Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Poor Decision NFL Mock Draft

Mistakes will be made on draft night
By Joe Parello (@HerewegoJoe)

Every year at least one team in the NFL Draft makes an epically poor decision. Whether it's the Jets selecting forgettable tight end Kyle Brady over future Hall of Fame defensive tackle Warren Sapp, the Redskins mortgaging the franchise to move up and select Robert Griffin III, the Dolphins trading up to select Dion Jordan, or pretty much everything the Raiders have done since the turn of the millennium.

But what if every team made a mistake during tonight's first round? Well then, you'd get our Poor Decision NFL Mock Draft. These next picks/trades aren't all what I'd call likely, but some of them could happen, and they would probably be bad news for your favorite team if they came to fruition.

* Indicates a trade

1. Tampa Bay
The Move: Select Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State

Let's be honest, this is the only move the Bucs can make (assuming there is no massive trade offer), and it will determine the next 5-7 years of their franchise. Both Winston and this year's other high-profile quarterback, Oregon's Marcus Mariota, are high-risk, high-reward prospects, and no Tampa fan can honestly say they feel totally comfortable putting their franchise in the hands of a player with Winston's checkered past.

He's either Ben Roethlisberger or Josh Freeman, and given Tampa Bay's luck with quarterbacks recently, I'd bet on the latter.

2. Philadelphia* (from Tennessee)
The Move: Trade 2015 No. 20 overall pick, 2016 First Round Pick, 2017 First Round Pick, 2018 First Round Pick and Tim Tebow to Tennessee for 2015 No. 2 overall pick.
Select Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon

This would complete the most interesting offseason in NFL history for Chip Kelly and the Eagles, and just for fun I threw Tim Tebow in the deal because, why not?

This move would be comparable to the deal Washington made in 2012 to trade up and select Robert Griffin III, and Mariota is seen as less of a "sure thing" than Griffin. It would also be an addition to a position that Philadelphia has already addressed multiple times this offseason, trading for Sam Bradford, re-upping Mark Sanchez and signing Tebow.

But Kelly did coach Mariota at Oregon, and seems to think very fondly of his former signal-caller. Problem is, Philly has shown they can score even without a great QB, so mortgaging the future on anything less than a sure-fire star seems foolish with so many holes on the defensive side of the ball.

Conversely, this is an ideal situation for Tennessee, who now doesn't have to invest in a QB that doesn't fit coach Ken Whisenhunt's offense, and can use all these picks over the next three years to rebuild.

3. Jacksonville
The Move: Select Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama

The Jaguars have a huge need at their hybrid OLB/DE (Leo) position, meaning Dante Fowler, Vic Beasley, Bud Dupree and Randy Gregory would all make sense here, as would Leonard Williams, who could do some serious work both inside and outside in Gus Bradley's scheme.

Throw that all out the window, because the Jags are thinking explosion, and believe Cooper can be the Jimmy Smith to Blake Bortles' Mark Brunell. Of course, for this move to work out, Blake Bortles needs to become a good quarterback, which probably won't happen, making this a missed opportunity to grab a star pass rusher and turn the Jacksonville defense into one that could actually be legitimately salty.

4. Oakland
The Move: Select Phillip Dorsett, WR, Miami

Isn't this just the most Raiders-ey pick ever? Forget that fact that Kevin White and Devante Parker are still on the board, Dorsett ran a 4.31 40-Yard Dash!

The speedy Hurricane wideout actually fills a need for Oakland, but is a major reach at No. 4, given his lack of production in the occasionally inept Miami offense.

5. Atlanta* (from Washington)
The Move: Trade 2015 No. 8 overall pick and  2015 No. 42 overall pick to Washington for 2015 No. 5 overall pick.
Select Vic Beasley, DE/OLB, Clemson

The Falcons need a pass rusher, but they give up a second round pick here to move up a measly three spots from eight to five. Beasley is an insane talent, but with so many high-level pass rushers still available, this is just a bad value decision.

6. New York Jets
The Move: Select Andrus Peat, T, Stanford

The Jets have added Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall the last two offseasons, so Kevin White and Devante Parker are both out here. That means addressing the offensive line is the next logical move. Peat is actually a pretty good pick for the Jets. He's a great run blocker that is far from a liability in pass protection.

