Underclassmen declaring for the NFL draft

Here is a list at the 2014 underclassmen declaring for the NFL draft, or announcing that they intend to seek the NFL’s input on their potential draft position. Where and when available, we will also be listing their average expected draft rounds, based on several scouting reports (not our projections, but an approximate average of where others have projected the player). This page will be updated as announcements are made, and as scouting grades are issued. Any player wishing to declare for the draft must do so by the January 15, 2015, deadline. They may withdraw their application and return to school, provided they announce their intent to do so by January 18, 2015.

Quarterbacks

Brett HundleyrJR/UCLAHT: 6’3″ WT: 227# 40-Yard Time Average: 4.64

2014 Stats: 259/368 (70.4%) / 3,019 Yards / 8.20 YPA / 21 TD / 5 INT

Career stats: 826/1216 (67.9%) / 9,835 Yards / 8.09 YPA / 74 TD / 25 INT

Head Coach Jim Mora, Jr. has confirmed Hundley will enter the NFL draft. It was widely presumed that Hundley would enter the draft this year. A productive season has done nothing to quash that speculation.

Projected round: 2nd

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Jameis WinstonrSO/FSUHT: 6’4″ WT: 232# 40-Yard Time Average: 4.83

UPDATE: Winston, via a press release from the Legacy Agency, has announced he will enter the draft.

2014 Stats: 276/422 (65.4%) /3,559 Yards / 8.43 YPA / 24 TD / 17 INT

Career stats: 533/806 (66.1%) /7,616 Yards / 9.45 YPA / 64 TD / 27 INT

While Winston has not officially announced his intentions yet, it is widely expected that he will enter the draft. Some scouts have questioned his on-field abilities, calling him “a nightmare“, while another has suggested he is the reason they are undefeated (I think that scout is right). Questions about his maturity level and decision-making may have some teams questioning where they would pick him, but there is no doubt that he will be taken in the draft, and likely within the first 2 rounds. There is no reason for Winston to return to school.

Projected round: 1st

Everett GolsonrJR/Notre DameHT: 6’3″ WT: 227# 40-Yard Time Average: 4.73

2014 Stats: 250/416 (60.1%) / 3,355 Yards / 8.06YPA / 29 TD / 14 INT

Career stats: 437/734 (59.5%) / 5,760 Yards / 7.85 YPA / 41 TD / 20 INT

Golson is another player who has not officially announced but was, at one time, expected to enter the draft. However, he has struggled in the second half of the season, and may not even be his team’s starter in the Music City Bowl. He has asked the NFL to assess his potential draft position.

Projected round: Unknown

Running Backs

Tevin ColemanJR/Indiana HT: 6’1″ WT: 210# 40-Yard Time Average: 4.59

2014 Stats: 270 Rushes / 2,036 Yards / 7.5 YPC / 15 TD

Career stats: 452 Rushes / 3,219 Yards / 7.1 YPC / 28 TD

UPDATE: Coleman has decided to enter the draft, per ESPN’s Joe Schad.

Coleman announced Thursday that he will speak with his family, his coach Kevin Wilson, and the NFL before deciding whether to enter the draft. Coleman is one of only 16 players to rush for 2,000 yards in a season. He has big-play potential as well, leading the nation with nine rushes of at least 50 yards, and 4 rushes of at least 70 yards, per cfbstats. His production, combined with his size would seem to indicate that he will enter the draft.

Projected round: 2nd-3rd

Morry Gash/Associated Press
Morry Gash/Associated Press

Melvin GordonrJR/WisconsinHT: 6’1″ WT: 210# 40-Yard Time Average: 4.52

2014 Stats: 309 Rushes / 2,336 Yards / 7.5 YPC / 26 TD

Career stats: 597 Rushes/ 4,664 Yards / 7.1 YPC / 42 TD

In a move that surprised nobody, Gordon on Thursday announced his intention to enter the draft. The 2014 Heisman finalist was steady throughout the year, with his only poor performance coming against Ohio State in the final game of the regular season.

