By Ryan Crawford
The hot commodities of this draft include the two intriguing quarterbacks, two high level running backs, a batch of very good interior defensive linemen, three dynamite edge rushers and a group of wide receivers that just might rival last years extraordinary crop. Here’s my initial mock draft for 2015. There’s sure to be many changes before long.
1. TAMPA BAY BUCS – Jameis Winston – QB – Florida State
Lovie Smith and the Bucs badly need a franchise quarterback and Jameis Winston can be that guy. Questions about his maturity and too many interceptions are the major red flags. I think the Bucs jump at the opportunity to snag such a high level QB prospect and hope the potential problems work themselves out.
2. TENNESSEE TITANS – Leonard Williams – DT – USC
I do not think the Titans are enamored with developing Marcus Mariota at QB. Williams might be the top talent in the draft and fills a huge need in the middle of the Titans defensive line.
3. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS – Randy Gregory-OLB- Nebraska
Jaguars are looking to upgrade on defense and Gregory is a stud.
4. OAKLAND RAIDERS – Amari Cooper-WR-Alabama
Take your choice between Cooper, White, Parker etc. but there is a clear need at the receiver position and the Raiders will have plenty to choose from. Cooper seems to be the cream of the crop.
5. WASHINGTON REDSKINS – Landon Collins – S- Alabama
Best safety in the draft fills a huge void for the Redskins.
6. NEW YORK JETS – Dante Fowler – DE/OLB – Florida
Bigtime explosive pass rusher is a welcome gift for the defensive minded new head coach Todd Bowles.
7. CHICAGO BEARS – Shane Ray – DE – Missouri
Watching the Bears play defense last season was somewhat frightening for Bears fans. Ray is a pure pass rusher who should put some pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
8. ATLANTA FALCONS – Danny Shelton -DT- Washington
Another team with a bad defense…seeing a trend down here? Danny Shelton was a monster at the senior bowl and should anchor the middle of the Falcons line for years.
9. NEW YORK GIANTS – Brandon Scherff- OT- Iowa
The Giants most important job is to keep Eli Manning upright so he is able to get the ball to Odell Beckham Jr, Victor Cruz and Ruben Randle. This load should help accomplish that goal.
10. ST LOUIS RAMS – Marcus Mariota- QB- Oregon
Rams are thrilled to see Mariota drop into their laps and will jump at the chance to replace the often injured and highly paid Sam Bradford
11. MINNESOTA VIKINGS – Kevin White – WR- West Virginia
White ran a 4.35 at the combine. At 6’3″ with top flight speed, he can be a dynamic weapon for Teddy Bridgewater
12. CLEVELAND BROWNS – Devante Parker- WR- Louisville
Parker is another top weapon to be contended with and the Browns have major concerns at the wide receiver spot with Josh Gordon being a major question mark.
13. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS – Vic Beasley-DE-Clemson
Beasley is a prolific pass rusher who will be called upon to play OLB because of his size. Certainly the Saints will require some defense sooner or later. Had a great combine.
14. MIAMI DOLPHINS – Ereck Flowers- OT- Miami
Another massive body in front of Ryan Tannehill could be just what the doctor ordered for the Dolphins.
15. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS – Arik Armstead –DE/DT-Oregon
New coach, new ideas but there will be a big need to retool the ferocious 49ers defense and Armstead is a mountain of a man for the defensive line.
16. HOUSTON TEXANS – Andrus Peat – OT- Stanford
The Texans need to build up their offensive line and Peat is great place to start
17. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS – Eddie Goldman- DT- Florida State
With all the weapons they have on offense, the Chargers can use a little defense and this guy is a force in the middle of a four man front
18 KANSAS CITY CHIEFS – Dorial Green Beckham- WR- Missouri
Green-Beckham is just one of those guys who could not seem to find his niche in college but oozes talent. The Chiefs are a team that had no touchdowns last year from a wide receiver. Seems like a match to me.
19. CLEVELAND BROWNS – TJ Clemmings- OT- Pittsburgh
The Browns continue to build up their offense. Now if they can only figure out the quarterback situation then they can start to move the team forward.
20. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES – Trae Waynes – CB – Michigan St
Not sure how I got Waynes to drop down this far, especially after he ran a 4.30 in the combine, but the Eagles would be thrilled if he did and snatch him up quickly.
21. CINCINNATI BENGALS – Bud Dupree- DE/OLB- Kentucky
Called a physical freak of nature, this future NFL edge rusher will help the Bengals defense immensely. Ran a 4.56 in the 40 yard dash and has a 42 inch vertical leap and did a 138 inch broad jump. All while weighing in at 270 lbs. Oh My!!
22. PITTSBURGH STEELERS – Malcolm Brown- DT- Texas
A mountain for the middle of the Steeler defensive line.
23. DETROIT LIONS – LaEl Collins – OT – LSU
The Lions have a few holes on their offensive line and Collins looks like he’ll be a pretty good one. At 6’5″ and 322 lbs, he projects at left tackle.
24. ARIZONA CARDINALS – Jaelen Strong- WR- Arizona State
At 6’4″, this blazer is another stud in the crop of highly sought after receivers. A local product, the Cards are thrilled to scoop him up at 24.
25. CAROLINA PANTHERS – Marcus Peters – CB- Washington
Regarded as the number two cornerback in the entire draft, Peters is a very physical corner who fills a major need for the Panthers.
26. BALTIMORE RAVENS – Melvin Gordon-RB-Wisconsin
The Ravens are in dire need of a top flight running back and Gordon is considered the best of a strong group.
27. DALLAS COWBOYS – Maxx Williams- TE – Minnesota
The heir apparent to Jason Witten, the Cowboys are on the lookout for a young tight end that they can develop. Williams has great hands and top speed. Reminds some of a young Jeremy Shockey.
28. DENVER BRONCOS – Devin Funchess- WR- Michigan
Broncos are in salary cap dilemmas with the Thomas boys. If they franchise Demaryius Thomas, they might lose Julius Thomas. Either way they should be in the market for a pass catching tight end with speed to play receiver and Funchess certainly fits the description.
29. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS – Cedric Ogbuhei- OT- Texas A & M
When you have a quarterback with the ability of an Andrew Luck, you must wisely do anything and everything to protect him. A big tackle helps and Ogbuhei oozes with potential.
30. GREEN BAY PACKERS – Denzel Perryman – ILB – Miami
The Packers just released veteran A.J.Hawk and Perryman is a highly regarded prospect who could step into that inside linebacker role.
31. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS – Kevin Johnson- CB- Wake Forest
The Legion of Boom was a little banged up by the end of the season and with Byron Maxwell slated for free agency, a young corner might be just what the doctor ordered.
32. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS – Mike Bennett – DT- Ohio State
Another big body for the defensive front should help the Patriots continue to dominate the NFL.
Other Potential 1st Round Picks
Todd Gurley- RB- Georgia
Trey Flowers – DE- Arkansas
Shaq Thompson- OLB – Washington
Eli Harold- DE- Virginia
Breshad Perriman- WR- Central Florida
Quinten Rollins – CB- Miami (Ohio)