2015 NFL Mock Draft V2
First Round Draft Projections
April 25, 2015
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-14) - QB Jameis Winston, Florida State (6-4, 231 lbs)
This pick is pretty much a lock. Winston has the arm strength, athleticism and the field awareness that teams are looking for. He walked away from the combine leaving scouts satisfied that he possessed the skills and intangibles that warrant a first round pick. At this point I have little doubt that Tampa will pull the trigger on Winston, but have to wonder if the immature and entitled college student may become unbearable once he becomes a multi-millionaire.
2. Tennessee Titans (2-14) - QB Marcus Mariota, Oregon (6-4, 222 lbs)
I initially thought the Titans would go with the safe pick and draft defensive lineman Leonard Williams from USC. The Titans made a lot of early noise about being happy with the progress of Zach Mettenberger, and I warned earlier that this might be a smokescreen. Mariota is a player that you want to like based on his character and off-field demeanor, however, there are legitimate concerns about the simplified offense that he played out of in college.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-13) - DE/OLB Dante Fowler Jr., Florida (6-3, 261 lbs)
Jacksonville could go in several directions, which is always a sign that a team may be willing to trade down. After loading up on offense last year (and if they stay at #3) I look for them to draft Fowler. This pick could be Leonard Williams, but I think Fowler fits their needs better than the DL from USC. Fowler is versatile and can effectively line up at defensive tackle, defensive lineman, or as an outside linebacker. Jacksonville could use an edge rusher.
4. Oakland Raiders (3-13) - DL Leonard Williams, USC (6-5, 302 lbs)
I want to go with a wide receiver with this pick, but this is a deep year for WRs and Oakland can't afford to pass on the best player in this draft. Williams has been compared to J.J. Watt, and though that is a lofty expectation, its 100% justified. Absolutely love the fact that Williams told teams, "If you pick a quarterback before me, I'm going to hurt them."
5. Washington Redskins (4-12) - OLB Vic Beasley, Clemson (6-3, 246 lbs)
Explosive and powerful linebacker. Made a believer out of everyone at the combine. Sure-fire first day starter with great instincts and proper football intelligence. Slight technique problem with lowering his pads when he sets his anchor. Washington needs playmakers in their front seven and Beasley is the best defensive player in this draft after Leonard Williams and Dante Fowler.
6. New York Jets (4-12) - WR Amari Cooper, Alabama (6-1, 211 lbs)
If the Titans don't pull the trigger on Mariota, the Jets will grab will grab him with this pick. As it stands, I think the Jets take WR Amari Cooper. The Alabama prospect has good speed, but more importantly shows the ability to separate from defenders. Not only does Cooper make circus-like catches but he is a great blocker. Cooper would be the perfect complement to play on the opposite side of newly-acquired Brandon Marshall. Have to believe the Jets will be eyeing QB Brett Hundley in Round 2.
7. Chicago Bears (5-11) - WR Kevin White, West Virginia (6-3, 215 lbs)
I so desperately want to put DL Danny Sheldon at this spot. The Bears brought in Vic Fangio as a defensive coordinator and he knows that it all starts up front. Since the last mock draft, however, the Bears have traded away Brandon Marshall and I now think that they look for an elite WR with their first pick. The 6'3" Kevin White boasts blazing 4.35 speed, and caught virtually everything thrown at him at the combine. He has size, speed, good hands, and the confidence that you want to see in a wide receiver.
8. Atlanta Falcons 6-10 - OLB/DE Alvin Dupree, Kentucky (6-4, 269 lbs)
High effort player with position versatility. Racked up 247 tackles, four forced fumbles, five passes defensed and 23.5 sacks in college. Shows strong field awareness, quick recognition, and decent coverage ability when asked. Still has a few areas that he can work on in regards to technique, but can terrorize from the OLB or DE position.
9. New York Giants (6-10) - OT Brandon Scherff, Iowa (6-5, 319 lbs)
The Giants have been hinting about taking the top-ranked OT in the draft. Scherff is a tactician with good upper body strength. Shows good lateral movement but possibly needs to add some sand to his pants to anchor better in the pros. Great initial punch and a willing run blocker.
