It’s never too early for a 2015 NFL mock draft. Draft order was determined by the NFL power rankings in the USA Today. Team needs were taken into account sparingly. It’s still not quite time to add those in fully yet.
A mock draft is like a stew, you can only add in each ingredient at the right time. And where highlighted, click on each name to read more about that player.
1. Oakland, Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
Looked pro ready this year, but was best served by coming back to lead the quack attack for another year. Mariota completed 64 percent of his passes for 3,665 yards with 31 touchdowns and four interceptions. He’s a dual threat too as he ran for 715 yards with nine touchdowns.
2. Jacksonville, Randy Gregory, DE/OLB, Nebraska
In the few 2015 NFL mock draft (s) that are out there, I’m seeing this Husker as one of the top two defenders on the big board. So Bo Pelini better bring him to Big Ten Media Day in Chicago! So I can do some features on him. Now watch, because I said this he’ll instead bring some fifth year back-up tight end with “leadership” and “values” to the event. Oh wait, he’s Bo Pelini, not Jim Tressel. So he will come through.
Go here for more on Randy Gregory
3. Washington, Shilique Calhoun, DE, Michigan State
Shame on you for not reading my piece on Calhoun this past winter! NONE of you did. You would have known more about one of the hottest prospects in the 2015 NFL mock draft.
“Shilique Calhoun had a breakout year from his defensive end position,” Spartans Coach Shilique Dantonio said. “He’s a high-motor guy, who has the knack for making big plays. Shilique has played at a consistently high level all year, not only pressuring the quarterback but playing versus the run as well.”
4. Cleveland Browns (from BUF) 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. With Randy Gregory from Nebraska, one of the the best defensive prospects in this draft. Not quite this year’s Jadeveon Clowney, but close.
5. Minnesota Vikings, Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
They got their quarterback of the future, now go get a wideout to pair with him. Because Justin’s Blackmon’s future is unsettled, to say the least. Cooper is your prototypical sized receiver. Let’s see how he does this year with a new signal caller at ‘Bama, one who probably a little less of a d-bag than his previous one.
6. Houston, Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor
7. Cleveland, Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford
Isn’t it totally insane that the Browns could easily have two picks in the top 7? They might not be good this season, but in 2015- look out!
8. Tampa, Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State
Yes, I’m predicting Josh McCown and Mike Glennon will not actually work out. And Lovie Smith will realize it.
Winston coined the phrase “Manziel Disease” before anyone had even heard of Winston. And now he has contracted Manziel disease himself. It’s the affliction you have when you’re character red flagged.
Go here for more on Jameis Winston
9. Tennessee, Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA
Made the right choice by going back to school. Oakland is always drafting around these parts. And they always need a quarterback. So hopefully Hundley runs clocks a time on his shuttle runs that fast enough for them at his Pro Day. Because we know that’s what the Raiders are all about, 40 yard dash times. Didn’t Hundley sign with a Jay-Z’s agency? Well, then I wasn’t born a hustler, I was birthing them.
10. NY Giants, P.J. Williams, CB, Florida State
Yes, the FSU secondary is that insanely good
11. Miami, Michael Bennett, DT, Ohio State
How many dudes names Michael Bennett are going to play pro football, jeez! I can’t keep all my Michael Bennetts straight. Bennett has recorded 66 career tackles including 17.5 tackles-for-losses totaling 90 yards. He also has a team-high 11 quarterback sacks entering the 2014 season. He is coming off a fine 2013 season when he was named second-team all-Big Ten after starting 13 games and amassing career highs in tackles (44) tackles-for-loss and yards (11.5 for 62) and quarterback sacks (7.5). He ranked fourth in the Big Ten Conference in sacks and 15th in TFLs, and in conference-only games, he ranked second in the league in sacks (6.5) and seventh in TFLs (9.5).
12. NY Jets, Vic Beasley, DE/OLB, Clemson
Could have come out this year, but was best served by staying put. Versatile prospect; I love what he could bring to the Jets.
13. Detroit, Cedric Ogbuehi, OT Texas A&M
Not their most pressing needs, but the mock pick works because these are the LOLions and Lionsing is what they do.
The Lions off-season may have been the worst in all of football, I mean seriously, who drafts a tight end in the first round these days? At #10 overall? After you’ve already re-signed Brandon Pettigrew?
And that TE is a guy no one, outside of hard core NFL mock draft nerds, had ever heard of until March.
14. Dallas, Ray Drew, DE, Georgia
Flew under the radar due to the rough season he Dawgs had.
