Some of you may remember me, some of you may have no idea who I am. Regardless, I’m back. My passion for the NFL Draft is never lacking, which is why my work for 2015 has picked up significantly.
That being said, I’d like to unveil some early thoughts for how the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft is going to go in this mock. Comments are ideal as your thoughts are always encouraged. We’re just getting started here at Breaking Football, so be sure to stick around for some of our other educating content:
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State
Winston is just the best quarterback in this draft class. Throw out the off-field stuff and this guy just has talent. Despite his antics he was still an effective leader and has the physical tools to make an immediate impact, especially in Tampa Bay under Lovie Smith that already has weapons. This team could be a contender within two years.
2. Tennessee Titans – Leonard Williams, DE, USC
It’s all about best pick available. Williams is the best player in this draft and you cannot convince me otherwise. He’s so versatile and can play whereever the Titans need him on the defensive line. Ideally, he’ll be a three technique to really utilize his ability to penetrate and get to the quarterback and disrupt.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars – Randy Gregory, DE, Nebraska
The Jaguars really are starting to stockpile some young talent, the problem is putting it together. What they want to do here is add a quality young pass rusher that can learn under the aging, but still effective Chris Clemons. Gregory fits that mold as a great natural pass rusher just lacking some strength and moves.
4. Oakland Raiders – Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
This team actually pass protected pretty well last season, and while I’m not personally convinced that Derek Carr is a long term starter, he is without a doubt the most promising they’ve had in at least a decade. Give him a huge weapon in Amari Cooper who can take games over outside.
5. Washington Redskins – Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa
Consistently on the offensive line has been a huge concern and the Redskins can usually produce with early tackles drafted. Scherff is a day one starter and immediately helps give RGIII time to see if he really is the future.
6. New York Jets – Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA
This is the pick that everyone is going to have an issue with. Brett Hundley is much better than he’s given credit for and he’s going to be a star in the right system. Problem is, that system is not New York. Still, they start to fall in love with his ability come mid-March as he rises up draft boards.
7. Chicago Bears – Danny Shelton, DT, Washington
What can’t this guy do on the inside? He can shut down the run and he can penetrate to disrupt in the back field. He has the ability to single handedly make a significant impact on the 2015 defense.
8. Atlanta Falcons – Shane Ray, DE, Missouri
Somebody please get this team the pass rusher that they’ve been asking for in the last decade. Shane Ray can flat out play. He’s quick off the line and plays with tenacity.
9. New York Giants – Kevin White, WR, West Virginia
“But what about ODB?” Um, he’s clearly amazing, and yes I’m anticipating this selection even assuming that Victor Cruz is back. With Cruz back, that team is unstoppable over the top, without Cruz, the team is still unstoppable over the top with White.
10. St. Louis Rams – Breshad Perriman, WR, UCF
This team just wants to draft one consistent receiver to be there #1 guy in the city. It just never pans out. Not until they land the down field stud Breshad Perriman who is tall and fast and has the ability to pick balls out of the air.
11. Minnesota Vikings – Vic Beasley, DE, Clemson
Anthony Barr + Vic Beasley equals NFC North nightmare. The Vikings add Beasley to Shariff Floyd to expand on the youth movement in the defensive trenches.
12. Cleveland Browns – Dante Fowler, DE/OLB, Florida
Barkevious Mingo really started flashing signs of what he could be at the next level and has high expectations going into 2015. On the other side though, an aging Paul Kruger and edge setter Jabaal Sheard make for a lackluster opposite. Fowler could be a versatile stud that can put pressure on the quarterback.
13. New Orleans Saints – Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State
This team loves physical cornerbacks and while Malcolm Jenkins didn’t work out a few years back doesn’t mean that Waynes can’t. They need a presence in the secondary like Waynes to add to the exceptional awareness of Kenny Vacarro.
14. Miami Dolphins – Marcus Peters, CB, TCU
The Dolphins didn’t get quite what they paid for in Brent Grimes and there’s a lot of questions in the secondary. Peters is arguably the best cornerback in this draft. Off-field issues have a slight affect on his draft stock.
