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2015 NFL Draft: Never too early to line them up

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: May 11 2014 03:47:45 PM CDT
Updated On: May 11 2014 03:47:46 PM CDT

Even as the last names still echo from the NFL'S 2014 Draft, fans who are disappointed, anxious or just curious are already looking forward to which players will get those warm hugs from Commissioner Roger Goodell upon being selected next year.

And, thanks to NFLDraftScout.com's constant vigil watching prospects as soon as they enter college, there is the ability to at least pretend we know next year's top 100 candidates -- right here, right now.

Of course it is almost as preposterous to really know such things as it is to do mock drafts, but due to an overwhelming appetite for all things draft, the beat goes on 24/7/365.

Peering into the NFLDrafScout.com crystal ball with analysts Rob Rang and Dane Brugler, it appears that the 2015 draft will be even more exciting than the recently completed 2014 version. Or, at least, we can guarantee it will seem more exciting by the time we get there.

It must be pointed out that from this distant view on the calendar, nobody really knows (among other things), what underclassmen will join the draft. So that becomes part of the guessing game.

If Heisman Trophy winning Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston goes back on his word to stay in college two more years, and also manages to stay out of trouble, he will be at the center of what could be a vibrant quarterback controversy.

Now there's something new.

Winston certainly has the ability to be a great NFL passer, but Oregon's Marcus Mariota is being touted as the second, larger, coming of Johnny Manziel.

Early rankings by NFLDraftScout.com, which includes 42 underclassmen, shows the usual favorite positions among the top 100 -- 15 wide receivers, 13 cornerbacks, 12 defensive ends and nine offensive tackles.

If this list is truly a harbinger of the next draft, there may be a return to popularity of running backs, that formerly important position that failed to have one player in the first round for the last two drafts.

There are nine listed among this top 100, led Georgia's Todd Gurley. He is one of four running back prospects who appear to be possible first round candidates.

But first there is that one detail -- the 2014 season.

Below are the 100 players to watch:

Overall, Position Rank, Player, Position, Height, Weight, Class, College

1/1. Marcus Mariota, QB, 6-foot-4, 212 pounds, rJr, Oregon

--For college football fans who want their Johnny Manziel fix this season, tune in on Mariota, a full-sized version of J. Football. The most exciting dual threat quarterback in the country must become more consistent. But don't we all?

2/2. Jameis Winston, QB, 6-3, 228, rSo, Florida State

--Talented with issues. Some would put the Heisman winner first. Although he stated he plans to play two more seasons, he should consider himself fortunate to get through another great college year without getting into more trouble off the field. If he can do both those things, NFL teams will clamor for Winston.

3/1. Leonard Williams, DE, 6-4, 290, Jr, Southern Cal

--As subtle as punch in the mouth. The top candidate for the most dominant defensive lineman in the Pac-12, if not the country.

4/1. Cedric Ogbuehi, OT, 6-5, 300, rSr, Texas A&M

--Could be better than former first round teammates Luke Joeckel or Jake Matthews, which is saying a lot. He is expected to become A&M's third top-10 lineman in the draft in three years.

5/2. Brandon Scherff, OT, 6-5, 315, rSr, Iowa

--Never confused with Mr. Nice Guy, Scherf is a heavyweight fighter who will make Hawkeye fans forget their last unanimous All-American tackle, Robert Gallery. Who? Well, see, you forgot.

6/1. Shilique Calhoun, DE, 6-4, 250, rJr, Michigan State

--He is fast-rising prospect in a class full of outstanding defensive ends. Has a way of tackling behind the line of scrimmage, with 14.5 tackles for losses, including 7.5 sacks and 18 quarterback hurries last season.

7/3. Cameron Erving, OT, 6-5, 320, rSr, Florida State

--Moved from defensive tackle to become key blocker keeping Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston upright. How high he goes depends on how much he improves technique.

8/2. Devonte Fields, DE, 6-4, 240, rSo, TCU

--There is no doubting his ability, but Fields must show maturity and consistency to become a true top-10 candidate.

