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Green Zone League Articles

Mock Draft - The First Fifteen
By Greg Wendel
Special to gzl-football.com

KVW always seems like the first one to get to these but they are a fun read and a nice exercise in scouting the class. First impressions are of a much deeper draft than in recent years. It seems in many cases there are a few top talents in key positions that people are scrambling to trade for. While there are some very good players in the draft, the few studs seem to be in positions that are generally less impactful.

The Picks

1.1 Eagles - CB Trae Waynes - I was tempted to put an offensive tackle here or even a wide receiver to help the first round pick from last year, QB Malik McNabb. Of course, none of that would matter if they can't stop anyone and Waynes gives them a lockdown defensive back that the Eagles are sorely missing.

1.2 Colts - WR Amari Cooper - Rumors are that the Colts have secured a new quarterback on the trade market. If that holds true, he's going to need someone to throw it to and there is no true #1 receiver in Indy. Having Cooper would change that.

1.3 Patriots - OT Brandon Scherff - While I really think my AFC East comPatriot should start finding a replacement Punter here, a new blindside tackle to protect the newly acquired Matt Ryan is probably more in his interest.

1.4 Saints - QB Jameis Winston - It's time for a new start in New Orleans and we all know how much Jameis loves crab legs (sorry, I couldn't resist) so this is the perfect fit. The incumbent, Jay Cutler, unfortunately won't provide a mentor bonus but this is a place Winston can come in and start from day 1 without much of a dropoff from last year's passing production.

1.5 Bengals - OT Ja'Wuan James - Johnny Football is off to a rough start and if he gets sacked another 60 times next year, it could be a short career. James is physically as good as Scherff and is actually even faster, if slightly weaker but James has less of a polish. Bonaventure Royer is an option here as well if the Bengals want a guy who can adjust to the GZL a little faster.

1.6 Panthers - WR Odell Beckham Jr - Matt Barkley has come into his own as a quarterback and with many of the league's legends starting to fade out has a chance to establish himself as one of the league's top passers. Could see the Panthers giving him another weapon and letting Barkley take over games.

1.7 49ers - OLB Shane Ray - While there are a number of very quick outside linebackers that come through these drafts, not many of them have Ray's size. He also provides a bit more strength than most of the speedy players letting him cover TEs or big slot receivers without issue.

1.8 Ravens - HB Todd Gurley - Filling what is probably the most obvious need for the Ravens, this Gurley man easily beats out the other backs on the roster.

1.9 Seahawks - DT Leonard Williams - The best defensive tackle prospect GZL has seen, this guy is the full package. A bit of time in the weight room and he'll be even scarier. Not a sexy pick, as the league doesn't value defensive tackles, but he also gives incredible flexibility as a 4-3 tackle or a 3-4 end.

1.10 Patriots - DE Randy Gregory - Back to the Pats, a second rookie Punter would be great, just to make sure they all feel like they're being pushed to be the best. Or they could pick a guy who is very similar to OLB Shane Ray who was taken a few picks earlier and have a OLB/DE hybrid player to improve an already quite good front 7.

1.11 Jets - WR Ulysses Moore - 6'4 and 6'7 receivers on opposite sides? Don't mind if I do. Plus Ulysses and Drogan are both ridiculously cool names. There's no losing here.

1.12 Texans - OLB Dante Fowler - Could also be Barr depending on what the front office values with Fowler providing a look at multiple positions but Barr being a better pure outside linebacker with good coverage ability.

1.13 Dolphins - OG Zach Martin - Oh look another division rival and another punt.. ok, I'll stop. Tony Ugoh is a bit past his expiration date and Martin is a fantastic offensive line prospect to step in and dominate right away opening holes for the truck that is Le'Veon Bell and Co.

1.14 Rams - OT Bonaventure Royer - Offensive line is quite deep in this draft and the Rams have no real glaring needs but are getting older along the line. With talks of Donnie Avery being shopped, this could also turn into a slot receiver like DeVante Parker if a deal does send Avery out of St. Louis.

1.15 Broncos - WR DeVante Parker - The Broncos are actually in a very similar situation to the Rams and are loaded with talent on both sides of the ball but with a couple holes on the offensive line and in need of a third wideout. See them taking whoever the Rams don't between Royer and Parker.

As with the other mock, I'm sure these will all be off but it's fun to write. Of course, we'll also see some shifting priorities after free agency and another couple of trades. Happy drafting!
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