2015 NFL Draft Round 1 Live Coverage

Welcome to the 2015 NFL Draft!

It’s one of the most exciting parts of the season, so here we go!

11:30 — Patriots select 32nd overall Texas DT Malcolm Brown

Rumor was the Patriots traded down, but those rumors appear to have been wrong. Brown is a solid pick for the Patriots, who need a tackle after Vince Wilfork’s departure. A run-stuffer who can get to the quarterback when asked, Brown will likely slot in as a starter immediately for New England.

11:25 — Saints select 31st overall Clemson ILB Stephone Anthony

Acquired from the Seahawks in the Unger-Graham trade, New Orleans used their extra pick to shore up the middle linebacker position. Originally a day two projection, Anthony is a surprise pick when both Eric Kendricks and Bernardrick McKinney were more highly regarded as 3-4 ILBs. Anthony is athletic and a playmaker, but will need to get a better feel for the game to keep himself from getting removed from plays and getting lost on the field.

11:17 — Packers select 30th overall Arizona St. S Damarious Randall

Last year the Packers grabbed Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to man safety, and this year Randall to pair with him. Although Green Bay locked up Sean Richardson, he’ll remain a reserve behind Randall in 2015.

11:12 — Colts select 29th overall Miami WR Phillip Dorsett

Dorsett is a talented receiver who can play inside and outside, but is a head-scratcher for Indy, who already have T.Y. Hilton, Andre Johnson and Donte Moncrief at receiver. Dorsett needs some polish but could become an impact receiver similarly to Hilton. However, Indy still has some huge needs on the offensive line and defense — and you have to wonder why they passed up talented offensive tackles, corners, safeties and defensive ends for a receiver.

11:03 — Lions select 28th overall Duke OG Laken Tomlinson

Tomlinson is the top guard on the board, and Detroit’s offensive line could use some help at guard and tackle. Tomlinson could step in immediately at left guard for the Lions, although recently acquired Manny Ramirez could be in play for guard or center as well.

11:00 — Cowboys select 27th overall Connecticut CB Byron Jones

Jones helped himself out in a big way at the draft, leading the cornerback group in nearly every drill. He’s physical, athletic, can cover and fills a need for Dallas. The Cowboys will need to work with Jones to make sure his previous injuries aren’t a roadblock moving forward, but otherwise have an excellent young corner in Jones.

10:54 — Ravens select 26th overall UCF WR Breshad Perriman

The Ravens had a hole to fill after Torrey Smith left in free agency, and picked up a home run receiver in the speedy Perriman. Consistency is a major issue with Perriman, who drops plenty of easy passes, and he’s a very raw route runner, but Perriman could make an impact as a rookie as a depth threat and eventually replace veteran Steve Smith as the no. 1 target for Joe Flacco.

10:47 — Panthers select 25th overall Washington OLB Shaq Thompson

Here’s your first-round reach, a guy people weren’t even sure what position he’d play in the pros since he was a two-way player at Washington, playing running back, linebacker, safety and special teams. It will be interesting to see where Thompson slots in for the Panthers, but don’t be surprised if he gets work as an in the box safety on running downs and as a gunner on special teams as a rookie.

10:42 — Cardinals select 24th overall Florida OT D.J. Humphries

Humphries is a solid selection for the Cardinals, who have need a right tackle for multiple seasons now. With the addition of Mike Iupati in free-agency and now Humphries to man the edge, Arizona should have a solid offensive line for the aging Carson Palmer. Humphries will need to work on his run blocking at right tackle, but is an immediate upgrade over Bobby Massie.

10:36 — Broncos select 23rd overall Missouri OLB Shane Ray

Denver gave up very little to move up five picks and get their guy in Ray (before Arizona grabbed Ray), who is likely the future replacement for DeMarcus Ware. Ray has injury and off-the-field concerns, but is one of the best pass-rushers in the draft class. Look for Ray to redshirt his rookie season (potentially have surgery to land on the PUP list) as Von Miller and Ware man the 3-4 outside ‘backer spots.

10:34 — Broncos have acquired the 23rd pick from the Lions in return for OG Manny Ramirez, the 28th overall pick and fifth round picks this year and next year.

10:30 — Steelers select 22nd overall Kentucky OLB Bud Dupree

Pass rusher was a need for the Steelers and they got a solid guy in Dupree, who many thought would go earlier in the draft. The departure of Jason Worilds (who would later retire) left a hole for Dupree to immediately step into.

10:25 — Bengals select 21st overall Texas A&M OT Cedric Ogbuehi

Many saw the Bengals going with a tackle due to left tackle Andrew Whitworth’s age (33) and contract situation after the season, but the raw Ogbuehi was viewed by many as the sixth or seventh best tackle in the draft. Ogbuehi will need to work on run blocking, but he has time behind Whitworth and starting right tackle Andre Smith.

