2015 NFL Mock Draft: Final Mock 7 Rounds
Round 1 Picks 1-16
Chris Ransom explains why he believes Winston and Mariota will go 1 and 2 once again.
Posted By Chris Ransom Last Updated: April 30, 2015. Updates every Thursday leading up to Draft Day.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State
- Tampa Bay needs a franchise quarterback. This will be the toughest choice the Buccaneers have ever made in franchise history.
- Mariota is the safer prospect with good character. I'd say Mariota has a minimum overall rating of 81, but a maximum potential rating of 88. The fact that Mariota didn't run a Pro Style offense limits his ceiling. Jameis Winston has a minimum overall rating of 74, but a maximum potential rating of 99 due to his knowledge in a Pro Style offense.
- As long as you have a quarterback with a maximum potential rating of 85 or higher you got a franchise quarterback that can be a starter. Mariota will be a great quarterback, but I don't think he has the ceiling to be an elite one like Winston and that's what separates these two signal-callers. I'm also going to predict that Winston reaches an 89 overall rating as he develops, but doesn't reach the 99 maximum potential rating that I'm projecting for him heading into the draft. Both of these Heisman Trophy Winning quarterbacks will be great starters, but neither one will end up becoming an elite quarterback.
- My bold prediction with the two Heisman Winning quarterbacks is that Mariota does better in 2015 as a rookie like Robert Griffin III, but Winston goes on to have the better career long term as long as he avoids making bad choices off the field. Jameis may lack maturity at times, but he's a sharp guy with a 4.0 GPA and he completed 91 out of 102 passes at Florida State's Pro Day.
- 1. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon Jameis Winston to Tampa Bay is practically a lock. Unless Winston does something stupid off the field leading up to draft day, he will be the top pick. If Winston doesn't go first he could slide, but Tampa will take Mariota if that happens, because Mike Glennon is the only quarterback on the Buccaneers depth chart. Winston or Mariota is going #1 overall to Tampa Bay.
Tennessee Titans: Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
- Leonard Williams had an awesome Pro Day. At the same time Karl Klug got a two year extension at 3-4 left end.
- Ken Whisenhunt hinted that he came away really impressed at Mariota's Pro Day. Taking Mariota and drafting around the offense makes more sense for the short term because you can always get Joey Bosa, Robert Nkemdiche, or Shawn Oakman as a 3-4 left end to replace Klug in 2016 if he regresses.
- Tennessee addressed their defensive needs in Free Agency. Now it's time address your offense in the 2015 NFL Draft.
- 1. Leonard Williams 3-4 LE, USC Drafting Leonard Williams as a 3-4 left end is certainly a possibility. If the Titans believe Williams is the best player here they could take him.
- 2. Trade Down A Team might want to move up for Marcus Mariota. Tennessee might move down if they get the right offer. They offered Cleveland the 2nd pick for both of the Browns first rounders at 12 and 19 along with a second round pick. Cleveland turned that down believing that building around Manziel and keeping the second would be better than trying to get Mariota meaning the Browns don't deserve Oregon's Heisman winner if the Titans attempt to deal him. HC Ken Whisenhunt loves Phillip Rivers so if the Chargers offer Rivers for this pick, the Titans will take this deal.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Dante Fowler, LE, Florida
- Jacksonville is looking for an edge rusher to play left end. Fowler is the best 4-3 edge rusher. He displayed the necessary coverage skills to move to 3-4 outside linebacker. Fowler is making a convincing case to be drafted ahead of Leonard Williams, and he should be the pick here.
- 1. Leonard Williams, LE, USC Leonard Williams is the best player in the entire NFL Draft according to some GM's. Jacksonville could take Williams here.
- 2. Randy Gregory, LE, Nebraska Jacksonville likes Randy Gregory. The Jaguars have him graded out as their third best player on their draft board after Dante Fowler and Leonard Williams. The Jaguars considered taking Gregory here until he got busted for marijuana at the NFL Combine and will certainly take him in the second round.
- 3. Brandon Scherff, LT, Iowa Jacksonville thinks Brandon Scherff is the only offensive tackle with first round ability. The Jaguars have Scherff graded as their fourth best player.
- 4. Alvin Dupree, LE, Kentucky Jacksonville has Alvin Dupree as their fifth best player. Dupree is an option.
