NFL Mock Draft 5.0: Options Mock

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In this Mock Draft, I take a look at a number of options the selecting team could have, along with their projected selection.

  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State.Jameis Winston is arguably the best quarterback in this year’s draft class and the Buccaneers need a quarterback. Mike Glennon played decent in six games last season, but he hasn’t shown the potential to be a legitimate starting quarterback in the NFL.
    • Other Option: Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon. The Buccaneers could choose to go the other route in the draft and take Mariota. While not the most pro-ready quarterback, Mariota lit it up in college, passing for 4454 yards and 42 touchdowns and rushing for another 770 yards and 15 touchdowns, and has all the athletic ability needed to succeed in the NFL.
  2. Tennessee Titans: Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon. The Titans have two options with this pick. They can stick with Zach Mettenberger for another year, or select the Oregon quarterback to be their future starter. As Mettenberger didn’t exactly look like a franchise quarterback last season, the Titans elect to move forward and select Mariota.
    • Other Option: Leonard Williams, DT, USC. The Titans had one of the worst defenses in the NFL last season, ranking No. 31 against the rush and No. 15 against the pass. Williams is the best defensive prospect, and possibly the best prospect in the draft, and would give the Titans an immediate upgrade along their defensive line.
  3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Dante Fowler Jr., DE/OLB, Florida. The Jaguars had one of the worst defenses in the NFL last season and need to improve their pass rush. Fowler Jr. had 8.5 sacks and 15.0 tackles for a loss last season and would give Gus Bradley a threat off the edge.
    • Other Option A: Leonard Williams, DT, USC. Another route the Jaguars could go to improve their defense; Williams would help improve both their pass and run defense, filling in right in the middle of their front seven.
    • Other Option B: Brandon Scherff, OT/OG, Iowa. The Jaguars allowed a league-high 71 sacks last season, 13 more than the next worst team in the NFL. While Jacksonville did sign OT Jeremy Parnell in free agency, their offensive line still could use improvement and selecting Scherff would do just that.
  4. Oakland Raiders: Leonard Williams, DT, USC. Williams would give the Raiders a 1-2 punch on defense, along with Khalil Mack, that may be too good for the Raiders to pass up. Even with the signing of NT Dan Williams, the Raiders could still use help along their front seven. The two Williams could combine to be a defensive force in Oakland.
    • Other Option: Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama OR Kevin White, WR, West Virginia. The Raiders lack a true No. 1 receiving threat and drafting either Cooper or White would give them that. But with the signing of Michael Crabtree, the Raiders may wait to take a receiver in another deep WR class.
  5. Washington Redskins: Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson. When he wasn’t injured, Brian Orakpo was a force off the edge for the Redskins, with 10.0 sacks his last year fully healthy with the Redskins. With Orakpo off to Tennessee, Washington needs to find his replacement. Beasley has drawn comparisons to Von Miller and had 12.0 sacks and 21.5 tackles for a loss with the Tigers last year.
    • Other Option: Brandon Scherff, OG/OT, Iowa. The Redskins gave up the second most sacks in the NFL last season and protecting Robert Griffin III or whoever is behind center needs to be a priority. Scherff, the most NFL-ready offensive lineman in the draft, was consensus All-American last season.
  6. New York Jets: Randy Gregory, OLB, Nebraska. With both of the top quarterbacks off the board, the Jets will have to turn their attention to other needs. The Jets could use an edge rusher and can afford to take a chance on Gregory, even with his failed drug test at the combine, as their defense should already improve over last season.
    • Other Option: Shane Ray, DE, Missouri. While Gregory is more of an outside linebacker, Ray can be more of a defensive end. Depending on what type of presence the Jets want off the edge, they could go with Ray over Gregory, especially if they decide to take Gregory’s failed drug test into account.
  7. Chicago Bears: Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama. After trading Brandon Marshall, the Bears need to add another receiver to prevent Alshon Jeffrey from consistently drawing double coverages. Drafting Cooper would do just that. He had 124 receptions for 1,727 yards and 16 touchdowns at Alabama as he absolutely torched SEC defenses.
