2015 NFL Draft: 10 Predictions Sure To Go Wrong
The NFL Draft is one the most exciting times of the year for football fans. While the offseason the longest of any sport, the draft acts as an oasis for fans to help break up the grueling seven-month stretch of no football. One of the most exciting aspects of the draft is the sheer unpredictability. Despite predictions from numerous experts, no one really knows what will happen until the picks are in. Each year the draft is littered by numerous trades, players stuck in the draft green room much longer than expected, and the “who is that?” picks of the first rounds. Having said that, here are ten bold predictions for the 2015 NFL Draft:
- There will be at least three quarterbacks taken in the first round:
While just about all draft pundits are predicting just two quarterbacks (Marcus Mariota of Oregon and Jameis Winston of Florida State) to go in the first round of the draft, I firmly believe at least three will go in the first round. Why? Teams get desperate for quarterbacks and tend to overdraft them, even if it means taking them in the first round. Previous quarterbacks selected way before they were projected include EJ Manuel 16th overall by the Bills in the 2013 draft as well as Christian Ponder 12th overall by the Vikings in the 2012 draft. The most likely candidate to make it into the first round is UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley. Hundley, who was a borderline first round pick last year, decided toreturn for his senior season, and hurt his stock a bit. Look for him to get picked somewhere in the 20s by a team who missed out on both Mariota and Winston.
2. Dorial Green-Beckham will be the best wide receiver in the draft:
Beckham, who is arguably the most talented wide receiver in this draft, is being projected to be a 2nd-3rd round pick by most draft experts. Beckham is a former five star recruit and number one overall prospect by Rivals.com. While his talent is undeniable, it is his off the field issues that are scaring teams away. While at the University of Missouri Beckham was arrested on a drug charge and then ultimately dismissed from the team after allegedly assaulting a woman. Look for a team like the Patriots with a strong coaching staff and front office to take him on and help turn him into a superstar. If not, we could be looking at Josh Gordon 2.0.
3. Danny Shelton will be the best defensive player in the draft:
Shelton, the University of Washington product, is one of the fastest risers in mock drafts and it’s easy to see why. The defensive tackle has both size and speed and is able to penetrate into the backfield with ease. He is an every down defensive lineman who will command double teams and free up his teammates on the defensive line. Look for Shelton to make an impact similar to last years Defesnsive Rookie of the YEar winner and St. Louis Rams DT, Aaron Donald.
4. The University of Miami will have the most first round picks in the draft
While you would think one of the top teams in the nation such as Ohio State or Alabama would have the most first round picks, it is actually the Miami Hurricanes projected to have the most in Mel Kiper’s latest mock draft. While the Hurricanes season finished with a disappointing 6-7 record, there is no shortage of Miami Hurricane talent entering the draft this year. With the emergence of Senior Bowl star Philip Dorsett, Ereck Flowers, and Denzel Perryman, the Hurricanes have a good shot at having three players go in the first round.
5. Marcus Mariota slips down to the Jets at Number Six overall:
With a bit of luck, the Jets are able to land their franchise quarterback while staying put at sixth overall. All signs point towards the Tampa Bay Buccaneers taking Jameis Winston with the number one overall pick. Looking at the teams next in line, the Titans are showing indications that they are confident in Zach Mettenberg as their franchise quarterback. Moving on to the next couple of picks, the Jaguars and Raiders have already invested high picks last year in promising quarterbacks. That leaves just the Redskins, where head coach Jay Gruden has already publicly stated Robert Griffin is the starter next year. Look for the Jets to get their guy.
6. Kevin White will be the first Wide Receiver taken in the draft:
If there is one thing the Raiders are known to love, it’s speed. White, the explosive wide receiver out of West Virginia, not only posses that with a 4.35 40 time, but also has ideal size at 6”4. Look for the Raiders to pull a stunner and take Kevin White with the 4th overall selection ahead of Alabama wide receivers Amari Cooper, who has long been considered the gem of the wide receiver crop.
7. Defensive End Randy Gregory falls out of the top 10:
The University of Nebraska product has long been considered one of the top prospects in this draft. Gregory is predicted to go as high as second overall by some draft experts. However, he is extremely raw, and will need to be “coached” to reach elite status at the next level. The other issue that will scare teams away is his size. While he has ideal height at 6”5, he is thin as a rail at only 235 pounds. He will need to put on at least 30-40 pounds to hang with the big boys in the NFL. However, with his upside, look for a team drafting in the teens to be more than happy to take a gamble on him.
8. No Offensive Lineman will be taken in the Top 10:
Last year there was a surplus of blue chip offensive lineman prospects; however this year there is a big drop off in talent. In 2014, there were three elite offensive tackle prospects in Greg Robinson, Jake Matthews, and Taylor Lewan to go with a very good tackle/guard prospect with versatility in Zach Martin. This led to three lineman going in the top 11 and Martin going 16th overall to the Dallas Cowboys. When you look at this year’s draft, the top lineman is Brandon Scherff. However, Scherff is being projected by most experts as a guard. It will be difficult for teams to justify a top 10 pick on a player who most likely won’t even be a tackle. Other top tackles such as Miami’s Ereck Flowers, Pittsburgh’s T.J. Clemmings, and Stanford's Audrus Peat are talented but considered projects that are more likely to go in the mid to late first round.
9. The 2015 NFL Draft will set the record for most first round trades:
With only two “elite” QB prospects and a draft filled with mostly red chip players, the 2015 draft may very well set the record for most first round trades. Look for teams panicking to try to nab either Winston or Mariotta. Meanwhile, not seeing a huge difference in talent in the top 10 and in the mid-20s other teams will be looking to trade down to amass more picks. There should be a lot of movement on the first night of the draft.
10. Expect the unexpected:
No matter what any expert says or “inside sources” claim we never really know how the draft will shake out until it actually happens. Every year a player who no one thought would get drafted until day two or three sneaks into the first round, and on the other side of the coin there is always a player or two stuck waiting in the green room much longer than expected. The draft is one of the most entertaining events of the year and a true treat for football fans everywhere. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride!