Movie Quote of the Day:
“Let’s go over the ground rules. Rule #1: No touching of the hair or face…AND THAT’S IT!”
– Ron Burgundy, Anchorman (2004)
The NFL Draft is finally today! I’m too excited, I’ve waited for this day since the Super Bowl ended, with free agency as a nice bonus in between. The NFL Draft is always one of my favorite times of the sports calendar. I love to see which teams pick which prospects and where those prospects fall in the draft. I find the whole process fascinating. I watched the entire NFL Draft last year from start to finish. Needless to say my brain was fried from draft coverage and I heard Mel Kiper Jr.’s voice in my head for the next week.
The whole offseason has revolved around mock drafts for myself. I’ve enjoyed looking at different mock drafts every week. Finally, this year, I decided to create my own mock draft for a change. I hope everyone enjoys and keeps the criticism to a minimum since it’s my first mock draft.
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – QB Jameis Winston, Florida State
6’4 231 lbs.
Tampa Bay is desperate for a quarterback. Winston is the best quarterback on the board. I know he’s got his off the field issues, but he’s still a rare talent. I would be sold on Winston as an NFL quarterback if it weren’t for his off the field issues. Head coach Lovie Smith seems like the kind of coach that could keep Winston in line.
2. Tennessee Titans – QB Marcus Mariota, Oregon
6’4 222 lbs.
Tennessee is in the same boat as Tampa Bay, they’re desperate for a quarterback, and Mariota is the next best quarterback on the draft board. I’m not as sold on Mariota as I am on Winston though. However, Tennessee needs him. I think Mariota has the potential to be a good NFL quarterback, especially if he has Ken Wisenhunt as his head coach. I’ve always been a believer in Wisenhunt.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars – DT Leonard Williams, USC
6’5 302 lbs.
I think defensive line is the only option for Jacksonville at this point in the draft order. Jacksonville probably needs an edge rusher. Williams isn’t an edge rusher, but he’s the best player in this draft. He’s going to be a future Pro Bowler in the NFL. Jacksonville needs help on the defensive line and Williams will only help improve that defense.
4. Oakland Raiders – WR Amari Cooper, Alabama
6’1 211 lbs.
Oakland quarterback Derek Carr seems to have what it takes to be a successful quarterback in the NFL. However, he needs weapons. This draft is deep with talent at the wide receiver position with Cooper and Kevin White being at the top of that list. As a WVU fan, I’m a huge fan of Kevin White, but I think Amari Cooper is the best playmaker, at the wide receiver position, in this draft. Cooper is the safest option for Oakland.
5. Washington Redskins – DE Dante Fowler, Florida
6’3 261 lbs.
Washington needs to improve that defense, this team lost a key pass rusher, Brian Orakpo, in free agency last month. Their other edge rusher, Ryan Kerrigan, is heading into the final year of his contract. So, after this season, Washington could be without two quality pass rushers in a division that has Tony Romo and Eli Manning. Fowler will help give opposing quarterbacks problems.
6. New York Jets – OLB Vic Beasley, Clemson
6’3 246 lbs.
This draft is deep with pass rushers. Calvin Pace is 34 years old and Quinton Coples has only accumulated 16.5 sacks in three seasons. They could use some pass rushers and Beasley would be a great fit. The Jets could also use some help on the offensive line, but I think they’re going to go with a pass rusher.
7. Chicago Bears – WR Kevin White, West Virginia
6’3 215 lbs.
Chicago needs all the help they can get on defense, but White is the best player available. Don’t forget that Chicago traded Brandon Marshall to the Jets. White would be a great replacement for Marshall and he’s nowhere near the headache. There’s still six more rounds that Chicago can use their picks to help that defense.
8. Atlanta Falcons – OLB Randy Gregory, Nebraska
6’5 235 lbs.
I think the fact that Gregory failed his drug test at the combine will cause his stock to fall tonight, even though Gregory is probably the best pass rusher in the draft. Atlanta needs defensive help and Gregory will immidiately help improve it.
9. New York Giants – OT Brandon Scherff, Iowa
6’5 319 lbs.
This is not a sexy pick for the Giants, but it’s very necessary. The Giants have to keep Eli Manning upright. We saw what happened last year when Dallas chose Zack Martin in the first round. Dallas went on to have the best offensive line in the league and that ended up helping the entire team. Scherff could add that same effect to the Giants.
10. St. Louis Rams – OT Andrus Peat, Stanford
6’7 313 lbs.