- 5. Trade Down Jacksonville has a history of either trading up or trading on draft day. The Jaguars have moved up or down in the draft four times in the first round dating back to 2007. GM David Caldwell is open to dealing this pick for the right price. Not just that, the fact that the Jaguars have Randy Gregory as the third best prospect on their draft board and Brandon Scherff as the fourth best prospect on the board leads me to believe that the Jaguars will move down and take either Gregory or Scherff if Dante Fowler or Leonard Williams doesn't go third. Jacksonville offered the Patriots this pick for Devin McCourty prior to McCourty's extension and negotiations ended because Belichick wanted a first and a second for McCourty because he thinks that highly of the Patriots free safety. I could see Jacksonville making a deal to move down to 8 with Atlanta. If the Jaguars are afraid that Fowler is another Derrick Harvey and that Leonard Williams is more of a 4-3 defensive tackle, I could see Atlanta moving up from 8 to 3 for Fowler, Beasley, or Shane Ray.
Oakland Raiders: Leonard Williams, DT, USC
- Leonard Williams is the top player in the NFL Draft on some teams draft boards. If Williams slipped to the Raiders, Oakland would grab him in a heart beat. It would be impossible to run on the Raiders with Dan Williams and Leonard Williams.
- Someone at Oakland sent us a 7 round board, with compensation picks and they have White at 4 mainly because they believe Leonard Williams will be gone at 2. Oakland loves Williams and White. The Raiders like Amari Cooper, and will consider Todd Gurley as a last resort if all 3 of those guys go in the top 3 which won't happen.
- 1. Kevin White, WR, West Virginia Oakland loves Kevin White. He should be the pick here if Leonard Williams is gone.
- 2. Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama Amari Cooper is the top receiver in the draft. Oakland does prefer White, but if they were smart they would draft Cooper instead.
Washington Redskins: Vic Beasley, 3-4 ROLB, Clemson
- Brian Orakpo signed with the Titans. I'm not sold on Trent Murphy as a starter. Vic Beasley dominated the 2015 NFL Combine and Clemson's Pro Day. Beasley had 13 sacks in 2013 and 11 sacks in 2014. Beasley's consistency as a sack artist in 2014 makes him a top 5 pick at pass rusher.
- 1. Shane Ray, 3-4 ROLB, Missouri Vic Beasley and Shane Ray are both worthy of being taken here. If Ray does not go fifth it will likely be Beasley selected at 5.
- 2. Brandon Scherff, RT, Iowa Brandon Scherff is the top offensive lineman in the draft. He has the versatility to play left tackle, left guard, right guard, or right tackle on the offensive line. Washington can take him here if they want to bolster the offensive line.
- 3. Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State Washington can reload at cornerback if they really want to. Trae Waynes is the top cornerback in this draft. Taking him at five may be a slight reach, but it might make the most sense if Washington believes that Ryan Kerrigan and Trent Murphy will both dominate as starters in 2015. The Redskins believe their 2014 draft picks will do well on the right side of the offensive line in 2015, so I think taking Waynes is just as likely as selecting Scherff if Washington does not take a pass rusher.
- 4. Trade Down Washington has a lot of needs. It would not surprise me if they dealt this pick and tried to move down for more picks when you consider how many needs they have on the offensive line and on the secondary. If Mariota is still available at 5, this pick will be highly coveted and someone may trade up to keep the Jets from Mariota kind of like what the Jets did in 2009 when they moved up for Mark Sanchez when Cleveland picked fifth.
New York Jets: Shane Ray, 3-4 ROLB, Missouri
- The Brandon Marshall trade along with the Darrelle Revis signing in Free Agency cleared a lot up. Now the Jets only big needs lie at quarterback and 3-4 right outside linebacker.
- With Mariota gone the Jets take a pass rusher at 6. Shane Ray or Vic Beasley will likely be the pick depending on what happens at five with Washington assuming Mariota goes second to the Titans.
- With Mariota going second, Fowler going third, and Vic Beasley going fifth, the Jets take Shane Ray. Ray is a sack artist with better ability in coverage than Vic Beasley. Despite this, Ray's coverage skills are still interior to Fowler's coverage.
- If Calvin Pace is on the roster you can move him to 3-4 left outside linebacker. Otherwise, you will have to draft another 3-4 left outside linebacker on day 3.
- 1. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon Mariota will likely be a Jet if he slips to 6. I had a hard time seeing the Jets pass on him if he falls to this pick.
- 2. Vic Beasley, 3-4 ROLB, Clemson New York could take Beasley here if Ray goes to Washington.
- 3. Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama The New York Jets could move Eric Decker into the slot and draft Cooper to compliment Brandon Marshall. That's what Luis Tirado told me on a recent podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @LJT81 to read all of his latest content.