    • Other Option A: Danny Shelton, DT, Washington. The Bears lost DT Stephen Paea to free agency and need a lot of help up front after finishing No. 32 against the pass and No. 17 against the run. Shelton would give them a formidable presence in the middle of their new 3-4 defense.
    • Other Option B: Shane Ray, DE, Missouri: Similar to Shelton, Ray would improve Chicago’s poor defensive line and give them a presence off the edge. Ray had 13.0 sacks and 22.5 tackles for a loss last season.
  8. Atlanta Falcons: Shane Ray, DE, Missouri. After finishing No. 32 against the pass last season, the Falcons need to improve their pass rush in the worst way. Ray would improve a dismal pass rush in Atlanta and give the Falcons an edge rusher to go play alongside free agent signees Adrian Clayborn and O’Brien Schofield.
    • Other Option: Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State. The other route the Falcons could go to improve their pass defense is by drafting a cornerback. Waynes was the Spartans top corner and a Thorpe Award semifinalist, given to the nation’s top defensive back.
  9. New York Giants: Brandon Scherff, OG/OT, Iowa. The Giants need to protect Eli Manning and drafting the best offensive lineman in the draft would certainly do the trick. Scherff earned the Outland Trophy last season, given to the nation’s most outstanding interior lineman.
    • Other Option: Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State. Prince Amukamara hasn’t lived up to his first round selection and is a free agent after this season. The Giants could select his replacement in Waynes, the top cornerback in the draft.
  10. St. Louis Rams: La’el Collins, OT/OG, LSU. With Joe Barksdale sign unsigned and Jake Long cut, the Rams need help along their offensive line protecting newly acquired QB Nick Foles. Collins is a versatile lineman that can play both tackle and guard and excels at run blocking.
    • Other Option: Kevin White, WR, West Virginia. Brian Quick and Kenny Britt headline the Rams WR depth chart. Neither is a No. wideout and such the Rams could use another weapon in the passing game for Foles. At 6’3” 215 lbs, White would give the Rams that.
  11. Minnesota Vikings: Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State. The Vikings are in a tough spot with this pick, while they could use an offensive guard or middle linebacker, unless Brandon Scherff falls to this pick, none would be worthy of the No. 11 selection. Instead the Vikings improve their secondary, finding a cornerback to start alongside Xavier Rhodes. Waynes had 10 passes defended, three interceptions and 50 tackles last season.
    • Other Option A: DeVante Parker, WR, Lousiville. As Parker had his best season with Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota and Parker have been linked for sometime. While the Vikings did acquire Mike Wallace from the Dolphins, they could still use another wideout.
    • Other Option B: Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford. If Minnesota decides it must focus on improving their offensive line, they could select Peat, the best available offensive lineman. Peat, at 6’7” and 313 lbs,would fit right in and protect Bridgewater.
  12. Cleveland Browns: Danny Shelton, DT, Washington. The Browns had the worst run-defense in the NFL last season and even with the addition of Randy Starks, more help is needed. Shelton had 9.0 sacks and 16.5 tackles for a loss his senior year at Washington and would fill in the middle of Cleveland’s defensive line.
    • Other Option A: Kevin White, WR, West Virginia. The Browns desperately need a receiver even with the signings of Dwayne Bowe and Brain Hartline. There’s still nobody to replace Josh Gordon during his suspension and adding White or Parker would give the Browns a No. 1 wideout they haven’t had in a long time.
    • Other Option B: Alvin Dupree, DE, Kentucky. With OLB Jabaal Sheard leaving via free agency, the Browns are in need of another pass rusher. Dupree, a versatile pass rusher off the edge, would fit the bill.
  13. New Orleans Saints: Alvin Dupree, DE, Kentucky. Last season, the Saints ranked near the bottom of the NFL against both the pass and the run on defense. The Saints have started to revamp their defense with the additions of Brandon Browner and Darnell Ellerbe and continue to do so here. Dupree had 7.5 sacks and 12.5 tackles for a loss his senior year with the Wildcats and would give the Saints a pass rusher to complement Junior Galette.
