Jackson McIntire’s Top 50 Big Board Pre-Combine


With the 2015 NFL Combine a few days away, it was time to update my big board. Over the last few weeks I have been working hard to re-evaluate most of the players currently in my top 50, as well as quite a few who were just outside my top 50. I have also factored in Senior Bowl practice and game performances. After further evaluations, there are a few new players featured, as well as a number of players with new places and grades on my list.  I have compiled these rankings and grades over the last couple of months by watching a good amount of game film and taking notes. Next to each player is a number indicative of the players’ skill level and pro-level potential. For reference, Andrew Luck graded out as a 9.9 on my scale, Teddy Bridgewater graded out as a 9.3 (I was a lot higher on Teddy than most at the time) and the highest ranked quarterback in this class, Marcus Mariota, comes in at an 8.9. An asterisk(*) next to a player’s name indicates that the player is a personal favorite of mine. With that said, here is my pre-combine updated big board.

Jackson McIntire’s Top 50 “Big Board”

Leonard Williams, DT, USC. 9.1

Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon. 8.9

Jameis Winston, QB, FSU. 8.9

Jan 1, 2015; Pasadena, CA, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston (5) drops back to pass against the Oregon Ducks during the first half in the 2015 Rose Bowl college football game at Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Gary Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Randy Gregory, DE, Nebraska. 8.8

Kevin White, WR, West Virginia. 8.8*

Dante Fowler, DE, Florida. 8.7*

Shane Ray, DE, Missouri. 8.7

La’el Collins, OT, LSU. 8.7*

Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa. 8.7*

Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama. 8.7

DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville. 8.7*

Danny Shelton, DT, Washington. 8.7

Marcus Peters, CB, Washington. 8.6

Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia. 8.4*

Landon Collins, S, Alabama. 8.4

Alvin Dupree, DE, Kentucky. 8.3

Shaq Thompson, OLB, Washington. 8.3

Erik Kendricks, ILB, UCLA. 8.2*

Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson. 8.0

Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin. 8.0*

Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State. 8.0

Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Oklahoma(sorta). 8.0*

Bernardrick McKinney, ILB, Mississippi State. 7.8

Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State. 7.8

Tevin Coleman, RB, Indiana. 7.8

Quinten Rollins, CB, Miami(Ohio). 7.8*

Jay Ajayi, RB, Boise St. 7.7*

Dec 31, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Boise State Broncos running back Jay Ajayi (27) against the Arizona Wildcats in the 2014 Fiesta Bowl at Phoenix Stadium. The Broncos defeated the Wildcats 38-30. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami. 7.7

Jalen Collins, CB, LSU. 7.7

Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford. 7.7

Sammie Coates, WR, Auburn. 7.7

Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest. 7.7

Devin Funchess, WR, Michigan. 7.6

Cedric Ogbuehi, OT, Texas A&M. 7.6

Gerod Holliman, FS, Louisville. 7.6

Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA. 7.6

Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska. 7.6

Michael Bennett, DT, Ohio State. 7.6

Nate Orchard, DE/LB, Utah. 7.6

Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota. 7.6

Devin Smith, WR, Ohio State. 7.5

Malcolm Brown, DT, Texas. 7.4

Alex Carter, CB, Stanford. 7.1

Denzel Perryman, ILB, Miami. 7.0

Hau’oli Kikaha, DE, Washington. 7.0

Ty Sambrailo, OT, Colorado State. 7.0

Ronald Darby, CB, FSU. 6.9

Steven Nelson, CB, Oregon St. 6.9*

Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, Oregon. 6.8*

PJ Williams, CB, FSU. 6.7

Big Risers:

1. Jay Ajayi 

Previous rank: Not Ranked

Jay Ajayi is a guy who wasn’t included in my original top 50, and is now ranked 27th. I had only watched one of his games prior to my first big board, but after watching a few more, I came away very impressed. Ajayi is a “do-it-all” back who can pound the ball up the middle, get to the outside, catch passes, and does a solid job in pass-protection. Ajayi also possesses good speed and does a good job at breaking tackles. He reminds me of a poor-man’s combination of Marshawn Lynch and Jamaal Charles.

2. Kevin White

Previous Rank: 18

I tried to think of something clever to compare my growing infatuation for Kevin White as a prospect to, and all I could think of was hair. Yes, hair. If you look at your hair closely on a day-to-day basis, you likely won’t notice much of a difference. But nevertheless, with each passing day your hair is growing, until eventually you have a full head of hair(Unless your name is LeBron James). This is exactly my experience with Kevin White as a prospect, he didn’t win me over all at once, but over time I saw more and more that I liked, until eventually he crept into my top 5 prospects. White shows tremendous hands, great high-pointing ability, underrated speed that will be better on the field than it will be when timed at the combine, good but not great route-running ability, and a passion for the game that Browns fans could only dream Johnny Manziel had.

3. Steven Nelson

Previous Rank: Unranked

Man, did the Senior Bowl help this kid. Nelson was a prospect who I had briefly looked into before the Senior Bowl, but after reports that he stood out in practice and his complete domination of nearly every receiver he lined up against in the Senior Bowl, I had to go back and take another look. While he doesn’t have great measurements(Listed as 5’11” on ESPN.com, but I see a 5’9” maybe 5’10” measurement at the combine), Nelson plays with the same feisty attitude that Antoine Winfield made famous. Nelson is good at playing both press and off-man coverage. He likes to keep his assignment in front of him and does a good job with positioning himself to make a play on the ball. He is also a very good run defender.

Big Fallers:

1. Amari Cooper

Previous Rank: 4

Although Cooper is still in my top 10, falling from the 4th overall prospect to the 10th is a pretty big slip in my book. My problem with Cooper has more to do with other receivers than it does with Cooper. Cooper just doesn’t offer the same high-pointing ability or playmaking ability that Kevin White does. Although Cooper is still a crisp route-runner with good hands and speed, I worry that he may already be close to his ceiling, as he is a very refined product coming out of Alabama. I am still very high on Cooper, I’m just not sure he is going to be the huge game-breaker he was originally perceived to be.

2. Cedric Ogbuehi 

Previous Rank: 19

Ogbuehi’s slip in my rankings is simply due to the fact that I changed the way I am organizing my big board. With my first big board, I decided to ignore injuries and rather look at the long-term prospects of a player. With this update, I decided to look at both immediate and long-term potential, so Ogbuehi’s injury counted more against him than in my previous edition. Injury aside, Ogbuehi is an extremely athletic offensive tackle who is raw, but has the potential to be a bookend left tackle for years to come.

Thanks for reading. If you agree or disagree with a player ranking or have any questions be sure to comment below, or send a tweet my way @jackmack28. Be sure to follow too!