2015 NFL Draft

Here is where you will be able to access all of the information I’ve put together related to the 2015 NFL draft.

Positional Rankings

  • Quarterbacks
  • Running Backs — Coming in late April 2015.
  • Wide Receivers — Coming in late April 2015.
  • Tight Ends and Fullbacks — Coming in late April 2015.
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2015 NFL Draft QB Rankings

Here is my preliminary ranking of the QBs in the 2015 NFL Draft. I still have a lot of notes to go over – and write into something coherent – so I’ll be adding others to the list and probably reordering them right before the draft.

In all, it’s a down year for quarterbacks, and the only one I’d want to draft as a starter is Marcus Mariota. I see him as a potential top-15 starter in the league.

  1. Marcus Mariota
  2. Jameis Winston
  3. Brett Hundley
  4. Bryce Petty
  5. Sean Mannion
  6. Hutson Mason
  7. Shane Carden
  8. Garrett Grayson
  9. Taylor Heinicke
  10. Rakeem Cato
  11. Anthony Boone
  12. Grant Hedrick
  13. Brandon Bridge
  14. Taylor Kelly
  15. Cody Fajardo
  16. Connor Halliday
  17. Bryan Bennett
  18. Terrance Broadway
  19. Blake Sims
  20. Gary Nova
  21. Bo Wallace
  22. Jerry Lovelocke
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Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Oklahoma – 2015

Junior who has declared for the 2015 NFL draft. Transferred from Missouri to Oklahoma in July 2014.

Positives: He is a size-speed specimen with great height and bulk for the position – almost tight end size. Runs with adequate speed for the position, but very good for his size. Tracks fairly well and adjusts fairly well to back shoulder passes. Generally above-average hands, and will catch consistently on contested passes and on the sidelines – fights for the ball in the air against defenders. Is more agile than his size suggests, and he is very nimble on sideline catches. Has pretty good open field vision and enough lateral quickness to be dangerous after the catch. When he sets his mind to it, he can be an above-average downfield blocker who maintains his blocks. Also played on the basketball team.

Negatives: He needs to do a better job of attacking the ball in the air and will let too many passes hit him in the body. Below-average upper-body strength. Inconsistent concentration and will drop a lot of easy passes, but also when he knows a hit is coming, and will also turn upfield before securing the pass. Doesn’t give a whole lot of consistent effort as a downfield blocker and will let guys just run past him at times. Huge character red flags. Arrested for drug use in October 2012 and was suspended for one game. Arrested again for drug possession in January 2014, leading to his indefinite suspension from the team in April 2014 – though the case was dropped against him. After his suspension, he was arrested for forcing his way into his girlfriend’s house, pushing down her roommate, but she dropped charges. Then, was dismissed from team and transferred to Oklahoma, but never played.

Projection: Round 2. If he wasn’t such an apparent headcase, he would probably go in round one. As it is, though, he will probably still be gone by the middle of the second round just because of his physical attributes. He strikes me as the kind of prospect who is just so physically dominant at the college level that he had to give it very little effort, and he will have to get over that in the pros. He reminds me of Jonathan Baldwin, the former bust of the Chiefs, 49ers, and Lions.

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Tyler Lockett, WR/KR/PR, Kansas State – 2015

All-Star Games: Senior Bowl.

Positives: Runs pretty good routes and is fairly clean and quick in and out of breaks – sets up defensive backs well to get positioning. Runs with good speed and acceleration after the catch and gets up to speed quickly after making cuts. Generally good hands, though with the occasional lapse. Tracks pretty well over his inside shoulder. Good concentration in traffic and on tipped or contested passes. Fair body control and can make the catch while running backwards and get both feet down on the sidelines. Can go up and get the ball on contested passes, and is not afraid to go over the middle despite his lack of size. Fair balance after contact, and fights hard for extra yards. Protects the ball with both hands when he knows a hit is coming. Above-average downfield run blocker. Fair catches the ball fearlessly and reliably in traffic. Is willing to take a knee on kick returns. Very patient as a kick returner and will set up his blockers. Is also very solid gunner and tackler on the punt team.

Negatives: Short for the position, with below-average bulk, hand size, and wingspan. Though he typically shows good hands, he will body catch at times and have trouble getting his hands up quickly for fast passes. While he fights for yards, he shows below-average ball security technique when he does so.

Projection: Round 3. In a typical draft, he would probably go in the second round, but gets pushed back as of the high-level talent in this draft. Otherwise, his lack of size is the only thing really counting against him. He will be able to contribute heavily as a special teamer right away and can grow into a complementary wide receiver position after some time.

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Jamison Crowder, WR/PR/KR, Duke – 2015

All-Star Games: Senior Bowl.

