In just a few short hours, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be on the clock and the 2015 NFL Draft will officially be underway. With multiple teams either attempting to trade up or down early in the draft, I took one last swing at projecting all 32 first-round picks. Here’s what I came up with:
1. Tampa Bay: QB Jameis Winston
Barring a jaw-dropping last second trade, Winston will be the first player selected in the 2015 Draft. If he can stay out of trouble away from the field, Winston has all of tools necessary to be a franchise quarterback.
2. Philadelphia (via Tennessee): QB Marcus Mariota
The Eagles make the move of the draft and Chip Kelly gets his quarterback. The Eagles trade pick 20, pick 52, a 2016 1st round pick, a 2016 3rd round pick, Fletcher Cox and Mychal Kendricks to the Titans. Under his old college head coach, Mariota will have the opportunity to be an elite NFL quarterback.
3. Jacksonville: OLB Dante Fowler Jr.
There’s no better defensive fit in the draft than Dante Fowler Jr. and the Jaguars. They’ll likely add a receiver on day two of the draft. Watch out for the Jaguars this year.
4. Oakland: WR Amari Cooper
The Raiders could go a couple of ways with this pick. They’re trying to build around Derrek Carr, and Cooper is the best overall receiver in this draft.
5. Washington: DT Leonard Williams
Perhaps the best player in the draft, Williams falls into the lap of the Redskins. The USC standout will be a force for years to come.
6. New York Jets: OLB Vic Beasley
They may look to trade out of this pick, but the Jets need a pass rusher and Vic Beasley is the best at his position in this draft. The Jets will have an elite defense during the 2015 season.
7. Chicago: WR Kevin White
The Bears need a replacement for Brandon Marshall, and they are also reportedly shopping tight end Martellus Bennett to interested teams. White has more potential than any other receiver in this draft, and he’ll form a dangerous duo with Alshon Jeffery.
8. New Orleans (via Atlanta): OLB Bud Dupree
The Saints move up to the 8th overall pick by trading pick 13 and pick 44 to the Falcons. They need an edge rusher, and Dupree, while currently a bit raw, has the potential to be an annual pro-bowler.
9. New York Giants: OL Brandon Scherff
With the two top receivers already off the board, this pick becomes much simpler for the Giants. Scherff is the most powerful offensive linemen in this draft, and he’ll make an immediate impact on a line that’s struggled recently.
10. Miami (via St. Louis): WR DeVante Parker
Miami acquires the 10th pick from St. Louis for pick 14 and pick 114. Parker is reportedly cherished by the decision-makers in the Dolphins’ organization, and the Louisville standout is the easy choice here.
11. Minnesota: CB Trae Waynes
The Vikings need help at cornerback, and they add in the best one in the draft at pick 11. Waynes is a physical player and will prosper under head coach Mike Zimmer.
12. Cleveland: DT Danny Shelton
The Browns need a receiver, but here they take one of the largest prospects in the draft. Shelton is a stud, and he’ll anchor Mike Pettine’s defense.
13. Atlanta (via New Orleans): RB Todd Gurley
Atlanta received pick 13 and pick 44 from the Saints for the 8th overall pick. The Falcons need to generate a consistent running game, and here they add the draft’s best running back. Gurley being drafted in the top 15 will be one of the storylines following the first round.
14. St. Louis (via Miami): OL Ereck Flowers
The Rams traded their original 10th overall pick to Miami for pick 14 and pick 114. St. Louis has holes on its offensive line, and they reportedly love Flowers. He’ll make an immediate impact.
15. San Francisco: DT Arik Armstead
The 49ers covet Armstead, and he’s the obvious choice at pick 15. The Oregon star will anchor a front-seven that’s in the process of rebuilding.
16. Houston: WR Dorial Green-Beckham
The Texans will reportedly take the best player available at pick 16, and I think it’ll likely be Green-Beckham. The Texans have a need at the receiver position, and while he has his struggles away from the field, Green-Beckham could blossom into a star once in the NFL.
