I’ll be updating this tonight with some brief thoughts on the picks being made in the draft. The estimates are based on the NFL freezing the draft pool again so the contract number may be slighty low if the NFL follows the actual rules in the CBA. Feel free to leave comments during the draft.
1. Buccaneers: Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State
Total Value: $22,355,498
Signing Bonus: $14,518,544
2015 Cap: $4,064,636
Player Most Impacted: Mike Glennon
No big surprise here with the pick of Winston to play QB. An average 1st round draft pick . The average pick will match the play of a $6.7 million per year veteran player. The Bucs will be hoping for more than that as the best players are worth anywhere from $10-$13 million in veteran value. Glennon is the only other QB of note on the roster and he could be traded, but he should serve as the backup.
2. Titans: Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
Total Value: $21,366,598
Signing Bonus: $13,799,344
2015 Cap: $3,884,836
Player Most Impacted: Zach Mettenberger
Mariota is still fair game for the Titans to trade if they decide to do that. The draft slot and salary will simply go to the team who trades for him. Im sure there will be some lingering doubt on this until Philadelphia picks. If the Titans truly believe in Mariota this is a pick they had to make. In general this pick will bring $6 million in value with a $11 million upside, which gives a team a big cap advantage over their competition with veteran QB’s. Mettenberger’s agent has apparently asked for a trade if this was the pick since it would clearly pin him to the bench. The teams veteran QB is Charlie Whitehurst and I would picture him as the more likely backup.
3. Jaguars: Dante Fowler, DE, Florida
Total Value: $20,732,302
Signing Bonus: $13,341,672
2015 Cap: $3,770,418
Player Most Impacted: Chris Clemons
Jacksonville has loaded up on linemen, and this is one of the most versatile guys that they can find to create havoc on opposing offenses. Average pick produces at a $5.6 million per year level with an $11 million upside. Pass rushers are a premier position so even though it is not a QB this is still a major bargain if you get an above average talent. This could give the Jags a terrific pass rush. Rushers dont usually see the field a ton as rookies so Clemons should be safe, but long term they will likely be looking elsewhere rather than the veteran.
4. Raiders: Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
Total Value: $20,018,104
Signing Bonus: $12,818,620
2015 Cap: $3,639,655
Player Most Impacted: Andre Holmes
Oakland had a desperate need to upgrade their skill positions so coming away with the best projected receiver in the draft was a great way for them to go. They should receive $5.3 million in value from him with an upside of $10.4 million per year in value if hes great. The team is devoid of big talent at receiver so it just will make it harder for the RFA types to make it.
5. Redskins: Brandon Scherff, T, Iowa
Total Value: $18.759.502
Signing Bonus: $11,903,272
2015 Cap: $3,410.818
Player Most Impacted: Trent Williams
I was surprised by this move and thought they would go to a different spot. Scherff could suit up at guard for a year, but you are not drafting a guard this high so he is clearly their left tackle of the future. Trent Williams has a $13.7 million cap hit this season and is a former top 5 pick who is set to be a free agent after this season. He has a $2 million reporting bonus so in theory they could move on. This is a $5 million draft projection with a high end of $9.9 million in value.
6. Jets: Leonard Williams, DE, USC
Total Value: $16,512,004
Signing Bonus: $10,268,728
2015 Cap: $3,002,182
Player Most Impacted: Muhammad Wilkerson
The big thing out of this move is that it certainly seems to signal that the Jets new regime has a very different outlook on Wilkerson than the former one did. It would not stun me if Wilkerson, who is unhappy with his contract, is moved by the end of the draft tonight as he would be worth a 1st round pick. Trading Wilkerson saves about $7 million for the team. Williams was projected by many as the best player in the draft if healthy so the high end value is there. If Wilkerson remains this gives the Jets an extremely versatile and scary defensive front for this year. Average performance is $4.9 million with an upside value of $9.5 million.
7. Bears: Kevin White, WR, West Virginia
Total Value: $14,714,000
Signing Bonus: $8,961,092
2015 Cap: $2,675,273
Player Most Impacted: Martellus Bennett
The Bears moved out Brandon Marshall this year and will look to replace him with the younger White. The knock on White is that he isnt as versatile as some others, but with the Bears already having some talent at receiver that shouldnt be a major concern. The number 7 pick on average performs like a $4.7 million veteran with about $9.2 million upside value. This pick will likely increase the possibility of Bennett creating problems about his contract as every player that can take targets away from him hurts his value.
