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2015 NFL Draft Results





Round 1 Picks 1-16



Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota headline this draft as the last two Heisman Winners at quarterback. Both quarterbacks could be great, but both need to become more accurate in the passing game as well. Find out where both signal-callers went.



Posted By Chris Ransom with updates by Don Portman Last Updated: April 25, 2016


  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State A Grade

    Tampa Bay needed a quarterback. Jameis Winston is more pro ready and the Buccaneers did their homework with this pick.


    Winston played in a Pro Style offense at Florida State. He has the potential to be an elite quarterback. His off the field issues may keep him from reaching that potential.


    Winston will thrive over time in Tampa Bay, but he will not excel as a rookie like Cam Newton Andrew Luck did. Guiding Tampa Bay to a 7-9 record is a realistic expectation if Tampa Bay a quality left tackle in the second round. The idea of moving Demar Dotson from right tackle to left tackle scares me since Dotson has been inconsistent at times.


    Winston has two of the biggest receivers in Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans. He's very good at picking up plays and reading progressions so maybe he can break out like Cam Newton without premium offensive tackles. With everything Winston did off the field, I'm holding my reservations at this point. Speaking of Cam Newton, Jameis Winston reminds me so much of the top pick in the 2011 NFL Draft as he won 26 straight games before losing his final start to the Oregon Ducks.


    Winston can be another Pro Bowl quarterback over time if he keeps his head on straight and continues to show positive progress as he prepares for the Pros. At the same time, he's just as prone to being a bust if Tampa Bay ignores offensive tackle in the second round. There's no question tha Winston can blossom into a top 10 quarterback in the NFL. He's not the can't miss prospect that Andrew Luck was which is why the Buccaneers got an A grade instead of an A+ grade. Tampa Bay needed a quarterback, and Winston is the most promising quarterback to enter the league since Luck back in 2012.


    Don Portman's Rookie Update: Tampa Bay had to choose between the 2013 Heisman Trophy Winner and the 2014 Heisman Trophy winner. I think they made the right selection as Winston didn't just meet expectations as a rookie, he exceeded them staying clean, asking former Buccaneer Doug Williams for career advice like an assertive leader, and even got baptized with his girlfriend in a pool.


    These are leadership qualities that a 3-year veteran displays, yet Winston showcased these qualities in his rookie season after his Crab Legs incident and the Bleep her in the Bleep incident that got him suspended a game at Florida State. Winston finished his rookie season with 4,042 passing yards, 22 passing touchdowns, 6 rushing touchdowns, 29 total touchdowns, 15 interceptions, and a 84.2 passer rating. Winston got named to the Pro Bowl as well unlike the rookie quarterback drafted after him plus Winston had a better understanding of a Pro Style offense coming out of Florida State.


    Jameis Winston looks like a franchise quarterback if he can stay clean off the field. He was so dominant as a rookie that if Lovie Smith had stayed, I may have gave Tampa Bay an A+ grade instead of an A grade. Without Smith, and a new head coach coming in, Winston gets an A grade here.


    Don Portman's Grade: A Grade


  2. Tennessee Titans: Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon A Grade

    Adam Schefter reported that the Titans would take Marcus Mariota 5 hours ago. This selection comes as no surprise as many expected Mariota to go second. The biggest question is where Mariota would go.


    There was speculation that the San Diego Chargers, Philadelphia Eagles, and Cleveland Browns would move up for Marcus Mariota. In the end, none of the offers made by other teams satisfied the Titans.


    Marcus Mariota may lack experience in a Pro Style offense. He made some NFL throws on tape in his week 3 game against Wyoming. I feel like the questions about Mariota's inability to play in a Pro Style offense are being blown out of proportion. In fact, I believe Marcus Mariota will do more in his rookie season than Jameis Winston because he will have better proteciton on the offense line along with solid wide receiver, Delanie Walker at tight end, and Bishop Sankey at running back to take carries away from him.


    Ken Whisenhunt will find a way to get the best of Marcus Mariota this season. Marcus Mariota is the safer prospect with a better supporting cast on the Titans. Once Tampa Bay gives Winston the pass protection at offensive tackle, Famous Jameis may end up besting the quarterback that handed him his only defeat in College Football.


    The Titans get an A grade with Mariota. Not a can't miss quarterback like Luck, but he's a safer pick than Winston. The Winston VS Mariota debate will rage on for years just like Luck VS RGIII in 2012 or Peyton Manning VS Ryan Leaf in 1998. We will find out whether Mariota or Winston is going to have the better career fairly early since the Titans travel to Tampa Bay to face the Buccaneers in week 1.


