2015 NFL Mock Draft 3-4-15


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Welcome to another update of our 2015 NFL mock draft. We have feature stories on most of these prospects, so click on on the name where highlighted for more details and information on that specific player. With the Scouting Combine over, we have made some big changes in our 2015 NFL mock draft.

Please check out our 2015 NBA mock draft and our 2016 NBA mock draft.

And our 2016 NFL mock draft.

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1. Tampa, Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State 

Jameis Winston is probably the most scrutinized college football player in the history of the sport. (Tim Tebow was probably more blanketed in terms of coverage, but because he’s a perfect little angel, he didn’t face the scrutiny)

There’s a reason Winston was talked about so much and it goes beyond the fact that he’s been a boon to ESPN’s Nielsen numbers. Winston has probably more character red flags than any top tier, blue chip prospect in NFL Draft in recent memory.

Of course, a lot of that is due to the media age we live in.

There have been plenty of similarly elite athletes who made numerous mistakes off the field like Winston has, but they played and lived in an era where privacy still existed. Jameis Winston does not.

“You have to do some work on him from an intangibles, from an off the field standpoint,” said ESPN Analyst Mel Kiper Jr on conference call this week.

“If Winston checks out between now and April, and you can reconcile all that, and it’s all behind him and he’s matured and it’s not gong to happen again, then he’s goes #1, and Mariota would go second, sixth, somewhere in the top ten, maybe Chip Kelly and Philadelphia try to trade up to get him,” he continued.

Go here for more on Winston

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2. Tennessee, Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon

“He’s got the arm, the size, the intelligence, the character, the work ethic, all the things you need to fit in to any offense down the road,” said NFL Draft guru Mel Kiper Jr on an ESPN media conference call.

“But if you’re going to force feed him, he’s not going to be ready. Obviously, if Chip Kelly were to trade up for him, he would be NFL ready there, we wouldn’t even need to be talking about this then.

“There’s nothing there to preclude you from taking him, but you wouldn’t expect him to start right away and become an impact rookie,” Kiper continued.”

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Go here for more on Mariota

And in this post we analyzed the chances of the Bears trading Cutler and moving up enough to grab Mariota.

3.  Jacksonville, Leonard Williams, DE/DT, USC

The 6-foot-5, 270-pounder has a big-time skill set. Amazing penetration ability and quickness off the snap. Along with Randy Gregory from Nebraska, one of the the best defensive prospects in this draft. Not quite this draft’s Jadeveon Clowney, but close. It wouldn’t be a 2015 NFL mock draft if we didn’t load it up with defensive tackle prospects.

“I think a stud coming off the edge would make the most difference for the Jaguars at No. 3,” said Mayock.

 4. Oakland, Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama

Cooper is your prototypical sized receiver an in the top 5 on everybody’s big board.

“He’s an outstanding player for a big guy, has good body twitch, change of direction, really good hands, and competes hard on every snap whether he’s blocking or running routes. And sometimes guys like him don’t always do that, so that’s a credit to him and his work ethic,” said Will Muschamp, former coach of the Florida Gators.

We explored the Raiders draft potential in more detail here; with a heavy emphasis on the wide receiver position. Oakland put together a great rookie class this year, maybe then can do it again this year?

Also, the idea of the Raiders going back to L.A. is a huge mistake. Here’s why. 

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5. Washington, Shane Ray, DE/OLB, Missouri

Washington has so many issues, I don’t where to start. They’ll probably go best player available.  Ray is being talked about as a top five overall prospect.

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6. New York Jets, Randy Gregory, DE/OLB, Nebraska

“Randy Gregory, some people think he’s No. 1. Some people think he’s two or three,” Said NFL Network Analyst Mike Mayock on Monday.

“He’s in the conversation to be the top edge rusher in this draft. I think Randy Gregory is totally intriguing. I’m not sure if he’s Jason Taylor on the plus side or is he going to be the kid Miami took a couple years ago at No. 3 on the negative side, Dion Jordan. He’s a long, lean guy.

Go here for more on Gregory

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7. Chicago, Danny Shelton, DL, Washington

This year brings a new head coach in John Fox and a new general manager in Ryan Pace. This leadership tandem is a fusion of new and old school.

“When you talk about Fox going forward, you’ve got to get that defense turned around, and he’s been the turnaround artist,” ESPN’s Adam Schefter said. “He’s turned around a team in Carolina, in Denver, and they’re counting on him doing the same in Chicago.”

Schefter, who was voted USA Today’s “best NFL insider” three years in a row, said his sources rave about Pace.

“They think [Pace] is a tremendous evaluator,” he said. “They think he’s been waiting and primed for this opportunity, and they believe he’s going to be a star in this role.”

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Still the Bears have a ton of problems: zero leadership skills at the quarterback position for one. He literally just does not care. Then there’s a defense which is a hot mess. The NFL Draft can only do so much. Here’s a pick that will help to try and fix some of those issues on D.