Positives: Gives consistently very good effort in all parts of the game. He runs with above-average game speed, and very good burst and acceleration. Good quickness and acceleration to get off the line and down the field quickly to get off press coverage. Very good quickness out of his breaks. Runs generally above-average routes and is quick out of his breaks. Very sudden movement – doesn’t seem to telegraph when he is going to make a move. Tracks very well over his inside shoulder. Very good hands and can extend well. He is also very slippery after the catch, and has excellent lateral quickness and has a lot of open-field elusiveness – both as a receiver and a punt returner. And even though he has the excellent lateral quickness, he doesn’t rely on it solely after the catch – instead he heads upfield very quickly after the catch. Good effort after contact. Effective downfield blocker who is willing to sacrifice his body. Despite his lack of size, he is a willing receiver over the middle of the field, and will go after the ball in the air.

Negatives: Short and slight for the position, with below-average hand size. This, coupled with his willingness to be physical, may spell injury trouble in the pros. He needs to take advantage of his quickness more as a route runner and get more separation on his comeback routes. Sometimes gets himself into bad position to field punts.

Projection: Round 4. To me, he shares a lot of attributes with the heavily underutilized St. Louis Ram Tavon Austin – both in size and skill set. And, in most other drafts, he would probably go in the second round. But, since this draft is so heavy with wide receivers, Crowder will get crowded out. But he is a touchdown waiting to happen with the attitude and effort of a larger receiver. In the right system, I expect him to be an excellent receiver.

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Devin Funchess, WR/TE, Michigan – 2015

Junior who has declared for the 2015 NFL draft.

Positives: Has excellent height and bulk for a wide receiver, and H-back size. His speed is adequate for his size as a wide receiver, and above average for a tight end. Is quick off the line and has good acceleration to get up to top speed surprisingly quickly for his size. Is able to get physical with cornerbacks to get inside positioning in his routes. Completes his comeback routes and is quick out of his breaks. Though his hands are a little too inconsistent, he does show some hand-eye coordination and ability to extend for passes away from his frame. Above-average body control and can twist in the air to come down with off-target passes. Good effort on off-target passes. Has some versatility, and moved from tight end to wide receiver for 2014 season – during his career he lined up both in-line and out wide.

Negatives: Generally inconsistent hands and concentration – especially on contested passes. He also bobbles too many easy passes. At times, he will just let the ball come to him instead of attacking it in the air. Though his routes are generally adequate, he gives inconsistent effort and will round too many of them off. Will short-arm passes at times when he knows a hit is coming. Merely adequate as a downfield blocker and he sometimes looks a little bit lost out there or doesn’t give good enough effort.

Projection: Round 3. He has the size and athleticism you would want in a wide receiver but not the consistent ball skills. He doesn’t have the blocking skills you would want in a full-time tight end. Right now, he looks like strictly a move tight end, but, if he improves his blocking greatly or improves his ball skills, he could turn into a weapon and an easy mismatch.

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Breshad Perriman, WR, Central Florida – 2015

Junior who has declared for the 2015 NFL draft. Son of Brett Perriman, former NFL wide receiver.

Positives: Has above-average height and bulk for the position. Has an excellent size-to-speed ratio, with good speed and above-average explosiveness that makes him difficult to cover. He runs adequate routes and gets pretty good inside positioning on slant patterns. He also uses his hands well to get separation from press coverage at the line. Has very good hands and concentration, and consistently catches with his hands instead of letting the ball get to his body – even in traffic when a hit is coming. Tracks passes well enough over his inside shoulder. Above-average body control and adjusts consistently well to passes thrown behind him and is nimble enough to come down with passes on the sideline. Shields passes from the defender with his body. Willing to dive for the ball even when he knows a hit is coming. Fair concentration on passes in traffic. He has strong hands and he can hold onto the ball with a big hit as well as when defenders are trying to strip the ball from him. Shifty after the catch. Though his downfield blocking is inconsistent, he is able to maintain blocks when he latches on. Above-average hand size.

Negatives: Looks like he has some trouble coming up with low passes. Isn’t especially crisp in his cuts, though he gets away with it due to his size and strength. Hamstring issues kept him out of Combine drills. Sometimes mistimes his jumps on contested passes. Suspect ball security technique running through traffic. Has occasional lapses in concentration on easy passes. Inconsistent downfield blocker.

Projection: Round 1. He has pretty much everything you want in a top wide receiver – size, speed, explosiveness, and shiftiness, and his deficiencies seem easily correctable. Definitely one of the top three or four wide receivers in this class.

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Nick O’Leary, TE, Florida State – 2015

Grandson of golfer Jack Nicklaus, for whatever that’s worth.

