NFL mock drafts become a dime a dozen at this time of the year. Here’s another ten cent look at a possible outcome of this year’s process.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Jameis Winston, QB: The most NFL-ready quarterback in the draft has his detractors, and there are concerns, but the Bucs need an infusion of both talent and swagger. Winston has both.
Another Direction: There is almost no chance the Bucs take anything besides Winston or Marcus Mariota, but if they do, an edge player like Dante Fowler would likely be the direction they go.
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- Tennessee Titans – Dante Fowler, Edge: Fowler is the most “bust-proof” edge player in the draft. He can line up in multiple spots and make an impact. The Titans defense gets better immediately.
Another Direction: There’s a good chance the Titans trade down with a team looking to acquire Mariota, or they might decide to take him themselves.
- Jacksonville Jaguars – Vic Beasley, Edge: The very definition of an explosive football player, Beasley is a dangerous pass rusher, and one with a multitude of ways to get where he’s going. Opposing quarterbacks beware.
Another Direction: It would be a reach, but if they fall in love with La’el Collins or Brandon Scherff, they could decide to help protect Blake Bortles instead.
- Oakland Raiders – Leonard Williams, DT: The Raiders can’t pass on the top overall player in the draft. He is big, fast, and strong, making him a problem if you try to block him one-on-one. Khalil Mack will benefit here.
Another Direction: Wide receiver is a position that will be strongly considered as well, with Derek Carr needing some weapons to work with. Kevin White is the most likely pick if they go that way.
- Washington Redskins – Randy Gregory, Edge: He gives the Redskins another dangerous pass rusher to go with Ryan Kerrigan. Gregory is a speed rusher with great length and a nose for quarterbacks.
Another Direction: The Redskins are another team that could grab one of the offensive linemen. Scherff, who can play all over the line, would be a fit.
- New York Jets – Marcus Mariota, QB: Geno Smith hasn’t worked out, and Mariota is possible the only other NFL starter available in this draft. Mariota has a great arm and can make big plays with his feet. Fans will love it as well.
Another Direction: The Jets have some talented players on defense, but could use an edge rusher. If Mariota is gone, they could take whichever is left on the board. Gregory and Bud Dupree fit nicely.
- Chicago Bears – Kevin White, WR: With Brandon Marshall gone, the Bears need a receiver and here, they have their pick. White is an athletic, big play guy who pairs with Alshon Jeffery to keep Jay Cutler happy.
Another Direction: The Bears had a terrible defense in 2014, and could grab a pass rusher instead of a receiver. Dupree or Gregory should be available.
- Atlanta Falcons – Bud Dupree, Edge: It’s not hard to see that the Falcons badly need a pass rusher. Dupree is loaded with physical ability and his upside is sky-high. Dan Quinn will find a way to get him in position to make plays.
Another Direction: If the top edge rushers are all gone, the Falcons either have to reach for Shane Ray, or take another position. Amari Cooper could be attractive, or they could grab possibly Scherff for the offensive line.
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- New York Giants – La’el Collins, OT: Eli Manning needs protection, and Collins is a big, strong, and mean lineman who plays well in both the run game and passing game. He’s ready to play early on.
Another Direction: They could elect to address the secondary instead. Marcus Peters is the top cornerback available, but has off-field questions. Trae Waynes is an option if they’re scared of Peters.
- St Louis Rams – Brandon Scherff, OL: The Rams have built a really good defense, and added a quarterback this offseason to try and compete. Scherff is a versatile player who is technically sound, and will contribute right away, possibly at guard at first.
Another Direction: If the Rams don’t like any of the offensive lineman this high, they could take one of the highly rated receivers still on the board, especially if Cooper is still there.
- Minnesota Vikings – Amari Cooper, WR: The Cordarrelle Patterson experiment hasn’t worked out, and they need a reliable receiving threat. Cooper is a smooth player who runs routes well and is a better deep-play threat than perceived by some.
Another Direction: Cornerback could be the pick if they’re satisfied with the addition of Mike Wallace. The top corners are still available should they go that route.
