MOCK DRAFT 2015 – VERSION 1.0
By ROBERT WAUGH
Special to DraftAmerica
No., Team, Player, Comment
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Leonard Williams, DL, USC– Surprise already! Lovie Smith knows he doesn’t need a franchise QB to make it to the promise land. I mean, Rex Grossman manned the helm when the Bears went to the Super Bowl in 2006. Williams is the best player in the draft, and Smith loves his defensive guys.
2. Tennessee Titans – Jameis Winston, QB, FSU – Ken Whisenhunt knows he DOES need a franchise QB in order to play in the Super Bowl. With Tampa Bay passing on Winston, the Titans think they have found their leader for the next 10 years (sorry, Zach Mettenberger).
3. Cleveland Browns (From Jacksonville for 12th and 19th pick in 2015 and 4th round pick in 2016) – Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon – Well, it didn’t take long for our first trade. After whiffing on both first round picks last year, the Browns hop up to nab Marcus Mariota and, unfortunately, probably ruin his NFL career in doing so.
4. Oakland Raiders – Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama – Oakland could go with Kevin White here, but they go the safer route and draft Cooper. White’s ceiling is probably higher but his floor is probably lower. Cooper can do it all and will be what Derek Carr needs to try to get Raider Nation out of the AFC West basement.
5. Washington Redskins – Brandon Scherff, OL, Iowa – The Redskins need OL help and this guy is nasty. Scherff is the best O-lineman in the draft and will be a long time starter on their offensive line.
6. New York Jets – Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson – Beasley is a beast and could easily be this year’s Khalil Mack. No way Todd Bowles can pass up on this guy.
7. Chicago Bears – Danny Shelton, DL, Washington – The Bears are switching to a 3-4 and could use a zero-technique nose tackle. In steps Danny Shelton. There aren’t many centers in the league that will be able to move him off the line, he can stuff the run, and his size alone helps him get after the passer.
8. Atlanta Falcons – Dante Fowler, OLB, Florida – It could be argued that Atlanta has the worst pass-rushers in the league. Adding the explosive Fowler should help their cause tremendously.
9. New Orleans Saints (From New Orleans for 13th and 31st overall picks) – Kevin White, WR, WVU – The Saints lost Jimmy Graham and Kenny Stills via trades and need to give Brees someone to throw to not named Brandin Cooks. With White falling this far, the Saints couldn’t let another team jump up and take him. Drew Brees, you’re welcome.
10. St. Louis Rams – La’el Collins, OL, LSU – Kevin White would’ve been great here but it’s tough to say the Rams are settling with this pick. Collins is long, strong, and mean. He can also play guard if needed and will be a big upgrade for the O-line in St. Louis.
11. Minnesota Vikings – Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan St. – This pick is a no-brainer. Mike Zimmer is a defensive guy and loves good CBs. Waynes is far and away the best corner in the draft and will fit nicely into Zimmer’s scheme.
12. Jacksonville Jaguars (via trade with Cleveland) – Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia – What better way to help a young QB than to arm him with the best RB in this Draft class? Denard Robinson is too small to be a workhorse and Toby Gerhart proved to be a bust. Gurley could work to help the Jags offense keep trending in the right direction, especially with his underrated pass-catching ability.
13. New York Giants (via trade with New Orleans) – Landon Collins, S, Alabama – The Giants need a safety, and they get the only one in the draft with a first-round grade. Collins can play the run and cover and will really help the Giants 18th-ranked pass defense.
14. Miami Dolphins – Marcus Peters, CB, Washington – The second Husky off the board will fill a big need in Miami. Peters had some off-the-field issues but he could end up being the best DB taken in the draft.
15. San Francisco 49ers – Eric Kendricks, ILB, UCLA – The 49ers have lost a lot on defense this offseason and have to do something to fill the holes. Kendricks is a great all-around LB that can step in and play next to NaVorro Bowman, or, if he works on his pass rush, may be able to play outside.
16. Houston Texans – DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville – The Texans got some calls about trading out of this pick but with Andre Johnson gone to Indianapolis, they really need a No. 2 receiver to go along with DeAndre Hopkins. He’s no Cooper or White, but Parker should play well at the pro level.