8. Falcons: Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson
Total Value: $12,916,002
Signing Bonus: $7,653,456
2015 Cap: $2,348,364
Player Most Impacted: None
Desperate for a pass rush, it was a no brainer for the Falcons to move in on Beasley. They really have such little talent on the defensive side that its hard to really even say this impacts anyone. Danger here is that he may not be given the same chance to develop as others since he’ll likely be thrown into the fire quickly. The average projection is to play at a $4.6 million level and an upside just under $9 million. Beasley could be a star if things go well playing on the fast surface in Atlanta.
9. Giants: Ereck Flowers, T, Miami
Total Value: $12,826,102
Signing Bonus: $7,588,072
2015 Cap: $2,332,018
Player Most Impacted: Will Beatty
The Giants love athletic guys and Flowers fits that mold. The team certainly needed offensive line help, and the question will be where he plays this season. Long term I would think this is the replacement for the disappointing Beatty, who can save over $4 million next year if cut. Projection for this slot is $4.4 million in veteran value and $8.7 million in upside value.
10. Rams: Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia
Total Value: $12,331,652
Signing Bonus: $7,228,472
2015 Cap: $2,242,118
Player Most Impacted: Isaiah Pead
There is less value in picking a running back this high in the draft, but the Rams must see the ability to build an offense around him. St. Louis needs help on the offensive line to make that work, but this looks to be a move toward the older style defense/running combo approach that their head coach loved in Tennessee. You should get $4.4 million in value with about $8.5 million in top line value from the slot. If Gurley is ready to go this should spell the end of the often injured Pead.
11. Vikings: Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State
Total Value: $11,567,504
Signing Bonus: $6,672,728
2015 Cap: $2,103,182
Player Most Impacted: Captain Munnerlyn
I’d consider this more of a need based pick, but as I have said many times before, as long as you are getting a high value position you are doing something right, and corner is definitely a big value spot. For whatever reason there have been some really good picks at 11 so maybe that fluke keeps going with the Vikings. The team should expect $4.3 million in value with $8.2 million upside. Expect him to eventually supplant some of the veterans on the team by the end of the season.
12. Browns: Danny Shelton, DT, Washington
Total Value: $10,488,698
Signing Bonus: $5,888,144
2015 Cap: $1,907,036
Player Most Impacted: None
Shelton is going to need to rush the passer or be a major reason some of the other guys get there to really get the big value from a spot that may not traditionally cost that much. If he does not factor into passing plays this is a wasted pick. Certainly a high character player that should become a leader for the defense if he is a three down guy. Projected performance is $4.15 million and $8 million upside.
13. Saints: Andrus Peat, T, Stanford
Total Value: $10,219,000
Signing Bonus: $5,692,000
2015 Cap: $1,858,000
Player Most Impacted: Zach Strief
I like the idea here of getting a tackle to likely develop to most likely be the guy to protect whomever may be the post-Brees QB down the line. Based on what I have read I would guess he will man the right side of the line this year, which could mark the end of Striefs run with the team. The Saints would break even if they cut Strief over the summer. This player typically provides $4 million in value with the high end of $7.9 million.
14. Dolphins: DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville
Total Value: $9,769,500
Signing Bonus: $5,365,092
2015 Cap: $1,776,273
Player Most Impacted: Greg Jennings
Miami needs to stockpile talent at the skill positions and this is a good landing spot for a raw, but high upside player. The team have a player like Jennings or Jordan Cameron to help take the heat off Parker as a rookie while he adjusts to the NFL game. He’ll likely displace Jennings next year however. Miami should expect at least $4 million in actual value with the selection.
15. Chargers: Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin
Total Value: $9,589,704
Signing Bonus: $5,234,328
2015 Cap: $1,743,582
Player Most Impacted: Donald Brown
The Chargers gave up a lot to move up two picks to select Gordon, so they clearly like what he brings to the table. Anytime you trade players away the pick will always come under more scrutiny and this will be no different. Gordon’s presence should mark the end of the mistake that was signing Donald Brown, who they can save $3 million in cash and $1.9 million in cap by moving off the team. Expectation here is $3.9 million in value with a chance to get over $7.6 million.