- Cleveland Browns – DeVante Parker, WR: With Josh Gordon suspended, the Browns are desperately in need of an infusion of talent at receiver. They added Dwayne, but Parker brings some of what Gordon would have. He’s long, fast, and can go up and get the football.
Another Direction: Danny Shelton is a huge nose tackle who would strengthen the Cleveland front seven if they go to that side of the ball.
- New Orleans Saints – Marcus Peters, CB: Off the field issues haunt Peters, but on the field, he’s an elite prospect. He’s a smart player with good footwork and recovery speed. He’s a solid tackler as well.
Another Direction: The Saints could use a pass rusher, and could elect to take the much-maligned Shane Ray here.
- Miami Dolphins – Kevin Johnson, CB: You can never have too many good cornerbacks when you play the Patriots twice a year. Johnson has good size and quickness to the position, and holds up well in man-to-man.
Another Direction: Breshad Perriman would be a reach here, but Miami could use a big receiver with the capability of being a #1 guy.
- San Francisco 49ers – Trae Waynes, CB: The Niners continue the run on corners. A tumultuous offseason means they need talent added on defense. Waynes plays with physicality that belies his size. He also has very good ball skills.
Another Direction: The losses on defense leave several options. They could look at Arik Armstead to strengthen the defensive line.
- Houston Texans – Preston Smith, Edge: While the Texans will only as far as their quarterback can take them, they look to make the defense as dynamic as possible. Smith has good quickness and a full repertoire of moves.
Another Direction: With Andre Johnson gone, they could look to add talent at receiver, especially if one of the big three were to fall to them.
- San Diego Chargers – Todd Gurley, RB: The Chargers have moved on from Ryan Matthews and need a running back. This is a deep class, but if he’s healthy, Gurley is head and shoulders above the rest. He’s big, strong, fast, and a big play waiting to happen.
Another Direction: Danny Shelton still being on the board would be tempting in this situation. Also, rumors abound about a trade to go get Mariota.
- Kansas City Chiefs – Cameron Erving, C: The Chiefs want to run the ball early and often, and building a dominant offensive line is key. Erving was a terrific run blocker who is versatile enough to play all five positions on the line if needed.
Another Direction: Jaelen Strong would give them big receiver who can make the big third down catches, and be what they wanted Dwayne Bowe to be.
- Cleveland Browns – Danny Shelton, DT: The Browns get a player in Shelton that they could have taken at 12 and still gotten value. Shelton is a huge space-eating tackle who can dominate in the run game, when properly motivated.
Another Direction: If the Browns think highly of either Andrus Peat or Ereck Flowers, they could opt to improve the offensive line instead.
- Philadelphia Eagles – Byron Jones, DB: Predicting Chip Kelly is hard, but Jones is an explosive athlete, and a well respected leader. The Eagles can use him at cornerback or safety, or both. His ceiling is nearly unlimited.
Another Direction: The addition of Sam Bradford, and failed trade with Cleveland, make it seem likely that trading up is unlikely, but if they have a chance to go get Mariota, they will.
- Cincinnati Bengals – Malcom Brown, DT: It seems almost certain that the Bengals draft a player for the trenches. Brown is a big, quicker-than-he-looks tackle who could immediately move into the rotation and take over for Domata Peko soon.
Another Direction: If they go to the other side of the ball, Andrus Peat could be the guy. He lacks the mean streak teams like, but he’s huge, and talented.
- Pittsburgh Steelers – Landon Collins, S: With Troy Polamalu’s retirement, the Steelers could be in the market for a safety. Collins is a great run defender, and a terrific tackler. He’ll have big shoes to fill, but he can play.
Another Direction: The Steelers really need a starting caliber cornerback, and could target that position, especially if a guy like Peters falls due to character concerns.
- Detroit Lions – DJ Humphries, OT: The Lions have a high scoring offense, but could improve the offensive line. Humphries is quick at the snap and moves well. He’s a potential left tackle at the NFL level.
Another Direction: They could look to add another defensive back, since they play in a division with the Packers. A versatile guy like Eric Rowe would make some sense.
