2015 NFL Draft: Instant Analysis

1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Projected Pick: QB Jameis Winston, Florida State
Actual Pick: QB Jameis Winston, Florida State

This was the only pick that made sense. With the new NFL rookie salary cap, blowing a top ten pick will not set a franchise back five years. Winston is a leader on the field and a good fit for a pro style offense. He is a huge risk because of turnovers and off the field concerns, but the Buccaneers just had to roll the dice here. It is simply too difficult to land a franchise quarterback.


2. Tennessee Titans
Projected Pick: QB Marcus Mariota, Oregon
Actual Pick: QB Marcus Mariota, Oregon

I still think Mariota will be dealt, but otherwise I agree with the pick. I have serious reservations about Mariota, but he is still an upgrade over Zach Mettenberger. It is simply too hard to find a quarterback. The Titans are several pieces away from contending, however.


3. Jacksonville Jaguars
Projected Pick: DE/DT Leonard Williams, USC
Actual Pick: DE Dante Fowler, Florida

Fowler was long rumored to be the pick in Jacksonville. I do not like taking him over Leonard Williams, but Williams somewhat duplicates what new tackle Jared Odrick provides. Fowler is a great all around end, and does not have much bust potential, thanks to his non stop motor and ability to stop the run as well as rush the quarterback.


4. Oakland Raiders
Projected Pick: WR Amari Cooper, Alabama
Actual Pick: WR Amari Cooper, Alabama

It's strange to see the Raiders draft well. Long gone are the Al Davis days of drafting Darrius Heyward-Bey's in the first round. Amari Cooper might not ever be an All Pro, but is an extremely safe bet to have at least a Reggie Wayne/Torry Holt like career. The arrow is pointing up for Derek Carr and Oakland's offense. Now, only if they could successfully sign free agents.....


5. Washington Redskins
Projected Pick: DE/DT Leonard Williams, USC
Actual Pick: OG/OT Brandon Scherff, Iowa

I am shocked that Leonard Williams is still on the board. The Redskins clearly are drafting for need, and Scherff should slide right in at right tackle and give Washington a powerful run blocker.


6. New York Jets
Projected Pick: DE/DT Leonard Williams, USC
Actual Pick: DE/DT Leonard Williams, USC

As a Dolphins fan, I am disgusted that Leonard Williams fell into New York's lap. He was, by far, the best player available, even though he does not fill a major need. I think Todd Bowles is creative enough to find snaps for Williams, Sheldon Richardson and Muhammad Wilkerson. Sure, the Jets needed a pass rusher, receiver and offensive lineman, but he was simply too good to pass up.


7. Chicago Bears
Projected Pick: WR Kevin White, West Virginia
Actual Pick: WR Kevin White, West Virginia

An obvious pick. White has Brandon Marshall size, and should step in and immediately produce. A late bloomer as a junior college transfer, White was more than just a product of the system. Wide receivers have suddenly become instant producers as rookies. I think Alshon Jeffery is more of a complimentary type, and White could be that top dog.


8. Atlanta Falcons
Projected Pick: DE/OLB Alvin Dupree, Kentucky
Actual Pick: OLB Vic Beasley, Clemson

The Falcons were clearly going to go with a pass rusher or offensive lineman. With Brandon Scherff off the board, outside linebacker was an easy choice. I think Vic Beasley is a one trick pony, but that trick (getting after the quarterback) is a monster need for the Falcons. I believe he is too small to hold up against the run, but Dan Quinn has his next Bruce Irvin as far as a pass rushing specialist goes.


9. New York Giants
Projected Pick: OT Ereck Flowers, Miami
Actual Pick: OT Ereck Flowers, Miami

Nailed this pick. Flowers was talked about all day as a top ten pick, and here he is. The Giants were not shy with their plan to draft offensive line early. Flowers has prototypical offensive tackle size. He is a great run blocker, and could actually move inside to guard. He might not have star potential, but should be able to step in and produce right away.


10. St. Louis Rams
Projected Pick: OT Andrus Peat, Stanford
Actual Pick: RB Todd Gurley, Georgia

I think Todd Gurley is the best running back to come out since Adrian Peterson, but he will have his work cut out for him behind one of the NFL's worst offensive lines. Still though, Gurley is the rare "foundation back", and Jeff Fisher has to have thoughts of Eddie George here. The days of "The Greatest Show on Turf" are long gone.


11. Minnesota Vikings
Projected Pick: CB Trae Waynes, Michigan State
Actual Pick: CB Trae Waynes, Michigan State

Probably the most popular mock draft selection, it made too much sense not to happen. Waynes is the best cornerback in this class and a fantastic fit opposite Xavier Rhodes in Mike Zimmer's defense. If Teddy Bridgewater can take a substantial step during his second year, the Vikings could make playoff noise.


12. Cleveland Browns
Projected Pick: DT Danny Shelton, Washington
Actual Pick: DT Danny Shelton, Washington

DeVante Parker would have filled a big need, but there will be plenty of receivers available later on. Shelton is the best run defender in the draft, and does have the ability to stay on the field in passing downs. The defense was a mess when they lost Phil Taylor last season.


13. New Orleans Saints
Projected Pick: DE/OLB Alvin Dupree, Kentucky
Actual Pick: OT Andrus Peat, Stanford

A surprise at first glance, but it makes sense. The Saints off season moves have shown that the team plans on implementing a strong running attack as Drew Brees winds down his career. Peat joins newcomer Max Unger on what is suddenly a much improved offensive line. Peat had sloppy tape as a junior, but I think he has is the best bet to become a 10 year starter at offensive tackle.


14. Miami Dolphins
Projected Pick: WR DeVante Parker, Louisville
Actual Pick: WR DeVanter Parker, Louisville

The Dolphins have to be ecstatic that they did not have to trade up and still landed one of the top receivers in this class. Miami had the most overpaid group of receivers last year, and this year will trot out Kenny Stills, DeVante Parker, Jarvis Landry and Greg Jennings. Ryan Tannehill is out of excuses.


Cutting this short. Thanks everyone!

Jonathan Carrano

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