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.
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
Kevin White (WVU)
- Jaelen Strong
- Jake Fisher
Arik Armste ad
T. J. Yeldon
Cam Artis Payne
Kevin White (TCU)
- Devante Bausby