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2015 NFL Draft Results & Grades: 1st Round

By on May 1, 2015

The first round of the 2015 NFL Draft is in the books and while always entertaining, the Chicago version lacked trades (two) and overall excitement. Here are the results from Thursday and the way-too-early grades of all 32 picks.

 

Oklahoma State v Florida StateTampa Bay Buccaneers Banner1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State
2014 record: 2-14 (.486 strength of schedule)
Top three needs: OL, pass rusher, QB

Grade: B+

Everyone and their grandmother knew that the Buccaneers were going to take Jameis Winston, but they played the draft “game” until there were only a few minutes left on the clock and selected their franchise QB. With 6’5″ wide receivers Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson to throw to, Winston is set up to make an impact as early as his week 1 matchup against the Titans and the 2nd overall pick.

Marcus Mariota, QB Oregon - Jonathan FerreyTennessee Titans Banner2. Tennessee Titans -Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
2014 record: 2-14 (.506)
Top three needs: QB, pass rusher, CB

Grade: B

Marcus Mariota was going #2 to either the Titans or to a team that offered them a handful of picks to trade up for him. The Titans could’ve greatly benefitted from accepting a deal to set them up for building a team around Zach Mettenberger because, as of right now Mariota is going to be the only offensive threat in Tennessee.

Dante Fowler Jr - Kim Klement-USA TODAY SportsJacksonville Jaguars Banner3. Jacksonville Jaguars – Dante Fowler Jr., DE, Florida
2014 record: 3-13 (.514)
Top three needs: OT, CB, RB

Grade: A

The Jaguars have selected the next premiere pass rusher in the NFL and he is a perfect fit for the Leo position in Gus Bradley’s defense. The Jaguars told Fowler that he was going to be the 3rd pick back in March, and they were true to their word.

Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama - AP PhotoOakland Raiders Banner4. Oakland Raiders – Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama 2014 record: 3-13 (.570) Top three needs: Pass rusher, CB, WR Grade: A Amari Cooper is going to be one of the best players out of this draft and Derek Carr’s new best friend. Leonard Williams made a lot of sense here also, but a stud WR is hard to find.

Iowa OT Brandon Scherff - Charlie NeibergallWashington Redskins Banner5. Washington Redskins – Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa
2014 record: 4-12 (.496)
Top three needs: Pass rusher, DB, OT

Grade: B

Leonard Williams was still on the board, but the Redskins need to protect RG3 if he stands a chance at reviving his career. It’s a copycat league and the Redskins saw the difference that Zack Martin made for the Cowboys offensive line and Brandon Scherff is very comparable.

Leonard Williams, DE, Southern Cal USC - Kirby LeeNew York Jets Banner6. New York Jets – Leonard Williams, DT, USC
2014 record: 4-12 (.543)
Top three needs: QB, CB, OT

Grade: A

Leonard Williams, the top player on most draft boards, fell to one of the best defenses in the league and the Jets did not hesitate to catch him. There were rumors of the Jets shopping Muhammed Wilkerson before the draft and the selection of Williams could signal the end of Wilkerson’s tenure in the gang green.

Kevin White - Tommy Gilligan -USA TODAY SportsChicago Bears Banner7. Chicago Bears – Kevin White, WR, West Virginia
2014 record: 5-11 (.529)
Top three needs: Pass rusher, LB, DB

Grade: B+

The Bears moved Brandon Marshall this offseason, leaving Alshon Jeffery as the only legitimate WR on their roster. Kevin White and Alshon Jeffery could form an even more explosive duo than Marshall and Jeffery with the addition of White’s speed, IF Jay Cutler can consistently get them the ball.

Atlanta Falcons Banner8. Atlanta Falcons – Vic Beasley, OLB/DE, Clemson 2014 record: 6-10 (.482) Top three needs: Pass rusher, TE, DB Grade: B+ The Falcons have been struggling to find their groove defensively since the days of John Abraham. New head coach Dan Quinn is cut from the same mold as Jaguars HC Gus Bradley and runs a similar defense with a “Leo” pass rusher and Vic Beasley fits it perfectly. The Falcons may have been able to get Beasley later in the draft, but it appears as though NFL GMs were being stingy with their picks and hesitant to move around in the first round.



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