NFL

2015 NFL Mock Draft

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On Thursday April 30th, the NFL will be hosting the annual Draft, when players from all over the country will be hoping and praying that they hear their name before Mr. Irrelevant is announced. These players have played multiple games, done many workouts, and have met with potential coaches all to prepare for this weekend. For some, it will be a step in a new life. For others, it will begin their life after football. This weekend is momentous weekend for all involved. Who is your team going to pick?

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

Winston has long been the favorite to land in Tampa, though they are making rounds, with Marcus Mariota in for a visit March 16th. The union between the team and Winston is just to0 strong not mock him here. Tampa has been searching for a franchise quarterback ever since Trent Dilfer left after the 1999 season. Winston just got done spending three days at the Tampa facilities, so it seems like this projection is very likely to come to fruition

2. Tennessee Titans: Leonard Williams, DT, USC

The Titans, like most teams that pick in the Top 5, have many holes all over the field. They have added some starters in free agency, my favorite being safety Da’Norris Searcy, but they still need help defensively. Many people have said they could pick Mariota here, but they drafted Zach Mettenberger last year. I think that they go after the best available player here and that is Williams. He is a very impressive run stopper and can contribute to the pass rushing game. He is an all around solid defensive tackle, doing pretty much everything well.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Dante Fowler Jr, DE/OLB, Florida

The Jaguars have been very active during free agency trying to build their defense. They dished out money to Dan Skuta, Davon House, and Jared Odrick to help give a boost to the 26th rank defensive team in the league. One thing that is missing from their offseason shopping spree is a dominant pass rusher. Dante Fowler is one of the best passing rushers in this draft. He is as not as explosive as Randy Gregory, but Gregory is small for the NFL, weight wise. Fowler had a fantastic combine and is a really terrific player.

4. Oakland Raiders: Kevin White, WR, West Virginia

The Raiders have seemed to have finally found their quarterback of the future in Derek Carr. Now, they need to add weapons around him so he can flourish under Jack Del Rio. Amari Cooper was my top wide receiver until Kevin White showed up to the combine. And I mean showed up! This kid is freak athlete and has the size and strength to be an elite wideout in the league. Pairing Carr and White has the making of a great tandem for many years to come. Now they just need a running back.

5. Washington Redskins: Randy Gregory, DE/OLB, Nebraska

The Redskins need a pass rusher, and badly. They were ranked 23rd in sacks this past season, but that number could be deceiving since Ryan Kerrigan had 13.5 of them. Kerrigan has become a fixture in the Redskins front 7, but they need someone opposite of him. Gregory might be a little on the small size, weighing 235 pounds, but is one of the most explosive players in this year’s draft. His first step is unreal and would make any defensive scarier for any quarterback. This would be a great pick up for the Redskins.

6. New York Jets: Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon

This is the place where I think Mariota will finally fall. Will it be to the Jets? I have no idea, but if he slides past the 5th pick, you can guarantee that New York’s phones will be ringing off the hook. Mariota has the size and speed to be a good NFL quarterback. The questions that surround him are about his ability to run a pro style offense. He was fantastic running the spread for the Ducks this season, but will that translate to the Pros? That is the million dollar question.

7. Chicago Bears: Danny Shelton, DT, Washington

When John Fox took the Chicago job, one thing was certain; Fox had to fix the defense. The Bears defense was atrocious all season. Defense wins championships, but with that defense, this team will likely never make the playoffs. Choosing Shelton, the best nose guard in the entire draft, would give the Bears a defensive anchor for years to come. He is a hole plugger and is strong enough to take multiple blockers on at once. This would be a great start to rebuilding this defense.

8. Atlanta Falcons: Shane Ray, DE, Missouri

Atlanta, like many of the teams picking above, had inconsistencies all over the field. Their number one priority in the draft should be addressing their pass rushing need. Shane Ray is the best 4-3 defensive end in the draft and has a knack for getting after the quarterback. He is a perfect pick for their front and could really make some noise. He has an attitude that comes with him, which is good. Atlanta needs to get tougher on the front 7 and Ray is definitely a start.

9. New York Giants: Brandon Scherff, G/T, Iowa

The Giants offensive line has been atrocious for the past couple of years. Scherff is an fantastic run blocker and could really improve a Giants run game that lacked any star power this season. I saw him play first hand and he is a true mauler. He is very physical in his attack and gets to the second level very quickly. The Giants could play him at guard or at tackle, which would mean moving Justin Pugh to the inside. This is not a sexy move, but is a move that will really help the Giants offensively.

10. St. Louis Rams: Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama

With the strength of the Rams coming on the defensive side of the ball, they need to go offense with this pick. The Rams have needs on the offensive line, but with a play-maker like Cooper available, they have to take him. Cooper would automatically become their number one receiver and give some much needed help to the newly acquired Nick Foles. Cooper is a very good route runner and has very good hands, making him a great pick at the tenth spot. This would be a steal for the Rams.

