A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

Draft Day

Courtesy of isportsweb.com

Most organizations don’t get a chance to change their future in one day, but NFL franchises will get that chance Thursday April 30. It’s draft day, a day where dreams play and busts are made.

Everybody loves the Peyton Mannings of the draft and overall No. 1 picks. But for a team to be successful it takes a full three days of commitment to find diamonds in the rough. For example, you may have heard of four-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady who was the 199th overall pick in the 1999 draft.

Some first round picks don’t pan out like JaMarcus Russell or Ryan Leaf. It is as rare to find a guy like Tom Brady in the late rounds; that’s why it is important to do your due diligence and make consistent picks.

Here is how the draft is going to go for four teams:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tampa Bay holds the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 draft, and with many glaring holes in their roster, they have a lot of work to do come April 30. One of their biggest needs is the most important position, quarterback, which they will address with the first pick.

Jameis Winston will be the answer. He does have some character concerns, but the guy is a winner; 26-1 as a starter at Florida State. The business aspect holds promise as well– he already has a huge following in Florida from his days in Tallahassee, which means an already established fan base.

After Winston, Tampa Bay needs to focus on protecting him with a better offensive line and improving a depleted secondary that needs retooling.


Oakland Raiders: The Raiders have been perennial bottom feeders in the past 10 years or so but there is some light at the end of the tunnel. A potentially good quarterback Derek Carr has allowed the Raiders to use their fourth overall pick to get him a weapon.

The question is which one? The draft is loaded with top-tier wide outs; the best fit for them is a disciplined and hard working receiver who has been productive his entire college career. While Kevin White blew up the combine and had a productive 2014 campaign, Alabama wide out Amari Cooper is the right man for the job.

Once they lock up the wide receiver, they could use some offensive line help, another running back and some young defensive linemen.

San Francisco 49ers: The 49ers aren’t in a full rebuild but they are in a rebuilding process. The team finds itself with holes where Patrick Willis, Chris Borland and Justin Smith vacated with retirement, and losing Frank Gore, the franchises all-time leading rusher, to Indianapolis.

With the 15th pick in the draft, the 49ers can go a few ways. First, if Trae Waynes is on the board, he would help bolster the secondary; him and Eric Reid would form a young and talented secondary on a strong defense. If Waynes is gone, go on the offensive; take a chance and pick Dorial Green-Beckham. Torrey Smith was a good signing but Bolden is nearing the end and a guy who is 6 foot 5 inches and ran a 4.49-second 40 at the combine has too much upside to pass on.

Green-Beckham needs to mature and stay out of trouble. If he can do that he will be a solid player. San Francisco can also trade down and accumulate as many picks as possible because they need some filler guys all over the field.

Dallas Cowboys: The Self-proclaimed America’s Team was a juggling catch away from playing for the NFC title and had a great shot to beat the Seattle Seahawks, as they already had earlier in the year. However they lost their beast in the backfield, DeMarco Murray, and they need to address that.

With the 27th pick in the draft the Cowboys have hope Georgia running back Todd Gurley falls to them because of his ACL injury last year. A healthy Gurley could have a monster year behind the NFL’s best rushing offensive line. If Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin running back is still available he would be a great pick, but Gordon won’t fall to the Cowboys pick.

This draft is a deep one that offers help to every team. The team that stays disciplined and picks players that fit their system will be the winners.

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About the Contributor
Matt Rubel
Matt Rubel, Assistant Sports Editor

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