2015 NFL Draft: Best Case Scenarios for All 32 Teams & How We Predict First Round Will Play Out

Tuesday, March 3, 2015 4:27 PM UTC

Tuesday, Mar. 3, 2015 4:27 PM UTC

The 2015 NFL Draft will be held in Chicago in two months and all 32 teams are ready to rebuild through Free Agency, the Draft and other means. Let’s take a look at what each team needs and some names they may select April 30-May 2.

In our recently published projected Mock NFL Draft here at Sportsbook Review, we looked at which college football players may be picked at the various 32 spots in the First Round of this year’s coming 2015 NFL Draft, set to be held from April 30 to May 2 at the Chicago’s historic Auditorium Theater after spending 50 straight years of being held at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall and will again be televised on the NFL Network. NFL odds are that either 2013 Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston of Florida State or 2014 recipient Marcus Mariota of Oregon will be picked at #1—we compared Mariota and Winston head-to-head in an earlier analysis here—but the rest of the First Round should be very intriguing with so much raw talent now set to play professional in the world’s biggest (American) football league. Let’s now take a quick thumbnail sketch look at each team’s needs—in Draft order—and some of the players who each team may be looking at and eventually pick two months from now in the Windy City.


NFL Draft Order #1: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Needs: QB, DL, DB, OL
The Pick: Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
Other Top Prospects: Jameis Winston, QB (FSU), DT Leonard Williams (USC)
The Skinny: The Bucs (2-14 SU in 2014) need a QB to build around for The Future. Williams is a stud and Tampa Bay does need help on the DL, but the chance to pick between two former Heisman Trophy winners will be too much to resist for Bucs brass. Taking a QB is definitely the right way to go and could end up being a real blessing for this seemingly perpetually struggling franchise.


NFL Draft Order #2: Tennessee Titans
The Pick: Leonard Williams, DT, USC
Other Top Prospects: QB Jameis Winston QB (FSU), QB Marcus Mariota (Oregon)
The Skinny: The Titans NFL pick may depend on whom the Bucs pick at #1, but either way, Tennessee (2-14) will be able to land a guy that could help start to change the culture of this AFC South team. Williams was my guess, but the Titans could just as well take either Winston or Mariota and rebuild the offense and please the fans as Zach Mettenberger doesn’t sound like the type of guy that will lead you to the Promised Land. Maybe Murray’s Used Autos, but probably not the Promised Land. This team’s needs are many.


NFL Draft Order #3: Jacksonville Jaguars
Needs: CB, OL, RB, WR
The Pick: Dante Fowler, Jr., DE, Florida
Other Top Prospects: Even if Winston or Mariota are still available at #3, the Jaguars are now set at QB with Blake Bortles and need to build around the talented South Florida product. Even though Jacksonville (3-13) needs some skill position players on offense, OL help and a CB, this will probably be an example of not being able to pass on the best athlete available and Leonard Williams or Dante Fowler probably goes here.
The Skinny: Snagging a skill position stud like WRs Amari Cooper or Kevin White or RBs Todd Gurley or Melvin Gordon will be tempting, but the Jaguars brass may bolster the defense first, then work on drafting some players on offense later on in the Draft. 


NFL Draft Order #4: Oakland Raiders
WR, CB, Pass Rusher, TE
The Pick: Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
Other Top Prospects: WR Kevin White (WV), DeVante Parker (Louisville), CB Marcus Peters (Washington), Pass Rushers Dante Fowler, Jr. (Florida), Shane Ray (Missouri)
The Skinny: The Raiders (3-13) have a new Head Coach (Jack Del Rio), a new Offensive Coordinator (Bill Musgrave) and have said that they plan on running a No-Huddle Offense this coming season behind talented QB David Carr. So, the Silver and Black probably go out and get Carr (and Musgrave) The Best Toy available and The Best Toy available to me at this point, though extremely close, is Alabama’s Cooper who seems to be in the mold of Julio Jones (Alabama, Falcons) or AJ Green (Georgia, Bengals). With WR James Jones and Cooper, Carr would have a dynamic duo for some time.


