Post by Nick R
Featured image by Marianne O’Leary
The NFL draft is scheduled to begin on Thursday, April 30th at 7:00pm CST. This is a time for teams to rebuild or reload for a playoff push. The teams are looking for franchise players who can take them from a sub .500 team to a playoff contender. Here is my mock draft for the first ten picks in this years NFL draft.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jameis Winston QB (FSU)
The Buccaneers went 2-14 last season with nothing really going well for them. The team has said they are going to take a quarterback this year. Jameis is the best quarterback in the draft he knows how to win only losing one game in his two year college career. Jameis also impressed scouts at the NFL combine. His 6’4” 230 lbs. frame is the ideal size for an NFL quarterback.
- Tennessee Titans: Leonard Williams DT (USC)
The Titans also went 2-14 last season. They need help on defense more than anything else. Leonard Williams is the the best defensive lineman in the draft he has great college stats. In his 22 career starts he managed to have 138 tackles, 27 for losses and 14 sacks, 3 fumble recoveries, 1 interception and 4 pass deflections.
- Jacksonville Jaguars: Dante Fowler Jr. DE/OLB (Florida)
The Jaguars went 3-13 last season with only 45 sacks. They are in desperate need of a pass rusher. Dante Fowler Jr. provides them with the need for defensive help. He ran an impressive 4.60sec 40 yard dash and a 32.5” vertical jump. In his 3 year career he has managed to compile 140 tackles and 5 forced fumbles. His versatility to play just about anywhere makes him one of the best defenders in the draft.
- Oakland Raiders: Kevin White WR (WVU)
The Oakland Raiders went 3-13 last season with a 58% completion percentage. They have a great quarterback in Derek Carr, but The Raiders didn’t have a go to receiver. Kevin White had arguably the best performance in the NFL combine. He was the top performer in the 40 yard dash and the bench press according to NFL.com. He would help Derek Carr progress as a quarterback and help the Raiders win more games.
- Washington Redskins: Randy Gregory ROLB (Nebraska)
The Redskins went 4-12 last season with only 7 interceptions last year. With Randy Gregory as a dominant pass rusher the Redskins would be able to be a bit more aggressive on the defense and in turn get more interceptions. His 125” broad jump was among the best at the linebacker position. Randy Gregory would help the Redskins’ defense and eventually a playoff threat.
- New York Jets: Marcus Mariota QB (Oregon)
The Jets last season only had 16 touchdowns from their quarterbacks. The Jets love a mobile quarterback system with the occasional deep ball. It’s almost like this system was based on Mariota. The Heisman trophy winner was the top performer in all five of the combine categories. He comes from a team where the plays were fast and little to no audibles. The athletic ability is there but the question is whether or not he can lead an NFL team.
- Chicago Bears: Shane Ray DE (Missouri)
The Bears need to get back to being known for their relentless attitude. Defensive end Shane Ray is able to make the defense good again. His 6’3” 245 frame is the ideal shape for a defensive player. He is able to play with fierce unstoppable ability. With the help of Shane Ray the Bears should be a top 15 team in terms of defense.
- Atlanta Falcons: Vic Beasley OLB (Clemson)
The Falcons only had 22 sacks last season. Vic Beasley had 12 sacks in only 13 games last season. He would help the team on pass defense by rushing the throw and allowing his DB’s to go up and get the ball. He was a top performer in all six of the NFL combine categories. His extreme athleticism would allow the Falcons to become a constant playoff team again.
- New York Giants: Brandon Scherff OT (Iowa)
The giants have their franchise quarterback in Eli Manning but they need to protect him. Brandon Scherff ran an impressive 5.05sec 40 yard dash. Being 6’5” and 320 lbs. he definitely has the size and athleticism to be a solid offensive lineman. The powerful lineman will help the Giants fight for a playoff push.
- St. Louis Rams: Amari Cooper WR (Alabama)
The Rams had 1 receiver with over 50 receptions last season. Amari Cooper has the ability to have 80 catches a year. He can also be the guy to create a big play when one is needed. He is quick off the line and able to burst pass defenders makes him a valuable asset in the redzone. With the help of Amari Cooper the Rams will be able to go above .500. something they have not done since 2003.