The 2015 NFL draft is about to get going. As all 32 teams convene in Chicago for an annual event that will define success and/or failure of franchises throughout the league, the pressure is definitely on these squads to hit on some gems and ace the event.
Here at Sportsnaut, it’s our ultimate goal to help our readers through the three-day event. We will have wall-to-wall coverage of the draft with analysis of picks, an updated tracker and even more analysis of trades as they happen.
Here is your full primer for the first day of the draft.
Quarterbacks Likely Going One and Two
We already know that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are likely going to select Jameis Winston with the first pick. And despite a report that the Cleveland Browns have offered the Tennessee Titans two first-round picks for the second overall selection, it’s likely that Tennessee stands pat. This is magnified by its reported asking price for the pick. If the Titans stand pat, they will pick Mariota. If another teams trades up for the second pick, it will be to nab Mariota.
EDGE Rushers will Fall
It hasn’t been a good week for former Nebraska standout Randy Gregory, who is now facing a ton of questions from teams around the NFL. In fact, some have him completely off their draft board. Missouri’s Shane Ray should also see a bit of a slide come Thursday night. Both players have had recent issues with marijuana, while Gregory’s character and personality is now coming into question. Considered top-10 locks at one time, it wouldn’t be surprising to see both Gregory and Ray fall to the bottom of the first round.
The Philadelphia Eagles
It appears that Chip Kelly is doing everything in his power to move up for Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota. Picking at 20th overall, that’s going to be a difficult task. This is also one of the primary reasons that reports have surfaced indicating that Kelly has put linebacker Mychal Kendricks and Brandon Boykin on the trade block. If the Eagles can use those two players to secure enough assets, it’s possible that Kelly and company could land the reigning Heisman winner. Still, I wouldn’t bank on it.
Watch Out for Late Risers on Thursday Night
It happens every year. Prospects no one really focuses on get selected within the first 32 picks of the draft. Last year saw the likes of Zack Martin, Ja’Wuan James and Marcus Smith as the surprise names going on Day 1. Back in 2013, EJ Manuel, Kyle Long and Travis Frederick were surprise first-round picks.
Who will it be this year?
In a weak draft class at safety, Arizona State’s Damarious Randall is getting late first-round play. NFL Media’s Mike Mayock even went as far to mock him to the Philadelphia Eagles at 20.
Mississippi State’s Preston Smith and Stanford’s Henry Anderson are two defensive ends gaining some steam in the hours leading up to the draft. While it’s unlikely either will go on Day 1, stranger things have happened. Also check out former Oregon offensive tackle Jake Fisher. He could be a surprise pick in the middle of Round 1.
Running Back in the Top 10
It seems absolutely ridiculous on the surface. We have not seen a running back go in the first round in each of the past two drafts. And somehow, a team is going to pick up Todd Gurley in the top 10? Yes, that was a question. Rumors continue to persist that the Atlanta Falcons may very well look to add the former Georgia standout, who tore his ACL last year. While there wouldn’t be much value to selecting a running back in the top 10, there’s little denying just how well Gurley would fit in the Falcons offense. He’d create the balance necessary for the Falcons to have even more success on that side of the ball.
If Gurley does fall outside of the top 10, the Cleveland Browns (12th), Miami Dolphins (14th) and San Diego Chargers (17th) could all be in play.
According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, the Philadelphia Eagles have put both Mychal Kendricks and Brandon Boykin on the trade block.
The Atlanta Falcons are working on a potential trade for Seattle Seahawks pass rusher Bruce Irvin. It was also reported Wednesday night that Seattle will not pick up the fifth-year option on its former first-round pick.
The Miami Dolphins are potentially looking to move up for Louisville wide receiver DeVante Parker. They currently possess the 14th pick in the draft.
Police have not heard from top offensive line prospect La’el Collins, who they are seeking to speak with in relation to the murder of a pregnant woman this past weekend. The information police may be seeking is related to paternity, but teams are starting to become weary of the situation without more information.
The Minnesota Vikings are once again potentially looking to trade down. Possessing the 11th pick, general manager Rick Spielman and company are coveting more picks leading up to the draft.
San Francisco 49ers guard Alex Boone won’t participate in voluntary workouts for the second straight year. He also seems to be open to a trade.
— Sportsnaut (@Sportsnaut) April 30, 2015
First Round Order
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2. Tennessee Titans
3. Jacksonville Jaguars
4. Oakland Raiders
5. Washington Redskins
6. New York Jets
7. Chicago Bears
8. Atlanta Falcons
9. New York Jets
10. St. Louis Rams
11. Minnesota Vikings
12. Cleveland Browns
13. New Orleans Saints
14. Miami Dolphins
15. San Francisco 49ers
16. Houston Texans
17. San Diego Chargers
18. Kansas City Chiefs
19. Cleveland Browns from Buffalo Bills
20. Philadelphia Eagles
21. Cincinnati Bengals
22. Pittsburgh Steelers
23. Detroit Lions
24. Arizona Cardinals
25. Carolina Panthers
26. Baltimore Ravens
27. Dallas Cowboys
28. Denver Broncos
29. Indianapolis Colts
30. Denver Broncos
31. New Orleans Saints from Seattle Seahawks
32. New England Patriots
Photo: USA Today Sports