Here it goes…
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jameis Winston. No doubt, NFL arm, has played in a pro-style offense and aside from his off-field issues, he’ll be the top pick in a quarterback-hungry league. The Bucs gambled on Luke McCown of all people last year and cut him in the offseason and it isn’t apparent that Mike Glennon is the QB of the franchise or future.
- Tennessee Titans
I don’t think coach Whisenhunt is sold on Marcus Mariota, and will trade this to the San Diego Chargers for Philip Rivers because Rivers does not want to move to Los Angeles if the Chargers move there in a couple years. Whisenhunt was the coach who briefly revived Rivers’ career after some down years in sunny San Diego.
The Chargers will then choose Mariota. Titans will pick at no.17.
- Jacksonville Jaguars
They need help on defense, so they’ll pick Leonard Williams, a defensive tackle out of USC. I would prefer Amari Cooper or Kevin White, both elite wideouts, but the Jags are committed to a rebuilding process. Williams will be a great building block in Jacksonville.
- Oakland Raiders
Kevin White out of West Virginia. He’s big, he’s fast and in the mold of last year’s phenom rookie Kelvin Benjamin. He’ll get at least 6 touchdowns in the “get up and get it” mold. The Raiders need him to pair up with their up-and-coming QB Derek Carr.
- Washington Redskins
I say they’ll trade this pick away to the Cleveland Browns for a first rounder (the no. 12 overal pick this year), a second-rounder, a third-rounder and a fourth rounder (according to some reports, they refused to trade up higher by giving up 2 first-round picks). Cleveland will select Amari Cooper at wideout at this spot. Cleveland’s current WR lineup? They need Cooper, who is a polished route runner and can run NFL route trees.
If they keep it? Dante Fowler out of Florida, a big defensive end who will start opposite Ryan Kerrigan.
- New York Jets
They want to move down, and will. The New Orleans Saints need a lot of things, and they’ll move up to grab defensive tackle Danny Shelton out of Washington. Shelton is not as good as a space-eater as Leonard Williams, but he is still a big guy that will eat up space and put pressure on teams up the middle.
But, if the Redskins do trade out of the no.5 slot, and Dante Fowler is available, the Saints will take Fowler ahead of Shelton. The Jets will get their first round pick at 13th overall.
- Chicago Bears
They want a wideout to replace their aging core, even though I would prefer a defensive player (or all 11) in this draft. Wouldn’t be surprised if they reach and pick up Louisville wide receive Devante Parker. But, if Shelton is available, he’ll be gone at this spot.
- Atlanta Falcons
Offensive line is a huge gaping hole in their roster, so I expect Iowa tackle Brandon Scherff to get picked here. Rumor has it that he’s a better fit at guard, but you need good interior offensive linemen in this league.
- New York Giants
Victor Cruz got hurt last year and Eli Manning relied a lot on the pure athleticism of Odell Beckham, Jr. Although their defense needs help, I would have to guess that the Giants will pick a wideout here in a pass-happy league. I think the speedy Breshad Perriman out of Central Florida will go to the Big Apple.
- St. Louis Rams
They have their temporary QB of the future in former Eagles QB Nick Foles, so they’re going to look elsewhere. Why not at running back? Todd Gurley out of Georgia has been cleared to play by medical staff and he’s an absolute beast. Plus, rumors have been milling around that he’ll be picked at the 10 slot at the latest.
- Minnesota Vikings
They need to trade Adrian Peterson with his age and large salary this year (a $15 million cap number, huge for a running back nowadays). They’ll do that and get a first-rounder this year and two additional picks in the second and fourth round. The Vikings will keep this slot and will pick Michigan State corner Trae Waynes, an aggressive cornerback who will shore up their defense.
- Washington Redskins (by way of the Cleveland Browns)
Where do they need help the most? Everywhere. They weren’t a fan of Vic Beasley on the defensive line (too small for the new GM’s liking) so they’ll go offensive line here. Andrus Peat out of Stanford will play tackle opposite Trent Williams.
- New York Jets (by way of New Orleans Saints)
New head coach Todd Bowles loves defense and he’ll go this way here. His cornerbacks are okay, so he’ll go ahead and pick Alabama safety Landon Collins. Collins is the top safety in this draft, according to many experts, and will help bulk up the run defense while learning pass coverage on the fly.
- Miami Dolphins
Lots of needs, but I like Devante Parker here to shore up Miami’s offensive weapons, if the Bears don’t get him first. If he’s gone, the Dolphins will look to Vic Beasley, a good defensive end out of Clemson who got sacks like it was nothing in college.
- San Francisco 49ers
Defense. Defense. Defense. After Chris Borland and Patrick Willis retired this offseason, expect them to pick a corner to shore up their defense (too high of a pick to pick the linebackers this year) in Marcus Peters. Peters is a solid corner, but should learn quickly.
- Houston Texans
Let’s go offense here. With Perriman gone, they’ll pick USC’s Nelson Agholor, who was a late bloomer in the draft process. Quick and speedy returner will add another dynamic layer to their offense.
- Tennessee Titans (by way of the San Diego Chargers)
They’ll pick up a guard here to protect their new QB Philip Rivers in Miami’s Ereck Flowers.
- Kansas City Chiefs
Needing some depth at wide receiver, they’ll reach for Phillip Dorsett, a speedster wide receiver out of Miami. He’ll be their Dexter McCluster-type game-changing speed player.
