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April 19, 2015

2

NFL Draft Less Than Two Weeks Away (My first Mock Draft)

by Larry Leek
NFL Logo, therunnersports.com

NFL Logo, therunnersports.com

With The NFL Draft slated to begin on Thursday April, 30th, less than two weeks away, time is getting short for NFL teams to get their TOP needs lists & best player available boards together. War Rooms are being unlocked, dusted and prepped for the owners and coaches, who will soon be showing up for discussion’s and the viewing of miles of tape on possible future draft picks.

With that in Our Sports Mind, it’s time (and actually has been for a number of weeks) for everyone to get their mock drafts in. These mock drafts take a lot of time and work if they are to come out anything close to what actually takes place on draft day. Even though there will always be draft day surprises no one expects and NO ONE’s mock draft is ever close to being 100% correct, they are still fun to fill out for the sports writers and also good reading for the fans. They also generate interest and can add intrigue and excitement and in some cases disappointment to the readers in the days building up to the draft, where they are hoping their teams get a certain player and most mock drafts might dictate otherwise. All teams have needs in certain areas, determining who to pick, when/if they might be available are the tough parts and if the player they wanted is not available hopefully the next on  their board will be. Always a gamble, hit and miss, roll of the dice and a crap shoot ALL rolled into one trying to get the right player at the right time, NO ONE never really knows for sure what player is going to be taken where and when an unexpected trend of players from one position starts getting selected with some teams reaching for a player at that position in fear of losing out on a must fill need. so a mock draft is just that and given ALL the intangibles no one is ever really accurate top to bottom when they try to predict who will go where.

This is Whats On My Sports Mind on this subject.

Mock drafts are indeed fun to check out and also add to the buildup and hype leading up to draft day in particular round’s #1 & 2. I remember back when my friends and I would get together on draft day and barbecue watch the draft in anticipation of our favorite teams landing the stars of the future which more times than not did not pan out as planned and other than Draft GURU Mel Kiper, NO one had a clue. Back Long before the days of 24 hr. sports channels and mock drafts were conceived and since, those days have become nothing more than memory. Now we have the ability to watch, read and find out anything on sports that we need in an instant with MANY more ways to get our daily fill. I have personally never filled out a mock draft, so this is going to be my first attempt and we shall see how it goes come April 30th.

Round 1
PICK          TEAM                           Player                            Pos.                School
1          Tampa Bay                 Jameis Winston                   QB                Fla. State               Even with Winston @ QB Don’t expect things to get better real quick with the Buc’s OL giving up 52 sacks last season you can expect to see Jameis running for his life next year. There’s quite a few OL in this years draft maybe Tampa Bay will invest in a few.

2          Tennessee                 Brandon Scherff                   OT                 Iowa                        Unlike Tampa Bay, The Titans will try to shore up an OL that gave up just 2-sacks fewer than the Bucs. Now if they only had a QB.

3          Jacksonville             Amari Cooper                        WR               Alabama                 Jacksonville listed 0-WR’s in the top 40 receivers for 2014 and Blake Bortles needs some decent targets to be properly evaluated.

4          Oakland                    Andrus Peat                           OT                Stanford                 Makes good sense. Derek Carr looked great as a rookie, now it’s time to protect him. Top 2-OL are off the board early.

5          Washington             Kevin White                           WR              W. Virginia             Just like Jacksonville, the Skins had no WR’s in the top 40 receivers of 2014 and who can forget Whites performance at the NFL combine? It’s Apparent RGIII is Not the answer at QB so Should the Skins think Mariota here?

6          New York Jets        Marcus Mariota                     QB                Oregon                     The Jets were dead last in passing last year and just about everything else offense related. Mariota will face a uphill battle in NY trying not to have the tag BUST hung around his neck.

7          Chicago                    Leonard Williams                 DE                USC                         Finally DEFENSE, The Bears offense wasn’t near the best in the NFL, but their defense was even worse with pick #7 Williams is a steal.

8          Atlanta                     Todd Gurley                           RB                Georgia                    The Falcons could be a force again with a good running game, a healthy Gurley can be just the medicine the Falcons need.

9          New York Giants   Randy Gregory                      OLB              Nebraska                  The Giants go defense here with Gregory an OL would also be a nice pick here to protect Eli, But My Sports Mind says defense.

