2015 NFL Mock Draft: Jameis Winston at the Top, Marcus Mariota to the Jets
By Jason McIntyre
The 2015 NFL Draft is less than four months away. Here’s a Mock Draft with one game left in the season. Several players from the last mock draft have decided to stay in school (Baylor’s Oakman, Michigan State’s Cook, etc), and others will declare in the coming days. Here’s 2015 NFL Mock Draft 1.0 (May 2014). This was 2015 NFL Mock Draft 2.0 (November 2014)
1 Tampa Bay – Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State. No, I wouldn’t take him here. Can Tampa pass on the college star? McCown/Glennon were so bad, Tampa’s got a difficult decision.
2 Tennessee – Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford. Trade down? Chip Kelly going to call up and dangle Shady McCoy? The Browns offer two 1sts? Peat (6-foot-7, 320) is a safe and smart pick.
3 Jacksonville – Leonard Williams, DT, USC. Fits the Jags 4-3. Jacksonville surprised many with Blake Bortles here last year. Amari Cooper to bolster their paltry 4.7 yards per play, which ranked 31st? What about OL? Bortles was sacked an NFL-high 55 times last year.
4 Oakland – Shane Ray, DE, Missouri. Speedy power rusher had 13 sacks for the Tigers. Oakland had just 22 this season.
5 Washington – Dante Fowler, DE, Florida. Rapidly-rising menace was playing for scouts against East Carolina in the bowl game: 3 sacks, 3 TFL. You put Fowler, a healthy Orakpo, Kerrigan and Murphy together and you’ve got a nice group of pass-rushers
6 New York Jets – Marcus Mariota, Oregon. Hoping this happens. Nothing in Ken Whisenhunt or Jay Gruden’s history hints at Mariota fitting into their offenses. The Jets still don’t have a GM/coach/offensive coordinator, so a lot could change.
7 Chicago – Randy Gregory, DE, Nebraska. Spend every pick on the sorry defense, and start with a guy who will get after the QB.
8 Atlanta – Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa. If Rex Ryan gets the Atlanta job, flip this pick to the defensive line. The Falcons gave up 6.1 yards per play last year.
9 New York Giants – Alvin “Bud” Dupree, DE, Kentucky. The replacement for Jason Paul-Pierre? Giants fans will be thrilled when they see the Louisville tape (3 TFL, 2 forced fumbles, 1 sack).
10 St. Louis – Marcus Peters, CB, Washington. Kicked off the Huskies, so they’ll have to do their homework, but Jeff Fisher struck gold with another troubled CB, Janoris Jenkins.
11 Minnesota – Danny Shelton, DT, Washington. Mike Zimmer’s porous run defense could use the fast-rising Shelton on the interior. Often couldn’t be blocked with one lineman. Had 16.5 TFL.
12 Cleveland – Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama. Sticking with Cooper outside of the Top 10, which is not a knock on him, just his size (6-foot-1). Lethal playmaker, but he’s no Odell Beckham.
13 New Orleans – Shaq Thompson, LB, Washington. The Saints gave up a ghastly 6.0 ypp and really need help in the secondary, but at linebacker, too. Thompson may be the best athlete in the draft. Look at his speed here – as a running back.
14 Miami – Eddie Goldman, DT, FSU. Torn between a wingman for Odrick inside, or perhaps a WR since the Dolphins probably have to extend Tannehill, and another receiving option would help. What about safety Landon Collins?
15 San Francisco – Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Oklahoma. If he stays out of trouble between now and the draft, I can see him sneaking into the Top 10. Pass on crazy-talented WRs at your own peril (see Moss, Randy). At the risk of hyperbole, yes, I see a poor man’s Moss. Pivotal offseason ahead with so many free agents(Crabtree, Gore, Iupati, Culliver, Cox, etc). New coach.
16 Houston – Landon Collins, S, Alabama. Texans, for not having a QB, had a surprisingly strong season. With Clowney back, and toss in a playmaker like Collins, the playoffs could be had, despite the lack of QB.
17 San Diego – Arik Armstead, DE, Oregon. The Chargers are desperate for sacks (just 26). Armstead is a bit of a project, but at 6-7, 295, someone will take a chance on him.
18 Kansas City – Kevin White, WR, West Virginia. Such a strong WR class (again), and White could be one of seven who go in the first round.
19 Cleveland (via Buffalo) –Benardrick McKinney, LB, Mississippi St. Besides the struggles at QB, the Browns defense gave up more rushing yards than any other team.
20 Philadelphia – Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State. Didn’t have his best game against Baylor, but it can’t overshadow a strong career. I smell a trade up. Too many offensive weapons, no QB, not enough defensive talent.
21 Arizona – Vic Beasley, OLB/DE, Clemson. Pass-rushing specialist will give immediate help to a defense that could only generate 22 sacks. Beasley had 33 in three seasons for the Tigers.
22 Pittsburgh – Jalen Collins, CB, LSU. The Steelers were in the bottom 10 of nearly every defensive passing category. Unlike last year, the top of the CB class isn’t loaded.
23 Detroit – Jordan Phillips, DT, Oklahoma. Losing Suh to free agency will be a massive blow to a good defense, and though Fairley/Reid played well this year, depth is crucial in that run-stopping defense.
24 Cincinnati – Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State. More help for Andy Dalton. When AJ Green went down, they couldn’t move the ball through the air. Strong is excellent. If not a WR, the pick has to be on the defensive line. The Bengals had an NFL-low 20 sacks.
25 Carolina – Cedric Ogbuehi, OT, Texas A&M. There’s a need at WR, but the offensive line was a joke this year, among the worst in the league.
26 Baltimore – PJ Williams, CB, FSU. Jimmy Smith, when healthy, has shutdown corner potential. Problem is, the other side has been a revolving door at times. Williams would certainly help.
27 Indianapolis – Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia. Yes, the defensive needs are many, but Gurley/Gordon will be gone in the 2nd round (though I like Indiana’s Tevin Coleman and Minnesota’s David Cobb as RB sleepers).
28 Dallas – Michael Bennett, DT, Ohio State. It’s gotta be defense, and it’s gotta be an impact player. The Cowboys gave up 147 yards a game rushing last year. Bennett (along with Sean Lee’s return from injury) should help that significantly.
29 Denver – Cameron Erving, OT, Florida St. Peyton, please come back for another year! We’ll get you help on the line!
30 Green Bay -Hau’oli Kikaha, DE, Washington. Could fall given his injury history, but one of the most productive players in the country: No. 2 in TFL (25.0), No. 1 in sacks (19.0).
31 New England – La’El Collins, OT, LSU. Came close to going secondary given the potential loss of Revis/McCourty/Chung, but don’t forget the massive offensive line problems the Patriots had earlier this season.
32 Seattle – Devante Parker, WR, Louisville. Seahawks will want to bolster DL depth. And probably add a WR (although Richardson has shown some promise) and a RB for when Marshawn Lynch departs.