With five weeks of football in the books, we’ve started to see every team’s holes, which could be addressed through the draft. Since the previous NFL Mock Draft posted on September 23, some needs have changed for specific teams while others have stayed exactly the same.
1. Oakland Raiders – Texas A&M OT Cedric Ogbuehi: Oakland fired their head coach Dennis Allen prior the team’s bye week. Interim coach Tony Sparano takes over as the team quietly searches for a new commander. Derek Carr is the future and protecting him is priority number one in Oakland. Drafting Ogbuehi is the first step in the Raiders’ path toward that goal of keeping Carr healthy and improving their offensive line. The recent trend of Aggies’ offensive lineman going near the top of the NFL Draft continues in 2015. Jake Matthews was drafted sixth overall in 2014 and Luke Joeckel went second overall one year earlier.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars – USC DT Leonard Williams: The Jaguars’ are ranked 31st overall in total offense and 32nd overall in total defense. Fortunately, their circumstances of being bad benefits them because they can draft the best player on the board. Any player selected will serve an immediate need regardless to what side of the football they choose. Williams is a fierce competitor with the talent to go number one overall. Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley will have his first true defensive piece to build around.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Iowa OT Brandon Scherff: The Josh McCown experiment failed for head coach Lovie Smith. Second-year quarterback Mike Glennon has already replaced the journeymen signal-caller and has shown he can be the future in Tampa Bay. That means no Marcus Mariota in the sunshine state. I feel the Buccaneers will address their offensive or defensive line with the third pick overall.
4. St. Louis Rams – Oregon QB Marcus Mariota: The Rams remind me of the 2013 Cleveland Browns from a quarterback stand-point. The Browns had Brian Hoyer play great in limited duty, and Cleveland drafted Johnny Manziel in the first round one year later. Austin Davis is a good quarterback but will the team show enough faith to make him the long-term answer? Probably not. Mariota gets the nod and heads to St. Louis.
5. New York Jets – Florida State DE/DT Eddie Goldman: The defense is as good as any with Rex Ryan running the show in New York and the offense is nonexistent, with the offensive line long in the tooth. That said, the offense isn’t as bad as it looks and winning football for Ryan revolves around the defense. The size and strength of Goldman can be utilized on the interior of the Jets tough defense.
6. Washington Redskins – Iowa DT/DE Carl Davis: The Washington Redskins have a bad habit of being down early in games. The defensive line needs an impact player to allow the linebackers to flow better to the football. Davis is that guy for Washington, as he stands at 6’5 and 315 pounds and is the anchor of the Hawkeyes’ defense. Davis is strong and wins at the point attack and rarely is he moved off the football. One of the best players I’ve scouted this season. Great intangibles.
7. Cleveland Browns – Alabama WR Amari Cooper: Next year it’s hard to imagine the Browns bypassing the receiver position again in the draft, especially with two first-round picks in 2015. Cooper is second in the nation in receiving yards (746), and his quickness off the snap and first-step acceleration make him difficult to defend.
8. Kansas City Chiefs – Washington DE Danny Shelton: This might surprise you a little bit. Since Andy Reid has become a head coach in 1999, he has addressed the defensive line more than any other position in round one of the NFL Draft. Defensive linemen rank first with nine selections overall while offensive linemen rank second with four. Currently, Shelton leads the Huskies with 46 tackles, 10 tackles-for-loss and seven sacks. Shelton ranks third nationally in both categories.
9. Cleveland Browns – Clemson OLB Vic Beasley: Barkevious Mingo has not exactly been a sack machine for the Cleveland Browns. Drafted in the first round in 2013, Mingo has one sack in his last 11 games and five total in his short career. Cleveland will hope Mingo emerges before they need to make this move, but at this point it helps the defense. Beasley is one of the most talented players in the entire group. His speed off the edge will keep him in the top 10 of the draft next year.
10. Houston Texans – Washington CB Marcus Peters: Houston elected not to address quarterback early this past draft and the trend continues next year. The team ranks 21st in pass defense and their best defensive back Johnathan Joseph enters his 10th season in 2015. The idea of Houston drafting a quarterback will receive plenty of well-deserved attention. Although, at the end of the day, head coach Bill O’Brien will develop the current group of quarterbacks on the roster that include Ryan Mallett and Tom Savage.
