The NFL Combine is over and with the NFL draft a little over two months away its time for my mock draft.
1. Tampa Bay Bucs: Jameis Winston, QB (Florida State) The most pro ready QB in this draft on tape constantly reminds me of Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger playing inside the pocket . A keen eye by teams in the next two months and by the Bucs post draft must be kept as Winston has had some issues off the field.
2. Tennessee Titans: Leonard Williams, DE/DT (USC) The best prospect in this draft absolutely dominated the trenches at USC. Sticks out on tape more than any other player in this draft. Williams then dominated the combine running a sub 5.0 40 something unheard of for a defensive lineman. If I were to bet on one guy from this draft it’s Williams
3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Dante Fowler, DE/OLB (Florida) Fowler is a guy who will never quit on getting after the Quaterback and has an unbelievable break off the ball to get it done. It is perfect for a team like the Jags that is lacking the big time pass rusher.
4. Oakland Raiders: Kevin White, WR (WVU) Before the combine everyone knew White had the size and great hands but questions lingered about his speed getting off the ball. As I had stated from the film study White’s speed was highly deceptive in getting away from defenders. He went out and further made that point as he ran a 4.35 40. Raiders get to get David Carr the best WR prospect in this draft.
5. Washington Redskins: Danny Shelton, DT (Washington) The Redskins had one of the worst run defenses in the league this year and the pick of Shelton helps them stuff the run. Shelton the big DT is a specialty run stuffer who is often seen on tape clogging up the middle of the line.
6. New York Jets: Marcus Mariota, QB (Oregon) The Jets have a brand new front office and head coach. Now they need that locker room leader. Mariota is the perfect fit for that as he is a Russell Wilson type of locker room presence with similar athleticism to Wilson. Mariota will need to work on his accuracy on pro throws/dropbacks having come from the Oregon system.Since he’s such a coachable hard working player I see a solid career for the Duck.
7. Chicago Bears: Randy Gregory, OLB (Nebraska) New defensive coordinator Vic Fangio will be turning the Bears into a 3-4 defense. This change brings the need for a dominant OLB rusher off the edge which Gregory more than displayed in his time at Nebraska.
8. Atlanta Falcons: Shane Ray, DE (Missouri) Head Coach Dan Quinn will look to clean up this porous defense with the athletic edge rusher Ray. Ray will need to develop to be an every down defensive end. However on 3rd down QB’s should be fearful his first step consistently burned tackles in college.
9. New York Giants: Brandon Scherff, OT/OG (Iowa) The Giants are one of the hardest teams to predict but the need is clear as the offensive line continues to rebuild. Scherff is very similar to offensive line standout Zack Martin and I think Dallas Cowboy fans are very happy with him. The mauling Scherff will likely be a guard in the NFL and would help the Giants improve the run game/protection for Eli Manning.
10. St. Louis Rams: Armari Cooper, WR (Alabama) Kenny Britt is likely leaving town in free agency and the Rams need a true top target on the outside. Armari Cooper had an unbelievable career at Alabama and is a refined route runner which should help whoever gets the QB job in STL.
11. Minnesota Vikings: Devante Parker, WR (Louisville) Parker has number one WR potential and with his former Louisville QB Bridgewater at the helm already will have a good idea of what the other is doing. Parker will look to boost this Viking offense with or without AP.
12. Cleveland Browns: Malcolm Brown, DT (Texas) Browns are in a sticky situation with Josh Gordon at WR but no chance they take a shot DGB after Gordon. They fill a need on the defensive side of the ball with a player whose got great upside at defensive tackle.
13. New Orleans Saints: Vic Beasley, OLB (Clemson) Saints are in desperate need of edge rushers and Beasley has the potential to provide that. It will be interesting to see how he moves at Clemson pro days with the added weight as he looked solid at the combine.
14.Miami Dolphins: Trae Waynes, CB (Michigan St) Whether you think Waynes is the best CB in this draft or not it is a full agreement he is the most athletic. Waynes portrayed his ability to play on the outside and the speed to keep up with the slot WR’s making him a draft commodity. Dolphins can pair him with Grimes and have a nice one two combo on the outside.
15. San Francisco 49ers: Arik Armstead, DE (Oregon) The retiring of Justin Smith leaves a hole at defensive end for the Niners and Arik Armstead has the upside to become a beast for Jim Tomsula’s defense. Armstead has athleticism and length at defensive end with a very high ceiling going forward.
