Happy NFL Draft Day everyone!
As last minute Mock Draft's abound, the writers at Stampede Blue took a stab at doing a Mock Draft together. We each took control of about seven teams and would only draft for those teams.
With our combined football expertise, I'm sure this Mock will be exactly what happens in the real draft. Ok, maybe not. Without further ado, the Stampede Blue Writer's Mock Draft:
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Pick: Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State
Andrew: Winston is the best quarterback in the draft (and one of the top prospects), and the Bucs need a quarterback badly. He comes from a simplified pro system at Florida State, making his transition to the NFL simpler. Winston makes sense as he can start right away and has the weapons he needs to succeed immediately.
2. Tennessee Titans. The Pick: Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
Matt: You win in this league based on QB play, and the Titans have gone a decade without a franchise QB. They take care of that by drafting Mariota, who isn't an exact fit for Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt's Offense, but was a dynamic playmaker his entire career at Oregon.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars. The Pick: Dante Fowler Jr., DE/OLB, Florida
Stephen: The Jaguars desperately need a pass rusher to make Andrew Luck at least somewhat uncomfortable in the pocket and Fowler is arguably the best OLB/DE in this draft.
4. Oakland Raiders. The Pick: Leonard Williams, DT, USC
Matt: Williams fills a huge need on the D-Line, and wants to play there, something that is a good thing for such a struggling franchise. Having him and Khalil Mack is a great start to becoming the Raiders of old.
5. Washington Redskins. The Pick: Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson
Matt: They need a lot of help on Defense, and he's the best player on the board and will replace Brian Orakpo.
6. New York Jets. The Pick: Bud Dupree, OLB, Kentucky
Stephen: The Jets reach a bit here to snag Bud Dupree but with pass rushers coming off the board it's a must. Their DBs should give the pass rush plenty of time, weird to say I know, and with someone who could marginally produce would make them even better.
7. Chicago Bears. The Pick: Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
Matt: The Bears get to replace Brandon Marshall with their choice of WR.
8. Atlanta Falcons. The Pick: Randy Gregory, DE, Nebraska
Josh: A bit early for Gregory, but the pass rush need and Gregory's talent trumps the off-field concerns here.
9. New York Giants. The Pick: Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa
Ben: Eli Manning was sacked way too much last year. I think Scherff is the best OL in this draft, and a no-brainer pick for the Giants.
10. St. Louis Rams. The Pick: Kevin White, WR, West Virginia
Josh: St. Louis is thrilled that the wideout makes it to them at number ten and they grab a playmaker at the wide receiver position, which they'll likely be looking to address in the draft.
11. Minnesota Vikings. The Pick: DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville
Ben: A mini run on receivers as the Vikings nab Teddy Bridgewater's college receiver. This is also a move that fully makes Cordarrelle Patterson expendable.
12. Cleveland Browns. The Pick: Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State
Ben: The Browns don't necessarily need a corner, but Waynes is the best player available at 12. This puts pressure on Justin Gilbert, whom the Browns took in the first round last year.
13. New Orleans Saints. The Pick: Shane Ray, DE, Missouri
Stephen: The recent issues aside, Shane Ray was considered a top 10 talent and the Saints would be happy to grab such a talent at this spot.
14. Miami Dolphins. The Pick: Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia
Josh: Gurley is clearly the top running back in the draft and perhaps could go higher than this, but the Dolphins take him to add a playmaker to an offense that could be pretty good in 2015.
15. San Francisco 49ers. The Pick: Byron Jones, CB, UConn
Andrew: Jones has great instincts and raw skills making him a good fit for this system. I think he could start immediately and have an instant impact, for a team that desperately needs a playmaker.
16. Houston Texans. The Pick: Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State
Andrew: Strong is the type of player who gives 100% every game, and with his size, strength and speed, he could become a very good receiver in this offense. He's an underrated player who will go earlier than many expect.
17. San Diego Chargers. The Pick: Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford
Matt: Chargers need help immediately at OT, and while Erech Flowers has a bit more upside, they go with the ready-out-of-the-box prospect.
18. Kansas City Chiefs. The Pick: Landon Collins, S, Alabama
Ben: The Chiefs go with an easy choice (I think) and take Landon Collins, S, from Alabama. With the health of Eric Berry still up in the air, safety is a huge need.
19. Cleveland Browns. The Pick: Breshad Perriman, WR, Central Florida
Ben: And at 19 the Browns take Breshad Perriman at WR. With Josh Gordon out of the picture, whoever ends up being the Browns QB needs someone to throw to.
20. Philadelphia Eagles. The Pick: Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest
Josh: The Eagles need help in their secondary, but with a couple of cornerbacks and Landon Collins already gone they turn their attention to Kevin Johnson, who is also a good cornerback who should help at one of Philly's weakest spots.
21. Cincinnati Bengals. The Pick: Malcolm Brown, DT, Texas
Andrew: Brown is a tough, wrecking ball type of player who can really excel next to Geno Atkins.
22. Pittsburgh Steelers. The Pick: Marcus Peters, CB, Washington
Josh: Peters has some off-the-field issues, but he's the best cornerback available and the Steelers really need the help in their secondary. Peters has the potential to be a top-tier corner for Pittsburgh.
23. Detroit Lions. The Pick: La'El Collins, OT, LSU
Stephen: Detroit's offensive line has been shaky and Collins helps rectify their issues immediately. He can play inside and dominate or be a quality RT.
24. Arizona Cardinals. The Pick: Danny Shelton, DT, Washington
Stephen: The Cardinals will be running to the podium faster than their pick's 40 time. In grabbing Shelton they get the top DT in the draft and a guy who can man the NT position for years to come.
25. Carolina Panthers. The Pick: Nelson Agholor, WR, USC
Matt: When your #2 WR is either Ted Ginn, Jerricho Cotchery, or Jarrett Boykin, you desperately need to draft one. Thankfully there is serious depth at WR, and even though 5 of them have been picked already, the Panthers get a nice complement to Kelvin Benjamin.
26. Baltimore Ravens. The Pick: Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin
Stephen: Baltimore grabs the top RB available and someone they likely won't let pass. Gordon is just too good a value at this spot.
27. Dallas Cowboys. The Pick: Jalen Collins, CB, LSU
Andrew: The secondary couldn't quite stop Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. Add in the fact that Morris Claiborne hasn't quite worked out, and this pick makes perfect sense.
28. Denver Broncos. The Pick: Cam Erving, C, Flordia State
Stephen: Erving solidifies the C position for Peyton and gives him his Jeff Saturday style snap mate but with far more athleticism.
29. Indianapolis Colts. The Pick: Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida State
Josh: The Colts need a true nose tackle who is an upgrade over Josh Chapman, and Eddie Goldman would give them precisely that. He's a big player who is a force against the run and can hold his own in pass rush as well, giving the team that inside presence that they've been lacking over the past few seasons.
30. Green Bay Packers. The Pick: T.J. Clemmings, OT, Pittsburgh
Andrew: Probably the only weak point on the Packers offense. They need to protect Aaron Rodgers.
31. New Orleans Saints. The Pick: Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota
Stephen: The Saints snag the best TE in the draft to attempt to make up for the loss of Jimmy Graham. Williams is better than many believe and could do well with Drew Brees.
32. New England Patriots. The Pick: Arik Armstead, DT, Oregon
Josh: Many expect Armstead to go before this, but the Patriots end his slide by taking the defensive lineman with the last pick in the first round and adding a nice piece to their front seven.