Top-ten prospects by position

South Dakota State v Missouri

Mariota vs Winston | Mock Draft | Top-100 | Top-10 by position

 

By Oliver Connolly

It’s draft week and it’s time for my final top-ten prospects by position. These are not detailed scouting reports. Those, for the majority of these players, can be found on my top-100. Stay tuned to ukendzone.com/nfldraft for plenty of content as we count down these last few hours before Tampa are on the clock. As always some things to remember:

  • Positions – Players are listed at their current college position. Players will shift throughout the process and their rank will be changed when that information comes light.
  • Movement – As the process continues there will be movement and likely major moves as we get a more accurate measurables and intangible reports.
  • Opinion – Remember these rankings are MY opinion and mine alone. Feel free to share your opinion but abuse based on a draft ranking is unwarranted

QB

Top end talent: A

Depth: D

1, (1) Jameis Winston, Florida State,

2, (2) Marcus Mariota, Oregon

3, (3) Bryce Petty, Baylor

4, (4) Garrett Grayson, Colorado State

5, (5) Brett Hundley, UCLA

6, (6) Bryan Bennett, Southeastern Louisiana

7, (8) Sean Mannion, Oregon State

My QB’s are set. I have Winston ahead of Mariota and just seven draftable grades. There’s plenty to love about the two top prospects and it’s really a matter of preference at this point. I just feel more comfortable about Winston’s ability to win and win immediately. I think they can both be stars and they’ll both take some coaching but I’m more confident in Winston’s ability to perform in week one of the 2015 season which is what will be demanded of both of them. I’ve stuck with Petty as my third guy and I really think he has a chance to be very good. He makes all the throws, is decisive, has elite arm talent and outstanding competitiveness and mental toughness. The question is the offense he came from and his ability to pick up, digest and teach a playbook.

RB

Top end talent: A+

Depth: A

1, (1) Todd Gurley, Georgia

2, (2) Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin

3, (3) Jay Ajayi, Boise State

4, (4) Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska

5, (5) Duke Johnson, Miami (FL)

6, (6) Tevin Coleman, Indiana

7, (7) TJ Yeldon, Alabama

8, (8) Jeremy Langford, Michigan State

9, (9) David Johnson, Northern Iowa

10, (10) Zach Zenner, South Dakota State

I love this class. The top end talent is generational and there’s great depth and steels right the way through. Jeremy Langford is eighth on the board yet I’d be delighted to grab him in the third and make him my feature back.

Tulane at Central Florida

WR

Top end talent: A+

Depth: A

1, (1) Amari Cooper, Alabama

2, (2) Kevin White, West Virginia

3, (3) DeVante Parker, Louisville

4, (4) Jalen Strong, Arizona State

5, (5) Dorial Green-Beckham, Missouri

6, (6) Breshad Perriman, USF

7, (7) Devin Funchess, Michigan

8, (8) Nelson Agholor, USC

9, (9) Devin Smith, Ohio State

10, (10) Phillip Dorsett, Miami (FL)

The wide receiving class is a special group. All ten of the players listed could go in the first round and all have first round ability. I’m higher on the upside of Dorial Green-Beckham and Devin Funchess (in the right system) than most. Breshad Perriman is my ‘you know I really don’t know but I’d take a flyer’ player in the entire draft. I hate his drop rate and the fact they were, mostly, simple balls. But players of his size, weight and speed do not come around very often and he makes the spectacular plays. I’d be comfortable taking him at number ten right on down.

TE

Top end talent: B

Depth: D

1, (1) Maxx Williams, Minnesota

2, (2) Clive Walford, Miami (FL)

3, (3) Jeff Heuerman, Ohio State

4, (5) Tyler Kroft, Rutgers

5, (4) Blake Bell, Oklahoma

6, (6) Nick O’Leary, Florida State

7, (7) Wes Saxton, South Alabama

8, (8) E.J. Bibbs, Iowa State

9, (9) Ben Koyack, Notre Dame

10, (10) Gerald Christian, Louisville

It’s not a great class of players but there’s some potential gems and steels. Tyler Kroft could be great value late on day two and Blake Bell is a fascinating former QB whose career is going to be interesting to follow. Will he remain a tight end in the league or be a goalline back?

