1.Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State
Winston's potential on the field and problems off it have been well documented. The Buccaneers have had a front row seat to his dramas at Florida State, and if they're convince they're behind him, they won't waste a minute making the 2013 Heisman trophy winner and National Champion the draft's first selection. A high number of interceptions is a concern, but Winston is ready to step in and run a pro offense from day one and excite a Tampa Bay fan base in desperate need of something to be excited about.
2. Tennessee Titans - Leonard Williams, DE, USC
Williams is a stud, the stuff defensive coordinator's dreams are made of. He has freakish athleticism for a player of his size (6-foot-5, 302 lbs.) He is still raw and once a coaching staff starts piling technique on top of his talent the sky is the limit. Williams projects as a player able to impact the game as a pass rusher and run stopper, an invaluable talent who should help Tennessee immediately.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars - Dante Fowler Jr., OLB, Florida
Fowler has seen his stock rise tremendously after the combine, elevating himself from mid-first-round discussions to a spot as high as this one. A pass rushing threat first and foremost, he had eight-and-a-half sacks in 2014 for Florida. Jacksonville loaded up on offensive talent at the start of last year's draft, selecting Blake Bortles, Marquise Lee, and Allen Robinson. This year they'll show the defense some love.
4. Oakland Raiders - Kevin White, WR, West Virginia
If this were any other team, I'd have written in Amari Cooper. Cooper is more pro-ready, a more accomplished route runner, and more productive than White. But White is 6-foot-3 and ran a 4.35 forty at the combine - and was certainly still very productive in his own right with 109 receptions for 1,447 yards in 2014. It's a split between he and Cooper for this pick, and the Raiders have never shied away from physical specimens.
5. Washington Redskins - Randy Gregory, OLB, Nebraska
With the departure of former first round pick Brian Orakpo in free agency, the Redskins will need to replace the pass rushing production that Orakpo, when healthy, supplied. Gregory is raw, but has physical tools few other player possess. He recorded 17.5 sacks in just two years at Nebraska, doesn't shy away from taking on guards in the run game, and would have Washington fans dreaming of the kind of upside that would make it easy to forget Orakpo.
6. New York Jets - Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
The 2014 Heisman trophy winner is a polarizing player. Teammates and coaches rave about his work ethic, leadership, and grounded demeanor, and his production in college was off the charts. But his detractors say that production was a byproduct of Oregon's offense, a system very different from almost any Mariota will encounter in the NFL. The questions are enough to keep him behind Winston, but the Jets will be getting a player capable of thrilling fans with his arm and his legs, and one who should have no trouble holding up under the pressure of New York.
7. Chicago Bears - Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson
Bears fans haven't recognized the defenses that have stepped out on the field in front of them the past two seasons, and Beasley would be new coach John Fox's first step towards restoring the Monsters of the Midway. Beasley put on a show at the combine, excelling in every drill. And he was pretty productive on the field as well, racking up more sacks (33) than any player in Clemson history on his way to two first-team All-America selections. In doing so he surpassed another defender well known to Bears fans - William "The Refrigerator" Perry.
8. Atlanta Falcons - Shane Ray, DE, Missouri
A tenacious pass rusher, and the fifth one to go off the board in our top eight selections, Ray set a school record in 2014 with 14.5 sacks. The Falcons have a lot of questions to answer after their season-ending 34-3 loss to Carolina that kept them out of the playoffs and cost head coach Mike Brown his job. New coach Dan Quinn arrives fresh from coordinating Seattle's famed defense. Selecting Ray would give him a head start on bringing some of that ferocity to Atlanta.
9. New York Giants -Brandon Scherff, T, Iowa
The Giants have put together quite a selection of deep threats for Eli Manning. Selecting Scherff, the 2014 Outland Trophy winner as the nation's most outstanding interior lineman, will make sure that he's able to stand in the pocket long enough for Odell Beckham and Victor Cruz to get open deep. The Giants already took an important step forward in that department last year, reducing the number of sacks Manning took from 39 in 2013 to 28. Scherff would be the latest in a number of recent Iowa lineman to be selected high in the draft, and could play at guard or tackle at the next level.
10. St Louis Rams - Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
Cooper is a steal at this point in the draft. He was truly dominant in 2014, catching 124 passes for 1,727 yards and 16 touchdowns. He has good but not great measurables - the only department he is lacking in in comparison to the aforementioned Kevin White. The Rams just brought Nick Foles into the fold, and they would certainly endear the organization to their new quarterback by handing him a weapon like this.
11. Minnesota Vikings - Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State
Waynes, already considered by some the top cornerback prospect in the draft for his strong play on the field, skyrocketed his stock by running a 4.31 forty at the combine.
12. Cleveland Browns - DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville
Last year, knowing Josh Gordon would be suspended, Cleveland declined to take a wide receiver early. Parker, who returned from a broken foot in 2014 to catch 43 passes for 855 yards in the final eight games, might make them think twice before doing so again.
13. New Orleans Saints - La'el Collins, T, LSU
The Saints, suddenly with two first round picks after trading Jimmy Graham to Seattle, could look at a number of positions here. If they opt to shore up the offensive line, Collins can offer protection in the passing game for Drew Brees. The second-team All American could slot in at tackle or guard.
