If there's one constant for players not picked in the top five of the NFL draft, it's their inevitable sound bite about how they'll make teams that passed on them regret it. While it will take some time before we find out how good the 2015 draft class is, here are 10 players we forecast teams will regret passing on in the draft down the road:
Randy Gregory, OLB, Nebraska
Drafted:Dallas Cowboys, 60th overall (2nd round)
Analysis: There is little doubt about Gregory's talent: it's enough that he was in the conversation to go in top 10 or even the top five. That's special and something you can't coach. Off-the-field issues certainly contributed to his fall and that could turn out to be a good thing for the Cowboys, who have dealt with such things before and offer plenty of playing opportunities on an already good team. Pass rush was an area of need and now Gregory can try to harness that talent without the pressure of being a top pick.
Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State
Drafted:Houston Texans, 70th overall (3rd round)
Analysis: Strong doesn't have to be open in order to come down with the catch and that's good news for a team without much of a quarterback. He is a big receiver who can be comfortable on the outside as well as possibly finding a home out of the slot if need be. His speed isn't top-end, but it's more than adequate and a factor some weigh too heavily. He'll be a weapon in the red zone and can immediately step in to be a No. 2 receiver without much development.
Tre Jackson, OL, Florida State
Drafted:New England Patriots, 111th overall (4th round)
Analysis: All five of the Seminoles' offensive line starters will have a chance in the NFL, but it wouldn't be surprising if Jackson winds up having the best career long-term. He lands in a good situation with an organization that has developed linemen, and that's just what he needs. The physical tools are there to be a good player on the interior, and he could be molded into a Pro Bowler with the right coaching.
Grady Jarrett, DT, Clemson
Drafted:Atlanta Falcons, 137th overall (5th round)
Analysis: Another defensive tackle who could have gone as high as the second round, Jarrett could wind up in a great situation playing for Dan Quinn. Some teams just don't want to look past his size, and that's a mistake that any ACC coach will tell you teams will regret. He can play in a variety of different sub-packages and can help right away getting pressure up the middle.
Jay Ajayi, RB, Boise State
Drafted:Miami Dolphins, 149th overall (5th round)
Analysis: Nobody knows how his knee will hold up long-term from the abuse it will take in the pros, but this is a complete player who can help a team from Day 1. Ajayi does everything well and will benefit from splitting carries early on as he gets acclimated to the NFL. Being able to run between the tackles, block, and catch passes will be traits teams will regret passing on.
Michael Bennett, DT, Ohio State
Drafted:Jacksonville Jaguars, 180th overall (6th round)
Analysis: 'How is he falling this far?' was a question asked by many during the draft, as Bennett carried as high as a second-round grade from some. He's a smart player who can stop the run in a physical manner as well as rush the passer. Add all that up and the Jaguars got a great player in a value spot who will fit perfectly into their defensive system.
Busta Anderson, TE, South Carolina
Drafted:San Francisco 49ers, 254th overall (7th round)
Analysis: Anderson's upside at the tight end spot is as high as anybody's in the 2015 class given his A-plus athleticism and ability to get vertical in the passing game. His blocking needs work, but he'll be able to learn the nuances of the game from a good mentor in Vernon Davis and offers a similar skill set. If a team gets creative, he could be a star in the red zone.
La'el Collins, OL, LSU
Drafted: Not drafted
Analysis: The situation surrounding Collins is bizarre to say the least. This is a first-round talent who went undrafted because of a pending legal situation. Given that just about every team will be interested in signing him if everything checks out, there will be a number of clubs who will regret not taking a flier on him in the second or third round. Long-term, things might wind up working for both Collins and the club that signs him.
Antwan Goodley, WR, Baylor
Drafted: Undrafted (signed with Dallas Cowboys)
Analysis: Goodley relied so much on his natural ability that with a little refinement, he could be dynamite out of the slot. He gets up field quickly and is able to turn a short catch into a long gain from just about any alignment. His versatility also allows for him to wind up as a Pro Bowl return man, too.
Troy Hill, CB, Oregon
Analysis:Ifo Ekpre-Olomu got all the headlines in the Oregon secondary, but he was out-played in 2014 by Hill. Not the biggest or fastest guy, he's still able to compete with receivers on any route and is a fluid player who can tackle much better than you think. He's got good instincts and should have been a late-round pick but has the ability to contribute for some secondary as well as being a core special-teams player.