Projected round: mid-1st to mid-2nd

Todd GurleyJR/GeorgiaHT: 6’1″ WT: 226# 40-Yard Time Average: 4.52

2014 Stats: 123 Rushes / 911 Yards / 7.4 YPC / 9 TD

Career stats: 510 Rushes/ 3,285 Yards / 6.4 YPC / 36 TD

Georgia coach Mark Richt announced that Todd Gurley has informed the school he would enter the draft, which surprised nobody. Gurley was widely believed to be turning pro even before suffering a season ending ACL injury in Georgia’s Nov. 15 game against Auburn. Gurley’s numbers are very good on the season, considering he also missed four games due to a suspension for signing autographs for a memorabilia dealer. Gurley was the #1 RB on most draft boards prior to his injury, as he has a rare mix of good speed, great size, and he has shown the ability to run make big plays, even in the passing game (37 catches for 441 yards and 6 TDs in 2013).

Projected round: mid-1st to mid-2nd

Javorius AllenrJR/USCHT: 6’1″ WT: 220# 40-Yard Time Average: 4.54

UPDATE: Javorius Allen has announced he will be turning pro.

2014 Stats: 250 Rushes / 1,337 Yards / 5.3 YPC / 9 TD

Career stats: 391 Rushes/ 2,154 Yards / 5.5 YPC / 23 TD

Allen has petitioned the NFL to determine his potential draft positioning. While his stats may not be as gaudy as other underclassmen entering the draft, Allen has several advantages: he has very good NFL size, he plays well out of the backfield ( 40 catches for 442 yards in 2014), and he comes from a school that has traditionally run an NFL-style offense. Whether Allen enters the draft or returns for a final year is still to be determined, but some team will draft him as a project.

Projected round: 2nd to 3rd

Dee HartrJR/Colorado StateHT: 5’9″ WT: 187# 40-Yard Time Average: 4.54

2014 Stats: 194 Rushes / 1,275 Yards / 6.6 YPC / 16 TD

Career stats: 237 Rushes/ 1,441 Yards / 6.1 YPC / 17 TD

Hart has announced that he will go pro, per the Loveland Reporter-Herald. Hart played one season at Colorado State after transferring from Alabama, where he had two knee surgeries. Hart does not have prototypical size for an NFL RB, but he did serve as the primary back down the stretch for the Rams, following injuries to both backup RB. Hart has applied for, but not yet received, a grade from the NFL Draft Advisory board.

Projected round: 3rd to UFA

Jay AjayirJR/Boise StateHT: 6’0″ WT: 216# 40-Yard Time Average: 4.54

2014 Stats: 347 Rushes / 1,823Yards / 5.3 YPC / 28 TD

Career stats: 678 Rushes/ 3,796 Yards / 5.6 YPC / 50 TD

Ajayi announced that he would enter the draft, according to the Idaho Statesman. Ajayi had a tremendous finish to the season, finishing 2nd in the nation in Yards From Scrimmage and tied with potential Heisman Winner Melvin Gordon with 29 touchdowns. Ajayi runs very well between the tackles, but he can also catch the ball out of the backfield, tallying 73 catches for 771 yards in his career at BSU.

Projected round: 2nd to 3rd

Mike DavisrJR/South CarolinaHT: 5’9″ WT: 223# 40-Yard Time Average: 4.52

2014 Stats: 199 Rushes / 982 Yards / 4.9 YPC / 9 TD

Career stats: 454 Rushes/ 2,440 Yards / 5.4 YPC / 22 TD

In a Youtube interview after a practice the week of the Independence Bowl, Davis announced that he would pass up his senior season. Davis started slowly and battled injuries, but finished with a solid season. His sophomore season was impressive, as well (1,183 yards). Davis added 68 receptions for 755 yards during his career.

Projected round: 2nd to 3rd

Duke JohnsonJR/MiamiHT: 5’9″ WT: 206# 40-Yard Time Average: 4.42

2014 Stats: 242 Rushes / 1,652 Yards / 6.8 YPC / 10 TD

Career stats: 526 Rushes/ 3,519 Yards / 6.7 YPC / 26 TD

Johnson’s mother told the Palm Beach Post before the Independence Bowl that Johnson would be going pro. While he does not have the size of Gordon or Gurley, Johnson could be a better pro prospect than most in this year’s RB class, according to NFL Analyst Bucky Brooks. Johnson has very good receiving skills out of the backfield and is a dangerous return option, as well.

