Focus Draft: Round 1
A mock draft unlike any other. What would PFF do? We are not trying to predict anything, but rather putting ourselves into the position of each team and using our college data to make what we feel is the best decision for each franchise.
This process went through many iterations for us internally, and here’s what we came up with for the first ever Focus Draft.
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State
While his 2014 was more of a roller coaster than you’d like to see from a top pick, the potential he showed in 2013 is just too much to pass up.
2. Tennessee Titans – Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
The Titans will likely be fielding offers from teams looking to snag Mariota, and he’ll be too enticing to pass up for Tennessee if they stay on their spot. Just be sure to play to his strengths once he gets to the NFL.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars – Vic Beasley, Edge, Clemson
Beasley does his best work rushing off the edge and he’ll fit in nicely in the Jaguars’ scheme.
4. Oakland Raiders – Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
The most productive wide receiver in the draft, and perhaps its best overall player, Cooper can win a variety of ways and he’ll be a weapon for quarterback Derek Carr from Day 1.
5. Washington Redskins – Dante Fowler JR, Edge, Florida
A versatile player at Florida, Fowler provides a balanced presence as an edge rusher in Washington’s 3-4 scheme. He’s capable of holding up against the run while providing a strong pass rush.
6. New York Jets – Randy Gregory, Edge, Nebraska
Off-field concerns aside, Gregory may have the most upside of any of the draft’s edge rushers. If he can gain and hold weight, he could develop into a much-needed edge rushing presence in the Jets’ front-7.
7. Chicago Bears – Leonard Williams, Defensive Interior, USC
This may be viewed as a “fall” by some, but Williams slots in nicely at this point in the draft. He can play the run while getting after the quarterback at a reasonable rate, and the Bears would be thrilled to get a defensive talent with his potential at this point.
8. Atlanta Falcons – Shane Ray, Edge, Missouri
The edge rush run continues as Atlanta adds Ray to their porous pass rush. He was as productive as any pass rusher in college football last season, though concerns about his athleticism have his projections all over the board.
9. New York Giants – La’el Collins, OT, LSU
A powerful run blocker, Collins is capable of sliding inside to guard for the Giants while providing a long-term backup plan to replace left tackle Will Beatty.
10. St. Louis Rams – DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville
Extremely productive in his limited time last season, Parker is shifty for a big man and he knows how to make plays down the field despite his inability to run away from many cornerbacks.
11. Minnesota Vikings – Kevin White, WR, West Virginia
A different receiver from Parker, White is explosive in and out of breaks and he may just be scratching the surface on his potential. He adds an intermediate and deep presence to the Vikings passing game.
12. Cleveland Browns – Danny Shelton, Defensive Interior, Washington
Perhaps a best-case scenario for the Browns, the 350-pound Shelton is more than just a run clogger, as he can move all over the line and even get after the quarterback.
13. New Orleans Saints – Nelson Agholor, WR, USC
Often overlooked in a deep wide receiver class, Agholor adds open-field shiftiness and strong route running to the Saints’ offense. He could be extremely productive with Brees throwing him the ball.
14. Miami Dolphins – Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State
The run on wide receivers continues as the Dolphins add Strong’s ability to go up and make contested catches against opposing defensive backs.
15. San Francisco 49ers – Henry Anderson, Defensive Interior, Stanford
A CFF favorite, Anderson may have been the most difficult interior defensive lineman to block in the entire nation. Equally proficient against the run as he is rushing the passer, he’ll provide a strong every-down presence to a suddenly thin 49ers defensive line.
16. Houston Texans – Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia
With Arian Foster getting up there in age and Gurley coming off injury, this could be a perfect fit for the Texans. Head Coach Bill O’Brien runs a variety of run concepts and Gurley is versatile enough to be productive in both gap and zone schemes.
17. San Diego Chargers – Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin
As runners, we have Gurley and Gordon as 1a and 1b, so the Chargers won’t feel too bad about losing out on Gurley. Gordon can step right in to pair with third down back Danny Woodhead to re-vamp the Chargers running attack.
