The Bucs use this pick on what they hope to be the future of their franchise. The team was re-tooled at WR and TE with Mike Evans and Austin Seferian-Jenkins in 2014 and will now go all-in on a signal caller that can get them the ball. Winston had a bit of a down year after his freshman year Heisman campaign, but will look to prove naysayers wrong by taking his talents to Tampa.
There is a lot of speculation swirling around that Marcus Mariota will the 2nd overall pick this year, but I’m not buying it totally yet. Mettenberger hasn’t gotten a fair shot at the starting gig in Tennessee. So that leaves us with Williams, who fills another huge postion of need for the Titans. Williams is likely the “safest” pick in this draft and should immediately team up with Jurrell Casey to foritfy their defensive front.
I think Fowler is the most dominant and versatile pass rusher in this class, much like Khalil Mack in 2014. Adding him to the Jaguars front seven will quickly turn their already stout defense into a force to be reckoned with. Bortles gets one more year to prove he can be the guy on offense with a strong defense keeping the ball in his hands.
Many pundits believe that Kevin White is the best WR in the class, but I still, for the time being, am siding with Amari Cooper. He is a multiple year SEC proven WR that just makes catches, over and over and over. He has the speed, size, hands and route tree to make David Carr’s job a lot easier.
The Redskins went all-in for RGIII just a mere 3 years ago but he has proven very little and is only signed through the 2015 season. Both Mike Shannahan and Bruce Allen are no longer in Washington and the new brass may be looking to move on. Enter Marcus Mariota, in many ways the polar opposite of RGIII. Mariota has some holes to his game, but he quiet, hardworking demeanor may be exactly what the Nation’s Capital needs.
Calvin Pace is getting old and Quiton Coples for all intensive purposes has not lived up to his draft status. The Jets filled a lot of their roster holes this offseason through trades and FA signings. So with both of the top two quarterbacks off the board they look to improve other areas on their team by selecting Vic Beasley. Beasley is a very athletic edge rusher that could give many of the aging AFCE offensive lines fits early on.
The Bears gamble of trading away oft-malcontent Brandon Marshall pays off as the extremely gifted Kevin White falls into their lap on draft day. White has limited game experience, as he only played two seasons at West Virginia, but exploded onto the scene in 2014 and may be a nice compliment to the big bodied Alshon Jeffrey.
The Falcons added a lot of pass rush types this offseason, but I still think this remains a priority for them. Shane Ray could potentially go higher than this which likely makes him a great value for the Falcons at 8 if he makes it here. Paired with newcomers Brooks Reed and Adrian Clayborn, the Falcons will have shored up their pass rush.
The safety spot is extremely barren for the Giants as it stands right now and Landon Collins is considered far and away the best safety prospect in this class. Alabama DBs have had a tough go of it recently in the NFL, but Collins will look to reverse the trend. He hits like a freight train and will quickly add an edge to the Giants defensive backfield.
As it stands, the Rams defense may be considered one of the most stacked units in the league. I expect most of their draft capital to be spent on the offensive side of the ball. So they start with one of the most important positions on that side of the ball, offensive line. Scherff is widely considered the top OL prospect of the draft and has flexibility to fill both a tackle or guard spot.
The Vikings drafted their franchise signal caller in 2014, but they need to give him more than recent acquisition Mike Wallace to throw to. Parker is a big, strong target that just so happened to be receiving passes from Teddy Bridgewater in 2013. Can’t draw up a better scenario for the Vikings.
Tempting to mock Dorial Green-Beckham to the Browns, it would fit all too well wouldn’t it? But hopefully the organization has learned from recent missteps. Gregory is a full-tilt pass rusher that could replace the loss of Jabaal Sheard as well as make the overpaid Paul Kruger expendable after 2015. ***Mocked Gregory here prior to the results of his combine drug test being released, this will likely change in the future.***
I’m not even sure the Saints know what they are doing this offseason anymore with all their mindboggling moves, but the first step is definitely infusing young talent on cheap contracts. They start up front with the mammoth of a man Danny Shelton, adding an anchor to their very porous run defense.
It’s no mystery that the Dolphins are in need of some quality along their offensive line. The line has been in tatters since BullyGate two years ago. Enter La’el Collins from LSU who should be able to enter preseason as an immediate starter at either a guard or tackle spot. Collins brings a bit of a mean streak to his game, but more in a Logan Mankins type of way than a Richie Incognito way.
The 49ers have taken a lot of hits to their defensive unit this offseason with early retirements but they get lucky in the first round as the top cornerback prospect in the draft falls to the middle of the first round and right into their laps. Waynes has great size and is extremely fast, he’ll fit right into the 49ers physical defensive style.
