We’ve finally made it, folks! After months of speculation and discussion, the draft is upon us. While some of the big names won’t be in attendance in Chicago, this draft still has some of the more intriguing storylines than we’ve seen in recent years. Outside of Tampa Bay at the top, no one has any idea how this weekend will play out. My final mock draft will mostly represent how I see it happening, rather than what I would do. The draft is full of surprises, so I tried to find places for reasonable shockers to occur.
Remember: The goal of mock drafts is not to get all the picks correct (that would be impossible), but to present potential scenarios and ways the board may fall. More so than providing scouting reports, this mock will outline different circumstances and options as the draft unfolds. For scouting reports, please check out the PhinManiacs Draft Guide. And as a bonus, my mock draft will go three rounds with no trades, with analysis for each pick in round one.
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State
It does not get easier than this selection. While Winston has some growing up to do, that is nothing new for an athlete experiencing early success. Winston’s issues have been overblown and will not deter the Bucs from selecting the best quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck. Tampa Bay has spoken with over 75 people connected to Winston and has done an unprecedented amount of research into the former FSU quarterback. Winston has attended charity events in Tampa with former Bucs greats, including Derrick Brooks and Mike Alstott, as recently as this week. The Bucs have never had a franchise quarterback, and they select Winston with the hope he becomes the second Seminole quarterback to win a Super Bowl with Tampa. People I trust have confirmed this pick is 100% locked in, including Bucs writer Gil Arcia (@GilArciaTBC), who has been on top of the team’s thinking since January. As a Bucs fan, I speak for the vast majority of the fan base when I say this is the most excited we’ve been in over a decade.
2. Tennessee Titans: Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
This is where the draft gets interesting. This pick will determine how the rest of the top 10 shakes out Thursday night. While there is no guarantee Tennessee selects Marcus Mariota here, I do see him going in this slot. San Diego, Cleveland, St. Louis, New York Jets, among others have rumored interest in moving up to select the Oregon product. With all of Tennessee’s needs, one would think they’d auction this pick off in an effort to improve arguably the least talented roster in the NFL. I believe the best scenario for the Titans would be acquiring quarterback Philip Rivers from San Diego, but that is a long shot. If they do decide to keep the pick, I see Mariota going here. The Titans have publicly supported current starter Zach Mettenberger, perhaps a little too much. The bottom line is you either have a franchise quarterback or you don’t, and the way I see it, the Titans do not. Mariota does not fit perfectly into head coach Ken Whisenhunt’s offense, but if he is a good offensive coach, he should be able to fit his scheme to his players’ strengths. Marcus Mariota will have a bigger impact - be it positive or negative - than selecting a defensive tackle.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Dante Fowler Jr., EDGE, Florida
Florida’s Dante Fowler Jr. is becoming the commonly assumed pick for Jacksonville, so much so that even Fowler has said he’d be shocked if Jacksonville passed on him. The pick makes sense for obvious reasons. Head coach Gus Bradley has spent premium picks to build his offense, including investing last year’s third overall selection in another local product, UCF’s Blake Bortles. He now gets his LEO pass rusher in Fowler Jr., whom I have rated as the top edge player in this class. Rumors have recently pegged Alabama’s Amari Cooper here to help Bortles in his development. Jacksonville loves to surprise, so to see Cooper or even Todd Gurley (yes, Gurley) go here is entirely possible. There is also a chance that the Jaguars prefer Vic Beasley or even Bud Dupree to Fowler Jr. But in the end, I believe Bradley finally gets to improve his defense with a top pick, and his choice will be Fowler Jr.
