Continuing with our offseason roundtables, Locker Room Update takes a look at the 2015 NFL Draft. Now that the vast majority of rookies have signed with their respective teams, we’d like to offer our predictions for which rookies will have the most significant impacts on their teams in their first year of play.
From rounds one through seven, and not to mention the undrafted free agents, which pickups will have their team counting their lucky stars – or giving their scouting departments a raise?
Our own Christa Levitas and Alex Peterman make their 2015 rookie preview in two separate editions.
Alex Peterman: First off, the first round is always loaded with talent. However, there are a few picks that stood out to me in particular. The first is Todd Gurley going to the Rams. With the team picking up Nick Foles from the Eagles, he’ll be the designated starter – a nice fit for a team with a lot of fast, vertical threats.
Tre Mason also had a very pleasant, albeit unexpected, season in 2014. I think the 2015 version of the Rams running game will feature a very nice balance of Mason and Gurley. St. Louis’ first round draft pick was an unstoppable force for Geaorgia in his career, and I’ve always projected him to have a successful NFL career transition.
The other pickup I really like was Breshad Perriman by the Ravens. Losing Torrey Smith made this selection a necessity. Perriman, while not the best route runner, has very nice acceleration after the catch, and he can stretch the field as well as anyone. Flacco, with the big arm that he has, will relish the idea of finding a young replacement for their deep threat. He should contribute right away.
I also think Malcolm Brown and the Patriots are a very nice fit. The New England defense suffered more than a couple key losses in the offseason, and Brown serves as a proverbial plug for the leak. He brings a ferocious ability to get after the quarterback and will fit well in the Patriots’ scheme.
Other picks? I really like Devin Smith for the Jets. I think his ability to stretch the field is something that Geno Smith will be able to use immediately. I wasn’t sure if Smith would go in the second or third round, but regardless of where he was picked, the impact has the potential to be significant.
Not only did the Titans grab Mariota in round one, but they grabbed a phenomenal play-maker on the receiving end in round two: Dorial Green-Beckham. He’ll make the former-Oregon star’s transition into the pros a whole lot easier.
Denzel Perryman could have been selected in the first round, but he wasn’t. The San Diego Chargers did the right thing and grabbed him in the second round. He’s a player that will give the Chargers a nice boost to their ability to get after the quarterback.
Seattle’s selection of Tyler Lockett makes a lot of sense for their team after losing Golden Tate. I think Lockett fits in very quickly.
Duke Johnson to the Browns to No. 77 overall is something I really liked to see for Cleveland fans. The team has a few running backs that have solid potential, but none that are fully tested for consistency. Johnson adds insurance as a dynamic play-maker out of Miami.
I like Bryce Petty going to the Jets. He’s a high-reward type of quarterback that could be molded into a starting-caliber signal-caller, should the Jets decide Geno Smith isn’t the long-term answer. He won’t make a difference this year, but I think it’s worth mentioning anyways.
And for my last pick, I really like Rashad Greene going to Jacksonville. First, I think this was a steal for the Jags, as I had Greene going early fourth round at the latest. It’s important that Jacksonville bolsters their offensive weapons for Bortles, and I think this selection really helps that cause.
Which picks are you looking forward to seeing this season?
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