With all of the recent rumors and news regarding multiple first round picks such as La’el Collins, Randy Gregory, and Shane Ray, I present to you the Final Hour 1st Round NFL Mock Draft. I will mock rounds 2 & 3 tomorrow.
1. QB – Jameis Winston, Florida State
After the failed Josh McCown experiment and Mike Glennon proving time and again that he is strictly a backup QB, the Buccaneers need to get a franchise QB. Despite his off the field issues, Winston is the clear-cut top QB in this draft class. He has a strong arm and can get the ball out of his hands quickly. He can also avoid pressure well for someone his size and is a tough guy to bring down as well. His weakness, however, is his tendency to get careless with the football but overall, he seems ready for the speed and to be able to lead an NFL offense as well. If for some reason Tampa decided they want to trade down or even select Marcus Mariota, they could easily do that as well.
2. QB – Marcus Mariota, Oregon
Whether or not Mariota is selected by the Titans, there is no doubt in my mind that he will be the #2 overall pic. Teams like the Eagles, Browns, and Jets among others are all chomping at the bit to trade up and select him. A lot of people question if Mariota could adapt to the NFL game seeing how he played out of the pistol in college and was prone to fumbling but he can make plays on his feet and throws well on short and intermediate routes. Known for a high work ethic he just might be able to successfully compete in the NFL. If Tennessee trades down, they could use help at just about every position, specifically at RT, WR, RB, DL, and CB. If they feel Mariota is not their guy, I’d personally trade down and try to build the team from the trenches out. This team is a few years away from competing in the playoffs.
3. WR – Amari Cooper, Alabama
Without any playmakers on offense, Cooper will immediately give the Jaguars a #1 target at receiver. He can do it all: runs excellent routes, has great hands, and is an exceptional blocker as well. Plus, he is a major threat after the catch. Jacksonville could also use help at edge rusher with Dante Fowler as a possibility but he does not have the star potential like Cooper, who is the complete package at receiver.
4. DT – Leonard Williams, USC
Rotoworld is reporting that the Raiders are shopping this pick and have their sites set on taking edge rusher Alvin “Bud” Dupree. However, I am not mocking trades here and have the Raiders selecting Williams, who can immediately step in and play the 3-Technique spot. If Cooper falls to this spot, I imagine that the Raiders would select him here. Other possibilities include OLB/DE Dante Fowler or WR Kevin White. Seeing this draft is loaded at receiver, I think the Raiders address the defense here and the skill positions in the later rounds
5. OLB – Dante Fowler Jr., Florida
Although the Redskins need major help in the secondary, this draft is not strong there. Fowler might be the best pass rusher in the entire draft and seems tailor-made to play in the 3-4. Washington also likes size in their edge rushers and Fowler has that. Fowler has experience in multiple formations and has great acceleration off of the snap. Another possibility for the Redskins here will be RT Brandon Scherff.
6. OLB – Vic Beasley, Clemson
The biggest need on this team, besides a quarterback, is a pass rusher. Beasley is a freak athlete and Todd Bowles loves athletic pass rushers so this makes sense to me. Another option for the Jets is WR Kevin White but I think an edge rusher is of a lot bigger concern to this team at the moment. I’d even argue that the Jets should build up the offensive line before getting more targets. But at this point, I’d go with Beasley, who with this selection might give some Jets fans Vernon Gholston flashbacks.
7. NT – Danny Shelton, Washington
With John Fox on board as the new head coach and Vic Fangio running the 3-4 defense, they need a nose tackle to anchor the position. Shelton is an excellent talent and while not a “sexy” pic, he fills an immediate need for this team. A lot of people have WR Kevin White going here but the whole Bears defense is atrocious and needs to be rebuilt from the trenches out.
8. OLB – Alvin “Bud” Dupree, Kentucky
New coach Dan Quinn needs someone to slot in the “Leo” role in his defense. I originally mocked Randy Gregory here as Quinn also has a tendencies to go with guys who have long arms in this role, but with the rumors regarding him flying around, it doesnt seem like he will be a 1st round pick. Dupree fills a need with this pick. If they do not like him, they can draft an offensive lineman as protecting Matt Ryan is not the worst thing in the world or they can trade down, perhaps to a team seeking Kevin White.