- 4. Trade Down Trading down for more picks is something the Jets might consider. Someone should move up for Mariota if the Jets pass on him at 6.
Chicago Bears: Danny Shelton, NT, Washington
- Two NFL teams have emailed Draft Utopia their NFL Draft boards for all 7 rounds prior to the Compensation Picks which were announced on Monday. One of those teams was the Chicago Bears.
- Chicago is switching to a 3-4 defense. The Bears seem to be contempt with Pernell McPhee and Lamar Houston as their 3-4 outside linebackers. Danny Shelton is a 3 down nose tackle and makes the most logical sense if the Bears are confident that both of these pass rushers will deliver in the Bears new system.
- A nose tackle like Danny Shelton that can play all 3 downs does not grow on trees. Shelton rose up draft boards following his Senior Bowl week in Mobile. Ironically enough, the Bears have Shelton on their big board at 7.
- 1. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon Chicago has Marcus Mariota as the #2 quarterback on their board. The Bears believe someone might move into the top 5 for Mariota if he doesn't go to the Jets at 6. He won't get past Chicago in the rare event that he slipped this far.
- 2. Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama Another option to consider is Amari Cooper. Chicago needs a wide receiver with Brandon Marshall gone.
Atlanta Falcons: Alvin Dupree, RE, Kentucky
- I really believed that Alvin Dupree was a 4-3 left end only. After watching his tape again, I saw him line up at both defensive end roles and play some 3-4 outside linebacker for Kentucky on 3-4 plays.
- The Falcons could use a guy like Dupree at 4-3 right end. Atlanta can rotate Tyson Jackson and Adrian Clayborn at left end. Alvin Dupree Will start right away at right end for the Falcons.
- 1. Dante Fowler, RE, Florida It's unlikely that Dante Fowler lasts until this pick. There is a strong chance that Fowler goes in the top five overall after someone's mock draft.
- 2. Brandon Scherff, RT, Iowa I doubt Atlanta goes with back to back offensive tackles in the first round after taking Jake Matthews at 6. Atlanta lost left guard Justin Blaylock and never replaced him. Right tackle is also an issue for Atlanta so taking Scherff makes sense.
- 3. Andrus Peat, RT, Stanford Andrus Peat is going to Atlanta for a private workout. I doubt Atlanta takes him, but maybe the Falcons are seeing if he would be a good right tackle across from Matthews.
- 4. Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin Melvin Gordon is a pretty complete running back with no flaws in his game. Atlanta has yet to re-sign Steven Jackson or Jacquizz Rodgers. Gordon would be an upgrade over Antoine Smith who received a one year extension.
- 5. Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia Todd Gurley is a hometown prospect. Atlanta has better insight on him than anyone else. I wouldn't rule out the possibility of the Falcons reaching for him at 8 if they did want a running back because some teams prefer Gurley over Gordon.
New York Giants: Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
- I wanted to keep Brandon Scherff here. When you consider that the Giants have an opportunity to pair Amari Cooper up with Odell Beckham Jr., I'm not sure you can pass on that in the first round. Especially if you believe you can get an offensive tackle later in the second round.
- 1. La'El Collins, LT, LSU The New York Giants had two offensive tackles graded out as top 10 picks on the draft board Amani Toomer did. Those offensive tackles were La'El Collins and Andrus Peat. One of those guys will be there at 9.
- 2. Andrus Peat, LT, Stanford The New York Giants had two offensive tackles graded out as top 10 picks on the draft board Amani Toomer did. Those offensive tackles were La'El Collins and Andrus Peat. One of those guys will be there at 9.
- 3. Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State New York could take Trae Waynes here. The Giants need another cornerback, and if both Scherff and Cooper are gone, Waynes will most certainly be the pick at this spot.
St. Louis Rams: Brandon Scherff, RT, Iowa
- Jake Long will be gone after this season after going on injured reserve for the third year in a row at left tackle. Cedric Ogbuhei tore his ACL which means his stock will fall.
- Brandon Scherff is the top offensive tackle in the entire 2015 NFL Draft. He's the only offensive tackle guaranteed a spot in the top 10 at this point. With Greg Robinson and Brandon Scherff, Nick Foles will have good pass protection at offensive tackle.
- 1. T.J. Clemmings, RT, Pittsburgh If Brandon Scherff is gone, the Rams will take T.J. Clemmings. Jeff Fisher interviewed the Pitt Panthers offensive line coach at the Panera I worked at.
- 1. Andrus Peat, RT, Stanford Most consider Andrus Peat to be one of the top offensive tackles available. Peat would probably be the pick I made if I were GM of the Rams.
