Mock Drafts are a silly waste of time. So, of course we did one! What else is sports besides a silly waste of time!?!??!
I did not mock any trades because that makes things insane and even less accurate, so this is based on the draft order as of March 31, 2015.
Just one month from the 2015 NFL Draft, here goes nothing:
1.) Tampa Bay: Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State
The easiest part of any mock draft is the first pick of a perceived generational talent at QB to a team with out a QB. Winston has immense athletic ability, showed promise in his two years as a starter at Florida State, but also showed questionable decision making on and off the field.
Winston could become Cam Newton and be an impact right away, but I do believe that his rookie year is much more likely to resemble that of Geno Smith in that it is mostly a mess with some glimpses of talent mixed in…then not much afterwards.
2.) Tennessee: Leonard WIlliams, DT, USC
Tennessee may not be sold on Zach Mettenberger as a long term option at QB, but they seem willing to give him a shot and aren’t sold on Marcus Mariota as a franchise QB. What do you do at that point? You use the best player in the draft to fill an enormous hole on your defense.
After upgrades at Linebacker in free agency, the Titans can take Williams and plug him in as a starter right away and improve on the leagues 31st ranked rushing defense from 2014.
3.) Jacksonville: Dante Fowler, DE/LB, Florida
The Jaguars are desperate for an edge rusher and the 6’3″ 265 pound monster from Florida fits that need perfectly. Of course, the Jaguars are a mess and could take basically anyone here and you could argue that they are better than what they have on their roster, but I think Fowler is the top talent left for them.
4.) Oakland: Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
This is the Raiders, so its easy to look for the top skill position player on the board, mock him to them. Cooper is an incredible WR and the Raiders won’t screw this up if they go with him and give David Carr someone to throw to. This could be a very wise decision, which is a crazy thing to say about the Raiders.
5.) Washington: Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa
Jay Gruden is an offensive coach with a terrible offense. One way to improve that is with a big, talented Left Tackle to protect whoever you decide to run out there at QB.
6.) New York Jets: Vic Beasly, DE, Clemson
The Jets got Darrelle Revis back, filling a big need in the secondary, giving them the option to do a few different things with the 6th overall pick. The Jets have a solid defense and taking a talented edge rusher from Clemson will provide them the boost to try to keep Tom Brady from throwing all over them again in 2015.
7.) Chicago: Danny Shelton, DT, Washington
John Fox used a strong defense in Denver to get to the playoffs with Tim Tebow as the QB. He can get to the playoffs with Jay Cutler as the QB and a strong defense and plugging Shelton into the middle of the defensive line will help a lot to improve on the league’s 3rd worst defense in 2014.
8.) Atlanta: Shane Ray, DE, Missouri
The Falcons had the second lowest sack total in 2014 with just 22. They need someone to rush the passer and in a draft that is deep with edge pass rushers, Ray makes the most sense here.
9.) New York Giants: La’el Collins, OT, LSU
Giants want to keep Eli Manning upright so MAYBE he can throw the ball to O’dell Beckham with out it getting picked off in 2015.
10.) St. Louis: Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford
St. Louis lost Jake Long in the offseason, Peat has an NFL bloodline and great size and mobility. He can try to protect Nick Foles for a year before they realize they need a new QB in 2016.
11.) Minnesota: Kevin White, WR, West Virginia
Teddy Bridgewater seems to be a QB the team is going to build around, adding White to Cordarelle Patterson provides him multiple options and could help a 7-9 team add those extra few wins to make the playoffs.
12.) Cleveland: DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville
For comedy reasons I wanted to mock Mariota here to the hapless Browns, but instead, I went with the next best WR on the board, to replace the always suspended Josh Gordon. The Browns will give Manziel another shot to start and to not be awful and providing him someone besides Dwayne Bowe would be helpful if they do want him to have a chance to succeed.
13.) New Orleans: Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State
The Saints need defensive help, Waynes is the best Cornerback in the draft, proving he is incredibly fast at the combine, then showcasing his agility at his pro day. His film shows his ability to track the ball in the air and his press and tackling skills. He is the most complete CB and the Saints have to be happy to get a player like him at 13.
14.) Miami: Marcus Peters, CB, Washington
Miami is probably hoping to get Waynes here, but with the Saints grabbing him one pick in front of them, they go with Peters, the brasher of the top two CBs to pair with Brent Grimes and help improve 2014’s 26th ranked pass defense.
