NFL Draft 2015: 1st-Round Mock Draft and Top Prospects Who Struggled at Combine

Sean ODonnellContributor IIIFebruary 26, 2015

Washington linebacker Shaq Thompson runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
David J. Phillip/Associated Press

The NFL Scouting Combine saw more than 300 draft hopefuls take the field at Lucas Oil Stadium in an effort to impress the league personnel in attendance. Some prospects turned heads during workouts, passing each drill with flying colors. Others, however, fell flat.

Following the up-close look at this year's draft class, NFL teams will adjust their respective big boards based on what they saw in Indianapolis. With a better understanding of what each prospect brings to the table, franchises will reevaluate how well every player's skill set fits what they're trying to accomplish going forward. As a result, some prospects will become highly coveted—some many not be given another look.

Much will change between the end of the combine and the commencement of the draft. We still haven't reached the free-agency period, and impending pro days will play a big part in determining prospects' draft stock. That said, let's take a look at how the first round is likely to play out before more offseason events take place.

Updated 2015 NFL Mock Draft: 1st Round
1Tampa Bay BuccaneersJameis Winston, QB, Florida State
2Tennessee TitansLeonard Williams, DT, USC
3Jacksonville JaguarsRandy Gregory, DE, Nebraska
4Oakland RaidersKevin White, WR, West Virginia
5Washington RedskinsDante Fowler, OLB, Florida
6New York JetsMarcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
7Chicago BearsDanny Shelton, DT, Washington
8Atlanta FalconsShane Ray, DE, Missouri
9New York GiantsBrandon Scherff, OT, Iowa
10St. Louis RamsAmari Cooper, WR, Alabama
11Minnesota VikingsLa'el Collins, OT, LSU
12Cleveland BrownsDeVante Parker, WR, Louisville
13New Orleans SaintsVic Beasley, OLB, Clemson
14Miami DolphinsTrae Waynes, CB, Michigan State
15San Francisco 49ersJaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State
16Houston TexansLandon Collins, S, Alabama
17San Diego ChargersMalcom Brown, DT, Texas
18Kansas City ChiefsDorial Green-Beckham, WR, Oklahoma
19Cleveland Browns (via Buffalo)Bud Dupree, DE, Kentucky
20Philadelphia EaglesP.J. Williams, CB, Florida State
21Cincinnati BengalsJordan Phillips, DT, Oklahoma
22Pittsburgh SteelersMarcus Peters, CB, Washington
23Detroit LionsEddie Goldman, DT, Florida State
24Arizona CardinalsMelvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin
25Carolina PanthersAndrus Peat, OT, Stanford
26Baltimore RavensJalen Collins, CB, LSU
27Dallas CowboysShaq Thompson, OLB, Washington
28Denver BroncosT.J. Clemmings, OT, Pittsburgh
29Indianapolis ColtsTodd Gurley, RB, Georgia
30Green Bay PackersBenardrick McKinney, ILB, Miss State
31Seattle SeahawksDevin Funchess, WR, Michigan
32New England PatriotsEreck Flowers, OT, Miami

First-Round Prospects Who Struggled at Combine

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Many first-round prospects tear up the scouting combine. After all, they are either very polished players or absolute physical freaks capable of producing jaw-dropping workouts. However, some prospects don't deliver the showings expected of them. These players sometimes see their draft stock diminish enough to fall out of the draft's first 32 selections all together.

This year, there were some notable players who entered the combine with first-round grades but didn't live up to expectations. A few of them may have struggled, but they still belong in the first round—for now. Rest assured their pro days will be extremely important if they want to maintain—or improve—their current standing. Let's take a look at the players in question.

27. Dallas Cowboys: Shaq Thompson, OLB, Washington

Julio Cortez/Associated Press

Washington's Shaq Thompson was one of the draft's most enigmatic prospects entering the combine. At 6'0" and 228 pounds, he proved to be an extremely versatile player for the Huskies, spending time at outside linebacker, inside linebacker, safety and running back.