4. Oakland Raiders: Leonard Williams, DT, Southern California
The Raiders will be screaming and celebrating so much that they just might forget to submit this pick. Williams wants to be a Raider and from what I understand, the Raiders want Williams to stay in California. Pairing Williams with last year’s first round pick Khalil Mack would begin to shape a potentially dominant defense. Of course, if Williams is gone, then this pick is a receiver, likely Amari Cooper. But if this scenario plays out, Oakland selects Williams and targets a receiver in the second or third round. Williams is the top prospect on most boards, so to see him fall to four will be a welcome surprise for the Silver and Black. Oakland could also look to trade down and accumulate more assets to build around Mack and quarterback Derek Carr.
5. Washington Redskins: Kevin White, WR, West Virginia
Offensive minded head coach Jay Gruden decides to get his team a true #1 receiver. I made this selection in our PhinManiacs mock draft podcast, and I still see it as a possibility. The Redskins need a pass rusher and offensive line help. There is not an offensive lineman worthy of taking this high in 2015. You also have to keep in mind the tremendous depth (and small dropoff) of line talent throughout this draft. As for not selecting a pass rusher, I just see Kevin White as a better prospect than Vic Beasley. New general manager Scott McCloughan preaches taking the best player available, and I believe White fits better than Cooper here. Kevin White has shades of Larry Fitzgerald and Julio Jones in his game. Quarterback Robert Griffin III has not had a true #1 receiver in his career and the Redskins must do everything possible to make sure he doesn’t take yet another step back. I do not buy their interest in Marcus Mariota, nor do I believe he will be available at this spot. The Redskins are another trade-down candidate with both of the top receivers on the board.
6. New York Jets: Vic Beasley, EDGE, Clemson
New head coach Todd Bowles is happy to see Vic Beasley fall to this spot, and will select him to further build the Jets potentially elite defense. The Jets brought back a couple of familiar faces in corners Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie, but they could still use a rusher off the edge. Beasley has been one of the more hyped prospects throughout the pre-draft process and is the top pass rusher on some boards. There has been some chatter about Marcus Mariota going to the Jets, but even if available, I believe New York would still pass on him. Mariota needs time to develop, and considering their offseason moves, the Jets appear to be aiming to win now. Amari Cooper is another possibility here, as is edge rusher Bud Dupree if he is higher on the Jets’ board than Beasley.
7. Chicago Bears: Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
I find the Chicago Bears to be in one of the more interesting spots in this draft. We’ve heard Cooper, Arik Armstead, Dupree, Mariota, etc. The Bears seemingly are not thrilled with Jay Cutler at quarterback, but they’re stuck paying him and lack another viable option (if available, I believe they’d still pass on Mariota). Amari Cooper, my #2 receiver but the top receiver to many evaluators, presents Chicago with a long-term, versatile weapon for Cutler (and their eventual new quarterback). I love Cooper paired with Alshon Jeffery because Jeffery provides the size and ability to go get the ball, while Cooper can be moved around and provide a solid blanket for the quarterback. John Fox very well could go defense here, but in this scenario Cooper is the choice.
8. Atlanta Falcons: Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia
The draft’s biggest surprise happens at pick eight. With Bud Dupree still available, Dan Quinn remembers how crucial Marshawn Lynch was to the Seattle teams he coached, and decides he can acquire a pass rusher later. Some (most) say it is too early for a running back; it isn’t. Todd Gurley is the best running back to come out since Adrian Peterson and is the third overall player on my final big board. He is a special case. Atlanta has lacked toughness over the last few years, and Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff have praised Gurley for just that. As a Georgia resident who has watched Gurley’s entire career unfold, the hype is justified. Gurley is a unique blend of speed and power with a violent running style. I project Gurley as a top five NFL running back that could revive the Atlanta offense. When the Falcons had their most recent success, they relied on Michael Turner to carry the load. Quarterback Matt Ryan will appreciate this pick, as will the local fans. Assuming his medicals have been cleared (to my knowledge he is on pace to play early in the season), Gurley’s range is anywhere from third overall to sixteenth overall. He will almost certainly go in the top half of the first round.
