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2015 NFL DRAFT

2015 NFL Mock Drafts

Pete Prisco
By
The Sports Xchange/CBSSports.com


Thanks to their surprising home win over the Kansas City Chiefs, the Oakland Raiders secured their first victory of the 2014 season and no longer own the projected No. 1 overall pick of the 2015 NFL Draft.

That dubious distinction now goes to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Given that the Jaguars and Raiders each invested early picks in quarterbacks last spring, the clubs are likely to look elsewhere with their first selections in '15. Both talent-needy franchises, however, would love for a quarterback to emerge as the unquestioned top talent in the draft, thereby increasing the trade value of the No. 1 overall pick.

The following is my latest first round projection of the 2015 NFL Draft.

*The selection order for this mock draft is based on the current records of teams with point differential breaking all ties. The Cleveland Browns own the rights to the Buffalo Bills' selection due to the Sammy Watkins trade.

NFL Mock Draft - 11/24/2014
Round 1
1. Jacksonville Jaguars

(1-9)
Randy Gregory, DE, Nebraska: The Jaguars' record isn't pretty but head coach Gus Bradley's infectious enthusiasm, a hard-hitting defense and talented rookie quarterback Blake Bortles have this franchise on the upswing. Gregory is well-suited to starring in Bradley's hybrid 4-3 alignment at the LEO defensive end, as he's long (6-5, 242 pounds), explosive and passionate against both the run and pass.
2. Oakland Raiders

(1-10)
Leonard Williams, DT, Southern California: As the only winless franchise in the NFL this season, the Raiders are projected to earn the No. 1 overall in 2015. Teams picking at the top will always look to available quarterbacks first, but rookie Derek Carr has been a relative bright spot for Oakland. Second on the priority list for teams in today's NFL are defensive linemen. The 6-5, 290-pound Williams is a physical mismatch too quick for interior linemen and too powerful for offensive tackles.
3. NY Jets

(2-8)
Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State: The Jets stepped up to surprise the Pittsburgh Steelers but unless they build off it with a winning streak, Rex Ryan will be coaching elsewhere in 2015 and that may just be the start of the changes. Current GM John Idzik is not the kind of risk-taker to gamble on Famous Jameis' propensity for off-field trouble, but his potential replacement could be more adventurous. Regardless of what you think about Winston's character, it is hard to deny his talent. In terms of size, arm, mobility and instincts, he's the top quarterback prospect in the country.
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

(2-8)
Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon: A dynamite performance from rookie wideout Mike Evans helped the Bucs end their five-game losing streak by beating Washington but for franchise to take the next step, improving at quarterback is critical. Mariota is a work in progress, but he shows good awareness in the pocket, a live arm and, of course, great mobility. Mariota's speed and the great size of Tampa's pass-catchers would put an awful lot of stress on opposing defenses.
5. Tennessee Titans

(2-8)
Shane Ray, DE, Missouri: Rookie Zach Mettenberger will be given every opportunity to prove he can be Ken Whisenhunt's starting quarterback. The Titans did not address their need for outside rushers to fit new defensive coordinator Ray Horton's scheme in the 2014 NFL Draft but could see the highly athletic Ray as the perfect fit. Ray, the SEC's leading sack artist, has the explosiveness off the edge to quickly improve Tennessee's pass rush.
6. Washington Redskins

(3-7)
Landon Collins, SS, Alabama: Washington hasn't boasted a truly fearsome safety since the late Sean Taylor was patrolling the deep middle. At 6-0, 215 pounds, Collins isn't huge, but he shows the exciting blend of explosiveness and ball skills that made Taylor a special player.
7. Carolina Panthers

(3-7-1)
Cedric Ogbuehi, OT, Texas A&M: With the selection of Kelvin Benjamin and free agent addition of sure-handed veteran Jericho Cotchery, the Panthers addressed weapons for Cam Newton but failed to address the offensive line protecting him. They won't make the same mistake next spring. Ogbuehi has struggled with technique this season, prompting his return to right tackle (after initially starting the season at left tackle), but he possesses a remarkable skill-set with length and easy athleticism.
8. NY Giants

(3-7)
Shawn Oakman, DE, Baylor: There is plenty of blame to go around in Gotham as the Giants have struggled in 2014 despite an overhaul of the roster in the offseason. GM Jerry Reese has won before gambling on the upside of talented pass rushers. Powerful and shockingly athletic given his massive (6-8, 275 pounds) frame, Oakman's potential screams top 10 pick.
9. St. Louis Rams

