Happy Draft Weekend! It’s been a long process, with in-season debates, all-star game risers, NFL Combine workout warriors, the interview process, and wild trade speculation, but today, all questions (at least about player destinations) will be answered.
I’ve projected three trades in this final mock draft, all a combination of what I’ve heard and what makes sense. There could be a lot of action for picks #4 and #5, and from #14-17. The three trades are below:
-San Francisco trades #15, #46 and their 4th round pick to Oakland for #4 overall.
-San Diego trade #17 and their 3rd round pick to Miami for #15 overall
-Carolina trades #25 and #57 to the Texans for #16 overall
I’ve tried to include other possibilities for each pick in an effort to hopefully provide more than one player when/if chaos happens in the draft. And I did not project a trade for Marcus Mariota, even though I don’t think he’ll be a Titan long after they take him at #2 overall.
That being said, here’s my final mock draft of the year for the 2015 NFL Draft.
- Tampa Bay Bucs – Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State
It’s become clear Jameis Winston is the pick for the Bucs. The next questions are whether he’ll be the opening day starter, which seems likely, and if he’ll be able to overcome his off-field issues to be a leader of a franchise, which is very much unknown.
- Tennessee Titans – Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
The Browns and Jets are the two potential trade-up options. I’ve heard the Jets have legitimate interest, but don’t want to succumb to the Titans high demands. The Titans would like to squeeze a third first-rounder from the Browns, which isn’t out of the realm of possibility. Finally, I’ve been told that Ken Whisenhunt may have sold himself on Mariota. Not sure exactly what to believe, other than all three are real possibilities.
- Jacksonville Jaguars – Dante Fowler, OLB, Florida
Fowler is viewed highly by most teams, and would be a plug-and-play starter at outside linebacker for the Jaguars. This could be a trade down target. The most interesting one I’ve heard: Falcons move to #3 to get Fowler, Jaguars move to #8 and take either an edge like Vic Beasley or running back Todd Gurley.
- TRADE: San Francisco 49ers – Leonard Williams, DT, USC
Bold pick here, but I’ve been told not only are the Raiders looking to trade down to get an extra second-rounder, but also the 49ers want to get into the top-five. Williams makes the most sense and it’d be a savvy move for a 49ers team that doesn’t have many gaping needs after 5-technique. But it could be for an offensive player as well (Todd Gurley, DeVante Parker, Amari Cooper)
- Washington Redskins – Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
If they can’t get Dante Fowler or hold Leonard Williams up for auction, the Redskins will be in a tough spot. Edge is possible like Dupree or Beasley, offensive line is possible like Brandon Scherff, but I don’t think Amari Cooper falls past the top-6, and the Redskins could use another receiver.
- New York Jets – Alvin Dupree, DE, Kentucky
The Jets don’t have any serious needs, and if they can’t get Mariota, they’re especially tough to figure out. Receiver and edge fit the value here. Dupree fits the type of edge player that Todd Bowles likes.
- Chicago Bears – Kevin White, WR, West Virginia
Amari Cooper may be higher than Kevin White on their board, and if he’s here he’d be the pick. If not, they’ll probably stay at receiver and take Kevin White. Danny Shelton and Alvin Dupree two other possibilities.
- Atlanta Falcons – Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson
Atlanta’s tough to peg, especially since two of their top pass-rushers, Randy Gregory and Shane Ray, have fallen off. Beasley fits what Dan Quinn wants for the “LEO” position. Brandon Scherff could be an option as well, but likely not Todd Gurley.
- New York Giants – Brandon Scherff, OT/OG, Iowa
I’ve mocked Andrus Peat here many times before, and I think he’s a far better fit than Scherff. Peat can play left tackle, kick Beatty to right tackle, shift Justin Pugh to guard, and improve this offensive line at three spots. Scherff seems like a guard/tackle in-betweener (like Justin Pugh). But, the Giants did like Zach Martin a lot last year, and Scherff is the 2015 version of him.
- St. Louis Rams – Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami (FL)
Similar to Scherff, I don’t love the fit for the Rams and Ereck Flowers, but I can get the rationale. With Greg Robinson playing well at left guard but struggling mightily at left tackle, it’s unclear what his best position may be. Flowers can play left tackle (keeping Robinson inside), right tackle (opposite Robinson) or right guard (a need) for this team.
- Minnesota Vikings – DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville
Pairing Parker up with Teddy Bridgewater and addressing a huge need seems to make this pick a no-brainer. However, I wouldn’t rule out Trae Waynes or even Andrus Peat. A trade-down also possible. But Parker makes the most sense if he’s here.
- Cleveland Browns – Danny Shelton, DT, Washington
If the Browns don’t trade up to get Marcus Mariota, they’ll add a nose tackle with one of their two first-rounders. Shelton at 12 or Malcom Brown at 19 both fit. If Shelton’s here, he’s the perfect Phil Taylor replacement.
- New Orleans Saints – Breshad Perriman, WR, UCF
If not for his most recent off-field issue, I’d put La’el Collins of LSU here, but he’s a near lock to be out of round one at this point. If Vic Beasley’s here, I think he’s the pick. If not, Perriman gives this team the help it needs at receiver.
- TRADE: San Diego Chargers – Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia
Miami is linked to Todd Gurley, but I’ve heard San Diego covets him more. And with the 49ers at 15 (if they don’t trade up) and Texans at 16 both expressing some interest, the Chargers need to move above both to get their guy. The Dolphins get back a 3rd rounder in exchange.
