The NFL schedule was released last night, which is the last real event before the Draft kicks off next week. As we get closer to the selection process beginning, the internet will be filled with more and more mock drafts. This morning, ESPN's Todd McShay added to them, releasing his 2015 NFL Mock Draft 5.0.
This mock from McShay is actually fairly interesting. After the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Jameis Winston with the first overall pick, McShat has Marcus Mariota following him with the second pick, putting the top two quarterbacks back-to-back in his selections. He explains in the Mariota pick, however, that he does not think the Tennessee Titans are the ones making the second overall pick, despite currently holding the selection. Instead, he could see the San Diego Chargers, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, or, potentially, the St. Louis Rams, making the trade to get to Mariota.
After that, he has the Jacksonville Jaguars adding Florida defensive end Dante Fowler, Jr., the Oakland Raiders picking up Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper, and the Washington Redskins selecting Missouri linebacker Shane Ray.
The sixth pick is where a major curveball is thrown, according to McShay's projection. The Jets add Georgia running back Todd Gurley with the selection. McShay explains:
Now that Gurley is cleared from a medical standpoint, I think he's going to go high. Maybe not this high, but I do think this pick would make sense. The Jets' biggest need is at quarterback, but they won't be able to find one in this scenario, and having an elite back like Gurley would provide help for an offense that won't be getting above-average quarterback play -- and new general manager Mike Maccagnan saw firsthand with Arian Foster in Houston the impact an elite running back can have. Other options for the Jets here include WR Kevin White, OL Brandon Scherff and edge rushers Randy Gregory and Vic Beasley. There was a time when I thought Gurley would last until the 20s, but I don't think that's the case anymore.
Gurley could be the pick that makes this Draft the most interesting. The Dolphins could consider the Georgia star with the 14th pick, but it is a move many fans have said is way too early for a running back coming off a knee injury - or a running back at all. Now, there is talk that, with the clearance from the medical side of the house last week, he could jump all the way into the top ten picks. However teams feel about Gurley, when he comes off the board, it will change the remainder of the Draft.
Now, with Gurley off the board that early, who would the Dolphins take with the 14th overall selection? McShay sees them staying in the state to grab a wide receiver, UCF's Breshad Perriman. McShay writes:
The Dolphins have needs at linebacker and guard but can address both of those on Day 2 and Day 3. They also need a big-play outside receiver to pair with Kenny Stills and Jarvis Landry, and Perriman fits the bill. His 14 percent drop rate is a concern, particularly because when I studied his tape he didn't appear to be the most natural pass-catcher. But he also showed the ability to come down with really difficult catches, and he's a big-play threat with his combination of size (6-foot-2, 212 pounds) and speed (sub-4.3 40 time at his pro day).
Perriman seems to be, more and more, a mock target for the Dolphins. The pick makes a lot of sense, in terms of a fast, big-bodied wide receiver. Those drops and his raw route running could be a concern, however. If Miami were to select him, I would not complain, but I might prefer a Nelson Agholor (16th to the Houston Texans) or Phillip Dorsett (31st to the New Orleans Saints) instead, both of whom land in the first round in McShay's mock.
Another player to keep an eye on for the Dolphins is Dorial Green-Beckham. The Oklahoma/Missouri wide receiver has been compared to Randy Moss and Calvin Johnson based on his size (6-foot-5, 235 pounds) and speed (4.49 40-yard dash), but he comes with baggage as well, having been kicked off Missouri's football team. Head coach Joe Philbin has not been a fan of players with baggage, but I have heard rumors that Miami has interest. Nothing that I can confirm independently, but the talk is quietly out there, and a Miami trade back in the first round could make this an interesting possibility.
The Bills do not have a pick in the first round this year, having traded it for Sammy Watkins last year, so to round out the AFC East's picks, McShay sees the New England Patriots grabbing Washington cornerback Marcus Peters with the 32nd overall selection.
Give us your thoughts, and grade, on a Perriman pick for Miami.