2015 NFL Mock Draft – April 3

Posted by Brad On April – 3 – 2015
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The 2015 NFL Draft is on the clock as we are less than 4 weeks away. In 30 days we will have the answers to what we’ve been speculating on for months now.

With Tampa Bay essentially locking their sights on Jameis Winston at No. 1 our attention turns to Tennessee. Will it be Leonard Williams or Marcus Mariota? Mariota may not be a typical fit for Ken Wisenhunt’s offense but can the Titans afford to pass on a guy with the upside of Mariota at the premium position in the league. By the nature of my selection I think that answer is no but I leaned several times towards Williams. I’d say at this point it’s 51-49 in my mind.

Beyond the top two this draft only gets more intriguing. As a bonus for reading this long-winded mock, I offer up a preview of a way too early look at the 2016 NFL Draft.

1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State

The Bucs appear to be sold on Winston as their franchise QB. While I don’t agree that it is the right pick, no one can blame them given the need. I can’t see a scenario playing out where Winston makes this team an instant contender. I see him making some splash plays – at the same time taking them out of games with turnovers. Given time, Winston may develop into a solid NFL passer – I just don’t see the attributes to suggest he’s a franchise changing QB.

2. Tennessee Titans – Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon

Count me in the group that doesn’t buy that Tennessee is selecting any not named Marcus Mariota (or Jameis Winston if by chance Lovie passes). I just can’t see this organization tying it’s wagon to Zach Mettenberger by passing on Mariota. Worst case scenario, you let Mettenberger play this season (Mariota has some developing to do) and turn the reins over to Mariota next season if Mett can’t push this team to respectability.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars – Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson

I’ll be shocked if the Jags pass on Leonard Williams – my top rated player in the draft. However, it makes sense given the need for a true pass rusher for Gus Bradley’s defense. Beasley has the speed to be an immediate impact rusher and this is a perfect fit for him.

4. Oakland Raiders – Leonard Williams, DT, USC

The Raiders need a wide receiver for Derek Carr but passing on Williams at this point would be difficult. As good as Amari Cooper and Kevin White are, neither is on par with Williams. Williams is my top rated prospect in this class (and no one is a close second). I have him graded out on par with Ndamukong Suh, who was the second highest graded player in my six years with NFLF (Andrew Luck was the top rated, for those that care).

5. Washington – Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama

A pass rusher makes a ton of sense here but I could see Washington finding a playmaker like Cooper – and moving on Pierre Garcon or Desean Jackson after this season. For now, teaming Cooper with Garcon and Jackson is too tempting to not heavily consider.

6. New York Jets – Dante Fowler Jr., OLB, Florida

The Jets defense suddenly gets interesting in one offseason. With the additions in the defensive backfield plus Fowler, this defense becomes more than formidable for first year HC Todd Bowles…now they just need a QB.

7. Chicago Bears – Kevin White, WR, West Virginia

Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

It’s going to be tough to pass on a defender given their struggles on that side of the ball in the recent past. However trading Brandon Marshall opened up the possibility of adding a guy like White. I think White’s upside is just too much to pass on as he gives Jay Cutler another fearsome duo on the outside.

8. Atlanta Falcons – Randy Gregory, OLB, Nebraska

If Atlanta passes on Gregory, look out for a major slide – possibly down to the late teens. Dan Quinn may be just what the doctor ordered to maximize Gregory’s enormous upside and keep him focused on his craft.

9. NY Giants – Bud Dupree, DE, Kentucky

Offensive line makes the most sense here but replenshing the pass rusher should be a high priority. Dupree is an upgrade day one opposite JPP and really gives the Giants the tools to pressure Tony Romo.

10. St. Louis Rams – DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville

I’ve struggled over this pick. My mind told me OL (Scherff) but my heart was screaming for Parker. WR isn’t the Rams biggest need but at the same time they don’t have anyone on their roster that is capable of being a true No. 1 (Sorry Kenny Britt). Parker has that type of upside as he’ll give Nick Foles a guy that can a lot of jump balls and take the top off the defense.

