Depending on how the first 10 picks play out, here are some possible areas of need for some other teams. Keep in the back of your head what the Eagles do with the 20th pick. They might try to swing Bradford to Cleveland and pick up the 19th pick and then bundle the 19th and 20th to Tennessee for the #2 overall pick to snag Mariota. It would come as no shock to the Hashtag Crew, as it should to any of you if Chip Kelly swings for the fence on that one.
2015 NFL Draft: Picks 1-10
2015 NFL Draft: Picks 21-32
11. Minnesota Vikings (posted 2/16/15)
Depending on what the Vikings do during free agency could influence what they do for the upcoming draft. Taking a look at the 11th pick in the NFL draft, the Vikings need to look long term in their assessment of who to take. As a first round pick, they would be entitled a 5th year option for the player they choose, however, being out of the Top 10, if they chose to exercise that option, it would only cost them the average of the top 3-25 players at that position (opposed to the 1-10 contracts for a pick in the Top 10).
The Vikings have a lot of avenues to explore with the 11th pick but on the top of the list are 4 names; T Brandon Scherff (Iowa), S Landon Collins (Alabama), T TJ Clemmings (Pitt) and WR DeVante Parker (Louisville).
Scherff is listed as a tackle, but would be better suited as a guard in the NFL due to his mauler like blocking style. Has off the charts measureables but has some inconsistency at the tackle position.
Clemmings has amazing athleticism for being 6’6” 315 lbs and has the proverbial “P” word attached to his resume; Potential. He came to Pitt as a defensive end, and is still very raw as an offensive tackle. Maybe too raw for an 11th overall pick, but if the Vikings think he can develop; having a 5th year option may be the way to go.
Depending on what the Vikings do with Greg Jennings and Cordarrelle Patterson will tell if they are going to take DeVante Parker. Parker is a big target that possesses an 80-inch wingspan. In a copycat league, the Vikings have seen the effectiveness of Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery in Chicago, and maybe they will go with Parker to create a similar duo in Minnesota.
If the Vikings go defense with their first pick, they will most likely target Landon Collins. Collins is a hard-hitting safety that tends to give up some plays in the passing game, but can be called upon to set the tempo for the defense. This has been a trademark for Zimmer, and he would definitely be a force when paired up with Harrison Smith.
The most success that Zimmer had was when he was a DC in Dallas in 2003, when the Cowboys ranked 2nd in the league with the likes of Roy Williams and Darren Woodson patrolling the back end. The Vikings haven’t had a defense finish in the Top 10 since 1998, so if they take Collins, they will be headed in that direction.
12. Cleveland Browns (posted 2/17/15)
Holding the 12th and 19th picks in the draft will give the Browns some negotiating room when the clock strikes 8pm on April 30th. Look for the Browns to take an offensive player with both of their picks to give this defense some help. Everyone knows how historically bad the Browns have been, to the tune of only being in the Top 20 in offensive production twice since 1999. Yeah, that bad.
While most of the “experts” have the Browns going with Eddie Goldman DE/DT (FSU), Vic Beasley (Clemson) or even Benardrick McKinney (Miss St.), and even though the Browns shocked everyone by taking Justin Gilbert with the 9th pick last year, don’t expect them to bolster that defense early. Now, true, all three of these players would bring something very special to the defense, but if the Browns are of the mindset of winning every game 9-0, they will have to have some offensive weapons for 2015.
WR Kevin White (WVU) is a big target (6’3”) and could make some noise for the Browns next season. With the current suspension of Josh Gordon, and the current core of Travis Benjamin (5’10”), Andrew Hawkins (5’7”) and Taylor Gabriel (5’8”), any receiver over six feet would be a welcome addition. If the Browns don’t make a run at some free agent wide receivers, look for them to select White.
WR Devin Smith (Ohio State) coming off an impressive 2014 campaign has the speed to go to the next level. Also has the ability to get off the line and avoid the jam. A little smaller than White, Smith has excellent body control, but needs to work more on technique.
WR Jaelen Strong (ASU) has the height of White, but not the game breaking speed, which led to a lot of contested, catches during 2014. Can get open over the middle, and isn’t afraid of contact. If the Browns want a sure handed receiver, who can make the tough catches, Strong will be a nice addition.
13. New Orleans Saints (posted 2/18/15)
Currently no centers are on the roster so expect them to take the first center off the board. Reese Dismukes (Auburn) was a 4 year starter. J.B. Grimes, Auburn offensive line coach, told AL.com's Joel Erickson after Auburn's SEC Championship last season. "He's the glue. He holds it all together. [He is] the finest leader I've ever had, tough, smart, fast, quick, strong, balanced, just one of the best football players I've ever been around." While he will not be selected in the first 20 selections, he may not make it out of the bottom of the first round.
14. Miami Dolphins (posted 2/19/15)
This year’s first round selection should be about rebuilding the secondary, since they will be cutting Finnegan. A player like CB Trae Waynes (Michigan State) would fit nicely.
Targeting a tight end figuring the loss of Charles Clay would be the simplest and most affordable way to address the position. Investing an early 4th round selection on Tyler Kroft (Rutgers) would be a good bet, but depending on your late round selections to turn into starters is risky business. They will need to handcuff this selection with another veteran.