Projected round: 2nd

Matt JonesJR/FloridaHT: 6’1″ WT: 235# 40-Yard Time Average: 4.58

2014 Stats: 166 Rushes / 817 Yards / 4.9 YPC / 6 TD

Career stats: 297 Rushes/ 1,431 Yards / 4.8 YPC / 11 TD

Gatorcountry.com announced Jones’ decision to turn pro. According to the site, Jones has a young daughter, and his ability to provide for her financially was a motivating factor. Jones led the Gators in rushing this season, but is not listed among most rankings of top-tier backs. Still, he has good size and played in a tough conference, and could make a decent goal line option for an NFL team.

Projected round: 4th to 7th

T.J. YeldonJR/AlabamaHT: 6’2″ WT: 221# 40-Yard Time Average: 4.46

2014 Stats: 194 Rushes / 979 Yards / 5.0 YPC / 11 TD

Career stats: 576 Rushes/ 3,322 Yards / 5.8 YPC / 37 TD

Yeldon announced his plans to enter the draft. He led the Crimson Tide in rushing two years in a row, despite fighting some injuries late in the season. Yeldon has a great blend of size and quickness, and at least one scout believes he could be better than Eddie Lacy.

Projected round: 2nd to 3rd

Trey Williams – JR/Texas A&M – HT: 5’8″ WT: 195# 40-Yard Time Average: 4.46

2014 Stats: 81 Rushes / 560 Yards / 6.9 YPC / 7 TD

Career stats: 204 Rushes/ 1,343 Yards / 6.6 YPC / 18 TD

Williams surprisingly posted to his Twitter account that he would be turning pro. Williams is generally considered undersized and is not regarded as highly as some of the other RB that have announced. He didn’t post a 100-yard game this season, but he was also used relatively sparingly.

Projected round: 6th to UFA

Josh Robinson – JR/Mississippi State – HT: 5’9″ WT: 215# 40-Yard Time Average: 4.46

2014 Stats: 190 Rushes / 1,203 Yards / 6.3 YPC / 11 TD

Career stats: 323 Rushes/ 1,927 Yards / 6.0 YPC / 15 TD

Robinson’s announcement that he was turning pro was made on Twitter. Despite a very solid season, there are concerns about his workload (he only had two games with 20 carries) and his size (the 5’9″ listed height is considered to be generous). Still, Williams is an effective downhill runner and runs low to the ground.

Projected round: 5th to 6th

Wide Receivers

Amari CooperJR/AlabamaHT: 6’1″ HT: 210# 40-Yard Average Time: 4.52

2014 Stats: 115 Receptions / 1,656 Yards / 14.4 YPR / 14 TD

Career stats: 219 Receptions / 3,392 Yards / 15.5 YPR / 29 TD

While Cooper has not officially announced, Alabama OC Lane Kiffin said he expects Cooper to enter the draft. Cooper is ranked as the #1 WR on nearly every draft board and/or projection system. Cooper has sufficient speed and size to play in the NFL, and he actually plays ‘taller’ than his height would suggest.

Projected round: 1st

Sammie Coates – rJR/AuburnHT: 6’2″ HT: 201# 40-Yard Average Time: 4.36

2014 Stats: 30 Receptions / 717Yards / 23.9 YPR / 4 TD

Career stats: 78 Receptions / 1,733 Yards / 22.2 YPR / 13 TD

Coates made his decision to turn pro Monday. While his single season stats are a little underwhelming when compared to others, Coates spends a lot of time blocking in the Auburn offense. He showed against Alabama (5 Rec /206 Yds / 2 TD) that he can be a versatile and dangerous weapon when used as one.

