Check out photos of the key defensive linemen at the 2015 NFL Combine
Defensive line looks like the deepest position so far in the draft process. **
JOHN SCHMEELK: Fact -This looks like it will be a very heavy defensive line/defensive tackle/OLB pass rusher draft in the first round and early second round. The top ten should have at least three defensive linemen off the board, maybe even as many as five depending on how it goes. This is a good thing for the Giants, who hope to improve their rush defense this offseason.
DAN SALOMONE: Fact -According to some draft experts, it looks like a defensive end Leonard Williams of USC is the top draft prospect overall. But as well all know, the quarterback position can be too important to pass up, which we'll discuss below. In addition to Williams, defensive linemen -- inside, outside, and even some hybrids -- are all over early mock drafts in the first round, especially in the top half. So far, it's the position to watch.
Out of the four major sports leagues, evaluating college-to-pro talent is toughest in the NFL. **
JOHN SCHMEELK: Fiction -Even though this statement is specifically related to college level players, I will still go with baseball for one simple fact: aluminum bats. That, more than anything in pro and college football, differentiates Major Leaguers from college baseball players. For there to be such a basic equipment difference that has a significant impact on the game must be hard to measure. Besides, most collegians still have to spend a couple years in the Minor Leagues before getting to the Majors. If there are that many levels between college and the pros in baseball, it makes evaluation harder. Football is a straight jump.
DAN SALOMONE: Fact -Basketball seems like the most straightforward of them, and baseball is a numbers game with all of its rounds, and it depends on the farm systems. Meanwhile, hockey is unique with players competing on college or club teams before being called up. So I'm going with football. How often do we see a top college player unable to find success in the pros? How often do we see the opposite happen? Out of all the leagues, I think the NFL is most dependent on finding the right fit and mentality, making it the most difficult to evaluate.
An offensive lineman will be drafted in the top five for a fourth-straight year. **
JOHN SCHMEELK: Fiction -But it will be close. I think there will be one offensive lineman picked in the top ten, but that's it. There will be fewer offensive linemen picked in the early rounds this season than the last two, in my opinion. This will be a much more defensive oriented draft.
DAN SALOMONE: Fact -Teams picking at the top are often there because either they don't have a quarterback or they don't have an offensive line. I think by the time draft day comes, at least one of the big guys has moved up enough to warrant a top-five pick being used on him.
The No. 1 pick this year will not be a quarterback. **
JOHN SCHMEELK: Fiction -The Buccaneers need a quarterback and Jameis Winston has all the on-field qualities of a top flight NFL quarterback. The question is whether or not Tampa will be able to get past his off the field issues. I think they eventually find a way to do just that and take Winston.
DAN SALOMONE: Fiction -I was really close to saying "fact" because sometimes a team can go in another direction, like in 2006 when the Texans drafted defensive end Mario Williams over running back Reggie Bush and quarterback Vince Young. Maybe that happens again, but like I mentioned before, a team needs a quarterback to compete in this league. There are two Heisman Trophy winners this year at the position. It's just a matter of which will go first.