- Arizona Cardinals – Arik Armstead, DL: With the value not there for a pass rusher, the Cardinals draft another giant five-technique up front. He is still somewhat raw, but very talented and a good value pick here.
Another Direction: Shane Ray is still available, and could be the pick if they are enamored of his speed and burst.
- Carolina Panthers – Andrus Peat, OT: It’s no secret that the Panthers need to add talent in front of Cam Newton. Peat is a huge tackle with good footwork which allows him to slide smoothly to impede pass rushers.
Another Direction: The secondary continues to need addressing, and a player like Eric Rowe could be in play at this point if they don’t like their tackle options.
- Baltimore Ravens – Melvin Gordon, RB: The Ravens got a huge, and unexpected, year out of Justin Forsett last year. He’s back, but they go get a new model for 2015. Gordon is a big play machine and his balance and vision are top notch.
Another Direction: Another receiver wouldn’t be a bad pick here either, and Perriman or Strong could hear their name here.
- Dallas Cowboys – Eric Rowe, DB: The Cowboys secondary is a question mark, and the addition of Rowe makes sense. He can play corner, but might be better as a safety. He tackles well and does a good job of getting in front of receivers when the ball is in the air.
Another Direction: The defensive line could be the target, with a tackle like Jordan Phillips or Carl Davis as options to beef up the front seven.
- Denver Broncos – Jake Fisher, OT: Peyton Manning is coming back, but age is catching up to him. They Broncos will need to protect him with good pass protection and with a run game. Fisher is technically sound and will play early.
Another Direction: They could opt to address the defense and take a pass rusher like Shane Ray if he falls to this point.
- Indianapolis Colts – TJ Clemmings, OT: While a bit raw, and still learning the position, Clemmings is immensely talented. He has plenty of length and size, with good footwork, to be a dominant left tackle down the line.
Another Direction: A pass rusher would make sense here as well, depending on how the team feels about Shane Ray and Eli Harold.
- Green Bay Packers – Jordan Phillips, DT: The Packers were a defensive play away from the Super Bowl in 2014, and look to strengthen a defense that cost them against Seattle. Phillips is huge and eats up blockers in the middle. He can get to the quarterback if given a chance.
Another Direction: The Packers need to add to their cornerback stable. Jalen Collins has the size the Packers like at the position, and is a terrific athlete.
- New Orleans Saints – Shane Ray, Edge: Ray is smaller than teams would like, but there’s no denying his quickness, especially at the snap where he explodes. He then has the speed to get around the tackle and to the quarterback.
Another Direction: With Jimmy Graham gone, they could look to add a weapon for Drew Brees. Breshad Perriman is still on the board, and is an option.
- New England Patriots – Carl Davis, DT: Davis is a big and powerful tackle, but has good feet and quickness for his size. The Patriots can put him in the defensive line rotation right away, and he could steal a starting spot.
Another Direction: Some upheaval in the secondary could lead the Patriots to look for a cornerback early in the draft.
- Tennessee Titans – Ereck Flowers, OT: Flowers is a potentially dominating run blocker at right tackle.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Owamagbe Odighizuwa, DE: If he can stay healthy, he can be an effective pass rusher, and he’s solid in the run game.
- Oakland Raiders – Dorial Green-Beckham, WR: Without the off-field issues, he’s a top 15 pick. He’s big, high-points the ball well, and catches everything.
- Jacksonville Jaguars – Jalen Collins, CB: Collins has good size and athleticism for the position, and has a high upside.
- New York Jets – Eli Harold, Edge: The Jets have a solid defense, but could use another pass rusher. Harold uses speed to get to the quarterback.
- Washington Redskins – Donovan Smith, OT: Smith is massive, and surprisingly quick. He could be the future at right tackle.
- Chicago Bears – Damarious Randall, S: The Bears struggled at safety last year. Randall plays hard and fast, and is an upgrade.
- New York Giants – Eric Kendricks, LB: The Giants defense needs some playmakers, and Kendricks flies all over the field doing just that.
- St Louis Rams – Brett Hundley, QB: Hundley has great tools, but no idea how to use them. He’ll learn behind Nick Foles for now.