Projected round: Late 1st to 3rd

Devin FunchessJR/MichiganHT: 6’5″ HT: 230# 40-Yard Average Time: 4.63

2014 Stats: 62 Receptions / 733 Yards / 11.8 YPR / 4 TD

Career stats: 126 Receptions / 1,715 Yards / 13.6 YPR / 15 TD

Funchess has declared for the NFL draft. While he played at WR for most of this season, Funchess has also played at TE (his first two years playing), which could help him in a draft that is weak on TE talent. With his size and speed, Funchess has been compared to Jimmy Graham.

Projected round: Mid-1st to 2nd

Nelson AgholorJR/USCHT: 6’1″ HT: 190# 40-Yard Average Time: 4.49

2014 Stats: 104 Receptions / 1,313 Yards / 12.6 YPR / 12 TD

Career stats: 179 Receptions / 2,571 Yards / 14.4 YPR / 20 TD

Agholor declared for the 2015 draft, according to USC’s website. Agholor is one of the top 5-10 WR available in this draft. In addition, he’s a dangerous return man, having scored 4 TDs as a punt returner in his career. There are concerns about his field awareness, but he has been compared to a young version of Reggie Wayne.

Projected round: 2nd to 3rd

Stefon DiggsJR/MarylandHT: 6’0″ HT: 195# 40-Yard Average Time: 4.48

2014 Stats: 62 Receptions / 792 Yards / 12.8 YPR / 5 TD

Career stats: 150 Receptions / 2,227 Yards / 14.8 YPR / 14 TD

Diggs announced he is forgoing his senior year to enter the draft, per Matt Zenitz of the Baltimore Sun. While there has never been any question about his talent, there are injury concerns surrounding Diggs. NFL Media analyst Charles Davis lists Diggs as one player who should return to school in 2015 to boost his draft stock.

Projected round: 3rd to 5th

Nigel KingrJR/KansasHT: 6’3″ HT: 210# 40-Yard Average Time: 4.57

2014 Stats: 30 Receptions / 537 Yards / 17.9YPR / 1 TD

Career stats: 72 Receptions / 1,112 Yards / 15.4 YPR / 6 TD

King announced via Instagram that he is turning pro. He played one season at Kansas after transferring from Maryland. Jackson had graduated early from Maryland, and transferred in part to play for Charlie Weis. With Weis being fired four games into the season, King’s decision seemed to be a bust.

Projected round: 5th to UFA

Shaq RolandJR/South CarolinaHT: 6’1″ HT: 176# 40-Yard Average Time: 4.52

2014 Stats: 26 Receptions / 356 Yards / 13.7 YPR / 4 TD

Career stats: 56 Receptions / 891 Yards / 15.9 YPR / 10 TD

Gamecock Head Coach Steve Spurrier announced prior to the Independence Bowl that Roland has left the team, has dropped out of school, and will be going pro. There were reports throughout the season questioning Roland’s desire and effort.

Projected round: UFA

Jaelen StrongrJR/Arizona State HT: 6’3″ HT: 215# 40-Yard Average Time: 4.55

2014 Stats: 82 Receptions / 1,165 Yards / 14.2 YPR / 10 TD

Career stats: 157 Receptions / 2,287 Yards / 14.6 YPR / 17 TD

Strong announced on the Sun Devil website that he would be turning pro. Strong has good size and is very effective catching passes in traffic, as evidenced by a game winning Hail Mary reception against USC this season. Strong is rated as the #1 WR available on some draft boards.

Projected round: 1st

Offensive Line

Tyler MoorerJR/FloridaHT: 6’5″ WT: 325# Position: G/T

Moore announced that he will declare for the draft. He switched to Guard this year after playing 2012 and 2013 at Tackle. Moore suffered a compound fracture of his elbow that ended his 2013 season, but he seemed fully recovered this year, starting six games.

Projected round: Unknown

Ereck FlowersJR/MiamiHT: 6’5″ WT: 325# Position: T/G

Flowers announced his intention to enter the draft in an interview with Larry Blustein of SouthFloridaHighSchoolSports.com. According to the site, Flowers said he had been given a second round grade by the NFL Draft Advisory board. Flowers was a three-year starter at Miami and has experience at both tackle positions. He is considered a very good run blocker, but can be susceptible to speed rushers.

