You will see a number of changes in this set of rankings. I'm a one man show, when new information (results) arises, I respond. Expect to see more as the process goes along. Yes, there are only 17 first-round picks. The number of second-round talent is astounding. So many players who will fill roles and have traits that translate to the NFL.
In what way will metrics factor in? I'm not sure yet, but follow along with my process in this podcast.
The ages next to skill position players are how old they will be when drafted. You can find a full list here.
1. QB Marcus Mariota, Oregon (Age: 21)
Where He Wins: Uses his mobility as a passer as well as a runner. Displays the necessary poise and patience to win inside the pocket and inside of structure, but can break that if need be. Keeps eyes up when evading pressure to locate open receivers. Can be quick in tempo or work through action/reaction/third progression.
2. QB Jameis Winston, FSU (Age: 21)
Where He Wins: It is *easy* to see how his game will translate. Awesome eye level in the face of a pass rush. Functional mobility to avoid pressure and find operable space. Anticipates passes more than any other quarterback in this class. Retreated more against interior pressure this season and forced passes, but those mistakes were exacerbated in 2014. Converts in pressure situations.
3. DL Leonard Williams, USC
Where He Wins: Amazing how often he wins despite putting himself one step behind. Just tremendous hands and length use to win with power and strength. Will likely fill a versatile J.J. Watt type role. Single handedly obliterated the Cal offensive line.
4. EDGE Randy Gregory, Nebraska
Where He Wins: There is plenty of edge speed and fluidity, especially laterally. Does not get the credit he deserves for hand use to win on first contact. Lifts and controls wrists to separate. Package the effort he gives on passing down get-offs. Actually plays the run well in many instances, like versus Wisconsin (watch it before citing Melvin Gordon III).
5. RB Todd Gurley, Georgia (Age: 20)
Where He Wins: A complete back who can be the foundation of an offense. Will pick up the yards blocked for him and also create on his own, both after contact and beating defenders' angles. Agility to weave between lanes without wasted movement is a plus. Comfortable as a receiver on screens with patience to make most of blocks.
6. T La'El Collins, LSU
Where He Wins: Length and strength compensates for deficiencies in other areas. Gets to the second level very well and looks to maul. Does not get the credit he deserves in terms of mobility and functional athleticism. Will have one or three bad snaps per game, but luck partially determines impact.
7. LB Eric Kendricks, UCLA
NFL Comparison: Sean Lee
Where He Wins: One of the best coverage linebackers I have seen. His Virginia game is my favorite of any prospect this year. Aggressive. Attacks ball carries rather than just waiting at the second level. Best at working around blocks with angles and quicks but not afraid to hold his own.
8. WR Kevin White, WVU (Age: 22)
Where He Wins: Another who wins in the big and small receiver games, although he had difficulty separating in routes against multiple quality corners this season. One year wonder label is interesting, but I don't see it as a negative. Would you rather he not have improved?
9. WR Amari Cooper, Alabama (Age: 20)
Where He Wins: Mostly wins in the small receiver game, and there is nothing wrong with that, but he did do a better job in contested situations this year. Still, I would not rely on him there. Creates so much separation with quickness, sustaining speed in routes and precision. Also a threat with the ball in his hands. He's not limited, he just can't win everywhere. Again, that is fine.
10. EDGE Vic Beasley, Clemson
Where He Wins: Extraordinary edge speed and will turn the corner if he gains a step on the opposition. Once his opponent compensates for that edge speed, he will attack inside. Flashes length to separate from time to time. His edge burst alone can be a trait worth using.
11. DL Henry Anderson, Stanford
NFL Comparison: Chris Canty
Where He Wins: He might play with high pad level, but Anderson has tremendous strength through his hands and couples it with great length to press and push his opponent backwards. Will work best as a 3-tech, but might give some teams looks as a 5-tech. That versatility will be nice for teams who use multiple fronts. He displayed a variety of moves in 1 on 1s.
12. OL Brandon Scherff, Iowa
Where He Wins: Scherff has a future at either tackle or guard, it just depends on the team that selects him. So much power and strength along with movement skills. Will fit in face up or zone specific schemes, although there is crossover on every team. Also wants to finish his blocks rather than just occupy.
