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Projecting the 2015 NFL All-Rookie team

With the 2015 NFL Draft in the books, it's not too early to start thinking about which rookies are most likely to succeed next season. Here's a look at my projection for the 2015 All-Rookie team.

Note: This post was published before La'el Collins signed with the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent and pass rusher Dante Fowler and tight end Jeff Heuerman suffered season-ending knee injuries. Now, Collins is a legitimate threat to make the 2015 All-Rookie team, likely as a guard. Fowler and Heuerman were on this list prior to suffering injuries during rookie minicamp, and we wish both players the best in their recovery.



Jameis Winston, Round 1 Pick 1, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: He has great weapons to work with. If things go right, he could throw 30 TD passes as a rookie.

Running backs

Melvin Gordon, Round 1 Pick 15, San Diego Chargers: The Chargers liked him so much that they were willing to trade up to get him. They're going to give him plenty of opportunities, and he increased his ability to catch the ball in his final season at Wisconsin.

Ameer Abdullah, Round 2 Pick 54, Detroit Lions: Can easily be a three-down running back with his ability to run and catch. He could pile up numbers.

Wide receivers

Amari Cooper, Round 1 Pick 4, Oakland Raiders: He and Derek Carr get joined at the hip right away and Cooper becomes the No. 1 target for the second-year QB. A complete, mature receiver.

Kevin White, Round 1 Pick 7, Chicago Bears: Jay Cutler is at his best when he's cutting it loose downfield. White gives him a big target and speed to throw to on the outside.

Tight end

Maxx Williams, Round 2 Pick 55, Baltimore Ravens: We know Joe Flacco has plenty of interest in throwing to the tight end, and with concerns about the health of Dennis Pitta, Williams could have a fine first season.

Offensive tackles

Ereck Flowers, Round 1 Pick 9, New York Giants: Starts immediately at right tackle and gets the job done.

Donovan Smith, Round 2 Pick 34, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: A great value pick in the second round. If Jameis Winston is going to have success, Smith is going to be one of the guys that helps him get there.


Brandon Scherff, Round 1 Pick 5, Washington Redskins: He could play tackle, but I think he moves inside to guard and there are Pro Bowls in his future.

Tre' Jackson, Round 4 Pick 111, New England Patriots: Immediately helps upgrade the Super Bowl-winning offensive line with physical play.


Max Garcia, Round 4 Pick 133, Denver Broncos: Cameron Erving would be a top candidate here, but he likely will play guard for Cleveland. Garcia could be an immediate starter at center for Denver.


Defensive ends

Leonard Williams, Round 1 Pick 6, New York Jets: He'll likely be in a rotation at defensive end, but his talent will be undeniable.

Mario Edwards, Jr., Round 2 Pick 35, Oakland Raiders: He'll be plenty motivated to keep his weight down so he doesn't have to move inside to tackle, and that alone gives him a chance to be a high-impact player right away.

Defensive tackle

Danny Shelton, Round 1 Pick 12, Cleveland Browns: As he showed with his bear hug of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Shelton is ready to go right now.

Outside linebackers

Vic Beasley, Round 1 Pick 8, Atlanta Falcons: Head coach Dan Quinn gets to unleash an explosive athlete with special pass-rushing ability.

Bud Dupree, Round 1 Pick 22, Pittsburgh Steelers: Pittsburgh is counting on him to play like Steelers OLBs of old. He'll have every opportunity to be unleashed in this defense.

Inside linebackers

Stephone Anthony, Round 1 Pick 31, New Orleans Saints: His ability to run will be utilized in a big way by defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.

Paul Dawson, Round 3 Pick 99, Cincinnati Bengals: They got the best out of Vontaze Burfict. Defensive coordinator Paul Guenther will do the same with Dawson. Best instincts in the draft.


Trae Waynes, Round 1 Pick 11, Minnesota Vikings: Head coach Mike Zimmer knows he has to stop the high-flying pass-catchers in the NFC North, and he'll have Waynes ready to make plays.

Marcus Peters, Round 1 Pick 18, Kansas City Chiefs: He can put the troubles of college behind him and realize his vast potential with Kansas City.


Landon Collins, Round 2 Pick 33, New York Giants: A first-round talent who goes in the second round is usually extremely motivated. Giants get a tone-setter.

Eric Rowe, Round 2 Pick 47, Philadelphia Eagles: Could easily end up playing CB, but his versatility and length make him someone who could potentially match up with the Odell Beckhams and Dez Bryants of the world. ... If Rowe plays more cornerback, Quinten Rollins (second-round pick of the Green Bay Packers) could surprise if he plays full-time safety.

Special teams


None: No kickers were selected in this year's draft. Justin Manton (Baltimore Ravens) and Josh Lambo (San Diego Chargers) -- two of the highest-rated talents at the position in the 2015 class -- have landed with NFL teams as undrafted free-agent signees, but Justin Tucker is entrenched as the kicker in Baltimore, and Lambo isn't a lock to make the Chargers' roster.


Bradley Pinion, Round 5 Pick 165, San Francisco 49ers: The 49ers were the only team to spend a pick on a kicker or punter in this year's draft, and their hopes are very high for Pinion after selecting him in the fifth round.

Kick returner

Tyler Lockett, Round 3 Pick 69, Seattle Seahawks: Can be an immediate star as a punt returner.

Follow Charles Davis on Twitter *@CFD22.*

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