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2015 NFL Draft Live Blog (1st Round)

May 1, 2015

This blog has ended.

Below are my Top 20 players available going into Day 2

  1. Landon Collins S Alabama Jr.
  2. TJ Clemmings OT Pittsburgh Jr.
  3. Xavier Cooper DT Washington St. Jr.
  4. Donovan Smith OT Penn State Sr.
  5. Eric Rowe S Utah Sr.
  6. Jalen Collins CB LSU Jr.
  7. Randy Gregory PR Nebraska Jr.
  8. Jake Fisher OT Oregon Sr.
  9. Duke Johnson RB Miami Jr.
  10. La’el Collins OG LSU Jr.
  11. Henry Anderson DT Stanford Sr.
  12. PJ Williams CB Florida St. Jr.
  13. Nate Orchard PR Utah Sr.
  14. Tevin Coleman RB Indiana Jr.
  15. Brett Hundley QB UCLA Jr.
  16. Jordan Phillips DT Oklahoma Soph
  17. Bernardrick McKinney LB Mississippi St. Jr.
  18. AJ McCann OG South Carolina Sr.
  19. Hronis Grasu C Oregon Sr.
  20. Ameer Abdullah RB Nebraska Jr.

32. Patriots: Malcom Brown-A very good pick to end the 1st round as he was a Top 10 available player on my board and fits a need as they lost Vince Wilfork this past offseason. Landon Collins at safety or Jalen Collins at cornerback would have been great fits as well but I have no qualms with Brown at this spot.

31. Saints: Stephone Anthony-Wow I had heard things about this kid but never that he might be a 1st rounder. I haven’t scouted him yet as I was under the assumption he’d be a 3rd or 4th rounder. Get your analysis somewhere else for this one.

30. Packers: Damarious Randall-I like the kid but he’s a safety and Landon Collins is still on the board so I think this is a pretty dumb pick. Randall is more of a FS though while Collins is a SS. Randall is a Jimmy Ward clone as he can play the slot, can be an undersized outside corner or can play FS. It makes a lot of sense but he was the #3 safety on my board to begin the draft process and with the top 2 still available (Collins and Eric Rowe) I would have thought the Packers would go in a different direction.

By the way this is as good a time as any for me to make my prediction: The Colts will beat the Seahawks in the Super Bowl next year. I’ve said for 3 straight years how Andrew Luck has just been carrying that mediocre team on his back and each year he’s gotten a little farther. He made the playoffs in year 1, made it to the 2nd round in year 2 and into the AFC championship in year 3. This offseason they added Andre Johnson and Frank Gore who are legit playmakers in their own right while I think the Broncos and Patriots lost a lot of talent and will take a step back. Luck gets his first ring next season.

29. Colts: Phillip Dorsett-He’s a solid WR with elite speed but I never saw him as a first round pick. I haven’t fully graded him yet but to me he looks like a 2nd round type talent. A bit of a surprise but who can be too much against giving Andrew Luck another talented receiving threat.

28. Lions: Laken Tomlinson-Another guy taken not in my Top 50, he was #53 though so not as big of a reach or is it? La’el Collins is a potential Pro Bowl OG that is being questioned by Police right now due to a murder of his former girlfriend. I suspect that event cost Collins his spot here as I just don’t see how you can put on the tape and say that Tomlinson is a better guard than Collins. It’s a big reach, I HATE taking guards in the 1st round and I didn’t see Tomlinson as that type of elite guard that should even be in consideration for a 1st round pick. Terrible pick.

27. Cowboys: Come on Cowboys please take Landon Collins!

Byron Jones-Oh well it isn’t a bad pick. He was the #9 available guy on my board. I thought CB and RB were by far the Cowboys two biggest needs going into the draft and we’ve now addressed one of them. Also Jones has elite upside and could become a shutdown corner. The only reason I have him as the #2 CB on the board and #4 DB left on the board is because he still seems extremely raw and this is very much a boom/bust type pick. Below is my profile of the CB:

Byron Jones Connecticut 6’0 5/8 199 Sr.

