by Justin Worsley
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-14) – Jameis Winston (QB/Florida State)
Tampa Bay needs a franchise quarterback and Mike Glennon isn’t the answer. I have had Marcus Mariota at this slot for quite some time now, but his performance in both playoff games took a hit to his stock. Mariota plays in a simple offensive scheme and he almost never throws a deep pass and does not have the arm strength Winston has. The biggest obstacle for Winston, however, will be his maturity. It is imperative for him to be on his best behavior in the upcoming months, especially during team interviews.
2. Tennessee Titans (2-14) – Randy Gregory (DE/Nebraska)
Many people are predicting whichever quarterback isn’t selected by Tampa to go to Tennessee, but neither guy fits Ken Wisenhunt’s scheme which relies on pocket passers and I think that after Tennessee dealt with Vince Young, they will be scared off from Winston if he was available.
The Titans have a slew of needs at other positions and may choose to let Zach Mettenberger handle the offense in 2015 after showing promise in limited action last season. In a division that features Andrew Luck, Tennessee will need a guy who can bring him to the ground if they want to contend.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-13) – Leonard Williams (DT/USC)
An offensive tackle is needed, especially after Blake Bortles was the league’s most sacked quarterback despite not playing until Week 3, but Williams is the top player available and would really solidify the Jaguars defensive line. As a unit, Jacksonville did well at getting to the quarterback in 2014, but they were also one of the league’s worst run defenses.
4. Oakland Raiders (3-13) – Amari Cooper (WR/Alabama)
If either Williams or Gregory fall here, they could be selected, otherwise, the Raiders will likely seek an offensive weapon for Derek Carr. James Jones played well last season, but is better served at the team’s no. 2 receiver. Cooper will attract opposing defenses attention more than anyone else currently on this roster.
5. Washington Redskins (4-12) – Brandon Scherff (OT/Iowa)
Washington has Trent Williams on the left side, but right tackle was a black hole for the team this season. A replacement is needed, even if it involves the Redskins using a top five pick to address it.
6. New York Jets (4-12) – Marcus Mariota (QB/Oregon)
New York now has Todd Bowels as head coach and Mike Maccagnan as their general manager, which means a new quarterback is in play. The Jets may consider trading up as high as second overall for this draft pick, especially with the limited option available in free agency and trade. Mariota would be an immediate upgrade to Geno Smith.
7. Chicago Bears (5-11 ) – Landon Collins (S/Alabama)
Play at safety has been abysmal for the Bears, as has the rest of their secondary. Landon Collins would serve as an upgrade at free safety and allow Brock Vereen to move to the strong side.
8. Atlanta Falcons (6-10) – Shane Ray (OLB/Missouri)
It is no secret that Atlanta struggled to get to the quarterback this season. Osi Umenyiora looks like a shell of his former self. The team needs to find a pass rusher if they want to content in a weak NFC South.
9. New York Giants (6-10) – Andrus Peat (OT/Stanford)
With the Giants moving Justin Pugh to guard next season, a hole at right tackle is now open. Peat could occupy the spot until William Beatty retires and slide over to the blind side.
10. St. Louis Rams (6-10) – Ereck Flowers (OT/Miami FL)
Jake Long’s injury history has lingered to St. Louis and as a result, he could become a cap casualty in 2015. If he is retained, it is unlikely he will still be there in 2016, where the Rams stand to save $12.5 million by releasing him. Regardless, St. Louis needs help at tackle and it wouldn’t be surprised to see them double-dip at the position considering how often their quarterbacks have been hit over the past few seasons.
11. Minnesota Vikings (7-9) – DeVante Parker (WR/Louisville)
Minnesota will likely release a declining Greg Jennings and the team had a bit of a falling out with Cordarrelle Patterson during the season. Whether or not they chose to trade Patterson, Parker is one of the top talents who fits a need for the Vikings and has drawn comparisons to AJ Green.
12. Cleveland Browns (7-9) – Dante Fowler (DE/Florida)
With Jabaal Sheard headed to free agency and Barkevious Mingo not living up to the hype, Cleveland is again looking at help in the pass rush. Fowler is seen as a top-10 talent by some, so Cleveland gets a quality player at this spot.
13. New Orleans Saints (7-9) – Vic Beasley (OLB/Clemson)
New Orleans had nothing to offer in the pass rush last year. The Saints will look for someone to add to take pressure off of Cameron Jordan early in the draft.
14. Miami Dolphins (8-8) – Danny Shelton (DT/Washington)
Jared Odrick will likely leave the team in free agency in the offseason, so Miami will be forced to replace him.