13. DL/EDGE Preston Smith, Miss State
NFL Comparison: On the Malik Jackson, Justin Tuck spectrum
Where He Wins: Converts speed to power very well when on the outside/edge, and uses quickness with strength when moved inside. Many teams could benefit from utilizing an outside to inside disruptor. Gives me the warm and fuzzy feeling Malik Jackson did.
14. WR Dorial Green-Beckham, Oklahoma (Age: 22)
Where He Wins: Wins in the big (catch point in contested situations) and small (separation and yards after catch) receiver games. Plays like a specimen at the position and there seems to be a lot of natural ability to work with, at a position where natural ability often separates great from good.
15. LB Shaq Thompson, Washington
NFL Comparison: Thomas Davis (Andrew Parsons)
Where He Wins: Quickness, speed, comfort and aggression. Many linemen are now more scared of linebackers who use athleticism to get around blocks rather than meet them face up. The game seems to slow down for Thompson when attempting to force fumbles or make a play on the ball. Don't worry about his position, just his role.
16. T Cedric Ogbuehi, Texas A&M
Where He Wins: I do not factor in injuries. Ogbuehi has enough strength, length and athleticism to hold up on the outside. There are real flashes of the complete package, he needs to win more often on first contact in order to sustain success.
17. S Landon Collins, Alabama
Where He Wins: I finally was able to get All-22 for Collins. There is a lot to work with. He was an impact play when aggressively moving forward. Also played single high when Alabama rotated safeties and looked more than competent and comfortable in that role.
--- Ends first-round prospects ---
18. EDGE Owamagbe Odighizuwa, UCLA
Where He Wins: Speed to power is the name of his game. Owa has one of the best get offs in this class and can run around the edge with that step advantage with strength or explode into his opponent with hands and length if his path is blocked. Hand use and motor account for his counter.
19. EDGE Dante Fowler, Florida
Where He Wins: Ahead of the game in terms of hand use and counter moves. Does not solely rely on athleticism. Continued to drop weight each year, and improved movement skills were the result. Was allowed to attack from multiple alignments in 2014.
20. T Andrus Peat, Stanford
Where He Wins: Much stronger moving forward than back. Outside of a few bad plays, improvement was evident in pass protection for Peat. Needs to use his strength and frame rather than relying on lateral movements.
21. WR DeVante Parker, Louisville (Age: 22)
Where He Wins: Floats at the catch point in contested catches. If he goes to a QB who throws back shoulder, watch out. Improving in the "small" receiver game, in terms of separation and yards after catch.
22. DL Arik Armstead, Oregon
Where He Wins: Flashes of dominance on the edge and inside. Would fit best in a multiple or odd man front. Has a combination of quickness, frame and strength to disrupt. Walks opposition back or sheds at the line of scrimmage.
23. DL Grady Jarrett, Clemson
Where He Wins: Added 16 pounds for the Combine and still showed great movement skills. Is so quick to beat reach blocks or win the leverage advantage, then transitions to using speed and balance. Holds up well against the run as well.
24. EDGE Alvin Dupree, Kentucky
Where He Wins: This is a difficult one. Dupree is an explosive athlete who was not allowed to focus on one area of his game. His best trait is rushing the passer, but he could be the drop linebacker in an odd man front. He's better at exploding into contact than turning the corner.
25. LB Paul Dawson, TCU
Where He Wins: A missile from the weakside or in nickel situations. He stands 6'0/230 lbs, so is Dawson really undersized? He plays big thanks to power and aggression. He can impact any run and chase situation and looks comfortable accomplishing his assignment in coverage.
26. EDGE Shane Ray, Missouri
Where He Wins: There is a lot of natural strength and athleticism to work with. Like other Mizzou edge players, Ray focuses on an outside rip moves and had success since he can turn the corner very well. A tremendous motor should be cited, too.