11. Minnesota Vikings – Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State

I’m sure Minnesota would have loved to pair Teddy Bridgewater and his old teammate DeVante Parker together. However in this scenario, they look to add to the defensive backfield. While CB isn’t their greatest need, it’s an area they need to upgrade to keep pace in their division.

12. Cleveland Browns – Brandon Scherff, OL, Iowa

I fully expect Ray Farmer to play it safe in this draft after last years first round that netted him Justin Gilbert and Johnny Manziel. With this in mind, Farmer opts to take Scherff to beef up his OL. Scherff’s versatility to play guard or tackle will be welcomed as the Browns learned what a lack of depth will do to team’s after losing Alex Mack.

13. New Orleans Saints – Shane Ray, OLB, Missouri

I’m not yet sold on Shane Ray as a standup rusher. He’s a nice athlete from the standpoint of straightline speed but his lateral quicks aren’t nearly as impressive. However, he’s a solid value and Rob Ryan will find multiple ways to utilize his speed off the edge. This may be best case for Ray as he slides a bit down the board in the eyes of the media.

14. Miami Dolphins – Breshad Perriman, WR, UCF

If you go all the way back to my September top 32, I had Breshad Perriman at No. 31 on that board. Perriman was saddled with some really (REALLY) bad QB play this season. Yes, he’ll drop a ball here or there – although not as much as many would have it seem. But, he has the ability to take it the distance every time he touches the ball as his speed translates to the field. After trading away Mike Wallace and losing Brian Hartline in free agency the ‘Phins need to address the WR position beyond dealing for Kenny Stills.

15. San Francisco 49ers – La’el Collins, OL, LSU

Mike Iupati got out of town – along with a host of others this offseason. Just two years removed from a Super Bowl appearance, the 9ers are in a bit of a rebuild. They have a boatload of needs to fill in their defensive front seven. However, this team is going to have run the football to relieve some of the pressure of Colin Kaepernick. With Iupati out at LG, Collins could fill that spot immediately with the potential to play either tackle spot.

16. Houston Texans – Marcus Peters, CB, Washington

The internal debate between Jaelen Strong and Marcus Peters weighed heavily on this pick. Picking up Cecil Shorts from the bargain basement helps with this pick. I think Marcus Peters is the most talented CB in this class by a wide margin. That said, his attitude will scare teams away. When I watch Peters I see a guy that is highly skilled but makes too many business decisions for a player that hangs his hat on physicality. If Houston can keep Peters focused they have found themselves a gem.


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  • Reggie

    Solid Mock Brad,
    As a Lions fan I would be happy with Malcolm Brown and PJ Williams. Both are areas of need. Brown and Williams would but the DL and Secondary in solid situations. Round 3 you would have to look for Tevin Coleman or Laken Thomlinson and that would make a home run of a draft. Kind of sad if Melvin Gordon would be passed on as he is my favorite prospect for the Lions but I know RB is a deep class and does not make sense to spend a Round 1 pick on. What do you think PJ Williams roof is? For the Browns Round 1 would be an amazing start to the draft….not sure about Funchess though. Seems like a guy without a position which on some offenses work but I am not sure about the Browns. Bryce Petty caught my eye. Thoughts on him as a Pro?

    • bradc11

      Looks like you could have a shot at P.J. Williams in the 3rd after his DUI bust. That’s about where I value him anyway. I didn’t love Williams in my tape study – have a 3-4 round grade on him. Elite size and ball skills but his technique leaves a bit to be desired. I haven’t understood the 1st round talk on him. I don’t love his teammate Ronald Darby either – he’s getting a lot of media buzz right now. I’m not sure about Funchess either. I like him more as a flex TE, slot WR…ala Jimmy Graham. Petty is pretty solidly my 3rd QB. Unfortunately I don’t love any of them this year. I think he’s a solid value in round 3 or 4 but no way he makes it there. Nice size, solid athlete, and nice arm. Worry about his transition and misses are pretty bad. My biggest problem is you don’t see him throwing his receiver open. Partially because he never has to in that offense but ball placement is just so-so. If someone gets him in the 3rd I wouldn’t argue that selection.