- Atlanta Falcons – Maxx Williams, TE: The Falcons need a tight end who can consistently make plays for Matt Ryan.
- Cleveland Browns – Cedric Ogbuehi, OT: He’s coming off a major injury, but Ogbuehi has all the skills needed to be a fine NFL tackle.
- New Orleans Saints – Breshad Perriman, WR: Perriman has NFL size and speed, and could be a steal at this point.
- Minnesota Vikings – Shaq Thompson, LB: Thompson goes from sideline to sideline making tackles, and is a smart player as well.
- San Francisco 49ers – Eddie Goldman, DL: Goldman falls a little bit, but he is a strong player who can dominate against the run.
- Miami Dolphins – Michael Bennett, DT: A steal at this point, Bennett has experience at both tackle spots and can rush the passer.
- San Diego Chargers – Steven Nelson, CB: The Chargers get a cornerback who reads the play well, closes quickly, has good hands, and is a sound tackler.
- Kansas City Chiefs – Jaelen Strong, WR: Alex Smith gets another receiver to pair with Jeremy Maclin with the goal of having at least one touchdown to a wide receiver in 2015.
- Buffalo Bills – Paul Dawson, LB: With Kiko Alonso gone, the Bills draft Dawson, a linebacker who seemed to be everywhere at once on the field at TCU.
- Houston Texans – Nelson Agholor, WR: Andre Johnson is gone, so they Texans get a dangerous receiver who can get deep.
- Philadelphia Eagles – Jaquiski Tartt, S: The rebuilding of the Eagles secondary continues with addition of Tartt.
- Cincinnati Bengals – Phillip Dorsett, WR: The Bengals go get a receiver with blazing speed who seems to always make big plays.
- Detroit Lions – Duke Johnson, RB: Reggie Bush is out, so Duke Johnson steps in. He’s a balanced runner who has quick feet and good speed and vision.
- Arizona Cardinals – Hau’oli Kikaha, Edge: The Cardinals defense is good, but could use another pass rusher. Kikaha has injury concerns, but gets to the quarterback a lot.
- Pittsburgh Steelers – Ronald Darby, CB: Another team remaking the secondary, and they nab the speedy Darby.
- Carolina Panthers – Devin Smith, WR: Smith might be the best deep ball threat in the draft, with uncanny instincts when tracking the ball.
- Baltimore Ravens – Devin Funchess, WR: Torrey Smith left via free agency, and the Ravens could use a big, strong target for Joe Flacco.
- Denver Broncos – Stephone Anthony, LB: The Broncos get linebacker depth with a well-rounded player who tracks the ball well and makes the play.
- Dallas Cowboys – Jay Ajayi, RB: With DeMarco Murry in Philadelphia, the Cowboys can use a strong runner with great vision and quickness.
- Indianapolis Colts – Denzel Perryman, LB: Perryman is a thumper in the middle, and gives the Colts a strong run defender.
- Green Bay – Jalen Collins, CB: Collins has the size the Packers look for and plenty of talent to be a successful corner in the NFL.
- Seattle Seahawks – AJ Cann, OG: The Seahawks love to run the ball, and need to strengthen the offensive line.
- New England Patriots – Ameer Abdullah, RB: Abdullah has great balance in traffic and is a very good receiver out of the backfield.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Daryl Williams, OT: Williams is a big and nasty run blocker who could start early in his career.
- Tennessee Titans – Bernardrick McKinney, LB: One of the most athletic players in this draft, McKinney has a sky-high ceiling.
- Jacksonville Jaguars – Ali Marpet, OG: Marpet became a hot name with a dominating performance at the Senior Bowl.
- Oakland Raiders – Za’Darius Smith, Edge: Overlooked with Bud Dupree on the team, Smith is versatile, plays hard, and tackles well.
- Washington Redskins – PJ Williams, CB: A DUI arrest may cause him to slip, but Williams has early round talent.
- New York Jets – Laken Tomlinson, OG: Whichever quarterbacks starts will need a good line in front of him, and taking a top guard prospect works.
- Chicago Bears – Tyrus Thompson, OT: The Bears add some muscle along the line in hopes of strengthening the right tackle spot.
