Mock Draft 1.0
By Dwayne Wilton
I know it’s way too early to take a mock draft seriously, but I thought this might be a good time to do the first one. This is before the NFL Combine, free agency and pro days, so I doubt my next one will look much like this one, but it’s always fun to speculate on what teams will do with their draft picks.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State – The Bucs need a quarterback. At this point in the draft season, it looks like Winston is the best QB available, but that can always change. I like Winston over Mariota because he is used to playing in a pro-style offense.
- Tennessee Titans – Leonard Williams, DE, USC – The Titans could go Mariota here, but Zach Mettzenberger played pretty well last year. The Titans need an upgrade to the front three and Williams teamed with Jurrell Casey would give them a dominant front.
- Jacksonville Jaguars- Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa – Scherff teams with last year’s first round Luke Joeckel to give them a pair of bookend tackles for years to come.
- Oakland Raiders – Randy Gregory, DE, Nebraska – The Raiders have Lamarr Woodley and Justin Tuck at defensive end. Both are getting up in years. Gregory will give them some youth at the position.
- Washington Redskins – Shane Ray, DE/OLB, Missouri – Brian Orakpo is a free agent and might not be re-signed. If Ray looks good in linebacker drills at the NFL Combine, he could be a good fit here.
- NY Jets – Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon – There is a new regime in New York. They may want a new face of the franchise since Geno Smith was drafted by the previous regime.
- Chicago Bears – Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson – Beasley has a very quick first step and is a very good pass rusher. He played defensive end at Clemson, but will likely be asked to convert to linebacker in the NFL due to his size.
- Atlanta Falcons – Dante Fowler, DE/OLB, Florida – The Falcons need a pass rusher and Fowler is the best on the board at this point. He should have the athleticism to play linebacker.
- NY Giants – Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford – The Giants need help up front and this seems like a typical Giants pick. If Peat can win the left tackle spot, he and Justin Pugh would be a good pair of offensive tackles for years to come. If he isn’t able to play on the left side, he could move to the right side and Pugh could slide inside. Either way the Giants line is an improvement.
- Louis Rams – Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama – I think the Rams would like to draft a quarterback here, but that would be a reach. With Cooper falling this far, they can’t resist getting a weapon for Bradford and hope they can keep him healthy.
- Minnesota Vikings – Devante Parker, WR, Louisville – Cordarrelle Patterson hasn’t been the impact they hoped he would be. Parker had a great chemistry with Teddy Bridgewater at Louisville and it continues with the Vikings.
- Cleveland Browns – Danny Shelton, DT/DE, Washington – The first of two first round picks. I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t try to package these and move up.
- New Orleans Saints – Marcus Peters, CB, Washington – Back to back Washington players selected. The Saints need help at corner and they get a corner that excels at press coverage.
- Miami Dolphins – Landon Collins, SS, Alabama – The pick of Collins makes the Dolphins a more physical defense, which they can always use when you are in the same division as the Patriots.
- San Francisco 49ers – Arik Armstead, DE, Oregon – Armstead is a good fit for a 3-4 team and will give the 49ers depth at that position. Besides, Justin Smith isn’t getting any younger.
- Houston Texans – Kevin White, WR, West Virginia – Andre Johnson is starting to show his age. White should be the #3 receiver right away and can take over for Johnson when he retires.
- San Diego Chargers – Eddie Goldman, NT, Florida State – The Chargers need help on the defensive front. Goldman has the size and strength to be a run stuffing nose tackle that can eat up blocks and tie up the middle.
- Kansas City Chiefs – Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State – In the NFL, you always need corners. Waynes fills a need for the Chiefs. He is a good press corner that can match up with the opponents best receiver.
- Cleveland Browns (from Buffalo) – Devin Funchess, TE/WR, Michigan – The jury is still out on what position Funchess is going to play. That question might be answered at the NFL Combine this weekend. No matter where he lines up, it gives the Browns an offensive weapon that they sorely need.
- Philadelphia Eagles – Denzel Perryman, LB, Miami – Perryman is a versatile linebacker that can play inside or outside. Demeco Ryans is getting up there in years, so Perryman could be groomed to take over for him at one of the inside spots.
- Cincinnati Bengals – Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, Oregon – Terrance Newman is starting at one of the corner spots. Nuff said.
- Pittsburgh Steelers – Carl Davis, NT, Iowa – Davis is a massive defensive tackle that looked good at the Senior Bowl. He looks like a fit for the Steelers.
- Detroit Lions – Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin – This should scare everyone in the NFC North. Adding a weapon with this kind of speed to the Lions attack could make them downright sick offensively.
- Arizona Cardinals – Malcom Brown, DT, Texas – Brown would be in the rotation immediately and could be the heir apparent to Darnell Dockett.
- Carolina Panthers – T.J. Clemmings, OT, Pitt – Clemmings is extremely talented but still raw. He is a definite upgrade to their offensive line.
- Baltimore Ravens – La’el Collins, G/T, LSU – Collins could play guard or right tackle. His physical play is exactly what the Ravens like from their offensive linemen.
- Dallas Cowboys – Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota – The Cowboys get the eventual replacement for Jason Witten.
- Denver Broncos – Devin Smith, WR, Ohio State – Smith averaged over 28 yards per catch as a senior. Peyton Manning will love his speed.
- Indianapolis Colts – Cameron Erving, C, Florida State – Erving has played everywhere on the offensive line, but his play improved when he moved to center. He would be a big improvement for interior of the Colts offensive line.
- Green Bay Packers – Eli Harold, OLB, Virginia – Julius Peppers is 34 years old. Harold will give them depth and should eventually be able to take over for Peppers.
- Seattle Seahawks – A.J. Cann, G, South Carolina – Cann is a tough, hardworking guard that would compete with James Carpenter and J.R. Sweezy for a starting position.
- New England Patriots – Bud Dupree, OLB, Kentucky – Dupree is a versatile player that could play defensive end or linebacker. He would give the Patriots an improved pass rush with the versatility that Bill Belichick loves.
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