9. New York Giants: Andrus Peat, T, Stanford
This is a pick I disagree with but see happening. Peat’s size wows NFL teams and some will see him as the top pure tackle. Iowa’s Brandon Scherff is commonly mocked here, but I believe the Giants opt for a tackle. The Peat-to-New York rumors have been going strong recently as the Giants need protection for quarterback Eli Manning. They nailed last year’s top pick in receiver Odell Beckham Jr., so they will continue to build up their offense for now and the future. I do not have Peat in my top three tackles, nor do I believe he should go this high. That said, there is some massive potential there for Peat to eventually become a top tier tackle.
10. St. Louis Rams: Brandon Scherff, G, Iowa
The Rams have finally finished cashing in on the RGIII trade, but still have no playoff appearances to show for it. Head coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Les Snead cut ties with injury ridden quarterback Sam Bradford, replacing him with the average Nick Foles. Sadly for St. Louis, average will be a massive upgrade. The Rams have had constant offensive line struggles, and then lost three starters this offseason. They select Scherff to play on Day One to protect Foles and open lanes for second year runner Tre Mason. The Rams need a true #1 receiver, but with Cooper/White gone, they are not sold on the remaining options at this spot. The Rams love trading down, so this pick is for sale if a team wants to jump up for a lineman, Dupree or DeVante Parker. There are rumors of the Rams wanting Mariota, and while I do buy the interest, I cannot see them making a move for him unless he falls. This roster is ready for the playoffs pending the success of Foles. The Rams take the safe route and select Scherff with that in mind.
11. Minnesota Vikings: Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State
Like the Giants pick, this is another selection I disagree with but has a good possibility of happening. Waynes fits head coach Mike Zimmer’s defense and the spot across from Xavier Rhodes is a question mark for the Vikings. I personally am not a fan of Waynes, as I prefer Marcus Peters and Kevin Johnson at this position. Minnesota could choose Peters here, or even quarterback Teddy Bridgewater’s former #1 receiver in DeVante Parker. While Parker wouldn’t surprise anyone, I think Zimmer gets his way and the team goes defense this high in the draft. Minnesota is building quite the roster and will be a force for years to come if they can continue to draft as well as they have recently.
12. Cleveland Browns: La’el Collins, T/G, LSU
The drama in Cleveland has been well documented. While it’s been discussed that the Browns will give up on quarterback Johnny Manziel, I believe they should put pieces around him and give him a full season to prove he can have success in this league. If Cleveland trades up for Marcus Mariota, which they very well may, then Mariota will be best served on the bench until Cleveland can put anything around him. Here, I believe the Browns pass on DeVante Parker to take the better prospect in LSU’s La’el Collins. Collins is my top ranked offensive lineman and I love his game, which is highlighted by his ferocity and aggression. Collins said that the Browns have told him he is their “favorite” for the right tackle position, and while that may be a smokescreen, I think it’s the right move for Cleveland. Since the top two receivers are gone, Cleveland can afford to wait and select that position later.
13. New Orleans Saints: Bud Dupree, EDGE, Kentucky
There has been a lot of action in New Orleans this offseason. Trading away Jimmy Graham, Kenny Stills, and Ben Grubbs for draft picks signals that a rebuild is on its way. The Saints may be a dark horse in the Mariota sweepstakes, but they won’t be desperate enough to pay the price to jump to the second spot. Quarterback Drew Brees has shown signs of decline, but the Saints seem more focused on building a defense than helping to slow his decline. Following the Graham trade, general manager Mickey Loomis said the deal was completed with fixing the defense in mind. So it’s a safe assumption that New Orleans will target defensive help with their handful of early picks this weekend. Their first choice will be used on Kentucky’s raw pass rusher, Bud Dupree. Dupree is a bit of a projection, but his athletic ability has scouts intrigued with his potential. The Saints will add Dupree in hopes that he is a key piece to their defense for the next decade. This pick is also likely to have a “for sale” sign on it, as the Saints seem determined to add more picks to rebuild quickly.
