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Mock Drafts

Post-Combine Mock Draft

by Josh Norris
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

A number of teams will want to trade back from their original first-round slot. The supply will likely outweigh the demand, or teams could settle for less “value” in return. There might only be 10-15 consensus first-round talents in the 2015 class, and many many more second-round evaluations (likely even more than usual). It takes two to agree on a trade involving draft picks. If teams stick to their traditional value chart, we could see fewer and fewer deals.


However, if teams trust their own judgment and make up their own rules of value, a number of small moves and trades could take place to land specific targets rather than settle for a remaining group of players. It is Feb. 25, we have no clue.


And with that, here is how I view the first-round.


1. Tampa Bay Bucs - QB Marcus Mariota, Oregon - I’m surprised that few are giving Mariota a chance at No. 1. It is not even March, and many have locked Jameis Winston into this pick. Going through old blurb archives shows media reports drastically change. I will stick with Mariota until something concrete comes out.


2. Tennessee Titans - QB Jameis Winston, FSU - Many who follow the Titans are certain Ken Whisenhunt will stick by Zach Mettenberger. If I was in his position, recognizing teams are rarely in a position to select a quarterback talent like Winston or Mariota would trump my feelings about sticking with a sixth-round passer with limited mobility who is coming off back to back seasons which ended in injury. Because of Whisenhunt’s “type,” he could feel more confident in Winston than Mariota.


3. Jacksonville Jaguars - DL Leonard Williams, USC - Placing Williams in Jacksonville’s defense is interesting. He would likely play the “big” end role and move inside in smaller personnel groupings. His ability to control his opponents with length, hands and power stands out in this class. He is not the most athletic defensive lineman, especially when at end, but that strength compensates.


4. Oakland Raiders - WR Kevin White, WVU - I already ranked Kevin White *just* ahead of Amari Cooper prior to the Combine. White’s forty was outstanding, but it would be a stretch to compare his entire performance to some of the best we have seen from receivers. Still, at 6’3” and 215 lbs, White has the ability to win in the “big” and “small” receiver games.


5. Washington Redskins - EDGE Vic Beasley, Clemson - The story arch for Beasley has been fun to observe. From 220 lbs to 235 lbs and arriving in Indy at 246 lbs, Beasley kept all of his straight line speed, change of direction flexibility and explosion. He can make his strength stronger and use that lateral speed to create counter opportunities.


6. New York Jets - WR Amari Cooper, Alabama - There is no reason to be down on Amari after the Combine. In fact, he solidified his evaluation. Amari wins with little wasted movement, burst and quickness when running routes to separate. That showed in his 3-cone and 20 yard short shuttle. The vertical was well below average, which matches his lack of proficiency in contested catches (albeit improving). His traits translate very well.


7. Chicago Bears - S Landon Collins, Alabama - Bears fans might understand better than any other fan base that bad safety play can cripple a defense. Collins is being called solely a box safety. That is limiting his talent. He’s not a true single high safety, but Collins can rotate and give a defense new looks while still being aggressive when moving forward. There is a sizable gap between Collins and the next true safety.


8. Atlanta Falcons - EDGE Randy Gregory, Nebraska - This would be breaking the trend of “Boy Scouts” the Falcons have been attached to during previous drafts. But losing changes processes, for right and wrong. Gregory’s weight surprised many, but if he played close to that he showed a good amount of functional strength. He has the level of ability to win around and through his opponent.


9. New York Giants - EDGE Dante Fowler Jr, Florida - It seems JPP will get the franchise tag. Regardless, creating disruption on the edge is a priority for the Giants. Fowler has a lot of straight-line speed and quickness, which he couples with length, hands and angles. Do not expect him to bend and change direction as well as others. Fowler is ahead of the game because he does not rely on his athleticism to win.


10. St. Louis Rams - OL Brandon Scherff, Iowa - The NFL loves to mimic what has been successful in recent years. Last year? Power and athletic tackles moving to guard (Zack Martin, Joel Bitonio). I think Scherff can stay at tackle, but a team might really value him inside. If the Rams can’t find a viable quarterback, why not continue to add to the offensive line.

 

11. Minnesota Vikings - CB Trae Waynes, Michigan State - There was a report that Waynes dealt with cramps or a leg injury, which led to poor change of direction drills at the Combine. Waynes has makeup speed, but my question is the separation he allows on breaks. Still, Waynes seems to be the top corner in every anonymous scout’s mind.


12. Cleveland Browns - WR DeVante Parker, Louisville - I keep reading Browns fans saying the team’s decision makers do not believe in drafting receivers early. That is not true, and reports stated they were seriously considering selecting Brandin Cooks last year. Parker is a threat in contested catches and has yards after catch ability for his size.


13. New Orleans Saints - EDGE Alvin Dupree, Kentucky - Bud did not go through the 3-cone and 20 yard short shuttle at the Combine, but his athletic fingerprint is similar to that of Cameron Wake’s. The issue with Dupree is flexibility, as he does not take enough advantage of the step advantage he gains through quickness and explosion.


14. Miami Dolphins - LB Eric Kendricks, UCLA - Jelani Jenkins is a good player who has a history of injuries. Dannell Ellerbe and Phillip Wheeler are not. Kendricks is one of my favorite prospects in this class, because he makes an impact moving forward and back. His comfort in coverage is uncommon. True every down linebackers are difficult to find.


15. San Francisco 49ers - DL Arik Armstead, Oregon - Some might consider this a bit early for Armstead. An immediate or future replacement for Justin Smith is necessary. Armstead was off and on at times, but when he combined flashes, like in the College Football Playoff, the results speak for themselves.


