This is C3’s pre-free agency Mock Draft with my picks (Mel Mayock) along with guest contributor, @SamSslater96. This Mock is a little different than the others you’ve seen. I’m picking and stating my reasoning for the first round. I give my reasoning and insights as to why a team will go after a certain player. The reasoning could be based on last year’s weaknesses as rated by our friends at ProFootballFocus.com. Or the reasoning could be the pending loss of a Free Agent. And BPA logic comes into play too. THEN (here’s the fun part) Smokewagon has inserted his picks along with his reasoning. We did our picks independently so this should be interesting.
If you don’t already, you should follow our guest, @SamsSlater96 on Twitter, as he is one of the most insightful Panther fans and we thank him for his joining us for this Mock.
We hope you enjoy and look for an updated Mock as we get past Free Agency. Hit me up on Twitter to give me your thoughts. You can tell me I’m great or that I suck. All comments appreciated.
Hard to pass on a WR or a CB here, but I look for the Chargers to not re-sign Ryan Mathews and the Charger Offense really struggles without a premier RB. Gordon or Gurley here, but Gordon gets the nod for his health. 206 yards in one game against Nebraska is all the GM will need to watch to know Gordon is the real deal. His size makes him a good at picking up the blitz as well. This pick will make so much sense, I’m afraid the won’t do it.
Zero TDs by the Chiefs’ WRs in 2014. Zero TDs by the Chiefs’ WRs in 2014! Wow, that was worth repeating. Jaelen Strong has it all and is everything that Dwayne Bowe should be and then some. Prototypical size at 6’2/217 and ran a surprising 4.44 40. Add a 41’ vertical leap and you can look for the KC WRs to score in 2015.
The Browns complete the makeover of their Defensive Line by adding a hog-mollie at 6’4/ 336 lbs. If the Browns can figure out the QB spot somehow, this Defense will take them a long ways in the AFC.
After failing in an attempt to trade up to get Marcus Mariota, Chip pulls the trigger for the next best option and has the potential to be just as good. He really shined at the Combine. Also this is the perfect landing spot for Hundley who only took seven snaps under center all year and will fit right in to the Eagles’ hurry up Offense. At 6’3 / 226 lbs, he’s a good size too.
The Bengals put less pressure on opposing QBs than any other team according to PFF. Bud DuPree is shooting up draft boards and was First-Team All-SEC at DE last year. This would be a solid pickup for the Bengals.
The Steelers really struggled with their pass defense last year and has to be addressed. Landon Collins is a top 15 talent that has fallen due to the position. Add Collins to Mike Mitchell and the Steelers will be set at Safety for years to come. Marcus Peters would also be a good selection here.
The Lions very well may lose both Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley. The Dline has been Detroits identity and I look for them to add Davis here to backfill their huge losses. Davis is a monster that will demand double teams. At 6’5/ 320 and absolute grapevines for arms (34 ⅝ inches) he may be a surprising pick, but a very good one for the Lions.
The Cards are going to miss both John Abraham and Darnell Dockett and they have to find an DE that can bring some heat. OO made a huge splash at the Combine and has good size and athleticism to come in and make a difference right away. I hope he gets after Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick on a regular basis.
The Chiefs offensive line took some hits prior the 2014 NFL season with the losses of Branden Albert (Miami Dolphins), Geoff Schwartz (New York Giants), and Jon Asamoah (Atlanta Falcons) with these three starters gone and the mediocre development of Eric Fisher Kansas City’s line suffered immensely in 2014. The Chiefs take another shot here on an OT that offers the upside few others do in this draft.
All I can say with this pick is “It’s the Browns” and this is what they do. Cleveland cut ties with Brian Hoyer, last years first round draft pick Johnny “Football” is in rehab, and the team just bought the syndication rights to the Josh McCown sitcom “Who am I.” QB is the most premium position in the NFL, so here is the spot Cleveland tries to find one yet again.
First off while I have Collins going to Philadelphia at this spot for the 20th overall pick, everyone in the free world knows this isn’t going to stay the same. Philadelphia is moving up in the draft to take a QB. The only question is at what spot do they go to achieve this. If the draft goes this way though Collins provides an instant upgrade to Philly’s poor secondary and is the BPA that matches a need at this point in the draft. Collins is a plug and play starter from day one out of Eagles training camp.
Cincinnati does not have many needs on this current roster except getting another pass rusher (or QB) for Cincy only generated 20 sacks for the 2014 season. If Cincinnati uses free agency to upgrade the pass rush then this would be a good place to get probably the most versatile offensive lineman in this draft class in Cameron Erving. With starting guard Clint Boling set to hit free agency this can be viewed by the organization as a plug and play type of move. With Erving you can play him at guard, center, or tackle. What team does not like those type of players on their offensive line.
Pittsburgh needs an injection of young talent shot back into that legendary Pittsburgh defense and Waynes is just the guy to do that. With Troy Polamalu at the end of the line, the underwhelming free agent signing of Mike Mitchell, Ike Taylor which father time has caught up with, and finally Cortez Allen which the team gave a hefty payday with the vision of him being their new shutdown corner, only to see that decision look poorer with each passing day. Waynes has the size, speed, savvy, and ball skills that teams covet in their #1 cornerbacks at the next level. He also possess the mindset to excel in a Pittsburgh defense from the ones he played on while at Michigan State.
With Detroit possibly losing both of their starting DT’s in Suh and Fairley to FA. At this point in the draft Detroit get’s some good luck with a glaring position of need intersects with the BPA. Malcom Brown is an instant starter at the DT position and IMO an actual upgrade over what Fairley has brought to the position in his time with Detroit. Losing Suh will be a blow to Detroit, but taking Brown will help ease that pain just a little.
Arizona is a team that has been moving in the right direction under the Arians/Keim regime. Arians has been doing an outstanding job from the sidelines while GM Steve Keim has drafted well for the most part since Arians has come to town. There is talent on this roster overall except for two areas that need addressing either via free agency or the draft. That is the RB position and more improvements on the offensive line.
Speaking of the teams main rock toter in Andre Ellington he started to show the injuries you would expect from being used as a number one back when his frame is that of a third down change of pace player. Ellington is a vital piece in Arians offense and he wants to be able to rely on him, but using him in any other role is just diminishing his value to the team. Now the problem gets solved by taking the best RB to hit the draft in years. Gurley III has everything you would want your workhorse in the backfield to be in size, toughness, speed, power, the total works for the most part. Arizona couldn’t get a better match for their need if they had Dr. Neil Clark Warren make the pick for them.