9/3. Randy Gregory, DE, 6-5, 255, Sr, Nebraska

--Here is a junior college transfer who demanded attention last year with 10.5 sacks in only 10 games. Scouts are excited to see if he improves on that.

10/1. Vic Beasley, OLB, 6-2, 235, rSr, Clemson

--NFLDraftScout.com's Rob Rang likens Beasley to hyperactive Dee Ford, a first-rounder out of Auburn this year. Beasley managed a Dee-like 23 tackles for a loss in 2013.

Others to watch:

11/4, Mario Edwards Jr., DE, 6-3, 277, Jr, Florida State

12/1, Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, 5-10, 185, Sr, Oregon

13/2, Jordan Jenkins, OLB, 6-2, 246, Jr, Georgia

14/1, Tre Jackson, OG, 6-4, 330, Sr, Florida State

15/1, Amari Cooper, WR, 6-1, 205, Jr, Alabama

16/2, P.J. Williams, CB, 6-0, 190, Jr, Florida State

17/1, Todd Gurley, RB, 6-1, 232, Jr, Georgia

18/1, Ramik Wilson, ILB, 6-2, 232, Sr, Georgia

19/2, T.J. Yeldon, RB, 6-1, 218, Jr, Alabama

20/2, Michael Bennett, DT, 6-3, 285, Sr, Ohio State

21/2, Nelson Agholor, WR, 6-0, 185, Jr, Southern Cal

22/3, Melvin Gordon, RB, 6-1, 207, rJr, Wisconsin

23/3, Rashad Greene, WR, 6-0, 180, Sr, Florida State

24/4, Mike Davis, RB, 5-09, 215, Jr, South Carolina

25/3, Kyler Fackrell, OLB, 6-4, 245, rJr, Utah State

26/4, Andrus Peat, OT, 6-6, 312, Jr, Stanford

27/3, Trae Waynes, CB, 6-1, 185, rJr, Michigan State

28/4, Ty Montgomery, WR, 6-2, 215, Sr, Stanford

29/3, Carl Davis, DT, 6-4, 315, rSr, Iowa

30/5, Lael Collins, OT, 6-5, 315, Sr, LSU

31/5, Dante Fowler Jr., DE, 6-3, 266, Jr, Florida

32/3, Bryce Petty, QB, 6-2, 230, rSr, Baylor

33/1, Derron Smith, FS, 5-11, 200, rSr, Fresno State

34/2, Isaac Seumalo, OG, 6-3, 305, Jr, Oregon State

35/5, Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, 6-5, 225, Jr, Missouri

