The NFL Draft is Thursday. What a fun year of Mock Draft’s we’ve had! Here’s 2015 NFL Mock Draft 1.0 (May 2014). This was 2015 NFL Mock Draft 2.0 (November 2014). This was Mock Draft 3.0, (January 8). This was Mock Draft 4.0 (February 23rd). This is Mock Draft 5.0 (April 2nd). This is Mock Draft 6.0.
1. Tampa Bay – James Winston, QB, FSU. Again, I wouldn’t take him.
2. Tennessee – Leonard Williams, DE, USC. The Titans would like a trade, but will they have a dance partner? I don’t see it. Best case scenario for Williams – he’s J.J. Watt-lite in two years.
3. Jacksonville – Dante Fowler, DE, Florida. Jags surprised everyone last year, and frankly I wouldn’t be shocked if they pulled another stunner and added an OL here. The WR rumors are out there, but Amari Cooper would be the shortest WR taken this high in a decade.
4. Oakland – Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama. Not what I would do, but I (finally) think it’s what will happen. I’ve been bullish on White > Cooper for awhile, and think White will be the better pro. I hate conceding to chalk; I’ll hate myself more if the Raiders take White because I want my mock draft to be right!
5. Washington – Alvin “Bud” Dupree, DE/LB, Kentucky. Redskins would love to trade back here, but other teams are afraid of new GM Scot McCloughan, one of the sharpest front office guys in the NFL. I like Dupree, but he was a complete non-factor against Florida, LSU and Georgia. But with several potential big-name free agents next year, could they lose Ryan Kerrigan?
6. New York Jets – Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon. Vegas odds overwhelmingly say he’ll go 2nd. I’m OK with the Jets trading up to #2 (giving up this pick and their #1 next year) for Mariota, but wouldn’t give up more. If he’s gone, the Jets should trade down. Don’t take a WR, but grab an OL. Actually, not getting Mariota would probably make life easier: No expectations beyond 6-7 wins with their crappy QB duo.
7. Chicago – Kevin White, WR, West Virginia. Only starred for a year, but the kid is explosive. Bears have immense needs on defense, but getting Pernell McPhee doesn’t make drafting an edge rusher here a priority, though one could have argued Shane Ray and Randy Gregory were in the mix.
8. Atlanta – Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson. I’m not as high on Beasley as a lot of other folks, but would the Falcons rather play it safe with a clean cut kid than Gregory/Ray? Pass rusher is a massive need for a team that has fallen far and fast.
9. New York Giants – Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford. With the Giants constantly tweaking (or contemplating tweaking) with the line, how can they pass on Peat? At the same time, as some of these pass rushers slide, do the Giants take a gamble on Ray or Gregory?
10. St. Louis – Brandon Scherff, OL, Iowa. Tough team to peg because of the new OC, the new QB, and one again, a defensive with huge expectations. Fisher going back to ground-and-pound? Tackle Greg Robinson struggled as a rookie.
11. Minnesota – DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville. Vikings have been all over the board in my mock drafts, but unhappy with how some WRs have panned out, do they bring their franchise QB, Teddy Bridgewater, his college pal?
12. Cleveland – Danny Shelton, DT, Washington. Had Parker here for the last two mock drafts, but if he goes 11th, I think the Browns pounce on a DT here, and then take a WR at 19.
13. New Orleans – Arik Armstead, DE, Oregon. Tough decision if Gregory and Ray are on the board, as they’re a better fit in the Saints 3-4, and Armstead is a bit rawer. The Saints really need a pass rush to take pressure off a leaky secondary (which did improve by adding Brandon Browner).
14. Miami – Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State. Plenty of needs here – including OLB after the Dion Jordan suspension – but how about a corner opposite the athletic Brent Grimes? With Suh and Wake chasing QBs, and two good CBs, the Dolphins defense should be much improved.
15. San Francisco – Randy Gregory, DE/OLB, Nebraska. Feels like the front seven here given the ugly offseason, but it could be the secondary, too. It’s crazy how two years ago the 49ers had one of the best rosters in the NFL; it feels like they were drained of talent very quickly.
16. Houston – Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Missouri. The idea of Ryan Mallett throwing bombs to DGB should scare the hell out of the entire AFC. DGB will be such an impact player, I could see the Texans sneaking into the playoffs next season. I’d assume most mock drafts don’t have DGB anywhere in the 1st; what a steal if he falls to the 2nd round.
