San Diego Chargers: Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin
If Cameron Erving gets here, I could see the Chargers pulling the trigger on him, but the Texans could easily take him first. San Diego needs a feature running back. Ryan Mathews was always prone to injury and is now gone via free agency. The team was led on the ground by Brandon Oliver in 2014, but he's a backup runner rather than a starter. Adding a running threat would make Philip Rivers' job easier as he ages.
Gordon has a rare combination of being fast while having quality size. The 6-foot-1, 215-pounder has dangerous speed to be a threat to score on any carry. In 2014, he averaged 7.5 yards per carry for 2,587 yards with 29 touchdowns. Gordon had 19 receptions for 153 yards and three scores, too. His superb quickness had him tied for the FBS record in career average in yards per carry with stellar mark of 8.26 yards per carry after the 2014 Bowling Green game (13-253).
Gordon was one of the most explosive backs in the nation in 2013. He brought an explosive element to the Badgers' backfield that Montee Ball never provided during his great college career. For the year, Gordon averaged 7.8 yards per carry for 1,609 yards on only 206 carries and 12 touchdowns. The Kenosha, Wisconsin product stood out while backing up Montee Ball and James White in 2012. He made the most of his limited chances while averaging 10 yards per carry. Gordon ran for 621 yards and three touchdowns on only 62 carries.
Pick change; previously Cameron Erving, OL
Kansas City Chiefs: Nelson Agholor, WR, USC
The Chiefs could use more than just Jeremy Maclin to upgrade their receivers. Agholor is a great scheme fit for Andy Reid.
Agholor (6-0, 198) is the latest in the line of early-round receiver prospects from USC. He outproduced Marqise Lee in 2013 with 56 receptions for 918 yards and six scores. Agholor totaled 31 catches for 490 yards in 2012.
Like Robert Woods and Marqise Lee, Agholor has quickness and is a strong route-runner. He is also more of No. 2 receiver in the NFL though. Agholor recorded 104 receptions for 1,313 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2014. He can have issues with dropped passes.
Pick change; previously La'el Collins, OT
Cleveland Browns: Danny Shelton, DT, Washington
The Browns could move on from Phil Taylor and could use a disruptor on their defensive line. Cleveland has shown a lot of interest in Shelton as well.
Shelton was the talk of the Senior Bowl with his combination of power, size and burst. He was a load and nearly impossible to single-block. In the pass-rushing one-on-ones and in run defense, Shelton had his way with blockers. He was one of the nation's sack leaders at defensive tackle in 2014 with nine. Shelton totaled 87 tackles and 16.5 tackles for a loss, too. The 6-foot-1, 339-pounder is a big, disruptive tackle who has a surprising burst.
In 2013, Shelton turned in 59 tackles with 3.5 tackles for a loss and two sacks. He had an excellent bowl game against BYU with seven tackles and a lot of disruption at the point of attack. Shelton recorded 45 tackles, .5 sacks and four tackles for a loss in 2012.
Philadelphia Eagles: Damarious Randall, S, Arizona State
I had planned on the Eagles taking Nelson Agholor, but with La'el Collins being dropped from the first round, Agholor was a fit for the Chiefs. Perhaps Philadelphia will go with a different receiver, but landing the top cover safety in the 2015 NFL Draft is good value. The Eagles won't be able to get that kind of player if they don't take Randall in the first round.
Randall (5-11, 196) had a strong senior season with 101 tackles with three interceptions, eight passes broken up, two forced fumbles, 9.5 tackles for a loss and a sack. He was a big presence for the Sun Devils' defense and stayed around the ball. Randall could have some free safety potential for the NFL, and he had a quality week at the Senior Bowl. As a junior, Randall recorded 71 tackles with three passes broken up and three interceptions.
Pick change; previously Nelson Agholor, WR
Cincinnati Bengals: Malcom Brown, DT, Texas
Geno Atkins wasn't the same in 2014 coming off his season-ending knee injury from the year before. Domata Peko also suffered a down season. The Bengals could use some talent and another player to feature next to Atkins.