Comparison: Ras-I Dowling

Stats: Big East

Year Tackles Sack TFL FF PBU INT TD
2014 24 0 0 0 4 2 1
2013 60 0 2 0 8 3 0
2012 87 0 1.5 0 2 1 0
2011 51 0 0 0 4 2 0

Combine: He and Kevin White probably had the two best Combines in 2015. His vertical of 44 ½ is one of the best I’ve ever graded. His broad jump of 12’3 was the highest mark ever at the Combine. To put that mark in perspective, the Olympics retired the standing broad jump in 1912 and at the time the WORLD RECORD was 11’4 ½! He didn’t just beat a world record but shattered it. Add to that the fact that he also had a sub 4.0 shuttle as a +6’0 CB (something I was bragging about in Kevin Johnson’s profile) as well as the fact that he had ’10 hands which is incredibly rare for a CB and you can make the case it was one of the best Combines EVER for a cornerback.

HGT WGT Arms Hands 40 Reps Vert Broad Shuttle 3 Cone
6005 199 32 10 44.5 1203 3.94 6.78

Strengths: He has Top 5 talent in terms of size, speed, quickness and explosion. His measurables are some of the best on record at his position. He isn’t great with the ball in the air but he is more than solid as evidenced by his 8 career INTs. He has the versatility to be a cornerback or a safety. He ran a 4.36 40 at his Pro Day. He is very good in run support and has +200 career tackles, again evidence that he could move to safety.
Weaknesses:
His most natural position appears to be safety. I left him at cornerback because it is the position where he could make the most impact since he doesn’t have great instincts so he’d never be a ballhawking safety. He isn’t balanced and isn’t smooth in his backpedal which concerns me. He had good production but his game film isn’t on par with his historic measurables. He is a tightly built athlete which often doesn’t translate well at the CB position.

Overall: Byron has the highest upside of any DB in this draft class. Unfortunately I’m still unconvinced that his best position is CB, I don’t see all of his historic measurables translating to his on field play and he’s coming off an injury plagued season. There is a lot of homework to be done with Byron as I can see some team making a case that he is the #1 CB in the draft and I can see another team making the case that he’s a workout warrior and not worth consideration until the 3rd round. I like him and have him sneaking into the 1st round in my final analysis but am still a little wary of him. To be honest I think he will be mediocre at CB and eventually move to FS but I agree with the consensus that you have to first let him fail at CB as his upside is so high at that position. A lot of his future success will probably be determined by which team drafts him and what scheme they play him in. Unfortunately I won’t know that before I make my final grade so I will just conclude by saying that Byron has all the talent in the world but is extremely raw and possibly isn’t playing the correct position. I’d love to get him on my team and experiment with him but due to the questions surrounding him I can’t put him any higher than #5 on my CB list as a late 1st rounder 4/26/15.

Cowboys on the clock: Below are the Top 20 players on my board with the Cowboys on the clock

  1. Landon Collins S Alabama Jr.
  2. TJ Clemmings OT Pittsburgh Jr.
  3. Xavier Cooper DT Washington St. Jr.
  4. Donovan Smith OT Penn State Sr.
  5. Eric Rowe S Utah Sr.
  6. Jalen Collins CB LSU Jr.
  7. Malcom Brown DT Texas Jr.
  8. Randy Gregory PR Nebraska Jr.
  9. Byron Jones CB Uconn Sr.
  10. Jake Fisher OT Oregon Sr.

26. Ravens: Breshad Perriman-I love the kid’s thickness and timed speed (4.25 40 at his pro day) but he doesn’t play that fast. He’s really a 6’2 210 guy who runs a 4.40 but even that is rather impressive. He’s raw and didn’t seem to really do much other than run deep routes but the talent is there. Some had him as a Top 15 talent and I highly disagreed but he was my #5 WR and an early 2nd rounder so for the Ravens to take him in the late 1st after 4 other wideouts had been taken makes a lot of sense to me.

