Tamp Bay Buccaneers: Jameis Winston, QB, FSU
Winston is the best QB prospect in this draft and the Bucs need a franchise QB, so this isn’t a hard one to match up.
Tennessee Titans: Leonard Williams, DT, USC
Many have the #2 QB in this draft – Marcus Mariota – going in this spot, however, I don’t see logic behind the Titans coming out and endorsing Zach Mettenberger then taking a QB. The Titans defense has been horrible for a while so they could certainly use a blue chip player like Williams added to it.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Dante Fowler Jr, EDGE, Florida
There are a ton of top pass rushers in this draft, half of the top 8 could very well be EDGE players so the Jags have a lot of options here. I believe Fowler is 2nd best defensive player in the draft so he would be a good choice here.
Oakland Raiders: Kevin White, WR, WVU
After White ran a 4.35 40 at 6’3 215lbs at the combine he quickly shot up draft boards. The Raiders certainly could use a weapon for their young QB Derek Carr; White would be a big help to that offense.
Washington Redskins: Vic Beasley, EDGE, Clemson
Beasley was certainly this combine’s workout warrior. Showed incredible strength with 35 reps of 225 and amazing speed running a 4.53 40 at 6’3 246lbs, BOTH tops among all DL/LBs! Good tape is always great to have but a lot of the time it’s combine studs that tend to get taken high. Washington drafted Trent Murphy in the 2nd round last year but he seems to be more of a role player than a Brian Orakpo replacement. Beasley could start across from Ryan Kerrigan and help get after opposing QBs.
New York Jets: Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
The Jets have made a ton of moves this offseason and could very well be an adequate QB away from making the playoffs. Geno Smith has shown he’s not the answer, Mariota dropping to New York would be a dream for them.
Chicago Bears: Randy Gregory, EDGE, Nebraska
Gregory is seen by many as the best pure pass rusher in the draft. The Bears are transitioning to a 3-4 defense and could definitely use a player like Gregory if he fell to them.
Atlanta Falcons: Shane Ray, EDGE, Missouri
Ray is the last of the top group of pass rushers. Unfortunately he wasn’t allowed to participate at the combine due to a foot injury. His Pro Day is on March 19th, however, so he’ll be able to show what he’s got then and his draft stock could rise or fall after. Whomever it may be, the Falcons desperately need a pass rusher so I don’t see any of the top 4 getting past here.
New York Giants: Brandon Scherff, OL, Iowa
The Giants need to get better protection for Eli Manning, and they already have some pieces in Justin Pugh, Will Beatty and Weston Richburg. Scherff has flexibility that could allow him to start at either G or RT (moving Pugh inside) then possibly move to LT and send Beatty to the right side.
St. Louis Rams: Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
The Rams need a lot of help on their offensive line, however, with a top talent like Cooper falling to them like this, and a lack of a true #1 WR, they would have to take him or possibly trade down for some nice compensation.
Minnesota Vikings: Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan St.
Waynes is the top rated corner is this draft and backed it up with a stellar combine. Xavier Rhodes has been a great CB for the Vikings but they could use a starter across from him. They would make a great young duo for Minnesota.
Cleveland Browns: DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville
I’m sure the Browns are kicking themselves for not taking a single wide out in last year’s draft, which was one of the best for the position in history. With Josh Gordon being an incredible waste of talent getting suspended for all of next season, the Browns need to grab a receiver in this draft. Brian Hartline and Andrew Hawkins are nice 2 and 3 guys but they need a true #1; Parker could fill that role. I could even see Cleveland trading up for one of the top two guys.
New Orleans Saints: Jalen Collins, CB, LSU
The Saints defense was horrible last season. Their pass defense, especially, got burned. They just signed a big corner in Brandon Browner, but in the modern NFL receivers are getting bigger and bigger, and that’s certainly the case in the NFC South. New Orleans could use a young talent with Collins’ skill set. He’s a big, long, athletic corner that – with coaching and development – could become a star.
Miami Dolphins: Landon Collins, S, Alabama
Collins is widely believed to be the only safety in this draft with a 1st round grade, which could lead to him going quickly. The Dolphins SS, Louis Delmas, tore his ACL week 14 and is a free agent with an injury history. Collins is a versatile defender with a high floor, fast and great in run support. Would be a nice addition for Miami.
San Francisco 49ers: La’el Collins, OL, LSU
Guard Mike Iupati will be a big loss for the Niners if they can’t replace him. Collins played G and T at LSU and could play either in the NFL, but many think he has Pro Bowl potential inside.
Houston Texans: Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Missouri
The Texans have nobody to pair on the other side of DeAndre Hopkins after releasing Andre Johnson. Green-Beckham is a top talent who will fall in the draft due to character concerns. He was dismissed from the Missouri football program after being suspended twice so the concerns aren’t without merit, but he’s massive at 6’5 237lbs yet still runs fast posting a 4.49 40 at the combine. He has special potential, but could also be Josh Gordon.