    Don Portman's Rookie Update: Tennessee took Marcus Mariota the 2014 Heisman Trophy Winner. Mariota defeated Winston once again in week 1 of the 2015 NFL Season.


    Mariota had 3 games against Tampa Bay on the road, New Orleans on the road, and the Jacksonville Jaguars where he looked like a Pro Bowl quarterback. In his other 13 games, Mariota endured a ton of growing pains adjusting from a shotgun spread offense to the NFL, dealing with a midseason coaching change as Mariota watched Mike Mularky step in for Ken Whisenhunt.


    Marcus Mariota was limited by injuries, but he finished the season with 2,818 passing yards, 252 rushing yards, 3,070 total yards, 19 passing touchdowns, 2 rushing touchdowns, 21 total touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. Having Mularky return and beating Winston is why Mariota also got an A grade. Mariota may do better than Winston this year if the Titans draft a left tackle like Laremy Tunsil with the first pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.


    Don Portman's Grade: A Grade


  3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Dante Fowler, LE, Florida B+ Grade

    The Jaguars needed a defensive end. I would have gone with Leonard Williams or Vic Beasley. You cannot blame the Jagaurs for taking him. Leonard Williams projects more as a 4-3 defensive tackle and Vic Beasley is more of an outside linebacker so you can't really criticize the Jaguars for taking Fowler here because he projects the best as a 4-3 defensive end across from Chris Clemmons. Fowler cannot be any worse than former Florida Gator Derrick Harvey who was the Jaguars 2008 first round pick.


    Don Portman's Rookie Update: Dante Fowler did not play as a rookie. Like Chris said Williams and Beasley may have been better picks. Fowler is going to play 4-3 right end at the LEO in 2016 after previously lining up at 4-3 left end prior to his injury following the 2015 NFL Draft. That's why Fowler deserves anything from an A- to a B grade so Fowler is getting a B+ grade.


    Don Portman's Grade: B+ Grade


  4. Oakland Raiders: Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama A+ Grade

    Amari Cooper was the best offensive player in the draft. I'm actually glad Oakland ruined my mock draft because they took a premium wide receiver. If Cooper flops and Leonard Williams becomes a Pro Bowler, Oakland will regret this pick, but I doubt that happens. I love this pick. Excellent job Reggie McKenzie.


    Don Portman's Rookie Update: Amari Cooper had 124 receptions, 1,727 receiving yards, and 16 receiving touchdowns as a junior at Alabama. Cooper was the best offensive player in the draft and Oakland was wise to draft him to compliment Michael Crabtree.


    As a rookie, Cooper had 72 receptions, 1,070 receiving yards, and 6 receiving touchdowns. Cooper didn't get as many touchdowns as you wanted, but he was a consistent producer and made the Pro Bowl as a rookie which is why he deserves an A grade at the very worst, but I am going to give the Raiders an A+ grade here.


    Don Portman's Grade: A+ Grade



  5. Washington Redskins: Brandon Scherff, RG, Iowa A- Grade

    Brandon Scherff is an awesome pick in terms of need. Robert Griffin III finally has a competent right tackle across from Trent Williams. There are no more excuses for Griffin and I expect the Redskins offense to be more explosive in 2015.


    Scherff is the best offensive tackle in this draft. I'm just surprised he went in the top 5.


    Don Portman's Rookie Update: Washington drafted Brandon Scherff to be a right tackle. With Morgan Moses doing well at right tackle after sitting out his rookie year, Scherff ended up moving to right guard where he played across from left guard Spencer Long a 2014 third round pick from Nebraska.


    Brandon Scherff deserves an A- grade for his production at right guard. The problem is you don't draft right guards in the top 5 overall. That's why this pick deserves a B grade at the very best. Since Washington made the 2016 NFL Playoffs in large part due to Scherff's blocking, I'll give him a B+ grade.


    Don Portman's Grade: B+ Grade


  6. New York Jets: Leonard Williams, 3-4 LE, USC B- Grade

    The Jets needed a pass rusher really badly. Vic Beasley had multiple seasons with 11 sacks having 24 sacks in two season at Clemson.


    Leonard Williams doesn't fill a huge need. You have Muhammed Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson. Unless you plan on cutting ties with Wilkerson who skipped OTA's this pick doesn't make sense. I think the Jets will regret taking Williams while someone else like Beasley goes on to be a Pro Bowler.


    Don Portman's Rookie Update: Leonard Williams was the best overall player in the 2015 NFL Draft. Like Chris said, he didn't really fill a need for the Jets, but with 29 solo tackles, 34 assisted tackles, 63 total tackles, and 3 sacks, one could argue that Williams deserves a B+ grade if we gave Dante Fowler a B+ grade even after missing his rookie season.