- TRADE: Oakland Raiders – Arik Armstead, DE, Oregon
IF the Raiders trade down here, it’s hard to say who they’ll pick. But, I know they’d like to add an instant contributor at defensive end and receiver in this draft. By trading down, they’ll have this pick and two seconds to fill those two spots.
- TRADE: Carolina Panthers – Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford
The Panthers are desperate for an offensive lineman. I’ve had them trading up before for DJ Humphries (also high on their board), but if Peat is within striking distance, I think he’s their guy. Houston doesn’t have any major needs to fill at 16.
- TRADE: Miami Dolphins – Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State
If the Dolphins stay at 14, Waynes might be their guy there too. Waynes or Kevin Johnson could be their top cornerback, but I’m leaning in favor of Waynes. DeVante Parker could intrigue them in a trade-up (instead of this trade down) too.
- Kansas City Chiefs – Cameron Erving, OC, Florida State
I’ve heard receiver, edge rusher, safety, cornerback and offensive line are all options for this pick. Erving can replace Rodney Hudson as the team’s new center seamlessly. If not Erving, I think Kevin Johnson would be the pick.
- Cleveland Browns (via BUF) – Phillip Dorsett, WR, Miami (FL)
After nose tackle, it’s unclear what the Browns covet as their next need. Right tackle’s in play, but unless Ereck Flowers is here, I don’t see it. Melvin Gordon is tossed around, but Isaiah Crowell and Terrence West have ample talent. Dorsett can be their new vertical threat, and he’s going somewhere in round one.
- Philadelphia Eagles – Eric Rowe, CB/S, Utah
It’s impossible to gauge what Chip Kelly’s thinking, but Eric Rowe makes too much sense. He’s played both safety positions (both could be needs for Philadelphia long-term) and has the length to play cornerback for Chip. Jake Fisher in play as well. Damarious Randall may “fit”, but he’s not worth the value, and maybe is the target in a trade back.
- Cincinnati Bengals – Jake Fisher, OG/OT, Oregon
Offensive tackle or defensive tackle seem like the two most likely options for Cincinnati. Jake Fisher gets the nod as the pick, but Cedric Ogbuehi and TJ Clemmings may also intrigue, as would Ereck Flowers if he’s here.
- Pittsburgh Steelers – Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest
The top cornerback on their board, the Steelers would be thrilled if Johnson fell to here. The Dolphins and Chiefs both have interest, but this may be the lowest Johnson goes.
- Detroit Lions – Malcolm Brown, DT, Texas
After letting Ndamukong Suh and CJ Mosley go on the defensive line, the Lions added Haloti Ngata but still need another top defensive tackle talent. Keeping the defensive line a strength would be wise, and Brown can maintain that. DJ Humphries may be an option as well.
- Arizona Cardinals – Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin
I think Melvin Gordon will be here at 24. After investing in their offensive line this off-season, Gordon thrive behind it. Cornerback (Trae Waynes, Byron Jones) and offensive tackle (DJ Humphries) could be options here as well.
- TRADE: Houston Texans – Nelson Agholor, WR, USC
Whether the Texans trade down or not, a receiver like Agholor (or Phillip Dorsett) may intrigue. I think cornerback would be a better position to address, and they’ll have options at 16 or 25. Also, a top edge talent (Shane Ray?) may be in play too.
- Baltimore Ravens – Marcus Peters, CB, Washington
The Ravens have a major need at receiver, and if Breshad Perriman is available, I think he’d really entice. But Marcus Peters is very high on their board, and he’s my pick if he’s available. Phillip Dorsett and Devin Smith could also be options.
- Dallas Cowboys – Randy Gregory, DE/OLB, Nebraska
I’m shocked and a bit disappointed by this pick, but if Randy Gregory is available for the Cowboys, I’ll be very surprised if he’s not their selection. He could play end or linebacker for this defense…if he can stay on the field and mature.
- Denver Broncos – TJ Clemmings, OT, Pittsburgh
The Broncos are looking to add a top offensive line prospect that can play guard this year to replace Orlando Franklin and potentially slide to right tackle long-term. Clemmings offers exactly that, and is a worthy top-32 pick in this draft.
- Indianapolis Colts – DJ Humphries, OT, Florida
Nose tackle is their biggest need, so Jordan Phillips of Oklahoma and Carl Davis of Iowa are both options. But with DJ Humphries here, a guy they feel can be a left tackle in the NFL, he may be too good to pass up.
- Green Bay Packers – Byron Jones, CB, UConn
Jones got a ton of buzz after his NFL Combine, but I think top-20 hype was a bit too much. He’s more of a second-round guy on film, and maybe best at safety. But the Packers are desperate for a bounder cornerback, and Jones fits the measurables and athletic ability to fill that role.
- New Orleans Saints (via SEA) – Mario Edwards, DE, Florida State
The buzz is that Mario Edwards might be a top-25 pick. I don’t see it on film, and I don’t see a team between 20 and 26 that make sense. That being said, he’s an upside guy with 5-technique capabilities, and the feeling is he’s a round one guy.
- New England Patriots – AJ Cann, OG, South Carolina
The Patriots are highly likely to trade back at this pick, and maybe for a team looking to pounce on Shane Ray, Landon Collins, Donovan Smith, or Jalen Collins. But regardless where they’re picking, Cann is a strong fit and viewed as a top-40 prospect.