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NFL Draft 101 Staff Three Round 2015 Mock Draft - First Staff Mock of 2015

04-25-2015

As a staff, we discussed the picks, but each member had final say of specific teams. Arman Markazi played GM for TB, OAK, NYJ, NO, MIA, SF, SD, PHI, DET, DAL, and DEN. Marc Sluis played GM for TEN, JAC, NYG, STL, CLE, HOU, BUF, PIT, ARI, IND, and SEA. Doug Lancy played GM for WAS, CHI, ATL, MIN, KC, CIN, CAR, BAL, GB, and NE. Because of Winston dropping, we decided to allow a trade. Washington traded it's first and second round picks to move up 2 spots with Jacksonville to take Jameis Winston.


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| Round 1 | Round 2 | Round 3 |

Round 1

PickTeamPosPlayerSchool
1Tampa Bay BuccaneersDELeonard Williams #USC
 I know, I know...We need a QB badly and there's Winston and Mariota sitting right there for us to take. I get that. But if I'm the GM and I have the first pick overall I'm taking someone who I am absolutely sure can live up to the pick and can come in immediately and be an elite starter. That's not to say I don't like these QBs, but they're far from being sure-fire elite QBs of the future.Winston has a lot of tools I look for in a QB (strong/accurate arm, pocket awareness, highly-competitive, plays well under pressure, and is a proven winner/leader). However his off the field issues totally outweigh the positives for me. It's not so much the dropped rape charges as it was the continuous immature head-scratching actions he would commit during his season. Mariota on the other hand is clean off the field but has some question marks on the field. He played in a wide-open system at Oregon where he was rarely under center, has a nonchalant competitive demeanor that I'm not the biggest fan of , and also played poorly in the biggest game of his college career. That's why I took my BPA in the entire draft, DL Leonard Williams. Williams can play any position on the defensive line in any defensive scheme and make the pro bowl. He's exceptionally gifted physically but plays as if he has to work harder than anyone on the field. High motor player that makes everyone around him better and can eventually be a captain of your defense.
2Tennessee TitansQBMarcus Mariota #Oregon
 Boy was this tough. It was Marcus or Jameis. I really like Winston and value most of the scouts who say he's the superior talent on the field. While I don't wholeheartedly disagree, I opted for someone I can hand the keys of the franchise and know that if he isn't successful I can live with it. He has all the physical tools )height, weight, speed, arm strength, agility) and is smart, mature and will only get better. Add to that the added dimension of his pure speed and how just the threat of him running can affect a defense and I'm satisfied.
3Washington RedskinsQBJameis Winston #Florida State
 With Jameis Winston on the board still, Washington took the opportunity to move up and grab the signal caller. Trading their first and second round picks, the climbed 2 spots. Although he may have fallen to them at this point, more likely was another team trading up to grab him. The Redskins hope that Winston proves to be the missing answer to their quarterback questions. If both quarterbacks have been taken, Washington will be considering between Leonard Williams, Amari Cooper and 3-4 Rusher.
4Oakland RaidersWRAmari Cooper #Alabama
 The Raiders had a nice draft haul last year adding young, talented starters like Mack, Carr, and Jackson with their first 3 selections. They needed to spend more money in free agency this off-season and missed the chance to sign a Raider-fit player like Suh or RB Murray. Nonetheless, they can still build their team through the draft with high-character, competitive kids like Amari Cooper, who can step in day 1 and be the #1 WR the Raiders have needed since Brown/Rice left town (I know they had Moss, but that was a disaster...) Cooper has played at a high-level for 3 years now and showed me he is the real thing. He can run the complete route-tree and can be a great red-zone target for Carr. I would like to see him work on his concentration catching, as I've seen him drop an easy pass or two, but I'm sure that wont be a problem for someone as motivated to be great as Cooper.
