2015 NFL Mock Draft 1.0: Post-Super Bowl Edition

  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon. If it weren’t for his character concerns, Jameis Winston would be the pick here, but Winston just has too many red flags right now for the Buccaneers to take him No. 1 overall. Mariota was a prolific college quarterback putting up insane stats in the Ducks offense. And while he may have trouble adjusting to a more pro-style offense in the NFL, Mariota has all the physical tools to succeed as a starting quarterback in the NFL, which the Buccaneers absolutely need.
  2. Tennessee Titans: Leonard Williams, DT, USC. While the Titans do need a quarterback, I think they may go a different route, either via free agency or with Zach Mettenberger. Instead the Titans shore up their pass rush with Williams, who had 7.0 sacks and 13.0 tackles for a loss last season at USC. Williams should help shore up a defense that was 31st against the run last season.
  3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa. The Jaguars allowed a league-high 71 sacks last season and will look to shore up their offensive line and protect Blake Bortles with this selection. Scherff didn’t miss a game last season at Iowa, and while he does have some trouble with speed off the edge, he should immediately shore up Jacksonville’s putrid offensive line.
  4. Oakland Raiders: Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama. The Raiders found their quarterback in last year’s draft in Derek Carr, now they need to give him some weapons on offense. Cooper had 124 receptions for 1,727 yards and 16 touchdowns at Alabama in what was a season for the ages. He’ll immediately give Carr and the Oakland offense a viable threat in the passing game, something they didn’t have last season.
  5. Washington RedskinsRandy Gregory, DE, Nebraska. After finishing No. 24 against the pass last season, the Redskins will look to shore up their defense either with a pass rusher or cornerback. As no defensive back is worthy of a top five selection this year, the Redskins select Gregory, a dominant pass rusher from Nebraska. Gregory had 8.5 sacks and 7.0 tackles for a loss last season with the Huskers and will give Washington a viable presence off the edge of their 3-4 defense.
  6. New York Jets: Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State. Character concerns aside, Jameis Winston might be the most talented quarterback in this year’s draft class. Without those red flags, he’d be the No. 1 pick, but alas, he falls to the Jets at No. 6 who are in desperate need of a quarterback. Winston threw for over 7500 yards, completing 66.0 percent of his passes, with 9.4 Adjusted Passing Yards per Attempt (AY/A). Neither Geno Smith nor Michael Vick are franchise quarterbacks so Winston will step in and start from day one for the Jets.
  7. Chicago Bears: Danny Shelton, DT, Washington. The Bears were just awful on defense last season, finishing 30th against the pass and 17th against the run. The Bears’ new defensive coordinator is expected to implement the 3-4, so he’ll need a nose tackle to fill the middle of his defense, as Stephen Paea is a free agent. Shelton was a dominating presence in the middle of the Huskies line, with 9.0 sacks and 16.5 tackles for a loss his senior year at Washington. He’s a perfect fit for the middle of the Bears 3-4 defense.
  8. Atlanta Falcons: Dante Fowler Jr., OLB, Florida. To say the Falcons defense was bad last season might be an understatement. The Falcons ranked 32nd against the pass and 21st against the run, and were tied for 30th in the NFL in sacks. The Falcons have a dire need for a pass rush and they’ll look to fill that need with this pick. Fowler Jr. had 8.5 sacks and 15.0 tackles for a loss last season with the Gators. He’s a perfect fit as an edge rusher for Dan Quinn’s defense.
  9. New York Giants: Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford. Jason Pierre-Paul is a free agent, and as he accounted for more than 25 percent of the Giants sacks last season, this pick will surely be a defensive end if he leaves. But if he doesn’t, the Giants need to continue to shore up their offensive line, and do so with the selection of Peat. Peat should start from day one, and could replace Will Beatty if needed.
  10. St. Louis Rams: La’el Collins, OT, LSU. While Jake Long is returning from an injury, his status is still uncertain and with Joe Barksdale headed for a free agency, the Rams have a need along their offensive line. Scouts project Collins as a guard in the NFL so he could fill the void if Barksdale leaves or if Long cannot return to form. Collins is one of the best run blockers in the draft and could fill in along the Rams line right away.
  11. Minnesota Vikings: T.J. Clemmings, OT, Pittsburgh. The Vikings were among the league’s worst in sacks allowed, 5th worst in the NFL, and need to protect quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to further his development. While a bit of a reach, Clemmings will give the Vikings a solid tackle to build around and protect their quarterback for years to come.
