Thursday, April 16, 2015

2015 NFL Mock Draft With Projected Trades

With yesterday's overview of team needs and the likelihood of teams wanting to move up or down the board, I now present my 2015 NFL mock draft.

Before I get to it, I examined a couple of references to determine the best way for teams who want to move up, to make those moves, which are Chase Stuart's draft value chart, alongside Jimmy Johnson's draft pick values, and Over the Cap's projected compensatory picks for 2016, which plays as much a role in determining which teams might be willing to part with a pick in next year's draft (as will be the case with one team I have making a move up the board in the first round).
In most cases, I considered the biggest needs for a team, but in a few cases, I went with players teams might find too good to pass up, particularly if another need is filled.

Now let's get the party started.

1. Tampa Bay - Jameis Winston, QB
Reasoning: Every indicator is that the Bucs will go with Winston as their top choice. Quarterback is a need, as the Bucs are clearly not sold on Mike Glennon.

2. Tennessee - Leonard Williams, DE
Reasoning: I really believe the Titans should select Marcus Mariota. However, I suspect they will lean toward a player who can adapt to any scheme, which is a good thing if a regime change ever takes place. Willliams is that type of player.

3. Jacksonville - Vic Beasley, OLB
Reasoning - Sure, Dante Fowler Jr. is right there, but we've seen how Jaguars GM David Caldwell operates. Nobody was expecting him to take Blake Bortles in 2014, and that's exactly what he did. It would not surprise me to see Caldwell opt for another top-rated pass rusher.

4. Oakland - Kevin White, WR
Reasoning: The Raiders could take Fowler if they wanted him, but I think it makes more sense to get a playmaker for the offense. That's what White gives the team

Washington trades the No. 5 pick to Cleveland for the No. 12 pick, the No. 43 (2nd round) pick, and the No. 147 (5th round) pick.
Reasoning: Washington would really benefit from moving down the board, as their biggest needs are at positions at which they can get better value by moving down, plus they need additional picks for depth. Cleveland is likely trying to make that final push to the playoffs, and isn't sold on Johnny Manziel. This trades gives Washington 1,702.6 points in return. You can probably see the pick that's coming

5. Cleveland  - Marcus Mariota, QB
Reasoning: Given that the Browns aren't sold on Manziel, I expect them to make the strongest push to move up for Mariota. The Browns could then put Manziel on the trading block, seeking a mid-round pick in 2015 and a conditional pick in 2016.

6. New York Jets - Dante Fowler Jr., OLB
Reasoning: It would surprise some if Fowler fell to the Jets, but if that happens, he's an easy pick for them. Fowler gives new head coach Todd Bowles a quality pass rusher.

7. Chicago - Arik Armstead, DT
Reasoning: It might be considered a reach, but the defensive line is where the Bears need the most help. Trading down is certainly an option, but I don't know think they'll be able to make a move down the board.

8. Atlanta - Shane Ray, DE
Reasoning: It would be surprising if the Falcons didn't take a pass rusher in the first round. Ray is the best one available at this point.

The New York Giants trade the No. 9 overall pick to New Orleans for the No. 13 pick and the No. 78 (3rd round from Dolphins) pick.
Reasoning: The Giants need to move down the board to get better value at the positions at which they need the most help. With the top pass rushers going off the board, and New Orleans needing defensive help, they move up, knowing they have the picks to work with. As it turns out, the pick they deal is the one they got from Miami in the Kenny Stills trade, and the value points come out perfectly for the No. 9 overall pick (1,350 points).

9. New Orleans - Bud Dupree, OLB
Reasoning: Dupree's stock is rising and there will likely be some teams wanting to move up the board if they covet one. The Saints make the move to get a player who will help.

10. St. Louis - D.J. Humphries, OT
Reasoning: While I had considered Brandon Schrieff here, it seems more likely that the Rams will select an offensive tackle instead. Humphries is one of the top-rated tackles.

11. Minnesota - Brandon Schreff, OG
Reasoning: An offensive tackle could be considered, but the Vikings need help on the interior of the line. Schreff is considered the best overall offensive  lineman in the draft.

12. Washington - La'El Collins, OT
Reasoning: Any offensive tackle might be considered a reach in the top five this year, but Washington gets better value and immediate help up front.