      • Reggie

        What about Quinten Rollins?

        • bradc11

          I think he’s going to be a safety. I don’t love his chances of being a top flight CB. That said, he’s scratching the surface and could wind up being a really solid centerfielder.

  • Braeden

    Good mock overall, personally I don’t think Tennessee takes Mariota, but I see the logic there. It pains me that Winston is going to go first because I really just don’t think he’s going to be a franchise QB. He’s a high risk high reward gambit because he might be Jamarcus Russell or Byron Leftwich, but then again he might be Ben Roethlisberger and I guess if you’re Tampa Bay and you need a QB then take him if you think he’s your guy (I’m personally still in the Mariota is better camp but that’s a personal opinion that has no bearing on what Tampa may do). I’m surprised just how high you have Vic Beasley. I like beasley a lot as well, but not over Dante Fowler or Shane Ray (and I would say Gregory as well had the whole failed drug test thing not taken place to cause a ding to his stock). I think all 4 should be gone by pick 13, just which order is the question. If Williams is there Oakland has to take him, but I think Amari Cooper would be the best choice if he isn’t (and I don’t expect him to be), because building around Derek Carr should be priority number 1 and Cooper is going to be a bona fide beast in my opinion. Thank you for being on the Perriman bandwagon like I’ve been all year, good call! I think San Diego would take Melvin Gordon over Gurley because I don’t think they would want to burn a pick on another injury prone running back after dealing with Ryan Mathews for the past 5 seasons, though Gurley is a better prospect than Mathews ever was. As a patriots fan I’d be ecstatic if Jalen Collins was available at 32 for us.

    • bradc11


      I think Mariota goes in that spot. Whether it’s Tennessee or someone else, I see him going two so I’ll probably stick with this pick through the draft. I’m with you on Winston. I prefer Fowler over Beasley but I see Beasley as a perfect fit for JAX. I’m not real high on Ray…don’t think he’s a great transition to 3-4 OLB. He doesn’t have great lateral agility (little tight hipped). For that reason, I’m hoping my Browns aren’t intrigued by him if he slides to 12. We are on the same page with Williams and Cooper for Oakland. I see Gurley as such a good prospect that I take a shot on him high because the reward is so great. I went back to watch all his games over the last two years – He’s special. Perriman caught my eye in ’13 and played ’14 with some of the worst QB play in CFB.

      • Braeden

        Yeah as a UCF fan Id rather not talk about the qb play from this season (but hey we did have bortles!) but I think Holman has some potential with his physical skillset (not nfl potential, but capable college starter potential). Perriman is a beast, though and I’m absolutely rooting for him. I’m gonna beg to differ with you on Ray. I really like him and I think he’s just a really good football player. Maybe he is a little stiff in the hips but there are plenty of nfl starters at the 3-4 olb position who don’t drop in coverage often and on running downs will often put their hand in the dirt anyway (Terrell Suggs, Demarcus ware, and Justin Houston come to mind). Also I like his story (watched the ESPN feature on him and it was really moving) so maybe I’m just biased and rooting for him to succeed but I really think the kid is going to be great. Don’t get me wrong I like Beasley and I agree that he fits great in what Jacksonville wants to do (so would fowler though) but I personally would take Ray. I wouldn’t question it if someone went the other way that’s just my view. They’re both studs. Gurley healthy is a freak and a top 6 pick at least. But Gordon is a top 25 prospect too and I think Gordon is safer because of the lack of injury concerns and I still think he’s an immensely talented back. I see where you’re coming from and I have no issue with it though because gurley is a Mack truck that moves like a Ferrari. He’s just dinged up and I don’t think a team like San diego wants to deal with a potentially injury prone back.