Every year there are hundreds of mock drafts that pretty much list the best player available and assign them to the next team. This mock draft will be purely based on team needs and reports on what and who they’re going after. I included trade talk because that’s also a big part of the real life magic.
Pick 1 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State
It’s a foregone conclusion for the Bucs at this point. He’s local. He’ll be good for the community because they already know him. He’s the drop back and launch type of guy that Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans will love.
Pick 2 – Tennessee Titans: Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
Here’s what we “know for certain”; Marcus Mariota will be the second overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. What we don’t know is what team will pick him. It could be the Titans, the Eagles or the Browns. The Titans have more than one hole to fill on their team so they could very easily move back here.
Pick 3 – Jacksonville Jaguars: Leonard Williams, DE, USC
Hands down the top defensive player in this draft. The Jaguars only have a handful of good players on their team so as long as whoever they pick doesn’t end up as a bust they win here.
Pick 4 – Oakland Raiders: Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
Cooper was a great player going up against the top defenses in college football as part of the SEC. He’s a good safe pick that won’t disappoint. He’ll be a good #2 guy opposite Michael Crabtree. However, I like Kevin White more, personally, and think he’ll have a better career.
Pick 5 – Washington Professional Football Team: Dante Fowler Jr., DE, Florida
Another pick that could likely be shopped around, especially depending on how this whole Mariota situation pans out. Fowler is another defensive guy that can come in as a Week 1 starter. With both of the top Quarterbacks likely gone by pick 5, Washington will need to look to continue building their defense.
Pick 6 – New York Jets: ———– TRADE ———–
Every year we hear weeks of speculation about possible trades and every draft we see trades that come out of nowhere. This year will be no different. The New York Jets are a lot more stacked than their play would have you believe. With a new regime in place, this team doesn’t have many spots to fill. I can see the Jets as a likely candidate to be give their early pick to a team that needs it more.
Pick 6 – Minnesota Vikings: Kevin White, WR, West Virginia
The Vikings need it more. GM Rick Spielman has already stated that he’s interested in moving from the #11 spot. There are plenty of good defensive players left but they all have some kind of trouble around their name at the moment. If the Vikings move up they’d probably be looking for a sure thing. I thing Kevin White is a sure thing.
Pick 7 – Chicago Bears: Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa
The main problem with Jay Cutler is the amount of time he spends on his back during football games. Adding some help to his offensive line will help him stand upright long enough to get the ball out of his hands and maybe even some time to aim before throwing.
Pick 8 – Atlanta Falcons: Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson
The Atlanta Falcons have needed a pass rush for years. For years, they’ve ignored this need. In a draft with more than enough possible defensive studs on the board and a defensive minded coach, the Falcons almost have no choice but to get the somewhat home-grown Beasley with the eighth overall pick.
Pick 9 – New York Giants: Arik Armstead, DL, Oregon
With last year’s emergence of Odell Beckham Jr., the Giants have seemingly figured out their offense. Beckham will be paired with the returning Victor Cruz alongside new RB signing Shane Vereen. The Giants needs now turn to the defensive side of the ball where they will try to recreate their vaunted front 7 of a few years ago.
Pick 10 – St. Louis Rams: Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford
Opposite from the Giants, the Rams have a borderline great defense but need to build their offense. Their defense is good enough to keep opposing teams from scoring much so this offense doesn’t need to be great. Nick Foles is a serious upgrade from Sam Bradford. The Rams’ running backs and receivers are capable of putting a decent amount of points up. They need a tackle to replace Jake Long.
Pick 11 – New York Jets: Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami
The Jets seemingly are going to stay with the Geno Smith project for at least another year. They’ve signed Brandon Marshall to play opposite Eric Decker (rolls eyes dismissively). Adding a piece at O-Line will help here.
Pick 12 – Cleveland Browns: DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville
Last year the Browns had two picks that sounded great at the time but have ended up causing more problems than they’ve solved. This draft is crucial. The Browns have decent pieces on defense so one could assume they’ll spend this draft focusing on offense. Parker is a member of a very deep WR class that emerge as an immediate #2 option behind new Brown WR Dwayne Bowe.
Pick 13 – New Orleans Saints: Alvin “Bud” Dupree, OLB, Kentucky
Bud Dupree will be an addition to a Saints line backing core that needs to improve after a year where the Saints were ranked second to last in the league in total defense.
