Tonight, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will make Jameis Winston the first pick in the NFL’s annual Entry Draft. Ten minutes after that pick is officially announced by Commissioner Roger Goodell, Marcus Mariota will become the second pick. The only mystery left about that pick is who will make that pick.

It’s time to dispense with some of the stupidity that’s been masquerading as draft reporting. Gossip columnists like Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio have been talking up the possibility of Philadelphia Head Coach Chip Reid trading up to obtain the Titans’ first round pick. I suspect Florio’s done this hoping that those stories will drive extra views on his blog. If he actually thinks this has a chance of happening, then Mr. Florio needs to be ignored like he just signed a contract with National Enquirer.

Here’s my prediction. Marcus Mariota will be drafted by either the Titans, Jets or Chargers. The Titans won’t trade the second pick in the draft to Cleveland or Philadelphia because the players available at the twelfth, nineteenth or twentieth picks aren’t elite talents. They’re the types of players that likely will be available in the second or third round.

Another rumor that will finally get squashed is whether the Vikings will trade Adrian Peterson to Arizona or the Dallas Cowboys. There’s no question that those teams would love handing the ball off to Adrian. Similarly, there’s no question that it doesn’t make sense to trade a handful of high draft picks to the Vikings when this year’s class of running backs is deep and talented. The Vikings haven’t said no to trading Adrian because they’re still open to letting a team blow them away with an offer. Anything short of that, though, and they’ll politely refuse.

Here’s my prediction for the first half of tonight’s first round:

1. Tampa — Jameis Winston, QB, FSU
2. Tennessee Titans — Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
3. Jacksonville — Dante Fowler, OLB, Florida
4. Oakland — Leonard Williams, DT/DE, USC
5. Washington — Vic Beasley DE, Clemson
6. NY Jets — Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
7. Chicago — Kevin White, WR, West Virginia
8. Atlanta — Bud Dupree, DE, Kentucky
9. NY Giants — Brandon Scherff, OG, Iowa
10. St. Louis — Davante Parker, WR, Louisville
11. Vikings — Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State
12. Cleveland — Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia
13. New Orleans — Breshad Perriman, WR, Central Florida
14. Miami — Ereck Flowers, LT, Miami
15. San Francisco — La’el Collins, LSU
16. Houston — Malcom Brown, NT, Texas

UPDATE: Scott Wright’s final mock draft is up. I like Scott’s picks for the Vikings: Trae Waynes with the 11th overall pick, Shaq Thompson in the 2nd round & TCU Linebacker Paul Dawson in the third round.UPDATE: Scott Wright’s final mock draft is up. I like Scott’s picks for the Vikings: Trae Waynes with the 11th overall pick, Shaq Thompson in the 2nd round & TCU Linebacker Paul Dawson in the third round.

UPDATE II: La’el Collins’ stock is dropping faster than Shane Ray’s is. He might not bet picked until the late third or early fourth round. At this point, Ray might get picked as early as 15th overall.

7 Responses to “NFL Draft opinions”

  • Chad Q says:

    Why anyone would pick Winston #1 is beyond me. The guy is going to be nothing but trouble and possibly end up sharing a cell with either Lawrence Phillips or Ryan Leaf in the future.
    I still think the Queens will dump AP if they get anything decent for compensation.

  • Gary Gross says:

    Chad, the Vikings won’t trade AP unless they get a very good offer. Who’s going to do that with a deep running back class and tight salary caps? It ain’t happening.

  • walter hanson says:

    Chad:

    Keep in mind (I wouldn’t want to draft him if I was the GM) but phyisically he might be the best quarterback coming out of college in years. He has a good work effort on the field. His problem as Johny M has shown is he doesn’t control his off field behavior. The team that wants to gamble on Winston needs to think that they can keep him under control.

    Walter Hanson
    Minneapolis, MN

  • Gary Gross says:

    I’d take Teddy over either Winston or Mariota. Winston is pro ready but he’s got off-the-field issues. Mariota has off-the-charts intangibles. Coming out, Teddy was as pro-ready as Winston, had fantastic intangibles like Mariota & was better than both QBs at reading NFL defenses. Finally, Teddy’s professionalism was obvious the minute he stepped into Winter Park.

  • Chad Q says:

    Walter-

    Ryan Leaf was a great specimen too and look what happened to him and he didn’t have the pre-draft legal issues Winton has. Who ever drafts him is taking a HUGE gamble he won’t end up in prison.

    Gary-
    If Speilman believes in his mind that he is getting a good deal (even if it really isn’t), I think he’ll dump AP to get rid of the distraction. AP is a proven commodity whereas other backs coming out of the draft are not. You don’t need an elite RB to win in todays game.
    As for Teddy, he may have had all the signs coming into the league but he has yet to prove he is any better on the field than others with the same abilities and work ethic. Maybe it’s because he spent a lot of time running from defenders or on his back due to the poor offensive line. Only time will tell if he is as good as everyone thinks he is. I’d say he’d rank in the top 5 for his professionalism.

  • Gary Gross says:

    Chad, I can count on 1 hand the number of QBs with Teddy’s combination of work ethic, arm talent & understanding the offense that’ve come out in the last 5 years.

  • walter hanson says:

    Chad:

    I think you’re overstating the problem with the OL.

    Russell Wilson who is known as a mobile QB and had a great running back last season who played was sacked 42 times which is more than Teddy.

    Aaron Rodgers who is known for his fast release thus avoiding sacks still was sacked 29 times which is just ten less than Teddy was sacked.

    Counting all the QB’s the Vikings averaged basically three sacks per game. I wouldn’t call that many.

    Walter Hanson
    Minneapolis, MN

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