It’s already that time again, and the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine begins this week in Indianapolis, bringing together 323 of the nation’s most draftable players, as well as numerous coaches, front-office representatives, and scouts from each NFL team.
With the scouting combine less than hours away, it’s a great time to look over some of the possible stars of tomorrow that will be featured in the NFL Draft come May. Some of these guys may not even be a part of the combine. They may go the route of some other players who chose to have private workouts at their college campus. There is no shortage of mock drafts and lists of players who are favored to go in each round. Let’s dive into the world of speculation and discuss the merits of a few of the bigger names on the boards. With no live games to disect, I don’t feel guilty about throwing my two cents worth in on these upcoming NFL stars and possible busts.
At quarterback Jameis Winston is going to get most of the attention. He’s had a way of doing that in both positive and negative ways during his college run. He was a disaster off the field, but a big time play maker on it. Some owner is going to take a chance on Winston. I just wouldn’t want to be the guy who chooses a loose cannon like Winston to be the face of an NFL franchise. Marcus Mariota is probably a system type QB that won’t thrive under the wrong head coach. But if he can get an offense that is designed around him and his skill set, this guy could be a Pro Bowl type quarterback eventually. After those two top names, I am not impressed with the rest of the pack. Bryce Petty of Baylor had huge numbers on a team that scored a ton of points. RG3 looked great for them a few years ago. How’s that working out as a pro though?
For teams in need of an upgrade at running back there are three names that seem to be on everyone’s list:
– Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin. This kid broke all kinds of records this past season which puts him at the number one spot among projections. That and the fact that Gurley tore his knee up near the end of 2014.
– Todd Gurley, Georgia. As long as he recovers 100% from his knee injury, this man is the best back in the draft. He could be the best pick of any position. He’s that good. It’s a shame his stock dropped somewhat due to him getting hurt in a game he should have never been playing in anyway.
– Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska. This undersized runner makes up for his lack of bulk with his hands. He is as dangerous in the passing game as he is as a rusher.
We saw last season just how valuable a rookie receiver can be. There were a freakish amount of rookies that made it look easy in the NFL for their first season. Odell Beckham and Mike Evans are the exceptions rather than the rule however. If a few of the 2015 crop do make their mark early on, then teams will have to reconsider signing big contracts to a few vets near the end of a low end contract. Kevin White of West Virginia
and Amari Cooper from Bama will likely be the first two wideouts taken.
On the defensive side of things it looks to be Leonard Williams of USC who will be taken above all other defenders. He is considered worthy of the second overall pick since Tampa Bay at number one is in desperate need of a new QB.
As the combine heats up tomorrow, all the numbers and some record setting performances will give us something to talk about until the actual draft. But it’s the play on the field that has mostly decided the greatest percentage of these guys’ draft spots already.