Zierlein: 50 most intriguing prospects in 2015 NFL Draft

With 50 days to go until the start of the 2015 NFL Draft, teams are inching closer to the final stages of their preparation for the big event. In honor of the 50-days-out mark, here are my rankings of the 50 most intriguing prospects available this year. These aren't necessarily the top talents in the draft, but each piques my interest more than the average player. Full draft profiles on this year's prospects are available here.

1. Leonard Williams, DL, USC
The skinny: Has ideal frame and can play in almost any spot along the defensive line. Tape is good, not great, but his raw talent and projection have teams excited.

2. Paul Dawson, LB, TCU
The skinny: His college numbers were off the charts in all of the "big-play" metrics, but his NFL Scouting Combine performance was so bad that the battle between tape/traits will be intriguing.

3. Breshad Perriman, WR, UCF
The skinny: Has quickness and long speed, which is somewhat rare for big WRs. Had too many drops, but shows traits of a big-time WR. Is he an early round projection or an overdraft waiting to happen?

4. T.J. Clemmings, OT, Pittsburgh
The skinny: Former defensive end turned offensive tackle has outstanding feet. He struggled at the Senior Bowl, but has a massive set of tools and traits. Can he unlock them?

5. Bud Dupree, OLB, Kentucky
The skinny: Has good play strength and is a freakish athlete with an explosive leaping ability and 40-yard dash time for a 269-pound player, but his tape doesn't show consistency. Is he just waiting to be coached?

6. Dante Fowler, OLB, Florida
The skinny: Finally settling into a position. Fowler has seen his weight fluctuate based on where he was playing. Flashes explosive traits and likely will be the first OLB/DE off the board.

7. Tevin Coleman, RB, Indiana
The skinny: Has blazing speed on tape. Some scouts dismiss him because he doesn't have much "wiggle," while others see a game-changer. Posted huge production behind an average line.

8. Shane Ray, DE/OLB, Missouri
The skinny: Doesn't have the length teams look for at DE, but plays with enough toughness for the position. Will Ray's production in college trump Randy Gregory's traits?

9. Arik Armstead, DL, Oregon
The skinny: He finally committed to football after also playing basketball at Oregon. Armstead has violent hands/power with prototype 3-4 DE size. He's ascending, but how high will he go?

10. Grady Jarrett, NT, Clemson
The skinny: He's a short fireplug, but always winning leverage battles in space. After the success of Aaron Donald last season, teams likely will look at Jarrett differently. Few blocked him at the Senior Bowl.

11. Ronald Darby, CB, Florida State
The skinny: High school track man who showed it again at the combine. He had good workouts and might have had a better 2014 season than the more heralded Seminoles corner in this year's draft, P.J. Williams.

12. Owamagbe Odighizuwa, DE, UCLA
The skinny: Posted freakish combine numbers. I get the feeling that he's still figuring his talent out and learning how to use it. He might go much higher than expected, and possibly in the first round.

13. Nate Orchard, DE, Utah
The skinny: Former WR turned DE. Scouts differed on his toughness, but he showed some strength at the Senior Bowl. Orchard was a one-year wonder at Utah. Outlier or the real deal?



14. Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia
The skinny: If he didn't have ACL injury, he is likely the first RB off the board and would go in the first round. Are teams willing to bet on him after the quick recoveries of Adrian Peterson and Jamaal Charles?

15. Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State
The skinny: He doesn't get much separation in short-area routes, but scouts swear by him. Former basketball player with leaping ability and good timed speed. On the move.

16. Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State
The skinny: He can make all the throws and has an NFL frame and played with some NFL offensive concepts, but he's an interesting test case in maturity after Johnny Manziel's issues.

17. Shaq Thompson, OLB/S, Washington
The skinny: Interesting because he's a really good athlete, but what will he weigh and where will he play? Can he play both OLB and safety or does he lack a position?

18. Jalen Collins, CB, LSU
The skinny: Size and speed traits, but doesn't have the starting experience of some others at his position in this draft. Comes from serious NFL stable of CBs at LSU.



19. Stephone Anthony, LB, Clemson
The skinny: Great workout and solid tape. Moving up draft boards quickly. One of several talented defensive players at Clemson. Could be a top-50 pick.

20. Quinten Rollins, CB, Miami (Ohio)
The skinny: Outstanding feet and potential after only one year of college football, but he didn't run fast and teams must decide whether to keep him at CB or move him to safety.

21. Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska
The skinny: Tons of fumbles, incredible personal and football character, outstanding vision and cutback ability but limited by size. How high does he go? Second round? Third?

22. T.J. Yeldon, RB, Alabama
The skinny: Scouts are divided on Yeldon. Some say he doesn't hit enough big plays. Others see him as a top-four back in this draft. Has a big frame with limited tread off tire and excellent vision.

23. Bobby Richardson, DT, Indiana
The skinny: I haven't heard many talking about this guy, but his tape is really good. Spoke with a friend in the league who also likes him.

24. Ali Marpet, G/C, Hobart
The skinny: Was the first Division III player invited to the Senior Bowl and he held his own. Stronger than expected at combine with great feet. Should go inside first three rounds.