NFL Draft Order #5: Washington Redskins
Needs:Pass Rusher, DB, OT, QB
The Pick: Randy Gregory, DE, Nebraska
Other Top Prospects: One of Winston or Mariota may still be available here, but the Redskins (4-12) will probably ride Robert Griffin III and/or Kirk Cousins and with some decent Pass Rushers like Williams, Fowler, Ray and Randy Gregory (Nebraska) likely available at the #5 spot, Washington probably takes the best athlete for its DL. And wisely so.
The Skinny: You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.


NFL Draft Order #6: New York Jets
Needs: QB, OL, RB, A Good Smudging
The Pick: Jameis Winston, QB, FSU
Other Top Prospects: This is, of course, assuming that TB picks Mariota #1 and that Winston does drop to #6 here, but in the spirit of a team that traditionally drafts bad, overhyped QBs out of college, we had the 2014 Heisman Winner landing with the J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets, baby. OL La’el Collins (LSU) had a wonderful Scouting Combine last month, but to take him here seems a bit of a stretch.
Other Top Prospects: OL La’El Collins (LSU), OL Brandon Scherff, OL, (Iowa).
The Skinny: The list of QBs the Jets (4-12) have taken or tried since 1977 is laughable. Guys like Rick Mirer, Browning Nagle, Neil O’Donnell, Tajh Boyd, Matt Robinson, Mark Sanchez, Brad Smith, Kyle Mackey, Jeff Blake and Bill Ransdell, among many others. And how can we forget Tim Tebow or the Jets 1-2 QBs right now, Geno Smith and Michael Vick? So, Jameis Winston slipping and the Jets snagging him and having three projects behind Center only seems logical for the Barnum & Bailey of the AFC.


NFL Draft Order #7: Chicago Bears
Needs: Pass Rusher, OL, LB, QB
The Pick: Danny Shelton, DT, Washington
Other Top Prospects:  OL La’El Collins (LSU), OL Brandon Scherff (Iowa), LB Randy Gregory (Nebraska), LB Dante Fowler, JR. (Florida)
The Skinny: The Bears (5-11) had an awful 2014 so John Fox is now in at Head Coach in Chicago but this team’s Big Problem is QB Jay Cutler. DE Shane Ray (Missouri) may still be available but it seems Da Bears may choose take Danny Shelton (Washington) or Randy Gregory (Nebraska) here with Williams and Fowler likely already drafted.


NFL Draft Order #8: Atlanta Falcons
Needs: OL, Pass Rusher, TE, DB
The Pick: Vic Beasley, DE/OLB, Clemson
Other Top Prospects: DE Shane Ray (Missouri), DT Danny Shelton (Washington)
The Skinny: The Falcons (8-10) need much, as do many teams but to take Michigan TE Devin Funchess this early makes no sense, so expect Atlanta to go defensive and maybe take local guy (Clemson) Vic Beasley to try to help the Pass Rush some although there should be a plethora of talented DBs available here at #8 like Marcus Peters (Washington) and Trae Waynes (Michigan State).

Here Are Our Top 5 Quarterbacks Available for 2015 NFL Draft

NFL Draft Order #9: New York Giants
Needs: OL, Pass Rusher, LB, QB
The Pick: Brandon Scherff, OL, Iowa
Other Top Prospects: OL La’El Collins (LSU), DE Shane Ray (Missouri), QB Brett Hundley (UCLA), LB Shaq Thompson (Washington)
The Skinny: This was probably a bad pick (by me) as Scherff had a lackluster Scouting Combine last week and his stock seems to be dropping, so the Giants (6-10) may instead take LSU’s Collins or the best available Pass Rusher available. And with QB Eli Manning showing signs of regression, the G-Men could use a decent backup signal caller or guy to build around for The Future but QB Winston and QB Mariota will already (likely) be gone and taking UCLA QB Brett Hundley here at #10 seems like a huge stretch. Much may depend on DL Osi Umenyiora and what he, or the franchise decides to do with him. If he goes, New York NFC may take a DL or Pass Rusher like Shelton, Beasley or Ray here.


