10 seniors, 10 underclassmen to watch in 2015 NFL Draft

Posted Monday, May. 12, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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This time a year ago, Jackson Jeffcoat was projected as one of 10 seniors to watch.

The Texas defensive end wasn’t drafted, signing instead with the Seattle Seahawks as an undrafted free agent.

But six of the 10 players the Star-Telegram projected to be top picks this year went in the first round, including TCU’s Jason Verrett and Texas A&M’s Jake Matthews.

Three of the five underclassmen projected to be top picks were drafted in the first round, including A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel and South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.

A lot will change between now and a year from now, but here are 10 seniors and 10 underclassmen to watch for the 2015 draft:

Seniors

Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson, 6-2, 235: He led the ACC with 13 sacks last season and needs eight sacks to break the school career record of 28 held by Michael Dean Perry and Gaines Adams.

Michael Bennett, DT, Ohio State, 6-3, 285: After spending two seasons as a reserve, he emerged last season with 38 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, seven sacks and two forced fumbles.

Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, Oregon, 5-10, 185: He has 27 consecutive starts, 181 career tackles and seven career interceptions.

Cameron Erving, OT, Florida State, 6-5, 320: He projected as a first-round pick in 2014 but stayed in school to hone his skills after beginning his FSU career as a defensive tackle.

Randy Gregory, DE, Nebraska, 6-5, 255: The junior college transfer led the Big Ten with 10.5 sacks for 69 yards in losses and had 19 tackles for loss.

Tre Jackson, OG, Florida State, 6-4, 330: He has 28 starts in his career.

Cedric Ogbuehi, OT, Texas A&M, 6-5, 300: The Aggies expect to have their third top-10 offensive lineman in three years selected, with Ogbuehi joining Luke Joeckel and Jake Matthews.

Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor, 6-2, 230: The Midlothian product completed 62 percent of his passes for 4,200 yards with 32 touchdowns and three interceptions last season.

Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa, 6-5, 315: He played left guard as a redshirt freshman before moving to left tackle, where he has started 20 games.

Ramik Wilson, ILB, Georgia, 6-2, 232: He became a starter last season and made 133 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, four sacks and seven quarterback pressures.

Underclassmen

Shilique Calhoun, DE, Michigan State, 6-4, 250: He has played in 26 career games, with 43 tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks.

Landon Collins, SS, Alabama, 6-0, 215: He has 86 career tackles, two interceptions and six passes defensed.

Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama, 6-1, 205: In two seasons, he has 104 receptions for 1,736 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Devonte Fields, DE, TCU, 6-4, 240: Scouts expect him to bounce back to his 2012 freshman form when the Arlington Martin product made 18.5 tackles for loss and 10 sacks to become the coaches’ Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year along with The AP’s Defensive Player of the Year.

Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia, 6-1, 232: Gurley, who has rushed for 2,374 yards and 27 touchdowns in two seasons, could become the first RB selected in the first round since 2012.

Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA, 6-3, 222: In two seasons, he has a 66.7 completion percentage, 6,811 passing yards, 53 touchdowns and 20 interceptions.

Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon, 6-4, 212: He is the early favorite to be drafted No. 1 overall after passing for 6,342 career yards, running for 1,467 career yards and accounting for 77 total touchdowns.

Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford, 6-6, 312: He started 14 games at LT last season.

Leonard Williams, DE, USC, 6-4, 290: He had off-season surgery for a torn labrum after playing with the shoulder injury a year ago when he had 13.5 tackles for loss and six sacks.

P.J. Williams, CB, Florida State, 6-0, 190: In his first year as a starter, he had 10 passes defensed, 35 tackles and three interceptions.

Charean Williams, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @NFLCharean

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