25. Panthers: Shaq Thompson-I just heard Mike Mayock say, “most people had him in the 2nd or 3rd round,” well I did too as he was a mid 2nd rounder on my board but it makes sense. Thompson is just a flat out playmaker and for a team like the Panthers that values the linebacker position (former 1st rounders in Thomas Davis and Luke Kuechly) I see their logic. He probably is a reach but I’ll bet that 3 years from now we won’t remember he was a reach since there will have been so many highlight reel plays of his in the meantime.

24. Cardinals: DJ Humphries-The second pick in the 1st round that didn’t make my Top 50, he was #63 as a mid 2nd rounder and I liked him as a capable starting OT, likely RT, in this league but wow in the first round? That is a pretty tough pick for me to swallow. I might actually make the case the Dupree pick is better than Humphries as at least I had heard some people give Dupree 1st round chatter. I never heard Humphries as a 1st rounder before.

23. Broncos: Shane Ray-He was the #21 available on my board as I had a mid 2nd grade on him but most saw 1st round talent so it makes sense. Also the Lions had their DL devastated by free agency and he can kick inside to DT on passing downs. I’ll be curious to see how he pans out as he was one of the tougher evaluations in this draft process.

Cowboys thought #7-I just realized that I somehow never had Landon Collins my #1 safety and a Top 10 talent in my eyes on my Top 50 so I’m putting him in now and updating the Cowboys’ wish list: S Landon Collins, CB/S Eric Rowe, PR Randy Gregory

22. Steelers: Bud Dupree-He was the 73rd best player on my board, didn’t make my Top 50 so I didn’t know what # he was in best available and is officially the worst pick in the 1st round. Jarvis Jones had all the production in the world but a terrible Combine and has been a very mediocre player to this point. I feel that Dupree is the exact opposite prospect as he is a freak of nature but never really used it to be that dominant in college. So they basically have chosen two polar opposite pass rushers in a 3 year span and are going to pair them with each other with the hope that they can strike gold once. I understand the logic but Dupree to me is not a good pick at #22.

21. Bengals: Cedric Ogbuehi-He was the #9 available and I think it makes a lot of sense as he probably needs to be redshirted since he tore his ACL in the bowl game just a few months ago. The Bengals can afford to wait since they have a Pro Bowl LT in Andrew Whitworth and a solid RT in Andre Smith. They’ll PUP him, possibly bring him back at game 6 to be the swing tackle or just IR him at that point and let him compete with Smith in 2016 with the idea that he will replace Whitworth at LT in 2017. Good, logical pick which tends to be the MO of the Bengals anymore.

20. Eagles: Nelson Agholar-Good pick. I was thinking they’d take Eric Rowe or Byron Jones as I see CB as a bigger need for them but WR is probably #2 and Agholar is solid value. He also fits Chip Kelly’s profile of what he wants in a player as he keeps jettisoning the selfish, talkative player and replacing them with the quiet, humble and hard working type. Agholar fits the same mold as Frank Gore (yes he didn’t sign there but they went hard after him first), Darren Sproles, DeMarco Murray, Kiko Alonso, etc.

19. Browns: Cameron Erving-I like the pick as he was the #7 available on my board and his tape at center is outstanding but it confuses me a bit since they already have a Pro Bowl center in Alex Mack. I guess they decided to go blood and guts with Shelton and Erving after their two flashy picks last year were so terrible. Also Mack has a weird contract that has an out clause in it so they might just have Erving at OG in 2015 knowing that Mack will leave them in 2016. Reminds me a little of the Leonard Williams to the Jets pick as it makes me wonder if this is just a fill a hole that isn’t there now but will be there in 2016 free agency.

Cowboys thought #6-The trio of players (Kevin Johnson, Marcus Peters and Randy Gregory) that might entice the Cowboys to stay at #27, is down to 1 with Marcus Peters gone.

18. Chiefs: Marcus Peters-Damn it! I was really hoping that Peters getting kicked off of the team last year would be enough to have him drop to the Cowboys at #27. I love this kid and have him as the #1 CB in the draft and almost a Top 10 pick even with his baggage. He’s big, physical, quick and has elite ball skills. I see him as a potential Pro Bowl player. Great pick.

