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Mock Drafts

Norris: Final 2015 Mock Draft

by Josh Norris
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Evan Silva (@EvanSilva) is the Senior Football Editor for Rotoworld's NFL Page, and Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) leads Rotoworld's college football and NFL draft coverage. Together, they're breaking down every team's biggest needs and offering potential solutions in May's draft. For a breakdown on every team, check out the team-by-team draft preview schedule.


If you are looking for my opinion on prospects, here is my top 200.


And with that, here is how I view the first round.

1. Tampa Bay Bucs - QB Jameis Winston, FSU - I still think Marcus Mariota has a chance to be selected here, much more than given credit for. As Yahoo's Charles Robinson reported, the Glazers have final say in signing off on Winston. But mocks are for what I think will happen, and most signs still point to Jameis. Winston can be a quality starter in the NFL.

2. Tennessee Titans - WR Amari Cooper, Alabama - A shocker, I know. No QB, no trade - I think the connection between Jacksonville and Cooper is permeating to push the move into fruition. My twitter friend Thomas Gower thinks Cooper would be the receiver pick over Kevin White. From a receiver style this does not make a ton of sense, but from a “safe” and projectable traits stance it does.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars - DL Leonard Williams, USC - Everyone is mocking an edge rusher here. I bet the Jaguars think they can get their edge rusher, for the role he will play, in the second round (Eli Harold, for example). Yes, the team signed Jared Odrick to play either the big end or 3 technique. I think the team is concerned with Sen’Derrick Marks’ availability early in the season. Marks’ contract is also very easy to move on from, if necessary. Adding another versatile piece up front that could be viewed as “safe” makes sense.

4. Cleveland Browns (via Oakland Raiders) - QB Marcus Mariota, Oregon - This one is going to get a bit complicated, but stay with me. The first part of the deal is obvious. Here is the hypothetical trade, via Alan Dandar:

@JoshNorris Even money with "JimmyJ" Chart - OAK gives 4,68,140 to CLE for 12,19,202. OAK then gives 12,35,221 to CHI for 7,71,183. Simple.

— Alan Dandar (@AlanDandar) April 30, 2015

Yes, I know the Jimmy Johnson chart is outdated. But for this purpose, let's use it. Some teams still refer to it as a comparable. For the Browns: After the GM and owner made the wrong quarterback choice last year, there is pressure to make the decision right. Mariota will do just that.

5. Washington Redskins - OL Brandon Scherff, Iowa - Mimicking the recent approach of a division rival. I bet many teams will think Scherff is this year’s Zack Martin. Some might think this is early for a guard. Maybe, but acquiring prospects with traits that translate is paramount.

6. New York Jets - T Andrus Peat, Stanford - Links have sprouted in recent days placing Peat to the Jets as a long term replacement for D’Brickashaw Ferguson. It makes sense. The question is where Peat plays in 2015 before moving to left tackle in 2016. The Jets have had guard issues.

7. Oakland Raiders (via Chicago Bears) - EDGE Alvin Dupree, Kentucky - After trading down, the Raiders trade back up to land their target. Again, via Alan Dandar, here is the second hypothetical trade:

@JoshNorris Even money with "JimmyJ" Chart - OAK gives 4,68,140 to CLE for 12,19,202. OAK then gives 12,35,221 to CHI for 7,71,183. Simple.

— Alan Dandar (@AlanDandar) April 30, 2015

This leaves the Raiders with picks 7, 19 and 71 in the first three rounds, basically converting a second round pick into pick No. 19 by just moving down a few slots. Dupree’s play on the field does not warrant a selection this early, but due to the “upside” I would be surprised if Bud isn’t a top three edge rusher selected.

8. Atlanta Falcons - EDGE Dante Fowler, Florida - There are plenty of connections here. Namely, the position need and Dan Quinn’s history with Fowler. Fowler is very active with his hand and length use to create separation. I bet he is the standard top edge rusher on most teams’ boards.

