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NFL Mock Draft: First Round Picks and Analysis for all 32 Teams

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With all of the impact free agents off the market, we're starting to get a clearer picture of team needs entering the draft and how each team may address those needs. Here is how I see things unfolding come draft day.

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Free agency has changed team needs greatly over the past few weeks, so with all the impact free agents having signed, we take another look at just how the 2015 NFL draft may shake out with one month until it begins.

As with any mock draft, the context as to how the picks are being made is crucial. So, before we get into the picks, here is the context (and disclaimers) as to how I constructed this mock draft:

  • I predicted who I think each team will take - at times, that may differ from who I think they should take.
  • I have watched limited film on the draft prospects. At this point in the process, most of my knowledge is based off games I have watched throughout the season and research I have done (sans game film).
  • Trades will occur on draft day and will inevitably change the way things shakeout on draft night. However, because trades cannot be predicted, I will operate as if each team will draft in their allotted position.

That being said, here is my 2015 Post Free Agency NFL Mock Draft.

1

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Jameis Winston

Pos:

QB

School:

Florida State

Analysis:

Would I take him? No. Will the Bucs take him? I think so. I feel the same way about Winston as I did with Manziel last year; with his maturity and off field issues, I wouldn't touch the guy with a 10-foot pole. But I'm not an NFL GM. NFL GM's will draft him, and whomever makes the first overall pick is likely to take Winston. From an on-the-field standpoint, Winston is the most NFL ready quarterback. From an off-the-field standpoint, if you take a guy with maturity and decision making concerns and give him lots of money, that is a recipe for disaster.







2

Tennessee Titans

Leonard Williams

Pos:

DE

School:

USC

Analysis:

I am sticking with Williams to the Titans. The Titans need a quarterback, but they took Zach Mettenberger last year and I don't think they are going to give up on him yet - at least not for Mariota. Williams is the best player in this draft and I think the Titans are happy to be sitting here with Williams still on the board. Williams immediately improves the team - the same could not be said with selecting Mariota.







3

Jacksonville Jaguars

Dante Fowler, Jr

Pos:

DE

School:

Florida

Analysis:

I have had a big change of heart here, going from Cooper to Fowler, but here's why. The Jaguars do have some young, fairly high draft picks (2nd round), wrapped up in receiver and they just signed Julius Thomas. As a result, I believe their number one concern is addressing the pass rush. There are a lot of good pass rushers in this draft - some even better than Fowler - but few are a DE fit for a 4-3 defense like Jacksonville runs. In my opinion, Fowler is the top 4-3 DE in this draft.







4

Oakland Raiders

Kevin White

Pos:

WR

School:

WVU

Analysis:

I think Cooper is the safer pick and has the higher floor, but White, I believe has the higher ceiling. Regardless of whether Cooper is still on the board or not, I believe the Raiders go with Kevin White. White is big, strong and fast and no team likes speed and measurables as much as the Raiders. White has speed and measurables that impress, Cooper, does not.







5

Washington Redskins

Randy Gregory

Pos:

OLB

School:

Nebraska

Analysis:

With Brian Orakpo's exit from Washington, they have an opening at OLB opposite Ryan Kerrigan. Gregory is a lengthy defender who fits as an OLB in a 3-4 defense and seems an ideal fit for Washington.







6

New York Jets

Shane Ray

Pos:

DE

School:

Missouri

Analysis:

New GM, new coach and a marginal high pick sounds like a perfect place for a new QB as well. Not surprising, many have the Jets pegged as the landing spot for Marcus Mariota (including yours truly in my pre-Free Agency Mock). However, the pickup of veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick, in my opinion, signals that the Jets are going to stick with Geno Smith and a veteran and have a QB competition. Maybe the Jets prove me wrong, cut Smith and have Fitzpatrick mentor Mariota for a year, but for now, I think Todd Bowles gets himself a shiny new pass rushing toy to replace the the 35-year-old Calvin Pace.







7

Chicago Bears

Danny Shelton

Pos:

DT

School:

Washington

Analysis:

The Bears could go a lot of directions with this pick (DE, WR or even QB), but with John Fox at the helm, the Bears are going to be running a 3-4 in 2015 and they need a 3-4 NT. Shelton fits that bill and will be a solid NT in the NFL. I think Shelton would be an excellent fit for the Bears and the Windy City.