25. Jaquiski Tartt, S, Samford
The skinny: Small-school safety with big-school size. Physical and didn't seem rattled or in awe against better competition in college. He made colleague Mike Mayock's list of the top five safeties in the draft.

26. Chris Conley, WR, Georgia
The skinny: Made big plays in Georgia's run-happy offense, but has flown under the radar. His combine tests were eye-popping but he dropped tons of passes in his workout.

27. Carl Davis, DT, Iowa
The skinny: Played with passion last season and flashed at the Senior Bowl. Has great size and good quickness. Some teams could rank him as one of the top three DTs available.

28. Sammie Coates, WR, Auburn
The skinny: Looks great on the hoof, with long legs and ability to crank up to top speed and threaten deep. Had way too many drops, though. Can he be more than just a vertical WR?

29. Danielle Hunter, DE, LSU
The skinny: The traits are all there on tape, but he hasn't been able to put them together for consistent production. Can anyone unleash it?

30. Denzel Perryman, LB, Miami (Fla.)
The skinny: His workout matched his tape for the most part -- it was good, but not spectacular. Some people swear by him and his ability to own the box, but can he play three downs?

31. Robert Crisp, OT, North Carolina State
The skinny: Very good athlete who moved exceptionally well in space during combine drills. Dealt with injuries over two-year period, but might be a steal in middle rounds.

32. Josh Shaw, CB, USC
The skinny: Missed much of the 2014 season while serving suspension. Good size. Ran really fast, but teams must figure out if he is a CB or safety and whether he plays as fast as he was timed.

33. Nick O'Leary, TE, Florida State
The skinny: Doesn't look the part -- short arms, relatively unathletic and wasn't impressive in combine testing, but catches everything, is tough, doesn't wear gloves and is golf legend Jack Nicklaus' grandson.

34. Craig Mager, CB, Texas State
The skinny: Plays angry with great motor and quick twitch. Adversity shaped his background and plays with a chip on his shoulder. Tested well at combine.

35. Senquez Golson, CB, Mississippi
The skinny: Have to weigh productivity vs. height at CB. Had incredible on-ball production and is a quick-twitch athlete but he's short. How soon do you draft him?

36. Derrick Lott, DT, Tennessee-Chattanooga
The skinnny: Older prospect who was a transfer player. Has a more mature game already. Might be able to come in and get snaps quickly.

37. Kyle Emanuel, OLB, North Dakota State
The skinny: Amazing production for four-time national champion. Doesn't have length or eye-popping measurables, but tape is strong and his motor is on point.

38. Leterrius Walton, DT, Central Michigan
The skinny: Late bloomer. High school baseball star. Big frame and flashed at East-West Shrine Game practices. Teams are talking about him.

39. Darren Waller, WR, Georgia Tech
The skinny: Big wide receiver with limited production. Got his shot after DeAndre Smelter went down for the Yellow Jackets. Ran faster than expected at combine.

40. Tre McBride, WR, William & Mary
The skinny: Can make circus catches that will blow you away. Outstanding body control, but no way he plays as fast as his timed combine speed. Played against a lower level of competition in college.

41. Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor
The skinny: As teams continue to write "system QBs" out of early draft contention, it will be interesting to see if Petty can be the guy who acclimates to an NFL offense quickly.

42. Devin Funchess, WR/TE, Michigan
The skinny: With his slow 40 time (4.70), teams are going to have to lock in on him as a move tight end, but is he physical enough to handle any real blocking? How badly did he hurt his stock?

43. Tayo Fabuluje, OT/G, TCU
The skinny: Massive tackle/guard prospect with power and decent feet. If he can get his weight down another 10-15 pounds, he might take a big step forward.

44. Donald Celiscar, CB/S, Western Michigan
The skinny: Nobody in college football had more passes defensed. Doesn't run well and isn't a great athlete, but has great instincts and ball skills. Move to safety could be key.

45. Obum Gwacham, OLB, Oregon State
The skinny: Spoke to coach who brought him up. Said his athleticism is rare and loves the fact that he's a former track guy and wide receiver who is moldable.

46. Anthony Chickillo, OLB/DE, Miami
The skinny: Wrote him off early in my appraisal, but he flashed at East-West Shrine Game practices and had a good combine. Future might be at OLB, of all places.

47. Doniel Gambrell, OT, Notre Dame College
The skinny: Big, athletic player who dominated lower level. Has holes in his game, but his potential and athleticism will have teams very interested.

48. Nick Marshall, CB, Auburn
The skinny: Moving from QB to former position of CB. Clearly behind others at Senior Bowl working at corner, but had some moments. Desired size, but how long is learning curve?

49. Davon Walls, DT, Lincoln (Mo.)
The skinny: Kicked off the Syracuse football team after being charged with burglary (he later pled guilty). Destroyed the competition at Lincoln University. Has some traits and talent that are translatable to league.

50. Jeff Luc, ILB/FB, Cincinnati
The skinny: Productive, old-school inside linebacker who is built like a fire truck. I see him as a fullback. Reminds me of former NFL player Vonta Leach. Played some fullback in high school.

Follow Lance Zierlein on Twitter @LanceZierlein.

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