Draft week is here, and C3’s Mock Draft 3.0 is here. This version takes is our final version and is our predictions of what we think will happen. Smokewagon is back making his picks along with me in the First Round. We each give insight as to why we think each one makes sense. As usual, we look at some of these selections from a Panthers Fan point of view, but no matter who you are a fan of, take a look and let us know your thoughts. You can follow me on twitter at @PanthersDrafter and Smokewagon (@SamSslater96)
Jameis seems to have become written in stone in Tampa. Though this rape lawsuit still poses and outside shot to shake things up. However, anyone else would be a shock. He is the most pro-ready QB in the draft, but I would be hesitant as I’m not sure the maturity is there. The bravado is yes, but I’m not sold on his stability.
Someone is most likely taking Mariota in this spot. There is talk about trading this pick to San Diego for Philip Rivers. Bad trade for both teams in my opinion. However don’t be surprised if TN makes this pick and then trades him to the Chargers during the draft. Or will the Eagles fly up the board to get him? The Jets? This can get crazy early. But if I’m Tennessee I take Mariota here and don’t look back. Yes, they “like” Zach Mettenberger, but he had 8 TDs to 7 INTs in 7 games played. That is not enough to make you pass on a potential star at QB. The Titans were very well represented at Super Mario’s Pro Day and Coach Whisenhunt put him on the chalkboard. Word is the coach was highly impressed and Mariota truly is everything you want in terms of representing your organization. Mariota probably will not start the season as the starter, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t or shouldn’t be their future. So from now until the draft, they will get to know him and I look for them to make him the next Titan QB.
They should probably take Leonard Williams here, but they do need a pass rusher. And local favorite, Dante Folwer, Jr may be the best at that. At 6’2/269 he certainly has the size to set the edge and help in run support too. Good pick for the Jags. And let’s face it, taking a player from your backyard is good for ticket sales. Our friends at Roaring Riot have 450 Panther fans coming to our game against Jacksonville this year. Will be interesting to see how Fowler does. Go visit www.roaringriot.com
The Raiders have sent a contingent to work out Beasley http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/04/17/raiders-work-out-vic-beasley-in-south-carolina/
If you pair Beasley with Khalil Mack, the Raiders could have a dominant pass-rush. This two-time First-Team All-American that had 33 sacks in College is too good of a talent to not bring into the fold. Philip Rivers may look at this and decide Tennessee isn’t too bad of an option.
Leonard Williams is the best player in the draft in my opinion and the Redskins can use help all over their defense. They did sign Chris Culliver so the glaring need at CB is not as dire. So the Skins can take the best player in the draft. They were at Williams’ Pro Day and after losing Orakpo, they need talent in their Front Seven. To compete in the NFC East, they absolutely must beef up their D. Williams is a great start.
In this mock, the Jets miss out on Mariotta as the new face of their Franchise. If Super Mario is there, he is the pick. But I have him going to Tennessee. The Jets need playmakers and Amari is one badass-playmaker. I see him as the total package and as the best route-runner in the draft. This selection will make Geno (or whomever plays QB) a bit better. Scherff has to be appealing here too.
This is the perfect John Fox pick. Danny Shelton reminds me a lot of Kris Jenkins that Fox built his Defense around in Carolina. Good strength (34 reps on the bench at the Combine) and is someone that will stay on the field. He will bring teeth back to the Bears Defense that has lost it’s way over the past two years.
The Falcons have not had a pass-rush since the departure of John Abraham and their Defense desperately needs one. Randy Gregory is in play here, but with Beasley and Fowler off the board, Ray gets the nod. I originally had Ray here because of his 14.5 sacks in 2014 and the SEC-Defensive Player of the year. However he has a foot injury and may need surgery. Some predict he could fall to 2nd round. Dupree is a great consolation prize.
This pick was always down to only two possible choices in Winston or Marcus Mariota for Tampa Bay. The organization decided to move on from the Josh McCown spinoff “Down and Out in Tampa Bay”, after it bottomed out in Nielsen ratings. Winston is the pick for a multitude of reasons, but more so for the simple fact that he is used to playing in a pro-style offense and is the most pro ready out of the gate.
With the news that Tennessee’s brass was gushing over Williams at USC’s pro day like Drake getting pictures taken with pro athletes, this looks like the logical pick for them at this point. Adding a talent like Williams to the defensive line will make Dick LeBeau not regret going into retirement after leaving Pittsburgh and his joining the Titans coaching staff well worth it.
The Jaguars have been looking for that defining pass rusher since Gus Bradley took over the helm as the teams head coach two years ago. Jacksonville wanted to land Dee Ford during last years draft but that was not to be for Kansas City took him off the board with the 23rd overall pick before Bradley could snag his guy from the Senior Bowl with the teams early second round selection. This year Jacksonville will get a chance to rectify this situation by taking a player that has the traits to be a perennial pro bowler as a pass rusher in Vic Beasley. Beasley is the most complete package of any edge defender this year even more so over other highly coveted prospects in Shane Ray or Randy Gregory.
David Carr could use a WR to grow with for the future and currently the best WR on the roster is James Jones a true number three on most other rosters in the NFL. White is a specimen in every sense of the word at the WR position and has the game to match. Oakland has a not drafted a WR of White’s caliber since Tim Brown dawned the Silver and Black. Saying this is long overdue is an understatement.
Washington takes the extraordinary edge rusher in Fowler in this spot. With Brian Orakpo leaving in FA, the team can use this pick to fill in the void that departure made on that side of the ball and give Washington’s defense something across from Ryan Kerrigan to be able to pressure those pesky little things called QB’s.
The Todd Bowles era starts with the same old mantra, “New head coach, new QB.” The Jets will move away from the Geno Smith endeavour under the old Ryan/Idzik regime and try to find a face of the franchise (again.) The only person who could screw this pick up for the team is Woody Johnson, so for Jets fans the best course of action is to hope that someone tapes his mouth shut with Band-Aids from the company his family founded.
Chicago addressed the rush OLB in free agency in acquiring the services of one Pernell McPhee. This helped solidified both rush OLB spots for the 2015 season with Lamarr Houston manning the other side. The one key piece missing from the transition into the new ¾ defense that Vic Fangio is installing in the midway is a space eating NT that commands the line of scrimmage. In comes Danny Shelton to make the switch complete.
New head coach Dan Quinn is tasked with rebuilding a stop unit that has been neglected with quality personnel over the last few season’s under Thomas Dimitroff’s watch. Atlanta has no pass rush to write home about and the first order of business for Quinn and company is to fix this. With the crop of opposing QB’s the Falcons have to play twice a year in the NFC South in the likes of Brees, Newton, and soon to be (Winston), if Atlanta ever wants to have a chance to come back to being relevant again…...taking a player like Dupree to harass the passer is a step in the right direction.