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Old 06-18-2014   #21
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Default Re: Mel Kiper on 2015 draft

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Deep sleeper local boy from Booker T.,
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5 time!
5 time!
5 time!
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Champion, Booker T with older brother "Stevie Ray" from South Park...

Sorry bro, Booker T is older than me by a few years!!
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Old 08-04-2014   #22
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Default Re: Mel Kiper on 2015 draft

Okay, I'm officially on the Browns drafting Jameis Winston train and the pair of them -- Famous & Johnny Football -- getting arrested in Vegas and generally stirring up all kinds of trouble.

Brownies could easily end up with 2 top 10 picks. Make it happen, whoever the Factory of Sadness' GM for 2015 will be, make it happen!
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Old 11-13-2014   #23
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Default Re: Mel Kiper on 2015 draft

Top 10 questions for 2015 draft

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1. Would the Oakland Raiders select Oregon QB Marcus Mariota with the No. 1 overall pick?

Todd McShay: In this scenario the winless Raiders would really have a tough decision to make, and there are the key variables of whom the front office and coaching staff will be made up of at the time of this pick. But despite the presence of 2014 second-rounder Derek Carr on the roster, I definitely don't think you can rule out the Raiders selecting Mariota -- or possibly even Florida State QB Jameis Winston -- with the top overall pick.

I can certainly understand the argument for why Oakland should use that pick to either get an elite player at another position or deal it for multiple picks, in order to give Carr a chance to prove himself as the franchise QB with a better supporting cast around him. He has had very little help this season, and almost any rookie quarterback would struggle in that situation.

But I also think the scouting report is out on him, and that he's having problems with the same areas I saw of him on tape when evaluating him for the draft: If you can get pressure in his face and lay some hits on him, he has a hard time handling it, and even though he has a strong arm, his deep accuracy isn't consistent enough. His performance has been getting worse as the season has gone on, not better.

What makes Mariota special as a prospect (he's currently No. 2 on our board) is his combination of throwing ability and mobility both inside and outside the pocket, and the team that drafts him is going to need to do a good job early of taking advantage of his athleticism and masking his relative inconsistency with ball placement from inside the pocket. Getting him an offensive coordinator who has experience doing this will be key.

2. Is Jameis Winston a lock for the top 10?

Mel Kiper: He's not a lock, but I would suspect he would land there. Look, I think Winston is a brilliant talent with a vast skill set and preternatural instinct for the quarterback position. Beyond that, there's something many don't realize, which is that he has a really special ability to learn information, retain it and apply it quickly. And regardless of how you think Florida State has looked this year, I don't think there's any question the guy has a special ability to rise to the occasion -- a "winning" QB can be overstated, but you could apply that label to Winston and not get any weird looks.

But there are questions:

1. Obviously, maturity is a question mark, and if the draft were tomorrow, that would be the No. 1 debate going on with teams. Can we trust this guy at a position we prioritize above all others, in a league where off-field behavior is under the microscope to a greater degree than ever?

2. It's absurd to say Winston's play has fallen off this year. What has happened is he's struggled more as his protection has struggled. He's already thrown more INTs than last year, his QBR is down eight points, and he's had a couple of really bad stretches in games. While he's still been very good, what will happen is you'll have some fair analysis on whether he's a great player who is going to get a lot better, or whether he's a great player who's closer to his ceiling than most players his age.

These are the questions that make it so he's no lock for the top 10. But my sense is he'd still land in that range.

3. Would Todd Gurley be a first-round pick?

McShay: Yes, I think he would be. I would have a hard time justifying using a first-round pick on a running back, given the current value at that position and how successful teams have been at finding productive options in later rounds, and to do so I think the back needs to be a complete player who can be a true difference-maker. Gurley fits the bill.