    Don Portman's Grade: B+ Grade


  7. Chicago Bears: Kevin White, WR, West Virginia A- Grade

    I think Kevin White is a one year wonder. He flipped the bird against Texas A&M. That being said, Brandon Marshall is gone and Alshon Jeffery enters a contract year. Some believe White is better than Cooper. White may bust, but this is a pick Chicago needed to make after losing Marshall.


    Don Portman's Rookie Update: Kevin White missed his entire rookie season. White was ranked ahead of Amari Cooper on a lot of boards because of how he worked out at the 2015 NFL Combine along with West Virginia's Pro Day. White could still be a good player, but I don't think he will be as good as Cooper which is why he gets a B grade.


    Don Portman's Grade: B Grade


  8. Atlanta Falcons: Vic Beasley, RE, Clemson A Grade

    Vic Beasley is the best pass rusher left. If he were in a 3-4 defense this would be an A+ grade. You cannot criticize Atlanta for making an awesome pick and capitalizing off the idiocy of the New York Jets. Beasley has 24 sacks in 2 years, and he will put on muscle and get even better over the next few years.


    Don Portman's Rookie Update: Vic Beasley was known more for his pass rushing at the LEO at 4-3 right end and 3-4 right outside linebacker rather than his run stuffing. Atlanta placed Beasley at 4-3 left end which requires more run stuffing and less pass rushing.


    Beasley only had 26 total tackles and 4 sacks. His sacks came against the Panthers right tackle Mike Remmers, Giants right tackle Marshall Newhouse, and Cowboys right tackle Doug Free. Free is the only one of those right tackles that is a quality starter.


    Beasley did well in Atlanta's opener getting 2 quarterback hurries against the Eagles before facing the Giants and Cowboys in week 2 and week 3. After Atlanta's 3-0 start, it was pretty evident that Beasley didn't show the same intensity the rest of the season. Beasley looked like he could be a great right end coming out of Clemson, but thanks to Gus Bradley mismanaging him, Beasley looks like he may be a future bust in the making after seeing him struggle down the stretch which is why I gave the Falcons a B- grade since they may draft a new 4-3 right end while keeping Beasley at left end.


    Don Portman's Grade: B- Grade



  9. New York Giants: Ereck Flowers, LT, Miami FL B- Grade

    The Giants needed an offensive tackle. The Giants finally addressed the offensive line, but there were different guys like Andrus Peat, T.J. Clemmings, and Jake Fisher that would have been better fits for Eli Manning. That's why the Giants got a B- grade.


    Don Portman's Rookie Update: Ereck Flowers wasn't as good as Brandon Scherff. Still unlike Scherff he started at offensive tackle right away without moving to guard. That being said, Flowers is probably a better fit at right tackle rather than left tackle if they can get someone like Ronnie Stanley at 10 this year. That's why Flowers gets a B grade.


    Don Portman's Grade: B Grade


  10. St. Louis Rams: Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia F Grade

    Melvin Gordon is the best running back in the draft. The Rams didn't need a running back. The Rams had a golden opportunity to compete for a playoff spot by taking an offensive tackle following the departure of Jake Long. Now second year left tackle Greg Robinson who struggled as a rookie has nobody to compliment him. Plus Nick Foles and Todd Gurley are both coming off injuries. Horrible choice St. Louis.


    Don Portman's Rookie Update: The Rams went into full frontal F U Ransom mode when selecting Todd Gurley 10th overall. Gurley had 1,106 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns in 2015. If the Rams can get a starting center in the 2016 NFL Draft, and Gurley manages to play all 16 games, he is capable of posting numbers that rival the likes of Eric Dickerson, but at this point those are two big ifs.


    In 2014, Chris Ransom called Odell Beckham Jr. the worst pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He gave Todd Gurley the same honor in 2015 and ironically both Beckham Jr. and Gurley won offensive rookie of the year after Ransom bashed them which is why I was compelled to give the Rams an F U Ransom grade.


    I eventually gave this an A+ grade. Some guys that Ransom thinks are busts in 2016 include Laquon Treadwell, Robert Nkemdiche, DeForest Buckner, and Myles Jack. Odds are one of those 4 players ends up having a breakout rookie year.


    Don Portman's Grade: A+ Grade


  11. Minnesota Vikings: Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State A+ Grade

    Trae Waynes will do an awesome job complimenting Xavier Rhodes. Excellent cover corner and ran a 4.3 40 time. Best pick outside of Amari Cooper tonight.


    Don Portman's Rookie Update: Trae Waynes had issues with zone coverage coming out of Michigan State which is why the Vikings sat him. Waynes did beat out Captain Munnerlyn for the nickel cornerback job, but Munnerlyn had more starts and tackles down the stretch causing Waynes to get demoted to the dime cornerback role down the stretch.