14. Miami Dolphins - Jalen Collins, CB, LSU
One pick later, another Collins from LSU goes off the board to the Dolphins. After more than shoring up their defensive line by signing Ndamukong Suh, the Dolphins will turn to their secondary here. Collins is short on experience, only starting 13 games in college, but long on talent and measurables.
15. San Francisco 49ers - Arik Armstead, DE, Oregon
A huge prospect at 6-foot-7 and 292 lbs., Armstead is another player who'll need good coaching to realize his upside in the NFL. The 49ers are a team who have the staff and players like Justin Smith to mentor Armstead and turn his potential into production.
16. Houston Texans - Andrus Peat, T, Stanford
Houston re-signed cornerback Kareem Jackson to a long-term deal, freeing them to look at the offensive line here. Peat, a second-team All American in 2014, is one of the most NFL ready talents at tackle thanks to playing in Stanford's pro system.
17. San Diego Chargers - Danny Shelton, DT, Washington
The massive 6-foot-2 339 lb. Shelton was a playmaker at nose tackle for the Huskies, recovering five fumbles and making 93 tackles. He could do the same for the Chargers,
18. Kansas City Chiefs - Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Missouri
Andy Reid's receiver woes - no touchdown catches by a wideout in 2014 - look likely to end after he was reunited this week with Jeremy Maclin. But Green-Beckham, a 6-foot-5 receiver who still ran a 4.49 forty, is a whole different kind of weapon for the Chiefs offense.
19. Cleveland Browns - Malcom Brown, DT, Texas
The Browns could have considered Brown with their first selection, at twelve, and will be happy to bolster the defense here. Brown has been tipped as a versatile lineman capable of playing in a 3-4 or 4-3 front.
20. Philadelphia Eagles - Landon Collins, S, Alabama
Dreams of Mariota aside, if Philadelphia find themselves in position to draft Collins here after missing out on Devin McCourty in free agency it will be a coup. Years of poor safety play have frustrated the fan base, seemingly without an answer. If one is to come this year, it may have to be Collins, head-and-shoulders above the rest of the safety class.
21. Cincinatti Bengals - Bud Dupree, OLB, Kentucky
Dupree is another player who helped himself with an excellent combine. Combine that with 23.5 career sacks in college and you've got yet another excellent pass rushing prospect.
22. Pittsburgh Steelers - Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest
The Steelers might love to see Dupree fall one more spot. They need corner help however and were heavily represented at Johnson's pro day. Johnson is impressive in coverage but his thin frame leaves some questioning his ability in run support.
23. Detroit Lions - Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida State
This is a selection which would obviously be made with the Ndamukong Suh shaped hole in the middle of their defense in mind. Goldman has shown promise stopping the run but has yet to develop as a consistent pass rush threat through the middle.
24. Arizona Cardinals - Eli Harold, OLB, Virginia
The Cardinals are in win-now mode with Carson Palmer back under center, and Harold brings playmaking on the edge of the line to a defense that weakened down the stretch in 2014.
25. Carolina Panthers -T.J. Clemmings, T, Pittsburgh
A former basketball player who has only spent two years at tackle after moving from defensive end, Clemmings is high on potential, but the payoff may be a little ways down the road as he continues to learn the position.
26. Baltimore Ravens - Marcus Peters, CB, Washington
If the Ravens can't come to terms with Justin Forsett, this pick could easily be Melvin Gordon. As it stands, Peters is a player whose talent alone should have seen him taken much higher. But personality clashes that culminated in his dismissal from Washington will have teams wary come draft day.
27. Dallas Cowboys -Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin
Similarly to the Ravens' situation, this is a pick that could depend greatly on where Demarco Murray lands in free agency. Gordon, who ran for 2587 yards in 2014, entering the NFL behind an offensive line of Dallas' quality could get scary fast.
28. Denver Broncos - Denzel Perryman, ILB, Miami
Inside linebackers don't often get drafted too high in recent years, but they do often make an immediate impact, and that's just what Denver is looking for as they try to get Peyton Manning back to the Super Bowl.
29. Indianapolis Colts - Ereck Flowers, T, Miami
The Colts have been bolstering their skill positions in free agency, they'll turn to the draft to help their line. Frank Gore would appreciate having Flowers, a road-grader in the running game in front of him in 2015.
30. Green Bay Packers - Benardrick McKinnery, ILB, Mississippi State
The Packers are shorthanded at linebacker after parting ways with long time starter A.J. Hawk and his backup Brad Jones. McKinnery has the size to battle lineman and the instincts to track down backs in the run game.
31. New Orleans Saints - Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia
The Saints are never a team to bulk at adding offensive weapons. Gurley is a running back many believe wouldn't be available anywhere near here if not for injuries, which limited him in 2013 and kept him out of the entire 2014 season.
32. New England Patriots - Carl Davis, DT, Iowa
Vince Wilfork may still find his way home to New England. If that happens, corner could be the pick here after Darrelle Revis' departure. Davis is a stout figure in the middle of a defensive line who could have as much a chance to fill Wilfork's large shoes as anyone.