OT

Top end talent: B+

Depth: A

1, (1) Brandon Scherff, Iowa

2, (2) Ereck Flowers, Miami (FL)

3, (3) Andrus Peat, Stanford

4, (4) TJ Clemmings, Pittsburgh

5, (5) La’El Collins, LSU

6, (6) D.J. Humphries, Florida

7, (7) Cedric Ogbuehi, Texas A&M

8, (8) Jake Fisher, Oregon

9, (9) Ty Sambrailo, Colorado State

10, (10) Tyrus Thompson, Oklahoma

The depth/value of this class is outstanding. The only issue is will they all be tackles at the next level? I doubt it. I still love Ereck Flowers as the second best tackle available though he’s not been talked about a great deal. He has unteachable size and feet. I love Andrus Peat and he’s more of a pure left tackle so I can see why he’s projected to go so high but he poor feet and instincts. His measurables or prototypical and the length is great but I favour Flowers ahead of him.

OG

Top end talent: B

Depth: D

1, (1) Tre Jackson, Florida State

2, (2) Laken Tomlinson, Duke

3, (3) A.J. Cann, South Carolina

4, (4) Ali Marpet, Hobart

5, (5) Josue Matias, Florida State

6, (6) Antoine Everett, McNeese State

7, (7) Jarvis Harrison, Texas A&M

8, (8) Robert Myers, Tennessee State

Not a deep tackle class and the value will come from taking the best available offensive lineman and slotting them into the guard spot. I think Jackson is the most pro-ready guard he helped set protections at Florida State and was a core offensive leader.

C

Top end talent: C-

Depth: D-

1, (1) Cameron Erving, Florida State

2, (2) Hronnis Grasu, Oregon

3, (3) B.J. Finney, Kansas State

4, (4) Reese Dismukes, Auburn

5, (5) Max Garcia, Florida

6, (6) Shaq Mason, Georgia Tech

7, (7) Andy Galik, Boston College

Another position group where I have less than ten draftable grades. Erving is clearly a first round talent and indeed I have a 90 grade (top of the first round) on him. After that it’s truly a bit of a mess. I really like Grasu’s upside in the right zone blocking system and the same goes for Dismukes. The biggest change on my board is moving B.J. Finney who’s a tall, bulky, player who’s powerful in the run game.

DE

Top end talent: A

Depth: A

1, (1) Leonard Williams, USC

2, (2) Dante Fowler Jr, Florida

3, (3) Arik Armstead, Oregon

4, (4) Owamagbe Odighizuwa, UCLA

5, (5) Trey Flowers, Arkansas

6, (7) Preston Smith, Mississippi State

7, (6) Markus Golden, Missouri

8, (9) Mario Edwards Jr, Florida State

9, (8) Henry Anderson, Stanford

10, (9) Za’Darius Smith, Kentucky

There’s big time upside in this class of defensive ends. Leonard Williams is my number one player overall, Dante Fowler I’d take with the third pick if I’m Jacksonville. Armstead and Odighizuwa are workout warriors who struggled at time on tape and need to have their techniques refined. Flowers, Smith, Golden and Edwards are players who regularly play above themselves. They compete, they hustle, they get effort sacks and were often not the most coveted player on their own team or own defense. I think they all go on day two and be good productive players.

DT

Top end talent: B+

Depth: B

1, (1) Danny Shelton, Washington

2, (3) Malcolm Brown, Texas

3, (2) Eddie Goldman, Florida State

4, (4) Jordan Phillips, Oklahoma

5, (5) Carl Davis, Iowa

6, (6) Mike Bennett, Ohio State

7, (7) Grady Jarrett, Clemson

8, (8) Gabe Wright, Auburn

9, (9) Marcus Hardison, Arizona State

10, (10) Xavier Williams, Northern Iowa

Tons of upside with this group. Shelton is going to be a star and I think Malcolm Brown has a chance to sneak into the top-fifteen. I love Goldman and Phillips on tape but they have to commit and bring it every down. There’s unbelievable value further down with Mike Bennett and Grady Jarrett.

UCLA v Virginia

ILB

Top end talent: B

Depth: C

1, (2) Eric Kendricks, UCLA

2, (1) Denzel Perryman, Miami (FL)

3, (3) Benardrick McKinney, Mississippi State

4, (4) Stephone Anthony, Clemson

5, (5) Hayes Pullard, USC

6, (6) Jordan Hicks, Texas

7, (7) Bryce Hager, Baylor

8, (8) Taiwan Jones, Michigan State

9, (9) Trey Depriest, Alabama

10, (10) Ben Heeney, Kansas

I’ve finally succumbed and put Kendricks at the top of my inside linebacker board. I love his ability to cover and stay on the field no matter what down or distance. He isn’t an in the box run stuffer but he can match up against anyone in coverage and is great in space. My favourite inside ‘backer remains Perryman and I’d bang the table to get a front office to draft him. He runs downhill with aggression, violence, instincts and looking to take people’s heads off. He’s a true leader from the mic spot and has all the intangibles you’re looking for.

