Breaking Down All 32 First-Round NFL Draft Picks From a Simplistic Standpoint
The 2015 NFL Draft sucked. There were few trades, none of them that noteworthy. Most of the picks made sense, which is bullshit.
Still, there are picks that are going to work out and some that won’t. That’s what I’m here to dissect.
Every single article or program you find on the first round of the NFL Draft will give you analysis, projections, grades, upside, risk and all that kind of jazz. Everyone has a different opinion and different criteria for their reasoning on why someone was a good or bad pick.
Don’t you just want someone to get to the point and talk about (enter Phil Simms voice) what will actually happen instead of the quality of the pick?
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – QB Jameis Winston (Florida State) – We all saw this coming. The biggest question in most people’s minds is if Winston has grown up at all. This answers our question right here.
Before you start thinking this is a Skip Bayless argument, here’s a simple point. After you told NFL Network in an interview that you felt as good as when you won the National Championship with Florida State, you decided to say hi to the haters with this photo on Instagram. Now, this may seem like in good fun, but does he seriously need another reminder that he is in the spotlight for more negative reasons than positive? I’m all for celebrating. Take all the selfies you want with your family. Post videos of you getting the phone call from the Tampa Bay front office. Do all of it. But take a photo that brings back one of many reasons why people doubt you when you haven’t even earned the starting job at Tampa?
Now look, I know athletes gets free stuff at many places at college campuses, and I know Winston isn’t the first Florida State player to get free crab legs at that store. I also know many of you think this is some stupid overreaction.
But if it is a stupid overreaction, then why did he take the photo down? In just a few hours, Winston already has to be advised to take something down from his social media account. It looks like he still needs someone to keep him in check every step of the way. The problem is, all that protection he received from Florida State and Tallahassee, does not exist in Tampa Bay, and he is already on track for mistakes off the field.
This will not end well for the Buccaneers.
2. Tennessee Titans – QB Marcus Mariota (Oregon) – I thought the Titans would end up trading this pick, but perhaps the Titans want to build their offense around Mariota. If so, best of luck and props to them if they allow the coaching staff the appropriate time.
However, if the Titans are trying to put Mariota under center right away, it’s a huge mistake. If they try and work with him and give him time before he starts under center, the fans won’t go for it, especially with a No. 2 pick. Furthermore and most importantly, the Titans turned down an abundance of trade offers from other teams. In fact, they turned down something almost impossible to believe. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the Philadelphia Eagles offered the Titans:
Two first-round picks
One third-round pick
So, let me be clear, if the Titans are going to build around Mariota and let him do what he did at Oregon, I’m all for the risk. But if you turned down THAT MUCH so you can put Mariota under center, that is atrocious, and this is the beginning of a waste of time. Because, that trade is more than what the Rams received for Robert Griffin III.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars – OLB Dante Fowler Jr (Florida) – Fowler was born in St. Petersburg, Florida, played high school ball at Lakewood in St. Petersburg and went to University of Florida for college football. I’m no defensive expert, and I’m sure he’s a top talent, but we all know the Jaguars need those ticket sales and that pool party to be in full swing. So, yay for the Jags. But seriously, this Jaguars team is putting together a legit defense that will support this young offense once they get a better OL.
4. Oakland Raiders – WR Amari Cooper (Alabama) – The Raiders drafted a fast WR. SHOCKER. He’ll be solid, but drops and average strength will prevent him from being a Pro Bowl WR.
5. Washington Redskins – OG Brandon Scherff (Iowa) – Some people think this was a stretch, and they might be right. I’m an Iowa fan, so I’ll do my best to not be biased, but Scherff is someone who is the real deal. He played left tackle with the Hawkeyes, but with Trent Williams at left tackle for the skins, it makes sense for Scherff to play left guard or right tackle (I think left guard).
Scherff, believe it or not, was a QB in high school and converted to OL at Iowa, a common thing Kirk Ferentz does. Scherff played tackle and guard during his tenure at Iowa, another common thing Ferentz does since it’s a skill of his and the staff to shuffle the pieces every year. Plus, Iowa seems to run into injuries with their OL quite frequently too. By his junior season, Scherff was fully at left tackle and obliterated everyone both in the run game and pass protection.
His senior season he actually suffered a knee injury in the second game of the season. Scherff had surgery the following Tuesday, but he was listed as day-to-day and expected to be out a couple weeks. Of course, in a classic Ferentz move, since he wasn’t out for the season or didn’t tear his ACL, the information of the injury wasn’t disclosed. It was eventually reported that it was a torn meniscus and he would be out 2-3 weeks, but that didn’t come from anyone on the Iowa coaching staff. Then, in the third game, Scherff started. So much for those reports. In any case, Scherff wasn’t quite as dominant for the next couple weeks and clearly wasn’t as mobile when dealing with pass rushers on the edge. He slowly got better as time went on during the season, and was back to doing his thing by mid-October, so it looks like whatever that knee issue was isn’t a concern going forward.
