NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock updated his position-by-position rankings for the 2015 NFL Draft on Wednesday and while most people are focused on him jumping Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota over Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, he also made a few other interesting changes at positions the Pittsburgh Steelers are sure to address in the first several rounds.
While Florida’s Dante Fowler Jr. remains Mayock’s top-rated edge rusher in this year’s draft class, the well-known draftnik has now elevated Nebraska’s Randy Gregory to the second spot after previously having him listed fourth. This move comes well after news surfaced that Gregory tested positive for marijuana at the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine. The Steelers reportedly have Gregory scheduled for a pre-draft visit.
Missouri’s Shane Ray has taken a tumble in Mayock’s latest ranking as he is now fifth after previously being listed second behind Fowler Jr., and in opinion, that’s where he belongs. The Steelers attended Ray’s Pro Day and reportedly dined with him the night before the event.
Kentucky’s Alvin “Bud” Dupree jumped up one spot in Mayock’s latest rankings as he now sits right behind Clemson’s Vic Beasley. The Steelers also attended Dupree’s Pro Day and like Ray, he also was a recipient of a free dinner courtesy of the front office.
When it comes to Mayock’s cornerback rankings this time around, very few changes were made. He still has Michigan State’s Trae Waynes listed first followed by LSU’s Jalen Collins, Washington’s Marcus Peters and Wake Forest Kevin Johnson. Personally, I think Collins is ranked too high. And in case you missed it, the Steelers had Peters in for a pre-draft visit on Thursday and they dined with Collins prior to his Pro Day last month.
Mayock now has a new cornerback listed in his rankings as Utah’s Eric Rowe is now in the fifth spot and tied with Connecticut’s Byron Jones, who really posted some amazing measurables during the combine and subsequent Pro Day. Mayock has also now dropped Florida State’s P.J. Williams from his rankings following him being arrested and charged with a DUI last week.
Moving on to Mayock’s safety rankings, Stanford’s Alex Carter and Miami of Ohio’s Quinten Rollins, who both played cornerback for their respective college teams, are now listed in that position group.
One of favorite players in this year’s draft class, Oklahoma tight end Blake Bell, has made another jump in Mayock’s rankings. The former quarterback who moved to tight end last season, is now ranked third in that position group by Mayock behind Minnesota’s Maxx Williams and Miami’s Clive Walford. Bell, who was previously ranked the fourth-best tight end by Mayock, is no longer a sleeper and there’s a good chance he hears his name called in the fourth or fifth round of the upcoming draft. He’s raw, but certainly has upside and the potential to be a solid all-around tight end in the league for several years.