Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Final 2015 Detroit LIons Mock Draft

1st Round

1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State:

Coming from a pro-style offense and possessing the stronger arm, Jameis Winston has the edge between the sidelines. With higher character and better decision making on and off the field, Marcus Mariota has the edge between the ear holes. When in doubt, NFL GM's typically go with the stronger arm, especially considering Winston's moxie and leadership.;

2. Tennessee Titans – Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon:

With Tennessee's asking price for Marcus Mariota so high, they might actually end up getting stuck taking him. 

3. Jacksonville Jaguars  Dante Fowler, Jr., DE, Florida:

The Jaguars can stay put at the No. 3 spot and select either Dante Fowler, Jr. or Leonard Williams, or they may be able to trade down to Atlanta at No. 8, who's said to be interested in moving up. Regardless of the team, I'm starting to hear that Fowler will be the pick whether it's Jacksonville or Atlanta selecting at No. 3. 

4. Oakland Raiders - Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama

The Raiders still have all kinds of needs, but giving Derek Carr a legitimate go-to wide receiver has to be at the top of their list. Amari Cooper has already demonstrated elite hands and route running skills at Alabama against top notch competition, and therefore gets the edge over the more athletic, but also more raw, Kevin White.

5. Washington Pigskins - Vic Beasley, OLB/DE, Clemson:

Washington could use an outside linebacker to replace Brian Orakpo, and the Pigskins would really benefit from Marcus Mariota getting drafted ahead of them and pushing the elite pass rush specialists one more notch closer to their reach at pick No. 5.;

6. New York Jets Leonard Williams, DT/DE, USC:

Leonard Williams is the best player in this year's draft according to many analysts, and would provide the Jets with either a replacement for Muhammad Wilkerson, or at the minimum, a very nice trade chip. 

7. Chicago Bears - Kevin White, WR, West Virginia:

The Bears need a receiver to replace Brandon Marshall. A speedy wide out with elite ball skills like Kevin White of West Virginia would be the perfect complement to Alshon Jeffery, and provide match-up problems for all of the Bears opponents.;

8. Atlanta Falcons - Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia:

Atlanta would love to trade up for Dante Fowler, Jr. If they stay put at No. 8, they may not even be able to get one of the top pass rushers without any off the field issues such as Vic Beasley. In the event that they can't land a play-maker at defensive end, they could go for a game-changer at running back, like Todd Gurley, or maybe trade up for Leonard Williams.;;

9. New York Giants - Ereck Flowers, T, Miami

The Giants would be best served by finding a right tackle in the draft and moving Justin Pugh inside to guard. The Giants are said to be high on Ereck Flowers of Miami, which could make them a prime prospect to trade back.

10. St. Louis Rams - Brandon Scherff, T/G, Iowa:

The Rams have needs on their offensive line, and a versatile player like Brandon Scherff, who perhaps projects as the best prospect at tackle and guard, would be an ideal fit in St. Louis. 

11. Minnesota Vikings – Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State:

After solidifying their receiving corps by trading for Mike Wallace, the Vikings can concentrate on upgrading their defense with their top pick. Trae Waynes, who lead Michigan State's vaunted "No Fly Zone" secondary, would be an ideal value selection at a position of need. 

12. Cleveland Browns - Danny Shelton, DT, Washington:

The Browns need a run stuffing defensive lineman, and there's none better in this year's draft than Danny Shelton of Washington. The only question is whether they pull the trigger on him at No. 12 at the expense of taking a top receiver, or if they'll gamble that he's still available when they pick again at No. 19.

13. New Orleans Saints - Alvin "Bud" Dupree, DE, Kentucky:

Having played both defensive end and outside linebacker at Kentucky, Alvin "Bud" Dupree is a rare pass rusher who is equally suited for both 3-4 and 4-3 defensive schemes. That would make him an ideal fit in New Orleans, where Rob Ryan and the Saints are transitioning from a 3-4 system to more of a hybrid defense.