15. San Francisco 49ers (8-8) – Kevin White (WR/West Virginia)
It is no secret that wide receiver is a need for the 49ers as all four of their top pass catchers struggled throughout the season.
16. Houston Texans (9-7) – Trae Waynes (CB/Michigan State)
Houston’s secondary was leaky throughout the season, though it was masked heavily by JJ Watt. Kareem Jackson is also a free agent.
17. San Diego Chargers (9-7) – Melvin Gordon (RB/Wisconsin)
Ryan Mathews is a free agent and neither Donald Brown nor Branden Oliver are every-down backs. Gordon, who compares to Jamaal Charles, adds another dimension to this offense.
18. Kansas City Chiefs (9-7) – Sammie Coates (WR/Auburn)
It is no secret how much Kansas City’s wide receivers struggled in 2014, but I feel like this stat needs to be shared regardless: not a single wide receiver in Kansas City caught a touchdown pass this season. That is nearly impossible. Dwayne Bowe may be a cap casualty but honestly after him there is nothing to offer at wide receiver.
19. Cleveland Browns (9-7) – Devin Smith (WR/Ohio State)
Cleveland has a penchant for not using early draft picks on wide receiver, but that can always change, especially when the Browns are as thin at the position as they are. Josh Gordon played well until Manziel took over at quarterback, but even he is now unreliable due to his history of getting in trouble.
20. Philadelphia Eagles (10-6) – Kevin Johnson (CB/Wake Forest)
Chip Kelly may try to make a play for Marcus Mariota, but he would have to give up almost too much in order to acquire him. Washington gave up three first rounders to slide up four spots and they were still offering a top-10 pick, the Eagles are not.
Instead, the Eagles secondary is a weak link that needs to be upgraded. Johnson is a tad bit bigger than Kelly likes, but nonetheless, is an upgrade.
21. Cincinnati Bengals (10-5-1) – Bud Dupree (DE/Kentucky)
The Bengals amassed just 20 sacks all season and is easily the top need this offseason. Dupree would create a respectable duo across from Carlos Dunlap.
22. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-5) – PJ Williams (CB/Florida State)
Cortez Allen struggled against Steve Smith and Ike Taylor is not getting any younger. Pittsburgh will need to inject some youth into the secondary.
23. Detroit Lions (11-5) – Eddie Goldman (DT/Florida State)
Ndamukong Suh is a free agent this Spring and looks like he is going to chase money instead of returning to Detroit. Goldman can help ease the sting of his loss.
24. Arizona Cardinals (11-5) – Shaq Thompson (OLB/Washington)
I have Thompson sliding a bit since he is not a pass rushing linebacker, but he is probably the best athlete in the draft. Converted from safety, Thompson even played a bit of running back during his time with the Huskies. Arizona gets a quality player at weakside linebacker with this selection.
25. Carolina Panthers (7-8-1) – TJ Clemmings (OT/Pittsburgh)
This selection ultimately comes down to what position has more talent available: offensive tackle or cornerback. Clemmings could be an immediate starter at left tackle.
26. Baltimore Ravens (10-6) – Ronald Darby (CB/Florida State)
Baltimore’s secondary has struggled all season to the point where the team was basically signing guys off the street to play for them. A long-term solution is needed.
27. Dallas Cowboys (12-4) – Eli Harold (DE/Virginia)
The Cowboys need a more reliable pass rush in the wake of losing DeMarcus Ware.
28. Denver Broncos (12-4) – Bendarick McKinney (ILB/Mississippi State)
Inside linebacker was easily the Broncos worst position this season. Jack Del Rio worked well with what he had, but they were paper-thin at the position much throughout 2014.
29. Seattle Seahawks (12-4) – Devin Funchess (WR/TE/Michigan)
Regardless of whether Funchess plays wide receiver or tight end in the pros, he is going to be a matchup nightmare to opposing defenses due to his frame. Seattle needs playmakers at a bargain price in the wake of Russell Wilson’s upcoming contract extension.
30. New England Patriots (12-4) – Malcom Brown (DT/Texas)
Vince Wilfork is in his contract year and will turn 34 this year. New England will need to find a young replacement for him.
31. Green Bay Packers (12-4) – Denzel Perryman (ILB/Miami FL)
The Packers have such a glaring need at inside linebacker that they are being forced to use Clay Matthews for the time being. This draft has a lot of high-end talent at the position for Green Bay.
32. Indianapolis Colts (11-5) – La’El Collins (OT/LSU)
The Colts offensive line is in need of a major upgrade. Collins profiles as a right tackle, but I think his future in the NFL is at guard.