- 2. Ereck Flowers, RT, Miami FL Five different NFL Teams that sent me their draft boards all have Ereck Flowers going in the top 10. St. Louis could take Flowers. Taking Flowers this early would be foolish though.
Minnesota Vikings: Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State
- Minnesota traded for Mike Wallace. This means they will take a left guard or a cornerback here.
- Trae Waynes is the best player available. Minnesota will take a cornerback here and move Captain Munnerlyn to the nickel cornerback role. Pairing Waynes up with Xavier Rhodes will make it difficult for the rest of the NFC North quarterbacks to throw on the Vikings.
- Mike Zimmer and GM Rick Spielman were both at Michigan State's Pro Day. This pretty much confirms that Waynes will be the pick here.
- Sure the Vikings brought in Terrance Newman, but I think he'll play nickel with Munnerlyn moving to dime. Newman is awesome in zone coverage, and some scouts have questions about how good Waynes is in zone coverage. I think Minnesota is bringing Newman in as a nickel strictly to mentor Waynes with his zone coverage so Wayne's perfects his ability to play zone coverage. Newman has played for Mike Zimmer in Dallas and Cincinnati before joining Minnesota.
- 1. La'El Collins, LG, LSU If Minnesota believes tha Terrance Newman is the answer at cornerback for the short term then drafting an offensive lineman becomes your top priority. Left guard La'El Collins would serve as an upgrade over Charlie Johnson.
- 2. Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin If Adrian Peterson gets released, Melvin Gordon will be the pick. For now, I have the Vikings going a different route.
- 3. Andrus Peat, LT, Stanford Andrus Peat might go 11th here. Matt Kalil allowed 12 sacks at left tackle which was more than any offensive lineman in the league. Drafting Peat at left tackle and moving Kalil to right tackle while moving Loadholt inside to left guard would upgrade the entire offensive line as a whole.
- 4. Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama Minnesota might take Amari Cooper if he slips to 11. I know you added Mike Wallace, but you can get a lot out of Bridgewater if you move a guy like Mike Wallace to the slot.
- 5. DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville A Teddy Bridgewater reunion with former Louisville wide receiver DeVante Parker is possible, but unlikely. Still I would not rule it out at this point.
Cleveland Browns: T.J. Clemmings, RT, Pittsburgh
- Cleveland added Dwayne Bowe and Brian Hartline in Free Agency. I doubt the Browns take a receiver at 12 unless Amari Cooper slips to this pick. Besides Cooper, the other two first round receivers they like are DeVante Parker and Jaelen Strong. They might be able to get one of those guys at 19.
- The top receiver and pass rusher left are wide receiver Kevin White out of West Virginia and 3-4 right outside linebacker Randy Gregory from Nebraska. Cleveland will not take West Virginia's Kevin White if he slips to this pick because Kevin White flipped the bird against Texas A&M in West Virginia's Bowl Game and Randy Gregory got busted for marijuana like Josh Gordon. Even though those two players are the best players available at a position of need, Cleveland did not work out White or Gregory and probably won't draft either player at due to character concerns.
- Drafting Manziel appears to have backfired and giving Gordon a second chance also blew up in Cleveland's face and character was a huge question with both Gordon and Mazniel which is why Cleveland will pay close attention to a players character when examining prospects.
- If you take away wide receiver and outside linebacker as positions for the Browns to draft at twelve, really all you are left with is offensive tackle. Two candidates that can play right tackle across from Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas are D.J. Humphries out of Florida and T.J. Clemmings out of Pittsburgh.
- Cleveland brought both Humphries and Clemmings in for individual workouts and preferred Pittsburgh's offensive tackle. In my previous mocks, I had Clemmings going 10th to the Rams, so it would make sense for the Browns to take Clemmings here.
- 1. Danny Shelton, NT, Washington If Chicago passes on Danny Shelton, he might be the pick at 12. At the same time, some scouts believe Shelton had some maturity issues when he first got on campus even though he's grown tremendously since he first showed up to Washington. Still, that might scare the Browns away.
- 2. Nate Orchard, 3-4 ROLB, Utah The Cleveland Browns have shown a lot of interest in Utah pass rusher Nate Orchard. I could see Cleveland reaching for him this early, with Randy Gregory having the same drug test issues Josh Gordon had.
New Orleans Saints: La'El Collins, LG, LSU
- New Orleans signed Brandon Browner to pair up with Keenan Lewis. That means the Saints will likely target a pass rusher at this spot if one is available.
