NFL Draft: What to Expect This Thursday, Projections

Here’s how the first round will look during this week’s NFL Draft. Rodney Campbell’s projections.

rodney-campbell-anewdomainaNewDomain — The four-day extravaganza known as the NFL Draft starts Thursday, giving bad teams the chance to restock and good teams an opportunity to fill their needs and contend again.

To prepare fans for the draft, we’ve compiled the first-round projections of six experts: ESPN’s Mel Kiper and Todd McShay, NFL.com, Sam Farmer from the Los Angeles Times, Rob Rang from CBS Sportsline and Brian Baldinger from FOX Sports.

We’re also included a consensus of the six selections for each team. Remember that the list doesn’t take trades into consideration, and there’s always one or two of them in the first round.

1. Tampa Bay

Mel Kiper, ESPN: Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State

Todd McShay, ESPN: Winston

NFL.com: Winston

Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times: Winston

Rob Rang, CBS Sports: Winston

Brian Baldinger, FOX Sports: Winston

Consensus: The Bucs pin their offense’s future on the wild card Winston.

 

2. Tennessee

Kiper: Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon

McShay: Mariota

NFL.com: Mariota

Farmer: Mariota

Rang: Mariota

Baldinger: Dante Fowler Jr., DE, Florida

Concensus: This pick is the subject of much speculation, including the possibility of Phillip Rivers coming over from San Diego. Or maybe the Titans grab Mariota and keep him.

3. Jacksonville

Kiper: Leonard Williams, DE, USC

McShay: Fowler Jr., Florida

NFL.com: Williams

Farmer: Williams

Rang: Williams

Baldinger: Williams

Consensus: Jacksonville will get a pass rusher and it appears to be Leonard Williams.

 

4. Oakland

Kiper: Omari Cooper, WR, Alabama

McShay: Cooper

NFL.com: Cooper

Farmer: Kevin White, WR, West Virginia

Rang: Cooper

Baldinger: White

Consensus: The Raiders can’t miss with the speedy Omari Cooper.

 

5. Washington

Kiper: Fowler Jr., DE, Florida

McShay: Shane Ray, LB, Missouri

NFL.com: Fowler Jr.

Farmer: Fowler Jr.

Rang: Fowler Jr.

Baldinger: Ray

Consensus: Dante Fowler Jr.’s presence is one step toward getting the Redskins’ defense back on track.

 

6. New York Jets

Kiper: Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa

McShay: Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia

NFL.com: Bud Dupree, LB, Kentucky

Farmer: Randy Gregory, DE, Nebraska

Rang: Scherff

Baldinger: Gurley

Consensus: Either the massive Brandon Scherff or shifty Todd Gurley will help the sad-sack Jets.

 

7. Chicago

Kiper: White, West Virginia

McShay: Williams, USC

NFL.com: White, West Virginia

Farmer: Cooper, Alabama

Rang: White

Baldinger: Danny Shelton, DT, Washington

Consensus: Trading Brandon Marshall during the offseason created a need that Kevin White will be asked to help fill.

 

8. Atlanta

Kiper: Vic Beasley, LB, Clemson

McShay: Gregory, Nebraska

NFL.com: Beasley

Farmer: Beasley

Rang: Alvin Dupree, DE, Kentucky

Baldinger: Dupree

Consensus: The Falcons also need to upgrade their defense and will do so with Vic Beasley.

 

9. New York Giants

Kiper: Ray, Missouri

McShay: Scherff, Iowa

NFL.com: Shelton, Washington

Farmer: Scherff

Rang: Gregory, Nebraska

Baldinger: Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford

Consensus: If Scherff doesn’t go to the Jets, the rival Giants will grab him.

 

10. St. Louis

Kiper: Breshad Perriman, WR, Central Florida

McShay: White, West Virginia
NFL.com: Peat, Stanford

Farmer: La’El Collins, OT, LSU

Rang: Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami

Baldinger: Collins, OT, LSU

Consensus: The Rams shore up their offensive line with La’El Collins or wide receiver spot with Breshard Perriman.

 

11. Minnesota

Kiper: Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State

McShay: Waynes

NFL.com: Scherff, Iowa

Farmer: Landon Collins, S, Alabama

Rang: Waynes

Baldinger: Cooper, Alabama

Consensus: In a division filled with pass-happy offenses, the Vikings shore up their coverage with cornerback Trae Waynes.

 

12. Cleveland

Kiper: DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville

McShay: Parker

NFL.com: Parker

Farmer: Parker

Rang: Parker

Baldinger: Mariota, Oregon

Consensus: Whoever ends up quarterbacking the Browns looks to have DeVante Parker among his receivers.

 

13. New Orleans

Kiper: Gregory, Nebraska

McShay: Beasley, Clemson

NFL.com: Gregory

Farmer: Ray, Missouri

Rang: Beasley

Baldinger: Beasley

Consensus: Defense everywhere. If Beasley s already gone, the Saints look to go with linebacker Randy Gregory.

 

14. Miami

Kiper: Shelton, Washington

McShay: Perriman, Central Florida

NFL.com: Collins, OT, LSU

Farmer: Waynes, Michigan State

Rang: Gurley, Georgia

Baldinger: Waynes, Michigan State

Consensus: Since Waynes will probably be off the board, Miami could go with defensive tackle Danny Shelton.

 

15. San Francisco

Kiper: Arik Armstead, DE, Oregon

McShay: Armstead

NFL.com: Armstead

Farmer: Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Oklahoma

Rang: Collins, CB, LSU

Baldinger: Scherff, Iowa

Consensus: San Francisco has major needs in the pass-rushing department, so Arik Armstead is the choice.