- St Louis Rams – Hroniss Grasu, C: Offensive line is the biggest area of need for the Rams, so they add another solid prospect in Grasu.
- Atlanta Falcons – Tre Jackson, OG: Giving Matt Ryan a better offensive line is always a good idea, so they draft a big run blocking guard.
- New York Giants – Ibraheim Campbell, S: The Giants add some physicality to their secondary with Campbell.
- New Orleans Saints – Clive Walford, TE: Jimmy Graham was traded, so adding a tight end that can get down the field is imperative for the offense.
- Minnesota Vikings – Tevin Coleman, RB: Adrian Peterson’s future in Minnesota is in doubt, so Coleman provides insurance.
- Cleveland Browns – Henry Anderson, DE: Anderson is a polished end with quick feet and intelligence for the position.
- New Orleans Saints – Cody Prewitt, S: It’s a passing league, so teams can never have too many good players in the secondary.
- San Francisco 49ers – Sammy Coates, WR: Coates is a big, strong receiver who just needs to put things together.
- Kansas City Chiefs – Quinten Rollins, CB: Rollins is short on experience, but long on talent. He’ll get time to learn in Kansas City.
- Buffalo Bills – Nate Orchard, Edge: The Bills grab more defensive line depth with a productive pass rusher.
- Houston Texans – Reese Dismukes, C: Dismukes plays with leverage and power, and will challenge for the starting spot right away.
- San Diego Chargers – Rob Havenstein, OL: A tackle in college, Havenstein probably becomes San Diego’s right guard.
- Philadelphia Eagles – Mitch Morse, OL: Morse played tackle at Missouri, but could move inside in the NFL.
- Cincinnati Bengals – Senquez Golson, CB: There were few players forcing as many turnovers as Golson did last year.
- Arizona Cardinals – Javorius Allen, RB: Allen isn’t the flashiest player, but he does everything well, and plays hard.
- Pittsburgh Steelers – Lorenzo Mauldin, Edge: The Steelers love linebackers and can always use talented guys to rush the passer.
- Detroit Lions – Xavier Cooper, DT: Cooper will compete for the job alongside Haloti Ngata up on the Detroit defensive line.
- Carolina Panthers – David Cobb, RB: Cobb is a big bruising runner, but also has enough agility to make him hard to get a handle on.
- Baltimore Ravens – Josh Shaw, CB: The Ravens need talented depth at cornerback, and Shaw is an instinctive, big defensive back.
- Dallas Cowboys – Grady Jarrett, DT: Dallas surprised the league with a strong defense, but need more depth and talent up front.
- Denver Broncos – Kurtis Drummond, S: Drummond showed a knack for finding the ball in his college career, and more often than not, made the play.
- Indianapolis Colts – Andy Gallik, C: The interior of the Colts line needs upgraded, especially at center, where they couldn’t find an answer.
- Green Bay Packers – David Johnson, RB: Johnson is a big powerful back, and a terrific receiver out of the backfield.
- Seattle Seahawks – Justin Hardy, WR: Hardy is a well-rounded receiver who can line up in multiple spots and return kicks.
- New England Patriots – Chris Conley, WR: The Patriots could use a deep threat and Conley tested off the charts.
- New England Patriots – Josue Matias, OG: Protecting Tom Brady is a priority, and Matias is a very good pass blocker.
- Kansas City Chiefs – Ty Sambrailo, OT: With a premium on offensive linemen, it makes sense for the Chiefs to grab another one in this draft.
- Cincinnati Bengals – Danielle Hunter, DE: As divisive a prospect as can be found. If his athleticism can be tapped, he’ll dominate the league.
- Tennessee Titans – Jeremy Langford, RB: Langford is a strong runner and with quick feet and enough speed to make big gains.
- New England Patriots – Doran Grant, CB: The Patriots add a corner with solid ball skills and experience starting against top competition.
- Oakland Raiders – Gabe Wright, DT: The Raiders are putting together a strong front seven, and a pass rushing tackle fits right in.
- Jacksonville Jaguars – TJ Yeldon, RB: Yeldon is big and has quick feet that enable him to get extra yards.
