2015 NFL Mock Draft
Last Updated: March 18, 2015
Lou Pickney, DraftKing.com
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2015 NFL Mock Draft
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Jameis Winston, QB, Florida St. (6'4" 235) ~
The closer we get to day one of the 2015 NFL Draft, the more likely it appears that Winston will be the first player selected. It's hard to envision a scenario where the Bucs draft a player other than Winston or Oregon QB Marcus Mariota here.
2. Tennessee Titans - Leonard Williams, DL, USC (6'5" 300) ~
Williams would fill a huge need for the Titans, a "five technique" 3-4 defensive end with tremendous skill both stuffing the run and pressuring opposing quarterbacks. With the Titans keeping DE/OLB Derrick Morgan and signing former Redskins DE/OLB Brian Orakpo, it's hard to envision them taking an Edge guy here. They could go with Marcus Mariota, but the clock is ticking in Nashville and they need instant impact from this pick in 2015.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars - Dante Fowler Jr., DE/OLB, Florida (6'2" 260) ~
You could make a case for Shane Ray or Randy Gregory or even Vic Beasley here, and they are all excellent Edge prospects. But at this point my gut says the Jags go with Fowler, who has seen his stock skyrocket since the start of the 2014 college season.
4. Oakland Raiders - Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama (6'1" 200) ~
It's likely going to be either a wide receiver or defensive end for the Raiders at this pick. They had been rumored to have strong interesting in Packers WR Randall Cobb, but Green Bay managed to sign him to a new deal before he hit the open market. It's not a lock that Cooper will be the choice though, as WVU wideout Kevin White has made a very strong case for himself.
5. Washington Redskins - Vic Beasley, DE/OLB, Clemson (6'2" 235)
For all the blustering by the Redskins about possibly taking Mariota here, the smart money is on there filling their considerable need at 3-4 OLB by going with one of the top Edge prospects here. Just like Jacksonville at #3, you could sell me on multiple guys here, as there is no clear cut among the top few DE/OLB prospects in this draft.
I'm a huge fan of Beasley, and if he lives up to his athletic potential, the sky is the limit for him in the NFL in my estimation.
6. New York Jets - Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon (6'4" 215) ~
There is no guarantee that the Jets will have a shot at a top-tier QB here, but if Mariota slides to this spot he would be a tremendous pickup for a team trying to forge a new identity in the post-Rex Ryan era.
7. Chicago Bears - Danny Shelton, DT, Washington (6'2" 330)
Yes, the Bears traded Brandon Marshall as part of the frenzy of deals that took place as free agency began, but they also signed Eddie Royal and have Alshon Jeffrey as their presumptive top guy. Kevin White will likely be tempting, but the chance to land a defensive lineman with Shelton's talent could prove to be too tempting to pass up here.
8. Atlanta Falcons - Randy Gregory, DE/OLB, Nebraska (6'6" 245) ~
Following an iffy pro day, Missouri DE/OLB Shane Ray seems to have slipped from the top tier of the Edge defensive prospects. Atlanta needs an elite 3-4 OLB, and Gregory could fill that role quite well.
9. New York Giants - Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa (6'5" 320)
Scherff would fill a need for the Giants while also quite possibility fitting into the "best player available" draft philosophy.
10. St. Louis Rams - Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford (6'6" 315) ~
Offensive tackle is a major need for the Rams, who have revamped at quarterback and absolutely loaded up on defense. Look out for St. Louis this fall -- they have the potential to be a major contender. Peat is one of several possible choices for the Rams here, and they might also be tempted to go wideout if Kevin White really falls this far.
11. Minnesota Vikings - Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan St. (6'1" 185) ~
Xavier Rhodes is an outstanding cornerback talent, but he can't do it alone. Waynes has emerged as the top cornerback prospect on most boards and would be a logical selection for the Vikings.
12. Cleveland Browns - Kevin White, WR, West Virginia (6'3" 210)
Dream scenario here for the Browns, who desperately need to land a top-tier wide receiver prospect who will actually be on the field this fall. From all indications, the Josh Gordon era in Cleveland is over.
13. New Orleans Saints - Landon Collins, SS, Alabama (6'0" 215) ~
The retooling Saints have a pair of first-round picks, and at this spot they could end up with the top safety prospect on virtually every board out there.
14. Miami Dolphins - Shane Ray, DE/OLB, Missouri (6'2" 240) ~
Yes, the Dolphins made a huge move in signing former Lions DT Ndamukong Suh, but they had to unload some key players to make room under the cap for him. The draft will provide them an opportunity to start plugging some of those holes, which is particularly a need at linebacker.
15. San Francisco 49ers - Arik Armstead, DL, Oregon (6'2" 295) ~
With retirements and departures ravaging a once-great defense, the 49ers face a daunting rebuilding challenge. That can begin here with Armstead, who I suspect would be pressed into action right away if he ends up in San Francisco.
16. Houston Texans - Cameron Erving, C, Florida St. (6'5" 300)
One important rule of mock drafts: the further you move from the top of the draft board, the less likely a team is to take a player to fill a perceived need spot with a given pick. With that said, Houston cut longtime center Chris Myers earlier this month. And while they could move guard Ben Jones to center with hopes of Xavier Su’a-Filo bouncing back from a disappointing rookie season, there is no doubt that adding Erving would be a major boost for the team's interior offensive line.
