2015 NFL Mock Draft 4.0 – 1st Round

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Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

With two weeks to go before the draft, it’s time for my 2nd to last mock draft. With free agency pretty much wrapped up, team needs are fairly static at this point so there may not be much difference between my last two barring any significant trades, off-field arrests or news of more failed drug tests from the combine.

More from Chicago Bears Draft

As for our Bears, they have been active both early in free agency and on the second-tier market. They added depth at a number of thin positions, giving them more flexibility in the draft and allowing them to use the “best player available” strategy which may not have been an option with so many glaring holes on the defensive side of the ball two months ago.

If you want to check out previous versions, here are mocks 1.02.0, and 3.0. As usual, if you have any complaints or advice about my picks let me know on Twitter or in the comment section.

Round: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

2015 NFL Mock Draft 4.0 – 1st Round

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 Seferian-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. The Titans added defensive help with OLBs Derrick Morgan and Brian Orakpo in free agency, which makes the choice to go with a QB a little easier. 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. I wouldn’t be shocked if they traded the pick either as their are rumors that the Eagles, Chargers, and Browns are interested in the chance to draft Mariota.

3.) Jacksonville Jaguars – DL Leonard Williams, USC

The Jags catch a break with the top overall player in the draft falling to the 3rd pick. Dante Fowler is definitely an option and a perfect fir for Gus Bradley’s scheme, but I still think Williams is the best defensive player in the draft. 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 Kevin White, West Virginia

The Raiders have a tough choice between White and Amari Cooper, but White’s upside may be too tempting to pass up. He’s bigger, more physical, and a more dominant red zone threat. I think they are both going to be Pro Bowl quality WRs in the league, but White’s ceiling is higher. He reminds me a bit of Terrell Owens in his prime but without the mental deficiencies.

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

The Skins made a few surprisingly smart moves signing ex-Bear Stephen Paea and massive NT Terrance Knighton to beef up thier D-line and now they get a an edge rusher to replace departed free agent OLB Brian Orakpo. All Fowler has to do is stay healthy and he’d be an upgrade over Orakpo.

6.) New York Jets – OLB Shane Ray, Missouri

Somewhat of a disappointing pro day for a guy that was rumored to run in the 4.4-4.5 range and have a 40″+ vertical. Ray’s performance wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t as impressive as the other top edge rushers at the combine. His tape is still very strong; Ray has a lighting quick first step, can change direction without losing speed, uses his hands well, and has a couple explosive but raw pass rush moves. The Jets have a dynamic front three who excel stopping the run but they haven’t had an impact pass rusher in years. Ray could give the Jets an explosive pass rusher off the edge and could have a big rookie season in new HC Todd Bowles’ blitz heavy scheme.

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