Xavier Rhodes NFL Draft
Photo courtesy of Vikings.com

No one is tired of mock drafts already, right? Didn’t think so.

We genuinely value every single one of our readers here at Vikings Territory. (Seriously, more than you all know.) John Borgert, better known around these parts as “Skol12” has been a valuable member of the VT community for quite some time. Particularly, I’ve always appreciated his draft insight this time of year. That’s why, during an email exchange we were having about the redesigned site, I proposed John shoot us over a mock draft of his own for the whole world to see. (I mean it, we have readers all over. Shout out to Iceland!)

Though we’ve already had a bunch of mock drafts posted here, John has the Vikings selecting someone no one else here has yet. In addition to this unique take, “Skol12” also has some great insight on the other 31 selections. So, if that didn’t peak your interest, I’m not sure what will. Check out the first five selections below and then continue reading to see the entire mock draft in its full glory.

 Tampa Bay Logo
1. Tampa Bay (2-14) // Jameis Winston, QB Florida State

Mariota vs. Winston will be the debate all the way up to the draft. Can Mariota adjust to a pro style offense? Has Jameis matured enough? Can either step in and start week one? These are just a few questions every team at the top of the draft is asking themselves every day. The bottom line is, Jameis Winston is a quarterback who can turn a team around himself. But he is also a player who can get a coach or GM fired quickly. Winston is the most talented quarterback in this draft which is why the Buccaneers will take him first overall.

Alternate Picks: Marcus Mariota, Leonard Williams

 Tennessee Titans Logo
 2. Tennessee (2-14) // Leonard Williams, DE USC

It hasn’t even been a full year since Tennessee drafted Zach Mettenberger, who many considered to have more potential than any other quarterback in the 2014 draft. Mettenberger wasn’t awful in the 2014 season with a 59.8 completion percentage and an 8-7 TD-INT ratio. The Titans still believe they have something in the former LSU quarterback, which is why they skip Mariota and take the best player in this draft. Leonard Williams is an absolute monster on the line and could improve the Titans defensive front tremendously.

Alternate Picks: Marcus Mariota, Amari Cooper

 Jacksonville Jaguars Logo
3.  Jacksonville (3-13) // Dante Fowler Jr., DE/OLB Florida

Jacksonville really wanted Leonard Williams but instead will gladly settle for Dante Fowler Jr. The Jaguars are years away form competing and need help everywhere, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. Fowler will be a valuable asset that can improve the players around him and could be the Khalil Mack of this draft.

Alternate Picks: Vic Beasley, Randy Gregory

Oakland Raiders Logo
 4. Oakland (3-13) // Kevin White, WR West Virginia

Originally, I had Oakland taking Amari Cooper and still think that would be the better pick. Unfortunately for Raiders fans, Oakland always manages to make the wrong decision, and after a tremendous combine, Kevin White has leapfrogged Cooper in the minds of the Raiders.

Alternate Picks: Amari Cooper/Brandon Scherff

 Washington Redskins Logo
 5. Washington (4-12) // Brandon Scherff, G/T Iowa

The Redskins line couldn’t block a beach ball last season which led to RG3 getting hit far more times than necessary. Scherff is a versatile lineman who can play 4 positions and go where needed, stabilizing Washington’s offensive line quite a bit.

Alternate Picks: Shane Ray, Landon Collins

 New York Jets Logo
 6. New York Jets (4-12) // Randy Gregory, DE Nebraska

Todd Bowles comes off as an old-school coach who holds traditional views such as “defense wins championships,” and “quarterbacks should stay in the pocket and run a traditional offense.” With those two views, it leads him to choose one of the hottest defensive prospects in this draft, Randy Gregory, over the flashy pick, Marcus Mariota. Lucky for Bowles, the draft won’t be in NYC this year or the building might erupt.

Alternate Picks: Marcus Mariota, Landon Collins

 Chicago Bears Logo
 7. Chicago (5-11) // Danny Shelton, DT Washington

Let me begin with a little fairy tale:

Once upon a time, Chicago had a great defense that struck fear into the hearts of opposing quarterbacks. This defense was led by Brian Urlacher and it started up front with a talented defensive line that created pressure and smothered the run.

That time is no more and they need to replenish talent, starting with Danny Shelton who can plug the middle of the line like the days of old. Shelton helped himself with an excellent combine workout and jumped up draft boards considerably.