- New York Jets – Tyler Lockett, WR: Brandon Marshall is in town, but adding a speedy slot receiver will give them another weapon.
- Washington Redskins – Derron Smith, S: The Redskins continue to work on the defense, especially the secondary.
- Chicago Bears – Garrett Grayson, QB: Whether or not to replace Jay Cutler has been much discussed. Here, they grab an eventual replacement.
- Atlanta Falcons – Rashad Greene, WR: Green is a technically sound receiver and one who has shown he can produce.
- New York Giants – Marcus Hardison, DT: The Giants add a player who can get penetration from the interior.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Arie Kouandjio, OG: When he’s 100% healthy, Kouandjio is a strong candidate to take over a starting guard spot.
- Minnesota Vikings – Trey Flowers, Edge: Flowers is versatile player who, while not spectacular, does a little bit of everything.
- Cleveland Browns – Tyler Kroft, TE: The Browns lost Jordan Cameron, so here they draft a developmental pass catching tight end.
- Seattle Seahawks – Alex Carter, CB: Carter is a big, aggressive corner, which means he fits in with Seattle’s secondary.
- Philadelphia Eagles – Mario Edwards, DE: He’s a bit of a tweener, but Edwards is a good football player.
- Miami Dolphins – Darren Waller, WR: Waller’s combination of size and upside are tantalizing, and he could be a steal here.
- Cleveland Browns – Marcus Golden, Edge: The Browns can use more depth on the edge to rush the passer.
- Houston Texans – Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, DB: The former Oregon Duck lacks size, but can play corner or safety, and knows how to go get the ball.
- San Diego Chargers – BJ Finney, C: It starts up front, and adding a talented center is a solid choice at this point.
- Kansas City Chiefs – Xavier Williams, DL: The Chiefs get a solid lineman who will get early reps as a five technique.
- St Louis Rams – Kevin White, CB: White is undersized, but is a smart cornerback who gives the Rams added depth and talent.
- Cincinnati Bengals – Jeff Heuerman, TE: The Bengals replace Jermaine Gresham with Heuerman, who blocks well, and can make plays as a receiver too.
- Pittsburgh Steelers – Austin Shepherd, OT: In a physical AFC North, keeping the offensive line stocked is key.
- Baltimore Ravens – Tre McBride, WR: Continuing to rebuild the receiving corps, the Ravens add McBride.
- Arizona Cardinals – D’Joun Smith, CB: Smith is undersized, but has good instincts and the footwork to stay with his man.
- Carolina Panthers – Kwon Alexander, LB: Alexander has the speed to pursue all over the field, and hits hard.
- Baltimore Ravens – Ben Koyack, TE: There’s a little bit of unknown at tight end for the Ravens, and Koyack is a well-rounded player.
- San Francisco 49ers – John Miller, OG: The 49ers offense needs a good line to work, so they replace Mike Iupati.
- Dallas Cowboys – Jacoby Glenn, CB: The Cowboys are working on the secondary, and add depth at cornerback.
- Indianapolis Colts – Rakeem Nunez-Roches, DL: Adding more depth along the defensive line is important for the Colts.
- Green Bay Packers – Bryce Hager, LB: The Packers need a player who can play in the middle, so Clay Matthews can shift back outside.
- Seattle – Lynden Trail, Edge: Trail gives the Seahawks more defensive line depth on a team that covets linemen.
- New England Patriots – Anthony Chickillo, DE: Chickillo is a strong defender who can set and hold the edge.
- San Francisco 49ers – Taiwan Jones, LB: Jones has the necessary size and skillset to eventually replace some of the talent lost in the offseason.
- Denver Broncos – Ben Heeney, LB: Though he doesn’t have ideal size, Heeney gives everything he has on every play.
- Seattle Seahawks – Shaquille Mason, C: There’s no real way to replace Max Unger, but Mason gives them a young player to work with.
- Cincinnati Bengals – Corey Robinson, OT: Robinson has great size and length, and he’s light on his feet.
- Baltimore Ravens – Corey Crawford, DE: Crawford has tremendous length and he is very good in the run game.