Oh right, this is about how great Scherff is and not venting about outsider false reports that only care about NFL draft prospects. Here is why Scherff will be fantastic next to Williams on the line.
That’s 443 pounds right there. He will be great.
6. New York Jets – DE Leonard Williams (USC) – After the Browns win at the Jets Week 1 10-6 with no offensive touchdowns, Jets fans will say which of the following? Fire Tood Bowles? Start Ryan Fitzpatrick? Why didn’t we trade everyone on our team for a QB? I’m going to say all of the above. This was a good pick by the Jets though. This defense will be legit.
7. Chicago Bears – WR Kevin White (West Virginia) – My favorite player in the draft. Let me be clear, as someone who is surrounded by Bears fans and not a fan of Chicago, it really pisses me off when I say this – the Bears just landed a stud and were very fortunate White fell to them. Putting him next to Alshon Jeffery is going to cause nightmares for opposing secondaries. Congrats to John Fox. That defense though…
8. Atlanta Falcons – OLB Vic Beasley (Clemson) – Let the regional flavor for OLBs continue. He was born and went to high school in Adairsville, Georgia and played college ball at Clemson (all within a couple-hour drive of Atlanta). Oh, and it’s another franchise that needs to sell tickets so they don’t get fined for creating crowd noise.
9. NY Giants – OG Ereck Flowers (Miami) – This had to have been a Plan B with Scherff gone. Nothing against Flowers with that. Manning needs more protection and the running game needs life. Granted Tood Gurley could have provided that, but you can’t fault them for drafting a need.
By the way, if there’s an analyst who says it’s the Giants year to win the Super Bowl because they won the title four years ago and they also won the Super Bowl four years before that, FIRE HIM! YOU DO NOT GET PAID THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS TO THINK SOME STUPID SMALL SAMPLE SIZE VARIANCE THAT COMES INTO PLAY ACTUALLY MEANS SOMETHING!
10. St. Louis Rams – RB Todd Gurley (Georgia) – I’m surrounded by quite a few Rams fans as well, and since one of my best friends is a huge St. Louis maniac, it is my duty to hate on all St. Louis teams as much as possible.
However, out of respect for Gurley and how amazing I think he will be, I can’t do that. I’ve been riding (I like to think driving) the ship that RBs are vastly overrated in the draft for the last several years, but Gurley is one of few exceptions. He was a freak of nature at Georgia, and it will continue in St. Louis.
I can’t get over how great his vision is along with the agility, balance and speed. Vision is so unappreciated when it comes to RBs. Gurley has that. Furthermore, he catches out of the field, blocks on third down, has experience in multiple formations and does special teams.
This is going to be a rough 2015 for me.
11. Minnesota Vikings – CB Trae Waynes (Michigan State) – I thought Waynes was the best CB coming into the draft. That’s by watching him a ton, and Michigan State is building a ton of NFL talent on and off the field. And yes, he ran a 4.32 at the combine, so that doesn’t hurt. Well done by the Vikings as they need someone to match up with Jeffery, Calvin Johnson and Jordy Nelson.
12. Cleveland Browns – NT Danny Shelton (Washington) – Wait, the Browns didn’t trade anywhere? Are they actually going to finally get a WR? Nope, of course not. Shelton is the best pick though at nose tackle to try and address that defense that gave up 141.6 yards rushing last year, which was easily worst in the NFL. Okay Browns, I won’t make fun of you…yet.
13. New Orleans Saints – OT Andrus Peat (Stanford) – The Stanford OLmen keep on coming. Drew Brees is going to need even more protection without Jimmy Graham and Kenny Stills to throw to. Speaking of which, Saints, I really like Brandon Cooks going forward, but Brees needs another weapon.
14. Miami Dolphins – WR DaVante Parker (Louisville) – When you look up the word “average” in Webster’s Dictionary, there should be the term 2014 Miami Dolphins.
The 2015 Dolphins won’t be. Along with acquiring Ndamukong Suh, Jordan Cameron and Greg Jennings, they have three fantastic young WRs in Parker, Jarvis Landry and Kenny Stills.
My goodness, the AFC East actually might be halfway decent this year.
15. San Diego Chargers (via 49ers) – RB Melvin Gordon (Wisconsin) – I really don’t understand why the Chargers traded up in this situation. The 49ers just acquired Reggie Bush to complement Carlos Hyde, and the Houston Texans were the only team in their way otherwise. Are Fosters injuries and no Ben Tate really enough to warrant them drafting Gordon with many other needs?