San Diego Chargers: Danny Shelton, DT, Washington
The Chargers had a terrible run defense last season. A lot of people see Shelton going much higher than this, but in every draft nose tackles seem to drop. He would be a great value at this point plus he fills a big need for SD.
Kansas City Chiefs: Andrus Peat, OL, Stanford
The Chiefs took Eric Fisher with the #1 pick in 2013, but he hasn’t nearly played up to expectations. At the same time, KC needs to upgrade the RT position. Peat could provide competition for Fisher and also fill the hole on the right side.
Cleveland Browns (from BUF): Malcom Brown, DT, Texas
The Browns have a horrible defensive line, luckily, with two first round picks they could address their bad receiving corp and also land a top DT. Brown is a big boy who could play nose or end in their 3-4.
Philadelphia Eagles: Marcus Peters, CB, Washington
Peters, like Green-Beckham, is a prospect with a lot of talent, but big character concerns, that could go anywhere from top 10 to out of the first round. Some even see Peters as the top corner in the draft, so he would be a nice value for the Eagles whose biggest weakness has been their horrible CB play.
Cincinnati Bengals: Bud Dupree, EDGE, Kentucky
The Bengals had the least sacks in the NFL this past season, so their need for a pass rusher is evident. Dupree is a physical freak that’s big enough to play DE in a 4-3, and with some coaching, he could be a force.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Eli Harold, EDGE, Virginia
Jason Worilds surprisingly retired and Jarvis Jones hasn’t lived up to expectations, the Steelers can’t rely on James Harrison coming out of retirement again. Although he needs to put on some weight, Harold is a great pass rusher and would certainly help the Steelers’ reeling defense.
Detroit Lions: T.J. Clemmings, OL, Pittsburgh
The Lions are going to miss Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley but at least they landed Haloti Ngata. They could go DT here but there is so much depth at OL in this first round and they could use better protection for Matthew Stafford. Clemmings is a big athletic tackle that’s still raw but has all the tools to be great.
Arizona Cardinals: Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin
A running back wasn’t taken in the first round in each of the last two drafts, but this year’s class has two great backs that could go in the first. Andre Ellington is an explosive RB, but he’s just not a back that can carry the ball 20+ times a game like the Cardinals want. Gordon is that type of back and would immediately provide them the workhorse they haven’t had for a while.
Carolina Panthers: D.J. Humphries, OL, Florida
This pick HAS to be offensive line for the Panthers, they have the worst unit in the NFL. Luckily, as I’ve said, this is a very deep draft at the top for tackles. Humphries could step in at LT for Carolina day 1 and provide an upgrade in protection for Cam Newton.
Baltimore Ravens: Arik Armstead, DT, Oregon
The Ravens have two very good young defensive linemen in 2013’s 3rd round pick NT Brandon Williams and last year’s 2nd rounder DT Timmy Jernigan, however, they just lost a stud in Haloti Ngata. Armstead could come in and give Baltimore a great young trio. At an athletic 6’7 292lbs, Armstead provides a big pass rushing threat in the middle.
Dallas Cowboys: Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia
I’m sure everyone knows the Cowboys lost DeMarco Murray to the Eagles. It would be Dallas’ best case scenario for one of the top 2 backs to fall to #27. As I’ve written in my draft notes for Todd Gurley, he is a top talent that only has a chance to fall due to injury concerns. With Darren McFadden, Lance Dunbar, Ryan Williams, and Joseph Randle, Dallas can certainly afford to take Gurley and not bank on him having to start week 1.
Denver Broncos: Ereck Flowers, OL, Miami
As Peyton Manning enters his final years, the Broncos need to get him the best protection they can. Flowers would be an immediate upgrade at RT, not only providing protection for Manning, but he’s an absolute bruiser in the run game. Would be a big help in bolstering Denver’s run offense, which they seemed to rely on more and more last season.
Indianapolis Colts: Cameron Erving, OL, FSU
Here the Colts land the best center in the draft and get Andrew Luck the much-needed protection he needs inside. This draft’s class of offensive linemen is much like last year’s class of cornerbacks as there’s a bunch of guys at the top and it’s going to be tough to peg which order they go.
Green Bay Packers: Denzel Perryman, LB, Miami
The Packers released A.J. Hawk this offseason and will need a replacement. I’m sure they’d also like to kick Clay Matthews back outside where he belongs. Perryman is a traditional type LB – not a flashy athlete – and he’s solid against the run. He would be a big help to GB.
New Orleans Saints (from SEA): Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota
This one seems pretty easy, the Saints traded Jimmy Graham and here are in position to take this draft’s best TE. Of course Williams is no Graham, nobody is, but he is a good athlete and great pass catcher. Large catch radius that fills an obvious need.
New England Patriots: Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida St.
The Patriots lost a huge body in Vince Wilfork this offseason, here they can replace it with another. Mammoth at 6’4 336lbs, Goldman could provide the Pats with a true NT. Some have last year’s 1st round selection Dominique Easley as the favorite for that position, but he’d be very undersized at 6’2 290lbs to play the 0.