    Waynes had 5 tackles and a deflection in his only start against the Arizona Cardinals. Waynes came in at boundary cornerback across from Xavier Rhodes and had 2 solo tackles, 1 assisted tackle, 3 total tackles, 2 deflections from pass breakups, and 1 interception across from Rhodes. Waynes played well enough in that playoff game to regain his job at nickel cornerback after Munnerlyn surpassed him as the nickel cornerback on the depth chart.


    Waynes finished his rookie season with 4 deflections despite seeing limited action at the boundary, nickel, and dime cornerback roles. Waynes should get more action this year and I expect him to compete with Terrance Newman for the boundary cornerback job after pushing him for playing time in the wild card game against the Seahawks.


    I was going to give Waynes a B- grade. That's too harsh of a grade since Waynes could break out next year so Waynes gets a B grade at the moment.


    Don Portman's Grade: B Grade


  12. Cleveland Browns: Danny Shelton, NT, Washington B+ Grade

    Phil Taylor could use another nose tackle for depth. Danny Shelton provides a 3 down nose tackle for depth behind Phil Taylor.


    Don Portman's Rookie Update: Danny Shelton deserves props for starting over Phil Taylor and getting the Browns to cut Taylor. Shelton only had 19 solo tackles, 17 assisted tackles, and 36 total tackles. After having 9 sacks in 2014 at Washington, Shelton had no sacks as a rookie and failed to show any mean streak. That's why Shelton got a B grade because he could still be a solid starter, but he's not gonna be the Pro Bowl player people hyped him up to be coming out of the draft.


    Don Portman's Grade: B Grade



  13. New Orleans Saints: Andrus Peat, LG, Stanford B Grade

    Andrus Peat will be an effective blindside for Drew Brees. Terron Armstead might do better at right tackle.


    Don Portman's Rookie Update: New Orleans drafted Andrus Peat hoping for a left tackle or a right tackle to be a bookend to Terron Armstead. What they got was a swing tackle that has to kick inside to left guard now with both Ben Grubbs and Jahri Evans no longer on this roster. Peat was a first round talent, but he was a huge reach at 13, and the Saints did not do their homework here which is why they got a B- grade.


    Don Portman's Grade: B- Grade


  14. Miami Dolphins: DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville A Grade

    Miami needed a #1 receiver. They signed Greg Jennings and traded for Kenny Stills. I didn't think they'd take the best player in Parker, but I'm glad they did. Ryan Tannehill got his fifth year option, so there's no excuse if the Dolphins miss the playoffs in 2015.


    Don Portman's Rookie Update: DeVante Parker sat out most of his rookie season. In week 17, Parker had 5 receptions, 106 receiving yards, and 1 receiving touchdown while lining up as a #1 flanker receiver against the New England Patriots picking apart Malcolm Butler, Patrick Chung, and Devin McCourty in one-on-one coverage. Parker is gonna be one of these players that builds off his rookie season.


    Don Portman's Grade: B+ Grade


  15. San Diego Chargers: Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin C Grade

    Melvin Gordon is the best running back in the draft. I gave San Diego a C grade for moving up 2 spots for Melvin Gordon.


    Don Portman's Rookie Update: San Diego moved up 2 spots for a rookie that failed to score a single touchdown at running back on the ground or out of the backfield with a receiving touchdown. Gordon may have had 641 rushing yards and 192 receiving yards. Gordon's 192 receiving yards bested Todd Gurley's 188 receiving yards which is why you cannot give Gordon a D grade in his rookie season. So Gordon had 833 total yards and no touchdowns. I think that warrants a C- grade. Gordon could still turn things around, but time isn't working in his favor right now.


    Don Portman's Grade: C- Grade


  16. Houston Texans: Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest C Grade

    Houston needed an inside linebacker like Eric Kendricks and a strong safety like Landon Collins. Johnson is a talented corner, but he doesn't fill a need for the Texans.


    Don Portman's Rookie Update: Kevin Johnson had 54 total tackles, 9 deflections from pass breakups, and 1 interception as a nickel cornerback to Kareem Jackson and Jonathan Joseph. Jackson had 58 total tackles in 12 games and Joseph had 58 total tackles in 16 games. Johnson started in 10 games and still came within striking distance of both Jackson and Joseph which is really phenomenal if you think about it which is why I am giving the Texans an B+ grade here for getting that much production out of a nickel cornerback. If Johnson had gone one pick later I may have gave the Texans an A- grade, but a cornerback that gets drafted in the top 16 does not deserve an A grade unless they are a field or boundary cornerback right away.


    Don Portman's Grade: B+ Grade








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