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2015 NFL Mock Drafts

Pete Prisco
The Sports Xchange/CBSSports.com

From the controversial signing of defensive end Greg Hardy in the offseason to rushing quarterback Tony Romo and wide receiver Dez Bryant back following significant injuries, the Dallas Cowboys were clearly playing to win in 2015.

It will be fascinating to see whether owner Jerry Jones takes a similarly aggressive approach in 2016 - when the Cowboys will be faced with the decision to add a potential immediate impact performer or a possible replacement for the increasingly injury-prone 35-year-old Romo.

A lot will change between now and April 28, including the selection order. For now, take this early peek at what may happen in the 2016 NFL Draft as a fun way to scout the top prospects in the country.

NFL Mock Draft - 11/30/2015
Round 1
1. Tennessee Titans

Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss: The best way to protect the investment made in Marcus Mariota is to surround him with good football players, including those who play defense. Nkemdiche signed with Ole Miss three years ago as the top-rated prep and he has backed up that potential since. Powerful and athletic at 6-feet-3, 296 pounds, he is position- and scheme-versatile, and could form quite a 1-2 punch for the Titans with current standout Jurrell Casey.
2. Cleveland Browns

Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis: Unless the Johnny Manziel-led Browns show dramatic improvement in the final weeks, Cleveland will "earn" a top 12 pick for the fifth consecutive year. Until a long-term answer at quarterback is found, that streak is likely to continue. If selecting this high, the Browns may have no choice but to move on from Manziel. Lynch is raw but scouts are enamored with his tools, which include great size, a strong arm and surprising athleticism.
3. San Diego Chargers

Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State: With all due respect to current standouts Eric Weddle and Corey Liuget, the Chargers have been looking for a franchise-changing defender since Junior Seau. Bosa, the most disruptive and pro-ready edge rusher in this class, projects as that kind of difference-maker. Bosa projects best as a 4-3 defensive end but he's athletic enough to rush out of the two-point stance, which would give the Chargers their own dynamic edge defender in a division full of them.
4. Dallas Cowboys

Jaylon Smith, OLB, Notre Dame: The Cowboys face a critical decision with their first-round pick in 2016. This club is clearly more talented than the others projected to "earn" a top 10 pick and therefore a gambler like owner Jerry Jones might be tempted to add an immediate impact defender like Smith. Others would argue taking advantage of the early pick to find a talented quarterback to groom behind Romo would be the smarter long-term move. Ultimately, Smith's talent could make the choice an easy one. He's a three-down difference-maker with remarkable explosiveness.
5. San Francisco 49ers

Jared Goff, QB, California: With Colin Kaepernick on season-ending Injured Reserve and multiple reports indicating the 49ers are looking to move on, the direction general manager Trent Baalke goes with his first pick in the 2016 draft could be determined by how well Jacksonville Jaguars cast-off Blaine Gabbert fares the rest of the year. Certainly, the 49ers will strongly evaluate the local product Goff, whose accuracy, functional mobility and resiliency (not to mention slim frame) have drawn comparisons to Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
6. Baltimore Ravens

Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss: Tunsil is an exceptional talent but if teams gamble on quarterbacks atop the draft, he could slip outside of the top five. Tunsil's ultimate position will be left tackle in the NFL - as it has been through three standout seasons with the Rebels. With the steady Eugene Monroe manning that position for the Ravens, Tunsil could start his career improving the play at right tackle.
7. Philadelphia Eagles

Jalen Ramsey, CB, Florida State: The Eagles haven't received the play at cornerback they expected after inking Byron Maxwell to a massive deal in the offseason and he's hardly the only weak spot in Philadelphia's secondary. Ramsey is a blue chip prospect with track star speed, physicality and the instincts to star at safety, cornerback and even linebacker, at times, on an ultra-talented Florida State roster.
8. Miami Dolphins