Well, maybe, but either way, Gordon to the Chargers is a terrific selection. Gordon is another selection. Phillip Rivers has been without an elite RB since LaDainian Tomlinson back in the mid 2000s. Quite frankly, Rivers hit his prime as Tomlinson was exiting his. Rivers is getting up there in age somewhat, but he can still play at a high level. Now that he has a complete RB in Gordon who can actually play between the tackles and on the edge instead of San Diego constantly rotating backs every down, Rivers should have more flexibility.
The Chargers still have too many other holes to be a serious AFC title contender.
16. Houston Texans – CB Kevin Johnson (Wake Forest) – Brian Hoyer vs Ryan Mallett vs Tom Savage. There should definitely be betting odds in Vegas on who starts Week 1. It’s the Houston Fighting J.J. Watts until the QB situation is resolved.
17. San Francisco 49ers (via Chargers) – DT Arik Armstead (Oregon) – A 6’7″ athletic defensive tackle? Looks like San Francisco wants to bat some of Russell Wilson’s (5’11”) passes down at the line of scrimmage.
18. Kansas City Chiefs – CB Marcus Peters (Washington) – When it comes to off the field stuff, something like this is way more concerning to me than someone who tested positive for marijuana one time. I’ll keep it simple. Peters has had multiple problems with getting into it with the coaching staff at Washington, one time resulting in a suspension. Andy Reid is usually someone who will take chances on guys with great talent who have some off the field issues, but this one will not work out.
Kansas City WILL throw a TD to a WR this year though.
19. Cleveland Browns (via Bills) – C Cameron Erving (Florida State) – Unless the Browns front office forgot Alex Mack plays for them, Erving must be playing a different spot on the line than center. Otherwise, what in the world are they doing? I guess this is standard.
20. Philadelphia Eagles – WR Nelson Agholor (USC) – Pac-12 Eagles strike again. With Jeremy Maclin gone, here is one of many fantasy sleepers in 2015, if this even qualifies as a sleeper.
This guy can catch anything that comes his way.
21. Cincinnati Bengals – OT Cedric Ogbuehi (Texas A&M) – There is no way the Bengals win more than nine games, and there is no way they win fewer than eight. Good pick though.
22. Pittsburgh Steelers – OLB Bud Dupree (Kentucky) – The Steelers had to have been disappointed that three CBs went at this point in the draft, but with Dupree clearly as the best player available at this point, it was kind of a no-brainer. The Pittsburgh secondary needs to be addressed though…at like every spot,
23. Denver Broncos (via Lions) – DE Shane Ray (Missouri) – There was literally a 99.9% chance Ray was going to Denver once the Broncos were on the clock, and it had nothing to do with football.
24. Arizona Cardinals – OT D.J. Humphries (Florida) – From all NFL Fans, please, please keep Carson Palmer healthy. He deserves it.
25. Carolina Panthers – OLB Shaq Thompson (Washington) – Okay Washington, you have three first-round picks and you couldn’t give Oregon a better run for their money in the Pac-12 North last year? As a Chris Peterson fan, this is disappointing. But again, talent is vastly overrated in college football.
26. Baltimore Ravens – WR Breshad Perriman (UCF) – No more Torrey Smith, so the Ravens naturally go get the guy who ran a 4.22 40.
Baltimore loves their speed so Flacco can throw 80 yard passes with the flick of a wrist. Don’t worry, Flacco will still go 22-for-55 passing in a game this year.
27. Dallas Cowboys – CB Byron Marshall (UConn) – Stop making good first-round picks Dallas. You’re scaring me.
28. Detroit Lions (via Broncos) – OG Laken Tomlinson (Duke) – Forget football and just watch this.
Best of luck to this man both on and off the field. The Lions OL just got better.
29. Indianapolis Colts – WR Phillip Dorsett (Miami) – A Miami WR being drafted by the Colts. I’ve seen this story before, and it usually is one with a happy ending. With Andre Johnson in his final years to learn from and having a weapon in TY Hilton next to him, Dorsett has a bright future.
30. Green Bay Packers – FS Demarious Randall (Arizona State) – We have another fantastic first name to piss off all the writers out there with spelling! Since he’s off to Green Bay, we know he isn’t going anywhere else.
31. New Orleans Saints (via Seahawks) – ILB Stephone Anthony (Clemson) – With this pick coming from the Jimmy Graham trade, hopefully the Saints don’t plan on using Anthony to cover him. Nothing against Anthony, you just never want to put a linebacker on Graham in coverage. I’m still trying to process that trade.
32. New England Patriots – DT Malcom Brown (Texas) – There’s always one guy with outstanding talent that makes you think “Wow, how did he fall that far?” Furthermore, that guy always seems to land on the Patriots. It’s quite annoying.View all posts by Nick Juskewycz