Randy Gregory Going In The Top-10? [NFL Mock Draft 2015, First Round]

Kade Halvorson

April 24, 2015


  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jameis Winston (QB, Florida State)

The Buccaneers have a strong need for a quarterback, and I can not wait to see Winston throw the ball deep to Mike Evans. It should be a lot better year for the Buccaneers.

  1. Tennessee Titans: Leonard Williams (DE/DT, USC)

All of this Marcus Mariota going to Tennessee is making me sick. They already have a decent developing quarterback, Zach Mettenberger. It would be a mistake if they picked him over the dominant defender that is Leonard Williams. Their coach, Ken Whisenhunt, does not like mobile quarterbacks and that is exactly what Marcus Mariota is. Also, pairing Williams with Jurrell Casey could be a dangerous defensive front in the making.

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Dante Fowler Jr. (OLB, Florida)

It looks like the Jaguars really like Fowler, and I do not see them drafting a receiver this early. They already have a promising receiver core, but adding another wide out in the later rounds might not be a terrible idea due to Justin Blackmon’s off the field issues.

  1. Oakland Raiders: Kevin White (WR, West Virginia)

The Raiders need a franchise wide receiver for David Carr to throw the ball to. With David Carr at quarterback, Latavius Murray in the back field, and Kevin White at wide out, this Oakland offense has potential to be dangerous.

  1. Washington Redskins: Vic Beasley (OLB, Clemson)

After having an average defensive 2014 season, the Redskins could look to add a playmaker. Vic Beasley’s main attributes are his determined hustle to the ball and his extraordinary block shedding ability. Both of these skills makes him incredible at both stopping the run and getting to the quarterback.

  1. New York Jets: Marcus Mariota (QB, Oregon)

Let’s be honest, Geno Smith is not a great quarterback. I would much rather have Marcus Mariota rather than Geno Smith. Mariota may fall to #6, but there is absolutely no way he falls to #7.

  1. Chicago Bears: Amari Cooper (WR, Alabama)

Pairing Amari Cooper with Alshon Jefferey would be a tremendous idea. They also have Martellus Bennett at tight end; therefore, Jay Cutler may have a comeback season with all these weapons surrounding him, especially if the Bears address their offensive line in the later rounds.

  1. Atlanta Falcons: Randy Gregory (DE, Nebraska)

The bottom line is the Falcons need a pass rusher. Randy Gregory arguably has top-5 talent, but the off the field issues may concern some teams causing him to drop this far down. It could turn out to be an excellent pick, or he may even be a bust. I guess we’ll find out a few years down the road.

  1. New York Giants: Brandon Scherff (OL, Iowa)

Weighing in at 315 pounds, this experienced lineman is truly the best at his position in this year’s draft class. The New York Giants have struggled with their offensive line in the past, and Scherff could be a day-1 starter for them.

  1. St. Louis Rams: Andrus Peat (OL, Stanford)

They need to protect their new quarterback, Nick Foles. Their last quarterback was injured often, and they need to make sure that does not happen with Foles. Andrus Peat is an offensive lineman with great character and loads of exciting potential.

  1. Minnesota Vikings: Devante Parker (WR, Louisville)
  2. Cleveland Browns: Danny Shelton (DT, Washington)
  3. New Orleans Saints: Trae Waynes (CB, Michigan State)
  4. Miami Dolphins: La’el Collins (OL, Louisiana State)
  5. San Francisco 49ers: Arik Armstead (DE, Oregon)
  6. Houston Texans: Nelson Agholor (WR, USC)
  7. San Diego Chargers: Todd Gurley (RB, Georgia)
  8. Kansas City Chiefs: Jaelen Strong (WR, Arizona State)
  9. Cleveland Browns: D.J. Humphries (OL, Florida)
  10. Philadelphia Eagles: Landon Collins (SS, Alabama)
  11. Cincinnati Bengals: Alvin Dupree (DE, Kentucky)
  12. Pittsburgh Steelers: Kevin Johnson (CB, Wake Forest)
  13. Detroit Lions: Melvin Gordon (RB, Wisconsin)
  14. Arizona Cardinals: Ereck Flowers (OL, Miami)
  15. Carolina Panthers: Jake Fisher (OL, Oregon)
  16. Baltimore Ravens: Dorial Green-Beckham (WR, Oklahoma)
  17. Dallas Cowboys: Byron Jones (CB, Uconn)
  18. Denver Broncos: Maxx Williams (TE, Minnesota)
  19. Indianapolis Colts: Eric Kendricks (ILB, UCLA)
  20. Green Bay Packers: Benardrick McKinney (ILB, Mississippi State)
  21. New Orleans Saints: Phillip Dorsett (WR, Miami)
  22. New England Patriots: Quinten Rollins (CB, Miami Ohio)

This NFL Mock Draft had an analysis for each of the top-10 projected picks.