Brown collected 6.5 sacks, 71 tackles, 13 tackles for a loss, one pass batted and two forced fumbles in 2014. He was tough to block with a good motor. The 6-foot-2, 320-pounder possesses the size and speed for the NFL. Brown has the agility to close on the quarterback to go along with the ability to shed blocks and hold his ground in the ground game. Brown is very versatile. He could be a nose or three technique in a 4-3 while also being able to play in a 3-4.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Randy Gregory, DE/OLB, Nebraska
Pittsburgh needs to improve its pass rush. Who knows if Jarvis Jones will pan out for the Steelers, while Jason Worilds retired rather than explore free agency. James Harrison can't play forever, while this draft has more second-day depth at corner than in edge rushers. In the past, Kevin Colbertt and Mike Tomlin have had the tendency to draft cornerbacks on Day 2. The Steelers take elite players who fall to them along with prospects they've brought in for visits. Gregory fits all of the criteria, and the question is if the team is comfortable enough with him off the field and in the locker room to pull the trigger.
Gregory is hands down the best pass-rusher in the 2015 NFL Draft, in my opinion. However, I have him sliding because of off-the-field concerns. In 2014, Gregory totaled 56 tackles with 8.5 tackles for a loss, seven sacks, one forced fumble, three passes broken up and one interception while missing three games (knee, concussion, ankle). He was a beast for Nebraska in 2013 - his first year on campus. The sophomore had just 10 starts, yet racked up 66 tackles with 19 tackles for a loss, 10.5 sacks, one pass batted and an interception. The 6-foot-5, 235-pounder should get even bigger over time.
There is no doubt that Gregory is extremely fast. His lightning first-step gives him an advantage to turn the corner against tackles. Gregory also has natural agility to drop his hips and maneuver his body by blockers. On top of his speed, he has phenomenal hands for a player who doesn't have a lot of experience. Gregory is very adept at getting blockers' hands off of him and shedding their blocks. He is also physical when putting offensive players into the turf. Gregory has a relentless attitude and can make some plays through a second effort. He uses a spin move, swim move and bull rush effectively. Gregory also is really smart about when he deploys those moves. However, Gregory could stand to get stronger for the ground game.
Detroit Lions: D.J. Humphries, OT, Florida
I think this pick is coming down to four players: Humphries, Melvin Gordon, Eddie Goldman and Jordan Phillips. The Lions have to get better at running the ball, and the franchise has huge investments in the passing game with Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate, Brandon Pettigrew and Eric Ebron. Humphries addresses improving the ground game and protecting the organization's big investment in the aerial offense.
Sources say they've graded Humphries as "a one," aka a first-rounder, and will let their medical staff drop him down the board if they deem it warranted. I personally haven't gotten on the bandwagon about Humphries because he missed more games than he played the past two seasons, but Humphries is a rare athlete who could be a starting left tackle quickly in the NFL.
Still, Humphries (6-5, 307) has a superb skill set with quickness, athleticism and length. He was a good run-blocker and reliable pass-protector for the Gators in 2014. He played well in 2013, but dealt with a lot of injuries the past two years. The medical concerns could knock Humphries down on draft day, and it probably would have made more sense for him to return to Florida for his senior year. However, Humphries has the athletic skill set to start at left tackle in the NFL.
Arizona Cardinals: Byron Jones, CB/S, Connecticut
The Cardinals lost Antonio Cromartie in free agency, which leaves a huge hole in their defense. Arizona could use a cornerback to pair with Patrick Peterson and has shown interest in Jones.
Jones (6-1, 199) recorded 24 tackles, four passes broken up and two interceptions in 2014 before a shoulder injury ended his season after seven games. He made himself a star of the Combine with huge broad and vertical jumps. He followed that up blazing a fast 40 time at his pro day.