17. San Diego: RB Melvin Gordon
The Chargers need help at the running back position. While I’m sure they’re secretly hoping that Todd Gurley is still available at pick 17, here they take the draft’s second-ranked running back. I’m lower on Melvin Gordon than most people, but many teams have him high on their draft boards.
18. Kansas City: CB Kevin Johnson
This pick could go several directions, but the Chiefs undoubtedly need help at cornerback. While he’s not discussed as frequently as he should be, Johnson has the ability to be a top-tier corner in the NFL.
19. Cleveland: WR Breshad Perriman
After improving the defense with their first pick of the first round, the Browns will have their sights set on a wide receiver at pick 19. Perriman doesn’t have the most consistent hands, but his speed gives him the potential to be a star at the next level.
20. Tennessee (via Philadelphia): OL D.J. Humphries
The Titans traded the 2nd overall pick to the Eagles for pick 20, pick 52, a 2016 1st round pick, Fletcher Cox, and Mychal Kendricks. Tennessee needs an offensive tackle, and Humphries will make an immediate impact.
21. Cincinnati: OL Andrus Peat
The Bengals need to protect Andy Dalton better this coming season, and Peat is a great fit here. The Stanford star should be a day-one starter in the NFL.
22. Pittsburgh: CB Byron Jones
The Steelers have a couple of holes to fill, but the most important is cornerback. Jones is one of my favorite prospects in this draft, and he’ll thrive in a defense that’s looking to get younger.
23. New England (via Detroit): DT Malcom Brown
New England moves up to the 23rd overall pick by trading the Lions pick 32 and pick 97. They lost Vince Wilfork in free agency, and Brown is an excellent replacement.
24. Arizona: CB Marcus Peters
The Cardinals could go a couple of ways with their first round pick, but here they take perhaps the most talented cornerback in this draft. Peters is extremely physical, and he’ll be mentored by Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu. If you can stay out of trouble, Peters will be a pro-bowler.
25. Carolina: OL Cedric Ogbuehi
Cam Newton seemed to spend half of the 2014 season on the ground. The Panthers need to protect him better, and here they add a player who’s sky-rocketed up draft boards in the weeks prior to the draft. Though he suffered a major knee injury in December, Ogbuehi is an excellent athlete and will be a great lineman if he can remain healthy.
26. Baltimore: WR Nelson Agholor
The Ravens need to replace recently-departed Torrey Smith, and they use pick 26 to add a receiver who’s widely considered to have the best hands in the draft. Agholor will soon be Joe Flacco’s favorite target.
27. Dallas: OLB Shane Ray
The Cowboys need a pass rusher, and Ray may be the most pure pass-rusher in this draft. He was recently cited for marijuana possession, and he’s reportedly dealing with an injured foot. However, he has top 10 talent and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is known for taking chances on players with off-the-field issues.
28. Denver: OL Cameron Erving
I almost slotted a defensive tackle for the Broncos at pick 28, but Peyton Manning is on the homestretch of his career and Denver needs to win now. With that in mind, I think they use their first round pick to bolster the unit that protects Manning.
29. Indianapolis: S Landon Collins
The Colts have reportedly targeted Arizona State safety Damarious Randall, but I’m not sure they’ll be able to pass on Collins, a better overall player, if he slips to pick 29.
30. Jacksonville (via Green Bay): WR Phillip Dorsett
The Packers trade out of their first round pick and receive pick 36 and pick 103. The Jaguars move back into the first round, and here they draft a receiver that can take the top off of any defense.
31. New Orleans: QB Bryce Petty
In what would be one of the more shocking moves of the entire draft, the Saints take a quarterback with their second pick of the first round. Drew Brees is 36 years old, and Petty has all the tools to be the next franchise quarterback in New Orleans.
32. Detroit (via New England): OL Jake Fisher
Detroit traded the 23rd overall pick in the first round for pick 32 and pick 97. The Lions need to improve their offensive line, and Fisher is one of the best athletes at the position in this draft.
Fun fact: The New York Times recently said that a Huddle report studied 115 different mocks of last season’s draft. NONE of the 115 mocks had more than eight players slotted to the correct team. Let’s see if we can change that tonight.
Follow Sidelines and Headline creator Ray Butler on Twitter: @RayButlerII