10:20 — Eagles select 20th overall USC WR Nelson Agholor

Out goes Jeremy Maclin (and DeSean Jackson) and in comes Nelson Agholor. One of the better route runners in the 2015 receiver class, Agholor can do it all at receiver and contribute on special teams early on. Chip Kelly is likely hoping Agholor can match up with Jordan Matthews to make up for the loss of Maclin and help out new quarterback Sam Bradford.

10:13 — Browns select 19th overall Florida St. C Cameron Erving

Jameis Winston’s C, LG, LT (you name it) last season, Erving projects as a center in the NFL. It’s an interesting pick for the Browns, as they already have Alex Mack in the fold at center, so Erving will likely slot in at guard at first for Cleveland.

10:06 — Chiefs select 18th overall Washington CB Marcus Peters

Peters is a raw, talented corner, but the big story is his long sheet of off-the-field issues, including being removed from the Washington team in November. Andy Reid’s staff will need to keep a close eye on Peters and make sure he doesn’t go the way of 2014 first round pick Justin Gilbert.

10:00 — 49ers select 17th overall Oregon DE Arik Armstead

The 49ers’ defense needs some help after losing Patrick Willis, Chris Borland and Justin Smith all in one offseason, and Armstead will slot in immediately at 3-4 end to take over for Smith. Armstead will need to prove he’s a true player rather than an on and off guy with a low motor, but has the athleticism to stuff the run and rush from the end position.

9:54 — Texans select 16th overall Wake Forest CB Kevin Johnson

Considered by some to be a better corner than Trae Waynes, Johnson shores up a Texans corner corps with little depth behind starters Kareem Jackson and Jonathan Joseph while providing a possible successor to the veteran Joseph. Similarly to Waynes, Johnson will need to work on his run support to keep from being exploited as a rookie.

9:47 — Chargers select 15th overall Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon

The Chargers jumped ahead of Houston to make sure they got their guy in Gordon, who was seen by many to be a very close second in the running back group behind Gurley. Gordon will need to prove he’s not another product of the Wisconsin system, as Denver is still looking for Montee Ball (Wisconsin’s all time yardage record holder) to prove the same.

9:44 — San Diego has acquired the 15th overall pick from San Francisco for the 17th overall pick and several late picks.

9:43 — Dolphins select 14th overall Louisville WR DeVante Parker

Parker was a highly projected pick for the Dolphins, offering a solid receiver opposite deep threat Kenny Stills. Ryan Tannehill is in a contract season for 2016, so giving him another big target should let the Dolphins figure out in 2015 if Tannehill is their guy moving forward.

9:34 — Saints select 13th overall Stanford OT Andrus Peat

Another surprise pick, Peat offers flexibility for the Saints at tackle. Perhaps the best all around tackle in the draft, Peat could immediately start at left tackle, bumping Terron Armstead into guard opposite Jahri Evans. Peat’s selection should go a long way towards fixing up an offense that struggled in 2014, but they’ll still need a weapon on offense after trading away both Jimmy Graham and Kenny Stills.

9:27 — Browns select 12th overall Washington DT Danny Shelton

Shelton is a big get for the Browns, not only as a talent — he’s a big guy. Cleveland will slot the 339 lb Shelton in at nose tackle immediately, filling a major hole in their 3-4 front.

9:20 — Vikings select 11th overall Michigan St. CB Trae Waynes

The Vikings used this pick to shore up the defensive backfield, getting a solid sized corner in Waynes. Drawing favorable comparisons to Kyle Fuller, Waynes should also make an immediate impact, but will need to work on his run support to become an all around solid player.

9:13 — Rams select tenth overall Georgia RB Todd Gurley

If you’re confused by this, you’re not alone. Gurley has all the making of a dominant NFL runner, but joins a crowded backfield with Tre Mason, Benny Cunningham and Zac Stacy. Presumably the Rams will return to ground and pound under Greg Fisher, but they dearly need an offensive line to block for Gurley.

9:06 — Giants select ninth overall Miami OT Ereck Flowers

Flowers is a big, strong tackle who will step in immediately at right tackle for the G-Men, bumping Justin Pugh to guard. Flowers will need some work on his pass blocking technique, but has experience at both tackle positions and could shift inside if he proves to have issues blocking outside at the pro level. With a mean streak and brutal punch off the snap, Flowers makes a valuable mauling blocker from day one.

9:01 — Falcons select eighth overall Clemson OLB Vic Beasley

A heavily predicted selection, Beasley is regarded as many as the best rusher in the draft and will make an impact immediately for Atlanta. Size could be an issue, as Beasley will have trouble with tackles if he can’t put on some weight and learn to play towards technique rather than simply utilizing his speed.

8:53 — Bears select seventh overall West Virginia WR Kevin White

White is a great pick for Chicago, who dearly needed an offensive threat opposite Alshon Jeffrey after the trade of Brandon Marshall to New York. White has an impressive height/speed combination, but is still mostly a potential player and some have predicted him to bust a la Darrius Heyward-Bey with the Raiders.

