2015 NFL DRAFT

2015 NFL Mock Drafts

Pete Prisco
By
The Sports Xchange/CBSSports.com


Whether a trade shakes things up or not, it appears the clubs selecting at the top of the 2015 NFL Draft have narrowed in on the best five prospect with quarterbacks Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota widely expected to be followed in some order by defensive linemen Leonard Williams and Dante Fowler, Jr. and wideout Amari Cooper.

As talented as these players are, previous prospects at these positions have struggled to make a dramatic entrance into the NFL. Running backs, on the other hand, make an immediate impact relatively often. That, at least, is what the Miami Dolphins and San Diego Chargers (among others) could be hoping for with early picks spent on the most gifted position in the class of 2015.

With just one final update before the start of the first round on Thursday, here is how I see the first 64 picks shaking out.

NFL Mock Draft - 4/27/2015
Round 1
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

(2-14)
Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State: Though questions still remain about Winston's maturity, from purely a football perspective he is an excellent match in Tampa Bay as he possesses the awareness, accuracy and arm strength to take full advantage of the Bucs' massive pass-catchers. Winston has Pro Bowl talent and makes Tampa Bay instantly competitive in a very winnable NFC South.
2. Tennessee Titans

(2-14)
Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon: Whether the Titans select Mariota or trade this pick to another team (sources suggest that the Jets, Bears, Rams, Browns, Chargers and Eagles all are in play), sources throughout the league expect the reigning Heisman Trophy winner to come off the board at No. 2. The rumored Philip Rivers for Mariota deal is a legitimate possibility, I'm told, with the Chargers perhaps ranking as the favorite to land here should the pick be dealt.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars

(3-13)
Leonard Williams, DT, Southern California: Should both quarterbacks be off the board, the Jaguars would be faced with a decision. Some clubs see Williams as the best player in the draft and therefore the value at No. 3 overall is undeniable. He is best suited to the five- and three-technique roles in coach Gus Bradley's defense - spots already capably handled by Tyson Alualu, offseason addition Jared Odrick and Sen'Derrick Marks, who is coming off a torn ACL. An edge rusher or receiver, frankly, would fill a greater need.
4. Oakland Raiders

(3-13)
Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama: Derek Carr showed flashes as a rookie of being the young signal-caller capable of turning this franchise around. Adding another weapon for him would seem like a logical choice. Talent evaluators are split on Cooper and West Virginia's Kevin White as the top receiver in the 2015 draft. Cooper (6-1, 211 pounds) is smaller than White (6-3, 215), but is more polished.
5. Washington Redskins

(4-12)
Dante Fowler Jr., OLB, Florida: Though the offensive line remains arguably Washington's greatest weakness, new general manager Scot McCloughan isn't likely to pass up on the pro-ready Fowler, who would appear to be an ideal replacement for free agent defector Brian Orakpo, who signed with the Titans in the offseason.
6. NY Jets

(4-12)
Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa: With the draft's top quarterbacks and defensive linemen off the board, new decision-makers Mike Maccagnan and Todd Bowles elect to make a ripple rather than waves with their first pick, solidifying the Jets' offensive line with the best blocker in the draft.
7. Chicago Bears

(5-11)
Kevin White, WR, West Virginia: Coach John Fox's first instinct will be to grab a defensive lineman here, but the trade of Brandon Marshall created a significant hole at receiver. Bigger and faster than Cooper, White is viewed by many scouts as the most gifted receiver in the class.
8. Atlanta Falcons

(6-10)
Alvin Dupree, DE, Kentucky: The Falcons brought in former Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn as head coach to bring some intensity and pass rush. Dupree isn't as technically refined yet as some of his competitors, but he has the tools Quinn can develop.
9. NY Giants

(6-10)
Randy Gregory, DE, Nebraska: Throughout the Jerry Reese-Tom Coughlin era, the Giants have consistently overlooked other positions of concern when a talented pass rusher was on the board. Gregory comes with all kinds of red flags, but his traits fit well in coordinator Steve Spagnuolo's scheme and he would provide the Giants with some flexibility with Jason Pierre-Paul again on a one-year franchise tender.
10. St. Louis Rams

(6-10)
La'el Collins, OT, LSU: The Rams developed a fearsome defensive line with the picks gained in the 2012 Robert Griffin III trade, but reinforcements are still needed on the opposite side. Like last year's No. 2 overall pick Greg Robinson, Collins is a mauler in the running game.
11. Minnesota Vikings

(7-9)
Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State: Given the caliber of receivers Minnesota faces in the NFC North, it wouldn't be a surprise to see defensive-minded head coach Mike Zimmer push for another long-lanky corner for his scheme, especially should the top talent at the position fall in his lap.
12. Cleveland Browns