16. Texans: Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest
Total Value: $9,050,298
Signing Bonus: $4,542,036
2015 Cap: $1,645,509
Player Most Impacted: Johnathan Joseph
This is a pick for the future as Johnson will learn from Joseph and likely replace him in 2016. With big money invested in Kareem Jackson it was a must for the Texans to find a corner in the draft to balance out the cost. If Johnson develops, the Texans defense is slowly shaping up to be something great. Average expectation is $3.86 million in veteran value.
17. 49ers: Arik Armstead, DE, Oregon
Total Value: $8,870,502
Signing Bonus: $4,711,272
2015 Cap: $1,612,818
Player Most Impacted: Justin Smith
The 49ers picked up two picks to move down to 17 so that immediately is strong value for the team. Armstead is a big man who the team will likely hope grows more into his frame. He’ll be able to learn from the best provided Smith decides to play this season rather than retire. Id think most see this as a high risk/reward kind of pick. This pick on average provides $3.8 million per year in veteran player value.
18. Chiefs: Marcus Peters, CB, Washington
Total Value: $8,645,754
Signing Bonus: $4,547,820
2015 Cap: $1,571,955
Player Most Impacted: Sean Smith
Peters will likely fall into the risk/reward category due to whatever issues Peters seems to have. Peters will get a chance to play right away and should make the loss of Smith next offseason easier to handle. The team really isnt in a position to be very active in free agency so its smart to target this type of position on the cheap. They should be expected to get $3.7 million in value.
19. Browns: Cameron Erving, G/C, Florida State
Total Value: $8,645,754
Signing Bonus: $4,547,820
2015 Cap: $1,571,955
Player Most Impacted: Alex Mack
This is a pick that would seem to indicate the Browns are prepared for Mack’s eventual voiding of his contract after this season and will not re-sign him. Erving will play guard this year giving the Browns a chance to have a really good line. You should get $3.68 million in value from this pick.
20. Eagles: Nelson Aghol0r, WR, USC
Total Value: $8,465,952
Signing Bonus: $4,417,056
2015 Cap: $1,539,264
Player Most Impacted: Riley Cooper
With all the rumors surrounding the Eagles, I have to think this was a big disappointment, especially since the team has let two wide receivers walk the last two years. Given the style of offense the Eagles play he should perform well and certainly allow them to dump Cooper after this season. The expected value is $3.6 million and a $6.9 million upside value.
21. Bengals: Cedric Ogbuehi, T, Texas A&M
Total Value: $8,421,002
Signing Bonus: $4,384,364
2015 Cap: $1,531,091
Player Most Impacted: Andrew Whitworth
Depending on his health the Bengals will likely try Ogbuehi at a few spots this year to gain some experience, but long term he is likely the replacement for Whitworth. Whitworth is entering the final year of his contract and will be 34 years old this season. This is a $3.5 million value pick with an upside of about $6.8 million.
22. Steelers: Bud Dupree, LB, Kentucky
Total Value: $8,331,096
Signing Bonus: $4,318,980
2015 Cap: $1,514,745
Player Most Impacted: Jarvis Jones
Dupree is the type of player that the Steelers love- hes incredibly explosive and jumps off the page at you in that regard. He should give a nice infusion of youth into the defense and bring back more of the pass rush. If this doesnt light a fire under Jones then he may be finished. The expected value here is $3.5 million.
23. Broncos: Shane Ray, DE, Missouri
Total Value: $8,241,200
Signing Bonus: $4,253,600
2015 Cap: $1,498,400
Player Most Impacted: None
Everyone wondered where Ray would land, and the Broncos gave up multiple picks to get him so they clearly saw big value here. I wouldnt read into including Ramirez in the trade as I had discussed him before as a player in danger so that was simply a dump in the trade. Im not sure Ray will have big impact this year but eventualy hell replace DeMarcus Ware on the roster giving a cheap complement to what will be a pricey Von Miller.
