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2015 NFL Mock Drafts

Pete Prisco
The Sports Xchange/

The NFL and NCAA seasons have barely begun but this much is clear ??? teams that have playmakers at quarterback are contenders and those without them are desperately searching for upgrades.

Oregon's Marcus Mariota and Florida State's Jameis Winston are the elite prospects potentially available and if they make the pro jump early, they're not likely to last long. Once they're off the board, teams may choose to pass on high-risk for what they perceive to be safer investments along the line of scrimmage. Fortunately, if the underclassmen exodus of recent years is any indication, the 2015 draft once again should offer rich talent.

*The selection order for this mock draft is based on the projected outcome of the 2014 NFL season by the staff. The Cleveland Browns own the rights to the Buffalo Bills' selection due to the Sammy Watkins trade.

NFL Mock Draft - 9/10/2014
Round 1
1. St. Louis Rams

Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon: The tragic re-tearing of the ACL for Sam Bradford could put the Rams in position to once-again search for a franchise signal-caller via the draft. To compete in the NFC West, the Rams must find a difference-maker at quarterback and Mariota may be just that. Mariota's production is certainly inflated by Oregon's scheme but he possesses the exciting traits, including the mobility, arm and composure to project as a franchise quarterback.
2. Oakland Raiders

Leonard Williams, DE, Southern California: If the Raiders "earn" another top-5 pick, GM Reggie McKenzie and head coach Dennis Allen may be working elsewhere in 2015, which doesn't bode well for Derek Carr. Rather than go back to the drawing board at quarterback, however, the Raiders may elect to rebuild on the defensive side of the ball with the local star, Williams.
3. Cleveland Browns

Cedric Ogbuehi, OT, Texas A&M: The Browns have two of the league's best with left tackle Joe Thomas and center Alex Mack but could use reinforcements at right tackle, where Mitchell Schwartz is coming off a disappointing second season. The athletic and long-armed Ogbuehi is more physically talented than either of his A&M predecessors - top-six picks Luke Joeckel and Jake Matthews - and is versatile, having starred at left guard (2012), right tackle (2013) and should excel at left tackle as a senior.
4. Houston Texans

Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State: Veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick can keep the Texans from finishing with the league's worst record but he's clearly not the long-term answer and there has been little indication to this point that fourth round pick Tom Savage is either. Winston, just a redshirt sophomore, would come with plenty of concerns (including off the field) but he possesses the prototypical skill-set O'Brien could build around.
6. Washington Redskins

Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa: Getting bigger and more physical at the line of scrimmage will continue to be a priority in Year Two under Jay Gruden and pairing Scherff with Trent Williams would give Robert Griffin III the bookend tackles to aid in his development, as well.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars

Shilique Calhoun, DE, Michigan State: Veteran upgrades along the defensive line and an aggressive secondary should help the Jaguars improve from their last-place finish a year ago in sacks (31). Pairing Gus Bradley with Calhoun, who earned the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year a season ago as a sophomore, could be the long-term solution the Jags have been searching for at LEO defensive end.
8. Dallas Cowboys

Landon Collins, SS, Alabama: The Cowboys' defense is atrocious and upgrades are needed at virtually every position. Collins' athleticism, physicality and instincts is likely to make him the first defensive back selected in 2015.
9. Carolina Panthers

Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford: Perhaps after Cam Newton missed the first game of the season the Panthers will learn that protecting their young quarterback should be priority No. 1. Peat's length and athleticism could make him the blindside protection Newton needs to take the next step.
10. Cleveland Browns (from Buffalo)

Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Oklahoma: The Browns stubbornly refused to acknowledge the impending loss of Josh Gordon throughout the 2014 draft, leaving quarterbacks Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel lacking a playmakers at the receiver position. Like Gordon, Green-Beckham comes with character concerns that could push him down the board but he's a top 10 talent who is drawing comparisons to Cincinnati Bengals' star A.J. Green for his size, speed and ball skills.
11. NY Giants

Devin Funchess, TE, Michigan: A standout athlete at 6-5, 230 pounds, Funchess flashed early in his career at tight end and dominated Appalachian State in his first start at receiver, catching three touchdowns in the season-opener. New offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo knows the value of big targets well after coaching Jermichael Finley in Green Bay and may see Funchess as the missing piece to finally get the Giants' talented pass attack clicking.
12. NY Jets

Sammie Coates, WR, Auburn: The Jets inked Eric Decker in the hopes that he could emerge as their primary pass-catcher but he's more of a complementary target than a true No. 1 receiver. Coates, 6-foot-2, 201 pounds, is an explosive athlete who could help make Jets' offensive some rocket fuel.
13. Tennessee Titans

Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson: The Titans didn't address their need for outside rushers to fit new defensive coordinator Ray Horton's scheme in the 2014 draft but could see the highly athletic Beasley as the perfect fit. Beasley possesses an explosive first step to create immediate stress on quarterbacks, as well as the acceleration to chase down ball-carriers from behind.
14. Kansas City Chiefs

