2015 1st Round NFL Mock Draft Volume 2.0 With Trades
With just three and a half weeks to go until the big weekend, I have decided to release my second mock draft. I also projected two blockbuster trades in this version that would really stir up the draft. The original mock draft can be found here:
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-14): Jameis Winston, Quarterback Florida State
As I mentioned in my previous mock draft, Winston will be too much for the Bucs to pass up on. While there are definitely questions on the defensive side of the ball, Winston’s potential as an elite quarterback will be too much for the Bucs to pass up on.
TRADE: Titans trade their 1st round pick (2nd Overall) to the Rams for their 2015 1st (2nd Overall) and 2nd Rounder and 2016 1st and 3rd Rounder
2. St. Louis Rams (6-10) Marcus Mariota, Quarterback Oregon
The Rams make a blockbuster deal to move up to the two spot to nab Marcus Mariota. The Rams have an elite defense and may be a quarterback away from making a run at a championship. After trading former number one overall pick, Sam Bradford to the Eagles in the offseason, this makes a lot of sense for the Rams. If Mariota pans out the Rams have a chance to be an elite team in the neat future and challenge the Seahawks for NFC West supremacy.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-13) Leonard Williams, Defensive End, USC
Williams is arguably the best player in the draft, and the Jaguars luck out at third overall due to the demand of quarterbacks. Williams is disruptive who will wreck havoc on offenses for years to come. The USC product is one of the safest picks in the draft and would be a great fit in Gus Bradley’s defense. Williams could help turn them into one of the better young defense in the league if he pans out like many think he will.
TRADE: The Raiders trade their 1st round pick (4th Overall) to the Cleveland Browns for their two first round picks (12th and 19th Overall)
4. Browns (7-9) Amari Cooper, Wide Receiver Alabama
The Browns make a big move to grab the most talented wide receiver in the draft. After Josh Gordon’s legal trouble and several suspensions, the Browns are in desperate need for a number one receiver. Cooper is an elite prospect and a superb route runner who has terrorized some of the best defenses in the country the last few years. He has the potential to be the Browns number one wide out from day one.
5. Washington Redskins (4-12) Dante Fowler Jr., Outside Linebacker Florida
The Redskins luck out and get one of the best prospects in the draft at number five overall. Fowler is one of the best edge pass rushers in the draft and could make an immediate impact. Fowler played defensive end with the Gators, however, he projects as more of an outside linebacker at the next level. Fowler could greatly improve a Redskins pass rusher that was lackluster throughout the majority of 2014.
6. New York Jets (4-12) Vic Beasley, Outside Linebacker Clemson
The Jets recently revamped their defense by bringing back both Darrell Revis and Antonio Cromartie. The Jets defense has a chance to be elite this season; however, the weakest spot on the defensive side of the ball is the outside linebacker position. Beasley is an explosive pass rusher who would most likely slide in immediately at the outside linebacker position in their 3-4 defensive base. The Jets defense could be special for years to come if Beasley pans out.
7. Chicago Bears (5-11) Randy Gregory, Nebraska Linebacker
A once elite unite, the Bears defense has been downright bad the last few seasons. While Gregory’s failed drug test will keep him off some teams boards, he is an elite edge rusher and would most likely start for the Bears as a rookie in their 3-4 defensive scheme. Look for Gregory to make a big impact for their defense if he can keep his head on straight.
8. Atlanta Falcons (6-10) Shane Ray, Outside Linebacker Missouri
With defensive mastermind Dan Quinn, taking over in Atlanta, you can bet he will make revamping the defense a priority in his first season at the helm. Ray is a fantastic pass rusher who specializes in getting to the quarterback. He would go a long way in improving a defense that has been subpar the last few seasons with his elite speed and first step quickness.
9.New York Giants (6-10) Kevin White, Wide Receiver West Virginia
As I mentioned previously, while offensive line is the biggest need for the Giants, I just don’t believe the value is there at 9th overall. Reese would be wise to take offers for White and accumulate draft picks as they have several needs. However, in this scenario Reese takes the best player on the board and looks to address the offensive line in later rounds. White is a fast receiver with great size and could make a dynamic duo with Odell Beckham Jr. for years to come.