14. Miami Dolphins: DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville
The pick most of you have waited for turns out to be the receiver commonly mocked here: Louisville’s DeVante Parker. I am not a big Parker fan, but there is no denying his impressive productivity this past year despite injuries. Parker flashes the ability to become a #1 receiver at the next level with his impressive ball skills. There are rumblings that some teams have him as their second ranked receiver, so if he does get taken earlier than this, it would be no surprise. If I were the Dolphins, I would take Marcus Peters. Peters is a top ten player on my board, and I feel more confident in him being a lockdown #1 corner than I do Parker becoming an excellent #1 receiver. I know Miami has done their homework on Peters, but in the end I do not see them selecting the hotheaded Washington product. Todd Gurley is an option here as well, but those rumors seem to be making for a good smokescreen. If available, Gurley, Peters, La’el Collins or Kevin Johnson would all be better selections at this spot in my opinion. But with quarterback Ryan Tannehill in mind, Miami will take Parker, hoping he becomes Tannehill’s top target for years to come.
15. San Francisco 49ers: Arik Armstead, DE, Oregon
The worst offseason in the NFL would be what happened in San Francisco. Out are Jim Harbaugh, Patrick Willis, Chris Borland, Justin Smith and Mike Iupati. The 49ers have options with this pick, but one frequently mentioned selection is Oregon’s Arik Armstead to replace Justin Smith. Armstead’s ceiling is extremely high. He is a huge, physical athlete at the position but is in need of a lot of refinement. While raw, Armstead could provide the 49ers with a big (literally) piece to their defense moving forward. Receiver, secondary, and offensive line are options here, but the Armstead-to-49ers talk has been growing, and I believe it. Armstead could go as early as nine, but I have a hard time seeing him get past the top twenty selections.
16. Houston Texans: Nelson Agholor, WR, Southern California
This is the hardest pick to predict in the first round. The Texans have a well-rounded roster, and that gives them options with this pick. With no quarterback worthy of the selection, the Texans select a weapon for their future quarterback. Nelson Agholor has been getting a lot of love in the scouting community and it’s easy to see why. Agholor is a smooth, sure-handed receiver that also has the ability to return kicks. I also see this as Todd Gurley’s floor, and offensive line or secondary help wouldn’t be much of a surprise. There have also been rumblings of the Texans selecting Dorial Green-Beckham here. With Andre Johnson in Indianapolis, the Texans do not have much outside of DeAndre Hopkins at the receiver spot. They take Agholor and continue to build their roster with an eye toward their eventual franchise quarterback. Bill O’Brien’s top recruit at Penn State, quarterback Christian Hackenberg, is draft eligible next year. Just saying…
17. San Diego Chargers: Malcom Brown, DT, Texas
The Chargers decide to add to their defensive line with Texas’s Malcom Brown. Danny Shelton is an option here, and while I preferred him to Brown for much of the process, I had a change of heart and have Brown as the better rated prospect. I believe the Chargers will see it that way as well. Melvin Gordon would be an upgrade, but San Diego can wait for a back later in the draft. Tackle is a need, so taking D.J. Humphries and sliding D.J. Fluker inside is another good route for San Diego. The Chargers are heavily involved in rumors to move up for Mariota, but that is quite the leap to make. If Philip Rivers won’t re-sign, a trade to Tennessee would be best for all parties involved. Unable to work out a deal, or maybe just happy to stay put, I think the Chargers keep this seventeenth selection and take Brown.
18. Kansas City Chiefs: Cam Erving, C, Florida State
Head coach Andy Reid’s Chiefs have a big need in the trenches. Despite the lacking receiver group, even with the addition of Jeremy Maclin from Philadelphia, I do not see the Chiefs investing their first pick in a receiver; I think the pick will be offensive line or secondary help. FSU’s Cam Erving is a phenomenal center prospect and can start Day One in Kansas City. The position is a huge need after losing former center Rodney Hudson (also from FSU) to the rival Raiders. Erving is versatile enough to play any position on the line, although playing him at tackle should be limited to emergency situations (see his game against Vic Beasley). Erving can provide solid protection for quarterback Alex Smith as the Chiefs try to make it back into the playoffs for the second time under Reid.