    • Other Option: Arik Armstead, DE/DT, Oregon. The Saints could go another route to improve their defense and add Armstead a talented defensive lineman capable of playing both end or tackle. If Shelton were to fall to No. 13, the Saints would surely take him, and Armstead is the best available prospect after the Washington-product.
  14. Miami Dolphins: Kevin White, WR, West Virginia. The Dolphins shuffled their receiving core this offseason trading Mike Wallace and cutting Brain Hartline while trading for Kenny Stills, but more could still be done. White would give the Dolphins a true No. 1 receiver to pair with Stills and Jarvis Landry. White caught 109 passes for 1447 yards and 10 touchdowns his senior year at West Virginia.
    • Other Option: Marcus Peters, CB, Washington. The Dolphins could use a cornerback to replace Courtland Finnegan alongside Brett Grimes. Peters could be an option here, but with his character issues, Peters was kicked off the team last season, some teams may shy away.
  15. San Francisco 49ers: Marcus Peters, CB, Washington.The 49ers lost players all across their defense this offseason, most especially cornerback and inside linebacker. As no ILB is worth this high of a selection, the49ers find a replacement for Perrish Cox and Chris Culliver both of whom left via free agency. Character concerns aside, Peters is talented, and had five interceptions, 55 tackles and 3.5 tackles for a loss his junior season with the Huskies.
    • Other Option: Arik Armstead, DE/DT, Oregon. With Ray McDonald cut, the 49ers could also use help along the defensive line, especially if Justin Smith continues to consider retirement. Armstead has the potential to fit right in the 49ers 3-4 scheme as a talented defensive end.
  16. Houston Texans: DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville. Andre Johnson signed with the Colts in free agency, leaving the Texans to look for his replacement to play alongside DeAndre Hopkins. Parker, who had 43 receptions for 855 yards and five touchdowns with Louisville last season, could be their replacement for Johnson.
    • Other Option: Landon Collins, S, Alabama. While the Texans did sign Rahim Moore, they could still use some help at the safety position. The Texans ranked No. 21 in the NFL against the pass last season and Collins could help shore up their secondary.
  17. San Diego Chargers: Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin. With Brandon Oliver and Danny Woodhead atop their depth chart, the Chargers need a running back. Gordon rushed for 2587 yards and 29 touchdowns with the Badgers last season and is the selection here, over Gurley, as the Georgia-product may not be fully healthy till the middle of the 2015 season.
    • Other Option: Malcom Brown, DT, Texas. The Chargers have the No. 26 run defense in the NFL last season and could use an upgrade in the middle of their defense. Brown would help to fill San Diego’s weakness at nose tackle, improving their run defense.
  18. Kansas City Chiefs: Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford. The Chiefs allowed 49 sacks last season, good for seventh worst in the NFL. Former No. 1 overall pick Eric Fisher has struggled and Kansas City could use another lineman. Peat, at 6’7” and 313 lbs, would give the Chiefs the protection at either tackle that Alex Smith needs.
    • Other Option: Arik Armstead, DE/DT, Oregon. Besides for Dontari Poe, the Chiefs are very thin along their defensive line. Armstead would give them an athletic defensive lineman that could improve their run defense, which ranked No. 28 in the NFL last season.
  19. Cleveland Browns: Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami (Fla.). Mitchell Schwartz really hasn’t lived up to his second round status and he’ll be a free agent after this season. The Browns could use an upgrade there and Flowers, who started for three years with the Hurricanes, would give them one. Flowers and Joe Thomas could bookend an impressive line for years to come.
    • Other Option A: Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State. Even with the signings of Dwayne Bowe and Brian Hartline, the Browns still need a receiver. Strong could be the downfield threat the Browns need, but Ray Farmer might wait till the second round to take a receiver in a very deep draft class.
    • Other Option B: Arik Armstead, DE/DT, Oregon. Even with the selection of Shelton at No. 12, the Browns could continue to improve their defensive line with this selection. Armstead would give the Browns an athletic defensive end off the edge and put together with Shelton and much improved defensive line.
  20. Philadelphia Eagles: Landon Collins, S, Alabama. The Eagles had the second worst pass defense in the NFL last season and after signing Byron Maxwell and Walter Thurmond via free agency, will look at a safety to the mix in the draft. Collins had 102 tackles and three interceptions last season with Alabama and would help shore up Philly’s secondary woes.