While that diversity left teams puzzled over which position he'd actually play in the NFL, his athleticism was incredibly intriguing. Well, he didn't do enough to live up to the hype of his athletic persona at the combine. Thompson was average during most drills and his numbers didn't match up to other first-round prospects who reside in one of his presumed positions.

Here's a look at Thompson's workout numbers compared to similar-sized players with first-round potential at linebacker, safety and running back:

Shaq Thompson's Combine Results vs. 1st-Round Prospects
Shaq ThompsonOLB4.64N/A33.5"117"6.994.0811.78
Eric KendricksILB4.6119 reps38"124"N/AN/AN/A
Landon CollinsS4.53N/A35"120"7.384.3311.94
Melvin GordonRB4.5219 reps35"126"7.044.0711.00

So, if Thompson wasn't able to post awe-inspiring numbers, why is he still being considered a first-round prospect? Well, teams are valuing versatility more than ever in the ever-changing landscape of the NFL. Thompson did show nice movement and fluidity during positional drills, making his poor workouts more acceptable as well.

If Thompson can improve on his combine numbers at his pro day, expect him to catapult as high as the middle of the first round.

31. Seattle Seahawks: Devin Funchess, WR, Michigan

David J. Phillip/Associated Press

Is he a tight end? Is he a receiver? Those were the questions being asked about Michigan's Devin Funchess entering the combine, and following his performance, we still have yet to receive an answer.

Funchess worked out with wide receivers in Indianapolis, and he successfully posted a 4.70-second 40-yard dash—the slowest time of anyone at the position. Conversely, if he would have worked out with tight ends, he would have been a top performer in the drill, posting the third-best time overall.

Here's where things continue to get interesting. At 6'4" and 232 pounds, Funchess should have the strength to hold up as a blocker. But he only posted 17 reps on the bench press—not a terrible number for a wide receiver, but not too great for a tight end.

If his workout numbers weren't confusing enough, even Funchess won't peg himself as one position or the other, via Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle:

Vic Tafur @VicTafur

Devin Funchess has been asked repeatedly if he is a WR or TE. His answer: “I’m a playmaker.” Ran 4.7 40 http://t.co/Ti93VGDokv

So, why is Funchess still being considered in the first round? He's a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses. He has the size, frame and leaping ability to win jump balls on a regular basis. His versatility also comes into play, as he has experience lining up in the slot and out wide. Teams looking for a big target in the passing game will have a hard time passing him up—no matter the position he's labeled with.

32. New England Patriots: Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami

David J. Phillip/Associated Press

Entering the combine, scouts loved the combination of size and athleticism Miami's Ereck Flowers brought to the table. At 6'6" and 329 pounds, he was still able to utilize his quick feet to be effective in pass protection, and his raw power made him a force when blocking for the run.

Flowers' combine started out in stellar fashion, as he showcased his great strength by ripping off 37 reps on the bench press, leading all offensive linemen. Unfortunately, things began to go downhill from there.

He didn't impress with his 5.31-second 40-yard dash, but his biggest problem came during positional drills. The quick feet he was supposed to have didn't show up, as he looked stiff and had difficulty moving with ease. Here's a telling look at this kick-slide drill:

A player who looks like that shouldn't be asked to remain outside—especially at left tackle. So, why is Flowers still hanging on to a first-round grade? Former coach and current analyst for NFL Network Brian Billick tweeted the answer:

Brian Billick @CoachBillick

Miami's OT Ereck Flowers looks like he'd get exposed quickly on edge. I'd move him inside as ROG and he could contribute from day 1 there.

Any team needing a guard who has the strength to contribute immediately and can presumably find his way to working at tackle with some development will likely give Flowers a long look toward the end of the first round.

All prospect measurements and combine results courtesy of NFL.com's results tracker.


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