We also explored the idea of the Bears drafting Landing Collins in this article

Here we discussed the idea of the Bears drafting Dante Fowler instead at this link. 

And in this post we analyzed the chances of the Bears trading Cutler and moving up enough to grab Mariota.

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8. Atlanta, Dante Fowler, DE/OLB, Florida

Falcons really need a pass rusher, I think that’s what they’ll focus on first this April. Kiper agrees:

“Pass rusher, is at the top of the list and they’re one of those teams that need that. It’s going to fall pretty well for them, Fowler, from Florida is one of those guys who I think will still be there. It would present good value for them”

Here we discussed the idea of the Bears drafting Dante Fowler instead at this link. 

9. New York Giants Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa

“He’s not just a weight room freak,” Iowa Hawkeyes tailback Weisman said of senior UI OT Brandon Scherff.

“He’s a football freak.”

Mayock rated Scherff as the #1 OT in this draft.

Brandon Scherff is called a freak because he can do this, which is insane. Yes, he power cleaned 443 pounds three times. FOOTBALL! STRENGTH!!!! RAR RAR RAR!!!!!!!!!

Go here for more on Brandon Scherff including our exclusive podcast with him 

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10. St. Louis, Vic Beasley, DE/OLB, Clemson

Another guy that could have come out last year and been a first rounder. He could fit in well to what the Rams are trying to build. No one sets the edge faster or better than Beasley. Vic is no doubt the best edge rusher in this draft class.

11. Minnesota, Cedric Ogbuehi, OT Texas A&M

And with this pick, Chris Berman will make another one of his Legos “this is like adding the blocks to your fort” analogy. Ogbuchi is a game-changer of a pro prospect, despite the bad season he’s had. 2014 has not gone all that well for him, but I don’t think it will hurt his stock so much in the end. He’ll represent at the combine. He truly is someone you can build a franchise around. Ogbuchi is yet another high level draft pick to come out of Texas A&M (or “Texas A and Them” as @PretendLouHoltz calls them) in the past couple years.

The Vikings top three needs are OT, DL and LB.

12. Cleveland, Alvin Dupree, DE, Kentucky

The Browns have plenty of team needs; most of which are DL, ILB and WR.

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13. New OrleansTrae Waynes, CB, Michigan State

The Saints defense had made some strides in the past couple years, but they still have miles to go. They should go defensive BPA: best player available.

Michigan State corner Trae Waynes is another member of the “no fly zone,” (the original no fly zone, remember that the Arizona Cardinals took the name from the MSU Spartans, who had it first) will join former Jim Thorpe award winner Darquezze Denard by becoming a first round NFL draft pick.

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NFL Network Analyst Mike Mayock, on media conference call this week to preview this week’s NFL Scouting Combine.

“Trae Waynes is very comfortable in press coverage. He jumps up there like all the Michigan State corners do. He understands the game. I know when you get a Michigan State kid coming off that defense, he’s got a tough kid that will tackle that’s been well-coached,” said Mayock praising the Mark Dantonio system.

Here’s more on Waynes

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14. Miami, Breshad Perriman, WR, UFC

“UCF WR Breshad Perriman has first round talent,” said Mike Mayock on conference call. This is your wild card, out of nowhere, crazy no-one-saw-it-coming-pick. Every year a prospect from a mid-major or low-major school jumps up into the first round. This year we’re going with Perriman.

 15. San Francisco, Kevin White, WR, West Virginia

Niners biggest need is wide receiver, and White should be the best one on the board when they’re on the clock. NFL Network Analyst Mike Mayock, on media conference call today, said that White is the best receiver available in this year’s class.

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16. Houston, La’El Collins, OT/G, LSU

Maybe Bill O’Brien will force his GM to trade up to get the QB he wants? That would make the Texans 2015 NFL mock draft a lot more exciting than this mock selection. B.O.B. is truly the “quarterback whisperer” in the NFL, not Marc Trestman. Maybe O’Brien will wait until next year and take his former QB at Penn State Christian Hackenberg instead?

La’El Collins can play many positions, but he needs to work on his technique. For the NFL, he’s better suited at guard or right tackle. He provided a ton of leadership for Les Miles’ program in Baton Rouge during his career, and he will no doubt ace the intangibles test during the NFL Draft evaluation process.

“For me, it’s time to take that next step, gotta go on my own road now and I’m looking forward to it,” said Collins following his final game, a loss to LSU in the Music City Bowl.

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Now the question remains, will his fellow LSU OL Vadal Alexander come out early join him in the same draft class?

It wouldn’t be a 2015 NFL mock draft if we didn’t load it up with offensive tackle prospects.

Go here for more on Collins.

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17. San Diego, Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest

Chargers top three needs are CB, OL and NT.

