The big question sports bettors have surrounding the NFL Draft this year is whether the Buccaneers will select Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota with the #1 pick April 30.
After 50 straight years of being held at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall, the 2015 NFL Draft is moving to Chicago this year and is scheduled to be held from April 30 to May 2 at the Windy City’s historic Auditorium Theater and will be televised on the NFL Network. So, over the next two months or so, the NFL’s 32 teams will continue to reshape their squads for the coming season—which begins with the Super Bowl champions New England Patriots hosting the NFL Kickoff Game on Thursday, Sept. 10 (CBS)—with Free Agency beginning on March 10 and Super Bowl 50 scheduled for sunday, Feb. 7 in Santa Clara, California’s new Levi’s Stadium.
Some of the order and players selected in this draft will have their future employers, homes and eventual paydays will be determined by who the Tampa Buccaneers take with the #1 pick, and, desperately needing a QB to build around, and it seems the Swashbucklers are going to choose between one of two Heisman Trophy winners—Florida State’s Jameis Winston and Oregon’s Marcus Mariota. Two weeks ago here, we compared Mariota and Winston head-to-head in a number of different categories and because of the Ducks’ former signal-caller’s Head, Speed and Hand Size, we determined that he would be a better choice for a calmer, long-term influence behind center in Tampa. So, based on the presumption that the Buccaneers would find those qualities a bit more admirable overall for their Future QB, here’s a Mock First Round Draft with Mr. Mariota going first.
Mock Draft Order
1 Tampa Bay Buccaneers—Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
2 Tennessee Titans—Leonard Williams, DT, USC
3 Jacksonville Jaguars—Dante Fowler, DE, Florida
4 Oakland Raiders—Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
5 Washington Redskins—Randy Gregory, DE, Nebraska
6 New York Jets—Jameis Winston, QB, FSU
7 Chicago Bears—Danny Shelton, DT, Washington
8 Atlanta Falcons—Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson
9 New York Giants—Brandon Scherff, OL, Iowa
10 St. Louis Rams—Kevin White, WR, West Virginia
11 Minnesota Vikings—DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville
12 Cleveland Browns—La’El Collins, OL, LSU
13 New Orleans Saints—Shane Ray, DE, Missouri
14 Miami Dolphins—Trae Waynes, CB Michigan State
15 San Francisco 49ers—Jaelen Strong, WR, ASU
16 Houston Texans—Arik Armstead, DL, Oregon
17 San Diego Chargers—Malcolm Brown, DT, Texas
18 Kansas City Chiefs—Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin
19 Cleveland Browns (via Buffalo)—Alvin Dupree, DE, Kentucky
20 Philadelphia Eagles—Landon Collins, S, Alabama
21 Cincinnati Bengals—Shaq Thompson, OLB, Washington
22 Pittsburgh Steelers—Marcus Peters, CB, Washington
23 Detroit Lions—Jordan Phillips, DT, Oklahoma
24 Arizona Cardinals—TJ Clemmings, OT, Pittsburgh
25 Carolina Panthers—Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford
26 Baltimore Ravens—PJ Williams, CB, FSU
27 Dallas Cowboys—Eddie Goldman, DT, FSU
28 Denver Broncos—Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Oklahoma
29 Indianapolis Colts—Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia
30 Green Bay Packers—Eric Kendricks, ILB, UCLA
31 Seattle Seahawks—Jalen Collins, CB, LSU
32 New England Patriots—Sammie Coates, WR, Auburn
Besides the whole Mariota-Winston storyline, there are some other hidden things in this Mock Draft which were affected by the play of some likely First Round picks at the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis which wrapped up earlier this evening. Clemson OLB Vic Beasley did enough to impress to make me think he may have moved up some and may now crack the Top 10 while West Virginia WR Kevin White blazed to a 4.30 in the 40-yard dash and had an overall impressive Combine. But whether or not that was enough to lift White past Alabama’s Amari Cooper and maybe land in Oakland with the #5 pick is another thing. I still think the Raiders take Cooper and give QB David Carr a nice player he can grow with in the Future with the Silver and Black.
Another guy whose stock really rose at the combine was LSU OL La’El Collins, although the Tigers OL was already pretty highly-regarded headed in to Naptown. Michigan State CB Trae Waynes also impressed this past week, and probably made himself some more money with the reputation he’s starting to gain. And Arizona State WR Jaelen Strong also had a nice showing, and although he might not be chosen ahead of Louisville’s DeVante Parker, the now former Sun Devil pretty much cemented that he will be taken in the First Round in Chicago. Oh, oh, oh, oh oh, you don’t have to go, oh, oh, oh, oh.