Alternate Picks: Landon Collins, Vic Beasley

 Atlanta Falcons Logo
 8. Atlanta (6-10) // Vic Beasley, DE/OLB Clemson

Sean Weatherspoon will be returning and could form a dangerous combination with Vic Beasley. Beasley always struck me as a player similar to Von Miller of the Denver Broncos; a comparison that he himself stated a few days ago. There has been more and more linking Beasley to Atlanta at pick #8 recently. With Dan Quinn as head coach, bringing the Seattle defense over and showing all types of looks, Beasley and Weatherspoon could wreak havoc on quarterbacks for years to come.

Alternate Picks: Shane Ray, Alvin Dupree

 New York Giants Logo
 9. New York Giants (6-10) // Andrus Peat, OT Stanford

The Giants didn’t get their man in Brandon Scherff but still land the best tackle in the class in Peat.  La’el Collins was also a contender but lacks the overall talent and value of Peat at this point in the draft. Peat is coming out of Stanford, a school known for academics more than sports. Peat is a smart player who should continue to grow and be a solid tackle for the Giants. Right now, the Giants could use anybody on their line to keep Eli Manning alive.

Alternate Picks: Ereck Flowers, La’el Collins

 St. Louis Rams Logo
 10. St. Louis (6-10) // Marcus Mariota, QB Oregon

Remember in 2005 when that Aaron Rodgers kid from California was in the argument to go first overall and fell to Green Bay at 24? Well Marcus Mariota wont fall that far because at pick 10, his mini slide is over. St. Louis may be looking for a quarterback because Bradford, while talented, has a body made of glass. If St. Louis decides not to go with Mariota, they are in perfect position to take advantage of another NFC East team and trade back with Philly who can get their man at 10.

Alternate Picks: Amari Cooper, Ereck Flowers

 Minnesota Vikings Logo
 11. Minnesota (7-9) // Amari Cooper, WR Alabama

There are so many routes the Vikings could go here and every day I want somebody different. But today it is Mr. Amari Cooper. Cooper is not as talented as Megatron or A.J. Green but he is still a great pick at 11. Cooper was the top ranked wide receiver all season until the combine, when he fell for seemingly no reason (sound familiar Viking fans?). For a second season in a row, the Vikings will luck into a top player in this draft due to prospect over-analysis and an average combine.

Alternate Picks: Shaq Thompson, DeVante Parker, Trae Waynes, Marcus Peters

Cleveland Browns Logo
 12. Cleveland (7-9) // Devante Parker, WR Louisville

Without Josh Gordon(who looks like he’s intent on destroying a very promising football career), Cleveland has Andrew Hawkins and Miles Austin starting at wide receiver. That is a recipe for disaster that can be easily fixed by one of Teddy Bridgewater’s favorite targets, DeVante Parker. Parker proved in his senior season that he is a legit wideout and that he wasn’t dependent on Teddy to put up big numbers.

Alternate Picks: Dorial Green-Beckham, La’el Collins

 New Orleans Saints Logo Censored
 13. New Orleans (7-9) // Trae Waynes, CB Michigan State

Trae Waynes solidified his status as the top defensive back in this draft with a blazing 40 time at the combine. Marcus Peters, while troubled, was a possibility to pass Waynes due to his talent. Waynes will unfortunately be sent to the New Orleans Hitmen and improve a porous secondary.

Alternate Picks: Marcus Peters, Dog the Bounty Hunter

 Miami Dolphins Logo
 14. Miami (8-8) // Shane Ray, DE Missouri

Shane Ray is a talented defensive end and likely deserves to go higher than this but Miami will gladly scoop him up to help an aging defensive front. Ray had a decent combine and was a top-10 pick before but, with a few players who were just below him having outstanding combines, he slides to pick #14 in this mock.

Alternate Picks: Shaq Thompson, Erik Kendricks

 San Francisco 49ers Logo
 15. San Francisco (8-8) // Marcus Peters, CB Washington

The Niners need a number-one wideout to help Colin Kaepernick but they seem like they will address that in free agency. Cornerback is another major weakness in the bay. Marcus Peters, while troubled, is a very, very talented corner who could thrive on a defensive team like San Francisco. While the 49ers have had their own struggles with discipline recently, it will be worth it to take another gamble bringing in Peters. This could be a very good or very bad pick depending on who Peters connects with on the team.

Alternate Picks: Dorial Green-Beckham, Landon Collins

 Houston Texans Logo
 16. Houston (9-7) // Malcolm Brown, NT Texas

Brown is considered one of the safer picks in this draft and Houston needs a reliable defensive tackle bad. They Hoped Louis Nix III would be their anchor, but they lost him early last season and can’t afford that again. Because of this, they will take the safe but not splashy pick landing Brown in Houston. Brown, Watt, Clowney, Cushing, Reed, Crick, Dent… That isn’t a nightmare that is the Texans front seven. (Okay, for an offensive lineman it is a nightmare).