11. Minnesota Vikings: Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State

The Vikings have a slowly improving defense under the instructions of Mike Zimmer. They could use another defensive back. With the league wide movement to draft lengthy corners, Waynes fits what Zimmer wants to do with the defense. When Zimmer was with the Bengals, they drafted many lengthy corners like Darqueze Dennard and Dre Kirkpatrick. Waynes is arguably the best corner in the draft and would definitely by able to step right in and contribute to the team.

12. Cleveland Browns: Devante Parker, WR, Louisville

The Browns need receivers. The leading receiver for the team, Andrew Hawkins, does not have the size to be a number one receiver, but more of a slot receiver. Devante Parker has some of the best hands in the class. He has only registered 3 drops since the year 2012. He doesn’t have elite speed, but has huge big play ability. He always catches the ball at it highest point, which is great against lengthy corners. I think the Browns will be very happy with this pick.

13. New Orleans Saints: Arik Armstead, DL, Oregon

The Saints have a real need at the defensive line position. The best lineman they have, Cameron Jordan, has a contract for the 2015 season, but, with the awful cap situation the Saints are in, it seems unlikely that they will be able to resign a player of his caliber. Armstead is a very raw player but the intangibles are all there. He is 6’7″ and 292 pounds. That is a fantastic canvas to start with. The Saints could be taking a risk with this pick, but that risk could really, really pay off.

14. Miami Dolphins: Marcus Peters, CB, Washington

Marcus Peters is the most controversial prospect with first round potential. He was a sure fire first round prospect, but was kicked off the team due to behavior detrimental to the team. In his interviews, he seemed to own up to his failures and admitted he has grown as a person. On the field, he is the best cornerback in the draft. He has really flexible hips and is the definition of a ballhawk. He would really fit well next to Brent Grimes and would really help make a dominant secondary for Dolphins

15. San Francisco 49ers: Benardrick McKinney, ILB, Mississippi State

With the retirements of Patrick Willis and Chris Borland, the 49ers are searching for a new leader of the defense. McKinney is a great choice to fill the void. He is a strong run stopper with speed that allows him to chase after the play. He is a very strong tackler and his leadership skills are uncanny. He was the heart and soul of the MSU defense this year and has a solid understanding of the game. He would be the perfect candidate to leader the San Francisco defense.

16. Houston Texans: Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Oklahoma

DGB is an unreal athlete. At 6’5″ and almost 240 pounds, he ran a 4.49 40 yard dash. When he runs, it looks as if he is not even trying. The Texans, after losing Andre Johnson, signed Cecil Shorts III, but could still use some help. DGB gives them a real threat, even though he is so raw. The height and speed combination he has is unheard of. He could develop into a big time red-zone threat for this team. If he can reach his full potential, he could be a ridiculous steal in the draft.

17. San Diego Chargers: Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford

The Chargers could use a right tackle to pair with King Dunlap, who has blossomed into a very good left tackle for them. In drafting Peat, San Diego can easily move DJ Fluker inside, allowing him to be the mauler that he is. Peat has a great amount of flexibility in is hips and has great bend in his knees. He has a great first pass protection step and has the toughness to be a very good run blocker. He has long arms that help him lock out against his opponent. This would be a great value pick for the Chargers.

18. Kansas City Chiefs: La’El Collins, OG/OT, LSU

The Chiefs were able to go out and add three lineman this offseason in Ben Grubbs, Paul Faniaka, and Derek Sherrod, but Andy Reid always loves drafting offensive lineman early in the draft. Collins played tackle in college but seems like he will be bumped inside in the pros. He is a tough mauler, a great attribute for interior lineman in the league today. He is a great run blocker and never allows his opponent to get away when engaged. I think Jamaal Charles will love this pick.

19. Cleveland Browns: Malcolm Brown, DT, Texas

With their first pick, the Browns addressed their need for a receiver. Devante Parker will be perfect for that offense. With the 19th pick, they address their front seven and bring in some much needed toughness. Malcolm Brown had a really good season for the Longhorns. He is a very smart player with a high football IQ. He has an explosive first step and has a great knack for pass rushing, which is very unique for a tackle. He adds much needed toughness to that front 7 and Browns fans will fall in love with his work ethic.

20. Philadelphia Eagles: Landon Collins, S, Alabama

The Eagles have been one of the most active teams this offseason. They have a new quarterback, runningback, linebacker and a cornerback. The could easily go wide receiver with this pick, but Chip Kelly wants to build his defense first. Collins would be a great upgrade over Nate Allen and Earl Wolff. He is a great tackler and like to come down to become the eighth player in the box. He is a downhill safety and really plays well against the run and short passes. He lacks elite speed in coverage, but he would easily make the Eagles secondary formidable.

21. Cincinnati Bengals: Bud Dupree, DE/OLB, Kentucky

The Bengals recently added Michael Johnson to help solidify their pass rushing need, but could still use another player capable of getting after the quarterback. Bud Dupree is an incredible athlete, running a 4.56 40 at the Combine. He has the ability to rush the quarterback, but, if need be, can cover a tight end with ease. He was the team captain last season and has always been recognized for being a great player, on and off the field. This would give the Bengals a huge boost to their stable of pass rushers.

22. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jalen Collins, CB, LSU

The Steelers have one of the worst secondaries in the entire league and haven’t made a move this offseason to address the issue. Picking Jalen Collins would be a huge upgrade to the back end of the defense in Pittsburgh. Collins is a very long corner with strength and speed. He is a good tackler that isn’t afraid of stepping up in the run game. He has the length to compete and win most of the toss ups in the air and has the speed to make up for mistakes he makes. This would help the Steelers to start the much needed rebuild of their secondary.

23. Detroit Lions: Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia

The Lions have Joique Bell as their starter right now, but he is not a 3 down back, more of a change of pace back. Todd Gurley is coming off of an ACL injury last year and does have some off the field concerns, but has huge potential. He has very powerful legs and runs with immense power and a low pad level. He easily runs through arm tackles and has home run speed. He is a downhill runner, usually making a decisive cut and following his blockers. He would be a great pick for a team looking for a legitimate run attack.

24. Arizona Cardinals: Stephone Anthony, LB, Clemson

Unless Daryl Washington is reinstated, the Cardinals have a very big hole at the inside linebacker position. They went out and got Sean Weatherspoon, but he has played more than 900 snaps in only two seasons. Anthony is one of my favorite players in the draft. He is the ideal size for inside and plays under control, which is a huge bonus. He has legitimate side line to side line speed and finishes all of his tackles. With this pick, the Cardinals have a more dependable option for the leader of their defense.

25. Carolina Panthers: Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami

The Panthers need O-line help. They signed Michael Oher in the offseason, but with the way he played last season, he is not a huge upgrade over Byron Bell. Ereck Flowers would be a great pick here and one you could plug right in to protect Cam Newton’s blindside. He is as strong as an ox, putting up 37 reps with 225 pounds at the Combine. He has very quick feet in the passing game and is a mauler in the run game. He stays low and finishes his block, something that would make Ron Rivera a very happy coach.

26. Baltimore Ravens: Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest

The Ravens have many needs, but I think their biggest one is in the secondary. They have been looking for an Ed Reed replacement ever since he left, but this safety class is very weak. So they go corner and pick Johnson, who has seen his stock rise over the past couple of weeks. He plays very good man-to-man defense and consistently plays square. He plays with a low pad level and has very flexible hips, able to flip them with ease.

27. Dallas Cowboys: Jordan Phillips, DT, Oklahoma

The Cowboys need to build their defensive line like they have built the offensive line. For a team looking for some beef on the front line of their defense, Jordan Phillips would be the perfect fit. He is well built and has a massive frame, with his measurables coming in a 6’5″ and 329 pounds. He has the ability to eat two holes and allow the other players on the field to make the plays. Even though he is a massive specimen, he is very athletic and able to rush the quarterback if needed. This would be a perfect fit for a very depleted defensive line.

28. Denver Broncos: T.J. Clemmings, G/T, Pittsburgh

Clemmings is one of the more raw players in this draft, as he started his career in the defensive side of the ball. He is long, very athletic, and able to play both inside and out, even though he only played tackle at Pitt. He is a very mean player, though he does lack the technique on pass protection. He does a great job of picking up the blitzers and moving his feet, which is very important this day and age in the NFL. The Broncos lost Orlando Franklin this offseason, so Clemmings would be able to come in and try to replace him.

29. Indianapolis Colts: Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson

The Colts could use a good pass rusher, and Beasley would really love good in a Colts uniform. Beasley has incredible explosiveness, usually being the first off the ball. He plays with a low pad level and is able to dip and turn the corner around tackles. He has very quick hands to help deflect the blockers arms and has a good amount of strength. A former running back, Beasley has the speed and quickness to make lineman whiff on their blocks.

30. Green Bay Packers: Eric Kendricks, ILB, UCLA

With the release of both A.J. Hawk and Brad Jones, the Packers look quite thin at the inside linebacker position. Kendricks, the brother of budding star and Eagles linebacker Mychal, is a very sound inside player. A very good downhill player, he is good at meeting the runner in the hole. He is a very productive tackler, something the Packers seemed to have struggled with last year. He has some coverage ability and has a nose for the football. He would represent a nice upgrade over Hawk and Jones.

31. New Orleans Saints (from Seattle): Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota

Addressing their defensive need with their first pick, the Saints go offense here to find a replacement for Jimmy Graham. Williams had a good year for the Gophers, catching 36 balls for 569 yards and 8 touchdowns. Williams has speed to beat linebackers and safeties. He has a very strong base that allows him to run very clean routes and not get pushed around easily. He is a big red-zone target and will win 50/50 balls. The Saints have a need and Williams fills it quite nicely.

32. New England Patriots: Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida

Losing Vince Wilfork, the Patriots are on the prowl for a nose guard. Eddie Goldman has the makings a of very successful zero technique in this league. He has a very powerful upper body, meaning he has the ability to take on multiple blockers at one time. He has very violent and active hands, which allows him to shed blockers and make plays in the backfield. He does not have a very consistent pass rushing game, but at the nose guard position, he won’t be asked to do that. He will come right in a make the Patriots a younger, scarier defensive front 7.

Photo creds: rantsports.com

 

 

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