5Jacksonville JaguarsWRKevin WhiteWest Virginia
 At this point, Jameis Winston was still on the board. Blake Bortles is our guy, for better or worse, and that means a QB is not an option. Because the value of Jameis Winston at #3 is exponentially higher than anyone else we could have taken, I can't skip over Winston and lose all of that possible value. That meant I either take Winston and trade him or trade the pick. Sure this could result in a little loss of value if its handled incorrectly or the trade wasn't even, but that lost value will be so small compared taking Kevin White, Amari Cooper or Shane Ray or whoever instead of Winston. A premium QB talent is simply worth more, I needed to leverage that value. Oh, and I was then able to take a stud WR with the skills to do it all to pair with a young QB and three other solid young wide outs.
6New York JetsDE/34LBShane Ray #Missouri
 The Jets are getting back to being the loaded defense they once were with the re-acquiring of CBs Revis and Cromartie. It's no secret that HC Todd Bowles likes to put pressure on the QB and blitz on almost every down. That being the case, the Jets need to take one of the top pressure players in the draft, Missouri's Shane Ray. Ray, the reigning SEC Defensive player of the year, is a marvel to watch on tape and continuously wreaked havoc on OTs and QBs he faced in college with his combination of speed, strength, get off, and motor. He should start right away and be a great piece on this defense.
7Chicago BearsDE/34LB/OLBDante Fowler, Jr. #Florida
 Chicago is switching to a 3-4 Defense and needs a rush linebacker to fit the system. Fowler gives them that rusher off the edge and he can also play DE in the 4-3 allowing for some hybrid schemes as the Bears retool the defense. If Amari Cooper falls to them, he'll be tough to pass as will Kevin White. Also Danny Shelton could be the pick as the new nose tackle for Chicago.
8Atlanta FalconsDE/34LBRandy Gregory #Nebraska
 The Falcons are desperate for a pass rush after last year's struggles. Enter Randy Gregory who looks incredible on tape but struggled at the Combine. Add in the positive test for marijuana, and he could fall. But Atlanta is a team that could take a chance on him. Hard to see Atlanta not going with an edge rusher here considering the need is so great and talent will be available at this pick.
9New York GiantsOTBrandon ScherffIowa
 The Giants are a few years away from a transition. Eli will be start to enter his late thirty's, Tom Coughlin will probably be replaced or retired and when your coach and QB are gone you're a different team. With that in mind we need to look in the future while also making the most of the present. To me that screams offensive line. There is no better way to help squeeze a few more good years out of an older QB or help a young one grow with confidence. Scherff was the consensus best O-line prospect according to my scouts (Doug and Arman) so without a strong opinion of my own I added a versatile and overall safe prospect to bolster the line.
10St. Louis RamsOTLa'El CollinsLSU
 One thing I noticed was how impressive and complete this roster was. We had very few needs and I would like to add a play making receiver but was quite ready to pay a top ten pick for DeVante Parker. La'el Collins will be a good pro, maybe not elite, but a legitimate and "plus" starter at either guard or right tackle.
11Minnesota VikingsCBTrae Waynes #Michigan State
 A perfect fit for Zimmer, Waynes could help create a dominate secondary for the Vikings (still need upgrade at safety). Waynes is a quick, physical corner who doesn't give up on plays and his consistency will be huge going against the tough passing offenses of the NFC North. If an elite receiver falls, the Vikings could go that way or could select the best player on the board.
12Cleveland BrownsDE/34LBVic Beasley #Clemson
 The Browns have two first rounders, which is always nice, but I really need to hit on all the first few picks here. The team has talent so if we can maintain and grow the foundation, when we find a QB we'll be ready to compete for championships. Vic Beasley plays really fast and can challenge off the edge, putting a lot of pressure on an offense even if he lacks elite strength. Even if he's not an all-around star, he does one thing well and its quite important, plus I'll take a guy with some flaws but is an excellent overall athlete.
13New Orleans SaintsDTDanny SheltonWashington
 The Saints have had a hole at NT ever since they moved to a 3-4 defense under Rob Ryan and lucky for them, Washington's Danny Shelton is still on the board. A player some people were talking about potentially going top 7-8 in the draft, this is a nice value get for the Saints as they take the BPA and also fill a huge need. Shelton, an absolute mammoth specimen, had a sensational senior campaign and followed it up with a spectacular senior bowl and combine showcase. He's got the great balance of strength and athleticism (state champion shot-putter in HS and standout wrestler).