Pick 14 – Miami Dolphins: Randy Gregory, OLB, Nebraska
There have been numerous reports in the past couple days on the mental state of Gregory but nothing concrete has been said. The former top 10 prospect won’t fall far unless something more substantial comes out in the next few hours.
Pick 15 – San Francisco 49ers: Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State
49ers start the draft with a “BPA (best player available)” pick. Look for them fill their gaping holes at linebacker in the second and third rounds.
Pick 16 – Houston Texans: D.J. Humphries, OT, Florida
The Texans are looking to turn some heads this year if they can figure out their quarterback situation. Having the best O-Line possible will help the competition.
Pick 17 – San Diego Chargers: Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia
The Chargers are in a good spot with Peyton Manning’s career winding down in Denver. Assuming they hold on to Philip Rivers their need is in the backfield. Gurley fills this need.
Pick 18 – Kansas City Chiefs: Marcus Peters, CB, Washington
The Chiefs secondary is thin. They’re going to need to get some help to get ahead in the pass happy AFC West.
Pick 19 – Cleveland Browns: Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin
On their second trip to the podium on Thursday, the Browns are going to look to add another offensive weapon.
Pick 20 – Philadelphia Eagles: Breshad Perriman, WR, UCF
Everyone expects Chip Kelly to make a huge trade Thursday night, which is exactly why he won’t. The King of NFL Trolls keeps it simple and tries to replace some of the outside speed of Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson.
Pick 21 – Cincinnati Bengals: Shane Ray, OLB, Missouri
The top 10 prospect falls down to 21. Talent outweighs Ray’s bad decision as the Bengals try to rebuild their defense.
Pick 22 – Pittsburgh Steelers: Byron Jones, CB, Connecticut
At this point of the round we’re getting down to the teams that only have one or two true holes to fill on their team. For the Steelers, that major need is Cornerback.
Pick 23 – Detroit Lions: La’el Collins, OT, LSU
The Lions is the exception to the rule as free agency was not kind to this unit. With a potentially explosive offense, having a strong O-Line is key. Drafting Collins with the first pick is a good start.
Pick 24 – Arizona Cardinals: Eric Kendricks, ILB, UCLA
Simply put, the Cardinals need linebackers. He’s the top ranked one available.
Pick 25 – Carolina Panthers: Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Missouri
It’s not often that a pick is matched up with a team picking in the mid-20s in so many reports. Kelvin Benjamin was a great start but the Panthers still have a need for a receiver.
Pick 26 – Baltimore Ravens: Danny Shelton, DT, Washington
Shelton slides a few slots lower than expected amongst reports about his questionable work ethic. The Ravens, however, have too many holes in the defensive line to not take the risk.
Pick 27 – Dallas Cowboys: Malcom Brown, DT, Texas
The amount of front seven talent on the defensive side of the ball continues to show as the Cowboys take the top ranked D-Lineman still available.
Pick 28 – Denver Broncos: Cedric Ogbuehi, OT, Texas A&M
Peyton Manning says he doesn’t plan on retiring anytime soon so getting some O-Line help would be the best choice for them.
Pick 29 – Indianapolis Colts: Landon Collins, S, Alabama
The Colts can put up points at will. Their problem is stopping their opponents from getting in the endzone. Teaming Collins up at Safety with Dwight Lowery could help make the Colts into a top 10 ranked defense.
Pick 30 – Green Bay Packers: Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest
The Packers have at least one hole at every level of defense (D-Line, Linebacker, Secondary). This is also a BPA pick as Johnson is currently the highest ranked defensive player left.
Pick 31 – New Orleans Saints: Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State
Earlier the Saints drafted some defensive help. This pick will see them look towards this year’s very deep receiver pool to give Brees another weapon after trading away Jimmy Graham.
Pick 32 – New England Patriots: Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida State
The New England Patriots are almost notorious for trading out of the first round. I don’t see this year being any different. The team is reportedly looking to move back somewhere in the top 45 picks for South Carolina Guard A.J. Cann. With no potential suitors for the late round pick being reported, any team could end up with this pick. Since there’s no announced trade possibilities Goldman is the best option for the Patriots to end our night with.