Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Most Underrated Players in the 2015 NFL Draft

With the draft coming up this Thursday, it is a good time to look at the prospects that I like more than most people. Some of these guys aren't the deepest of sleepers, but I do feel they are being underrated by the general public/cornucopia of draft gurus. Ultimately, my goal is that my favorite team, the Chicago Bears, will see this list and follow my recommendations, but I would settle for the Buccaneers taking my recommendations as they are the team I live closest to these days.

QB - Shane Carden - East Carolina
I talked about him extensively here. Honorable mention for Brett Hundley.

RB - Todd Gurley - Georgia
Gurley is the best player in this draft. He needs to have a full recovery from his knee injury, but it looks like things are going well on that end. Now, even had he not injured the knee, he isn't worth the top pick in the draft despite being the best player. Running back is not as important of a position as it used to be, but Gurley is a guaranteed stud in a draft that really doesn't have another one. It would make zero sense for the Bears to draft him, and yet, I would actually be kind of pumped if they did. He's that good.

RB - David Cobb - Minnesota
He got downgraded because of an unimpressive 40 time, but 40 times are pretty worthless when it comes to running backs. This guy is just a good running back. He can punish defenses and grind out yards. People talk about this running back class being loaded and then talk about Gordon and Gurley at the top, but the depth is stupid good. I could have easily mentioned Tevin Coleman, Duke Johnson, David Johnson, Mike Davis, and probably some others. This is a good draft to take a running back.

WR - Stefon Diggs - Maryland
Maryland has had pretty poor quarterback play these last few years, so Diggs was never really given a chance to shine. Still, the skill-set is there, as the guy is smooth in and out of his breaks and knows how to get open and create after the catch. He will make a receiver-needy team very happy with a mid-round pick.

TE - AJ Derby - Arkansas
This is mostly a homer pick (former Iowa QB) as I only saw the big highlights from Derby's season, but there was enough there to dream on. He'll probably go undrafted, but the guy has good athleticism, he's big and strong, and he's shown enough potential in running routes and tracking the ball. This is a bet on athleticism, but that's the type of guy that is worth a flyer in the 7th round, or definitely as a free agent.

OT - Jake Fisher - Oregon
Fisher seems to be getting overlooked as a first round option, and I have to say I'd be pretty pumped if my favorite team was able to get him in round two. He's a very athletic lineman, and Oregon's offense ran much smoother when he was healthy. A guy like TJ Clemmings may have a higher ceiling, but Fisher offers a high ceiling with a reasonably high floor as well.

DT - Grady Jarrett - Clemson
Jarrett is a guy that I really like, but is made for the Bears old defense and not the new one. Still, he's a guy with Geno Atkins-level upside as all he did in college was make plays. He's not a nose, but he can cause havoc in the backfield as a three technique DT. He was really overlooked, but it seems like his stock has been rising in the media the past few weeks. We'll see if that carries over to his draft position.

OLB - Vic Beasley - Clemson
I am so ridiculously high on Vic Beasley for this year. I want the Bears to get him at number seven so badly. He'll probably be available, and the Bears will probably pass on him for Randy Gregory or something stupid like that, but man, Vic Beasley is fun to watch, and I'd really enjoy watching him on a team that I cheer for.

ILB - Eric Kendricks - UCLA
I talked about him yesterday, and the point stands. Inside linebackers are underrated right now on the whole, and if you have a chance to get a guy with the floor of a good player and the ceiling of a pro bowler, it is a no brainer to take advantage. This guy has great instincts, and he makes plays, which is the single best skill at translating to the next level.

CB - Senquez Golson - Ole Miss
I'll admit that I haven't done enough studying on later round guys to make any sort of proclamation, but I have heard some good things about Senquez Golson, who I will support since he is my height and had good college production (definitely supporting more for the former than the latter).

Tomorrow, we'll look at the opposite end of the spectrum with the most overrated players in this draft.

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