14. Miami Dolphins – DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville:

Miami has many needs, but a true go-to receiver for Ryan Tannehill is a must.

15. San Francisco 49ers – Arik Armstead, DE, Oregon: 

The free agent signing of Darnell Dockett should replace the loss of defensive end Ray McDonald, but the retirement of Justin Smith still leaves a huge hole on the other side of the 49'ers once dominant defensive line. Along with Dockett, an athletic end like Arik Armstead of Oregon would help San Francisco re-tool despite those losses. 

16. Houston Texans Marcus Peters, CB, Washington:

The Texans are looking for help at outside linebacker, but the top notch prospects without any off the field issues could all be off the board, especially if Alvin "Bud" Dupree goes before pick No. 16. In that case, look for the Texans to address the interior of their offensive line, or more importantly, their secondary. 

17. San Diego Chargers – Melvin Gordon, Jr., RB, Wisconsin:

If the Chargers don't trade Phillip Rivers for Marcus Mariota, their biggest needs will be at outside linebacker and running back. While I get the feeling that the San Diego would prefer to address their need for a pass rusher first, the off the field issues for Shane Ray and Randy Gregory will probably affect the Chargers' plans more than that of any other team.;

18. Kansas City Chiefs – Cameron Erving, C, Florida State: 

After losing starting center Rodney Hudson to the Raiders in free agency, the Chiefs will need to look to the draft to fill that hole. Cameron Erving of Florida State is the highest rated center in this year's draft, and would help keep Jamaal Charles in the fast lane. 

19. Cleveland Browns – Andrus Peat, T, Stanford: 

In addition to a defensive tackle and a wide receiver, the Browns are in the market for a right tackle. Andrus Peat of Stanford is a versatile pick that many scouts are high on.

20. Philadelphia Eagles – Breshad Perriman, WR, Central Florida: 

After Chip Kelley's great roster purge of 2015, the Eagles don't have any viable receivers on their roster. Breshad Perriman of Central Florida is the elite speed receiver in this year's draft who can take the top off of opposing defenses, much like DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin.

21. Cincinnati Bengals - Malcom Brown, DT, Texas:

Cincinnati is looking for help at nose tackle to play alongside Geno Atkins. Malcom Brown of Texas is a rare talent, who at 320 pounds is strong enough to stuff the run, but athletic enough to be a presence as a pass rusher.

22. Pittsburgh Steelers - Landon Collins, S, Alabama:

Pittsburgh needs a 3-4 defensive end, but all of the first round graded prospects could be off the board by the time they are on the clock at No. 22. In that case, the Steelers would be wise to address their secondary, and Landon Collins of Alabama would be the ideal choice to replace Troy Polamalu.

23. Detroit LionsD.J. Humphries, T, Florida:

Despite a huge need at defensive tackle, Lions' GM Martin Mayhew will still take a best player available approach to the draft. The Lions could also stand to upgrade at nearly every position on their offensive line, and perhaps no position other than quarterback is valued higher than tackle. That puts a player like D.J. Humphries of Florida right in Detroit's wheel house. 

24. Arizona Cardinals Shane Ray, OLB, Missouri:

The Cardinals would need help with their pass rush, and may be one of the teams willing to take a risk on a pass rusher with off the field issues like Randy Gregory of Shane Ray if both Todd Gurley and Melvin Gordon, Jr. are off the board.

25. Carolina Panthers Nelson Agholor, WR, USC:

The Panthers need to give Cam Newton a competent speed receiver to play opposite of Kelvin Benjamin. Nelson Agholor of USC is versatile enough to play inside or outside, which is exactly what Carolina needs.

26. Baltimore Ravens - Devin Smith, WR, Ohio State:

Whether it's at wide receiver or tight end, the Ravens desperately need more targets for Joe Flacco. Devin Smith of Ohio State is a deep threat with fantastic ball skills who would be the perfect fit in Baltimore's offense. 