16. Houston Texans: Lae’l Collins, OT (LSU) Houston has an issue protecting the QB and the offensive line is in desperate need of an upgrade. Collins is a kid whose got the skill set and now just needs to be coached up to be that solid left tackle as he has the most physical ability of the tackles in this draft.
17. San Diego Chargers: Eddie Goldman, DT (FSU) Goldman is a bull rushing type of defensive tackle who would create space for guys like Donald Butler and Manti Te’o to make more plays.
18. Kansas City Chiefs: Dorial Green Beckham, WR (Oklahoma) Andy Reid is notorious for bringing in talented players with a troubled past. Beckham fits that mold with a Calvin Johnson frame but failing to stay on the field much in college. If DGB catches one TD next season it will already be an upgrade for the Chiefs.
19. Cleveland Browns: Jalen Strong, WR (Arizona State) In the quest to replace Josh Gordon Cleveland goes out and gets the big frame outside target in Strong. He gets the ball and can turn it into a big play instantly. He will have to improve route running but is a sure handed WR the Browns will be happy to have.
20. Philadelphia Eagles: Jalen Collins, CB (LSU) The Eagles need help at the corner back position it is no secret. Collins has all the physical ability to be an outside corner in this league and be productive for years to come.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Shaq Thompson, OLB (UCLA) Bengals are in flux at linebacker as Rey Maualuga heads to free agency and Burfict is coming back from an injury. The athletic hard hitting Thompson can come in and help fill in the holes at the LB position.
22. Pittsburgh Steelers: Bud Dupree, OLB (Kentucky) The Steelers get Dupree who has a ton of upside as a pass rusher and could be another standout sack machine in that Steeler defense. Dupree still needs work on technique and will need to be coached up on developing some more pass rushing moves.
23 Detroit Lions: T.J. Clemmings, OT (Pittsburgh) Clemmings is a guy who can move people in the run game and has shown flashes of great pass blocking. He had some spells of bad play at Pittsburgh but has high potential at the next level. Protecting Matt Stafford will be key for the Lions this off season and Clemmings will help that in a big way.
24. Arizona Cardinals: Bernardrick McKinney, ILB (Mississippi St) 6 ft 5 250 LBS with great speed will slide right in and start in that Cardinals defense. McKinney is a guy who flows sideline to sideline and has great reads on plays. Immediate impact player on defense for Bruce Arians.
25. Carolina Panthers: Ereck Flowers, OT (Miami) Similar to the Lions the big key in this off season is protect Cam Newton for the Panthers. Flowers is a big strong kid who can come in start day one because of his great foot speed
26. Baltimore Ravens: Todd Gurley, RB (Georgia) The streak of RB’s missing out on the first round ends as Baltimore looks to replace Justin Forsett with Gurley who probably goes top ten if not for tearing his ACL last season.
27. Dallas Cowboys: Marcus Peters, CB (Washington) While Dallas needs a pass rusher they can’t pass on a big physical corner who can play press coverage like Marcus Peters can. Last year big pass plays were an issue for this Dallas defense and Peters dominance in press coverage changes that.
28. Denver Broncos: Cameron Erving, C/OG (Florida St) Denver needs a center with last years center Will Montgomery set to hit free agency.Erving was a standout on the Florida State offensive line last season as once he moved to center he was dominant on the inside.
29. Indianapolis Colts: Landon Collins, S (Alabama) Collins to the Colts is a steal as they get the back end of the secondary covered up. Collins was a play making safety in his time at Alabama and also delivered some huge hits.
30. Green Bay Packers: D.J. Humphries, OT (Florida) Bryan Bulaga is set to head to free agency and most likely leave town which leaves a spot along the offensive line for Humphries, a big mauling tackle to step into.
31. Seattle Seahawks: Phillip Dorsett, WR (Miami) This pick gives Seattle the speed on the outside they haven’t had since Percy Harvin left. Hopefully it goes a little better in the locker room this time.
32. New England Patriots: Jake Fisher, OT (Oregon) Fisher showed quickness and awareness to be able to consistently block in that Oregon high tempo offense. New England is getting older up front and Belichick will love this kid who has a great football I.Q. and is a solid offensive lineman.