8:47 — Jets select sixth overall USC DE Leonard Williams

What an interesting pick…the already stacked defensive line gets a very talented player that many considered the best player in the 2015 class. Will Muhammed Wilkerson get traded now? Passing up the likes of Randy Gregory, Shane Ray and Bud Dupree leaves the Jets with a need at pass rusher that could be addressed with a later pick.

8:39 — Redskins select fifth overall Iowa OT Brandon Scherff

An interesting pick for the ‘Skins, Scherff can play inside or outside. It should be interesting where he plays come opening day. Trent Williams is quite the building block at left tackle, so right tackle is an option, or guard as well. Either way, the ‘Skins run game just got a ton better.

8:34 — Raiders select fourth overall Alabama WR Amari Cooper

It seems the draft is progressing without trades with the only surprise being Leonard Williams’ continued fall. Cooper will team up with Derek Carr in Oakland as an early impact player. Cooper may never be a truly electric player, but he’s a solid receiver right out of the gate with the potential to be a dominant possession receiver with additional upside.

8:27 — Jaguars select third overall Florida DE/OLB Dante Fowler, Jr.

It will be interesting to see what Jacksonville does with Fowler, who reminds some of Kahlil Mack and Von Miller in the possibility of playing 4-3 end, 3-4 rusher or maybe even 4-3 sam linebacker. Fowler may be perfect for the Leo role, although Jacksonville just shelled out in free-agency for Dan Skuta ostensibly to fill that role.

8:20 — Titans select with the no. 2 overall pick Oregon QB Marcus Mariota

Mariota goes no. 2 off the board. Don’t set him in stone with the Titans, there’s no reason he might not be traded before the season starts ala Eli Manning. If Mariota stays, you can bet Zack Mettenberger will be on the block. Mariota is so much hype and potential right now that it would be interesting to see if Tennessee chooses to go with Mariota for week one. Mettenberger’s agent is already reportedly looking into trade options for his player, while Chris Mortenson claims the Titans will not trade Mariota.

8:13 — Buccaneers select with first overall pick Florida St. QB Jameis Winston

Predictably, the Buccaneers go with Jameis Winston. With that, Mike Glennon is likely on the block, although it would be interesting to see if TB can get any takers after his poor play last season. Winston’s a sort of home town quarterback with his tenure at Florida State, and should be an excellent ticket seller for the Buccaneers if nothing else.


NFL DR Mock 2.0

It’s draft day, everybody! Rejoice!

NFL DR Mock 1.0

1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Florida St. QB Jameis Winston

Winston has been the odds-on favorite to go first-overall for months now, and while some draftniks believe the Bucs could pull a fast one and surprise everybody by selecting Marcus Mariota, we’re confident Tampa Bay falls in line with popular opinion come draft day.

2. Cleveland Browns (trade): Oregon QB Marcus Mariota

With multiple first-round picks and the apparent flop of 2014 first-round pick Johnny Manziel, the Browns are in excellent position to jump up to the no. 2 pick and grab their franchise passer. Sacrificing no. 12 and no. 19 may hurt, but Cleveland has the talent to compete now and just needs a solid quarterback at the helm to make a playoff run.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars: USC DE Leonard Williams

The Jaguars get to reap the benefit of Tennessee trading out of no. 2 by grabbing a dominant defensive lineman in Williams. Touted as the top defensive prospect by many, Williams has a deadly combination of strength and speed that will make both opposing tackles and interior lineman struggle. The versatile Williams could play a number of roles for the Jaguars in Gus Bradley’s ever-shifting defensive front.

4. New York Jets (trade): Florida OLB Dante Fowler

As the dominoes fall, the Jets are the next team to trade up in what could be a very fluid draft should a team jump up the board to grab Mariota, bumping the Raiders down to no. 6 with some future compensation. With an aging (and declining) duo of Calvin Pace and Jason Babin paired with underwhelming former first-round pick Quinton Coples at outside rusher, the Jets dearly need to upgrade and look forward at outside rusher. Fowler is a dynamic player that reminds scouts of Kahlil Mack and Von Miller, who can work on his raw abilities as he works into the rotation.

5. Washington Redskins: Clemson OLB Vic Beasley (Previously Nebraska OLB Randy Gregory)

By trading up to no. 4, the Jets effectively scoop up the player the Redskins have been coveting at no. 5 (Fowler). However, Fowler isn’t the only big name pass rusher in this year’s draft. While we had previously projected Randy Gregory as a top-five pick, his off-the-field issues have tanked his draft stock in recent weeks. One worry with Beasley is his size (246 lbs), which will present a problem if he can’t put on some weight and learn to attack offensive tackles rather than beating them with athleticism.