10. St. Louis Rams (6-10) - WR DeVante Parker, Louisville (6-3, 209 lbs)
The Rams may go with an offensive lineman, but drafting Parker would make him a day one starter and the best receiver on their team. Tall receiver with 4.4 speed and an incredible wingspan. Pretty good route runner. May need to add some weight to his frame and should only get better with time.
11. Minnesota Vikings (7-9) - CB Trae Waynes, Michigan State (6-0, 186 lbs)
Diagnoses plays well and breaks quickly to support the run or cover WRs. Sometimes takes chances and will need to learn to cover without getting his hands all over the man he is covering. Possesses truly elite speed. Will benefit from an NFL weightlifting program. Could be a shutdown corner for the Vikings.
12. Cleveland Browns (7-9) - NT Danny Shelton, Washington (6-2, 339 lbs)
Wide-bodied behemoth with solid anchor and natural core strength. Shelton may not rack up big numbers, but he will demand the double team that will allow linebackers to cause havoc. The Browns could use some help on the O-line but, luckily, they have two first round picks this year.
13. New Orleans Saints (7-9) - DE Randy Gregory, Nebraska (6-5, 235 lbs)
Gregory slips out of the top 10, but not out of the top 15. He possesses good hand technique and is much more physical than one would think when looking at his long frame. I look for Gregory to eventually play at around 255 lbs without giving up much agility and speed.
14. Miami Dolphins (8-8) - WR Breshad Perriman, Central Florida (6-2, 212 lbs)
The Dolphins could go in several in several directions with this pick, affecting the rest of the draft. After a phenomenal pro day in which he ran a 4.26 forty and showed that he could use his size and strength to make the hard catch, I think the Dolphins grab the young playmaker from Central Florida.
15. San Francisco 49ers (8-8) - DE Arik Armstead, Oregon (6-7, 292 lbs)
Huge specimen who, believe it or not, has the frame to actually put on more weight if needed. If San Francisco can harness his size and speed, muscle him up, and tweak his technique he could be one of the best players in this draft. Not even close to his ceiling yet.
16. Houston Texans (9-7) - DE/LB Shane Ray, Missouri (6-3, 245 lbs)
Teams are going to fall in love with Ray based on athleticism alone. Freaky fast (4.44 forty). His technique is still a work in progress and he is going to have to learn how to sift through the garbage and disengage from blockers. Will need to work on his arsenal. Good instincts would make one believe that the sky is the limit.
17. San Diego Chargers (9-7) - RB Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin (6-1, 215 lbs)
Fantastic acceleration. Hits the hole squarely with good pad level. Great vision and understanding of the need to let his blocks develop. Not a player that is going to be arm tackled. Needs to work on his pass catching to be a well-rounded three down player.
18. Kansas City Chiefs (9-7) - OC Cameron Erving, Florida State (6-5, 313 lbs)
The Chiefs may go WR with this pick but I think they surprise everyone by strengthening their interior line. Erving would be an immediate improvement over Eric Kush, and Erving is versatile enough to kick to the outside if needed.
19. Cleveland Browns (9-7) - trade from Buffalo - OT La'el Collins, LSU (6-4, 305 lbs)
The Browns strengthened their D-line earlier in the first round and now upgrade their offensive line. Collins is versatile enough to play all along the front. He is an aggressive mauler with a good base. Brandon Scherff may be the higher-rated LT prospect but I think Collins is more versatile. Outside chance The Browns go with WR, but, like the Chiefs, I think they wait until the second or even third day.
20. Philadelphia Eagles (10-6) - SS Landon Collins, Alabama (6-0, 228 lbs)
Great run support safety with great feet and instincts. Sometimes bites on pump fakes and misdirection. Will need to learn position responsibility but has very good read-and-react skills. Coverage skills are pro level but does not have reliable hands, too often bobbles and drops the easy interception. Nate Allen left in free agency and the Eagles can immediately plug Collins in as a starter.
21. Cincinnati Bengals (10-5-1) - OT Andrus Peat, Stanford (6-7, 313 lbs)
If Peat had a nasty disposition he would be the highest-rated lineman in this draft. Good build, strength and length. Very quick and mirrors effectively. As with many taller linemen, Peat does have some problems with leverage, and will too often bend at the waist. Solid athletic potential.
22. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-5) - CB Kevin Johnson, Wake Forest (6-0, 188 lbs)
Johnson has the coverage skills of Marcus Peters but not the physicality. He is aggressive and willing but his light frame prevents him from being the intimidator that Peters is. Best back pedal of any prospect I saw at the combine and perfect transition with fluid hips and good footwork. Equally efficient in zone or man coverage. Has the cockiness that you would like in a CB and shrugs off mistakes by coming back and claiming the turf.
23. Detroit Lions (11-5) - DT Malcom Brown, Texas (6-2, 319 lbs)
I look for the Lions to fortify their defensive front after losing Suh. Brown is versatile enough to play in a 3-4 or 4-3 front. He has good core strength, strong hands, and a great motor. Mature player that coaches won't have to worry about off the field.
24. Arizona Cardinals (11-5) - RB Todd Gurley, Georgia (6-1, 222 lbs)
After Gurley’s knee seems to have passed medical examinations, the Cardinals' best option is to draft the talented Georgia running back prospect at the end of the first round. Gurley fills an immediate need and allows the Cardinals to move Andre Ellington into the role of a third down back, where he is better suited.
25. Carolina Panthers (7-8-1) - OT Ereck Flowers, Miami (6-6, 329 lbs)
Flowers is an absolute steal at this point. Don't be surprised to see him go earlier to a team that needs an offensive lineman who can play anywhere. Exceptionally strong prospect who could excel at either the RT or OG position. Struggles against quicker DEs so his natural position may be on the inside.
26. Baltimore Ravens (10-6) - WR Jaelen Strong, Arizona State (6-2, 217 lbs)
Great hands and good body control. The only knock on Strong before the draft was that some evaluators thought that he was quick but lacked top end speed. His 4.44 forty time at the combine has put that issue to rest.
27. Dallas Cowboys (12-4) - CB Jalen Collins, LSU (6-1, 203 lbs)
Very inexperienced prospect with fewer starts than you would normally want in a first round pick. Could be a future star for a team that can be patient with him. Has the protypical size that is now all the rage in the NFL, and flashes elite instincts. Good speed and above average fluidity, but maybe not as physical as he could be for a player his size. Self-motivated and teachable.
28. Denver Broncos (12-4) - OT T.J. Clemmings, Pittsburgh (6-5, 309 lbs)
Natural left tackle prospect with good kick-slide and light feet. I really like Clemmings and believe he might have the highest ceiling of all the O-line prospects in this year's draft. He does have some problems with bull rushers that have a variety of moves but his technique is so solid that I expect he will grow into the position as an elite NFL LT. Look for the Broncos to plug him in on the right side initially.
29. Indianapolis Colts (11-5) - DT Eddie Goldman, Florida State (6-4, 336 lbs)
The Colts may be looking to retool on the defensive line. Goldman played all along the trenches in college but his build and power will make him formidable wherever the Colts put him. Another player with a high ceiling.
30. Green Bay Packers (12-4) - CB Byron Jones, Connecticut (6-1, 199 lbs)
Ultra-athletic prospect who caused a stir at the combine by breaking the world record at the standing long jump. What you might not know is that he had a 44-inch vertical and runs the 40 in 4.43 seconds. Will need to be coached up to polish his technique, but you can't teach world class athleticism.
31. New Orleans Saints (7-9) - TE Maxx Williams, Minnesota (6-4, 249 lbs)
Williams has soft hands and though not a burner, he knows how to separate from defenders. Flashes the ability to be an elite blocker but is still inconsistent at this point. Cerebral and will learn the playbook early.
32. New England Patriots (12-4) - CB Marcus Peters, Washington (6-0, 197 lbs)
Incredibly gifted cornerback who excels in coverage and run support. Very aggressive and physical. You can bet that the Patriots will have a long sit down with Peters in regards to his past, and will no doubt explain to him that he will be on a very short leash.
For any questions/suggestions you may have regarding this mock, please feel free to contact our resident draftnik LLT directly via Twitter at @PBiggerstaff