The 2015 NN community mock draft continues along, as we wrap up the first round. We close out with the Colts, Packers, Saints and Patriots.
Here are the first 28 picks:
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
2. Tennessee Titans - Leonard Williams, DT, USC
3. Jacksonville Jaguars - Dante Fowler, Jr., OLB/DE, Florida
4. Oakland Raiders - Kevin White, WR, West Virginia
5. Washington - Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson
6. New York Jets - Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State
7. Chicago Bears - Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
8. Atlanta Falcons - Shane Ray, DE/OLB, Missouri
9. New York Giants - Randy Gregory, DE/OLB, Nebraska
10. St. Louis Rams - Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa
11. Minnesota Vikings - Landon Collins, S, Alabama
12. Cleveland Browns - Danny Shelton, DT, Washington
13. New Orleans Saints - Alvin Dupree, OLB, Kentucky
14. Miami Dolphins - DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville
15. San Francisco 49ers - La'el Collins, OG, LSU
16. Houston Texans - Arik Armstead, DT, Oregon
17. San Diego Chargers - Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia
18. Kansas City Chiefs - Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State
19. Cleveland Browns - Shaq Thompson, LB, Washington
20. Philadelphia Eagles - Jalen Collins, CB, LSU
21. Cincinnati Bengals - Malcom Brown, DT, Texas
22. Pittsburgh Steelers - Marcus Peters, CB, Washington
23. Detroit Lions - Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami
24. Arizona Cardinals - Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin
25. Carolina Panthers - Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford
26. Baltimore Ravens - Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida State
27. Dallas Cowboys - Michael Bennett, DT, Ohio State
28. Denver Broncos - D.J. Humphries, OT, Florida
With the 29th pick of the NN community mock draft, TheFreakSF and the Indianapolis Colts select...Cameron Erving, C, Florida State
Alternates: OT T.J. Clemmings, DT Carl Davis, ILB Eric Kendricks
Despite making some significant acquisitions in free agency, the Colts still have a few glaring holes, and a few significant needs. While many are not fond of taking interior offensive lineman early in the draft, I believe Erving is a plug-and-play center who will give the Colts a much needed physical presence on their offensive line. While they do have Khaled Holmes currently slotted in at center, he hasn't been able to get on the field much since being drafted in the 4th round in 2013, and frankly has been awful in the time he has played. Erving also brings the versatility of being able to play tackle, having started 27 games at left tackle before switching to center prior to the 2014 season. If Holmes pans out at center, Erving could easily move to right tackle and take over for the very expensive disappointment in Gosder Cherilus. Erving is an incredible athlete with some minor technical flaws that will be easily corrected by NFL coaching.
I also considered Clemmings because of his incredible upside but I chose Erving over him in the end because of the versatility. The Colts biggest need is arguably any type of defensive lineman so Davis received serious consideration because of his ability to play DT or NT in a 4-3 (3-tech or 1-tech) and even DE in a 3-4 (5-tech). While ILB is not a huge need for the Colts, they could certainly use an upgrade over D'Qwell Jackson and Kendricks would certainly be that player. In this scenario, I'll look to potentially get that upgrade later, as I presume the Colts will as well.
The Colts appear to be loaded on offense after adding two key veterans in Frank Gore and Andre Johnson to a stable of other weapons, but they need to focus on protecting Andrew Luck, and that is ultimately why I think Cameron Erving would be the best pick in this scenario.
With the 30th pick of the NN community mock draft, Rowingdave and the Green Bay Packers select...Eric Kendricks, ILB, UCLA
Alternates: CB Kevin Johnson, TE Maxx Williams, DE Owa Odighizuwa
This was a run-to-the-podium pick for me, although Green Bay would have been very happy to draft Kevin Johnson. Kendricks fills what I see as the biggest need this team has. With the departure of serviceable but uninspiring play of AJ Hawk, Kendricks will do more than fill the void. He has the ability, instinct and intelligence to man the middle, while also showing great acumen in pass-rush situations and dropping back in coverage. There are those that question his ability to play in a 3-4...I don't see that issue.
This guy is a no-brainer pick, because he's safe, consistent, efficient and will have great productivity from day one, allowing Clay Matthews to get back outside and earn that big paycheck. Maxx Williams would have been a luxury pick, but Ted Thompson knows the key to getting this team over the top again is defense, defense, defense. Aaron Rodgers will more than make do with Cobb, Jordy and Davante Adams...not to mention Eddie Lacy...the rich get richer with this pick, and I honestly feel that the Packers will be the team to beat this year in the NFC...other than our Niners!!
With the 31st pick of the NN community mock draft, Poldarn and the New Orleans Saints select...T.J. Clemmings, OT, Pittsburgh
Alternates: WR Jaelen Strong (#26), OT Jake Fisher (#27 overall), WR Dorial Green-Beckham (#31), DT Jordan Phillips (#36), DT Carl Davis (#38), TE Max Williams (#39).
I actually had too many good players to choose from. I had OT TJ Clemmings as the highest ranked player left on the consensus board, at #23. The four best players were 2OTs and 2 WRs. Now, the Saints are set at tackle for the next two seasons, and they need a starting guard. OF the two tackles, Fisher is taller with shorter arms (33 3/4" vs 35 1/8") but Clemmings is the less refined prospect. In a real draft I am trading back at this point (two starting tackles are available), but here I am picking the best prospect available on my board, who is Clemmings.
I did not take WR Strong due to the WR depth in this draft and last year's investment. DGB was not considered here due to character concerns. The DTs and Maxx Williams offered much lower value with the OTs available, and the ILBs left on the board would be reaches at #31.
With the 32nd pick of the NN community mock draft, GreatOden'sRaven and the New England Patriots select...Byron Jones, CB, Connecticut
Alternates: NT Carl Davis, CB Kevin Johnson, G AJ Cann
There is only a very very small chance the Dark Lord and his victorious champions keep the pick. The ability to get an extra year out of a player is vital for developmental purposes so this pick is always up for sale. However in this case, since we are unable to trade picks, the Pats go for a need that also may be BPA. This is a very top heavy draft on CB, talented yet really only deep through 3 rounds. As Browner and Revis are gone, the Pats are in dire need of a #1 CB. I thought long and hard about Kevin Johnson and while he is savvy and skilled and will be a starting corner right away, Jones has a much higher ceiling. Johnson seems like he may have reached his. Jones is a freak of nature and when paired with McCourty can over under any bigger receivers in the league and play as physical as they want. So I gave the edge to Jones.
While I considered Cann (I really wanted Clemmings but he went #31) the Dark Lord has rarely gone offense in the first round and its even more rare for him to go OL. He has a knack for finding mid round lineman and turning them into very good ones. Dan Connelly may also return and that can help patchwork a line together in order to groom a starter. So I went defense instead.
In the end I came down to Davis and Jones. I like Davis but I think he is probably a better fit for a 4/3 instead of a 3/4 base, and the Pats generally run a 3/4. They adjust on the fly and move guys around so its more of a hybrid 3/4 but Davis was more effective in college when playing a gap instead of taking on two OL. I would have instantly grabbed one of the top 5 (Goldman/Bennett/Williams/
So I went with Jones. I think he starts day 1 and ends up being an excellent player for the Pats.