NFL Mock Draft Volume 3.0 Franchise Quarterback On The Move
We are now down to two weeks until the NFL Draft commences. Prospects such as Breshad Perriman, Nelson Agholor, and Byron Jones are all seeing their stock rise as we get closer to the big weekend. This mock is headlined by three draft day trades, including a franchise quarterback switching teams in a blockbuster trade.
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-14): Jameis Winston, Quarterback Florida State
This pick has remained the same, and I don’t see it changing. The Buccaneers need a quarterback, and Winston is the best quarterback available in this year’s draft class. Lovie Smith will need to make an effort to keep his prized quarterback out of trouble. Would not be surprised if he has rules instated similar to when Dez Bryant entered the league to keep him out of trouble.
TRADE: Titans trade 1st round (2nd Overall) and 3rd round (66th Overall) to the Chargers for Quarterback Phillip Rivers and 1st round (17th overall)
2. San Diego Chargers (9-7) Marcus Mariota, Quarterback Oregon
The Chargers make the biggest draft day deal in years, by trading mainstay franchise quarterback Philip Rivers to the Titans. The Chargers have recently had Mariota in to work out and there seems to be a genuine interest on the Charger’s end. Don’t be surprised if the Chargers pull this draft day shocker.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-13) Leonard Williams, Defensive End, USC
While Fowler would fit more of a need for the Jaguars, Williams is the best player in this draft and one of the safest. The talent will most likely be too much for the Jaguars to pass up. Williams is disruptive and will wreck havoc on offenses for years to come. He would fit perfectly into Gus Bradley’s defense and could help this young defense take the next step in 2015.
4. Raiders (4-12) Amari Cooper, Wide Receiver Alabama
This makes sense for the Raiders for a lot of reasons. In this scenario it fills a huge need and is the best player available. Cooper is the best route runner in this class and terrorized some of the best defenses in college football the last few years. He would be a great weapon for a young promising quarterback like Derek Carr.
5. Washington Redskins (4-12) Dante Fowler Jr., Outside Linebacker Florida
Brian Orakpo’s departure to the Titans hurts a Redskins pass rush that was already below average. Enter Fowler who was one of the top combine performers and an athletic freak. While the secondary could be shored up as well, the value isn’t here at number six overall, and an improved pass rush would surely help the secondary in it’s own right.
6. New York Jets (4-12) Vic Beasley, Outside Linebacker Clemson
In 2014, the Jets had a solid front seven but struggled at times due to an atrocious secondary. They addressed this need in the off-season by bringing back cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie. Their one weakness on the defensive side of the ball is at outside linebacker. Beasley would fill in immediately as a rookie. He is ridiculously explosive and has no trouble getting to the quarterback. He could help turn the Jets defense into an elite one in 2015.
7. Chicago Bears (5-11) Danny Shelton, Defensive Tackle Washington
The biggest crutch for the Bear’s defense the last few years has been the ability to stop the run. Shelton is a huge body to plug in the middle of the defensive line, and would help greatly improve the run defense. Look for him to start as a rookie and make a big impact.
TRADE: Falcons Trade 1st Round (8th Overall) to Browns for 1st Round (12th Overall) and 3rd Round (77th Overall)
8. Cleveland Browns (7-9) Kevin White, Wide Receiver West Virginia
With a glaring hole at wide receiver, the Browns make a move up to nab one of the most talented players in the draft. White has a combination of both size and speed and would slide in nicely as a number one wide receiver after Josh Gordon’s latest suspension. White is great value at eighth overall and should make an immediate impact for the Browns offense.
9. New York Giants (6-10) Brandon Scherff, Offensive Tackle/Guard Iowa
Offensive line is the biggest need for the Giants. After seeing what an elite guard did for the Cowboys in 2014 after drafting Zach Martin, I would not be surprised if the Giants pull the trigger on Scherff. While a guard at nine overall, may not be the best value, the Giants desperately need to upgrade their offensive line. Scherff is an elite run blocker who could use some work in pass protection. He would most likely start at guard and has the potential to slide out to one of the tackle positions after a year or two.
10. St. Louis Rams (6-10) T.J. Clemmings, Offensive Tackle/Guard Pittsburgh
While quarterback is most likely the biggest need for the Rams, even after swapping Sam Bradford for Nick Foles, the value just simply isn’t there at number ten overall. Look for them to address quarterback in one of the later rounds. The offensive line was another weak point for the Rams, Clemmings could fill a need starting out at guard as a rookie and could possibly move outside to one of the tackle position in the next few years.