10. Tennessee Titans (2-14) Trae Waynes, Cornerback Michigan State
The Titans have been adamant that they believe Zach Mettenberger can be a franchise quarterback for them. With passing on Mariota and receiving a kings ransom for the number two overall pick, the Titans can start to address their depleted roster. They have a definite need at cornerback and Waynes could contribute immediately to the Titans struggling defense.
11. Minnesota Vikings (7-9) Brandon Scherff Offensive Tackle/Guard Iowa
The Vikings could greatly benefit from improving their offensive line. Scherff could be a day one starter who would most likely start at guard and transition to one of the tackle positions in a year or two. It would be wise for them to prioritize protecting franchise quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
12. Oakland Raiders (3-13) Devante Parker, Wide Receiver Louisville
The Raiders wind up being one of the big winners of the draft, trading down eight spots and still getting an elite wide receiver while accumulating an extra first rounder. While Parker was injured for part of this past season, he absolutely dominated competition when healthy. He would be a great weapon for Derek Carr and could be their number one receiver as a rookie.
13. New Orleans Saints (7-9) D.J Humphries Offensive Tackle Florida
The Saints could use an upgrade and infusion of youth on their offensive line. Humphries is a massive tackle that could anchor the line for years to come. With Brees entering the final years of his career, it is important for the Saints to make every effort to protect him.
14. Miami Dolphins (8-8) Ereck Flowers, Offensive Tackle Miami
The Dolphins could use a talented offensive tackle to help rebuild their offensive line. While Flowers is a bit raw, he has the talent to be an elite tackle for the next decade. He would most likely start at right tackle with the potential to move to left tackle after a year or two with the Dolphins.
15. San Francisco 49ers (8-8) Danny Shelton, Defensive Tackle Washington
Shelton is a top ten talent who in this scenario slides down to the 15th overall pick. The 49er’s front seven was depleted this offseason and Shelton would help revitalize a defense that was elite not too long ago. He would plug the middle and command double teams. He most likely starts a rookie for the 49ers.
16. Houston Texans (9-7) Bud Dupree, Linebacker Kentucky
The Texans have one of the best front sevens in the league anchored by arguably the best defensive line in the NFL. In this case this is a best player available scenario where the Texans nab talented linebacker Bud Dupree. Dupree is a freak of an athlete who would most likely project as the SAM linebacker in the Texans 3-4 defense. With so many talented pass rushers already on their defense, if Dupree pans out the Texans defense could be special for years to come.
17. San Diego Charges (9-7) Todd Gurley, Running Back Georgia
The Chargers are a team in need of a running back after losing Ryan Mathews to the Eagles in the offseason. Woodhead is a great complimentary piece and 3rd down back; however, the Chargers would benefit from getting a workhorse running back. Enter Gurley who would most likely be a top ten pick had he not torn his ACL. Gurley would start as a rookie and make an immediate impact for the Chargers.
18. Kansas City Chiefs (9-7) La’El Collins, Offensive Tackle LSU
An offensive line that was one of the best in 2013 is now in desperate need of a make over. While wide receiver is still a need (even after signing Jeremy Maclin,) the Chiefs need to make it a priority to protect Alex Smith. Collins is a little raw but has all the tools to be a starter for several years in the NFL.
19. Oakland Raiders (3-13) Arik Armstead, Defensive End Oregon
Having addressed the wide receiver position with their first pick, the Raiders can now focus on the defensive side of the ball. Armstead is a stud pass rusher who has a ton of potential. The Raiders would greatly benefit from adding a defensive end of his caliber after struggling to get to the quarterback in 2014.
20. Philadelphia Eagles (10-6) Dorial Green-Beckham, Wide Receiver Missouri
Beckham is arguably a top ten talent who is dropping in the draft due to character concerns. After losing Desean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin in back to back off seasons, the Eagles would be wise to take a chance on the talented receiver. Jordan Matthews had a great rookie campaign; however, after him there is very little depth at the position. Beckham would most likely slide in as the number two wide receiver as a rookie.
