I know this draft order is not possible, but I created it by using Evan Silva’s pre-draft roster rankings. This mock is for fun. Please do not take it as a possible round projection for the prospects listed. Spotlighting has not taken place.
1. Tennessee Titans
QB Marcus Mariota, Oregon - I think Mariota would have been the No. 1 pick in 2014, even over Clowney. Not due to pure talent necessarily, as Clowney should still hold that title, but Mariota had a legitimate shot at being the unanimous top ranked quarterback. Unless he gets the “quiet” treatment that Teddy Bridgewater received.
2. Oakland Raiders
QB Jameis Winston, FSU - Matt Schaub is not the answer, despite 2014’s regime thinking he is for the upcoming season. I expect a new staff to take over if they do find themselves with the number one pick. It is no certainty Winston declares, but he is fearless in the pocket and has exceptional eye level. Nitpicking will take place.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars
DL Leonard Williams, USC - Some might (already) question the scheme fit, but Williams can line up as a three technique or closed end. He is a force on the inside, winning with quickness and power.
4. Houston Texans
T Andrus Peat, Stanford - Duane Brown’s cap number grows after the 2014 season, and the Texans can save money as early as the 2015 season. Will this happen? Maybe not, but cap situations are always fluid, especially with some large contracts on the horizon.
5. Minnesota Vikings
S Landon Collins, Alabama - Collins emerged in 2013, taking over for the injured Vinnie Sunseri. He is a legitimate cover man in the deeper portions of the field and is extremely aggressive and physical moving towards the line of scrimmage.
6. Cleveland Browns (via Buffalo Bills)
WR Amari Cooper, Alabama - We still do not know the fate of Josh Gordon. Cooper was limited in 2013 by injuries and McCarron’s lack of a vertical arm. Johnny Manziel has shown he is willing to throw downfield. Cooper should emerge in 2014.
7. New York Jets
T Cedric Ogbuehi, Texas A&M - D’Brickashaw Ferguson likely will not be cut before 2016, but this is getting ahead of a need. Ogbuehi is the real deal, and has right tackle experience. Watch him at left tackle in 2014. He is an extreme athlete for his size.
8. Cleveland Browns
Edge player Vic Beasley, Clemson - Paul Kruger can be cut to save money at any point after the 2014 season. Beasley and Barkevious Mingo would offer a dynamic edge rushing duo. Beasley has plenty of edge speed, but also displays an inside arm bar to keep his opponent on skates.
9. St. Louis Rams
QB Connor Cook, Michigan State - A surprise name for the third quarterback off the board? Possible, but I think Bryce Petty and Brett Hundley are extremely overrated at this point. Cook really impressed me last year, and hopefully his development continues.
10. Tampa Bay Bucs
Edge player Randy Gregory, Nebraska - Gregory started coming on strong last season, and I expect his development to continue. He flashes strength and speed around the edge.
11. Atlanta Falcons
Edge player Shawn Oakman, Baylor - My dude. Oakman will have a full-time role in 2014. Watch out. He has great speed and extremely strong hands to keep his opponent off balance and on skates.
12. Dallas Cowboys
Edge player Devonte Fields, TCU - Fields had a troubled 2014 campaign. However, the talent is there. The Cowboys could be desperate for edge rushing help.
13. Miami Dolphins
RB Todd Gurley, Georgia - A first-round running back? The 2015 class will be loaded with running back talent. The question is not if one goes in the first-round, it is how many.
14. New York Giants
Edge player Shilique Calhoun, Michigan State - The Giants have been forced to go young on their defensive front for 2014. They will need to add talent there moving forward. Calhoun’s career is on the upswing.
15. Arizona Cardinals
DL Dante Fowler, Florida - Fowler can play inside or out and is the next big time prospect from the Gators. I loved Dominique Easley last year. I love Fowler this year.
16. Carolina Panthers
T Brandon Scherff, Iowa - The Panthers need a left (and right) tackle right now. That is not going to happen, but Scherff is a powerful run blocker who is improving in his pass set.