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2015 NFL Mock Draft

Last Updated: April 23, 2015
Lou Pickney,

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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 - Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon (6'4" 215) ~
Supply and demand is as real in the NFL as anywhere else, and the stark reality with this draft is that there are two high-end QB prospects and several teams desperately wanting an upgrade at the position. Even teams without an obvious need at quarterback, like San Diego and Chicago, have been mentioned as possible trade partners. And, of course, there is always the chance that the Titans could simply opt to keep Mariota for themselves.

USC DL Leonard Williams makes all kinds of sense for the Titans, and I've been very hesitant to move off of that projection for this spot. But the Mariota storyline has too many participants involved now to project anything else for this spot at the present time.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars - Dante Fowler Jr., DE/OLB, Florida (6'2" 260) ~
Fowler seems like a much surer bet here if USC DL Leonard Williams is off the board at #2, but the reality is that Jacksonville has seemingly made off-season moves in anticipation of grabbing a top-tier Edge defender here. It's a talented group this year, but in many circles Fowler has moved ahead of the pack, in no small part because of having better size for the 4-3 DE position than many of the other top guys.

4. Oakland Raiders - Leonard Williams, DL, USC (6'5" 300) ~
It's an interesting scenario for Oakland if Williams is still on the board, since it would seemingly take a special defensive player like him to convince the Raiders to not go with a wide receiver here. This is conjecture, mind you, and the Raiders aren't as easy to read now as they were during the post-Gruden Al Davis era. But Williams would be an ideal fit with Oakland's defensive scheme and could make things very interesting for teams below wanting Alabama WR Amari Cooper or West Virginia WR Kevin White.

5. Washington Redskins - Vic Beasley, DE/OLB, Clemson (6'2" 235)
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. Washington could also opt to go wide receiver here or potentially trade down with a partner wanting its pick from this year's WR crop.

6. New York Jets - Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama (6'1" 200) ~
There was a time when it seemed like the Jets could potentially sit here and have Mariota fall into their lap. That time has passed.

There are several options for the Jets in this scenario. But Cooper is a consistent producer who proved at Alabama that, even with defenses keying on him at all times, he could still put up strong stats in spite of him being defended so carefully.

7. Chicago Bears - Danny Shelton, DT, Washington (6'2" 330)
I've gone back-and-forth on this one. Kevin White would be a great addition to the WR corps, but elite defensive linemen are hard to find and Shelton is one of the top interior defensive line prospects in the draft.

8. Atlanta Falcons - Shane Ray, DE/OLB, Missouri (6'2" 245) ~
Make no mistake: the Falcons need an Edge pass rusher here. It remains to be seen how much (if at all) the Combine drug test failure by Nebraska DE/OLB Randy Gregory will impact his draft position, but it could prove to be a tiebreaker to nudge the Falcons toward taking Ray here.

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 - Kevin White, WR, West Virginia (6'3" 210)
White has the potential to produce right away for the Rams, which should make him a very tempting choice for the Rams should he actually fall 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 - DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville (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. They might also opt to go with Randy Gregory if he really falls this far.

14. Miami Dolphins - Randy Gregory, DE/OLB, Nebraska (6'6" 235) ~
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. If Gregory really falls this far after failing his Combine drug test (after reportedly failing multiple drug tests at Nebraska), he could be a tremendous value pick here for Miami.

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 Sua-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 - Breshad Perriman, WR, UCF (6'2" 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 Perriman's rare speed could be the approach taken by the Chiefs here.

19. Cleveland Browns (via Buffalo) - Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford (6'6" 315) ~
Joe Thomas is a great left 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.

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 in the 2014 season. But he has elite skill and, in my estimation, is as talented as any cornerback prospect in the draft.

24. Arizona Cardinals - Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia (6'1" 220) ~
After suffering a torn ACL in his left knee last season, it seemed that Gurley might fall from a sure-fire first-round selection to day two. There hasn't been a running back taken in round one since 2012, and the draft of ten years ago with three RBs going in the top five slots is something you would never see today. But Gurley is seen by many evaluators as a special player, and he could be a good fit with the Cardinals.

25. Carolina Panthers - T.J. Clemmings, OT, Pittsburgh (6'6" 315)
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 Clemmings 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, though 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

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