February 27, 2015

2015 NFL Mock Draft: Post Combine Edition

#11, Kevin White, WR, West Virginia

2015 NFL Mock Draft: Round 1
(Friday, February 27, 2015)

The all-star games and NFL Scouting Combine have come and gone, and things are starting to become much clearer. With free agency looming, I take my best stab at how I see the 2015 NFL Draft playing as of right now.

You can view my 2015 NFL Prospect Rankings here, and My 2015 NFL Draft Big Board here. Want a preview of the 2016 NFL Draft? You can view my 2016 NFL Draft Positional Rankings here.

1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jameis Winston**, QB, Florida State
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 231 lbs. | Class: Sophomore (RS)

Analysis: Things could certainly change with two months until the draft, but at this point, Jameis Winston seems like the favorite to be the first overall pick. Lovie Smith is "comfortable" with making Winston the face of the franchise.

2. Tennessee Titans
Leonard Williams*, DL, Southern California
Ht: 6-5 Wt: 302 lbs. | Class: Junior

Analysis: While early indications are that the Titans will stick with Zach Mettenberger, you can't rule out a quarterback. But, if the Bucs go with Jameis Winston, I believe the Titans will pass on Mariota and look to trade down. Or, they'll draft the best player on their board. Leonard Williams isn't the edge rusher that they desperately need, but he's the type of star they could use on the defensive side of the ball.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars
Vic Beasley, EDGE, Clemson
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 246 lbs. | Class: Senior (RS)

Analysis: I can almost guarantee that the Jaguars will draft a pass rusher with the 3rd overall pick if Leonard Williams is off the board. There are legitimately a handful of players who would make sense here, but I feel like Vic Beasley is the type of LEO edge rusher that fits what Gus Bradley wants to do on defense. Beasley is my top ranked edge rusher.

4. Oakland Raiders
Amari Cooper*, WR, Alabama
Ht: 6-1 Wt: 211 lbs. | Class: Junior

Analysis: The Raiders are the team most associated with Leonard Williams. If he doesn't slide to them, they'll probably focus on one of these tremendous top 10 receiver prospects if they don't land Randall Cobb. Which receiver should they draft though? Between Dorial Green-Beckham, Kevin White, DeVante Parker, and Amari Cooper, there is no wrong answer. White's impressive combine could give him the edge, but Cooper seems to still be the favorite.

5. Washington Redskins
Danny Shelton, NT, Washington
Ht: 6-2 Wt: 339 lbs. | Class: Senior

Analysis: RG3 has been given a vote of confidence as the starter heading into next season, meaning the Redskins may choose to pass on a quarterback if one of the top guys falls to them. There isn't an offensive lineman or defensive back worth drafting in the top 5. Brian Orakpo is a free agent, but they did draft Trent Murphy in the second round last May, which is why for now, I see them building their defense around Danny Shelton, who could be the next Haloti Ngata or Vince Wilfork.

6. New York Jets
Kevin White, WR, West Virginia
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 215 lbs. | Class: Senior

Analysis: Can the Jets afford to pass on Marcus Mariota? Apparently, they're leaning towards sticking with Geno Smith at this point according to ESPN New York's Rich Cimini. If this is true, look for the Jets to make drafting a receiver their top priority, even if there are some talented pass rushers available. Kevin White has a legitimate case to be the first receiver drafted, so he'd be an excellent pick for a team searching for a number one receiver.

7. Chicago Bears
Marcus Mariota*, QB, Oregon
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 222 lbs. | Class: Junior (RS)

Analysis: Marcus Mariota falls to the Bears in this mock draft. If you look beyond the numbers, Jay Cutler was a huge disappointment this past season. His contract makes it difficult for the Bears to trade or cut him, but that shouldn't stop them from pulling the trigger on his replacement if they fall in love with the Oregon quarterback.

8. Atlanta Falcons
Shane Ray*, EDGE, Missouri
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 245 lbs. | Class: Junior (RS)

Analysis: After releasing Steven Jackson, running back becomes a greater need. However, I feel like the Falcons will prioritize finding the impact pass rusher they've lacked for a long time. Shane Ray seems to be the favorite right now.

9. New York Giants
Dante Fowler Jr.*, EDGE, Florida
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 261 lbs. | Class: Junior

Analysis: We know the Giants are going to draft the best player available. The question is, who will they think is the best player available? The answer could be Dante Fowler Jr. The versatile edge rusher could be the answer to their inconsistent pass rush.

10. Saint Louis Rams
Dorial Green-Beckham*, WR, Oklahoma
Ht: 6-5 Wt: 237 lbs. | Class: Junior (RS)

Analysis: Unless one of the big two quarterbacks falls into their laps, the Rams will probably target an offensive lineman or receiver with this pick. Based on talent, Dorial Green-Beckham is a top 10 prospect. He comes with risk due to past off the field incidents, but he's got All-Pro potential, and could give the Rams a true number one receiver.