Do Not Draft Odell Beckham Jr

Kade Halvorson 
April 23, 2015

Let’s face it, Odell Beckham Jr’s catch was absolutely insane; however, an excellent rookie season may lead to unachievable expectations for the twenty-two year old wide out. I can assure you that people will be taking Odell Beckham Jr in the first round consistently in the upcoming fantasy drafts. His numbers were excellent averaging approximately fourteen yards per catch, and he caught twelve touchdowns in just twelve games. Although his statistics were off the charts in 2014, 2015 might have a different story. Wide receiver Keenan Allen had a tremendous rookie season with the San Diego Chargers. Unfortunately, his sophomore year did not go as planned. In his first year, he caught eight touchdown passes and had a little over one thousand yards receiving. In his second year, he only caught four touchdown passes, and had roughly eight hundred yards receiving. These numbers are not gigantic drops, but if you think about what Keenan Allen was expected to do, they can be. His production decreased when everyone thought it was going to increase. The same thing might happen with Odell. Just because he caught twelve touchdown passes in twelve games, people think he will catch sixteen touchdowns if he plays the whole year, which rarely happens (especially for a receiver as young as twenty-two years old). But that’s not all, there’s more! Defense coordinators will focus their attention on him more often than not. As of writing this, they certainly are not worried about what the Giants can produce in the running game. Every time Odell Beckham Jr is on the field, he will be looking at double coverage. Lastly, his productivity increased when Victor Cruz was placed on Injured Reserve due to a torn ligament. Victor Cruz will be back this year; therefore, all of the balls will not always be heading towards Odell Beckham Jr’s direction. Overall, just be careful of who you take in the first round of your fantasy draft.

Is Manziel’s Time Up in Cleveland?

Johnny Football came into the NFL with all the attention and allure of any player in recent memory. His ability in college to make amazing plays out of nothing, especially in the SEC, is what made Johnny such an icon and helped him earn the honor of the Heisman trophy. But once he stepped into the NFL, even more eyes were drawn to him because no one knew how he would perform. Experts and analysts made countless comparisons to Manziel. Gil Brandt compared him to Doug Flutie. Daniel Jeremiah made several characteristic based comparisons saying he has the ability improvise like Romo and the build of Jeff Garcia. But after playing basically 2 NFL games this season (7 quarters), the only comparison that can be made to Manziel currently is a dumpster fire.

Manziel and Hoyer competed in the preseason for the starting job with Hoyer winning after both had mediocre performances in their respective starts. Manziel also had his first immature moment of the season when he was caught flipping off the Redskins sideline after they began chirping him. His immaturity didn’t end here, but it didn’t start here either.

Before he was named the starter at Texas A&M, Manziel was arrested for a fight outside a bar in 2012. Then he had his Heisman season and became the Johnny Football we know today. Along with his on the field success, Johnny Manziel was photographed at countless parties, clubs, events, etc during his time at College Station. While in college he experienced several other troubles including being sent home from the Manning Passing Academy, being heckled at frat parties, and a half game suspension for alleged autograph sessions. More sketchy photos were released from this point including one that appears to be Johnny with a rolled up dollar bill in a public bathroom. He has shown he is unable to stay out of the media spotlight and the clubs and even up until recently was again involved in a scuffle with a fan at 2am. Manziel has salvaged any positive public image by saying all the right things during news conferences and he vows to focus next season but has not shown any real signs that this is truly the case.

When it comes to his one field play JFF didn’t show much promise either. Hoyer was the starter for the first 13 games of the season with a few impressive performances; but typically was managing games enough for the Browns to be in most of their games late. But after a several bad games in a row where he threw 7 interceptions and 0 touchdowns, he was benched for Johnny Manziel.

Manziel’s first real game experience came in Week 13 against the Bills. Manziel entered the game late in the 4th quarter. He immediately led a decisive touchdown drive capped by an 11-yd touchdown run by Manziel. Yet he did not start the following game against the Colts, where again Hoyer threw two interceptions and no touchdowns in a Browns loss. Manziel was finally given his first start in Week 15 against the Bengals. This game may go down as one of the worst starts by an NFL rookie ever in the NFL. They lost this game 30-0 in embarrassing fashion, as I viewed it live from the Dawg Pound. Johnny appeared skittish and ill-prepared and his receivers didn’t help him much with several dropped balls. Manziel finished the game with a 4.8 QBR. The majority of his passes were late or in the wrong spot. It was obvious he was not ready.