9. RB – Todd Gurley, Georgia
Let me buy into the rumors about Gurley being selected between 6-10. My personal guess is that he goes between 8-12. The Giants have some complimentary backs but none of them are everydown, big play types. Gurley would also take a tremendous amount of pressure off of Eli Manning. You can really have a nice play action combo going here. Other options include addressing the offensive line, which will need to be done so on Day 2 at the latest.
10. WR – Kevin White, West Virginia
White seems like great value here. The Rams also need to shore up their offensive line but White is far too talented to pass up on at this juncture. If the Rams somehow feel they can get another receiver they like later on, I’d expect them to trade this pick. Tackles Brandon Scherff and Andrus Peat are all options.
11. OT – Brandon Scherff, Iowa
The Vikings need help all along the O-Line. Scherff could step right in and start at guard. He can also be a potential left tackle of the future if the team moves on from Matt Kalil, whose contract expires at the end of the year. The Vikings could also select Teddy Bridgewater’s former college teammate, WR DeVante Parker but taking Scherff makes the most sense.
12. WR – DeVante Parker, Louisville
With Josh Gordon suspended for the year and Dwyane Bowe not at all someone who you would want as your #1 receiver, Parker would be a great choice for the Browns with this pick. If he is drafted before this then they could address the right tackle spot, with Andrus Peat and Ereck Flowers as potential choices. Something tells me Cleveland will trade out of this spot, whether or not as a potential package to land Mariota with the #2 pick.
13. OT – Andrus Peat, Stanford
This pick is a tricky one for the Saints. I’d suspect they would move up to take a pass rusher. They could also draft one with the 31st pick. There are also rumors that the Saints are in love with CB Kevin Johnson and maybe they take him here. Peat is one of the top guys left on the board and does fill a need though.
14. CB – Trae Waynes, Michigan State
There are some questions about his tackling ability but he is the best cover corner in the draft and could help form a pretty sweet duo with Brent Grimes at the position. If someone like DeVante Parker was hanging around here I bet they would snatch him up quickly. Waynes seems like a safe pick here.
15. CB – Kevin Johnson, Wake Forest
One of the best corners left on the board and according to some, the best corner in this draft class. A lot of people have DE Arik Armstead going here but for a guy who never produced on the field, I dont see him going this high, even when filling a need. Johnson can come right in and start for this team. If the Saints snatch up Johnson at #13, I assume the 49ers would try to trade down.
16. CB – Marcus Peters, Washington
Lets go nuts and make it three straight cornerbacks. The Texans brought Peters in for a workout so there is at least some interest here. And the team is in desperate need of a cornerback and Peters is more talented than any of the receivers left at this point, another need for this team. Despite his troubles, Peters will very likely be taken in the 1st round.
17. OT – Ereck Flowers, Miami
Flowers can play right tackle, which in turn can allow DJ Fluker to switch over to guard. The offensive line for San Diego is not the best and Flowers is one of the top guys left on the board. The team can also consider running back Melvin Gordon or even take a chance on an edge rusher like Shane Ray.
18. DE/DT – Arik Armstead, Oregon
The Chiefs have a few needs that could be addressed here. Armstead, who has a lot of tools and athleticism, never really produced at Oregon but his potential alone makes him worth a shot with this pick. Another name to keep an eye on here is WR Dorial Green-Beckham. The Chiefs have met with him a few times and he has 1st round talent. Andy Reid might take a chance on him despite the off-the-field stuff.
19. DT- Malcolm Brown, Texas
Cleveland needs to overhaul their defensive line and Brown is a great choice for them. He has experience in multiple positions in both 4-3 and 3-4 defenses and is great against the run too. Cleveland can also consider an offensive lineman or even running back Melvin Gordon, who would give the team another weapon on offense. A few days ago I had Shane Ray slotted with this pick but after his arrest and questions about his health, he would not make good value here.