Projected round: 2nd to 3rd

Donovan SmithrJR/Penn StateHT: 6’5″ WT: 335# Position: T/G

Penn State’s official website announced Smith’s decision to turn pro. The decision came as a surprise to several draft analysts, who felt that he could have used another year of seasoning. While he was a three-year player at Penn State, he was not really dominant at any point.

Projected round: Late 3rd to late 6th

Jeremiah PoutasirJR/UtahHT: 6’6″ WT: 322# Position: T/G

Poutasi has stated his intentions to declare for the NFL draft, per the Salt Lake Tribune. Poutasi spent three years as a tackle for Utah, playing both tackle spots. He was a Second Team All-PAC 12 selection and was a key component to Utah only allowing three sacks this season. Some have suggested that Poutasi may move to the interior in the NFL, as he is vulnerable to speed. Poutasi ranks as the #6 to #10 OT available, depending on which draft board one looks at, so his combine performance could be the difference between a 2nd day or 3rd day selection.

Projected round: Late 3rd to late 5th

Andrus Peat – rJR/Stanford – HT: 6’7″ WT: 312# Position: T

It was announced via Twitter that Peat would enter the draft. The #1 tackle on many boards, Peat should be an easy first-round pick. Peat was an All-American and won the Morris Trophy as the PAC-12’s top offensive lineman. NFL Media Analyst Bucky Brooks calls him “NFL ready”, and he has pedigree, as his father Todd Peat played nine seasons in the NFL as an offensive lineman.

Projected round: First

D.J. Humphries – JR/FloridaHT: 6’5″ WT: 290# Position: T

Humphries announced via Twitter that he would be leaving school to enter the draft. While he is athletic with some upside, Humphries has battled injuries and could stand to add strength.

Projected round: 5th to UFA

Tight Ends

Jean SifrinJR/MassachusettsHT: 6’7″ HT: 250# 40-Yard Average Time: 4.60

2014 Stats: 41 Receptions / 637 Yards / 15.5 YPR / 6 TD

Career stats: 41 Receptions / 637 Yards / 15.5 YPR / 6 TD

According to the Daily Hampshire Gazette, Sifrin is expected to leave school for the NFL. Sifrin is an intriguing fringe prospect that will be difficult to project. Why? Despite being a John Mackey Award Semi-Finalist, Sifrin played only one season in an FBS program, and a small one at that. He had to sit out a year waiting on NCAA clearance after transferring El Camino Community College. And, he sat out five years of football, as immediately after graduating high school, he entered the workforce to support his son and girlfriend. And despite sitting out those five years, Sifrin managed to lead all TE in receiving yards this season. Oh, and he’s 27 years old. Sifrin has tremendous size and was a productive downfield option, but may still need work as a blocker.

Projected round: 4th to 7th

Maxx WilliamsrSO/MinnesotaHT: 6’4″ HT: 250# 40-Yard Average Time: 4.85

2014 Stats: 36 Receptions / 569 Yards / 15.8 YPR / 8 TD

Career stats: 61 Receptions / 986 Yards / 16.1 YPR / 13 TD

Maxx Williams has announced he will be entering the NFL draft. Williams led the Gophers in receiving, posting good numbers for a ground oriented offense. He has tremendous athletic ability, and his blocking is good for a TE (his dad, Brian Williams, was a first round NFL center). A finalist for the John Mackey Award, Wiliams has been projected  as a 2nd or 3rd day pick, but is seen as one of the more intriguing options in a somewhat weak TE draft.

Projected round: Late 2nd to 5th

Tyler KroftrJR/RutgersHT: 6’6″ HT: 240# 40-Yard Average Time: 4.82

2014 Stats: 24 Receptions / 269 Yards / 11.2 YPR / 0 TD

Career stats: 70 Receptions / 901 Yards / 12.9 YPR / 5 TD

Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood announced Kroft would be turning pro. Kroft’s numbers dipped in 2014, but much of that can be attributed to spotty play by Rutgers QBs. With experience as a traditional TE, split wide, and as an H-back, Kroft could be worth a late pick for some teams.