21. Cincinnati Bengals (10-5-1) Andrus Peat, Offensive Tackle Stanford
Peat is an extremely talented yet very raw tackle. With starting tackle Andrew Whitworth getting up there in age and with one year remaining on his contract, it would be wise for Peat to back him up for a year and then take over the following season. Peat has the potential to be an All-Pro if he pans out like many think he will.
22. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-5) Landon Collins, Safety Alabama
Troy Polamalu has been a mainstay on the Steelers secondary for over a decade. However, he will be thirty-four at the start of the season and his best years are behind him. Collins is great value at twenty-two overall as the top safety in the draft and could be the heir apparent for Polamalu.
23. Detroit Lions (11-5) Malcolm Brown, Defensive Tackle Texas
After losing superstar defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh to the Dolphins during free agency, defensive tackle is one of their biggest needs heading into the draft. They did trade for former All-Pro nose tackle Haloti Ngata; however, he seems to be in the twilight of his career and will not be in the Lions long-term plans. Brown is a great talent and great value at twenty-three overall. He would most likely be a day one starter along side Ngata.
24. Arizona Cardinals (11-5) Kevin Johnson, Cornerback Wake Forest
The Cardinals had one of the best defenses in the NFL last season. However, after losing Antonio Cromartie, they have a glaring hole at the cornerback spot after Patrick Peterson. Johnson is the second best cornerback in the draft and could be a starter as a rookie or at the very least their nickel corner.
25. Panthers (7-8-1) T.J. Clemmings, Offensive Tackle Pittsburgh
The offensive line is one of the biggest needs for the Panthers. Clemmings would most likely benefit from starting his career at guard and taking over for Michael Oher in a year or two. This would go a long way in helping protect franchise quarterback Cam Newton.
26. Baltimore Ravens (10-6) Eddie Goldman, Defensive Tackle Florida State
After trading defensive tackle mainstay Haloti Ngata, to the Detroit Lions, the Ravens could be in the market for a defensive tackle. Goldman is great value at twenty-six overall and would most likely start for the Ravens as a rookie filling a need.
27. Dallas Cowboys (12-4) Eric Kendricks, Linebacker UCLA
While the Cowboys recently resigned Rolando McClain to a one-year deal, I don’t believe he is in their long term plans after several run ins with the law and having already retired on one occasion. Kendricks would be the heir apparent at the inside linebacker position and be a solid contributor on special teams his rookie season with the Cowboys.
28. Denver Broncos (12-4) Cam Erving, Center Florida State
While I wanted to project an offensive tackle for the Broncos after losing tackle Orlando Franklin in free agency, the value wasn’t there in this scenario. Erving is the top center in the draft and has the potential to be an All-Pro at the position. With Manning entering the final years of his illustrious career, it is important to keep him on his feet.
29. Indianapolis Colts (11-5) Eli Harold, Defensive End Virginia
The Colts have one of the best offenses in the NFL; however, they also have one of the weaker defenses. Harold is a great pass rusher who would greatly improve the Colts defensive line. He should start as a rookie and make an immediate impact for the Colt’s struggling defense.
30. Green Bay Packers (12-4) Marcus Peters, Cornerback Washington
The biggest knock on Peters is his character concerns as he has had a troubled past. Having said that, I think the Packers are willing to gamble on him. After losing two cornerbacks in the offseason, the Packers would be wise to shore up the position with their first pick in this year’s draft.
31. New Orleans Saints (7-9) Jalen Collins, Cornerback LSU
After addressing the offensive line with their first pick, the Saints can now focus on the defensive side of the ball. Their secondary struggled throughout much of the 2014 season. Collins is one of the top corners in the draft and would have the opportunity to start as a rookie.
32. New England Patriots (12-4) Jalen Strong, Wide Receiver Arizona State
The defending Super Bowl champs don’t have too many holes to fill. However, one that they could improve on is the wide receiver position. Strong is a great receiver prospect and would give Brady another weapon to work with. He would have an opportunity to start as a rookie and could be in the running for Offensive Rookie Of The Year catching passes from Brady.