    • Other Option A: Arik Armstead, DE/DT, Oregon. While the Eagles don’t really need help on their defensive line, Armstead went to Oregon and Chip Kelly tends to favor the Ducks.
    • Other Option B: Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State. With Jeremy Maclin heading to Kansas City in free agency, the Eagles need help at the wide receiver position. Strong would give the Eagles a deep threat to go alongside Riley Cooper and Jordan Matthews.
  21. Cincinnati Bengals: Arik Armstead, DE/DT, Oregon. The Bengals pass rush suffered without Michael Johnson last season, finishing last in the NFL in sacks. While Johnson is back, having been cut by Tampa Bay, the Bengals could still use help along their defensive line. Armstead had 2.5 sacks and 5.5 tackles for a loss last year and is an athletic lineman who could play in multiple spots for the Bengals.
    • Other Option: T.J. Clemmings, OT, Pittsburgh. With Andrew Whitworth, 33, entering a contract year, the Bengals may select his replacement through the draft. Clemmings started all 13 games at right tackle for the Panthers last season and was named a second-team All-American by the Football Writers Association of America.
  22. Pittsburgh Steelers: Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest. With an aging secondary, poor play from Cortez Allen and Troy Polamalu’s retirement, the Steelers will look to upgrade a pass defense that ranked No. 27 in the NFL. Johnson had one interception and six passes broken up his senior year with the Demon Deacons, and would give the Steelers some help in their secondary.
    • Other Option: Owamagbe Odighizuwa, DE, UCLA. Another route the Steelers could go is drafting to improve their defensive line. Brett Keisel is coming back from an injury at Stephon Tuitt didn’t really show much last year. Odighizuwa would give the Steelers another piece on their defensive line.
  23. Detroit Lions: Malcom Brown, DT, Texas. The Lions lost Nick Fairley, Ndamukong Suh and C.J. Mosley all via free agency and while they traded for Haloti Ngata, he’ll be a free agent at the end of the season. The Lions need to fill the holes left by Fairley and Suh along their defensive line and drafting Brown would do the trick. Brown had 13.0 tackles for a loss and 6.5 sacks last season as a junior with the Longhorns.
    • Other Option: T.J. Clemmings, OT, Pittsburgh: After allowing 45 sacks last season, 11th most in the NFL, Detroit needs to shore up their offensive line. The 6’5” 309 lbs. Clemmings would slide right in a protect Matthew Stafford.
  24. Arizona Cardinals: Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia. As Andre Ellington was bothered by injuries all year, Arizona has been looking for another running back in free agency. They tried unsuccessfully to  trade for Adrian Peterson and sign DeMarco Murray, so instead the Cardinals turn to the draft. Gurley rushed for 911 yards and 9 touchdowns in 6 games before tearing his ACL last year. While he may not be fully healthy until midway through 2015, he has the potential to one of the best running backs drafted since Peterson.
    • Other Option: Eli Harold, OLB, Virginia. The Cardinals need to strengthen their pass rush, and with 7.0 sacks and 14.5 tackles for a loss with Virginia last season, Harold would give the Cardinals an edge rusher to pair with Calais Campbell.
  25. Carolina Panthers: T.J. Clemmings, OT, Pittsburgh. The Panthers No. 1 priority this offseason is improving an offensive line that had trouble protecting Cam Newton this past year. Carolina badly needs a tackle to replace Nate Chandler. Clemmings, a former defensive end, has great upside as he’s only been playing the position for about two years.
    • Other Option: Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State. The Panthers drafted a wide receiver in the first round last year in Kelvin Benjamin, but besides for him, Carolina really has no true No. 2 option. Tedd Ginn’s a great returner, but wouldn’t cut it alongside Benjamin. Strong would give them another big target.
  26. Baltimore Ravens: Byron Jones, CB, Connecticut. The Ravens had the No. 23 pass defense in the NFL last year, in part because their secondary was a mess, especially after Jimmy Smith went down. Drafting Jones, who had an excellent performance at the NFL combine and had 2 interceptions and 4 passes defended with the Huskies last year would give the Ravens another option in the secondary.
