In our “2015 NFL Mock Draft Round 1” edition, the “So-Called Fantasy Experts” provide Fantasy Football fans with what to expect on April 30th, 2015 (otherwise known as Draft Day).
I truly believe that Chip Kelly and the Philadelphia Eagles are going to make a move for Marcus Mariota, so my predictions will shake things up a little bit more than most 2015 NFL Mock Draft Round 1 conjectures. Since Fantasy Football points are mainly accumulated by quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers and tight ends, I will also only provide analysis on those positions.
When I compiled my selections, I used several resources and reviewed the predictions of several analyst. On the Draft Central page for NFL.com, Fantasy Football players can review the choices of five analysts, as well as view when their projections were posted. SBNation.com posted recent predictions for the 2015 NFL Draft, and the site also provides a video and an analysis of each pick for those wanting a little more information behind each selection.
Aside from analysts’ predictions, CBSSports.com provides a list of NFL Draft Prospects, which not only ranks players by position, but the site provides a profile of the players’ strengths and weaknesses.
Just like we saw from the 2014 Wide Receiver Draft class, rookies can make an immediate impact. There are a few players from this draft, who can do the same. Make sure to check back in with the So-Called Fantasy Experts, as the selections in this list will be updated with important news and the impact of inescapable “coach speak” that follows any draft.
2015 NFL Mock Draft Round 1
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State
Analysis: If Winston didn’t have off-the-field issues, he would be viewed as a more elite talent. His major criticism is that he holds onto the ball too long, but he has the size, vision and arm strength to make an immediate impact with Tampa Bay. I think any player catching the ball will receive a boost in value in Tampa Bay, but it will be interesting to see if Winston initially bonds with Vincent Jackson or Mike Evans.
New Offensive Coordinator Dirk Koetter helped Marcedes Lewis rack up 10 touchdowns in 2010 as the offensive coordinator for the Jaguars, and Koetter worked with Tony Gonzalez as the offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons as well. This will help second-year tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who has an incredible physical presence at 6-foot-5, 262 pounds.
I’m not a huge fan of Doug Martin, but I’m finding him available in Round 7 and Round 8 of most mock drafts, and I think he could be a steal at that price with the improvements Mariota should bring as the field general. Pairing Martin with Charles Sims later in the draft provides Fantasy Football players with low-cost options who could easily exceed their average draft position.
*Darcie Glazer Kassewitz, daughter of the late owner Malcom Glazer, raised some issues about the community relations impact of drafting Winston. Also, Mike Mayock recently moved Mariota ahead of Winston in his latest 2015 NFL Draft Rankings.*
— CollegeFootball 24/7 (@NFL_CFB) March 30, 2015
2. Philadelphia Eagles (by trade w/Tennessee): Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
Analysis: I don’t think Sam Bradford will be the starting quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles in 2015, and Kelly is going to make a move to take control of the second pick. He already stated that teams were offering first-round picks for Bradford, and the Titans are a team in need of a new signal caller. While he may not be a perfect fit for the Titans, Bradford would at least make the team more competitive than Zach Mettenberger. Kelly could try to trade later to land Mariota, but I think the Titans are willing to listen to what the Eagles have to offer. Under Kelly’s system, Mariota is a top-12 quarterback in 2015. I wouldn’t want to rely on him as my main starter, but as a backup, he could end up as trade bait with a few big performances.
— theScore (@theScore) March 30, 2015
3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Dante Fowler Jr., OLB Florida
4. Oakland Raiders: Kevin White, WR, WVU
Analysis: The Raiders are fully behind the development of Derek Carr, and the organization is ready to bring in the weapons needed for its young quarterback to succeed. I think there could be a case for Amari Cooper at this spot, as he is considered a more well-rounded player than White, but it will be hard to pass on such a physical receiver who put up a 4.35 40-yard dash time. Even if he is the best receiver in the draft, don’t overpay for White in your Fantasy Football league and expect him to rank as a top-10 receiver by the end of the season.
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) March 27, 2015
5. Washington Redskins: Leonard Williams, DE, USC
6. New York Jets: Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
Analysis: I originally had the Jets selecting Shane Ray and the Bears selecting Amari Cooper, but with Ray’s recent marijuana charge, I think the Jets will look to add weapons for Geno Smith.
7. Chicago Bears: Bud Dupree, OLB, Kentucky
8. Atlanta Falcons: Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson
Analysis: Even with injury concerns and the marijuana charge, and new coach Dan Quinn recently stated that Ray was still on the Falcons’ board. Granted, that could be a smoke screen to try and push another team to select Ray so the Falcons can land Beasley or potentially Dupree, the team needs a pass rusher badly.
9. New York Giants: Brandon Schreff, OT, Iowa
10. St. Louis Rams: La’el Collins, OT, LSU
11. Minnesota Vikings: DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville
Analysis: Offensive coordinator Norv Turner praised Charles Johnson as one of the best receivers on the Vikings, and now that Mike Wallace is on the team, it might not make sense for Vikings to add another receiver. With that being said, Wallace will be a 29-year old receiver in August and Johnson suffered a torn ACL on the practice squad of the Green Bay Packers in 2013. A mixture of age and previous injuries is never good for an offense. Parker played with Bridgewater in Louisville, and pairing these former teammates should Bridgewater continue to develop.
