The 2015 NFL Draft will open on Thursday, April 30 in Chicago, featuring the deepest wide receiver and running back groups in years, and includes two Heisman-winning quarterbacks, ready to become the face of a franchise. Everyone wants to know which particular teams they will represent. If the first round happens without a trade, although unlikely, here’s how things will play out:
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jameis Winston |QB| Florida State- Winston is the most talented quarterback in the draft. His previous off-the-field issues won’t hinder on-the-field production.
2. Tennessee Titans: Marcus Mariota |QB| Oregon- Mariota is a playmaker, plain and simple. The only knock on the current Heisman Trophy winner may be his lack of experience in a pro-style offense. The Titans like Zach Mettenberger, but this should be a no-brainer for the Titans if they don’t trade the pick away.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Leonard Williams |DE| USC- The Jaguars don’t have a defensive end on their roster with elite pass rushing skills. Williams will make an immediate impact for the Jags and should be the first defensive player taken off the board.
4. Oakland Raiders: Vic Beasly | DE/OLB| Clemson- Beasly has the combination of power and speed sure to cause nightmares for opposing offensive coordinators. Beasly and Khalil Mack would make for a potent Raiders defense for years to come.
5. Washington Redskins: Dante Fowler Jr. | DE/OLB| Florida- Speed kills, and Fowler thrives on it. He is agile, athletic and can run sideline to sideline routinely chasing down ball carriers. This is a safe pick for the Redskins at five.
6. New York Jets: Amari Cooper |WR| Alabama- Cooper won the Biletnikoff Award for being the country’s top collegiate receiver, and he has the skills to make a big impact in the NFL. The Jets need playmakers. The addition of Brandon Marshall will help, but they will need a lot more, assuming they will stick with Geno Smith at quarterback.
7. Chicago Bears: Kevin White |WR| WVU- White has the size to catch the ball at its highest point and possess elite speed to take the top off of a defense. The trade of Brandon Marshall opens a spot for White. Alshon Jeffery and White have the potential to form a lethal duo in the NFC North.
8. Atlanta Falcons: Shane Ray |DE| Missouri- Ray rushes the opposing quarterback with power, and once he gains the edge, nothing can stop him. He disengages blockers with strong technique, and will be a strong presence for Atlanta’s front four.
9. New York Giants: Brandon Scheriff |OG| Iowa- Scheriff is as strong as an ox. This is a powerful guard, who can move laterally with ease. He is a great blocker in the running game, and decent in pass protection at this point. The development of his already impressive skills may move him to tackle one day.
10. St. Louis Rams: Trae Waynes |CB| Michigan State- Waynes is the best cornerback in this year’s draft. He’s big, fast and an excellent tackler in the secondary. His ability to play bump and run coverage will translate well to the NFL.
11. Minnesota Vikings: DeVante Parker |WR| Louisville- Parker has excellent size and sure hands making him a security blanket for quarterback and former Louisville teammate Teddy Bridgewater. Will excel as the go-up and-get-it receiver opposite newest acquisition Mike Wallace.
12. Cleveland Browns: Danny Shelton |NT| Washington- Shelton’s is huge (6’2, 339 LBS.) Shelton is a space eater and will disrupt the pocket of opposing offenses. He can also has enough athleticism to get to the quarterback despite his size. Cleveland would be wise to use their first of two first round picks on Shelton.
13. New Orleans Saints: Randy Gregory |DE/OLB| Nebraska- Gregory is a defensive coordinators dream. The former Cornhusker (6’6, 235) uses great speed to rush the quarterback from the edge and uses long arms to disengage and overpower offensive lineman. Gregory should thrive with a rejuvenated Saints defense.
14. Miami Dolphins: Breshan Perriman |WR| Central Florida- Perriman’s stock has risen following an excellent pro day in which he ran a 4.24 and 4.27 second 40 yard dash. He obviously possesses blazing speed and will shred defenses at the next level. Dolphins replace Mike Wallace with Perriman at 14.
15. San Francisco 49ers: Alvin “Bud” Dupree |DE| Kentucky- Dupree has big time power and uses a strong bull rush to get to the quarterback. Very athletic and uses quick burst to get around slower offensive tackles. Will fit right in with a gritty 49ers defense.
16. Houston Texans: Dorial Green-Beckham |WR| Oklahoma- Beckham has a rare combination of skills. He is 6’6, but has game-changing speed that leaves defenders in his rear view mirror. Beckham gets sloppy with his route running at times and has serious character concerns. The Texans will take a chance on Beckham in Round 1.
