With the NFL Draft set for April 30th, now is the perfect time to see who your favorite team could potentially pick.
Tony’s Take Mock Draft
It’s been mocking season for a few months now, and with the NFL Draft at the end of the month, I’ve decided to put my mind to the task. Here is the full first round with a short explanation on each pick. There are no trades in this mock draft. I take team needs and best player available into consideration with every pick. Let me know your thoughts for your favorite team.
1. Tampa Bay- QB Jameis Winston– Florida State
He’s the consensus best Quarterback in the draft. With the Number one overall pick you are looking to take the player that will benefit your team the most, and be the face of your franchise (because nobody on your team previously made it happen the year before). If Winston can refine his character flaws quickly, he will be just that for the Buccaneers.
2. Tennessee- DE Leonard Williams– USC
I personally think Tennessee attempts to trade back here, but in this scenario,Tennessee gets their defensive anchor. Leonard Williams could very well be the best player in the 2015 draft. I know there are plenty of people who think Mariota goes here, but you don’t pass on the opportunity of Williams’ versatility and strength when you averaged 137 rushing yards allowed last season.
3. Jacksonville- DE Dante Fowler Jr.- Florida
Sacks were not a big issue last year for Jacksonville (45). However, adding quality talent up front will allow Gus Bradley those much needed advantageous match ups to create turnovers. QB pressure can never be understated in today’s NFL. Fowler Jr. might be the best at it in this draft class, and he will provide just that.
4. Oakland- WR Amari Cooper– Alabama
I know what you’re thinking… Not Kevin White!? Amari has a bigger statistical pool to nit pick at, and yet, they are still neck and neck in todays rankings. What Oakland needs to do is collect help for Derek Carr. From day one, without much guidance, the Raiders will receive the most polished route runner in the draft.
5. Washington- OLB/DE Randy Gregory– Nebraska
With the loss of Brian Orakpo the Redskins fill the hole with a very similar sized player, and arguably, an overall more athletic player. He will need to put on some weight, but I think Gregory will thrive in the 3-4 scheme.
6. New York- QB Marcus Mariota– Oregon
The Big Apple gets their QB of the future. With a whole new staff, the attitude of the Jets is completely different. They’ve had their sample size of Geno Smith, and I think everyone can agree it wasn’t very good. Now is the time to make the switch. With Geno still on the roster they can make the transition after a season or two giving more time for development and competition.
7. Chicago- DE Shane Ray– Missouri
Yes, Brandon Marshall is gone, but this draft is deep on Wide Receivers. Look for Chicago to address that in the second or third round. Here they add a talented DE that can make an impact immediately. The fact of the matter is they are moving to a 3-4 defense with John Fox as head coach, and an aging Jared Allen not fitting the scheme. Shane Ray can come in, learn from a veteran presence, and help improve on an awful defense just a season ago.
8. Atlanta- DE Vic Beasley– Clemson
Atlanta needs to improve in their front 7. With the addition of Beasley they can hope to increase their sack totals from their 30th position last season. He is one of the most explosive defensive players off the line. He will need to add some size, but Atlanta will have a play maker for years to come.
9. New York- DT Danny Shelton– Washington
New York resigned Jason Pierre Paul during the free agency now its time to upgrade inside. Danny Shelton has been quickly turning heads with his power and athleticism. New York was the third worst in average rushing yards allowed per game. Shelton is a huge body, at 6’2 340 lbs. He can plug the running lanes as well as pressure the QB.
10. St. Louis- WR Kevin White– West Virginia
St. Louis fans may be cringing at the thought of another 1st round wide receiver pick. Here is how I look at it. You just brought in your future QB in Nick Foles, and he needs that number one guy he can count on. Kevin White is a talent that has Sammy Watkins like traits. With the defense set, and a future running back in Tre Mason, it is time to again address the WR corps.
11. Minnesota- OG/OT Brandon Scherff– Iowa
Minnesota struggled with protection last year. With several injuries and the bewildering deterioration of Matt Kahlil they need to revamp that OL. Who knows if Adrian Peterson is coming back, so they need to protect their future in Teddy Bridgewater. Scherff is the most pro ready lineman. I have him projected to be an OG, but he can easily move out to the tackle spot on any team. This isn’t a sexy pick by Minnesota, but it’s a smart one that ensures them to improve in both the passing and running games.
12. Cleveland- WR Davante Parker– Louisville
Cleveland has question marks surrounding Josh Gordon next season. With another season suspended they need to find a potential replacement. Even though they recently signed Bowe and Hartline, they still need to improve, (Bowe didn’t have a single touchdown last year). Parker is a sure handed wide receiver who consistently high points the football and finds the end zone. If he isn’t a Josh Gordon replacement he’s a fantastic compliment.
13. New Orleans- CB Trae Waynes– Michigan State
The Saints are in full revamp mode. With the orginization set to rebuild the defense, Trae Waynes makes perfect sense here. Waynes has incredible speed, running the 40 in 4.31 seconds at the combine. The only knock would be his hip movement, where he would sometimes struggle with route runners. His ball skills, however, make you quickly forget that con. He is the top corner in most drafts and will improve the 8th worst passing defense a season ago.
14. Miami- CB Marcus Peters– Washington
Miami’s best secondary player is an aging veteran. With the addition of Peters they add an amazing talent who is looked at as the number one at his position by some.