20. S – Landon Collins, Alabama
The Eagles need help in their secondary and Collins is the best player on the board to fill that position. Besides that, the team could look at receiver as they need a deep threat to replace the departed Jeremy Maclin. Breshard Perriman could be a possibility here.
21. WR – Phillip Dorsett, Miami
Cincy needs speed at receiver and Dorsett provides that as he ran a 4.31 40 yard dash at the combine. Dorsett also is not afraid to go over the middle and is a home-run threat. The Bengals could also use help at offensive tackle and a pass rusher too. Maybe they take a flier on either Shane Ray or Randy Gregory.
22. CB – Byron Jones, UConn
The Steelers secondary has been woeful for a couple of years. Jones can play both man and zone coverage and should be a good fit with this team. I would not be surprised to see them trade up to get Kevin Johnson either. They will likely address the edge rusher position Day 2.
23. DT – Eddie Goldman, Florida State
Detroit lost a lot of pieces from their defensive line this past offseason. Goldman is great against the run and should be able to step in at defensive tackle right away and contribute. The Lions can also consider Melvin Gordon with this pick or a tackle such as D.J. Humphries.
24. RB – Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin
I had considered Shane Ray with this pick but Gordon gives the Cardinals an every down back. Gordon and Andre Ellington can become a dangerous duo together as Gordon is the power back while Ellington is a good receiver, something Gordon is not very good at doing out of the backfield. Center Cameron Erving is another intriguing option here.
25. OT – Cedric Ogbuehi, Texas A&M
This team needs to protect Cam Newton and has a glaring hole at the tackle spot. Despite coming off a torn ACL, he should be able to play week 1 this season. The Panthers could also consider D.J. Humphries or one of the top receivers left on the board. I think they can get a receiver Day 2 and should go with one of the best lineman left.
26. WR – Breshard Perriman, Central Florida
Perriman can be the deep threat needed to replace Torrey Smith. He might go earlier than this but is prone to drops and this point of the draft seems about right for him. The Ravens could also draft a cornerback here but there aren’t that many intriguing options to consider with this pick. A trade down might be a possibility with this selection.
27. ILB – Eric Kendricks, UCLA
Dallas needs help at weakside linebacker. I like Kendricks here as he has the skill set to fit right into Rod Marinelli’s Cover 2 style of defense. He has a skill set quite similar to that of Lavonte David. Other options include cornerback and running back, although there isn’t much worth reaching for here with this pick if you ask me.
28. OT/C – Cameron Erving, Florida State
Erving is athletic and has the skills to thrive in Gary Kubiak’s zone-blocking scheme. The interior of the Broncos O-Line needs a lot of work and this pick makes a lot of sense. They could also consider a safety like Damarious Randall, who could fulfill the “center field” role.
29. OT – T.J. Clemmings, Pittsburgh
The Colts might be replacing Gosder Cherlius soon as he carries a hefty price tag and Luck will be up for a new deal soon enough. Clemmings has the skills necessary to become a good pass protector at that position and could even get a year to learn on the job before assuming the starting role. The Colts also could consider a safety or pass rusher here too.
30. ILB – Denzel Perryman, Miami
The inside linebacker position was a major problem for this team. They had to put Clay Matthews in that role to fill the need, leaving him out of his position. Adding Perryman would instantly make this defense better as Matthews can return to his regular role. Perryman is an excellent tackler and should fit into their scheme. The team could also use an upgrade at TE where Maxx Williams is an intriguing option.
31. OLB – Shane Ray, Missouri
I was torn between Ray and OLB Eli Harold with this pick but Ray has more overall potential. The Saints need a pass rusher badly and Ray is one of the best in the draft class at doing just that. They could also look at cornerback here as well, with Jalen Collins as a possibility. Another wildcard here is Dorial Green-Beckham as a receiver.
32. DT – Jordan Phillips, Oklahoma
Phillips could be a steal here as he has a ton of talent. His knock from scouts is that he doesn’t always play hard. Phillips has tremendous speed for someone his size (6’5 330 lbs) and can replace Vince Wilfork in his role with the team. Other options for the Pats include a wide receiver, with Nelson Agholor and Jaelen Strong as top options.