2015 NFL Draft: 1st Round Mock 2.0

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Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2015 Combine finished and Pro Days starting next week, I figured it was time for another mock draft. If you want to check out Mock 1.0, click the link. My Bears round 1 pick of DE Shane Ray hasn’t changed but could after Missouri’s pro day on March 18th.

1.) Tampa Bay Bucs – QB Jameis Winston, Florida St

The Bucs already have the weapons in place to have an explosiveness offense with Vincent Jackson, Mike Evans, Louis Murphy, and young TE Austin Seferin-Jenkins but they need a QB. Winston is the most NFL ready QB in the draft and should be the Bucs week 1 starter. There are obviously off-field concerns, but Winston is a potential franchise QB.

2.) Tennessee Titans – QB Marcus Mariota, Oregon

It’s a tough choice for the Titans with serious needs on the defensive side of the ball and a young QB in Zach Mettenberger who showed flashes of talent but isn’t much closer to being an NFL ready starter than Mariota is. Teams need a good QB to win consistently and I don’t think the Titans will pass up a chance to select a potential franchise guy. Best case both Mettenberger and Mariota develop into solid QBs and the Titans have a valuable trade asset. Odds are though that just one (or neither) of them develop, but drafting Mariota at least increases the chances that the Titans find a QB to build around.

3.) Jacksonville Jaguars – DT Leonard Williams, USC

The Jags catch a break with the top overall player in the draft falling to the 3rd pick. Williams is a scheme diverse player who has the athleticism to play anywhere on the D-line. When healthy and motivated, Williams is unblockable and uses his long arms well to disengage. He could make the Jags defensive line a force to be reckoned with.

4.) Oakland Raiders – WR Amari Cooper, Alabama

There is a lot of talk about Kevin White with this pick and I think it will be a tough choice for Oakland. White has more size and speed and is a better red zone threat, but Cooper is a better route runner, more consistent, and will get open more often to move the chains for the Raiders. They can’t go wrong picking either guy, but I think the Raiders go with Cooper.

5.) Washington Redskins – DE Dante Fowler Jr, Florida

With their best pass rusher, Brian Orakpo, a free agent (and injury prone), the Skins get a young edge rusher to replace him or perhaps team up with Orakpo to give the Skins two dynamic pass rushers. Fowler’s size, versatility, and ability to win with speed and power makes him the top edge rusher off the board.

6.) New York Jets – OLB Randy Gregory, Nebraska

The run on edge rushers begins with the Jets taking a dynamic OLB who could be an impact player right away behind one of the best defensive lines in the league. Gregory is the most polished pass rusher in the draft with the most upside as well, but he’s light (235 pounds) and could have trouble setting the edge against the run. That won’t be much of a problem on the Jets who were one of the best run stopping teams in the league, but really need a dynamic pass rusher.

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7.) Chicago Bears – OLB Shane Ray, Missouri

Everyone seems to think the Bears are taking Danny Shelton here and I would be happy with that pick, but I would also be surprised. New DC Vic Fangio never used a space-eating, 2-gap DT during his time with the Niners, instead preferring quick, 1-gap disrupters at the position. Fangio’s scheme is predicated on the ability of the OLBs to get to the QB and in one of the best pass rusher drafts in recent history, I don’t see the Bears passing on all of them. Ray has the best first step in this draft and will show off his elite athleticism at his pro day. He should be effective right away, but if he develops a few go-to pass rush moves Ray could be an All-Pro.

8.) Atlanta Falcons – OLB Vic Beasley, Clemson

The Falcons had one of the worst pass rushes in the league last season (31st in sacks with 22). Beasley is coming off an amazing combine performance and has the production and college tape to back it up. I could see them going with Dupree here instead but I’m pretty sure the pick will be an edge rusher.