6. Oakland Raiders (trade): Alabama WR Amari Cooper

Cooper may not be the most flashy receiver in the draft, but he’s built solidly at 6’1″ 211 lbs and has plenty of speed to complement his size. A strong receiver not afraid to make blocks and with both the vertical ability and awareness to win jump balls, Cooper has all the pieces to be a true no. 1 in the NFL. The ghosts of Darrius Heyward-Bey very well may influence the Raiders in taking the surer bet in Cooper than speedster Kevin White.

7. Chicago Bears: West Virginia WR Kevin White

The Raiders’ loss is the Bears’ gain. The trade of Brandon Marshall to New York leaves a hole at receiver for a team that’s trying to turn it around quickly under veteran coach John Fox. White is a size/speed freak (6’3″, 4.35 40-yard dash) and has the both the ability to stretch the field and come down with contested passes, but showed a tendency to drop passes at West Virginia. Pairing Alshon Jeffrey and Martellus Bennett with White gives whoever is under center a shot at success.

8. Atlanta Falcons: Kentucky OLB Bud Dupree (Previously Clemson OLB Vic Beasley)

New head coach Dan Quinn has been connected to both Clemson’s Vic Beasley and Kentucky’s Bud Dupree in recent weeks, and it’s obvious why — Atlanta’s high-powered offense has to compensate for a lack of talent in the defensive front seven. While Atlanta misses out on Beasley in this situation, Dupree offers a potentially destructive pass-rusher with already good size for the position.

9. New York Giants: Iowa OG/OT Brandon Scherff

Scherff is a flexible selection that could play tackle or guard at the professional level, having played both on the left and right sides of the line at Iowa as a tackle. New York could plug Scherff in at right tackle and allow Justin Pugh to bump to left guard, or do the same with Scherff and keep Pugh at tackle. Either option drastically improves a weak offensive line.

10. St. Louis Rams: Louisville WR DeVante Parker

The Rams are another team well set on defense but in need of help on the offensive side of the ball. Parker gives the Rams another option for new starter Nick Foles. Parker would likely be a higher prospect in other draft classes, but the 2015 class is ripe with receivers. With excellent size (6’3″) and speed (4.45 40-yard dash), Parker combines exceptional athletic ability with an already developed ability to run routes — making him a sure bet for quick production.

11. Minnesota Vikings: Stanford OT Andrus Peat (Previously LSU OT La’el Collins)

Peat has beaten out the likes of LSU’s La’el Collins and Florida’s D.J. Humphries to be considered the draft’s best pure tackle. Grabbing Peat would allow the Vikings to bump recently re-signed Mike Harris into a swing tackle role and further give flexibility with left tackle Matt Kalil’s contract situation looming in 2016.

12. Tennessee Titans (trade): Michigan St. CB Trae Waynes

The addition of Brian Orakpo shored up a need at pass rusher, but Tennessee is still searching for a corner even after the addition of Perrish Cox in free agency. Waynes has a ton of upside and has been favorably compared to Kyle Fuller coming out of college. Waynes can afford to learn behind Jason McCourty and Cox until he can step in as a starter.

13. New Orleans Saints: Washington NT Danny Shelton

The Saints, who seem to be in a rebuilding mode, dearly need to upgrade on the aging Broderick Bunkley at nose tackle. Shelton would anchor the Saints’ defensive line for years to come in defensive coordinator Rob Ryan’s 3-4 scheme.

14. Miami Dolphins: Texas DT Malcolm Brown

While the Dolphins may have signed a big name in Ndamukong Suh, they still have a major hole at no. 2 tackle in their 4-3 defense. Brown offers a big body who can stuff the run and by all means seems to have a high ceiling. A high motor player, fighting throughout plays and making a concentrated effort to bat down passes, Brown’s lone hole is pass rushing. If he can develop technique for interior rushing, Brown will be quite the force for Miami.

15. San Francisco 49ers: Oregon DE Arik Armstead

San Francisco suffered some surprising losses this offseason, with Patrick Willis and Chris Borland both prematurely retiring. However, another huge loss was in the form of veteran defensive end Justin Smith to retirement. Armstead can step in immediately as a 3-4 end and take over for Smith. The 49ers have other options at linebacker and can afford to look there later in the draft.

16. Houston Texans: UCF WR Breshad Perriman (Previously Missouri OLB Shane Ray)

Andre Johnson’s departure for a more desirable situation in Indianapolis leaves a hole for the Texans that Cecil Shorts won’t quite fill (if he’s even healthy). Perriman has the size and speed combination to make him a star, but will need seasoning to reach his potential.

17. San Diego Chargers: Georgia RB Todd Gurley

Although Gurley comes with some injury concerns (November 2014 ACL tear), the Georgia product is about as legitimate of a running back prospect as you’ll get. He has an impressive build at 232 lbs but flashed quickness and a knack for finding the hole in college ball, and in the pass game is not only a capable pass catcher but also well versed in pass protection. Gurley is a high risk, high return prospect, but could be a superstar at the pro level.