I've had two NFL scouts who cover the Southeast region tell me that Gurley and Alabama WR Amari Cooper are the best players in their area. Gurley can create yards on his own with both power (running over guys and churning out extra yards at the end of runs) and speed (he's slippery enough to make some guys miss in the hole, but more important he has the acceleration and breakaway speed to run away from defenders), and he can help out an NFL team in pass protection and as a receiver out of the backfield.

We currently have him ranked in the top 10 of our board, and while I wouldn't say with any certainty that he'd go in the first half of the first round (again, based on positional value), I do think he'd be a first-round pick if the draft were tomorrow. His recent suspension for accepting money for autographs has no bearing on his draft stock.

4. Which of the teams with three wins or fewer would consider taking a QB in Round 1?

Kiper: Based on the current standings, we're talking about a whole bunch of teams. So I'll break it into two groups.

Wouldn't: I'll exclude Carolina unless something crazy happens and Cam Newton isn't back -- but something crazy won't happen. Regardless of how Chicago is feeling about Jay Cutler right now, the reality is his contract is keeping him around (and they have other gaping holes to fill on defense anyway). The Giants are out, and so are the Redskins. Atlanta isn't taking a QB, and of the teams who could be in range for No. 1 overall, I'll go ahead and say neither Jacksonville nor Oakland will take a QB even if they have one of the top few picks and could get Marcus Mariota (although Todd disagrees with me on that regarding Oakland -- see question No. 1).

Bottom line: Mariota is a special talent, and so is Winston, but neither of these guys are Andrew Luck. Neither comes with that kind of a guarantee. In either case the money is on them continuing to develop the guy they drafted last year.

Would: In Tampa Bay I certainly think a QB could be in play. Josh McCown is a career backup, and Mike Glennon is the draft pick of previous decision-makers. The Jets obviously would have to consider a QB in Round 1. The luster has come off Geno Smith even though that pick was a calculated and inexpensive risk. The Titans might have something in Zach Mettenberger, but if the stretch run is messy you certainly can't say they wouldn't look. Mettenberger is a negligible cap hit for another three years, so he's already priced liked a backup if that's what they feel he is. And we can't rule out the Rams. That's the definition of a team being held back by the QB position -- with talent elsewhere but total uncertainty at that spot.

5. What is your favorite potential prospect-team match in the first round?

McShay: Mariota and the Philadelphia Eagles. I know that this is the obvious answer, and it's also a long shot (for colleague Mike Sando's explanation for how it could come together, click here) because of what it would take for Philly to move up from a pick that would presumably be in the mid- to late-20s into the top five to get Mariota, and also because the Eagles still have both Nick Foles and Mark Sanchez on the roster -- two guys who have been effective for them.

But I still think it would be an excellent match because while Chip Kelly doesn't need to have a mobile quarterback for his offense to succeed in the NFL, having one would allow him to use the entirety of his offensive menu. There would obviously be a comfort level there with Kelly having coached Mariota before, and he is one of the best players (if not the best overall player) in the entire draft.

6. Which prospects would merit consideration with the No. 1 overall pick?

Kiper: Right now I'd give you four. Again, this is if the draft were tomorrow and takes into account only what we know right now ...

Marcus Mariota: The top quarterback on the board, and if you're a team drafting No. 1 overall, you're quite likely not getting even league-average play at the position. That said, the Raiders and Jags could be in the picture for No. 1, which would rule out Mariota and bring some other names into the equation, with a common theme. (Again, Todd disagrees with me on the Raiders.)

Leonard Williams: The scheme-versatile, 290-pound defensive lineman from USC plays with relentlessness and awareness, will disrupt the pass and run game, occupy blockers and make defenders around him better. There isn't an NFL team who wouldn't be made better by having him on the roster.

Randy Gregory: The long and explosive pass-rusher from Nebraska is another player who spikes in value because he's such a special athlete and has the ability to succeed in virtually any system.

Shane Ray: Again: scheme versatile. Ray has a pass-rushing skill set that plays anywhere, and he's a great athlete.