27. Dallas Cowboys Mario Edwards, Jr., DT, Florida State:

In addition to running back, the Cowboys need to address defensive tackle and cornerback early in this year's draft. Mario Edwards is a polarizing player, who some feel has first round ability at defensive tackle, while others seem him as a talented underachiever who should go closer to the third round. If defensive line guru Rod Marinelli is as good as he thinks he is, it's time for him to prove it and earn his paycheck.

28. Denver Broncos - La'El Collins, T/G, LSU:

As Peyton Manning comes back for one last run at the Super Bowl, the Broncos need to turn their attention to keeping him protected. Finding a tackle who would allow Louis Vasquez to move back to guard is a must for the Broncos in this year's draft.

29. Indianapolis Colts - T.J. Clemmings, T, Pittsburgh:

The Colts were winners in free agency, having addressed many of their most important needs before the draft. That should allow them to work on upgrading their starters, and T.J. Clemmings of Pittsburgh would be an immediate upgrade over the pedestrian Gosder Cherilus at right tackle.

30. Green Bay Packers Byron Jones, CB, UConn:

Green Bay will need to look long and hard at inside linebackers in the draft, but value wise, the first round isn't the time or the place. The Packers should be able to find better value with a top notch cover corner like Byron Jones of UConn to help replace Tramon Williams, and then address middle linebacker in the second or third round. 

31. New Orleans Saints Eric Kendricks, ILB, UCLA:

New Orleans is in need of help at middle linebacker, and is said to be very interested in Eric Kendricks of UCLA. 

32. New England Patriots - Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest:

The Patriots definitely have needs at defensive tackle and guard, but perhaps no need is more glaring than cornerback, where they lost two elite starters from their Super Bowl team. Despite some size concerns, Kevin Johnson of Wake Forest has the cover skills that GM's drool over.;

2nd Round

33. Tennessee Titans - Eli Harold, OLB, Virginia: 

If it's not in the first round, the Titans need to use a second round pick to give Dick LeBeau another edge rusher for his zone blitzing 3-4 defense. 

34. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Jake Fisher, OT, Oregon:

In addition to quarterback, the area where Tampa Bay could most stand to upgrade is on their offensive line. Jake Fisher of Oregon ultimately projects as a starter at tackle on the left side, which is the position of biggest concern on the Buccaneers' line. 

35. Oakland Raiders - Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida State:

Another big defensive lineman like Eddie Goldman of Florida State would make the Raiders nearly impossible to run upon.

36. Jacksonville Jaguars - Tevin Coleman, RB, Indiana:

Everyone except for Denard Robinson seems to know that he's not the answer at running back for the Jaguars. Many Big Ten insiders seem to think that Tevin Coleman of Indiana may be an even better pro prospect than Melvin Gordon of Wisconsin. 

37. New York Jets - Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor:

The Jets need to find a franchise quarterback at some point. Despite playing in system at Baylor that is not necessarily conducive to the NFL, Bryce Petty throws the bread and butter NFL 20-yard out better than any quarterback in this year's draft. 

38. Washington Pigskins - Cedric Ogbuehi, T, Texas A&M:

The Pigskins need help everywhere, but improving their offensive line is a must. Cedric Ogbuehi of Texas A&M is a powerful blocker who may ultimately be able to man the left side, but for the time being, would make an ideal right tackle.

39. Chicago Bears - Jordan Phillips, DT, Oklahoma:

While the Bears may draft for talent in the first round, they have to address some needs in the second round and beyond. They have no bigger need than stopping the run, and Jordan Phillips of Oklahoma could plug the center as the nose tackle in their new 3-4 defensive scheme.

40. New York Giants - Preston Smith, DE, Mississippi State:

The Giants need to revitalize their defensive line, and Preston Smith of Mississippi State would give them a defensive end much in the mold of Justin Tuck.  

