Wednesday, April 29, 2015

2015 NFL Mock Draft - Round 1

My best guess at what will transpire on Thursday night...

1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State - Ho hum.

2. Cleveland Browns: [projected trade] Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon - Here's where the draft starts to get interesting. Someone is going to trade up for the Duck. The question is whom. My money's on the Browns. They have the ammo (two first rounders) to get the job done, and they have the gaping hole at the quarterback position. I've never seen a team so obviously want to trade the second pick. And for the life of me, I can't figure out what the Titans are thinking if they actually believe Zach Mettenberger is the answer. The Browns will take advantage.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia - The Jags pulled off the shock of the first round last year when they grabbed Blake Bortles seemingly out of nowhere. Here. We. Go. Again. I think all of the "Amari Cooper to the Jaguars" stories are bogus. Do I have any proof? Of course not, but it seems like a classic smokescreen from a notoriously secretive team. Gurley is an ideal fit for this team assuming his medicals have checked out. Upgrading from the horrible TG (Toby Gerhart) to this one might be worth three wins alone for the Jags this year.

4. Oakland Raiders: Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama - If this scenario unfolds, the Raiders would wind up with the top player on my board. Cooper and Carr could actually form a nice QB-WR combo which Oakland fans haven't seen since the Jamarcus Russell-Zach Miller days. Wait, those days weren't good? Ok, then since the Rich Gannon-Tim Brown days. Yes, it's been a while.

5. New Orleans Saints: [projected trade] Leonard Williams, DL, USC - The Saints have some extra picks thanks to the slew of offseason dumpster fire trades made by Mickey Loomis (Jimmy Graham, Kenny Stills). They can package a few of the picks - maybe numbers 12 and 75 - to move up and fill a need on the defensive front. The Redskins need help in the secondary but no defensive backs warrant a selection this high in the draft.

6. New York Jets: Dante Fowler, Jr, DE/OLB, Florida - The Jets need a QB but should resist the urge to sell the farm for a chance to select Winston or Mariota. Fowler would be a great consolation prize in this scenario as a disruptive DE/OLB player that can do it all. They can focus on the offensive side of the ball later (please let Melvin Gordon slip into Round 2).

7. Chicago Bears: Kevin White, WR, West Virginia - If the Bears are going all-in on Jay Cutler (bahahaahaha), they should at least try to put him in a position to succeed. With Brandon Marshall gone, they can put White opposite Alshon Jeffrey and hope the talented Mountaineer can thrive as a number two option.

8. Atlanta Falcons: Vic Beasley, DE, Clemson - Nicknamed "Beastly" for his freakish measurables, I think he'll be better known as a "Bustly" before it's all said and done. He doesn't make enough plays for me to get on board with taking him in the top 10, but the Falcons are desperate for help at the position. Desperation + squinting real hard to make someone fit + Combine freak = trouble.

9. New York Giants: Landon Collins, S, Alabama - This might be a bit of an overdraft, but it's a perfect fit.

10. St. Louis Rams: Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa - If the draft unfolds this way, the Rams will have their pick of offensive linemen. I'm guessing they go with the Hawkeye.

11. Minnesota Vikings: Davante Parker, WR, Louisville - This is almost too perfect as Parker was Teddy Bridgewater's running mate in college. Worked then, can it work now?

12. Tennessee Titans: [projected trade] Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford - Slides into the starting right tackle spot.

13. Washington Redskins: [projected trade] Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State

14. Miami Dolphins: Marcus Peters, CB, Parts Unknown

15. San Francisco 49ers: Denzel Perryman, LB, Miami - The '9ers need to find that Patrick Willis replacement, if that's even possible. Perryman will do what he can, but those are some huge shoes to fill.

16. Houston Texans: Damarious Randall, S, Arizona State

17. San Diego Chargers: Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin - Crushing my hopes as a Jets fan.

18. Kansas City Chiefs: Arik Armstead, DE, Oregon - Need to start planning for life after Tamba Hali.

19. Tennessee Titans (via Bills via Browns): [projected trade] Shane Ray, DE, Missouri - Ray was in the top-10 conversation, but then a lady named Mary Jane caught his attention three days before draft. Good timing for the Titans, perhaps.

20. Philadelphia Eagles: Eric Rowe, S, Utah - Buzzkill Central. After all the Mariota chatter, the Eagles faithful would be extremely disappointed with this outcome, although I don't think Chip cares too much.

21. Cincinnati Bengals: Randy Gregory, DE, Nebraska - I'll take Character Concerns for 800, Alex. This guy is perfect for the Bengals in a lot of ways, need, off-field trouble, and comes from a big school to name three.

22. Pittsburgh Steelers: Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest - He can't tackle to save his life, but he can defend the pass. At 22, you can't have it all.

23. Detroit Lions: Danny Shelton, DT, Washington

24. Arizona Cardinals: Maxx Williams, TE, Arizona

25. Carolina Panthers: Jake Fisher, OT, Oregon

26. Baltimore Ravens: Nelson Agholor, WR, USC

27. Dallas Cowboys: Malcolm Brown, DT, Texas - Some home cooking.

28. Denver Broncos: Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami

29. Indianapolis Colts: Eric Kendricks, LB, UCLA

30. Green Bay Packers: Bud Dupree, OLB, Kentucky

31. New Orleans Saints (via Seahawks): Shaq Thompson, LB, Washington

32. New England Patriots: Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Oklahoma via Missouri