I don't have an offensive lineman who I'd consider at No. 1 right now, and it's simply out of the range of anybody else when you consider what else is available further down the board. And Winston? Maybe he's back in that range in April -- it wouldn't surprise me at all, in fact -- but in this scenario we're drafting tomorrow.

7. Which teams would consider trading up to draft a QB?

McShay: In this scenario, the Raiders wouldn't need to trade up, because they have the No. 1 pick as the NFL's only winless team. But I do think they'll at least consider drafting a QB. I agree with Mel that the Bucs, Jets, Titans and Rams could all be looking to draft a QB, and each could consider moving up the board a couple of spots to do so (especially with it looking right now like there are only two first-round-caliber talents in Mariota and Winston).

I also think the Eagles are a possibility to go up and get Mariota, as I wrote in response to the earlier question, and the other two that are possibilities are the Bills and the Texans. Buffalo is without its first-round pick, having shipped it to Cleveland to move up and draft Sammy Watkins this year, so the Bills will have limited firepower with which to orchestrate a deal.

The Texans are about to find out what they have in Ryan Mallett, but their investment in trading for him was minimal, so his presence on the roster does not keep them from trying to draft a QB. Arizona is an intriguing team to watch following Carson Palmer's season-ending injury, but I know the Cardinals really like Drew Stanton -- more than the public might think -- and they signed Palmer to an extension just before his injury. So I'd be surprised to see them make a big move up the board.

8. Who would be the first WR drafted?

Kiper: Amari Cooper of Alabama would be the first wide receiver taken, and he'd be pushed by DeVante Parker of Louisville. I have Kevin White moving up on my Big Board this year, but he's not quite the sure thing either of those two are yet.

Cooper gets the nod because he has such a complete skill set, and the work ethic to match it. He's put up incredible numbers at Alabama even though every defense knows the ball is coming his way, and he does that because he's a gifted technician when it comes to route running, recognizing defensive looks and where space can be found, and he's underrated in his ability to turn a 5-yard catch into a 25-yard gain. Parker will push him because he's got that big catch radius as a long-armed, 6-foot-3 target who can stretch the field and beat most defenders to a high point for the ball. Maybe White gets into the mix, but he's not nearly as consistent as Cooper, and not quite as difficult a matchup as Parker.

9. Which team is the most intriguing to you?

McShay: I'm going to go with the Rams for this one. They have done a really good job acquiring talent in recent drafts, and I think that they're a quarterback away from being a legitimate playoff team. The defense is loaded with Michael Brockers, Aaron Donald, Robert Quinn, Chris Long (although he's currently on IR), Kendall Langford and Alex Carrington up front, Alec Ogletree at linebacker and Janoris Jenkins, E.J. Gaines and Marcus Roberson in the secondary.

They're a pretty young team that could have had a breakout season this year -- but their season was over as soon as Sam Bradford went down with a torn ACL. I was among the people who believed that Bradford could be the guy for them, but at this point you just can't trust him to stay healthy. Will they be able to draft a guy like Mariota or Winston to be the answer for them? I'll be interested to see if they can acquire their missing piece at QB.

10. Who would be in the mix for the Jets, assuming they had a top-five pick?

Kiper: I immediately have to take cornerback out of the mix even though that might be their No. 1 need. If the Jets were dead-set on spending a first-round pick on a CB (and they won't be), this isn't the range to find one. Right now I'd focus on two positions of need where the value actually lines up.

The Jets need a quarterback, and because of that Mariota is clearly in the mix. And given that need, they'd certainly have to take a hard look at Winston. Is he the right player for the scrutiny that comes with playing in New York? I don't know. But he can play the position, and that's the issue for the Jets.

Secondly, I'm considering either Gregory or Ray. The Jets are getting close to nothing from their pass rush at outside linebacker, and it's not a problem confined to this year. A potent edge-rusher would be fantastic to pair with that special talent they already have on the interior of the defensive line.

