2015 NFL Draft
(Dennis Wierzbicki/USA TODAY Sports)

Last year’s rookie class displayed three dominant rookie of the year candidates in Khalil Mack, C.J. Mosley, and Aaron Donald. Donald won the award becoming one of the more dominant defensive tackles in the league. Could we see another D tackle win the award this year?

1. Leonard Williams (DE) New York Jets Via USC

Williams is the best player in this draft the only question mark him him this season will be his playing time. With The Jets running a 3-4 the line appears to be set with Sheldon Richardson, Damon Harrison, and Mo Wilkerson. Williams may be limited to rotational work during his rookie campaign but that may not necessarily be a bad thing. I expect Williams to be a dominant force in the running game will picking up 4-5 sacks as well. With a relatively week defensive class big Leonard remains the favorite.

2. Vic Beasley (OLB/DE) Atlanta Falcons Via Clemson

Beasley will man the leo position for Atlanta this season, a position made famous by Bruce Irvin as head coach Dan Quinn was his former defensive coordinator. The Falcons pass rush last season was abysmal ranking 30th in the league with 22. Chiefs outside linebacker Justin Houston eclipsed that mark by himself……. Beasley was one of the best performers at this year’s combine showing his speed and power. If Beasley can record double digit sacks in the ATL he has a chance to bring home the award.

3. Kevin Johnson (CB) Houston Texans Via Wake Forrest

Johnson is a long press corner who should find success in Romeo Crennel’s 3-4 defense. Johnson will also have the luxury of being the team’s nickel corner behind Kareem Jackson and Jonathan Joseph. This means Johnson could find himself being thrown towards more often with the ability to make more plays on game day. Marcus Peters of Kansas City and Trae Waynes will not have this as they are expected to be the teams number one corner from day one. Byron Jones was also considered here as the freak from UConn has an excellent shot at the award as well.

4. Eric Kendricks (MLB) Minnesota Vikings Via UCLA

I called Kendricks a can’t miss prospect this year as he possess some of the best coverage instincts I have seen in a long time. Kendricks is also in an excellent position to succeed under head coach Mike Zimmer. This is the same man who coached undrafted Vontaze Burfict to a rookie of the year award. Kendricks has a shot to win the award based off the shear number of tackles he will record alone. If the former UCLA linebacker can make some flashy interceptions as well he may be this year’s rookie of the year.

5. Randy Gregory (DE) Dallas Cowboys Via Nebreska

Gregory came into the draft process as a potential top 5 pick. After a failed drug test at the combine Gregory slipped all the way to the 60th pick in the draft. The good news for Gregory is he was blessed to be picked by Dallas being coached by defensive line wizard Rod Marinelli. Marinelli spent time in Tampa Bay in the early 2000’s building a dominant unit lead by Warren Sapp. If Gregory can can channel his inner Simeon Rice he could make owner Jerry Jones look like a genius by taking the necessary risk to take Gregory.