- In this situation a pass rusher isn't available. New Orleans would either look at adding 3-4 middle linebacker Eric Kendricks or left guard La'El Collins here.
- New Orleans loved what they saw from Collins at LSU's Pro Day. You traded left guard Ben Grubbs to the Chiefs for a fifth round pick. Time to fill that void with a left guard here.
- 1. Eric Kendricks, 3-4 MLB, UCLA Kendricks is a 3 down linebacker. Taking him seems to make the most sense for the Saints.
- 2. Randy Gregory, 3-4 ROLB, Nebraska The New Orleans Saints could take Gregory here. They gave Parys Harylson a 1 yer prove it deal in 2015. I think the Saints might be open to taking Gregory here.
- 3. Trade Up New Orleans has two first round picks. If there is a pass rusher they want and he slips to a team, do not be surprised if the Saints move up.
Miami Dolphins: Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest
- Thanks to the signing of Greg Jennings and trading for Kenny Stills, it's safe to say that the Dolphins won't take a wide receiver at 14, even if Kevin White out of West Virginia is there by some lopsided miracle.
- I think the Dolphins go with another Kevin. That Kevin turns out to be Wake Forest cornerback Kevin Johnson. I flirted with keeping White at 14. In the end, I chose to change this pick to Johnson mainly due to the signing of Jennings.
- 1. Kevin White, WR, West Virginia If Kevin White is here at 14, there is a chance they could take him. At the same time, signing Greg Jennings and Kenny Stills in Free Agency indicates that the Dolphins will address another position besides wide receiver at 14.
- 2. DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville Miami will need a #1 target if the Michael Crabtree rumors are false.
- 3. Landon Collins, SS, Alabama Taking Landon Collins makes sense. Louis Delmas got re-signed to a one year prove it deal at free safety. Pairing Delmas up with Landon Collins might be what Miami needs.
San Francisco 49ers: Kevin White, WR, West Virginia
- If either Kevin White or DeVante Parker slips to 15, then the 49ers will ignore one of their bigger needs only to draft a can't miss prospect at wide receiver simply because the value will be too good to pass up. In this mock both White and Parker fall to 15, so the 49ers end up taking White because he's the superior prospect. White deserves to go in the top 10 and may even go in the top 5, so if the 49ers ended up with White at 15, it would be the biggest steal on Day 1 of the 2015 NFL Draft.
- I realize that the 49ers brought in Torrey Smith to compliment Anquan Boldin. Nothing against Smith, but he'd be much more effective in the slot with Kevin White and Boldin playing on the outside.
- 1. La'El Collins, LG, LSU Mike Iupati left. San Francisco needs a left guard. Taking Collins makes a lot of sense.
- 2. Malcolm Brown, NT, Texas Getting Malcolm Brown as a nose tackle to replace Glenn Dorsey makes sense.
- 3. Eric Kendricks, 3-4 MLB, UCLA After losing Patrick Willis and Chris Borland, adding a new 3-4 middle linebacker to compliment Navarro Bowman who is coming off an injury plagued season might not be a bad idea.
- 4. P.J. Williams, CB, Florida State San Francisco needs a cornerback more than anything. They will consider both Florida State corners at 15.
- 5. Ronald Darby, CB, Florida State San Francisco needs a cornerback more than anything. They will consider both Florida State corners at 15.
Houston Texans: Eric Kendricks, 3-4 MLB, UCLA
- Houston addressed nearly all of their needs in Free Agency. The Texans brought in Cecil Shorts at wide receiver to replace Andre Johnson. On defense, the Texans added Patriots Pro Bowler Vince Wilfork as a nose tackle and also signed free safety Rahim Moore.
- There have been rumors about the Texans going with a running back like Todd Gurley or Melvin Gordon. I'm not buying it yet.
- Houston still needs a 3-4 middle linebacker. Eric Kendricks had 146 total tackles in UCLA's 3-4 defense. Jim Mora Jr. called him a 3 down linebacker and UCLA's best draft prospect at UCLA's Pro Day. Taking Kendricks here makes too much sense for the Texans.
- Dawson played middle linebacker in the 4-3 and 3-4 at TCU. Paul Dawson reminds me of Daryl Washington without the character concerns. Dawson is more likely to transition to a 3-4 defense than Bernardrick McKinney or Denzel Perryman. The only other player who can transition to a 3-4 defense at middle linebacker in this draft is Stephone Anthony out of Clemson. Taking Anthony at 16 is a major reach if Kendricks is gone.
- 1. Landon Collins, SS, Alabama D.J. Swearinger is a horrible safety. I could see Landon Collins replacing him.
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