Comprehensive Ranking of the 2014 and 2015 NFL Draft Classes

Texas A&M College Football, Johnny Manziel

Comprehensive Ranking of  the 2014 and 2015 NFL Draft Classes
Is the 2014 NFL Draft actually that strong when compared to 2015?

With a record number 98 underclassmen declaring for the 2014 NFL draft and claims that this is the deepest draft in many years (Steelers GM Kevin Colbert has called the 2014 class the deepest that he has seen in 30 years), it made me think. While there are a record number of underclassmen coming out for this draft, there were also some substantial returnees who, combined with the other eligible players for the 2015 draft, would make it a close contest as to which group is actually the deeper class.

And looking even further ahead, the true freshman class of 2013 was truly outstanding which is good news for the NFL as its farm system is well stocked.

But back to the comparison of the 2014 and 2015 drafts. You can decide which one is actually deeper based upon these rankings and your own if you wanted to add players. One advantage for the 2015 draft group is that these are the players that are eligible but may not all declare for the draft.


2014 and 2015 Comprehensive Comparisons by Position
QuarterbacksDefensive Ends
Running BacksDefensive Tackles
FullbacksMiddle-Inside Linebackers
Tight EndsOutside Linebackers
Wide ReceiversCornerbacks
Slot ReceiversFree Safeties
Offensive TacklesStrong Safeties
Offensive Guards

A (C) after a player's name in the 2014 group indicates a combine invitation.  It will be interesting to see how many of the combine invitees (335) get drafted in this 2014 draft. Of 224 selections and adding in a probable 38 Compensatory picks, there is a grand total of 262 selections. That means that there are at least 73 players at the Combine will not be drafted. Conversely, it will also be interesting to see how many players get drafted who were not invited to the combine. 

A (P) listed after a player indicates some type of problem, either an arrest record or suspension from the team or any other issue which puts a team on notice to a character issue. An asterisk (*) after the player's year indicates he was redshirted at some point in his collegiate career.  An (I) is for an injury or injuries.

It is always interesting to venture into selecting sleepers, or under the radar players, who lack the big time reputations and thus have to be considered long shots.  I have designated at least one player at each position as a sleeper in the 2014 group with a pound sign (#) after their names.  These are players who were not invited to the Combine or the Senior Bowl and, with two exceptions, were also not invited to the East - West Shrine Game.  I should mention that some of these players were underclassmen and while eligible for the Combine, were not eligible for those all-star games.  Many of these players may not even be drafted, but at one time or another have flashed outstanding ability which, with more consistency, would have elevated their draft status. And, in some cases, they were simply overlooked.  Most of these are the real long shot type of sleepers.

I have put a plus sign (+)  before each position group that appears to be the deeper or stronger group between the 2014 and 2015 draft classes.  The obvious strength of the 2014 class is WR, OLB and CB, with DE not far behind.