If you wanted a long-shot pick, I suppose you could consider a wide receiver such as Cooper or Parker. They now have Eric Decker and Percy Harvin, but I still think they could use another WR. If they felt the QB problem was best solved outside of the draft, it's a position they could at least look at.
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Old 11-13-2014   #24
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Default Re: Mel Kiper on 2015 draft

What I will note

Randy Gregory I thought already announced he's staying at Nebraska...

The Raiders/Jags will auction their picks - they are not switching from Carr as these QBs, while very good, aren't Andrew Luck OMG can't miss good. Same for Bortles, considering their investment.

The QB derby is between the Jets, Titans, Bucs and maybe Rams.
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Old 11-13-2014   #25
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Default Re: Mel Kiper on 2015 draft

Gonna disagree with T and if I was Oakland GM, I would select Mariota and trade Carr to a hungry for QB team, Rams? A high second and maybe a 4th or 5th for Carr would allow Oakland a better QB and two high seconds to fill other positions.
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Old 11-13-2014   #26
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Default Re: Mel Kiper on 2015 draft

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Gonna disagree with T and if I was Oakland GM, I would select Mariota and trade Carr to a hungry for QB team, Rams? A high second and maybe a 4th or 5th for Carr would allow Oakland a better QB and two high seconds to fill other positions.
I'd gladly make that deal for Carr if I'm the Texans GM, though I think he'd be a little more expensive than that.
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Old 11-13-2014   #27
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Default Re: Mel Kiper on 2015 draft

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I'd gladly make that deal for Carr if I'm the Texans GM, though I think he'd be a little more expensive than that.
I'm not interested in Carr. Still hoping Mallett or Savage is our guy
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Old 11-13-2014   #28
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Default Re: Mel Kiper on 2015 draft

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I'm not interested in Carr. Still hoping Mallett or Savage is our guy
Yep

No to anybody in Roger Carr's bloodline.
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Old 11-13-2014   #29
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Default Re: Mel Kiper on 2015 draft

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Gonna disagree with T and if I was Oakland GM, I would select Mariota and trade Carr to a hungry for QB team, Rams? A high second and maybe a 4th or 5th for Carr would allow Oakland a better QB and two high seconds to fill other positions.
If they can get get a team to pay a similar price to what the Browns got from Buffalo this year for Watkins, or what the Rams got from Washington to get Griffin III, then if that GM has any competency, then he makes that deal and sticks with Carr, who they have invested this season in to gain experience and take his lumps.

The Jets, Titans or Bucs will ante up. One will buckle and give in, especially the Jets, who are sick of crappy QB play.
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Old 11-13-2014   #30
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Default Re: Mel Kiper on 2015 draft

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If they can get get a team to pay a similar price to what the Browns got from Buffalo this year for Watkins, or what the Rams got from Washington to get Griffin III, then if that GM has any competency, then he makes that deal and sticks with Carr, who they have invested this season in to gain experience and take his lumps.

The Jets, Titans or Bucs will ante up. One will buckle and give in, especially the Jets, who are sick of crappy QB play.
You could be right but I am thinking Tenn will not be willing to give up what you say it would take (Watkins trade) when they have Mett. I'll be shocked if there is a trade up in top 5. Based on today's ranking I think Jets and Tampa will get these two QBs.
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Old 11-13-2014   #31
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Default Re: Mel Kiper on 2015 draft

Oakland will probably dangle the pick but nobody will bite because the price is too high. Oakland will then take Leonard Williams and whoever has #2 gets Mariota. JMO of course.

Mariota is the best QB in this class but I don't think he's worth a king's ransom.
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Old 11-13-2014   #32
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Default Re: Mel Kiper on 2015 draft

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Oakland will probably dangle the pick but nobody will bite because the price is too high. Oakland will then take Leonard Williams and whoever has #2 gets Mariota. JMO of course.

