Over the next three-and-a-half months there will be numerous “experts” throwing their ideas around to discuss which collegiate football prospects will be chosen in the upcoming NFL Draft. Here are the first ten picks in the first round in my “expert” opinion.
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: QB Marcus Mariota (Oregon), 6-4, 215 pounds
Jan 1, 2015; Pasadena, CA, USA; Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) is defended by Florida State Seminoles cornerback P.J. Williams (26) and defensive end Chris Casher (21) on a 23-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter in the 2015 Rose Bowl college football game at Rose Bowl. Oregoon defeated Florida State 59-20. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
The Heisman Trophy winner has been a highly touted prospect since his start at the University of Oregon. His Ducks will take on the Ohio State Buckeyes tonight in the National Championship Game and wouldn’t it be great if Mariota finished his collegiate career with a bang and win the national championship. He has racked up some sparkling stats and is currently the only quarterback to have at least 50 more touchdowns (55) than turnovers (five) in one season.
2. Tennessee Titans: QB Jameis Winston (Florida State), 6-4, 235 pounds
January 1, 2015; Pasadena, CA, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston (5) runs the ball against the Oregon Ducks in the 2015 Rose Bowl college football game at Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
The former Heisman Trophy winner slides in at number two in my initial mock draft after being outplayed by Mariota in the Rose Bowl game last weekend. Winston’s skill set that combines tremendous size, the ability to roll out of the pocket to avoid defenders in pursuit, and a cannon of an arm are tops in the nation. He could definitely be taken by the Buccaneers over Mariota as Tampa Bay is in a great position to take one of two future franchise quarterbacks.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars: DT Leonard Williams (USC), 6-4, 290 pounds
Oct 25, 2014; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; USC Trojans defensive end Leonard Williams (94) between plays during the second half against the Utah Utes at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Utah won 24-21. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports
This Southern California stud has drawn comparisons to J.J. Watt due to his uncanny ability to get to the football on each snap. His speed (4.88 40-time) is too quick for the interior guards to shut him down and his large build is difficult for the tackles to slow him down as he creates matchup disadvantages for the opponent on a consistent basis. I believe Williams is the top prospect in this draft and if Tampa Bay and Tennessee weren’t in dire need of a franchise quarterback then he would be the first name called on draft day.