17. San Diego –La’El Collins, OT, LSU. The guy’s a Top 10 talent, should go in the first round, and was a mauler for Les Miles. But he really needs to step forward and clear himself as quick as possible from this ugly story. The longer his name is in the headlines for this, the more you wonder if teams will have too many questions and remove him from their board.
18. Kansas City – Cameron Erving, OT, Florida State. Chiefs going to consider Landon Collins here given the health of Eric Berry? Don’t they need another WR besides Maclin? Erving can play anywhere on the OL, which is invaluable.
19. Cleveland (via Buffalo) – Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State. A Strong-Bowe-Hartline WR trio is a significant upgrade from last year for the winner of the McCown/Manziel QB competition. Regardless of the QB, I think Strong could finish in the Top 5 for Rookie of the Year. A Shelton/Strong 1st round? That’s an A+.
20. Philadelphia – Byron Jones, CB, Connecticut. The hot name here is Damarious Randall of Arizona State, a fast-rising DB. Has anyone come close to nailing Chip Kelly’s last two 1st round picks? Nope.
21. Cincinnati – Malcolm Brown, DT, Texas. Feels like the trenches on either side for the Bengals who could use depth on the DL (nice to have Michael Johnson back!) or the offensive line. Had Brown at 19 in the last two mock drafts; his range seems to be 19-27.
22. Pittsburgh –Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest. Need a pass-rusher, but also are in dire need of a CB in a conference where they’ll have to face Brady, Flacco or Manning (or all!) in the postseason. Is Johnson better than Jones? Is Johnson better than Peters? It really depends whom you talk to.
23. Detroit – Shane Ray, OLB/DE, Missouri. Arrest this week slides him out of the Top 10, but so does the toe injury which will likely keep him out for the first 4-6 weeks of the season.
24. Arizona – Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia. Months ago he was late 1st/2nd because hey, that’s where RBs go now. All of a sudden the buzz is he’s going in the Top 10. Hmmmm. Love Gurley, think he’ll be a great pro, but I don’t want to hear people talk about him “falling” if he lands in the 20s.
25. Carolina – D.J. Humphries, OT, Florida. First time he’s appearing in one of my mock drafts, which means one of three things: 1) I totally missed on him up to this point, 2) I’m getting such compelling info that I had to jam him in, 3) I’m getting sucked into late hype on a guy I know little about.
26. Baltimore – Breshad Perriman, WR, UCF. It’s gotta be a receiver, right? Melvin Gordon also makes sense, but Ozzie Newsome is too smart for that. Perriman is a blazer, has good size (6-2, 212) and can learn from the great Steve Smith. Michael Campanaro has promise as a slot receiver, but you need a big target to replace Torrey Smith.
27. Dallas – Jordan Phillips, DT, Oklahoma. With Shelton and Brown off the board, Phillips is clearly the #3 DT in the draft. Jerry Jones has gotten sensible, so no Melvin Gordon here … right? The Cowboys can’t possibly think Darren McFadden is the replacement for DeMarco Murray, but I can see Dallas going RB in the later rounds, like if Alabama’s TJ Yeldon drops to the 3rd round, or perhaps Michigan State’s Jeremy Langford in the 4th.
28. Denver – Ereck Flowers, OL, Miami. As long as Peyton Manning is upright, it feels like offensive line, right? They’ve taken four OL in the last three drafts.
29. Indianapolis – Landon Collins, S, Alabama. In-the-box safety should start from Day 1 for the Colts, who will open the season with Super Bowl aspirations. Collins would be a tough decision over OL if the Tide star is still on the board.
30. Green Bay – Marcus Peters, CB, Washington. One of the toughest to peg in the 1st round because he was kicked off the team. Talent’s there, but is he too much of a risk for the Packers? Green Bay lost three CBs in FA, but also have a glaring ILB need. For value, there will be plenty of realistic LB options in the 2nd round. Peters is a Top 15 talent.
31. New Orleans (via Seattle) – Nelson Agholor, WR, USC. Buzzy Trojans’ star would have been great value in the 2nd, but he might not get there. Could slide into the spot vacated by the Kenny Stills trade.
32. New England – Laken Tomlinson, G, Duke. Smart, athletic guy fits a need (remember how brutal the OL was early last year). Obviously have a big need a CB, but it feels like there won’t be one of value here.