Dave’s 2015 NFL Mock Draft 1.0: Philadelphia Eagles Go Defense Early
By Dave Searles
6. New York Jets
There’s no guarantee that a team doesn’t look to trade up with Washington (or even Tennessee) to lock up Mariota, but if not this is where his minor slide should end. Even though it’s a massive waste of resources (R1 2009 – Mark Sanchez, R2 2013 – Geno Smith), it’s better than severely reaching for need and taking a CB, though I’m not sure that’s impossible either. Either way, it’s a new year and that means a new opportunity for the Jets to select a quarterback early.
7. Chicago Bears
Clear need and decent value at this pick, the Bears take the consensus top safety available and hope that CB Kyle Fuller can continue to rise into stardom like he did in 2014 before injury ended his season. Collins could start at either safety position for the Bears and immediately be better than any player the team fielded all of last season at each spot. He’s also the only true first round safety, so if they want him this is their only shot.
8. Atlanta Falcons
Dante Fowler, Jr.
Outside Linebacker, Florida
One of my favorite edge rushers in this class, Dante Fowler, Jr. has the size (6’2, 261) to play 3-4 LB and 4-3 DE with ease. For Atlanta, he should push to start immediately and be a much more natural fit in the Falcons 3-4 scheme than a 30+ year old DE-convert Osi Umeniyora ever did. Either way, the pass rush should dramatically improve, which is needed when facing Drew Brees, Cam Newton, and now Jameis Winston twice a year.
9. New York Giants
Offensive Tackle, Stanford
Despite hitting big on WR Odell Beckham, Jr. last year, I still believe the New York Giants made the wrong pick. The Giants should have keyed in on OL Zack Martin, who ended up being a Pro Bowl player as a rookie for the Dallas Cowboys. While Peat isn’t as ready to play at this level as Martin was and he could likely be had a few picks later, the Giants can’t afford to continue to ignore the offensive line. As incredible as Manning-to-Beckham was in 2014, you can only wonder how well it would have worked if Eli had more time to throw.
10. St. Louis Rams
Wide Receiver, West Virginia
Kevin White is the anti-Tavon Austin, despite coming from the same school. He’s a bigger target with better hands and he knows how to position his body to make the tough catches in the red zone. In other words, he’s exactly what the Rams to truly compete in the NFC West…besides a quarterback. None of it matters unless Sam Bradford can stay healthy, but in the event that he is, at least he’ll have a WR he can trust.
Next: The Next Nine