Projected round: 4th to 7th

Defensive Line

Dante Fowler Jr.JR/FloridaHT: 6’2″ WT: 261# 40-yard Time Average: 4.71 Position: DE/OLB

Fowler announced he was entering the draft, and his head coach Will Muschamp thinks he could be a first-round pick. Pass rushers will always be in demand, and Fowler is a very good one.

Projected round: 1st

Leonard WilliamsJR/USCHT: 6’5″ WT: 298# 40-yard Time Average: 4.88 Position: DT/DE

UPDATE: Williams announced in a posting on the school’s website that he will enter the draft.

Williams has not yet announced, but the expectation is that he will at least consider declaring for the draft, and he has said that he thinks “about the NFL draft all the time“. Williams has played both inside and outside for the Trojans, and has been compared to Richard Seymour.

Projected round: 1st

Eli HaroldJR/VirginiaHT: 6’4″ WT: 235# 40-yard Time Average: 4.73 Position: DE/OLB

Harold announced via his Twitter account that he was entering the draft. Harold has been very versatile for the Cavaliers over the last two seasons, playing both up and down as a pass-rusher. He has started 24 games for Virginia over that time, and in 2014 he led the team in TFL (14.5) and was among the leaders in sacks (7.0).

Arik ArmsteadJR/OregonHT: 6’7″ WT: 296# 40-yard Time Average: 4.97 Position: DE/DT

UPDATE: Armstead has filed papers with the NFL to enter the draft.

Armstead is leaning towards entering the draft. Armstead is still raw, but has great size, power, and wingspan.

Projected round: Late 1st to late 2nd

Eddie GoldmanJR/Florida StateHT: 6’3″ WT: 320# 40-yard Time Average: 5.28 Position: DT/DE

Goldman has not yet announced, but is “leaning heavily toward entering the draft“. Goldman suffered an ankle injury in the ACC Championship game, but is expected to play in the Rose Bowl. He led FSU in sacks this season with four, and was a presences in the backfield with 35 tackles for loss.

Projected round: 1st

Shane RayrJR/MissouriHT: 6’3″ WT: 245# 40-yard Time Average: 4.54 Position: DE/OLB

UPDATE: Ray announced via Missouri’s website that he will be entering the draft.

Ray is strongly considering entering the draft, per reports. Ray led the SEC in sacks with 14, and was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year.

Projected round: 1st – 2nd

Xavier CooperrJR/Washington State HT: 6’4″ WT: 298# 40-yard Time Average: 5.31 Position: DT/DE

The Spokesman-Review in Spokane is reporting that Cooper will enter the draft. Cooper sought a grade from the NFL Draft Advisory board and was advised to stay in school (meaning he did not get a First- or Second-round grade), but he decided to leave anyway. He is on track to graduate in May, and he felt that this an opportunity that comes along once in a lifetime.

Projected round: 4th to 5th

Randy GregoryrJR/Nebraska HT: 6’6″ WT: 245# 40-yard Time Average: 4.76 Position: DE/OLB

Gregory announced that he will turn pro. Gregory is the #1 DE on most draft boards, and while there are many good pass rushers available, one scout suggested he may “be the best this year”. In two seasons, Gregory has accumulated 17.5 sacks and 29 tackles for loss.

Projected round: 1st

Jordan PhillipsrSO/Oklahoma HT: 6’6″ WT: 334# 40-yard Time Average: 5.14 Position: DT

Phillips announced via Twitter that he will be leaving school to enter the draft. Phillips, a 4th-year Sophomore, had a solid 2014 coming off of 2013 back surgery. He has huge size and projects as a productive NFL lineman if he stays healthy and if his medicals check out at the combine.

Projected round: 3rd-5th

Noah SpenceJR/Ohio State HT: 6’3″ WT: 248# 40-yard Time Average: 4.68 Position: OLB/DE

Spence announced via Twitter he was entering the draft, just after he was declared permanently ineligible by the Big Ten. Spence reportedly served suspensions for multiple failed drug tests, which led to him effectively missing the 2014 season. He had eight sacks in 2013, and had been declared one of the top 10 pass rushers in the nation.