36/1, Hroniss Grasu, C, 6-3, 298, rSr, Oregon

37/4, Brett Hundley, QB, 6-3, 222, rJr, UCLA

38/1, Anthony Harris, SS, 6-1, 190, Sr, Virginia

39/4, Danny Shelton, DT, 6-1, 327, Sr, Washington

40/1, Nick O'Leary, TE, 6-3, 248, Sr, Florida State

41/2, Kurtis Drummond, FS, 6-1, 200, rSr, Michigan State

42/6, Jaelen Strong, WR, 6-4, 205, rJr, Arizona State

43/4, Jalen Collins, CB, 6-1, 195, rJr, LSU

44/2, Denzel Perryman, ILB, 6-0, 240, Sr, Miami

45/5, Karlos Williams, RB, 6-1, 223, Sr, Florida State

46/6, Spencer Drango, OT, 6-5, 315, rJr, Baylor

47/2, Devin Funchess, TE, 6-5, 235, Jr, Michigan

48/5, Christian Covington, DT, 6-2, 295, rJr, Rice

49/6, Duke Johnson, RB, 5-09, 196, Jr, Miami

50/6, Noah Spence, DE, 6-3, 252, Jr, Ohio State

51/5, Josh Shaw, CB, 6-1, 195, rSr, Southern Cal

52/4, Derrick Malone, OLB, 6-2, 216, rSr, Oregon

53/3, Ben Koyack, TE, 6-5, 261, Sr, Notre Dame

54/6, Arik Armstead, DT, 6-7, 292, Jr, Oregon

55/7, Antwan Goodley, WR, 5-10, 225, rSr, Baylor

56/2, Jordan Richards, SS, 5-11, 208, Sr, Stanford

57/6, Marcus Peters, CB, 5-11, 193, rJr, Washington

58/5, Ishaq Williams, OLB, 6-5, 261, Sr, Notre Dame

59/3, Kris Frost, ILB, 6-2, 238, rJr, Auburn

60/3, Laken Tomlinson, OG, 6-3, 320, rSr, Duke

61/5, Sean Mannion, QB, 6-4, 220, rSr, Oregon State

62/7, Ellis McCarthy, DT, 6-3, 330, Jr, UCLA

63/2, Reese Dismukes, C, 6-2, 298, Sr, Auburn

64/3, Cody Prewitt, FS, 6-2, 220, Sr, Mississippi

65/4, Eric Kendricks, ILB, 6-0, 228, rSr, UCLA

66/8, Deontay Greenberry, WR, 6-2, 198, Jr, Houston

67/7, Wayne Lyons, CB, 6-1, 196, Sr, Stanford

68/4, Josue Matias, OG, 6-5, 322, Sr, Florida State

69/8, Steven Nelson, CB, 5-10, 192, Sr, Oregon State

70/9, Christion Jones, WR, 5-11, 185, Sr, Alabama

71/7, Trey Flowers, DE, 6-3, 262, Sr, Arkansas

72/3, Landon Collins, SS, 6-0, 215, Jr, Alabama

73/10, DaVaris Daniels, WR, 6-2, 203, rJr, Notre Dame

74/7, Eric Lefeld, OT, 6-5, 309, rSr, Cincinnati

75/11, Bralon Addison, WR, 5-10, 182, Jr, Oregon

76/9, Charles Gaines, CB, 5-11, 176, rJr, Louisville

77/6, Tyler Matakevich, OLB, 6-1, 230, Jr, Temple

78/8, Daryl Williams, OT, 6-5, 321, rSr, Oklahoma

88/7, Corey Grant, RB, 5-10, 205, rSr, Auburn

79/8, Cedric Reed, DE, 6-5, 258, Sr, Texas

80/10, Lorenzo Doss, CB, 5-11, 168, Jr, Tulane

81/8, Ameer Abdullah, RB, 5-09, 190, Sr, Nebraska

82/8, Brandon Ivory, DT, 6-3, 310, rSr, Alabama

83/9, Jeremy Langford, RB, 5-11, 206, rSr, Michigan State

84/12, Tyler Lockett, WR, 5-11, 175, Sr, Kansas State

85/12, Damian Swann, CB, 5-11, 178, Sr, Georgia

86/9, Grady Jarrett, DT, 6-1, 295, Sr, Clemson

87/7, Shaq Thompson, OLB, 6-2, 225, Jr, Washington

89/11, Blake Countess, CB, 5-10, 182, rJr, Michigan

90/9, Markus Golden, DE, 6-3, 260, rSr, Missouri

91/13, Kasen Williams, WR, 6-2, 212, Sr, Washington

92/6, Andrew Manley, QB, 6-3, 225, rSr, Eastern Illinois

93/11, Lynden Trail, DE, 6-6, 260, rSr, Norfolk State

94/5, A.J. Cann, OG, 6-3, 314, rSr, South Carolina

95/14, Sammie Coates, WR, 6-1, 201, rJr, Auburn

96/9, Sean Hickey, OT, 6-5, 291, rSr, Syracuse

97/10, Alvin Dupree, DE, 6-3, 252, rSr, Kentucky

98/15, Levi Norwood, WR, 6-1, 195, rSr, Baylor

99/4, Ronald Martin, FS, 6-1, 218, Sr, LSU

100/3, B.J. Finney, C, 6-3, 303, rSr, Kansas State

--Frank Cooney, founder and publisher of The Sports Xchange and NFLDraftScout.com, covered the NFL and its draft since the 1960s and is a selector for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

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