19. Cleveland Browns: Breshad Perriman, WR, Central Florida
At the beginning of this process, this pick would have been mocked (pun intended) as a joke. Now, it’s expected. Perriman has skyrocked up boards as the fastest riser throughout the offseason. He capped it off with a strong pro day in which one scout timed his 40 at 4.15. While the time settled in the 4.2’s, Perriman’s raw skills have been put on notice and he is widely expected to go in round one. One team that has shown interest is the Cleveland Browns, who passed on a receiver at twelve. Earlier I mentioned the importance of helping Manziel, and taking Collins and Perriman with their two first round picks is a great start. Perriman will be relied on early in Cleveland, so there won’t be much time for a learning curve. He has physical tools that cannot be taught, so the Browns will hope Manziel - or Josh McCown - will be able to take advantage of that.
20. Philadelphia Eagles: Byron Jones, CB/S, UConn
The talk of the offseason, Chip Kelly will end up passing on all the sexy moves to help his secondary. All offseason we’ve been wondering if Kelly will make the move to get his former Oregon quarterback Mariota, and having a roster consisting of Sam Bradford, Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow doesn’t exactly extinguish that fire. In the end, while undoubtedly Kelly would love Mariota, he has enough confidence in his scheme to not trade a massive package for him. While I just mentioned Perriman as the draft’s biggest riser, UConn cornerback Byron Jones is right there with him. Jones showed his skills at the combine and displayed elite athleticism. Philadelphia has shown a lot of interest in Jones and needs a corner across from free agent acquisition Byron Maxwell. Kelly will love the athletic prowess of Jones, and has put an emphasis on improving the Eagles defense this offseason. I could see a receiver go here, such as Perriman, Phillip Dorsett, or Devin Smith, but Jones is a better prospect and fit here. It sounds insane (and it is), but if Brett Hundley went here (or followed a trade-down), I wouldn’t be overly surprised. Kelly did recruit Hundley at Oregon as well, so that is perhaps a realistic quarterback option.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Jake Fisher, T, Oregon
There is an unfortunate reality in Cincinnati: The team is treading water as long as Andy Dalton is their quarterback. The Bengals have had some outstanding regular seasons but always seem to melt in the playoffs, in large part due to poor quarterback play. The Bengals have backed Dalton and will put more pieces around him rather than replace him, at least for the 2015 season. Having arguably the most talented roster in the NFL, the Bengals could go a number of directions. Most likely they will address tackle or the pass rush. In this mock, they choose Oregon’s Jake Fisher. Jake Fisher is a highly underrated prospect. Coming from Oregon, he is a plus athlete that can play inside or outside. Cincinnati has an older Andrew Whitworth and impending free agent Andre Smith at the position. Fisher could play guard year one, then move to tackle and solidify that position for the next decade. Given their trend of drafting out of the SEC, Landon Collins, Shane Ray, or La’el Collins would be other possibilities, if available. A dark horse pick here would be receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, as head coach Marvin Lewis has shown a willingness to take on troubled talents.
22. Pittsburgh Steelers: Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest
The Steelers must improve their secondary, and that became even more urgent following the departures of Troy Polamalu and Ike Taylor. In recent days there have been reports that Kevin Johnson is the top corner on some teams’ boards, and this is no surprise. Johnson, while rail-thin, exhibits all the traits you want in a #1 cornerback. He is an excellent cover corner that goes 110% on every down. Johnson is extremely tough, and is my second-rated cornerback in this class as a top twenty player. Pittsburgh is getting tremendous value here with Johnson while also filling their top need. While I have Peters rated higher, I believe the Steelers would lean Johnson at this pick. Either player would be a great choice for head coach Mike Tomlin’s defense.