NFL Draft Order #10: St. Louis Rams
Needs: WR, OL, QB
The Pick: Kevin White, WR, West Virginia
Other Top Prospects: WR Amari Cooper (Alabama), WR DeVante Parker (Louisville), QB Brett Hundley (UCLA), OL La’El Collins (LSU), OL Brandon Scherff (Iowa)
The Skinny: Cooper will probably be gone and White had a great Combine and is as fast as a gazelle (4.30 40-yard Dash). St. Louis (6-10) could really use a QB with Sam Bradford always a big question mark, but Winston and Mariota should be drafted already and, again, #10 seems way too high for the Bruins Hundley to go. In White They Trust.


NFL Draft Order #11: Minnesota Vikings
Needs: OT, RB, WR, CB
The Pick: DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville
Other Top Prospects: WR Kevin White (WV), DeVante Parker (Louisville), OL La’El Collins (LSU), OL Brandon Scherff (Iowa), CB Marcus Peters (Washington)
The Skinny: The Vikings (6-10) simply won’t be able to resist on either WR Parker or WR White and who knows what happens with RB Adrian Peterson, but obviously the Vikings would love him to stay put in Minnesota and keep rolling, rolling, rolling. Bolstering the offense should be the top priority early in the Draft for the Purple People Eaters.

Winston vs. Mariota:  Which Prospect is Better Suited for the NFL?

NFL Draft Order #12: Cleveland Browns
Needs: WR, LB, OL, QB, DL
The Picks: La’El Collins, OL, LSU and Alvin Dupree, DE, Kentucky
Other Top Prospects: WR Kevin White (WV), DeVante Parker (Louisville), OL La’El Collins (LSU), OL Brandon Scherff (Iowa), ILB Benardrick McKinney (Mississippi State), DL Arik Armstead (Oregon)
The Skinny: The Browns (7-9) need to protect whoever their QB may be next season—most likely Brian Hoyer—and LSU’s Collins had a very nice Combine and is almost a Can’t Miss prospect on the OL. These would be two wise picks for The Future of Cleveland’s OL and DL.


NFL Draft Order #13: New Orleans Saints
Needs: Pass Rusher CB, QB
The Pick: Shane Ray, DE, Missouri
Other Top Prospects: CB Marcus Peters (Washington), CB Trae Waynes (Michigan State)
The Skinny: The Saints (7-9) will probably draft defense first and Ray would be a nice fit although New Orleans will have much to choose from.


NFL Draft Order #14: Miami Dolphins
Needs: DB, LB, OL, DL
The Pick: Trae Waynes, CB Michigan State
Other Top Prospects: CB Marcus Peters (Washington), CB Vic Beasley (Clemson), OL La’El Collins (LSU), OL Brandon Scherff (Iowa), DL Arik Armstead (Oregon), DE Shane Ray (Missouri)
The Skinny: The Dolphins (8-8) have shown improvement lately but need to keep evolving. Taking the best player available may be the course Miami ends up going as there will be much talent still on the board at #14.


NFL Draft Order #15: San Francisco 49ers
Needs: DL, OL, Backup QB, CK to Mature
The Pick: Jaelen Strong, WR, ASU
Other Top Prospects: WR DeVante Parker (Louisville), WR Kevin White (WV), QB Brett Hundley (UCLA), OL La’El Collins (LSU), DL Arik Armstead (Oregon), DE Shane Ray (Missouri)
The Skinny: The 49ers (8-8) have a new Head Coach and will look to rebound after a disappointing 2014 season. Like many in this range, SF will probably pick the best guy available for their needs and the Sun Devils’ underrated WR Strong would be a wonderful fit.

Click Here & Check Out Our QB, RB & WR Predictions

NFL Draft Order #16: Houston Texans
Needs: OT, WR, QB, DL
The Pick: Arik Armstead, DL, Oregon
Other Top Prospects: WR Kevin White (WV), WR DeVante Parker (Louisville), QB Brett Hundley (UCLA), OL La’El Collins (LSU), OL Cedric Ogbuehi (Texas A&M), DE Shane Ray (Missouri)
The Skinny: The Texans (9-7) may actually choose between whichever WR is left between Cooper, Parker, White and Strong, although snagging an OL or DL would probably be just as wise.


NFL Draft Order #17: San Diego Chargers
Needs: NT, OL, Pass Rushers, WR
The Pick: Malcolm Brown, DT, Texas
Other Top Prospects: OL La’El Collins (LSU), OL Cedric Ogbuehi (Texas A&M), WR Kevin White (WV), WR DeVante Parker (Louisville), QB Brett Hundley (UCLA), DE Shane Ray (Missouri)
The Skinny: Needing a NT, the Longhorns Malcolm Brown seems like the ideal pick here for San Diego (9-7).


NFL Draft Order #18: Kansas City Chiefs
Needs: WR, CB, OL, LB, RB
The Pick: Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin
Other Top Prospects: OL La’El Collins (LSU), OL Cedric Ogbuehi (Texas A&M), WR Kevin White (WV), WR DeVante Parker (Louisville), CB Marcus Peters (Washington), RB Tim Gurley, (Georgia), WR Amari Cooper (Alabama)
The Skinny: The Chiefs (9-7) were horrific scoring TDs via WRs in 2014 and with so many talented WRs available in this First Round, KC should snag one, although I have gone out on a limb and said the Chiefs will actually take RB Melvin Gordon to solidify their already talented Rushing attack (Jamaal Charles, Knile Davis). (Buzzer sound.) Odds are they really go WR.


NFL Draft Order #19: Philadelphia Eagles
Needs: DB, LB, QB
The Pick: Landon Collins, S, Alabama
Top Prospects: CB Marcus Peters (Washington), CB Trae Waynes (Michigan State), DE Vic Beasley (Clemson), S Gerod Holliman (Louisville), QB Brett Hundley (UCLA)
The Skinny: This (Collins) seems like the perfect pick for the Eagles (10-6) although if Wayne is still out there, Philadelphia may take him or the best available LB. Or maybe the Eagles surprise and take UCLA QB Hundley.


NFL Draft Order #20: Cincinnati Bengals
Needs: DB, PK, LB
The Pick: Shaq Thompson, OLB, Washington
Other Top Prospects: CB Marcus Peters (Washington), CB Trae Waynes (Michigan State), DE Vic Beasley (Clemson), S Gerod Holliman (Louisville), S Derron Smith (Fresno State)
The Skinny: The Bengals (10-5-1) definitely won’t be using their First Round pick on a PK so the best available DB or LB may be the route and OLB Shaq Thompson from Washington or his Huskies teammate Marcus Peters could really help Cincinnati’s defense.


NFL Draft Order #21: Pittsburgh Steelers
Needs: DB, DL, QB
The Pick: Marcus Peters, CB, Washington
Other Top Prospects: CB Trae Waynes (Michigan State), DE Vic Beasley (Clemson), S Gerod Holliman (Louisville), QB Brett Hundley (UCLA)
The Skinny: The Steelers (11-5) could use a backup for Ben Roethlisberger like UCLA’s Brett Hundley but The Steel Curtain will 88% draft a defensive guy like Marcus Peters or Trae Waynes or maybe Ray or Armstead if either are still somehow available at #22.


NFL Draft Order #22: Detroit Lions
Needs: CB, DL
The Pick: Jordan Phillips, DT, Oklahoma
Other Top Prospects: CB Marcus Peters (Washington), CB Trae Waynes (Michigan State), DE Vic Beasley (Clemson), S Gerod Holliman (Louisville), DL Malcolm Brown (Texas)
The Skinny: The Lions (11-5) today decided not to use the Franchise Tag on Ndamukong Suh, so the talented DL will test the Free Agency waters come March 10 and possibly make a big sum of money for his feisty services. Missouri’s Ray or Oregon’s Armstead would be nice pick-ups, although both could be gone making Oklahoma’s Jordan Phillips the man for Detroit. Right? Who knows. Nobody.