15. San Francisco 49ers – Devante Parker, WR, Louisville
It’s no doubt that this team has been looking for a consistent #1 receiver for awhile. The opportunity presents itself here with Parker, a guy who can make plays down field and over the middle.
16. Houston Texans – Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida State
This pick couldn’t make any more sense. Ryan Pickett is 35 and Louis Nix III didn’t show much as a rookie. Goldman is an immediate starter at 34 nose tackle and a long time anchor there.
17. San Diego Chargers – Alvin “Bud” Dupree, OLB, Kentucky
Speed, speed, speed. But that’s not all Dupree has to offer. His football IQ and instincts improved significantly over the last year and he’s got a high motor getting to the quarterback.
18. Kansas City Chiefs – Cedric Ogbuehi, OT, Texas A&M
Eric Fisher has been average at best so there’s some uncertainty. Toss Ogbuehi on the right side to learn while seeing what you have in Fisher before being able to move Ogbuehi to the left where he’d be an All-Pro.
19. Cleveland Browns (from Buffalo Bills) – Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford
The Browns ran the ball quite well up until a season injury to Alex Mack came about. First year Bitonio was a stud at guard, add in Peat with a health Mack and Joe Thomas and this line can do anything.
20. Philadelphia Eagles – Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
Because it just makes sense. Chip Kelly’s most talented quarterback and Heisman groomer falling to him in the first round just makes sense. Nick Foles has game and gives them trade bait.
21. Cincinnati Bengals – Landon Collins, SAF, Alabama
We seem to project a safety to the Bengals at least every year. This year Collins would be ideal to replace an ineffective Reggie Nelson/Taylor Mays duo.
22. Pittsburgh Steelers – Arik Armstead, DE, Oregon
Armstead has the size to be a protypical five technique stud at the next level. With a strength program like Pittsburgh, this guy could be a 10 year All-Pro at the position.
23. Detroit Lions – Malcom Brown, DT, Texas
Detroit is likely to lose at least two of their five defensive tackles. Four of them are impending free agents and it’s not likely to keep the pair of Fairley/Suh. Brown isn’t the pass rusher that they are, but he can help them maintain that stout rush defense.
24. Arizona Cardinals – Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin
I’m not quite sure that any running back is selected in the first, but at the current moment I’ll take Gordon. The Cardinals fail to fill the need in free agency and bank on Gordon to assist them under a Carson Palmer passing attack that has featured minimal opportunities because the lack of a true run game.
25. Carolina Panthers – T.J. Clemmings, OT, Pittsburgh
The Panthers need some consistency at offensive tackle, something they’ve been missing for years. Look for them to address that early in 2015.
26. Baltimore Ravens – Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State
The speed is there for the Ravens at wide receiver, so let’s throw some physical ability out there too. Joe Flacco likes to force the ball in, so let’s get him a receiver that can go across the middle.
27. Dallas Cowboys – Eli Harold, DE, Virginia
Let’s address the lacking pass rush early. Harold is versatile and very quick around the edge. He’s got a ton of upside with grooming and strength.
28. Denver Broncos – La’El Collins, OT, LSU
Let’s get some help on the offensive line for Peyton’s last go about. Collins can help out in the run game immediately and be a staple at right tackle for years.
29. Indianapolis Colts – Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami (Fl.)
Flowers can step right in and help the run game immensely for the Colts who showed no consistency to assist Andrew Luck in 2014.
30. Green Bay Packers – Jordan Phillips, DT, Oklahoma
Quality and depth on the defensive line in Green Bay has been an issue for years and they can fill that gap with an athletic 6’5 330 pound defensive lineman with upside.
31. Seattle Seahawks – Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota
I think the Seahawks were impressed with how Luke Willson finished the season, but he’s still a #2 tight end at most. Zach Miller hasn’t came close to his play from Oakland, so tight end is a need. Williams is athletic and versatile which is something that Seahawks coaches love.
32. New England Patriots – Cameron Erving, OC, Florida State
The Patriots are getting a bit old on the offensive line, and while they usually do a great job of working with lower round picks on the offensive line, Erving is extremely versatile and refined as a center and offensive tackle. He’ll be able to fill a gap immediately.
*Photo Credit – NFLspinzone.com