    • Other Option: Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State. With Torrey Smith leaving for San Francisco via free agency, the Ravens are left with 36-year old Steve Smith as their top wideout. While Smith played well last season, he’s on the downside of his career. Strong would give the Ravens a replacement for T. Smith.
  27. Dallas CowboysEddie Goldman, DT, Florida State. Defensive tackle Henry Melton will be a free agent next season and after signing DE Greg Hardy via free agency, the Cowboys will look to improve the interior of their defensive line through the draft. Goldman who had 4.0 sacks and 8.0 tackles for a loss last season with the Seminoles and would be a suitable replacement for Melton.
    • Other Option: Jalen Collins, CB, LSU. The Cowboys in need of a corner to play alongside Orlando Scandrick. If Byron Jones falls to them at No. 27, I’d expect him to be the selection, but Collins might be a bit of a reach here. Collins had 9 passes defended and one interception last year.
  28. Denver Broncos: Cameron Irving, OL, Florida State. Any chance at another Super Bowl run for the Broncos will be tied to Peyton Manning’s performance and health and the Broncos need to upgrade their offensive line to do so. Irving played both tackle and center in college for Florida State and could play just about anywhere along the Broncos offensive line
    • Other Option: Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota. Julius Thomas left the Broncos via free agency, so the Broncos will need to find his replacement. Williams caught 36 passes for 569 yards and 8 touchdowns with the Golden Gophers last season.
  29. Indianapolis Colts: Jake Fisher, OT, Oregon. The Colts’ offensive line could use an upgrade as tackle Gosder Cherilus and center Jonotthan Harrison struggled last season. Fisher started 13 games at left tackle last season and was named first team All-Pac 12. He’d help protect quarterback Andrew Luck for years to come.
    • Other Option: Eric Kendricks, ILB, UCLA. D’Qwell Jackson and Jerrell Freeman struggled in the middle of the Colts defense and as such, Indianapolis could use an upgrade. Scouts say Kendricks has the tools to be a true three-down defender in the NFL.
  30. Green Bay Packers: Eric Kendricks, ILB, UCLA. With A.J. Hawk cut, and the Packers forced to play Clay Matthews at inside linebacker last season, the middle of Green Bay’s defense needs an upgrade. Kendricks had 145 tackles, 11.5 tackles for a loss, 4.0 sacks and 3 interceptions last season with the Bruins and would help fill a gaping hole in the Packers defense.
    • Other Option: Jordan Phillips, DT, Oklahoma. While the Packers re-signed B.J. Raji and Letroy Guion, they could still use some help in the interior of their defensive line. At 6’5” and 329 lbs, Phillips has the potential to be an excellent lineman at the next level.
  31. New Orleans Saints (Via Seattle): Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State. After trading Kenny Stills and Jimmy Graham, the Saints will look to add a receiver in the draft.Strong caught 82 passes for 1162 yards and 10 touchdowns last year at Arizona State and would give the Drew Brees a weapon to replace those traded.
    • Other Option A: Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota. Alternatively, the Saints could replace Jimmy Graham with this pick by selecting Williams. Williams has drawn comparisons to Cowboy tight end Jason Witten.
    • Other Option B: Jordan Phillips, DT, Oklahoma. The Saints have revamped their defense this offense and could continue to do so with this pick. Phillips would add a big body to the interior of the Saints defense.
  32. New England Patriots: Jalen Collins, CB, LSU. While odds are that the Patriots trade out of this selection, if they stay here a cornerback may be in the cards. Brandon Browner and Darrelle Revis both left via free agency, so a replacement is needed. At 6’1” and 203 lbs, Collins is a bigger corner with the physical ability to succeed in the NFL.
    • Other Option A: Jordan Phillips, DT, Oklahoma. With Vince Wilfork cut, the Patriots need help along their defensive line. Phillips could prove that help in their interior of New England’s defense.
    • Other Option B: A.J. Cann, OG, South Carolina. A selection I had in previous mocks, the Patriots need to improve their protection of Tom Brady and drafting Cann here will help shore up New England’s protection of their quarterback.
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