24. Cardinals: DJ Humphries, T, Florida
Total Value: $8,061,398
Signing Bonus: $4,122,836
2015 Cap: $1,465,709
Player Most Impacted: Bobby Massie
Surprising pick. The team already has Jared Veldheer on the left side. This is a win now team and I expected something more immediate impact. Maybe he takes over on the right side or maybe hes just a longer term project. They should get $3.5 million in value from an average pick.
25. Panthers: Shaq Thompson, LB, Washington
Total Value: $7,971,502
Signing Bonus: $4,057,456
2015 Cap: $1,449,364
Player Most Impacted: Thomas Davis
Not crazy about drafting this position in the first round, but he was considered a top prospect. Likely the replacement for Thomas Davis after this season, this should give the Panthers a very good group of linebackers this season. Expect $3.4 million per year in value with an upside of hitting around $6.5 million in value.
26. Ravens: Breshad Perriman, WR, UCF
Total Value: $7,881,602
Signing Bonus: $3,992,072
2015 Cap: $1,433,018
Player Most Impacted: None
Seems like a pure need based pick as he will immediately replace the role vacated by Torrey Smith this offseason. They will hope he can catch the ball more than Smith did, but the speed should mesh well with Flacco. This is a $3.3 million average per year draft slot.
27. Cowboys: Byron Jones, CB, UCONN
Total Value: $7,791,700
Signing Bonus: $3,926,692
2015 Cap: $1,416,673
Player Most Impacted: Brandon Carr
The Cowboys secondary is in shambles and there was no way they could bypass talent at this position. They probably need to grab another player as well at the position. If Jones looks really good in the summer they should look to part ways with Carr. This pick is worth $3.3 million in veteran value.
28. Laken Tomlinson, G, Duke
Total Value: $7,746,750
Signing Bonus: $3,894,000
2015 Cap: $1,408,500
Player Most Impacted: None
The Lions arguably did the best job in the first round by moving down to grab a quality player that will fit an immediate need for the team and potentially make for a terrific interior line. They should get just under $3.3 million in value, but most would project him as better than that and the upside here is worth $6.2 million.
29. Colts: Phillip Dorsett, WR, Miami
Total Value: $7,386,052
Signing Bonus: $3,631,672
2015 Cap: $1,342,918
Player Most Impacted: Donte Moncrief
The Colts look to be in full vertical attack mode with this selection. I dont believe that this is an indication that they will allow Hilton to walk, I think its just a move to create a fast, down the field group with yearly veteran add ins like Andre Johnson this season. They likely could have found a bigger need player, but this is a high value position so they can make out great if he does well. Average pick plays at a $3.23M level.
30. Packers: Damarious Randall, S, Arizona State
Total Value: $7,195,030
Signing Bonus: $3,492,748
2015 Cap: $1,308,748
Player Most Impacted: Micah Hyde
Another surprising pick since they took a safety last year. Id imagine they see Randall as an extra DB and a good return guy. I dont think the skillset is there to replace Morgan Burnett. The expected contribution is $3.2 million a year with $6 million in upside value.
31. Saints: Stephone Anthony, LB, Clemson
Total Value: $7,035,028
Signing Bonus: $3,376,384
2015 Cap: $1,279,096
Player Most Impacted: David Hawthorne
Anthony will be known as the guy the Saints traded Jimmy Graham away for, so they need him to be a leader of the defense that provides a steady 3 down presence. I’d expect Anthony to slowly be inserted into the lineup before eventually taking over for Hawthorne by mid season. The expected value of the 31st pick is a $3.1 million per year veteran.
32. Patriots: Malcom Brown, DT, Texas
Total Value: $6,932,002
Signing Bonus: $3,301,456
2015 Cap: $1,260,364
Player Most Impacted: Dominique Easley
The Patriots love drafting in the trenches, so its no surprise to see them grab the versatile Brown who they can play in various defensive fronts. He has the potential to develop into a rusher which will help the Patriots transfer from a secondary heavy team to a front 7 dominant team. He should bring about $3.1 million in value if he has an average career.
Jason is the founder of OTC and has been studying NFL contracts and the salary cap for over 15 years. Jason has co-authored two books about the NFL, Crunching Numbers and the Drafting Stage, which are widely circulated in the industry and hosts the OTC Podcast. Jason’s work has been featured in various publications including the Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, NFL Network and more. OTC is widely considered the leading authority on contract matters in the NFL.