Who are the best players left on the board in the '15 NFL Draft?
The first round of the 2015 NFL Draft is in the books.
Tampa Bay did the right thing by taking Jameis Winston No. 1 and Tennessee pulled the trigger on its future leader by taking Marcus Mariota with the No. 2 pick.
But there are tons of elite prospects still left on the board on day two of the NFL Draft. The second, third and fourth rounds of the draft are loaded with great talents every year and ’15 won’t be any different.
Joel Bitonio, Derek Carr, Lamarcus Joyner, Jordan Matthews and Jeremy Hill were all second-rounders last season. Here are our favorite players left on the board entering the second round:
Landon Collins, S, Alabama
The fact that the Crimson Tide playmaker fell out of the first round is astonishing, and he is clearly the best player on the board entering Day 2. He's lightning-quick and explosive and is one of the best tacklers in the class. Coverage skills aren't elite and that's likely what has dropped him on boards.
Randy Gregory, OLB/DE, Nebraska
He’s got elite-level athleticism but many have questioned his desire to be great in the NFL. Be it the marijuana issue or his weight fluctuations. He also doesn’t fit naturally into either the 4-3 or 3-4 scheme.
Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA
He’s got the size. He’s got the numbers. He’s got the wins. He’s got the athleticism. Once he refines his deep ball, he could be a big-time playmaker under center. He won’t last long in the second round. He's clearly better than the rest of the QB class left in this draft.
Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Missouri/Oklahoma
As gifted as Calvin Johnson and as troubled as Jameis Winston. His off-the-field issues are a major question mark despite never actually being charged with anything. On the field, there is no doubting his ability. He’s a superstar from a talent perspective.
Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State
There really isn’t much difference between first-round selections Kevin White or DeVante Parker and Strong. He’s got a huge frame and produced big numbers on a winning team. He’s raw but has massive upside.
Eric Kendricks, LB, UCLA
The younger brother of Eagles standout, Mychal, Eric was equally as decorated in college. Kendricks won both the Butkus and Lott Trophies his final season and was the defensive leader for the only UCLA team to win at least nine games in three straight seasons. He’s a plug-and-play prospect.
Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska
The 5-foot-8, 205-pound running back was electric with the ball in his hands — both as a receiver and runner. When Nebraska needed a big play, he delivered. He rarely gets tackled cleanly and he is a hard-working football nerd.
T.J. Clemmings, OT, Pitt
The big blocker has only played offensive line for two years after playing along the D-line for the Panthers. He's a bit of a project but has elite-level upside and raw talent. He won't last long.
Jordan Phillips, DT, Oklahoma
He’s just a redshirt sophomore but he’s got tons of upside. Phillips has a massive frame at 6-foot-5 and 329 pounds with plenty of quickness and burst. If he can sustain consistency, he could be a dominant player in the NFL.
Jalen Collins, CB, LSU
Few covermen bring the size NFL teams are craving right now on the outside like Collins does at 6-foot-1 and 203 pounds. He got great coaching at LSU and was one of the few Tigers who played up to their potential.
Michael Bennett, DT, Ohio State
He’s not overly big (6-2, 290) but he has every intangible possible. He’s a great leader, he’s as smart as any prospect in the draft and he’s been a winner his entire career. A Jurrell Casey comparison is apt for this mid-rounder.
Benardrick McKinney, LB, Mississippi State
McKinney has the body of a defensive end but the instincts, quicks and overall game of an inside backer. As the game has evolved, getting bigger and faster, McKinney could be the next breed of middle linebacker.
Denzel Perryman, LB, Miami
The second round is where the NFL finds linebackers and 2015 won’t be any different. Perryman is a fantastic inside tackler with great instincts. He got very little help from his fellow defenders and still posted big numbers. Perryman is one of a handful of great LBs still left on the board.
Jake Fisher, OL, Oregon
Just pop in the tape of the Ducks with Fisher in the lineup and without. Oregon was a totally different squad when the anchor at left tackle was in the game. He has great athleticism and the size needed to excel at the tackle position. Center Hroniss Grasu also fits into this mold as one of the best players in this draft at his position.
Duke Johnson, RB, Miami
He’s small and got hurt a bunch at Miami but this guy can flat out pick up yards. His Combine stats don’t tell the story of his outright playing speed. Johnson is a big play waiting to happen and is a perfect complementary back in the modern NFL offense.
Paul Dawson, LB, TCU
Don’t worry about his Combine stats, just watch the tape. He was all over the field for the Big 12 co-champs a year ago, posting 136 tackles, 20.0 for a loss, 6.0 sacks and four interceptions. He made huge plays in huge spots and will do the same in the NFL.
T.J. Yeldon, RB, Alabama
Looking for a guy who plays bigger, faster, stronger and more consistently than his measurables? Yeldon is your guy. He consistently got tough yards against the best defenses in the nation and rarely got knocked backwards. He’s a lock to produce on the next level.
Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida State
He under-produced at times but has every tool needed to be an excellent NFL D-lineman. He’s big, fast, athletic, agile, flexible and coordinated. Once focused, he could be an every-down starter. A number of other Seminoles could fall on this list as well: Mario Edwards, Nick O'Leary, P.J. Williams, Rashad Greene and Tre Jackson to name a few.
Tyler Lockett, WR, Kansas State
Slot receivers are the new norm and few players bring as much to the position as Lockett does. He’s small (5-9, 185) but has blazing speed and produced in a huge way for KSU. He also excels on trick plays and on special teams.