The NFL draft came and went this year, without all of the drama and franchise altering trades that we have seen in the recent past. In fact, there were only two trades in the first round, the fewest in the modern 32 team, seven round format, and they came in the later part of the round. Speculation of who the Titans would draft or who would trade up to their spot to draft Marcus Mariota were answered simply when the Titans stayed put, while the rest of the league was left with their hands in their lap to make the best of the draft position they were given.
Some teams made the most of it, like the Jets, who lucked out by getting potentially the most talented player in the draft, while some teams, who should have traded back or simply passed on their pick, made serious blunders and forgot about the weaknesses they displayed last year.
Every year, teams try to draft the next cornerstone of their franchise in the first round and do diligent research and homework to make sure that they get their guy. Sometimes teams luck out and get a player that is better than expected and sometimes players completely whiff and they get a dud that is out of the league in two years.
Though it is more reasonable to evaluate a team's drafting a few years down the road, it is much more fun to do that hours after they have made their decision. Here are the five biggest winners and losers of the 2015 NFL Draft.
11 Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins dropped a whole bunch of dead weight this summer in their receiving corps and managed to build it back up just as easily. DeVante Parker who was projected as a top 10 pick in the draft by some, slipped to number fourteen and the Dolphins were ready for him. This adds another weapon for progressing quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Had Parker not been injured last season, he may have been the number-one wide receiver picked in a stacked class (though Amari Cooper would've been tough to dethrone). The Dolphins also managed to add another first-round talent when they drafted DL Jordan Phillips in the second round to learn behind newly acquired Ndamukong Suh.
10 Philadelphia Eagles
No, the Eagles didn't make headlines by trading up for Marcus Mariota and no, the Eagles didn't get one of the top receivers in the draft. Chip Kelly did, however, draft a player that can be plugged in right away and who fits his offensive scheme. Wide receiver Nelson Agholor is faster, jumps higher, and runs better routes than Jeremy Maclin. The Eagles did everything they could to make a splash for Mariota, but they still have solid QBs on the roster in Mark Sanchez and Sam Bradford. The Eagles also added some depth to their weak secondary by drafting safety Eric Rowe in the second round and cornerbacks JaCorey Shepherd and Randall Evans in the sixth.
9 Denver Broncos
John Elway and the Broncos took a calculated risk by jumping up five spots to get one of the best players in the draft in Shane Ray. Had Ray not been cited for marijuana on Monday, he likely would have never fallen far enough for the Broncos to have a shot. However, Elway did his homework on a proven player with no other character issues and brought in a stud to play alongside Von Miller. The Broncos then went to work addressing the rest of the holes in their lineup with their eight remaining draft picks, highlighted by hometown kid Ty Sambrailo and Florida center Max Garcia who should help out immediately on the offensive line. The Broncos needed to draft guys ready to play this year and they did that across the board.
8 Washington Redskins
The Washington Redskins were the first to shake up the draft when they selected Brandon Scherff with the fifth overall pick in a move that not many saw coming. New GM Scot McCloughan and the Redskins were picking in the first round for the first time since 2012, when they gave the house for Robert Griffin III, and they nailed it. Pairing Scherff with Trent Williams, along with fourth round pick Arie Kouandjio, an OL from Alabama, the Redskins could develop one of the most dominant offensive lines in the league.
7 New York Jets
The Jets held strong with their pick at number six and hit the draft lottery. By being patient and watching the teams ahead of them make somewhat surprising picks, Todd Bowles ended up with the best player in the draft in Leonard Williams. The Jets followed up this pick by taking WR Devin Smith, OLB Lorenzo Mauldin, and QB Bryce Petty, respectively in each of the next three rounds, as they tried to fix the question marks the Jets had at these positions. The Jets made huge splashes in free agency this year and followed that up by bringing in the best draft class of any of the 32 teams.
5 St. Louis Rams
Tre Mason proved last year, as a rookie, that he could handle the job of running back for the Rams. However, that didn't stop Jeff Fisher and Les Snead from drafting Todd Gurley and his torn ACL. Though the Rams may have gotten one of the best players in the draft, and a running back for the future, they play in the most competitive division in football and needed an impact player at a position where they didn't already have talent, like WR. The Rams then traded back in the second round and still found themselves reaching for two consecutive offensive linemen that likely would have still been there a round later in the draft. They then continued to overload on the offensive line when they spent two of their next four picks on linemen. Failing to seriously address the wide receiver position in a draft that was loaded with pass catchers is a head scratcher.
4 Dallas Cowboys
Though the Cowboys did manage to get an excellent playmaking cornerback in Byron Jones, they passed up on a few players that pretty much fell into their laps who could've helped with their pass rush issues, as well as the running back issue they pretty much allowed themselves to have. They could have easily waited until round two to draft a cornerback that can do exactly what they will ask of Jones over the next few years. Then, in the second round, Jerry Jones drafted Randy Gregory who is talented but loaded with character issues to go with their already loaded list of players with character issues. The Cowboys have the potential to be a Super Bowl team this year if the right pieces can fill the voids.
3 Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals already have quality starters on the offensive line, so why did they reached for Cedric Ogbuehi, who is coming off of a torn ACL he suffered in this year's Liberty Bowl? They followed up this question by again reaching for another offensive lineman in the second round, with Jake Fisher. The Bengals weren’t done yet, by continuing with their questionable picks by taking not one, but two developmental tight ends that may never make an impact on the team. Not only was the Bengals draft boring, but they didn't address any real need and loaded up on back up players.
2 New Orleans Saints
The Saints realized last year that their team was aging quickly and that they needed to start bringing in players with a bright future if they wanted to continue to be a force in the NFC. Sean Payton drafted quality players with his two first round picks in Andrus Peat and Stephone Anthony, however, there were higher quality players on the board that could've come in and made an immediate impact. The Saints then followed this up by drafting QB Garrett Grayson, out of Colorado State, making him the third quarterback taken in this class, behind Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota.
1 Indianapolis Colts
Everyone already knows that Andrew Luck can get the ball to just about anyone and that the Colts already have a stacked receiving core. So, after being abused by Tom Brady and the Patriots the past two seasons, one would think Colts GM Ryan Grigson would be focused on upgrading the offensive line and defensive secondary instead of taking Phillip Dorsett, a WR out of Miami. The Colts didn't draft an immediate impact player outside of DE Henry Anderson, who was taken in the third round. The pieces they added to the secondary are going to take some time to develop and with a number of aging players on the Colts roster, they needed to draft players that can step in and contribute now.
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