  12. Cleveland Browns: Shane Ray, DE, Missouri. While the Browns are in desperate need of a wide receiver, most of the top wideouts will be available when the Browns pick again with the No. 19 selection, acquired from the Buffalo Bills in last year’s draft. The Browns also need help along their defensive line, as they were the worst in the NFL against the run and finished No. 27 in sacks. With Danny Shelton off the board, the Browns select the next best lineman in Ray. Ray had 13.0 sacks and 22.5 tackles for a loss last season with the Tigers and would be a force along the defensive line in Mike Pettine’s defense.
  13. New Orleans Saints: Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson. After finishing near the bottom of the NFL against the run and pass, the Saints need to shore up their defense, especially their pass rush as they ranked in the bottom ten teams in sacks. Beasley, who recorded 31.0 tackles for a loss and 32.0 sacks in four years at Clemson, would give Rob Ryan another three-down pass rusher to play with in his defense.
  14. Miami Dolphins: Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida State. While the Dolphins had the 6th best passing defense in the NFL last season, their run defense could use some help after ranking No. 24 in the NFL, allowing over 120 yards per game. Goldman had 4.0 sacks and 8.0 tackles for a loss this past year at Florida State and will wreak havoc inside for the Dolphins.
  15. San Francisco 49ers: Kevin White, WR, West Virginia. While the 49ers had a great ground game, their passing offense was severely lacking as it ranked No. 30 in the NFL, averaging just under 200 yards per game. The 49ers receiving corps could use some improvement and the selection of White here gives them a top-flight receiver to pair with Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree. White caught 109 passes for 1447 yards and 10 touchdowns his senior year at West Virginia.
  16. Houston Texans: Landon Collins, SS, Alabama. Aside from J.J. Watt, the Texas defense wasn’t all that great this past season, ranking 10th against the run and 21st against the pass. Houston will look to improve their pass defense with this selection. Collins had 102 tackles, including 4.5 for a loss, and three interceptions last season with Alabama and should replace former second round pick D.J. Swearinger in the starting lineup.
  17. San Diego Chargers: Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin. The Chargers ranked 30th in the NFL last season in rushing yards, averaging just over 85 yards per game. Ryan Matthews is a free agent, but as he’s been relatively injury-prone, San Diego is in need of a replacement. Gordon rushed for 2587 yards and 29 touchdowns with the Badgers last season and is a dynamic runner that could step in and fill the void if Matthews leaves.
  18. Kansas City Chiefs: DaVante Parker, WR, Louisville. Not a single Chiefs wideout has caught a touchdown pass in an entire calendar year, and if that doesn’t scream needing a wide receiver, I don’t know what does. The Chiefs have the 29th best pass offense in the NFL last season and will look to draft a wideout with this selection. Parker had 43 receptions for 855 yards and five touchdowns with Louisville last season and gives quarterback Alex Smith a No. 1 receiver.
  19. Cleveland Browns: Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State. It’s no secret the Browns need a wide receiver. With Josh Gordon suspended for the entire 2015 season, the Browns No. 1 receiver is Andrew Hawkins. While Hawkins had a fine season, he’s more of a slot receiver than a No. 1. Strong caught 82 passes for 1162 yards and 10 touchdowns last year at Arizona State and would give the Browns quarterback another weapon to throw to.
  20. Philadelphia Eagles: Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State. The Eagles had the second worst passing defense in the NFL last season, allowing over 250 yards per game, and it was a big reason behind them missing the playoffs. Philadelphia desperately needs to upgrade their secondary, and they do so here with the selection of Waynes. Waynes was the Spartans top corner this past year and had 10 passes defended, three interceptions and 50 tackles.
  21. Cincinnati Bengals: Alvin Dupree, DE, Kentucky. Cincinnati had a lot of trouble generating a pass rush last season, finishing last in the NFL in sacks and ranking No. 20 against the pass. The departure of Michael Johnson last season via free agency really hurt the Bengals pass rush and drafting Dupree will fill that void. Dupree had 7.5 sacks and 12.5 tackles for a loss last season with the Wildcats.