23. Detroit Lions: D.J. Humphries, T, Florida
Losing Ndamukong Suh and Nick Failey severely damaged the Lions elite defense. Taking a defensive tackle is a possibility, but instead the Lions will elect to protect their franchise quarterback and give him more time to air it out to Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate, and Eric Ebron. As a Florida fan, I was never blown away with Humphries and thought he underwhelmed throughout his career. Upon taking a closer look, I was pleasantly surprised at his play in Gainesville. He is an athletic tackle, and perhaps most importantly, projects as a left tackle in the NFL. In a draft lacking left tackles, I could envision Humphries being unavailable here. But if he’s on the board and Detroit is comfortable with his health, he’s very likely their pick.
24. Arizona Cardinals: Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin
The Cardinals don’t have any glaring needs, so they can afford to draft the best player that will make an immediate impact. With Carson Palmer back healthy again, I think Arizona gives him help by selecting Melvin Gordon. Gordon, one of the most prolific runners in college football history, would be a Day One starter, running behind a strong Cardinals line that just added run blocking extraordinaire Mike Iupati. If Gordon proves to be effective, he is just another weapon for an Arizona team already featuring two top level receivers in Michael Floyd and Larry Fitzgerald. With their elite defense, Arizona is ready to make a Super Bowl run and Gordon could be a big part of that.
25. Carolina Panthers: Ereck Flowers, T, Miami
On the surface, this pick appears obvious. Carolina must improve their offensive line for quarterback Cam Newton. But Carolina has shown heavy interest in linebacker Shaq Thompson, as well as a list of wide receivers and secondary players. That said, I do not believe they’ll pass on Flowers in this spot. Flowers was a victim of poor instruction at Miami and is in desperate need of NFL coaching. All of the flaws Flowers exhibits are correctable, and for that reason I could see him going as early as the ninth or tenth spot in this draft. Thus, getting Flowers here could prove to be a steal for the Panthers. I suspect Thompson, Jaelen Strong, Devin Smith, and other available offensive linemen will get looks before Carolina settles on Flowers as their right tackle.
26. Baltimore Ravens: Marcus Peters, CB, Washington
The Ravens are arguably the best drafting team in the league, and this pick is another example of why. A talent like Peters should not fall this far despite his attitude problems. Yes, I understand that Baltimore will avoid potential character concerns, but Peters is more hotheaded than anything else. Putting him in a strong locker room like Baltimore’s will allow him to reach his potential. In my view, Peters is the best secondary player in this class. Regardless of where he ends up, I believe he will be a #1 cornerback for years to come. Peters may be a surprise top-ten or top-fifteen pick, but ultimately I do not see any way he makes it past the Ravens. If Peters is off the board, Baltimore could turn to Melvin Gordon (if available), another corner, or a receiver if the right man is there for general manager Ozzie Newsome.
27. Dallas Cowboys: Randy Gregory, EDGE, Nebraska
The fall of Randy Gregory ends with the Dallas Cowboys. New addition Greg Hardy is suspended for ten games (pending appeal), so Dallas will need to find a new way to strengthen their pass rush. Gregory has tumbled since this process began, with concerns over his weight, and that was before he failed a drug test at the combine. Arguably the most talented pass rusher in the class, Dallas will happily end his slide and take a chance on the boom-or-bust edge rusher. If he slips this far, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a team in desperate need of pass rushing help try to jump up to this spot. As I understand, teams’ research has indicated Gregory’s substance abuse history may be a pattern, which is extremely concerning. Gregory is a great talent, but his red flags are enough to knock him into the later part of round one or even out of this round altogether.
