Pick #29, Phillip Dorsett, WR
Pick #65, D’Joun Smith, CB
Pick #93, Henry Anderson, DE
Pick #109, Clayton Geathers, SS
Pick #151, David Parry, NT
Pick #205, Josh Robinson, RB
Pick #207, Amarlo Herrera, ILB
Pick #255, Denzelle Good, OT
One of the more surprising picks in the first round, the Colts decided to go with their best player available and draft Phillip Dorsett, creating a true embarrassment of riches. Dorsett may be the best deep threat among the 2015 rookie receivers and having him line up next to T.Y. Hilton and Andre Johnson just seems unfair to defenses. The Colts flipped to defense for the next four picks, focusing on improving their defensive line and secondary. It would be no surprise if at least two, if not three, of these four players become eventual starters. Josh Robinson in round six represents more than a depth play. He is a downhill runner who will eat up defenses that become tired after dealing with Frank Gore all game. Robinson is another sign that the Colts are committed to a power run game with little interest in running backs who dance in the backfield. The last two picks will fight for spots on the practice squad, much less any time on the 53-man roster.
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Andrew Luck was smiling somewhere when the Dorsett pick was made. Much like Green Bay, the Colts are establishing a deep receiving core around their franchise quarterback. Frank Gore should be happy here, too. Robinson is no threat to Gore as a receiver or pass protector and the Colts could have easily justified investing a higher pick at the position. Gore may lose a few goal line touches but his workload overall should remain unscathed. Also, with no tight end drafted, Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener must be thinking at least one of them is getting re-signed after the 2015 season.
Going to highlight Luck here, too. How the team fails to invest any significant stock into an offensive lineman is downright silly. Part of building around a quarterback is protecting him and the Colts seem intent on testing Luck’s durability. Donte Moncrief is an obvious loser here as Dorsett threatens to move him down the depth chart and is a sign the team does not trust him just yet. T.Y. Hilton must also be nervous as many have pointed to Dorsett as a contingency plan if Hilton is left unsigned after the 2015 season.
Pick #16, Kevin Johnson, CB
Pick #43, Benardrick McKinney, ILB
Pick #70, Jaelen Strong, WR
Pick #175, Keith Mumphery, WR
Pick #211, Reshard Cliett, OLB
Pick #216, Christian Covington, DT
Pick #235, Kenny Hilliard, RB
From a technical standpoint, Kevin Johnson may be the most polished among all the cornerback prospects from the 2015 draft. With Kareem Jackson and Johnathan Joseph in place, Johnson is versatile enough to play outside or in the slot as part of a terrific three man rotation. Benardrick McKinney was a sound pick by the Texans as Brooks Reed left for greener ($) pastures in free agency. He is a classic run thumper who should thrive playing alongside Brian Cushing. Another free agent defection, this time franchise icon Andre Johnson, nudged the Texans towards a draft pick. Jaelen Strong slipped to the third after being rumored as a possible first or second round draft choice. He is a great jump ball threat who is still polishing his technique and route running. In the late rounds, the Texans grabbed a pair of skill players in Keith Mumphery and Kenny Hilliard. The former is a physical receiver who is unafraid of going over the middle. The latter is a downhill runner with a limited skill set.
It may not look like it at first, but Arian Foster is a winner from this draft. The early investments in the defense are a confirmation that the team plans to control the ball rather than try to get into shootouts like their division mates in Indianapolis. That should guarantee Foster all the work his body can handle. The quarterback position, be it Ryan Mallett or Brian Hoyer, wins here, too. For one, there was no competition added in the form of a rookie signal caller. Add in Strong, a receiver who should help make up for whichever inaccurate quarterback wins the job. Strong also helps DeAndre Hopkins avoid double and triple teams by simply being a legitimate receiving option across the field.
Not many losers here, but Cecil Shorts likely signed with the idea that he would be a primary option. Strong’s selection threatens to cut into his targets and relegate him to slot duties, not a fruitful position in Houston. Alfred Blue has the inside track on the backup job to Foster but Chris Polk and Jonathan Grimes have competition in the form of Hilliard. There is a good chance that one of them fails to make the 53-man roster.
