1. Jameis Winston (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
All signs point to Winston being picked first overall in the 2015 NFL Draft. He has been as charming as teams could hope for in the media, saying all the right things, and in terms of talent, his football IQ has been one of the many things scouts have been raving about him all combine. With two months to go, a lot could change between now and the draft but at the moment it appears Winston will be the top pick this spring.
2. Marcus Mariota- Tennessee Titans
Tennessee is easily one of the most difficult picks to project in the top ten. The quarterback position has been a revolving door for quite some time for the team and although Zach Mettenberger appears to have potential, I’d imagine most Titans fans will tell you that the team needs a new QB. Mariota still has question marks but after running a 4.52 at the 40 yard dash (Russell Wilson: 4.55, Colin Kaeperick : 4.53) I think it’s a lock he’ll be a top seven pick.
3. Leonard Williams- Jacksonville Jaguars
After a strong combine Leonard Williams has set himself above the pack as possibly the best non-quarterback prospect in this year’s draft. The Jaguars need talent top-to-bottom and would be foolish to pass on Williams if he’s available at three. He showed a unique combination of size and speed last week and could be a force to be reckoned with against both the run and the pass.
4. Amari Cooper – Oakland Raiders
While Kevin White certainly abridged the gap between Cooper at the rest of the receiver prospects, I still think Cooper is the pick here. At 4.42 his 40 yard dash time was hardly slow and the technical skills he showed at the University of Alabama should win over the Raiders. With excellent hands, strength, and route running ability his presence would immediately elevate the game of young quarterback Derek Carr.
5. Randy Gregory – Washington Redskins
A draft that is littered with defensive linemen at the top of the order should start with Leonard Williams and Randy Gregory as the first defensive players taken. Both have been considered top picks at times this season and with two months still to go, draft fatigue may have moved them down in some draft pundit’s orders. Washington needs run stoppers and with Brian Orakpo’s departure looking likely the team will need pass rushers too. Gregory will fill a lot of team needs at once.
6. Dante Folwer Jr.- New York Jets
Although Folwer ran the 40 at 4.60 (0.04 seconds slower than Beasley) at 6-3 261 lbs, his extra twenty pounds could make his combine numbers even more impressive. With a new regime taking over in New York it’s hard to predict what will be the focus this offseason for the Jets, but finding a great pass rusher to put alongside Sheldon Richardson and Muhammad Wilkerson would certainly help put the defense back on track.
7. Vic Beasley- Chicago Bears
At 4.53 Vic Beasley (6-2, 240 lbs.) clocked in at the 40 yard dash at the same time as Von Miller and Jadeveon Clowney did in years before. He finished with the top 40 yard dash time and bench press total, and finished third in the vertical jump and broad jump among all defensive linemen and linebackers as clearly his athleticism was on display in Indianapolis. Clemson University’s recent track record in producing NFL talent should help put Beasley into the top ten. The Bears need some younger more athletic players on defense making the 22-year old defensive end a perfect fit.
8. Shane Ray- Atlanta Falcons
Though the former Missouri defensive end didn’t amaze scouts at the combine, Ray should still be a top ten pick in April. Three straight defensive ends may seemed farfetched, but I could see all three teams going the route of pass rusher. Atlanta need stability on offense and defense and 14.5 sacks last season in college the Falcons should get just that.
9. Danny Shelton- New York Giants
The Giants could go offensive tackle or defensive line with this pick as both positions could use an infusion of young talent, but after adding Odell Beckham Jr. to the offense last season I’m led to believe the team will go defense in the first round in 2015. New York have lacked a dominant defensive tackle for some time and Danny Shelton would make a welcome addition, especially if the team is able to bring back Jason Pierre-Paul.
10. Kevin White- St. Louis Rams
Kevin White may have had the strongest combine of anyone, posting a 4.35 at the 40 yard dash, and at 6’3” most teams seem to have got on board. The Rams may have reached on Tavon Austin in the 2013 NFL Draft, but the team is in desperate need for talent at the wide receiver position. The two former University of West Virginia receivers could make a potentially deadly wideout combo in the NFL.