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NFL Draft 2015: Ameer Abdullah, Shaq Thompson and other favorite prospects

They may not all be selected in the first round -- or even in the first two days -- but these five players are Danny Kelly's favorite of the 2015 NFL Draft.

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SB Nation 2015 NFL Draft Guide

Every NFL offseason, whether you're a professional draft analyst, an amateur draftnik or just a casual fan, there are a few players who stand out above the rest and become your "draft crushes." We all have them. Some of these crushes may be irrational or unjustifiable, grounded in unashamed bias or fandom, but screw it -- they're my crushes, and I like them, dammit. I think they're going to be good players, and you can't convince me otherwise.

So, on the day before the 2015 NFL Draft, here's one final list of my five favorite players in this year's class.

RB Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska

I grew up a Nebraska football fan. I love the old-timey Nebraska run philosophy. Maybe that factors into this. But whatever, I can't help but just love Ameer Abdullah's game. It's electrifying.

Abdullah is lightning quick with unmatched short-area explosiveness in this class, and when combined with his bowlegged run style and seemingly impossible balance, you get a player who is very difficult to track down and tackle. And while he's no Jamaal Charles in terms of long speed (he ran a 4.6 at the combine), he's fast enough that if he gets the corner on you, he can take it to the house.

Belying his size (5'9, 205), he's also a pretty tough inside runner, taking the ball between the tackles with good forward lean and more pop behind his pads than you'd expect, often sliding off of tackles and lunging for extra yards. In the open field, he sets up defenders with subtle jukes and rocker steps before blowing past them. He runs through arm tackles. He runs with balance on contact. He has great feet.

He's excellent in the pass game, has great hands and has been used as a de facto slot receiver at times. He's a very good returner. He's tough and smart -- he wants to be a lawyer after football -- and he's off-the-charts rare when it comes to the desirable intangibles and character traits. You'd need to pop an Adderall to get through his list of awards and honors.

He's a gym rat who squats 580 pounds and benches 365 -- and he won the prestigious "Lifter of the Year" Award twice for Nebraska. This dude will come in and contribute early on, with the potential to become a star.

Of course, he's not a perfect prospect. There are questions about his size, durability and his ball security (not to mention that his pass protection may not be NFL-ready), but I think he'll be an impact player at the next level.

WR Phillip Dorsett, Miami

People are enamored with big receivers like Calvin Johnson and Dez Bryant, but as T.Y. Hilton and Antonio Brown (among others) have proven, size isn't everything in the NFL. Dorsett may be the next player in that category of receivers to burst onto the scene. He is the definition of a speed merchant, and the comparisons to 2014 third-round pick John Brown are apt, except as my colleague Zach Whitman would say, Dorsett's "John Brown with a squat rack."

He's got a thick lower half and is proportionally well-built for the pros, despite his lack of height (5'10). But most importantly, he's really, really fast, and not just in a straight line. He's explosive into cuts, and if he gets a little bit of sunlight in front of him, say goodbye. He has that "easy speed" that you hear scouts talk about, and when the ball's in the air, he has that innate ability to pull away from coverage and blow the top off of a defense.

He's averaged 25 yards per catch since 2012.

Dorsett's been slightly under the radar in this whole process, though he has been getting some first-round buzz as we close in on Thursday night. He'll likely be used as a deep threat early in his career and add value as a kick returner, but he has the potential to develop into a more complete player with a full NFL route tree as he acclimates to the pro level.

DT Grady Jarrett, Clemson

I've seen Jarrett described as a "poor man's Aaron Donald" because he's undersized and bowling ball-like, but plays with similar power and jolt in his hands with an explosive first step. He's also one of the best athletes at the position this year -- he's a former high school state champion wrestler who obviously understands leverage and hand violence.

In addition to adding some bonus as a gap-shooting three-technique or tilted nose tackle, he was one of the best run-defending defensive tackles in the nation (per Pro Football Focus' CFF tracking). He's quick off the snap and controls and gets off of blocks. Plus, Jarrett has the vision to see and track action in the backfield, playing with energy and toughness. Like Abdullah and Dorsett, he should find a role in which to contribute early on in his career and develop into a three-down lineman from there.

LB/S Shaq Thompson, Washington

Thompson's buzz has harshed a little bit over the past few weeks and there's some question as to his NFL position (the dreaded "tweener" label -- oh no!), but he can play. Whether his team-to-be sees him as a box safety in the Kam Chancellor mold, or an off-the-ball weakside linebacker in the Lavonte David style, Thompson displays the attributes and athleticism to excel in either role. He's a former high school safety and he can cover in man. He can play off in zone with his eyes in the backfield. He can tackle. He doesn't waste many steps. He reads the action. He reacts with quick-twitch explosiveness. He's a playmaker.

While he's not as instinctive as David or as hard-hitting as Chancellor, he has the potential to find a happy medium somewhere in the middle and could come into the league and develop into a three-down defender. That's valuable.

Additionally, he plays special teams. He could even run the ball for you in a pinch.

CB/S Eric Rowe, Utah

Like Thompson, one of the calling cards for Rowe's game is his versatility. He played safety for his first three seasons at Utah then moved to corner in 2014, and has the potential to play either (or both) in the NFL. In a subpackage world, the ability to start at, and/or fill in at, several different defensive back spots as a rookie provides great value to his future team. Rowe will play special teams early on as well.

He's extremely athletic and has great length. He has ball skills. He has quick feet. He always seems to be around the football. He's physical, rarely misses tackles and rakes receivers' arms with a powerful club move when the ball arrives. He's a good player and his best football may be ahead of him.

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