The NFL is a sport whose popularity is growing every year in the UK. Since the start of the International Series in 2007 when Wembley Stadium hosted the New York Giants and Miami Dolphins, the sport has exploded and the NFL now hosts three games a season in the Great Britain and there is even talk of a franchise moving to London.
Tonight is one of the biggest events of the American sporting calendar as the top players from college football enter the NFL draft. It is a massive event with 32 teams selecting 214 players over seven rounds, and the hopes and dreams of these young men can hinge on one teams decision. We take a look at the top five prospects for the 2015 NFL Draft.
No. 1 – Jameis Winston Quarterback (Florida State)
Winston’s record at Florida State was a historic one, in his first 26 starts he didn’t taste defeat once, the only QB to achieve this since 1964-65. His only defeat came on his final start the 2014 national semi-final. Of this year’s quarterback class Winston seems to be the most ‘pro-ready’ and can scan the field extremely well. Can make throws most other college level QB’s can’t, but can also be careless with some of his passes and threw 18 interceptions in his final season.
No. 2 – Marcus Mariota Quarterback (Oregon)
The 2014 Heisman Trophy winner is one of the most physically gifted players to enter the draft this year. In 41 starts for Oregon he threw 105 touchdowns and rushed for 15, throwing just 14 interceptions. Possess electric speed (ran the fastest speed of any QB at the Combine) and defences have to account for his ability to move outside the pocket, the sky seems to be the limit for the Oregon product.
No.3 – Amari Cooper Wide Reciever (Alabama)
Cooper won the Biletnikoff Award in 2014 which goes to the nation’s premier receiver and he also was in the final reckoning for the Heisman Trophy. The Alabama wide-out caught 124 passes for over 1700 yards with 16 touchdowns. Has the ability to dominate defenders with his speed and power and always makes himself available to the QB. Will walk straight into whichever team is lucky enough to draft him.
No.4 – Leonard Williams Defensive End (USC)
Williams was one of the most dominant defensive players in college football in 2014, recording 80 tackles and seven sacks, along with one interception and three forced fumbles. Standing at 6’5” and weighing over 300lbs he has all the physical tools necessary to become an elite level player in the NFL. Anybody with his talent and size is highly valued commodity and he will be a top five selection for sure.
No.5 – Dante Flower, Jr Outisde Linebacker (Florida)
Like Leonard Williams, Dante Flower Jr possess exceptional physical attributes. His explosive power and superb speed make him a nightmare for QB’s and he recorded 8.5 sacks in 2014. Has the ability to line-up anywhere on the field and cause havoc for the opposition. Has a lot of raw potential, but with the right coaching and environment he could develop into an elite-level player without a doubt.