OLB

Top end talent: A-

Depth: A

1, (1) Randy Gregory, Nebraska

2, (3) Shane Ray, Clemson

3, (2) Alvin ‘Bud’ Dupree, Kentucky

4, (2) Vic Beasley, Clemson

5, (5) Shaq Thompson, Washington

6, (6) Eli Harold, Virginia

7. (UR) Hau’Oli Kikaha, Washington

8, (7) Kwon Alexander, LSU

9, (8) Nate Orchard, Utah

10, (9) P.J. Dawson, TCU

What a difficult group this is to figure out. The top-two players on my board may not go till the late teens at the earliest due to drug concerns for them both. They all have concerns. Gregory has drug and weight fluctuation concerns. Ray has drug and size concerns. Dupree has consistency concerns and even as I write this I feel I should move him above Ray. Beasley has speed to power, major, concerns and is frankly way below average against the run. Thompson has position and size concerns. And lastly, there’s Kikaha. No one who’s measured the way Kikaha has, has been a big success as an edge rusher in the league. But he’s been so productive and he’s so technically sound it’s just impossible for me to overlook and so he jumps back into my top-ten and it may even be three spots too low.

CB

Top end talent: B

Depth: B

1, (1) Marcus Peters, Washington

2, (2) Trae Waynes, Michigan State

3, (3) Kevin Johnson, Wake Forest

4, (4) Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Oregon

5, (5) Jalen Collins, LSU

6, (6) Byron Jones, Connecticut

7, (7) PJ Williams, Florida State

8, (8) Quinten Rollins, Miami (OH)

9, (9) Senquez Golson, Mississippi

10, (10) Ronald Darby, Florida State

I’ve been comfortable for weeks now with my cornerback rankings. I love Peters on the field and think he can be a pro bowler if he wants to be at the next level. I have concerns enough about Waynes, in the run game, and Johnson’s instincts to have them both below Peters and his off the field concerns. the biggest sleepers in the class if not the draft are Byron Jones and Senquez Golson.

S

Top end talent: B

Depth: C

1, (1) Landon Collins, Alabama

2, (2) Anthony Harris, Virginia

3, (4) Cody Prewitt, Mississippi

4, (3) Damarious Randall, Arizona State

5, (5) Derron Smith, Fresno State

6, (7) James Sample, Louisville

7, (8) Clayton Geathers, UCF

8, (6) Adrian Amos, Penn State

9, (9) Josh Shaw, USC

10, (10) Anthony Jefferson, UCLA

The safety class is very weak. Landon Collins is a top-ten talent but has such a specific skill set (weakside linebacker/in the box safety) that he may slide into the twenties if not later. The simple thing is, he has to play with another very good safety. You have to be comfortable playing plenty of single high safety to maximise Collins’ ability. That’s difficult to find particularly at the top of the draft. If he is drafted by a team with another very good safety he’s going to be special.

You can find Ollie on twitter @OllieUKEZ find all his draft work here – and check out his new podcast as he builds towards the 2015 draft.

Advertisements

11 thoughts on “Top-ten prospects by position

  1. Pingback: NFL Draft: Top-10 prospects by position | UKEndZone

  2. Pingback: Ollie Connolly’s Big Board 2.0 | UKEndZone

  3. Pingback: Ollie Connolly’s ‘What I’d do if I was GM’ Draft 1.0 | UKEndZone

  4. Pingback: Ollie Connolly’s NFL Draft top-100: 50-26 | UKEndZone

  5. Pingback: Draft Needs: NFC East | UKEndZone

  6. Pingback: Ollie Connolly’s top-ten prospects by position 3.0 | UKEndZone

  7. Pingback: Ollie Connolly’s Mock Draft 4.0 | UKEndZone

  8. Pingback: Ollie Connolly’s NFL Draft top-100: 25-1 | UKEndZone

  9. Pingback: Ollie Connolly’s top-ten prospects by position 4.0 | UKEndZone

  10. Pingback: Ollie Connolly’s final top-100 prospects | UKEndZone

  11. Pingback: Ollie Connolly’s Mock Draft 5.0 of 5.0 | UKEndZone

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s