Projected round: 6th to UFA

Malcom BrownJR/Texas HT: 6’4″ WT: 320# 40-yard Time Average: 5.24 Position: DT Brown announced via the Longhorn Network that he was entering the draft. He was a First-Team All-American and a finalist for the Outland and Nagurski Awards. He put together a very solid season at Texas, recording 16 TFL and 6.5 sacks.

Projected round: 1st to 2nd

Mario Edwards, Jr. – JR/FSU HT: 6’3″ WT: 294# 40-yard Time Average: 4.88 Position: DE/DT

Per a report from Joe Schad of ESPN, Edwards will enter the draft. The First-Team All-ACC lineman started two years at FSU and finished the 2014 season with 44 tackles, 11 TFL, 3 sacks, and two fumble recoveries. Edwards has the size and the speed to play anywhere on the DL and is very stout against the run.

Projected round: 2nd to 3rd

Danielle HunterJR/LSU HT: 6’6″ WT: 240# 40-yard Time Average: 4.68 Position: DE

TheAdvocate.com out of Baton Rouge is reporting that Hunter will be going pro. Hunter only recorded 1.5 sacks, but he did manage to lead LSU with 13 TFL and tally 73 tackles from the DL. His height and long arms pose problems at the line of scrimmage for passers, but he has the athleticism to be a 3-4 OLB pass rusher at the next level.

Projected round: 1st to 3rd

Deion BarnesrJR/PSU HT: 6’4″ WT: 255# 40-yard Time Average: 4.75 Position: DE

Barnes has decided to forgo his final season of eligibility and enter the draft. Barnes had 44 tackles and 6 sacks this season, and received and All-Big Ten Honorable Mention. Barnes has already graduated from school.

Projected round: 4th to 7th

Christian Covington – rJR/Rice HT: 6’3″ WT: 295# 40-yard Time Average: 5.09 Position: DT

Covington announced he was entering the draft, per Joe Schad of ESPN. Covington had surgery for a dislocated kneecap on November 11, which may require six months of recovery time. his availability fo pre-draft workouts is doubtful, but there is plenty of film on him. Covington tallied 12.5 sacks in his three years at Rice.

Projected round: 3rd – 4th

Linebackers

Benardrick McKinneyrJR/Mississippi StateHT: 6’4″ WT: 249# 40-yard Time Average: 4.58 Position: ILB/OLB (DE)

UPDATE: McKinney has announced he will be going pro, per Rand Getlin at Yahoo Sports.

McKinney is considered “a lock” to enter the draft, per Yahoo! Sports. McKinney is ranked as the #1 ILB on many boards. He led the MSU Bizarro Bulldogs in tackles and was a First Team All-SEC selection.

Projected round: 1st

Kwon AlexanderrJR/LSUHT: 6’2″ WT: 229# 40-yard Time Average: 4.67 Position: OLB/ILB

Alexander announced via Twitter that he would be turning pro. Alexander projects as a likely 4-3 OLB in the NFL. He has good quickness and was the leading tackler for the Tigers this year. He was also named to the Second Team All-SEC team.

Projected round: 3rd to 4th

Shaq ThompsonJR/WashingtonHT: 6’2″ WT: 231# 40-yard Time Average: 4.56 Position: OLB/RB/SS

The Washington Huskies announced that Thompson would be entering the draft. Thompson may be the biggest defensive playmaker to enter the draft this season. Thompson posted 81 tackles, four fumble recoveries, three forced fumbles, four pass breakups, an interception, and scored four defensive touchdowns. He has great size and speed for a LB or S, and his pass coverage skills will separate him from other LB prospects (he was the starting nickelback in his freshman year).

If all of that wasn’t good enough, Thompson also started two games at RB for the Huskies, carrying the ball 61 times for 463 yards and 4 TD. Thompson was named the Paul Hornung Award winner as the nation’s most versatile player.

Projected round: 1st

Max VallesrSO/VirginiaHT: 6’5″ WT: 240# 40-yard Time Average: 4.83 Position: OLB/DE

Max Valles announced on his Twitter page that he will be entering the draft. The announcement was surprising, as Valles is still considered quite raw and a bit of a project. Still he finished second in the ACC in sacks this season with nine. He totaled 13 sacks and 18 TFL in two seasons with the Cavaliers.