11. Tennessee Titans – Florida State QB Jameis Winston: Jake Locker can’t stay healthy and is not consistent enough when he does play for the Titans not to look for another quarterback. Winston has some baggage with off-the-field issues, but in terms of intangibles as an NFL quarterback he has all the tools needed.
12. Minnesota Vikings – Nebraska DE Randy Gregory: Rookie Anthony Barr has looked good this season and adding another talented player like Gregory to the defense is a smart move. Jared Allen and Kevin Williams have both moved on in the twilight of their respected careers, leaving the Vikings’ to rebuild on defense. Gregory would be another solid addition.
13. New Orleans Saints – Georgia RB Todd Gurley: The weird thing about the Saints’ passing game is their dependency on tight ends and running backs. Early this season the absence of running back Darren Sproles, who was traded to Philadelphia, has hampered the offense. Gurley is the total package. He can run, catch and also return kicks. Sean Payton would create a monster with this kid in-house.
14. Atlanta Falcons – Alabama S Landon Collins: The offensive line ravaged by injuries will return next season so dismiss the notion they are taking o-line in round one. Collins is a special player and general manager Thomas Dimitroff likes difference-makers. Collins fits the bill.
15. Chicago Bears – Michigan State DE Shilique Calhoun: The Bears are old on defense. Really, really old. Defensive starters Jared Allen, Charles Tillman, D.J. Williams, Lance Briggs and Jay Ratliff are all at least 32 years old. Tillman was just placed on injured reserve, ending his season, and leaving the Bears without one of their top players. An influx of youth is a must for the Bears.
16. Miami Dolphins – Baylor OT Spencer Drango: Miami’s offensive line has been in shambles since the Jonathan Martin/Richie Incognito incident last year. The Dolphins’ ability to dominate up front is not their strength, and Drango is a big, athletic kid who can add depth. Drango brings versatility and stability to the offensive line.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers – Florida State CB P.J. Williams: Ike Taylor will be 35 years old next May and currently is hurt with an elbow injury. The Steelers’ defense at this point is desperate for secondary help. Allowing big plays via the pass has hurt this team. Williams has the athleticism and instincts in coverage as well as the physicality to make an impact in run support.
18. Detroit Lions – Ohio State DT Michael Bennett: A few years back, everyone envisioned the Lions boasting one of the best defensive fronts in the NFL. The team built through the draft, adding Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairly and Ziggy Ansah over the last five years. Suh enters the final year of his contract with Detroit and Fairley has been a disappointment. Meanwhile, Ansah looks like the real deal moving forward. Next year, the Lions should select Buckeyes defensive tackle Bennett and start the rebuilding process along the interior of the defense.
19. Dallas Cowboys – Florida DE/OLB Dante Fowler Jr.: Replacing Cowboys’ star DeMarcus Ware, who left via free agency to Denver, is priority number one. Fowler Jr. is a talented player in the mold of Ware who has excellent pass-rushing ability.
20. New York Giants – Baylor DE Shawn Oakman: The Giants are in a position to grab a player with tremendous upside with the 20th overall pick. Oakman began his career at Penn State, but off-field issues and poor grades led then-head-coach Bill O’Brien to dismiss him. But he falls into the category of just being to good to pass up.
21. Baltimore Ravens – Louisville DE Lorenzo Mauldin: Terrell Suggs is as good as it gets in the NFL. But next season, Suggs will enter his 13th season in the league and general manager Ozzie Newsome should prepare for his eventual exit. The Ravens’ starting outside linebackers average around 6-foot-1 and 260 pounds. Mauldin is 6-foot-4 and 246 pounds and fits the scheme in Baltimore.
22. San Francisco 49ers – Auburn WR Sammie Coates: Nothing has changed since the last mock draft regarding San Francisco. One thing the 49ers’ offense does not have is speed. They are tough and physical, but never will be described as fast, but that is about to change. Coates reportedly has been clocked in the 4.3s in the 40-yard dash and his speed will bring another dimension to the Niners’ offense. Anquan Boldin is nearing the end of his career and Michael Crabtree is in the final year of his rookie contract.