9. New York Giants - WR Kevin White, WVU - Another WR for the Giants? It seems the team focuses on OL, WR and pass rushers early on. The prospects left at two of those positions do not fit the Giants’ types.Rueben Randle is average and has one year left. Victor Cruz is coming off injury. The team did give a large contract to Dwayne Harris, but he would be best inside. White and OBJ would be quite a tandem.

10. St. Louis Rams - OL La’El Collins, LSU - I have no idea how to approach La’El’s projection. So, I will just keep it where it is. If the Rams select Collins, who plays LT? Either way, you have two powerful blockers along the offensive line in an offense that will need to keep its quarterback clean in the pocket and open running lanes.

 

11. Minnesota Vikings - CB Trae Waynes, Michigan State - Everything points to the Vikings selecting a cornerback. So will it happen? I could see one of three names: Waynes, Byron Jones and Kevin Johnson. Waynes is a press corner (or man in his zone) who uses length and frame to stick with receivers and combat the catch point.

12. Chicago Bears (via Raiders and Browns) - DT Danny Shelton, Washington - The Bears drop down only a few spots and exchange a third for a second and a six for a five. Look at pick No. 7 for more details. The team does not have a natural fit at nose tackle, and Shelton has consistently said the Bears have Browns have displayed the most interest in him.

13. New Orleans Saints - EDGE Vic Beasley, Clemson - My buddy Tony Pauline recently stated the Saints are very interested in Beasley. Why wouldn’t every team be interested in a ridiculous edge rusher with unreal athleticism who can at least offer outside speed with bend. It lines up perfectly with a need for the Saints.

14. Miami Dolphins - RB Todd Gurley, Georgia - Lamar Miller had a solid season last year. However, is he a foundation piece or more like a ball carrier who maximizes the space blocked for him? Gurley is one of the few true foundation talents in this class. RBs who sit on the spectrum of average to good do not deserve high priced contracts. Gurley would be an upgrade at the position and would theoretically prevent the Dolphins from overpaying Miller.

15. San Francisco 49ers - WR DeVante Parker, Louisville - Beyond Anquan Boldin, the 49ers lack a receiver who can be trusted in contested situations. Boldin might be nearing the end of his career, and Vernon Davis can say the same with the 49ers - potentially. Parker floats to win on 50/50 targets and in the redzone. 

16. Houston Texans - CB Byron Jones, UConn - When I look at the Texans I see a glaring need at corner with Johnathan Joseph likely entering his last year with the team. But why is it not frequently mocked in the first round. The NFL like Jones more than I do.

~

Evan Silva (@EvanSilva) is the Senior Football Editor for Rotoworld's NFL Page, and Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) leads Rotoworld's college football and NFL draft coverage. Together, they're breaking down every team's biggest needs and offering potential solutions in May's draft. For a breakdown on every team, check out the team-by-team draft preview schedule.


If you are looking for my opinion on prospects, here is my top 200.

17. San Diego Chargers - RB Melvin Gordon III, Wisconsin - Two running backs in the top 20? Let’s destroy the narrative, NFL. Again, I’ll bring back the “foundation piece” logic. A team could look at other non-RB talents in this class and view them as role players. Then they could look at a ball carrier

18. Kansas City Chiefs - LB Eric Kendricks, UCLA - The Chiefs have to improve their inside linebackers. With so much talent up front, Kendricks would thrive in Kansas City. Add in the fact Derrick Johnson is in a contract year coming off injury, and it makes a lot of sense.

19. Oakland Raiders (via Cleveland Browns) - WR Breshad Perriman, UCF - Receiver is still a need for the Raiders. If they want Derek Carr to stretch the field more this year, they need a receiver with those intermediate and downfield skills. Perriman has them.

20. Philadelphia Eagles - OL Donovan Smith, Penn State - Surprise? Smith checks all the boxes the Eagles (apparently) look for: Senior Bowler, athletic and visited the team’s facility. I don’t love Smith’s game, but teams who do likely think he can play guard and tackle. They must be able to unpack the traits he offers.