15. San Francisco- DT Arik Armstead- Oregon
Not much is known about newly hired coach Jim Tomsula, other than he is a fiery personality with lots of new holes to fill on his defensive side of the football. With Justin Smith contemplating retiring and Patrick Willis already declaring as such, Armstead comes in and fills a run stopping hole. He has loads of potential and seeing that Tomsula was the one who helped develop Justin Smith, I’d say he’s the right person to capitalize on said potential.
16. Houston Texans- WR Dorial Green-Beckham– Oklahoma
DGB is a big talent wide receiver and could be a top 10 pick in this draft if he wasn’t accompanied with a very big question mark. His character flaws are widely documented with scouts throughout the NFL. The question is can he fill the shoes of departed Andre Johnson and stay out of trouble? If he can the Texans will be a big threat once the QB position is established.
17. San Diego- RB Melvin Gordon– Wisconsin
Gordon lands with the Chargers at pick 17. With Ryan Matthews taking off to Philly the Chargers upgrade the RB position. He will be able to take on the 3 down load, and also catch from the backfield. Gordon will be a nice tool for Rivers to utilize in his offense.
18. Kansas City- CB Kevin Johnson– Wake Forest
Some could argue that the receiving group of Kansas City still needs to improve here (even with the addition of Maclin), but taking Strong or Perriman is a bit of a reach at this spot. They could trade back, but I have Johnson improving the defensive side for Kansas city with his coverage skills and sound fundamentals.
19. Cleveland- DT Malcolm Brown– Texas
Cleveland’s defense has improved every year since Pettine took over as head coach. Adding the Texas DT will add solid run support upfront with an already stellar supporting secondary.
20. Philadelphia- CB Jalen Collins– LSU
Philadelphia is looking to improve on defense. Chip is making it clear he needs play makers on the defensive side, while he can mastermind the offense. Collins is a solid defensive back who will need to adjust a bit of footwork but this gives Philly an instant upgrade at the position
21. Cincinnati- OT La’el Collins– LSU
Two Collins’ players in a row and both from LSU. Cincinnati is thrilled he fell this far. A pro ready tackle that will be a potential replacement on the left side of the ball. They aren’t moving on from Andy Dalton anytime soon, so I expect them to only try to help him improve.
22. Pittsburgh- SS Landon Collins– Alabama
Collins has been dropping in a lot of scouts eyes, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t the best SS available in the draft. I still have him graded as a 1st round draft pick between 15-20. In this scenario, however, he drops to the Steelers and the Polomalu retiring talks just increase.
23. Detroit- OT Andrus Peat– Stanford
Detroit turned the defense around in 2014 and made it into the playoffs. Now they need to add some protection to their QB and let him throw to the already rostered weapons.
24. Arizona- RB Todd Gurley– Georgia
Baltimore and Dallas fans were so close! Arians has publicly stated he likes 3 down backs over a running back by committee approach. Here they risk having a different Todd Gurley post ACL tear, but even then Gurley is an improvement at the running back position.
25. Carolina- OT Erik FLowers– Miami (FLA)
Carolina gets some much needed help on the offensive line. Cam Newton has the talent to take this team far, but he will need protection and people to throw to. They addressed part of the WR position with Benjamin last year. This year they get a physical offensive tackle that will start from day one.
26. Baltimore- WR Jaelen Strong– Arizona State
Strong has a great deal of strength when positioning for the ball along with strong hands to bring the ball in, fits with the name I suppose. Strong and Steve Smith will make a nice dynamic duo. Jaelen will be the number one target for Flacco, and help fans forget about Torrey Smith leaving.
27. Dallas- DE Alvin Dupree– Kentucky
Jerry Jones missed out on Gordon and Gurley, but he has also been quite reserved on reaching for players the past couple of years. The RB positions will be popular in rounds 2-3. Dupree is my best player available. With Greg Hardy on the roster, and his playing future in the hands of Roger Goodell. I see Jerry bringing in some insurance. Dupree brings freakish athleticism to the position, and a cheap salary for the next 4 years.
28. Denver- TE Maxx Williams– Minnesota
Julius Thomas who? Maxx Williams is the best tight end in the draft and fits a need for the talented Denver team. Manning loves his tight end safety net, and bringing in Williams brings his big play potential, along those necessary first down completions
29. Indianapolis- DT Eddie Goldman– Florida State
Luck can put up numbers on the scoreboard, now the Colts need to find a way to stop the opponents from doing the same. The Colts still cringe at the game that ended their post season run. They add some 6’4 320 lbs. beef to their defensive front with Goldman. This will help Indy shore up some of the rushing yards allowed.
30. Green Bay- ILB Eric Kendricks– UCLA
Clay Matthews did a phenomenal job of stepping in and filling the role of inside linebacker, but Green Bay needs their play maker on the outside. Kendricks allows them to keep Matthews where he’s comfortable, and it also gives them a solid defender with great ball skills inside.
31. New Orleans- ILB Denzel Perryman– Miami (Florida)
I almost had the Saints taking a Wide Receiver here, but if they are willing to trade away Stills for his price, then what would be the sense? Here they get a talented Linebacker with great footwork and downhill movement. Perryman may be undersized, but he can make up for it with his ability to read and react to the play.
32. New England- CB Ronald Darby– Florida State
WIth Revis and Browner moving on from New England, the Patriots look to the draft for replacements. Darby is a very athletic corner that has some of the best man coverage in the draft. His ball skills lack a bit, but if the receiver can’t catch the ball there is no need.