14Miami DolphinsWRDeVante ParkerLouisville
 The Dolphins lost Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline, and others from their receiving corp this off-season and need to badly fill those shoes. Parker is a mismatch for most corners as he does his best work while the ball is in the air, high-pointing the ball and snatching it from the defenders grasp. He's a developing route-runner and has some injury concerns (missed first 7 games of last season), but the natural talents there. If he can put it all together he could become the lead receiver for the Dolphins going forward.
15San Francisco 49ersDEArik Armstead #Oregon
 The 49ers have gone through an off-season like I've never seen before. So many changes to the roster and coaching staff for a team that respectably went 8-8. That being said, they had one of the deepest rosters in the league so they'll be alright as long as those backups can step in and fill the shoes of the departed. In addition, it wouldn't hurt them to draft a couple starters along the way. With the first pick, they should select the best defensive lineman, granted the value is there. Armstead is long (6-7, 33' arms), strong (295 lbs clean muscle), and can come in immediately and start for the 49ers at either DE spots in the 3-4. I would prefer him on the same side with Aldon Smith, bringing double the pressure on the same side. He seems like a good character fit for the franchise as well.
16Houston TexansOTEreck Flowers #Miami (FL)
 We can't get the answer at QB here, so much like the Browns pick earlier I needed to hit here and build a complete roster. The corner linemen are so important and Ereck Flowers has a chance to be a rock solid RT. Sure, he's not the top tier guy or LT eligible option, but he is big, strong, athletic enough and could be a great fit on the right side.
PickTeamPosPlayerSchool
17San Diego ChargersDTEddie Goldman #Florida State
 My peers wanted me to take Gurley here but I decided to go with Goldman instead. I feel like Gurley, if healthy would have been my choice here, but not knowing that and knowing the depth of the running back class, I decided to wait on that and take a balance of BPA and position need. Goldman's far from just a space eating NT. He's excellent at the point of attack, has the ability to disengage blockers and make plays on the ball carrier and fits very nicely into a 3-4 scheme. He may not bring the sexy sack totals fans want out of a 1st rounder, but his presence will always be felt but opposing offenses.
18Kansas City ChiefsOT/CCameron ErvingFlorida State
 Cameron Erving is very athletic and can play multiple positions on the line, something Andy Reid appreciates. He also has a tendency to draft offensive lineman in the first round. Also considered Bud Dupree or Andrus Peat.
19Cleveland BrownsRBTodd Gurley #Georgia
 (from Bills) I feel really pressured to make solid choices when trying to elevate a franchise like the Browns, but this was not a high risk, high upside gamble in my mind. Gurley is a rare back who can impact the game in a big way and really be more than just a change of pace guy or part of a stable of backs. He is a legitimate top tier prospect who has the speed and power combination that is truly special. Yes, there is some risk with the knee but I'm trying to maximize value here.
20Philadelphia EaglesSLandon Collins #Alabama
 Finally, Philly gets lucky. Easily one of, if not the best fits through the first 20 selections, the Iggles get their strong safety of the future. In Collins, they get a bright, young safety to team up with the ultra talented veteran coverman, Malcolm Jenkins. This should help sure up the back end as they already opened up the checkbook to snag Byron Maxwell from the Seahawks. Collins, continuing the long ling of Alabama first round safeties, is by far the highest rated safety in the class as he brings in-the-box toughness and tackling with some instincts and smarts on the back end.
21Cincinnati BengalsOTAndrus Peat #Stanford
 As tempting as Bud Dupree would be here, both Smith and Winston have 1 year left on their contract. Likely the Bengals will only retain one so getting a developmental tackle with a high ceiling is a great way to go.