17. 49ers: Arik Armstead-I was not a fan of Armstead so he was the #25 player available but most people were huge fans of his and he slotted in around this area so it isn’t a reach in that regard. I also would say that this is the perfect fit for him as some were arguing that he was a one gap DT and was held back by the Oregon scheme. I wasn’t sure that argument made complete sense as I saw Armstead as a 3-4 DE who has good athleticism but will never be a big time pass rusher. With the 49ers he can replace Justin Smith and be on the right side of that DL with Aldon Smith over his shoulder. That will be a formidable duo.

Cowboys thought #5-The trio of players (Kevin Johnson, Marcus Peters and Randy Gregory) that might entice the Cowboys to stay at #27, is down to 2 with Kevin gone.

16. Texans: Kevin Johnson-Great pick and one that I called as it just fits too well. Johnson to me is better than Trae Waynes as his strength, ball skills and quickness are elite on film. Waynes struggles in all of those areas and I think was overrated due to his 4.31 40 time. Johnson is added to Jadeveon Clowney and JJ Watt in what could be a great defense over the next few years.

Cowboys thought #4-With Gordon gone the idea that the Cowboys would take a RB in Round 1 is officially over. Now I think there are 3 remaining guys (Kevin Johnson, Marcus Peters and Randy Gregory) that might entice them enough to stay at #27, otherwise they are trading down.

15. Chargers: Melvin Gordon-Great pick as it is good value, he was the #2 available guy on my board, and is a perfect fit. I love Gurley but felt he was unfairly being characterized as the only potential star back in this draft. Gordon has Pro Bowl potential and is deserving of being a 1st round pick.

14. Dolphins: DeVante Parker-Most, Mel Kiper in particular, agree with this pick but I’m not as high on him as some. I see him as a 2nd round talent that got a late 1st round grade on my board due to his one elite trait-his jump ball skills. He’s tall with long arms, a good vertical and has just a natural feel for when to jump along with the strong hands to snatch the ball at its highest point. He will have multiple double digit TD years in his career.

Cowboys thought #3-With Peat just being taken Marcus Peters is officially the #1 available guy on my board as of pick #14. I mention it as there is a chance Peters is available at #27 and I want to emphasize just how good of a value it would be. I’m a huge Peters fan.

13. Saints: Andrus Peat-A great pick as it was the #1 guy available on my board and I had a Top 10 grade on him. I know the Utah game with Nate Orchard was a watershed moment for many scouts but he was a Top 10 guy last year in my eyes and I wasn’t going to throw away two years worth of good tape just because of one bad game. He has LT skills in a RT body and will need a little time to figure things out as he’s raw but to me he can start Day 1 on either side of the line for an NFL team and that is rare. Good pick.

12. Browns: Danny Shelton-Great pick as to me he was a Top 10 talent and he’s a no-frills type which is what the Browns need after the Manziel/Gilbert debacle with their two first rounders last year. My two favorite things about Shelton are his motor and his stats as 340 lb NTs don’t usually have a high number of tackles and/or sacks yet Shelton had both. Also he consistently battled when he was in the game and didn’t “rest up” on a play so he could stay on the field on 3rd down and go after the QB. He went all out and showed the endurance to stay on the field for most snaps which is rare for a guy his size.

11. Vikings: Trae Waynes-A month ago I would have said this made a lot of sense but I firmly believe that Waynes not only isn’t the #1 CB but isn’t even the #2 as Marcus Peters and Kevin Johnson are elite talents. He does fit well with Xavier Rhodes though as Xavier is big, long and slow while Waynes is a speedster so they could match them up based on the WRs they’d face and it could be a good situation for Waynes.

*Todd had great shake voice. Tara loved it. She is officially the third biggest Gurley fan in the world. Joe and Samantha still are top 2.

Cowboys thought #2-Todd Gurley just taken. Not a big deal to me as I haven’t thought Gurley would fall to the Cowboys for weeks now. My only wish is he had dropped a bit farther so a few more RB needy teams would have passed by as it would have helped the chances that Melvin Gordon dropped to us.