18. Kansas City Chiefs: Florida St. C Cameron Erving

Erving played all over the line at Florida St., but Kansas City’s true need is at center as of right now. With a mean streak and capable at both run and pass blocking, Erving would step in at center and could help out elsewhere in the future, giving the Chiefs flexibility with their offensive line. Erving may not be the sexy pick, but neither was Travis Frederick in 2013 — who now anchors Dallas’ line.

19. Tennessee Titans (trade): Missouri OLB Shane Ray (Previously Kentucky OLB Bud Dupree)

The Titans may have added Brian Orakpo in the offseason, but they’re not done improving the outside ‘backer position just yet. Veterans Derrick Morgan and Kamerion Wimbley offer a buffer for Tennessee while they coach up Ray, but ultimately both aging players have seen their best days already and Ray offers a solid (albeit risky) value in the late teens.

20. Philadelphia Eagles: Alabama SS Landon Collins

While Nate Allen departed in the Chip Kelly exodus this offseason, the Eagles failed to bring in any serious competition for the strong safety position to compensate. Collins would step in immediately as the starting strong safety opposite free safety Malcom Jenkins, easily surpassing unimpressive late round pick Earl Wolff and Jacksonville throw away Chris Prosinski.

21. Cincinnati Bengals: Florida OT D.J. Humphries (Previously Stanford OT Andrus Peat)

Peat’s earlier selection shakes things up a bit. Cincinnati is well known for letting veteran tackles walk in free-agency, and starting blind side blocker Andrew Whitworth is entering the final year of his contract at 33-years-old. Humphries is already an accomplished blocker, but needs to work on run blocking and handling power rushers in his transition to the NFL — and the Bengals can afford to have him learn behind Whitworth and Andre Smith as a rookie.

22. Pittsburgh Steelers: Wake Forest CB Kevin Johnson

It’s no surprise that many draftniks have the Steelers selecting a corner with the 22nd-overall pick when their pass defense was 27th in the league last season. Johnson is an excellent cover corner, with quickness and size for an ideal starter. He needs some work in tackling technique and will need to tone down the aggressiveness when going for picks instead of staying in coverage, but offers Pittsburgh a solid upgrade over B.W. Webb as a starter from day one.

23. Detroit Lions: Pittsburgh OT T.J. Clemmings (Previously Florida OT D.J. Humphries)

The Lions need help at tackle, and Clemmings offers a solid pass blocker to immediately jump in at right tackle. La’el Collins could also be a choice at this latter point of the first round if the Lions decide they can overlook his legal issues.

24. Arizona Cardinals: Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon

The Cardinals thought they might be getting a future starter in 2013 sixth-round pick Andre Ellington, but 2014 proved he’s little more than a backup with a measly 3.3 yards per carry. Gordon may carry the stigma of past Badgers runners (Montee Ball, James White) performing highly in college only to flop in the NFL, but he flashes speed that Ball doesn’t have and shows excellent balance as a runner. While he’ll need work in the passing game, Gordon offers a home run back if he can develop an eye for the hole.

25. Carolina Panthers: Miami OG/OT Ereck Flowers (Previously Pittsburgh OT T.J. Clemmings)

Flowers may need some work in his pass block technique, but it already a mauling run blocker with great size and strength. A mean streak and authoritative blocking could make Flowers a cornerstone to build a revamped offensive line around and offers an immediate upgrade for the Panthers, especially with the likes of Nate Chandler and Michael Oher projected to start at tackle for Carolina in 2015.

26. Baltimore Ravens: USC WR Nelson Agholor (Previously Arizona St. WR Jaelen Strong)

The departure of Torrey Smith in free agency and encroaching end to storied Steve Smith’s career means the Ravens dearly need a receiver for the present and future. Agholor may not be the flashy receiver that fans are looking for after Torrey Smith’s departure, but he is a solid route runner and dangerous after the catch. The USC product could also contribute early on as a returner.

27. Dallas Cowboys: Florida St. DT Eddie Goldman

With Josh Brent and Terrell McClain as the current starters in Dallas’ 4-3 defense, Goldman is a no-brainer to shore up the interior tackle position. Goldman’s versatility should keep him on the field for most packages, serving as a stout run stuffer and ability to drive interior lineman back into the pocket to disrupt quarterbacks.

28. Denver Broncos: Nebraska OLB Randy Gregory (Previously Miami OT Ereck Flowers)

The offensive line may be a major need for Denver, but head honcho John Elway does not have a history of drafting for need in his tenure with the Broncos. Gregory is a risky pick, both due to his identity as a project player and legal issues, but offers a high-ceiling replacement for DeMarcus Ware down the line, who can work on his technique behind the likes of Ware and Von Miller as a rookie.