Positives: Though he isn’t an especially large target, he has adequate bulk for the position. Is also strong enough and determined enough to be able to fight through multiple defenders in his routes. Runs with adequate speed and acceleration for his size and is fairly quick out of breaks when running routes. He has soft, natural hands. He is also an above-average downfield blocker who sustains his blocks and drives defenders back. Above-average in-line run blocker who hits defenders hard and knocks them back.

Negatives: Slightly below-average height for the position. Suspect tracking over outside shoulder. Isn’t very explosive off the line and also has below-average lateral quickness – causing him to have trouble maintaining blocks against quicker defenders. Below-average ball security and will fumble while diving for extra yards. When running routes – though he is pretty quick coming out of his breaks – he is less quick getting into them and also needs to work on completing his comeback routes to gain separation from defenders. Injured in motorcycle accidents in both 2013 and 2014. Missed spring 2014 workouts due to motorcycle-related ankle injury. Had a slight tear of his hamstring before 2015 bowl game but played through it, then tweaked it again before pro day workout.

Projection: Round 4. He isn’t strong enough receiver and a blocker to be a solid contributor in the pros. Some of his athletic deficiencies will probably keep him from being more than that.

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Braxton Deaver, TE, Duke – 2015

Was a redshirt senior.

Positives: Is an athletic tight end often lines up as an outside receiver, slot receiver, or move tight end. Runs with above-average speed. Has generally good hands and can extend for passes away from his frame and go up and highpoint passes. He also shows some concentration and effort, and will go to the ground to bring in off-target passes. Is a willing run blocker who is at least able to throw himself at defenders or redirect them. Runs adequate routes, though not great, and is able to find soft spots in zone.

Negatives: Not often used as an inline tight end. Will sometimes leave his feet while blocking and doesn’t maintain his base. Isn’t strong at the point of attack and seems easy to push back, lacking the strength to push defenders back himself. Suspect ability and concentration on contested passes. Tore right ACL in August 2014 and missed entire season.

Projection: UDFA. He has too far to go as an in-line tight end to stick on a roster that way, but has the ball skills to be able to help some teams in some packages.

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Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota – 2015

Redshirt sophomore who has declared for the 2015 NFL draft. Son of former long-time Giants center.

Positives: Has adequate height and bulk for the position. Runs with okay speed for the position and is quick off the line. Was used all over the field in college – in line, as a fullback, and out wide. Has generally good hands and can extend for passes away from his frame well. He consistently catches the ball with his hands and doesn’t let the ball get to his body, and has quick hands to snag passes without clueing in defenders that a pass is coming. He is also very agile and has pretty good body control to bring in off-target passes. Is able to leapfrog multiple defenders on one play and keep going. He tracks passes well over his inside shoulder and also shows good effort for tipped and off-target passes. Protects the ball with both hands when running through traffic. Good balance and strength after contact, and is hard to bring down one-on-one. As a blocker, he has improved over his short college career. He is above average at in-line and downfield blocking, and can seal the edge and maintain blocks through the whistle. He keeps his feet moving and has the quickness and balance to stay with defenders and block on the move and is also able to roll off one defender to find another person to block. Quick and balanced enough to move forward and meet defenders

Negatives: Suspect open field vision and he misses some opportunities to cut back for extra yards after the catch. Reportedly had some interviews with NFL executives where he came across as immature. Not especially strong as a blocker at the point of attack, and will sometimes lunge at defenders and miss.

Projection: Round 1. He is a very well-rounded tight end with no real glaring flaws who has improved as a blocker over time. Should be a very solid starter in the pros.

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Austin Hill, WR, Arizona – 2015

Was a redshirt senior.

All-Star Games: Shrine Game.

Positives: Good height for the position with above-average bulk – solid lower body. Runs with adequate speed and above-average acceleration. He is quick off the line and runs adequate routes. His hands are very good and soft, and he accepts passes without fighting them. He also has very good body control and hand-eye coordination, and can reach behind him to pluck the ball out of the air on the move. He also shows good effort and concentration on contested passes, and good effort on off-target passes. He is deceptively athletic, with adequate lateral quickness but good quickness when changing directions. Nimble in the open field and can leapfrog defenders. He also runs with good balance – which was evident at Shrine Game practices in slippery conditions. Above-average upper-body strength. Adequate hand size.

Negatives: He tore his ACL in spring 2013 and missed the entire 2013 season. As a run blocker – either in-line or downfield – he doesn’t look willing to get physical with defenders, and will wait for defenders to come to him instead of attacking. And though he is quick off of the line and can get open that way, he has some trouble getting off physical coverage – surprising with his strong body, and he needs to get more physical with cornerbacks.

Projection: Round 3. Before his ACL tear, he looks like he would have been a first round wide receiver. He has never quite reached those heights again, but should be an effective complementary receiver in the pros. But a lot of teams will be very concerned about his recovery and will probably be scared off until later.

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