Jones played well in 2013 - his first season at cornerback - with 60 tackles and three interceptions. In 2012, Jones was a starter at safety and had 88 tackles with an interception. He broke into the starting lineup during the 2011 season and had 51 tackles.
Pick change; previously Eric Kendricks, ILB
Carolina Panthers: Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami
This is a steal for the Panthers who I've heard love Flowers. They have to upgrade their offensive line anyway. David Gettleman has shown an inclination to draft for need, and Carolina must land a potential franchise left tackle for Cam Newton. Gettleman has also been inclined to big, physical prospects in the first round; Flowers fits the mold.
Flowers has an excellent combination of size, strength, quickness and athleticism. The 6-foot-6, 329-pounder didn't get a lot of publicity at Miami, but has become something of a hot prospect. Flowers played extremely well in 2014. After missing a few games because of a torn meniscus, he came back in impressive fashion against Florida State. Flowers also had an impressive game against Nebraska taking on Randy Gregory. For the year, Flowers was a very consistent run-blocker for Duke Johnson and pass-protector. Flowers is shockingly quick and agile for such a big and strong blocker who can bully defensive linemen.
In 2013 as a sophomore, Flowers took the left tackle job from Seantrel Henderson and had a fabulous debut for Miami. In his true freshman season, Flowers was a backup who started four games.
Baltimore Ravens: Breshad Perriman, WR, Central Florida
The Ravens have a huge hole at wide receiver and must give Marc Trestman something to work with on the outside. Baltimore also ha a huge investment in Joe Flacco without any long-term wideouts. Perriman gives Trestman a big receiver who is a vertical threat like the weapons that thrived under him in Chicago.
There are a lot of split opinions on Perriman around the league. Some sources say they grade Perriman (6-2, 212) as an early second-round pick. Others feel he is worthy of, and will go in, the first round. After his blistering pro-day 40 time, Perriman could be too exciting with his size and speed to get out of Thursday night. It only takes one team to fall in love with him.
Perriman has some size and the quickness to break some big plays. He showed the speed to take a slant for a long gain in college. Perriman totaled 41 receptions for 906 yards and nine touchdowns in 2014. With Blake Bortles as his quarterback in 2013, Perriman caught 39 receptions for 811 yards and four touchdowns. He has demonstrated inconsistent hands, but the 6-foot-2, 212-pounder has a good skill set.
Pick change; previously Byron Jones, CB
Dallas Cowboys: Bernardrick McKinney, ILB, Mississippi State
I wouldn't be at all surprised if the Cowboys trade up for Melvin Gordon as he probably won't make it to this pick. They have to upgrade their defense though, and McKinney is a great fit for a Tampa 2. He could play inside or outside linebacker while being a good run-defender who also contributes in pass coverage or the pass rush. Dallas has shown a lot of interest in McKinney.
McKinney had 71 tackles, eight tackles for a loss, three sacks, one forced fumble and four passes broken up in 2014. One of those sacks came when he beat Texas A&M left tackle Cedric Ogbuehi off the edge. McKinney was a big-time presence in the Bulldogs' defense and has shown the ability to be a three-down starter who can drop into pass coverage or rush the quarterback.
McKinney (6-4, 246) notched 70 tackles, seven tackles for a loss and 3.5 sacks in 2013. He is an intriguing athlete who has a lot of upside. As a freshman in 2012, McKinney recorded 102 tackles. He was impressive against Texas A&M and has a lot of speed to go with his size.
Pick change; previously Melvin Gordon, RB
Denver Broncos: Jordan Phillips, DT, Oklahoma
The Broncos lost Terrence Knighton in free agency and could use a nose tackle to replace him. Denver has shown interest in Phillips, and he has a ton of upside to give the team a disruptive nose tackle at the point of attack.