8

Atlanta Falcons

Vic Beasley

Pos:

DE

School:

Clemson

Analysis:

The Falcons were dead last in yards allowed in 2014, so it's safe to say they will be looking at   defense early and often in the 2015 draft. Only the Bengals (20) had less sacks than the Falcons (22) and this is a great draft to be looking for pass rushers. I think the Falcons are very happy to see Beasley still on the board when they pick. In my opinion, Beasley is the best pass rusher in the 2015 draft. Some are concerned with his size, but the guy can flat out get to the quarterback and should be dangerous on that Atlanta field turf. Coaches will find a way to utilize a guy like Beasley.







9

New York Giants

Brandon Scherff

Pos:

OT/OG

School:

Iowa

Analysis:

The Giants could go a couple routes here, including receiver, but they really need some help along the offensive line and they have a chance at the top lineman in the draft. Scherff may not be a left tackle in the NFL, but he can be a solid right tackle or very good guard. Either way, he can help sure up the offensive line no matter where they put him.







10

St. Louis Rams

Amari Cooper

Pos:

WR

School:

Alabama

Analysis:

The Rams will be ecstatic to see Cooper still on the board at this point. Somehow, despite the ease at which other teams seem to find WRs in the draft, that Rams have not been able to land a number one wideout since Torry Holt. They are helped out here by Cooper falling into their lap. Cooper may not have the highest ceiling among this group of wideouts, but he has the highest floor and may be the safest pick in the 2015 draft.







11

Minnesota Vikings

DeVante Parker

Pos:

WR

School:

Louisville

Analysis:

The Vikings may look long and hard at the top corner, Trae Waynes, at this spot. But ultimately, I believe they need to surround Teddy Bridgewater with more talent. They replaced Greg Jennings with Mike Wallace, but I don't see Wallace as a real number one receiver. Cordarelle Patterson is explosive, but again, doesn't seem like a true number one. Enter DeVante Parker. Parker has the making of a true No. 1 and has the potential to be a big time receiver - he has even garnered some comparisons to A.J. Green. The icing on the cake is that Parker and Bridgewater have experience playing together.







12

Cleveland Browns

Marcus Mariota

Pos:

QB

School:

Oregon

Analysis:

Let the Browns QB carousel continue. Browns fans will cheer and sigh at the same time if Mariota is taken here. It would be the third time in the last four drafts that the Browns take a QB in the first round, but this would be the first one I would agree with. While I don't think Mariota is a sure thing in the NFL and may have a difficult transition, the kid is incredibly talented, has the mental makeup you want in a QB and what else do the Browns have? Johnny Manziel is in rehab and looked terrible in 2014 and Josh McCown led his team to a 4-12 record...with much better weapons. Mariota is 6'4", athletic and accounted for 58 touchdowns (42 passing, 15 rushing, 1 receiving) and just 7 turnovers (4 INT, 3 fumbles) in 2014. I think this would be a solid pick by the Browns if Mariota is still on the board.







13

New Orleans Saints

Trae Waynes

Pos:

CB

School:

Michigan State

Analysis:

The Saints could use help at a lot of positions: offensive line, pass rush, wide receiver/tight end, cornerback. They would love to see Brandon Scherff still on the board here, but he's not. They would also love to see one of the top receivers or pass rushers fall. But they haven't. What is still here is the top corner back and taking the top corner back is a better option than the fourth best receiver or pass rusher. I don't think the Saints would be disappointed to get the top corner in the draft and with the receivers in the NFC North, this is a great pick.







14

Miami Dolphins

Marcus Peters

Pos:

CB

School:

Washington

Analysis:

The Dolpins could really use a corner or a receiver and by the time their pick comes around, the value at receiver isn't there. However, there is a big talent at corner still on the board. Though Peters has some off the field/attitude concerns, his athletic ability is not in doubt. In fact, many believe he is the top pure corner in the draft. If they can keep him in check, Peters should help solidify what should be a very good defense.