Also, the idea of the Chargers going back to L.A. is a huge mistake. Here’s why. 

18. Kansas City, DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville

The Chiefs have a big need at the receiver position and Parker is one of the best in this class. As you’ve heard, Chiefs wide receivers just don’t catch touchdown passes. “There’s a chance DeVante Parker falls to the Chiefs,” said Mayock on conference call.

“You have to talk WR when you’re talking about Kansas City. At 18, you’re probably looking at 2nd, third and fourth WR,” he continued.

19. Cleveland from Buffalo, Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford

Hoyer might have had more staying power if he had a better OL to work with. Or maybe this will be Johnny Manziel’s team now?  It will be a very, very interesting offseason in Cleveland. Whoever is QB1, he needs better blocking for certain. Supposedly the Browns want a better option than Mitchell Schwartz. The idea is to then move him inside, so you’d be improving the line in two positions by making just one acquisition.

“Funchess could be a candidate to go 18th overall. Andrus Peat as well,” said Mayock on conference call.

It’s just a question of when the Browns go OT – at #12 or at #19?

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20. Philadelphia, Landon Collins, S, Alabama

Safeties didn’t use to go this high in the draft, but it’s such a passing league now that defensive back is a top priority. Collins possesses the rare combination of instincts and athleticism as the signal caller in the Crimson Tide’s secondary that ranked 14th nationally in pass efficiency defense. It’s a weak safety class and Landon Collins might be the only safety who goes in the first round. 

I project Washington linebacker Shaq Thompson to safety, rank him behind Alabama safety Landon Collins

Here’s much more on Collins

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21. Cincinnati, Arik Armstead, DL, Oregon

Played on the basketball the year they won the Pac 12 Tournament, and went to the NCAA Regionals, so you know that he has great height, length and jumping ability,

“At 6-8, 290, he’s the most physically imposing defender that they have,” said Davis.

“He’s a defensive end in the 3-4, it’s not necessarily a big run production type of position, what we does for them is exactly what they ask, he’s a wonderful player and has a really bright future ahead of him.”

For more on Armstead go here.

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22. Pittsburgh, Ronald Darby, CB, Florida State

It’s amazing that FSU wins so ugly and lets opponents pass on them as much as they do, when you consider all the future NFL players in their secondary.

23. Detroit, Mario Edwards, DE/DT, Florida State

Detroit could use some more depth on their defensive line, especially if Ndamukong Suh walks in free agency. A guy who can possibly play two positions would be an ideal fit; especially at a position this late in the 2015 NFL mock draft.

24. Arizona, Shaq Thompson, LB, Washington

Arizona needs depth at the linebacker position. One of the most fun components of making a 2015 NFL mock draft is trying to figure out what happens when you get way down here in “best player available” mode.

“I project Washington linebacker Shaq Thompson to safety, rank him behind Alabama safety Landon Collins,” said Mayock.

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25. Carolina, Devin Funchess, TE/WR, Michigan

“I told him you’re just one of the hardest receivers I’ve ever had to cover. He’s just got those long strides, and he can stop on a dime, one of the best players I ever went against,” said Michigan Linebacker Jake Ryan, who goes against him everyday in practice.

“When you got somebody who’s 6-6, 6-5 and run the 40 in 4.3, and he’s 235, what more can you ask for from a player? You can’t ask for more than that,” said Michigan DL Frank Clark. Funchess says the 4.3 40-yard-dash he ran was in the spring.

“Funchess could be a candidate to go 18th overall. Andrus Peat as well,” said Mayock on conference call.

Go here for more on Funchess

26. Baltimore, Eric Kendricks, ILB, UCLA

Ravens will likely continue their youth movement on defense; and go defensive best player available.

27. DallasEli Harold, DE/OLB, Virginia

‘Boys could use another pass-rusher and Harold is a guy who’s shot up most boards in the off-season. He was a relatively unknown until recently, but now he’s a bonafide first-round prospect.

28. Denver, Cameron Erving, OT/G/C, Florida State

Broncos have some offensive line issues to resolve; getting a guy who’s versatile and can play multiple positions would be in their best interests. Big changes are coming to Denver this offseason. John Fox and his entire staff being removed from power is just the first step.

29. Indianapolis, Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami

Andrew Luck has spent way too much time on his back and running for his life this season. I’ve got to think the Indy goes pass protection first in the draft, based on one of their many team needs. It wouldn’t be a 2015 NFL mock draft if we didn’t load it up with offensive tackle prospects.

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30. Green Bay, Jordan Phillips, NT, Oklahoma

The 2015 NFL mock draft will be like every other year when it comes to mocking the Packers selection: very unpredictable and mysterious. Ted Thompson is truly a “value GM.” However, defense needs to be priority, most likely on the DL.