41. St. Louis Rams - Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State

The Rams need to find a go-to receiver, and Jaelen Strong would give them a first round talent in a very deep 2015 wide receiver class.

42. Atlanta Falcons - Randy Gregory, DE/OLB, Nebraska:

The Falcons have not only said that they want to be more willing to take chances on character concerns starting with this year's draft, but Thomas Dimitroff has specifically stated that he still has Shane Ray on his his draft board, which could give Atlanta a first round talent in round two.

43. Cleveland Browns - Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Missouri:

The Browns need a receiver to replace Josh Gordon, and there might not be a more talented receiver in this year's draft than Dorial Green-Beckham. His off the field issues would make him an ideal fit in Cleveland if his off the field issues cause him to slide to the second round.

44. New Orleans Saints - Phillip Dorsett, WR, Miami:

The Saints need to give Drew Brees another weapon to help replace Jimmy Graham. New Orleans is believed to have an interest in speedy wide receiver Phillip Dorsett of Miami, who along with Brandin Cooks would help Brees improve the deep passing game that he's struggled with in recent years.

45. Minnesota Vikings - Jay Ajayi, RB, Boise State:

Adrian Peterson is not likely going anywhere, as Minnesota is one of the few teams that is able to absorb his $12 million salary cap hit, and no team in their right mind would give up a first round pick for a 30-year old running back with bad knees and who hasn't played in a year, no matter how good he's been in the past. With that said, the Vikings still need to look for Peterson's understudy as an eventual successor.

46. San Francisco 49'ers - Shaq Thompson, S/LB/RB, Washington:

The 49'ers could have withstood the retirement of Patrick Willis had Chris Borland not also unexpectedly retired after just his second season. Shaq Thompson of Washington would give San Francisco an athletic partner to compliment Navarro Bowman at inside linebacker.

47. Miami Dolphins - Jalen Collins, CB, LSU:

Despite signing Ndamukong Suh, the Dolphins still have weaknesses at nearly every level of their defense. If a top notch cover corner like Jalen Collins of LSU is still available when they pick in the second round, it would be a no-brainer, even despite his legal issues. 

48. San Diego Chargers - Bernardrick McKinney, ILB, Mississippi State:

The Chargers are said to have an interest in middle linebacker Benardrick McKinney of Missippi State.

49. Kansas City Chiefs - Denzel Perryman, ILB, Miami

Playing low scoring ball control football with Alex Smith and Jamaal Charles, the Chiefs can't afford to have many weaknesses on defense. Denzel Perryman of Miami would be an athletic upgrade at a position of need for the Chiefs like middle linebacker.

50. Buffalo Bills - Arie Kouandjio, G, Alabama:

For some reason the Bills seem interested in drafting Arie Koundjio of Alabama, in order to pair him with his equally sloth footed twin brother, Cyrus.

51. Houston Texans - Sammie Coates, WR, Auburn:

The Texans need a receiver to pair opposite of DeAndre Hopkins, and Sammie Coates, despite some issues with his hands, would give Houston two of the more explosive wide receivers in the league.

52. Philadelphia Eagles - Michael Bennett, DE/DT, Ohio State:

The Eagles need a makeover at safety, and Eric Rowe of Utah, who began his career at safety but finished as a cornerback, would give Philadelphia an athletic safety who can play in coverage along with Malcolm Jenkins. 

53. Cincinnati Bengals - Owamagbe Odighizuwa, DE, UCLA: 

The Bengals need a base defensive end to help them contain the run. Owamagbe Odighizuwa of UCLA would be an ideal fit, allowing the undersized Michael Johnson to be used only on passing downs.

54. Detroit Lions - Eric Rowe, CB, Utah

At some point in the draft the Lions will need to draft a defensive tackle who can immediately step in and play. Michael Bennett is a bit underrated given his on the field production against some elite competition at Ohio State, and the Lions are thought to be very high on him.

