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Row12.com - A Community of Sports Writers and Fans!                                               ***Attention Writers***
Final 2015 NFL Mock Draft
By Matt Horkman

Projected Trade: Cleveland trades picks No. 12, No. 19, No. 77 and a 2016 first-round pick to Tennessee for the No. 2 overall pick.

1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State
Unless the Bucs decide to throw a curveball, Winston will be the No. 1 overall pick on Thursday night. His ceiling is probably a cross between Ben Roethlisberger and Jay Cutler. In terms of accomplishments, those are two very different quarterbacks. Improved decision-making on and off the field likely dictates whose career his resembles.

2. Cleveland Browns -- Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
On numerous occasions, I have written about Mariota being a 6-foot-4 version of Russell Wilson. ESPN’s Jon Gruden seems to agree. Mariota’s combination of poise, athleticism (4.52 forty), and size (6-too-4, 222) gives him all the physical attributes needed to develop into one of game’s premiere quarterbacks. He will be the No. 2 pick. Who takes him? The Titans seem willing to trade down, and the Browns are the only quarterback-needy team with the ammunition to move up.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars -- Leonard Williams, DL, USC
With their first pick, the Jaguars have gone offense in back-to-back drafts. It’s time to address the defense. By all accounts, Williams is the most effective defensive player in this draft. He is a dominating run defender, and an underrated pass rusher. Drafting him gives Gus Bradley a ton of flexibility with his defensive line.

4. Oakland Raiders -- Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
The last receiver to go over 1,000 yards in a season for the Raiders was Randy Moss. It’s time to change that. The Raiders have likely been debating between Cooper and West Virginia’s Kevin White. The latter has amazing measurables, but Cooper’s fluidity sets him apart. Therefore, he's the pick.

5. Washington -- Dante Fowler Jr., OLB, Florida
Pairing Fowler with Ryan Kerrigan gives Washington two formidable rushers coming off the edge. In addition, Fowler is also very good against the run. He has the size and athleticism to develop into a more consistent version of former Baltimore linebacker Adalius Thomas.

6. N.Y. Jets -- Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson
By trading for Brandon Marshall this off-season, the Jets freed themselves up to select the best edge rusher available. Off-field news surrounding Nebraska’s Randy Gregory and Missouri’s Shane Ray has complicated matters, though. Fortunately, this is a deep draft, and Beasley’s workout at the NFL Scouting combine confirmed his top 10 ability.

7. Chicago Bears -- Kevin White, WR, West Virginia
While the Bears should probably go defense with their first pick, it’s hard to blame them for selecting White, who might be the most physically imposing receiver prospect since Calvin Johnson. Pairing him with Alshon Jeffery gives Chicago two stud receivers under the age of 26.

8. Atlanta Falcons -- Randy Gregory, OLB, Nebraska
Reports of multiple failed drug tests for marijuana brings Gregory’s judgment into question, but it’s hard to doubt his prowess as a pass rusher. New Atlanta coach Dan Quinn is the right man to guide him to success.

9. N.Y. Giants -- Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford
The Giants, desperate for offensive line help, could target the top offensive lineman on their board. Is that Peat or Iowa’s Brandon Scherff? If they’re going with measurables, as most NFL teams do, then Peat probably wins the debate. His power and size fits what Tom Coughlin likes upfront.

10. St. Louis Rams -- Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa
After several failed free-agent signings, the Rams offensive line has finally imploded. They need help at center, guard, and tackle. As a result, they may target an offensive lineman over Louisville receiver DeVante Parker. Scherff may not have long arms, but his technique and toughness will help him make a smooth transition to the pros.

11. Minnesota Vikings -- Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State
Xavier Rhodes is developing into a fine cornerback, but you need at least two good ones to combat the talented receivers of the NFC North. Enter Waynes, who has the physicality to play on the outside. This would allow the Vikings to move Captain Munnerlyn inside, leaving Mike Zimmer just a safety away from solidifying his defensive backfield.

12. Tennessee Titans -- DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville
If the Titans are going all-in with Zach Mettenberger at quarterback, then they’ll need to develop an offense around him. Parker isn’t quite as polished as Cooper is, but he’s very close. His route running is exceptional and his catch radius is massive. If there’s a run on receivers early, he'll be in the middle of it.

13. New Orleans Saints -- Bud Dupree, OLB, Kentucky
A descending offense has the Saints re-thinking their philosophical approach. For years, they've relied on their offense to score in the 30s to win games. Now, they want to build a more well-rounded team. It starts upfront with the pass rush. Dupree‘s lack of production is a mystery. His combine workout suggests he’s one of the 10 best athletes in the draft. Rob Ryan should be able to find a role for him.

14. Miami Dolphins -- Todd Gurley, RB, Miami Dolphins
Lamar Miller is a nice player, but he’s not a bell cow. He’s best used as a situational player, who can come in and create havoc in the open space. In other words, he’s a bigger version of Darren Sproles. The Dolphins need their bell cow and Gurley is their guy. He runs a bit like Eddie George, displaying the power to run between the tackles, and the explosiveness to make plays in the open field. If Miami’s doctors give the thumps up on his ACL, then he’s in serious consideration for this pick.

15. San Francisco 49ers -- Danny Shelton, DT, Washington
The 49ers finished with just four active defensive linemen on their roster last season. They simply cannot go another season with that kind of depleted depth. Grabbing Shelton at No. 15 would be a steal. Defensive tackles who registered 90-plus tackles and nine sacks in one season just don’t come around too often. As a prospect, he’s much closer to Leonard Williams than the mainstream media thinks.

16. Houston Texans -- Landon Collins, S, Alabama
Signing Rahim Moore was a good first step to revamping their secondary, but the Texans still need to add a strong safety. Collins would fit the bill. He gives them an athlete in the backend of their secondary, who is also an excellent tackler.