29. Indianapolis Colts: Oklahoma NT Jordan Phillips

Phillips is a big body who would dearly help one of the worst defensive units in the NFL at the nose tackle position. GM Ryan Grigson would be hard pressed to pass up some a talented player to man the nose tackle position when Indy has failed to fill that need since moving to a 3-4 defense in 2012.

30. Green Bay Packers: Minnesota TE Maxx Williams

The one glaring hole in the Packers’ offense right now is at tight end, where sub-par starter Andrew Quarless sucked up snaps in 2014 and Richard Rodgers is more of a project player. Williams is a monster after the catch, jumping over and pinballing off of defenders, while a threat to come down with contested passes. While Williams could use some work as a blocker and a route runner, he could make an immediate impact if in tune with Aaron Rodgers.

31. New Orleans Saints: Miami WR Phillip Dorsett (Previously UCF WR Breshad Perriman)

The Saints defense suffered last season as a result of failing to give quarterback Drew Brees true receivers instead of gadget players. Jimmy Graham’s trade to Seattle only makes an offensive weapon more important. Dorsett is a big play receiver who could become an instant hit in Sean Payton’s offense.

32. New England Patriots: Connecticut CB Byron Jones

The Patriots could very well use some help at cornerback following the departures of Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner. There’s little bad to say about Jones, who has excellent size at 6’1″, anticipates routes and sticks with receivers. Jones does have some injury concerns, but his athleticism and team-centered attitude make him an excellent pick for a Patriots team needing a solution at corner.

How do we match up against the experts?

Stay tuned tonight for live coverage of the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft!


NFL DR Mock 1.0

It’s April and the draft is less than a month away. So, it’s about time we here at NFLDR got our mock drafts done!

1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Florida St. QB Jameis Winston

Winston has been the odds-on favorite to go first-overall for months now, and while some draftniks believe the Bucs could pull a fast one and surprise everybody by selecting Marcus Mariota, we’re confident Tampa Bay falls in line with popular opinion come draft day.

2. Cleveland Browns (trade): Oregon QB Marcus Mariota

With multiple first-round picks and the apparent flop of 2014 first-round pick Johnny Manziel, the Browns are in excellent position to jump up to the no. 1 pick and grab their franchise passer. Sacrificing no. 12 and no. 19 may hurt, but Cleveland has the talent to compete now and just needs a solid quarterback at the helm to make a playoff run.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars: USC DE Leonard Williams

The Jaguars get to reap the benefit of Tennessee trading out of no. 2 by grabbing a dominant defensive lineman in Williams. Touted as the top defensive prospect by many, Williams has a deadly combination of strength and speed that will make both opposing tackles and interior lineman struggle. The versatile Williams could play a number of roles for the Jaguars in Gus Bradley’s ever-shifting defensive front.

4. New York Jets (trade): Florida OLB Dante Fowler

As the dominoes fall, the Jets are the next team to trade up in what could be a very fluid draft should a team jump up the board to grab Mariota, bumping the Raiders down to no. 6 with some future compensation. With an aging (and declining) duo of Calvin Pace and Jason Babin paired with underwhelming former first-round pick Quinton Coples at outside rusher, the Jets dearly need to upgrade and look forward at outside rusher. Fowler is a dynamic player that reminds scouts of Kahlil Mack and Von Miller, who can work on his raw abilities as he works into the rotation.

5. Washington Redskins: Nebraska OLB Randy Gregory

The ‘Skins have some major holes to fill on the depth chart, but perhaps the biggest is the result of the departure of prominent pass rusher Brian Orakpo for greener pastures in free-agency. Gregory raised some flags by failing a drug test at the NFL combine earlier this offseason, but exhibits both the pass rush ability and explosiveness that teams look for in 3-4 pass rushing linebackers. If Gregory can put on some muscle and better use his strength to power through defenders, he very well could develop into an elite pass rusher a la Aldon Smith.

6. Oakland Raiders (trade): Alabama WR Amari Cooper

Cooper may not be the most flashy receiver in the draft, but he’s built solidly at 6’1″ 211 lbs and has plenty of speed to complement his size. A strong receiver not afraid to make blocks and with both the vertical ability and awareness to win jump balls, Cooper has all the pieces to be a true no. 1 in the NFL. The ghosts of Darrius Heyward-Bey very well may influence the Raiders in taking the surer bet in Cooper than speedster Kevin White.

7. Chicago Bears: West Virginia WR Kevin White

The Raiders’ loss is the Bears’ gain. The trade of Brandon Marshall to New York leaves a hole at receiver for a team that’s trying to turn it around quickly under veteran coach John Fox. White is a size/speed freak (6’3″, 4.35 40-yard dash) and has the both the ability to stretch the field and come down with contested passes, but showed a tendency to drop passes at West Virginia. Pairing Alshon Jeffrey and Martellus Bennett with White gives whoever is under center a shot at success.

