The NFL draft is only nine days away, and no one really knowns what exactly is going to happen. This isn’t the time to believe what every scout or GM is saying. So with all the hysteria in mind, here are a few 2015 NFL draft predictions that could happen once the first round gets rolling.
1. A team trades up for Marcus Mariota
This seems to be a shoe-in at this point in draft rumors, and is a cop out on my part. According to many, the Chargers seems willing to trade Philip Rivers for the number two pick, and then select Mariota. Maybe it’s all lies, I don’t know.
This trade would actually be good for both teams, but obviously more risky for the Chargers. Rivers is a known commodity, but is he a Super Bowl quarterback or is he a tier below? To this point he’s been a tier below, and at 33 might not be worth another long-term investment for the Chargers. Let’s face it, the Chargers are a good team, but no matter how good Rivers is the roster just isn’t there. Mariota certainly isn’t perfect, and there is a lot of questions about how he’ll fair in an NFL offense, but his performance proves he’s worth the risk.
Now, if I were the Titans I would rather trade down to acquire more picks, but Philip Rivers makes sense because Ken Wisenhunt needs an elite quarterback desperately. Wisenhunt is a nice coach, but after he lost Kurt Warner everything fell apart and he got the boot from Arizona. The Titans won only two games last year, and if Wisenhunt wants to keep his job he needs to start winning games now, and Rivers is the answer for that.
2. DeVante Parker goes before Amari Cooper
I happen to prefer Parker over Cooper simply because I’m a size/speed whore. I just can’t help myself, but in this case it isn’t like the two prospects are that far apart in the talent department.
Both tore through college football the past two years, but like I said, if I have the option I’m going with the guy that is bigger and just as fast. Which is why i’ll never be an NFL scout. Hell, I even preferred Donte Moncrief over Sammy Watkins in last year’s draft.
Both of these guys will be top 10 to 15 picks, but I think Parker is going to catch the eye of an NFL GM. If I had to compare the two I’d say say Parker is Alshon Jeffery, and Cooper is DeAndre Hopkins.
3. Mel Kiper announces this is his last draft
If you’re a fan of the draft, even though he is annoying, you have to love Mel Kiper. He’s deserves a lot of credit for how big the draft has become. However, legacy aside, I can’t help but wonder when he is finally going to hang it up. I’ve come to the conclusion that this is going to be his last year.
I’ve seen Kiper on ESPN lately, and he seems a little bit off or more fidgety than usual, maybe what he was reading from was in a difficult place or something, but he just seemed off.
He is 54-years-old, which isn’t too old, but I have to imagine that Kiper doesn’t need this anymore. The countless hours of watching tape, the fake arguing, and having to deal with Todd McShay is just too much. He’s had a good run, but it’s almost over.
4. Bryce Petty is the third QB drafted
Everyone gets on Petty’s case because he played in such a good college offense that he can’t possibly play in the NFL. They say he can’t deal with chaos in the pocket, but they’re going to be proven wrong.
I’ve watched a few Baylor games, and even more highlights, and I think Petty has what it takes. Can he put a team on his back and lead them to the Super Bowl? Probably not, but I think he has the arm talent to get to the playoffs. I get that the quarterback position is the most important, but is it really that bad if a guy turns out just okay.
5. There will only be one trade in the first round
This is a pretty solid draft, but a lot of guys have questions marks. Last year’s QB class was much better, there were three elite receivers, and two game-changing defensive players in Clowney and Mack.
The only trade, like I said before, will be the Chargers trading up for Mariota. There just isn’t a need for teams to move up this draft.
There are a lot of good defensive lineman, but is one really that much better than the rest. Sure Leonard Williams is good, but he isn’t Suh or Dareus.
Everyone loves a crazy draft with a bunch of trades, but it won’t happen in the first round.
6. No safeties in the first round
Landon Collins was supposed to be a lock to go to the Bears in the first round about three months ago, but a lot has changed since then. Collins is a good safety, but he isn’t even in the same conversation as many other first round safeties.
7. No tight ends in the first round
This is a pretty bad tight end class, Maxx Williams and Clive Walfrod are nice prospects, but don’t have the measurable or athleticism as other top safeties. Maybe the Broncos could pull the trigger on Williams after losing Julius Thomas or even the Saints, but I don’t see it happening.
8. Randy Gregory doesn’t fall out of the top 10
Gregory failed a drug test, and that could really hurt his value considering teams won’t want another Josh Gordon situation on their hands. However, NFL teams love their pass rushers, and Gregory has the size, though he is skinny, that other top pass rushers in this class don’t. My guess is that the Giants take him at 9.
9. Bud Dupree goes in the top 10
There are going to be three pass rushers in the top 10: Fowler, Beasley, Gregory, and Dupree. That leaves Shane Ray from the top 10. From what I’ve read a lot of evaluators like Ray and Dupree, but Dupree is a little bit bigger, and a lot more athletic.