28. Denver Broncos: Owamagbe Odighizuwa, EDGE, UCLA
The Broncos are another intriguing team with a handful of options. They maintain a win-now mode with the return of quarterback Peyton Manning, so I expect their target to be an immediate contributor. While it’s fun to say Odighizuwa’s name, it’s just as fun to watch him play. Odighizuwa is tremendously talented and deserves to sneak into round one. Odighizuwa is a bit raw, but physically has all that you can ask for in a prospect. While scheme versatile, he’ll be an outside linebacker for the Broncos, who have worked him out recently. He needs to make improvements as a pass rusher, but Denver is a good fit for him and I think this is the pick here. Denver could also look to improve their offensive line or grab a defensive tackle.
29. Indianapolis Colts: Landon Collins, S, Alabama:
If Landon Collins falls this far, I would be surprised if Indianapolis passes. Collins is a perfect fit at a position of need for the Colts. Collins is regarded as the top safety in this class by the majority of evaluators and would provide immediate help to Indy’s defense. The Colts are preparing to make a Super Bowl run with their loaded offense, so Collins is a solid addition to help their defense ready itself for the playoffs. The Colts could also draft a player in the trenches, as they need help there on both sides of the ball. If one of the offensive linemen falls, or the Colts are fans of say T.J. Clemmings or Cedric Ogbuehi, that’ll be the pick to protect quarterback Andrew Luck. Safety Damarious Randall is another potential choice at this spot.
30. Green Bay Packers: Danny Shelton, DT, Washington
I really don’t expect Danny Shelton to slip this far, but that’s draft day for you. Green Bay would be glad to see this happen, as the defensive tackle spot is a need and Shelton is one of the better players available here. Green Bay may prefer another defensive tackle or they could address their secondary with this pick. If one of the top corners falls, such as Peters or Johnson, then the Packers would be thrilled. If Odighizuwa is available, I could see Green Bay pulling the trigger on him as well. Green Bay is in good position to grab a talented player that slipped too far. This is also a good spot to trade back since teams will want to grab their guy before Day One ends.
31. New Orleans Saints: Phillip Dorsett, WR, Miami
Earlier in round one, the Saints drafted pass rusher Bud Dupree to address their defensive struggles. With their second selection, I think they decide to add another playmaker for Drew Brees. Head coach Sean Payton is known to be very high on Miami receiver Phillip Dorsett. To me, this is a little early for him, but there is no doubt that Dorsett would be extremely productive in Payton’s offense. Brees will enjoy throwing to his new duo of quick targets in Brandin Cooks and Dorsett. I could also see New Orleans taking a chance on Dorial Green-Beckham or selecting the best defensive player available.
32. New England Patriots: Eric Rowe, S/CB, Utah
With the final pick in round one, the Patriots upgrade their secondary. New England’s secondary has been milked this offseason, losing their top two corners to free agency. Despite Revis and Brandon Browner moving on, the Patriots managed to avoid disaster by resigning safety Devin McCourty. Eric Rowe is another riser that is projected to go in the first two rounds. Similar to McCourty, Rowe is able to play both safety and cornerback, so New England can use him however they see fit. Green-Beckham, an offensive lineman, or another secondary player could be other options. Most likely, New England will trade back as they usually do.
