BY LUKE EASTERLING
*Draft order courtesy of NFL.com
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon – The Bucs are in the driver’s seat for the top pick at the moment, and their fans couldn’t be happier. This pick would give them their choice of potential franchise quarterbacks, and if I’m making the call, it’s Mariota all the way. The Bucs will be looking for a new offensive coordinator this offseason anyway, so they could find one who will work best with Mariota’s unique abilities and experience.
2. Tennessee Titans – Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State – The Jake Locker experiment has officially failed, so it’s time for the Titans to take their next swing at a franchise player under center. Winston obviously isn’t without his concerns, both on and off the field, but he has the potential to be a superstar.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars – Leonard Williams, DT, USC – The Jags have gone offense with their top-five picks the past two years in a row, so now it’s time for Gus Bradley to spend a premium pick on his defense. Williams is a dominant force on the interior and would be the next great building block for a promising young roster.
4. New York Jets – Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame – With the top quarterbacks off the board, the Jets would have to look to other needs. Amari Cooper is a popular pick here, but the depth this receiver class could make them go the route of grabbing a franchise left tackle with D’Brickashaw Ferguson getting older. Stanley is a top-five talent who might even return for his senior season.
5. Oakland Raiders – Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama – With a single win, the Raiders went from holding the top pick to barely staying in the top five. They might not mid too much in this scenario, however, as they bag the top play-maker in this year’s deep crop of pass-catchers.
6. Washington Redskins – Randy Gregory, OLB, Nebraska – Landon Collins has been the popular pick here, but the Redskins could also use another edge rusher, and it would be hard to pass up a talent like Gregory if he were to fall out of the top five.
7. New York Giants – Bud Dupree, DE, Kentucky – The Giants were at their best when they had a cupboard stocked full of dynamic pass-rushers, and it’s time to start that trend once again. Dupree is a bit misused at Kentucky, but would flourish as a full-time pass-rusher.
8. Carolina Panthers – La’el Collins, OT, LSU – Cam Newton has his play-making receiver to stretch the field now in Kelvin Benjamin, and now it’s time to focus on protecting his blind side. Collins has experience at both guard and tackle, and could end up being the top left tackle prospect in this class, depending on early entrants.
9. Chicago Bears – Landon Collins, S, Alabama – The Bears need help all over the back seven, so they should be free to take the best player available who can fill any of those spots. In this scenario, the rare athletic talent of Collins falls to them to shore up the last line of defense.
10. New Orleans Saints – Brandon Scherff, OL, Iowa – Drew Brees has shown signs of regression this season, but he won’t be replaced quickly, and the Saints will have to do their best to keep him protected. Scherff is extremely versatile, with the ability to start at guard from Day 1 and possible transition into either of the starting tackle spots.
11. Minnesota Vikings – Shaq Thompson, OLB, Washington – The Vikings could go in a few different directions here, but Thompson represents the best combination of fit and value in this scenario. Mike Zimmer would get another athletic play-maker to plug into his defense.
12. St. Louis Rams – Marcus Peters, CB, Washington – With no chance at the top quarterbacks, the Rams could look to grab the top corner in this class. Peters’ issues with his coaches at Washington have been well-documented, but he’s still a top-15 talent who could do himself plenty of favors by winning the interview portion of the combine.
13. Houston Texans – DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville – Another team who will likely miss out on the franchise quarterback they need, Houston also needs to start planning for life after Andre Johnson. DeAndre Hopkins is a stud, but pairing him with Parker could make life extremely enjoyable for whoever ends up taking the snaps in 2015.
14. Cleveland Browns – Kevin White, WR, West Virginia – Josh Gordon is back, but he needs a running mate. White has the skills to become a No. 1 NFL receiver, but he would have the benefit of Gordon taking the primary attention of opposing defenses.
15. San Francisco 49ers – Shane Ray, OLB, Missouri – The 49ers are always looking for athletic edge rushers, and they would luck out in this scenario by grabbing one of the best in this class. Ray bends the edge as well as any rusher in this deep class.
16. Miami Dolphins – Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia – First-round running backs were thought to be a thing of the past, but Gurley’s rare talent should make him a top pick, despite a torn ACL. The Dolphins have bigger needs, but Gurley could help give Ryan Tannehill a play-maker in the running game, something every quarterback covets.
