May 8, 2014; New York, NY, USA; A general view of a helmet, NFL shield, stage, and podium before the start of the 2014 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
For the first time since 2004, the Houston Texans will be heading into an NFL draft without receiver Andre Johnson. Without signing a free agent replacement, it is clear that the Texans biggest draft need is wide receiver.
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In order to see what options head coach Bill O’Brien will have, I have simulated a “post-free agency” 2015 mock draft. By forecasting who will be taken ahead of the 16th pick, it is easier to weigh the options of trading up, trading back, or staying put.
(The bolded teams below are rumored to be looking at Wide Receivers in the first round.)
1. Buccaneers – Jameis Winston (QB)
2. Titans – Leonard Williams (DE)
3. Jaguars – Randy Gregory (EDGE)
4. Raiders – Kevin White (WR) – Whether its Kevin White or Amari Cooper, the Raiders will most likely opt to take a wide receiver. After Kevin White’s 40-yard dash time (4.35), I will give the West Virginia Mountaineer star a very slight advantage over Cooper.
5. Redskins -Dante Fowler Jr. (EDGE)
6. Jets – Vic Beasley (EDGE)
7. Bears – Danny Shelton (DT)
8. Falcons – Shane Ray (EDGE)
9. Giants – Brandon Scherff (OG)
10. Rams – Amari Cooper (WR) – The Rams desperately need a true top receiver. If quarterback Nick Foles is going to perform, he will need a strong supporting cast around him like his days in Philly. The Rams re-signed receivers Kenny Britt and Brian Quick who will be ready for next season, but are these the guys a team wants to build around?
11. Vikings – Trae Waynes (CB) – The top cornerback in the class improved his draft stock after great results in the combine. He is visiting Minnesota and is a great scheme fit. The Vikings also traded for Mike Wallace at the wideout position and that minimizes their likelihood in drafting a receiver in the first round.
12. Browns – DeVante Parker (WR) – With two picks in the first round, the Browns will most likely take a wide receiver. Brian Hartline can’t be the receiving answer to Josh Gordon‘s suspension. If DeVante Parker falls here, the Browns will take him. If not, look for Cleveland to fill their offensive guard need here and select the best available wideout with the 19th pick. Keep an out on recently cut receiver Dwayne Bowe signing to the Browns. If so, it will give the Texans more hope for DeVante Parker to drop to Houston.
13. Saints – Marcus Mariota (QB)
14. Dolphins – Landon Collins (SS)
15. 49ers – Marcus Peters (CB) – Receivers Michael Crabtree and Steve Johnson will not be playing football in San Francisco next year. Torrey Smith has filled the shoes of one of them, but the 49ers are anticipated to draft a wide receiver at some point in this draft. The 49ers have bigger holes to fill after nearly their entire secondary and defensive line are gone.
Next: Houston Texans Draft Options