The NFL Draft kicks off Friday, and fans, analysts, and GMs alike are filling out mock draft boards and spreadsheets. But the real draft is so unpredictable that the chances of predicting correctly are extremely slim. But that won’t stop me from making picks!
Here is my outline of how I think 2015 NFL draft will play out:
1. Buccaneers — Jameis Winston
The Buccaneers need a NFL-ready quarterback, and Winston fits the bill. He has private workouts scheduled with the team, and GM Jason Licht has praised Winston multiple times.
2. Titans — Leonard Williams
The Titans could use an impact player on defense, and Williams has outstanding potential.
3. Jaguars — Dante Fowler Jr.
Fowler Jr. is a great pass-rushers and would be an excellent upgrade for a weak Jaguars defense.
4. Raiders — Amari Cooper
The Raiders need a weapon for Derek Carr. Amari Cooper is a slippery receiver with great hands.
5. Washington — Marcus Mariota
With Kirk Cousins having a sub-par campaign last year and RGIII injury prone, I think the Redskins go for broke with Mariota.
6. Jets — La'el Collins
La'el Collins is one of the best offensive lineman in the draft and will provide protection for whoever the Jets' quarterback will be be this season.
7. Bears — Vic Beasley
Vic Beasley destroyed offensive lines at Clemson last year. With the Bears needing help all over the roster, I think they take the versatile Beasley.
8. Falcons — Shane Ray
Considering the Falcons are having the same problem as the Bears, I say they upgrade their defense with Ray.
9. Giants — Kevin White
There is no denying that Kevin White is a great receiver. If the Giants get the opportunity to build one of the most fearsome receiving cores in the league, I say they take it.
10. Rams — Trae Waynes
The Rams can address a need at corner by drafting the promising Waynes.
11. Vikings — Brandon Scherff
Brandon Scherff has Pro Bowl potential and could shore up a shaky Vikings O-line.
12. Browns — DeVante Parker
The Browns have two picks and need a wide receiver. Parker excels at 50-50 balls and is a good fit in the physical AFC North.
13. Saints — Marcus Peters
Peters is a great fit for the Saints and fills a gap at corner.
14. Dolphins — Alex Carter
The Dolphins need a cornerback, and Carter performed well in a pass-heavy PAC-12 Conference.
15. 49ers — Arik Armstead
At 6’7”, Armstead has great size and fills an offensive need for the 49ers. His ability to explode off the line can help open up holes for Reggie Bush and Carlos Hyde.
16. Texans — Shaq Thompson
Thompson can play multiple positions, but right now the Texans need a linebacker. They can decide whether they want to have Thompson play there or running back later.
17. Chargers — Melvin Gordon
Melvin Gordon dominated the Big Ten last year with his blazing speed and elusiveness, drawing comparisons to Jamaal Charles. Even if he’s only half as good as Charles, he will be able to take pressure off of Philip Rivers.
18. Chiefs — Cedric Ogbuehi
Ogbuehi is an excellent run blocker and will be able to create many holes for Jamaal Charles.
19. Browns — Denzel Perryman
The Browns will use their second pick to take one of the hardest-hitting players in the game. Perryman has the power to absolutely DESTROY any unfortunate offensive player who gets in his way. Another great fit for the brutal AFC North.
20. Eagles — Alvin Dupree
Alvin “Bud” Dupree was an excellent pass-rusher at Kentucky. If the Eagles take him, he has the potential to shore up Philadelphia's blitz attack.
21. Bengals — Landon Collins
A good tackler with above average hands, Collins is arguably the best safety in the draft. If Collins is taken by the Bengals, it may be the steal of the draft.
22. Steelers — Derron Smith
Derron Smith is an excellent safety that can let Steelers’ fans reminisce about the days of recently-retired Troy Polamalu.
23. Lions — Jalen Collins
Jalen Collins can help shore up a weak Lions’ defensive secondary. A solid pick for the Lions here.
24. Cardinals — Benardrick McKinney
McKinney is a big linebacker who showed excellent talent at the combine.
25. Panthers — P.J. Williams
Anything PJ Williams lacks in height at 6’0”, he makes up for with his tackling abilities. He is a classic hard-hitting cornerback who I believe has the potential to be a safety.
26. Ravens — Todd Gurley
After watching Gurley’s film, I can’t say enough about him. Great speed, good moves, and can bust through tackles. The ACL may scare away some teams, but I just love this guy’s personal highlight reel. He is a great fit for the brutally physical AFC North.
27. Cowboys — Devin Funchess
Funchess is a versatile wideout who can also play tight end. He has a knack for getting down the field and catching the balls. He also has a great blend of size (6’5”, 236 pounds) and speed (4.48-second 40 yard dash). This would be a great pick for the Cowboys.
28. Broncos — Jaelen Strong
Jaelen Strong is a great receiver who is overshadowed by two other top-10 wideouts and a top-15 potential receiver. This would be a great pick if the Broncos get him here. Add him to Emmanuel Sanders, Wes Welker, Demaryius Thomas, and an up-and-coming Cody Latimer and the Broncos’ receiving core becomes almost too scary to think about.
29. Colts — Eric Kendricks
The Colts need a linebacker that can give Andrew Luck some help on the other side of the ball. Kendricks can do that.
30. Packers — Trey DePriest
After losing AJ Hawk, the Packers need somebody to help Clay Matthews on defense.
31. Seahawks — Andrus Peat
Andrus Peat is one of the better linemen in the draft. With the Seahawks resigning Beast Mode, I say they draft a good lineman.
32. Patriots — Devin Smith
Devin Smith was one of the NCAA's greatest deep threats at Ohio State. He has above average speed and some nice hands. He is another receiver in this draft class with the potential to be great.
Photos: Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images (draft), Jeff Gross/Getty Images (Winston), John Raoux/AP (Collins), Justin Hayworth/AP Photo (Scherff), Christian Petersen/Getty Images (Thompson), Jamie Squire/Getty Images (Dupree), Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images (Gurley)
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