17. Philadelphia Eagles (From San Diego for 20th pick and Mychal Kendricks) – Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Missouri – With yet another interesting move, Chip Kelly moves up to grab Green-Beckham. Kelly loves size and with the loss of Jeremy Maclin, Dorial gives the Eagles a legitimate outside threat, and allows Jordan Matthews to stay inside, where he was so productive as a rookie.
18. Kansas City Chiefs – Malcolm Brown, DT, Texas – Some have Brown going in the top 10, so when he falls to 18, the Chiefs have no choice but to upgrade their D-line with this monster from Texas.
19. Jacksonville Jaguars (via trade with Cleveland) – Jalen Collins, CB, LSU – Collins is inexperienced but has the height, weight, and speed that teams look for in an NFL corner.
20. San Diego (via trade with Philadelphia) – Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin – The Chargers need help on both sides of the ball and achieve that in their trade with Philly an taking Gordon, who some think will be the most productive back in the draft.
21. Cincinnati Bengals – D.J. Humphries, OT, Florida – Offensive tackle is a need in Cincy. Maybe Humphries will help Dalton get over the Bengals’ extensive playoff losing streak.
22. Pittsburgh Steelers – Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota – Williams is by far the best tight end in the draft, and Heath Miller isn’t getting any younger. Don’t expect a huge first year statistically from the former Gopher but he could be a very productive TE for many years in Pittsburgh.
23. Detroit Lions – Arik Armstead, DT, Oregon – After losing Ndamukong Suh to the Dolphins, the Lions acquired Haloti Ngata but aren’t done working on their D-line. Armstead is very athletic and should contribute from day one.
24. Arizona Cardinals – Bud Dupree, OLB, Kentucky – This guy has been rising up draft boards and I wouldn’t be surprised if he goes higher than this come the end of April.
25. Carolina Panthers – T.J. Clemmings, OT, Pittsburgh – There is some work to be done here but Clemmings could be a productive left tackle for the Panthers. He will definitely need some coaching but the need for Carolina is too big to let him pass.
26. Baltimore Ravens – Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona St. – Losing Torrey Smith really left the Ravens weak at WR. Strong isn’t going to be the best WR in this draft but he seems to do everything well. With Steve Smith showing him the ropes, the former Sun Devil should have a decent rookie season catching passes from Joe Flacco.
27. New York Giants (From Dallas for 31st pick and 2015 3rd-round and 2016 3rd-round pick) – Randy Gregory, OLB, Nebraska – Gregory is undersized and has off-the-field issues but the Giants need a pass rusher and Gregory could fit the bill. Tom Coughlin’s tough coaching style could keep Gregory in line, and after adding a few pounds, he could give NFC East quarterbacks fits.
28. Denver Broncos – Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida St. – Goldman is a Top 20 talent and the Broncos could use some help on the D-line. Goldman could contribute for them as a rookie.
29. Indianapolis Colts – Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest – Kevin Johnson has been shooting up draft boards and the Colts need to shore up the secondary opposite Vontae Davis. Johnson could be an ideal fit.
30. Green Bay Packers – Benardrick McKinney, ILB, Mississippi St. – The Packers need help in the middle of their defense. Clay Matthews belongs on the outside rushing the passer and drafting McKinney could let the Packers put Matthews where he belongs.
31. Minnesota Vikings (via trade with Dallas for Adrian Peterson and 5th-round pick) – Jay Ajayi, RB, Boise St. – Jerry Jones can’t help himself. After taking solid yet unspectacular picks the last few years, Dallas makes as big of a splash as they can and, after trading an unhappy AP, the Vikes immediately fill their RB need. Ajayi can do it all – run between the tackles, has quick feet, and can catch the ball out of the backfield. He will step in and be a three-down guy right away.
32. New England Patriots – Byron Jones, CB, UConn– Mr. Jones won’t have to travel far to find his pro team. Byron shocked the world at the combine with his 44½-inch vertical and his world-record broad jump. He is just the guy that Bill Belichick can turn into a Pro Bowler.
NFL Draft News
3/31/14: Bill O’Brien: Texans will draft QB, ‘maybe two’
DA’s Take: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Case Keenum and T.J. Yates? Makes perfect sense. Houston will keep the top pick and go with a QB, but with depth at the position, the ‘maybe two’ seems like a stretch.