(7-9)
Breshad Perriman, WR, UCF: Despite a clear need at the position, the Browns inexplicably ignored wide receiver in the 2014 draft. Perriman has the explosiveness to replace Josh Gordon as a vertical threat and could emerge as a true No. 1 target if he eliminates some of the drops.
13. New Orleans Saints

(7-9)
Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson: With two first round picks and multiple needs after jettisoning tight end Jimmy Graham, wide receiver Kenny Stills and guard Ben Grubbs, the Saints could go in a variety of directions here. Providing defensive coordinator Rob Ryan with an explosive rusher like Beasley could provide the greatest immediate impact.
14. Miami Dolphins

(8-8)
Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia: With his surgically-repaired knee reportedly earning positive reviews from NFL doctors during the combine re-check April 17, Gurley is likely to get a late bump up draft boards. By already investigating a trade into the top 10 for a receiver, Miami appears committed to making a big splash on draft day, similar to the aggressive move made in free agency with the signing of Ndamukong Suh.
15. San Francisco 49ers

(8-8)
Byron Jones, CB, Connecticut: Patrick Willis and Chris Borland retiring has shifted the attention in San Francisco to inside linebacker, but replacing starting cornerback Chris Culliver is also a concern. GM Trent Baalke has been known to gamble on traits before and few athletes check off more boxes than Jones, a four-year starter with experience at corner and safety who is known for his work ethic and demonstrated remarkable athleticism in workouts.
16. Houston Texans

(9-7)
DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville: The addition of veterans Cecil Shorts and Nate Washington may not equal what the Texans lost with Andre Johnson heading to divisional rival Indianapolis. Parker's gliding gait and wide catch radius could complement the toughness and physicality that DeAndre Hopkins already brings to the field.
17. San Diego Chargers

(9-7)
Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin: If unable to swing a deal for Mariota, the Chargers may take the more conventional route of boosting their offense by investing a first round pick in a runner - the same route that landed the club LaDainian Tomlinson and Ryan Matthews, the only two backs to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season for San Diego this century.
18. Kansas City Chiefs

(9-7)
Jalen Collins, CB, LSU: The Chiefs have a strong cover corner in Sean Smith but he's only under contract for one more year. Collins only started 10 games with the Tigers but scouts are enamored with his upside despite reported multiple failed drug tests at LSU.
19. Cleveland Browns (from Buffalo)

(7-9)
Danny Shelton, DT, Washington: The Browns finished dead last in run defense a year ago and have allowed more than 2,000 rushing yards in 14 of the past 16 seasons - a recipe for disaster in the black and blue AFC North. The 6-2, 339-pound Shelton is certainly a load but he also offers surprisingly athleticism and passion for nose guard.
20. Philadelphia Eagles

(10-6)
Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest: Even after inking Byron Maxwell to a massive deal in free agency, the Eagles have shown a great deal of interest in this year's top cornerbacks. Whereas Maxwell is long and physical, Johnson possesses exceptional quickness and fluidity, which could potentially give Philadelphia quite the duo to combat the dynamic receivers of the NFC East.
21. Cincinnati Bengals

(10-5-1)
Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford: The Bengals have two solid tackles in Andrew Whitworth and Andre Smith but each will be entering the final year of their contracts in 2015. The notoriously frugal Bengals may already be looking ahead to the future, especially if a talent like Peat falls into their lap.
22. Pittsburgh Steelers

(11-5)
Eric Rowe, CB, Utah: New defensive coordinator Keith Butler inherits a once-proud unit in desperate need of an infusion of youth and speed. After heavy investments in the front seven over the past several years, the Steelers may turn to the secondary. Rowe has the length and physicality Pittsburgh has traditionally valued at the position and offers versatility after starring at free safety earlier in his career.
23. Detroit Lions

(11-5)
Malcom Brown, DT, Texas: The loss of Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley in free agency makes defensive tackle an obvious area of concern for the Lions even with the addition of Haloti Ngata. Brown is a quick-twitch penetrating defensive tackle whose blue-collar work ethic might be especially appreciated in Detroit.
24. Arizona Cardinals

(11-5)
Shane Ray, DE, Missouri: A less-than-spectacular pro day and lingering foot injury has Ray's stock slipping, but for an Arizona squad looking for edge rushers, the reigning SEC sack king could fit perfectly. Ray has an electric first step to beat pass blockers off the edge and if inserted into a defense as talented as Arizona's, he could quickly prove a steal.
25. Carolina Panthers

