2015 NFL Combine: Top 32 Prospects

What to watch for at the 2015 NFL Combine from the 32 best prospects

Second Round Prospects | Third Round Prospects

1. DT Leonard Williams, USC 6-5, 300
Has he harnessed his skills yet? There’s no questioning his combination of size, speed and upside, but he’s still in need of some molding. Is he ready to be a franchise-making defender? Anyone who takes him will be expecting Pro Bowls – plural – and the interview process is vital to see if he can handle being a leader that everything works around.

2. DE/OLB Dante Fowler, Florida 6-3, 260
Can he turn into a refined pass rusher? What’s his role? Most scouts won’t care – they’re just going to want him on the front seven to turn loose – but he isn’t a tweener. Is he going to be more than a guy who can get into the backfield? Can he be nasty against the run? He’ll rock the drills as Step One, but he’ll have to prove to the scouts that he’s ready to roll out of the gate.

3. DE/OLB Shane Ray, Missouri 6-3, 245
Can the scouts get past his lack of bulk? He needs more good weight to become a true defensive end, and he’ll need to show as much strength as possible – even if the bench really doesn’t quite matter for his style – to get past the one concern. Will he get erased by the more powerful linemen? He won’t be able to show that in Indy.

4. DT Danny Shelton, Washington 6-2, 339
Is his lack of height a problem? A true bowling ball, he’s built for the nose, but can he be around 320 instead of being a few cheeseburgers away from 350? He’ll need to be able to somehow prove he can hold up and be in good enough shape to keep on moving even when wearing down.

5. OT Ereck Flowers, Miami 6-6, 324
Can he build off his fantastic offseason workouts and practices? He might not be polished, but if he can look athletic to go along with his prototype size, he’ll be seen as a potential franchise option if given a little bit of time. He has to prove that he’s worth the investment and patience.

6. QB Jameis Winston, Florida State 6-4, 230
He has to find a way to shake the “phony” tag. Winston will say all the right things, and he’ll be coached up well – he’s terrific in one-on-one situations – but can he answer the hard questions to the satisfaction of the GMs? He has to prove he’s mature enough to handle what’s coming.

7. WR Amari Cooper, Alabama 6-1, 210
Catch everything. He can’t give the scouts any reason to go negative – he’s already loved across the board and seen as a can’t-miss. His hands are fine, but this is where he has to separate himself from the pack and look like the true No. 1 wide receiver. He can’t be 4.6 in the 40, and he has to grab everything in the passing drills. Don’t force the GMs and scouts to give excuses.

8. OLB Shaq Thompson, Washington 6-1, 228
The only question mark is whether or not he can hold up. He’s almost too good to be true in terms of all the things he can bring, but he’s not all that big and he’s not all that strong - that doesn’t really matter considering his athleticism. He’ll get erased by the tougher blockers and linemen, and there’s no natural fit, but as long as he’s as quick as everyone expects, he’ll be fine.

9. SS Landon Collins, Alabama 6-0, 222
By far the best safety prospect in a league starving at the position, now it’s about just not screwing up. He’s a first rounder, but where he goes depends on how quick he is. The 40 won’t really matter, and it’s all about the tape with him, but if he’s strong through the short drills, he might be a top 15 lock.

10. DE/OLB Randy Gregory, Nebraska 6-6, 240
Why didn’t he blow up last year? He was very, very good, but considering he’s seen as a franchise-changing pass rusher, and he’s not quite a finished product, he didn’t come up with franchise-changing production. Is he just a great athlete and prospect, or is he a great athlete and prospect who can turn into devastating force?

11. DE/OLB Vic Beasley, Clemson 6-3, 235
What is he? Is doesn’t really matter, but is he an outside linebacker or can he work as a defensive end? He might be a one-trick, pass rush only guy, and while that might be good enough to turn into a superstar, somehow he has to show he can be physical enough to hold up if doesn’t put on more good weight.

12. DE/OLB Eli Harold, Virginia 6-4, 250
He’ll have to somehow show the potential to be more than just as a specialist. He might turn into a fierce pass rusher, and his athleticism and upside alone should make him a top-20 pick. However, if he’s going to be THAT guy who’s going to be someone’s franchise disruptive force, he has to look like it athletically.

13. WR DeVante Parker, Louisville 6-3, 211
Don’t be really, really slow. Amari Cooper might be seen as the first receiver off the board, but Parker is bigger and could be every bit the true receiver with a little time. However, he’s not a blazer and he’s probably not going to come up with eye-popping numbers, and everyone knows it. A good run or a quick shuttle time could be all he needs.

14. ILB Denzel Perryman, Miami 6-0, 242
Some scouts are going to demand that he’s the No. 1 inside linebacker on the board if he’s able to come up with a great workout. He’s a fantastic leader, he’s built like a true middle linebacker, and he’ll tackle everything, but is he quick compared to the rest of the top options in this class? You know what you’re getting, but he has to show that there’s the potential for more.

15. OLB/DE Bud Dupree, Kentucky 6-4, 264
Is he an NFL pass rusher? He has the tools and he has the upside, but he needs coaching. The interview process will be vital – the GMs and coaches are going to grill him. On athleticism and speed, he’ll be high on everyone’s board, but he needs to sell his upside a bit.