10. Rams: Todd Gurley-I love it. You have other needs but the #1 guy on my board at this point was Danny Shelton and they are already stocked too deep at the position. The #3 guy on my board was Todd Gurley and with Tre Mason, Zack Stacy and Bennie Cunningham already on board they can give him plenty of time to let him get 100% healthy. If I were them I would PUP list him and then use him as a hammer in the 2nd half of the season since he’ll be fresh and motivated.

9. Giants: Ereck Flowers-Worst pick in the draft and I thought I actually had a consensus view on Flowers which was late 1st/early 2nd round. He is a great run blocker and has enough athleticism to maybe be a LT, more likely is a RT, which then allows Justin Pugh to move inside. I get why they went OT at #9 but Flowers? He was the #26 available player on my board and the #6 available OT behind Peat, Cummings, Smith, Ogbuehi and Fisher.

8. Falcons: Vic Beasley-I get it as they’ve needed a top pass rusher since John Abraham left them 3 years ago and Beasley will be productive for them but he was the 10th best player available and at pick #8 it seems to be too big of a stretch.

*My wife is watching it with me and knows like 3 players but saw him White and recognized him. “He was that guy at the Combine who walked around like a badass.” Yep that was him.

7. Bears: Kevin White-Well they went from Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey to Kevin White and Jeffrey. Not a bad combo and I think it makes more sense as White is still a big, physical WR but he has more speed than Marshall at this stage of his career and Jeffrey is a bit of a plodder. They need White’s speed to open up things and I fully expect him to be rookie of the year.

6. Jets: Leonard Williams-To this point it is the best value in the draft by far. The problem is that they already have Muhammad Wilkerson, former 1st rounder who is one of the 10 best DTs in the league, and Sheldon Richardson, former 1st rounder who was defensive rookie of the year just two years ago. They run a 3-4 but can you really have 3 first rounders on that 3-4? Usually it is the opposite as the 3 guys on a 3-4 or space cloggers and then the two edge rushers on the 3-4 are the high picks. The Jets did it in reverse and it’s a good case study of whether it will work. Jets fans would say, “Well of course we did it in reverse and of course it won’t work.”

I love Jon Gruden’s comment, “Get Geno someone. It’s been hard to evaluate Geno these past two years.” It has not been hard to evaluate Geno Smith. He’s consistently played for two seasons and has yet to have a QB Rating of 80 or higher. An 85 QB Rating is bad and it will probably be another year or two of development before he gets there. He will need to develop to become bad. Dumb!

5. Redskins: Brandon Scherff-And the draft just got interesting….I hate this pick but I love this kid. He grew on me and I just love his nastiness. The Redskins really could use a guy like this as everyone knows they will need to rely on their running game with RGIII and Cousins under center but couldn’t they have traded down? No one wants Leonard Williams or Kevin White? Also I think this pick screams “let’s copy the Dallas Cowboys.”

4. Raiders: Amari Cooper-Another pick that I don’t agree with but the consensus does. To me Cooper is a low end #1 while Kevin White is a future superstar. One thing though I do like about this pick is the Raiders are at times a bit of a sideshow for the NFL and in back to back drafts they’ve taken hard working, professional, mature players in Khalil Mack and now in Amari Cooper. There isn’t a locker room in the NFL that could use more guys like that than Oakland’s so it makes sense in that regard.

3. Jaguars: Dante Fowler-I like Fowler and I think it is a perfect fit for the Jaguars defense but I love Leonard Williams and think in 5 years they will regret taking Fowler for fit over Williams for value. I am in the minority though as a few teams considered this guy the #1 player in the draft. If you were of that opinion then this is a steal getting the #1 guy at #3. I’m not in that camp but he’ll be a good player for him and I continue to think the Jaguars aren’t far off from being a playoff contender. The key though is more Bortles than Fowler and I still have my doubts on that questionable pick at #3 last year.

Cowboys thought #1-I’ve always said I think their trading down. It is too early to tell who will be available when they are on the clock at #27 but I have a feeling that unless Todd Gurley or one of the elite CBs is on the board they will trade down. I’m not even convinced they’d stay for Melvin Gordon who would be great value at that point. We will see.