St. Louis released Jake Long and Scott Wells during free agency. They also acquired Nick Foles from Philadelphia. I think Foles is a good quarterback, I don’t think 2013 was a fluke. Without Long and Wells, St. Louis needs Peat to add help to the offensive line in order to keep Foles healthy.
11. Minnesota Vikings – WR DeVante Parker, Louisville
6’3 209 lbs.
Teddy Bridgewater looks like he has a bright future at quarterback in the NFL. Minnesota acquired Mike Wallace from Miami to help Bridgewater. Wallace has speed, but lacks size. I think Cordarrelle Patterson is only going to be a dynamic player in the kick return game. Minnesota could use a big body outside receiver and Parker is the best option.
12. Cleveland Browns – NT Danny Shelton, Washington
6’2 339 lbs.
Cleveland just missed the Cooper, White, and Parker options at wide receiver. Cleveland lost Ahtyba Rubin in free agency and could use someone to plug up holes on the defensive line. Shelton is the definition of a nose tackle and is a perfect fit for the 3-4 defense.
13. New Orleans Saints – DE Bud Dupree, Kentucky
6’4 269 lbs.
New Orleans could use a cornerback, but they already have Keenan Lewis and added Brandon Browner in free agency last month. So I don’t think that makes cornerback an immediate need in the draft. They need help rushing the passer and Dupree is the next best option for New Orleans.
14. Miami Dolphins – RB Todd Gurley
6’1 222 lbs.
I don’t feel the best about this pick, Miami can go in any direction at this point in the draft. It doesn’t look like the team is going to bring back Knowshon Moreno, and I don’t think Lamar Miller is the future at running back in Miami. Adding Gurley will really take the heat off of Ryan Tannehill. I know Gurley has had his injury issues, but if he’s healthy, Gurley is a future star in the NFL.
15. San Francisco 49ers – CB Trae Waynes, Michigan State
6’0 186 lbs.
San Francisco has had a lot of departures this offseason, therefore, there’s a lot of holes on the team. I’ve always believed that cornerback has been the biggest hole on that defense. The team lost Perrish Cox and Chris Culliver in free agency, the best remaining corner on the team is Tramaine Brock. Waynes is the top cornerback in this draft and can be a great option for San Francisco.
16. Houston Texans – OT La’el Collins
6’4 305 lbs.
Houston is a quarterback away from being a contender in the AFC South division. They have some decent quarterbacks on roster, Ryan Mallet and Brian Hoyer. With Houston’s defense, I believe those quarterbacks can be good enough to win games. However, they need to protect those quarterbacks. Collins will improve the offensive line in Houston.
17. San Diego Chargers – RB Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin
6’1 215 lbs.
This pick may be a bit of a reach, but San Diego lost Ryan Mathews in free agency. None of the running backs on roster are good enough to be an every down running back. Gordon is the second best running back on the board so I think they’d be smart to take him. Now, this draft is deep with running backs so San Diego might wait until later rounds to draft one.
18. Kansas City Chiefs – WR Jaelen Strong
6’2 217 lbs.
Kansas City completed the 2014 season without their wide receivers catching a single touchdown pass. Kansas City added Jeremy Maclin in free agency, but he’s not a #1 option at receiver. They need a big body outside wide receiver and Strong is the best one on the board.
19. Cleveland Browns (From Buffalo) – WR Breshad Perriman, UCF
6’2 212 lbs.
Josh Gordon was the only good receiver on this roster before getting suspended for the entire 2015 season. Cleveland added Dwayne Bowe and Brian Hartline in free agency, but Bowe hasn’t caught a touchdown pass since December of 2013 and Hartline’s production really slid last year in Miami. They need another option for whoever plays quarterback. Perriman really turned heads in the offseason and ran a 4.2 in the 40 yard dash. He’s got speed and size, and should be able to help that offense.
20. Philadelphia Eagles – SS Landon Collins, Alabama
6’0 228 lbs.
That Philadelphia defense was just awful last season and Chip Kelly has made the moves to help improve it, adding linebacker Kiko Alonso and cornerback Byron Maxwell. Philadelphia could probably use another cornerback opposite of Maxwell, but they need a strong safety just as much. Collins is the best safety in this draft class and he will really improve their secondary.
21. Cincinnati Bengals – DE Shane Ray, Missouri
6’3 245 lbs.
Ray was supposed to be a top ten pick, but since he got cited for marijuana this week, analysts have been saying that he’s going to drop to maybe the third round, but I don’t see it. He’s a top ten talent in this draft and Cincinnati could use another edge rusher opposite of Michael Johnson. With all of his off the field issues, he’s a perfect fit for Cincinnati.
