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2015 NFL Mock Draft; Full First-Round Projections and Analysis

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Now that the Bengals' season has come to a close, where do they go from here?

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

R1 Pick 1 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Marcus Mariota-QB Oregon
The Bucs have a legit option at WR and now need someone to get Mike Evans the ball. Josh McCown is not the answer and we saw what Evans can do in the scramble drill at A & M. With Mariota's ability to extend plays when he has to, Evans could flourish next year.  When you're picking first in the draft you have to take a QB if there is one that COULD be a franchise changer like Mariota.

Update: Read our NFL Draft scouting reports 2015 for the top prospects.

R1 Pick 2 Tennessee Titans
Leonard Williams-DE/DT USC
This is a tricky spot here; I think Winston could be the pick but I'm not sure that the Titans are ready to give up on Mettenburger. If one of the two QB prospects don't sell themselves as the answer, they will go with a pass rusher. Williams is my top DE/DT and can play the run as well as the pass. He is also a tough gritty player who has shown he can play through pain and injuries. He translates well to a 4-3 DE and can slide into the middle for 4-3 teams with their speed packages.

R1 Pick 3 Jacksonville Jaguars
Randy Gregory-DE Nebraska
The Jags could potentially go with a guy like Cooper here to get a stud for Bortles, but it's a little early for any of the OTs.  The Jags will continue to build on the defense and take an edge rusher who can get after the QB. In a division that only has one franchise QB, getting pressure can win you games. Gregory is the perfect fit for Gus Bradley's defense as the LEO* position.
*LEO position splits speed rusher at the 5 or 7 technique; you need speedy player for this like Gregory, Mingo, Dion Jordan types.

R1 Pick 4 Oakland Raiders
Amari Cooper-WR Alabama
The Raiders need help with interior pass rush badly, but they can't take one this high, as it would be foolish from a value standpoint. David Carr has looked good this year, so getting him a weapon is their next biggest need. Amari Cooper is a stud, and a near can't-miss prospect from the WR position. They can address the pass rush with their next pick, this class is deep.

R1 Pick 5 Washington Redskins
Brandon Scherff-OT Iowa
The Redskins could go with Winston here if Jay Gruden gets his way, but I think RG3 will get one more year. They gave up so much to get him they almost have too. They need to protect RG3 to really see what he can do and Scherff is good in the run and passing game and can play Guard right now if they need him to.  He steamrolls people in the run game and is an above average pass protector.  That's what the Redskins need, give the ball to Alfred Morris and let RG3 benefit from some play-action passes.

R1 Pick 6 New York Jets
Jameis Winston-QB FSU
Geno Smith is not the answer at QB and if Marrone left Buffalo because they didn't have a QB, he's going to want one (I think he lands the coachig gig here). If one of the two top QBs is staring him in the face at 5, he'll run to the podium.

Jameis no doubt can play the position on the field and has the killer instinct. Can he handle the distractions off the field of the NFL? That's the real question. His interceptions have been way up this year but I see that as him pressing. Winston to the big apple? There will be fireworks one way or another.  He has all the tools to be an NFL QB, but is he willing to put in the work to become great? That's where the real questions lie. Windows get smaller in the NFL so your reads have to be second nature and instinctual.

R1 Pick 7 Chicago Bears
Shane Ray-DE/OLB Missouri
The Bears defense has more holes in it then your grandma's pin cushion. They will again take the BPA on defense for sure this year. Ray can get after the passer and in a division with Rodgers, Stafford, and now Teddy B they will need to do that to win. He's an ideal fit for a 4-3 DE and edge rusher.  He has violent hands and attempts to play the run. Ray is a special prospect, but he has some boom or bust potential.

R1 Pick 8 Atlanta Falcons
Vic Beasley-DE Clemson
The Atlanta pass rush is so bad, they need all the help they can get. They couldn't get to the QB at all this year, Beasley will help with that.

Beasley will need to add some weight to help in the run game, as he's not that strong at the point of attack (POA). He can use his speed to be an edge rusher, and as he adds weight, he can turn into a 3 down player. Beasley's first step is great; he can turn the corner on the best of OTs. He can play OLB or DE for the Falcons.

