Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, April 29, 2015 at 4:43 PM
OUR NFL MOCK DRAFT IS HERE!!!
Give the National Football League plenty of props ... there's been more intrigue surrounding this year's Draft than we can ever remember with major "names" at the very top of this draft.
Now, it's our turn to weigh in and deliver our 2015 NFL Mock Draft and we'll do it Jim Sez style as we bring you the way we see Round I turning out Thursday night (8 p.m. ET on ESPN and NFL Network) from the great city of Chicago.
Hey - as usual - we've jazzed up the Draft even further with a couple of projected trades ... enjoy!
NFL MOCK DRAFT
- TAMPA BAY - Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State ... Ignore all this silly talk that Bucs ownership doesn't want the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner because of "character issues" because this kid's the best talent/value on the board and T-Bay sorely needs a new beginning. Winston wowed everyone at workout sessions and now he's about to be crowned the king of the hill on this draft night.
- TENNESSEE - Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon ... Let's set the record straight that we won't be surprised when/if the Titans deal this 2014 Heisman Trophy winner away but for now the best option is to draft 'em and see who's got the highest bid. At this moment, we say there's a 50 percent chance he stays and a 50 percent chance he does indeed wind up in Philadelphia with ole college coach Chip Kelly
- ATLANTA (trade with Jacksonville) - Dante Flower Jr, OLB, Florida ... The Falcons' recent history suggests they love to make a big splash on draft night and so here GM Thomas Dimitroff swaps the #8 overall pick with some more goodies and gobbles up the best edge pass rusher in this man's draft.
- OAKLAND - Leonard Williams, DT, USC ... Can you hear that loud sigh of relief from Raiders Nation? The silver-and-black didn't think there was a chance this 6-foot-5, 305-pounder would fall into its lap here but he does and Oakland's just fine not selecting a wide receiver with this choice
- WASHINGTON - Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson ... The 'Skins will toss-and-turn before they make this decision as coach Jay Gruden wants/needs help along the O-line and at WR (among other places) but management can't pass up this sack specialist.
- MINNESOTA (trade with New York Jets) - Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia ... Thus officially will end the Adrian Peterson Era in the Twin Cities (our best guess is Peterson will be traded right before the draft to Arizona for future draft picks). The Jets' new GM Mike Maccagnan has hinted about trading down and acquiring more draft choices and so it's mission accomplished here
- CHICAGO - Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama ... The Bears have plenty of needs but when the numero uno pass-catcher in this draft slips down to this spot, the "hosts" will lunge for 'em with both hands.
- JACKSONVILLE (aforementioned trade with Atlanta) - Kevin White, WR, West Virginia ... Now that it appears wide-out Justin Blackmon is persona non grata in J'ville for at least this upcoming season, look for the Jags to net this home-run hitter. We see you smiling, QB Blake Bortles
- NEW YORK GIANTS - Brandon Scherff. OT, Iowa ... Gotta admit we've thought all along this is where the Jints would go despite recent "smoke screen" efforts by GM Jerry Reese and we do expect this 320-pounder to play right tackle and not right guard in front of QB Eli Manning.
- ST. LOUIS - Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford ... Massive blocker (he's 6-foot-7, 315 pounds before lunch time) may not remind all Rams fans of legend Orlando Pace but no doubt Peat moves up the draft board after original signs said he'd go somewhere between 16-thru-20.
- NEW YORK JETS (aforementioned trade with Minnesota) -- Danny Shelton, DT, Washington ... There's rumblings that the Jets may deal DT Muhammad Wilkerson as he could net two or three premium draft picks and so NYJ goes for the best D-lineman on the board.
- CLEVELAND - Randy Gregory, DE, Nebraska ... The Browns also own pick #19 but can't package 'em for the likes of Fowler or Beasley here and so they sit tight and take a "risk" with 'Husker star who tested positive for marijuana.
- NEW ORLEANS - Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State ... The Saints (like the Browns) own two first-round picks (see #31) but unable to pull trigger to get into top five and so they also sit tight but truly luck out with this supposed top 10 "lock".
- MIAMI - Alvin Dupree, DE, Kentucky ... Trust us, GM Mike Tannenbaum wanted to make a big splash here and trade into the top three or four picks of this rich draft but price too high plus breaking news that DE Dion Jordan is suspended for '15 season means Fish stay put in middle of round and take a new D-end.
- SAN FRANCISCO - DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville ... The 49ers are not used to drafting this high and would like to make a hit with their unhappy fans plus Parker's an upgrade over ex-Niners and Oakland-bound WR Michael Crabtree.
- SEATTLE (trade with Houston) - Landon Collins, SS, Alabama ... Surprised? The fact is the "Legion of Doom" showed some major cracks in last year's Super Bowl loss and so the Seahawks - who go into this evening without a first-round pick after that deal to acquire New Orleans TE Jimmy Graham a couple of months back - get back into the middle of Round I and pay with players/picks to be determined.
- SAN DIEGO - Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin ... The Chargers will resist any/all temptation to trade away QB Philip Rivers and, in fact, hand-deliver a franchise running back to 'em here that SD hopes can touch the ball 25 times a game this year.