15

San Francisco 49ers

Arik Armstead

Pos:

DE

School:

Oregon

Analysis:

The 49ers could use help at receiver and offensive line, but no need is more glaring on this team than the defense. A once dominant defense has become one of the biggest question marks. With the surprise retirements of Patrick Willis and Chris Borland, along with the ACL tear suffered by Chase Thomas, LB is certainly a possibility here. However, LB can be addressed in round two. With Justin Smith turning 36, Aldon Smith unreliable and Ray McDonald in Chicago, the 49ers need help along the line and Armstead gives them more value. Armstead's toughness and love for football have been brought into question mark - something that is very concerning to me - for a defensive end. However, I think Armstead is too tempting to pass up for Jim Tomsula, a former defensive line coach.







16

Houston Texans

Andrus Peat

Pos:

OT

School:

Stanford

Analysis:

The Texans really need a QB but they aren't getting one here. What they also need is WR, CB, S or OL help. With the loss of Andre Johnson, Jaelen Strong is definitely a possibility at WR as is Landon Collins at safety or Jalen Collins at corner. However, I think the Texans find the most value with Peat along the line. Peat has the potential to be the top tackle in this draft and could be the cornerstone protector for the Texans QB...if they ever find one.







17

San Diego Chargers

La'el Collins

Pos:

OT

School:

LSU

Analysis:

The Chargers are in a bit of a conundrum. They could use a DT or CB at this spot, but what they really need, is to convince Phillip Rivers to come back in 2016 and DT or CB doesn't help with that. A RB or WR would help as well, but the biggest thing is keeping Rivers upright and healthy, something this line has struggled with. The Chargers definitely need a center, so Cameron Erving is a real possibility, but I think they take Collins. Collins is a good offensive lineman and could play right or left tackle.







18

Kansas City Chiefs

Jaelen Strong

Pos:

WR

School:

Arizona State

Analysis:

The Chiefs had 0 touchdowns from their receivers in 2014 and the signing of Jeremy Maclin isn't enough, especially with the loss of Dwayne Bowe. The Chiefs are happy to take the top receiver left at this point and Strong is moving up on a lot of boards right now.







19

Cleveland Browns

Malcolm Brown

Pos:

DT

School:

Texas

Analysis:

Brown is a player I would love to see next to Geno Atkins, so this pick is a double whammy: 1) it takes him out of a Bengals' uniform and 2) it puts him in a uniform of a division foe. The Bengals and Jeremy Hill can attest to how bad the Browns were at stopping the run last year and Brown is a good run stuffer and a good fit for the Browns and Mike Pettine.







20

Philadelphia Eagles

Landon Collins

Pos:

S

School:

Alabama

Analysis:

The one position it seems safe to bet the Eagles won't address here is RB, but with the way Chip Kelly has been operating this offseason, who knows what the Eagles will do with this pick, but it will be fun to guess. Common sense would suggest the Eagles need help in the secondary and Landon Collins (S) or Jalen Collins (CB) would be solid choices here. Landon Collins is more ready for the NFL game at this point and is a "plug and play" safety, so I believe the Eagles go with Landon over Jalen.







21

Cincinnati Bengals

Eddie Goldman

Pos:

DT

School:

Florida State

Analysis:

The Bengals need help along the defensive line and though Goldman is not going to give you much in the pass rush, at 6-3, 336 pounds, Goldman is a stout run stuffer. Put him next to Geno Atkins and Goldman clogs running lanes and frees up other players to get to the QB, therefore indirectly improving the Bengals putrid pass rush. The addition of Michael Johnson and Eddie Goldman would equate to a solid offseason for the Bengals.







22

Pittsburgh Steelers

Jalen Collins

Pos:

CB

School:

LSU

Analysis:

Mike Mitchell was fairly disappointing in 2014 and Troy Polamalu looks done, so the Steelers would love to see Landon Collins still on the board here. With him going two picks before them, the Steelers address their other secondary need - CB. Collins may not be ready to start right out of the gates, but he has good size (6-1, 203 pounds) and would be a big upgrade for the Steelers secondary.







23

Detroit Lions

Cameron Erving

Pos:

C

School:

Florida State

Analysis:

With the loss of Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley, a DT like Jordan Phillips is a strong possibility, as is a CB like Vanderbilt's Kevin Johnson. The Lions could also look at RB here, however, they need help along the offensive line and Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson are rendered useless if Stafford doesn't have time. Erving is a solid center and a versatile lineman that could come in and start at any of the five line positions.







