2015 NFL Draft Big Board: Top 200

The day we've all been waiting for is finally here. No more mock drafts (thank goodness) and no more guessing games. After what has felt like an eternity, we now get to see NFL teams play their cards.     

To give some context as to how I evaluate players, I have listed some guidelines for how I would want to build a team from a philosophical standpoint:

  • On offense, third and long is the enemy. In third and long the offense becomes one-dimensional, making the defense's job substantially easier. 

  • The best way to avoid third and long is through the running game, short passing game and the occasional deep ball. 

  • The first priority, before anything else, is building an offensive line that can keep my quarterback upright and open holes for my running back. Football still is, and always will be, won and lost in the trenches.  

  • At the running back position I value power over long speed. I want my running backs who fall forward after contact and get 2+ yards per carry, every carry. 

  • Receivers who can get open quickly and have sure hands are extremely valuable to my offense. These receivers are de-facto running backs on the perimeter, with the short pass acting as a glorified handoff. 

  • For this offensive strategy to work, we must also have a deep threat to keep the defense honest when the safeties start to creep up. We don't have to be successful every time, but the defense must respect the deep ball.   

  • On defense, the first priority is the defensive line. It all starts up front. A good defensive line makes the rest of the defense look much better.

  • In the secondary I prefer press-man, Cover 1. No short passes, no deep balls either. 

  • This leaves the intermediate range (11-19 yards) of the field vulnerable. Throws into this range are medium risk, medium reward plays. Good odds for the defense in the long run. 

Now that you understand my perspective, here is a link to my complete big board with position rankings.

My top 200 is also at the bottom of this page. Google Docs can always be edited, and I want this to be my final draft, for better or worse.

The big board is good for grading how teams drafted, and for learning from player evaluation mistakes in previous years. What is more important I feel, however, is identifying players who you like significantly more or less than your peers. How these players fare in the long-run will tell a lot about what you are doing right, and what you are doing wrong. 

Listed below are players I feel will be underdrafted (later than they should) or overdrafted (earlier than they should) based on what I have heard about them throughout the draft process. NFL teams may view these players differently than the sources on which I have based my draft projections. I know how I differ in opinion from the media, but not from the NFL as a whole. 

Players I think will be underdrafted:

DT Grady Jarrett, Clemson

DE Henry Anderson, Stanford

OG Laken Tomlinson, Duke

WR Tyler Lockett, Kansas State

DE Trey Flowers, Arkansas

RB T.J. Yeldon, Alabama

DT Tyeler Davison, Fresno State

WR Deandre Smelter, Georgia Tech

EDGE Shaquille Riddick, West Virginia

DT Bobby Richardson, Indiana

RB David Cobb, Minnesota

TE Tyler Kroft, Rutgers

TE Jeff Heuermann, Ohio State

RB Mike Davis, South Carolina

EDGE Marcus Rush, Michigan State

LB James Vaughters, Stanford

DT Christian Ringo, Louisiana Lafayette

Players I think will be overdrafted:

CB Trae Waynes, Michigan State

DE Arik Armstead, Oregon

OT T.J. Clemmings, Pittsburgh

OT Cedric Ogbuehi, Texas A & M

RB Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin

DT Eddie Goldman, Florida State

WR Phillip Dorsett, Miami

LB Bernardrick McKinney, Mississippi State

WR Sammie Coates, Auburn

RB Tevin Coleman, Indiana

CB P.J. Williams, Florida State

G Tre Jackson, Florida State

S Gerod Holliman, Louisville

Whether I ultimately consider these players to have been underdrafted or overdrafted will be based on how they were picked relative to my big board. After the draft I will write articles detailing my favorite picks from each round, which will be based on which players were actually underdrafted compared to my board.

By no means do I think all of the players on the underdrafted list will be stars, nor do I believe all of the players on the overdrafted list will be busts. The draft is about value, and getting the most value with your picks. I think, as a whole, teams who take players on the top list will get more value than teams who take players on the bottom list, but that will all depend on where they are drafted, which at this point is unknown.

I will undoubtedly miss on many of the players on my big board. However, grading NFL players is not about being perfect. Its about being better than your competition.

Much of the future success of these prospects, or lack thereof, will be based which team drafts them. I'm lower on Melvin Gordon than most, but if he is drafted by the Cowboys he will surely put up huge numbers. 

Image title

Credit: cbssports.com

I think one of the most underrated players in this year's draft is Tyler Lockett, but if he is drafted by the Raiders he may have his work cut out for him. The quality of a draft pick cannot be defined simply by the performance of a player, as much as we would like it to be.

As the great Daryl Morey (Houston Rockets GM) says: Don't judge the result, judge the process.