18. Kansas City Chiefs – Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford
With former top overall pick Eric Fisher’s early-career struggles, the Chiefs go back to the offensive tackle well to snag Peat.
19. Cleveland Browns (from Buffalo Bills) – Devin Smith, WR, Ohio State
While Smith often looks like he’s playing at a different speed from everyone else, he’s more than just a run-by-the-defense type of player. He’s shown more than capable of making difficult catches down the field, and underrated part of becoming a true deep threat.
20. Philadelphia Eagles – Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Oklahoma
Off-field concerns aside, Green-Beckham brings a physical downfield presence to an offense that creates as many deep ball opportunities as any in the league.
21. Cincinnati Bengals – Trey Flowers, Edge, Arkansas
The draft’s best run-stopping edge defender, Flowers brings some sneaky pass rush ability as well. Even though he’s not explosive off the edge, he finds his way to the quarterback and he was extremely productive in the SEC last season.
22. Pittsburgh Steelers – Landon Collins, SS, Alabama
With Troy Polamalu retiring, this is one of the draft’s great first round fits. Collins can play in and around the line of scrimmage against the run while covering tight ends and playing some deep safety when necessary.
23. Detroit Lions – Grady Jarrett, Defensive Interior, Clemson
One of the nation’s most disruptive defensive interior players a year ago, Jarrett brought it as a pass rusher and against the run. He’ll fill a major void for the Lions while bringing the ability to play either 1 or 3-technique.
24. Arizona Cardinals – Hau’oli Kikaha, Edge, Washington
One of the nation’s most productive edge rushers, Kikaha’s relentless style is a good fit for the Cardinals defense that needs a player capable of winning one-on-one battles.
25. Carolina Panthers – Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami
A powerful run blocker when he gets his hands on defenders and an adept pass protector for the Hurricanes last season. Didn’t surrender a sack last season and only three hits all season long.
26. Baltimore Ravens – Breshad Perriman, WR, UCF
A victim of some sub-standard passing for UCF, Perriman exploded onto the scene with his 40 time at his pro day but he flashes an ability to make plays down the field and showed well getting off press coverage. If he can keep his drops under control has a chance to replace and improve upon Torrey Smith’s production down the field.
27. Dallas Cowboys – Jalen Collins, CB, LSU
Only 10 starts at LSU during his career but some impressive performances this season and stands out in a deep corner class that lacks the top players for what he can do rather than necessarily what he has done consistently. Missing 10 tackles in limited playing time is a concern he’ll need to address.
28. Denver Broncos – Brandon Scherff, G, Iowa
Widely viewed as a player who needs to slide inside from tackle to guard, Scherff struggled in his senior season as a pass protector but displayed power as a run blocker that should translate well to the guard position in the NFL.
29. Indianapolis Colts – Marcus Peters, CB, Washington
Peters’ game is all about physicality and at this point to a fault. Physical corner play is in vogue right now and he brings that, but needs to control the contact down the field if he isn’t to be a penalty magnet when he gets onto an NFL field.
30. Green Bay Packers – Jordan Phillips, Defensive Interior, Oklahoma
The Packers have brought back B.J. Raji for another season but Phillips could be their long term answer at nose tackle. A long, powerful player, Phillips consistently controls blockers, holding linemen at the line of scrimmage to keep his linebackers clean. If he can learn to shed more consistently Phillips could become a dominant player in the NFL.
31. New Orleans Saints (from Seattle Seahawks) – Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota
The Saints supplemented their receiving corps with Jimmy Graham’s production at tight end in recent seasons and Maxx Williams would be a different kind of tight end to replace those numbers. Not the athletic freak that Graham is, Williams is a more adept blocker while still being able to contribute in the passing game.
32. New England Patriots – Troy Hill, CB, Oregon
The Patriots have lost a number of corners through free agency and should look to address that need here. There is an emphasis on what corners can do in this draft but Hill is consistently in good position in coverage and with the ability to make plays on the ball for pass defenses, notching 11 during his final season with the Ducks.