Alternate Picks: Landon Collins, DGB

 San Diego Chargers Logo
 17. San Diego (9-7) // Ereck Flowers, OT Miami

Almost everyone agrees the Chargers will be taking an offensive lineman so this is a game of “pick the tackle.” Flowers had a good combine and was able to display his size and athleticism. He is close to jumping Peat as the top tackle in this draft and could end up in the top ten before all is said and done. For now, he remains at 17 in San Diego, protecting Philip Rivers in San Diego. (Which right now at -8 in Minneapolis doesn’t sound too bad.)

Alternate Picks: TJ Clemmings, La’el Collins

 Kansas City Chiefs Logo
 18. Kansas City (9-7) // La’el Collins, OT/OG LSU

Brandon Schreff lite, La’el Collins had a strong senior season to jump all the way into the first round of the draft. Collins can play wherever he is needed right away. For Kansas City, this is right tackle and may eventually turn into left tackle if Fisher doesn’t improve. (See, Kalil isn’t the only one!).

Alternate Picks: Benardrick McKinney, Shaq Thompson

 Cleveland Browns Logo
 19. Cleveland – from Buffalo (9-7) // Arik Armstead, DE Oregon

I love this guy and wouldn’t mind seeing him in purple. Armstead is a mountain of a man standing at 6′ 8″ tall. Weighing in at nearly 300 lbs., he can be an absolute beast of a run stopper. Armstead has a lot to work on in the passing game, only coming up with 2.5 sacks as a senior. Cleveland will gladly take him at 19, as they were atrocious versus the run last season and need to improve if they want any chance at beating Terrific Tom and Bad Belichek.

Alternate Picks: Eddie Goldman, Gerod Holliman

 Philadelphia Eagles Logo
 20. Philadelphia (10-6) // Landon Collins, SS Alabama

Collins is a tough man to place. I have had him as high as 7 to Chicago, 11 to Minnesota and now he is all the way down to Philly at 20. Collins is going to be a steal for Philadelphia like Clinton-Dix was for Green Bay. Alabama has been producing a first round safety every year for quite some time, and this year, Collins will have to show if he’s a Clinton-Dix or a Barron. Quite honestly, Philly could use either at this point as they are very weak at strong safety. After the LeSean McCoy trade, I was tempted to slot Melvin Gordon here, but he doesn’t seem like hes Chip Kelly’s style.

Alternate Picks: Melvin Gordon, Shaq Thompson

 Cincinnati Bengals Logo
 21. Cincinnati (10-5-1) // Erik Kendricks, MLB UCLA

Cincinnati needs a linebacker to replace Rey Maualuga who will be departing as a free agent.  Erik Kendricks is the best linebacker on the board right now and would seemingly fit well into the Bengals locker room.  Cincinnati always seems to have a good team that chokes at the end of the season so that will not change from Kendrick’s time with the Bruins.

Alternate Picks: Shaq Thompson, Alvin Dupree

 Pittsburgh Steelers Logo
 22. Pittsburgh (11-5) // Shaq Thompson, LB/SS Washington

Troy Polamalu has been one of the best safeties over the past decade but father time is catching up with him.  If there is any safety who can bring the boom like Polamalu it is Shaq Thompson.  Shaq played linebacker in college and will likely play safety or linebacker in the NFL; you can’t achieve that versatility without being fast and hitting hard which happen to be two things that define “Steelers Ball.”  

Alternate Picks: Dorial Green-Beckham, Alvin Dupree

 Detroit Lions Logo
 23. Detroit (11-5) // T.J. Clemmings, OT Pittsburgh

With no defensive linemen worthy of this pick, Detroit takes the best player available who also fills a need. Clemmings can step right in and start at right tackle, giving Detroit a pretty solid offensive line and buying Stafford more time to launch the ball as far as he can while Megatron makes a spectacular catch above three defenders.

Alternate Picks: Jordan Phillips, Alvin Dupree

 Arizona Cardinals Logo
 24. Arizona (11-5) // Dorial Green-Beckham, WR Oklahoma

Let’s be honest with ourselves, Larry Fitzgerald is old; he might have two years left in him as a number two wideout. Bruce Arians is an offensive-minded coach who likes to throw the ball, which is hard with one solid receiver and an aging veteran. Enter Dorial Green-Beckham, a troubled kid with incredible talent the draft hasn’t seen since this kid named Calvin Johnson from Georgia Tech. Arizona has been known to take risks before and could hope for a turnaround like Tyrann Mathieu. This could prove to be a steal for Arizona, or it could be a Josh Gordon situation in the desert. (Which is still better than a Josh Gordon situation in frickin’ Ohio.)