Phillips (6-5, 329) has a surprising burst for such a big defender and uses his size to overwhelm offensive linemen. In 2014, Phillips had 39 tackles, seven tackles for a loss, two sacks, and one pass batted. The redshirt sophomore caused disruption at the point of attack and looks like an excellent candidate to play 3-4 nose tackle in the NFL. He puts more pressure on the quarterback than the numbers indicate and is impossible to move in the ground game. Phillips dealt with injuries that held him back in college, but he has a great and rare skill set.
Indianapolis Colts: Landon Collins, S, Alabama
As I hit on in my interview with Colts.com, Indianapolis needs to bolster the middle of its defense. Mike Adams played well last year, but he turns 34 this offseason. Collins will help the team's run and pass defense in the middle of the field.
The Crimson Tide has been a talent factory for defensive backs for the NFL, and Collins is the program's 2015 model. He totaled 103 tackles with seven passes broken up and three interceptions in 2014. Collins had monster games against Florida and West Virginia, but Ole Miss picked on him repeatedly and burned him for two touchdowns. Auburn had success throwing at Collins as well. Those outings illustrate that Collins (6-0, 215) is a physical strong safety who is good in the box and the short part of the field. He isn't a one-on-one pass-coverage safety.
In 2013, Collins recorded 70 tackles with four tackles for a loss, six passes broken up, one interception and two forced fumbles.
Green Bay Packers: Eric Kendricks, LB, UCLA
The Packers were eyeing Ryan Shazier before the Steelers beat them to the punch last year. Green Bay needs an athletic run-and-chase linebacker for the middle of its defense, and Kendricks is a perfect fit.
Kendricks totaled 149 tackles, 11.5 tackles for a loss, four sacks, two passes broken up, three interceptions and one forced fumble in 2014. He is an instinctive player who can defend sideline to sideline with great speed. Kendricks is very good in pass coverage as he covers a lot of ground and can match up in single coverage. Kendricks turned in impressive games against Virginia, Colorado, Texas, Arizona State and USC.
Kendricks (6-0, 232) played well in 2013 with 105 tackles, four tackles for a loss and an interception. He had a breakout 2012 season in which he led the Pac-12 in tackles. Kendricks totaled 149 tackles with six tackles for a loss, two sacks, four passes broken up, two forced fumbles and one blocked kick that year. He is the younger brother of Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Mychal Kendricks.
Pick change; previously Eddie Goldman, DT
New Orleans Saints: Phillip Dorsett, WR, Miami
The Saints grab a vertical play-maker who will make Drew Brees happy and provide massive headaches for every defensive coordinator in the NFC South.
Sources say that the 5-foot-10, 195-pounder could be a steal in the 2015 NFL Draft. They say he has elite speed and will be a vertical weapon in the NFL. As a prospect, Dorsett is said to have a similar skill set to Mike Wallace, but Dorsett is more polished as a route-runner than Wallace was coming out of Ole Miss in 2009.
Dorsett is a player who went under the radar somewhat, but performed really well as a senior. Miami was playing a freshman quarterback and leaned on running back Duke Johnson, thus Dorsett didn't get many targets and had only 36 receptions on the season. However, Dorsett showed his talent by averaging 24 yards per reception for 871 yards and 10 touchdowns. A knee injury took away a chunk of his junior year, but as a sophomore, he had 58 catches for 842 yards and four touchdowns.
Pick change; previously Eli Harold, OLB
New England Patriots: Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida State
The Patriots grab their replacement for Vince Wilfork, and Goldman is a good fit for that role. New England has shown interest in Goldman and need young talent on the inside of the defensive line.
Goldman totaled 35 tackles, eight tackles for a loss, four sacks and a forced fumble in 2014. He came up with some huge plays that led to Florida State beating Clemson. Goldman was a wrecking ball at the line of scrimmage for the Seminoles. The 6-foot-4, 336-pounder looks like a starting candidate at nose tackle for a 4-3 or 3-4 defense. He is impossible to move in the ground game and is able to eat up double-teams. Goldman has upside to develop and be one of the toughest interior defensive linemen in the NFL.