22. Pittsburgh Steelers – CB Marcus Peters, Washington
6’0 197 lbs.
Pittsburgh has had all kinds of problems this offseason, particularly on defense. They lost Troy Polamalu, Jason Worilds, and Ike Taylor to retirement. They could go any direction with this pick, but I think they need to take a cornerback since all the good pass rushers and Landon Collins are off the board at this point. Peters is the best option at cornerback.
23. Detroit Lions – DT Arik Armstead, Oregon
6’7 292 lbs.
Detroit could use some help in the trenches on both sides of the ball, but they lost both Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley in free agency. They did acquire Haloti Ngata from Baltimore which will help that defensive line, but Ngata is 31 years old. Armstead is much younger and will be better replacement for Suh and Fairley in the long term.
24. Arizona Cardinals – DT Malcom Brown, Texas
6’2 319 lbs.
Arizona could use help at running back, but there’s no running backs on the board for this pick. Arizona lost Darnell Dockett and Dan Williams in free agency, which means that Arizona’s defensive line just got weaker. Williams is probably the biggest loss because now there’s only one nose tackle on roster in Arizona. Brown has a big body and can plug up holes, he could be a nice replacement for Williams.
25. Carolina Panthers – OT Ereck Flowers, Miami (FL)
6’6 329 lbs.
Cam Newton has been sacked 81 times in the last two seasons, but he still found a way to be a Pro Bowl quarterback in 2013, while also leading Carolina to the playoffs in the last two seasons. Carolina has to protect their franchise quarterback and I think offensive line is the only position Carolina should draft with this pick. Flowers is versatile and can play both tackle and guard.
26. Baltimore Ravens – WR Dorial Green-Beckham, Oklahoma
6’5 237 lbs.
Baltimore released Jacoby Jones and lost Torrey Smith in free agency. The only quality wide receiver left on roster is Steve Smith, who is 35 years old. Baltimore needs to get Joe Flacco some help. Green-Beckham has a ton of baggage from off the field issues, and that’s why I’m not certain that Baltimore will take him after the Ray Rice issue last year. However, Green-Beckham has a ton of talent and has a big body. He’d be a great outside receiver option for Baltimore in the future.
27. Dallas Cowboys – CB Kevin Johnson, Wake Forest
6’0 188 lbs.
Dallas could really use a pass rusher now that Greg Hardy is suspended for ten games this season. They could also use some depth at linebacker after losing Justin Durant and Bruce Carter in free agency, and also since Rolando McClain is suspended for the first four games this season. However, any linebacker or pass rusher is a reach at this point in the draft. Dallas could use some help in the secondary.
28. Denver Broncos – OL Cam Erving, Florida State
6’5 313 lbs.
Denver needs some help on the offensive line and Erving is the best player on the board at the offensive line position. Erving started out as a left tackle at Florida State and was moved to center this past season. He can play any position on the offensive line which makes him valuable.
29. Indianapolis Colts – OT DJ Humphries, Florida
6’5 307 lbs.
Indianapolis has a lot of areas of need, mainly defensive front seven and offensive line. Andrew Luck has been beaten up ever since becoming a quarterback in the NFL. I think the best move for Indianapolis is to draft Humphries and protect Luck.
30. Green Bay Packers – CB Byron Jones, Connecticut
6’1 199 lbs.
Green Bay has a lot of holes on defense now that they released AJ Hawk and Brad Jones and letting Tramon Williams walk during free agency. I think the biggest need for Green Bay is inside linebacker, but that position is a reach for this pick. With the loss of Williams, Green Bay could use some depth at cornerback. There’s plenty of talent at cornerback in this draft class and Byron Jones is the best option available.
31. New Orleans Saints (From Seattle) – CB Jalen Collins, LSU
6’1 203 lbs.
This pick may be a reach because I’ve never believed Collins to be a first round talent. However, New Orleans could really use depth at cornerback. Brandon Browner is 31 years old and he’s toward the end of his career. Collins can bring some youth to the position.
32. New England Patriots – NT Eddie Goldman, Florida State
6’4 336 lbs.
New England lost some key pieces to that defense from last season. The biggest loss was Darrelle Revis, but any cornerback is a reach for this pick. One of the biggest losses from that defense was Vince Wilfork. Goldman is a big body like Wilfork and will be a great replacement.
Thanks for reading
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