Mariota is the best QB in this class but I don't think he's worth a king's ransom.
Unless Jacksonville has #2, I don't think they give up on Bortles this quick...
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Old 11-13-2014   #33
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Default Re: Mel Kiper on 2015 draft

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Unless Jacksonville has #2, I don't think they give up on Bortles this quick...
They won't. I actually think Bortles is a better pro prospect than Mariota. Jacksonville at #2 is more likely to trade back than Oakland at #1, in my opinion.
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Old 11-14-2014   #34
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Default Re: Mel Kiper on 2015 draft

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Okay, I'm officially on the Browns drafting Jameis Winston train and the pair of them -- Famous & Johnny Football -- getting arrested in Vegas and generally stirring up all kinds of trouble.

Brownies could easily end up with 2 top 10 picks. Make it happen, whoever the Factory of Sadness' GM for 2015 will be, make it happen!
Speaking of the Brownies, haven't heard from Dutchrudder in a while.

Anybody heard from him? He did a great job on the TT Mock Draft last yr.
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Old 11-14-2014   #35
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Default Re: Mel Kiper on 2015 draft

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They won't. I actually think Bortles is a better pro prospect than Mariota. Jacksonville at #2 is more likely to trade back than Oakland at #1, in my opinion.
Jacksonville has to be a perfect fit for Amari Cooper or Williams. They can trade down 1 or 2 picks and ensure they still get their guy. They certainly are not going to walk away from Bortles this quick/
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Old 11-14-2014   #36
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Default Re: Mel Kiper on 2015 draft

I find it a bit funny that Kiper criticizes Kevin White for a lack of consistency despite going over 100 yards in 8 of 10 games this year. Even funnier that he parallels it to Cooper who just had a drop filled game against LSU.

Don't get me wrong, I like Cooper, but how about a little consistency from Mr. Kiper eh?
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Old 1 Week Ago   #37
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Default Re: Mel Kiper on 2015 draft

Top 10 NFL prospects by position

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Quarterbacks

1. *Marcus Mariota, Oregon
2. **Jameis Winston, Florida St.
3. *Brett Hundley, UCLA
4. *Connor Cook, Michigan St. (Cook remains where he is until the deadline passes.)
5. Bryce Petty, Baylor
6. Garrett Grayson, Colorado St.
7. *Cody Kessler, USC
8. Sean Mannion, Oregon St.
9. Bryan Bennett, Southeastern Louisiana
10. Shane Carden, East Carolina


Running backs

1. *Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin
2. *Todd Gurley, Georgia
3. *Tevin Coleman, Indiana
4. Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska
5. *Duke Johnson, Miami (Fla.)
6. *T.J. Yeldon, Alabama
7. Jeremy Langford, Michigan St.
8. *Javorius "Buck" Allen, USC
9. *Matt Jones, Florida
10. *Jay Ajayi, Boise St.


Fullbacks

1. Jalston Fowler, Alabama
2. *Dan Vitale, Northwestern
3. *Derek Watt, Wisconsin
4. Mark Weisman, Iowa
5. Connor Neighbors, LSU
6. Hunter Joyer, Florida
7. *Soma Vainuku, USC
8. D.J. Warren, Kentucky
9. Nicholas Parker, Mississippi
10. *Trevon Pendleton, Michigan St.


Wide receivers

1. *Amari Cooper, Alabama
2. DeVante Parker, Louisville
3. Kevin White, West Virginia
4. *Jaelen Strong, Arizona St.
5. *Dorial Green-Beckham, Oklahoma
6. *Duke Williams, Auburn
7. *Sammie Coates, Auburn
8. Rashad Greene, Florida
9. *Nelson Agholor, USC
10. Devin Smith, Ohio St.