Myles Jack, OLB, UCLA: The Dolphins' starting linebacker corps of Koa Misi, Kelvin Sheppard and Jelani Jenkins has produced zero interceptions or sacks and just one forced fumble through 11 games. Jack, on the other hand, is a natural playmaker with extraordinary athleticism and instincts. Jack suffered a serious knee injury Sept. 23 but if teams are satisfied with his rehabilitation, he's likely to remain in the top 10 discussion.
9. New Orleans Saints

DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon: Given the firing of defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, clearly the Saints are looking to make changes on that side of the ball. The "biggest" change literally and figuratively could come at defensive tackle, where the Saints are currently relying on the 35-year-old Kevin Williams. New Orleans may see a younger, cheaper option in Buckner, a 6-7, 290-pounder with the versatility to play inside or out.
10. Jacksonville Jaguars

Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida: The Jaguars have made progress under defensive-minded coach Gus Bradley but still are lacking playmakers on this side of the ball. Hargreaves possesses terrific instincts and ballskills, intercepting 10 passes over his career.
11. St. Louis Rams

Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss: The Rams have invested in wide receivers with great speed or size in the past but still lack a difference-maker. The well-built Treadwell has that kind of potential, winning with body control and controlled aggression to win contested passes - precisely the skillset necessary to handle the Richard Shermans and Patrick Petersons of the NFC West.
12. Detroit Lions

Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame: The Lions need help on both sides of the line of scrimmage and with the top two defensive linemen off the board and a legitimate left tackle in Stanley available, the choice could be an easy one. Former first-round pick Riley Reiff lacks Stanley's length and athleticism and might fare better if flipped to right tackle.
13. NY Giants

Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson: While quarterback Eli Manning and the offense garners most of the attention, the Super Bowl runs with coach Tom Coughlin came when the Giants boasted a dominant pass rush. That hasn't been the case in 2015, with the Giants recording just 12 sacks through their first 11 games. Sporting an NFL-ready build, burst, power and a high-revving motor, Lawson could offer the boost the Giants need.
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor: Yes, the Bucs boast one of the NFL's better young receivers in Mike Evans, but he has struggled with drops in his second season and the 32-year old Vincent Jackson has lost some juice. Jameis Winston looks like a young star but the Bucs shouldn't hesitate in surrounding him with playmakers, and Coleman - who leads the country with 20 touchdowns - certainly is that.
16. Chicago Bears

Kenny Clark, DT, UCLA: The Bears are excited about rookie nose tackle Eddie Goldman and could see the additional of another strong, two-gap run-stuffer like Clark as the next step in a reshaping the defense into the 3-4 scheme defensive coordinator Vic Fangio prefers.
17. Buffalo Bills

Reggie Ragland, ILB, Alabama: As long as Rex Ryan is involved, the Bills are likely to focus on defense. The instinctive and highly physical Ragland has drawn comparisons to longtime Jets standout David Harris, who played under Ryan in New York.
18. Atlanta Falcons

A'Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama: Former defensive coordinator turned head coach Dan Quinn has brought an element of toughness to the Falcons, but Atlanta could use greater size and strength along the defensive line to combat the power running games of the NFC's best teams - including the NFC South-leading Carolina Panthers. At 6-feet-3, 312 pounds, Robinson possesses the girth and power to help immediately.
19. NY Jets

Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia: There is talent throughout the Jets' defense but a relative weak spot is at rush linebacker, where Lorenzo Mauldin and Calvin Pace currently have two sacks apiece on the season. Floyd lacks ideal size at 6-3, 232 pounds, but he is surprisingly strong at the point of attack and offers great burst and flexibility as an edge rusher.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers

Adolphus Washington, DT, Ohio State: The Steelers' long-dominant defense is hardly performing at its previous standards. Washington doesn't get the attention of his teammates with the Buckeyes, but his strength, length and high-revving motor make him well-suited to Pittsburgh's traditional 3-4 alignment.
21. Washington Redskins

Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama: Washington is surrendering 136 yards per game on the ground, currently 30th in the NFL. The Crimson Tide, on the other hand, are among the stoutest run defenders in the country, in large part due to Reed, A'Shawn Robinson and Jonathan Allen plugging holes. The 6-3, 313-pound Reed wins with power and toughness - attributes GM Scot McCloughan is attempting to bring to the capitol.
22. Houston Texans

Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State: Despite starting journeymen Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallett (who has since been released) and T.J. Yates, the Texans have been surprisingly competitive most of the year. Cook is one of the more polarizing players in this draft but he possesses the size, arm strength and intangibles for coach Bill O'Brien to build upon.
23. Seattle Seahawks

Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State: Russell Wilson has been sacked 35 times over the first 10 games of the season and he faces the possibility of the offensive line getting worse with the team's best blocker - LT Russell Okung - in the final year of his contract. With so much of the team's salary cap already dedicated elsewhere, the Seahawks may have to draft a replacement. Decker, a powerful run blocker who projects just as well to right tackle as his current left tackle role with the Buckeyes, plays with the physicality and toughness to fit in perfectly.
24. Kansas City Chiefs

Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State: Eric Fisher has yet to live up to expectations after being selected No. 1 overall two years ago and depth remains an issue all over Kansas City's offensive line. Coach Andy Reid, a former offensive line coach, himself, could be intrigued by Conklin, a former walk-on at Michigan State with the power and tenacity to fill in wherever needed.
25. Indianapolis Colts

Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State: Veteran Frank Gore has provided some toughness to the Colts' running game but he lacks a dynamic element. Elliott isn't the second-coming of Todd Gurley, but he is clearly the top running back in this class, showing the all-around game to play on all three downs immediately.
26. Green Bay Packers

Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma State: Veterans Julius Peppers and B.J. Raji are playing effectively for the Packers but they aren't getting any younger. General manager Ted Thompson is always on the lookout for versatile defenders. Bullard is a classic two-gap run-stuffer whose size, physicality and blue-collar playing style would fit in nicely in Green Bay.
27. Minnesota Vikings

Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor: The Vikings have made steady improvements on defense since hiring Mike Zimmer as head coach, but that is mostly based on edge rushers. Billings is a bowling ball of butcher knives in the middle whose quickness and motor could remind Zimmer of Geno Atkins, the Pro Bowl defensive tackle he coached in Cincinnati.
28. Denver Broncos

Germain Ifedi, OT, Texas A&M: Whether the Broncos move forward with Brock Osweiler or go back to Peyton Manning, beefing up the offensive line is a priority. The season-ending injuries to Ryan Clady and Ty Sambrailo make left tackle the position of immediate concern in Denver but not necessarily in next year's draft. Ifedi has experience all over the offensive line, is the caliber of athlete necessary for Gary Kubiak's zone-blocking scheme and may be familiar to Denver's coach given his previous stop in Houston.
29. Cincinnati Bengals

Michael Thomas, WR, Ohio State: The Bengals re-signed A.J. Green to a massive four-year extension but virtually every other receiver on the roster is entering the final year of their respective contracts. The Bengals may find the relatively local product Thomas to be an ideal big-play threat opposite Green.
30. Arizona Cardinals

Jonathan Allen, DE, Alabama: Frostee Rucker is a serviceable defensive end opposite Calais Campbell, but the 10-year veteran is on a one-year deal. The Cardinals could look to get younger and cheaper at the position with the powerful and quick Allen, similarly built as Rucker at 6-3, 283 pounds.
31. New England Patriots

Noah Spence, OLB, Eastern Kentucky: Selection currently forfeited as part of Deflategate penalties.
32. Carolina Panthers

Tre'Davious White, CB, LSU: A career year from cornerback Josh Norman is likely to earn him a huge payday when his contract comes up following this season. Whether Carolina opts to reward him or simply drafts for depth, White has the athleticism to fit into this scheme. While he doesn't possess ideal size at 5-11, 191 pounds, White's fluidity and instincts make him arguably the top "cover corner" in the country.

Copyright NFLDraftScout.com, distributed by The Sports Xchange

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