11. Minnesota Vikings
DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 209 lbs. | Class: Senior

Analysis: My prediction is that the Vikings will use this pick on an offensive player. With Adrian Peterson's future in question, they could easily target Todd Gurley II or Melvin Gordon III here. They could also improve on the offensive line. But, DeVante Parker makes too much sense here. He's the fourth receiver off the board in this mock draft, but he has the potential to be the best from this class when all is said and done. He'll reunite with Teddy Bridgewater, starting opposite Charles Johnson, with Cordarrelle Patterson working from the slot.

12. Cleveland Browns
La'el Collins, OL, Louisiana State
Ht: 6-5 Wt: 305 lbs. | Class: Senior

Analysis: Early indications are that the Browns want to address the offensive line early. La'el Collins makes sense here. He can kick inside and solidify the right guard spot, but the Browns apparently plan on making him their starting right tackle, which would allow Mitchell Schwartz to kick inside to guard.

13. New Orleans Saints
Randy Gregory*, EDGE, Nebraska
Ht: 6-5 Wt: 235 lbs. | Class: Junior (RS)

Analysis: Their pass rush needs to be upgraded. Junior Galette was the Saints' best pass rusher last season, but is facing domestic violence charges, making edge rusher an even bigger need. Randy Gregory is a potential top 10 pick, so the Saints would luck out if they get arguably the draft's best edge rusher at 13.

14. Miami Dolphins
Landon Collins*, SS, Alabama
Ht: 6-0 Wt: 228 lbs. | Class: Junior

Analysis: Brian Hartline and Brandon Gibson were released as of the writing of this mock draft, and Mike Wallace is likely to be on his way out as well. Unless they're fans of Jaelen Strong, I see them passing on a receiver and addressing one of their needs on the other side of the ball. With Louis Delmas and Jimmy Wilson set to hit free agency, the strong safety spot could become a need should Miami move Reshad Jones to free safety. Landon Collins--the top safety in the draft--would give them an immediate upgrade.

15. San Francisco 49ers
Trae Waynes*, CB, Michigan State
Ht: 6-0 Wt: 186 lbs. | Class: Junior (RS)

Analysis: While many are penciling in a receiver for the 49ers, the cornerback position is also in need of an upgrade. Trae Waynes solidified himself as the top corner in the draft at the combine, and could actually come off the board a little earlier than this.

16. Houston Texans
Brandon Scherff, OL, Iowa
Ht: 6-5 Wt: 319 lbs. | Class: Senior (RS)

Analysis: An upgrade at inside linebacker is needed, and they also could add another pass rusher. But the right tackle position stands out as a big need with Derek Newton being a free agent. Some may be surprised to see Brandon Scherff last this long. Either way, he could be a plug and play right tackle for them.

17. San Diego Chargers
Melvin Gordon III*, RB, Wisconsin
Ht: 6-1 Wt: 215 lbs. | Class: Junior (RS)

Analysis: Retaining King Dunlap could allow the Chargers to look elsewhere in terms of position in the first round. Ryan Mathews is a pretty good running back, but is set to test the free agent market, and his injury history could force them to take a long look at a running back here. Todd Gurley II is my top ranked running back, but Melvin Gordon is a stud in his own right. He doesn't come with durability questions, and could be viewed as an upgrade in the long run.

18. Kansas City Chiefs
Alvin Dupree, EDGE, Kentucky
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 269 lbs. | Class: Senior (RS)

Analysis: By now, everyone knows that the Chiefs desperately need offensive line and receiver help. However, they also will target a pass rusher. Justin Houston doesn't look like he'll be back, and although they spent a first round pick last May on Dee Ford, Tamba Hali will be a free agent next year, and could be a candidate for release. Alvin Dupree is a versatile edge rusher with plenty of upside. He's actually a darkhorse to be the first edge rusher drafted.

19. Cleveland Browns
Eddie Goldman*, NT, Florida State
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 336 lbs. | Class: Junior
(via Buffalo)

Analysis: Brett Hundley Jr. could be in play here, but the Browns would be wise to upgrade their run defense. Though I have Malcolm Brown currently graded higher, Florida State's Eddie Goldman may make more sense. He looks like a potential stud nose tackle, and will be able to make an immediate impact as a run stopper.

20. Philadelphia Eagles
Brett Hundley Jr.*, QB, UCLA
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 226 lbs. | Class: Junior (RS)

Analysis: The Eagles will do everything they can to trade up for Marcus Mariota. If they fail, they may see Brett Hundley Jr. as a great a fallback option. The UCLA passer has plenty of upside. Though he'd definitely be a reach here, he fits what Chip Kelly wants to do on offense.

