My first (and final) mock draft for 2015's class does not take into account any trades that may happen before or during the draft, and takes into account team needs and overall talent projections that I've accumulated from a variety of sources.
As the 2015 NFL Draft quickly approaches, the same troubling question seems to permeate the potential pool of prospects every year: how well can one actually judge the character of a college student?
If I was an NFL GM, I'd steer very clear of drafting Winston in the fear that he will be a bust... on and off the field. I'd even argue that if he's selected with that pick, he will become the biggest bust in the history of the NFL, based on all of the hype he will receive.
I would suggest that the NFL demand full copies of the investigation and the judge's rulings and demands that Winston answer questions posed by NFL lawyers before it authorizes the presence of Jameis Winston in the 2015 draft.
The next group of prospective NFL Draft prospects and veteran free agents will be the most heavily scrutinized athletes ever. Character and personal issues will take on a foremost role in making draft decisions.
Signing Ray Rice at this time could be seen as condoning his misdeed. It would certainly attract an avalanche of media attention. A team could expect that the story line of its push for the playoffs would be dwarfed by Rice stories.
As the NFL pre-season is about to commence, one thing is inevitable: the national and local media will be unable to resist the temptation of calling the Jets a circus. There's one problem with this stereotype: It has nothing to do with reality.
A confident athlete simply stopped hiding. He enjoyed his man's support in his big moment. More important than cake, he smashed stereotypes.
When Michael Sam received the phone call from St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher, we watched as tears streamed down his face. We watched him kiss his boyfriend. We even retweeted his message.
As the most intense day for fresh faced college recruits approached, one man had the esteemed pleasure of representing his brand to our nation. Asi...
A dominant group cannot claim it is being discriminated against when it begins to lose its power to disenfranchise.
As has been explored in the four previous installments of the Tradesports Insider NFL Draft Series, the accuracy and validity of mock drafts isn't often times brought up, but should be.
With the 249th pick, the St. Louis Rams and the NFL joined the Brooklyn Dodgers and Texas Western College in breaking significant barriers -- a barrier few believed possible, especially as the number of spots dwindled away in the seventh round.
I think of this now on the occasion of the National Football League drafting its first openly gay player, which is treated like a major breakthrough. It's as if Michael Sam might be the first gay man to snap towels and play grab ass in the locker room.
Whether or not Sam develops into a successful pro is not immaterial; it matters, a lot. It matters to Sam, to the league, and perhaps most importantly, it matters to the countless amateur gay athletes too scared to come out. Fair or not, the 24-year-old Sam has become a pioneer. He has laid the foundation -- hopefully many young men and women will now follow.
Mark May 8 on your calendar: The 2014 NFL Draft will be the last time Johnny Manziel finds himself overlooked by the NFL. The former Heisman Trophy winner, drafted 22nd overall from Texas A&M, is a can't-miss superstar who will make every team that passed him over in 2013 rife with regret.