Pick #3, Dante Fowler Jr., OLB
Pick #36, T.J. Yeldon, RB
Pick #67, A.J. Cann, OG
Pick #104, James Sample, SS
Pick #139, Rashad Greene, WR
Pick #180, Michael Bennett, DT
Pick #220, Neal Sterling, WR
Pick #229, Ben Koyack, TE
Jacksonville could have gone a lot of ways with the third pick but Dante Fowler has the potential to be a difference maker. Unfortunately, we will have to wait until 2016 to see that lightning first step and pass rush potential after Fowler shredded his knee the first day of camp. In T.J. Yeldon, the Jaguars believe they have a three down running back. He has good vision and patience to find the hole but is a gear short of NFL top speed. A.J. Cann is a mauler who excels at run blocking but needs work to become a well-rounded starter. James Sample and Michael Bennett are mid-round players who slipped and will have a chance to contribute to Gus Bradley’s defense early. Rashad Greene has polish and an ability to play multiple receiver spots. Most likely, he will contribute in the return game early and compete for the slot receiver spot with Marqise Lee and Allen Hurns. Neal Sterling and Ben Koyack both have the look of big targets who could find a niche on this Jaguars team.
Blake Bortles wins in a big way here. Yeldon provides balance to the offense while Bortles gets a few new toys and a potential upgrade on the interior offensive line. Allen Robinson also wins here as he remains the top target for Bortles and should see some additional attention paid to the running game, which will keep teams from overloading the secondary.
All receiving options outside of Robinson and Julius Thomas lose here. There is more competition for targets with Greene on board, making Lee and Hurns particularly vulnerable. Clay Harbor will also face competition for the second tight end spot with Koyack with Sterling a potential threat to Harbor’s limited red zone opportunities for 2015. The biggest loser, however, is the combination of Denard Robinson and Toby Gerhart. Robinson will likely be reduced to a change of pace back with Yeldon on board and will be lucky to see more than 8-10 touches per game. Gerhart has some value as a receiving option out of the backfield as a plus blocker, but that brief flash of hope before the 2014 season can safely be deemed extinguished now.
Pick #2, Marcus Mariota, QB
Pick #40, Dorial Green-Beckham, WR
Pick #66, Jeremiah Poutasi, OG
Pick #100, Angelo Blackson, DT
Pick #108, Jalston Fowler, FB
Pick #138, David Cobb, RB
Pick #177, Deiontrez Mount, OLB
Pick #208, Andy Gallik, C
Pick #245, Tre McBride, WR
Despite all the shadow games to drum up trade interest, the Titans ultimately chose Marcus Mariota with the second overall pick. He is an athletic quarterback who can roll out and create when a play breaks down. The knock on him is that Oregon was a scripted offense and Mariota was given limited responsibilities. The Titans are not looking to win in 2015 so there is opportunity for Mariota to take things slow. Dorial Green-Beckham is a calculated risk by the Titans. The team needs game changing talent and DGB has the size/speed combination that coaches drool over. The laundry list of indiscretions are widely known and a major red flag that the Titans will have to monitor very closely. Jeremiah Poutasi is a candidate to compete at right tackle or backup both guard spots. While his technique is solid, Poutasi is a limited athlete who will struggle with faster defenders. Angelo Blackson was a depth play to improve their rotation along the defensive line. Jalston Fowler was another addition by the Titans to fortify their run game. Fowler is a HB/FB tweener who should contribute on short yardage situations and special teams.
An intriguing pick was David Cobb, who was selected just a year after the Titans spent a second round pick on Bishop Sankey. They are different players as Cobb is a squatty back who runs with a physical downhill style. He still needs work in pass protection and will not be the player to break large gains regularly. Deiontrez Mount will serve as a versatile backup as he has experience all over the front seven. Center Andy Gallik was a great late round pick as the type of grinder capable of overcoming athletic limitations with pure effort to become an eventual spot starter. With their last pick, the Titans took Tre McBride, the small school darling that slid all the way to the seventh round over concerns of a cocky attitude and difficulty getting consistent separation. He does have phenomenal hands, however, and the type of body control that corrals an inaccurate throw.
While most receivers lost here, I actually think Kendall Wright was a winner. Mariota is more likely to deliver accurately to Wright and Green-Beckham is the type of receiver who should complement Wright’s skill set. Sankey is also a slight winner here as Cobb has a distinctly different profile that will let them coexist in the Titans’ backfield. Add in a pair of interior linemen along with a fullback and Sankey will at least have a chance to be more efficient.
Not sure how much more Justin Hunter is capable of losing, but this draft did not help him at all. The signing of Harry Douglas (who also lost here) hurt Hunter some, but Green-Beckham is the nail on the coffin of infinite chances. Add Zach Mettenberger to the list as Mariota effectively ends any chance of Z-Mett being a long-term solution for the Titans at quarterback. Delanie Walker is a slight loser as he faces increased competition for targets, particularly with Green-Beckham operating in the red zone.