Winners and losers of the 2015 NFL Draft, The fireworks never came, but the first round of the NFL draft had its share of unpredictable moments as teams added to their core with young talent.
Chicago Bears: With Brandon Marshall being traded to the Jets, the Bears desperately needed to find a replacement and got one in West Virginia wide receiver Kevin White. White has a high ceiling and showed flashes of freakish athleticism in 2014. To view my scouting report of White, click here.
San Diego Chargers: Since Ladainian Tomlinson left the Chargers their running game has been inconsistent. Drafting Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon (who broke Tomlinson’s NCAA single game rushing record) will help the Chargers offense tremendously. A true number one back, Gordon rushed for 2,587 yards and 29 touchdowns in 2014. The Chargers offense has been tough on opposing defenses, but a lackluster run game made them one dimensional. Gordon solves this problem.
Kansas City Chiefs: If the Chiefs are going to win the AFC West, they will need to stop Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos stellar receiving corps. Drafting Washington cornerback Marcus Peters is a great selection for the Chiefs. Although Peters has off-field concerns, once he is on the field he’s a force to be reckoned with and his film was the most impressive of any corner in this draft class. He reminds me a bit of Charles Woodson and Patrick Peterson. To view my scouting report of Peters, click here.
New England Patriots: Vince Wilfork is playing for the Texans now, and the Patriots had a gaping whole at the nose tackle position. Lucky for the Pats All-American defensive tackle from Texas, Malcom Brown was still on the board at pick No. 32. Brown is the perfect rookie replacement for Wilfork. In 2014 Brown recorded 6.5 sacks and 15 tackles for loss. Danny Shelton was the big name for the DT position this draft, but Brown may be the name you remember five years from now.
Miami Dolphins: After trading away Mike Wallace to the Vikings, and trading for Kenny Stills, Miami still wanted to add to their receiving depth. Drafting Louisville wide receiver Devante Parker made the WR group diverse. Parker will line up outside, along with Jarvis Landry, and Kenny Stills will see a lot of action in the slot. Parker gives Ryan Tannehill a tall receiver to throw to with the ability to win jump balls and stretch defenses. Great pick for Miami, their offense could be fun to watch in 2015.
Denver Broncos: Denver traded up in the first to draft Missouri defensive end Shane Ray. Not only may Ray need surgery on his foot, he also was arrested Monday for possession of marijuana. That’s what I call a double whammy. If I was a GM I would have character concerns about a player who couldn’t just lay low for the few days leading up to the draft. And I certainly wouldn’t trade up for him, especially with the foot issue. John Elway has drafted well in years past, but I’m not sure bringing Ray in to Colorado, a state where marijuana is legal, is the wisest of ideas.
Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers decided to draft Kentucky OLB Bud Dupree after drafting linebackers Ryan Shazier and Jarvis Jones in the first round the last two years. The secondary for Pittsburgh has been atrocious and could have been improved here with Byron Jones still on the board.
Indianapolis Colts: Indy went with receiver Phillip Dorsett from Miami. While Dorsett may be one of the fastest players in this draft class, he has serious cases of the drops. The Colts already have T.Y. Hilton, Andre Johnson, and Donte Moncrief, who’s a burner and had a promising first year in 2014. The Colts could have drafted an offensive lineman here, or a defensive lineman to help their leaky run defense. “Receiver was a bad choice!” Ron Burgundy would say here.
What about the 49ers?
I do not have the 49ers as a winner or loser, to me they fall somewhere in the middle. Trent Baalke was able to trade down, gaining draft picks, while still being able to draft the player he wanted (Arik Armstead). I liked the trading down, but for immediate impact to help the 49ers win in 2015, I’m not sure Armstead is that guy. He didn’t have a whole lot of production at Oregon, didn’t have a high motor, he was kind of, just… there on the field. His measurable’s are impressive, he could become a freak athlete at defensive end, but there’s no doubt he’s a bit of a project currently. Jim Tomsula certainly knows how to coach up lineman so it will be interesting to see what Armstead becomes. For those who hated the pick, the good news is there are plenty of quality receivers, cornerbacks, and linebackers to pick from in round two.