2015 NFL Draft: Preview and Predictions

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2015 NFL Draft: Preview and Predictions – Jack Sweeny, Staff Writer

 

The NFL season has been over for a week and fans are already getting
excited to see who their team is going to pick in the upcoming draft
in April.

The question that is being asked most often is, who is going to be
drafted first by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?

It is down to two candidates, Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota.
According to Mel Kiper of ESPN, Jameis Winston will be the first
overall draft pick made. Many think that Winston’s off-field problems
make him a risky pick, but Kiper believes he has a better skill set
for the NFL rather than Mariota. According to Kiper’s mock draft,
Mariota should not be worried about dropping late in the draft like
Johnny Manziel did last year.

Mariota is still expected to possibly go to the Tennessee Titans as
the second overall pick. Winston and Mariota are the only quarterbacks
that Kiper has being drafted in the first round.

Players will be able to help out their own cause when they go to the
NFL Combine. They will be put through certain drills or lifts to prove
how skilled they really are.

This can either help or hurt. If Mariota has a better combine than
Winston, there will be no surprise if he is taken first. This also
gives other quarterbacks opportunities to help their stock in the
draft.

It could potentially make an individual go from a fourth round pick
to a first round pick.

Mariota can really prove his worth at the NFL Combine. If he is not
taken first, a solid performance in the combine could ensure that he
as one of the top ten picks.

If Mariota has a bad combine, we may see him drop out of the first
round and fall to the later picks.

Teams may also trade up in the draft for a better spot, depending on
the team’s specific needs.

There were rumors that the Philadelphia Eagles may trade up to
possibly draft Mariota because he would fit into their offense well.
To trade up you have to give up either draft picks, or other players
that are on your team.

Another player that is popular amongst fans is Amari Cooper, who is a
wide receiver from Alabama. Cooper had 124 receptions (first in NCAA),
1,727 yards (second in NCAA), and 16 touchdowns (second in NCAA).
He was voted the best receiver in the NCAA and was also the SEC
Offensive Player of the Year. Kiper has Cooper going fourth to the
Oakland Raiders who only won three games last season.
The Chicago Bears will be looking to add some support to their
defensive secondary. According to Mel Kiper, the Bears will be
drafting Landon Collins, safety from Alabama. Collins is great against
the run and is a high impact player, something the Bear desperately
need.

He could provide a spark on a defense that was one of the worst in the
league in 2014.