DeVante Parker? 156 touches from scrimmage at Louisville. He had a TD every 4.7 touches. Nice….
— Matt Waldman (@MattWaldman) March 25, 2015
12. Cleveland Browns: Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Oklahoma
Analysis: With receivers flying off the board, the Browns won’t want to miss out on the action. Even though Cleveland has already faced similar issues with Josh Gordon, I’m not sure if the organization has learned its lesson yet. Green-Beckham has been compared to Julio Jones, but with two arrests for marijuana charges, some teams are shying away from the playmaker. With a pick later in the draft, I think the Browns may be willing to take a shot on Green-Beckham, in hopes to provide Johnny Manziel or Josh McCown with more weapons.
— David Wyatt (@DavidWyattNFL) March 30, 2015
13. New Orleans Saints: Randy Gregory, DE, Nebraska
14. Miami Dolphins: Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State
15. San Francisco 49ers: Arik Armstead, DT, Oregon
16. Houston Texans: Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest
17. San Diego Chargers: Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin
Analysis: Brandon Oliver, Danny Woodhead and Donald Brown sit atop the Chargers’ depth chart for running back, and Gordon will help fill that glaring need. Although Montee Ball has not lived up to the hype after exiting the Wisconsin program, Gordon could easily have top-20 Fantasy Football value as work horse for the Chargers.
2015 NFL Scouting Combine: Melvin Gordon full workout: https://t.co/01kJncJtSN
— Joe Quintanilla (@xSloppyjoex) March 20, 2015
18. Kansas City Chiefs: Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford
19. Cleveland Browns: Malcom Brown, DT, Texas
20. Tennessee Titans(by trade of Philadelphia Eagles): Owamagbe Obdighizuwa, DE, UCLA
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami
22. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jalen Collins, CB, LSU
23. Detroit Lions: T.J. Clemmings, OT, Pittsburgh
24. Arizona Cardinals: Eli Harold, OLB, Virginia
25. Carolina Panthers: D.J. Humphries, OT, Florida
26. Baltimore Ravens: Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State
Analysis: The Ravens have been largely quiet in the offseason, and the team is in need desperate need of a receiver. Torrey Smith was shipped to San Francisco, and the Ravens need to invest in a WR1. Some suggest that Baltimore could go for a running back in Round 1, but with the re-signing of Justin Forsett and second-year player Lorenzo Taliaferro rearing to go, I think the Ravens will add another weapon in the passing attack for quarterback Joe Flacco. Strong could post similar numbers to Smith, and finish near the bottom of the top-20 receivers in 2015.
I’m not through all the receivers…but Amari Cooper as “Best Route Runner” and Jaelen Strong as “Best Hands” are solid bets.
— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) March 30, 2015
27. Dallas Cowboys: Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia
Analysis: Whether Gurley plays in his rookie year or not, Dallas needs to address its long-term needs with a new running back. Darren McFadden isn’t know for staying on the field, and the backup situation for running backs is bleak for the Cowboys. Even though there are injury concerns related to Gurley, he is still one of the best backs in the draft, and could be a star for any organization willing to take a chance. I think Dallas will take that chance, and if McFadden is forced to the sidelines, Gurley could become a top-15 back in 2015.
Todd Gurley’s MFL10 adp seems kind of interesting. Maybe a little aggressive although also high variance. pic.twitter.com/oLZCjcyKMp
— Fantasy Douche (@FantasyDouche) March 30, 2015
The 2015 RB class is deep, but I wouldn’t pass on an opportunity to land Todd Gurley in the 1st round. Post at B/R: http://t.co/kxyhNbdYZM
— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) March 28, 2015
28. Denver Broncos: Jake Fisher, OT, Oregon
29. Indianapolis Colts: Landon Collins, S, Alabama
30. Green Bay Packers: Marcus Peters, CB Washington
Analysis: I originally had the Packers selecting P.J. Williams, but I think his DUI in the begging of April will knock him out of Round 1.
31. New Orleans Saints: Jordan Phillips, DT, Oklahoma
32. New England Patriots: Byron Joness, CB, Connecticut
Analysis: I think an interesting move would be to capitalize on Ray potentially falling out of Round 1, but I think the Patriots will look to address the fact that Darrelle Revis now playing for the Jets.
If Marcus Peters or Byron Jones are on the board and Green Bay passes, I’ll be livid.
— Ian Kenyon (@IanKenyonNFL) April 29, 2015
For Fantasy Football purposes, the future rookies to keep an eye on will be Winston, Mariota, White, Cooper, Parker, Green-Beckham Jr., Gordon, Strong and Gurley.
Remember winning a Fantasy Football championship is all about preparation, and finding the studs from the 2015 NFL Draft will help you win. We’ll be updating this 2015 NFL Mock Draft Round 1″ over the course of the next month!
Jameis Winston Photo Credit: Brook-Ward.com
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