27. DL Danny Shelton, Washington
NFL Comparison: Brandon Williams, Ravens
Where He Wins: A flash player whose performance was likely limited by the number of snaps he was asked to play. Place him in a rotation and his impact will likely be greater. Can occupy blockers so others can disrupt. Has tremendous strength and can make plays when the QB climbs the pocket. Needs to use his hands inside on counter moves rather than outside.
28. TE Maxx Williams, Minnesota (Age: 21)
Where He Wins: Has put together some of the best highlight reel catches we've seen at the position. Has been impactful both inline and when split in the slot or out wide. Only needs to be willing and adequate as a blocker to stay on the field on all downs, and he is at least that.
29. T Jake Fisher, Oregon
Where He Wins: An outstanding athlete at the position. Fisher is best at mirroring and accomplishing his assignment, especially as a pass protector. Might be the best true ZBS or slant blocking T in this class.
30. CB Kevin Johnson, Wake Forest
31. EDGE Eli Harold, Virginia
Where He Wins: All athlete with a foundation to work on. He might be this year's "don't count it twice" poster boy, but he might also qualify for mass x athleticism metrics, which have been quite good in the past.
32. CB Marcus Peters, Washington
Where He Wins: Aggressive with movement skills. That is a nice combination. Peters has experience in press or off coverage, and has exhibited sticking in the hip pocket of receivers downfield and reacting to breaks/movements when giving a cushion.
33. WR Devin Funchess, Michigan (Age: 21)
Where He Wins: Has the level of ability to win in so many ways. Posts up and flashes of high pointing in middle of field, sideline or in the endzone. Has nice short area quickness for someone of his size to pick up yards after the catch.
34. CB Trae Waynes, Michigan State
Where He Wins: Best in a press situation. Has make up speed once allowing separation on breaking routes. Plays the ball in front of or through his opponent. An outside corner.
35. T D.J. Humphries, Florida
36. RB Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin (Age: 22)
37. LB Benardrick McKinney, Miss State
38. EDGE Hau'oli Kikaha, Washington
39. C Cameron Erving, FSU
40. RB Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska (Age: 21)
41. RB Jay Ajayi, Boise State (Age: 21)
42. RB David Cobb, Minnesota (Age: 21)
43. WR Devin Smith, Ohio State (Age: 23)
44. CB/S Eric Rowe, Utah
45. DT Eddie Goldman, FSU
46. WR Justin Hardy, ECU (Age: 23)
47. WR Breshad Perriman, UCF (Age: 21)
48. RB T.J. Yeldon, Alabama (Age: 21)
49. RB Duke Johnson, Miami (Age: 21)
50. WR Nelson Agholor, USC (Age: 21)
51.DL Malcom Brown, Texas
52. CB Byron Jones, UConn
53. CB Kevin White, TCU
54. CB Quinten Rollins, Miami (OH)
55. T Ereck Flowers, Miami
56. WR Tre McBride, William & Mary (Age: 22)
57. WR Rashad Greene, FSU (Age: 22)
58. T T.J. Clemmings, Pittsburgh
Where He Wins: Length and strength. As Lance Zierlein said, he has the level of ability to be a starting tackle. Is it inexperience or rawness that is causing him to not trust his feet or not utilize an inside armbar to prevent lateral moves?