R1 Pick 9 New York Giants
La'el Collins-OT LSU
When Eli has time to throw he has shown he can win a Super Bowl. When he doesn't have time he leads the league in interceptions. The Giants need to go back to winning in the trenches.

Collins is my top run blocking prospect; he is a road grater. He has gotten much better in the passing game this year and could end up the best OT that comes out of this class. He can slide in to a Guard spot if Beatty and Pugh hold the tackle spots. Pugh has struggled at RT so whoever wins that spot the other can play Guard until Beatty moves on. La'el Collins will need to work on staying back on his feet a bit, he can get on his toes and overextend at times.

R1 Pick 10 St. Louis Rams
Ronnie Stanley-OT Notre Dame
How many times did Rams QBs get hurt this year? For that matter, how many injuries has Bradford had in his career? The Rams need to get better up front for whoever is the QB next year.  With both of the potential franchise QBs off the board, they go with someone to protect the QB.

Stanley will shoot up board this year much like Zack Martin did last year. He is a smart player who uses his hands well to pass protect and is versatile to play multiple spots.

R1 Pick 11 Minnesota Vikings
Shaq Thompson-OLB Washington
If I know Mike Zimmer, I know he's going to follow the same strategy that they used with the Bengals to build that roster. Take BPA every time no matter what. My feeling is that he goes with Thomson because of that.

Thompson is a true 3 down LB who can cover, blitz and is a sure tackler. Zimmer will get the most out of him as well.

R1 Pick 12 Cleveland Browns
Devante Parker-WR Louisville
The Browns need a WR badly and after seeing how Josh Gordon has become friends with JFF, who knows if he will be back next year.

Parker is a special talent and has just begun his assent. He has good hands and great size and is one of the best at the stutter step toe drag. It's a deceptive move that causes many missed tackles over the middle.  He also has great waste bend to allow him to locate the ball easily on downfield route, improving his catch radius.  Below is an example of the toe drag, notice the black pieces of turf that fly up.

R1 Pick 13 New Orleans Saints
Trae Waynes-CB Michigan State
The Saints will likely make their first three picks on the defensive side of the field. They need pass rushers, but that group is deep, so they may wait for later value. They also need CBs badly, especially ones who can tackle and play the run. Waynes can do that and would be an instant starter for them. He's very similar to Darquese Dennard, who came out last year but he's better at staying in the hip pocket "in phase" defending and less handsy/grabby. He will be a solid starter and will bring some toughness to that squad.

R1 Pick 14 Miami Dolphins
Kevin White-WR West Virginia
The Dolphins need to add some help and a red zone option for Ryan Tannehill. Mike Wallace has been a disappointment and quit on the team, I wouldn't be surprised if he is cut.

Kevin White isn't the fastest guy in the world, but he is definitely fast enough to get behind defenders and let Tannehill sling it deep. He is a great red zone option and wins a lot of 50/50 balls with his good combination of size and leaping ability.

R1 Pick 15 San Fransisco 49ers
Marcus Peters-CB Washington
The Niners were an incredible disappointment this year; they need major help in the secondary and they need to replace some of the aging defensive front. Peters is the best CB in the class from a talent perspective, but his issues with the Washington coaching staff will have him slide a bit. There are lots of rumors on what did and did not happen and I'm sure teams will dig around and make their judgements. The Niners are not too big on character concerns as you can see with their recent issues, so I think this could be a landing spot.

R1 Pick 16 Houston Texans
Landon Collins-S Alabama
The Texans could go CB or WR here but the best value is at Safety. They have Daniel Manning at safety and DJ Swearinger is a cheap shot away from missing time every season.

Collins is good in coverage for a strong safety, that really will help them in the running game, too. If his shoulder checks out and he doesn't have major damage after the game vs OSU, he's a great value here. Teams will really have trouble with this Houston defense with there strong pass rush and Collins protecting the middle.