NFL Draft Order #23: Arizona Cardinals
Needs: LB, DL, OL
The Pick: TJ Clemmings, OT, Pittsburgh
Other Top Prospects: ILB: Benardrick McKinney (Mississippi State), LB Denzel Perryman (Miami, Florida), ILB Eric Kendricks (UCLA), LB Vic Beasley (Clemson)
The Skinny: Clemmings is good and would bolster the Cardinals (11-5) OL, but odds are Arizona goes with a defensive player with their pick here, despite its problem scoring points at the end of last season.


NFL Draft Order #24: Carolina Panthers
Needs: OL, Pass Rusher, DB
The Pick: Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford
Other Top Prospects: DB Kevin Johnson (Wake Forest), OL TJ Clemmings (Pittsburgh), OL Brandon Scherff (Iowa), OL Cedric Ogbuehi (Texas A&M)
The Skinny: Carolina (7-8-1) can go a number of different ways here and should end up with a very good player and possibly a big surprise with this pick. There will be tons of talent still left at #25 and the Panthers should have some good players to choose from. 


NFL Draft Order #25: Baltimore Ravens
Needs: Pass Rusher, OL, RB, DB
The Pick: PJ Williams, CB, Florida State
Other Top Prospects: OL TJ Clemmings (Pittsburgh), OL Brandon Scherff (Iowa), OL Cedric Ogbuehi (Texas A&M), DB Kevin Johnson (Wake Forest), OL Andrus Peat (Stanford), ILB: Benardrick McKinney (Mississippi State), LB Denzel Perryman (Miami, Florida), ILB Eric Kendricks (UCLA), RB Todd Gurley (Georgia), RB Melvin Gordon (Wisconsin)
The Skinny: The Ravens (10-6) are a team I really like to make some noise in 2015 and like other teams at this point in the Draft, baltimore will actually have a nice little problem in trying to choose between like five good prospects. The Ravens and Head Coach John Harbaugh almost can’t go wrong here and will probably lean defense.


NFL Draft Order #26: Dallas Cowboys
Needs: DL, CB, TE, RB
The Pick: Eddie Goldman, DT, FSU
Other Top Prospects: DB Kevin Johnson (Wake Forest), TE Devin Funchess (Michigan), DL Arik Armstead (Oregon), DL Maxx Williams (Minnesota), RB Melvin Gordon (Wisconsin), RB Todd Gurley (Georgia)
The Skinny: The Cowboys (12-4) had an impressive 2014 season but The Rubber Is Meeting The Road this offseason as Dallas has decided to slap the Franchise Tag on talented WR Dez Bryant and will now reportedly let RB DeMarco Murray test Free Agency, meaning that the Cowboys may snag Gordon or Gurley and possibly have a Running Back By Committee this season. FSU’s Eddie Goldman would be a good pick, but the news about Murray and the potential availability of Gordon, Gurley or even Nebraska’s Ameer Abdullah may pique Dallas’s interests.


NFL Draft Order #27: Denver Broncos
Needs: WR, DL, LB, TE, QB Peyton Manning to Re-Sign
The Pick: Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Oklahoma
Other Top Prospects: WR Kevin White (WV), WR DeVante Parker (Louisville), WR Jaelen Strong, (ASU), TE Devin Funchess (Michigan), DL Eddie Goldman (FSU)
The Skinny: The Broncos will likely get Peyton Manning back for One More Spin and with both Thomases (TE Julius and WR Demaryius) in Option Years, Denver (12-4) will get to pick between the best WRs left at this point or maybe the best DL or LBs left. A good problem and this Dorial Green-Beckham kid from Oklahoma got game.