(7-8-1)
D.J. Humphries, OT, Florida: On paper, the addition of Michael Oher and Jonathan Martin should help the Panthers' offensive line woes, but neither has proven to be a quality starter in previous stops. Oher and Martin, however, could buy the Panthers time in developing Humphries, who is a bit raw but is one of the few tackles in this class athletic enough to remain on the left side in the NFL.
26. Baltimore Ravens

(10-6)
Phillip Dorsett, WR, Miami (Fla.): Given the loss of Torrey Smith in free agency and the advancing age of Steve Smith, the Ravens will be in the market for receivers. Oklahoma's Dorial Green-Beckham is a tempting pick here but Dorsett's elite straight-line speed could be the better fit for an offense built around Joe Flacco's strong arm.
27. Dallas Cowboys

(12-4)
Marcus Peters, CB, Washington: The signing of defensive end Greg Hardy only reinforces that Jerry Jones is willing to take chances on players with character concerns if the talent is great enough. Peters is the most gifted cornerback in this class and would provide an immediate upgrade over disappointing veterans Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne.
28. Denver Broncos

(12-4)
Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami (Fla.): While perhaps looking like more of a mauler than a traditional zone-blocking tackle suited for Gary Kubiak's zone-blocking scheme, Flowers is surprisingly athletic. Like Orlando Franklin, the man he would be drafted to replace at right tackle in Denver's scheme, Flowers (6-6, 329 pounds) is monstrous and highly aggressive.
29. Indianapolis Colts

(11-5)
Landon Collins, SS, Alabama: Collins is the unquestioned top safety in 2015, but he is susceptible to a fall on draft day because he is better in run support than coverage. That would be music to the ears of the Colts, who need a physical presence like Collins in the secondary.
30. Green Bay Packers

(12-4)
Jordan Phillips, DT, Oklahoma: The Packers allowed 157 rushing yards to Marshawn Lynch in the NFC Championship Game and finished the regular season ranked 23rd in the league in run defense. At 6-5, 329 pounds, Phillips has the length and strength to provide the Packers with depth all over the defensive line.
31. New Orleans Saints (from Seattle)

(7-9)
Arik Armstead, DE, Oregon: With a dynamic edge rusher nabbed early, the Saints can simply let the draft fall to them and take the best player available. Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan would have to be intrigued with Armstead's upside.
32. New England Patriots

(12-4)
Cameron Erving, C, Florida State: The Patriots would appear to have greater needs, but Bill Belichick places a premium on versatility and may see the highly athletic Erving as a prospect who could be groomed to play any role up front for New England.
Round 2
33. Tennessee Titans

(2-14)
Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida State: Passing up on an easy schematic fit like Williams in the first round would make a lot more sense if Goldman was the target to handle nose guard and five-tech defensive end duties to kick off Day Two.
34. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

(2-14)
Preston Smith, DE, Mississippi State: Releasing Michael Johnson opens up a big need for defensive ends in Tampa.
35. Oakland Raiders

(3-13)
Owamagbe Odighizuwa, DE, UCLA: Adding another pass rusher to complement sophomore star Khalil Mack would give the Raiders' defense some bite.
36. Jacksonville Jaguars

(3-13)
Eli Harold, OLB, Virginia: The Jaguars continue to reinforce the pass rush, adding a more traditional "LEO" edge rusher with Harold.
37. NY Jets

(4-12)
Nelson Agholor, WR, Southern California: Don't look now, but with Agholor added to a receiving corps with Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker, the Jets could suddenly boast a formidable receiving corps.
38. Washington Redskins

(4-12)
A.J. Cann, OG, South Carolina: Whether at guard or center, Cann would provide some physicality and consistency inside for what has been one of the league's weaker offensive lines.
39. Chicago Bears

(5-11)
Jake Fisher, OT, Oregon: The Bears hit big with former Duck Kyle Long and could see envision similar success with Fisher's similar combination of size, athleticism and surliness.
40. NY Giants

(6-10)
T.J. Clemmings, OT, Pittsburgh: Clemmings possesses all of the traits scouts are looking for, but his stock has slipped since a disappointing performance at the Senior Bowl and medical red flags popping up following his medical testing at the combine. At this point in the draft, however, he might provide simply too much value to overlook.
41. St. Louis Rams

(6-10)
Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Oklahoma: Despite plenty of focus on the position, the Rams still are lacking a true No. 1 receiver. The club has been willing to gamble on character concerns in the past and will know the talented but troubled Missouri transfer very well.
42. Atlanta Falcons

(6-10)
Grady Jarrett, DT, Clemson: Doubling down on defensive linemen in the first two rounds could make Dan Quinn's first draft with the Falcons a high-flying success.
43. Cleveland Browns

