With the NFL Scouting Combine set to kick off on February 17th at Lucas Oil Stadium it's time to start talking a little draft.
NFL Network's Mike Mayock has unveiled the first of his position-by-position rankings for the 2015 NFL Draft. Mayock will update his rankings periodically throughout the process as players rise and fall, especially after the large events.
Below are Mayock's first set of rankings for each position.
1. Jameis Winston, Florida State
2. Marcus Mariota, Oregon
3. Bryce Petty, Baylor
4. Brett Hundley, UCLA
5. Garrett Grayson, Colorado State
Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota are clearly the top two quarterbacks in this class, but both have plenty of questions surrounding them. Winston has a bunch of off-the-field questions, and Mariota is coming from a spread offense. Petty and Hundley both have flaws and are seen has mid-round selections. Grayson is the wild-card of this group. He had a solid Senior Bowl weekend.
1. Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin
2. Todd Gurley, Georgia
3. Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska
4. Duke Johnson, Miami (Fla.)
5. Tevin Coleman, Indiana
This one fun group.
Melvin Gordon is an electric player and should break the streak of no running backs taken in the first round the last few years. If healthy, Gurley would be a top 5 pick in the draft, but he suffered an ACL injury. He could still sneak into the first round. Abdullah, Johnson and Coleman are all expected to be taken in the early portions of Day 2 of the draft. I'm a little surprised that Jay Ajayi didn't make this list.
1. Kevin White, West Virginia
2. Amari Cooper, Alabama
3. DeVante Parker, Louisville
4. Dorial Green-Beckham, Missouri
5. Devin Funchess, Michigan
I was surprised to see White listed ahead of Cooper. Both are expected to be top 15 selections. Green-Beckham is an immense talent but has all sorts of off-the-field matters that make him a virtual unknown. Funchess is talented but might be a candidate to transition to tight end.
1. Maxx Williams, Minnesota
2. Clive Walford, Miami (Fla.)
3. Nick O'Leary, Florida State
4. Tyler Kroft, Rutgers
5. Ben Koyack, Notre Dame
Williams and Walford will be battling it out for the top tight end position, but neither might be first round picks. After those two the talent drops off a bit. O'Leary and Kroft both are probably late second to early third-round selections. Koyack is one of the better traditional tight ends in the draft.
1. T.J. Clemmings, Pittsburgh
2. Andrus Peat, Stanford
3. La'el Collins, LSU
4. Ereck Flowers, Miami (Fla.)
5t. Cedric Ogbuehi, Texas A&M
5t. D.J. Humphries, Florida
This is one of the strongest groups in this year's class.
T.J. Clemmings has only played the position for two years but is making big strides. Peat, Collins, and Flowers have also been ranked as potential first-round talents, with Ogbuehi likely to join them. Showing well at the combine could be big for their stocks.
Interior Offensive Line:
1. Brandon Scherff, Iowa
2. Cameron Erving, Florida State
3. Laken Tomlinson, Duke
4. A.J. Cann, South Carolina
5. Tre' Jackson, Florida State
Brandon Scherff has been listed as a tackle but will be a better guard in the pros. Cameron Erving is really raw but could sneak into the first round with a good showing at the combine. The rest of the players will probably have to wait until day two to hear their names called.
Interior Defensive linemen:
1. Leonard Williams, USC
2. Danny Shelton, Washington
3. Malcom Brown, Texas
4. Arik Armstead, Oregon
5t. Jordan Phillips, Oklahoma
5t. Eddie Goldman, Florida State
Leonard Williams could be a top 5 pick in this year's draft. He will probably be the top defensive player taken in the draft. Danny Shelton could sneak into the top 10 of the draft if he shows well at the Combine. Shelton is being compared to Dontari Poe. Brown and Phillips are your next best nose tackles in the draft. Armstead is a big athletic guy who could be a top 15 selection.
1. Dante Fowler, Jr., Florida
2. Randy Gregory, Nebraska
3. Shane Ray, Missouri
4. Vic Beasley, Clemson
5. Bud Dupree, Kentucky
This is a good draft for edge rushers.
Fowler and Gregory are your top edge rushers in the draft, and both should be top 10 picks. Ray and Beasley should both be top 20 picks, and Dupree could sneak into that spot as well. All five of these players could be gone by the time the Broncos pick at 28.
1. Paul Dawson, TCU
2. Benardrick McKinney, Mississippi State
3. Denzel Perryman, Miami (Fla.)
4. Eric Kendricks, UCLA
5. Stephone Anthony, Clemson
These rankings will probably change a bit before the draft kicks off April 30. Dawson should keep the top spot throughout but after him the rest of the rankings are up for grabs. McKinney is your two-down thumper linebacker. Mayock has Perryman ahead of Kendricks, and Anthony should be a mid-round selection. Dawson and McKinney could sneak into the first round.
1. Trae Waynes, Michigan State
2. Marcus Peters, Washington
3. Jalen Collins, LSU
4. P.J. Williams, Florida State
5. Kevin Johnson, Wake Forest
This is not a strong cornerback class.
Waynes is your only slam dunk first round selection of this group. After him, it's a bit of a mess. Peters might be a first round pick, but has some off the field questions. Collins, Williams, and Johnson all are day two selections.
1. Landon Collins, Alabama
2. Shaq Thompson, Washington
3. Derron Smith, Fresno State
4. Jaquiski Tartt, Samford
5. Ibraheim Campbell, Northwestern
Collins is your top safety in the draft. He's more of a box safety than a cover guy. Shaq Thompson is an interesting player to watch during the draft. He played running back AND linebacker at Washington, and could be a safety at the next level. After those two the talent drops off a bit. Neither Collins, Tartt or Campbell are elite prospects.
How to restructure Peyton Manning's contract:
Our friends over at Over The Cap broke down a few ways that John Elway and the Denver Broncos can restructure quarterback Peyton Manning's contract to clear up some more cap space for the 2015 season.
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