Jan 28, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Choose Chicago president Don Welsh speaks at a 2015 Draft celebratory reception at Sheraton Phoenix Downtown. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
Mock drafts are fun, plain and simple. Us couch warriors get to speculate about what our favorite team will do, along with the “other” 31. The line between “expert” and “novice” is pretty thin when it comes to this exercise as well. The “experts” like Todd McShay and Mel Kiper rarely get things right, which tells you all you need to know about how hard it is to accurately predict what teams will do.
While teams guard their draft strategies and player rankings like the McDonalds’ secret sauce recipe, it doesn’t stop us from spending countless hours analyzing players and guessing what teams will do. This is one of the most restless times of the offseason, for teams and fans alike. Now that the 2015 combine is in the history books, we have come up with our own 2015 NFL Mock Draft.
Check it out, and be sure and let us know what you think in the comments below. I can already anticipate the opinions that will fly regarding my Raven’s choice, if Twitter feedback is any indication…
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Quarterback, Florida State
Could the Bucs’ love for Winston be any more obvious? If Lovie is simply trying to convince someone to trade for the top pick, he’s doing a great job. More likely, they’re just going to make him their QB of the present and future.
2. Tennessee Titans
Defensive Tackle, Southern California
While everyone but the Titans thinks that the Titans need to upgrade at quarterback, Whisenhunt and crew are supposedly high on last year’s 6th round choice, Zach Mettenberger. Williams is a beast and the Titans have one of the weakest rosters in football, especially on the defensive side of things. He is also the highest rated overall player on many draft boards.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars
Defensive End, Nebraska
This is a tough one because the Jags have a lot of needs, although for the first time in a long time, not at quarterback (yet). They are publicly open to trading the pick, but unless somebody falls in love with Marcus Mariotta, it’s unlikely. After watching rookie Blake Bortles get destroyed repeatedly last season, you have to think o-line is the pick here. But if they’re picking BPA, that guy is pass rusher Randy Gregory.
4. Oakland Raiders
Wide Receiver, Alabama
While Kevin White vastly improved his stock at the Combine and the TV talking heads are all over him right now, I still think the Raiders will take Cooper, who is as polished and fluid as receivers come. They desperately need playmakers if they hope to win some games this year.
5. Washington Redskins
Defensive End, Missouri
The Skins deperately need pass rushers and are likely getting ready to let Brian Orakpo walk. At this point, Ray is the best one left on the board. Perhaps the best edge rusher in the entire draft, Ray can be a good fit for multiple defensive fronts.
6. New York Jets
Defensive Tackle, Washington
While the rest of the world mocks Marcus Mariotta to the Jets, I just don’t see it happening. The Jets and their new front office and coaching staff seem primed to give Geno Smith, who finally started to improve down the stretch last season, one more shot. They need playmakers on offense, but there isn’t really anybody at this point that isn’t a reach. The consolation prize, a combination of Shelton and Sheldon Richardson up front, is a nice one.
7. Chicago Bears
Dante Fowler Jr.
The Bears had one of worst defenses in the league last season. As they try and ride the John Fox train back to being a competitive football team, they need guys to build around on that side of the ball. And Fowler is a versatile chess piece of a player who lined up all over the field as a Gator. Plus he has the positive character traits that a tumultuous locker room needs.
8. Atlanta Falcons
Speaking of pass rushers, the Falcons haven’t had a good one since John Abraham. The team didn’t just hire Dan Quinn because he is a promising young coach, they hired him to fix the defense. Beasley can help him start the process with a natural pass rush ability and perhaps the quickest first step of any draft eligible player.
9. New York Giants
Offensive Tackle, Iowa
At this point, Jerry Reese can draft with his usual best player available mentality and still fill a huge need. Scherff can play tackle or guard and projects as an immediate starter. Nasty as a downfield blocker and a force in the ground game, he’s just what the doctor ordered for a unit that needs an injection of attitude.
10. St. Louis Rams
Wide Receiver, West Virginia
If White falls to the Rams at ten after the great combine he had, Jeff Fischer should be doing back flips. White is just the playmaker this team needs to pair with a hopefully healthy Sam Bradford in 2015. This team is only a QB and a playmaker or two away from contending.