16. Houston Texans - DT Eddie Goldman, FSU - Goldman arrived at 336 lbs at the Combine, but in games he displayed a lot of upfield ability. His game is based on walking the opponent backwards. I was a fan of Louis Nix, but a lost rookie season due to an injury that was carried over might make it difficult to bank on Nix.

~

A number of teams will want to trade back from their original first-round slot. The supply will likely outweigh the demand, or teams could settle for less “value” in return. There might only be 10-15 consensus first-round talents in the 2015 class, and many many more second-round evaluations (likely even more than usual). It takes two to agree on a trade involving draft picks. If teams stick to their traditional value chart, we could see fewer and fewer deals.


However, if teams trust their own judgment and make up their own rules of value, a number of small moves and trades could take place to land specific targets rather than settle for a remaining group of players. It is Feb. 25, we have no clue.


And with that, here is how I view the first-round.

 

17. San Diego Chargers - T Ereck Flowers, Miami - Let me start with this: I have no idea which of these tackles can succeed on the right side if they have not played it before. Footwork, weight distribution, punch location and the inside arm bar are all inversed. The transition is not as seamless as made out to be. Flowers does have experience there in 2012, however. This could allow the Chargers to move Fluker inside.


18. Kansas City Chiefs - CB Jalen Collins, LSU - Sean Smith played well but is in the final year of his deal. I was a big fan of Phillip Gaines last year. This is just a dart throw, but honestly this whole thing is. The disruption up front does mask potential lesser talents in the back end. Offensive line could be a target if Rodney Hudson departs. Obviously wide receiver as well.


19. Cleveland Browns - DT Danny Shelton, Washington - Shelton could be drafted much earlier, who knows. His Senior Bowl performance is being a bit inflated in terms of upfield disruption and “dominance.” He will be best in a rotation where his flashes can appear to be consistency.


20. Philadelphia Eagles - OL Jake Fisher, Oregon - Fisher has played everywhere during his career: right guard, right tackle and left tackle. Offensive line might be the Eagles top need, and they seem to have a type in terms of athletes at the position. Fisher has the athletic fingerprint which fits, and not just because he went to Oregon. Both NFL teams and colleges have types. Ali Marpet could also be a target in as early as round two.


21. Cincinnati Bengals - T La’EL Collins, LSU - This is a dream pick for the Bengals. Andrew Whitworth is entering the final year of his deal. I absolutely, 100 percent think Collins can stay at tackle and play at a high level and thought so before the Senior Bowl and the Combine.


22. Pittsburgh Steelers - CB Kevin Johnson, Wake Forest - Who knows what changes take place with a new play caller on defense. Corner is an obvious area of need, and while there might be a clump of corners in a similar part of the talent spectrum, Johnson and Stanford’s Alex Carter are two names to watch.


23. Detroit Lions - C Cameron Erving, FSU - I know the team recently selected Travis Swanson, but 1) I was not a big fan, and 2) that should not keep a team from selecting a better player at an extremely important position in the first-round. Erving is better on the interior than he was on the edge and helped solidify the fabric of the pocket down the stretch for FSU.


24. Arizona Cardinals - EDGE Shane Ray, Missouri - Obviously this is on the heels of a Combine performance where Ray did not participate after being held out by doctors, so he likely will end up going much earlier. Ray loves to use a rip and turn the corner and his motor is always going.


25. Carolina Panthers - T Andrus Peat, Stanford - The Panthers are reportedly considering bringing in Michael Oh...hahahah sorry. That is a lateral move from Byron Bell. Peat is extremely strong moving forward when run blocking, and his body of work as a pass protector must be remembered rather than the couple of poor plays that show up when discussing him. I’m still not sure why Nate Orchard gave him fits, though...


26. Baltimore Ravens - EDGE/DL Preston Smith, Miss State - Pernell McPhee will get paid, and it is very Ozzie-like to reload that role through the draft. Preston Smith is a bit of a different body type but can win all the way from a 7 tech to a 3 tech with quickness and power.

 

27. Dallas Cowboys - EDGE Owa Odighizuwa, UCLA - A history of hip issues might keep Owa from going this early, but the talent warrants it. Few convert speed to power as well as good and frequently as Owa.


28. Denver Broncos - DT Malcom Brown, Texas - The Broncos will lose Terrance Knighton in free agency. Some really love Brown’s ability, and with the rotation up front he should contribute early for the Broncos.


29. Indianapolis Colts - T D.J. Humphries, Florida - Again, I have no idea if Humphries can play on the right side. That is up to coaches in terms of hand use, footwork, etc. But he did arrive at the Combine over 300 lbs and Andrew Luck can’t continue to battle pressure in the pocket as often as he does.


30. Green Bay Packers - DL Jordan Phillips, Oklahoma - B.J. Raji and Letroy Guion are both free agents. Phillips has put together flashes and can be used early in base packages before making way for the Packers’ sub-personnel players.


31. Seattle Seahawks - DB Eric Rowe, Utah - There are a variety of places where Rowe can fit in the defensive backfield. Outside, inside, as a safety, etc. However, his athletic profile seems to fit what the Seahawks often look for and his tape, while not frequently discussed, can warrant this selection.


32. New England Patriots - DL Henry Anderson, Stanford - A personal favorite, I bet some teams see Anderson as a “lesser” Leonard Williams. I’m not sure if a sizable gap exists between the two. Anderson is at his best as a closed 5 or inside at the 3, but on base sets he can play on the outside. Bill Belichick could use Anderson like he used Richard Seymour. I am not comparing the two as talents, but only in terms of roles.

Josh Norris
Josh Norris is an NFL Draft Analyst for Rotoworld and contributed to the Rams scouting department during training camp of 2010 and the 2011 NFL Draft. He can be found on Twitter .