Tight ends

1. *Devin Funchess, Michigan
2. Nick O'Leary, Florida St.
3. Jeff Heuerman, Ohio St.
4. Clive Walford, Miami (Fla.)
5. E.J. Bibbs, Iowa St.
6. Wes Saxton, So. Alabama
7. *Jesse James, Penn St.
8. MyCole Pruitt, So. Illinois
9. Ben Koyack, Notre Dame
10. Nick Boyle, Delaware


Offensive tackles

1. Brandon Scherff, Iowa
2. Cedric Ogbuehi, Texas A&M
3. La'el Collins, LSU
4. *Andrus Peat, Stanford
5. T.J. Clemmings, Pitt
6. Tyrus Thompson, Oklahoma
7. Ty Sambrailo, Colorado St.
8. Jake Fisher, Oregon
9. *D.J. Humphries, Florida
10. Daryl Williams, Oklahoma


Guards

1. A.J. Cann, South Carolina
2. Josue Matias, Florida St.
3. Jarvis Harrison, Texas A&M
4. Tre' Jackson, Florida St.
5. Laken Tomlinson, Duke
6. Jake Smith, Louisville
7. *Vadal Alexander, LSU
8. John Miller, Louisville
9. Arie Kouandjio, Alabama
10. Jamil Douglas, Arizona St.


Centers

1. Cameron Erving, Florida St.
2. Reese Dismukes, Auburn
3. Hroniss Grasu, Oregon
4. Andy Gallik, Boston College
5. BJ Finney, Kansas St.
6. Max Garcia, Florida
7. Shane McDermott, Miami (Fla)
8. Greg Mancz, Toledo
9. David Andrews, Georgia
10. Brandon Vitabile, Northwestern
Quote:
Defensive ends

1. *Leonard Williams, USC
2. *Randy Gregory, Nebraska
3. *Shane Ray, Missouri
4. *Dante Fowler, Florida
5. *Shilique Calhoun, Michigan St.
6. *Shawn Oakman, Baylor
7. Nate Orchard, Utah
8. Trey Flowers, Arkansas
9. Lorenzo Mauldin, Louisville
10. *Mario Edwards, Florida St.


Defensive tackles

1. Danny Shelton, Washington
2. *Eddie Goldman, Florida St.
3. Michael Bennett, Ohio St.
4. *Malcom Brown, Texas
5. **Jordan Phillips, Oklahoma
6. Carl Davis, Iowa
7. *Adolphus Washington, Ohio St.
8. *Jarran Reed, Alabama
9. Tyeler Davison, Fresno St.
10. Xavier Williams, No. Iowa


Inside linebackers

1. *Benardrick McKinney, Mississippi St.
2. *Reggie Ragland, Alabama
3. Denzel Perryman, Miami (Fla.)
4. Eric Kendricks, UCLA
5. Stephone Anthony, Clemson
6. Ramik Wilson, Georgia
7. A.J. Johnson, Tennessee
8. Ben Heeney, Kansas
9. Hayes Pullard, USC
10. Bryce Hager, Baylor


Outside linebackers

1. Vic Beasley, Clemson
2. **Leonard Floyd, Georgia
3. *Shaq Thompson, Washington
4. Alvin "Bud" Dupree, Kentucky
5. *Eric Striker, Oklahoma
6. Paul Dawson, TCU
7. Hau'oli Kikaha, Washington
8. Jake Ryan, Michigan
9. Zack Hodges, Harvard
10. J.R. Tavai, USC


Cornerbacks

1. *Trae Waynes, Michigan St.
2. Kevin Johnson, Wake Forest
3. *Marcus Peters, Washington
4. *Will Redmond, Mississippi St.
5. Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Oregon
6. *P.J. Williams, Florida St.
7. Senquez Golson, Mississippi
8. *Jalen Collins, LSU
9. Doran Grant, Ohio St.
10. Byron Jones, Connecticut


Safeties

1. *Landon Collins, Alabama
2. Derron Smith, Fresno St.
3. Damarious Randall, Arizona St.
4. Anthony Harris, Virginia
5. Kurtis Drummond, Michigan St.
6. Jaquiski Tartt, Samford
7. Jordan Richards, Stanford
8. Isaiah Johnson, Georgia Tech
9. Cody Prewitt, Mississippi
10. Clayton Geathers, Central Florida
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