As far as his future goes, Manziel will definitely be competing for the starting spot next season in Cleveland. Browns GM Ray Farmer knows better than to judge Manziel on such a small sample size. JaMarcus Russell showed more promise than Manziel in his first games and Peyton Manning looked horrible in his first starts as well. Manziel has plenty of red flags that would scare any organization but what better options does Cleveland have? They can try and trade up for a Mariota or Winston in hopes that either will be unlike the last 20 other quarterbacks they have started. Or they can sign a veteran like Mark Sanchez or Matt Schaub to push Manziel to compete. In any case, Manziel is worth holding on to for the time being. He still has time to develop and is likely not valuable trade bait at the moment. For these reasons Johnny Manziel will likely stay put in Cleveland at least for another year.  This is not the case for the offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains.  Both have left the Browns in hopes of landing jobs elsewhere.  Shanahan is interviewing for several other HC and OC jobs and it won’t be long till he is hired.  The revolving door that is Cleveland continues to turn.


~Aaron G. Guilkey


Browns Season in Review

Cleveland has experienced an up-and-down season full of quarterback controversy, major injuries, money signs, and no playoffs. Yet, there is reason for Cleveland fans to be excited as ever for the direction the Browns organization is heading.

The Browns finish the season at 7-9 after losing to Baltimore in the final week of NFL regular season play. They finished the season losing 6 of their last 7 games, including 5 straight, after starting the year 6-3. But surprisingly, Cleveland is loaded with young talent on both sides of the ball and it won’t be long till they are in the playoffs.

This most recent draft the Browns selected cornerback Justin Gilbert and quarterback Johnny Manziel in the 1st round. Each player struggled during the season with their limited playing time but did show flashes of greatness. Manziel led a decisive touchdown drive late in the game against one of the NFL’s best defenses in Buffalo and Gilbert had an impressive pick-six versus the Colts. Both players were called out recently by veterans Donte Whitner and Karlos Dansby for not taking this season as seriously as they should. They are playing two of the most difficult positions to translate into the NFL and will need another year or two to develop so hope is certainly not lost with these two. Their levels of maturity and commitment will be the deciding factors determining their future success. The other drafts picks OT Joel Bitonio, LB Christian Kirksey, RB Terrance West, and even CB Pierre Desir showed tremendous ability throughout the year. West, Kirksey, and Bitonio all played at some point during every single game this season with Bitonio having the best year by far from this group with an all-pro caliber season. Ray Farmer’s first draft class is strong and will get better. This offseason he will be armed with two more 1st round picks (#12 & #19) and a league high of 10 total picks, one in each round and two in rounds 1, 4, and 6. Look for Farmer to add more depth to the roster with these picks, specifically the WR, DL, ILB, and possibly QB in the mid to late rounds. The Browns will not likely use all 10 picks to draft but will utilize them as ammunition for trades for future picks to move up or down in this draft.

As far as this season goes, the Browns were a pleasant surprise to start the season with stunning 2nd half comebacks including the NFL’s greatest road comeback victory in Tennessee (25pts). A soft midseason schedule helped the Browns leap to the top of the AFC North, which only lasted one week. Losses to teams like the Jaguars, Texans, and Bills showed the Browns were still the Browns as their late season slide began. The events that were a catalyst to this late season skid encompass several key injuries to Jordan Cameron, Josh Gordon (suspension), Tashaun Gipson, the entire defensive front seven and most importantly center Alex Mack. When Mack went down in a 21-point rout of the Steelers the Browns offensive was never the same and they spent the rest of season rotating between three other severely inadequate replacements. The run game for the Browns never recovered fully after losing their Pro Bowl center and the run game is the reason for the Browns early season success on offense.

