- Mel Kiper Jr., Football analyst
Soon after the 2014 NFL draft concluded, I released my too-early Big Board for the 2015 draft, a ranking that includes players who will be underclassmen during the 2014 college football season. It goes without saying that these rankings are preliminary, as I have hundreds of hours of evaluation ahead on the 2015 class.
A couple of notes about the rankings below:
• This isn't a straight "top 10" list because I've split these between seniors and underclassmen. I think it's important to rank seniors alone, as those are the only players I can guarantee will be a part of the 2015 NFL draft process.
• In some instances, I've included more than 10 players; if two or three guys are extremely close on my board, I simply tacked on the names.
With those parameters in mind, here's an early look at the top outside linebacker prospects for 2015.
Top five senior outside linebackers
1. Vic Beasley, Clemson Tigers: An explosive pass-rusher who clears with speed, Beasley is also pretty good with his hands, even with his lack of experience after converting from running back. He could have factored into Round 1 in 2014, given the dearth of pass-rushers, but he comes back looking for refinement.