Updated January 19
1. Buccaneers – Jameis Winston – QB – Florida State – Scouting Report
In terms of physical tools, Winston is clearly the surperior quarterback in this class—the best since Luck and RG3, in fact. If the Bucs pass him over, Winston can only blame his own lack of maturity. But when a quarterback shows as up much potential as Winston, a lot can be overlooked.
2. Titans – Randy Gregory – DE – Nebraska – Scouting Report
The Winston debate continues at No. 2, as the Titans could roll the dice. But Zach Mettenberger showed some promise, so there’s no reason to gamble if they aren’t completely confident in Winston. Gregory has the tools to be an elite pass-rusher and should excel in Ray Horton’s defense.
3. Jaguars – Amari Cooper – WR – Alabama – Scouting Report
There’s no way to sugarcoat it, Blake Bortles was terrible. But he played on an offense that featured exactly three players who earned positive grades from PFF (and one was a fullback). The Jaguars have to surround him with as much talent as possible this offseason.
4. Raiders – Leonard Williams – DE – USC – Scouting Report
You can’t rule anything out when it comes to the Raiders, but I would assume Derek Carr has shown enough to make the Raiders pass on Winston. If Cooper is off the board, the Raiders have to settle for the best available defensive prospect. A case could be made for a few prospects, but Williams is the consensus top available in this scenario.
5. Redskins – Shane Ray – DE – Missouri – Scouting Report
The Redskins pass-rush isn’t their most glaring weakness on defense, but they can’t afford to get picky. The enter defense needs to be overhauled and that process should start with this selection. Ray is the best available defensive player on the board and he’ll be an impact edge-rusher immediately.
6. Jets – Marcus Mariota – QB – Oregon – Scouting Report
This is the worst-case scenario for Mariota—and I’m not referring to him falling to No. 6, I’m referring to the team. He’ll struggle in New York if he’s thrown into the same dysfunctional situation that destroyed Geno Smith. If the Jets go this direction, hopefully they have a plan for 2015 that doesn’t involve Mariota being thrown into the fire.
7. Bears - Vic Beasley – LB – Clemson – Scouting Report
The Bears aren’t in a position to fix their frustrating quarterback situation, so they should settle for landing one of the top pass-rushers in this class. Between Beasley, Ray, Gregory and Fowler, someone will be the on the board. And if not, Landon Collins would be a nice backup plan.
8. Falcons – Dante Fowler Jr. – DE – Florida – Scouting Report
Thomas Dmitroff has left the Falcons with almost no talent on the defensive side of the ball, and it ended up costing Mike Smith his job. Fowler is similar to Beasley due to the fact that they’re somewhat one-dimensional pass-rushers at this stage of their careers, but talent are there to build upon.
9. Giants – Landon Collins – SS – Alabama
The Giants have been playing without a true strong safety for a number of years, having used Antrel Rolle, Quintin Demps, Stevie Brown, Deon Grant and others. With Collins sitting on the board it’s the opportune time to finally address the situation. This feels like a perfect blend of value and need.
10. Rams – Kevin White – WR – West Virginia – Scouting Report
With a few minor improvements on offense, the Rams could probably plug in a decent veteran quarterback and become a playoff contender. If that’s the strategy they choose, a big playmaker on the outside who can win 50/50 battles like Kevin White would be the idea first-round target. An argument can be made that he’s more likely to have immediate success than Cooper.
11. Vikings – DeVante Parker – WR – Louisville – Scouting Report
I’ve compared Parker to Randy Moss, so it would be fitting to see him land in Minnesota. Parker has the speed to be a legitimate deep threat but also the size to win the battle for jump balls. It’s a rare combination, and one that Moss had as well. His addition would certainly aid in the development of Bridgewater.
12. Browns – T.J. Clemmings – OT – Pittsburgh
The Browns offense will be build around the run game next year, so they would be wise to find an upgrade over Mitchell Schwartz at right tackle. Clemmings would also solidify a pass-blocking unit that could potentially rank among the best in the game with a upgrade here.
13. Saints – Trae Waynes – CB – Michigan State
Trae Waynes is among the most physically gifted athletes in this class and may end up being viewed as a better prospect than former teammate Darqueze Dennard. Saints cornerbacks combined for PFF grade of -38.1 (second worst in NFL), so some changes are definitely coming in the secondary.
14. Dolphinss – Brandon Scherff – OT – Iowa – Scouting Report
Despite playing left tackle at Iowa, Brandon Scherff could be this year’s Zach Martin, and make an immediate impact by shifing inside to guard. The Dolphins have Branden Albert and Ja’Wuan James set as their tackles for next season, but the line still needs some work.
15. 49ers – Jaelen Strong – WR – Arizona State – Scouting Report
The 49ers added depth but got very little production from their supposedly improved receiving corps in 2014. Strong is a notch below the top receivers in this class, but has the skill set to make an immediate impact. He’s a big target who can also break free down the field, providing the 49ers with a much-needed depth threat.
16. Texans – Andrus Peat – OT – Stanford – Scouting Report
Duane Brown will continue to lock down the left side in Houston, but the right side has been an issue in recent years. Peat is a little overrated in my opinion, but upside due to his strength and athleticism is obvious. Right tackle in Houston would be a nice place for him to fit in without having to be viewed as a savior to a struggling offensive line.