2015 NFL Mock Draft: Predictions for Top Prospects After Early Combine Results

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistFebruary 21, 2015

Iowa offensive lineman Brandon Scherff runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Friday, Feb. 20, 2015. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
David J. Phillip/Associated Press

Right now, NFL mock drafts are changing quicker than Chris Johnson's record-setting 4.24 40-yard dash back in 2008.

Thank the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine for that. The spectacle in Indianapolis continues to rage onward, with early returns offering plenty to chew on as scouts and teams take the measurements and go back to double dip into film while filling in draft boards.

So far, the most movement in the first round of mocks will concern offensive linemen and tight ends, and rightfully so. Some appear previously overrated, some will make surprising leaps and some relative unknowns are now household names.

Below is how the first round stands after the early returns from Indianapolis.

2015 NFL Mock Draft

1Tampa Bay BuccaneersMarcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
2Tennessee TitansJameis Winston, QB, Florida State
3Jacksonville JaguarsRandy Gregory, DE, Nebraska
4Oakland RaidersLeonard Williams, DL, USC
5Washington RedskinsAmari Cooper, WR, Alabama
6New York JetsKevin White, WR, West Virginia
7Chicago BearsDante Fowler Jr., DE, Florida
8Atlanta FalconsAlvin Dupree, DE/OLB, Kentucky
9New York GiantsLa'el Collins, OL, LSU
10St. Louis RamsMarcus Peters, CB, Washington
11Minnesota VikingsDorial Green-Beckham, WR, Oklahoma
12Cleveland BrownsDeVante Parker, WR, Louisville
13New Orleans SaintsShane Ray, DE, Missouri
14Miami DolphinsShaq Thompson, OLB, Washington
15San Francisco 49ersTrae Waynes, CB, Michigan State
16Houston TexansBrandon Scherff, OT, Iowa
17San Diego ChargersA.J. Cann, OG, South Carolina
18Kansas City ChiefsBreshad Perriman, WR, UCF
19Cleveland Browns (via Buffalo)Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson
20Philadelphia EaglesLandon Collins, SS, Alabama
21Cincinnati BengalsMalcom Brown, DT, Texas
22Pittsburgh SteelersArik Armstead, DE/OLB, Oregon
23Detroit LionsDanny Shelton, DT, Washington
24Arizona CardinalsOwamagbe Odighizuwa, OLB, UCLA
25Carolina PanthersAndrus Peat, OT, Stanford
26Baltimore RavensJalen Collins, CB, LSU
27Dallas CowboysBenardrick McKinney, ILB, Mississippi State
28Denver BroncosEreck Flowers, OT, Miami
29Indianapolis ColtsNate Orchard, DE, Utah
30Green Bay PackersEddie Goldman, DT, Florida State
31Seattle SeahawksCarl Davis, DL, Iowa
32New England PatriotsMaxx Williams, TE, Minnesota

Combine's Early Winners and Losers 

Winner: Brandon Scherff, OL, Iowa

Even a day cut short by a slight injury issue will not slow Brandon Scherff at this point.

Scherff is a bit of an oddity in that the globe cannot seem to make up its mind concerning whether he plays on the inside or outside at the next level.

The Iowa product measured in at 6'5" and 319 pounds, running a superb 5.05 40-yard dash and repping 225 pounds 23 times on the bench press before shutting it down due to a hamstring injury, per Mike Jones of The Washington Post.

It was enough, though, for many to come away impressed despite the question about his positional destination at the next level.

NFL Network's Mike Mayock sang Scherff's praises along with plenty others.

"I fully expect Brandon Scherff to be the first offensive lineman off the board," Mayock said on NFL Network, per NFL.com's Mike Huguenin. "I think he kicks inside and Day 1 becomes a starter."

LSU's La'el Collins was another big winner and may wind up off the board before Scherff now that his combine performance eliminated any positional questions. That said, the Iowa standout might just be the surest thing in the class after Friday's results.

Loser: Ereck Flowers, OL, Miami

David J. Phillip/Associated Press

For a brief moment, Miami's Ereck Flowers was one of the more underrated prospects in the class and a darling of many on the hunt for gems.

Flowers did himself few favors Friday, though, as a surprising lack of speed, including laterally, figures to peg him as a guard at the next level at best.

The mauling run blocker weighed in at 6'6" and 329 pounds, but he rumbled to a 5.31 40-yard dash. Now, 37 reps on the bench press is ridiculously impressive, but it reinforces the notion that he's more of a run-blocking interior prospect.

NFL Network's Brian Billick put it best:

Bleacher Report's Matt Miller weighed in with his take on Flowers' overall situation too:

Make no mistake—Flowers figures to have a successful pro career on the inside.

In an ideal world, though, he would have showed up slimmer and shown more athleticism to make himself look more versatile, similar to what the aforementioned Collins did.

Instead, Flowers is a lock for an interior slot, which makes him an option for fewer teams, especially in the first round when interior linemen are not a great perceived value.

Winner: MyCole Pruitt, TE, Southern Illinois


The combine is a great place for lesser-known names to seize the spotlight, which is exactly what MyCole Pruitt out of Southern Illinois did Friday.

Pruitt is a freak athlete in the purest sense of the description. He won't blow anyone away with his in-the-trenches blocking ability, but at 6'2" and 251 pounds with 4.58 40-yard dash speed, he's a matchup nightmare for defenses—never mind the fact that he ranked among the best in every speed drill offered.

Of course, this should be ringing alarm bells for many, as each year, the combine features a few so-called "workout warriors" who never translate to the field. Shane P. Hallam of DraftTV.com offers some perspective on the matter:

The thing is, the talent is certainly in place for Pruitt to succeed at the next level if he lands in the right situation with a coaching staff that can best utilize his talents.

In a weak class with only one true first-round tight end—Minnesota's Maxx Williams was another Friday winner—Pruitt is now in position to possibly sneak into the second-round conversation, especially if his measurements match up well with his film, which will very much be a sudden hot commodity in NFL circles.

Note: Stats courtesy of NFL.com as of Feb. 20 at 9 p.m. ET. All advanced metrics via Pro Football Focus.

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