  22. Pittsburgh Steelers: Marcus Peters, CB, Washington. After ranking No. 27 in the NFL against the pass last season, the Steelers need to improve their secondary. Peters was dismissed from Washington due to a sideline outburst, but if not for his character concerns, Peters would be the best cornerback in the draft. His junior season with the Huskies, Peters had five interceptions, 55 tackles and 3.5 tackles for a loss.
  23. Detroit Lions: Malcom Brown, DT, Texas. All three of the Lions defensive tackles, Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley and C.J. Mosley are free agents so the Lions need to find at least one replacement. Brown had 13.0 tackles for a loss and 6.5 sacks last season as a junior with the Longhorns and should be able to fill the holes along the Lions front seven should the Lions lose one of their tackles to free agency, as is expected.
  24. Arizona Cardinals: Shaq Thompson, OLB, Washington. Outside of Calais Campbell, who had 7.0 sacks, the Cardinals had trouble generating any consistent pass rush, finishing 24th in the NFL in sacks. The Cardinals will try to find a rush linebacker to fit in their 3-4 defense this offseason. Thompson had 80 tackles, 2.5 tackles for a loss and one sack for the Huskies this past year, while also playing running back for a few games.
  25. Carolina Panthers: Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami (Fla.). According to Pro Football Focus, the Panthers offensive line was one of the worst, No. 22, in the NFL. The Panthers need to protect quarterback Cam Newton and will look to improve their line with this pick. Flowers was a three year starter with the Hurricanes and should help improve Newton’s protection and the Panthers offensive line.
  26. Baltimore Ravens: Quinten Rollins, CB, Miami (OH). The Ravens secondary was a disaster last season, especially after Jimmy Smith went down with an injury. While the Ravens ranked 4th against the run, they ranked 23rd against the pass last season. Baltimore needs to improve their secondary to make another Super Bowl run, and does so here with the selection of Rollins. Rollins had seven interceptions his senior year with the Redhawks and won the Mid-American Conference Defensive Player of the Year Award.
  27. Dallas Cowboys: Arik Armstead, DE, Oregon. The Cowboys have had trouble replacing DeMarcus Ware ever since his departure and with Henry Melton an impending free agent, the Cowboys will look to improve their defensive line. Armstead had 2.5 sacks and 5.5 tackles for a loss last season with the Ducks. While’s he’s definitely a raw prospect, he’s exactly the type of guy Jerry Jones could fall in love with. Armstead would give the Cowboys a presence off the edge after the team ranked No. 28 in the NFL in sacks last season.
  28. Denver BroncosCameron Irving, OT, Florida State. In what may be Peyton Manning’s last season, the Broncos need to protect their aging quarterback if they want to have any chance of making another Super Bowl run. While not the most polished prospect, Irving played both tackle and center in college for the Seminoles and could be of use all across the Broncos offensive line.
  29. Indianapolis Colts: Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia. While the Colts had the best passing offense in the league, they had one of the worst rush offenses to complement it. Trent Richardson is a bust and while Dan Herron played well, he’s more a complement. Gurley was the best running back in college football before he went down with a torn ACL last year. Gurley rushed for 911 yards and 9 touchdowns on 123 carries last season and could have been a top 10 pick had he not gone down with an injury.
  30. Green Bay Packers: Jordan Phillips, DT, Oklahoma. While the Packers ranked among the top 10 in most categories, their weakness was their run defense as they had the No. 23 run defense in the NFL. Defensive tackles Letroy Guion and B.J. Raji are both free agents, so the Packers need to find a replacement to shore up their line. Phillips had 2.0 sacks and 7.0 tackles for a loss last season with the Sooners and will shore up the Packers run defense.
  31. Seattle Seahawks: Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Missouri. Character issues have absolutely destroyed Green-Beckham’s draft stock, but there’s no doubting he’s one of the most talented receivers in this draft class. Green-Beckham caught 59 passes for 883 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2012 with the Tigers. Having reached the Super Bowl, the Seahawks can afford to take a risk on Beckham, needing a wide receiver, who in the right situation, could blossom into a star.
  32. New England Patriots: A.J. Cann, OG, South Carolina. Coming off a Super Bowl victory, the Patriots need to continue to protect Tom Brady if they want to make another playoff run. Pro Football Focus ranked the Patriots offensive line 23rd in the NFL last season and 31st against the pass. Drafting Cann here will give the Patriots some more beef up front to protect Brady.



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