2015 NFL Draft – Round 1
1. Tampa Bay – QB Jameis Winston – Florida St – 6’4”/231.
No surprise here. So Winston likens himself to Andrew Luck. OK, good luck with that. But, he has two good/big receivers to target in Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson. That type of receiver quality for a top pick rookie QB is not common. Winston, however, is walking into an offensive line that Pro Football Focus (PFF) graded out as the 3rd worst pass blocking line in the league last year.
He should be an upgrade from the mess the Bucs had last year but a team doesn’t lose 14 games in a season without having multiple issues on both sides of the ball.
2. Tennessee – QB Marcus Mariota – Oregon – 6’3”/222.
Assuming Mariota is the starter for 2015; it will be interesting to see if Whisenhunt forces the pro-style offense on Mariota right away or how fast he picks it up. We’ll see how flexible Whisenhunt is scheme-wise.
3. Jacksonville – DE/LB Dante Fowler Jr. – Florida – 6’3”/261.
The prospective top edge rusher fits their system. There are lots of holes to fill in Jacksonville, and the LEO obviously was a priority for the Jags to get to Andrew Luck.
Update: On the first day of rookie mini-camp within the first hour of non-contact drills, Fowler tore his left ACL and is done for the year. Wow, really? Very tough break for the Jags defense.
4. Oakland – WR Amari Cooper – Alabama – 6’1”/211.
The Raiders fill one of their many holes with an NFL ready player. Cooper immediately becomes QB Derek Carr’s new WR1 and he should see a lot of looks. Carr ranked 7th in pass attempts last season as a rookie so expect Cooper to be busy as the Raider’s new target leader.
5. Washington – OT Brandon Scherff – Iowa – 6’5”/319.
Interestingly, Washington goes offense here. The O-line spot does fill a need but there were so many holes to fill on this team, and DE Leonard Williams was still on the board. Scherff should bring immediate help as a day one starter either at tackle or guard.
6. New York Jets – DE Leonard Williams – USC – 6’5”/302.
Gang Green gets a steal here. Williams could have easily gone 3 picks prior. AFC East defensive lines are looking to be a brutal matchup.
7. Chicago – WR Kevin White – West Virginia – 6’3”/215.
White is the second WR off the board. The replacement for Brandon Marshall immediately becomes the Bears new WR2 behind Alshon Jeffery. White brings good size and 4.35 speed. The Bears maintain multiple aerial weapons this season.
8. Atlanta – DE/LB Vic Beasley – Clemson – 6’3”/246.
The Falcons have a lot of holes to fill but did fill a huge need at the LEO spot with Beasley. This should be a safe/solid pick that provides an immediate pass rush impact for the defense.
9. New York Giants – OT Ereck Flowers – Miami – 6’6”/329.
Flowers was a need pick for an O-line that required upgrades. Not sure where he eventually lines up but will be a starter. The O-line needed a boost in both pass protection and run blocking.
10. St. Louis – RB Todd Gurley – Georgia – 6’1”/222.
There hasn’t been a top 10 pick in the NFL draft at RB since 2012 when the Browns selected Trent Richardson with the 3rd overall pick. Gurley may not be available for the first 4-6 weeks of the upcoming season due to recovering from an ACL injury but STL obviously looking at a long term investment here.
The Rams need to upgrade the O-line for this pick and the addition of Foles to have a fair shot.
11. Minnesota – CB Trae Waynes – Michigan St. – 6’0”/186.
Waynes, with press cover skills, may start opposite Xavier Rhodes. Minnesota is building young/solid 6 foot CBs to deal with the aerial assaults that is the NFC North.
12. Cleveland – DT Danny Shelton – Washington – 6’2”/339.
The Browns fill an immediate run-stuffing need at the nose with Shelton. At least this year, this first round pick was much better than last year’s picks.
13. New Orleans – OT Andrus Peat – Stanford – 6’7”/313.
New Orleans fills a big need on the O-line. An immediate starter, Peat should help both QB Drew Brees and RB Mark Ingram.
14. Miami – WR DeVante Parker – Louisville – 6’3”/209.
Parker adds a deep and red-zone threat for QB Ryan Tannehill. The Dolphins re-vamped receiving corps is shaping up to be a nice upgrade for Tannehill’s skill set from last season. Tannehill’s progression should continue.