The defense this season proved to be opportunistic with Kruger brining in 11 sacks and 3 forced fumbles, Tashaun Gipson snagging 6 Int’s in 11 games, Haden and Skrine had a combined 7 Int’s, resulting in a +8 turnover differential even with turnover prone quarterback play. The Browns main defensive issue this season was stopping the run as they finished dead last in the league in terms of opponents rushing yards per game (141.6 yards). But the pass defense played at a top ten level for most the year with Joe Haden entrusted with the toughest assignments every week. Haden went up against the likes of Jimmy Graham, Mike Evans, Sammy Watkins, Julio Jones, T.Y. Hilton, plus Steve Smith Sr., AJ Green, and Antonio Brown twice each. He wasn’t able to shut them all down but he did do a good job of limiting their impact and opportunities. To be fair, Antonio Brown torched him this season with 100 yards in each game.

Overall the Browns improved on at basically every position on the field through development, draft picks, free agents, etc. Pettine proved to be a much needed stabilizing figure for the Browns organization showing zero emotion on the sidelines each game. At least his sideline demeanor is more comforting than say a Romeo Crennel or Pat Shurmur uneasiness. The Browns future is bright. The team is young and developing and finally has what appears to be some stability in Pettine and Farmer. This season ended poorly but look for Cleveland to make a splash next season and beyond.


~Aaron G. Guilkey

Golden Tate is a Must Start in Week 6

Emmanuel Barrera


Golden Tate arrived in Detroit this year through free agency and was immediately handed the number 2 role in a pass happy offense. Last week playing alongside a hobbled Calvin Johnson, Tate racked up 8 receptions on 10 targets for 116 yards. This week, reports indicate Johnson may be deactivated in order to nurse an ailing ankle, which immediately boosts Tate up to a high upside WR1 through volume alone, as Matt Stafford is averaging 35.8 attempts per game through 5 weeks. What makes Tate a stronger play is his matchup versus a suspect Vikings defense whose secondary graded out as a -6.7 according to Pro Football Focus. Perhaps even more significant, Minnesota’s pass rush graded out as a -6.0 which should give Matt Stafford plenty of time to throw. If by some reason Tate is still on your bench or waiver wire, this week would be a strong time to play him, otherwise he is a strong candidate to play in one week re-draft leagues.

If Johnson is deactivated, Tate clearly becomes the #1 in Detroit which could pose problems if they decide to double him. While Minnesota’s starting corners leave quite a bit to be desired, Free Safety Harrison Smith has been completely rejuvenated in Mike Zimmer’s new defensive scheme, grading out with a +6.5 in PFF’s system. On the other hand, Smith did not practice on Tuesday and was seen a walking boot, which could boost Tate’s value even more so.

Week 4 Sleeper-Allen Robinson

Written by, Emmanuel Barrera

If you’re like me, you’re in some sort of fantasy football bind right about now either because bye weeks are taking guys out of your lineup or your team has fallen victim to the recent accumulation of injuries to key players. If you’re in a deeper league, chances are players you wanted to snag are gone, or maybe you’re looking for a quality add for various other reasons. Regardless, this week I’m going to go ahead and jump on the Jacksonville Jaguars bandwagon. Blake Bortles has seemingly breathed life into this offense, once again making it fantasy relevant. I was incredibly high on the second round pick out of Penn State when he declared for this years past draft, and my praise of Robinson is seemingly being echoed by the Jacksonville coaching staff as he seems to have surpassed UDFA Allen Hurns as the starter opposite Cecil Shorts, playing 42 out of a possible 60 snaps (according to rotoworld). Not only is Robinson getting on the field, but he’s also being productive with 11 catches on his last 16 targets for 154 yards. While it is extremely likely Robinson may hit the “rookie wall” and suffer a setback in production, he will likely be afforded a lot of opportunities to produce this year, given the lack of production from the Jacksonville backfield. Rookie Blake Bortles will throw early and often, particularly with a defense ranked 31st in the league.

Week 4 Matchup:

As mentioned before, rookies are generally inconsistent, this is especially true for receivers. However, Robinson has a chance to remain productive in a tough matchup versus a stingy San Diego defense. While veteran Brandon Flowers will likely shadow Cecil Shorts, Robinson will probably see his fair share of second year starter Shareece Wright and potentially fellow rookie Jason Verrett. Robinson holds a significant height advantage at 6’3’’ with a 39 inch vertical jump at this years combine, Verrett (5’9’’) is particularly vulnerable. Through 3 weeks, San Diego has shown to be vulnerable against number 2 receivers surrendering 119 yards on 5 catches to Michael Floyd in week 1 and a 15.3 average with 61 yards on 4 receptions to Jermaine Kearse in week 2. Despite a better showing against the Bills in week 3, limiting rookie Sammy Watkins to 19 yards on 2 receptions, the potential for explosive plays is there for Robinson in week 4.

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