17. San Diego Chargers -- Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin
When San Diego has a productive running game, their offense -- and most notably, Philip Rivers -- is a different animal. The Chargers enter this draft with one of the worst backfield situations in football. Drafting a running back, even as high as No. 17, is certainly in the cards. Gordon is a patient runner with outstanding explosivenesses. He also possesses the lower body strength to run between the tackles.

Melvin Gordon

18. Kansas City Chiefs -- Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami (FL)
Andy Reid drafts offensive and defensive lineman with his first pick. That’s his philosophy and so long as he has say in Kansas City, that’s probably the direction they’ll go on draft day. Flowers has all the natural talent to develop into a stud tackle.

19. Tennessee Titans -- Shane Ray, OLB, Missouri
Speculation has Ray falling all the way out of the first round due to off-field issues. It seems bizarre that news of Ray’s demise has already leaked. I smell a smokescreen. Teams picking in the backend of round one are deliberately trying to create a bad image of Ray because they want him. Tennessee will end his slide.

20. Philadelphia Eagles -- Damarious Randall, S, Arizona State
Chip Kelly’s system will produce yardage and points, so offense isn’t a dire issue unless the Eagles mortgage everything for Marcus Mariota -- which wouldn’t be terrible ideal, in my view. More likely, though, the Eagles will target a defensive player with their top pick. Their secondary was horrendous in 2014. They turned to free agency to solve their cornerback woes. They'll use the draft to add a safety. After Collins, the next best one is Randall.

21. Cincinnati Bengals -- Malcom Brown, DT, Texas
The interior of Cincinnati’s defensive line didn’t play well in 2014. Geno Atkins, still recovering from a torn ACL, didn’t play like himself. In addition, Domato Peko really struggled. In a division that features Le’Veon Bell, the Bengals must solidify their run defense. Brown does that for them.

22. Pittsburgh Steelers -- Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest
Is this finally the year the Steelers draft a cornerback in round one? It’s been an apparent need for several off-seasons now, but Pittsburgh doesn't seem to value corners very high. Nevertheless, the need is direr now than it’s been in sometime. It’s now or never.

23. Detroit Lions -- La’el Collins, OT, LSU
Needing help at both tackle and guard, the Lions target a prospect capable of playing both. Both Collins' run and pass blocking grades out well. In addition, he has the strength to anchor. He needs to cleanup his footwork, but that’s something the Lions can overlook if it means landing a day one starter.

24. Carolina Panthers -- D.J. Humphries, OT, Florida
Last year the Panthers were unable to address their need at tackle because the draft board didn't fall their way. They should get a chance this year, as several offensive tackles will come off the board in the back half of round one. Humphries lacks experience, but his size, footwork and athleticism all point toward him being a left tackle. 

25. Arizona Cardinals -- Cameron Erving, C, Florida State
Perhaps the second best offensive lineman in this draft, Erving was one of the best overall players on Florida State’s roster after moving to center. He’s a menacing run blocker with very good movement skills. The Cardinals, who have a dire need at center, could rely on him to start immediately.

26. Baltimore Ravens -- Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State
It’s no secret that Baltimore needs a receiver. Steve Smith Sr. turns 36 next month, and Torrey Smith signed with San Francisco this off-season. Strong is a big-bodied (6-foot-4, 205) receiver with strong hands. He makes jump balls and back-shoulder catches look easy. Getting him at No. 26 might be a steal. 

27. Dallas Cowboys -- Eric Kendricks, ILB, UCLA
Kendricks was one of college football’s most productive linebackers. He has a nose for the football, using his high-end speed to flow sideline-to-sideline. He’s an ideal fit in the middle or at weakside in Dallas’ defense.

28. Denver Broncos -- Cedric Ogbuehi, OT, Texas A&M
Denver may have tipped their hand when they announced that Louis Vasquez would be moving to right guard this season. This suggests the Broncos have identified a right tackle with their first pick. I think Ogbuehi or Pittsburgh’s T.J. Clemmings is the pick. Despite a recent ACL tear, Ogbuehi is a better player right now.

29. Indianapolis Colts -- Jordan Phillips, DT, Oklahoma
The Colts are a trendy offseason Super Bowl pick, but the AFC still runs through New England. If the Colts are going to get by the Patriots, they’ll need to stop the run. The Pats shredded them in their last three meetings for an average of 219 yards per game on the ground. Phillips struggles with consistency, but he’s capable of dominating against the run when his effort is there. Let’s see if Chuck Pagano can light his fire.

30. Green Bay Packers -- Arik Armstead, DL, Oregon
The Packers haven’t gotten enough production from former first round pick Datone Jones, and general manager Ted Thompson is notorious for letting the draft slide to him. Armstead wasn’t very productive in college, but his skill set makes him comparables to Arizona defensive lineman Calais Campbell. Because of his ceiling, I have hard time imagining him falling out of the first, especially with Green Bay, New Orleans and New England picking late.

31. New Orleans Saints -- Breshad Perriman, WR, Central Florida
Perriman has elite measurables, which makes him a hot commodity heading into the draft. If he somehow drops to No. 31, the Saints would have a difficult time passing on him. Adding his speed to an offense that already consists of C.J. Spiller and Brandin Cooks would be fun to watch.

32. New England Patriots -- Marcus Peters, CB, Washington
All the notoriety goes to Tom Brady, but New England’s secondary was the biggest reason they hoisted the Lombardi Trophy in February. Half of it is gone now, with Darrelle Revis signing with the Jets, and Brandon Browner signing with the Saints. The Pats will have to replace them, and the draft is the best resource they have left. Peters is a first round talent, but like Green-Beckham, he has major character concerns. That hasn’t stopped Bill Belichick before.


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