16. ILB Eric Kendricks, UCLA 6-0, 230
Can he be an explosive athlete? He’s a good all-around football player, and he’s sound with almost no bust potential, but can he be a true difference-maker who blows up offenses? The better he does in the jumping and leaping drills, and the better he is in the short and agility ones, the more his stock will go up – the 40 time doesn’t really matter.

17. OT Brandon Scherff, Iowa 6-5, 320
He’ll destroy the bench, but can he move? The more agile he looks, and the quicker he is, the more he’ll cement himself as a top 15 selection. Some might peg him as a Right Tackle Only if he doesn’t have the lateral athleticism.

18. OT Andrus Peat, Stanford 6-7, 316
Stanford offensive linemen always look the part and seem like they should be prototypes, and they’ve – to generalize – underwhelmed. He has to show he’s going to be a killer who wants to destroy his man – that has to come across in the interviews.

19. RB Todd Gurley, Georgia 6-1, 226
Can he deal with the physical? He’s still trying to get healthy, and he needs to show that there’s still going to be healthy enough to be worth the investment. Teams are going to have to fly blind when it comes to picking him, so it’s going to be an interesting call – will he be the same back, or better, with a fully-healed knee, and will he be able to stay in one piece?

20. RB Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin 6-1, 213
His hands. Fumbles are a problem at times, and he wasn’t that big a part of the passing game on a regular basis. Strength and blocking ability will be watched out for, too. A big 40 time would be nice to show off some top-end speed. A 4.6+ won’t be disastrous, but it could drop him to the late first round or early second.

21. QB Marcus Mariota, Oregon 6-4, 219
Can he convert? How long will it take before he’s an NFL pocket passer, and can he handle all the reads he’ll have to make? Will he show off the arm strength needed to make all the pro throws? He also has to show the fire and the pop – does he have the makeup to step into an NFL locker room and own it?

22. WR Kevin White, West Virginia 6-3, 210
Is he quick? He looks right, should be great in the leaping drills, and he has the hands to be a special receiver who gets top 15 consideration with a good workout. Quietly, some are talking about him as possibly the first receiver taken off the board, and if he comes up with a great 40 time, look out. Some are looking for reasons to take him before Amari Cooper and DeVante Parker.

23. OT T.J. Clemmings, Pittsburgh 6-6, 315
How fast is he along in the process? He’s going to be fantastic in the drills and he’ll look like the prototype, but the tools won’t always match the tape. He’s the hot prospect of the moment and is being seen as a possible top ten overall pick, and he’ll look it – the homework has to be done to make sure that he’s ready to step in and start tomorrow.

24. RB Jay Ajayi, Boise State 6-0, 216
Just how much tread is there on the tires? He was used, used, overused, and used some more. There’s a chance he could become the first back taken in the draft with a few great workouts, but the physicals are going to be vital.

25. ILB Benardrick McKinney, Mississippi State 6-5, 249
Can he move fluidly? He’s not really built like an inside linebacker, and some are going to want to put him on the outside or inside in a 3-4 scheme, but he’s a leader and a main man for the middle. He can’t be stiff and he can’t run like the tall, rangy player he is. He has to be agile.

26. RB Tevin Coleman, Indiana 6-1, 210
How fast is he? He plays more of a speed game than a power one, and he’s big in open spaces, but he’s not a normal NFL workhorse. If he’s going to be the type of fast runner who busts off the occasional home run, he has to show off the deep wheels.

27. OLB Hau'oli Kikaha, Washington 6-3, 246
Can he hold up against power running games? He has decent size, but he gets beaten on a bit too easily and he takes lots and lots of big shots. The physical will be his biggest challenge after having knee problems over the course of his career.

28. DT Malcom Brown, Texas 6-2, 320
Is he strong enough? The bench will matter since there’s no real question marks about his interior pass rushing ability. He’s always working and always moving – motor isn’t a problem – but can he be an NFL anchor who can hold up when getting plowed on?

29. CB Trae Waynes, Michigan State 6-1, 182
With his size and toughness against the bigger receivers, and strength against the run, now he just has to be fast to be the first corner taken. Is he smooth? Is he fluid? Straight-line speed will be key, but to be someone’s must-have, shut-down corner, he has to look like he could get stuck on an island.

30. TE/WR Devin Funchess, Michigan 6-5, 230
He has to be a true wide receiver to avoid the Jimmy Graham contract issues down the line. However, he’s not an NFL wide receiver, he’s an NFL hybrid tight end type who’s going to dominate in a different way than he and his agent might believe. If he wants to be a wideout, he needs to blast away on the speed drills.

31. CB P.J. Williams, Florida State 6-0, 196
Can he be the first corner taken? He has all the tools and all the abilities, but if he looks more athletic and faster than Trae Waynes, he might be seen as the main shut-down corner. Physical and quick, a 4.4 might be enough to be a top 20 pick.

32. ILB Paul Dawson, TCU 6-2, 230
Able to play anywhere in a linebacking corps and be a playmaker. Really quick and really athletic, he can move around and be disruptive, but he has one big question mark among the scouting community – his attitude. He’ll have to ace the interview process to get past character concerns.

Second Round Prospects | Third Round Prospects


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