The 2014 NFL draft is over! So now we can't start talking about the 2015 NFL draft, and start pounding out a new, useless mock draft every week. So much fun! So, here's one from Dan Kadar: the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and pick Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty, the third passer to come off the board in that mock draft. I guess he doesn't believe Lovie Smith, either.
Of course, this doesn't seem particularly likely. The Bucs will be extremely disappointed to hold the eighth overall pick next year, as they want to be contenders this season. This is no re-building effort: they want to win, right now. Las Vegas may think the Bucs are going to be a losing team, Lovie Smith and Jason Licht disagree.
Here's one thing I can say, though: if the Bucs do hold the eighth overall pick, that's almost certainly because their quarterback play is not up to par, and that means at least the position is realistic. Whether it'll be Bryce Petty is too early to say. Petty was ridiculously productive last year, and he has a strong arm, a quick release and displays solid footwork. But he's a fairly static pocket passer and doesn't really display the ability to adjust to a muddied pocket (though that doesn't mean he can't).
Besides, this far ahead, it's always tough to project who will look good and who won't. That's because NFL teams haven't looked at these players in-depth yet, and neither have draftniks, but also because there's an implicit assumption in these mock drafts that these players will continue to develop. And if they don't, or if they display new, troubling traits on film, or if they suffer injuries, or if they go through some off-field issues, those players will see their draft stock change significantly.
Take, for instance, last year's 2014 mock draft, which had Teddy Bridgewater first overall, Bradley Roby and Tajh Boyd in the top ten, and five undrafted free agents in the first round: Jackson Jeffcoat, Christian Jones, Morgan Breslin, Adrian Hubbard and Colt Lyerla.
It's all a process, and projections this far ahead are largely useless. But they're still kind of fun.