33. Tennessee Titans: Shaq Thompson, OLB, Washington
34. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Cedric Ogbuehi, T, Texas A&M
35. Oakland Raiders: Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State
36. Jacksonville Jaguars: T.J. Yeldon, RB, Alabama
37. New York Jets: Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Oklahoma
38. Washington Redskins: Shane Ray, EDGE, Missouri
39. Chicago Bears: Eric Kendricks, ILB, UCLA
40. New York Giants: Damarious Randall, S, Arizona State
41. St. Louis Rams: Benardrick McKinney, ILB, Mississippi State
42. Atlanta Falcons: Eli Harold, EDGE, Virginia
43. Cleveland Browns: Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida State
44. New Orleans Saints: Paul Dawson, ILB, TCU
45. Minnesota Vikings: T.J. Clemmings, T, Pittsburgh
46. San Francisco 49ers: Jalen Collins, CB, LSU
47. Miami Dolphins: Stephone Anthony, ILB, Clemson
48. San Diego Chargers: Tevin Coleman, RB, Indiana
49. Kansas City Chiefs: Ronald Darby, CB, Florida State
50. Buffalo Bills: A.J. Cann, G, South Carolina
51. Houston Texans: Jay Ajayi, RB, Boise State
52. Philadelphia Eagles: Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA
53. Cincinnati Bengals: Michael Bennett, DT, Ohio State
54. Detroit Lions: Carl Davis, DT, Iowa
55. Arizona Cardinals: Jordan Phillips, DT, Oklahoma
56. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jaquiski Tartt, S, Samford
57. Carolina Panthers: Preston Smith, DE/DT, Mississippi State
58. Baltimore Ravens: Duke Johnson, RB, Miami
59. Denver Broncos: Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota
60. Dallas Cowboys: P.J. Williams, CB/S, Florida State
61. Indianapolis Colts: Grady Jarrett, DT, Clemson
62. Green Bay Packers: Alex Carter, S/CB, Stanford
63. Seattle Seahawks: Devin Smith, WR, Ohio State
64. New England Patriots: Denzel Perryman, ILB, Miami
65. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Nate Orchard, EDGE, Utah
66. Tennessee Titans: Mario Edwards Jr., DE/DT, Florida State
67. Jacksonville Jaguars: Quinten Rollins, CB/S, Miami (OH)
68. Oakland Raiders: Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska
69. Washington Redskins: Laken Tomlinson, G, Duke
70. New York Jets: Tre Jackson, G, Florida State
71. Chicago Bears: Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor
72. St. Louis Rams: Sammie Coates, WR, Auburn
73. Atlanta Falcons: Donovan Smith, T, Penn State
74. New York Giants: Trey Flowers, EDGE, Arkansas
75. New Orleans Saints: Tyler Sambrailo, T, Colorado State
76. Minnesota Vikings: David Cobb, RB, Minnesota
77. Cleveland Browns: Dezmin Lewis, WR, Central Arkansas
78. New Orleans Saints: Xavier Cooper, DT/DE, Washington State
79. San Francisco 49ers: Devin Funchess, WR, Michigan
80. Kansas City Chiefs: Daryl Williams, T, Oklahoma
81. Buffalo Bills: Josh Shaw, S/CB, Southern California
82. Houston Texans: Senquez Golson, CB, Ole Miss
83. San Diego Chargers: Tyler Lockett, WR, Kansas State
84. Philadelphia Eagles: Tre McBride, WR, William & Mary
85. Cincinnati Bengals: Danielle Hunter, EDGE, LSU
86. Arizona Cardinals: Clive Walford, TE, Miami
87. Pittsburgh Steelers: Markus Golden, EDGE, Missouri
88. Detroit Lions: David Johnson, RB, Northern Iowa
89. Carolina Panthers: Justin Hardy, WR, East Carolina
90. Baltimore Ravens: Lorenzo Mauldin, EDGE, Louisville
91. Dallas Cowboys: Mike Davis, RB, South Carolina
92. Denver Broncos: Garrett Grayson, QB, Colorado State
93. Indianapolis Colts: Jamil Douglas, G, Arizona State
94. Green Bay Packers: Hau’oli Kikaha, EDGE, Washington
95. Seattle Seahawks: Hroniss Grasu, C, Oregon
96. New England Patriots: Steven Nelson, CB, Oregon State
97. New England Patriots: Ali Marpet, G, Hobart
98. Kansas City Chiefs: James Sample, S, Louisville
99. Cincinnati Bengals: Jeff Heuerman, TE, Ohio State
This column was written by Gabe Burns. Follow him on Twitter @SoHotItGBURNS
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