2015 NFL Mock Draft 3.0

Posted by Brad On December – 3 – 2014
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The college football regular season is in the books and now things get real interesting in year one of the CFB Playoff system. If I’m taking an honest look at my evaluations at this point, it’s easy to say I’m very far behind. With a new gig and finishing up my Master’s degree, my attention hasn’t been focused on the draft as much as usual. That said, I feel I have a pretty good bead on quite a few of these prospects. You’ll notice some major differences between this mock and most others in positioning of players and maybe a couple of names that you didn’t anticipate landing where they did. Two years ago, I did some so much review that paralysis by analysis set in. This year, I’ve watched about 30 prospects in depth and maybe 30 others with a glancing view. With that I feel confident that the honing in process is setting in. Enjoy!

1. Oakland Raiders – Leonard Williams, DE, USC

The Raiders may look to move out of this spot with the QB-needy teams lining up for Marcus Mariota. If the draft order falls in this direction, my money would be on Oakland moving out – wise considering their needs. If they stay it will be hard to pass on Leonard Williams. Teaming Williams up with the young defensive talent (Mack and Moore) would be wise.

2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon

If no one trades up to No. 1, it would be tough to see Mariota sliding beyond TB. Mike Glennon and Josh McCown are clearly not the answer moving forward for this team. The Bucs and Lovie Smith need an offensive building block to pair with stud WR Mike Evans. This could be a great fit for Mariota as well as there is offensive talent to build around him with.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars – Randy Gregory, DE, Nebraska

I’d have to think Gus Bradley personally delivers this card to the Rodger Goodell if Gregory is on the board when the Jags pick. The Jags defense isn’t far off from being a very good unit and Gregory could give them the much needed pass rusher to push them over the edge.

4. Tennessee Titans – Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama

Tennessee is in a tough spot with very little talent on their roster. It’s tough to find more than a handful of players on this roster that would be starters on some very average rosters. I could make an argument for as many as nine positions needing significant upgrades, including QB. The Titans can’t afford to reach here so they go with one of the surest players on the board in Amari Cooper. Cooper gives whoever is the QB of now (Mettenberger) and the QB of the future (2016, unfortunately Titans fans) a No. 1 receiver to pair with Kendall Wright and the inconsistent but talented Justin Hunter.

5. New York Jets – Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame

The Jets could go with Jameis but I don’t see it. They really can’t afford to gamble on him with all the holes on this team. This roster is a mess and it doesn’t appear they are in position to turn it around quickly. The Jets will have a ton of cap space heading into the offseason but they are two or three good offseason’s and draft’s away from being legit. With this in mind they snag the best tackle in the draft. Stanley has been a stud for ND the past two years – rather quietly. He can hold down the fort on the right side until D’Brickashaw is put out to pasture in 2016.

6. Washington Redskins – La’el Collins, OT, LSU

"La'el Collins 2015 NFL Mock Draft"

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Redskins are a woeful bunch and are in desperate need of an organizational overhaul, starting at the top. The offensive line has been atrocious this season. Collins is a versatile OL that could play outside or inside in the NFL. Good thing for the Redskins because they need both.

7. New York Giants – Shaq Thompson, OLB Washington

The Giants season is going down the tubes quickly. They have multiple holes on both sides of the ball. That said, they need to focus on playmakers on the offensive or defensive side of the ball. Shaq Thompson gives them a versatile, explosive LB that can do it all.

8. Carolina Panthers – Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford

It hasn’t went as planned in Carolina this season. There troubles start up front making it imperative to find a building block along the OL. Peat has been up and down a bit this season but his skill set is intriguing and could wind up a value in a couple of years.

9. Minnesota Vikings – DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville

Rarely does it work out that collegiate QB/WR tandems join forces in the NFL. So this is probably unlikely. That said, the fit is perfect as Parker gives the Vikings a tall, downfield target to stretch defenses vertically.

10. Chicago Bears – Landon Collins, S, Alabama

Defense, defense, defense. The Bears have been lackluster, to say the least on defense. Not much better on offense. Landon Collins gives them a huge boost in the backend and could be a great pairing with Kyle Fuller in the future.

11. New Orleans Saints – Shane Ray, DE, Missouri

Could the Saints look at Jameis Winston? I think they could but too many other needs to take a QB in the first round. Drew Brees probably has two or three good years left in the tank (he’d be 37/38). With that in mind, don’t be surprised to see them look at the QB position in round 2 or 3. This pick should be spent on a defensive upgrade and Ray gives them a legit pass rusher off the edge.

"Shane Ray 2015 NFL Mock Draft"

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

12. St. Louis Rams – Jameis Winston, QB, FSU

I debated leaving Winston out of round one…I wouldn’t touch him before day two but I’m a healthcare consultant and not a football consultant. The Rams could be a great landing spot for Winston as Shaun Hill could give them a one-year stopgap if needed.

13. Houston Texans – Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan St.

Kareem Jackson’s deal is set to expire and Jon Joseph carries a $12 million cap number next season at the age of 31. Needless to say the Texans will be looking for a corner early and probably often in the 2015 NFL Draft. I fully expect Bill O’Brien to make an offer to Brian Hoyer – the guy he wanted to pry away from the Browns this year.

14. Pittsburgh Steelers – Shawn Oakman, DE, Baylor

Pittsburgh could use upgrades on the OL, at OLB, and in the defensive backfield so they go ahead and pull the trigger on a DL. Oakman’s versatility and upside are through the roof and I think PIT needs to add a DL that can add a sense of fear in opponents gameplans.

15. Cleveland Browns – Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida St.

Heading into the 2014 season many, including myself viewed the Browns depth on the defensive line as the strength of this team. But, Phil Taylor hasn’t been able to stay on the field – story of his short career – and the production of others hasn’t been on par with expectations. These factors have showed up pretty consistently in the run game as the Browns rank near the bottom of the league in stopping the run. Eddie Goldman gives the Browns a big body that can push the pocket with his blend of strength and athleticism. On a very talented FSU defense, Goldman has been a standout this year living up to the hype coming out of high school.

16. Baltimore Ravens – DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon

"DeForest Buckner 2015 NFL Mock Draft"

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The Ravens need help in the defensive backfield, specifically at the cornerback position but the value isn’t there. DeForest Buckner gives them a physical freak to team up with Haloti Ngata, Brandon Williams, and Timmy Jernigan well into the future.

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  • Steve Walters

    No way Coach Fisher wants Jameis! Remember V.Y.?

  • Reggie

    I have to admit I would be a little worried if the Lions took a player like Oghuebi….not saying I would hate it because he could settle the RT or LG position but he has struggled mightily this season to a tune of numerous sacks. With Melvin Gordon, Danny Shelton, and Ty Cambrilio there they might offer a little more safety. Also PJ Williams from FSU could be a nice CB. Why has Oghuebi struggled so much?? Also Hoyer or Manziel?

  • Ted Toland

    After the hearing at Fl State against Winson for 2 sexual assault charges which he did not say one word to himself he might just be the first player to be drafted while at the Florida Corrections Facility.