8. Atlanta Falcons: Clemson OLB Vic Beasley

Whereas the Falcons have a high powered offense, their defensive front has been weak for several seasons now. Beasley is perhaps the best pure pass rusher in the draft and would make an excellent piece for new head coach Dan Quinn in rebuilding the defense.

9. New York Giants: Iowa OT Brandon Scherff

While some consider Scherff a true guard, the Iowa product is has size and athleticism that should let him succeed as both on outside and interior blocker. Scherff’s selection would allow the Giants to bump former first-round pick Justin Pugh to a better fit at left guard while Scherff anchors the right side of the line.

10. St. Louis Rams: Louisville WR DeVante Parker

The Rams are another team well set on defense but in need of help on the offensive side of the ball. Parker gives the Rams another option for new starter Nick Foles. Parker would likely be a higher prospect in other draft classes, but the 2015 class is ripe with receivers. With excellent size (6’3″) and speed (4.45 40-yard dash), Parker combines exceptional athletic ability with an already developed ability to run routes — making him a sure bet for quick production.

11. Minnesota Vikings: LSU OT La’el Collins

While the Vikings may have re-signed Mike Harris, Collins would offer the Vikings with a starter at right tackle and allow Harris to fall back into a better suited swing tackle spot. Aggressive and with the strength and mean attitude to back it up, Collins may struggle with elite pass rushers on the outside, but he gives the Vikings a dominant run blocker who can move inside later on if deemed he isn’t a fit at tackle.

12. Tennessee Titans (trade): Michigan St. CB Trae Waynes

The addition of Brian Orakpo shored up a need at pass rusher, but Tennessee is still searching for a corner after the addition of Perrish Cox in free agency. Waynes has a ton of upside and has been heavily compared to Kyle Fuller coming out of college. Waynes can afford to learn behind Jason McCourty and Cox until he can step in as a starter.

13. New Orleans Saints: Washington NT Danny Shelton

The Saints, who seem to be in a rebuilding mode, dearly need to upgrade on the aging Broderick Bunkley at nose tackle. Shelton would anchor the Saints’ defensive line for years to come in defensive coordinator Rob Ryan’s 3-4 scheme.

14. Miami Dolphins: Texas DT Malcolm Brown

While the Dolphins may have signed a big name in Ndamukong Suh, they still have a major hole at no. 2 tackle in their 4-3 defense. Brown offers a big body who can stuff the run and by all means seems to have a high ceiling. A high motor player, fighting throughout plays and making a concentrated effort to bat down passes, Brown’s lone hole is pass rushing. If he can develop technique for interior rushing, Brown will be quite the force for Miami.

15. San Francisco 49ers: Oregon DE Arik Armstead

San Francisco suffered some surprising losses this offseason, with Patrick Willis and Chris Borland both prematurely retiring. However, another huge loss was in the form of veteran defensive end Justin Smith to retirement. Armstead can step in immediately as a 3-4 end and take over for Smith. The 49ers have other options at linebacker and can afford to look there later in the draft.

16. Houston Texans: Missouri OLB Shane Ray

Some expected Ray to be a top 10 pick with the predicted fall of Randy Gregory (due to off-the-field issues). Ray is an exceptional athlete that exhibits both quickness and strength that teams look for in a 3-4 pass rusher. While his pass rush abilities are still a work in progress, rusher is a need for Houston and Ray has the the tools to make him a solid mid first round pick.

17. San Diego Chargers: Georgia RB Todd Gurley

Although Gurley comes with some injury concerns (November 2014 ACL tear), the Georgia product is about as legitimate of a running back prospect as you’ll get. He has an impressive build at 232 lbs but flashed quickness and a knack for finding the hole in college ball, and in the pass game is not only a capable pass catcher but also well versed in pass protection. Gurley is a high risk, high return prospect, but could be a superstar at the pro level.

18. Kansas City Chiefs: Florida St. C Cameron Erving

Erving played all over the line at Florida St., but Kansas City’s true need is at center as of right now. With a mean streak and capable at both run and pass blocking, Erving would step in at center and could help out elsewhere in the future, giving the Chiefs flexibility with their offensive line. Erving may not be the sexy pick, but neither was Travis Frederick in 2013 — who now anchors Dallas’ line.

19. Tennessee Titans (trade): Kentucky OLB Bud Dupree

While pass rusher isn’t a true need for the Titans, Dupree is a solid value pick in the late teens and offers a long term solution opposite Orakpo. A nature rusher with quickness, Dupree will need to add some muscle so he can play stronger and shed blocks at the pro level. Luckily, the Titans have a combination of Derrick Morgan and Kamerion Wimbley opposite Orakpo who can allow Dupree to essentially red-shirt as a rookie.

