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Ranking Heisman Trophy winners based on 2015 performance


While LSU running back Leonard Fournette and TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin are at the center of this season's Heisman Trophy race, Carson Palmer and Charles Woodson are thriving among active Heisman winners. There are 10 former Heisman winners active in the NFL this season, and, remarkably, the two oldest among them are playing the best football of them all. College Football 24/7 takes a quick look at how each Heisman winner has fared through the first half of the 2015 NFL season and ranks them based on their 2015 performance.

1. QB Carson Palmer
Won the Heisman: 2002, USC
Drafted: No. 1 overall (2003), Cincinnati Bengals
2015 season: Palmer's career has experienced a resurgence this year with 20 touchdown passes, tied with Tom Brady for the league lead, to lead the 6-2 Cardinals.

2. DB Charles Woodson
Won the Heisman: 1997, Michigan
Drafted: No. 4 overall (1998), Oakland Raiders
2015 season: At 39 years old, Woodson is leading the NFL in interceptions with five and is playing like a 25 year old in the Raiders' secondary.

3. QB Cam Newton
Won the Heisman: 2010, Auburn
Drafted: No. 1 overall (2011), Carolina Panthers
2015 season: Newton's passing numbers don't frighten any defenses, but his ability to pick up first downs on the run is invaluable, and he's leading a 7-0 team.


4. RB Mark Ingram
Won the Heisman: 2009, Alabama
Drafted: No. 28 overall (2011), New Orleans Saints
2015 season: The fifth-year running back is on pace for the most productive season of his career: 1,000-plus yards and 10 touchdowns.

5. QB Jameis Winston
Won the Heisman: 2013, Florida State
Drafted: No. 1 overall (2015), Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2015 season: The rookie's 10-7 TD-INT ratio must improve. Since a four-pick day in Week 4 against Carolina, he's done exactly that, and Tampa Bay is 2-1 since then.

6. QB Marcus Mariota
Won the Heisman: 2014, Oregon
Drafted: No. 2 overall (2015), Tennessee Titans
2015 season: The Titans' rookie is going through expected growing pains on a 1-6 team, not the least of which are his nine turnovers (five interceptions, four lost fumbles). At the same time, the Titans have a rebuilding task around him.

7. QB Sam Bradford
Won the Heisman: 2008, Oklahoma
Drafted: No. 1 overall (2010), St. Louis Rams
2015 season: The Eagles are 3-4 under Bradford, who is finally healthy but only sporadically effective. Bradford hasn't been able to push the ball downfield -- his average of 6.4 yards per attempt places him near the bottom of the league in the category.

College Football 24/7 Hot Topics:

8. QB Johnny Manziel
Won the Heisman: 2012, Texas A&M
Drafted: No. 22 overall (2014), Cleveland Browns
2015 season: Manziel has started only one game all year (he'll make his second start of the season on Thursday), and he's seen limited action off the bench in each of the last two weeks.

9. RB Reggie Bush
Won the Heisman: 2005, USC (vacated)
Drafted: No. 2 overall (2006), New Orleans Saints
2015 season: Bush barely contributed for the San Francisco 49ers this season before suffering a season-ending injury.

10. QB Robert Griffin III
Won the Heisman: 2011, Baylor
Drafted: No. 2 overall (2012), Washington Redskins
2015 season: The former No. 2 overall pick has been a weekly clipboard holder through the first half of the season.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.



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