It's been a wild ride through the 2014 college football season thus far with bowls with equally dramatic endings to come. These are the end of regular season rankings of the top 2015 NFL Draft eligible prospects and how they fared in 2014. For these rankings, I will do a Top 50, with each 10 coming every day this week. Who made the top 50 list? Tune in to find out!
1. Leonard Williams DL 6'4 290 USC Junior
- Williams had a standout junior campaign, posting 42 solo tackles with 29 assists and six sacks, 8.5 tackles for loss as well. He has the ideal body type to play defensive end in a 3-4 set and can play tackle effectively. While the Trojans struggled to a 7 win season, Williams was a force to be reckoned with in almost every game. I would take him for the Titans without hesitation.
Previous Ranking: 1
2. Marcus Mariota QB 6'4 220 Oregon RS Junior
- The 2014 Heisman Trophy winner. He threw for 3,783 yards and 38 TDs to just two interceptions. Mariota also added 669 yards rushing and 14 TDs. His status as the top QB in the class has not changed. Also swept the trophy circuit by winning the Maxwell, Davey O'Brien, and Walter Camp awards on top of the Heisman. He did all of this while battling numerous offensive line injuries (Oregon lost three tackles and their center for extended periods of time).
Previous Ranking: 3
3. Vic Beasley OLB 6'2 235 Clemson Senior
- Another year, another dominant performance for Beasley. He posted 29 tackles, 11 sacks, and 18.5 tackles for loss. Leader of an impressive Clemson defense that will have a few draft picks come May. Due to his size, I see him as a Von Miller outside linebacker type.
Previous Ranking: 4
4. Shane Ray OLB 6'3 245 Missouri RS Junior
- Ray had a great year, putting up 61 total tackles, 21 tackles for loss, and 12.5 sacks. I project him as a less freaky Ezekiel Ansah but more fundamentally sound. He was a defensive end in college but the size issue will force him to linebacker at the end of the day.
Previous Ranking: 86
5. Melvin Gordon RB 6'1 207 Wisconsin RS Junior
- 2014 Heisman finalist. Gordon rushed for over 2,300 yards and had 26 touchdowns. He also broke the single game rushing yardage record against Nebraska with 408 yards in a complete emasculation of Nebraska in just three quarters. The debate over talent versus system has been rendered academic. He is far and away the best back in the class.
Previous Ranking: 16
6. Dante Fowler, Jr DL 6'3 260 Florida Junior
- Fowler had a very respectable junior season as Florida's only consistent lineman to show up every game despite the Gators' mighty struggles for another year.
Previous Ranking: 15
7. Amari Cooper WR 6'1 205 Alabama Junior
- Simply put, the best and most dynamic receiver in the country. Also a 2014 Heisman finalist.
Previous Ranking: 18
8. Randy Gregory DE 6'5 255 Nebraska Junior
- Gregory could be the best pure pass rusher in the class. In two years, he has posted 16.5 sacks. He will likely go pro as former coach Bo Pelini was relieved of his duties.
Previous Ranking: 29
9. Cam Erving OL 6'5 320 Florida State RS Senior
- Erving has been a mixed bag in 2014. He has been converted to center due to the previous two starters being injured and/or incompetent. Has performed well as the starter despite only having 4 career starts at the position. I believe that he can be a great franchise left tackle in the pros. Keep in mind that he is just 20 years old because of the fact that he came to FSU as a 16 year old defensive tackle.
Previous Ranking: 5
10. Benardrick McKinney ILB 6'5 245 Mississippi State Junior
- He is the heart and soul of the ferocious Bulldogs defense. If I had a comparison for him, it would be this year's Avery Williamson. Both guys have great instincts and know where the ball is at all times which makes up for a lack of athleticism.
Previous Ranking: 85