The first trade of the draft goes down here. SD gives up a 4th this year and a 5th next year to SF to move up two spots. SD fills their RB 2-down need as both Branden Oliver and Danny Woodhead are more 3rd down/change of pace backs. Seems like a lot to give up for 2 spots but they must have thought Houston for sure would have made this pick, which would make sense.
Gordon becomes the 2nd RB to go off the board in the 1st round. The Chargers still need to upgrade the offensive line.
16. Houston – CB Kevin Johnson – Wake Forest – 6’1”/215.
The Texans add a nice addition in Johnson with versatile man/zone skills to CBs Jonathan Joseph and Kareem Jackson to deal with the depth of receivers that the Colts bring.
With the current state of affairs with the Niners defensive changes (retirements of LBs Patrick Willis, Chris Borland, and possible/likely retirement of 14 year vet DT Justin Smith) which suddenly changes the core dynamic of this unit, a defensive choice was predictable here.
Armstead is a solid, versatile addition and is a start for replacing what was lost.
18. Kansas City – CB Marcus Peters– Washington – 6’0”/197.
The Chiefs were willing to take a gamble here. Press cover corners are valuable, sure, but this could also blow up in KC’s face. KC could have easily filled more pressing needs at O-line instead.
One of the rare strengths the Browns have is their offensive line. Erving will make it even stronger as he moves over to guard as Alex Mack has the center spot locked up.
20. Philadelphia – WR Nelson Agholor – USC- 6’0”/198.
So Chip sends Jeremy Maclin off but then drafts a Maclin clone. The Eagles definitely needed help at WR to accompany Jordan Matthews and perhaps this route was a cheaper option. At least QB Sam Bradford gets a need position filled.
21. Cincinnati – OT Cedric Ogbuehi – Texas A&M – 6’5”/306.
Ogbuehi is recovering from an ACL tear and is more of a long term investment. Not expected to have any impact or much playing time this season as the tackle positions are currently occupied for this season.
22. Pittsburgh – LB Bud Dupree – Kentucky – 6’4”/269.
The Steelers fill a need position on the outside in Dupree but will need secondary help as well with the retirements of Polamalu and Taylor.
The Broncos move up to get the edge rush specialist. Ray comes in with a current turf toe issue, but this pick may be more geared for the future.
24. Arizona – OT D.J. Humphries – Florida – 6’5”/307.
The Cardinals have been focused on upgrading the O-line to add help to LT Jared Veldheer. The addition of free agent G Mike Iupati and now the Humphries selection have improved this line. Arizona could now use a 2 down back.
25. Carolina – LB Shaq Thompson – Washington – 6’0”/228.
Interesting pick here as the Panthers go defense with a small LB but Thompson could also play safety. Thompson should see the field a lot on third downs. Carolina needs O-line and receiver help however.
26. Baltimore – WR Breshad Perriman – Central Florida – 6’2”/212.
With Torrey Smith gone, Perriman provides a speedy deep threat replacement, but seriously needs to work on the drops.
27. Dallas – CB Byron Jones – Connecticut – 6’1”/199.
The Cowboys fill a need in the secondary with the versatile and super athletic Jones. Projects to come in on nickel situations for now.
The Lions fill a need position in the interior line but other pressing needs could have been addressed, especially since DT Malcolm Brown was still on the board.
29. Indianapolis – WR Phillip Dorsett – Miami – 5’10”/185.
The Colts basically picked a TY Hilton clone in Dorsett. WR was not an immediate need pick this upcoming season. O-line and defense still need to be addressed but this could be an insurance pick as this is Hilton’s contract year.
30. Green Bay – S Damarious Randall – Arizona State – 5’11”/196.
Cover man safety with good speed and athleticism that could play nickel in man schemes. Randall should see a lot of nickel and third down work.
New Orleans fills a need on the inside with the athletic Anthony and he should be a week 1 starter who will upgrade run support.
32. New England – DT Malcolm Brown – Texas – 6’2”/319.
A solid value pick for round 1, as the versatile Brown fills a need on the interior line left open by the departure of Vince Wilfork.
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