2015 NFL Mock Draft: Winston, Mariota Go 1-2, How Far will Ray Drop?
The NFL Draft kicks off in Chicago on Thursday and runs through Saturday. There's plenty of buzz on who will be the top pick. Will it be Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota? Who will trade up or trade down? Will 2015 be another wide receiver draft? How high will Georgia's Todd Gurley be selected? Let's answer those questions with a mock draft.
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State
Winston is a pro-ready quarterback. But the biggest questions is, are Winston's off the field troubles behind him?
2. Tennessee Titans - Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon Ducks
Does Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt believe in Zach Mettenberger or will he take Mariota? Well, the Tennessean reports Mettenberger is their quarterback. And If Whisenhunt decides to stay with Mettenberger, Leonard Williams would be a good fit. I think the Titans draft Mariota, though. Also, I wouldn't count out Tennessee trading the pick, either. Philip Rivers isn't happy in San Diego and Mariota worked out for the Chargers. Plus, I wouldn't count out Chip Kelly and the Eagles.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars - Leonard Williams, DE/DT, USC
4. Oakland Raiders - Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
After missing out on Randall Cobb in free agency, the Raiders get Alabama's 2014 Heisman finalist at wideout and give Derek Carr a big, vertical threat.
5. Washington Redskins - Dante Fowler, DE/OLB, Florida
The Redskins lost Brian Orakpo in free agency and pick the next best top pass rusher in the draft. Washington could also select West Virginia's Kevin White at wide receiver to give Robert Griffin III another weapon.
6. New York Jets - Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson
If Mariota falls, the Jets would be crazy not to take him. With Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall, the Jets pass on a receiver. So instead, the Jets are lucky Beasley falls to them at number six to fit inside Todd Bowles' new defense. Bowles will like having Beasley, who is the all-time sacks leader at Clemson.
7. Chicago Bears - Kevin White, WR, West Virginia
White would replace Marshall and give the Bears two fast, vertical wide receiver threats again.
8. Atlanta Falcons - Bud Dupree, OLB, Kentucky
Do the Falcons risk taking Shane Ray? Ray said late last week his foot doesn't require surgery. The safer pick is Dupree, who runs a fast 40 (4.56 seconds), has a solid vertical jump (42 inches) and broad jump (11 feet 6 inches). Dupree put up great stats last season, as he had 12.5 tackles for a loss and 7.5 sacks.
9. New York Giants - Brandon Scherff, OL, Iowa
10. St. Louis Rams - DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville
Now that Jake Long is no longer in St. Louis, the Rams could opt to get more protection for its quarterback. With Scherff off the board, Stanford's Andrus Peat is an option. But Parker's upside and potential could be too good to pass up. Parker and Tavon Austin lining up on both sides would give the Rams its best receiver options since the Greatest Show on Turf.
11. Minnesota Vikings - Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State
Some Vikings fans I know tried to talk me out of this pick. But Waynes is the best available player in the draft for Minnesota and Waynes is a big cornerback that could form a nice duo with Xavier Rhodes. After all, Minnesota has to face Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford and Jay Cutler twice a year.
12. Cleveland Browns - Danny Shelton, NT, Washington
With Parker off the board, the Browns fill a need at nose tackle after Ahtyba Rubin left in free agency.
13. New Orleans Saints - Randy Gregory, OLB, Nebraska
Gregory's positive drug test at the combine hurt him a little bit, but the Saints get a pass rusher who had 17.5 sacks the past two seasons for the Cornhuskers. I think it comes down to Gregory or Ray here.
14. Miami Dolphins - Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia
La'el Collins is an option at offensive line to fill a need at guard, but Miami is interested in Gurley and he is worth the risk. Plus, Knowshon Moreno seems to get injured and Lamar Miller hasn't lived up to the hype.
15. San Francisco 49ers - Arik Armstead, DE, Oregon
Ray McDonald was signed by Chicago and Justin Smith is pondering retirement. So, the 49ers fill a hole at defense line.
16. Houston Texans - Phillip Dorsett, WR, Miami
Houston could use a quarterback, but with Winston and Mariota gone, it's too early to take Brett Hundley. So with Andre Johnson gone, the Texans add a speedy receiver who they like.
17. San Diego Chargers - Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford
Left tackle is one of the Chargers biggest needs and so they grab Stanford's Peat. Of course, as I mentioned earlier, stay tuned to see if San Diego does indeed trade up for Mariota. With Gurley off the board, San Diego could take Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon. San Diego has Danny Woodhead, Branden Oliver, Ronnie Brown and Donald Brown in the backfield currently.
18. Kansas City Chiefs - La'el Collins, OT, LSU
With Waynes gone, the Chiefs fill a need at offensive tackle.
19. Cleveland Browns - Breshad Perriman, WR, Central Florida
After taking a nose tackle earlier in the first round, the Browns nab a receiver.
20. Philadelphia Eagles - Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State
After Jeremy Maclin parted ways with Eagles, receiver is a need and Jaelen Strong opposite Jordan Matthews would give Philadelphia a young, yet solid receiving core.
21. Cincinnati Bengals - Shane Ray, DE/OLB, Missouri
Michael Johnson returned to the Bengals, but Ray falling here is too good to pass up regardless of his foot or recent marijuana citation. Plus, a few years ago, the Bengals took a risk on Vontaze Burfict and he ended up working out.
22. Pittsburgh Steelers - Marcus Peters, CB, Washington
Cornerback is the Steelers top need and Peters is best available one on the board with Waynes gone.
23. Detroit Lions - Malcom Brown, DT, Texas
Trading for Haloti Ngata and signing Tyrunn Walker to help with the losses of Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley was significant. But Brown is a young and adds depth. The sexy pick may be Melvin Gordon at running back. Another option is Cameron Erving, who would fill a need at center after Dominic Raiola won't be back.
24. Arizona Cardinals - Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin
Gordon stays in red and gives Bruce Arians workhorse at running back after Andre Ellington has struggled to stay healthy. Most of the top players at the Cardinals other needs aren't there.
25. Carolina Panthers - Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami
The Panthers signed Michael Oher, and still need one more offensive tackle. This pick isn't sexy, but it's smart. Another option is drafting a pass rusher who can replace Greg Hardy. Washington's Shaq Thompson may be a good fit.
26. Baltimore Ravens - Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest
The Ravens could use a receiver or cornerback. Johnson is a safer pick than Dorial Green-Beckham.
27. Dallas Cowboys - Eric Kendricks, ILB, UCLA
The Cowboys would like Gurley or Gordon to fall to them. I'm not sure they will. So one popular pick is Eric Kendricks, who is an inside linebacker from UCLA.
28. Denver Broncos - Jake Fisher, OT, Oregon
Orlando Franklin is no longer in Denver and Fisher adds depth to an offensive line whose most important job is to protect Peyton Manning.
29. Indianapolis Colts - Cameron Erving, C, Florida State
Center is one the Colts top needs and Indianapolis gets the top one here.
30. Green Bay Packers - Denzel Perryman, ILB, Miami
I can't see Ted Thompson taking a cornerback here. I think he trades back possibly or takes a pass rusher or inside linebacker. Perryman, of Miami, is the next best ILB.
31. Seattle Seahawks - Hroniss Grasu, C, Oregon
The Seahawks probably trade back with options at their team needs gone. Oregon's Grasu may be logical pick with Max Unger no longer in Seattle.
32. New England Patriots - Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida State
After losing Vince Wilfork, the Patriots draft a big defensive tackle (6 feet 4 inches, 336 pounds).