2015 NFL mock draft: Big Ten, ACC prospects lead the way
In a way-too-early look at the 2015 NFL Draft class, the Big Ten and ACC lead the way with eight prospects each in this mock draft, followed by the Pac-12 with seven and the SEC with six
A 2015 mock draft already? Why not? This exercise isn't meant for accuracy, but rather an early look at the top draft-eligible prospects for the 2015 NFL Draft and where they could wind up a year from now.
It's impossible to properly predict the draft order so to avoid guessing how teams will finish this upcoming season, the draft order for the 2014 NFL Draft was used.
1. Houston Texans -- Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon: The Texans didn't draft a quarterback until the fourth round this year, but if Mariota had declared, I think he would have been their No. 1 selection over Jadeveon Clowney.
2. Washington Redskins -- Leonard Williams, DT, Southern Cal: From an athleticism standpoint, Williams is close to elite for a defensive lineman and his football ability seems to get better with each game – sky is the limit.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars -- Randy Gregory, DE, Nebraska: One of my favorites, Gregory is still learning and needs to get stronger, but he shows flashes of Jason Pierre Paul when he was a young rusher at South Florida.
4. Cleveland Browns -- Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford: Joel Bitonio and Mitchell Schwartz are both guards in my opinion, making right tackle a need area. Peat can fill that spot as a rookie and eventually be the Browns’ left tackle.
5. Oakland Raiders -- Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa: A mean, nasty player, Scherff would have been a first rounder this year and if he continues to develop in pass protection, he could end up in the top-10 next year.
6. Atlanta Falcons -- Shilique Calhoun, DE, Michigan State: A player who emerged last season as an impact pass rusher, Calhoun will go this high if he takes the next step in his development, building off last year’s stats (14.5 TFL, 7.5 sacks, 18 QB Hurries).
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State: Winston has the skills to be the No. 1 overall pick, but he has room to grow on the field and needs to keep his nose clean off the field.
8. Minnesota Vikings -- Landon Collins, S, Alabama: After starting nine games last year, look for Collins to command more of a leadership role in 2014 and have a bigger impact than 2014 first rounder, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.
9. Cleveland Browns (from BUF) -- Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama: Cleveland’s wide receiver situation is somewhat of a concern right now and while there isn't an A.J. Green type of prospect next year, Cooper is an exciting pass catcher.
10. Detroit Lions -- Michael Bennett , DT, Ohio State: With Nick Fairley expected to test the free agent waters, Bennett could be a possible long-term replacement.
11. Tennessee Titans -- Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA: While still very raw, Hundley has a full tool box and if he takes the next step in his development in 2014, look for him to be a top-12 pick next year.
12. New York Giants -- Cedric Ogbuehi, OT, Texas A&M: Another draft, another first round Texas A&M first round offensive tackle, making it three straight years with the Aggies producing a blocker in the top-32 picks.
13. St. Louis Rams -- Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, Oregon: The Rams have spent several high round draft picks on defense and I don’t expect that to stop, especially if a player as good as Ekpre-Olomu is here.
-- Devonte Fields, DE, TCU: There is no such thing as too much pass rush and although Fields has some immature qualities, this would be a great fit for him to learn under
15. Pittsburgh Steelers -- Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson: Pittsburgh has rebuilt their linebacker group the past two years in the first round ( Jarvis Jones , Ryan Shazier) and Beasley could continue those efforts.
16. Dallas Cowboys -- P.J. Williams, CB, Florida State: An emerging superstar last season, Williams was the Defensive Player of the Game in the BCS Title Game and has a big future ahead of him as a versatile defensive back.
17. Baltimore Ravens -- Cameron Erving, OT, Florida State: The Ravens right tackle job is somewhat of a question mark right now and if Kelechi Osemele or Ricky Wagner don't secure the position, it could be a need here.
18. New York Jets -- Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia: After two years without a first round running back, we could see a few come off the board next year, led by Gurley who has everything you want at the position, just needs to stay healthy.
19. Miami Dolphins -- Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin: A player that probably would have been the top running back this year had he declared, Gordon has excellent balance and acceleration and will be in the Heisman discussion.
20. Arizona Cardinals -- Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor: Yes, the Cardinals drafted Logan Thomas as Bruce Arians' project quarterback, but I don’t buy him as the long-term starter. Petty could be that player.
21. Green Bay Packers -- Dante Fowler, DE, Florida: The Packers addressed the front-seven in free agency and the draft, but will have room to add more impact rushers up front, especially in that division.
22. Philadelphia Eagles -- Noah Spence, DE, Ohio State: The Eagles admittedly reached a tad to get the next best rusher this year in the first round (Marcus Smith), but Philadelphia's pass rush woes are far from solved.
23. Kansas City Chiefs -- Nelson Agholor, WR, Southern Cal: Right now, Donnie Avery is a projected starter for the Chiefs and regardless who is at quarterback, Kanas City needs to find another weapon opposite Dwayne Bowe .
24. Cincinnati Bengals -- Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State: Time will tell if Marvin Jones or Mohamed Sanu can lock down the No. 2 wide receiver gig, but if they don’t, Strong would be an excellent option here.
25. San Diego Chargers -- La'el Collins, OG, LSU: This San Diego regime has stressed the importance of the offensive line and with several of their starters aging, young depth could be the target here.
26. Indianapolis Colts -- Mario Edwards, DE, Florida State: A player with all the requisite skills to be an impact lineman, Edwards is still figuring out how to use his talent and could take a big step in 2014.
27. New Orleans Saints -- Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State: That "other" cornerback at Michigan State, Waynes will be expected to fill the shoes of Dennard in 2014 and if he does, look for the Spartans to possibly have another first round corner.
28. Carolina Panthers -- Devin Funchess, TE, Michigan: With Greg Olsen not getting any younger, a young replacement could be targeted and Funchess has the athletic skills to develop into something special.
29. New England Patriots -- Nick O'Leary, TE, Florida State: From an athletic standpoint, O'Leary isn't overly special, but he has reliable hands, knows how to get open and has the toughness NFL teams will covet.
30. San Francisco 49ers -- Shawn Oakman, DE, Baylor: Still very much a work-in-progress, Oakman is a name to keep an eye on because of his raw size and athletic traits, just needs to figure out what he's doing.
31. Denver Broncos -- Denzel Perryman, LB, Miami: Perryman received a third round grade from the advisory committee this past year and could creep into the later stages of round one with another impact season at the U.
32. Seattle Seahawks -- DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville: Teddy Bridgewater's top target last year, Parker could blossom even more in Bobby Petrinos offense and cement himself among the draft's top-40 picks.
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