10        St. Louis                  DeVante Parker                     WR                Louisville                 The Rams also had No WR’s listed in the top 40 receivers for 2014, Parker is the last of the top 3 on the board.

11        Minnesota               Breshad Perriman                 WR                UCF                        Here goes that trend I mentioned, with the top 3 off the board the Vikings reach for Perriman. They too have No WR’s in the top 40 for 2014.

12        Cleveland                Dante Fowler Jr.                   DE                  Florida                          A steal here, Fowler listed as #2 DL on the board, with Mariota gone the Browns don’t pick a QB here. Good Def. help never a bad choice.

13        New Orleans          Danny Shelton                       DT                 Washington         Saints need a run stopper, Shelton is the best in the draft. New Orleans defense was ranked 22nd overall in 2014.

14        Miami                     Eric Flowers                           OT                  U. Miami                  The Dolphins yielded 46 sacks last season. They need to protect Ryan Tanneyhill better, Flowers would be a good pick here, he’s the 3rd best rated OT on the boards. Maybe a slight reach, but should fill a huge need for the Dolphins.

15        San Francisco       Arik Armstead                       DE                   Oregon                     After Patrick Willis Retired, The 49ers instant need became defense and with Frank Gore also departed, Should Gurley still be available, the 49ers could go offense or maybe even reach for Melvin Gordon.

16        Houston              Jaelen Strong                          WR                 Arizona St.                 Gone is Ryan Fitzpatrick, Gone is Andre Johnson. Enter former Brown Bryan Hoyer and former Patriot backup Ryan Mallett. It’s doubtful the Texans would reach for a QB in the first round that’s projected to go in the 2nd, but you never know. Smart choice is a WR since they just lost one of the best ever. Strong is the best rated WR left in this slot.

17        San Diego          Melvin Gordon                         RB                  Wisconsin                    The Chargers running game was ranked 31st in the league and if you’re doing your math, that’s second worst in the NFL. The Chargers OL could also use some help, so an offensive lineman would be no surprise here. The Chargers defense was actually not too bad last season, ranked 9th overall. So Gordon would be a good pick here for San Diego.

18        Kansas City      La’el Collins                              OT                   LSU                               How can the Chiefs pass on Collins here, he’s the 4th best OT in the draft and 19th best player overall, not to mention their OL gave up 49 sacks last year.

19        Cleveland         Bryce Petty                                QB                    Baylor                          Here we go again. The Browns use the 2nd pick of rd. 1 well you know. With Hoyer Gone is this the end of Johnny Football in Cleveland? No but it IS yet another reach by the Brownies and another for a QB at that. Somebody PLEASE throw Cleveland a lifeline. They ranked 20th in passing in 2014, 17th in rushing boasting only the 24th best rusher. The Browns ranked 22nd in receiving with NO receiver listed in the top 40. Their defense was the ONLY bright spot ranked 2nd in tackles.  So where do you want me to start. ANY QB here will struggle even Peyton Manning. It’s gonna take a miracle and who has any idea what the Browns are EVER going to do, so if I get their picks right I deserve Kiper’s job.

20       Philadelphia    Trae Waynes                            CB                      Michigan St.               Head Coach Chip Kelly looked brilliant at times during free agency and then not so much. Gone is RB Shady McCoy, enter NFL rushing leader and former Cowboy, DeMarco Murray.  QB, Nick Foles exits, enter former Ram, Sam Bradford. To My Sports Mind, Bradford makes no sense for Kelly’s offense so I’d say another season of Mark Sanchez. The Eagles pass defense ranked 31st last season, so Waynes is a steal here and would make good sense for the Eagles, he’s the top CB in the draft and #13 ranked player overall.

21        Cincinnati        Malcom Brown                       DT                     Texas                             The 15th best player in the draft and also the best player left on the board, Brown is a great choice period and a steal in the 21st slot.

22        Pittsburgh       Marcus Peters                        CB                     Wake Forest                  The Steel Curtain has shown signs of rust lately. The Steelers defense was ranked 26th overall in pass defense, so should Waynes fall to this slot, the Steelers could take the CB, if not Peters is the next best CB behind Waynes on the board and the 22nd ranked player overall.

