Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Final mock draft
The playing around is pretty much over. It’s time to put up or shut up – or at the very least get this draft completed before another prospect his arrested for something stupid.
For the sake of sanity, I’m not putting any trades into this draft that already have not taken place. This doesn’t mean that I don’t think there will be any deals made. In fact, I expect quite a few this year as teams position themselves to get the guys they want.
Anyway, without any further ado, here we go.
1. Tampa Bay, Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State – This pick has been locked in since the combine.
2. Tennessee, Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon – I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Titans make this pick and then deal Mariota later.
3. Jacksonville, Dante Fowler, OLB, Florida – The Jaguars need pass rushers. Leonard Williams would fit, but Fowler will give Gus Bradley the kind of edge rusher he covets.
4. Oakland, Leonard Williams, DT, USC – Amari Cooper would make sense as well, but the Raiders can add a receiver later. Williams is a game changer.
5. Washington, Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson – Beasley steps in and replaces Brian Orakpo. Brandon Scherff would make sense here too, but it’s a little too early.
6. N.Y. Jets, Alvin Dupree, DE, Kentucky – The Jets would love to get their hands on Winston or Mariota. Perhaps they make this move and dangle Dupree and something else for Mariota.
7. Chicago, Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama – It’s no secret that since Brandon Marshall was dealt that the Bears will be looking at wide receivers.
8. Atlanta, Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia – With Fowler, Beasley and Dupree gone, the Falcons go get Steven Jackson’s replacement in Gurley.
9. N.Y. Giants, Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa – I’ve felt pretty good about this being Scherff’s landing spot for a while now.
10. St. Louis, La’el Collins. OT, LSU – The Rams got Greg Robinson last year, now they get his bookend.
11. Minnesota, Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State – When you play in the same division as Green Bay, Detroit and Chicago, you’d better have corners who can cover.
12. Cleveland, Kevin White, West Virginia – It’s hard to believe White falls this far, but here he is. He would be tough for Cleveland to pass on.
13. New Orleans, Randy Gregory, OLB, Nebraska – The Saints are in desperate need of pass rushers.
14. Miami, DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville – The Dolphins would have loved to get their hands on Gurley and it’s too early for Melvin Gordon, so they go for a dynamic playmaker.
15. San Francisco, Marcus Peters, CB, Washington – Perrish Cox and Chris Culliver are gone and the 49ers should have more info than anyone on the Peters, an Oakland native.
16. Houston, Arik Armstead, DE, Oregon – The Texans could use an inside linebacker, but it’s too early for that. Armstead gives them an end to line up opposite J.J. Watt.
17. San Diego, Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin – An easy choice for the Chargers, who need an every-down runner.
18. Kansas City, Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford – Eric Fisher is still a work in progress at LT. If he fails on the left side, Peat would give them another option. And can start on the right side right away.
19. Cleveland, Danny Shelton, DT, Washington – Getting White and Shelton would be a heck of a haul for the Browns.
20. Philadelphia, Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest – The top three corners and top four OLB prospects are now off the board for the Steelers.
21. Cincinnati, Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami (Fla.) – Andrew Whitworth will turn 34 this year. Flowers plays with a nasty edge.
22. Pittsburgh, Byron Jones, CB, UConn – With the top three corners off the board, the Steelers choice in this mock comes down to Jones, talented-but-troubled Shane Ray or Landon Collins. Collins would be tempting as a box safety, and Ray is a top-15 talent who drops because of a toe injury and an issue with marijuana. Jones, meanwhile, is a high-character player who tested off the charts at the combine, including setting a world record in the standing long jump. Oh, and he can play as well, though he was limited to seven games in 2014 with a shoulder injury.
23. Detroit, Malcom Brown, DT, Texas – The losses of Suh and Fairley in the middle will be made up for by the additions of Brown and Haloti Ngata.
24. Arizona, Cameron Erving, C, Florida State – Bruce Arians saw what adding a top-notch center did in Pittsburgh when Maurkice Pouncey was brought in.
25. Carolina, D.J. Humphries, OT, Florida – Offensive line picks aren’t sexy, but they are necessary. And Carolina needs help on its line in the worst way.
26. Baltimore, Phillip Dorsett, WR, Miami (Fla.) – Having lost their speed receiver, Torrey Smith, the Ravens need for speed at WR is obvious.
27. Dallas, Shane Ray, OLB, Missouri – If there’s a team that doesn’t mind troubled players, it’s the Cowboys. I’m not convinced Ray is a truly bad guy. Smoking some marijuana is not the character strike it used to be. That toe injury, though, is troubling.
28. Denver, Jake Fisher, OT, Oregon – The Broncos have to protect Peyton Manning, who is as mobile as the Lincoln Memorial at this stage in his career, not that he ever moved around great to begin with.
29. Indianapolis, Landon Collins, S, Alabama – Winston Guy is currently Indianapolis’ starting strong safety. Nobody outside of Guy’s family knows who he is.
30. Green Bay, Eric Kendricks, LB, UCLA – Brad Jones and A.J. Hawk are gone. Kendricks is a bit on the small side, but he makes every tackle.
31. New Orleans, Nelson Aghlor, WR, USC – Agholor doesn’t have the size of some of the other top receivers, but he’s silky smooth.
32. New England, Eric Rowe, CB/S, Utah – Rowe’s size and speed are off the charts. He has suspect hands, but he’s the kind of hybrid player the Patriots love.