23. Philadelphia Eagles – LSU OT La’el Collins: Philadelphia’s offensive line has three starters playing in their 10th NFL season. Also, it is worth mentioning that Lane Johnson, the fourth overall pick in the 2013 draft, missed the first four games after testing positive for banned performance-enhancing drugs. Collins in a mauler on the field and possesses the versatility to spend time at guard or tackle for the Eagles.
24. Indianapolis Colts – Ohio State DE/OLB Noah Spence: Spence is a special athlete with good change of direction ability to avoid blocks. The rookie will be groomed to replace veteran Robert Mathis, who has thrived at outside linebacker after playing most of his career at defensive end. Spence will learn a lot from the Pro-Bowler.
25. Arizona Cardinals – Michigan State QB Conner Cook: Head coach Bruce Arians should put the wheels in motion to replace Carson Palmer. Hogan is a big, strong-armed quarterback who Arians can mold into his next Ben Roethlisberger. Drew Stanton and Logan Thomas are solid back-ups but competing in the tough NFC West, the Cardinals need to have an elite talent to groom at quarterback.
26. Carolina Panthers – Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon: Undrafted rookie Darrin Reaves from Alabama-Birmingham started at running back against the Chicago Bears this past week. The Panthers have plenty of running backs on their roster, but they do not amount to much. Their leading rusher in 2013, DeAngelo Williams, will be 32 years old in 2015. Jonathan Stewart can not avoid nagging injuries, robbing him of being a consistent threat. In 2015, Carolina should draft Gordon, who is a big-play waiting to happen on the field. His burst and vision are the hallmarks of his skill set.
27. New England Patriots – UCLA DT Ellis McCarthy: The urge to have the Patriots’ draft some of the talented receivers still left on the board was extremely hard to ignore. The recent uproar for the lack of talent around Tom Brady has caused quite a stir nationally. Bill Belichick is not going to cave to what the media thinks the Patriots need on the roster. Vince Wilfork has been New England’s go-to-guy since being drafted in 2004, but Belichick should look ahead and find his eventual replacement by drafting McCarthy. He is a space-eater with the ability to collapse the pocket.
28. San Diego Chargers – Missouri DE Shane Ray: The Chargers’ implement the 3-4 scheme on defense using tweener, defensive end/outside linebacker-type players. Ray is similar to the style of player San Diego is looking for defensively. Starter Jarret Johnson turns 34 next year and his back-up Dwight Freeney will be 35 years old. Melvin Ingram, the team’s first round pick in 2012, is as talented as they come, but constant injuries have robbed him of making any real impact so the Chargers will be seeking help at the position.
29. Green Bay Packers – Washington OLB Shaq Thompson: The Huskies’ linebacker is everywhere on the field. In all facets of the game, you see Thompson making an impact. That is exactly what Green Bay needs, another player besides Clay Matthews who can change the game and make plays. Thompson is a bit undersized but overall his production and ability is too much to ignore.
30. Cincinnati Bengals – Oregon CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu: Cincinnati does not seem to have many areas of need offensively. However, the defense could use some touch-up paint in the secondary. The Bengals drafted Alabama’s Dre Kirkpatrick in 2012 and the jury is still out on if he is a bust or not. Bengals defensive coordinator Paul Guenther has an arsenal of smaller, quick cornerbacks on the roster. Ekper-Olomu fits the mold to perfection.
31. Denver Broncos – Washington DE/OLB Hau’oli Kikaha: The Broncos signed DeMarcus Ware to replace Elvis Dumervil, whom they lost via free agency in 2012. Kikaha will be groomed to replace Ware, who enters the twilight of his career in Denver. Named to the preseason watch list for the Bednarik Award (given to the top defensive player), Kikaha is relentless in pursuing the quarterback.
32. Seattle Seahawks – Michigan TE/WR Devin Funchess: Seattle has a lot of options with the last pick of round one. Adding new pieces to the defensive line isn’t out of the question and may very well happen. But I think if a player like Funchess remains on the board this late, he ends up in Seattle. Either at tight end or receiver, Funchess has been one of the most productive Wolverines over the last two years. At 6’5 and 230 pounds, Funchess instantly is an overwhelming mismatch for linebackers. His initial burst off the line for a guy his size is impressive.
Buccaneers admit mistake, boot Aguayo
Source: Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk
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Did Bucs put too much pressure on Aguayo?
Source: Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk
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Broncos holding their breath on Derek Wolfe
Source: Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk
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