55. Arizona Cardinals - P. J. Williams, CB, Florida State:

The Cardinals' defense has taken some huge hits during the offseason with key losses at defensive end, nose tackle and cornerback. P.J. Williams of Florida State has some off the field concerns, but is a top talent at corner, who would eventually help lock down the Cardinals' secondary playing opposite of Patrick Peterson.

56. Pittsburgh Steelers - Nate Orchard, DE/OLB, Utah:

After the sudden retirement of Jason Worilds, the Steelers are desperately thin at what may be the most important position in their 3-4 defense, outside linebacker. Nate Orchard of Utah is a classic 'tweener' who would fit in perfectly at outside linebacker for Pittsburgh.;

57. Carolina Panthers - Donovan Smith, OT, Penn State:

The Panthers signed Michael Oher as a stopgap measure to protect Cam Newton's blind side, but he isn't a long term answer at left tackle. If Donovan Smith of Penn State falls to them in the second round the Panthers will be thrilled, even if it takes him a year or so to move over to the left side.

58. Baltimore Ravens - Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota:

Whether it's at wide receiver or tight end, the Ravens desperately need more targets for Joe Flacco. Maxx Williams of Minnesota would finally give Baltimore an athletic tight end in the mold of Shannon Sharpe and Todd Heap. 

59. Denver Broncos - Paul Dawson, ILB, TCU:

The Broncos need a nose tackle to replace Porkchop Womack. Carl Davis underwhelmed at Iowa, perhaps due to their scheme, but was dominant at the Senior Bowl.

60. Dallas Cowboys - Ronald Darby, CB, Florida State:

The Cowboys could take a running back here, but if Tevin Coleman is off the board, the value for selecting a back late second round is probably no better than taking one in the mid third round. Ronald Darby of Florida State would give Dallas a much needed corner who can cover for and compete with Morris Claiborne as he recovers from a knee injury.

61. Indianapolis Colts - Damarious Randall, S, Arizona State:

After parting ways with LaRon Landry, who was more bulk than bite, the Colts are in desperate need of an upgrade at safety. Damarious Randall of Arizona State is one of the few players who project as a possible starter at safety in this year's draft.

62. Green Bay Packers - Stephone Anthony, LB, Clemson:

The Packers are in desperate need of one, if not two middle linebackers to upgrade their 3-4 defense. Stephone Anthony of Clemson is a prototype inside backer, who would be an athletic upgrade over A.J. Hawk.

63. Seattle Seahawks - Laken Tomlinson, G, Duke:

After trading All Pro center Max Unger for Jimmy Graham and losing James Carpenter to free agency, the Seahawks need to rebuild the interior of their offensive line. Laken Tomlinson of Duke would possibly give them the best guard in the draft.

64. New England Patriots - A.J. Cann, OG, South Carolina: 

The Patriots had a huge hole at guard last season after trading Logan Mankins to Tampa Bay.

3rd Round

Xavier Cooper, DT, Washington State:

The Lions obviously have a huge need at defensive tackle. While many drafts have the Lions taking that position in either the first or second round, Detroit is rumored to have a strong interest in Xavier Cooper of Washington State, who projects more of a third round project.

5th Round

Jamison Crowder, WR, Duke:

The Lions are looking for an upgrade in their return man, and Jamison Crowder, while an undersized receiver, is a dynamic deep threat on one of the best returners in the country. If Crowder remains available into the 4th Round, don't be surprised if the Lions move up to get him by giving up say, a 5th Round pick in this and next year's draft.

6th Round

Jonathan Feliciano, C/G, Miami:

If the Lions don't take a guard in the first three rounds capable of starting, they will likely re-sign Rob Sims. Even if that happens, they will still need a swing G/C for this season, who can ultimately develop into Sims's replacement at LG.

7th Round

Jalston Fowler, FB, Alabama:

The Lions could use a fullback with the loss of Jed Collins to free agency, and there's probably no better use of a 7th Round pick than on a player who easily projects as a solid contributor for years to come.