The2015 NFL Draft: Top 11 Players After The NFL Combine
The NFL Combine is over. The plyers have been poked, prodded, interviewed and exposed and picked over like it was a cattle call at a Midwestern county fare.
Now comes the aftermath. The time where scouts, team general managers and head coaches pour over tape and notes and letter of recommendation and interviews and most of all, the wishes of team owners about players who could make or break a franchise.
Since the show is over and the stage has been taken down, I figured since the “pros” who tell us who is the best, who is rising and who is falling down the Draft ladder, I would share my own top 10 of the players who will hear their names called first in the April selection process.
This is my top 11 based on who players performed last weekend.
Forget the 40 time. Winston blew everyone away.
The best thing Winston did was throw at the Combine and channel some of the negative attention from his transgressions into positive energy with his potential.
I love the fact when Winston was asked every question in the book from his football acumen to his love for the game and everything in between, Winston stayed true to who he was. The media and scouts ate it up.
He looks like Jimi Hendrix’s love child who has eaten a few too many hamburgers. But make no mistake, Williams is the best defensive player in this draft. Teams watched him shuttle, run, jump and reach and thought of ways he could fit on their defensive lines on the inside or move to the end to rush the passer.
There are comparisons to the Texans JJ Watt. I don’t think we should place him in that league just yet, but in time they could come true.
DANTE FOWLER, JR.
When you look back at this Draft five years from now, Fowler will be the best pass rusher off the board. He needs work on his run stuffing, and he must continue to progress. But he is shooting up the draft boards because of tape and confidence.
The Jaguars should have first crack at him with the third pick in the Draft. I think he slides to Washington at the fifth pick or Atlanta at the eighth selection.
Here is where things get a little fun. White could be a one-year wonder. He could also be the second coming of a shorter Calvin Johnson. He is strong, thick, fast and a bit better right now than Amari Cooper, in my opinion.
White gets good separation from safeties and accelerates into second gear on a dime. His thick frame means he can also fight off linebackers trying to cover him over the middle. Right now, he is a more finished product.
This guy has Chicago Bears written all over him.
Thick and quick and can move the middle of the offensive line. Shelton is strictly an interior lineman who will help the Bears or any team that drafts him. CBSsports.com explains he is a solid 6-2, 343-pounds. Shelton proved one of the elite prospects at the Senior Bowl. He's surprisingly quick and passionate in pursuit for a man of his size and eats up blocks, freeing up teammates to make big plays.
For everything Cooper is now, he will be better in the next three seasons. Of course he is going to draw comparisons to Julio Jones because of their Alabama pedigree.
Cooper is dynamic with the ball as a kick returner as well as a pass receiver. He is fluid in motion on pass routes and will give any team that drafts him a strong No. 1 receiver. He needs to work on his separation form bigger defenders in the pro game, but he is instant offense when on the field.
I am not sure if he is a pure left tackle or could start his NFL career on the right side. Scherff is a load who can move defensive linemen around. According to Rob Rang of CBssports.com, his upper body strength, along with proper hand placement and good knee bend, make Scherff a force in the running game. Balanced with a naturally wide base and light feet, controlling his momentum well.
Mariota did everything the NFL scouts asked him to do at the Combine. The only problem is Jameis Winston did it better. What Mariota did was prove he could be a top quarterback in this league. I do not necessarily agree with the comparisons to Aaron Rodgers as a finished product. If they are true, then whichever team drafts him will have a star for a decade.
Look for him to learn to stand behind center more often and work more from the huddle.
Tennessee will either draft him or field offers to trade out of the spot and get a king’s ransom.
I am not as sold on Randy Gregory as everyone else might be. Of all the players who will be drafted in the top 10, Gregory has the highest risk of any of them. He may be light on his feet and has a nice drive forward, but there is a reason to be concerned for a player who only weighed 235 pounds and plays on the outside.
Whether Gregory plays standing up in a 4-3 defense or plays with a hand on the ground on the outside remains to be seen. He must put on weight (at least 15 pounds) and show he can still be that quick.
He has the fastest step off the snap of any pass rusher in this draft. We knew exactly what we were getting from Beasley when he came to the Combine. More than likely, he will be a situational pass rusher who will play on the line in blitz packages and play outside linebacker.
Teams like Atlanta, Chicago and New Orleans will all take a look at him. The team who drafts him will have a steal.