NFL Draft Order #28: Indianapolis Colts
Needs: LB, OL, S, RB
The Pick: Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia
Other Top Prospects: CB Marcus Peters (Washington), CB Trae Waynes (Michigan State), DE Vic Beasley (Clemson), S Gerod Holliman (Louisville), S Landon Collins (Alabama), RB Melvin Gordon (Wisconsin), ILB Benardrick McKinney (Mississippi State), LB Denzel Perryman (Miami, Florida), ILB Eric Kendricks (UCLA), OT Andrus Peat (Stanford)
The Skinny: With such a strong Passing game, Indianapolis could surprise and snag one of the big name RBs here (Gordon, Gurley) although the Colts (11-5) pick will depend on so much that happened before their selection. Indianapolis will have many decent players to choose from. Carry on my wayward son.


NFL Draft Order #29: Green Bay Packers
Needs: ILB, TE, DL, WR Randall Cobb to Re-sign
The Pick: Eric Kendricks, ILB, UCLA
Other Top Prospects: ILB Benardrick McKinney (Mississippi State), LB Denzel Perryman (Miami, Florida), DL Arik Armstead (Oregon), DL Shane Ray (Missouri), TE Devin Funchess (Michigan), TE Nick O’Leary (FSU)
The Skinny: The Packers (12-4) were oh-so close to going to Super Bowl XLIX and really need to re-up with underrated WR Randall Cobb. Green Bay really needs an ILB and with three talented ones likely available in this First Round, the Cheeseheads will probably get a chance to land a really good one. And they will. It’s the Green Bay way.


NFL Draft Order #30: Seattle Seahawks
Needs: OL, DL, TE, DB
The Pick: Jalen Collins, CB, LSU
Other Top Prospects: DB Kevin Johnson (Wake Forest), TE Devin Funchess (Michigan), TE Nick O’Leary (FSU), OL TJ Clemmings (Pittsburgh), OL Brandon Scherff (Iowa), OL Cedric Ogbuehi (Texas A&M), OL Andrus Peat (Stanford), DB Kevin Johnson (Wake Forest)
The Skinny: Injuries and flight may change the Seahawks (12-4) vaunted secondary, so, with many of the good OL and DL probably already drafted, Seattle may pick a talented DB, maybe Another Dude Named Collins (Jalen) from LSU to help ensure the NFL’s best defense stays deep and talented. Le magnifique.


NFL Draft Order #31: New England Patriots
Needs: WR, DL, RB
The Pick: Sammie Coates, WR, Auburn
Other Top Prospects: DL Arik Armstead (Oregon), DL Eddie Goldman (FSU), DL Shane Ray (Missouri), RB Melvin Gordon (Wisconsin), RB Tim Gurley (Georgia), RB Tevin Coleman (Indiana), WR Kevin White (WV), WR DeVante Parker (Louisville), WR Jaelen Strong, (ASU)
The Skinny: The Super Bowl champion Patriots (12-4) may be picking last in this First Round but New England will definitely be landing a top-notch guy who will play a big part of this team’s Future. Mark my words. With maybe all, or a least most, of the Other Top Prospects above taken by other teams, the Patriots may choose Auburn WR Sammie Coates to go along with QB Tom Brady’s current WRs Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola and Brandon LaFell, and continue to Pass-Pass-Pass their way to another NFL championship game.


NFL Draft Order #32: Buffalo Bills
Needs: S, LB, QB, RB
The Pick: No First Round Pick (#19, Traded to Cleveland Browns)
Top Prospects: QB Brett Hundley (UCLA), S Landon Collins (Alabama), S Gerod Holliman (Louisville), S Derron Smith (Fresno State), ILB Benardrick McKinney (Mississippi State), LB Denzel Perryman (Miami, Florida), RB Melvin Gordon (Wisconsin), RB Tim Gurley (Georgia), Ameer Abdullah (Nebraska), RB Jay Ajayi (Boise State)
The Skinny: Buffalo has some good young working parts on offense (QB EJ Manuel, RB CJ Spiller, WR Sammy Watkins) but the Bills still have room for improvement and will need to make its picks in this Draft really count, being the only team without a First Round selection. Buffalo (9-7) gets the #51 Pick in the Second Round and will now be coached by the affable Rex Ryan. Hopefully the snow in Buffalo melts by Week 1 in early September.

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