Mock Draft 3.0
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- Bucs: Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State
This one is written in stone at this point, people will yawn when this one’s announced at the podium.
- Titans: Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
After much ado, the Titans cave and take a quarterback that could add a big spark to their franchise.
- TRADE Falcons: Dante Fowler Jr., OLB, Florida (Jaguars receive Falcons 1st, 2nd, 4th 2016 3rd)
Falcons jump up to grab the best overall outside backer in the draft to add some much-needed juice to their pass rush. How bad do they need it? The Falcons often couldn’t get to the passer before I would finish running a forty on a given play.
- Raiders: Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
Kevin White may be the guy here but it’s looking more and more like the Raiders will be content with the pro-ready ultra-safe Alabama product. Unless Al Davis’ ghost shows up, then it’s White all the way.
- TRADE Browns: Kevin White, WR, West Virginia (Redskins Receive Browns 1st, 2nd, 4th, 2016 2nd)
There have been talks heating up recently about the Browns jumping up and the Skins moving down. The Browns need a wide receiver like Floyd Mayweather needs a muzzle.
- TRADE Saints: Leonard Williams, DE/DT, USC (Jets receive Saints 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 2016 2nd, Saints receive Jets 4th)
Jets see more value in an extra second rounder here and the Saints jump up to grab a defensive difference maker. Williams will immediately provide some intrigue to a defensive line as stale as day-old popcorn.
- Bears: Danny Shelton, NT, Washington
Bears and Shelton are practically married in my mocks. It’s a match made in heaven too, I hope for nothing but their happily ever after.
- Jaguars: Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia
Jags want Gurley but they also want him at the right price, believe it or not David Caldwell nails this transaction and gets the guy he wanted most anyway, the extra second rounder will help with the pass rush need.
- Giants: Brandon Scherff, OT/OG, Iowa
Could see pass rusher here but you’ve got to think the Giants see their rivals in Dallas building the league’s best o-line. It’s a copycat league, always has been.
- Rams: Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State
Rams grab the starting corner Janoris Jenkins wishes he could be. Waynes and Jenkins will be an absolute nightmare for the soft NFC West receivers.
- Vikings: DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville
Parker and Bridgewater reunited, it even feels good for me and I could care less about the Vikings. Should help both parties, young quarterbacks thrive with familiarity, helps lessen the learning curve.
- Redskins: Bud Dupree, OLB, Kentucky
Skins have to replace Orakpo. Even with Orakpo they had to blitz every play to barely eke out a Monday Night Football victory over the Cowboys. That’s not a recipe for success and Dupree has the potential to blossom into an even better player than Orakpo.
- Jets: Breshad Perriman, WR, Maryland
Jets grab a receiver to help their new starter, it makes a ton of sense for a team that had an abysmal offense last season and already has plenty of building blocks on defense. Perriman has the size and speed to develop into a dynamic target for Hundley/Petty/Grayson/Mannion… or whoever.
- Dolphins: La’el Collins, OT/OG, LSU
Collins’ recent questioning in a murder case is non-malicious, he’s not a suspect. The fact remains that Collins is one of the best offensive lineman in the draft and the Dolphins o-line has more leaks than icloud.
- 49ers: Arik Armstead, DE/DT, Oregon
Another one that just seems written in stone at this point. I guess the 49ers have to replace Justin Smith, seems like Baalke to ignore every other pressing need (ILB, CB, OL, WR1, TE).
- Texans: Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest
Texans just locked up Kareem Jackson and Jonathan Joseph is a mainstay but corner seems like the hot pick here despite needs elsewhere. No receiver really fits the range with the injury to Strong.
- Chargers: Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin
I’m finally buying the Chargers taking a running back, Melvin Gordon would be an excellent fit for them, Oliver could catch the passes and Gordon can just focus on doing what he does best, wrecking opposing defenses in the open field.
- Chiefs: Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Oklahoma
Chiefs grab a receiver capable of catching a touchdown pass with another receiver they got in free agency also capable of doing that. Set for years at the position if Green-Beckham can keep his head on straight.
- Browns: Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami
GM Ray Farmer and Mike Pettine grab their second of two huge needs and protect whoever’s trying to throw to Kevin White in what’s sure to be another laughably mediocre Browns offense.
- Eagles: Landon Collins, S, Alabama
Eagles brass has said they don’t see Collins as a first rounder, I’m calling their bluff, which may be to play mind games with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Collins fills a need effectively, recent reports suggest some see him as even more versatile than expected.
- Bengals: Randy Gregory, OLB, Nebraska
Gregory needs to be in a no-nonsense locker room where he will be humbled and grow up a little. Bengals need pass rush help. Perfect fit.
- Steelers: Vic Beasley, DE, Clemson
Polamalu retired, Ike Taylor retired, Jason Worilds retired. One of these answers will be answered here in the first round.
- Lions: Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford
Peat has top-5 potential with feet on par with Jake Matthews last year. He’s got to get tougher at the point of attack, just like the Lions have to get Matt Stafford five extra seconds to heave to Calvin Johnson, Eric Ebron and Golden Tate every play.
- Cardinals: Shane Ray, OLB, Missouri
Cardinals dream scenario here. They are a team unafraid of off-field issues as Arians is a confident disciplinarian. Ray has the sort of motor they covet and they need to get younger in the linebacking corps.
- Panthers: TJ Clemmings, OT, Pittsburgh
Panthers don’t manage to overthink themselves and finally give Cam Newton the athletic, strong bookend he needs.
- Ravens: Malcom Brown, DE/DT, Texas
Ravens need a Ngata replacement, Brown is a top-15 talent that only tumbled based on need. They sprint to the podium for this one.
- Cowboys: Shaq Thompson, OLB/S, Washington
Cowboys need insurance at linebacker and safety. Church might not be up to par as a starting safety and Sean Lee will go out for the season sometime between the first coin toss and the first snap. Thompson is the kind of athlete that will glue Rod Marinelli’s defense.
- Broncos: Cameron Erving, G/C, Florida State
Orlando Franklin flew the coop, Manning needs a clean pocket, especially as his arm strength dwindles.
- Colts: Damarious Randall, S, Arizona State
The Colts safety situation is underrated in how poor it is. Randall is considered the best cover safety in the draft and one of the best ball hawks. Slight interest for a dull as dirt defense.
- Packers: Denzel Perryman, ILB, Miami
Packers covet inside linebackers that can excel in the run-game at the point of attack, Perryman eats running backs for breakfast.
- Saints: Eric Kendricks, ILB, UCLA
Curtis Lofton is gone, Ellerbe and Hawthorne are starting. Red alert. Saints grab a rangy linebacker with athleticism, motor and excellent character.
- Patriots: Jalen Strong, WR, Arizona State
Patriots grab a steal here, Strong would be the best receiver in seven of the last ten NFL drafts.