17. Cleveland Browns (from BUF) – Shawn Oakman, DE, Baylor – Having bagged a receiver with their first pick, the Browns can look in multiple directions with this pick. Oakman is a monster of a man who would be a perfect fit as a 5-technique.
18. Kansas City Chiefs – Ty Sambrailo, OT, Colorado State – Eric Fisher has flopped so far, and it might already be time to find a new starting left tackle. Sambrailo is a nasty blocker who has slowly been generating buzz over the past few weeks, and could easily work himself into the top 20 picks.
19. Baltimore Ravens – Dante Fowler, OLB, Florida – It’s time for Ozzie Newsome to start looking for the next Terrell Suggs to groom, and this year’s deep class of edge players makes this a perfect opportunity. Fowler has the explosive first step necessary to be an effective pass-rusher in the 3-4, but he’s still athletic enough to drop into coverage, if needed.
20. Dallas Cowboys – P.J. Williams, CB, Florida State – The Cowboys could use help at multiple spots on defense, which should allow them to let the best value fall to them. Williams is an aggressive corner who also excels in run support, something Rod Marinelli covets in his Tampa 2 corners.
21. Atlanta Falcons – Vic Beasley, DE, Clemson – Atlanta’s pass rush was among the league’s worst this season, so they’ll be looking for a dynamic presence off the edge with this pick. Beasley’s stock has cooled a bit since the preseason, but he’s still a first-round talent.
22. Pittsburgh Steelers – Danny Shelton, DL, Washington – Mike Tomlin’s crew needs to get younger and more explosive on defense, and Shelton brings the physical presence the Steelers have become known for.
23. San Diego Chargers – Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State – The Bolts addressed their need at corner in the first round last year, but Jason Verrett ended his season on injured reserve with a shoulder issue, and Brandon Flowers only signed a one-year deal. Waynes has the size and skill set to become a top cover man.
24. Cincinnati Bengals – Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Oklahoma – Marvin Lewis has a few reliable role players at receiver, but he lacks a true No. 2 threat to take attention away from A.J. Green. DGB has had his share of off-field issues, but there’s no denying his rare blend of size and speed.
25. Detroit Lions – Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida State – Ndamukong Suh is likely to break the bank elsewhere in free agency, leaving a gaping hole in the middle of Detroit’s defensive line. Goldman has emerged as one of the top talents on a star-studded Seminoles defense, establishing himself as a legitimate first-round talent.
26. Indianapolis Colts – Cedric Ogbuehi, OT, Texas A&M – Protecting Andrew Luck is of the utmost importance, so look for the Colts to address that with this pick. Once thought to be this year’s top tackle prospect, Ogbuehi has slipped a little, but still provides solid starting experience at both tackle spots in the nation’s top conference.
27. Philadelphia Eagles – Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, Oregon – Philly needs to address the secondary, and the value in this scenario is better at corner than safety. Ifo is undersized but has rare athleticism, and head coach Chip Kelly is very familiar with his game.
28. Seattle Seahawks – Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin – With Marshawn Lynch expected to walk this offseason, the Seahawks could be one of the few teams in position to pull the trigger on a running back in the first round. Gordon destroyed the stat sheet all season for the Badgers, and would slide right in as a nice replacement for Lynch.
29. Green Bay Packers – Eric Kendricks, ILB, UCLA – The Pack need stability in the middle of their defense, and they end up with one of the nation’s best defenders in this scenario. The winner of the Dick Butkus Award, Kendricks is a sure tackler who is athletic enough to excel in coverage.
30. New England Patriots – Devin Funchess, WR, Michigan – The Pats will keep trying to make life easier on Tom Brady which means either improving his protection or surrounding him with more weapons. Funchess is a WR/TE hybrid who has a great combination of size, strength and athleticism.
31. Arizona Cardinals – Michael Bennett, DL, Ohio State – These picks in a lower part of the first round are all about maximizing value first, filling needs second. The defensive line might not be the biggest concern for Arizona, but grabbing a versatile talent like Bennett would be better than reaching at another position.
32. Denver Broncos – Bernardick McKinney, OLB, Mississippi State – Denver doesn’t need much, but a play-making linebacker is at the top of that short list. McKinney is a tackling machine who can play sideline-to-sideline and even get after the passer, if needed.
33. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford
34. Tennessee Titans – Shilique Calhoun, OLB, Michigan State
35. Jacksonville Jaguars – Ronald Darby, CB, Florida State
36. New York Jets – Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State
37. Oakland Raiders – Hau’oli Kikaha, DE, Washington
38. Washington Redskins – Gerod Holliman, S, Louisville
39. New York Giants – T.J. Clemmings, OT, Pittsburgh
40. Carolina Panthers – Preston Smith, DE, Mississippi State
41. Chicago Bears – Paul Dawson, OLB, TCU
42. New Orleans Saints – Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest
43. Minnesota Vikings – Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State
44. St. Louis Rams – Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA
45. Houston Texans – Duke Johnson, RB, Miami (FL)
46. Cleveland Browns – Lorenzo Mauldin, OLB, Louisville
47. San Francisco 49ers – A.J. Cann, G, South Carolina
48. Miami Dolphins – Senquez Golson, CB, Mississippi
49. Buffalo Bills – Danielle Hunter, DE, LSU
50. Kansas City Chiefs – Nelson Agholor, WR, USC
51. Baltimore Ravens – Carl Davis, DL, Iowa
52. Dallas Cowboys – Malcom Brown, DT, Texas
53. Atlanta Falcons – Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota
54. Pittsburgh Steelers – Cody Prewitt, S, Mississippi
55. San Diego Chargers – Cameron Irving, C, Florida State
56. Cincinnati Bengals – Quandre Diggs, CB, Texas
57. Detroit Lions – Lorenzo Doss, CB, Tulane
58. Indianapolis Colts – Kurtis Drummond, S, Michigan State
59. Philadelphia Eagles – Eli Harold, OLB, Virginia
60. Seattle Seahawks – Mario Edwards, Jr., DE, Florida State
61. Green Bay Packers – Gabe Wright, DL, Auburn
62. New England Patriots – Arik Armstead, DE, Oregon
63. Arizona Cardinals – Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia
64. Denver Broncos – Markus Golden, DE, Missouri
65. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Rashad Greene, WR, Florida State
66. Tennessee Titans – Charles Gaines, CB, Louisville
67. Jacksonville Jaguars – Tevin Coleman, RB, Indiana
68. New York Jets – Sammie Coates, WR, Auburn
69. Oakland Raiders – Doran Grant, CB, Ohio State
70. Washington Redskins – Spencer Drango, OT, Baylor
71. New York Giants – Denzel Perryman, ILB, Miami (FL)
72. Carolina Panthers – D’Joun Smith, CB, Florida Atlantic
73. Chicago Bears – Nate Orchard, DE, Utah
74. New Orleans Saints – Kris Frost, ILB, Auburn
75. Minnesota Vikings – Jake Fisher, OT, Oregon
76. St. Louis Rams – T.J. Yeldon, RB, Alabama
77. Houston Texans – Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami (FL)
78. Cleveland Browns – Ramik Wilson, ILB, Georgia
79. San Francisco 49ers – DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon
80. Miami Dolphins – Ty Montgomery, WR, Stanford
81. Buffalo Bills – Laken Tomlinson, G, Duke
82. Kansas City Chiefs – Quinten Rollins, CB, Miami (OH)
83. Baltimore Ravens – Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska
84. Dallas Cowboys – Trey Flowers, DE, Arkansas
85. Atlanta Falcons – Derron Smith, S, Fresno State
86. Pittsburgh Steelers – Cam Thomas, CB, Western Kentucky
87. San Diego Chargers – Ellis McCarthy, NT, UCLA
88. Cincinnati Bengals – Christian Covington, DT, Rice
89. Detroit Lions – Eric Striker, LB, Oklahoma
90. Indianapolis Colts – Tre Jackson, G, Florida State
91. Philadelphia Eagles – Karl Joseph, S, West Virginia
92. Seattle Seahawks – Ben Koyack, TE, Notre Dame
93. Green Bay Packers – Jordan Jenkins, OLB, Georgia
94. New England Patriots – Josue Matias, G, Florida State
95. Arizona Cardinals – Hayes Pullard, ILB, USC
96. Denver Broncos – Justin Hardy, WR, East Carolina