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
It’s that wonderful time of year when clipboards, big boards and NFL Mock Draft posts of all shapes and sizes dominate the world of football. With the NFL Combine over, here’s my take for what each team might look to do come draft.
We at the Big Easy Believer want your input! See your team and don’t agree with the pick? Feel free to let us know what the “right” pick for your team is in the comments section. No Mock Draft is every 100% accurate, but they can give us possible insight into the moves of each team.
The mock below will be different from ones you see from other analysts and is of course subject to change. Trades are not included in our mock drafts.
Typically there is one pick considered a “lock” in each draft. This year, this is it. Mariota doesn’t fit the scheme and Winston will be an immediate fan favorite. Front office wins, fans win, but will the team?
Tennessee is in a tough spot here. They have gaping holes in various places, but there is one man keeping the rest of the AFC south from winning the division. That man is Andrew Luck. Whats the old adage, you can never have too many pass rushers? Gregory could be this year’s, and the future’s, premier pass rusher. The team signed Orakpo who is a SOLB, just like Morgan. Option 1: Slide Orakpo to the inside and let Morgan/Gregory handle the wings. Option 2: Put Morgan back on the line and feature Orakpo at SOLB and Gregory as your weak side pass rusher. Either way, the Titans defense just got a lot scarier for QBs. It’s important to note that there are strong stirrings of the team considering a QB with this pick.
While I’m tempted to draft a LT here to replace Luke (and possibly move him to RT), it’s simply too early. The best players on the board are a receiver, a linebacker (Fowler) and a defensive linemen who many are wary of due to his work ethic. The Jaguars here go for the safe pick and select a player who is not only an on the field monster, but is regarded as a very strong locker room leader. This young team needs that.
White is the answer to all of the Raiders’ offensive problems. He can stretch the field, he runs great routes and he will force defenses to account for him on the outside. The Raiders honor the memory of the great Al Davis by choosing the talented and speedy White over the equally talented Cooper.
There isn’t any debate on Williams’ talent level. The question is will he play a full 60 minutes when he comes to the NFL, or will he take plays off. The Redskins here, banking on Leonard’s ability to shine at the next level are getting a player who can step into the 5 technique or anywhere along the line. The Redskins get younger, deeper and scarier in their front seven with Williams getting picked here at 5.
Chan Gailey will be running the offense for the J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS. What does that mean? Spread spread spread. It is very possible that the Jets’ offensive system will receive a facelift and if they choose to go with a spread format then Mariota is their guy. Typically the Jets are a defense first team, but they’ve needed a starting QB for a long time now. Is Mariota that guy?
Even though there is highly rated offensive talent on the board (Amari Cooper, for example) the Bears are making a transition to a 3-4 defense. The question the arises as to whether they go LB or find the next Vince Wilfork to solidify the center and build outwards. Shelton is far from a “sexy” pick, but it is smart. Solidifying the line for hopefully years to come is the right move. New GM Ryan Pace saw the Saints choose DL early in the 1st round so it certainly won’t be outside of his comfort zone.
If you’re the Falcons you’ve got to be considering Amari Cooper here simply from the paradigm that your division doesn’t have the ability to cover that many elite receivers. Still, the safer choice is to field a trade or focus on your defense. Here the Falcons choose the latter and pick up Vic Beasley in the hopes of chasing down Drew Brees and Cam Newton.
Last year the Giants found the best offensive player in the draft with OBJ out of LSU. This year they go to the same school looking for a similar result. Drafting Collins here might be considered a slight reach, but his ceiling is sky high and he comes ready to be a mauler in the run game. His pass protection isn’t too shabby, but it is something that must be improved upon. The Giants help every fact of their offense with this pick.
At this point in the draft Cooper is the best player available and the Rams fans should be ecstatic. The team grabs a pro ready number 1 receiver ready to catch passes from anyone who can throw a football. In a conference dominated by defense adding a WR of this caliber could help the Rams push for a playoff spot.
If you’re Minnesota you’re looking in several directions for help, but you’re also not in a big hurry. Though it has yet to happen it is assumed that Peterson won’t return to the team in 2015. If that is the case, the Vikings pick up his replacement in Todd Gurley. Gurley is ranked by some analysts as the top overall player in the draft. While rankings can be debated, his talent isn’t. Matching a young back with a young leader in Bridgewater can only help the growing process of a young Vikings squad looking for a new identity.
The Browns might be moving on from the Johnny Manziel experiment, but no matter who they choose to be their quarterback they have to find someone to throw the ball to. With the departure of Cameron and the continual trials and tribulations of Gordon the Browns take Devante Parker in hopes to stop the bleeding.
Thanks to a furious flurry of fantastical fiscal forays in which General Manager Mickey Loomis danced around the cap and traded away pieces of the team’s offense like your grandmother at the family yard sale, the Saints find themselves in a spot they are quite unfamiliar. They have an abundance of draft picks. In all likelihood the Saints will use their new found picks to trade up to pick players they feel strongly for. They have also made it clear defense is their priority. One thing they need is a LB who can start opposite Galette in a 3-4. With Fowler off the board, Bud Dupree is that guy. Dupree is an upgrade over Haralson and can also rush the passer when needed.
When you play Tom Brady twice and year you need good corners. Waynes is a strong corner who can play bump and run from day one. In the AFC East it’s all about stopping Tom Terrific. Stop his receivers and you stop him, somewhat.
It has not been a good offseason to be a 49ers’ fan. The best LB group since the Dome Patrol has all but been dismantled and the Head Coach who took the team to three straight NFC Championship games has left as well. All they can do is try to pick up the pieces and start over. Shane Ray hopefully helps in that regard by keeping the 49ers’ pass rush alive and flying off the edge.
It is a bit early to draft a QB here at 16 (though if the team really likes a guy like Hundley, why not?). Houston takes the safe pick and drafts along the offensive line to give whoever commands the offense some time to throw and the backs some space to run. As Dallas showed last year a young, strong offensive line is the difference between a playoff team and an 8-8 team. Clemmings has Pro Bowl potential but will need grooming to be an elite tackle.