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2015 NFL Mock Drafts

Pete Prisco
The Sports Xchange/CBSSports.com

The driving force in every NFL Draft is the quarterbacks and which clubs may take them. At nearly the midway point of the college football season, only two - California junior Jared Goff and Michigan State senior Connor Cook appear worthy of first-round consideration.

Given their relative struggles at the position in recent years, scouts for the Houston Texans and Cleveland Browns are no doubt focusing plenty of attention on Goff and Cook. So, too, however, could be the Detroit Lions and San Francisco 49ers - clubs who have dedicated big dollars to their current quarterbacks but have been given little to show for it so far this season.

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 - 10/13/2015
Round 1
1. Detroit Lions

Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State: Head coach Jim Caldwell showed his frustration with Matthew Stafford and the Lions' winless start by benching his quarterback in the third quarter of the Lions' Week 5 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. Stafford signed a three-year extension in the summer of 2013 worth $41.7 million, but none of it is guaranteed after this season. The Lions could hit the re-set button with Goff, but the smarter move might be re-tooling the defense. Bosa is a powerful, athletic and tenacious defender who, paired with Ziggy Ansah, could give the Lions defense some teeth again.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars

Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss: Losing 2015 first round pick Dante Fowler, Jr. to a torn ACL in the preseason robbed the Jaguars of their defensive centerpiece, but could put them in position to add another one. With the offense seemingly coming together with QB Blake Bortles, giving coach Gus Bradley his prototypical three-technique defensive tackle could be exactly what the franchise needs.
3. New Orleans Saints

Jalen Ramsey, CB, Florida State: Over his short career, Rasmey has already starred at cornerback, safety and even linebacker. That kind of versatility could be irresistible to Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.
4. San Francisco 49ers

Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss: If picking this high, it would seem unlikely that Colin Kaepernick turned around his early-season struggles. Like the Lions with Stafford, the 49ers have some wiggle room on Kaepernick's deal. With a blue chip tackle on the board and the investment already made in Kaepernick, however, Tunsil could be the safer choice. Tunsil hasn't played in 2015 as the NCAA investigates allegations of improper contact with agents, but scouts feel that he's a top five talent and future Pro Bowl tackle.
5. Chicago Bears

Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame: In guiding the Bears to a comeback win in Arrowhead Stadium, QB Jay Cutler took an important step in earning coach John Fox's trust. If Cutler can keep it up, the Bears can focus on building around him rather than replacing him. Stanley would appear to be a perfect fit. His length and coordination project very well to the next level, where he'll remain at left tackle.
6. Houston Texans

Jared Goff, QB, California: If neither Brian Hoyer nor Ryan Mallett are able to convince coach Bill O'Brien that one is the Texans' long-term answer at quarterback, it is hard to imagine the club passing up the opportunity to improve the position. Goff's five-interception performance in the Oct. 10 loss to Utah looked bad on paper, but he was the only reason Cal was in the game. His recognition and accuracy will likely appeal to O'Brien.
7. Miami Dolphins

Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida: Cornerbacks normally wouldn't go this high, but Hargreaves is far from typical. Only the most extraordinary talents step into the SEC and stick out -immediately, as Hargreaves - a true cover corner in the mold of former UF star Joe Haden - has been able to accomplish.
8. Tennessee Titans

Jaylon Smith, OLB, Notre Dame: With Marcus Mariota playing well, the Titans look vastly improved on offense, but the club hasn't been able to stop opponents yet. Smith's explosiveness could make him a perfect fit.
9. Kansas City Chiefs

Kenny Clark, DT, UCLA: The Chiefs surrendered two fourth-quarter touchdowns to the offensively-inept Bears to lose Week 5, and allowed 30-plus points in the three games prior to that. Adding reinforcements anywhere on defense would make sense and given Clark's run-stuffing ability and positional versatility, he would be a good fit.
10. Baltimore Ravens

Tre'Davious White, CB, LSU: The once-mighty Ravens defense is hemorrhaging points, including in a Week 5 loss to the Cleveland Browns in which Josh McCown sliced up the secondary for an eye-popping 457 yards. White doesn't possess ideal size at 5-ee-11, 191 pounds but his fluidity and instincts make him arguably the top "cover corner" in the country.
11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Germain Ifedi, OT, Texas A&M: Investing in a young drop-back quarterback like Jameis Winston requires constant reinforcement of the offensive line protecting him. Scouts are enamored with Ifedi's upside and feel that he could play virtually anywhere up front.
12. Oakland Raiders

Shawn Oakman, DE, Baylor: The gamble on Aldon Smith could pay huge dividends for the Raiders, but the club would be wise to have a backup plan opposite developing superstar Khalil Mack. Oakman remains rough around the edges but his upside is through the roof.
13. Cleveland Browns

Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss: Josh McCown threw for a staggering 457 yards in the Browns' Week 5 overtime thriller over the Ravens, and he did that without a true No. 1 receiver. Treadwell has that kind of potential, winning with body control and controlled aggression to win contested passes.
14. Washington Redskins

Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State: With Robert Griffin III almost surely playing elsewhere in 2016, Washington could be forced to draft for the future. Possessing a bigger arm and greater size than fellow former Spartan, Kirk Cousins, Cook could be drafted and groomed as the future for Jay Gruden's run-heavy scheme.
15. Philadelphia Eagles