59. CB P.J. Williams, FSU
60. DL Carl Davis, Iowa
61. WR Phillip Dorsett, Miami (Age: 22)
62. WR Tyler Lockett, Kansas State (Age: 22)
63. EDGE Danielle Hunter, LSU
64. WR Jamison Crowder, Duke (Age: 21)
65. G Shaq Mason, Georgia Tech
66. G Tre Jackson, FSU
67. TE Clive Walford, Miami (Age: 23)
68. RB Tevin Coleman, Indiana (Age: 22)
69. CB Jalen Collins, LSU
70. CB Josh Shaw, USC
71. G John Miller, Louisville
72. G Ali Marpet, Hobart
73. DL Xavier Cooper, Washington State
74. EDGE Frank Clark
75. TE Ben Koyack, Notre Dame (Age: 22)
76. DL Jordan Phillips, Oklahoma
77. WR Sammie Coates, Auburn (Age: 22)
78. G A.J. Cann, South Carolina
79. G Laken Tomlinson, Duke
80. G Arie Kouandjio, Alabama
81. WR Jaelen Strong, Arizona State (Age: 21)
82. CB Ronald Darby, FSU
83. DL Michael Bennett, Ohio State
84. RB Mike Davis, South Carolina (Age: 22)
85. LB Denzel Perryman, Miami
86. EDGE Anthony Chickillo, Miami
87. CB Steven Nelson, Oregon State
88. DB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Oregon
89. WR Kenny Bell, Nebraska
90. EDGE/DL Mario Edwards Jr., FSU
91. LB Ben Heeney, Kansas
92. DT Terry Williams, ECU
93. LB/EDGE Deiontrez Mount, Louisville
94. LB Stephone Anthony, Clemson
95. CB Craig Mager, Texas State
96. EDGE Shaq Riddick, West Virginia
97. WR Tony Lippett, Michigan State (Age: 22)
98. C Hroniss Grasu, Oregon
99. T Ty Sambrailo, Colorado State
100. S Ibraheim Campbell, Northwestern
101. S James Sample, Louisville
102. EDGE Nate Orchard, Utah
103. TE Jean Sifrin, UMass (Age: 27)
104. EDGE Za'Darius Smith, Kentucky
105. RB/HB David Johnson, Northern Iowa (Age: 23)
106. WR Dezmin Lewis, Central Arkansas (Age: 22)
107. OL Jeremiah Poutasi, Utah
108. C Andrew Gallik, Boston College
109. RB Malcolm Brown, Texas
110. S Damarious Randall, Arizona State
111. S Derron Smith, Fresno State
112. TE Jeff Heuerman, Ohio State
113. TE Tyler Kroft, Rutgers
114. DL Marcus Hardison, Arizona State
115. WR Chris Conley, Georgia
116. LB Mike Hull, Penn State
117. OL Sean Hickey, Syracuse
118. DT Tyeler Davison, Fresno State
119. EDGE Markus Golden, Missouri
120. FB Jalston Fowler, Alabama
121. DB Adrian Amos, Penn State
122. RB Matt Jones, Florida
123. CB Justin Coleman, Tennessee
124. EDGE Marcus Rush, Michigan State
125. G Mark Glowinski, West Virginia
126. WR DeVante Davis, UNLV (Age: 22)
127. CB Senquez Golson, Ole Miss
128. S Gerod Holliman, Louisville
129. G Jarvis Harrison, Texas A&M
130. LB Kwon Alexander, LSU
131. S Jaquiski Tartt, Stamford
132. OL Greg Mancz, Toledo
133. OL Quinton Spain, West Virginia
134. DL Gabe Wright, Auburn
135. EDGE Trey Flowers, Arkansas
136. S Chris Hackett, TCU
137. EDGE Davis Tull, UT-Chattanooga
138. LB Jordan Hicks, Texas
139. LB Taiwan Jones, Michigan State
140. LB Alani Fua, BYU
141. DL Rakeem Nunez-Roches, Southern Miss
142. DT Quayshawne Buckley, Idaho
143. RB Josh Robinson, Miss State
144. RB Trey Williams, Texas A&M
145. RB Terrance Magee, LSU
146. DT Christian Covington, Rice
147. CB Alex Carter, Stanford
148. LB Tony Washington, Oregon
149. LB Junior Sylvestre, Toledo
150. DB Imoan Claiborne, Northwestern State
151. WR Deon Long, Maryland
152. CB Bryce Callahan, Rice
153. WR DeAndre Smelter, Georgia Tech
154. DL Bobby Richardson, Indiana
155. WR Antwan Goodley, Baylor
156. DL Derrick Lott, UT-C
157. OL B.J. Finney, Kansas State
158. OL Mitch Morse, Missouri
159. T Donovan Smith, Penn State
160. S Cedric Thompson, Minnesota
161. S Anthony Harris, UVA
162. DB Justin Cox, Miss State
163. S Kurtis Drummond, Michigan State
164. TE Nick Boyle, Delaware