First round NFL mock draft, 2015 edition

Posted: April 16, 2015 in Football, NFL
Tags: , , , ,
  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers  – Jameis Winston, Florida State QB -Winston played in a pro style offense at Florida State and had repeated success on a big stage winning a heisman and national championship in 2013. Winston will become the face of the franchise for the next two to three seasons for better or worse.
  2. Tennessee Titans – Marcus Mariota, Oregon QB – Mariota’s a star talent at the QB position. Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt himself said Mariota would be a day one starter if he comes to Tennessee at number two. If the Titans don’t trade the pick expect them to take Mariota here at number two.
  3. Jacksonville Jaguars – Dante Fowler, Florida OLB –  Fowler fits the pure pass rusher mold Coach Bradley wants for this defense.
  4. Oakland Raiders – Leonard Williams, USC DT – Leonard Williams is the best player in the draft. The Raiders have a no-brainer pick here.
  5. Washington Redskins – Vic Beasley, Clemson OLB/DE – Washington needs a pass rusher. Beasley has a successful track record of getting after the quarterback and the physical prowess coaches and GM’s like in a first round pick.
  6. New York Jets – Randy Gregory, Nebraska OLB/DE – Gregory’s ability to both rush the passer and cover opposing receivers make him valuable on Todd Bowles’ defense.
  7. Chicago Bears – Kevin White, West Virginia WR – White can step in and immediately replace and improve on Brandon Marshall’s production from 2014..
  8. Atlanta Falcons – Shane Ray, Missouri OLB/DE – Atlanta needed a first round caliber pass rusher this time last season. They chose to address other needs early in the draft. Ray showed he’s a consistently dominant defender with over fourteen sacks in the 2014 season against big time SEC competition.
  9. New York Giants – Brandon Scherff, Iowa OL – The Giants were the 30th ranked team in run blocking efficiency according to profootballfocus.com during the 2014 season. Young runner Andre Williams will need more help than an underperforming John Jerry to bring balance to the Giants offense. The Giants could take Amari Cooper here, but adding Scherff would help re-establish Giants football from the late 00’s that was so successful.
  10. St. Louis Rams – Amari Cooper, Alabama WR – The Rams need offensive line help, but Amari Cooper would be an enormous gain for St. Louis. The Rams desperately need a true number one receiver.
  11. Minnesota Vikings – DeVante Parker, Louisville WR – The best wide receiver available at this pick. Parker carries the bonus of having played with Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater at Louisville which should help him develop a rapport with the passer quickly. Parker is a big target with soft hands and only three drops since 2012.
  12. Cleveland Browns – Danny Shelton, Washington DT – The Browns have other needs, but Shelton is a monster at a position of need for Cleveland. Stopping the run will be hugely important if Cleveland wants to win division games.
  13. New Orleans Saints – Malcom Brown, Texas DT – Brown, like Shelton, displayed dominance as both a run defender and pass-rusher. He would be drastic upgrade for New Orleans on the defensive line.
  14. Miami Dolphins – Bud Dupree, Kentucky OLB/DE – Dupree as a physical specimen isn’t too far off of Houston’s Jadeveon Clowney. Dupree can learn from the grizzled veteran Cameron Wake and replace him in future seasons.
  15. San Francisco 49ers – Arik Armstead, Oregon DE – The 49ers have many needs. Armstead should help San Francisco re-establish dominance in the front seven with the potential loss of Justin Smith. Armstead has experience in a 3-4 defense with impressive conditioning. Armstead looks like a more polished Ziggy Ansah coming out of college.
  16. Houston Texans – Landon Collins, Alabama FS – Houston has other needs, but Collins would join a secondary in need of quality safeties. Neither Swearinger nor Rahim Moore blew anyone away with their performance last season. Houston already has a stout front seven, Collins would provide more security on the back end of the defense.
  17. San Diego Chargers – La’el Collins, LSU G/T – Collins demonstrated he can both pass-protect and run block while playing left tackle at LSU. Collins could likely play guard at San Diego or possibly right tackle and maybe be groomed to down the road replace King Dunlap.