R1 Pick 17 San Diego Chargers
TJ Clemmings-OT Pittsburgh
The Chargers really need help on their offensive line, it's the worst position group on the team according to PFF rankings. Both of their guards are horrid and they could use a Tackle as well. Good thing for them is that Clemmings can play both of those positions. He's versatile and is great in the run game. The Chargers' second round pick should be for a RB and they will need someone to pave the way for that back. With Clemmings clearing the way for a new running back, this team will be much improved next year.

R1 Pick 18 Kansas City Chiefs
Erik Kendriks-ILB UCLA
The Chiefs can use some help in the middle of their defense. They need someone to help cover the middle with teams like San Diego and Denver that spread them out. Hendricks is not your conventional size for an ILB, but his speed, blitzing ability, tackling, and coverage skills will make him a force in the middle. If you want to see him fly all over the field watch his game vs. Virginia and you'll see why he will be a huge pick. There is not a WR that is a good value here, so they will take the best ILB fit for them in the draft. McKinney is a great player but they need Kendricks' speed to handle teams like Denver and San Diego.

R1 Pick 19 Cleveland Browns (via Buffalo)
Alvin "Bud" Dupree-DE/OLB Kentucky
The Browns couldn't stop anyone on the ground this year and Mingo has been very inconsistent. Bud is the perfect fit for a 3-4 DE and will be able to play OLB too. He is going to crush the combine and race up boards as the draft approaches. I can see him creeping into the top 15. He's very athletic and that will make him the perfect tweener in the NFL for a 3-4 team.

R1 Pick 20 Philadelphia Eagles
Ronald Darby-CB Florida State
The Eagles need help at secondary, badly (see Brandon Fletcher vs Dez Bryant this year). Plus, they'll see Dez Bryant and Odell Beckham Jr. twice a year, and they need someone to slow them down. Darby had a really good year and is a physical corner who can play against a bigger WR with his strength.

R1 Pick 21 Cincinnati Bengals
Dante Fowler Jr.-DE Florida
The Bengals have had zero pass rush this year and need to improve in that area badly. Fowler is a stellar Edge rusher who fits the Bengals' 4-3 system perfectly. He will come in and start opposite a fellow Gator on day 1 and begin to make the Bengals' pass rush formidable again.  He will have to work on his play vs the run, but he can come in and be a pass rushing DE and also play SLB.

R1 Pick 22 Pittsburgh Steelers
Alex Carter-CB Stanford
The Steelers need to add some youth to their secondary with guys like Ike Taylor aging and declining. Carter doesn't have elite speed, but the AFC North is more about how well you can play the run and hold your own at the Line of Scrimmage where he should be fine. None of the AFC North teams really spread it out or use tons of speed, so he will slide right into the slot or outside for the Steelers.

R1 Pick 23 Detroit Lions
Malcolm Brown-DT Texas
The Lions won't even try to retain Nick Fairley and Suh is also a free agent. That vaunted front 7 could have a huge hole up the middle, needing to be filled it. Brown is a massive man who can not only get after the passer, he can stop the run at 320 lbs.  He will not be Suh right away, but he definitely has big upside.  He was productive with only average players around him on the defensive line.

R1 Pick 24 Arizona Cardinals
Cam Erving-OT/C Florida State
The Cardinals need to give Palmer as much time as possible until they find a long term answer. They also need an edge rusher, but no value here and it's a deep class so they can wait.  Cam was once regarded as one of the top OT prospects coming into this season. His footwork is sub-par, so FSU moved him inside and it was a great move for him. He is a powerful run blocker, he can push the pocket forward, and his footwork is not as crucial "in a phone booth."  Since he is so versatile, the Cardinals could move him around if injuries strike, or as other players age and his footwork improves.

R1 Pick 25 Carolina Panthers
Ereck Flowers-OT Miami
The Panthers are much better when they are able to run the ball. This allows Cam to use his big arm in the play action passing game.  Their running back situation is a mess, but luckily for them, this class is loaded.  I see them taking a running back in round two like many other teams.  They also need an edge rusher, but there was not really good value here and they can wait.  Flowers is a big strong prospect, elite in the run game and will continue to improve in the passing game. He has experience at LT and RT

R1 Pick 26 Baltimore Ravens
Jalen Collins-CB LSU
The Ravens have a major need at CB because Webb has not been able to stay healthy at all. They need someone reliable opposite Jimmy Smith. After how well all the LSU rookies did this year, don't be surprised if players get a boost this year. He is strong and physical so he will fit right into the AFC North.