15.) San Francisco: Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
Surprised? With out mocking any trades, because those are even harder to predict than the draft picks, I have Mariota falling quite a bit and he could fall further than this. However, Colin Kaepernick was a questionable starter for the previous regime in San Francisco and he is on a pay as you go contract extension so he can be let go pretty easily.
Drafting Mariota here gives them the Aaron Rodgers option and they can let him sit for a year to see what Kaepernick does in 2015 before making a decision.
16.) Houston: Randy Gregory, DE, Nebraska
The Texans could take Mariota if he is still sitting here as they do not have a rock solid option at QB, however in this scenario they take a talented defensive lineman from the B1G Ten and pair him with the most disruptive defensive player in the NFL, JJ Watt to form an incredibly tough match up for the AFC South offenses.
17.) San Diego: Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami
San Diego seems to always need Tackles and they still do. This is to protect Philip Rivers or another QB if they trade him. They have decent options at the skill positions,
18.) Kansas City: Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State
Dwayne Bowe left in free agency and they have limited options at WR. Taking Strong fits Andy Reid’s offense and gives Alex Smith an actual option on the outside to throw to.
19.) Cleveland (From Buf): Malcolm Brown, DT, Texas
Going offense with their first pick, the Browns take Brown to fill up the middle and improve on the solid defense.
20.) Philadelphia: Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest
Corner is a position of need for the Eagles, but Chip Kelly seems to do things differently than most of the NFL so he could do something absolutely insane here…this is actually kind of exciting if he does do that. Maybe he drafts an elephant to play DT?
21.) Cincinnati: Arik Armsted, DT, Oregon
Marvin Lewis is still the coach. He’ll go defense. Armsted is a talented DT that can fit in the playing rotation quickly.
22.) Pittsburgh: Alvin Dupree, DE, Kentucky
Steelers like defensive players and the offense is pretty set. They could address the safety position here, however, Dupree will have a bigger immediate impact than any of the Safety options at this point.
23.) Detroit: Cameron Erving, C/G, Florida State
This is fun, I could see the Lions taking Melvin Gordon here, but Erving has the versatility to play anywhere on the offensive line and could play Center right away or fill in at Guard as a rookie. He could also move to the outside and play Right Tackle. With the help the line needs, I believe the Lions don’t pass up this chance to fill him in wherever they need the most help.
24.) Arizona: Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin
There is a really good chance that whoever is in charge of delivering the draft card breaks Gordon’s 40 time on his way to rush up to draft a solid workhorse RB to compliment the rest of the offense.
25.) Carolina: TJ Clemmings, OT, Pittsburgh
WILL SOMEONE PLEASE BLOCK FOR CAM NEWTON?
26.) Baltimore: PJ Williams, CB, Florida State
The Ravens are great at finding solid CB contributors late in the first round. Here is another example of a guy that will be a solid NFL corner for 5-7 years.
27.) Dallas: Landon Collins, SS, Alabama
If Jerry Jones is running the draft room, Todd Gurley is the pick. If Stephen Jones is running it, they take the talented safety from Alabama.
28.) Denver: Owamagbe Odighizuwa, DE, UCLA
One more run at a Super Bowl with Peyton Manning, this team needs a player at this point that will have an impact and Odighizuwa will step in on the outside of the 3-4 scheme and help immediately.
29.) Indianapolis: Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Oklahoma
Reggie Wayne is gone, give Andrew Luck a replacement weapon to remain exciting and entertaining. This is less of a projection and more of a plea.
30.) Green Bay: Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida State
Defense needs help. Lots of it. Best player left on that side of the ball gets taken here.
31.) New Orleans (from Seattle): Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota
Losing Jimmy Graham as a target, Drew Brees will demand a replacement. Taking a CB with the first pick gives them the ability to take Williams and let Brees continue to spread things out.
32.) New England: Preston Smith, DE, Mississippi State
This is Bill Belicheck, he could take Mike Sadler, P, MSU and no one would question it. Who knows.
54.) Detroit 2nd Round: Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska
Abdullah has the speed and agility to be a good NFL RB and with Reggie Bush gone, the Lions are going to take one in this draft. If they don’t take Abdullah here, expect them to take someone like Michael Bennett, the DT from Ohio State who is dropping on boards due to injury.