13. New York Giants - Landon Collins, S
Reasoning: The best safety in the draft is exactly the type of player the Giants need, and he's better value at this point.

14. Miami - Amari Cooper, WR
Reasoning: The best pass rushers are off the board, and the Dolphins are certainly looking to make that final push to the playoffs. So I would expect them to go for the best receiver available. I imagine the Dolphins would be thrilled if Cooper fell this far.

15. San Francisco - Trae Waynes, CB
Reasoning: Cornerback is the biggest need for the Niners, and this is about the right spot to take the highest-rated corner on the board.

Houston trades the No. 16 overall pick to Baltimore for the No. 26 pick, the No. 90 (3rd round) pick and the Ravens' 2016 fourth-round pick.
Reasoning: It's not often you see the Ravens make such a move, but they are in good position to do so. They enter the draft with 10 total picks, so they are in position to part with one from this year's draft. As for next year's draft, the Ravens gained a fourth-round pick in a trade with the Broncos, and they should get two compensatory picks in that round because of free agent departures (check the compensatory draft pick chart for that info). So Baltimore can safely deal its own 2016 fourth rounder.

16. Baltimore - Breshad Perriman, WR
Reasoning: Wide receiver is the Ravens' greatest need and Perriman could be exactly the type to help Joe Flacco succeed. Again, if there ever was a year for Ozzie Newsome to make a bold move, this is the year to do it.

17. San Diego - Andrus Peat, OT
Reasoning: The Chargers no doubt have great interest in Mariota, but I'm not expecting a trade to happen unless it involves multiple draft picks. That's too risky for San Diego, so it makes more sense to draft offensive line help.

18. Kansas City - DeVante Parker, WR
Reasoning: I had considered having the Chiefs move up the board, but they really don't need to. And while defensive line help would be good, I suspect they'll want another receiver to pair with Jeremy Maclin.

19. Cleveland - Danny Shelton, DT
Reasoning: The Browns may need a receiver with Josh Gordon's future in doubt, but Shelton is too good to pass up at this spot, and fills another need.

20. Philadelphia - Jalen Collins, CB
Reasoning: Although cornerback isn't that great of a need, Collins may be too good for the Eagles to pass up.

21. Cincinnati - Danny Gregory, OLB
Reasoning: Teams may shy away from Gregory given his failed marijuana test at the combine, but his talent would be too much for the Bengals to pass up.

22. Pittsburgh - Marcus Peters, CB
Reasoning: Ike Taylor's retirement makes the secondary a major priority for the Steelers. Peters would fill that need.

23. Detroit - Eddie Goldman, DT
Reasoning: The Lions did acquire Haloti Ngata, but could use another defensive lineman, so Goldman makes sense.

24. Arizona - Melvin Gordon, RB
Reasoning: The Cardinals really need pass rushing help, but they can probably find better value in later rounds. Meanwhile, they need a running back and Gordon is the best one available.

25. Carolina - Ereck Flowers, OT
Reasoning: The Panthers need help on the offensive line, perhaps more than any other position.

26. Houston - Eric Kendricks, ILB
Reasoning: Kendricks might be thought of as an early second-round pick, but it's not that much of a reach here.

27. Dallas - Malcom Brown, DT
Reasoning: It would be tempting to take Todd Gurley, but remember that the Cowboys found DeMarco Murray in the third round. Better to get some defensive help and find a running back later.

28. Denver - T.J. Clemmings, OT
Reasoning: The offensive line is where the Broncos need the most help. Clemmings has been compared to Duane Brown, a Texans' offensive linemen when Gary Kubiak was head coach there.

29. Indianapolis - Todd Gurley, RB
Reasoning: The Colts may have signed Frank Gore, but they need a younger running back to pair with him. Gurley is a good fit.

30. Green Bay - Kevin Johnson, CB
Reasoning: Johnson has been compared to another Packers cornerback, Sam Shields. Sounds like the type of player Green Bay would want.

31. New Orleans - Jordan Phillips, DT
Reasoning: Not only could the Saints use a pass rusher, they need a defensive tackle who can stop the run. Phillips can do that well.

32. New England - Byron Jones, CB
Reasoning: Trading out of this spot is a possibility, but I'm not certain somebody will want to move up to this spot. So the Patriots fill their biggest need.

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