2015 NFL draft prospect watch: Way too early, but Mariota, Winston head list

Eric Edholm

Don't say "it's never too early." We know that's bunk.

Last year at this time, Teddy Bridgewater was a top-5 cinch, Tajh Boyd was a mid-first-rounder, Greg Robinson was Who?, Khalil Mack was "That Nice Player From The MAC" and Colt Lyerla was the next Aaron Hern—sorry, scratch that last one.

But we have to start somewhere with the 2015 NFL draft prospects, and as we head toward the start of college football season, we have a list.

Twenty-five guys on offense. Twenty-five guys on defense. A few others who just missed the cut. No mock draft. No set-in-stone rankings. Just a list of where players sit, reputation and prospect-wise, as things stand now.

It's a list you should bookmark and revisit before the season. Go on, do it.


1. Oregon QB Marcus Mariota (6-4, 212) — Some feel he would have gone first overall to the Texans this year.

2. Texas A&M OT Cedric Ogbuehi (6-5, 305) — We loved Luke Joeckel and Jake Matthews, but Ohbuehi might be best

3. Florida State QB Jameis Winston (6-3, 228) — Oh, you say Johnny Manziel came with character questions?

4. Alabama WR Amari Cooper (6-1, 205) — Could prove to be this year’s Sammy Watkins

5. Iowa OT Brandon Scherff (6-5, 315) — More than a few scouts were surprised he didn’t come out

6. Florida State OG Tre Jackson (6-4, 330) — Best interior player in college last season

View photos

7. Georgia RB Todd Gurley (6-1, 232) — Running backs dead? Gurley could help change that

8. Stanford OT Andrus Peat (6-6, 312) — Pro-style left tackle who checks all the boxes

9. Alabama RB T.J. Yeldon (6-1, 218) — Another back who could get first-round mention

10. Texas A&M OT Germain Ifedi (6-5, 311) — Moving from guard to right tackle; another Aggie star?

11. Florida State WR Rashad Greene (6-0, 180) — Some feel he, not Kelvin Benjamin, was Noles’ best receiver

12. Michigan State QB Connor Cook (6-4, 218) — Stock rose dramatically in scouts’ eyes last year

13. Florida State OT Cameron Erving (6-5, 320) — Wisely returned to school; has potential but work to do

14. UCLA QB Brett Hundley (6-3, 222) — Some ugly mechanics, but athleticism and upside are intriguing

15. Florida State TE Nick O'Leary (6-3, 248) — A throwback with deceptive receiving skills; solid blocker

16. Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon (6-1, 207) — Can this exciting slasher handle a full load?

17. Michigan TE Devin Funchess (6-5, 235) — Arrow pointing up if he’s used properly

18. Stanford WR Ty Montgomery (6-2, 215) — Ninth nationally with 157.7 all-purpose yards/game 

19. Oregon C Hroniss Grasu (6-3, 298) — Quick-thinking, up-tempo a new-style NFL center

20. Baylor QB Bryce Petty (6-2, 230) — Could rise up this list easily with another big year

21. ex-Missouri WR Dorial Green-Beckham (6-6, 228) — Rare talent who wasted chance at Mizzou

22. South Carolina RB Mike Davis (5-9, 215) — Tough, compact, natural runner with vision 

23. USC WR Nelson Agholor (6-0, 185) — Better than Marqise Lee? We’ll see about that

24. Oregon State OG Isaac Seumalo (6-3, 305) — Has played center, guard and tackle

25. LSU OT La’el Collins (6-5, 315) — Could have come out this year and gone fairly high


1. USC DE Leonard Williams (6-4, 290) — Ed Orgeron thought he was a first-rounder in this draft

2. Michigan State DE-OLB Shilique Calhoun (6-4, 250) — Dynamic edge rusher returned to school for title

3. Alabama S Landon Collins (6-0, 215) — Took over for Vinnie Sunseri; higher ceiling than Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

4. Nebraska OLB-DE Randy Gregory (6-5, 255) — Next year’s Anthony Barr?

View photos

5. Clemson OLB-DE Vic Beasley (6-2, 235) — Next year’s Dee Ford?

6. Oregon CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu (5-10, 185) — Undersized playmaker considered coming out early

7. Florida State DE Mario Edwards Jr. (6-3, 277) — Lived up to the hype since replacing Tank Carradine

8. TCU DE-OLB Devonte Fields (6-4, 240) — Don’t forget 10-sack freshman year; coming off foot injury

9. Florida State CB P.J. Williams (6-0, 190) — Shut down teammate Rashad Greene in spring game

10. Florida State CB Ronald Darby (5-11, 189) — Missed spring ball, but has first-round ability

11. Georgia LB Jordan Jenkins (6-2, 246) — Lost amid a rebuilding defense but has star ability

12. Florida DE Dante Fowler Jr. (6-3, 266) — Only scratching surface as rusher; could zoom up this list

13. Georgia ILB Ramik Wilson (6-2, 232) — In the C.J. Mosley mold

14. Iowa DT Carl Davis (6-4, 315) — If he keeps his pad level down, watch out

15. Virginia S Anthony Harris — NCAA-best 8 INTs in Jon Tenuta’s scheme

16. Ohio State DT Michael Bennett (6-3, 285) — Versatile, quick, penetrating interior force

17. Utah State LB Kyler Fackrell (6-4, 245) — Leader on one of nation’s most underrated defenses in 2013

18. Michigan State CB Trae Waynes (6-1, 185) — Better than Darqueze Dennard? Potential is there

19. Baylor DE Shawn Oakman (6-8, 285) — Oaken defender would make the perfect NFL 5-technique

20. Missouri DE Markus Golden (6-3, 255) — You watch: better NFL ability than Kony Ealy, Michael Sam

21. Oklahoma LB Eric Striker — Watch the Sugar Bowl and imagine the possibilities

22. Miami ILB Denzel Perryman (6-0, 240) — Fairly versatile; received third-round grade from advisory board

23. Fresno State FS Derron Smith (5-11, 200) — Good vs. run but also totaled 6 INTs

24. Michigan State FS Kurtis Drummond (6-1, 200) — Good hitter, decent all-around skills on strong unit

25. LSU CB Jalen Collins (6-1, 195) — Highly touted player could put it all together this season

Others: Ohio State QB Braxton Miller, Auburn C Reese Dismukes, Washington DT Danny Shelton, Texas DE Cedric Reed, Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah, Oregon State QB Sean Mannion, Rice DT Christian Covington, Baylor WR Antwan Goodley, Baylor OT Spencer Drango, Arizona State QB Taylor Kelly, Auburn LB Kris Frost, Ohio State DE Noah Spence, Arizona State WR Jaelen Strong, Syracuse OT Sean Hickey, Kansas State WR Tyler Lockett, Florida State RB Karlos Williams, Stanford S Jordan Richards, Notre Dame LB Ishaq Williams.

- - - - - - -

Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!