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31. Seattle Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin

Marshawn Lynch and the Seattle Seahawks are parting ways; that’s the conventional wisdom. The Hawks will need to find his replacement and the draft could be the place to do it. Seattle could likely end up drafting a lot higher up than previously thought. This draft class is a great one for running backs, and Todd Gurley might not be in play now. With the torn ACL, Gurley could be best served returning to Georgia for his senior season.

That leaves Melvin Gordon all alone as the top amateur back in the country.

This makes a lot of sense as Seattle Seahawks GM John Schneider has gone to the Wisconsin well a few times. He drafted his franchise quarterback Russell Wilson out of Madison, and his offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell played his college football for the Badgers as well. (h/t @RobbVogel, Sports Director at NBC 15 Madison) Then given the way the Seahawks season is going, and where they’ll likely be end up selecting in April’s draft, it makes for the perfect mock draft projection.

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Overall, this is the mock draft selection that I am most confident in. Today, on the Heisman Trophy conference call with the media, I asked Gordon about NFL teams he likes, watches, admires, looks up to you. He mentioned the Seahawks; and he mentioned them first.

“I like the way Seattle plays, I love Russell, I like the way New York plays, there a lot of teams that run the ball well and I like their systems,” Gordon said.

Here’s a whole separate article on this idea and how it could happen.

32. New England, Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia

If they don’t re-sign Stevan Ridley, then running back becomes a concern. Gurley’s s got a lot to prove now at the combine since he decided to come out. Overlook the b.s. the NCAA imposed on him and Georgia, it’s not relevant. His health is. Gurley is one of the great enigmas of a 2015 NFL mock draft.

Go here for more on Gurley

This 2015 NFL mock draft is over, and it’s listed on numerous databases, including Walter Football, DC Pro Sports Report, Draft Season and Eat, Drink and Sleep Football.

Paul M. Banks owns, operates and writes The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with Fox Sports Digital, eBay, Google News and CBS Interactive. You can read Banks’ feature stories in the Chicago Tribune RedEye newspaper and listen to him on KOZN 1620 The Zone.

Follow him on Twitter (@paulmbanks)

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Comments

  1. 0% chance Jags give up on Joeckel after 2 years and draft an LT/RT. Jags most likely going D heavy in this draft so I’d expect Gregory or Ray to be the pick based on who’s available

  2. don’t think the Patriots are going RB first round..looking at the OL or DL ..if they can’t resign Revis look at the Def Backfield

  3. seminole/cowboy says:

    so morris Claiborne wasn’t enuff. seriously another bust ass db from lsu to the cowboys. shoot me already. pj Williams pj Williams pj williams

  4. The problem all the mocksters have is researching Ted Thompson of the Packers. He DOES NOT draft WR, RB, TE, CB, in the 1st round. Safety & ILB were glaring needs last year but both ILB’s were gone, Mosely & Shazier, Dix was a need but 2nd choice. They need a serious upgrade @ILB and better talent and depth on the DL this draft. Run defense sucks. He traded out of the 1st to draft Jordy Nelson & got Eddy Lacy late in the 2nd. He won’t draft a CB #1, it’s not a need and I don’t believe it represents value.

  5. Cardinals Fan says:

    Shaq Thompon, while attractive for his versatility, athleticism and the fact he’s played RB before, doesn’t fill the needs we have. What you are more likely to see is some speedy pass rusher, or my preferred option is Eric Kendricks. We have a big pass rush problem and a problem covering tight ends (and mobile QB’s, but that problem arose from D.Washington being suspended. He is excellent at that for us so when he comes back, that problem should be solved). Eric Kendricks also helps us at depth is D.Wash continues to have off the field issues.

    My ideal off-season: Promote our new DC internally and continue to use Todd Bowles’ scheme. Cut Larry Fitzgerald, Ted Ginn and Lyle Sendlein (along with replacement players we’ve brought in and depth players as needed) to generate cap space. Bring in a possession receiver on a two year deal to at least partially fill Larry’s role in the offense. Sign a F/A Running back (M.Ingram?) and Right Tackle (B.Bulaga?). Then for our draft…
    1. ILB (Erick Kendricks)
    2. CB (Marcus Peters)
    3. Center (Reese Dismuke)
    4-7 draft speedy pass rush specialists and hope we find a gem. Maybe take a right guard if there’s a good one available

  6. TheLoadedOne says:

    “Jameis Winston is the most scrutinized and over-publicized college football player in the history of the sport.”

    Ummmmmm, Tebow?

  7. Niners have both tackles locked up through the decade….what exactly do you think would happen in free agency to make them draft one?

  8. The pats will not select a rb at 1, it is not happening.

  9. Time to do some editing to your draft. For example, the Beas at #7 don’t have a coach in over his head anymore. John Fox was hired almost a month ago. If you want people to take your mock draft seriously, get your facts straight.

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