(7-9)
Cedric Ogbuehi, OT, Texas A&M: Mitchell Schwartz has been a disappointment at right tackle and could be pushed inside should the Browns believe in Ogbuehi's long-term recovery from the torn ACL that ended his 2014 season prematurely.
44. New Orleans Saints

(7-9)
Eric Kendricks, ILB, UCLA: While smaller than preferred, Kendricks' instincts and speed stand out in coverage.
45. Minnesota Vikings

(7-9)
Laken Tomlinson, OG, Duke: Whether or not Adrian Peterson remains in purple shouldn't keep the Vikings from reinforcing the offensive line.
46. San Francisco 49ers

(8-8)
Benardrick McKinney, ILB, Mississippi State: The surprise retirements of Patrick Willis and Chris Borland makes ILB a huge priority.
47. Miami Dolphins

(8-8)
Shaq Thompson, OLB, Washington: Scouts are split on whether Thompson fits best in the NFL as a linebacker or safety, but there is no denying that he is a playmaker.
48. San Diego Chargers

(9-7)
Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA: The Chargers have investigated every top quarterback prospect in this draft and may see Hundley as an ideal developmental prospect behind Rivers should efforts to move up for Mariota fall short.
49. Kansas City Chiefs

(9-7)
Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State: The Chiefs may have solved their immediate needs for receiver help in free agency but at this point in the draft, the aptly-named Strong would make sense.
50. Buffalo Bills

(9-7)
Tre' Jackson, OG, Florida State: The gambles on dynamic skill position athletes LeSean McCoy and Percy Harvin won't matter if the Bills aren't tougher at the point of attack.
51. Houston Texans

(9-7)
Mario Edwards Jr., DE, Florida State: Needing to replace the production lost with Brooks Reed leaving via free agency and not sure what Jadeveon Clowney might provide, the Texans could see Edwards as simply too talented to pass up.
52. Philadelphia Eagles

(10-6)
Devin Smith, WR, Ohio State: Despite what coach Chip Kelly might say, the Eagles missed DeSean Jackson's home-run threat last season. Smith could provide that.
53. Cincinnati Bengals

(10-5-1)
Carl Davis, DT, Iowa: The Bengals have been able to coax production from other inconsistent talents along the defensive line before, and may see Davis as simply too gifted to ignore.
54. Detroit Lions

(11-5)
Donovan Smith, OT, Penn State: Massive (6-6, 338 pounds) with surprisingly light feet, Smith could be the complement at tackle for Riley Reiff that the Lions have been searching for.
55. Arizona Cardinals

(11-5)
Duke Johnson, RB, Miami (Fla.): The Cardinals investigated DeMarco Murray in free agency and could see similar lead-back characteristics in Johnson, who blends great vision, balance and burst.
56. Pittsburgh Steelers

(11-5)
Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota: The Steelers re-signed Matt Spaeth to a two-year deal, so tight end may not be a critical need with longtime starter Heath Miller entering the final year of his deal. At this point in the draft, though, Williams' upside (and fit in this scheme) may be too much to pass up.
57. Carolina Panthers

(7-8-1)
Nate Orchard, DE, Utah: Orchard couldn't be much different than the man he would be replacing in Greg Hardy, except in their shared ability to wreak havoc off the edge.
58. Baltimore Ravens

(10-6)
P.J. Williams, CB, Florida State: Ozzie Newsome has bolstered his Hall of Fame resume by nabbing good players who slip due to character red flags. Williams fills a need and is certainly worthy of second round consideration.
59. Denver Broncos

(12-4)
Damarious Randall, FS, Arizona State: Veteran Darian Stewart was signed away from Baltimore as a possible replacement for Rahim Moore but Randall offers upside.
60. Dallas Cowboys

(12-4)
Tevin Coleman, RB, Indiana: The Cowboys aren't likely to wait long on draft day to supplement a running backs corps that currently is led by Darren McFadden.
61. Indianapolis Colts

(11-5)
Ronald Darby, CB, Florida State: Given the likelihood of shootouts with the Colts' dynamic offense, adding cover corners is always a sound strategy.
62. Green Bay Packers

(12-4)
Stephone Anthony, ILB, Clemson: The Packers won't wait long to address their lack of speed (and bodies) at inside linebacker given the jettisoning of prior starters AJ Hawk and Brad Jones.
63. Seattle Seahawks

(12-4)
Danielle Hunter, DE, LSU: An offensive linemen remains the likeliest choice with the Seahawks' first pick, but GM John Schneider has proven anything but predictable in the past. Hunter's unique athletic traits could make him tough for Seattle to pass on.
64. New England Patriots

(12-4)
Quinten Rollins, CB, Miami (Ohio): Given the turnover at cornerback for the Patriots, an athletic cover corner with Rollins' ball-skills would likely fetch plenty of interest.

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