NFL

2015 NFL Draft: 25 Top Underclassmen Prospects

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The deadline for underclassmen to declare for the 2015 NFL Draft has come and gone. For the first time since 2009, there was a decrease from the previous year in the number of early draft entries. In 2014, 98 players left school early, and this year, 76 players chose to forgo their remaining college eligibility to test the NFL waters.

Sadly, of the 98 players who were early entries in 2014, 36 of them (37%) went undrafted. With that being said, every NFL Draft is full of underclassmen who go on to have long-lasting NFL careers. This year, early entrants are projected to dominate the first two rounds of the draft.

Here’s a look at 25 notable underclassmen (in no particular order) who declared for the 2015 NFL Draft. All draft projections are courtesy of CBS Sports.

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

1. T.J. Yeldon, running back, Alabama (pictured)

  • Projected round: 2-3
  • Notable accomplishments: First team all-SEC (2013), second team all-SEC (2014)

2. Andrus Peat, offensive tackle, Stanford

  • Projected round: 1
  • Notable accomplishments: All-American (2014), first team all-Pac-12 (2014), second team all-Pac-12 (2013)

3. Devin Funchess, wide receiver, Michigan

  • Projected round: 1-2
  • Notable accomplishments: Second team all-Big Ten (2014), honorable mention all-Big Ten (2012)

4. Arik Armstead, defensive end, Oregon

  • Projected round: 1-2
  • Notable accomplishments: Honorable mention all-Pac-12 (2014)

5. Marcus Peters, cornerback, Washington

  • Projected round: 1-2
  • Notable accomplishments: Second team all-Pac-12 (2013)
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6. Melvin Gordon, running back, Wisconsin (pictured)

  • Projected round: 1
  • Notable accomplishments: Doak Walker Award (2014), unanimous All-American (2014), Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year (2014), first team all-Big Ten (2014), second team all-Big Ten (2013)

7. Jaelen Strong, wide receiver, Arizona State

  • Projected round: 1-2
  • Notable accomplishments: First team all-Pac-12 (2014), ESPN All-American (2014)

8. Maxx Williams, tight end, Minnesota

  • Projected round: 2
  • Notable accomplishments: Second team AP All-American (2014), first team all-Big Ten (2014)

9. Malcolm Brown, defensive tackle, Texas

  • Projected round: 1
  • Notable accomplishments: Consensus All-American (2014), first team all-Big 12 (2014)

10. Ereck Flowers, offensive tackle, Miami (Fla.)

  • Projected round: 1-2
  • Notable accomplishments: Second team all-ACC (2014)
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11. Brett Hundley, quarterback, UCLA (pictured)

  • Projected round: 1-2
  • Notable accomplishments: Second team all-Pac-12 (2014)

12. Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, cornerback, Oregon

  • Projected round: 1-2
  • Notable accomplishments: Consensus All-American (2014), three-time first team all-Pac-12 (2012-2014), Jim Thorpe Award finalist (2014)

13. Eddie Goldman, defensive tackle, Florida State

  • Projected round: 1
  • Notable accomplishments: First team all-ACC (2014)

14. Shaq Thompson, outside linebacker, Washington

  • Projected round: 1
  • Notable accomplishments: First team AP All-American (2014), first team all-Pac-12 (2014), Hornung Award winner (2014), second team freshman All-American (2012), two-time honorable mention all-Pac-12 (2012, 2013)

15. Dante Fowler Jr., outside linebacker, Florida

  • Projected round: 1
  • Notable accomplishments: Second team all-SEC (2013), first team all-SEC (2014)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

16. Todd Gurley, running back, Georgia (pictured)

  • Projected round: 1-2
  • Notable accomplishments: Second team all-SEC (2012), freshman All-American (2012)

 17. Trae Waynes, cornerback, Michigan State

  • Projected round: 1
  • Notable accomplishments: First team all-Big Ten (2014)

18. Shane Ray, defensive end, Missouri

  • Projected round: 1
  • Notable accomplishments: Unanimous All-American (2014), first team all-SEC (2014), SEC Defensive Player of the Year (2014)

19. Dorial Green-Beckham, wide receiver, Oklahoma

  • Projected round: 1-2
  • Notable accomplishments: Second team all-SEC (2013)

20. Landon Collins, safety, Alabama

  • Projected round: 1
  • Notable accomplishments: Unanimous All-American (2014), first team all-SEC (2014)
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21. Randy Gregory, defensive end, Nebraska

  • Projected round: 1 (top 5)
  • Notable Accomplishments: First team all-Big Ten (2014)
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22. Leonard Williams, defensive tackle, USC

  • Projected round: 1 (top 5)
  • Notable accomplishments: Two-time first team all-Pac-12 (2013-2014), two-time first team all-American (2013-2014)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

23. Amari Cooper, wide receiver, Alabama

  • Projected round: 1 (top 5)
  • Notable accomplishments: Heisman Trophy finalist (2014), Fred Biletnikoff Award winner (2014), unanimous All-American (2014), first team all-SEC (2014)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

24. Jameis Winston, quarterback, Florida State

Projected round: 1 (top 5)

Notable accomplishments: Heisman Trophy winner (2013), Walter Camp Award (2013), Manning Award (2013), AP Player of the Year (2013), Archie Griffin Award (2013), ACC Player of the Year (2013), two-time first team All-ACC (2013-2014), consensus All-American (2013)

Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images

25. Marcus Mariota, quarterback, Oregon

Projected round: 1 (top 5)

Notable accomplishments: Heisman Trophy winner (2014), Davey O’Brien Award (2014), Walter Camp Award (2014), Maxwell Award (2014), AP Player of the Year (2014), unanimous All-American (2014), three-time first team all-Pac-12 (2012-2014), Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year (2014)