Marcus Peters, CB, Washington: By releasing Brandon Flowers, the Chiefs showed their commitment to getting younger, taller and more physical at cornerback. Unless some of the young talent already on the roster develops quickly, reinforcing the position will be a priority next year. Peters is a fluid athlete with the long arms scouts like at the position. He recorded 14 passes broken up a year ago, including five interceptions.
15. Miami Dolphins

Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia: The Dolphins got tougher in free agency and the draft but could get that much more physical by complementing Knowshon Moreno with Gurley, a beast of a back in the Marshawn Lynch mold.
17. Minnesota Vikings

Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, Oregon: Ekpre-Olomu is a proven commodity who should compete for the top spot among cornerbacks in 2015. Concerns about his size (5-9, 195), however, could push him down the board. Vikings' head coach Mike Zimmer knows defense and may be more willing that most to overlook height to nab another playmaker given the prolific offenses in the NFC North.
20. Atlanta Falcons

Bronson Kaufusi, DE, Brigham Young: Kaufusi may not be a household name but the 6-7, 263 pound edge rusher looks poised to join former teammates Ziggy Ansah and Kyle Van Noy as a top 40 pick. He's quick off the snap and possesses the physicality the Falcons crave.
21. Chicago Bears

Arik Armstead, DE, Oregon: Despite investments in free agency and the draft, the Bears' defense remains alarmingly toothless. The 6-7, 296-pound Armstead is fundamentally raw after spending time with Oregon's basketball team rather than focusing on football but possesses undeniable athleticism and may be just scratching the surface of his potential.
22. Baltimore Ravens

Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami (Fla.): The Ravens are hopeful that Rick Wagner and Jah Reid will be able to replace Michael Oher at right tackle. If they aren't, the 6-5, 322-pound Flowers offers the length and feet to project nicely in this role.
23. San Diego Chargers

Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama: Keenan Allen emerged as Philip Rivers' go-to target as a rookie but finding a complementary playmaker should be a priority. The agility and first-step acceleration that helped Cooper star as a true freshman appeared back in Alabama's season-opening win against West Virginia.
24. Indianapolis Colts

Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin: After investing their 2014 first-round pick on a trade for Trent Richardson, GM Ryan Grigson wouldn't dare do it again in 2015? Why not? Gordon, a junior, is a slasher with clear first round traits. If Richardson doesn't pan out in year two in Indianapolis, adding a weapon for Andrew Luck will be an obvious priority.
25. Philadelphia Eagles

Shawn Oakman, DE, Baylor: Chip Kelly is best known, of course, for his dynamic offense but he and general manager Howie Roseman have invested their initial first round picks on linemen Lane Johnson and Marcus Smith. Oakman didn't start a single game last year for the Bears but registered 12.5 tackles for loss. Powerful and shockingly athletic given his massive (6-foot-8, 275 pounds) frame, Oakman possesses the kind of traits teams are willing to gamble on.
26. Green Bay Packers

Danny Shelton, DT, Washington: The loss of veteran nose guard B.J. Raji created a significant hole in the middle of the Packers' defense. Shelton is powerfully built at 6-2, 332 pounds and possesses the agility and tenacity to earn a first round selection. Over the first two games of the year, he's been dominant, leading the Huskies in tackles (24), tackles for loss (7.5) and sacks (six).
27. Cincinnati Bengals

Spencer Drango, OT, Baylor: Few teams reload along the line of scrimmage as consistently as the frugal Bengals and with starting left tackle Andrew Whitworth entering his ninth season and the clubs' backups (Marshall Newhouse, Will Svitek) entering the final year of their contracts, Cincinnati is likely to be on the lookout for potential replacements. Drango, a collegiate tackle who projects to any of the four exterior spots, has the length, strength and tenacity offensive line coach Paul Alexander will appreciate.
28. New England Patriots

Carl Davis, DT, Iowa: At 6-4, 315 pounds, Davis offers the size and strength to complement and perhaps ultimately replace Vince Wilfork's run-stuffing duties on the inside, as well as the length to handle defensive end duties should the club revert back to more three-man fronts.
29. San Francisco 49ers

Ty Montgomery, WR, Stanford: The 49ers would be wise to continue adding to their receiving corps with Anquan Boldin aging and talented (but injury prone) Michael Crabtree entering the final year of his rookie contract. Jim Harbaugh would know Montgomery well and would likely value the 6-2, 215-pounder's ability to break tackles as a receiver and returner.
31. Denver Broncos

Shaq Thompson, OLB, Washington: Through free agency and the draft, the Broncos became a much more aggressive and imposing defense. Depth at linebacker remains a concern, however. Instinctive, athletic and a reliable open-field tackler, Thompson projects well in today's pass-happy NFL.
32. Seattle Seahawks

La'el Collins, OT, LSU: Russell Okung is a Pro Bowl left tackle, but he has also proven injury-prone and commands a large salary for a team that may be forced to make tough decisions to fit under the cap. The Seahawks used their top pick in May on right tackle Justin Britt, who'll start as a rookie. Collins has starred at left tackle for the Tigers but may project better inside at guard, where the Seahawks have another former first-round pick in James Carpenter entering the final year of his rookie contract.

Copyright, distributed by The Sports Xchange

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