2. TItans: Marcus Mariota-I like Mariota and I don’t like Mettenberger so I get this but I would have tried to figure out a trade with either the Browns or the Eagles and move down. It is rare to have a high pick AND a number of teams willing to mortgage their future for the pick. The Titans were put in that position and passed so Mariota had better work out for them. By the way did you hear the commissioner screw up Mariota’s name? I get him screwing up a 3rd rounder’s name but the 2nd pick in the draft? Rather sad Goodell.

1. Bucs: Jameis Winston QB-I love the pick and I get how people can hate him, I dislike him myself, but I really consider Jameis to be a franchise QB and those come around once every 2-3 years. The Bucs are immediately in contention in the NFC South, where the Panthers won the division last year with a losing record, as he has Mike Evans, Vincent Jackson and Austin Seferian-Jenkins who was having an okay rookie season before it was cut short by injury. Don’t be surprised if they got 8-8 or 9-7 next season and are in playoff contention immediately.

Sorry for being late but I just skidded in from my scouting room. I apologize but I tried as hard as I could to get a complete Top 50 at least for the 1st Round. I was able to get it finished at every position except WR and even there I was able to get the Top 5 wideouts ranked. Below is my Top 50, set in stone except for the WR grouping which the Cowboys won’t be looking at anyway.

  1. Jameis Winston QB Florida St. Soph             Top 5
  2. Leonard Williams DT USC Jr.
  3. Marcus Mariota QB Oregon Jr.
  4. Kevin White WR West Virginia Jr.
  5. Danny Shelton DT Washington Sr.                Top 10
  6. Landon Collins S Alabama Jr.
  7. Dante Fowler PR Florida Jr.
  8. Andrus Peat OT Stanford
  9. Todd Gurley RB Georgia Jr.                             Top 15
  10. Marcus Peters CB Washington Jr.
  11. Melvin Gordon RB Wisconsin Jr.                    Mid 1st
  12. Amari Cooper WR Alabama Jr.
  13. TJ Clemmings OT Pittsburgh Jr.
  14. Kevin Johnson CB Wake Forest Sr.                Top 20
  15. Brandon Scherff OG Iowa Sr.
  16. Xavier Cooper DT Washington St. Jr.
  17. Donovan Smith OT Penn State Sr.
  18. Vic Beasley PR Clemson Sr.
  19. Eric Rowe S Utah Sr.
  20. Trae Waynes CB Michigan St. Jr.                   Late 1st
  21. Jalen Collins CB LSU Jr.
  22. Malcom Brown DT Texas Jr.
  23. Cameron Erving C FSU Sr.
  24. DeVante Parker WR Louisville Sr.
  25. Nelson Agholar WR USC Jr.
  26. Randy Gregory PR Nebraska Jr.
  27. Byron Jones CB Uconn Sr.
  28. Cedric Ogbuehi OT Texas A&M Sr.
  29. Jake Fisher OT Oregon Sr.
  30. Duke Johnson RB Miami Jr.                             Early 2nd
  31. La’el Collins OG LSU Jr.
  32. Henry Anderson DT Stanford Sr.
  33. PJ Williams CB Florida St. Jr.
  34. Ereck Flowers OT Miami Sr.
  35. Nate Orchard PR Utah Sr.
  36. Damarious Randall S Arizona St. Sr.
  37. Breshad Perriman WR UCF Jr.
  38. Tevin Coleman RB Indiana Jr.                        Mid 2nd
  39. Shaq Thompson LB Washington Jr.
  40. Brett Hundley QB UCLA Jr.
  41. Shane Ray PR Missouri Jr.
  42. Arik Armstead DT Oregon Sr.
  43. Jordan Phillips DT Oklahoma Soph
  44. Bernardrick McKinney LB Mississippi St. Jr.
  45. AJ McCann OG South Carolina Sr.
  46. Hronis Grasu C Oregon Sr.
  47. Ameer Abdullah RB Nebraska Jr.                   Late 2nd
  48. Jay Ajayi RB Boise St. Jr.
  49. Darius Philon DT Arkansas Soph
  50. Grady Jarrett DT Clemson Sr.
  51. Eric Kendricks LB UCLA Sr.
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