R1 Pick 27 Indianapolis Colts
Eddie Goldman-DT Florida State
The Colts need to get some additional pass rush but there's no value at that position here, due to the expected early run. Goldman can help with some interior pass rush and defend the run. Devin Funchess could be an option here but they have two good TEs and he is a TE/WR hybrid, so he might not be what they want.  Goldman will have to work on his consistency at the NFL level because it looks as he can take plays off.  When he is playing well he is a force right in the QB's face.

R1 Pick 28 Dallas Cowboys
Eli Harold-DE/OLB Virginia
The Cowboys' defense was surprisingly good this season but they still need to get some help on the edge. Harold is a great pass rusher who will need to work on his ability to get off blocks to help in the run game. For now, he can be a strict pass rusher for the Cowboys.  He is very fast and turns the corner with the best of them.  He has a great swim move and waste bend to get under the pads of OT and through them.

R1 Pick 29 Green Bay Packers
Danny Shelton-NT Washington
There's two picks that they could make and it depends on if BJ Raji leaves. If he does I think this is the pick, since I think he leaves that's why I'm going for Shelton. If BJ stays, I think they go with a bigger guy like Jordan Phillips to beef up the line. They may also consider an ILB here in Perryman or McKinney.

Shelton is a disruptive guy who's a great fit as a 3-4 NT whi can stuff the run and collapse the pocket.

R1 Pick 30 Denver Broncos
Devin Funchess-WR/TE Michigan
The Broncos have some big weapons who will be free agents this offseason. I don't think they will be able to keep both Demaryius and Julius Thomas, so how do you fix that...draft a guy like Funchess and get their replacement. Manning only has a few years left so they have to keep going all in for him with weapons.  Funchess has never had a good QB during his college career, so he has some big upside with Manning.  Guarding Denver in the Red Zone will be very difficult with the likes of Thomas, Laitmer, and Funchess.

R1 Pick 31 New England Patriots
Jalen Strong-WR Arizona State
Tom Brady needs some options to throw to besides Gronk. The perfect option is a big physical receiver like Strong. Tom doesn't have the cannon he used to but he can still get it down the field. The combo of Strong, Gronk, and Wright would be a nightmare in the red zone.  Edelman and Lafell have been ok this year, but having someone to force other teams to not double team Gronk will only make him more deadly and protect him from some hits.

R1 Pick 32 Seattle Seahawks
Todd Gurley-RB Georgia
Lynch will be in the last year of his deal and approaching the edge of the cliff soon. They will have the luxury of being able to red shirt Gurley most of the season and using him just for KR to fill the hole Percy Harvin left. Then hand him the keys at the end of the year, or in 2016 depending on Lynch's performance and attitude.  Gurley has the ideal build for an every down NFL back. He has power, speed, patience, and he hits the hole hard.  Once he's fully recovered from his ACL injury he will be a real threat.

Make sure you  to for constant updates on NFL Draft prospects and scouting reports.  I try to respond to all reasonable questions about prospects and I always enjoy a good debate on prospects or Mock Drafts.  If you don't have Twitter, you should get it, or you can email me at nfldraftlab@gmail.com.

I also would like to thank the following people for their incite to specific teams and their overall needs for this and future multi-round mocks.  They are great Twitter follows for the draft, as well.

Packers: Justin Musqueda 
Jaguars: Blake Grittles 
Titans: Paul Kuharsky 
Bears: Tyler Gross 
Chiefs: Sully 
Jets: Jeff LJ Lloyd 
Raiders: David 
Tampa Bay: Luke Easterling 
Cowboys: John Owning 
Vikings: Arif Hasan 
Steelers: Curt Popejoy 
Dolphins: Ian Wharton 
Cardinals: Shaun Church