Alternate Picks: Benardrick McKinney, Erik Kendricks

 Carolina Panthers Logo
 25. Carolina (7-8-1) // Ty Sambrailo, OT Colorado St.

Carolina needs to protect Cam Newton much more in 2015 than they did in 2014. The first step is to buy him a new Ford pickup with more airbags. The second step is to improve the offensive line, which is where Ty Sambrailo comes in. I have had my eye on this kid most of the season and I like what I’ve seen. Sambrailo reminds me of Nate Solder. Not because they are both from Colorado, but they share many of the same strengths and weaknesses. If Sambrailo can improve run blocking and strength like Solder did he could be a stud.

Alternate Picks: Alvin Dupree, Devin Funchess

 Baltimore Ravens Logo
 26. Baltimore (10-6) // Jaelen Strong, WR ASU

Baltimore is likely to lose Torrey Smith in free agency and needs a replacement.  Jaelen Strong won’t win many races, but he is a big-bodied receiver who uses his size well.  Strong will be a great red zone threat and excellent along the sidelines.  Flacco and Strong should click instantly and form a strong chemistry right away. They have talents that will complement each other and bring out the best in one another.

Alternate Picks: Devin Funchess, Jalen Collins

 Dallas Cowboys Logo
 27. Dallas (12-4) // Melvin Gordon, RB Wisconsin

Dallas has to make a decision on Murray and Bryant this off-season. It is becoming clear Bryant will be staying and Murray will not, leaving a large hole at running back.  Contrary to many beliefs, Adrian Peterson will NOT be going to Dallas so they may want to grab the next best thing. Enter Melvin Gordon – the record setting RB from the “W” word school.  He may not be on the same level as DeMarco Murray right now, but the talent is there and he should thrive in Dallas behind the offensive line they have assembled.

Alternate Picks: Devin Funchess, Benardrick McKinney

 Denver Broncos Logo
 28. Denver (12-4) // Cameron Erving, OT FSU

It doesn’t matter if Peyton Manning, Brock Osweiller, or Erin Andrews is taking snaps for Denver next season if they can’t protect the quarterback.  Gary Kubiak needs to plug a hole(s) in the offensive line which he can do with the versatile Cameron Erving.

Alternate Picks: AJ Cann, Benardrick McKinney

 Indianapolis Colts Logo
 29. Indianapolis (11-5) // Alvin Dupree, DE Kentucky

Dupree is by far the best player available at 29 and would be fixing a major problem for Indy. Watch the AFC Championship game versus the Patriots and you’ll see exactly why the Colts need a defensive end. The DL for Indy had a combined 13 sacks last season and couldn’t tackle anybody. Dupree can’t fix the entire line but he is one heck of a start.

Alternate Picks: Jordan Phillips, Carl Davis

 Green Bay Logo Censored
 30. Green Bay (12-4) // Denzel Perryman, MLB Miami

Green Bay lucks out once again like they seem to every single draft and lands a top MLB at pick 30. Perryman may not be as good as C.J. Mosley but he is still a heck of a player. With Aaron Rodgers at the helm, the Packers have a great offense. And with another solid piece in Perryman, they could be the NFC favorites next season… Unfortunately…

Alternate Picks: Jalen Collins, Benardrick McKinney

 Seattle Seahawks Logo
 31. Seattle (12-4) // Devin Funchess, WR Michigan

Russell Wilson needs a number one receiver. Funchess is big and physical, which makes him a great red zone threat. With Funchess on the team, Russell Wilson may not need to throw an inside slant at the 1 yard-line in the Superbowl next year; a fade to a big 6’5″ wide receiver sounds a lot better to me.

Alternate Picks: Sammie Coates, Kevin Johnson

 New England Patriots
 32. New England (12-4) // Maxx Williams, TE Minnesota

Maxx Williams and Rob Gronkowski could form a more deadly tight end duo than when he was partnered with Hernandez (no pun intended). I’ve thought this would be the perfect fit since Williams declared and I’d love to see Brady and this offense clicking once again. This pick makes even more sense when you factor in Gronk’s injury history and the lack of depth behind him in New England. 

Alternate Picks: AJ Cann, Sammie Coates

John Borgert is an integral member of the VT Community and his witty and insightful comments can be found on a variety of Vikings Territory articles.