15. St. Louis Rams, Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa
Yet another space eater from Iowa. The Big Ten, especially the pork and beef producing states gives us a ton of great OL. Even though I cover the Big Ten regularly, I have not written about Scherff yet. I do hope Kirk Ferentz brings him to Big Ten Media Day, would make those days so much better for me. The Big Ten has gone six straight years with zero and I mean ZERO picks in the top ten. Although Taylor Lewan just missed at #11. They’re making up for it big time here, with the #3 overall and five of the top sixteen in this mock.
Go here for more on Brandon Scherff
16. Atlanta, Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin
Steven Jackson’s thigh injury limited him and he had a bad year. Maybe he’s aging, and needs to be replaced?
He’s a tailback unlike any we’ve seen at UW-Madison. And of course, there have been some great ones at Wisconsin. Those great college tailbacks don’t really do much in the NFL (Montee Ball is not off to a great start, Ron Dayne was a bust, Michael Bennett had some good years with the Minnesota Vikings then flamed out, John Clay and Anthony Davis were busts) but that’s another story.
Melvin Gordon is different from those other Badgers backs. He’s more of a home run threat.
Go here for more on Melvin Gordon
17. Pittsburgh, Landon Collins, S, Alabama
Saban is running a great football vocational institution, and the Lions are bad stopping people from completing passes.
18. San Diego La’El Collins, OT/G, LSU
Deserves more pub, but unfortunately no one cares, and I mean NO ONE CARES about Offensive linemen
19. Baltimore, Dante Fowler, DE, Florida
Baltimore continues the youth movement in their defense
20. Chicago Bears, Jalen Collins, CB, LSU
I’m totally fine with the Bears drafting a DB from a SEC power this year. The Bears safeties are truly that terrible. They’re like Adam Archuleta terrible. But I’m not a Bears fan, so I’m actually cool with whatever.
21. Kansas City, Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State
Having done my MBA at Michigan State I love me some MSU football! Unfortunately the web at large does not. Spartan football is page views death, hence I have not written about Waynes yet who is deservedly slotted here. Not a homer pick. Mark Dantonio better bring him to Big Ten Media Day in Chicago! So I can do some features on him. One year, the MSU Coach actually brought his placekicker to Media Day. Seriously, WHY would you do that? Who does something so pointless like that?
22. Arizona, Cedric Reed, DE Texas
Shut out of this NFL Draft, “Hook ‘em Horns will be back with a vengeance next year.
23. Cincinnati Bengals, Noah Spence, DE, Ohio State
The most perfect pick of the 2015 NFL mock draft. local kid. May have some character issues. May not. But the Bengals are a team that has zero worries about character issues. Before the Orange bowl it was thought that Noah Spence committed an offense of the performance enhancing drug variety. The Columbus Post-Dispatch reported that Spence tested positive for an unapproved dietary supplement. So it was a substance that the league deems, whether rightfully or wrongly, enhances performance.
Turns out it was ecstasy. So the only performance it enhances is being tactile and compulsively touching things. Now that I’ve ever “rolled on E” (or X depending on your local drug slang) but I’ve been around enough people on X to know that the narcotic makes you prone to that.
Go here for more on Spence.
24. Carolina, Devin Funchess, TE, Michigan
What a fun name to say! Even though the Wolverines offense was anything but fun to watch. That’s why Al Borges lost his job.
25. Philadelphia, Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, Oregon
Yet again I mock a former Chip Kelly player to his current. IEO could have come out this year, but his much better served by staying at Eugene.
26. Indianapolis Colts, T.J. Yeldon, RB, Alabama
Why do I have all these running backs in the first round? Am I nuts? No, wait. Don’t answer that.
27. New Orleans, Cameron Erving, OT, Florida State
You don’t have famous Jameis without Erving
28. Green Bay, Kurtis Drummond, S Michigan State
That “other” defensive back at Michigan State, Drummond will be expected to fill the shoes of Dennard this fall as being the Captain of the “No Fly Zone.” That’s right no opposing footballs find the receiver in this airspace. And yes, yes, I know the Michigan State homering here in this mock draft is ridiculous.
29. New England, Mario Edwards, DE, Florida State
Another Mario Edwards? How many dudes with names we already heard are in this 2015 NFL mock draft? Edwards is a raw talent who could really fulfill his potential this year. Patriots pass rush needs augmentation
30. San Francisco, Nelson Agholor, WR, USC
Why is USC so bad with all these pro prospects? Oh that’s right Lane Kiffin destroyed the program
31. Denver, Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia
Yes, I believe yet another running back in the first round!
32. Seattle, Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State
This 2015 NFL mock draft will be filled out in full with more prospect and team needs info as the season develops.
Paul M. The Sports Bank.net, which is with Fox Sports and Read his features stories in the Chicago Tribune RedEye edition. Listen to him on 1620 The Zone. Follow him on Twitter (@paulmbanks) His work has been featured in hundreds of media outlets including The Washington Post and ESPN2owns, operates and sometimes writes Follow paulmbanks