Myles Jack, OLB, UCLA: Chip Kelly's up-tempo offense generates points but it also leaves his defense drained, making it critical that the Eagles add dynamic athletes on that side of the ball. Kelly would know Jack better than most as he was still coaching at Oregon when Jack became the first (and likely only) to ever win Pac-12 Freshman Offensive and Defensive Player of the year honors for the Bruins. Though Jack will be coming off knee surgery, he's a remarkable athlete and "natural" football player who will almost certainly be selected in the first round if NFL doctors are satisfied with his recovery.
16. NY Giants

Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State: The Giants are currently taking the running back-by-committee approach with veterans Rashad Jennings, Andre Williams and Shane Vereen, but head coach Tom Coughlin has preferred a lead back in the past. Elliott combines vision, burst and pistons for legs which keep churning through contact for additional yards.
17. San Diego Chargers

DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon: The Chargers closely scouted the defensive linemen in the 2015 draft and need to see someone step up to help Corey Liuget. Don't blame Buckner for Oregon's fall from grace. He uses great length, strength and surprising agility (for a 6-foot-7, 290-pounder) to plug running lanes and harass quarterbacks.
18. St. Louis Rams

Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia: The one area in which the Rams wouldn't appear to need help is with their pass rush, but given the aggression of GM Les Snead and head coach Jeff Fisher, it wouldn't be surprising to see the club double-down on its already fearsome defense with a lightning-quick edge rusher like Floyd rather than address the offense like most Rams fans would prefer.
19. Buffalo Bills

Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State: As long as coach Rex Ryan is in town, the Bills are likely to dedicate their picks along the line of scrimmage. Decker, a powerful run blocker, plays with the physicality and toughness to fit in perfectly.
20. Minnesota Vikings

Vadal Alexander, OG, LSU: With an offense built around the powerful running of Adrian Peterson and protecting relatively slim quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, reinforcing the offensive line with a massive earth-mover like Alexander makes a lot of sense.
21. Indianapolis Colts

Jonathan Bullard, DE, Florida: All of the focus is centered on Andrew Luck but the Colts defense has also struggled, including against the run. Bullard is a classic two-gap run-stuffer whose size and physicality would be welcomed on the Colts' defensive line.
22. Dallas Cowboys

Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama: Joseph Randle and Christine Michael each possess the agility and acceleration to gain yardage in chunks, but neither is a powerful interior plugger. Adding the powerful 6-foot-2, 242-pound Henry to the backfield could give the Cowboys the all-around running game owner Jerry Jones is looking for.
23. NY Jets

Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor: While serving as defensive coordinator in Arizona, coach Todd Bowles saw how explosive deep threat John Brown opened up Arizona's offense. Adding Coleman's game-breaking speed to an offense built around the run and possession receivers Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker could be the perfect "Jet" fuel.
24. Seattle Seahawks

Adolphus Washington, DT, Ohio State: 24. Seattle Seahawks) - Adolphus Washington, DT, Ohio State: Given Seattle's struggles in pass protection over the first five weeks of the season, an offensive lineman would seem more likely, but when have John Schneider and Pete Carroll taken the traditional route on draft day? With both of Seattle's starting defensive tackles - Brandon Mebane and Athyba Rubin - in the final year of their respective deals, the Seahawks will be looking for help via the draft and Washington offers the tenacity and versatility Seattle loves.
25. Pittsburgh Steelers

A'Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama: Even without injured QB Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers are moving the football. The rebuilt defense is hardly performing at its previous standards, however. Robinson's strength, length and experience with Tide coach Nick Saban make him well-suited to Pittsburgh's traditional 3-4 alignment.
26. Carolina Panthers

Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State: Michael Oher has been solid thus far, but if he struggles to fulfill expectations (as was the case in Baltimore and Tennessee), reinforcements could be in order. Conklin is a former walk-on turned highly regarded NFL prospect whose tenacity and strength could make him a favorite of Panthers coach Ron Rivera, a former linebacker.
27. 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.
28. Atlanta Falcons

Jeremy Cash, SS, Duke: New head coach Dan Quinn has the Falcons playing with intensity and confidence, which is precisely the brand of play that Cash provides. His physicality up the middle could help what is already an athletic secondary.
29. Denver Broncos

Cody Whitehair, OG, Kansas State: The Broncos are 5-0 in large part due to their top-ranked defense. Adding some grit and durability to the offensive line could open up the running game and keep Peyton Manning upright. Whitehair is a left tackle for the Wildcats but his square-ish frame and strength are better suited inside to guard.
30. Arizona Cardinals

Shilique Calhoun, DE, Michigan State: The Cardinals are hoping that one of their young edge rushers steps up in 2015. If not, the club will likely be looking for an immediate impact defender with its first pick. Calhoun has the agility and closing speed to acclimate to OLB in the Cardinals' 3-4 alignment.
31. New England Patriots

Darian Thompson, FS, Boise State: The Patriots are seemingly always in search of a playmaking defensive backs and they don't come much more instinctive than the rangy Thompson (Note: Selection currently forfeited as part of Deflategate penalties).
32. Green Bay Packers

Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson: 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 and Lawson possesses an exciting blend of power, athleticism and aggression.

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