17. San Diego Chargers: Marcus Peters |CB| Washington- Peters has prototypical size for a cornerback in the NFL and uses that size battling receivers at the line of scrimmage. Excels at tracking the ball and staying with the receiver. Lacks discipline. Was dismissed from Washington football team in November. If he can be coached up, can produce in the NFL.
18. Kansas City Chiefs: Jalen Strong |WR| Arizona St. – Prototypical body for NFL wide receiver. Strong frame that allows him to pick up extra yardage after the catch. Quicker than fast. He’ll make his money on moving the chains not, scoring long touchdowns. Strong can help Kansas City rebuild their receiving core.
19. Cleveland Browns (from Buffalo): Bernardrick McKinney |ILB| Mississippi St. – McKinney has tremendous size for an NFL linebacker at 6’5. Excellent tackler with good lateral quickness to chase down ball carriers. Can hold his own in coverage, but not his biggest strength. Safe pick for Cleveland’s second pick of Round 1.
20. Philadelphia Eagles: Jalen Collins |CB| LSU- Collins has great size to go with excellent leaping ability. Has the ability to come down with 50/50 balls as well as battle the receiver for position. Collins is raw, but could develop into an elite cornerback in the NFL.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: D.J. Humphries |OT| Florida- Humphries showed ability to slow down pass rushers in a competitive SEC. Athletic tackle that has solid ability in pass and run games. Can be too upright at times, but can maintain his block despite it. Will become a solid left tackle.
22. Pittsburgh Steelers: Landon Collins |S| Alabama- The Alabama product has excellent ball skills and also has the ability to play in the box to stop the run. Physically imposing safety. Collins is the perfect candidate to replace future Hall of Famer Troy Polomalu.
23. Detroit Lions: Malcom Brown |DT| Texas- Brown is versatile and can play multiple positions in a 3-4 or 4-3 base defenses. Quick off the ball and uses athleticism to out-work offensive lineman. Not as powerful as most tackles in the NFL, but his motor will force him into consistent playing time.
24. Arizona Cardinals: Melvin Gordon III |RB| Wisconsin- The Heisman Trophy runner-up had an outstanding year and proved that he could be a workhorse in an offense. Gordon has a quick first step and the ability to make defenders miss in the open field. Gordon can start by Week 1 if given the opportunity.
25. Carolina Panthers: Andrus Peat |OT| Stanford- Peat has superior size even for an offensive tackle (6’7, 313 LBS.). Good lateral movement for someone his size. Has tendency to use his hands because he’s so tall leading to holding penalties, but can be fixed with maturation and improvement of technique.
26. Baltimore Ravens: Todd Gurley |RB| Georgia – Gurley’s torn ACL shouldn’t scare the Ravens from selecting him in the first round. He possesses the combination of power and speed making him an elite running back prospect. Justin Forsett is the short term option, but Gurley can be the long term solution for Baltimore.
27. Dallas Cowboys: Eddie Goldman |DT| Florida St.- Goldman is a space-eater in the middle of the defensive line. Destroys pockets to take out ball carriers. Will make his money off of a lethal bull rush and goal-line situations. Needs more work on his pass rush before he is an every down defensive lineman.
28. Denver Broncos: La’el Collins |OT| LSU- Collins uses his power to hold off defenders. Tough lineman who can block in the run and pass protection. Can hold his own in one on one situations. Collins is slow and doesn’t move laterally particularly well. Will most likely play left tackle in the NFL.
29. Indianapolis Colts: Cameron Erving |C| Florida St. – Erving has a quick first step and the ability to move laterally. Versatile, has the ability to play multiple positions on the offensive line. Erving is still raw as a lineman as he is a converted defensive tackle. Has the ability to become solid offensive lineman in the NFL.
30. Green Bay Packers: Eric Kendricks |ILB| UCLA– Kendricks is undersized, but the Butkus Award winner can still contribute right away. His IQ and explosiveness are undeniable and he is the best coverage linebacker in the draft. Kendricks will be a solid inside linebacker for the Packers.
31. New Orleans Saints (from Seattle): Devin Funchess |WR/TE| Michigan- Funchess caused mismatches all year long in the Big Ten. He’s big, athletic and has the ability to high point the ball. Red-zone nightmare for corners. Funchess will provide Drew Brees with another big target and be a boost for the New Orleans offense.
32. New England Patriots: Byron Jones |CB| UConn- Jones is an all-around cornerback. He has nice size and speed which play to his advantage. Uses leaping ability to break up passes. Not physical, may be best as a zone coverage cornerback, but still a solid prospect.