I think Dorial Beckham-Green actually should be the pick here, but I have a feeling he falls come draft day. Breshad Perriman is a solid alternative, with decent size and extreme athleticism. Perriman has burst onto the first round scene recently as Mike Mayock named him one of his favorite prospects in the draft. Never hurts to have a Dad that played WR for 10 years in the NFL either.
Gurley is a very risky pick at this point in the draft. His talent is absolutely undeniable, but no one knows if the player that once was, will still be around after he recovers from his ACL injury. Gurley has a very high ceiling and runs with exteme power and vision. If pans out, he will be a perfect fit in San Diego where the RB situation has been quite unstable the last few years.
The Chiefs’ offensive line could use several upgrades and none would be more immediate than Peat. Peat is about as plug-n-play as it gets in this year’s draft. He will give flexibility up and down the line but projects to be a long-term right or left tackle in the NFL. Peat has NFL bloodlines as well, Dad played in the NFL for 6 years.
If Johnny Manziel, or whoever is name starting QB for the Brown, is going to have any chance at surviving 2015, the Browns are going to need to find a tackle opposite of All-Pro stalwart Joe Thomas. Humphries is a physically imposing tackle and plays like it. He should easily be able to earn the RT job in camp.
This pick fills both a need and what seems to be a fetish for Chip Kelly as he picks up another one of his former players. Armstead is a bit of a project but has a massive frame to fill out. More pressure from the trenches may help what was one of the worst secondaries in football last year.
Erving is one of the most versatile offensive lineman in the draft, but his move to center this year was a wise career choice as he solidified the position snapping the ball to Jameis Winston. Russell Bodine is not the answer at center for the Bengals who will look to protect their 100 million dollar investment.
The once vaunted Steelers defense is a shell of its former self as the superstars continue to age and retire. Kevin Johnson is a press man corner with great measurables who could serve as a replacement if Ike Taylor is not with the team in 2015.
Pairing Brown with recent addition Haloti Ngata could make the Lions’ defensive line a greater force than last year when it had the Nick Fairly and Ndamukung Suh. Brown is one of the younger players in the draft at 21 years old and has huge potential after a big imrpovement from 2013 to 2014. No one better to learn the position from than Ngata.
The Cardinals had a very good defense last year that allowed them to limp into the playoffs even with Carson Palmer going down. Eddie Goldman would immediately jump toward the top of their DT depth chart solidifying their run defense. He is a massive presence with limited pass rush ability, but for the blitz happy Cardinals, that’s all they need.
The Panthers could potentially spend their entire draft on the offensive line this year. Cam Newton has taken a beating since entering the league and if they want him to be a long-term part of their plan, they need to keep him from getting hit so often. Flowers played both tackle spots in college and should be able to enter 2015 as a starter.
Collins may be one of the most raw players in the early stages of the draft. He only started 10 games in college, but his abilities and talent are fairly undeniable. The Ravens have a knack for getting the most of their defensive draft picks. The Ravens had Lardarius Webb and Jimmy Smith, but neither has been a picture of health the last few years.
Dupree is one of the most physically gifted athletes in this class. He has drawn a lot of comparisons to Jamie Collins as far as his potential goes, but just like Collins he will have some work to do to get there. Good coaching and the right situation could turn this guy into a superstar.
Just like the loss of Vince Wilfork for the Patriots, no longer having Terrence Knighton in the middle of their defensive line leaves the Broncos with a very large hole to fill. Jordan Phillips is a massive man that should fill that hole very well. Clogging up the middle will allow DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller to really pin their ears back and get to opposing QBs.
The Colts can’t tackle. It is on display everytime a mediocre Patriots running back takes them for a 150+ yard, multiple touchdown ride. Kendricks is a productive, fast and hardnosed sideline to sideline LB that will bring a playmaker to the middle of a defense that sorely needs it.
The Packers find their Tramon Williams replacement with the big and physical Peters. Peters had off-field issues and was kicked off the Washington Huskies squad in 2014 but still remains one of the top CB talents in the draft. At #30, he is as boom or bust as they come.
This could turn out to be an interesting experiment. The Saints take the top TE in the class with the draft pick they received in compensation for Jimmy Graham. Williams will enter a pass first offense and could produced immediately. Graham will be in a run first offense and should see a significant drop in his production. We could quickly know who comes out on top of this trade.
Everyone saw this coming. Linebacker isn’t exactly a top need but there is limited value in OTs and DTs with so many coming off the board so early. Thompson is a do-it-all player as he played LB, RB and S in college. Belichick would have great use for a skill set like this in the new-age speed driven NFL game. He also has a nose for the ball as he forces a lot of turnovers and turns them into points, evidenced by his 4 defensive TDs in 2014.