17. San Diego Chargers - Malcolm Brown, DL, Texas (6'3" 320) ~
Brown would fill a need for the Chargers and boasts remarkable quickness for his size. With the way the NFL game has tilted toward passing attacks (for reasons I've outlined on here ad nauseum), 3-4 defensive ends with strong pass rushing ability, which Brown has, are more valuable than ever.
18. Kansas City Chiefs - DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville (6'3" 210)
It's quite incredible that the Chiefs played 16 games last season without a single wide receiver touchdown reception. That has to change if the Chiefs hope to return to the playoffs, and while signing former Eagles WR Jeremy Maclin was a good start, adding a player with Parker's skills would be a savvy move.
19. Cleveland Browns (via Buffalo) - T.J. Clemmings, OT, Pittsburgh (6'6" 315)
Joe Thomas is a great offensive tackle who sadly doesn't get the attention he deserves due to Cleveland's problems, but right tackle is a need spot. To point, there is a growing line of thought that the Browns will use one of their two first-round picks on a tackle, with Clemmings likely being in the running if they opt to take one here. A former defensive end, Clemmings showed remarkable aptitude on the other side of the line in 2014.
20. Philadelphia Eagles - La'El Collins, OL, LSU (6'5" 315) ~
Interior offensive line is a major need for the Eagles, and while it seems very difficult to project what Chip Kelly will do next, Collins would be helpful for opening holes for newly acquired RB DeMarco Murray.
21. Cincinnati Bengals - Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida St. (6'3" 320) ~
Perhaps a slight steal at this spot, Goldman would fill a need for the Bengals on its defensive line, particularly in generating pass-rush pressure. It would seem that Goldman would be a natural fit in Cincinnati's defensive approach.
22. Pittsburgh Steelers - Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest (6'0" 175)
Is this the year that Pittsburgh finally uses a first-round pick on a cornerback? If so, Johnson could very well be the player they take.
23. Detroit Lions - Marcus Peters, CB, Washington (6'0" 200) ~
There are some who are down on Peters due to his conflict with the new coaching staff that inherited him at Washington last season. But he has elite skill and, in my estimation, is as talented as any cornerback prospect in the draft.
24. Arizona Cardinals - Jalen Collins, CB, LSU (6'1" 205) ~
With Antonio Cromartie gone to the Jets, finding another starting-caliber cornerback has to be a priority for the Cardinals in this draft, even if it means making a pick toward the end of a mini-run on cornerbacks. Collins doesn't have the in-game experience on the college level that most of the other top corner prospects have, but what he lacks in that he makes up for with skill and potential.
25. Carolina Panthers - Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami (6'6" 325) ~
Last year's abrupt retirement by OT Jordan Gross created a hole that the Panthers never adequately filled. And, while they have plenty of needs to address in this draft, going with Flowers hear would help to solve at least one of their problems.
26. Baltimore Ravens - Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona St. (6'4" 210) ~
Receiver is a need spot for Baltimore with Torrey Smith exiting via free agency, and Strong could be an excellent choice late in round one to fill that need. He was great fun to watch last season in some of those Saturday night games for Arizona State.
27. Dallas Cowboys - Alvin "Bud" Dupree, DE/OLB, Kentucky (6'4" 265)
This is lower than where I think Dupree should go, but quality players slip in the draft every year. There is a line of thought that the Cowboys will use this pick to draft a running back, and maybe they will. But they can also add a really solid defensive end in Dupree here while still having the opportunity to land a quality running back in round two.
28. Denver Broncos - Denzel Perryman, ILB, Miami (5'11" 235)
Perryman has emerged as the top inside/middle linebacker prospect for this draft, and he would fill a need for the Broncos. Denver clearly knows the Peyton Manning era is entering its stretch run, and it would seem likely that they would take a "GM on the hot seat" approach to the draft to ensure that they field the best team possible for 2015.
29. Indianapolis Colts - D.J. Humphries, OT, Florida (6'5" 305) ~
Perryman going off the board one spot before here might ruin the Colts' plans, but Humphries would also be a beneficial acquisition for the team. Protecting Andrew Luck is of paramount importance.
30. Green Bay Packers - Eric Kendricks, ILB, UCLA (6'0" 230)
Adding a top inside linebacker would allow Clay Matthews to return to his natural 3-4 OLB spot instead of having to play inside like he did for so much of last season.
31. New Orleans Saints (via Seattle) - Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Oklahoma (6'5" 225) ~
Let there be no doubt: losing Jimmy Graham really hurt the Saints. And there is no replacement for him in this draft, and if there were he wouldn't fall this far. But DGB has similar size and freakish receiving ability. The ghosts of his transgressions at Missouri still haunt him, but if he can avoid trouble there is no doubting his skills.
32. New England Patriots - Carl Davis, DT, Iowa (6'5" 320)
There is no figuring out Bill Belichick, but you can count on him to pay players based on future expectations and not past performance. And with Vince Wilfork gone to Houston, it's out with the old and in with the new, who perhaps in this case might be Davis.
~ indicates player with NCAA eligibility for 2015 who gave it up to declare for the 2015 NFL Draft