 

16. Houston

Kiper: Dupree, Kentucky

McShay: Nelson Agholor, WR, USC

NFL.com: Perriman, Central Florida

Farmer: Dupree

Rang: Ray, Missouri

Baldinger: Parker, Louisville

Consensus: The Texans go with Bud Dupree to complement J.J. Watt in the pass-rushing department.

 

17. San Diego

Kiper: Malcom Brown, DT, Texas

McShay: Shelton, Washington

NFL.com: D.J. Humprhies, OT, Florida

Farmer: Gurley, Georgia

Rang: Armstead, Oregon

Baldinger: Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin

Consensus: Where’s the consensus here? Maybe Malcom Brown from Texas.

 

18. Kansas City

Kiper: Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State

McShay: Cameron Erving, C, Florida State

NFL.com: Waynes, Michigan State

Farmer: Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford

Rang: Eric Rowe, CB, Utah

Baldinger: Armstead, Oregon

Consensus: Again, no consensus, so wide receiver Jaelen Strong makes sense.

 

19. Cleveland

Kiper: Gurley, Georgia

McShay: Brown, Texas

NFL.com: Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida State

Farmer: Armstead, Oregon

Rang: Shelton, Washington

Baldinger: Brown

Conensus: If Todd Gurley is still on the board, he could be the choice.

 

20. Philadelphia

Kiper: Collins, Alabama

McShay: Collins, Alabama

NFL.com: Phillip Dorsett, WR, Miami

Farmer: Jake Fisher, OT, Oregon

Rang: Collins, OT, LSU

Baldinger: Strong, Arizona State

Consensus: Landon Collins is the selection to shore up the Eagles secondary.

 

21. Cincinnati

Kiper: Devin Funchess, WR, Michigan

McShay: Peat, Stanford

NFL.com: Ray, Missouri

Farmer: T.J. Clemmings, OT, Pittsburgh

Rang: Peat

Baldinger: Collins, Alabama

Consensus: Offensive linemen Andrus Peat or T.J. Cummings are primed for this spot.

 

22. Pittsburgh

Kiper: Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest

McShay: Dupree, Kentucky

NFL.com: Marcus Peters, CB, Washington

Farmer: Johnson

Rang: Johnson

Baldinger: Peters

Consensus: Kevin Johnson would be an upgrade in the secondary.

 

23. Detroit

Kiper: Collins, OT, LSU

McShay: Collins, OT, LSU

NFL.com: Brown, Texas

Farmer: Brown

Rang: Brown

Baldinger: Flowers, Miami

Consensus: The Lions need to shore up their line and Ereck Flowers is the best on the board here.

 

24. Arizona

Kiper: Gordon, Wisconsin

McShay: Johnson, Wake Forest

NFL.com: Johnson

Farmer: Gordon

Rang: Gordon

Baldinger: Gregory, Nebraska

Consensus: Melvin Gordon is the exact kind of running back the Cardinals need.

 

25. Carolina

Kiper: Humphries, Florida

McShay: Flowers, Miami

NFL.com: Cedric Ogbuehi, OT, Texas A&M

Farmer: Humphries

Rang: Humphries

Baldinger: Humphries

Consensus: A bad offensive line would be improved by D.J. Humphries.

 

26. Baltimore

Kiper: Peters, Washington

McShay: Gordon, Wisconsin

NFL.com: Gurley, Georgia

Farmer: Strong, Arizona State

Rang: Perriman, Central Florida

Baldinger: Johnson, Wake Forest

Consensus: If Breshad Perriman hasn’t found a spot, he’ll go here.

 

27. Dallas

Kiper: Byron Jones, CB, Connecticut

McShay: Jones

NFL.com: Gordon, Wisconsin

Farmer: Peters, Washington

Rang: Peters

Baldinger: Goldman, Florida State

Consensus: Cowboys need help at corner, which means either Marcus Peters or Byron Jones.

 

28. Denver

Kiper: Erving, Florida State

McShay: Humphries, Florida

NFL.com: Fisher, Oregon

Farmer: Flowers, Miami

Rang: Clemmings, Pittsburgh

Baldinger: Erving

Consensus: Cameron Erving has the ability to play a couple positions along the offensive line.

 

29. Indianapolis

Kiper: Peat, Stanford

McShay: Eli Harold, LB, Virginia

NFL.com: Flowers, Miami

Farmer: Harold, LB, Virginia

Rang: Collins, Alabama

Baldinger: Harold

Consensus: Indianapolis helps its defense with linebacker Eli Harold.

 

30. Green Bay

Kiper: Jalen Collins, CB, LSU

McShay: Eric Kendricks, LB, UCLA

NFL.com: Collins, CB, LSU

Farmer: Kendricks

Rang: Jordan Phillips, DT, Oklahoma

Baldinger: Collins, CB, LSU

Consensus: Again, in a pass-happy division, cornerback Jalen Collins is a solid choice.

 

31. New Orleans

Kiper: Agholor, USC

McShay: Dorsett, Miami

NFL.com: Agholor

Farmer: Perriman, Central Florida

Rang: Jones, Connecticut

Baldinger: Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota

Consensus: USC receiver Nelson Agholor fills a need.

 

32. New England

Kiper: Goldman, Florida State

McShay: Peters, Washington

NFL.com: Collins, Alabama

Farmer: Goldman

Rang: Erving, Florida State

Baldinger: Preston Smith, DE, Mississippi State

Consensus: The Super Bowl champs go with defensive tackle Eddie Goldman.

For aNewDomain, I’m Rodney Campbell.

Photo of Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston by Mike Ewen.

About the author

Rodney Campbell

Based in Phoenix, Rodney Campbell is a sportswriter and travel editor for aNewDomain and our sister pub, BreakingModern.