22Pittsburgh SteelersDE/34LBAlvin DupreeKentucky
 The Steelers have a lot of recent high draft picks invested in the linebacking corps but are without an impact edge rusher. The Steelers D thrives on pressure off the edge, even more so with a suspect secondary, and Bud Dupree is a freak athlete who could provide that. This pick is the first one where I'm taking a player I don't have a final or at least well formed opinion on. So again, I looked at my scouts' and others' thoughts and like the athletic profile in a game being played more and more in space.
23Detroit LionsRBMelvin Gordon #Wisconsin
 Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate, Eric Ebron, and now Melvin Gordon? Is there much more I have to say? Gordon is a Jamaal Charles type RB that has speed, quickness, elusiveness and any other adjective you want to use to explain his ability to hit the home run at any time from any place. He would also be an excellent compliment to Joique Bell's running style. One of my only concerns would be how Gordon does in pass protection, which Bell is excellent at. I would take this risk as the Lions strengthen their already strong offense. However, after the loss of Suh and Fairley, Defensive tackle needs to be addressed on day 2.
24Arizona CardinalsCBJalen Collins #LSU
 The Cards have a short window to compete and it coincides exactly with how much longer Carson Palmer can play at a high level. Jalen Collins is not the most polished corner, but is aggressive, plays tough and is a plus athlete.
25Carolina PanthersWRDorial Green-Beckham #Oklahoma
 Cam Newton's struggles could be attributed to the lack of weapons at his disposal. Bringing in Dorial Green-Beckham would give the receiving group a much needed lift. Talent wise, DGB is better than this but his off the field baggage has caused him to drop. Carolina knows how to handle off the field issues and can get a great player at a value pick.
26Baltimore RavensCBMarcus Peters #Washington
 Marcus Peters is another player with off the field issues. However, his was more an issue of immaturity and conflict with his coaches. His talent is there, though and the Ravens could use upgrades in the secondary.
27Dallas CowboysDTMalcolm Brown #Texas
 Big D gets fortunate with the dropping of Brown, a Texas product, into their laps. The Cowboys signing Greg Hardy and drafting Brown would give them a very formidable defensive line and a huge improvement from last years group that only tallied 28 total sacks. More pressure is exactly what Rod Marinelli wants and that's exactly what Brown can provide them for years to come. Everyone expects the Cowboys to take Gurley or Gordon but I see them taking one in round 2 or 3 where the class of running backs truly shines.
28Denver BroncosWRJaelen Strong #Arizona State
 One of my absolute favorite prospects from the entire draft, Jaelen Strong is an excellent value at #28. Not that WR was a must-have need, but with Manning getting older and the time ticking on his SB chances, I thought Strong would be a nice piece to put opposite D. Thomas and have E. Sanders in the slot to replace Welker. Strong was a model of consistency during his time at ASU. He played hard every game, put up nice stats, had reliable hands, and was a dependable red-zone target (39' vertical at the combine). Manning should love this pick and also love the fact that the Broncos should be looking at taking 1-2 Offensive Lineman in day 2.
29Indianapolis ColtsILBEric KendricksUCLA
 As the Colts GM I put an immense amount pressure on myself. Surrounding a transcendent talent like Luck with pieces to success is not an option, its a necessity. Kendricks is a solid prospect and player who has the athleticism and grit to play sideline to sideline but also in the trenches.
30Green Bay PackersCBKevin JohnsonWake Forest
 The Packers always seem to find a key player that fits their system in the draft that has fallen to them. Here it is Kevin Johnson who could step in day one as the next pro-bowl corner for the Packers.
31New Orleans SaintsWR/TEDevin Funchess #Michigan
 (from Seahawks) New Orleans lost Jimmy Graham and Kenny Stills in the off season and need to replace the chess pieces for Brees to throw to. Funchess is what Sean Payton would call a "joker". A mismatch for any defender, Funchess is too big and physical for DBs and too fast and agile for LBs.
32New England PatriotsDTJordan Phillips #Oklahoma
 Jordan Phillips is a boom/bust pick that can play across the line in the many schemes that the Patriots like to throw at teams. Considering the way Belichick seems to milk the most out of his guys, look at Phillips being a boom player able to make plays in the backfield against the quarterbacks and running backs he faces.

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