- Cleveland Browns
They do have some decent running backs, but why not draft Melvin Gordon here? The Wisconsin player has great one-cut speed and should bring a dynamic offense to Cleveland (for once).
- Philadelphia Eagles
No Mariota trade here, but they’ll draft Bud Dupree to shore up that linebacking corps. He has a lot of potential, but little college production to show for it.
- Cincinnati Bengals
Malcolm Brown, a good defensive tackle out of Texas, will go play in Marvin Lewis’ defense.
- Pittsburgh Steelers
Corner is a big need here, so expect Byron Jones out of Connecticut to go here.
- Detroit Lions
With Suh gone to Miami, they’re going to draft his replacement. Expect Eddie Goldman out of Florida State to head to the Motor City.
- Arizona Cardinals
DJ Humphries is a solid late-round offensive tackle prospect, plus they need help to protect the oft-injured QB Carson Palmer.
- Carolina Panthers
Offensive tackle is a glaring need, so Cedric Ogbuehi (don’t ask me to pronounce it) will be gone here.
- Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens like troubled prospects, so they’ll pick Dorial Green-Beckham (who has had his share of problems) here to shore up their wideout corps after Torrey Smith left for the Bay Area during the offseason.
- Dallas Cowboys
They need cornerback help, so Wake Forest’s Kevin Johnson will go here.
- Denver Broncos
Peyton Manning got roughed up, but they don’t need superb offensive linemen in the Mile High City. I expect them to draft stalwart tackle Jake Fisher.
- Indianapolis Colts
- Green Bay Packers
Denzel Perryman, inside linebacker out of Miami, will help the Packers interior defense.
- New Orleans Saints
Jaelen Strong, a nice wideout prospect out of Arizona State, will help Drew Brees try to improve on an awful last season.
- New England Patriots
The Patriots need corner help, but haven’t been great with drafting corners. If they do go defense, they’ll pick defensive tackle Arik Armstead to replace Vince Wilfork. If they go offense, expect them to pick a guard here in Laken Tomlinson out of Duke or a tackle in TJ Clemmings out of Pittsburgh
Notable missing picks: Shane Ray and Randy Gregory, both defensive end-type players who failed drug tests or have marijuana issues, will fall out of the first round. Ray was dumb, having been cited for marijuana possession this past Monday, the week of the draft!
Any thoughts about this mock draft?
I’m not a fan of firing coaches or calling for them to be fired, but the writing is on the wall for the Washington Wizards’ Randy Wittman.
Wittman has a 0.460 win percentage as the Wizards’ head coach, and many of those losses came during the Wizards’ post-Arenas era. But, Wizards’ point guard John Wall admitted the team didn’t follow Wittman’s game plan in their recent loss to the Paul George-less Indiana Pacers. In that game, Wittman walked away from the bench as the last shot was being launched at the end of the game from halfcourt. I think the writing is on the wall and he will be gone if they get knocked out in the first or even the second round of the playoffs.
Who could replace him?
1. Alvin Gentry
The former Phoenix Suns head coach, who coached them in their post-Mike D’Antoni years, is very popular as the Golden State Warriors’ assistant coach. Andrew Bogut gave rave reviews of Gentry’s work with the team, which is the top team in the West, by the way. Bogut said, in his CBS interview:
“He’s been huge. Basically he’s our offensive coordinator, like it would be in football. His main role is with reads and spacing and putting in sets, little tweaks. He’s highly responsible for that and does a great job. Unfortunately for us, I hate to say it but there’s a high chance we lose him in the offseason because he’s just too talented of a coach to not be head coaching.”
Gentry’s last stop in Phoenix wasn’t too great, but not terrible either. He had a 0.523 winning percentage and had a 10-6 record in the playoffs in his second season in Phoenix in 2009-10. But, his Suns got swept in the postseason in his second-to-last season in 2011-2012.
Why not hire a former head coach who is helping the top team in the West? He knows how to manage a team already and no doubt knows how to run a wide open, guard-friendly offense that will help the Wizards’ John Wall and Bradley Beal.
A big issue with the Wizards? Just bad spacing, long two-point shots, or things that don’t exist in a Gentry-type offense. Check out what B-Ball Breakdown said about their awful offense, illustrated by one of their illustrations of spacing. That inside-the-yellow-area? Those are those long two’s that teams don’t want to shoot anymore, except for the Wizards.
2. Sam Cassell a.k.a. Sam I Am
He was a solid point guard in his playing days, especially when he played alongside Kevin Garnett in Minnesota. But, he’s gotten a lot of assistant coach experience and had been an assistant in D.C. for five years before leaving for the Clippers last year. That means he knows the culture and the players already. He didn’t leave on bad terms, either. In a guard-heavy league, John Wall and Bradley Beal will benefit from having a coach that was a good guard in his own heyday.
BUT LOOK AT HOW MUCH BEAL LOVES SAM I AM. AWWW COME BACK HOME SAM!
I mean, look at this tape (mind you, some NSFW language):
3. Anyone but Mike Brown, Mike Dunleavy and Nate McMillan. As you can tell, I’m not a huge fan of head coach retreads, with the exception of Alvin Gentry and a couple others like Terry Stotts. Also, don’t count on John Calipari, currently the University of Kentucky men’s basketball head coach, because Wizards owner Ted Leonsis doesn’t like flashy hires in the front office or in the coaching position.
What do you think of my list?