Worst case scenario he's an immediate contributor at right tackle or moves to guard, and best case he's a very good left tackle. Still, this just seems a bit too high for him, and you get the feeling the Jets should be looking to move either down to stockpile picks, or up to grab a quarterback.

All in all, not the worst they could do, and definitely better than reaching on a QB like Brett Hundley or Bryce Petty.

7. Chicago

The Move: Select Bud Dupree, OLB, Kentucky

The Bears could add a stud wideout or lockdown cover corner here, but instead choose to go with the biggest wild card pass rusher in the class. Dupree is a physical freak, but his production hasn't always matched his potential, and looks like a much bigger risk than Fowler or Missouri's Shane Ray.

8. Washington* (from Atlanta)
The Move: Select Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor

Washington already did well to fleece Atlanta at No. 5, so to make this a truly poor draft day they'll need to reach on a quarterback. Not only do they pick up a just-solid QB that isn't talented enough to go this high, they also show no faith in Robert Griffin III, who you may remember they sent away three first-round picks to draft in 2012, and do so by bringing in the guy that broke many of Griffin's school records at Baylor.

It's not that Petty is a bad player. In fact, I think his decision making makes him the most underrated quarterback in the class. But, he's still a huge reach at No. 8, and Washington will effectively undermine the quarterback they sold the farm to get by drafting him. Adding a pass rusher or another wide receiver and gambling on another year of Griffin is the right move, as sad as that sounds.

9. New York Giants
The Move: Select La'El Collins, OT/OG LSU

On paper, this move makes some sense, because the Giants needs help across the offensive line, but Collins' ceiling is limited, and nobody is even really sure if he plays quickly enough to stay at left tackle in the NFL.

There are worse things than finding a starting right tackle or guard, but LEONARD FREAKING WILLIAMS is still on the board!

10. San Francisco* (from St. Louis)
The Move: Trade 2015 No. 15 overall pick, 2015 No. 46 overall, 2016 First Round Pick, 2016 Second Round Pick and 2017 First Round Pick to St. Louis for 2015 No. 10 overall pick.
Select Leonard Williams, DL, USC

Williams' fall finally ends at No. 10 (because, uh, everyone else in the Top-10 was being dumb. That's kinda the point of this blog). Unfortunately, the 49ers have to give up a pair of first and second rounders to swap picks with the Rams for the right to draft him. Williams could be the heir apparent to Justin Smith, but the 49ers still have plenty of questions to answer, and sending away four Top-2 round picks over the next two years isn't ideal.

11. Minnesota

The Move: Select DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville

Ok, this isn't a bad pick at all, but I just can't see the Vikings not taking a receiver with both White and Parker on the board. So, I'm going to give them the one I like a little bit less.

12. Cleveland
The Move: Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA

Oh Cleveland, you're always looking for your next flameout quarterback!

13. New Orleans
The Move: Select Dante Fowler, DE/OLB, Florida

Oddly enough, the Saints need more help on offense, despite how badly their defense fell off a cliff last year. There's no way they take a tight end, but Kevin White might just be an absolute steal here.

They take a different steal in Fowler, a Top-5 talent that will find a role in Rob Ryan's scheme. Still, this is a pick that doesn't move the needle as much as a big-play receiver for Drew Brees to throw to, and with the veteran QB's window closing, that's not great news.

14. Miami
The Move: Select Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia

The Dolphins need a running back, and a healthy Todd Gurley could be just the right guy. The problem? Gurley is coming off a torn ACL and, given the value of running backs, this is 10 spots too high for even the most talented backs.

Linebacker and safety are, perhaps, bigger needs, and the offensive line needs some attention as well. This is a luxury pick, and one that could blow up in Miami's face if Gurley doesn't fully regain his explosiveness.

15. St. Louis* (from San Francisco)
The Move: Brandon Scherff, OG, Iowa

Again, not a terrible move, but Kevin White is still on the board, and guard isn't exactly the sexiest position to take this early in the draft. The Rams could add an explosive play maker, but instead go for a quick fix along their patchwork offensive line.

16. Houston
The Move: Randy Gregory, DE/OLB, Nebraska

Ok, it's like these teams are intentionally making poor decisions to avoid taking Kevin White, arguably the draft's best offensive weapon… Oh wait, they are.