11. Minnesota Vikings (7-9) Devante Parker, Wide Receiver Louisville
Parker is a fast, explosive wide receiver with the potential to be a superstar. Even with the acquisition of Mike Wallace, the Vikings could use a talent like Parker to strengthen their wide receiver corps. Cordarrelle Patterson disappointed in his second year and his long-term future with the club is unknown. Parker and Bridgewater played together at Louisville, and the familiarity with Bridgewater would help Parker’s adjustment to the NFL.
12. Atlanta Falcons (6-10) Shane Ray, Outside Linebacker Missouri
The Falcons trade down accumulating an extra third round pick, and still get the same player they would have gotten at eight overall in my previous mock. Ray is an elite pass rusher who could start at the outside linebacker position as a rookie in Dan Quinn’s defense. He would be a great cornerstone piece to a defense that has been subpar the last few years.
13. New Orleans Saints (7-9) Randy Gregory, Outside Linebacker Nebraska
Gregory is a borderline top five talent, who will most likely drop due to his failed drug test. The Saints defense has struggled for years. While Gregory’s size is a concern he has elite explosiveness that gives him the potential to be a game changer for any defense.
14. Miami Dolphins (8-8) Dorial Green-Beckham, Wide Receiver Missouri
After trading away Mike Wallace in the offseason, the Dolphins may very well be looking to improve their wide receiver corps. Jarvis Landry is coming off a great rookie season, and the addition of Kenny Stills helps; however, it looks as if the Dolphins are lacking a true number one wide receiver. Green-Beckham has the talent to be a top five pick; however, with all the off the field issues his stock has dropped. If Joe Philbin keeps him out of trouble, and Green-Beckham doesn’t fall into the temptations of South Beach, the Dolphins could be grabbing a superstar wide receiver.
15. San Francisco 49ers (8-8) Trae Waynes, Cornerback Michigan State
This would be an ideal pick for the 49ers. It fills a huge need and in this scenario he is most likely the best player on the board. Waynes is the best corner in the draft and is best used in press-man coverage. After losing both Chris Culliver and Perrish Cox in the offseason, Waynes would most likely have a huge role as a rookie in a 49ers defense that is looking to rebuild.
16. Houston Texans (9-7) Bud Dupree, Linebacker Kentucky
As I mentioned in my previous mock, this isn’t the biggest need for the Texans as they have a great front seven. However, he is the best player available in this scenario. Dupree is a freak of an athlete who would project as the SAM linebacker in the Texans 3-4 defense. The Texans defense could terrify offenses for years to come if Dupree meets his potential.
17. Tennessee Titans (2-14) Breshad Perriman, Wide Receiver UCF
The Titans land a franchise quarterback with Philip Rivers in their blockbuster trade with the Charger reuniting him with Norv Turner; however, their offense is far from fixed. Perriman is one of the fastest risers in the draft after running a mind blowing 4.22 40 yard dash. Speed kills and Perriman is a big play threat that would be a nice weapon for Rivers in the Titan’s revamped offense.
18. Kansas City Chiefs (9-7) La’El Collins, Offensive Tackle LSU
The Chiefs, offensive line really took a step back in 2014 after being one of the best in 2013. Collins would give a big boost to the Chiefs and help keep Alex Smith on his feet in 2015. He is a great run blocker and has ideal size at 6”4’ and 306 pounds. Would most likely be a day one starter for the Chiefs.
19. Cleveland Browns (7-9) Todd Gurley, Running Back Georgia
In this scenario the Browns, get arguably the top wide receiver and top running back in this year’s draft class completely revamping their offense in the process. Gurley would have been a top ten pick had he not torn his ACL in the fall. He has the ability to be a superstar and would command the bulk of the Brown’s carries as a rookie.
20. Philadelphia Eagles (10-6) Landon Collins, Strong Safety Alabama
The Eagles secondary was one of the worst this past season. While signing Byron Maxwell to be a number one corner definitely helps, they could also use an improvement at the safety position. Collins is the top safety in the class and could start at the strong safety position as a rookie. He is extremely athletic and would be a great get for the Eagles secondary.
21. Cincinnati Bengals (10-5-1) Andrus Peat, Offensive Tackle Stanford
Peat is one of the most intriguing prospects in the draft class. If developed properly he could become one of the top left tackles in the NFL. However, I feel he also has a very high bust rate. He looks out of shape and seemed overwhelmed at times when playing left tackle at Stanford. Nonetheless, with some aging lineman and at number twenty-one overall the price is right for the Bengals to gamble on him.
22. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-5) Arik Arsmtead, Defensive End Oregon
Getting Armstead here is great value for the Steelers and would fill a need for them. He is one of the more boom or bust prospects in the draft; however, if he pans out like many think he will the Steelers could have an All-Pro on their hands. He is a freak athletically and is a superb run stopper.
23. Detroit Lions (11-5) Eddie Goldman, Defensive Tackle Florida State
After losing superstar defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh to the Dolphins during free agency, defensive tackle is one of the biggest needs for the Lions heading into the draft. While trading for former All-Pro Haloti Ngata definitely helps in the short term, he is not a long-term option. He is a great run stopper and will make the Lions defense a lot better down the middle.
24. Arizona Cardinals (11-5) Kevin Johnson, Cornerback Wake Forest
The Cardinals have a huge hole at cornerback after superstar Patrick Peterson. Johnson is looked at by most as the second best corner in the draft and has the potential to be an elite corner. With Peterson already locking down the number one corner role, the Cardinals could have one of the top pairs of corners in the NFL in the next few years, making an already great defense even better.
25. Panthers (7-8-1) D.J. Humphries, Offensive Tackle Florida
The offensive line is a big need for the Panthers, and keeping franchise quarterback Cam Newton on his feet should be a priority. While they could opt to take a wide receiver in the first round for the second year in the row (Kelvin Benjamin was great as a rookie; however, there isn’t much there after him,) Humphries is great value here and would most likely start as a rookie.
26. Baltimore Ravens (10-6) Nelson Agholor, Wide Receiver USC
Perhaps no ones stock has risen the last few weeks as much as Nelson Agholor. Agholor is a high character, athletic receiver who would help in replacing the recently departed Torry Smith. While Steve Smith had a bit of a revival season at thirty-five years old, he is not going to be in the Raven’s future plans. Look for Agholor to sneak into the bottom of the first round as his stock continues to ascend.
27. Dallas Cowboys (12-4) Malcolm Brown, Defensive Tackle Texas
While the Cowboys boast the best offensive line in the NFL, the same can’t be said about their defensive line. Brown has the ability to play along several spots of their defensive line and excels in stopping the run. Look for him to make an immediate impact on the Cowboys defensive front as a rookie.
28. Denver Broncos (12-4) Erik Flowers, Offensive Tackle Miami
After losing offensive tackle Orlando Franklin to the Charger during free agency, this pick seems like a no brainer for the Broncos. This is both great value and fills arguably their biggest need. Flowers would most likely benefit from starting at right tackle for a year or two; however, he has the talent to be a top left tackle in this league if groomed properly.
29. Indianapolis Colts (11-5) Eric Kendricks, Inside Linebacker UCLA
With an already elite offense, the Colts will most likely look to improve on the defensive side of the ball come draft day. Kendricks is a stud linebacker who is an absolute playmaker. He is solid against the run; however, he excels most in pass coverage. He could really bolster a defense that struggled throughout much of the 2014 season.
30. Green Bay Packers (12-4) Byron Jones, Cornerback UCONN
After losing two cornerbacks in the offseason, the Packers will most likely be in the market to improve their secondary. Jones is another player whose stock has been soaring the past few weeks. He is extremely athletic with the versatility to play at both safety and cornerback. If he reaches his potential, he will be a game changing cornerback in the NFL.
31. New Orleans Saints (7-9) Jalen Strong, Wide Receiver Arizona State
This may not be the biggest need for the Saints after selecting a wide out on the first round last year; however, Strong would be great value at the end of the first round. He is dropping a bit due to a foot injury after having originally been projected to go in the top twenty picks. He is big with good speed and has the potential to be a number one receiver in the NFL. He would be a nice weapon for Brees to have in the last few years of his career.
TRADE: Patriots Trade 1st Round (32nd Overall) to Jaguars for 2nd Round (36th Overall) and 4th Round (103rd Overall)
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-13) Melvin Gordon, Running Back Wisconsin
Another draft, another year Bill Belichick trades down. Belichick loves acquiring additional picks and with a player of Gordon’s caliber falling in the draft, there will be several teams interested in trading back into the first round. The Jaguars struggled to find a go to running back throughout the season. Recently acquired Toby Gerhart was a huge disappointment and proved he could not handle the bulk of the carries. Gordon is strong and explosive and would most likely be the feature back as a rookie.