  18. Kansas City Chiefs – Ereck Flowers, Miami OT – Young Eric Fisher didn’t come in and play great last season. Ereck Flowers can solidify the right tackle spot or push Eric Fisher at left tackle. The Chiefs also have need for a wide receiver and center.
  19. Cleveland Browns (through Buffalo) – Eric Kendricks, UCLA ILB – Adding pieces to a front seven that can defend better against the run will be important for their jockeying for position in the AFC North. Kendricks plays athletically (though a little undersized) and should stabilize the run defense like he did at UCLA. Kendricks can also drop into coverage well.
  20. Philadelphia Eagles – Trae Waynes, Michigan State CB – Philadelphia just added Byron Maxwell in free agency. Maxwell had a great 2014, but was never great without starting next to Richard Sherman. If Trae Waynes can live up to expectations, he would give Philadelphia a formidable duo at corner. At worst, Waynes can be a valuable nicker corner while grooming under more seasoned players. Waynes demonstrated the ability to play press coverage and to cover well in space.
  21. Cincinnati Bengals – Eddie Goldman, Florida State DT – Goldman can replace the struggling Domata Peko at DT
  22. Pittsburgh Steelers – Jalen Collins, LSU CB – The steelers are losing defensive backs left and right. They needed depth in the secondary before Ike Taylor retired. Collins has plus size and will compete better against A.J. Green and the league’s taller receivers.
  23. Detroit Lions – Marcus Peters, Washington CB – Peters is the most talented player on the board here.
  24. Arizona Cardinals – Kevin Johnson, Wake Forest CB – Arizona needs a top corner to stabilize the secondary after a shaky season from Patrick Peterson and the departure of Antonio Cromartie
  25. Carolina Panthers – Andrus Peat, Stanford, OT – Carolina had a monster need for wide receivers and offensive tackles last season. They drafted Kelvin Benjamin, but took no tackles in the draft. Peat is a top athlete at his position. Peat’s experience playing against top-level competition and high praise qualifies him as a draft steal at number twenty-five.
  26. Baltimore Ravens – Jaelen Strong, ASU WR – Strong is a big, athletic target who should be able to more than replace what Baltimore lost with Torrey Smith’s defecting to San Francisco this offseason.
  27. Dallas Cowboys – Todd Gurley, Georgia RB – Gurley’s play is unbelievable. He has bruising size ( 6’,1” 231 lbs), plus speed (evidenced by two kickoff returns for touchdowns) and skillful hands (37 catches for 441 yards and 6 receiving TD’s in 2013). There is concern of injury. But if Gurley can stay healthy, he can easily be the next big thing at running back.
  28. Denver Broncos – T.J. Clemmings, Pittsburgh OT – Denver needs a true right tackle to replace struggling Chris Clark. Denver has a future with C.J. Anderson at running back and are preparing to have Brock Osweiler take over the reigns as passer in 2016. Both players will need a strong offensive line to support them. Drafting Clemmings is an investment for the future and for 2015.
  29. Indianapolis Colts – Jake Fisher, Oregon OT – Gosder Cherilus struggled at offensive tackle last season. The Colts can again use some help against the run. Taking an offensive tackle here will give Andrew Luck better protection. Fisher has experience both at left and right tackle at Oregon.
  30. Green Bay Packers – Shaq Thompson, Washington ILB – Thompson’s size (228 lbs) has some teams projecting him at safety. If Thompson can cover and play the run Green Bay can work around his size. Letting go A.J. Hawk and Brad Jones at linebacker and seeing Seattle run right through Green Bay’s defense in last season’s NFC championship game creates a need for an athlete like Thompson.
  31. New Orleans Saints – Cameron Erving, Florida State C/G – The Saints sent Guard Ben Grubbs to Kansas City in a trade and watched as former pro bowler Jahri Evans struggled mightily this season. The Saints are clearly making way for the future. Reestablishing a strong offensive line will be essential for the rebuilding project for the Saints. Erving is a fine athlete with experience at Guard and Center.
  32. New England Patriots – P.J. Williams, Florida State CB – NFL scouts are high on Byron Jones for his athleticism. Bill Belichick has stated time and time he again he values: “football players” over size/speed guys. Williams played big at Florida State’s national championship game and can contribute immediately on Belichick’s defense.

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