15. San Francisco 49ers (posted 2/20/15)
If Eric Mangini learned anything from his time with the New England Patriots and his time with Bill Belichick, hopefully for 49er fans it was building solid role players through the draft. Otherwise the team will not meet expectations for the 2015 season. With WR Michael Crabtree unlikely to be resigned, most of the experts have the Niners taking WR Kevin White (WVU), if he is still on the board. This seems like a stretch, because Kaepernick cannot find him if he is on his back. While White possesses qualities that the 49ers need, it is not their most glaring need.
San Francisco could go with either DT Arik Armsted (Oregon) or LB Alvin Dupree (Kentucky) to bloster Mangini’s 3-4 defense, and both look to be up to the task. Armsted, while he is listed as a defensive tackle, his 6’8” 290 pound frame makes him more likely to be a defensive end, and if the 49ers decide to part ways with Aldon Smith, look for them to take Armsted. Alvin Dupree seems like the typical linebacker that could fit in very well with Willis and Bowman, but will likely be a project, and with all the other projects that the 49ers have selecting one with the 15th pick seems to be a stretch.
The player that gives them the most options is LT La’el Collins (LSU). With 4-time Pro Bowler Joe Staley firmly at the left tackle spot, Collins could be a force at right tackle as he is more of a brawler. And if it doesn’t work out at right tackle, Collins has the mentality to slide down to guard if San Francisco doesn’t sign Iupati.
16. Houston Texans (posted 2/21/15)
Watch out for the Texans to handcuff what they are able to acquire in free agency with mid to late round selections. They will look to take advantage of this deep wide receiver class. Kevin White (West Virginia), Amari Cooper (Alabama) will be off the board, but plenty of talent will be around in the first and second round.
Given the depth, they may grab a cornerback early or address offensive line needs. The free agency market is stronger at guard and tackle than it is for cornerback, which means the team will have to be very calculated with its approach.
With QB Tom Savage on the roster, a late round quarterback selection seems unlikely.
17. San Diego Chargers (posted 2/22/15)
The Chargers are an old team. With C Nick Hardwick calling it a career, this will be a high priority for the team to address, but, doing so with the 17th selection may be about 10 spots to high. Look for them to handcuff a 2nd or 3rd round pick with whomever they sign via free agency.
The 1st round will be about either getting a running back like Melvin Gordon (Wisconsin) or hoping one slips while they try to take advantage of this great wide receiver class. Todd Gurley (Georgia) doesn't fit, as his ACL injury occurred in November, so it would be unrealistic to expect him to be available at the start of this NFL season.
18. Kansas City Chiefs (posted 2/23/15)
T Eric Fisher, the former 1st overall selection 2 years ago, has been a major disappointment. While it can take some time for tackles to mature in the NFL, things are not looking great across the offensive line. T Andrus Peat (Stanford) would be a great option to lock down the right tackle position and give them an alternative if Fisher continues to struggle.
Depending on how aggressive the teams ahead of them get at the cornerback position could dictate if they take a swing to improve the depleted secondary. DB PJ Williams (Florida State) has split a lot of draft analysts, as some see him as the best in the class. The free agent market for cornerbacks is pretty poor and Sean Smith has proven he is not a number 1.
Considering on how much space they can clear along with the contract negotiations with Hudson, they may need to look into the 3rd or 4th round for a center.
19. Cleveland Browns (from 2/17/15)
With a lot of options for the Browns, it would come to no surprise if they were to bundle one of their two draft picks in the first round to jump some teams for a franchise quarterback. Cap space, and picks are hard to come by, and if they can secure a 5th year option for a franchise player, they can make some moves to solidify their roster.
20. Philadelphia Eagles (posted 2/25/15)
The free agency market hasn’t been kind to the Eagles (remember the Dream Team a few years ago?). The draft becomes the best place for the team to address 3 key areas: defensive end, outside linebacker, cornerback. This draft will build the foundation for the 2016 free agency market, as they will by then have made a commitment at the quarterback position.
Simply because we have to say it, if CB Trae Waynes (Michigan State) is on the board, the Eagles will take him (news flash, he won’t be). This will leave Marcus Peters (Washington), Kevin Johnson (Wake Forest), Quinten Rollins (Miami-Ohio) and PJ Williams (Florida State) as the consolation prize. If two of these are off the board, the Eagles, unless they are in love with a player, will probably see the pool too diluted and move on to another position
Outside linebacker will be a position that will fly off the board in the first 2 rounds of this draft. We don’t see it possible for players like Dante Fowler (Florida) or Vic Beasley (Clemson) to be available at the 20th selection. This leaves Eli Harold (Virginia), Shaq Thompson (Washington) and Hauoli Kikaha (Washington) as the remaining possible 1st round selections. Of course you have your late risers (Davis Tull from Chattanooga could be one) who will slide up the boards because of respective pro-day workouts, but the top appears is relatively set in stone.
Defensive ends will be a target given the pending restructuring of several veterans Again, Randy Gregory (Nebraska) and Shane Ray (Missouri) will already be gone by this point. Alvin Dupree (Kentucky) could be the pick here. Owamagbe Odighizuwa remains on the fringe of the 1st round however Dupree would be a great fit for what the Eagles defense would like to do.
2015 NFL Draft: Picks 1-10
2015 NFL Draft: Picks 21-32