Overall Big Board

  1. Leonard Williams   

  2. Amari Cooper 

  3. Jameis Winston   

  4. La'El Collins   

  5. Brandon Scherff   

  6. Devante Parker 

  7. Vic Beasley 

  8. Dante Fowler   

  9. Todd Gurley 

  10. Danny Shelton   

  11. Andrus Peat 

  12. Kevin White (WVU)      

  13. Marcus Mariota   

  14. Cameron Erving 

  15. Bud Dupree 

  16. Kevin Johnson 

  17. Eric Kendricks 

  18. Byron Jones 

  19. Randy Gregory 

  20. Shane Ray 

  21. Marcus Peters   

  22. Landon Collins   

  23. Malcom Brown 

  24. Damarious Randall

  25. Henry Anderson 

  26. Grady Jarrett 

  27. Ronald Darby

  28. Ereck Flowers 

  29. Jaelen Strong 

  30. Jake Fisher         

  31. Dorial Green-Beckham 

  32. Eric Rowe 

  33. DJ Humphries 

  34. Preston Smith 

  35. Laken Tomlinson 

  36. Breshad Perriman   

  37. Owamagbe Odighizuwa 

  38. Nelson Agholor 

  39. Tyler Lockett 

  40. Trae Waynes 

  41. Arik Armste ad 

  42. Maxx Williams 

  43. Jalen Collins 

  44. Stephone Anthony 

  45. Trey Flowers 

  46. T. J. Yeldon 

  47. Jordan Phillips 

  48. Denzel Perryman 

  49. Duke Johnson 

  50. Carl Davis 

  51. Ameer Abdullah 

  52. Clive Walford

  53. TJ Clemmings 

  54. Paul Dawson 

  55. Eli Harold 

  56. Melvin Gordon 

  57. Shaq Thompson 

  58. Cedric Ogbuehi 

  59. Devin Funchess 

  60. Mario Edwards 

  61. Devin Smith 

  62. Eddie Goldman 

  63. Philip Dorsett 

  64. Bernardrick McKinney

  65. Donovan Smith 

  66. AJ Cann 

  67. Adrian Amos 

  68. Michael Bennett 

  69. James Sample 

  70. Jaquiski Tartt 

  71. Quentin Rollins 

  72. David Cobb 

  73. Sammie Coates 

  74. Mike Davis 

  75. Jay Ajayi 

  76. Justin Hardy 

  77. Steven Nelson 

  78. Tyeler Davison 

  79. Derron Smith 

  80. Frank Clark 

  81. PJ Williams 

  82. Nate Orchard 

  83. Hroniss Grasu 

  84. Tyler Kroft 

  85. Tevin Coleman 

  86. Jeff Heuermann 

  87. David Johnson 

  88. Ali Marpet 

  89. Ben Heeney 

  90. Danielle Hunter 

  91. Deandre Smelter 

  92. Bobby Richardson 

  93. Xavier Cooper 

  94. Shaq Riddick 

  95. Dezmin Lewis 

  96. Quandre Diggs 

  97. Hau'Oli Kikaha 

  98. Bryce Petty 

  99. Daryl Williams 

  100. Stefon Diggs 

  101. Troy Hill  

  102. Tony Lippett 

  103. Tre McBride 

  104. JaCorey Shepherd   

  105. Ty Sambrailo 

  106. Senquez Golson 

  107. Jeremiah Poutasi 

  108. Alex Carter 

  109. Rob Havenstein 

  110. D'Joun Smith 

  111. Jordan Hicks

  112. Markus Golden 

  113. Rashad Greene 

  114. Kwon Alexander 

  115. Josh Shaw 

  116. Anthony Chickillo 

  117. Marcus Hardison 

  118. Mitch Morse 

  119. Kyle Emanuel 

  120. Kenny Bell 

  121. MyCole Pruitt 

  122. Shaq Mason 

  123. Ben Koyack 

  124. Jacoby Glenn 

  125. Javorius Allen 

  126. Lynden Trail 

  127. Chris Conley

  128. Brett Hundley

  129. Anthony Harris

  130. Zadarius Smith 

  131. Ifo Ekpre-Olomu 

  132. Garrett Grayson 

  133. Corey Robinson 

  134. John Miller 

  135. Marcus Rush 

  136. Ibraheim Campbell 

  137. Davis Tull 

  138. Lorenzo Mauldin 

  139. Hayes Pullard 

  140. Tre Jackson 

  141. Rakeem Nunez-Roches 

  142. Garry Peters 

  143. Tyrus Thompson 

  144. Vince Mayle 

  145. Karlos Williams 

  146. Doran Grant 

  147. Jake Ryan 

  148. Malcolm Brown

  149. Jarvis Harrison 

  150. Gerod Holliman 

  151. Greg Mancz 

  152. Arie Kouandijo 

  153. Matt Jones 

  154. Andrew Donnal

  155. Gabe Wright 

  156. Jeremy Langford 

  157. Clayton Geathers 

  158. Josh Robinson 

  159. Max Garcia 

  160. Donald Celiscar 

  161. BJ Finney 

  162. Cedric Thompson 

  163. Jamison Crowder 

  164. Cody Prewitt 

  165. James Vaughters 

  166. Derrick Lott 

  167. Christian Covington 

  168. Rory Anderson 

  169. Blake Bell 

  170. Tray Walker 

  171. Jesse James 

  172. Deshazor Everett 

  173. Taiwan Jones 

  174. Matt Rotheram

  175. Zach Zenner 

  176. Nick O'Leary 

  177. Dres Anderson 

  178. Darryl Roberts 

  179. Wes Saxton  

  180. Zack Vigil 

  181. Christian Ringo   

  182. Charles Gaines 

  183. Ellis McCarthy 

  184. Craig Mager    

  185. Cam Artis Payne 

  186. Xzavier Dickson 

  187. Tyson Chandler

  188. Jalston Fowler

  189. Ramik Wilson

  190. Martrell Speight

  191. Alani Fua

  192. Dexter McDonald

  193. Kevin White (TCU)

  194. Ty Montgomery

  195. Cedric Reed

  196. Devante Davis

  197. Jamil Douglas

  198. Cameron Clear

  199. Austin Shepherd

  200. Devante Bausby

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