21. Cincinnati Bengals
D.J. Humphries*, OT, Florida
Ht: 6-5 Wt: 307 lbs. | Class: Junior

Analysis: The Bengals usually like to go with the best player available. They could add another pass rusher or upgrade at linebacker. Starting tackles Andrew Whitworth and Andre Smith are in contract years. D.J. Humphries is the best left tackle prospect in the draft, and could be their long term answer at the position. If they want to plug Humphries in right away, Whitworth can slide inside to replace free agent left guard Clint Boling.

22. Pittsburgh Steelers
Owamagbe Odighizuwa, EDGE, UCLA
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 267 lbs. | Class: Senior (RS)

Analysis: Pittsburgh's top 2 pass rushers Jason Worilds and James Harrison are free agents. That obviously means that they will be looking for an upgrade. Owamagbe Odighizuwa could be a top 10 pick when all is said and done, so he'd be an excellent value pick for the Steelers. He could remind them of a younger James Harrison.

23. Detroit Lions
Malcolm Brown*, DT, Texas
Ht: 6-2 Wt: 319 lbs. | Class: Junior

Analysis: Malcolm Brown to the Lions continues to make sense. When your top two interior defensive lineman are free agents, and you have a first round caliber defensive tackle sitting on the board, it seems logical to go that direction. The Lions could also take a long, hard look at Todd Gurley II.

24. Arizona Cardinals
Todd Gurley II*, RB, Georgia
Ht: 6-1 Wt: 222 lbs. | Class: Junior

Analysis: You can bet the Cardinals will strongly consider guys like Andrus Peat and T.J. Clemmings as candidates to man the right tackle spot, but when you have a chance to draft the best running back prospect since Adrian Peterson, you have to do it, right? If Arizona isn't concerned about him coming off of an ACL injury, it's a no-brainer.

25. Carolina Panthers
Andrus Peat*, OT, Stanford
Ht: 6-7 Wt: 313 lbs. | Class: Junior

Analysis: The Panthers have plenty of needs, but none may be bigger than left tackle. Andrus Peat has top 10 talent. He could start on the right side from day one, and eventually shift over to the left side. His measurables, athleticism, and upside are what make him a coveted prospect.

26. Baltimore Ravens
Maxx Williams**, TE, Minnesota
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 250 lbs. | Class: Sophomore (RS)

Analysis: GM Ozzie Newsome loves to draft the best player on the board. That could end up being Maxx Williams. With Dennis Pitta's status for 2015 uncertain, Williams could provide Joe Flacco with a reliable, play making tight end who can be a threat in the red zone.

27. Dallas Cowboys
T.J. Clemmings, OT, Pittsburgh
Ht: 6-5 Wt: 309 lbs. | Class: Senior (RS)

Analysis: The Cowboys would love for one of the coveted edge rushers to fall to them, but unfortunately, all of the top defensive line talent is gone. Cornerback is a pressing need, but don't be surprised if Jerry Jones goes offensive line yet again. T.J. Clemmings wouldn't have such a tough transition to make. He could come right in and replace Doug Free at the right tackle spot.

28. Denver Broncos
Jaelen Strong*, WR, Arizona State
Ht: 6-2 Wt: 217 lbs. | Class: Junior (RS)

Analysis: Several of Denver's top receivers are free agents. This is a good spot for Jaelen Strong to come off the board. Though a bit of a reach in my opinion, Strong is a big receiver who can be a legit red zone target and develop into a very good number one receiver.

29. Indianapolis Colts
Quinten Rollins, FS, Miami (OH)
Ht: 5-11 Wt: 195 lbs. | Class: Senior (RS)

Analysis: Both of Indy's starting safeties are free agents, so it makes sense to make safety a priority in the first round. Even though Landon Collins is out of their range, Univ. of Miami cornerback Quinten Rollins could be in the mix as a ball hawking defensive back who can make the transition to safety.

30. Green Bay Packers
Eric Kendricks, ILB, UCLA
Ht: 6-0 Wt: 232 lbs. | Class: Senior

Analysis: Green Bay has some in house guys they seem to like at the receiver position, so they'll likely address one of their defensive needs with their first round pick. After releasing A.J. Hawk, inside linebacker becomes an even greater need. Eric Kendricks should probably go much higher than this, but the Packers won't complain. He's the best off the line of scrimmage linebacker in the draft.

31. Seattle Seahawks
Marcus Peters*, CB, Washington
Ht: 6-0 Wt: 197 lbs. | Class: Junior (RS)

Analysis: With no obvious answer at receiver, look for the Seahawks to address the cornerback position here. Marcus Peters is the type of physical, long armed corner Seattle could use to replace Byron Maxwell.

32. New England Patriots
Cameron Erving, OL, Florida State
Ht: 6-6 Wt: 313 lbs. | Class: Senior (RS)

Analysis: Protecting Tom Brady should be a definitely be a high priority. Cameron Erving made the seamless transition to center this past season, but his ability to potentially play guard as well as tackle if needed could help him secure a first round selection.