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2015 NFL Mock Drafts

Pete Prisco
The Sports Xchange/

Oregon's Marcus Mariota and Florida State's Jameis Winston are potential franchise quarterbacks but if the first two weeks of the NFL season are any indication, the clubs picking at the top of the draft could have bigger needs at other positions.

The Raiders and Jaguars are a combined 0-4 and have been outscored 125 to 54. Investments last May in quarterbacks Blake Bortles and Derek Carr, however, could have the franchises looking strongly at some of the other elite prospects, namely Texas A&M left tackle Cedric Ogbuehi or the gifted defensive linemen from Southern Cal and Nebraska, respectively, Leonard Williams and Randy Gregory.

They lead the way in my latest first round projection of the 2015 NFL Draft.

NFL Mock Draft - 9/16/2014
Round 1
1. Oakland Raiders

Cedric Ogbuehi, OT, Texas A&M: If the Raiders "earn" another top five pick (it would be their fourth since 2007), GM Reggie McKenzie and head coach Dennis Allen may be working elsewhere in 2015. That doesn't bode well for Derek Carr as new staffs generally like to pick their own quarterback. Carr has been a relative bright spot thus far, however, which could prompt the club to build around the young signal-caller rather than look to replace him. Ogbuehi isn't a mauler like last year's No. 2 overall pick Greg Robinson, instead winning with a combination of length and athleticism that has drawn comparisons to Cowboys' star left tackle Tyron Smith.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars

Leonard Williams, DE, Southern California: The Jaguars have been outscored by 48 points in two blowout losses and may call upon Bortles to replace Chad Henne in the hopes of a spark. Adding some teeth to a defense that is allowing 145 yards a game, thus far, will help. Williams is a difference-maker with the length, athleticism and toughness defensive-minded head coach Gus Bradley would appreciate.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon: As many suspected entering the season, the combination of Lovie Smith's conservative nature and journeyman Josh McCown sinking back to Earth after starring in Marc Trestman's QB-friendly attack has the Bucs struggling to move the ball. 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.
4. St. Louis Rams

Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State: 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 Winston boasts intriguing size, arm talent and instincts for the position. He comes with character concerns that must be investigated before any team would consider him with an early selection but GM Les Snead and head coach Jeff Fisher have been more willing than most to take chances on draft day.
6. Cleveland Browns

Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa: 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. Scherff plays with the physicality and tenacity that is helping rookie Joel Bitonio impress already at right guard.
7. Houston Texans

Connor Cook, QB, Michigan 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. Scouts are intrigued by Cook's confidence, poise and strong arm and Bill O'Brien would know him well.
8. Washington Redskins

Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford: Another injury to Robert Griffin III is perhaps the worst possible reminder that Jay Gruden's attack calls for bigger, more physical lineman than Mike Shanahan preferred. Peat's length and athleticism could keep him at left tackle in the NFL, though with Trent Williams firmly established in that role for Washington, the 6-7, 312 pound junior would likely make the transition to the right side if drafted here.
9. Kansas City Chiefs

Devin Funchess, TE, Michigan: Alex Smith has the mobility and accuracy necessary to be successful in Andy Reid's offense but he isn't an elite quarterback and therefore needs playmakers around him. Funchess is a 6-5, 230-pounder with impressive body control to win at the catch-point.
10. 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.
11. 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.
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. Miami Dolphins

Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, Oregon: Ekre-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 far enough that a savvy team could get a steal.
16. Minnesota Vikings

Spencer Drango, OT, Baylor: The Vikings are set at tackle with Matt Kalil and Phil Loadholt but with the focus on deep drops and power running in Norv Turner's offense, strong play on the interior is also a priority. Drango, a collegiate tackle who projects to any of the four exterior spots, has the length, strength and tenacity to be successful early.
18. Detroit Lions

Shaq Thompson, OLB, Washington: The Lions boast a fearsome defensive front but the selection of Kyle Van Noy is only the start of what should be an overhaul at linebacker. Instinctive, athletic and a reliable open-field tackler who signed with Washington as a safety, the 6-2, 230-pound Thompson projects well to an NFL increasingly dedicated to the pass.
19. Chicago Bears

Shilique Calhoun, DE, Michigan State: Despite investments in free agency and the draft, the Bears' defense remains alarmingly toothless. Calhoun has the length and burst off the snap to warrant consideration earlier but doesn't yet possess ideal strength.
21. Arizona Cardinals

Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia: Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia: If Carson Palmer's shoulder cooperates, the Cardinals could be well on their way towards making real noise in the NFC West. Few appreciate skill-position stars like Bruce Arians, who could use Gurley as an effective battering ram to complement air back Andre Ellington.
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. 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.
24. 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.
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. Carolina Panthers

Marcus Peters, CB, Washington: The Panthers boast one of the league's more fearsome fronts but improvements could be made in the secondary. 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.
27. San Diego Chargers

Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama: Keenan Allen emerged as Philip Rivers' go-to target as a rookie and Antonio Gates added to his Hall of Fame credentials in a Week Two win against the defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks but finding complementary playmakers should still be a priority. The agility and first-step acceleration that helped Cooper star as a true freshman is clearly back and he's dominating again.
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. 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 be a first-round pick, but he's not the dynamic pass rusher his NCAA-leading six sacks might suggest.
30. Cincinnati Bengals

Cameron Erving, OT, Florida State: 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. At 6-5, 304 pounds and possessing vines for arms, Erving (a former defensive tackle) has the length and raw athleticism for trusted OL coach Paul Alexander to develop.
31. Denver Broncos

Arik Armstead, DE, Oregon: Through free agency and the draft, the Broncos became a much more aggressive and imposing defense but John Fox won't hesitate to add potential difference-makers along the defensive line. 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.
32. Seattle Seahawks

La'el Collins, OT, LSU: Russell Okung is a Pro Bowl left tackle but he's 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 last year on right tackle Justin Britt, who struggled in Seattle's loss in San Diego. 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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