(4-6)
Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama: Despite recent early picks invested at wide receiver, the Rams still lack a true No. 1. The agility and first-step acceleration that helped Cooper star as a true freshman is clearly back and he's dominating again, looking like an easy favorite thus far to be the first Biletnikoff Award winner in Alabama's history.
10. Minnesota Vikings

(4-6)
Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa: The Vikings aren't about to give up on LT Matt Kalil, though he does lead the NFL with 10 sacks surrendered. Scherff is a collegiate tackle with the strong hands and nasty disposition to project well inside, too. Given the focus on deep drops and power running in Norv Turner's offense, strong play on the interior is also a priority.
11. Atlanta Falcons

(4-6)
Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson: Despite an ugly 4-6 record, the Falcons lead the NFC South. They have the firepower on offense to compete but lack difference-makers on the defensive front. Adding a dynamic edge rusher like Beasley to complement the greater size Atlanta added to its defense in the offseason could pay immediate dividends.
12. New Orleans Saints

(4-6)
Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State: Despite millions invested in fixing the secondary, the Saints have struggled against the pass this season, surrendering an average of nearly 270 yards per game and twice as many touchdowns (12) as interceptions (six). Some scouts feel that Waynes is a better prospect than his former teammate, Darqueze Dennard, last year's Thorpe Award winner and the Bengals' first round pick.
13. Chicago Bears

(4-6)
Shaq Thompson, OLB, Washington: For all of the concerns about Chicago's inconsistent offense, the defense remains alarmingly toothless. Thompson doesn't possess great size but his athleticism and instincts have helped him stand out wherever the Huskies have needed him - including at safety, linebacker and most recently at running back. He projects best to the NFL as a hybrid defender who is just as effective in coverage as coming up in run support.
14. Cleveland Browns (from Buffalo)

(6-4)
DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville: The Browns' defense and running game have been good enough to make them competitive but the lack of a top-flight receiver limits the team's upside. The club is hopeful, of course, that Josh Gordon will re-emerge as a superstar but cannot rely on him. Parker missed the first seven games of the year with a broken fifth toe in his left foot, but the 6-3, 209 pounder has starred since, demonstrating the fluidity and ballskills to project as a No. 1 target.
15. Houston Texans

(5-5)
Danny Shelton, DT, Washington: The Texans' investment in Jadeveon Clowney hasn't yet paid off, but don't be surprised when his critics quiet down once he and JJ Watt get used to playing together. Adding a powerful - and passionate - interior presence like Shelton could help turn Houston's potential into production.
16. Miami Dolphins

(6-4)
Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin: Ryan Tannehill has shown flashes of ascending into one of the league's better young quarterbacks in Bill Lazor's scheme and could take another step with more consistency at running back. The position may not hold the same value in today's pass-happy NFL, but Gordon is a difference-maker with the agility and acceleration to score from anywhere on the field. Just ask Nebraska, which gave up an FBS-record 408 yards to the Heisman contender.
17. Baltimore Ravens

(6-4)
Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford: Ozzie Newsome understands that the game is still won or lost along the line of scrimmage and few GMs regularly devote more draft picks on big men as the Ravens. A star left tackle for the Cardinal, Peat is blessed with remarkable balance and agility for a man of his 6-7, 315-pound dimensions. He would project quite nicely at right tackle in Baltimore.
18. San Francisco 49ers

(6-4)
Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Oklahoma: 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. Green-Beckham is a top 10 talent who is drawing comparisons to Cincinnati Bengals star A.J. Green for his size, speed and ballskills, but he comes with significant off-field concerns. GM Trent Baalke has been more willing than most to gamble on talented players with character red flags.
19. Pittsburgh Steelers

(7-4)
P.J. Williams, CB, Florida State: According to Pro Football Focus, Cortez Allen has surrendered five touchdowns through Week 10, second worst among AFC cornerbacks (Cleveland's Buster Skrine has allowed six). Allen has also struggled in run support. Williams has light feet, loose hips and good awareness in coverage.
20. Cleveland Browns

(6-4)
Dante Fowler Jr., DE, Florida: Despite investments in free agency and the draft on pass rushers in recent years, Cleveland could still use reinforcements. Fowler's versatility is his calling card. The 6-3, 260 pounder's unique combination of power, agility and tenacity earns him time at defensive end, linebacker and defensive tackle for the Gators.
21. Seattle Seahawks

(6-4)
Devin Funchess, WR, Michigan: It was a terrific defense and the running of Marshawn Lynch that helped Seattle capture its first Super Bowl last yea,r but opponents had to at least be aware of Percy Harvin and Golden Tate, each of whom could create big plays on their own. With both playing elsewhere now, Seattle is struggling to pass the ball with any consistency. Whether at receiver or tight end, the 6-5, 235-pound Funchess offers a unique skill-set that could remind GM John Schneider of Jermichael Finley, a formidable seam threat he saw while both worked in Green Bay.
22. Detroit Lions

