirginia Tech6'0"194rSr295

Strong Safeties

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    When scouting strong safeties, I'm looking for the next Sean Taylor. In the last decade, there hasn't been a player of that caliber, but he's the player all others are compared to. 

    Landon Collins may get that comparison from some. He's freaky athletic, wears No. 26 and could be a top-10 pick. But he's not as insanely large as Taylor was, nor is he as good when the ball is up for grabs. Collins is a very good player, but not on the iconic level. He should still go in the top 10 picks of this draft.

    After Collins, I'm still waiting for a strong safety to jump out at me. 

    Strong Safety Rankings
    RankPlayerSchoolHTWTClass OVR Rank
    1Landon CollinsAlabama6'0"215Jr7
    2Anthony HarrisVirginia6'1"190Sr115
    3 Jaquiski Tartt Samford6'1"218rSr132
    4Jordan RichardsStanford5'11"208Sr135
    5Erick Dargan Oregon5'11"212rSr167
    6 Kyshoen JarrettVirginia Tech5'11"192Sr191
    7 Ibraheim CampbellNorthwestern5'11"205rSr210
    8Clayton Geathers UCF6'2"208rSr228
    9Isaiah JohnsonGeorgia Tech6'1"213rSr254
    10Ronald MartinLSU6'1"220Sr274
    11 Serderius BryantOle Miss5'9"220Sr299