23        Detroit               Eddie Goldman                    DT                    Florida St.                     Now that Nadamnkong Suh is in Miami, it obvious the Lions need to fill the void, they signed free agent Haloti Ngata and think they have the problem solved. The Lions ranked 28th in rushing last year so they might REACH for a RB projected to go in the 2nd round, but unless Gurley or Gordon are still on the board, another DT wouldn’t be a bad idea. Goldman is the 23rd ranked player in the draft and best DT left.

24        Arizona               Jay Ajayi                              RB                    Boise St.                        Even though this is considered a reach by many, the Cardinals ranked dead last in rushing last season, so for them Ajayi is NOT. He is the 3rd best RB in the draft and my board has the top two already wearing their new team’s hats.

25         Carolina            Cameron Erving                C                        Florida St.                      Erving would make the 3rd Seminole chosen in the 1st round. The Panthers need to protect Cam Newton better and Erving at center would certainly help and give Cam that long awaited all pro center.

26        Baltimore          Kevin Johnson                    CB                    Wake Forest                  The Ravens worst category was pass defense. The best player left on the board to help in that area is Johnson. Ranked the 3rd best CB in the draft and 26th best player overall. The Ravens could go DE here, but that would mean reaching for a DL projected in the 2nd round. Kevin Johnson would be a good pick for Baltimore at 26th.

27        Dallas                 DJ Humphries                  OT                      Florida                                 The Cowboys have a couple of nice options here. they could trade out of the 1st round and get maybe an extra 2nd rounder to use on defensive help, since Gurley and Gordon are now gone and they do need to draft one of the young RB’s in this draft now that DeMarco Murray has left. there are plenty that will be available in the 2nd round, moving out of the first round getting a second pick in round 2 would give them the extra pick to get that RB. But should the Cowboys decide to pick in round 1, with whats left on the boards adding DJ to that already MASSIVE ALL PRO OL would certainly, well you get the picture. Humphries 5th best OT in the draft and 25th best player overall.

28        Denver             Landon Collins                    S                        Alabama                         The Broncos don’t need much anywhere, they ranked 4th in passing, 15th in rushing on defense they were 2nd against the run and 9th against the pass. Collins is the best player left on the board. The top safety in the draft and 21st ranked player overall.

29        Indianapolis    Eric Kendricks                   ILB                      UCLA                                 On defense the Colts were ranked 18th against the run and 12th against the pass. Kendricks is the best player left on the board, the top ILB in the draft and 27th best player overall. The Colts acquired Frank Gore to help with their poor rushing attack. Hopefully he has enough left in the tank. If the are thinking RB in the draft as well, waiting until round 2 would be best.

30        Green Bay       TJ Clemmings                     OT                     Pittsburgh                     Why would you not protect the best QB in football (shhhh don’t tell Tom Brady)? Clemmings is the best player left and this late in the round unless you plan to reach on a player, taking the best one available would be the next best option. I expect by this time there will have been a few more reach’s than my mock draft has shown.

31         New Orleans   Bud Dupree                        OLB                   Kentucky                       New Orleans may as well continue shoring up that defense with their 2nd pick of the round. Dupree is the 2nd best OLB behind Gregory and ranked 32nd overall.

32        New England  Nelson Agholor                  WR                    USC                                Now couldn’t Tom Brady use another fresh young target to throw to besides Gronkowski? Agholor is the 6th best wideout in the draft and the 30th best player overall. To be honest, you never know what Belichek will do this late in the round. My best guess would be that he trades out of round 1 for additional 5th, 6th & 7th rounders.

Well that took me awhile was loads of fun and might turn out to be anything but accurate, however we shall see come April 30th. I will not do a mock round 2 BUT I will tell you that I do believe the Titans will draft a QB in round 2, should they not take Mariota in round 1 which would also be a tough place for Mariota to begin his career. I also believe the Redskins, Rams and Eagles could all select a QB in either rounds 2 or 3. Dallas will select a RB in round 2 as will the Colts, Raiders, Jets and possibly Arizona.

So Whats On Your Sports Mind on this subject and how many of my picks does Your Sports Mind agree with?

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    • May 9 2015

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