(7-3)
Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida State: With starters Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley in the final year of their respective contracts, the Lions will be scouting the defensive tackle class as closely as any team in the league and Goldman is generating plenty of buzz. The 6-4, 320-pound junior is a former top recruit who's enjoyed a breakout campaign back inside this season after starting at end last year for the champs.
23. San Diego Chargers

(6-4)
Kevin White, WR, West Virginia: Keenan Allen is a reliable route-runner and pass-catcher but he doesn't strike fear into the hearts of defenders. No player has boosted his stock more this season than White, a 6-3, 209-pounder who climbs the ladder to make contested catches look easy.
24. Kansas City Chiefs

(7-4)
Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State: Despite a receiving corps that has not yet caught a touchdown, the Chiefs continue to play well. Providing more weapons on the perimeter would seem to be a priority for Kansas City in the off-season, especially given that this year's crop seems very strong yet again. Strong is the operative word, as aptly-named 6-4, 205-pound junior has the size and physicality to win contested passes.
25. Indianapolis Colts

(6-4)
Benardrick McKinney, ILB, Mississippi State: The development of Bjoern Werner has lessened Indianapolis' need for outside linebackers, but inside remains an issue with former Brown D'Qwell Jackson struggling to make an impact. McKinney offers a rare package of length, athleticism and versatility that is likely to earn him a top 25 selection.
26. Cincinnati Bengals

(6-3-1)
La'el Collins, OT, LSU: Few teams reload along the line of scrimmage as consistently as the frugal Bengals and with starting LT Andrew Whitworth entering his ninth season and the club's backups (Marshall Newhouse, Will Svitek) entering the final year of their contracts, Cincinnati is likely to be on the lookout for potential replacements. Like Whitworth (who also starred at LSU), Collins doesn't necessarily look the part of an NFL left tackle, sporting a square-ish frame. He's surprisingly effective on the edge, however, and is a mauler in the running game.
27. Philadelphia Eagles

(7-3)
A.J. Cann, OG, South Carolina: Injuries along the interior of the o-line have contributed to the Eagles' struggles running the football and in pass protection. Whereas many of the other top guard prospects in 2015 play their collegiate ball at tackle (and therefore will need time to acclimate), Cann's entire career has been spent inside and so theoretically, he would be able to contribute sooner.
28. Green Bay Packers

(7-3)
T.J. Clemmings, OT, Pittsburgh: Since 2010 first round pick Bryan Bulaga has returned from an early season knee injury, the Packers have seen better play at right tackle. He's in the final year of his rookie contract and 2014 is his third consecutive year of missing time due to injury. Clemmings is a former defensive end who has steadily improved at right tackle the past two years. With impressive length and athleticism, he boasts exciting upside.
29. Dallas Cowboys

(7-3)
Alvin Dupree, DE, Kentucky: The Cowboys are hopeful that 2014 rookie Demarcus Lawrence will significantly boost their outside pass rush, but that won't keep the team from adding reinforcements. Dupree, the SEC's leading active pass rusher, is long, instinctive and closes in a flash.
30. Denver Broncos

(7-3)
Ty Sambrailo, OT, Colorado State: For as dominant as the Broncos have appeared for much of this season, areas of concern certainly exist - including right tackle. Sambrailo is a technically-sound brawler who would fit in nicely with the aggressive mentality John Elway and Co. are attempting to establish in Denver.
31. Arizona Cardinals

(9-1)
Danielle Hunter, DE, LSU: Everyone expected that an athletic and physical secondary would be the calling card of the NFC West's top team. Few, however, were predicting in the preseason that it would be the secondary based in Arizona. An improved pass rush would make Patrick Peterson, Tyrann Mathieu and Co. that much more effective. Hunter doesn't have great production but the 6-foot-6, 240 pounder has terrific agility and quickness. He's stronger than he looks and uses his length well to deflect passes.
32. New England Patriots

(8-2)
Marcus Peters, CB, Washington: The Patriots boast one of the NFL's better secondaries with veteran CBs Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner on the outside, but they may seek to infuse more youth at the position - and stop Peters' potential tumble out of the first round. The former Washington star offers terrific length, physicality and ball-skills but comes with all kinds of character questions after being dismissed by the Huskies. His talent is undeniable and New England has the leadership in the locker room to consider the gamble.

Copyright NFLDraftScout.com, distributed by The Sports Xchange

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