20. Philadelphia Eagles: Alabama SS Landon Collins

While Nate Allen departed in the Chip Kelly exodus this offseason, the Eagles failed to bring in any serious competition for the strong safety position to compensate. Collins would step in immediately as the starting strong safety opposite free safety Malcom Jenkins, easily surpassing unimpressive late round pick Earl Wolff and Jacksonville throw away Chris Prosinski.

21. Cincinnati Bengals: Stanford OT Andrus Peat

Something many have noticed over the years with the Bengals is that they do not like to shell out for departing players in free agency. To this point, Cincinnati has two contract year tackles in Andre Smith and Andrew Whitworth, and can take this opportunity to secure a blind side blocker in the well versed Peat.

22. Pittsburgh Steelers: Wake Forest CB Kevin Johnson

It’s no surprise that many draftniks have the Steelers selecting a corner with the 22nd-overall pick when their pass defense was 27th in the league last season. Johnson is an excellent cover corner, with quickness and size for an ideal starter. He needs some work in tackling technique and will need to tone down the aggressiveness when going for picks instead of staying in coverage, but offers Pittsburgh a solid upgrade over B.W. Webb as a starter from day one.

23. Detroit Lions: Florida OT D.J. Humphries

Humphries is already an accomplished pass rusher, and fills a big need for Detroit at right tackle. While Humphries needs some work at run blocking and could use some added muscle to help deal with power rushers, he fills a huge need and overs a ton of upside.

24. Arizona Cardinals: Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon

The Cardinals thought they might be getting a future starter in 2013 sixth-round pick Andre Ellington, but 2014 proved he’s little more than a backup with a measly 3.3 yards per carry. Gordon may carry the stigma of past Badgers runners (Montee Ball, James White) performing highly in college only to flop in the NFL, but he flashes speed that Ball doesn’t have and shows excellent balance as a runner. While he’ll need work in the passing game, Gordon offers a home run back if he can develop an eye for the hole.

25. Carolina Panthers: Pittsburgh OT T.J. Clemmings

While some may criticize Clemmings’ run blocking chops, Carolina should be just itching to get their hands on a blind side protector for Cam Newton. With the likes of Nate Chandler, Jonathan Martin and Michael Oher in the mix for tackle, Clemmings fills a need at perhaps the most tackle-needy team in the NFL.

26. Baltimore Ravens: Arizona St. WR Jaelen Strong

The departure of Torrey Smith in free agency and encroaching end to storied Steve Smith’s career means the Ravens dearly need a receiver for the present and future. While Strong may not be a burner, he has a knack for coming down with jump balls, strong physical presence to out muscle defenders and a hard working attitude that will make the Ravens coaches love him.

27. Dallas Cowboys: Florida St. DT Eddie Goldman

With Josh Brent and Terrell McClain as the current starters in Dallas’ 4-3 defense, Goldman is a no-brainer to shore up the interior tackle position. Goldman’s versatility should keep him on the field for most packages, serving as a stout run stuffer and ability to drive interior lineman back into the pocket to disrupt quarterbacks.

28. Denver Broncos: Miami OT Ereck Flowers

An aging Peyton Manning requires protection to stay productive, and that’s exactly what Denver failed to do in their playoff run in 2014. Flowers would prove to be an immediate upgrade on either Chris Clark or youngster Michael Schofield at right tackle, while allowing Louis Vasquez to play his true position at guard. While Flowers may be a bit of a work in progress, Denver has few missing pieces on a playoff ready team — and RT is a big one.

29. Indianapolis Colts: Oklahoma NT Jordan Phillips

Phillips is a big body who would dearly help one of the worst defensive units in the NFL at the nose tackle position. GM Ryan Grigson would be hard pressed to pass up some a talented player to man the nose tackle position when Indy has failed to fill that need since moving to a 3-4 defense in 2012.

30. Green Bay Packers: Minnesota TE Maxx Williams

The one glaring hole in the Packers’ offense right now is at tight end, where sub-par starter Andrew Quarless sucked up snaps in 2014 and Richard Rodgers is more of a project player. Williams is a monster after the catch, jumping over and pinballing off of defenders, while a threat to come down with contested passes. While Williams could use some work as a blocker and a route runner, he could make an immediate impact if in tune with Aaron Rodgers.

31. New Orleans Saints: UCF WR Breshad Perriman

Perriman flashed up boards after posting a sub 4.30 40-yard dash, with some even projecting the 6’2″ receiver to go in the top 15 on draft day. Perriman is raw and will need work to develop into a superstar, but has the strength, size, speed and hands to make it big at the pro level. Expect big things from Perriman early on with a lack of receivers in New Orleans.

32. New England Patriots: Connecticut CB Byron Jones

The Patriots could very well use some help at cornerback following the departures of Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner. There’s little bad to say about Jones, who has excellent size at 6’1″, anticipates routes and sticks with receivers. Jones does have some injury concerns, but his athleticism and team-centered attitude make him an excellent pick for a Patriots team needing a solution at corner.

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