Updated November 9
1. Raiders – Shane Ray – DE – Missouri – Scouting Report
The more I see of Derek Carr, the more convinced I am that the Raiders will stick with him. Shane Ray is having a breakout season and I recently bumped him up to No. 1 on my big board. The thought of Ray and Khalil Mack in the same front seven should excite Raiders fans.
2. Buccaneers – Randy Gregory – DE – Nebraska – Scouting Report
This draft needs to be about defense, defense and more defense for the Bucs. Gregory has fully lived up to expectations this season and elevated his game to an elite level. He’s shown the tools to be a pass-rush threat on the edge and would immediately give a boost to the Bucs struggling unit.
3. Jaguars – Brandon Scherff – OT – Iowa – Scouting Report
Take Brandon Scherff and plug him in on the right side for the next 10 years. This should be an easy decision for the Jaguars, who need to protect Bortles and improve the power run game as well. It’s certainly not the sexy pick some fans may prefer, but it’s the best long-term option for the franchise.
4. Jets – Jameis Winston – QB – Florida State – Scouting Report
Assuming the front office is comfortable with Winston’s issues off the field, this selection should be a no brainer. In terms of physical talent, Winston is the clear-cut No. 1 quarterback in this class for his arm talent in addition to his ability and willingness to challenge defenses in the middle of the field. He’s the complete package, and physically ready for the demands of the NFL.
5. Titans – Vic Beasley – LB – Clemson – Scouting Report
For now, I’m going to assume Zach Mettenberger gets a legitimate shot to win the job in 2015. If the Titans don’t target a quarterback, they should focus on the defense. Beasley would be a great fit for Ray Horton’s defense as an edge-rusher.
6. Falcons – Leonard Williams – DE – USC – Scouting Report
The Falcons have almost no meaningful NFL talent on defense. The roster is simply bare. Whoever grades out as the top defensive player on the board should be plugged in here. In this scenario it’s Williams, but Ray and Gregory are both strong possibilities as well at this point.
7. Redskins – Cedric Ogbuehi – OT – Texas A&M – Scouting Report
Protecting RG3 should be the Redskins top priority. Ogbuehi struggled at times on the left side this year, but he is a proven commodity at right tackle which is where he would start in Washington. A right tackle in the top 10 isn’t exciting, but it’s in the best long-term interest of the franchise.
8. Bears – Landon Collins – S – Alabama
The Bears secondary is a mess. Depending on how high they end up selecting, there may be better value picks, but Collins is definitely the best combination of need and value in this scenario. He’s a prototypical strong safety and would start immediately for the Bears.
9. Giants – Shilique Calhoun – DE – Michigan State – Scouting Report
The Giants need to rebuild the pass-rush that has been their signature for so many years under Tom Coughlin. Calhoun looks like a perfect fit in New York. The Giants like well-rounded linemen and Calhoun plays with a nice combination of explosiveness as a pass-rusher and strength against the run.
10. Rams – Marcus Mariota – QB – Oregon – Scouting Report
The Rams may need to trade up for a quarterback, but they do have the benefit of knowing most of the teams in top-10 range aren’t interested in taking one. Mariota is a notch below Winston in terms of physical talent, but the two could easily be flipped based on Winston’s off-field issues.
11. Panthers – Amari Cooper – WR – Alabama – Scouting Report
Cooper is among the most players in the college game, but he won’t go quite as high as you might expect. Top-10 receivers need elite size or speed, and Cooper has neither. That said, he’s still a valuable weapon and has the fundamentals to contribute immediately. He’s a nice complement to Kelvin Benjamin.
12. Texans – Jaelen Strong – WR – Arizona State – Scouting Report
Andre Johnson is still productive but clearly in the decline at the age of 33. If the Texans aren’t in position to draft a franchise quarterback, they should improve the weapons Mallett, Savage or whoever takes over in 2015. Strong is the type of receiver that can win 50/50 balls down the field and would be a nice long-term complement to Hopkins.
13. Saints – Shaq Thompson – LB – Washington – Scouting Report
Just about any defender would make sense in this slot, but the Saints are definitely in the market for a playmaker in the middle. Thompson is a sideline-to-sideline defender who has the speed to be an asset in coverage as well.
14. Vikings – Andrus Peat – OT – Stanford – Scouting Report
This would be a reach based off my grade on Peat, but this is a relatively weak class of linemen and a few desperate teams are going to reach to fill their need. Matt Kalil is a bust, and Peat would be expected to step right in a left tackle.
15. 49ers – Shawn Oakman – DE/LB – Baylor – Scouting Report
Inconsistent play may cause Oakman to fall slightly, but his rare physical traits virtually guarantee him a spot in the first round. It’s scary to think what he could accomplish in San Francisco’s system when surrounded by the rest of their talent in the front seven.
16. Browns – Kevin White – WR – West Virginia
Kevin White and Josh Gordon could be a scary duo in Cleveland. Both receivers are capable of winning on the outside, adding a new dimension to the offense compared to what we’ve seen in Cleveland over the first few months of the 2014 season.