24

Arizona Cardinals

Jordan Phillips

Pos:

DT

School:

Oklahoma

Analysis:

The Cardinals could really use linebackers (inside and outside), but I don't see the value of a linebacker here. While Phillips is seen as a bit of a project and his game film doesn't scream first round talent, his size (6-5, 329 pounds) and raw athletic abilities are tough to pass up, especially for a 3-4 defense that relies on a big run stuffing nose tackle up front...a nose tackle they do not currently have. Phillips could become the cornerstone for this defense.







25

Carolina Panthers

T.J. Clemmings

Pos:

OT

School:

Pittsburgh

Analysis:

The Panthers could use another young receiver for Cam Newton to pair with Kelvin Benjamin, just as they could use a young running back. However,what they really need to do is protect Cam Newton first, something this line has struggled to do. Keeping Newton upright and healthy has to be priority number 1 and 1a for the Panthers. Clemmings, though raw, would provide the Panthers with a big, physical athlete to put on the right side of their line to pave a way for Newton and the Panther running backs.







26

Baltimore Ravens

Breshad Perriman

Pos:

WR

School:

Central Florida

Analysis:

The Ravens need weapons and I believe they either go with a deep threat wide receiver like Perriman, Ohio State's Devin Smith, or the best tight end on the board. In my opinion, this might be a bit high for Perriman or Smith, but Joe Flacco may be the best deep ball thrower in the NFL and Perriman and Smith can both go get the deep ball. With their deep threat - Torrey Smith - having left via free agency and the fact that Steve Smith isn't getting any younger, a WR at this spot seems to make sense for the Ravens.







27

Dallas Cowboys

Melvin Gordon

Pos:

RB

School:

Wisconsin

Analysis:

With the line Dallas has built, any good back is going to be very good running behind this line. The Cowboys did sign Darren McFadden, but even this line can't keep Darren "the Glassman" McFadden healthy, so the Cowboys are going to need another RB. They could definitely use someone other than a RB here, but Melvin Gordon is a flashy toy and Jerry Jones likes flashy toys. He also happens to be a very good back and can step in and pick up where Murray left off. I don't think Jones can pass up a flashy toy again.







28

Denver Broncos

Ereck Flowers

Pos:

OT

School:

Miami

Analysis:

The Broncos could definitely use help along the defensive line and at linebacker, however, they have a 39-year-old immobile QB whom they need to keep healthy if they want any chance of a Super Bowl. As a result, the Broncos address the offensive line in the first round. Flowers has ideal size and can develop into a solid NFL tackle.







29

Indianapolis Colts

D.J. Humphries

Pos:

OT

School:

Florida

Analysis:

The Colts started somewhere around 800 different line combinations in 2014 and Andrew Luck got hit a bunch of times. Translation? The Colts need help along the offensive line. D.J. Humphries provides that assistance.







30

Green Bay Packers

Bud Dupree

Pos:

DE

School:

Kentucky

Analysis:

Julius Peppers isn't getting any younger and Dupree is seen as a 3-4 outside linebacker who  is very similar to Peppers - a freak of an athlete and as good of a person as he is a player. At 6-4, 269 pounds, Dupree ran a 4.56 40 and had the best vertical (42 inches) and broad (11 feet, 6 inches) jumps. Dupree would be a good fit in Green Bay.







31

New Orleans Saints

Eli Harold

Pos:

OLB

School:

Virginia

Analysis:

The Saints didn't get the pass rush help with their first pick and they are disappointed to see Dupree come off the board one pick before them here. However, Harold can get after the QB and the Saints are happy to grab him at the end of round one.







32

New England Patriots

Carl Davis

Pos:

DT

School:

Iowa

Analysis:

With the release of Vince Wilfork, the Patriots are looking for a replacement who can occupy blockers in the run game and that is what Davis can do. At 6-4, 320 pounds, Davis impressed at the Senior Bowl and once Shelton, Brown, Phillips, Goldman and Davis are gone, teams aren't going to find big run stuffing tackles. Consistency has been a concern with Davis, but I don't see that as a concern if he lands with the Patriots.