I just want to apologize to the readers for my absence over the last month or so. Between my job with the New York Islanders, and coaching my freshman baseball team, time has been limited. But, I’m finally back and ready to get back to work.
With Draft Day (weekend) finally upon us, I thought I would take a look at what can possibly happen during Round One of the draft tonight in Chicago. I have already done a mock draft, but that was strictly with none of the 32 teams making a trade, and staying pat with their original pick. Now, since we all know that never happens on Draft Day, I am going to talk about some potential moves that I would like to see happen from certain teams, and what I ultimately think will happen.
“With the first pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select, Jameis Winston, Quarterback, Florida State.” Those will be the 19 words uttered by Commissioner Roger Goodell as he steps up to the podium with the Buccaneers’ pick slip tonight. This should be no surprise to anyone, as Winston should be far and away the number one pick.
Now with Winston off the board, the Draft will truly begin, as it leaves the Tennessee Titans with many options, but also many tough decisions at number two. It’s kind of like me at a deli, but I’ll save that for another day.
What I Would Like To See Happen: At this moment in time, I think the Titans are one of those franchises that has had a plan over the last fews years, but it just hasn’t panned out. Yes, of course you can say that about many losing teams, but some teams just have no clue or plan in the front office, and I think the Jets are the perfect example of that over the last two years. The Titans will have plenty of suitors, and they will like what they hear, especially with the Washington Redskins trade in the back of their minds. It would not surprise me one bit if the Titans traded their pick, and I would like to see them do so. They need help in the front seven on defense, weapons on offense, and interior line help, so why not trade that pick?
What Will Happen: The Titans can honestly go in any direction they want to with this pick, so nothing will really surprise me here. There have been talks that they’re not sold on Zach Mettenberger, which would of course make Marcus Mariota a potential pick, but I don’t think they will go down that road. That being said, I think the Titans will be smart, not trade their pick, and draft Leonard Williams, the defensive lineman out of USC. In overall talent, Williams could have the most in this class, and I think he can be an absolute stud in this league.
What I Would Like To See Happen: Like the Titans, I think it would be smart for Oakland to trade down and rebuild. Their offense wasn’t a complete failure last year, as Derek Carr came into his own a little bit at the end of the year, and they may have found something in Latavius Murray. The offense has a young nucleus, but unfortunately it’s not the same on defense. Even though they have up-and-coming stud Khalil Mack, both Justin Tuck and Charles Woodson are another year older, and their secondary isn’t exactly great. But, will you look at that? This year’s draft class is LOADED with defensive backs, and the Raiders can restock that position immediately if they traded back.
What Will Happen: Until they prove people otherwise in terms of the draft, the Raiders will be the Raiders. There’s a saying around the league that “teams want to draft behind the Raiders” because the next player has a good chance to be a stud. These are some of the players picked immediately after the Raiders since 2004: Larry Fitzgerald, Aaron Rodgers, Donte Whitner, Calvin Johnson, C.J. Spiller (when healthy), and Sheldon Richardson. If the Raiders just had those players alone, or even just two of them, a lot could be different. However until they change something up, I think they will stay with their unproven method, and draft one of the fastest weapons, and go with Kevin White out of West Virginia.
New York Jets
What I Would Like To See Happen: The Jets have actually been one of the most talked about teams over the last week or so, with Marcus Mariota as a potential target, and ridiculous trade talks involving Muhammed Wilkerson. But in terms of their pick, I would love to see the Jets grab Marcus Mariota. Even though I think he is a system quarterback, I think that’s the one major piece the Jets are missing. Sure, Ryan Fitzpatrick could be a band-aid for this season, but what’s the point? They went out and got great secondary help with Cromartie, Gilchrist, and of course Revis. Their defensive line could be one of the best in league, and I think they just need to add one edge rusher, but that’s something that could be addressed in rounds two and three. On the offensive side, they have good weapons on the outside and Ivory gives them a poor man’s Marshawn Lynch in the backfield. That leaves us with the quarterback position and Marcus Mariota. However, I don’t think the Jets should trade up for him, but if he falls there, they should jump all over him.
What Will Happen: Although I just went on a mini-rant, I think the Jets will ultimately draft one of these three: Brandon Scherff, Dante Fowler Jr., or Vic Beasley. Ryan Fitzpatrick could work for this season, and based on other needs, I think one of these guys will fit perfectly. Scherff or Fowler could give the Jets future Pro Bowl potential, and Beasley could be second tier in terms of that discussion. If the Jets grab one of these three, I think it would be a successful first night.
New York Giants
What I Would Like To See Happen: The Giants are an interesting team because they usually don’t trade up, but this year could be different. For the first time in a while, the Giants are in a spot where they have more than one big need: offensive line, defensive line, and safety. I would love to see the Giants go for it, and trade up to get Leonard Williams. I know it would take a boatload to get him, but I think that’s what the Giants need. He has as much potential as anyone, and I think it would be a great fit.
What Will Happen: If anything, the Giants would trade back and get one or more picks, but I see them standing pat and seeing how it plays out. Depending on what happens with the sixth pick, I think the Giants will hope Brandon Scherff falls to them at nine. If he’s there, I think that will be their pick. If not, I expect them to take Kevin White or Amari Cooper, depending on which receiver is still there, or Andrus Peat as a backup to Scherff.
Wild Card: Cleveland Browns
The Browns have two first round picks, and I think they should use one of them to their advantage. I’m not saying they should trade up into the top five, but I think to move one of those up to a top ten pick, could really make a difference. The Browns were on the cusp of the playoffs last year, and are a few pieces away.
Rest of the Weekend
For now, those are the five teams that I would love to see move around on night one. Sure plenty of things are going to change, and other teams are going to make trades in other rounds, but as for round one, I think most teams will stay put.
However, some other teams I would like to see trade and move around, include: San Diego, Dallas, New Orleans, and Indianapolis. I want to see these teams move around because I think they are one or two pieces away from making a deep run into the season. But, we will see what happens.
Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Thomas Buckley