2015 NFL Draft: Overrated and Underrated Prospects

MMariota

 

Predicting the future is, of course, impossible, and predicting the 2015 NFL Draft is nearly as hard. Even the best are guessing for the most part. Even the professional scouts employed by NFL teams miss, and miss often, on players they think are going to be great, or going to be terrible. The media, from major outlets to unpaid bloggers, try to make their own determinations on who teams should select, and who made the best picks. Here’s a look at some players who could be drafted higher, and lower, than they should be.

 

TOO HIGH

Ereck Flowers, OT: Flowers has prototypical size and strength for an NFL right tackle, and could be a good one. In the run game, he can dominate. However, his tape, along with offseason workouts, shows a weakness as a pass blocker. He’s often slow in coming off the snap, and is prone to sloppy footwork when setting up to block. He would have good value as a second round pick, but probably goes in round one, possibly in the top 20.

Devin Funchess, WR: This year’s receiver class is a deep one, and Funchess is a guy who has some promising characteristics. He’s versatile, and could be a red-zone matchup nightmare. He has to catch the ball, though. His hands have been very inconsistent, and combined with a lack of top speed should give teams pause. He’s a solid day two pick, but closer to round three than the first, where some are projecting him.

Landon Collins, S: Collins is a player who once was considered a top ten pick, is currently seen as a mid-to-late first rounder. Nice highlights, and Alabama pedigree, and a weak overall safety class may have him higher than he should be. He creates havoc in the run game, but struggles in coverage, and can be beaten for deep plays at the next level. He also has a tendency to drop interceptions, which matters more in the NFL. His best value lies in round two.

Marcus Mariota, QB: The quarterback class is devoid of depth, with a clear top two, and little after. Mariota is easily the number two guy, but is he worthy of the second overall pick? He’s a terrific athlete, with a good arm and accuracy, but he will need to taught to drop back, read defenses, and go through progressions to find the open man. He’ll either need to sit for a while or have a very specific offense catered to what he can currently do.

 

TOO LOW

Paul Dawson, LB: During the season, Dawson was considered a first round pick. Rumors of laziness and a poor NFL Combine had everyone rushing to drop him down boards. The tape shows a different story. He plays fast and instinctively, flying around the field to make plays on a consistent basis. He’s currently looked at as a third or fourth round pick, but his performance on the field is that of a guy with value in the second round.

Grady Jarrett, DT: The biggest knock on Jarrett is his size, but his play should override those concerns. He’s a powerful force inside, who also plays with great awareness and leverage. If he was a few inches taller, and 20 pounds heavier, he’d be getting first round consideration. He plays hard every play, and will make an impact for an NFL team, meaning he should be going early in day two, not the latter part of it, where he’s currently projected.

Senquez Golson, CB: Like Jarrett, Golson’s biggest weakness is his size. Big receivers may give him issues, but his propensity for always being around the ball is unmatched. More than nearly any other player in college football, he seemed to always find himself in position to change a game, and usually made the play. In today’s NFL, having a guy who has those kinds of instincts is never wrong, and despite his size, he should be a day two pick.

Michael Bennett, DT: Bennett has a bit of a mixed projection, but most consider him a day two player at best. He’s not overpowering anybody, but he’s quick and uses good technique to make plays. He moves well, and makes plays up and down the line. He’s also a good pass rusher from the interior. Comparisons to Mike Daniels are warranted, and if he’s selected late in the first round, there shouldn’t be many complaints, especially after he gets a chance to play.

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