- KANSAS CITY - T.J. Clemmings, OT, Pittsburgh ... This won't be an easy call 'cause some in the Chiefs organization want a LB here to possibly replace ILB Derrick Johnson and originally we penciled in LSU offensive tackle La'el Collins but he might be facing legal problems now and so head coach Andy Reid "gets his way" here and KC grabs best available OT.
- CLEVELAND (2014 trade with Buffalo) - Breshad Perriman, WR, UCF ... The Browns went with DE Gregory with that #12 pick and opt for a pass-catching whiz (and true deep threat) here. Note that many mock drafts had Perriman going with the #12 pick and so the Browns banked two key playmakers - now they just have to settle the whole Johnny Manziel issue!
- PHILADELPHIA - Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami ... The $64,000 question is whether this 6-foot-6, 330-pounder is blocking for Mr. Mariota or somebody else this upcoming campaign. Fact of matter is coach Kelly wants/needs bigger bodies at the tackles and they don't come a whole lot bigger than this former 'Canes star.
- CINCINNATI - Cameron Irving, C, Florida State ... The Bengals have been one-and-done in the post-season in each of the past three years and there's a hue-and-cry to get more playmaker help for QB Andy Dalton but always-conservative Cincy takes this OL star and passes on a wide receiver type.
- PITTSBURGH - Byron Jones, CB, UConn ... No mistake about it the Steelers have to overhaul this secondary and not just because S Troy Polamalu recently announced his retirement. Pittsburgh was hoping Alabama's Collins would drop to 'em here but no dice.
- DETROIT - Jake Fisher, OT, Oregon ... The Lions make a bit of a reach here (most draft boards have Fisher as a very late first-round/early second-round pick) but the need to beef up an aging offensive line is essential and fact that Flowers and Irving didn't drop to this spot makes Motowners go elsewhere for their blocking support.
- ARIZONA - Phillip Dorsett, WR, Miami ... The Cardinals are seeking athletic upgrades at wide out and in the defensive secondary and so they nab the guy who ran the fastest 40 time among all WRs at this year's NFL Combine.
- CAROLINA - Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida State ... In case you've lost count, this would make it the sixth pick from the Florida/Florida State/Miami triumvirate and these Panthers are trusting Goldman will be the anchor of the D-line for years to come after being forced to spend much of his college career somewhat misplaced at defensive end. Goldman is generally rated a 33-to-40 type prospect but Carolina is a "buyer" here.
- BALTIMORE - Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest ... Excuse the Ravens for pinching themselves here as steady shutdown corner is considered a top 20 pick on most mock draft boards but we say he'll slide down and give secondary-needy AFC North club a major jolt.
- DALLAS - Arik Armstrong, DE, Oregon ... Gotta believe the Cowboys made major attempts to trade up so they could draft Wisky RB Gordon but no such luck and so with recently-signed/recently-suspended DE Greg Hardy on the shelf for season's first 10 games the 'Boys snatch up this athletic freak of nature and count on him getting double-digit passes batted down in 2015.
- DENVER - Shane Ray, DE, Missouri ... Here's the draft's biggest story aside from the Winston/Mariota drama and the Collins Saga as this pass-rushing demon takes a major fall after getting cited for marijuana possession earlier this week. Sure, there's probably five or six NFL teams that could utilize their #10-thru-#20 pick on Ray but he's cost himself big-time moolah by messing up some 72 hours before the draft. The Broncos take a shot but won't be totally shocked if Seattle or Atlanta tries to trade into this spot to get 'em.
- INDIANAPOLIS - Nelson Agholor, WR, USC ... The Colts need another target for QB Andrew Luck who could throw for 5,000 yards this year with T.Y. Hilton and this Trojans' star latching onto 75-plus passes apiece. Count us among the folks that believe Agholar has been underrated in the build-up to this NFL Draft as he's top 15 material in our book. Sound late-round choice.
- GREEN BAY - Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota - We'll applaud this late first-round pick as well as athletic 6-foot-4, 250-pounder catches everything in his path and often runs over everyone in his path. One mock draft board we eyeballed had this Big 10 star rated the 43rd-best player in this draft but we'd say he's a legit top 20 pick and GB Packers' QB Aaron Rodgers will be thrilled with the choice (and maybe even he'll play on the "hands team"!).
- NEW ORLEANS (previous trade with Seattle) - Malcom Brown, DT, Texas ... Wanna see Saints' defensive coordinator Rob Ryan jump three feet high? Then go ahead and train a camera on 'em after this NFC South crew tabs this 320-pounder who is considered a push-back-the-line defender who was a consistent force while starting 26 games his junior/senior seasons.
- NEW ENGLAND - Tevin Coleman, RB, Indiana ... The Patriots need a pass-catching running back these days and this former Hoosiers star should be a plug-in player that becomes a 10-to-15 touches-a-game guy for QB Tom Brady.
Note: Catch our NBA Playoff Second-Round Previews plus all the Game Recaps in the next edition of Jim Sez plus lots to say about the NFL Draft too.