Projected round: 3rd to 6th

Secondary

Lorenzo DossJR/TulaneHT: 5’11” WT: 190# 40-yard Time Average: 4.52 Position: CB/KR

Doss, a three-year starter with Tulane, announced that he would be entering the draft. Doss was productive in his time with the Green Wave (15 interceptions, 20 pass breakups), and he has good speed and instincts.

Projected round: mid-3rd to mid 5th

Durell EskridgerJR/SyracuseHT: 6’4″ WT: 205# 40-yard Time Average: 4.50 Position: FS/SS

Eskridge announced his intention to enter the draft. Eskridge has very good size and was a two-year starter with Syracuse. He had only one interception in 2014, but he made it count, taking it back for a touchdown.

Projected round: 4th to 5th

Gerod HollimanrJR/LouisvilleHT: 6’0″ WT: 201# 40-yard Time Average: 4.54 Position: FS/SS

UPDATE:  Holliman has confirmed he will be turning pro.

Holliman has said that he will announce whether he is going pro or not after Louisville’s bowl game against Georgia. Holliman tied a FBS record with 14 interceptions this season, which is good. But a scout who has watched him has said he’s “horrible” and can’t “make a tackle to save his life”.

Projected round: Mid-1st to 2nd

Landon CollinsJR/AlabamaHT: 6’0″ WT: 222# 40-yard Time Average: 4.53 Position: FS/SS

UPDATE: Collins has announced he will enter the draft, per Rand Getlin of Yahoo Sports.

Collins is another who has said he will make his announcement after his team’s bowl game(s). If he does announce, Collins could be the first DB taken. Collins has good size and a solid pedigree, playing under Nick Saban and Kirby Smart, who traditionally produce very capable defenders.

Projected round: 1st

Marcus PetersrJR/WashingtonHT: 6’0″ WT: 198# 40-yard Time Average: 4.52 Position: CB

Peters reminds many of former OSU Buckeye Maurice Clarett: a clear talent who could be very good, but who allows his immaturity and temper to control him. Peters was dismissed from the Huskies’ squad last month after his second physical confrontation with coaches. He was also suspended a game for a sideline outburst during a game, and cost his team a key stop when he head-butted an opposing receiver.

Projected round: Late 1st to UFA (Projections vary due to character issues)

Trae WaynesrJR/Michigan StateHT: 6’1 WT: 183# 40-yard Time Average: 4.53 Position: CB

UPDATE: Waynes confirmed with the Kenosha News that he will enter the draft.

Waynes is widely believed to be entering the draft, per Yahoo! Sports. He was a First-Team All-Big 10 Selection and a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award.

Projected round: Mid-1st – mid-2nd

P.J. WilliamsJR/FSUHT: 6’0″ WT: 200# 40-yard Time Average: 4.48 Position: CB/FS

Williams announced via Twitter he would be turning pro. Williams was a dependable player for FSU, missing only one game during his tenure. He has played both CB and S at FSU, and can likely play either at the next level. Williams was the Defensive MVP of the 2014 BCS National Championship game against Auburn.

Projected round: 1st to 2nd

James SamplerJR/LouisvilleHT: 6’2″ WT: 190# 40-yard Time Average: 4.65 Position: FS

Sample’s decision to go pro was announced by Lars Hanson of 247sports.com. Sample led the Cardinals with 90 tackles, and also intercepted four passes.

Projected round: 5th to 6th

Ronald Darby – JR/FloridaHT: 5’11” WT: 195# 40-yard Time Average: 4.46 Position: CB/FS

Darby will be entering the draft, per Rand Getlin. He started every game in 2014, ending the season with 4 pass breakups and a forced fumble.

Projected round: 4th to 5th

About Chris Jervis 65 Articles
Chris Jervis is an accountant in the Atlanta area. He's long had an interest in baseball, and, being a numbers nerd, loves analyzing player performances. He also likes to argue and is kind of an ass.

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