21. Cincinnati Bengals - T D.J. Humphries, Florida - I don’t love this fit. However, both of the Bengals’ tackles are entering contract years. Humphries, Cedric Ogbuehi, Ereck Flowers, etc. are all options. Humphries has added weight during the draft process and now sits above 300 pounds.

22. Pittsburgh Steelers - CB Kevin Johnson, Wake Forest - Kevin Johnson could be selected much earlier. The Wake Forest corner has awareness and finds the football in both man and zone situations. There is little wasted movement to his game and he attacks the catch point.

23. Detroit Lions - DT Grady Jarrett, Clemson - Grady is not just a 1 technique. Yes, he can play it in the NFL and di at Clemson, but expect him to play a lot of 3 technique in the NFL. He will be an upfield disruptor from either spot while also holding his own against the run. He should be a first round pick, and the Lions have a need now and in the future.

24. Arizona Cardinals - EDGE Shane Ray, Missouri - This is a tough call, as Ray could easily land in the second round. He tested as a bad athlete (in the 22nd percentile for his position) but does maximize it on the field and possesses a great motor. Does that tape compensate for poor athleticism, a toe injury which might need surgery and a recent marijuana citation? I think Preston Smith and Owamagbe Odighizuwa are more talented prospects, but this isn’t an exercise in what I would do.

25. Carolina Panthers - LB Shaq Thompson, Washington - I know, where is the tackle? Cedric Ogbuehi makes a lot of sense. So does an edge rusher like Owa or Preston Smith. But Shaq’s comparison has been Thomas Davis all along, and the team needs TD’s long term replacement. Shaq can fill a coverage role early on in high percentage passing situations.

26. Baltimore Ravens - DL Arik Armstead, Oregon - Personally, I think Ozzie gets another great talent here. CB Marcus Peters is an obvious possibility. Chris Canty is a stopgap (not in a negative way) and the ravens are always built from the inside-out. Armstead, Brandon Williams and Timmy Jernigan form a nice young core.

 

27. Dallas Cowboys - EDGE Randy Gregory, Nebraska - I think Gregory’s “fall” ends here. Talent wise, Gregory is near the top. The Cowboys will likely be without Greg Hardy for 10 games, so they still have a monstrous edge rushing need. Enter Gregory who has speed and power despite playing around 230 lbs.

28. Denver Broncos - OL Jake Fisher, Oregon - The Broncos have needs at tackle and guard. Fisher has played both tackle spots along with guard and has athleticism to be used in Gary Kubiak’s zone scheme. It is a great fit.

29. Indianapolis Colts - S Damarious Randall, Arizona State - If teams are moving towards Randall as the first safety off the board it is due to coverage range. They are not prioritizing a box safety, and instead want to choose Randall who can cover more ground. I do not think his talent warrants this high of a selection.

30. Green Bay Packers - DB Eric Rowe, Utah - This fit makes too much sense, and it is rarely mocked. Rowe will be evaluated at both corner and safety. He is the best athlete among defensive backs this year and is long, two traits the Packers look for at the position.

31. New Orleans Saints (via Seahawks) - G Cameron Erving, FSU - Yes, the Saints added Max Unger. But a hole at one interior OL spot is glaring. Erving showed promise at left tackle, however, he solidified the Noles’ OL while at center. He is being evaluated at all three spots.

32. New England Patriots - G A.J. Cann, South Carolina - The Patriots have done a TON of work on this year’s interior group. Expect them to trade down a few slots and grab Cann or Laken Tomlinson in the early second round. One possible trade up? The Vikings for Preston Smith.

Josh Norris
Josh Norris is an NFL Draft Analyst for Rotoworld and contributed to the Rams scouting department during training camp of 2010 and the 2011 NFL Draft. He can be found on Twitter .