Anyways, Gregory is an incredibly intriguing prospect, but there have been numerous red flags around him, and there are many other needs Houston can address here. Oh yeah, and they just invested the No. 1 pick in last year's draft on this position when they took Jadeveon Clowney…

17. San Diego

The Move: Select Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami

Flowers is a great talent who, like many of his teammates, was probably less than ideally utilized by the Miami coaching staff. The Chargers could do worse here (like by reaching to select Phillip Rivers' replacement), but  with Shane Ray and Kevin White still available, there is some value being left on the board.

18. Kansas City
The Move: Select Kevin White, WR, West Virginia

Oh come on, Chiefs receivers didn't catch a single touchdown last year, and this is where Kevin White is going to whither and die? Yep.

19. Cleveland
The Move: Select Breshad Perriman, WR, UCF

They already drafted their overrated quarterback, so why not grab an overrated receiver to go with him? But at least Johnny Manziel is out of rehab.

20. Tennessee* (from Philadelphia)

The Move: Select Shane Ray, DE/OLB, Missouri

The Titans come out as the biggest winners of our first round in terms of value. They traded down for a king's ransom of picks, then drafted a highly regarded player at a position of need. I mean, it's not going to matter because Zach Mettenberger is still their quarterback, but it will be sure to get them a high grade from Mel Kiper.

21. Cincinnati
The Move: Select Denzel Perryman, ILB, Miami

Another guy with with a ton of potential that was wasted in Coral Gobles. Perryman could be a solid starter down the road for Cincinnati, but the Bengals have bigger issues along their offensive line, and could afford to add another weapon to complement A.J. Green.

22. Pittsburgh
The Move: Select Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest


23. Detroit
The Move: Select Arik Armstead, DL, Oregon

In their haste to replace Ndamukong Suh, Detroit adds to their hefty free agent signing of Haloti Ngata by drafting Armstead. The Oregon defensive lineman has off-the-charts measurables, but his production has been limited at best. Remember the last oversized Duck D-lineman we said that about? Dion Jordan.

24. Arizona
The Move: Select Cameron Erving, OG, Florida State

The Cards were awful on the ground last year, and instead of grabbing stud running back Melvin Gordon (in that late 1st round RB sweet spot), they choose to pick a pretty good interior lineman. Nothing sexier than that…

25. Carolina
The Move: Select D.J. Humphries, OT, Florida

The Panthers' blind side protection was among the worst in football last year, so they scoop up Humphries, an average sized tackle with a ton of potential and sloppy fundamentals. Trae Waynes is still sitting there. Just saying…

26. Baltimore
The Move: Select Nelson Agholor, WR, USC

My God, they need a corner so badly, yet they are so quick to try and replace Torrey Smith they don't even see the golden ticket dropped into their lap.

27. Dallas
The Move: Select Sean Mannion, QB, Oregon State

You know, Tony Romo isn't getting any younger, and this kid can really sling it!

28. Denver
The Move: Select Clive Walford, TE, Miami

Let me just be the first to say that if all these Miami guys weren't good enough to go .500 in the ACC, then four of them probably shouldn't be going in the first round.

29. Indianapolis
The Move: Select Landon Collins, S, Alabama

Collins is a nice player and a great value at this point, but with huge holes in the trenches on both sides of the ball, the Colts needs to get more physical up front before they can take the next step to a Super Bowl.

30. Green Bay
The Move: Select Danny Shelton, DT, Washington

Defensive tackle has been the most neglected position in my Poor Decision Mock, but the Packers really need a new nose tackle, and Shelton fits the bill. The real issue here is leaving a guy like Waynes, the consensus No. 1 corner in the class, on the board.

31. New Orleans* (from Seattle)
The Move: Select Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota

This is the pick New Orleans got in return for All-Pro tight end Jimmy Graham, so naturally the worst thing the Saints can do with the pick is choose a lesser tight end. Here ya go.

32 Who Knows* (from New England)
The Move: The Patriots trade away this pick for roughly a dozen different picks in the 5th-7th rounds over the next three years

With Trae Waynes, the top corner in the draft and an apparent replacement to Darrelle Revis staring him in the face, what's the worst thing Bill Belichick can do? Why, send away the pick for a large number of late rounders that will turn into a hodgepodge of scrappy white guys that Boston will love, and failed gambles who become "special teams aces."

I mean, the Patriots are way to smart to do this, but a guy can dream, right?

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